The three agents in the observation room turned to leave.
“Why have you abandoned me?” Tom-tom’s plaintive voice caused them to turn as one to the window. “I have done all that you asked me to. Why have you delivered me to my enemies?”
“He was too strong. I couldn’t overpower him because the other one came on us too soon,” he continued. Princess felt the hair on his back rise up on end.
“Who is he talking to?” Mittens asked no one in particular. He sounded as though he was as spooked as Princess felt.
“The voice in his head, Probie,” Princess replied without taking his eyes off the deluded tom on the other side of the glass. “The voice in his head that told him to kill all those tricolor queens.”
“He is truly delusional,” Sassy said. She sounded matter-of-fact. Princess glanced at her. Her expression was bland. How often had she seen things like this?
“I have failed you!” Tom-tom’s voice was almost a wail. “I will never see paradise.” Princess almost felt sorry for him, until he remembered the beautiful innocents he had killed.
“Lady,” Tom-tom’s voice was pleading. Princess found it almost hard to watch. “Lady, please help me.” Crusher entered the observation room.
“What’s he saying?” he said.
“He is pleading with Bastet to save him,” Sassy said.
“It’s pitiful,” Mittens said.
“He’s crazy, Boss,” Princess said. “I’m no psychologist, but that tomcat is nuts.”
“Ya think, Princess?” Crusher sipped his coffee.
“He’ll never do time,” Princess said. Crusher glanced at him.
“I doubt he’ll see the streets again,” he said. He finished the coffee and looked down at the paper cup as though surprised it was empty and threw it in the trash.
“I will do that, Lady,” Tom-tom said, alone in the interrogation room. “They will learn nothing more. They will not learn of the vermin they failed to save.”
“What was that?” Crusher moved closer to the glass window.
“He’s talking about other victims,” Princess moved closer as well. “I thought there were only the five.”
“He mentioned a couple more,” Mittens sounded perplexed. “I’ll check on the MO.” He darted from the room.
“Did we miss something?” Crusher demanded.
“I’ll run a blanket communiqué to other agents,” said Sassy, “see if any other cities have any unsolved murders of tricolors.” She, too, left the room.
“He’s trying to kill himself!” Princess darted from the room, Crusher on his heels. They burst into the interrogation room and wrestled Tom-tom away from the restraint that he was trying to use to choke himself. They secured his feet, determined to keep their prisoner alive until he was convicted.
Then they took him to the lockup, where he could not kill himself. Privately, Princess thought that would be the best fate for the deranged tomcat, but it wasn’t his call.
Leaving Tom-tom, now screaming out a confession of crimes no one was sure had actually been committed. Princess followed Crusher to the squad room.
“Princess, help Mittens check the cities around us for tricolored cat murders,” Crusher said. “I’m going to brief Director Shadow. This may not be over yet.”
“Yes Boss,” Princess went to his desk. “Mittens, have you looked into missing tricolor cats?”