Chapter 17 - Bric-a-Brac
Sgt. Tinker sat in speechless surprise. Holstering his weapon, Hawk stepped over his entangled partner and vaulted the steps. Nancy followed. When Nancy reached Robin’s room, she could see the Lieutenant Standing open mouthed in the doorway staring at the cyclone inside.
“Oh, my!” she said.
“My thoughts exactly,” Hawk agreed. “It looks like a tornado, but there’s no wind.”
Robin blinked. His head jerked and all the flying objects fell to the floor. A mug with the words Kansas OZ festival broke into several pieces at Lieutenant Hawk’s feet.
“Pity,” Nancy said sadly, “I liked that one.”
“What was that?” Hawk demanded.
“A souvenir from my visit to the Kansas OZ festival in…”
Lt. Hawk gave her a look of irritation.
“Oh… sorry… I don’t know exactly, but my guess is that it was some kind of psychokinetic whirlwind – or as you put it a psychic tornado. Uh Oh…” She stopped and stared. She could see what was coming next and she braced for it. Robin’s aura was glowing a bright orange. She could see the tidal wave of psychic energy building up. In a matter of seconds it grew to its bursting point. The room began to get uncomfortably hot and arid. The psychic energy exploded from Robin like an atomic bomb in an ever-expanding circle of emotion. The shock wave came rushing at Nancy and Hawk in a gale of sadness.
Nancy was standing stone-faced staring at Robin. Lieutenant Hawk followed her gaze to the bed. She was concentrating on blocking the emotions emanating from his aura, but even with her powers she couldn’t stop all of it. Tears were streaming from Robin’s eyes. The Lieutenant was hit with a great wave of sadness that rolled over him and filled his soul. He began to cry.
Tinker, after untangling himself, had come back upstairs. He was standing at the door behind Lt. Hawk and Nancy. He too was overcome with tears. The two peace officers looked at each other and cried even more. “What’s happening to us?” Sgt. Tinker wailed.
“He’s broadcasting his emotions on psychic broadband. Somehow they are being amplified a hundred times and are affecting anyone in the area. From the strength of it, I think anyone within a mile of us will be crying like a baby.” Nancy stood absolutely still.
“Can’t you do something to stop him?” pleaded Lieutenant Hawk, wiping the tears streaming down his face with a sleeve.
“I’m trying. I need to get closer. Just hold on a little longer.”
She could see the emanations flowing out in circles from Robin. It was a hurricane force psychic wind that was hitting her. She pushed against it as she fought her way to the bed. She managed to get behind Robin who was oblivious to everything around him. She laid her hands gently upon his shoulders, closed her eyes, and concentrated.
She began thinking of a sunny valley. She could see the trees waving gently in the breeze. There were beautiful flowers growing there with buzzing bees. A lazy brook babbled nearby. It’s working, she thought. The room is cooling down. She kept concentrating on the happy valley and its calm beauty. As suddenly as the sadness had permeated the room it disappeared.
“What happened?” asked Robin suddenly.
“You tell us,” Lieutenant Hawk said as he wiped his eyes. He pulled out a large handkerchief and blew his nose. Amanda Potts carefully stuck her head through the wall so she could see what was happening.
“Is it over yet?” she said in a frightened voice.
The Sgt. brought his hand up to point at Robin, but he had forgotten he still had his pistol in it. He pointed the barrel at him and squeaked, “He’s possessed!”
“He’s not possessed,” Lt. Hawk corrected him. Seeing the gun he added: “Put that down, Tinker. I think we’ve had enough excitement for one day.”
As Sgt. Tinker holstered his weapon, Nancy asked, “Are you sure it’s safe for him to carry one of those? He’s already put a hole in my downstairs ceiling.”
Lieutenant Hawk looked at his Sgt. and said, “What in the world were you doing, Tinker?”
“I was attacked and I was defending myself,” he answered firmly.
“Attacked by what?” Nancy asked, “My upstairs runner?”
“No,” he shot back, “I was attacked by… by…” He paused trying to figure out how he was going to explain it without looking like a lunatic.
“Yes?” the Lieutenant asked.
“By an ashtray, among other things,” he finished sheepishly.
Hawk and Nancy looked at each other.
“It did attack me. The whole room was trying to get me. I barely got out with my life!”
“It’s okay Tinker,” Nancy said soothingly. “Since you’ve never experienced a Psychokinetic event before you had every right to be a bit confused. It certainly didn’t do my OZ mug any good.”
“So, what happened?” Robin repeated.
“As best I can tell, you overloaded again only this time there was a massive feedback of psychic energy which you began to broadcast in the form of pure emotion,” Nancy replied.
“What does that mean?” asked Hawk.
“It means he had a kind of short circuit… a kind of brainstorm. A total emotional Psychic overload”, she answered. “In order for him to cope, his sense of self-preservation caused him to send that emotion away from him. Like pressure in a boiler it builds up and multiplies its strength until something explodes or gets released through a pressure release valve. Unfortunately, being a psychic, his release valve is to send those emotions or waves away from him in all directions. Also unfortunate for anyone within a mile or so radius of his broadcast because they will absorb those emotions and feel them as if they were their own. In this case, they would all blubber like a baby.”
There was a pregnant pause.
“I think we all need some of your strong tea,” said Lieutenant Hawk finally.
“I think we need something stronger than that,” Nancy said, “Besides we’ve already finished the rum. This calls for the ‘special’ stuff.”
They were all seated around the kitchen table again, each with a mug in their hands. Instead of a teapot, a half-full bottle of Johnny Walker Black was the centerpiece. Amanda Potts was sitting on the floor next to Mr. Tibbs.
Now this is my kind of tea, thought Lieutenant Hawk. He had a mug in one hand and a cigar in the other. They sat in silence; each of them lost in their own thoughts. Sgt. Tinker was eying Robin suspiciously. He still thought Robin was possessed.
Robin broke the silence, which made Sgt. Tinker jump.
“I apologize, Lieutenant, for the…the….” he was searching for the right descriptive word, “the…event upstairs. I am new to this myself and haven’t yet gained control over its effects.”
“Sgt. Tinker tells me that you were yelling ‘shut up’ just before he was attacked by the bric-a-brac. Who were you shouting at?” the Lieutenant asked.
There was an electric pause in the room. All eyes were on Robin.
His tone was shaky, but controlled. ”The man who killed Jennifer Conroy”, he said.
The Lieutenant glanced at Nancy. She was looking at Robin.
“Go ahead,” she coaxed.
“I didn’t get a good hold of him. I can’t tell you who he is, but he is someone known to the Conroy family.”
“Not a family member?” asked Lieutenant Hawk.
“No. But they do know him in some way.” He seemed disappointed. He continued in a depressed tone, “I wish I could tell you more, but when I saw what he did to me…. to her… I lost it.”
The Lieutenant looked puzzled, “To you?”
“Yes. No. I mean…” he trailed off.
Nancy picked up the explanation: “It’s part of the problem with being so sensitive to emanations imprinted on objects. When he ‘saw’ the crime being committed, he was experiencing the entire event as if he were the child. That’s why he had such a violent reaction.”
“Is it always that way? I don’t remember you ever making the bric-a-brac fly around the room.”
“Sometimes you see the whole thing as a bystander. Sometimes you see it from the killer’s point of view – or the victim’s, but no matter how you experience the event, it is usually traumatic when you are dealing with a case like this one. As for the bric-a-brac: Robin has more abilities than I do and he’s ten times the psychic I am. My insights in a case are just that: insights. I see terrible things, but I don’t connect so vividly that I see, hear, and feel everything the victim experiences. The things I’ve seen have given me nightmares, but I’ve never reacted like this. No. Robin is unique – a psychic’s psychic if you will – and the only one of his kind as far as I know.”
Lt. Hawk studied Nancy’s face. He knew her well enough to know that she never exaggerated when she spoke. Her word was as good as gold, but he raised an eyebrow as if he doubted her last statement.
“I realize I sound like a batty old woman, Hawk, but I haven’t taken leave of my senses. You saw, yourself what happened upstairs. No psychic has ever done anything like that. If they had we might be taken more seriously when we speak rather than dismissed as fakers.”
“Or locked up and dissected like lab animals… or hunted down and burned at the stake by people who are frightened by that sort of thing,” Lt. Hawk added.
“Yes. Well, that’s why we need to keep this secret. Robin will learn to control this. He just needs more time.”
“Secret?” Sgt. Tinker said sarcastically, “Secret? Everybody that was within a mile or two of this place knows about it. That’s what you said, didn’t you?”
“The affected area is approximately that, but no one will know where it came from or why the sudden wave of sadness happened, Sergeant.”
“And no one needs to know either,” Lt. Hawk said with finality.
Sgt. Tinker looked doubtful, but said, “No one would believe it anyway. I’m not sure I do and I was here.” His mug was shaking slightly in his hands as he took another drink. The Lieutenant puffed his cigar and looked at Nancy. “So when do we try again?” he asked. Sgt. Tinker stiffened.
Robin looked across the room to the corner where Mr. Tibbs still lay. He looked at Amanda Pott’s eyes, she shook her head slowly, and then he looked back at the rabbit again.
“We don’t,” he said with finality.