“Get the others,” Aranea said to Jane. Jane just stared uncomprehendingly into nothingness for a moment before the words sunk in.
“Okay,” she said in a voice that was barely a choked whisper. Jane then turned away from the horror that was in front of her, and ran out of the library doors, sobbing.
Roxy didn't move. Every nerve in her body had gone dull. She could do nothing but stare at the corpse in front of her. Callie was dead. Dear, sweet, precious Callie was dead. Someone had killed her. But this last fact didn't sink in so much as the fact that Roxy's best friend was lying dead a few feet in front of her.
“Callie...” Roxy said weakly, before tears began to drip down her face. Aranea noticed this, and walked over to her.
“Roxy, I know this must be extremely painful,” she said, offering a shoulder for Roxy to cry on. “But we can't mourn just yet: we have to discover who killed Calliope. It's what she would have wanted.”
“Y-yeah...” Roxy said. “She would have wanted that.”
“So, uh,” Meenah said, standing over the body. She still seemed to be trembling. “Should we begin the investigation or what? Since if we don't find out who's the killer, then we're all dead.”
“I know,” Aranea replied. Her face hardened. “But we should wait until the others arrive before starting.”
As the three stood in silence, staring at Calliope's body, an announcement suddenly rang out.
“Attention losers. A corpse has been discovered. You will have some time to investigate. Before the class trial.”
“That's just perfect,” Aranea said. “Our investigation period has a time limit. That means that in order to find all the evidence, everyone will have to cooperate.”
“Yeah,” Meenah said. “And I doubt these glubbin losers will easily work with us, considering one of them's the killer.”
“Yeah,” Aranea replied. She went to continue, but the sound of running cut her off.
Two minutes later, everyone was in the library. They had all seen the corpse, and a solemn tone hung in the air. Rose and the rest of her group walked up to Aranea and Meenah.
“So,” Rose said. “You just found her body like this?”
“Yes...” Aranea said. “Meenah was the first to find it.”
“And how did you find it?” Rose asked.
“I just woke up inside the library,” Meenah said. “And I saw Calliope's corpse laying there. Cod, lemme tell you, it was the biggest fright I've ever had.”
“Why were you in the library?” Terezi questioned. “I'm pretty sure the bedroom would be a better place to sleep.”
“Oh, let me explain that,” Aranea said. “Meenah was with me for protection last night, since I wanted to do some reading before going to sleep. And she began to doze off after a while. Eventually, she told me she was heading to bed, where I believe she passed out somewhere within the library out of my sight. I thought she had returned to her room, but I guess not.”
“That sounds suspicious, does it not?” Terezi said. “Meenah, you told Aranea you were heading to your room, in which case you would have fallen asleep closer to the exit. But somehow you wake in front of the body. It doesn't add up.”
“Maybe I'm a sleepwalker or somefin,” Meenah said. “Although, I don't even remember falling asleep; I guess I was that tired.”
“That's probably it,” Aranea said. “And I don't believe Meenah did it for one second; what would she gain from killing the cherub girl?”
“I don't know; motives are complicated things,” Terezi said. “But I will sniff out the truth, no matter what!”
“Will you. Now?”
Terezi turned around to see Caliborn standing in front of her. He was grinning widely.
“Ah, my number one suspect,” Terezi said with a grin. “How are you today?”
“Your theory is stupid,” Caliborn said. “Even though I hated my sister. I didn't kill her. Although. I do appreciate the person who did.”
“And why do you think I would believe you're innocent?” Terezi said. “What better way to get the killing ball rolling by doing it yourself?”
“True. But wrong,” Caliborn said. “Anyway. That is not why I am here.”
“Then why are you here?” Terezi said.
“To let you know,” Caliborn said. “There is an update. To your ElectroIDs. You can now view. What I have dubbed. Caliborn Files. They display the details. Of the murder victim. That is all. See you losers at the class trial. Later on.” Caliborn then vanished from sight, leaving Terezi standing there, confused.
“Hey, get back here!” she yelled to no avail.
“Just ignore him,” Karkat said. “We should just look at these files and see what they have to say.”
“Fine,” Terezi sighed. She picked up her ElectroID, and turned it on, looking through the interface. And sure enough, as Caliborn had described, there was a new addition titled 'Caliborn Files'. She clicked on it.
The screen changed to that of an image of Calliope's corpse slumped against the bookshelf, the green blood pooling out of her. Terezi shuddered at the image, and scrolled down, reading the text.
The victim was Calliope.
The time of death was around 00:43
The cause of death is a single stab wound to the heart.
The victim was also suffering from a concussion prior to being stabbed.
“Oh my,” Terezi said. “This is the real deal, all right.”
“But it doesn't give us any leads,” Aranea said, looking through her ElectroID.
“That's where you're wrong,” Terezi said with a grin. “Look there: the time of death.”
“What about it?” Rose said.
“It provides an alibi for most of us here,” Terezi said. “Considering how nearly all of us were in bed from ten onwards.”
“That it does,” Rose said. “But that still leaves some suspects.”
“It does,” Terezi said. “But we can rule out quite a few of us from this.”
“So where do we start with the investigation?” Karkat said. He was scrolling through his ElectroID.
“The first thing we do is check the body,” Terezi said. “We need to find the murder weapon.”
“I'll check the body,” Kanaya offered.
“You do that,” Terezi said. “Just don't drink any of the blood, got it?”
Kanaya rolled her eyes. “Like I would do that.” She then walked over to Calliope's body, and began looking over it.
“Find anything?” Rose asked.
“As a matter of fact, yes,” Kanaya said. She stood up, and walked away from the body. “The stab wound is quite thin and precise. It is clear that this was a deliberate move on the culprit's part.”
“Pre-meditated, huh?” Terezi said. She adjusted her glasses. “Oh, this keeps getting more and more interesting.”
“Anything else?” Rose said.
“Oh, yes,” Kanaya said. She lifted her hand, revealing a blood-stained ElectroID. “This is Calliope's. We can use it to investigate her room for any evidence.”
“Good idea,” Rose said. “Terezi, could you, Karkat, and Kanaya check out Calliope's room?”
“Sure,” Terezi said. She turned to the two other trolls. “Come on, let's go.”
Rose watched as the three of them left the library before facing the others.
“Okay,” she said. “With that covered, I want the rest of you to search every corner of the building for any sign of evidence, okay?”
“But what if we don't wanna,” Eridan said.
“Then you'll be executed,” Rose said sharply.
“Fine,” Eridan said, joining the rest in walking out of the library.
Now, only Rose, John, Dave, Jane, Roxy, Aranea, and Meenah remained.
“What do we do, Rose,” Dave said. “Since I don't wanna join the masses in vaguely searching.”
“Neither do I,” Rose said. “To be honest, this was just to get them out of our hair for a while whilst we investigate the crime scene.”
“Do you have any idea who the culprit is yet?” Jane said.
“Not yet,” Rose said. “But once we establish what Terezi finds in Calliope's dorm room, and whatever evidence the culprit left here, then I may be able to put it together.”
“So what do we look for?” John said.
“Anything suspicious,” Rose said. “It would help if we had a forensics team on standby, or just for the Seer powers to return, but since neither of those is a viable option, we'll just have to look the old fashioned way.”
“Got it,” John said.
“We'll check outside of the library,” Aranea said. “They might have left some clues out there.”
“And we might find out why I passed out,” Meenah said. She rubbed her head as she did so. “I hope that motherglubber gets what's coming to them.”
“Likewise,” Aranea said. “But ultimately, isn't this the cherub's fault?”
“I guess,” Meenah said. “But that doesn't mean someone had to go and kill like that.”
“I know,” Aranea said. “Let's just go look.”
Rose watched Meenah and Aranea also leave the library, looking around the hallway.
“Okay then,” she said to the others. “Let's search the library.” They all nodded, and took off through the massive room. Rose also began to walk along the bookshelves, looking for something. She wasn't sure what, though. Perhaps the murder weapon? Or maybe something else.
However, as Rose thought this, her eyes rested on one of the bookshelves. Immediately her eyes widened in suspicion. In the middle of the shelf, there was a book missing. Rose walked over to the shelf, and looked at the two adjacent books to the empty space. The titles were Cherub Studies: Volume I and Cherub Studies: Volume III. That meant the second volume was missing. However, this raised even more questions. Why would someone go to all the trouble of researching cherubs if they were just going to kill Calliope like that? It didn't make sense. But that did mean that they now had a new piece of evidence: the only thing left to do was to find where the book was.
Terezi walked up to the door with Calliope's name on it. Karkat and Kanaya were just behind her.
“This is the place,” Karkat said. “You have the ID, don't you?”
“Of course,” Terezi said. “Why wouldn't I?” And with that, Terezi pressed the ElectroID against the door, opening it up. The three of them stepped into the room, and looked around. The room was identical to the other dorm rooms; there was a bed in the middle of the room, a boarded up window, a large chest, and a door that led to the bathroom.
“I am not sure if there would be anything in here,” Kanaya said. “It seems that the crime took place in the library, not here.”
“I know,” Terezi said. “But there's a chance that our cherub friend here was planning something of her own.”
“Uh, Terezi,” Karkat said. He was pointing at the chest. “Look at this.”
“What?” Terezi said. She walked over to the chest, and gasped in surprise. “Oh my.” The chest was covered in lime green blood, and the padlock was open. She reached over, and lifted up the chest, taking in its contents. “Seem someone else has already been using this ElectroID.” Terezi leaned into the chest, pulling out the suspicious object: a large book, stained with both fuchsia and lime green blood. The title of the book was Cherub Studies: Volume II.
Karkat held onto the book as the trio left Calliope's room, returning to the hallway. However, as they walked through the hallway, they soon noticed something: the labels on each door were gone.
“What is this?” Kanaya said, looking at a blank door. “I don't remember this on the way here.”
“That's because we came from the other way,” Karkat said. “Still, why would someone do this?”
“Not sure,” Terezi said. “But look over there.” Karkat and Kanaya followed Terezi's gaze to see one of the doors was slightly ajar.
“It's open...” Kanaya said. “But why?”
“Probably something to do with the missing signs,” Terezi said. “Whoever's room that is, they don't want us to know who it belongs to, meaning that there's evidence in there.”
“Why didn't they just dispose of it then?” Karkat asked.
“Maybe they didn't have time or something,” Terezi said. “Or maybe they were risking too much by being around the dorm rooms; who knows how light a sleeper everyone is?”
“True,” Kanaya said. “Anyway, shall we search this room?”
“Of course,” Terezi said. “Come on, let's go.”
Terezi pushed the door open, revealing the room. It was still exactly the same as the other rooms, except flipped due to it being on the other side of the hallway. However, everything was in the same relative position.
“It doesn't help that these rooms aren't personalised,” Terezi said.
“I know,” Karkat said. “But then it'd be too easy, wouldn't it?”
“Yeah,” Terezi said. “But maybe we shouldn't be killing, and this wouldn't even be an issue.”
The conversation died down, and Terezi walked across the room to the bed. She noticed that the sheets were messed up. That didn't strike her as odd, considering how everyone had been sleeping but a few hours earlier. However, the pillow did. It was faint, but there were splatters of lime blood on it. Terezi lifted the pillow, and gasped at what she saw. Neatly laying there was Calliope's wand, caked in blood.
“Guys,” Terezi said. “I think I've found the murder weapon.”
“Really?” Karkat said as he walked over.
“Yeah,” Terezi said. “But it doesn't really... oh my god.”
“What?” Karkat said. Terezi had gone pale as she lifted up the bed sheet. There was an object there. Karkat looked at it, and joined Terezi in shock.
“No way...” he said. “It can't be...”
“It seems that way,” Terezi said grimly as she lifted it up, and placed it in her pocket. However, before anything else could happen, Caliborn's voice rang out.
“Attention losers. The investigation time is now over. Make your way to the elevator downstairs. To reach the trial room.”
Terezi, Karkat, and Kanaya looked at each other, anxious expressions on their faces.
“Already?” Karkat said. “But we haven't even shown the others our evidence!”
“I think it's because we found the decisive piece of evidence,” Terezi said. “So we'll have to tell the others in the trial.”
“Yeah,” Karkat said. “Let's go.”
It took around twenty minutes for everyone to reach the massive elevator that Jake, Dirk, and Jade had discovered earlier on. Most of them stood nearer the back of the elevator, but Rose and Terezi were up front. Behind them stood Roxy, Aranea, and Meenah, along with Dave, Karkat, Kanaya, and John. Everyone felt the same sense of worry as the elevator descended: they had to find out who the culprit was, or they'd all be killed. Terezi in particular felt pressured. She had found enough evidence for the case, but what if it was all a frame job? In that case, she'd have to rely on the true culprit slipping up in the trial. Besides that, she could only hope.
The elevator then shuddered to a stop, and the doors opened, revealing the courtroom. It consisted of several pedestals for everyone to stand on. One had a metal stand on it with a grey-scale image of Calliope on it. It had a red X crossed over it with the words 'DUMB DEAD BITCH' written on it in a bright green marker. Rose felt sick just looking at it. And on the other side of the room was Caliborn sat on a throne. He held a wooden gavel in his hand, and there was a box with a big red button on top in front of his throne. Nobody thought much of it, and soon stood on the pedestals with their name on it.
“Well then,” Caliborn said. “Let the trial begin.”