The Vanisher: Stray

The Vanisher returns in this sequel to help the MCU on a strange case.
With new dangers lurking everywhere, no one is safe.
With Campbell gone, a new threat has come to Brimswood, and no one knows how to stop it.
A mystery causes people to break apart, for an end to trust, and death to arise throughout the city.
The Vanisher, almost a year later, has returned to solve the case, and the one respinsible comes as a shock to all.


21. DNA

I walk into work, sipping a cup of coffee.  

Already this morning I have investigated 2 murder scenes and a break in.  I caught the burglar within 10 minutes of arriving at the scene, a drunk 18 year old college student named Harry.  I found him hurling into a dumpster a few streets from the break in.

With the murders, I tried to find the culprit.  I got a scent and ended up in the same place my other attempts of tracking the murderer have, the corner of Berkeley and Morgan.

This place has to significant somehow.  So far the only relevant thing that has happened around there was a failed drug deal and my 'Vanishing' a few years ago.  There must be something else.  I personally believe whoever this guy is is trying to mock me by vanishing in the same place I vanished.  But how does he know and how does he do it are two questions I have been unable to answer, no matter how much I think about it.

I sit at my desk, working on my reports for hours.  

Man, do I hate paperwork.  

I finish my last report and lean back in my chair, taking a break.  I open my eyes and see Prat next to my desk.  I sit up straight and clear my throat.


"It's cool, I get it.  Paperwork takes a lot out of you." He admits.

"I don't know how you do it everyday."

"Me neither." He smiles.  "Anyway, Jones asked for us to head down to police headquarters to look at the hours of the employees."

"Okay.  Let me grab my jacket and my bag."

We drive out to the station in Prat's car.  We show them our fake FBI ID's and they hand us the information we need.  It only takes about a half hour.  My stomach growls as we exit the station.

"I'm famished.  You want to grab something to eat and head back to the office?" Prat asks as we climb into his car.

"Sure.  I haven't had anything but coffee today." We drive to a nearby sandwich shop and get our orders to go.

"Hart?" The employee calls out my name.  I take my food and thank the guy.  I turn around and meet up with Prat.  He's on his phone with headquarters, reporting on our progress.  We start to walk out.  I go to open the wooden door but it opens before I grab it.  There in the doorway I come face to face with Tim.  I stop dead in my tracks.  Tim looks at me, his eyes big for a second and then back to normal.

"Tim-"  I say.

"After you." He says, not meeting my eyes as he holds open the door.  I stand there for a second.  Prat walks in front of me and motions for me to follow him.

"C'mon, we need to get back to HQ." He tells me, still on the phone.  I walk out the door and thank Tim.  He just looks at me for a moment and shuts the door behind him.  I climb into Prat's car and we head back to HQ.

We're sent out again to interview a shop keeper who claimed to have heard something last night in the alley behind his building where a murder was.  The guy is practically of no help and Prat and I leave for the MCU.

"What a bust." Prat states, pulling up next to the building to drop me off.

"I'm starting to get used to it now." I reply.  My pager goes off and I check it.  "Jones wants to meet me in Ming's lab." I sigh.  "Well, have a good night, Prat."

"You too." He waves and I step out of his car.  He drives off.  

I walk into the empty MCU and down the dark hallways to Ming's lab.  I find Ming and Jones standing behind one of Ming's desks.

"I'm have my reports, if that's what you want." I tell Jones, setting down a file in front of him.  "It was no picnic, let me tell you-" The two of them just look at me, emotionless.  I stop and look at them.  "What's up?"

"Sit down, Ragan." Jones instructs me.  I sit down immediately.

"Is something wrong?  Is this about last night because I'm sorry for-"

"Ragan, you know how we have been running the DNA sample against all known mutant samples we have?" Ming asks.  I look at her and nod.

"Yeah, of course."

"Well, we checked it against law enforcement officers and MCU employees today, just as a precaution.  The test came up negative, as usual."

"Oh.  That's unfortunate.  Does that mean we're back to square one?"

"Ragan, we ran the test again against all the Chagnian samples we found, and the tests failed.  We couldn't seem to find a mutant criminal in the database to match.  And then we realized we had been excluding one mutant from all of the tests." Director Jones explains.  "We decided to check on the very off chance that the sample would match."

"Okay, and?" I ask, curious to hear the results.

"Out of all the samples we had, we came up negative except for one.  We tested it." Ming answers.

"That's amazing!  Who is it?" I look at them expectantly.  The two of them look at each other and then back at me.

"You." Jones replies, taking a deep breath.  I shake my head.

"Wait, what?  You tested me?  Why?  Do you not trust me?"

"Ragan," Jones interrupts, "we found a match."

"Well?" I look at them, arms crossed.  "Who is it?"

"Ragan.......the match is you."

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