In a place unknown
Voices echoed down the corridor, some muted and somber, some sharp and angry. Nico stalked along, the argument with his father and brother still fresh in his head. He glanced at the palace guard, in position around the King's quarters, watching eagle-eyed as individuals marched past. His commander's station, beside the throne room, was filled with chattering members of the cadre – all waiting for him.
"About time you got here, Nico" the Dark Lady, commander of the King's guard, sat on her seat, absently stroking her golden cat as she reviewed a document. "We have received a request from the Village of Montview, a report of children missing. They ask if we can help them in their search."
"Montview?" Nico asked, raising an eyebrow. "Isn't that one of those "religious" communitys? The kind that have tried very hard to be ignored by the King?"
The Lady smiled thinly. "Yes – well it seems that having six of your children disappear makes the rule of the King seem palatable after all. Our on-site investigators believe that someone opened a door into another realm for them. You're the only one of your cadre that has traveled between realms so I need you to go and see if you can pick up their trail."
"And if I find them?" he asked, quizzically.
"It depends on what the circumstances are when you find them." The Lady waved off the others and waited until the door closed. She pushed a document across the desk with one long fingernail. "There are circumstances here that I would prefer the others not hear. It is best of we keep this search between us. This is something I'd prefer your father not hear of the details of this incident."
"Why? He is the King's Justice Minister – shouldn't he know about this?"
"Because it might bring back bad memories and because I don't want to deal with his issues right now, especially if what I suspect is correct. Just go, find the kids and bring them back."
"By your command, my Lady."
Nick Burkhardt and his partner Hank Griffin examined the crime scene with practiced eyes. It was a bloody mess, the body ripped apart, piece of flesh and bone strewn around the park. "Think this is Wessen related?" Hank asked, quietly.
"Maybe. We'll know more once we identify the victim." Nick circled the remains carefully, trying to see if there were clues his Grimm abilities might pick up.
Sgt. Wu joined them, a confused look on his face. "How did you get over here so quick?" he asked, looking at Nick.
Hank frowned. "What are you talking about? We've been here for a while."
Wu shook his head emphatically. "No, I saw you standing just outside the crime scene tape not five minutes ago."
Nick and Hank looked at each other in confusion. "Where exactly were you when you think you saw me?" Nick asked, his eyes sweeping the area.
"Just there" Wu pointed. "Right where you are still standing."
Nick and Hank stared in surprise. At the edge of the crowd a tall figure in leather jacket and black jeans was standing, watching the proceedings with interest. His hair was longer and he wore a five o'clock shadow but other than that he bore a striking resemblance to one of their own – to Nick Burkhardt.