It was a strange mission really, an ongoing one that never quite seemed to stop after starting up in the early 1940s. It had started, as most of these strange case do, with a particular murder.

A small family of three; a husband, wife and their twelve year old daughter had been murdered within their on home. The sole witness- a neighbor who had a bad habit of eavesdropping- had sworn up and down they had seen a group of people in black cloaks wearing white masks storm into the home and had called their local law enforcement immediately. By time there was no one but corpses left behind, the strange people having somehow vanished into thin air.

On the outside all three victims had appeared fine- despite the fact they where dead- yet on the inside there was blaring obvious signs of having been tortured for what only could have been years despite it having only taken ten minutes for the officers to arrive. There was no clear sign of what caused their deaths, instead it was almost as if all three had just up and decided to die at the simultaneously.

The strangest thing the investors managed to locate at the crime scene was a polished stick.

Not long after similar crime scenes began to pop up left and right all throughout Europe each holding similarities: sparse witnesses always seeing a group in black cloaks and white masks, inner signs of torture yet no clear sign of what killed them, and the polished sticks. Sometimes they fount blood belonging to none of the victims at the crime sense but when they ran it, there was never a match in the data base.

Only recently had the crimes slowed yet every now and then exact cases would pop up here and there. Yet those sent to investigate never fount anything or they ended up dead in the same exact ways as the victims.

Which was why Nigel had been assigned the case with this Hatchling of a partner.

The Commander was tired of the bodies- both of citizens and his Agents- pilling up and the Queen was demanding answers they did not have, answers he was expected to come up with or die trying.

Nigel would do his best to complete the former option instead of the later.

Emerald eyes narrowed at the files before him, taking note of the starching similarities. Each victim had seemingly normal for the first ten years of their lives but all but disappeared upon reaching the age of eleven. Every now and then they where seen during what for most children would be summer or winter holidays and when asked all the parents claimed they attended a Private school of some sort or another. Yet when he attempted to research these schools half of them didn't exist and the half never had any students matching the victims name or description.

As was as though the Hatchlings had all but vanished into thin air and honestly should have sent up red flags the moment the first investigator looked over the files so how the hell did anyone miss this?

Reaching over, the emerald eyed agent grabbed several random files from the citizens stack, a theory running wild within his mind.

If these Hatchlings had disappeared at eleven who was to say others had not as well? Others who may have fount their way back to proper civilization and protection of the Crown.

The elder should have been a scholar, Skipper decides as he rubs his tired eyes once more in hopes of preventing the words from blurring into inkblots once more. It doesn't do much good, all the words look the same; a blur of black ink on pale papers. With a soft sigh, the blue eyed penguin places the papers aside.

He was never the paperwork sort, instead choosing to only write a few words then black out the rest and label it 'Classified' or to subtly shuffle it into Hans own stack when the puffin wasn't looking. He was the Field sort, working better when he wasn't behind a desk for hours on end. Regretfully leaving wasn't an option; he lacked the clearance necessary to even know this building even existed and if he was caught wondering about it without Nigel...

Screwed wouldn't even began to cover it.

Speaking of which, the younger allowed his gaze to shift over towards the white haired Penguin as the elder finally paused within his work, titling his head ever so slightly in silent thought causing the light to reflect off his reading glasses. For behind the frames, Skipper could just make out emerald eyes darting towards the clock then back at him; a brief reassuring smile appearing upon the elder's beak.

"Well Lad, I have everything I need. Once we replace these files, why don't I treat you to a nice luncheon? There's this splendid dinner nearby I'm sure you would enjoy."

Well, if the older was offering; who was he to say no to free food?

Everyone had secrets, it was a blunt fact of life.

The elderly grandma down the street, the pastor outside the church, the couple wandering the shopping district, the child playing in the park. Every single one of them had something they didn't wish anyone else to know about, it was to be expected. Nigel didn't mind secrets, it was his job to unravel them after all. Yet it was strange to find an obvious secret so well kept. Surely someone must have slipped up at one time or another yet if they did there was no signs of it- almost as though someone had managed to cover it up before anyone could notice...

Now wasn't that a thought? A conspiracy like that would take a multitude of people in various positions of power to successfully and high influence to pull off. Even then someone should have noticed notice: a shift in attitude, an exchange in funds, sudden increase in calls or letters, anything.

So why hadn't they?

A frown fount its way to the elder's beak as he paced back in forth within the alleyway.

He needed to think. There had to be something; a connection he missed? Someway to tie them all together.

Different races, different religions, more then three fourths of them never meet, different cultures, some involved for whole generations, others only recently.

There had to be something he was overlooking, something he was missing.

They all seemed to use owls for delivery- strange and a bit old timey but not unheard of-, all of them seemed to have a polished stick- he had even noticed one of two up the sleeves of people he 'visited' earlier that day, some type of robes... An occult maybe?

Father above it would be so much easier to think if the wall would just stop receding in on itself. The needed to find a way to silent those bricks grating upon one another as they folded into one another. He was beginning to get a headache from listening to it.

Sighing softly, The Spy turned on heel. Preparing to leave and hopefully find a much quieter place to think before pausing misstep as his thoughts registered.

Wait a bloody second.

Spinning back around, an silver brow rose at the cobblestone alleyway full of street merchants- framed by an archway that had once just been a brick wall- behind him.


He didn't quite recall that being in the City's Foundation- nor renovation- blueprints when he looked them over.