"The Maze"

By: Miracle Shining


AUTHOR'S NOTE: All the Slayers characters are property of their respective companies and distributions. I'm just a fan, please don't sue me. This is an alternity fic with heavy angst, dark themes, and YAOI, so if you are under 18 or the legal age in your state or country, offended by m/m relationships, or can not handle really dark literature, than leave now!! I won't be responsible for you if you do not! Domo arigato, and enjoy the fic!! =^.^=


CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Gathering the Fold

Zelgadiss took a little extra time and escorted Gourry back to his apartment. The young man was hesitant about going inside and turned to the detective.

"Zel, how long are you going to be gone?" he asked softly.

"Not too long, Gourry. Maybe a couple of hours. I need to go and see the mayor and see how Ameria is doing. If her father is indicted for anything, it's going to be a quite a problem for her and the force."

Gourry nodded slowly, pushing some of his blonde bangs back from his eyes. Zel slipped his passcard key through the door and the light blinked to green. Opening the door slowly, Gourry stepped inside. Zelgadiss stood in the door frame as the young man scanned the room nervously.

"I promise you, Gourry, there's no one in here. If you need anything, apartment security is the number posted next to the phone. There is always a person in the downstairs office and the elevator is just down the hall a short sprint."

The golden haired man nodded, his hands fidgeting at his sides. Zelgadiss smiles slightly and stepped partially into the room, placing his hand on Gourry's back. The young man jumped, which startled Zel. Gourry spun around and then smiled sheepishly, his head hanging.

"Sorry, Zelgadiss, I'm just a little jumpy. Please don't be gone too long." he said softly.

Zel smiled and took Gourry's hand, pulling him close to him. He tilted the taller young man's head down to look at him. Gourry's sapphire eyes looked tired and Zel swore he could see the years weighing inside of them.

"Don't worry, Gourry, I'll be back before you know it. In the mean time, I think you should get some sleep. Just go and lay on the bed." Zel smiled.

Gourry blushed slightly and laughed.

"It seems that last time I laid on your bed, I had my legs up in the air."

Zelgadiss coughed, a touch of red gracing his cheeks. He shook his head and then laughed quietly. Gourry leaned down and caught the chimera's lips with his. The two men stood in the doorway, exchanging a long, drawn out kiss. Finally, Zel broke away slowly, placing another peck on Gourry's lips.

"I'll be back before you even know I'm gone."

Gourry nodded and Zel regretfully moved from the embrace and back out of the door. He turned to Gourry one last time, absorbing the image of his new lover into his memory.

"Just keep it locked at all costs. I'll shout when I come back inside."

Gourry nodded and watched from the door as Zel made his way down the hallway and turned, disappearing behind the elevator doors. Gourry let the door close slowly and he turned back to the living room of Zel's apartment.

"Please, Zel...please come back to me..."


The yellow cab came creeping up the steep hill that led to the Saillune estate. Ameria stared out of the lightly tinted window and watched as the rain continued to drench the pavement of the streets.

"Papa would never do something like this. He would never do anything unjust. I can't believe it. No, I won't believe it!" she reprimanded herself silently.

The cab stopped at the gates and the driver pushed the call button. After a few minutes, a soft voice came over the intercom and the gates slowly opened.

"Strange," Ameria thought, "I've never heard his voice before. Maybe Papa hired a new servant."

Even with those thoughts, Ameria could feel a pull in her stomach the closer the cab moved to the Saillune mansion. By the time the vehicle came to a stop, she already felt as though she was going to lose her breakfast.

"Here you go, miss." the cabby said absently.

"Huh? Oh, yes, thank you." she responded and dug around in her purse, pulling out some money and paying the driver.

Ameria stepped out of the car slowly and closed the door. Before she could even turn back to the driver, the cab was pulling away from the front steps and disappearing down the hill again. Ameria stood in the cold Worthing rain, staring up at her own home. She felt the same twist in her stomach as her foot touched the first of the staircase steps.

"Something is wrong."

Ameria began to walk up the steps slowly, but with each new placement of her foot, she moved faster. Halfway up the long marble steps, the young woman took off into a sprint, tearing up the steps and coming to the door. She pounded on the large wooden doors and then waited. She was shivering and exhaled a puff of chilled air.

"Hello?!" Ameria shouted when after a few moments no answer came to the front.

The young detective swallowed and pushed lightly on the wooden door. The huge door came creaking open without any resistance. Ameria slipped inside and closed the door again, the mansion looking completely in order with a quick scan of her eyes. But, it was quiet. No matter what time of day it was, there was always servants going around doing miscellaneous duties. Ameria couldn't see anyone or hear anyone.

She stepped quietly onto the marble floor and heard the echo of her footstep. Slowly, she reached for her hip and withdrew her gun. She had been the best in school with marksmanship, but she had never actually had to use a weapon to defend herself. The gun trembled slightly in between her fingers.

"Papa?" she said loudly, waiting for her father's voice.

No response came and Ameria warily began to walk down the hall to her father's study. Drawing closer to the room, she could hear soft music coming from the study. Her grip relaxed slightly on her gun and she breathed a sigh of relief.

"Papa mustn't have been able to hear me over the music."

Ameria approached the study carefully and peeked through the slightly open door. A large man stood facing the bookcase. He looked as though he was reading something.

Ameria quickly threw open the door and let out a loud relieved sigh.

"Papa! You are here! I was so worried. Sergeant Inverse says you're messed up with the mob! Oh, Papa, I just knew it wasn't true, I just knew..."

Ameria's words were cut off as Phil turned around slowly. She squeaked as her father looked at Ameria with a gag in his mouth and his hands bound. His eyes were pleading to Ameria and then a figure stepped out from behind him. He had long, wavy blue black hair and black eyes. He grinned slightly and rested his hand on Phil's shoulder.

"No, Detective Saillune, you're father does have ties with the mob. But, since he wasn't cooperating very actively with us, looks as though we're going to have to tie him up."

"Papa! How could you?!" Ameria demanded.

Phil only looked helplessly at his daughter and began to grunt behind his tight gag. Ameria only stared confused at her father's very sudden agitation.

"Oh, and Detective Saillune?" the dark haired man said softly. "You might want to watch out for low flying objects."

Before Ameria could react, something hard struck her on the back of the head and she collapsed, her gun scattering from her grip. Phil immediately screamed from behind his gag. Her assailant polished his jewel on his forehead and then pulled Ameria's limp body to her feet and slung her over his shoulder.

"Very good, Vrummugen. Didn't even make her bleed. Now, Mayor Saillune, Mr. Kopii has some business that must be attended too immediately. No need to keep him waiting more than we already have."

Phil was almost ready to protest when the man knocked him on the back of the head and he collapsed.

"But our little girl cop in the car, Vrummugen. It's going to take two of us to yank this hunk of flesh outside."

"Right, Zangulus."

Vrummugen exited the door, carrying the unconscious Ameria over his shoulder. Zangulus looked about the study and his eyes fell upon Phil's desk.

"Well, this seems a good place to leave a very obvious clue."

Zangulus pulled a white card from out of his trenchcoat pocket. It was addressed to a particular person. He smiled darkly and set up a pile of books to rest the white paper against.

"He'll see that in no time." Zangulus absently thought.

After a few more minutes, Vrummugen returned, shaking the cold rain off his coat.

"When we're done, I want a vacation in Tahiti." The balding man grumbled.

Zangulus grabbed Phil's large legs and Vrummugen pulled on his shoulders. Together, the two men hoisted Phil up and began their slow walk down another hall and out of the back of the mansion. Throwing the hulking man into the backseat with his unconscious daughter was no easy task, but both finished it quickly. Climbing into the car, both men shivered and turned on the heat in the vehicle.

"You know, having the mayor make up that 'National Servant's Holiday' scheme was a quick way to get rid of all of those pesky people." Vrummugen mused.

"Yah, well, let's just hope that none of them return until our target has finished finding what he's supposed too."

"So, to the 14th precinct next?"

"But of course! We have a red haired problem that needs to be remedied." Zangulus said with a cold laugh.

The car squeaked slowly out of the backway and down the hill from the Saillune mansion.


Zelgadiss pulled his car to the front gates of the Saillune mansion and already felt his nerves on edge. The gates were wide open and there seemed to be no guards around.

"This isn't a good sign." the chimera noted to himself.

He slowly let his car creep up the road, turning off his lights before he reached the mansion. He stopped the car at the front steps and waited, listening through the rain for signs of activity.

"There should have in least been a valet by now." he noted silently.

Zelgadiss stepped out of the and chilled immediately. He ran through the rain and up the large steps and pounded on the huge doors. The large doors came open slowly, and Zel felt his adrenaline kick in when he saw that no one had answered them. The building was unlocked and Zelgadiss entered slowly, pulling his gun from his halter and stepping inside.

"Hello? Detective Saillune? Mayor Saillune? It's Detective Greywars from the Worthing 14th precinct. I need to speak to you, Mayor." Zel said loudly.

No response came and Zelgadiss did a quick scan of the room he was in. Nothing seemed to be out of order, with the exception of no servants around. He swallowed hard and then heard something soft coming from one of the hallways. Keeping on guard, he clicked the safety off his pistol and slowly made his way down the corridor. Getting closer, he heard soft music floating from what appeared to be the study.

"Worthing police! I am armed!" Zel shouted to the room.

No response again and Zelgadiss crept slowly to the study. He kicked open the door and jumped inside, swinging his gun around the room in a scan motion. To his surprise, there was no one in the room. In fact, the only thing that was moving was an ancient record player. The needle stuck on one of the grooves, causing a scratchy repetition of sound. Zel quickly crossed and knocked the needle away, turning off the machine. His eyes scanned around the room and fell upon a white card setting up against a set of books. He approached the desk with the books and picked up the card.

"Detective Zelgadiss Greywars." he read aloud.

Zel put the safety back on his gun and slipped the weapon into it's halter again. He turned the card over, his hands shaking. Written in red ink appeared to be a short note and a poem of some sort.

"Detective Greywars, if you're reading this, than you must be at the Saillune mansion, looking for Mayor Saillune and his little girl detective. Well, if you want to find them, just follow the little clues I give you, and you and I shall be face to face before you know it. 'Little red haired Miss Muffet sat on her Tuffet, getting her nose into The Maze. Along came two spiders, who sat down beside her, and took little red haired Miss Muffet away.'" Zel read to himself.

Zelgadiss blinked and flipped the card over in between his fingers.

"Little red haired Miss Muffet...oh gods, Lina!!" Zel shouted and dropped the paper, running out of the Saillune's study. He tore down the steps through the pouring rain and jumped into his car. Grabbing his CB radio, he breathed heavily and clicked the intercom button.

"This is Detective Greywars at the Saillune estate. There has been a kidnapping, I repeat, a kidnapping. Please, respond."

The sound of static was all that Zelgadiss received. He tried the same message again and once again got the same static response.

"Dammit!" he screamed and slammed the radio down onto it's holder. Revving his engine, he tore out of the Saillune gates and sped down into the streets again.

"Lina, you damn well better be okay..."


Lina rubbed her temples slowly with her fingers. It had been an unusually quiet day for the 14th precinct and according to the clock, it was barely half over. Lina had decided to send a few of the officers home and others went out for routine checks of the city. The only two other people besides her in the office currently was Naga and Syphiel. The sergeant sighed quietly and relaxed back into her chair, staring up at the ceiling.

"I should be grateful it's been slow after the past two days, but why does that make me uncomfortable?"

"Sergeant Inverse?" a voice questioned from the door.

"Yah, Officer White Serpent?"

The large busted officer leaned against the door frame.

"Think I could weasel a wander around the city. It's too damn boring here."

"Yah, Naga, get out of here. The rain must be keeping crime down today."

"Hmph, if it was that easy, I wouldn't get to have all the fun I do." she quipped and tossed her black hair before exiting from Lina's door.

The red haired young woman rolled her eyes and listened to Naga's footsteps make their way down the staircase. The door opened with a squeak and closed just as quickly.

"Okay, now it's just Syphiel and me. Why is everything so quiet today? It's like everything is at a stand still."

Lina stood from her desk and picked up her glass of water. She drank slowly, listening to the rain beating down on their old precinct building. She was about to turn to the window when a soft noise caught her attention. She turned back to the door and tilted her head.

"You have been working too long, Inverse, you're starting to hear things." she mumbled and turned back to the window.

The soft sound caught her ears again though and this time she set down her glass of water and walked to the door.

"Syphiel?" she asked softly.

The young secretary didn't respond back and Lina slowly backed into her office again. She moved behind her desk and opened the top drawer. Lina pulled out her small hand pistol and clicked off the safety. Normally she wouldn't have been so hasty, but she was already wary today and the lack of Syphiel's voice made her even more uneasy.

The sergeant stepped out of her office and into the main room of the precinct. She felt her heart jump as she again heard the same soft noise. Approaching the door to Syphiel's office, she felt her stomach twist as the sound became a little louder.

Carefully edging her way to the side of the door, she stopped and jiggled the doorknob lightly. The handle turned slightly, indicating that Syphiel's office was in fact unlocked.

"Syphiel, it's Sergeant Inverse. I was wondering if you could get me a couple files." she said as steadily as she could.

The sound once again was heard and Lina took a deep breath. She spun from the side wall and kicked open the door, her gun held in front of her. She let out a gasp when her eyes saw Syphiel lying on the floor, a small trickle of blood coming from the side of her head. Looking up, a man with a jewel set in his forehead was sitting in Syphiel's chair.

"Good morning, Sergeant." he flatly said.

"Vrummugen!" Lina shouted.

Lina's gun was suddenly knocked from her hands by a swift kick. She was then spun around and punched in the stomach. The pain sent her to her knees and she stared up at her assailant. The wavy blue black hair gave him away immediately.

"Z-zangulus..." Lina gasped.

"And good night..." Zangulus responded, taking a small black jack and knocking Lina on the back of the head before she had the chance to react.

Vrummugen stood from the desk and sauntered over to the unconscious body of their former employer.

"Well, that was easier than I thought it was going to be." he mused.

Zangulus laughed icily again and pulled another white card from his trenchcoat. He tucked the piece of paper into Syphiel's hair, careful not to get any of her blood on the white paper.

"She'll be out long enough for our dear friend to find it." Zangulus said quietly.

Vrummugen picked up Lina and threw her over his shoulder just as he did with Ameria only an hour before. Zanuglus stood up and turned from Syphiel's still form.

"One more stop, Vrummugen, and we can wait for the fun to begin."

Vrummugen smiled slightly and walked ahead of Zangulus, the men exiting out of the doors of the 14th precinct building without anyone giving them a second glance.


Zelgadiss pulled his car to a screeching halt in front of the 14th precinct's building. He jumped out of the car and tore through the rain without feeling it any more. The chimera flung open the doors and ran up the steps.

"Lina!!" he shouted, praying for an answer.

The whole precinct was empty and there was no response. The detective felt his heart sink. He leaned against the wall and shook his head.

"This isn't happening. Please tell me this isn't happening."

A soft moan amongst the stillness caught his attention. He crossed over to the source of the sound. Carefully he looked into Syphiel's office and saw the young woman shifting on the floor. A few drops of blood were gracing the tiles and Zel quickly crossed over to her, kneeling down. She was alive and it was a major relief to the chimera.

"Syphiel?" Zel said softly as the young woman sat up, her hand resting on the spot of impact on her head.

"D-detective?" she said quietly, and then groaned.

"We've got to get you some medical attention. Do you know what happened?"

Syphiel squinted and nodded slowly, the act making her dizzy. She pulled her hand away and looked at the maroon tint on her skin.

"Am I bleeding bad?" she said softly.

Zelgadiss straightened up and looked at the wound on Syphiel's head. It was a relatively small cut, but head wounds always bled more and they weren't meant to be ignored.

"No, it's small, but I still want to get you to the hospital."

"Sergeant Inverse...is she still here?"

Zel shook his head, trying to stay calm. Syphiel rubbed her head again when something pricked her finger. She felt around for a moment and pulled something from her thick black hair. A white card with red writing on it rested between her fingers. Zelgadiss swallowed and stared at the small card.

"Wha...what's this?" she whispered.

Zel took the card from her and set it on the floor.

"I'll look at it later. Right now I have to get you to the doctor." he said softly.

Syphiel looked around the room carefully.

"There was two of them, detective." she said quietly.

"Two who?" the chimera questioned, taking a clean handkerchief from his pocket and placing it on Syphiel's wound.

"Two men. I didn't know who they were, but one had blue black hair and the other had a jewel in his forehead. Lina...Lina had sent a lot of the officers home and...and all the others are out on patrol..." Syphiel strained to find the words through her headache.

Zel's hand froze on Syphiel's head.

"You're sure it was two men with those descriptions."

"Yes, and Officer White Serpent left to...to go on patrol...I was downstairs, ready to get some papers...and they came in and forced me upstairs to my room...and then...one...one of them knocked me out...and when I woke up, you were here." Syphiel said softly and then moaned from the pounding in her head.

The sound of the door downstairs opening and closing immediately brought Zelgadiss to his feet. Syphiel swallowed and squeaked softly, bracing herself against her desk for support. The detective slowly stepped toward the door as the sound of footsteps drew closer. He pulled his gun from it's halter, clicking on the safety slowly. Before the safety came completely off, he heard a familiar sound of laughter.

"Sergeant Inverse, I'm back!" the voice rang out.

"Naga!" Zel shouted from Syphiel's room. Syphiel moaned, covering her ears.

Naga heard Zelgadiss scream and ran through the office. Her mouth fell open when she saw Syphiel sitting against the desk, holding a cloth on her head. Zel had his gun by his side.

"I never thought I'd be glad to see you White Serpent. Take Syphiel to the hospital."

"What the hell happened?! Where's Lina?!" Naga demanded.

"She's been kidnapped. I need you to get as many of the force together. We have to do a whole city swoop. Saillune and the mayor have also been taken."

"How do you know all this?!" Naga shouted.

Zel's eyes fell to the white card sitting on the floor. He leaned down and picked it up again, holding the paper in between his fingers.

"These...they're clues..." Zel said quietly.

Zelgadiss slowly turned over the card. Once again, the white paper had a short red letter and a small poem scribbled on the back of it.

"Detective Greywars, if you have found this card, then you must realize that Sergeant Lina Inverse has joined our ranks. Just keep finding the notes, and you'll be here in no time. Oh, and a little poem for your enjoyment. 'Little Man Bleu, don't blow your horn, The Maze is waiting for you in the morn. Where's the Bleu that should never peep? Why, he's getting ready to meet his eternal sleep...'"

The card fell from Zel's hand, his mouth completely dry. He stared down at the white paper with the red words glaring up at him.

"Greywars?" Naga questioned.

"No...they're going after Gourry...I left him alone!!" Zel screamed. "Naga, get Syphiel to the hospital and call for reinforcements!"

"Where do I send them?" Naga asked quickly as Zel leaned down and snatched the paper.

"My apartment complex. Hurry!" Zelgadiss shouted and ran out of the room. He tore down the steps faster than he had going up them. Throwing himself into the car, he kicked the vehicle into drive almost too fast, and the car jumped. He flattened his foot on the pedal and the accelerator sped up quickly.

"Gourry...oh gods, no..." he pleaded silently to the heavens and weaved through the construction and down a partially flooded road.


Gourry yawned and stretched his arms over his head. There was nothing on the television and he was getting tired.

"Maybe I should follow Zel's advice. A nap wouldn't be a bad idea."

Gourry reached into his duffel bag and pulled out his small music box. His eyes immediately grew damp and he hugged the only thing he had left of his family against his chest. Standing, he moved from the living room and up the small winding staircase to Zelgadiss's bedroom.

The room was still messy and the sheets were still tangled from last night. Gourry smiled slightly as he sat down on the wrinkled material. He trembled as he thought about last night and the feelings he had being with Zel.

"I...I didn't think I could love someone this much..." Gourry thought quietly to himself.

The young blonde laid down on his side with his music box resting beside him. He took a moment and breathed in the scent of Zel's pillows, the touch of sweat and pleasure still locked in the material. Gourry moaned softly and buried his face into the comfort. Just smelling Zel's scent made him feel safe. Carefully, he reached over and opened the small music box. There was a light, tinkling noise of gears turning slowly and then a soft melody filled the quiet room. Gourry yawned, realizing how tired he was. He smiled at the picture staring at him from the box. Reaching up his hand, he traced the faces of his parents and then the picture of Filia. He closed his eyes, picturing Filia as an angel. The process brought a tear to his eye, but also a small smile.

"I'm glad your happy, sis..." Gourry whispered to himself.

Downstairs, the door opened slowly, no sound being made. Two figures stepped inside, measuring each one of their steps. They both avoided closing the door completely, not wanting to make any more unnecessary noise.

The blue black haired man pointed up the staircase and the jeweled man nodded. Slowly, both made their way up the steps, stopping on each one to make sure they didn't squeak. The process was slow, but it was effective for their purpose.

Gourry yawned again, his eyes growing heavy. The music box was still moving, the light tune floating through the air. He forced his blue eyes open again, but the soft melody coaxed them back shut.

The two men watched Gourry from the slightly open door. The jeweled man pulled a small bottle and a handkerchief from his pocket. He offered it to the blue black haired man. Quietly, he pushed open the door, wetting the handkerchief with the substance from the bottle.

The sound of the bedroom door opening completely startled Gourry and he opened his eyes.

"Zel, is that you? I didn't hear..."

Gourry's eyes grew wide as he saw the two men in his room. He screamed, quickly trying to get to his feet and off the bed. The blue black haired man jumped onto the bed and held Gourry down, his face flat against the mattress, pinning his stomach down.

"Vrummugen, help me hold him!" Zangulus shouted.

Vrummugen quickly came over to the bed and put pressure on Gourry's legs. The young blonde screamed and Zangulus used the opportunity to put the cloth over his mouth and nose. Gourry struggled for only a couple more seconds before his arm flung out, knocking the music box off the bed. The small box struck the floor and a gear rolled out from the inside. Gourry's arm was limp at his side as Zangulus turned him around. The tan skinned man snapped his fingers a couple of times and was pleased that he got no reaction.

"So, why did Mr. Kopii want Gourry chloroformed and not knocked out like the rest?" Vrummugen questioned.

"Got me. Probably has something kinky planned." Zangulus stated.

Zangulus pulled Gourry off the bed and held him the threshold carry.

"I expected him to weigh more with his build."

Vrummugen raised an eyebrow and reached back into his pocket. He pulled a white card free this time and made a small pile of sheets. Carefully he placed the card on the pile and turned to Zangulus.

"Back to the Kopii's place?"

"But of course, we need to make our delivery." Zangulus cracked.

The two men slowly descended the staircase. Vrummugen went ahead and peeked out the door. No one was in the hall and he motioned for Zangulus to follow him. They made their way all the way down the hall and to the staircase doorway. Both men slipped inside.

"You're carrying him when we get to the tenth floor." Zangulus grumbled.

Vrummugen rolled his eyes and they descended down the stairs.


Zelgadiss pulled into the parking garage at a screeching halt. He barely had time to turn off the car before he was jumping out of the vehicle. He ran to the doors to his apartment building. Pushing past some other tenants, he sped into the elevator and hit floor eighteen.

The ascent seemed to take forever and Zelgadiss felt his heart jumping into his throat.

"Please let me have made it on time...please..." he chanted over and over to himself.

The elevator finally opened and the chimera ran out of the doors and down to his room. Before he even reached the door, he could see it was ajar.

"No, gods, no!" Zel shouted.

The detective threw open the door, pulling his gun out. He clicked the safety off and held it firmly in front of him.


The room was silent and Zelgadiss could feel his adrenaline shoot through him in spikes. The pain in his side added to the pressure and he groaned quietly. Still holding his gun in front of him, he made his way up the staircase.

"Gourry?!" he again shouted into the bedroom.

The door was already open and Zelgadiss stepped inside, flicking on the light with his free hand. His world crashed down when he saw the sheets bunched up and a small card resting on top of them. Next to the bed was Gourry's music box, it had fallen and Zel could see a gear lying next to it.

"Broken..." Zel whispered as he approached the bed, trembling.

Zelgadiss numbly kneeled beside the bed, picking up the golden box. He stared at the picture inside and saw two blue sapphires stare back at him. The gear had fallen out of the main part and the box wouldn't play any more. Shaking, Zel placed the broken music box on the bed and took the card from the sheets.

The red ink on the white paper now mocked him and he let out a shaking breath, hot tears of frustration and anger slipping out of his eyes and down his cheeks. Turning the card over, he stared down at the writing.

"Dear Detective Greywars, if you have found this card, than it must mean you've found the last piece of the puzzle. Bleu is with me now, and I offer you a chance to get him back. Come to 8214 Warehouse Road alone, and you and I can meet for the first time in person. Just a small poem to keep you company until then. 'Hey diddle, diddle, the chimera and his little, Bleu stood next to the moon. The Kopii laughed to see such a sport and The Maze will be running again soon.'"

The card fell from Zel's hands and the detective stared down at the floor.

"I couldn't protect him...I couldn't even protect the man I love...dammit!!!" Zel screamed at the top of his lungs.

The sound of voices downstairs caught his attention, but he refused to move. He took the music box from the bed and clutched it against his chest, rocking slowly.

"Detective Greywars?"

The chimera turned to see Naga standing in the doorway with a couple other officers. Her face was softened slightly and she walked in. Kneeling down, she touched his shoulder. Zel looked at her quietly and bit his lip.

"It's not your fault. We didn't know what they were going to do."

Zelgadiss said nothing, but he stood slowly, still holding the box to his chest. He scanned the room and then looked back at Naga.

"Get the force ready to go down into The Maze. Start questioning anyone who knows anything about the recent activities in The Maze, especially those who know anything about the Kopii or his mob."

"What about you?" Naga asked quietly as Zelgadiss stepped past her and through two of the other officers.

The chimera didn't respond, but walked down the staircase slowly. He watched as two of the newer officers placed tape around his room. His apartment was now legally a crime scene. He ducked under the tape and began to walk down the hall. Naga stopped at the door and shouted at Zelgadiss.

"Greywars, where are you going?!"

Zel turned around, his expression hardened and still. His fingers traced over the blue rose that graced the broken music box.

"Into the heart of The Maze." he responded and went into the elevator.

Naga stared down the hall and then looked back into the room.

"Hell knows nothing about this..." she thought to herself silently and began to sweep the room.

Zelgadiss stepped out of the elevator slowly and walked out into the lobby. He pushed through the two doors and into the parking garage. His side hurt, but he didn't feel it any longer. He got into his car and closed the door. Setting the music box carefully in the passenger seat, he started the car and pulled out of the parking garage. His fingers were taut on the steering wheel as he made his way into another flooded Worthing street. He didn't know what time it was, the sun still gone, and he didn't care. His mind was on fire and his emotions were balled into one simple thought.

"The Kopii will pay..."

On to Chapter Fourteen or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the Roses?