Chapter 4

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"Victorian times saw a rise in Magician consultants working for the police. Despite great steps forward in science and logical theory, there were many horrific crimes that completely stumped the police at the time. At the time the magicians were held with high regard and even assisted in the capture of serial killers.

The relationship didn't last long however when a magician was discovered at the centre of an elaborate ruse. He had been comitting petty crimes using magic in the hopes he would then be asked to help with the investigation. "Hoaxing Pete" is where many pin-point the moment the police began to distance themselves from magic." 

Alex Mathers, "Magic in the Workplace", 2005

By request, the air-conditioning had been turned to maximum in an attempt to prevent any ice from melting. It had quickly proven to be a pointless endeavour however it did allow the team of investigators time to take the photos they needed. The ice had since metled and left puddles on the wooden walkways and dark patches on the carpet.

Mel shifted her weight on to her opposite leg. The small movement was just enough to put the sunlight in her eyes and she promptly moved. She had been there since 22:34 the previous night along with her partner who came and handed her tea in a cracked mug with Easter Eggs on it. The department store had given them use of the staff room and its facilities. For police used to drinking from styrofoam cups it was practically luxury.

"Sure you don't want coffee?" asked Mel's partner.

"No thanks, Tim." Tim was a few years older than her and had a thick build that made him useful in their line of work, if only for the sake of looking intimidating when needed. Mel could look quite menacing herself. She was the tallest woman on the team and wasn't afraid to play the role of "Angry Scot" if it got her what she needed.

Today however was a day to be calm and patient. When you were questioning civilians through the night, it never helped to get angry, even when they asked for the hundredth time when they can go home or if they can go to the toilet.

After hours of questioning and ice melting, there wasn't much left to see by the time the sun was rising, except for the smashed cabinets and window. The forensics team was packing up and preparing to leave and most of the police officers were doing the same. All that was left to do was wait for copies of all CCTV footage from the security staff of the store.

"Let's break this down then and make sure we've got the story straight," said Mel. "Assailant goes into the ladies changing room while the store is still open. We have no footage of them going in because the camera's lense was fogged with ice. However we could assume this is a woman, as a man trying to get in to a ladies changing room would be turned away.

"The assailant waits for the store to close but not so long that the staff has time to pack the jewellery away and move it into the safe. Which suggests they at least have some knowledge of the workings of the store. At their ideal time the assailant takes out everyone in the store by creating various structures of ice, takes the goods and jumps out the window."

It was the roughest of rough summaries but it had been a long night and it was starting to take its toll on Mel. She rubbed at her eyes. "This is the same one, I know it. Three other hits that we couldn't make sense of. But now we've got her. She got greedy and revealed her secret weapon. Which means later today I'll be making a trip to Oxrod to see the magicians."

"Been a while since anyone's had to arrest a magician." Tim raised his eyebrows as he drank his coffee.

Another officer interrupted them to hand Mel photos and screenshots of the CCTV footage. She handed Tim her cup so she could shuffle through them. She grew more and more amazed with each image.

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