Two quick reports for you tonight. One is my conversation with Alexandra Melmoth’s guardian Andrew Robinson. But first, here’s Denise with her impressions after talking to the girl herself…
Hi, Chief. I don’t trust a word the little bitch says. She mostly comes off like a sheltered twit, a college girl who hasn’t lived enough to have an idea worth having. But there’s something else going on in that little head. I staged the interview as a follow-up, to see if she remembered anything else that might help us, and she mostly just dug Possum a deeper hole. Said he was nervous and twitchy, and kept a gun pointed at her whenever he was there.
Jase, on the other hand, sounds like a saint. He was very kind to her. Untied her when Possum wasn’t around. Fed her. Sat and talked with her. Nice guy, for a kidnapper. But there was something shining in her eyes when she said it, some kind of cunning. Like maybe she’d had a little part in him being so nice. Or like maybe, if she made Jase sound better, it would make Possum sound worse.
She’s lying about something, that I’m sure of. I don’t doubt that Possum’s nerve broke, and I don’t doubt that he pulled the trigger. But I think maybe she had a little something to do with that, too. She’s got this weird magnetism about her. She’s sexy. Smoking. Effortlessly desirable. And she shouldn’t be. I mean, she’s pretty, but… Look, Chief. I’ve never gone in for the ladies. But if I’d been just a little bit drunk this afternoon… I might have decided to try something new. As it was, I ripped my eyes off her (with effort, I should add) and got the hell out of there as soon as I could.
Oh, one more thing: she’s extra interested in X-23. Asked after his health with conviction sincere enough that even I believed it. She’s also convinced that she knows him from somewhere before their little encounter in the hospital. Not sure what to make of that. Except that it doesn’t make me like her any better.
Well. Not much I can add to that, except to verify Alexandra’s magnetism. I’ve found myself drawn to her in every encounter we’ve had, and found her completely irresistible once we were pulled into what I believe to have been the Black Mirror World.
This attractiveness may be a new phenomenon, however. I spoke today, at his request, with Andrew Robinson, Alexandra’s guardian and mentor. He still had the haunted look of a concerned parent about him, only slightly better than when I first met him during her disappearance. And I soon found out why: he’s convinced that the girl living with him now is not the same girl who left last week. Here’s a transcript of what he told me:
I expected her to have some trouble coping with what she went through. I mean, my God. Chris was murdered right on top– in front of her. I’m sorry. Uhm. She told me about that night in… embarrassing detail. She’s always confided in me, and I’m more than willing to listen, if it helps her to talk, but… This went a bit beyond. She was… quite graphic. Ahem.
That was the first night she was back, but now she won’t talk about what happened at all. The next day, she started putting on a bright front. Pretending that nothing’s wrong. But it’s like… someone doing a bad imitation of her. Like there’s someone else behind her eyes, concentrating very hard on being Alexandra Melmoth. The only time she seems like herself, Agent Matthews, is when she’s asking about you. She’s very concerned about your well-being, since your… attack. Almost like she feels responsible for your health, just because it happened in her hospital room. That’s the girl I remember, and this other person…
I shouldn’t talk about her like she’s someone else. But I can’t shake the feeling that she is. That would explain my…
[sighs] I’m going to confess something to you now, Agent Matthews. Something I’m not proud of. But it’s why I’m convinced that this girl you brought back to me is not my god-daughter. Last night, very late, I got up to get a glass of water. And on my way to the kitchen, I found Alexandra wandering around the house in a daze. She was nude, and picking at her skin as if she thought it was going to flake off. I pulled her hands away from her chest to stop her from hurting herself, and then… I froze. I just stood there, staring down at her naked body in… in open lust.
I– You have to understand. I’ve raised that girl as if she was my own daughter. For all intents and purposes, she IS my daughter. I’m very proud that she’s grown up into such an attractive young woman, but never in a million years have I… I just don’t think of her that way. And yet, there I was, drinking in every curve, every inch of her, and considering… the unthinkable.
I didn’t act on it, thank God. Because just then, she spoke. Told me I was hurting her wrists. Then she… She asked me if she could see her grandfather’s knife collection. It broke the spell. I wrapped her up in my robe, and put her back to bed. But I didn’t go back to sleep. Instead, I had a shot of whiskey and a cold shower. Then I went into Oscar’s library, and started reading. The Melmoth family has a strange history in this area, Agent Matthews, and Alexandra’s grandfather was quite the student of it before he went mad. Tell me. Have you ever heard of The Black Mirror World?
I told him that I had not, and he launched into a rather lengthy explanation, the details of which I’ll spare you. It was more or less the same thing Cheveyo told me, but with a more academic bent. One interesting thing: he sees the Black Mirror World as a reflection of our own, a dark reflection that reveals the evil in us all. That would be in keeping with my experience in Alexandra’s hospital room, but I think Robinson has latched onto that interpretation for another reason: it allows him to believe that she’s some sort of Black Mirror doppelganger of herself.
That’s a belief he’s holding onto out of desperation more than anything else, I think. He’s a very practical man. Not one to put much stock in the occult. So I suspect that this newfound belief is born mostly of his inability to accept his attraction to the girl, backed up by what is apparently a rather extensive occult library.
So extensive, in fact, that I’ve asked him if I can see it. He said that he’d have to make arrangements for that, to make sure that neither of Alexandra’s grandparents knew I was there. I thought he was just stalling, but he called me back about an hour ago, and asked if I could come by tonight at midnight. Said he’d show me everything.
So I’m lying down now to catch a nap. Shouldn’t be too difficult, considering the dinner I just packed away. Liver and onions. Delicious, and plentiful. Denise wouldn’t touch the stuff. Had a salad instead. To each his own.
– Agent X-23, signing off.