Looking for Part 1? Click here to read the beginning of Cassandra Rose Clarke’s novella Farrago.
Henry sat down at the interrogation table. Cecilia’s hands were folded in her lap and she looked up from them as Henry’s chair scraped across the floor. She’d washed the makeup off her face, but the antlers still jutted out of the tangled mat of her hair.
“I want to help you,” she said.
“That’s good,” said Henry. The heart mechanism was clicking inside of his chest, measuring out his heartbeats. He was aware of Felton standing in the corner, watching, recording, analyzing. “Why don’t you repeat what you told me in the car.”
Cecilia nodded, and then she said it again — Emmett Margum was my father.
“Explain what you mean by that,” said Felton.
Cecilia looked over at him, her eyes bright. “He created me. That was how Mother — Naomi Rohn, she’s the one you’re looking for — always said it. She told me I was created in a test tube, grown in a vat.” Cecilia blinked. Henry heard a whisper in the back of his head — Checking on Naomi Rohn now. I’ll let you know what we find out. Officer Minette. Everything in the interrogation room was completely still, but Henry knew there must be a flurry of motion outside its wall, as the officers listening in reacted to that name.
“Thank you,” said Felton.
“You’re welcome.” Cecilia looked down at the table again. “What else do you want to know?”
“Why was Naomi Rohn at Margum’s lair? Has she been there since the bust?” What Henry really wanted to ask was, Why were you at the lair?
Cecilia shook her head. “She went there a few weeks ago to hide. She didn’t think you’d make the connection — she didn’t know about the photographs. That’s why she didn’t take them with her. I put them there, a long time ago.”
Henry didn’t say anything. His heart mechanism clicked away.
“She knew you were watching the house in Ballard.” Cecilia lifted her head shyly and looked Henry right in the eye, then looked back at Felton. “I didn’t tell her, if that’s what you were thinking.”
Henry had been thinking that, and he looked down at his hands in response. He wanted a drink.
“How’d you get to the lair?” asked Felton.
“Mother brought me there. She kidnapped me after she heard you had talked to Father — to Emmett Margum. I didn’t think she knew I was back in town, but apparently she did, she’d known for a long time, she just didn’t — didn’t care.” Cecilia shrugged. “They never cared about me, either one of them. I was just a test — a test experiment? To see if they could do it. Splice together people and animals. I ran away as soon as I could.”
“Why’d you come back?” said Henry. He felt Felton staring at him.
“Ran out of money,” said Cecilia. “And some people found out about me –” she gestured toward her antlers — “I wanted to come home but I didn’t have one, you know? I couldn’t go back to them. But I still felt safer here, I know it’s stupid, but — I came back and rented a room in Capitol Hill. I was in California before,” she added, looking up at Henry. “In case you needed to know.”
“Why’d she kidnap you?” Redirecting the conversation back to the investigation, even if he did want to know more Cecilia and California.
“I don’t know. She said she knew I’d been talking to you, but then she just left me there when you showed up. I think the real reason was that she was lonely.” Her voice grew smaller, and it trembled in the emptiness of the interrogation room. “Ever since he went to jail. You have to understand — Father used his DNA to make me. I think she missed him.”
Cecilia pressed one hand to her eye, where a line of tears glittered in the harsh light. Officer Minette’s voice flooded into Henry’s brain. The name’s real but we’ve got nothing on her. The address listed is for an apartment complex that burned down five years ago.
Cecilia opened her mouth to speak, but Henry held up one hand, not wanting to miss Minette’s information.
Other than that and a picture, there’s nothing on her. No arrests, no traffic tickets — hell, she doesn’t even have a license number listed. See if you can find out anything else from the girl.
“What are you doing?” Cecilia asked.
“Nothing,” said Henry. “I was listening to someone.”
Cecilia brow’s wrinkled. Felton stepped forward, pressed one silver hand against the table.
“Have you heard reports about monster attacks out in Redmond?” he asked. “The suburbs?”
“Do you think that’s your parents’ work?” A slight hesitation before the word parents, one Henry only noticed because of the upgrades.
“I know it is,” said Cecilia, and this time Henry imagined the silence that had probably fallen outside the interrogation booth, as Officer Minette yelled for everyone to shut the hell up and listen. “She told me about it. She’s been creating an army. She didn’t tell me why, just she was building an army — literally building, the way they built the whores, the way they –” She stopped.
“She didn’t tell you why?” Henry leaned forward over the table. “But she said she was doing it? She said she was responsible for the attacks in Redmond –”
“Yeah.” Cecilia shrunk back a little in her chair.
Holy shit, said Officer Minette. I just came in. Did she —
Henry pushed her out of his head. “It’s okay, Cecilia, we aren’t going to let anything happen to you. Tell us everything you know.”