Erin slowly advanced through the passage that lead to the school's main quad. Her grip on her weapon tightened slightly; something about this callout didn't sit right with her. The front gate looked like it hadn't been locked properly, but she knew the general assistant was not that careless. That left two possibilities: someone else had done it either at the end of the day, or after letting themselves in. Considering she was responding to a possible break-and-enter, Erin considered the second option much more likely. There were two main things that worried here about the callout. The first was that the front office showed no signs of a break-in. The alarm had been triggered there, according to the alert the station received, so to get there and find there was nothing there was odd. Second, the security guard who regularly checked on the school was nowhere to be found. The alarm could be chalked up to a simple malfunction, but the missing guard suggested that wasn't the case. Erin and Matt should have met her at the gate, but she was nowhere to be found. She wasn't answering any calls either. At best, someone had a key and had let themselves in, and the guard was in a black spot. At worst, someone had laid a trap and possibly had the guard as a hostage. Whatever the case, she couldn't take any chances, and as such kept creeping forward with her pistol drawn.
Erin had almost reached the end of the passage, when she saw movement up ahead. She signalled for Matt to stop, then pressed herself against the wall to her left. Matt sooned joined her and they both edged up to the corner. Erin could hear footsteps close by. It sounded like only one set, but she had no idea if there were more up ahead or not. Both officers held their weapons steady and close, ready to respond to any hostile encounter: Erin with her pistol, Matt with his taser. Erin reached the corner and peered around it.
The figure standing there was not who she expected to see.
As Erin peered around the corner, she saw her twin sister, Rebecca, loitering near the edge of the quad itself. The way she kept looking around suggested she was waiting for someone, or something. Her presence was both a source of relief and concern for Erin; she was relieved to see her sister instead of some masked intruder, but at the same time was concerned as to why she was there. Was she the one who triggered the alarm? As much as Erin didn't want to believe it, she had found her here after responding to a suspicious alarm. Did someone force her into acting as a lookout while the snooped around the place? Even if she didn't have anything to do with the alarm, why was she here?
Matt seemed to sense something was off.
"What is it?" he whispered.
Erin kept her eyes on Rebecca.
"My sister's out there."
"Bec? What's she doing here?" Matt's confusion was audible; he knew this was out of character for the other Hazel twin.
"I don't know. This isn't like her." Erin paused. "I'll see what she has to say for herself."
The two officers stepped out of the shadows, but remained close entrance, in case they needed to leave quickly.
"Bec? What are you doing here?"
Rebecca stopped. She turned around and seemed relieved to see the two officers standing there.
"Erin! Matt!" she beamed. "I'm glad I ran into you two."
"Why? What's going on?" Erin said as she holstered her weapon.
"There was a guy poking around the school. I tried to get a better look, so I could describe him when I called you, but he spotted me," Bec said. "I ran in here to try and lose him. I don't know where he went."
"Why didn't you call once you lost him?"
Bec looked sheepish.
"I was a bit and it slipped my mind."
Erin looked at Matt, who nodded.
"Well, we'll need to get you in to give a statement. Hopefully that and the CCTV will yield something."
"Do you need me to come now?"
"It would be better," Erin said. "Let's go."
The trio set off down the passageway the officers had initially used to get to the quad. Erin and Matt still kept an eye out, just in case the intruder Bec saw was still around.
"You're lucky you're my sister; we'd probably have arrested you if you'd been anyone else."
"I just have a very trustworthy face."
The twins laughed.
As they walked back to the car, Erin still couldn't get the security guard out of her mind. She couldn't shake the feeling something had happened to her, and that whatever it was was related to the alarm. In Erin's mind, the two had to be linked; there was a slim chance the guard was unavailable for an unrelated reason. Matt had called it in when she had failed to show up upon their arrival. Bec's account convinced her that a search of the school may be warranted; the guard may have encountered the intruder and met with foul play.
As they three walked past the top oval, on the way to the car, Erin decided to raise the idea of a search with Matt.
A sharp grunt made Erin stop and spin around. Her eyes widened at what she saw.
Bec was standing over Matt, who was crumpled in a heap at her feet.
"Don't worry, he'll be fine," Bec chirped. "I just needed him out of the way for a bit."
Erin's gaze darted between her sister and her unconscious colleague. She couldn't believe it. Bec had knocked him out cold. Erin was almost lost for words.
"What the fuck, Bec..."
"I have nothing against Matt," she said. "It's just I was told to get you, and Matt probably wouldn't let that happen."
The thing that disturbed Erin the most out of all this was how cheerful her sister was. She had just straight-up knocked out a police officer, whom she knew, and didn't seem at all concerned by it.
"Told to get me? By whom? Why are you doing this?"
Bec smiled, all the while never shifting her gaze from her sister.
"You'll find out," she said. "Now, would you follow me? After all the trouble I went through to get you here."
Erin looked confused.
"All the...what?" Erin's mind clicked. "You set the alarm off."
Bec walked closer to her sister and dangled a key in front of her, presumably one for the front office.
Erin glared at Bec.
"And what if I don't come?"
Bec's smile disappeared.
"I had a feeling you'd say that."
Bec suddenly charged at her sister and knocked the wind out of her. She pinned her to the ground and attempted to roll her over. As she did, she made a grab for her handcuffs. Erin tried to shove her off, but to no avail.
"Why do you have to make this difficult?" Bec said through gritted teeth.
Erin answered with an elbow to Bec's midriff. The blow stunned her just long enough to allow Erin to roll out of her sister's grip and get up. She quickly readied herself to face Bec's next attack. It was not long coming; a fist towards the face, that Erin easily swept aside, followed by another. She was able to grab Bec's wrist on the second attack, and in a flash had her spun around with her arm pinned behind her back.
"Who's making you do this?! This isn't you!"
Bec struggled in Erin's grip.
"I said you'd find out! Why are you so impatient?! You want to find out so badly? Fine. I'll make it quick!"
Bec lowered her head, then suddenly brought it back up to headbutt Erin in the face. She followed quickly with a blow to the side. Erin cried out in pain and stumbled back. She could feel blood coming from her nose; it probably wasn't broken, but it would sting for a while. Bec spun around, ready to deliver the final blow, and discovered that Erin had managed to draw her taser during the melee.
Erin looked at Bec with pleading look.
"Don't make me do it."
Bec probably thought she could close the gap faster than Erin could pull the trigger. The sudden pain that coursed through her body proved her wrong. Erin began to tear up as she watched Bec convulse and cry out from the electrical attack. It was over in a moment. Bec slumped to the ground.
Erin walked over to her twin, cuffs in hand. She couldn't take the chance Bec wouldn't attack her again. She rolled her onto her front and pulled her arms behind her back. As she restrained her, she could hear her sobbing softly.
"I'm sorry, Erin," Bec sobbed. "I couldn't fight it. I wasn't strong enough."
"The Hollan agent's control. The taser must have broken it. Not sure how long that'll last." Bec turned her head to try and look at Erin. "They're after Lucas. That's why they want you, to try and use you to get to him." Her head fell back down. "They have Jason too, and a couple of others."
'That's why he wouldn't answer earlier,' Erin realised. She'd tried to call Jason a little earlier that night, but had received no response. She was about to call Bec when the call about the alarm came in.
Erin's stunned silence was broken by her radio crackling.
"Bravo Mike Two One, do you copy? Over."
Erin thumbed the button.
"Bravo Mike Two One. Receiving you loud and clear. Over."
"Be advised, possible hostage situation at Hazelbrook High. Suspects presumed armed and dangerous. Hostages unknown. Backup en route. Keep clear until it arrives. Over."
"Bravo Mike Two One, received. I'm at the school now, pulling back."
Erin looked down sadly at Bec. "One…suspect in custody. I also need an ambulance; possible concussion to one officer, minor injuries to another, and minor injuries to suspect. Over."
"Received. Ambos already on their way." There was a pause on the channel. "What the hell's going on up there, Erin?"
"I wish I knew."