The La-Iin Series
“A Cop’s Job is Never Done”
Fuu-Kwang looked up from the reports she was examining when she heard someone call her name. Standing at the door was a young Snowliv-Cicadin woman. Fuu-Kwang wasn’t aware of her name, but she knew many people called her “teacher’s pet”.
“There are some people here who want to see you,” she said. “Do you have a few hours to spare?”
“A few hours?” Fuu-Kwang gave a quizzical look. “Why? How long could a meeting take?”
“Potentially a long time with these people,” the woman said. “You don’t have to deal with them, but I’d at least like you to meet them. Come in, all of you.”
She opened the door and stood to the side as five people walked into Fuu-Kwang’s room. The first was a Catori, and her eyes darted around the room as if she wanted to take in everything around her. The second was a Vampire, and he wore a bored expression on his face, though he smiled when he saw Fuu-Kwang. The third was a Wingyrm, who had been smiling when he walked in, only for it to drop off when he saw Fuu-Kwang.
‘Is he intimidated?’ Fuu-Kwang wondered.
The fourth was a tall Lizardfoot, who ducked slightly as she entered the room. She wore a more serious expression than her companions. The fifth, trailing behind them, at first appeared to be a Pureblood Centaur, but Fuu-Kwang quickly noticed her neon skin.
‘A Witch-Centaur….what a weird combination.’
The last girl had difficulty fitting in the room, and the woman who had welcomed them in excused herself in order for her to fit. Once she was gone, all the people she had brought with her focused their eyes on Fuu-Kwang.
“Hello?” She said cautiously.
“Hi! You’re Kaerihye Fuu-Kwang, aren’t you?” The Catori asked.
“We’ve heard a lot about you,” said the Lizardfoot. “It’s wonderful to finally meet you.”
“You’re prettier than I thought you would be,” the Witch-Centaur said. Fuu-Kwang gave an indignant huff in response, and the girl flinched.
“Why are you all here? Did you just want to meet me? Because I have a lot to do.”
“We know,” the Vampire said. “We have a good reason for coming here. Ken-Vu, you haven’t said anything yet. Mind telling her why we’re here?”
“No, not at all,” the Wingyrm replied. “We’re police-in-training. We attend the Yeongsham Police Academy. We’ve heard a lot about your career, Miss Kaerihye, and so we wanted to see if you’d be willing to teach us anything. We learn a lot at the academy, but we thought learning from one of the best might make the knowledge stick easier.”
Fuu-Kwang blinked at them. “I am very busy…”
“If it’s too much to ask, it’s fine,” the Witch-Centaur said. “We just had a day off, and we really wanted to learn something from one of the best…”
‘She’s trying to get to you. Don’t let her.’ Fuu-Kwang glanced down at her reports. ‘Well, I guess everything seems fine, but should I really take a break just to teach these rookies stuff they’ll learn at the academy? I don’t even know how far along they are.’
Seeing the eager expressions on their faces, she sighed. ‘Maybe a couple hours off won’t be so bad. In a worst-case scenario I can return to work quickly. Maybe just a few things. After all, someday these kids might be helping to protect Vaelyn…’
“Alright,” she said. “But I’ll need your names first. Calling you by your species would be frustrating.”
“I’m Bhengai Cheu-Sheam,” the Catori said.
“Xhueli Po-Kae,” the Vampire said.
“Wyoo Ken-Vu,” the Wingyrm said.
“Aesha Kim-Kang,” the Lizardfoot said.
“Funghek Zel-Hwang,” the Witch-Centaur said.
“I see,” she said, hoping she would remember who was who. “It sounds like a couple of you come from Aena families.”
“Yeah, my and Cheu-Sheam’s families are from there,” Po-Kae responded. “We kinda go back a long way.”
“Used to play justice games when we were kids!” Cheu-Sheam said cheerfully.
“Seeing your enthusiasm, I’m not surprised,” Fuu-Kwang said. She stood up. “I don’t have all the time in the world though, mind you. I’m a very busy woman. So I’ll only be going over a few things. I don’t know if you know them already or not, so feel free to tell me if you do, but do so politely, alright?”
“Alright!” The group said.
“I’ll be with you in a little bit. Meet me outside.”
The group nodded and excitedly hurried out the room. Zel-Hwang fell over in the process, and was helped up by Kim-Kang before the two continued off.
“Alright, you lot. I’ll teach you about some of the things that are important to know as a cop. Crime is rampant all over the world, and here in Yeongsham, Vaelyn is no exception. We’re a little more peaceful than some other places, even within Vaelyn, but you still have to be prepared for anything.”
“We know that,” Po-Kae said.
“I figured. Actually, I’d be concerned if you didn’t. In any event, one thing to keep in mind is powers. This is what I’ll be teaching you about today.”
The group glanced excitedly among each other.
“This is nothing to get excited about! All five of you have powers at your disposal. I’d argue that your friend Funghek is the most indisposable in that regard, being both a Dualbreed and half-Witch.”
Zel-Hwang blushed. “My species isn’t that important…”
“Not in a general sense, yes, but when it comes to dealing with criminals, powers are needed sometimes, and yours will be a helpful asset against some of the most violent criminals. There will be people you run into who are Normals and not much of a threat beyond any weapon they might be equipped with, but not every criminal is a Normal, and some may even be the same species as you, so therefore they will likely know your moves.”
“What have you learned about using powers when it comes to dealing with criminals?”
“Well, we learned that we have to carry power suppressants for the most violent criminals,” Po-Kae said.
“Don’t kill the criminal with your powers unless necessary?” Cheu-Sheam said. Fuu-Kwang nodded.
“And also, be prepared for any combination of species,” Ken-Vu said. “Not every criminal is a Pureblood.”
“That’s good. Do you know under what circumstances you’re allowed to use powers?”
Again, the group glanced among each other. Po-Kae started to mumble to himself. It was Kim-Kang who responded first.
“Against violent criminals who pose a threat to someone’s life, correct?” She said.
“Yes, that’s true, but against criminals it’s really on the basis of what sort of powers you have. Maybe the criminal isn’t violent but is trying to make a break for it. Then you might fly after them. Or maybe someone like Bhengai could tap into her inner speed and dash after the criminal. You might need to restrain a criminal too, or perhaps someone trying to do something dangerous. If one of you were an Animated Pumpkin, using your vines would be perfect, but since that’s not the case….tell me, have any of you started using guns yet?”
They all nodded.
“I’ve even started using guns with actual bullets instead of ones with power suppressants in them,” Po-Kae said.
“Guns with another substance in them can come in handy, though,” she said. “In that last scenario I mentioned, Funghek could prepare a potion and fill a gun with it. Firing a gun with anything in it is guaranteed to harm whoever you’re shooting at, but sometimes it’s necessary. We try to avoid using actual bullets nowadays except against serial killers or spree killers and the like because of these types of guns and the powers at someone’s disposal, but real bullets are still quite helpful, especially for species who don’t have the benefit of a power that fits the situation.”
Most nodded, though Fuu-Kwang noticed that Kim-Kang had started to take notes.
“And another thing. Not everyone you deal with is going to be a criminal.”
“We’re mostly studying on dealing with criminals, though,” Po-Kae said.
“Yes, but there’s not going to be a crime every single day, and even if there was, there are other officers aside from you.”
“It doesn’t seem like many people go to the police academy, though,” Cheu-Sheam said. Fuu-Kwang glared, and a moment later Cheu-Sheam flinched and mumbled, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine, but please wait to ask questions until after I’m done talking,” she said, her tone a little more agitated than she had expected it to be. “Sometimes you’ll just be dealing with a misdemeanor or a petty crime. A lot of younger evil folks commit petty crimes….speaking of, you all are good, aren’t you?”
Most nodded, although Po-Kae said, “I was told I’m a little more neutral. I have less sympathy for criminals than the rest of the people at the academy.”
“That’s fine. Evil cops tend to be quite hypocritical, so I wanted to make sure none of you were like them. I’ve dealt with one before in the past, so consider yourself lucky if you never run into one. Anyway, sometimes that’s all you’ll have to deal with, and petty crimes don’t often involve chasing and firing bullets with potions or suppressants or a full-blown power fight. When you’re younger, it might sound exciting to deal with that, but often the most violent criminals are ones who have taken lives before, and your job is to reduce crime, so wishing for exciting cases is rather counterproductive.”
“We know that,” Kim-Kang said.
“I’ll be prepared if there’s ever a full-out power battle though,” Cheu-Sheam said, her tail twitching as if the thought of it made her eager.
“I hope I don’t run into too many cases like that,” Zel-Hwang said. “I’d rather just deal with the petty crimes and misdemeanors…”
“There’s a lot to know about powers and dealing with criminals,” Fuu-Kwang said. “Xhueli, you might be assigned to cases where the criminal is likely to break away because of your wings and arms. Some criminals who try to flee are avians as well, and if it’s suspected that’s the case before you move out, it’s likely you or another avian will get picked for the job. Meanwhile, someone like Funghek might be relied on in cases where powers are a necessity.” Zel-Hwang bowed her head. “I’m sorry to say that, but your species combination is a powerful one.”
“I know…and if I can make Vaelyn a safer place, I’m happy, but…” She trailed off and glanced away from Fuu-Kwang.
“You’ll learn about this at the police academy eventually. But I thought if anything, this would be important for you to know, which is why I told you about it. There are so many species out there in the world that you never know which one will be the one of the next criminal you deal with. And criminals committing petty crimes can occasionally become violent if they’re part of a species that allows it. The most important thing to know is to be prepared for anything. It’s typical to say, but it’s true. I’ve seen hit-and-runs, I’ve seen brutal murders, and I’ve seen horrific displays made by serial killers of their trophies, all with these people having a multitude of reasons for what they did. Some that you can understand, and some that seem like the product of a madman’s mind, which they often are…”
The group stared at her wide-eyed, then nervously glanced among each other.
“You have to make sure you’re prepared for that,” she said. “There is always the off-chance that you might never run into a severely violent crime, that you’ll never deal with a violent criminal who tries to kill you in order to escape. But why prepare for that and end up running into it? Instead, I think it’s best to prepare for anything and then count yourself lucky if it never happens. It could happen though. With that said, I hope you all are prepared for that, because otherwise I can’t really recommend you become cops.”
“I’m prepared. If I see a whole bunch of bloody corpses, it’ll just make me want to nab the culprit even more,” Cheu-Sheam said.
“I’m always prepared. I won’t be scared. But I hope the criminals are scared of me,” Po-Kae said.
“I’m ready. If anything bad happens, I’ll cope with it after I’ve done my job,” Ken-Vu said.
“I am prepared. I’ll do anything to keep Vaelyn safe.” Kim-Kang said.
“Me too. ….even though I really don’t want to deal with a murder, I want to make sure there’s actual justice in Vaelyn. If there comes a day where nobody’s striving for that, I still will be,” Zel-Hwang said.
“That’s good to hear, although you only needed to tell me you were prepared,” she chuckled. “In any event, I should probably get back to work now. I have my own things to do, and the more you learn now, the better you’ll be when you’re actual cops.”
“Miss Kaerihye, one last thing,” Po-Kae called.
“What was the most gruesome case you ran into?” He asked.
“…let’s just say that serial killers are sick f@%ks,” she said. “That I’m still of sound mind after running into someone like Yungh the Killer is something that surprises even me. Although…potions do help with that.”
With those last words, she walked off. The group stood there and watched her off, questions bubbling within them that would never be asked, for none of them had the nerve after what she had said.
“I kinda hope I never run into a serial killer,” Cheu-Sheam said. “A killer’s one thing, but serial killers kinda scare me…”
“I think they scare most people,” Po-Kae said. “I’m not scared though. They just piss me off.”
“Do you think Miss Kaerihye is badly traumatized?” Zel-Hwang asked. The group fell silent.
“Maybe,” Ken-Vu said.
“I hope that doesn’t happen to us,” Cheu-Sheam said. The others nodded in agreement.