Another story set in the world of the Glass Eyes. This story focuses on how those who can go through paintings handle others coming to their time period. Sometimes, it isn't pretty.
The tall, blue-tinted male stood half-head taller than the woman sitting in a metal chair typing at a light-made keyboard before her tablet. Her glass desk was both easier to clean and more modern than the man preferred, but it suited the woman, Yannic Placida.
"What is it, Electoro?"
"A case, Ma'am."
The woman pressed a button on her tablet and the lights disappeared. Her eyes were strange mixture of blue and brown. Shepherd's eyes, she said, but unlike others who strolled the halls of Astrophil, this woman's eye colors were natural. She was what they called a Walker - one who could travel through time, space and imagination.
"What is the case?"
Electoro, a man from another world assigned to work in the past, handed the folder to his superior. There were only a handful of Walkers who worked for Astrophil and only their superior was native to both the time and location. The others were from other worlds or times. Many of them had wound up in the area with no knowledge of where they were. Their task was to find others who were like them and help them to adjust to their new lives.
Sometimes, though, things did not go according to plan.
Yannic swore softly as she finished the file. "What punk decided to run prints off a two thousand year old canister of Roman facial cream?!"
"He was one of the new members who thought it would be funny," Electoro answered. "They will be investigating his waste of materials."
"We can only hope." Yannic pushed back her hair and reached for her endless supply of coffee. "Where are we going?"
"North of Paris. Place called Noyon."
"Birthplace of Jean Calvin. That boy cried a riot when he was little."
"Should I ask how you know?"
"Used to date his cousin."
Whether or not she joked about it remained to be seen.
The town of Noyon was quite old and new at the same time. Though its history stretched back into Gallic times, the downtown remained oddly modern since its destruction during the First World War. At the edge of town was a privately run museum dedicated to Gaul and Roman artifacts. Inside was the laboratory which had run the fingerprints.
"Bonjour, Madame," a man greeted, stretching out his arm. "I'm Jean-Philippe."
"Yannic, and my friend Electoro."
Jean-Philippe didn't blink an eye at Electoro's appearance. Perhaps he had heard about the Walkers. After shaking hands with both, Jean-Philippe motioned to an elevator. "My office is upstairs."
It was comfortably furnished suiting the taste of a man who enjoyed Roman history with a reproduced mural and low Roman style sofas hugging a corner with a table in front of them. Here, tea waited for them along with folders.
"We were quite surprised when we saw the results," Jean-Philippe said. "My predecessor said to contact you in any case, but she never mentioned the reason."
"We deal in unique cases such as these," Yannic answered.
"Any reason why she sent him to Astrophil?" Electoro inquired.
"Georgette has a long history with Astrophil and doesn't like the European Eyes," Yannic explained opening the first of the folders.
Everything seemed to be in correct order, but the items didn't seem to fit either. "Did you disprove it being a plant?"
"We had considered the possibility after the prints came back positive, but upon investigating the photographs and ground, we can be reasonably certain the area wasn't disturbed recently."
"And how wide is this assurance?"
"Twenty years, after awhile everything looks the same."
"So it could be something more recent?"
Jean-Philippe shook his head. "The container itself dates it to the time period."
"Could someone have found a container from that time period? A history aficionado? An obsessive serial killer?"
"Possibly, but I wouldn't know how you prove that's the case." He leaned forward to tap on the folders. "I can see something like that happening with a case from thirty, forty years ago, but this one popped up recently. These, however, are much older than that."
"You've looked into all of them?"
Jean-Philippe grimaced slightly. "They just started arriving. Some of the detectives felt that we would be able to solve the case, but when it started becoming obvious the scale of the situation ...."
"You called for us."
Yannic sighed and leaned back in her seat.
Jean-Philippe poured tea for the three of them. "Georgette explained some of it to me, insisting it wasn't madness or insanity, but I didn't believe her until now. How do you capture a serial murderer who jumps through time?"
"Very carefully," Yannic answered. "When you have all of time and space at your disposal, killing becomes much easier to hide. Kill a person in 1920 New York on Monday only to go to the Paleolithic on Wednesday to do in someone else. Brilliant, if you ask me."
The males shifted uncomfortably.
"Do you think you can track him down?"
Looking up, Yannic blinked once. "Of course. It'll just take time."
"Which is something we don't have. If we cannot come up with a reasonable explanation, the police will let the public know the situation."
Yannic shrugged as she rose. "That is not a problem with which I concern myself. That would be your problem."
Outside in the hallway, she looked through her purse. "Strange."
"Not really, just ..." She shrugged. "Let's proceed."
The remainder of the museum was the odd mixture of modern style highlighting ancient artifacts. Standing in front of a series of Gallic-Romano pottery, Yannic leaned forward to look at the bowl in the front. "You every wonder why we find things in certain places?"
"Such as, what was the story that brought these bowls to be found in Noyon? Who were the people who lived here? Why were they here in the first place?"
"Is this going somewhere?"
Yannic smirked and straightened. "Are all your people like you?"
"I was an exception. My people are more like Bacchus."
"I've seen you drunk, and it makes sense now."
Electoro snorted. "What's the point of this conversation? I thought we were going to find the assistant who ran the prints."
"We are." Yannic turned. "He's been watching us for the past seven minutes while we wandered through here."
Electoro shook his head. "I don't sense him."
"You sense the living."
There was a man in the room sitting there, but he sat on a bench, apparently dozing.
Yannic pulled out one of the hairsticks keeping her brown hair off her neck. "I'd say ..."
"Less than twenty-four hours," Electoro answered as he left to inform the docent.
"What were you thinking, boy-of-mine?" Yannic whispered. "You could have kept them hidden away, but no, you chose to run the prints. Why?"
The dead did not speak.
"The police are on their way," Electoro informed her.
"What's so important about this place?" Yannic said. "What draws people to this place, again and again?"
"Did you visit here?"
"Several times. I've always loved France. Noyon has a special place in my heart. I've been a Roman woman wandering the countryside, a fashionable woman-about-town from Paris, one of the Impressionists and lived here during the War of the Three Henris."
"When they run his prints, they'll probably find a match."
"How do you know?"
"I've lived countless lives, Electoro. In times past, women had children quite young, and my specialty, up until a few years ago, was to infiltrate time periods. I have descendants all around me, but no one would know this."
"But you know."
"I know. He's one of mine. A wanderer." The sirens wailed outside. "It doesn't answer the more important question."
"Why he did it?"
"Who put him up to it?"