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The Great Detective's True Mysteries
"I propose a new theory," expounded Willard Wright. "It is what I call the Clothing Connection! Notice that Jessica is seen in Episode 2 wearing Marisa cosplay. & Marisa is a witch. Observe also that the only clothes we ever see Erika wearing were not her own, but formerly belonged to Jessica. & what is Erika? A witch, like Marisa. From this we can conclude that Jessica & Erika are in fact the same person! It's the Clothing! You can't solve the mystery without paying attention to the Clothing!"

"What?" said Erika, her mouth a be-fanged O for outrage. "I am Furudo Erika, the Witch of Truth, don't confuse me for the likes of ... her!"

"What the hell?" said Jessica. "I wouldn't be caught dead being Furudo Erika."

Erika grew more irate. "& just what is wrong with being *me*, hm?"

"I don't know, what you got against being me?"

Erika smiled smugly, puffed up with pride at herself. "You are stupid, bumbling, & dumb. The total opposite of me!"

"& you're a sociopathic bitch with bolts for brains."

Erika snarled. "You want a fight, do you?"

Jessica cracked her knuckles. "Yeah, I do."

"You're on!"

Erika ran down the hall with one eye swolled shut & blood leaking from her many bruises. Up ahead of her she saw Battler.

"Battler! Battler! You have to help me!" she called.

"Huh, Erika? What the hell would I help you?"

"B-because ... " She trembled & she tears out her one functioning duct. "Jessica & I fought & she's ten times stronger than me I managed to get away but she's chasing me!"

"Well Erika, you are a witch. Why don't you just beat her with magic?"

"Um ... well ... that's because ... "

"Could it be because you can't do magic, because you're not a witch, because they don't exist?"

"N-no ... I'm just ... " She lowered her head in patheticity, & blushed from embarrassment. " ... I'm not very good at it."

"Admit it!" said Battler in a sudden rage, grabbing Erika by a twin-tail & bashing her head against the wall. "Admit you're not a witch, admit they don't exist!"

"Ow ow ow HEEEEELP!"

Battler snatched the roll of tape Erika was using to feebly shield herself before picking her up, binding her in tape, & pummeling her with punches.

"Get back here!" cried Jessica. "I'll fucking murder you you bite-sized blue-haired bitch! I ... "

She noticed Battler's batterings, warping the Witch of Truth into a terrifying welt of wounds. Gouts of Erika's blood arced through the air & splattered across Jessica's face. Her anger abated.

"Um ... " she said. " ... Is she gonna be okay?"
"Not if I have anything to say about it!" said Battler, holding aloft his scarlet-spattered knuckles.

"Glurk!" bubbled the frighteningly fractured fracas that was formerly Erika, & quickly took advantage of Battler's momentary distraction to ooze over to a wall, pull a candlestick with her twin-tail, & escape into one of the mansion's many secret passages.

"Hey!" said Battler. "Where the hell did she go!"

"Ugh, I hate this!" gargled Erika. "I'm the Witch of Truth, not the Witch of Being a Puddle of Mush! I need to cast the spell to return to my proper form ... re-remembering it will be an easy job for a brain as great as mine! ... "

She mumbled a magical mutterance, & screamed in pain as her bones unbroke themselves, & her soft tissue reassembled. "AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!" she wailed.

Once she'd stopped convulsing & throwing up she stood, wiggled her fingers, took a few steps, twirled around. "I'm me again!"

"The scream came from this way!" said Jessica.

"Eek!" she squeaked, & took off running. "I have to get away ... Master will help me." She began broadcasting her brilliant brainwaves beyond the sea.

"You were right Bern," said Lambda Delta, reclining on a gold-trimmed crimson cushion. "The opium in this den's the best!"

Bern sat puffing her pipe, wearing a strange box on the side of her skull.

"It is the most mellow blend of them all," she said, & took a puff. Just then a red light on the black box started flashing & beeping.

"Hey," said Lambda. "What's that thing in your head?"

"It's a psyonic bouncer," she said. "In the event that anyone should try to contact me with brainwaves during opium time, it will reflect them in the form of a powerful neuroelectric shock."

Back in the mansion, Erika had just exited another secret door into Aunt Natsuhi's room, when she felt a sudden gigavolt snap through her central nervous system, all the way down her spine. "My spine!" she cried, & tumbled to the floor.

"Ooh ... my little grey cells were attacked when I sent my message ... this must be Battler's doing ... must contact ... Master ... "

Just then Battler & Jessica burst into the room.

"There she is!" said Battler, pointing.

"Eeep!" squealed Erika, backing away.

"B-Battler ... " said Jessica. "Don't kill her, I ... "

"Let's get her!" said Battler. "We'll ... oh. It's only you, Kanon."

"Stay back!" said Erika. "I'll ... uh ... turn you into a toad! I ... huh?"

"Aha," laffed Battler, smiling like sunshine. "Good one, Kanon. Did you see which way Erika went?"

Erika looked from Battler, to Jessica, to the mirror on the wall. The image of Kanon the Furniture looked back at her.
"Oh shit!" she thought. "I messed up the reforming spell & turned myself into Kanon!" She looked just like him, even down to the clothes. "Wait ... " She screwed her brain until it bled. "I mean ... I *meant* to *disguise* myself as Kanon, in order to trick Battler. With just this magic, even this level of ingenious subterfuge is possible for Furudo Erika."

Aloud she said. "I ... *I mean SHE* ... she went that way!" & pointed out the open window.

"Of course!" said Battler. "The ol' window escape! But she can't fool me!"

He jumped out the window, with a cry of "witches!"

"Holy crap!" cried Jessica, looking down at Battler's bent limbs splaying from a wrecked rose-bush. "Battler, are you alright?"

"Facts," he groaned. "Logic ... "

"Serves him right," said Erikanon.

"Um, hey Kanon-kun," said Jessica, blushing a little. "Imma go get Dr Nanjo ... are you feeling okay?"

"Wh-what! I'm Furnituro Kanon, I've never felt better ahahaha!" Her pallid form was trembling.

"Maybe you better come with me, Dr Nanjo can take your temp ... "

"N-no, I'll be fine. I just have to, um ... do slave things!"

"Well ... if you insist. H-hey ... " Her blush deepened, & she lowered her head with a grin like a goofus. "H-how about a goodbye kiss."

Erika stared in mortified horror. "A-a kiss! Wh-why would I want to kiss *you*!"

"Huh?" Jessica looked taken aback, & sort of hurt. "Wh-why wouldn't you want to kiss your girlfriend?"

"Girlfriend?" said Erikanon. "What? I ... " Her brain did something it had never done before & put a bunch of things together at once. "I ... uh ... b-because I have a cold, & don't want to give it to you. Um ... you go get Dr Nanjo, I-I'll meet you by the Battler ... I mean, the rose-bush."

She quickly ran off, at first with fright, but once she was sure she wasn't being followed, with joy. "Heheheh," she laughed. "Ahahaha!" All the running had her winded so she walked as she wrung her hands.

"Now I know Ushiromiya Jessica is dating furniture," she thought. "I can blackmail her with this! She'll have to do my bidding! I'm one step closer to getting my hands on Kinzo's Kompendium, the tome that contains all his magical knowledge! Once I have it I can give it to Master, & she'll love me even more."

Then she stopped, & thought. " ... Stupid Battler! His brain-blocker's jamming my messages to Master! I need to get off this island & report back in. ... & my ingeniously devious Kanon disguise has everyone fooled, even his girlfriend! I can just walk out of here."

She strode with smug confidence, turned a corner, & saw someone.

It was Kanon.

"I always knew this day would come," he said, forming the energy-sword on his hand. "You've finally made your move, my doppleganger."

"Yikes!" was all Erika had the chance to say before Kanon sliced her apart into eighteen different pieces.
"Bern," said Lambda. "There's a package for you."

Bern walked over to the front door of Kastel Bernkastel. "What is it?"

"It's a brown box wet with blood."

"What's inside?"

Lambda upended the box, dumping all its very familiar weeks-rotten chopped-up cadaver-chunks on the floor. "Wooow, it's Erika!" she said.

The little black box on Bern's head exploded in a shower of smoke & sparks. Gritting her teeth, she stomped over to the lump of unlimbed bodyparts, & picked them up by the collar, & they were whole.

"Master!" cried Erika with tears of joy in her eyes, as Bern once more plucked her apart into pieces.

"Master!" cried Erika with tears of joy in her eyes, when Bern revived her again.

Bern shattered Erika's kneecaps with the homerun bat.

"Owww!" Erika splayed back & sobbed.

Bern pointed with the cruror-covered bat. "I told you not to come back until you had the Kompendium!"

"I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean to come back, I was Kanon, but then I met him, & then he killed me!"

"Talking nonsense again." A vein bulged on her temple.


"Hey Bern, look," said Lambda. "The box had a note in it."

"Give me that." Bern read it: "Dear Bernkastel, I know your 'magic' is secret science, I sent you your Erika so you can make a Frankenstein out of her again. t Battler."

"You see!" said Erika. "It was Battler who mailed me back! I didn't come back on my own!"

"You still came back." More veins bulged.

"Um ... I'll go now! Back to Rokkenjima, to get the Kompendium!"

" ... Very well. I'll help you along your way."

A look of sheer joy at the very idea of being graced by her Master's unwarranted aid washed over Erika's face like rainshowers on the street in spring. "Oh, Master, thank you so ... "

Bern knocked Erika out of the park, out of the Kastle, & high into the sky.

"Now that's what I call a grandslam!" said Lambda & then deftly dodged the bat.
If ten thousand angry bikers rushed toward me asking which way Erika had gone, I would not only show them, I would go with them to make sure they found her.

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