This is a Broadchurch/Candy Crush Saga crossover fan fiction based on the crimes reported by users in Candy Crush Saga Wiki blogs. Although some names are based on real users, the characters and their personalities are not, and are instead shaped to help the story progress. You can't have all the characters being lovely, perfect human beings after all :P
Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller's work was interrupted fairly suddenly by the all too familiar sound of her former boss' Scottish drawl.
"Miller, I'm going to need you to drive me to Easter Bunny Hills," said former Detective Inspector Alec Hardy.
"No, I'm working," replied Ellie. "Why don't you catch a cab for once?"
"No, it would take too long," replied Hardy in his typically blunt manner.
"Look, I've only just got my job back and now I need to work so I can keep it this time." Ellie was not going to be dragged into helping him again at the expense of her own life. She had only just managed to pull it back together again, and she wasn't going to let it go.
"Look," Hardy replied, lowering his voice and looking around the office to make sure no one was listening. "There's been a murder up at V's Haunted Mansion, and an old friend of mine, Hunter, asked for my help to solve the case, but you know I'm not allowed to investigate any more."
"So, you're going to get me to do the investigation officially so you can get away with meddling unofficially?" said Ellie, catching on to where this was going.
"Exactly," said Hardy.
"No," replied Ellie. "I am not going to abandon my duty here to go off on another unofficial investigation and have you get yourself killed. Anyway, I'm due to get that promotion soon which you originally took from me."
Hardy winced as the old argument came up again. "Look Miller," he started, "I have to help this case. I can't let it turn out like it did for Danny, or for Pippa and Lisa. I need to get this one right."
Ellie looked into her former boss's pleading eyes, regretting her words almost before they were out of her mouth. "Give me one day to get things ready here and I'll go with you."
"Thank you," said Hardy, and promptly left the station.
So, here they go again.
Ellie pulled up at the crime scene, V's Haunted Mansion. The mansion was large and dark and inexplicably made of gingerbread, the outside decorated with sweets as if it was a Christmas gingerbread house, yet somehow more sinister. "What sort of place is this," Ellie asked her colleague, surprised by the edible appearance of the building.
Hardy ignored the question and ducked under the police tape which surrounded the house. "Tell me what you know," said Hardy to a detective standing beside a cat.
"Ah, DI Alec Hardy. Straight to the point as always," replied the detective with an American twang in his voice. "And who's this?"
"DS Ellie Miller," said Ellie as she joined the others. "You must be Detective Hunter then."
"That is I," replied the detective, "and this is V, the detective cat." Ellie looked slightly confused by the cat comment, but a quick look from Hardy told her not to mention it.
"Come on Hunter," interrupted Hardy. "We need to know the facts if we're going to help you on this case."
"Yes of course," replied Hunter. "Victim is male, middle aged, and we believe his name to be John Smith. He was the creator of Level 70 in the popular game "Candy Crush Saga", a level which made many people dislike him. CCTV footage shows that he was lead into the mansion at 12:35am by an unknown person who left the crime scene before we arrived, but was not captured on tape, suggesting that he, or she, must have found another way out of the building. The victim himself died of blunt force trauma, being hit in the head by a long, thin object, like a cricket bat or a baseball bat. The call came in at 6:24am from an unknown number in this area, simply reporting the death inside and leaving no further information."
"Are there many crimes like this in this area?" asked Hardy.
"No. Well, not except the death of that other Candy Crush Saga level creator in Soda Swamp last year. That was just weird," replied Hunter.
"Any suspects so far?" asked Ellie.
"Three main ones," replied Hunter. "A little girl, previously arrested in the case of the other level creator victim (but the case never stood up in court) who was also here the night of the murder, a young man known as "Enderman" who lives nearby and is a known Candy Crush Saga fanatic, and Dino, a local dinosaur who lives around this area."
"A dinosaur?!" exclaimed Ellie. Hardy shot her an annoyed glance.
"What is this Candy Crush Saga thing anyway, and why do people keep getting killed over it?" asked Hardy.
"Well," Hunter started, "Candy Crush is this mobile game where a user swaps candies-"
"Don't bother trying to explain it to him," Ellie interrupted. "He still uses a Blackberry."
"Ah," Hunter replied. "Anyway, Tiffi is a suspect due to her prior involvement and proximity, but a little girl can't really be expected to have bludgeoned a fully grown man to death, and Dino has no arms and there were no tooth marks found on the body, so we're primarily suspecting Enderman right now. He had both the motive, a distinct hatred for this person's Level 70, and the means, being the only one strong enough to have caused those injuries."
"Well disliking somebody's work doesn't mean that person will kill the creator," Ellie interjected. "Is there anybody else who could have done it?"
"Nobody else would have been around that night," countered Hunter. "It's definitely him."
"So why do you need our help then?" asked Hardy.
"Well, you took your time getting here!" replied Hunter. "I managed to solve it while you were still on the road! Pretty good for a first murder case, don't you think?"
"All the same, I wouldn't mind having a look around of my own," said Hardy. "In my own experience, it's never the most obvious of suspects who did the deed."
"This is the second Candy Crush related death in a week," said Miller. "Something odd is going on around here."
Hardy just looked on at the newest crime scene. The sky scraper towered 100 storeys over their heads, the top obscured by clouds.
"The girl, Kimmy, was found on the top floor, near the observatory deck, with a gash in her stomach, made by a kitchen knife," said Hardy, reading out the forensic information which had been handed to him upon arrival. "Apart from the knife wound, there seems to be no further signs of a struggle, which suggests the murder was unexpected and that the victim knew and trusted the attacker to get close enough to put a knife through her. No signs of the murder weapon, but there are some bloody footprints leading away from the scene of the crime. Large shoe size."
"That's just awful, being attacked by someone you thought you knew," said Miller, with a touch of empathy.
The two detectives stepped into the building to be greeted by Hunter, standing at the head of his crime team. "What are you two doing here?" he asked. "The case I called you in here for has been solved, and so there is no further need for your help. I don't need you to guide me any more, Hardy."
The two outside detectives were taken aback by the sudden change in attitude. "Well," began Ellie, "since we're here, we may as well review what you've brought in. Make sure it's all watertight before going to court."
"Didn't you just hear what I said?" asked Hunter in a threatening voice. "I don't need your help! I've solved this on my own, and you are not going to sweep in after the work has been done and let you take all the credit!"
"I suggest you take Miller up on her offer," replied Hardy. "I know it's a lot harder to prove things to a jury when barristers are involved than it is to find the truth in the first place. Let us just have an unofficial look over your evidence, help you get ready for the court. As far as our superiors are concerned, we were never here."
Hunter looked back and forth between the two of them, and finally caved in. "Alright," he said. "You can check if we have enough on him to keep the courts satisfied, and then you can be off on your ways."
"First of all," Hunter started, "it's obvious that the crimes are related. You don't have two closely related people die within a week and not expect a connection. But the killer was smart, conducting the murder in a different manner to try to throw us off the scent. So, who are the people who were near both crime scenes at the correct time? Enderman and Tiffi, that's who. Now, Tiffi's just a kid, and her feet were much too small for those boots, so there's no way that she could have done it. It could only have been Enderman. He's a video game player, and you know how violent those video games are getting these days. His feet are the right size for those shoe prints too. So we must conclude that he's the murderer."
"Who else was either a witness or a suspect to the crime?" asked Hardy.
"What does it matter? It was Enderman who did it. Nobody else was at both crime scenes," Hunter stated.
"The lawyers are going to want to know who the other suspects are, and will claim you never investigated them enough in order to get the defendant off the hook," Hardy replied.
Hunter sighed. "Well there were some tourists, Terry and Maria Spencer, who couldn't have been familiar enough with Kitty to have gotten close enough to stab her without more of a struggle. Then there were some locals, Hilda from Fudge Fjord and Rockstar from Polkapalooza, who were nowhere near the other crime scene when the first murder occurred. Then there were some editors who worked in the tower, DoCheonGong and Candycrushlover100, and the director who, although not seen in the building last night, is known to hold keys to the building and have a private entrance. Those last three also were unable to be connected to the previous murder. So, there's only one person who could have reasonably done it, and V has a bad feeling about him too. V always knows who the guilty ones are."
"The jury isn't going to take the word of a cat," said Ellie. "Anyway, wasn't that Rockstar person one of the suspects in the case last year? And I believe Hilda is also a close friend of Kitty's."
"Rockstar was found innocent at the previous case, and Hilda's feet are too small for those shoe prints. I promise you, it was Enderman," said Hunter.
"A person can always wear bigger shoes," said Hardy. "Have you taken witness statements yet?"
"Only here at the scene of the crime," replied Hunter.
"Let Miller sit in while you're taking the official statements back at the station," said Hardy.
"Why not you?" replied Hunter.
"I'm better at it," replied Ellie, not letting slip the real reason that Hardy couldn't go on record.