Cake Stand City consisted of three tiers, and had been that way ever since it was constructed. When the Biscuit War broke out it soon became apparent that the Cakes would lose due to the vastly superior numbers the biscuits could put out. To level the playing the field the Master Baker of the Cake Stand City invented bread; cheap to make and quick, it was almost the perfect solution. Yet against the speed and agility of a biscuit the loaf was too slow and too big a target. In a move the Master Baker would eventually come to hate, he came up with a way to slice the loaf into twenty four equal parts. Each slice was a unique, if still somewhat linked, individual. Soon the Cake army outnumbered the Biscuit army by ten to one, and the war ended in an uneasy truce.
With the war over the problem became one of housing, and superiority. Even though the Breads had saved Cake Stand City, every Cake (with a few exceptions) believed they were better than the Breads. When it was suggested the Breads would slide into the existing tiers of the City, this was met with outrage and disgust. While the Cakes debated the problem, the more solution ready Breads simply built a new tier of the City in the dirt below the bottom tier. To this day the Cakes still debate the Bread Housing issue, whereas the Breads are very happy in their section that they refer to as their Bin.
Travel between the two parts was a little difficult. The lift mechanism that connected the three tiers was built long ago and not even the braniest of the Bran Muffins could replicate its design (though Gache wondered if it was more a case of they didn’t want to over couldn’t). The Breads had simply built a ladder, easy enough for a thin slice to climb up and down, more difficult for the more robust Cakes of this world. Gache himself had no problem with the ladder, Lemon was a different story. Let’s just say she was saved mostly by the fact the fall wasn’t that large, her muffin top was spongy and resilient, and she landed on a rather large congregation of Breads who had come to watch a Muffin climb down their ladder.
The Bread Bin was a very cleverly designed grid system of a tier, well sign posted and well lit. In many ways the Bread Bin was vastly superior to the tangled dark alleyways of the tiers above, but no Cake would ever admit that. Finding the home of Constable Bread was a simple task; getting him to come back was not going to be so easy.
“Lemon, wait outside please.” Gache said.
The Muffin simply nodded and walked away to chat to some Breads lounging around near by. The fact she was willing to talk to Breads was a big tick in Gache’s box, few Muffins would. Taking a deep breath Gache went to knock on the door, but a familiar voice beckoned him in before he even got a chance.
It was an odd feeling walking into a house you knew well, occupied by someone you knew well, and feeling a stranger to both. A lot had changed here in the last two years, all the colour and joy being replaced by empty space. It was often said a Breads home reflected the feelings of the one that called it home, and if that was true Gache felt truly sorry for his old friend.
Constable Bread looked different too, and not just because a large part of the left top corner of himself was stuck on with dough. His eyes, once full of questions and life were cold and closed (metaphorically, not literally), his expression was grim instead of happy, and he sported a patch of green moss just below his mouth.
“I know why you are here Gache, and you can leave. You need to catch the Slicer this time, and I am just a distraction.” Constable Bread said.
“Never a distraction, and you know that. I need you to find this killer, to solve these cases. Only together did we get close. I will not apologise for saving your life.”
“Even though a new victim lays dead, my life over theirs? Even though…”
“Look, I need to stop you there. I know you had a great speech ready and this section was going to be full of high emotion and nuance, but due to technical difficulties we are now behind on the serial and need to play catchup. So can we move to the bit where you agree to come back so we can actually start the case next section?”
“I mean, I guess. But I worked hard on this speech, shame to see it go to waste…”
“I know, maybe we can post it as a special extra sometime, but for now we need to skip to the end.”
Constable Bread did not look happy, but he agreed anyway. He quickly consulted his copy of his speech, leaned in to Gache and together they decided where he should start off again. Both taking their places again, Constable Bread continued.
“Fine, I will come back, but mainly to keep an eye on that Muffin who is listening in outside. But once the Slicer is caught, I am gone again, understood?”
“Oh, and if we get into a situation like last time where you can sacrifice me for the greater good, you bloody well take it, agreed?”
Gache was uncertain and wanted to argue, but there was precious little time and he needed Constable Bread to come along.
Unsure on whether he had just lied or agreed to something he would hate to do, Gache felt uneasy. Still, his Constable was back, he had a wild card Muffin in his team, and he had a serial Cake killer to catch. Of course first they had to get the Muffin back up that ladder…