Her cold dead eyes stare into his, her mouth slightly open as though she was trying to say something, but he knows she is beyond telling him what he needs to know. The male seems like all the rest, a nobody, somebody they pulled into this game with no knowledge of what they had walked into. But the girl, even though she can’t talk to him, she is. Tonight, the discovery of the two bodies found on the outskirts of Sunset Heights under the new message ‘Come, play with me Jackson!’ shows a deviation from what has come before. In his eyes confirming that his middle figure salute a few hours ago pushed the killer to take a new step and now Gary stands there, looking at the two bodies before him and contemplates how this will end and more importantly, when.
“The male is Jordan Ritcher, nothing interesting about him, a few aggravated assaults on his records, other than that nothing. The woman though, she’s the interesting one, Sally Kessler. She was a constable right here in Three.”
“She looks familiar, kind of, I might have seen her around a few times, but I can’t be sure, but I’m sure that’s not going to be what’s so interesting about her, is it?”
“You’re correct in that assumption, her records state that she recently had an altercation with her inspector and was removed from active duty with no return date set, this all happened a little over a month ago, I mean, that’s what her official records state anyway when I checked her file.”
“And the unofficial?”
“It was more the right hook that she connected with, according to the rumour mill, that’s what got her removed from active duty. But there are no records of any disciplinary hearings going forward, so you can take that information anyway you like.”
“What was the reason she clocked her inspector?” Gary asks.
“Apparently it was over the way they were handling a case that involved a young girl who had been raped, she seemed to disagree with their bed side manner and took it upon herself to stand up for the girls rights. Here’s where it gets even more interesting, the man who the girl accused of raping her was victim number eight Harry Thorpe.”
“So it gets interesting, I mean, I’ve been where she is, even clocked a few high and mighty fuckers myself, but that doesn’t scream serial killer wannabe accomplice or anything. The thing that rings clear is for this Thorpe to turn up in our list of victims, why didn’t we pick this up before?”
“The case was dropped, the girl withdrew her statement.”
“You think they got to her, made a deal, or whatever?”
“No sure, but I do know, Sally, she isn’t like our killers usual victims, she was combat trained, two years out in the wastelands, her record is long and from all accounts she was a tough as nails bitch. So whoever did this had the element of surprise on their side, I’d say she knew the attacker, and was comfortable enough to have her guard down.” Danny says.
“So what are you saying?”
“I’m not sure, compared to the rest, she was fully clothed when the attack happened, and I say this because I’ve got clothing fragments in the entry point. I’m telling you Gary, there is so much about this body that screams different we would be stupid to ignore it.”
“So either she caught our killer in the act, or she was a possible accomplice that outlived her usefulness. Which, in any situation like this, signals a major change coming, either the end or our killer is going to step up their cycle, which is why we’ve got two bodies and a change in the message.”
“Both, or neither, I’m not the detective here, but I agree with you that something is coming, the game is either going to come to an end or our killer is going to start giving us more bodies per site, and I’d say you going nationwide and sticking your middle figure up at them pushed their game plan forward some.”
“That was the intent, they’ve been sending us in a spin since this all started and we’ve been running around like rats in a maze, pushing them into the end game is what we needed. The message they sent, in the blood, suggests an ending but the two bodies suggest upping the ante, either way I’m sure the next twenty-four hours will answer the question.” It’s then that Gary spies the young man walking towards him though the police barrier out of the corner of his eye. ‘Fuck Me,’ “Oliver, I told you to stay at the station.”
“Sorry sir, but I…” Oliver’s reply is cut short as he spots the bodies and throws up.
“Jesus Oliver,” Gary says as he grabs him by the arm and forces him away from the scene. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Superintendent Gleeson wanted me to give you this,” Oliver replies as he holds out an envelope. “It arrived at the station thirty minutes ago, we’ve already opened it, and it’s clean, but we felt you should see it straight away.”
Gary takes the envelope and quickly pulls out a picture of a young girl from within it, he turns over the picture and his eyes widen as he reads the words written on the back.
‘Tonight it ends, come and stop me if you can Jackson.’
‘I’m gathering this is what the son of a bitch meant by time to play.’ Placing the photo in his jacket pocket he looks back at Oliver, who is eagerly awaiting a response, but the look Gary gives him tells him all he needs to know.
“We’ve known since the second body turned up on our doorstep that you play a major role in this sicko’s agenda sir, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to communicate directly with you, besides the gifts they leave underneath your name.”
“The body’s sir, it’s like a cat bringing home a rat or a bird and leaving it at the front door to proudly show their owners.”
“You think this sicko wants to be my fucking pet?”
“That’s not what I’m saying sir, all we know is that right now, the lines of communication are open, and we just have to find a way to seize this as an advantage.”
“The only thing I see as an advantage at the moment is this fucker has given us their next victim, all we have to do is find her before she ends up like the rest. Has she got a name?”
“Not yet, we’re still trying to find a match, if she’s one of the illegal outsiders, then it’s going to make it harder finding her.”
“I know where that picture was taken, dirty little area called Ratchets Lane, a small-time thug by the name of Leroy runs that area. He might know who she is, or at least, know where I can find her,” Gary replies. “We only have hours to find this girl Oliver, get back to the station and find out what you can and I’ll go see Leroy.”
“Are you sure that’s wise, why risk putting yourself in the firing line?”
“Read the letter Oliver, this fucker wants me,” Gary replies as he climbs aboard his modified AC-Stinger, the latest law enforcement gravity motorcycle to be rolled out to Delta City PD. With speeds over two hundred miles per hour and other enchantments such as layered hologram camouflage technology and an advanced weapon system linked to the riders helmet, makes it a valuable addition to helping fight crime on the streets.
“Be careful sir.”
Gary puts his helmet on, and takes off towards Ratchets Lane, brushing off Oliver’s concerned words.
END OF ACT I