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3S Round Robin

Chapter 6

by Catherine E.

 

“Hey, alright! I’ll see you guys next week!” Jamie said her good-byes as the students left the University, going in all directions. She heaved her bag up onto her shoulder as she checked her mobile phone. “10:30….and no calls…suck.” Jamie hopped over a puddle in the street and kept walking towards Diana’s loft. Why do the Professors schedule the classes so late at night? A girl’s got to get home still! (Shivers) Brrrr! Got cold tonight too! I am so going to write a letter or something to Dr. Etson!

 Jamie continued her fast pace, across another street, thinking of all the different ways she could vent in her letter. “Dear Dr. Etson…I am sorry to inform you, but your higher learning has not afforded you the brains to let your students out at a decent hour….” Jamie smiled to herself as she scooted around a couple of working girls, completely absorbed in her lyric. “As a matter of fact, much of what you teach has been taught before, and your zest for creativity has long-since died out!” She chuckled to herself. “Just like your sense of humor!”

 Jamie broke from her thoughts as she turned down the alley across from Diana’s loft and found the manhole Vincent had told her about. Jamie looked cautiously about her. Although the Central Park Serial Killer most likely wouldn’t be in that alley, there were plenty of other things to be wary of in the city at night. Jamie knelt down and opened her backpack. Blowing warm air into her hands for a moment she then pulled out the lever that Mouse made for her. Now, to see if this works Above! She repeated the exact formula Mouse had presented her with for loosening a manhole cover and like a lid popping off a pickle jar, it worked! Jamie slid the cover to the side and it made a loud metal BOOM! as it fell. She released the lever and put it back in her bag, pulling out a flashlight. Peering into the depths of the underworld, she snatched up her bag and dangled her feet into the hole. This is a higher jump than I thought…Jamie lowered her backpack down and dropped it into the darkness. She was about to jump herself when she realized, the manhole cover!She looked over at it and knew that she wouldn’t be able to move it unless she had a crowbar or that lever again, which was now about 8ft down.

 Jamie turned her flashlight on again to peer down at her pack. Crap!! Then suddenly she heard a rustle. Like the sound someone makes when you don’t hear their footsteps but you hear their clothes moving about. She froze, light shining down into the deep. She heard it again, louder this time. What is that?! She bent over to look a little deeper when a hand grabbed her from behind!

 “Jamie!”

 Jamie flinched at the loud voice but opened her eyes to see Diana. “Diana? What are you doing?! You could’ve gotten yourself killed if I had my crossbow!”

 Diana knelt next to her. “Vincent sent a message to me to make sure you got here alright, that’s all.”

 Jamie felt insulted. “I have been taking care of myself for a long time; I can’t believe Vincent sent someone!”

 Diana quickly answered. “He’s just trying to make sure you’d be okay. He was just worried about the manhole lid. And this is a new way for you to go, right?”

“I’m not some child Diana!” Jamie retorted. They heard the rustle again.

“What was that?” Diana asked. “I don’t know.” Jamie answered. “I’ve been hearing it for a couple minutes now.” They both leaned over the open hole and looked in with Jamie’s flashlight.

 “Hello?” Diana called out.

 Two hands popped up at them from the dark and said, “Don’t shoot! Only Mouse!” Mouse walked into the light and smiled up at them. “Decided inventions too new. Need to be there for first time use.”

 Diana and Jamie sighed. “Hey Mouse, could you toss that lever up to me so I can bring the manhole cover back over here? It’s in my bag.” Mouse threw the lever up and Jamie tilted the cover back up and rolled it next to the hole.

 “You go ahead and jump down, I’ll drop the lid over this.” Diana suggested.

 Jamie slid her body slowly down the hole. “Thanks Diana. Sorry about what I said.”

Diana smiled as Jamie fell into the darkness.

 

“Ouch! Watch where falling!”

 “Sorry Mouse!”

“Count before falling next time!!”

 

Diana walked back across the street towards her loft with Mouse and Jamie’s comical words still ringing in her head. She thrust a hand into her pocket to pull out her keys and the Central Park map fell out with the slayings marked in various locations on it. Count before falling next time…Diana smirked. Diana picked up the map and looked at it. Count before…next time…Diana’s mind went into full gear and she suddenly realized something. She checked her watch and it was close to eleven. Grabbing her mobile phone out of her inner jacket pocket she called the only backup she could for what she was planning. “Hey, Mohr, it’s Bennett. I’ve got an idea. Meet me outside Mt. Sinai as soon as you can. I think we could catch this perp tonight!...No! Don’t call anyone else. Too many people, too many distractions…okay, I’ll see you in a bit...what?....Yeah, breakfast tomorrow on me.” Diana hung up the phone and raced into her loft. She stuffed a camera and a tazer gun into her purse along with a map of Central Park and where the murders had occurred.

 

Twenty minutes later Diana stepped out of a taxi in front of Mt. Sinai’s.

 

Jack walked over smoking a cigar. “So what’s going on Diana? You got a break in the case and had to tell me in person?”

 

“Sort of… Jack, the killer is murdering these women closer and closer together.” Diana explained.

 

“So, more often? Do you think he’s going to start killing every night?” Jack asked, taking a hefty drag.

 “It appears that he has a numerical method of when he kills. Think about this…if we trace backwards how many days were in between the murders? After the first girl was killed when was the second murder?”

 Jack patted out his cigar on his shoe. “Uhhh, a week later.”

 “Right.” Diana continued. “Seven days later. The next girl after that?”

 “Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tues-day…five.” Jack said.

 “And the Thorton sisters? Three days after that. He’s counting down Jack. And we’re down to one. Whoever this person is, tonight is going to be the last night and our last chance to catch him.”

Jack pulled out his mobile phone and dialed. “Berardi? It’s Mohr…I don’t care what time it is! Get your ass over to the station! Bennett has had a breakthrough, and we need undercover, not regular blues, in the Park tonight…No…That means homeless, that means transvestite prostitutes…just get Luiz to arrange it with you. And we need this done now! Before midnight. You come too, and keep your channel on three. Chop, chop!” Jack shut his mobile and put it back in his pocket. "I have an obligation to my partner, Bennett. I hope you can understand that. Even if he is a...”

 “Let’s go through the park, Jack.” Diana said as they walked across the street and into the dark green of Central Park.

 As they walked and glanced at the spots where former victims had been slain, they saw a surprising number of people loitering about.

 “Okay, so, the second victim was over there…you want to hear something interesting Jack?”

Mohr was lighting up another Marlboro, “Yes, I do.”

 

“There are walking paths not too far from where each of the victims was found. Any of the victims could have been near the path when first attacked and either dragged or chased to the spot where they were murdered. If we are looking for some tall, muscular guy, he would’ve chased ‘em down within a few yards. Also, when I was at the morgue, the Thorton sisters had identical .4 centimeter puncture wounds on or near their heads.”

 

Mohr thought for a moment. “So you think the girls were injected with something? What were they injected with? Why?”

 

Diana and Jack continued walking, and they recognized undercover officers moving in around the Park.

 

Diana looked over her shoulder for a moment and saw a male jogger running through the Park, heading in their direction. “Jack? How did the second interview go with the jogger?”

 

“Sheesh, nowhere. Same answers; same everything. We released him because we had no grounds to keep him. He still seems fishy to me, Bennett. Bennett?”

 

Diana was staring at the jogger. “Mohr, I want you to really take a good look at this jogger. Who do you see?”

 

Mohr pretended to be fixing Diana’s coat and peered at the man heading toward them. “Looks like the jogger. Hunter. Isn’t it strange that a man who knows that there is a serial killer loose in the Central Park area at night would still decide to jog through on his way home from work?” Mohr slid his hand down his side to his radio and turned it on. “This is Mohr. Berardi, Mr. Hunter is jogging through the Park again, heading south. Will be at the Zoo in about 4 minutes. Be advised.”

 

Diana and Jack leaned back against a tree to hide in it’s darkness and to watch Mr. Hunter as he passed them. So, if Mr. Hunter is involved, how is he involved? He doesn’t fit the bill at all for someone who could overpower all those girls himself. Especially not without a scratch…I’m so glad Vincent isn’t in the park tonight. Vincent, wherever you are, we’re going to get him, or whoever is doing the killing. Tonight.

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