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ATROZITY: THE JOURNALS OF TREVOR BLACK (#3)
AtrOZity The Journals of Trevor Black (#3)
[Note: This is a single chapter excerpt.]
The new millennium? Whatever, man. They said that it would bring peace. It did all right. But at what price … the price of our sanity under the guise of some strange little document the New Templaric regime held to be sacred that proclaimed the rights of man. … That guy, what’s his name? Austin Hymentheta? Yeah, I trusted him. … I trusted them all. I bought the lie and now I sit under the edict of slave in a stew of slaves. … Man, I did my Will and they said I couldn’t have understood my Will. I followed my heart and they said I didn’t have one to follow. I tortured them all and they have put me here to torture myself. … How many thwarted my Will and died for it? Good question. One hundred and eleven in all, I think. I began to lose track after ninety-three. … It’s all such a blur. – Interview with “Pendragon,” Reassignment Isle, 2024.
DAY FORTY-FOUR Dawn came early that morning. The blood red sun that struck the heart of the city was nothing compared to the bloodshot eyes of the door attendant or the stain that covered the floor surrounding what was left of his corpse. The flash of the cameras lit the darkened alcove and the grotesque image of the body, if it could actually be called that now, was thrust into Trevor’s rum-soaked brain cells. The smell of urine and feces permeated the air. It was obvious the man had been severely tortured and mutilated before his departure from this plane of existence. The number “88” had been written in the man’s blood – was it really his blood? – on the wall above his crushed head. A copy of Liber OZ, this regime’s sacred “bill of rights,” had been left nailed to the wall; this was the city’s Areopagus after all. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. What does this make it, Black?” the question came from behind him. He did not need to turn around to know the voice. Apparently he did his Will, thought Trevor. “Love is the law, love under will, your Grace,” Trevor responded. “I think the wall speaks volumes,” he continued as he turned to face the woman who now stood before him with her hands in her pockets. “But this would make it number eighty-eight,” he quickly added after seeing her face.
The Grand Inquisitor Commander was a forbidding woman; tall, graceless, and above all looked like an overturned pear. He loathed how she moved over each investigation site like a slug, leaving trails of her ego for others to slip over in their haste to remove themselves from her presence. It had not taken long for the Inquisitor and Trevor to get off on the wrong foot. After murder number six, she had decided that he was more interested in catching a suspect than kissing ass to the regime, which meant kissing ass to her. But he played their game so long as he could pursue his leads to the killer who had eluded him and had the decisive advantage of knowing his every whereabouts. The early morning phone calls were only the start of his problems. “Another call on this one?” “Yes, your Grace. Just like the rest.” Trevor hated this line of questioning, but he had grown so accustomed to it every time this woman walked in the room that it was almost to the point of an automatic response. “I got the call at home around eight. No name. Not long enough for a trace. He must have bounced it off enough satellites to make a pool shark envious. Oh yeah, and a only location given, nothing more.” “Is this one signed like all the rest?” “Yes, your Grace. ‘Pendragon’ with nothing else. At least this guy hasn’t started a rash of copycats.” Trevor looked back at the paper on the wall. The signature was scrawled with abandon of legibility. But it was obviously the name was the same as all those left at the other sites. The Inquisitor shook her head at that statement. “’Pendragon.’ King of kings, right? What an insolent gesture of a man who surely has no conception of his True Will in life. To think that in our enlightened day this kind of false ego actually incarnated somewhere under our care.” She paused and looked back at the corpse. “Do you have any idea yet who is responsible for this?” Trevor looked down at his untied shoelaces. “No, your Grace.” He bent down to retie his shoes hoping that she would leave at his distraction. She did not. “Well, this one is a challenge,” he continued. “We at least know his name, but that’s about it. The last one was that dancer who was laced up to the doorframe by her … “ “Okay. I remember well enough,” she interrupted him and holding up her hand to him. “No need to recall the details this early in the morning. Just get me the report sometime this afternoon on this one. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” She turned to leave. “Love is the law…” She was gone. He aborted his salutation to her mid-sentence.
He did not mind the formalities, but they had already begun to make him sick at the commonality with which they were now used. Everything under the New Templaric regime had taken larger steps. What was once a small organization of misfits guided by the writings of a self-proclaimed prophet with an overblown ego had become the world’s largest contender to the political machine that held the reigns of the Newest World Order. The New Templaric already controlled the majority of seats in this country’s government. It had come to power in the early days of the new millennium after the meltdown of the Plebeian Democrats and their failed attempt at institutionalized global democracy. What a joke, thought one side of Trevor’s brain. To think that anyone would fall for this cloak and dagger shit and then turn it into an attempt at legitimate government. He laughed to himself causing several of the remaining Order of Kadosch investigators to look up at him curiously. But it seems to be working so far, the other side of his brain countered as he headed for the door. The ‘OZ Killer’ was beginning to annoy him. While his office continued to maintain that there had been no connection in each of the victims, Trevor knew what many people did not. The copies of Liber OZ that had been left at each scene had the final ‘right’ circled: “Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights.” There had to be a connection between the victims and the killer. What that connection might be was still occulted from Trevor’s investigation. Had these people somehow thwarted the killer’s rights? What could they have possibly done to warrant such brutal ends to their lives? Trevor left the murder site and headed to his office across town. Trevor Black was a quiet, unassuming man who lived as if there might not be a tomorrow and unsure if he had really made it through yesterday. He spent the days chasing after the unsolved cases of the previous nights, and he spent the nights hiding from the days in a bottle of rum. He considered himself a Thelemite in the old sense, but sometimes wondered if the new image of ‘Thelemite’ was not something that the New Templaric created to bring themselves out from under the shadow of their prophet. It seemed like the new image was something that celebrities adorned to fit in with the next wave of fashion. He always wondered how the New Templaric had actually risen beyond that old shadow into something new. The infighting and fracturing of the original organization’s inheritors had been intense during the last decade or two of the twentieth century. Then in a bold worldwide sweep, one particular faction not only eliminated the other contenders in a bloody takeover but also converted one of the most predominant politicians in the country to their ranks. It was then that they had finally shown that they had been ready to take what they felt was rightly theirs for quite some time. They
were organized and capable. The apparent incompetence, copyright battles, and miserable business practices had all been an intentional sham. They were an army, a force that marched right into the full view of humanity and wrenched control from every major political and religious party and organization in the country. In just six days, the New Templaric turned a democracy into a theocracy, and society mutated to accept it without complaint. No one even whimpered at the overwhelming coup de grâce that had taken place. One country first, the world next. A horn bellowed in his head and he jumped. In the rearview mirror, he could see the grill of the truck behind him, apparently impatient for him to leave his thoughts. “All right. All right.” He waved his hand out the window in a kind of apology that he knew would not be appreciated; just being a Star did not keep one from being an asshole of course. The driver of the truck pressed the horn again as Trevor began to move through the intersection. The sound of more horns and the screeching of tires assaulted his ears and he looked up to see that the light was still red on his side. The cross traffic was aimed right for him. In a sense of sudden shock, he slammed his foot down on the accelerator and sped across the intersection to the other side where he stopped and looked back into his mirror. There he was. He knew it. The knot in his stomach told him that the shadow in the cab of the truck, which was still on the other side of the intersection, was the ‘OZ Killer.’ Then his suspicion was confirmed. A hand rose up. An open hand with the thumb extended and then pressed against the shadowy forehead. The bastard, thought Trevor. The figure bent down into the seat beside him. Then Trevor saw that a piece of white paper was being stuck onto the inside of the truck’s windshield. A sudden realization pierced him as he recognized the paper even from across the street. He began to sprint through the intersection, drawing his gun from the leather sling in the pit of his arm. Cars again began to slide through the intersection in an attempt to miss the running man. Horns blasted at him from both sides and shouts of anger came at him without understanding. Trevor watched intently as the shadow that was still in the truck become motionless in the cab. He pushed the muscles in his legs beyond another limit in his attempt to reach the truck before the killer could dodge him again. Trevor reached the side of the truck. He had to step up on the sideboard to grasp the door handle. Opening it with a violent force that almost slung him off the sideboard, he jumped up into the truck. What he saw almost made him retch and he stumbled back out of the truck to keep from being sick. As he slid back out of the cab he realized that the passenger side door was still swinging and the assailant gone again as mysteriously as before.
Three and one-half hours later, Trevor was sitting in the Commandery. His debriefing had not been so brief. He had already told his story several times and was beginning to weary of it. He now wondered if this is how those whom he interrogated felt after he was done with them. The Grand Inquisitor Commander had been insistent that he try to remember every detail of his experience. He did. “But, your Grace,” he asked as she finished and was obviously heading out the door away from him. “Why was this victim number ninetytwo? That means between this morning and now there are three missing victims, doesn’t it?” “Yes,” she said in such a manner that made him feel as if he was missing something. “Why didn’t I get a call on any of these like all the rest?” “I can’t answer that one, Black. I can tell you that the others were found about the time you called in your report on the truck driver. They were in the same building that we were in this morning. Apparently, he was killing them right above us as we picked up the pieces of that particular handiwork.” “At the same time?” Trevor could not believe that this monster would be so bold as to be killing while the Order of Kadosch was in the same ten-mile radius, and much less in the same building. She nodded to him. “It was a family. Father, mother, child.” He shook his head. He did not want to hear the details. They were sure to be in the report that was probably already on his desk. He guessed that the pattern was the same as all the others including the truck driver. Another dead, mutilated body and a copy of Liber OZ with the last ‘right’ circled in blood. There had to be a connection somehow, but Trevor had so far not been able to ascertain what it might be. The Inquisitor left the room and Trevor in a state of silence. He watched her leave and wondered how long he would have to wait until there was another phone call and another victim. His digicell began to vibrate and startled him. Trevor looked down and removed the small phone from his belt. “Black,” he spoke into the device as if it had bit him. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” “Listen carefully. This will not be like the other calls I have made to you.” The voice was the same calm voice that reminded him of a deep freeze. “You have another killing to be accountable for, but this time she isn’t dead yet. She will be the last, but I have taken her now rather than wait.” Trevor began to interrupt but never made more than a sound when he was cut off again.
“Don’t,” hissed the voice. “Just listen. You will learn soon enough who she is, and you will realize that I am not playing games here. I am doing what I know my Will is for this lifetime. Deny me this and you deny me the rights that you yourself possess.” The digicell went dead. Trevor jumped up and slammed open the door of the interrogation room. He was shocked to see a man standing in front of him who had obviously been headed into the room. It took him only a moment to recognize the man. In that recognition came a sudden pang of sickness in his gut over the words that he had heard from the killer. “Your Holiness,” Trevor said quickly and in a low, but surprised tone. He went down on one knee as he spoke and then stood up again to face the Supreme and Holy King, the Caliph Elect of the New Templaric regime. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” “To what do we owe the honor, your Holiness?” It was the Grand Inquisitor Commander who spoke meekly from behind this man. “I came to see this man.” Hymentheta was a soft-spoken man, but there was a power in his voice that could never be forgotten and certainly never ignored. He did not look back at the woman behind him but continued to look at Trevor. “Your Holiness,” Trevor began. “How could I be of any assistance to you?” The sound in his voice must have betrayed his confusion. “This.” The Caliph produced a paper from his coat and handed it to Trevor. It was a copy of Liber OZ with a picture attached. Trevor recognized the girl in the picture and it took his breath away. “Your Holiness, this is your …” “Yes. My daughter,” the man interrupted Trevor. “He has my daughter. Find her.” The silence in the room could have been shattered by a mere heartbeat. Instead, it was the almost inaudible exhale of breath from the Grand Inquisitor Commander from behind the Caliph. Suddenly the room went from slow motion to fast forward. The sounds of people stumbling over themselves filled the air and, as the Caliph turned away from Trevor, the investigators of the Order of Kadosch were all swarming to their desks to hit the phones for every field contact they possessed in order to begin the search for this man’s child. Trevor looked down at the picture in his hands and wondered exactly how this would fit into the numbering scheme that the killer had
begun. Would she be ninety-three or something much further down the line. How many more would die before he killed her? What would he do to her and where would he keep her? Just who, in the Holy Name of Babalon, is this little fuck, thought Trevor. Trevor looked around and saw that Hymentheta was in a side room with the Inquisitor and having a discussion about what only the Gods knew. He decided that he did not really want to hear anymore about the girl. He was not insensitive, but he needed to sit and go over the files for the four murders of that morning. He also wanted to take a look over the initial report for the truck driver. He needed to catch his breath before he could continue. It seemed that Pendragon had decided that he played a vital role in this drama. He needed to rest before the curtain rose on the next act. The afternoon trudged along uneventful. Trevor sat at his desk in the Commandery and picked through the piles of photographs and folders of evidence. The inspectors of the Kadosch had meticulously documented every detail of every crime scene. He looked at his digicell and saw that it was close to the Evening Resh, which happened at 7:18 every evening. The time arrived quickly it seemed, and the bells outside the Commandery rang out to signal the Evening Resh. Trevor stood and turned to face north and, raising his hand, began to intone the adoration. “Hail unto thee who art Tum in Thy setting, …” he said adding his voice to the others in the room. He glanced down at the photographs on his desk. “… even unto Thee who art Tum in Thy joy, who travellest over …“ He kept looking at the photograph of the truck driver. The face was mutilated and carved beyond recognition. It resembled something that had been run through a trash compactor and then someone had attempted to inflate it. “… the heavens in Thy bark at the …” Something was odd in the light as he stood above the photograph. There was something familiar about the picture as he stared at it. “… Down-going of the …” Fuckin’ Therion, his brain exclaimed as his hand dropped and reached for the photograph of the truck driver. He picked it up. He picked up the photograph of the door attendant from the morning. He tacked both photographs to the wall next to him. Retrieving the stills from the late morning discovery of the family, he tacked
them up as well. One after another, Trevor tacked up the photographs of all the dead victims – ninety-two in all. There it was. The ring. He began to circle the rings in each photograph with his finger. The silver and black enameled signet ring was the token of a Man and a Brother. It was the sigil of Ordo Templi Orientis, the fraternal Order turned political regime. Few turned to the Order these days since it was the governing institution of the land, and when the Astrum Argentinium took over the actual work of the Order, it had become nothing more than an old man’s club to reminisce about the War of Lineages. Those who continued to join the Order were given a signet ring. Every victim wore that same ring. Trevor was more than certain that Jessica Squall, the Caliph’s daughter, would also be sporting such a ring. He looked at his own right hand. He too wore that ring. The Evening Resh had been over for a while now and as Trevor turned to fetch a marker in order to highlight his find, he was startled to find several of the Kadosch investigators standing in a group observing his work on the wall. “What does it mean,” one of them asked. Several others nodded in agreement and bewilderment. Two men in the back of the group whispered in hushed tones and compared their own signet rings with worried looks on their faces. “I’m not sure yet,” Trevor began. “But there is an obvious connection between the rings and the murders. Or at least I think there is. Since the original Order is all but defunct now, there is no reason for every man and every woman to be a member. We are all part of a larger movement now. Those that choose to stay with the Order, do so for various reasons. Since that still makes up less than one percent of our current population, there has to be a connection between these members …” He pointed at the photographs on the wall as he spoke to punctuate his remark. “…and Pendragon and …” His voice trailed off in thought and he looked down at his ring again. Suddenly he turned around to face the photographs. “Shit! Someone get me a copy of the ‘Intimation.’ Get me a copy of the old Ordo Templi Orientis bylaws too.” He turned around to face the group that seemed to be jumping to do his bidding, individuals stumbling over one another to head in opposite directions. “And someone get me a copy of that diagram from the New York Constitutional thing they published back in ’86.”
Trevor paused for just a moment and then, pointing at an investigator that was just paralyzed in shock before him, said, “And you, get me a cup of coffee. Now!” Darkness filtered in through the windows as Trevor sat studying the historical documents of the old Order. There was a pattern that rang familiar in his head. There was something about numbers in these papers if he could just remember what connection it made. He knew that it could not be something as complex as a Qabalistic equation. It had to be something simple. Serial killers might have complex reasons in their minds for rationalizing their actions, but their actual patterns of killing were relatively simple. His digicell vibrated against his hip again and he answered it. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” “Love is the law, love under will,” replied the sweet voice on the other end. “Rebecca,” he exclaimed and then suddenly realized that he had missed a dinner date they had been planning for the last two months and had been continually put off since the first murder had occurred. He had promised that come Caliph or cockfight he would not miss this dinner. “Baby, I am so sor...” She interrupted him with silence. He had expected her to jump in about that time and she just let him sit there in a tense moment of uncertainty. “Rebecca,” he continued, “don’t be upset with me. Of course, that’s stupid. You are upset with me and you should be.” He paused hoping for some sign of understanding in her voice. Silence. “Can I meet you right now? Take you over to the new restaurant, ‘Aleister’s Place’? What do you say?” “Don’t be late, lover. I will be there in twenty minutes,” was her only comment and the line went dead. Great, he thought. Just great. Now I’ve blown it again. Looking down at his desk, he saw lilies in the vase there. I hope she likes lilies. Never a better time to find out than the present. Trevor pilled the flowers out of the vase and wrapped them up in a newspaper that he picked up from the desk next to his. He pulled on his gun, grabbed his coat, and headed out the door. Looking back over his shoulder at the wall of death he had created, he wondered if tonight would be as bloody as the last forty-three nights or if he might be able to pass the night in peace with his Beloved for once since this all began. He drove across town and parked his car in the lot next to the restaurant. There was a light drizzle in the air now that had just blown up over the past hour or so. Trevor pulled his coat a little tighter around his neck and
walked toward the front of the place. There was a sound to his right and he stopped to look for the source of the noise. All that he saw was the mist covered shadows that cowered over the huge trash dumpsters along the side of the building. A window in a nearby apartment was flapping open in the wind that seemed to be picking up as well. He shook his head and continued to the door. Trevor entered the establishment and immediately saw that Rebecca had not arrived yet. Relieved, he pointed out a table near the bar that would suit him just fine and informed the host of his company’s impending arrival. Aleister’s Place was a quaint little restaurant. The walls were paneled and on them hung memorabilia from the legacy of the Beast himself and his era of the 1880’s through the 1940’s. It was like a little pub of sorts. The booths seemed to melt into the décor of the corners and hide the occupants from view of those who would want to penetrate the mysteries therein. The proprietor was a small man of about twenty-five by the name of Jonathon Heidrick. He claimed bastard blood down from the late treasurer of the old Order, but pressed for details would change the subject to something about trying to find another piece of Crowley’s bed springs from Boleskine or murals from Cefalu or his recent addition of Rose Crowley’s brassiere over on the back wall. Admittedly, he did have an eye for details and a method for sidetracking a conversation that would have made the alleged grandfather proud if indeed they were related. Trevor ordered a rum and coke and watched out the plate glass window as the weather began to pick itself up off the ground and throw its weight around in the streets. He could see pieces of trash being tossed around. A woman walked by the window and her hair flew out in front of her seeming to lead her way. Trevor thought for just a moment that it might be Rebecca, but she made a quick glance into the restaurant and he saw his mistake. Suddenly two things happened in a sequential moment of time and it seemed to Trevor that everything was in a kind of slow motion. A flash of lightning lit the street and he saw a man standing on the opposite side of the street. It was somehow just obvious that the man was staring right at Trevor. Then a second flash of lightning occurred and the man was gone like a phantom. Trevor jumped to his feet and turned to race out of the building after the man. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, baby.” Rebecca stood in front of him beginning to remove her coat and turning around so that he could help her out of it. Flustered for a moment, he stammered a reply and helped her out of the coat. He turned back to the window and another flash of lightning confirmed that the figure was indeed gone.
“Trevor Kenneth Black, you better not be thinking about work right now. You promised me a nice dinner tonight.” Her words had a loving sound in the rebuke. Her face was in a pout in that shy little girl wants a piece of candy kind of way. She was just a lovely creature in her heart and in her body. She was definitely the best in breast and brain of any of those he had shacked up with in his early twenties. “You know that you are always on my mind,” Trevor tried to sound convincing but he knew that she could see right through him. She knew that this case was getting the better of him and that it was as close to depressing him as anything ever did. “It’s just that things started to click today at the office.” He explained all that had happened to him. She listened intently and seemed to be very concerned when he spoke of his confrontation with Pendragon in the streets. He did not tell her of the figure in the street just now. He would rather not alarm her. He filled her in on the revelation he had during the Evening Resh. She seemed to have a gleam in her eye as he spoke of the Order. She knew that he did not like membership clubs. “You still wearing my Order ring,” she asked him with a concerned look. “If this is random killings of Order members, would that make you or me the target of this guy’s rage?” “That’s a good question, but I don’t think these killings are random. I think they are related somehow all back to him.” He paused. “Rebecca, you are in the Order’s Lodge fairly regularly. Tell me something. I seem to recall something that in the old days certain members had to have so many people to sponsor them or something like that. I could have sworn it was some degree in that Man of Earth series.” Rebecca thought for a moment before responding. “Well, in the very old days, the Man of Earth members had to be sponsored in order to advance through the degrees. They only needed two people though. This guy has already killed enough to make that just overkill. No pun intended.” She giggled at her own sick joke. “Wasn’t there a time…” She interrupted him. “Wait. There was a degree in the Lover grade that required a lot of people to advance. Had to have so many people join the Order to get to your next degree. What was that degree?” Rebecca put her hand to her mouth and made a funny look that meant she was really trying hard to pull something out of the back of her head. She snapped her fingers together in the direction of Trevor. “I got it,” she exclaimed! “In the old system, the Prince of the Royal Secret had to induce one hundred and eleven people to join the Order.” She stopped and realized what the implication of her words meant to Trevor. “Oh no,” she started. “That means…”
Trevor nodded. “I think you’re right. We are only at ninety-two dead out of one hundred and eleven that he intends to murder. And now with the Caliph’s kid taken too, I don’t know if that means he considers her both ninety-three and the last, or if he just considers her to be the last murdered.” They sat there in silence for a moment just looking at each other in the horrible realization that they were helpless to do anything without enough clues to lead them to the next victim. Trevor obviously needed more to go on than a ring, an obsolete degree, and an understanding of the goal of the killer. He needed a direction, a connection between all the victims and their stalker, and most of all he needed a motive. The silence was broken by Heidrick who brought Trevor his second rum and coke and asked if they would like to order dinner. Dinner was spent in the usual conversation, the pre-dinner disclosures lost for the moments they spent in each other’s desire just to be together. They did decide that Rebecca would spend the night at Trevor’s place rather than the other way around, which was the usual. Trevor’s apartment was closer to the restaurant than hers, and she had whispered in his ear about her desire to ‘open the ninth’ with him at some point in the evening, and even hinted at a little bit ‘of the eleventh’ if he wanted. They sat and enjoyed the drinks and the décor of Aleister’s Place for another hour before deciding to leave. Trevor helped Rebecca back into her coat. They both had noticed that the mist had turned into rain, and the wind was a co-conspirator in the struggle for domination in the streets. Heidrick scanned the implanted microchip in the back of Trevor’s hand to pay for the meal, and the couple stepped out into the street and began to head toward the parking lot. Trevor held Rebecca close to him. It was not so much that he wanted to protect her, but it was that warm feeling he got every time she was close. There was something in the way they shared their energies between them. It was intimate without seeming to be physically intrusive. He was lost in this thought and feeling when he felt Rebecca stiffen up and heard a small gasp escape her lips. He looked up. The parking lot was littered with paper. His car, her car, and the walls of the surrounding buildings were plastered with paper. He bent down and picked up one that had blown against his leg. It was a copy of Liber OZ. No blood, no number, no name. Just the document itself. He released his hold on her and reached for his gun. Trevor looked around the lot and saw nothing clearly through the rain. He gave her a slight push in the direction of his car and they ran together across the parking lot to it. Clearing away some of the papers from the window he looked inside his car
and saw that it was empty. He unlocked his car and let Rebecca climb inside. Shutting the door, he went to the other side and got in the car. “What in the Holy Name of Babalon is going on,” Rebecca asked, knowing that she already had the answer in the papers all around the car. “He’s taunting me. Trying to flesh me out I think.” He paused. “But why me? It seems he takes too much interest in me as a person rather than an investigator. Murderers don’t call the ones who investigate crimes like this. They don’t mess with their heads like this. This seems almost personal against me now.” Rebecca wondered aloud, “Is there anyone that is back from the Reassignment Isle that you put there that would be capable of doing something like this?” He shook his head. “I’ve never even seen anyone come back from the Isle capable of committing another crime, much less something as brutal as these.” He started the car and turned on the windshield wipers to clear the rain and paper from his view. The rain glazed the glass in waves of water. The effect was eerie under the circumstances. He threw the car into gear and began to pull out of the parking lot. “Let’s go,” he said. “I want to show you some things at the office before we go home.” Trevor looked at Rebecca as he drove. She was visibly shaken from the realization that Pendragon had been very close to both of them. He did not know exactly how to comfort her, and what he was about to show her, he knew, would not be easy at all for her. Strong as she might be, these crimes were enough to make anyone at all uneasy. They both were silent as Trevor drove back to the Commandery. Rebecca stared out the side window and he just watched the road. The rain was picking up even more now. It seemed like it would become a torrential downpour before they could even reach his office. Reaching the Commandery, Trevor pulled into the underground parking and stuck his hand out to the security scanner. It took only a second and the gate began to open letting them pass through it. Once inside, Trevor escorted Rebecca to his office on the ninth floor. She paused for a moment as she walked into his office and saw his wall of death. He has already told her about it, but to actually see it was a bit unnerving to her. He had spoken a lot of his investigation of the ‘OZ Killer,’ but she had never seen any of his work before this. She walked over to the wall and began to look at the photographs. They were horrendous. Bodies mutilated and torn, shot and decapitated, beaten and stabbed.
Rebecca cried out suddenly as she reached the end of the wall. Trevor looked up from his desk and quickly made his way to her side. “What is it,” he asked her. “This.” She pointed to the family that had been murdered earlier in the morning. “This is Kristin’s family. That’s Kristin, Dave, and Joey.” She began to cry. “Joey wasn’t much older than my nephew. He was just a baby.” Her tears kept her from finishing her thought, and she did not need to. Trevor understood. He held her and then moved her to his desk. Sitting her down, he handed her a tissue and waited for her to calm down just enough to talk with her more. “Rebecca. I didn’t know.” He tried to comfort her, but he knew that he was wasting his breath. “Really. I didn’t bring you here to find out like this. I had no idea who they were.” “I know. I know,” she said between sobs. She was calming down a little from the shock. “But it was just tough to see that picture like that. I mean, it’s not like we were close, but the boys played together at the Lodge. I knew them at least well enough to think of them as friends.” “Come on. Let’s get out of here and go home. I shouldn’t have brought you here in the first place. I thought maybe you would see something in the evidence that I missed. I didn’t have a clue that you would know one of the victims. Come on, baby.” He took her hand and she rose to follow him back out of his office. The short drive to his apartment was silent except for the roaring sound of the rain on the roof of the car. Rebecca was still obviously unnerved from the shock of seeing her Lodge mates dead, so brutally murdered in their own home. Trevor pulled the car into his parking slot and got out. Rebecca followed him up the stairs and into the apartment. Once inside, Trevor locked the door and pulled off his coat. Turning back around, he saw Rebecca disappear into the bathroom; her coat was already slung over the couch. He went into the bedroom and turned down the bed. It was obvious that both of them had lost interest in sex, but needed to be near each other. Rebecca returned from the bathroom. She was naked. He watched as she moved towards him and sat down next to him on the bed. She helped him out of his shirt and he stood to remove his pants. They both climbed into bed and she moved in closer to him, her back to his chest. “Trevor?” “Yeah?”
“Catch this son of a bitch. You hear me? Catch him.” “I will, baby.” The rain poured down hard against the windows of the apartment. Lightning flashed and cast shadows across the room that danced in obscene manipulations of reflection. As both of them fell into the slumber of the dead, the storm outside raged war against the building and those outside of it. In a flash that brilliantly cast the sky almost into day, a face might have been seen at the window of Trevor’s bedroom. Watching, staring at the couple, waiting to see movement, studying his prey as carefully as a reptile watches for a meal.
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