Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rue: The Shattering Part 4


Captain Pieprzak was yelling. I wasn’t listening. I was still reading the case file he was raving about taking away from me. He had said something earlier about taking my badge as well after infuriating the E.F. and the Revolver Saint’s owner, Falci. I was rereading my notes, reading about the old victims, reading about how forty young women, thirty-nine of them prostitutes, had been tortured to death. I was reading their pain, their inexperience at the world’s oldest, dirtiest profession. I was reading about how all of them that had turned to prostitution had done so within three months before their death. Most importantly of all, I was reading about how the corpse on the floor of Kari Ellington’s apartment wasn’t some random john that had scooped her up for a nice night of joint shattering. Instead, I was reading about how he had been found about to deposit the traditional semen all of her corpse, how the Revolver Saint put three bullet holes in him, and how no one yet knew his identity.

Two things bothered me about that. See, there were five holes in him. Not too much of a difference, right? Just semantics to keep the public at large from knowing that most of his chest was mush. The other bit was wrong too, the bit about no one knowing his identity. I already did. Before bothering to report back here like Pieprzak had demanded, I had placed a phone call to Stryx and asked the dragon to troll the E.F.’s files on our killing spree.

The john’s name had been Marcus Krieger. He was a youth minister with the Church of the Hallowed Light. Not even the Revolver Saint knew who he was according to the report. Never would either, the way things were going. You see, there was a $100,000 deposit in E.F.’s accounts three days before every killing straight from the church. Only one death had been an exception: Rei Hamasaki. Even better though, was the report on her death. E.F. had found her killer, DNA and all, broken the same was she had been, less than three days after her death. They both had been buried in The Kemmler Cemetary less than two blocks away from the Church of Hallowed Light’s largest cathedral.

I stood, tore open a pack of ProTabs and gulped them down. Captain Pieprzak was still yelling. He had gotten louder.

I turned and left.

“Where the hell are you going Rue?”

“I’m off to catch a killer before the Revolver Saint does it by process of elimination.”

“You’re off the case Rue!”

“Can’t hear you Captain.”

He was screaming as I headed outside.

“You get in the Saint’s way one more time, I’ll have your badge, and E.F.’ll have your nuts in a jar!”

I slammed the door behind and cut off his shrill squalling. I hopped into my car and sped off.

“Morgan, where are you going?”

“Kemmler Cemetary.”

“What for?”

“There are some corpses there that are holding on to our answers Amy.”

“What do you mean?”

“I have a hunch that in that cemetery are all the corpses of every single murderer.”

“The murderers are all dead?”

“I think so. I don’t think this is really about hate crimes against women. I think this is someone’s twisted plan to get revenge against their own killer and to recruit others to believe like them.”

“Then who’s behind it? You think the E.F.’s up to something?”

“Nope, The Church of the Hallowed Light is. What’s more, I think Ms. Hamasaki’s the one behind all of this.”

“She’s dead honey.”

“Has been. She was when she killed her boyfriend. I told you I had Stryx pull the E.F. files?”


“It was her lover that was the second one broken. He was monster of a guy. Way bigger than me. Reports were baffled as to how he was held in place. After the wall fell, he had changed. His muscle mass grew out of control. Her boyfriend was big enough to crush someone’s joints with just his hands.

She died in agony and her ghost did what all the others did; it went mad. It didn’t stay mad though. Not completely. It pulled together enough sense to track him down and kill him the way he killed her.”

“That’s almost impossible Morgan. That would require a phenomenal amount of willpower to accomplish.”

“I still think she did it. What the connection is with the church yet, I’m not sure. I think they either got him to kill her in the first place, or they tried to assist her ghost. I don’t know which just yet.”

I slowed the car as I hung a right onto a small plot of land. A cracked, stone, wall surrounded the cemetery, its wrought iron gate swaying slightly in the breeze. Single level cemeteries were rare these days. You either got cremated or stuck in a box in a wall in a nameless corner of a nameless building. Dirt cemeteries were worth more than some of the arcologies.

This one was only half full.

“Amy, go home. Get dinner started.”

“Are you scared honey?”


“So am I.”

I nodded and climbed out of the car. She vanished just like I had asked. Good girl. Whatever was here, it was like Yoku. It wanted more souls, more ghosts.

I walked into the yard, graves surrounding the driveway on all sides. The grass was green and well tended. It was then that I noticed. There was no office. There was no groundskeeper’s shed. There were just graves with nameless tombstones. Only the single image of an alert rabbit was carved into each and every one of them. I turned around and started back for the car.

The ground gave way beneath me and I fell. When I hit the ground, I wasn’t sure where I was. I could smell fresh dirt and cut grass. I could smell… fur.

I blinked and tried to see but it was too dark, even with the beam of light from my hole above. The place where I had fallen through slowly started to seal itself over as I watched.

“Welcome Alice.”

I strained my eyes. Still nothing. I could hear though. I could hear feet thumping, noses twitching.

“Welcome to my rabbit hole Alice. I am Usagi Shiroi. I am Usagi Kuroi.”

“What business do you have with me, oh rabbit of death? I am not from Watership Down, nor am I from Wonderland. Or perhaps I am in Wonderland?”

“You will wonder, I am sure. But we are late, we are late, for our very important date.”

I struggled to my feet, still trying in vain to see.

“Welcome to my Warren, Mr. Chadwick. You aren’t going anywhere.”

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