Chapter One (Last Part)
The rest of the journey to the mortuary was sat in silence, purely as Adelaide was now too embarrassed to say anything else. Even if it was more evident of how close the two of them were actually getting to one another. Even so, she didn’t say so much as a word until they landed, and were met by a middle aged dark haired woman with big brown eyes and a toothy smile, she was of a small slight build and dressed in a white lab coat.
Adelaide smiled and shook her hand.
‘Steph. I’d say it’s a pleasure to see you as always, but given the circumstances…..’
‘..Given the circumstances of the job I do, your greeting would be misplaced, but luckily my clients are dead and therefore won’t take offence from it. It's good to see you though, and I suppose the same goes for the other one who follows you around.’
Steph gave Jonathan a small frown ,turning away from the pair as she lead them to her office. Adelaide couldn’t help but snigger lightly as Schmidt looked uncomfortable as always when visiting Steph. The pathologist had a reputation for losing her temper quickly, and better known for having a grudge against Jonathan though Adelaide wasn’t really sure why. She guessed that it was because the first time she had introduced them, Schmidt had questioned Steph’s methods, calling them old fashioned and primitive. She preferred to double check everything herself first, rather then using the up to date scanners which determined cause of death more efficiently.
Adelaide could see Steph’s point, the scanners were efficient yes, but they did the job far too easily, which was far too boring. Steph was dedicated to her work and a little stubborn as well. Plus she liked to do a thorough job after someone else examined the bodies for her, and then she herself would double check over their work as well as her own.
They soon found themselves in Steph’s office, which was a pleasant experience as always. To say the least, Steph, although human, was definitely weird. Probably because not only did she have jars of pickled organs sat on her shelves, but she had photos of her most exciting cases and clients bombarding her walls, and at least 90% of those were too graphic for anyone who wasn’t used to this sort of thing. The first time Jones had seen them she hadn’t eaten anything for the rest of the day.
The holo screen set on one of the walls, was on in the background, which Adelaide dedicated her attention to for a moment.
*‘..Over the next few days, the weather may take a turn for the worse, with thunderstorms and potential heavy rain taking place. A warning has been issued that if so the air lanes will be closed until the storm passes, and everyone is recommended to stay indoors if that becomes the case. But today the sun is with us for the moment so I say get out there and enjoy yourselves….’’*
Steph switched the screen off, knotting her hands together as she sat back in her soft swivel chair.
‘I presume he briefed you, or do I have to go through everything with you?’
*He* being Lox, as it were which Jones had at wondered if he was going to be here though from the way he had looked on their brief chat he had looked scared, and if he wasn’t going to show up then that meant it really had to be bad.
‘Lox gave us light details, though we’re here to see Denise or whoever you’ve got for us. We need to find out whether there is a killer running round Jarvis - which I’m hoping there is - rather then find out the alternative, is that all the Spaceports are going to be affected like this, one by one. ‘
Steph handed Adelaide her notes tutting and wrinkling her nose, as though she disproved of why Lox wasn’t here himself.
‘I’ve already told him it’s no disease which those idiot reports are saying, though I don’t see how telling people not to panic are helping in the least. They could’ve said there were meteor showers due for the next week or so, and hope this would pass. Also if there is a murderer running round, then whether human or alien it’s nothing I’ve come across before, and I’ve come across them all.’
Jones studied the notes carefully, with Schmidt reading them over her shoulder still yet to say a word; Steph loved taunting him when he didn’t.
‘What’s pretty boy got to say if he can find his tongue at least, are you sure it’s not one of your lot behind this, wherever you’re from that is.’
Jonathan looked to her giving her a half amused look and pretending to laugh before rolling his eyes.
‘None of my lot as you call them would be capable of this, not from what I’m reading on your notes. Which as always I’m grateful you’ve detailed everything you possibly could have done, as much as you possibly could have done’ The last bit was full of sarcasm, and Steph scowled at him standing up sharpish to say something, but Adelaide interfered.
‘I really think we need to see those bodies now’
Steph was always professional at least, and therefore pushed past them both heading into the morgue. More than a few bodies were laid on the tables in the room, but Adelaide knew there were more than this number in the case involved already. Steph was no doubt comparing them to see if they had died the exact way. Her notes suggested they had, but Schmidt and Jones still had to see for themselves.
‘First up is the most recent victim, Denise Yew, in her mid- twenties 119 pounds, and 5’’4 . I had Dexter check all of the victims thrice, just to make sure he didn't overlook anything. Rosie the poor stupid girl couldn't stomach it, and left without even studying the bodies. '
The young duo shot each other another look. They often felt bad for young Dexter the medical examiner, he was more than capable of being able to diagnose the cause of death, without Steph breathing down his neck and barking orders. Rosie was the young intern, who'd only recently joined and had mostly been restricted to doing Steph's bidding. Schmidt and Jones had of course yet to work with her, that's of course if Rosie lasted in the job.
'I'm sure Dex did an excellent job as usual' Schmidt said to Steph, causing her to grunt and whip back the covers,to show them the bodies.
Adelaide’s hand flew to her mouth and nose in a horrified gasp. The smell of burnt and charred skin was nauseating. The sight itself made her want to throw up her breakfast, even with her strong stomach, she couldn't stop herself from closing her eyes and turning away for a moment.
Denise, or what was left of her, was a mess. Lox had been right to look frightened and worried, there was no other simple way to put it, but the body in front of her didn't resemble a human any more.
The skin was a light violet colour with lines snaking its way across all her body, nearly every single patch of her skin was covered in dark forked lines that stood out frightfully. The skin itself looked like it had been dead longer then it had been, as though every inch of life had been sucked from her. However that was nowhere near as bad as the sight that beheld around the eyes, or empty eye sockets as Adelaide realised. She had seen victims with eyes scratched out before, from gang fights and contract killers doing their thing. The effect however left on Denise made her stomach churn, and if she could have drawn her own eyes away from the mess left behind she would have done, and would have preferred never to look at it again. But for some reason Adelaide couldn't turn her eyes away, she wanted to keep staring at the bloody empty sockets. Blood dried from the corner of each empty hole. Tears of death. A blackened shrivelled mass lay in the centre of each socket which once had been an eye, unseeing and no longer a window to the body.
'Oh my....'' Jones didn't bother to hide her horror, this was not a time to pretend to be brave, even Steph looked uncomfortable at the sight before her and she'd already seen it.
'How many others were there exactly ?' Jonathan asked the question that played heavily on Adelaide's mind as well.Lox was going to send the full brief to Schmidt's comm-link later on with full details of each individual victim, but for now they knew the basics and had to know what they were dealing with.
'Including Denise...12 that we know of, but Lox hinted the numbers could rise if we don't find out what’s causing this. The number rose from Denise to the staff to the guests at an alarming rate. I’d gather to say if there is a killer then they’re not alone’
Jonathan gave a thoughtful look for the moment, his features creased into concern as he tapped a finger on his chin, looking deep in thought.
Adelaide tilted her head curious folding her arms as she looked to her partner 'You’re thinking of something’
Schmidt looked to her for a moment shaking his head’ Steph would be right, unless there is a species out there that could easily go from kill to kill as quickly as these murders have happened. I’ve never come across anything like it though’
After a moment or two Steph pulled the cover back over the body, looking to the duo with hope which was rare for her, showing that even she must have been worried.
'Please tell me you two have an idea what did this to her and the others?''
Jones looked to Jonathan, but both were forced to admit defeat and shake their heads. Steph looked scared just for a brief moment, but Jonathan had seen and that caused her next outburst.
'Then what is the point in you two !'
Adelaide stepped in knowing it wouldn't help for them to start arguing now, if something lethal was attacking civilians then they had to stop it as soon as possible.
'We once had a case where the killer took out the eyes of his victims, believing that the orbs would tell us and the cops the last sight they had seen. Afraid the last thing they saw would have been the killer themselves standing over them. Another case where a maniac would shock his victims to the point of death, bring them back to life, repeat the process until the victim died. It could just be someone eccentric, and with these type of people they always slip up sooner than later''
The pathologist looked to her with a cold hard look of steel 'And what if it turns out to be something worse? The start to a new war, or a virus to wipe all of us out. A dangerous race planning on taking over Earth'
'This will give us a head start, be something to look out for and plus we'll let you keep in contact with Lox update him if anything else transpires …'
Steph glared to Adelaide as though that answer wasn't good enough 'Admit it you don't know what we're facing, any more then you know where to begin to look'
That was when Jonathan stepped back in, he had that look on his face that Adelaide couldn't help but always admire.
'Oh come now dear Stephanie, don't judge us so quickly, we know exactly where we have to go, and that's where this took place.. Jarvis III'
*“How close are they to Jarvisssss?*” The harsh reptilian voice whispered into the cowering man’s ear, claws wrapped round his throat as the poor man’s eyes bulged his face turning red as he tried to choke out some words.
“T-th….’ The green skinned alien released the males throat for a moment, as the man fought for breath before carrying on ‘They d-don’t know much. Th-they've only been briefed by Lox an hour or so ago. I'm told they went to go look at the bodies first....”
The reptile hissed swiping out at the man in rage, so he fell to the floor clutching the wound to his face as his body shook in multiple tremors.
*“Damn that oaf Lox…they can’t be allowed to get to Jarvisssss. Ka see that the duo never make it there…make it look like an accident*” He snarled as a figure from behind nodded and departed silently, before the lizard looked back down to the quivering male
*“What to do with you now then”*
“P-please….let me go, that’s all I know, I don’t know anything else…please” The man raised his hands trying to cover his face, as the lizard approached leaning down to cover the man with his foul breath. His teeth bore for a moment as he raised his claws.
*“What use is a grasss to me, if I let you go you might tell Lox about me. Plus you were expendable*” He snarled slicing the man’s throat before he could register his grim fate.
Pleased with himself the lizard walked back to his desk, staring at the holographic pictures of the two people he wanted to see dead more than anything else in the universe. *“Well well, Schmidt and Jones...it looks like you won’t be bothering me for long*” His eyes blared red before he chuckled deeply, a cold and evil laugh that echoed off the dark walls.
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