Posted in 1K Serials

1K Serials: Legacy Of Death, Ch. 5



By Richard Paolinelli





Owens was already sitting in Kiner’s office when the two Inspectors entered the room.

“Bad news travels fast,” Bolton said as he saw Lisa.

“Doubly so in an election year,” she replied. “The boss wants an update, so here I am. What can you tell me?”

“It’s definitely our guy’s handiwork, even though he didn’t desecrate the body like he did the earlier two,” Bolton said. “I think those were done to make sure he got our attention, which he has and he damn well knows it.

“There’s a connection between these killings and the comet, no doubt about it,” Bolton continued. “Remember the ‘cleansing the world’ message he left behind? Centuries ago, a comet was seen as something that brought a change to the world, usually something bad or evil. Our killer could see the comet as a tool to clean up the world of all its evils and these killings are a part of that process. In his mind he his carrying out an ordained task.”

“Are you saying he’s some kind of religious nut job,” Kiner barked.

“No, there’s no organized religion behind this,” Bolton said. “But there are some old world religious overtones to it.”

“But if he’s out to clean away evil, why has he killed a nurse, a teacher and a run of the mill housewife?” Foster asked. “Shouldn’t he be out trolling the low-rent districts, killing druggies or hookers to ‘clean up the world’?”

“These women have been laid out on sacrificial altars,” Bolton replied. “You don’t offer up the dregs to your god, your offer up the best, the most pure of your flock or your harvest.”

“I don’t know Mac,” Kiner said. “There’s not a lot of meat to that theory. What do you think Counselor?”

Owens, who had been sitting quietly throughout the discussion, jolted upright as if she had been lost in thought. Bolton had never seen her look flustered like this before.

“I’m not sure, Chief,” she said offhandedly. “It’s certainly plausible and it does fit most of what we know so far. But without more evidence, who can say for sure.

“I’ll pass it along to the boss,” she said, suddenly standing up. “In the meantime, I suggest you double your efforts to catch this killer before he strikes again.”

Before Owens could reach the door, Foster spoke up.

“There’s one more thing, Mac thinks the killer may be in law enforcement.”

Owens spun around quickly to face Bolton.

“What makes you say that Inspector?” she asked.

“It’s just a feeling,” Bolton replied, “and I know it isn’t proof. But this guy has left behind three pristine crime scenes that haven’t produced one scrap of evidence that we could use to find him, much less prosecute him. No one is that lucky. It has to be someone with working knowledge of crime scene investigations. It has to be a cop, or an ex-cop or a criminalist.”

“Do you have any proof Mac?” Kiner asked quietly.

“If I did, then I’d have a better idea of who it is,” Bolton answered.

“Then for now, that information stays in this room,” Kiner said. “Until you have more than just a feeling to go on, understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Bolton said, adding, “There’s just one more thing.”

“What is that?”

“We’ve only got about ten days to find this guy. After that, the comet is no longer visible on Earth to the naked eye and I think that’s when this guy’s ‘mission’ will be done. If he doesn’t make a mistake by then and we haven’t caught him, we never will.”

“Then I suggest the two of you get out there and find this guy,” Kiner said. “Ms. Owens, if you would relate of all this to the D.A. as well as my assurance that we will do everything in our power to put a stop to these killings, I would appreciate it.”

Owens nodded and quickly left, with Foster and Bolton right behind. But before Bolton could close the door, he heard Kiner beckoning him back.

“Mac,” the old cop asked. “How sure are you about this theory of yours?”

Bolton looked down at the floor for a second before raising his eyes to meet Kiner’s without saying a word.

“Shit,” Kiner swore softly. “I was afraid of that. Get him Mac, but does lose yourself along the way, you hear?”

“Yes sir,” Bolton said, swinging the door shut as he left the room again. Both men knew it was the Parker case all over again and both men feared it might even be worse this time around.

Kiner had been partner’s with Mac’s father, had been a rabbi to Mac when he first started on the job and thought of Mac as the son he’d never had. As the Chief of Inspectors, Kiner was damned glad Mac was on this case. As a friend of the family, he was filled with dread that Mac was on this case. Kiner picked up his desk phone and punched one of the few buttons he actually knew the function for on the damn thing.

“Sally,” he spoke into the phone when his secretary answered. “Get Nick Bolton on the line for me, please.”

* * * * *

“Hey Lisa, wait up,” Bolton called out as he hurried to catch up with Owens in the parking garage. “You okay?”

“Yeah Mac,” she said, hugging her shoulders. “This is just a tough case and that it could be one of us makes it that much harder. How sure are you that it is?”

“Right now, it’s more a feeling than anything else,” Bolton replied. “I could be wrong but I don’t think so. This guy has been too good all three times not to have been connected to the job somehow.”

“Alright,” Owens said after a few moments silence. “Then we both have work to do then. You catch him, I’ll put him away for good.”

“Maybe after that we’ll have some time for us again,” Bolton said, gently laying a hand on her cheek.

“I’d like that,” she said, quickly leaning forward, her lips gently brushing his, before she turned away and got into her car. “I’ll see you later Mac.”

Bolton watched her drive away before turning to head back upstairs and to the horror that he feared was only just beginning.


*     *     *     *     *

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