Disclaimer: In Time does not belong to me.
It was raining.
That was the first thing he noticed when he stepped out of his car, and walked towards the crime scene. The cold droplets fell down from the sky, soaking Timekeeper Raymond Leon through to the bone. It was the type of rain that went straight through you, plastering his clothes to his skin, and seeping into his boots. He shuddered slightly, trying to push the coldness from his mind.
He looked at his clock. 0000:00:0:09:34:10. He had plenty of time to deal with this incident before getting back to his apartment to sleep for a few hours before starting the new day. It was half eleven now and he hadn't clocked off his shift for nearly thirteen hours. He was only glad that he would get paid some overtime for this happenstance.
Leon pulled his coat closer to him. It didn't help one bit, but he pretended that it gave him some measure of warmth. It hadn't rained like this for some months now. It just had to be today that the weather would defy logic. It had been bright and sunny only a week before. Now it just felt like midwinter.
"What do we have?" he asked Timekeeper Korsqq as he slipped under the red tape that they still used and stood over the body lying on the ground. He refused to let his countenance change at the sight of the dead woman, "Why were we called out? Surely this is a matter for the local authorities. We are in Dayton after all. Murder is common here,"
"We don't know her name, sir," Korsqq replied, looking at the body with something that Leon would describe as revolted fascination. Even Leon had to admit to himself that the way that the body had been treated was something...different, "But the clothes that she's wearing look like they would stand out in a place like Dayton. Her throat is cut and it looks like there is extensive torture to the upper body,"
Timekeeper Korsqq was right in stating that the woman didn't look like she belonged in Dayton. Leon could spot several pieces of jewellery that the woman wore, which looked relatively expensive. The manner in which the woman had been killed was...disturbing to say the least. Deep grooves were carved into the woman's arms and upper torso, her clothes ripped and torn. The rain had swept away most of the blood but Leon could still see several stains on the concrete. It was unusual to see this level of detail in a murder victim, but not necessarily one that would bring the Timekeepers into the equation.
"Apart from the torture, it sounds like it's just another murder in the ghetto, Korsqq," Leon shrugged, chewing on a piece of gum, "What makes this murder important to the Timekeepers?"
"Because of her clock," Leon turned to look at Medical Examiner Peters. The 75 year old man was walking towards him with bloodstained plastic gloves. A twisted scar marred his face from a severe accident that had happened nearly 25 years ago. Despite the disfigurement, the man was still considered to be quite handsome amongst the female Timekeepers.
"Have you noticed her clock?" the man pressed and bent down to move the dead woman's arm into view, "Can you see it? 0000:00:0:00:14:01," Leon inspected the faded numbers, "Why would anyone leave numbers on someone in the ghetto, they steal for time. Every minute counts in this time zone,"
"Fourteen minutes left therefore not murdered for her time," Leon nodded, "Tortured and killed in Dayton yet clearly she did not live here," he stopped suddenly, a faint memory trickling through his mind. He roughly shoved it aside. He was not going to dwell on that, "You examined the body then?"
"Yes, I was the first examiner on the scene," Peters straightened up, looking at the other man carefully, "She's been dead for about seven hours, so she was murdered at approximately 1630 hours. She shows signs of a struggle, there are one or two broken fingernails, no sexual assault either. Our murderer wasn't interested in that route," the man looked troubled, placing one hand to his mouth, "Deep cuts to the torso and upper arms. Straight lines only, none that were curved,"
"Anything else, Peters?"
Just one more thing," the British man held up an evidence bag, "It might not look like much but I found this lying by the body when I was inspecting it," he handed it over and Leon took the small bag, holding it up to the streetlamp that was blazing above them, "It might just be a coincidence,"
"A red petal?" Leon inquired, handing back the small bag, "Yes, it might just be a coincidence,"
"You don't believe that?"
"No," Leon's voice was sharp in tone and he closed his eyes tightly before looking at the mutilated woman, "No, I don't believe that. Extensive torture with straight lines only, fourteen minutes left on the victim's clock, and a red petal left by the side of the body. Of course I don't believe it's a coincidence. But I also know that what you are suggesting is impossible," he thrust his hands deep into his pockets, "We'll investigate all routes before we turn to that line of inquiry," he looked up at the still pouring sky, "And get the body back to Headquarters, we're starting to attract attention,"
He turned away from Peters walking back to his car. He needed to sleep. Korsqq fell into line next to him, "What would you like us to do now, sir?"
"Clock off and get some sleep," Leon told him, "Be at Headquarters at 0600, where we'll start the initial inquiries. There's no point starting now. We'll start when we're fully awake," the white haired Timekeeper nodded silently before going to his own car. The rain hadn't eased off its battle since Leon had gotten out of his car.
Leon looked around the darkened street, not liking the cold creeping feeling that ran up and down his neck as he stood next to his car. He disliked the unnaturalness of the silence; even the examiners that were moving the body seemed to be making hardly any noise. He felt like there was someone watching him, but as he calmly surveyed the area, there was no one that he could see.
He sighed slightly before sitting in the car, picking up the radio, "This is Timekeeper Leon, clocking off duty at 2330," he spoke into it and was met with nothing but static. He closed his eyes in slight frustration, and tried again, "Dispatch this is Timekeeper Leon, please respond," Still there was nothing, "Dispatch..." He stopped short, the horrible sense of coincidence trickling through his mind. Everything else had been so similar to her what would make this different? "What do you want?" he spoke lowly into the radio.
"Tick tock goes the clock," a voice crackled through the speaker, soft and female, "And what now shall we play?" Leon picked up his personal radio, only to hear the same voice coming through, "Tick tock goes the clock. Now the summer's gone away?" A laugh was heard, "Time is ticking down, one second at a time and you still think that this is a coincidence? Am I making it too difficult or...do you not want to see me?" Leon closed his eyes, "You are a Timekeeper and yet you cannot bring yourself to see the one who has time left to play this game. I'm getting bored. Tick tock, goes the clock. And all the years they fly. Tick tock, and all too soon. You and I must die,"
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