There is Character death, Animal/Pet death, and Crime scene gore in this chapter!
If you don't wish to read it, feel free to SKIP this chapter.
Seriously, feel free. I won't be offended.
You could smell the blood before you saw it. John noticed it as soon as he walked through the door. The scent was everywhere. Sherlock's eyes went wide as he noticed as well, the familiar zing of danger raced down both of their spines.
This isn't right, This isn't right at all. We're not at a hospital. Not on a battlefield. There isn't enough blood in one human body to make THAT potent of a scent... What in the dickens is going on? John thought. Didn't the officer say that only the resident, Miss Figg, was murdered? Where is the smell of all that blood coming from?
"John, get on your gown, QUICKLY..." Sherlock ordered as he peered greedily into the deeper part of the house. He was desperate to get in, and for some reason, John thought that his partner seemed... Angrier then normal. A bit Angrier then the human calculating machine seemed on a normal day, at least. He made a note to check in on the sudden change in his flatmate later as he obliged the order he was given. He snatched two of the blue bundles of paper-thin fabric. The crime scene crew had them at the ready. He slipped them over his clothes in the blink of an eye. First the suit itself, then the shoe covers. Once John was sure he wasn't going to contaminate the scene, they headed towards the living room. Sherlock leading while not wearing any crime scene gear at all... Per usual.
They walked down the hall and past the kitchen door; There was nothing of note in those rooms. It was only after entering the living room that John and Sherlock froze. John from shock, Sherlock as he started to copy in the entire crime scene into his mind palace. It was horrible, to be sure... But horrible wasn't the only word that John would use to describe it. He would gladly add disgusting, offensive, and brutal as well.
The upper part of the late Arabella Figg's body was laying flat on the living room tea-table. Her legs and feet folded under it. Chest-down on the table with her neck sickly twisted to the right with a metal chain wrapped tightly around it. Her eyes wide and vacant. It was almost as if she was sitting a Japanese tea and had passed away, falling forward on the table. That would have been a more pleasant end than the one she actually faced. Both of her arms tied, far to tight behind her back in a way that must have been horribly uncomfortable. Countless bruises, red rashes, and friction burns showed from where she struggled. Her lower legs were also tied and welted in the same way. Ties that would not allow her to sit up, let alone walk.
John wasn't a crime scene expert. But even he could tell by the way both of the ropes were tied that they were knotted by the same unsub. This Figg person was there, alive for some time before being murdered. Enough time to struggle and rub herself raw against the ropes.
At the end of the table where Figg's body lay was the second part of the crime scene. Something that made John even sicker and more disgusted than he already was. Because at the end of the table were two piles of dead cats. One to the left of the table, the other to the right. Tossed carelessly one on top of the other, until it made two formless mounds of fur, legs, and blood.
That's where all the smell of blood came from... The bastard killed the cats. He killed ALL the cats!
That was as far as John's thoughts got before they dissolved. Becoming nothing but a series of curses, fury, and images of bashing in an unknown person's face. John gave Sherlock a look that spoke volumes. He wanted this sicko CAUGHT. Quick. Sherlock gave a quick nod back to signal he understood. He then moved forward and looked around the scene at different angles.
He had entered what John called his 'crime scene mode.' John went completely still and silent as Sherlock did his evaluation. As did Lestrade and Dimmock who watched from the living room door. They entered the house not long after them. The two worked with Sherlock long enough now to know the drill. The other forensic techs were checking the other rooms in the house; so it was only them and the lead on the case. The investigator that had been arguing with Sherlock since they had gotten here.
Sherlock took in the entire room. From the table to the top of the walls and every inch of the floor. John couldn't take his eyes off those poor cats.
It wasn't just sick, it was disturbing. The murderer was more demented then John had first assumed... And that was saying a lot because he had given the bloke a fair bit of leeway in his assumptions. He had always loved animals. Dogs mainly, But cats were on his favorite list as well. They were loyal, sweet, and if treated well, constant companions. He had even treated a few of the service animals in Iraq on base because there weren't many vets around. One army dog has just as much right to treatment as another, right? He had joked. But now John couldn't help but feel insulted by the man's actions.
If he got a chance, he going to slug or plug the bastard himself. Police or no police.
"BREATHE, John.. You won't be any use to any of us if you don't BREATHE." Sherlock suddenly ordered.
John looked back to his partner and took in a breath he hadn't known he was holding. He then noticed that his blood pressure was also quite high His face was turning red and his clenched knuckles were bone white.
Crap. I almost slipped into one of his rages, didn't I? John shook his head and righted himself.
Sherlock gave him another silent look that asked 'Are you alright now?' John answered with a nod. 'Thanks for that, and yes, I'm good.' He then turned his mind back to the crime scene before him.
Dimmock and Lestrade watched with curious eyes, wondering about their silent exchange was about this time. The Chief and two other officers at the door still watching intently.
"John, if you would, please," Sherlock said, motioning to the body. John nodded and walked over, starting his one-on-one examination of Miss. Figg and her cats.
"Female; late 40s to 50. Thin frame with a lack of muscle. Time of death was an hour to an hour and a half ago. She was tied up before she was murdered; you can tell by the struggle marks that she didn't go down willingly. There are traces of duct tape around her mouth AND her jaw, however... A bit of overkill, but it would have made it impossible for her to scream out." John then took a closer look at her neck and nodded to himself. He didn't move or touch the chain, though.
"Cause of death was strangulation with the chain. After he removed the tape, though..." Sherlock nodded an affirmative as the lead scoffed and snickered. But John pleased to note that Dimmock and one of the Surrey officers were taking notes. John got himself up and moved over to next part of the crime scene; the two piles on the other side of the table... Two sickly looking piles of fur and blood that was already drying, but still seeping. John suppressed his rage and looked at the poor pets.
"Ten cats, at least, in each pile... hard to tell. All killed by cutting wounds, more than likely with a knife. Looks like the first one was killed..." John trailed off as he looked at the smallest corpse nearest the bottom of the pile.
He turned to ask one of the crime scene techs for a pair of gloves. Sherlock was already striding the last two steps to him. He handed John a pair of gloves himself with a lazy flick of his wrist. John took them with a nod as a thank you. He placed the gloves in his hands, before touching and looking over a stiff paw. He then froze as a sick realization hit him.
"Oh, bloody hell..." John cursed as he turned and gave Sherlock another significant look. Sherlock just nodded back solemnly as he took a few steps back, crossing his arms behind him.
"Mind letting us in? This is OUR case after all!" The fat blob snarled at both Sherlock and John this time.
"Do they do that a lot?" A female officer chimed from the other side of the hallway. Dimmock turned to her with a blink.
"You mean that 'Whole-conversations-with-a-look' thing?... Yes, actually, they've made a habit of it." Dimmick answered.
"Kind of creepy if you ask me..." Lestrade commented under his breath as another officer chuckled.
"CAN-WE-GET-BACK-TO-THE-CASE?!" The investigator yelled, his face starting to twist in rage. Sherlock and John both leveled steel-like glares at him at the same time, and the fool quickly went both silent and pale. The nerve of this bloke! John thought darkly. First, it was no, now it's hurry the hell up?!.. Honestly.
"The first cat was murdered two hours ago," John stated as he his hawk eye fixed on the lead. The gasps from behind him from the other officers let him know the meaning of his words was understood.
"Yes, John; a completely correct examination... But lacking in other important details. Allow me." Sherlock stated as he started flitting about the room, from place to place. Pulling in everyone's attention as he started his assessment of the crime scene and the murder itself.
"Poor Miss. Figg here had let her attacker in the house by way of the front door; likely because she was familiar with him, more than likely because he had asked. She walked him further into the house, not suspecting a thing. He attacked her soon after they entering the living room, here, taking her completely by surprise..." Sherlock motioned to a slightly rumpled part of the rug under Lestrade's feet. Lestrade instantly reacted by jumping back as if they were playing a game of hot lava.
"He quickly overpowered her, then bound and gagged her to assure she would be unable to run or call for help. He sat her at the end of the table, here." Sherlock said as pointed to the spot where Miss Figg's body lay.
"The table, after all, was a good place as any for his 'Show'..." Sherlock growled, distaste showing clearly in his voice. "He started by gathering up her cats. Then he killed them one by one, another after another right in front of her. She was forced to watch him murder them time and time again until all of her pets were gone. After he was done with them he then un-gagged her and strangled her to death with the chain... He then retrieved the duct tape, knife, and gloves he had brought with him and took them as he left. A clever move to cover his tracks."
"If he was trying to be clever in covering his tracks, then why did he leave the CHAIN behind, HUM!?" the investigator snapped. Apparently getting more and more insulted that every word that Sherlock said was accurate. Even down the missing Duck tape, weapon and gloves.
"Because he left the chain behind as Message. And a message can't very well be read if it isn't delivered, now, can it?" Sherlock said as if he was talking to a kindergarten class.
"A Message?" The officer at the door said again, sounding confused. "The chain... is a message?"
"Is everyone in this room beside John and I an idiot?!" Sherlock snapped. "Of course it's a message, what else would it be?!"
"I don't know.. The murder weapon?" Lestrade chipped in with a bite. Sherlock turned and looked at him with an exasperated sigh.
"Yes... And there within lies the message." Everyone in the room looked at him blankly and went silent, The only sounds were the footfalls and cameras of the CS techs in the other rooms of the house. Sherlock groaned in exasperation.
"Oh, all these silly little empty minds... What a waste. John, take a closer look at Miss. Figg's neck then tells everyone else in the room what the murderer is trying to tell us... I think I've had my fill of idiocy for the day."
John rolled his eyes as he felt all others turn and glare angrily at the consulting detective. He walked back over to the body of Miss. Figg and sent a silent apology to her spirit as he moved a length of chain to expose her neck, being careful to only use his gloved hand.
"Pale neck, swollen, with Rigg- oh bloody fucking hell." John snapped, as he quickly put the chain down and removed his glove. "It's him. That low-down piece of crap! It's the same person. It's a serial killer. He's taunting us, Bragging, even!"
"As well as taking full credit for all the murders at the same time, John, don't forget that detail." Sherlock chimed in.
"What?" The female officer said, looking back and forth. "How... How in the hell did you get that from a Chain?!"
Lestrade didn't even bother with questioning Sherlock and John's statements. He just grabbed his cell and walked out to start making calls.
"The First Victim? Vossler? The one struggled outside the bar? What did you find on his body... More to the point, Around his neck?.." Sherlock asked the officer, tracing his own neck with both his pointer fingers. She quickly turned a few pages back in her notebook. She looked down the pages of her own writing, before looking back up.
"A... Weird pattern? Bruises, all around his neck." The female officer answered weakly. Sherlock nodded. He then pointed to the exposed, battered neck of Miss. Figg.
"Yes, Now tell me, Officer Forest... Does this look like a 'Weird bruise pattern' to you?"
All eyes turned to the body. And after just a quick moment of observing the imprint left by the chain, all the officers were shocked into silence. The marks left from the imprint of the chain around Miss. Figg's neck was the same pattern that was found around the neck of Mr. Vossler... The EXACT same.
The chain wasn't just the murder weapon that killed Figg, It was also the murder weapon that killed Mr. Vossler.
"And assuming that the police were withholding information on the murder of young Mr. Piers from the press, specifically that he was also beaten with a chain during his attack, I'm sure we can all see where this is leading..."
"Three kills; one murderer. That's his message. He wants us to know this was his work all along. It was him, and ONLY him, this entire time." Sherlock finished as he went over to the lead DI, and glared at him right in his face.
"Maybe next time, you'll know well enough to give us the information as it's needed... Keeping the chain away from the press may have been a smart move in the short-term, but next time, whatever you withhold could end up being Disastrous... Especially since things have just become marginally worse.."
"Worse? How?" Dimmock demanded, his ears perking up at those last words.
"Because, Detective Dimmock, He's isn't just murdering people anymore. Now he's torturing them." Dimmock and the lead both went silent on that statement. Sherlock didn't bother to try to carry on the conversation anymore. He pulled up his collar, adjusted his jacket, and turned heel out the door.
"Now, if you excuse me. I have quick matter to attend to, and a killer to catch."
A fuming and furious John Watson right behind his heels, looking even more amped than his cohort to begin hunting again.
"So?" John asked as he kept step with Sherlock. "What's out next move? What do we do now?"
"Found your second wind, John?.." Sherlock commented with a smirk as they made their way down the small hallway of the house.
"Forget winds, Sherlock, I want to find this serial killer. I want him found, and I want him gone... Quickly."
"As you wish. First; we need to find out how the number 4 is connected to these murders. Then we find the killer." Sherlock said with a smile, remembering the number that Wizkid had signaled to him before disappearing. He had known that the number had something, however remote, to do with this case. He knew that his apprentice would not lead him astray on this.
"The Number four?... How is the number 4 connected to all of this?" John looked at Sherlock very confused as they walked out the front door together, and out onto the street.
"I don't know, John. Not yet, at least... But I can't wait to find out."
End of Chapter. Sorry for those who were offended, but I did put in a warning at the beginning! This was a very hard chapter for me to write because I love cats. All pets really... But it had to be done. I did some research and read a few good books on crime scenes and such before typing this up as well, so I hope I did justice to the CSI profession.