CASE #1 – The Executioner
File: #01 – Off With His Head
The photographers and police were already on the scene, blocking it off from civilian viewing. The dark street was blocked off in an octagon shape with yellow tape all around. Some of the forensics folks were down there already, and the only witness was being tended to in a nearby ambulance.
As Stryker and Jill pulled up, Kurt narrowed his eyes. "Pretty sure you're going to need this." Kurt popped open his glove compartment and reached into the stack of handheld notebooks just over his 9mm pistol inside. He handed Jill a blue covered notepad while keeping his eyes on the scene outside the car. "Grab a pencil in there, too. Pen, whatever."
Jill accepted the notepad and reached along the inside of the compartment to fetch a mechanical pencil. "Thanks?" She looked slightly confused.
"Old school detective work. Keep notes, don't trust your memory." Kurt started to open the door on his side as soon as his baseball cap was turned backward on his head. Once he emerged, he flashed his badge to one of the approaching officers.
"Detective Kurtis Stryker. This is my partner, Jill Valentine." He introduced them as the female detective offered her hand for Kurt to shake.
"Kathy Moto." She nodded to Kurt, then went to shake Jill's hand once she came around. "My men have the time of death clocked. It's a crisp and clean decapitation. Some kind of razor sharp blade."
Kurt examined the scene from afar while folding his arms. "Watch out, Luke…the Sith are in town." He said under his breath, before looking back to Kathy. "Where's the witness?"
"He's right over there in the ambulance. He's a really shaken up, so try to be brief." Kathy started to lead them beyond the yellow taping after ducking under it. "Let's see what you make out of this, detective."
Kurt looked to Jill, and then gave her a pat on the shoulder. He went under the taping first, and then she followed. While trailing behind Kathy, he and Jill whispered to each other.
Jill started it off. "The Sith are in town?"
"Someone's been decapitated." Kurt explained. "No regular knife could do that so clean. Not saying it's a light saber, but it might be a machete or something bigger."
"Good assumption, Hoss." Jill scoffed. "Isn't the first rule of detective work to never assume anything before you see evidence?"
"It's gut instinct. Sherlock Holmes had it." He motioned his hand toward the ambulance. "The witness is all yours, Cupid. Knock 'em out."
Jill parted ways with Stryker, and once out of earshot she muttered to herself. "Sherlock was high on coke. You're just full of crap." She cleared her throat while coming near the seated witness on the back of the ambulance. Jill flashed her badge to gain access to her witness. "Hi, I'm detective Valentine. I'd like to ask you a few questions about what transpired here. What's your name?"
The young man was shaking. He was hugging his arms and looking down at the ground. He had a towel wrapped around his shoulders and one shoe of his was missing. "Brian Talbert." He finally said in his trembling voice.
"Rough night, huh?"
"Y-you can say that…"
"I want to let you know we're going to get whoever did this. What was your relationship with the victim?"
Brian barely looked over to Jill. "He…he was my…." His eyes looked back to the ground, then back over to Jill. "He was my friend."
Jill picked up on some deception there, but left it alone for the time being. "What was your friend's name?"
Jill started to take notes, but squinted while she wiggled the pencil between her fingers. "What were you and Mr. Cohen doing out here tonight?"
"Look," Brian looked to Jill now, with his eyes full of fear. "I know you're not going to believe me. None of them did," He looked to the paramedics nearby, and the other officers. "This…creature. It bit Will. It bit him then it took his head off when he ran away!"
Jill's heart pounded. She stopped wiggling the pencil and squeezed it firmly. "…I believe you." She started to fear this was Racoon City all over again. "This creature, did it bite you? What did it look like? Where did it go?"
Brian looked back down to the ground. "It didn't bite me. I ran away, and it just wanted him, I-I think. Oh god…" He palmed his forehead and began raking his nails against his hairline. "Oh god…what if it comes after me next…?!"
"We'll protect you," Jill stated calmly. "Can you give me a description of the attacker?"
"You can't protect me…you can't! It'll kill you!"
The paramedics started to look to Jill as they got closer. They had to relax the victim and get him some help after all.
Jill had to make a judgment call. She had to either press her questions on, or just go on and let this person relax more.
After a second of consideration, she took a step back. "No further questions at this time. We'll be in touch, Brain. Sorry for your loss."
The man had no further words to say as the paramedics took care of him and helped him fully inside the ambulance. As the doors shut, Jill looked down to her notepad to review what few notes she had. She had a very, very bad feeling about this…
Division - #01: The Victim
This job never got any easier, even for someone who was used to handling chaos and death on the streets. Stryker placed his fingers in his pockets as he moved closer toward the covered up body of the headless victim. There was signs of blood spray several meters away from the body, and another sheet where the head was left. He squint his eyes at the bloody sheet in distaste for the brutal murder. There were numbered markers by each piece of evidence or curious items at the crime scene.
First thing was first, Stryker went to a knee to take a look under the sheet. "Alright, what've we got, Kathy? Clean decapitation – hand me some gloves or somethin' will you? Kid, kid!" He snapped his fingers as one of the nearby members of Kathy's team came and delivered some gloves to fit over Kurt's large hands. "Alright, get outta here." He shooed him away immediately while Kathy spoke.
"Clean cut, as I said." Kathy watched Kurtis as if she were to evaluate his work for some sort of test.
As Kurtis lifted the sheet, he bit down on his tongue to brace himself for the gruesome visual. He saw where the head was severed…, the victim was completely bled out and laying chest down. However, he noticed something else along the back of their shirt. There were several puncture wounds around the shoulder area. "What's this?" Kurt pointed out the dozens of deep punctures that went in a circular formation. It looked like the victim was stabbed repeatedly in tight patterns. He noticed a bit of a consistency difference in the upper punctures and the lower…the blade curved inward.
Stryker looked to Kathy for her answer, but she was silent the whole time.
Kurt had to speak instead. "You think someone slapped a bear trap over his shoulder and took his head off?"
Kathy clearly thought it was a dumb idea, but she started to crouch down next to Stryker. "…The report says…multiple stab wounds." She didn't want to look at the puncture wounds because it would remind her of what she thought it was. Something she couldn't believe. "I believe the attacker may have stabbed the body after the fact."
"Stab wounds, huh?" Stryker didn't buy it. "Hell of a knife. They were trying to carve a chunk of shoulder out of this guy. What's the victim's name again?"
"Cohen. William Cohen." Kathy placed her hand at Stryker's shoulder and stood again.
The name initiated a memory in Stryker's mind. "…Cohen? One of them worked close with Mikami…" He recalled the file he was reading before his new partner got assigned to him. At least the information he read and wrote stuck. However, Kathy was out of earshot and didn't hear anything he had to say.
Stryker put the sheet back over the body and licked his bottom lip. There might have been a deeper connection in all of this. Maybe someone was knocking off individuals close to the Mikami case? He stood up and started to remove his gloves. He looked around for his partner, and eventually found her leaving the ambulance area. "Cupe! Get over here a second."
Jill added a bit of effort in her step as she came closer to her partner. "Witness says our victim was bitten and beheaded…" She said, now bending down to touch the bloody sheet.
"Hey hey! The hell are you doing?" Kurt stopped her. "Hey! Hey, kid? Kid!" He waved his hand to get the person's attention. "What's a lady got to do to get some gloves around here? What are they paying you in Farmville energy? C'mon!"
The person hurried to give Jill a pair of gloves…and was rewarded with a light smack behind the head by Stryker. "Get outta here, numbnuts. Make yourself useful."
Jill only scoffed while applying the gloves to her hand. She wasn't going to speak up on Stryker's behavior. She examined the headless body with one hand covering her mouth. It never got easier to see corpses of any kind…but she'd rather see them this way than actively trying to devour her.
She noted the apparent bite marks…but they looked too deep to be any zombie. It might have been some sort of freakish B.O.W., however.
"You say the witness says he was bitten? By what? A Bear-rilla?" Stryker was glancing at the other markers, and tapped Jill's shoulder. "Let's walk. Check out the scene."
She obeyed his request and stood. She started to remove the gloves from her hands while following Stryker's lead off to the right toward an alleyway. "Yeah…he said a lot of things. He convinced me."
"Never let the suspect convince you until you have evidence." Stryker added a bit of wisdom to Jill's already expansive knowledge. "But we can't rule anything out yet." As they entered the alley, he looked down at one marker that had a long scrape mark along the concrete. "That right there's the mark of our murder weapon. Machete of some sort."
Jill noticed the scrape…it was fairly deep. The attacker must have been moving fast. "Might be a sword. You guys have those Cosplay fans around here right?"
"You kidding?" Stryker said while looking over his shoulder. "We have the best ones. I've seen everything from chicks with green hair to Pokey-Man all around when conventions come in town."
"Let's hope this isn't some kind of early Halloween massacre." Jill's phone began to vibrate. She pulled it from her pocket as she walked…and noticed a deep gash alongside a dumpster that had stretched nearly the full length of it. She checked the display of the phone and it simply stated 'CHRIS' on it. "Hoss, check it out." She pointed to the dumpster while taking her call.
One hand went behind her hip while her phone went to her ear. "Hey, Chris. I'm busy right now okay? I'll call you when I get home." She hung up before the man on the other end could say a word other than 'hey'.
Stryker was starting to believe Jill's sword theory. What could have cut through the dumpster and along the concrete like this? "Home? So, you get a place here?"
She pocketed her phone . "Uh..., not really. Still looking for a place that doesn't have a toilet next to the stove. For now I'm crashing at a hotel. I should have a place picked out by next week."
Stryker chuckled. "Good old studio apartments. Only place you can take a shower and flip pancakes at the same time." He clearly had fond memories of a similar life. He stood up and dusted himself off. "Let's take a hike back toward the scene. I think this guy might be tied up in the Mikami case I was working on."
Well, that was one thing we had in common. No kids. I wonder if that was the fault of her career, or just bad experiences like me. Yeah, I had a girl way back when. It was kind of a mix of career and experience since...well...I was quick on the trigger and not quick enough with the whole marriage thing. It's crazy how a woman will support you till she realizes just how important you are to keeping the peace. Some people just can't take being in love with a person whose profession involves guns and grenades...
"Got my eyes on a house," Stryker continued to speak. "Thinking by the end of this year I may be able to get it if it's still on the market. Still an apartment kind of guy right now. As good as apartments get in Brooklyn. Hey," Kurt nodded to a detective as they passed by. "Anyway, do you know if this partnership is a permanent thing or...?"
"Seems that way." Jill shrugged. "There wasn't any indication that neither my team, nor I would be needed anytime soon. We all got sent all over the world, I'm just the lucky girl who got New York." She couldn't help but think about where Chris and the others were up to exactly. She figured she'd make it a point to call all of them soon…including Chris. "How do you think this case is related to this other case you're talking about? What happened?"
When they passed the body again, Kurt spoke up. "Pretty open and shut case. This guy, Shinji Mikami was killed by his son. I'm just the guy stuck with the write-out about it. Funny thing about it? He was believed to be having an affair, and nearly strangled the woman to death. Next day his wife turns up dead after overdosing on something. People say it's some sort of new street drug ten times worse than heroine. Anyway." He started to turn his baseball cap forward again. "That woman he strangled? Same one who works at the morgue his body's in."
"Must feel nice for her, then." Jill started to lead Stryker toward a trail of scrapes that went unmarked. It led toward another alleyway. "So, why did the son do it?"
Stryker brushed his thumb over his nose and sniffled. The chill of the air was bothering him a bit. "Papa Mikami was involved in making his mother overdose. He saw it happen and took justice into his own hands. Hate to say it, but even a guy doing what he thinks is the right thing can still break the law."
"What kind of stuff was Mikami into?" Jill was taking mental notes to prepare herself. "Do we have any other intel on this drug? If it pops up again, that is?"
"Mikami was a scientist working downtown. What his wife was injected with was probably some sort of lethal strain. The guys down at his lab make the kind of shit that can wipe out roaches and rats within a five mile radius, so I wouldn't put it past him."
"What are they called?" Jill paused and looked to Kurt.
Stryker shrugged as he examined a long trail of holes in the wall that led up the side of the building nearest them. It looked like whoever it was escaped by climbing with some sharp objects. "Neobrulla or something..."
Working on expanding the mystery and such! I think I like the team of Jill and Stryker. If any at all, what characters from Resident Evil or Mortal Kombat would you like to see make a cameo?
What do you think is going on here? Rate, comment, and post your theories!
Also, I am working on a separate story for Ada Wong and Carla Radames. Be on the lookout for it!