By the time DCI Burt had realised that Hayley had left the party, she was nowhere to be seen. Exiting the room himself he pulled out his phone and tried to call Stoddard. It wouldn’t connect and he discovered why when he checked the screen. No signal.
Suddenly, the rest of the entourage came out of the party. He ducked behind a tree and watched as the two sisters had a brief discussion and took off into the night. The two men headed for the car park, and he heard the distant rumble of the Morgan’s V8 echoing around, getting further away.
He left the cover of the trees and tried to get a signal. Still none, yet he’d seen the students using them all evening.
“You won’t get a signal anywhere round here mister.” Said a slurred voice. Too many trees, and the buildings are stone. Don’t make for good reception.”
A couple of students tumbled out of the party and passed him, commenting as they did.
“But I’ve just seen some of the students phoning from here?” He queried.
The male shrugged. “Oh, you mean Josh and his pals. I dunno how they do it. They’ve got some wicked kit though.”
The pair staggered off towards the dorm block, the girl snuggling into her boyfriend’s arms as they went.
Burt took off at a run, in the direction that the sisters had gone. If he was quick enough they wouldn’t have got too far ahead. He found himself in the town centre before he realised that he had no clue where they’d gone.
That was when the wail of a police siren got his attention and two fluorescent chequered Mondeo’s raced past him…..
As the three young slayers disappeared around the corner, Buffy and Dawn walked over to their boyfriends.
“What about her? Who is she?” Queried Dan, nodding towards the figure of Stoddard huddled foetal style against the far wall. Every so often there was a slight twitch from her head and he mouth moved as though she was talking things through with herself.
“She’s Detective Stoddard.” Answered Dawn. “She’s one of the cops who are investigating Richard’s murder.”
“And it looks like she wanted to question Hayley personally…God. Look at her eyes. She’s bottled it.” Said Josh.
“I’ll call DI Knox, get him to collect her.” Said Dawn, pulling out her phone.
“Think she’ll talk?” Said Buffy.
Dan shook his head. “Don’t think so. She’s in shock. I should probably help her, but something tells me it wouldn’t be successful. It would do her more harm than good, memory wise. I don’t mean that in a nasty way, I don’t know what it is exactly. It’s like she needs a wake up call or something.”
“If she does say anything, the state she‘s in, they’ll think she’s nuts.” Added Josh.
Dawn finished her call. “Okay let’s go. Knox will have a car here in five minutes. He says we don’t want to be here. He’s sending Hathaway. He’s a too many questions type o’ guy.”
“Guess we’ll call it a night then.” Said Dan. “We’ve got to go to church in the morning. See you two in London on Monday.”
“Oh no, no, no. Nuh uh... We’ll be there. I gotta see this. I want the full skinny. It’s not everyday my sister has her wedding plans announced.” Grinned Dawn.
The sisters hugged, Dan and Josh shook hands and they parted. The Beast fired up and rumbled away out of the street.
Dan and Buffy waited invisibly nearby, keeping watch over Stoddard until the last minute, waiting for the arrival of the first police car. Then they made their way back through the town to where his father’s Aston Martin sat waiting. They walked hand in hand, as though they were two lovers enjoying a romantic late night stroll…
Which, is what they were…
As Burt got to the end of the street, a uniformed officer was just cordoning it off with yellow tape. He flashed his ID.
“What’s going on?” He asked.
“There’s been an incident sir. Ambulance has just arrived. Young woman’s in quite a state, deep shock. Car’s pretty badly smashed up too."
“Know who it is? Is she injured? Can I see? I‘ve misplaced a colleague.”
The officer let him through. As he rounded the ambulance he saw the damaged Vectra and several officers near the ambulance crew helping them strap a struggling woman onto the gurney.
He rushed forward and pushed one of the officers away.
“Jackie! What the hell happened!?” He said, loudly.
Her eyes were still wide with fear. She looked furtively around as though she didn’t want someone in particular to hear.
“Vampires.!!” She hissed, then giggled manically. “They all turned to dust!!”
Burt backed away, startled by her demeanour and the craziness of her statement.
A few minutes later, the paramedics had given Stoddard a sedative to calm her down and enable them to prep her for transport to hospital.
DCI Burt had spent this time giving his details to DS Hathaway, who then gave him permission to accompany her in the ambulance.
As he walked over to the waiting crew, his foot kicked at something on the ground and it rolled away slightly.
He bent down to pick it up, then realised what it was….
It was getting late. Jack had gone back to his hotel and Hank sat idly swilling the dregs of a Bourbon around in the bottom of his glass. The photo album sat open on the table before him.
“Why? Why didn’t you include Dawn in the pictures?” He mumbled.
There was a pause as he recalled Jack’s words.
“….From the look of these photo’s, it’s as though she never existed!”
Frustrated at not being able to resolve the puzzle, he stood, downed the last of the liquor and hurled the glass into the fireplace, shattering the crystal into tiny shards.
“Damn you Hennessey!!! Why did you have to do it?!!!….Why?!!!…Why the hell didn’t you put Dawn in the photo‘s?!!!” He bellowed.
Tilbury Docks. London.
Three men stood at the foot of a gangplank, nearby a limousine sat with it’s engine running.
Kostava held out his hand. “I am grateful for your assistance Mr. Pearce. Now I must return home. My business has need of me.”
The man gave him an oily smile. “Only too glad to help, dear chap. I’ll be in touch.”
Kostava nodded, then he and Hauser boarded the ship.
‘Pearce’ turned and went back to his car. Once there he pulled out his phone and dialled.
“Klaus. It’s Oliver. It’s done. I used the grieving Georgian husband.”
“And the Slayer does not suspect?”
“I think not. Neither does Harry Pearce, and hopefully it might give me some leverage against him if the authorities question Kostava.”
“Good. What about the other hit men, and the money?”
“That will take a little more time. Our exalted head of Section D is playing very close to his chest. I may be able to compromise him into giving me their location soon though.”
“Good. And my wife?”
“I’ve not found out where she is…Yet. But I will…..”
Somewhere. Not here, not there.....
Horace Bateman watched the swirling eddy’s that whirled and cavorted outside the mystical shield that served as a window in the end of the room. He turned to the people seated around the table.
“It’s time, I believe, to emerge from our little sanctuary here, and continue our quest. Enough time has lapsed for them to have ceased their efforts to locate us.”
He looked at a woman seated at the far end of the table. “Would you be so kind as to open an exit for us my dear.”
The woman said nothing, stood, and pulled a tablet of grey stone from a nearby shelf, putting it on the table next to a note book in front of her.
Checking a page in the note book, she depressed several of the glyphs on the tablet and a vertical rectangular doorway appeared in the side wall of the room.
Thompson, Levi and a few others got up and walked through the doorway. Bateman followed on behind, then turned to the woman before he stepped through.
“Whilst I’m away, I’d like you to check on our protégé’s. Awaken one of them at random and see if the memory spells are still intact. We wouldn’t want them to be called whilst they were in stasis, would we?”
“That wouldn’t happen Horace. The stasis spell I used on them keeps them bound until I awaken them. Will you be bringing any more back with you?”
“Possibly. It depends whether there are any that require removal before their time is here.”
“You have the spell, you don’t need me to locate them. Check first though, I wouldn’t want Willow catching you.”
“Neither would I, my dear. Neither would I.” He said, and stepped through the portal…
She waited until the doorway shut itself down, then pressed another combination of glyphs on the tablet.
A doorway on the other side of the room opened up. She picked up the tablet and her notebook and she too stepped through.
A grin spread over her features as she entered the room. It was larger, and contained beds in rows. Lots of rows. Each bed contained a girl…. A Potential Slayer.
That’s all folks. Thanks for reading. Post lots of reviews. Pretty please…
There’s more on the way from our group of intrepid heroes….