DETECTIVES OF THE 9TH PRECINCT
“THE DEVIL BELIEVES IN YOU”
“Steve you know this police station at night is just real creepy. Steve? STEVE!”
“I was talking to you.” Neal replies.
“Oh you were? About what?”
“About Ruby trying to grow a beard.”
“Oh really that sounds interesting.” Steve replies.
“What are you reading?”
“The Exorcist.” Steve replies.
“The what?” Neal replies loudly.
Steve looks over the edge of the book. “I said The Exorcist.”
“Why in the Sam Hill are you reading that?” Neal asks.
“It was in my mailbox.” Steve replies.
“Oh you belong to the Book of the Month Club?”
“No.” Steve replies as he shakes his head.
“But you said it was in your mailbox.”
“I meant my mailbox here.” Steve replies.
“Here?” Neal replies as he points to the floor.
“You mean here at the Precinct.”
“Yeah!” Steve replies as he looks at Neal. “And?”
“Who put it there?” Neal asks.
Steve shrugs. “I don’t know it was just there.”
“Don’t you think that’s a little….?”
Steve looks at Neal. “A little what?”
“Weird?” Steve replies.
“Well I….” Steve replies as he looks down at the book.
“Who would put a book in your mailbox?” Neal asks.
“A librarian?” Steve asks as he laughs.
“You think this is funny?” Neal asks.
“Neal you’re awfully serious about this it’s just a old book!”
“That just isn’t any old book it’s a book about the devil and it ended up in your mailbox and you don’t know how it got there! Have you forgotten about that case….”
“Neal I was hanging from a rafter!!”
“Yes I know that is why I can’t believe that you aren’t concerned about how that book got in your mailbox!”
“Ah come on Neal you put it there didn’t you?”
Neal shakes his head.
“You did put it there right?” Steve asks again.
“No Steve I didn’t put it there.”
“Are you sure because if you’re shining me on….”
“No Steve I swear.” Neal replies as he raises his hand.
Steve closes the book and he puts it on the desk. “It’s not as good as I thought it was.”
“We have to get rid of it.” Neal replies.
“Like this.” Neal replies as he gets up from the desk and after he grabs the book he goes over to the window and he tosses it out into the night.
“There.” Neal replies as he wipes his hands back and forth.
“That was easy wasn’t it?” Steve asks happily.
“Oh yeah so now we can….” Before Neal could even finish there was a knock at the door. Neal and Steve look at one another. “I wonder who that is?”
“Only one way to find out.” Steve replies as he sits on the edge of his desk.
Neal opens the door and from where Steve is sitting he knows it isn’t good.
“Who is it?” Steve asks.
“Nobody?” Steve repeats.
“Yeah nobody but this.” Neal turns around to show Steve the book that he had just tossed out of the window.
“Oh my god how did that get back here!!” Steve replies as he jumps off of the desk.
“Good question.” Neal replies.
“Well do something Neal get rid of it!!” Steve exclaims as he jumps up and down waving his arms.
“Here you get rid of it!” Neal replies as he shoves the book at Steve.
“I don’t want it!”
“You brought it in here so here take it!” Neal replies as he tosses the book at Steve.
“No!” Steve replies as Steve jumps back and the book lands on the floor and as they watch the book opens to the first supposedly blank page.
“That has writing on it doesn’t it?” Neal asks.
“Yeah it does.”
“What does it say?” Neal asks.
“Can’t you see it?” Steve asks.
“Yes I can see it.” Neal replies.
“Then why do I have to read it!” Steve asks.
“You’re closer that’s why.”
“Neal don’t make me.” Steve begs.
“That wasn’t there before when you were reading it was it?”
Steve shakes his head. “Nope.”
“We’ll say it together okay?” Neal replies.
“On the count of three okay?” Neal asks.
“2.…” Steve replies.
They both look at one another. “3.…!” They say at the same time.
“The devil believes in you.” They both say at the same time.
“I think we should hit the streets don’t you?”
“Oh yeah sure most definitely.” Neal replies.
“Let’s go!” Steve replies as he heads for the door.
“Good idea.” Neal replies as he follows him.
“Let’s stop by the church and see Father Murphy.” Steve replies as they leave the office.
“It’s two o’clock in the morning he might be asleep.” Neal points out.
“So we’ll wake him up!” Steve replies.
“Another good idea.” Neal replies as they head down the hallway.
Back in the office laughter is heard as the book closes on it’s own.
The fire was spreading quickly consuming what was left of the roof and when it fell in the sound it made was inhuman and evil.
“Don’t look back Steve.“ Neal says as Steve tries to look behind them. “Come on Steve it’s just a few more feet.” Neal replies as he helps Steve to walk.
“It took you long enough to find me.” Steve replies slowly.
“It wasn’t easy to find you.” Neal points out.
“Okay well how many abandoned church’s are there two hours from the city?” Steve replies. “Neal.”
“You saw it too didn’t you?” Steve asks.
Behind them the fire rages on causing more of the church to collapse onto itself and as it does so they hear a chorus of screams as the church dies.
“Neal what’s happening?” Steve asks.
“It’s burning to the ground Steve that’s all.”
“But the screaming Neal I can’t stand it.”
“Don’t talk.” Neal replies. “Save your strength.”
“You did see it didn’t you? Neal please I feel like I’m losing my mind…”
“Yeah Steve I did see something I don’t know what it was but I did see something.”
“Neal I feel faint.”
Neal wraps his arm tighter around Steve as he helps to hold him up as they make their way thru the moonlit landscape.
“Hang on buddy we’re almost to the car and then we’ll get you to a hospital.”
“Neal don’t let me die out here.”
“No, no buddy I won’t….Steve!”
Steve suddenly becomes dead weight as he faints and Neal has no choice but to let him drop gently to the ground.
Neal checks his pulse. “Alright Steve hang in there I hope you haven’t gained any weight because I’m going to have to carry you down to the car.”
Neal takes Steve by his arm and he sits him up then he leans over and he drapes Steve over his shoulder then he slowly and carefully stands up staggering just a little under his weight.
“Hang on Steve just hang on.”
Neal carries Steve thru the woods using the moonlight and the flames from the church as his light sources as he makes his way to the car that he had parked down on the road. Once there he managed to open the car door to the passenger side and he laid Steve down on the seat then after he slammed the car door shut he ran around to the driver’s side. Once in the seat he gently places Steve’s head in his lap then he starts the car.
“No Steve you aren’t losing your mind because I saw it too and I hope whatever it was died in that fire….I pray that it died in that fire.” Neal replies as he looks back at the fire. “Come on let’s get you to the hospital.” Neal says as he drives off.
A MONTH OR SO EARLIER:
“Alright tell me the story again Mister….?” The police officer replies as he prepares to write on his notepad.
“Duncan, the name is Ron Duncan and I work for Campus Security see the uniform and I already told you the story twice now! You don’t have to look at me that way I’m not crazy! I know what I saw!”
“Hey Officer.” Neal replies as he and Steve walk up to them.
“Detectives I’m glad that you’re here.” The officer replies. “This is Mr. Duncan he’s works for….”
“Campus Security. Nice to make your acquaintance.” Ron replies as he puts his hand out to them.
“Same here Mr. Duncan I’m Detective Neal Schon….” Neal replies as he shakes his hand and he flashes his badge with the other. “This is my partner….”
“Detective Perry, Steve Perry and we’re with Homicide.” Steve replies as he shakes his hand and he shows his badge.
“Wait did you just say Homicide?” Ron asks.
“Yeah I did.” Steve replies. “Now what seems to be the problem here?”
“Yeah we heard something about a burglar on the radio.” Neal replies.
“We didn’t find a burglar.” The officer replies as he looks at Ron.
Neal and Steve look at the officer looking at Ron then they both look at each other then they both look at Ron.
“Okay….so what’s the problem?” Steve asks again.
“The problem is he thinks I’m crazy!!” Ron replies as he points at the officer.
“I never said that you were crazy.” The officer replies.
“You didn’t have to I saw that look on your face!!” Ron replies.
“Oh you saw the burglar?” Neal replies as he and Steve takes a notepad out of their pockets.
“What did he look like?” Steve asks.
“Brace yourselves.” The officer replies.
“What?” Neal asks.
“Brace ourselves? What does that mean?” Steve asks.
“Well go ahead and tell them.” The officer replies.
“Why don’t you tell them? I can just see that your dying to so go ahead why don’t you?” Ron replies.
“Look….” Steve tries to interject.
“You say that you saw it or him….” The officer replies.
“I say? I did see him it’s not my fault that you don’t believe me!!!” Ron replies as he points to himself.
“Guys….” Neal replies.
The officer takes a deep breath. “I didn’t say that I didn’t believe you….”
“You don’t have to, it’s your tone, and your tone says that I’m a Looney tune!!! And to insinuate that I was doing drugs while I’m on duty mind you!”
“I didn’t insinuate anything all I asked was if you take any medication that’s all….” The officer replies.
The next thing they hear is a loud, shrill whistle coming from Steve which causes Neal to cover his ears and Ron and the officer to stop their bickering and look in Steve’s direction.
“Now that I have your attention, ah Mr. Duncan….” Steve replies as he looks at his notes.
“Oh please call me Ron.” Ron replies.
“Ron you saw the burglar right?” Steve asks.
“Right?” Ron replies.
“So tell us what he looked like.” Neal replies.
“Here we go….” The officer replies.
Steve glances at the officer. “Let’s start with how tall they were.”
“Tall?” Ron replies.
“Yeah tall as in my height….” Neal replies. “….Or short as in Steve’s height?”
Steve looks at Neal.
“Short.” Ron replies.
“Okay now we’re getting somewhere.” Steve replies as he writes it down.
“Did you see their face?” Neal asks.
“No.” Ron replies.
“So he had this back to you?” Steve asks.
“No he looked right at me.” Ron replies. “At least I think it was a he.”
“Oh so it might have been a woman?” Neal asks.
“No I don’t think so.” Ron replies.
Steve scratches his head. “Ron.”
“Yes Detective.” Ron replies.
“It has to be one or the other.” Steve replies.
“A kid? Was it a kid?” Neal asks.
“No I don’t think so.” Ron replies.
“Okay Ron you said that you didn’t see their face, was it dark?” Steve asks.
“Oh no the light was on I turned it on myself.” Ron replies.
“So why didn’t you see their face?” Neal asks.
“They were wearing a hood.” Ron replies.
“Oh okay well that makes sense….” Steve replies.
“But I don’t think that they had a face….per se.” Ron replies.
Steve and Neal both stop writing as their look up over their notepads at Ron.
“You don’t think that they had a face….” Neal replies.
“Per se?” Steve replies.
“No.” Ron replies.
Steve scratches his head. “What were they wearing?”
“A robe.” Ron replies.
The officer looks up at the sky.
“Does he have to be here?” Ron asks.
“Yeah he does he was the responding officer now you said he was wearing a robe?” Neal replies.
“Yeah.” Ron replies.
“Was it a bathrobe?” Steve asks.
“No it wasn’t a bathrobe.” Ron replies.
“Okay look Ron….” Steve replies.
“It was one like a monk would wear.” Ron replies.
“A monk?” Neal replies.
“And that is where the hood comes in right?” Steve asks.
“Right.” Ron replies.
“Where did you see him?” Neal asks.
“Up there in Professor Clark’s office.” Ron replies as he points to the third floor where a window is open.
“So tell us the story Ron.” Steve replies.
“Okay sure you see every hour I make a round. I drive around the campus then I park and I check out the buildings. On my 9 o’clock round I was checking out this building and when I got to the third floor I checked Professor Clark’s office door like I do every time.”
“And the door was unlocked?” Neal asks.
“No it was locked.” Ron replies.
“Okay so how did you know that somebody was in his office?” Steve asks.
“There’s a big window by his door and the blind was half up and I looked in and saw them, you see there’s a street light and the light was coming in thru the window so I unlocked the door and I went in. I turned on the light and there they were!” Ron replies.
“There they were where?” Steve asks.
“Across the room they were coming out of the dark room!” Ron replies.
“The dark room?” Neal asks.
“Yeah the Professor is a photographer or something like that.” Ron replies.
“Gotcha.” Neal replies.
“So did he come after you or chase you, anything like that?” Steve asks.
“Oh no.” Ron replies.
“Well?” Neal asks.
“Well Detective?” Ron asks.
“Where did he go if he didn’t chase you out of the office?” Neal asks.
“He ran out the office door didn’t he?” Steve asks.
“Well no not exactly.” Ron replies.
“Now this is the best part.” The officer replies.
“Where did he go Ron?” Neal asks.
“Out the window!” Ron replies.
“Out the window?” Steve replies. “What window?”
Ron points to the third floor window that was open.
“That window?” Neal asks.
“That window.” Ron replies.
“Maybe he went down a ladder?” Steve asks.
“No there was no ladder.” Ron replies.
“How can you be so sure?” Neal asks.
“Because when it went out the window I looked out the window and I didn’t see a ladder but I did see it taking off across the grounds!” Ron replies.
“There isn’t a trellis.” Steve points out.
“It sorta like flew out of the window.” Ron replies as he makes a motion with his hand.
“Come again?” Steve asks.
“It sorta flew….out of the window.” Ron repeats.
Neal and Steve look at one another.
“You think I’m crazy too don’t ya!” Ron replies.
“Oh no Ron of course not….” Neal replies.
“Do you take any medication Ron?” Steve asks.
“See I told you!! I’m not crazy and I don’t take any medication!!! Go up to the office and look for yourselves it was ransacked!! Stuff everywhere!” Ron replies.
“You said that you make a round every hour?” Neal asks.
“Yeah that’s right.” Ron replies.
“Was that window open when you made your 8’oclock round?” Neal asks.
“No it wasn’t.” Ron replies.
“And your sure about that?” Steve asks.
“Positive.” Ron replies.
“Is there another officer posted up there at the office?” Steve asks.
“Yes sir.” The officer replies.
“Ron is there a phone around here somewhere that I can use?” Neal asks.
“Sure I’ll show you.” Ron replies.
“I’ll meet you up in the office when you’re done.” Steve replies as he heads off in the direction of the building.
After Neal made his phone calls he went back to the building and he joined Steve at the office.
“Yowzer!!” Neal replies as he whistles.
“I’ve seen a lot of places tossed before but this has got to be the worse.” Steve replies as he looks around.
“The crime scene boys are on their way but I don’t know if they can dust for prints in this mess or not.”
“While you were on the phone I’ve been making a sketch of this place and according to Ron he was standing here when he saw the burglar, there’s the dark room over there.” Steve replies.
“And there’s the window.” Neal replies as he steps over the mess and goes over to the window. “It’s a long way down.” Neal replies as he looks out of the window.
“Not if you can fly.” Steve replies as he smiles.
“What do you think of Ron?” Neal asks.
“Well I think he’s sincere he definitely saw something….”
“Yeah a flying monk.” Neal replies.
“Hey Neal look at this dark room.”
Neal makes his way into the dark room. “Watcha got?”
“This dark room has all the latest and greatest equipment.” Steve replies.
“And look here there are some pictures missing.” Neal replies as he points at a few empty places where pictures are hanging to dry.
“So is this what our flying monk was looking for, pictures?” Steve replies.
“This is a whole lot of trouble to go to for a few snapshots don’t ya think partner?”
“Hey Detectives there’s somebody out here that what’s to see you.” The officer standing at the door announces.
“Alright we’re coming.” Neal yells back.
Once they made their way back thru the mess and out to the hallway they found waiting on them a tall, older man with salt and pepper hair who looks like he just ran across campus.
“Detectives this is Dr. Jeffrey Weaver he’s the Chief Director here at the University.” The officer replies as he introduces them.
“Detective Neal Schon and this is my partner….”
“Detective Perry, Steve Perry nice to meet you Doctor.”
“Detectives I received a phone call something about a break in and I got here as fast as I could.” The doctor replies.
“Live close do you?” Neal asks.
“Yes just on the other side of the campus….what happened to Professor Clark’s office?” The doc replies as he looks in the office.
“The technical term is ransacked Doctor.” Steve replies.
“Is anything missing?” The doctor asks.
“Well we don’t know exactly.” Neal replies.
“We think Professor Clark should be the one to tell us that, where is he by the way?” Steve asks.
“Los Angeles on a lecture tour he left yesterday.”
“What does he teach?” Neal asks.
“He teaches a number of subjects.” The doctor replies.
“Such as?” Steve asks.
“Cultural impacts.” The doctor replies.
Steve and Neal look at one another.
“He teaches about ancient civilizations and how their influences impacts us today….how nothing ever dies and everything old is new again.” The doctor replies. “He also talks about their religious beliefs and what they believed in. He established a fascinating correlation between the practice of religion today and what they practiced in ancient times. He’s a published scholar, brilliant.”
Steve scratches his head. “What about photography? Does he teach photography?”
“He has in the past but he takes his own pictures for his books.” The doctor replies.
“Is he working on any books now?” Neal asks.
“Yes he’s been doing research on a fascinating subject although I did have my reservations about it.”
“What has be been researching lately?” Steve asks.
“Satanism in modern day California.” The doctor replies.
“Did you say….” Neal starts to say.
“Satanism?” And Steve finishes.
“Yes Detectives I did.”
Steve looks over at Neal then he clears his throat. “Why did you have your reservations about it?”
“Well the people who practice this sort of thing have a tendency to be, well, dangerous. They are very serious in their beliefs and they don’t like outsiders.”
“Okay Doctor do you know when the Professor is suppose to return?” Neal asks.
“Next week I would have to check his schedule.”
“Does he have a secretary or an assistant?” Steve asks.
“Detectives how do I put this delicately?” The doctor asks.
“Well I don’t know….” Neal looks at Steve. “….Put what delicately?”
“Professor Clark is a brilliant man and when you are that brilliant you have a tendency to be very private and very detailed oriented. No one could live up to his standards and he didn’t trust anybody with his schedule or his personal life, so he took care of everything himself.”
“A loner type?” Steve asks.
“Yes very much so. You see Professor Clark and I we attended the same University and we belonged to the same Fraternity so I know him very well. He is very passionate about his work and teaching.”
“Alright Doctor we have the crime scene guys on the way and they are going to take pictures and dust for finger prints.” Neal replies.
“Is there any way that you can get a hold of the Professor and have him come back so he can tell us if anything is missing?” Steve asks.
“Tomorrow morning I can call his hotel and speak to him but I can’t promise if he will return or not, once he is on a lecture tour nothing can drag him away.” The doctor replies.
“Alright Doctor whatever you find out you can give us a call here.” Steve replies as he hands him his card.
“Homicide?” The doctor replies as he reads the card.
“We’re on loan.” Neal replies.
“Listen Doctor it’s late why don’t you go on home, there really isn’t anything else you can do here.” Steve replies.
“Yeah Doctor Steve is right, we’re glad that you came over and if we need anything else we’ll give you a call.”
“Yes all right Detectives, what happens now?” The doctor asks.
“Well we’re going to wait for the crime scene boys….” Neal replies.
“And they are going to take pictures and try to dust for fingerprints and if they find anything then we’ll go from there.” Steve replies.
“I see thank you Detectives.” The doctor replies as they shake hands.
“Do you need an officer to escort you back home?” Neal asks.
“Oh no this is a quiet neighborhood I should be alright.” The doctor replies.
“Alright Doctor thanks again.” Steve replies as they watch the doctor walk off.
“It’s going to be a long night.” Neal replies.
“It’s already been a long night, we should have been off duty at least two hours ago.” Steve replies.
“Hey look here come the crime scene guys, I am going to go and see if I can round up some coffee.” Neal replies.
“Good idea partner I’ll show them what needs to be done.”
THE NEXT DAY EARLY AFTERNOON AT THE 9TH PRECINCT:
“I’m sorry I hope I didn’t keep you waiting long Doctor Weaver I was in the shower when Steve called.”
“Oh no I understand I didn’t realized that you worked such odd hours, your Captain told me you weren’t supposed to be here until later this afternoon.”
“It’s alright Doctor why did you want to see us?” Steve asks.
“I did as you asked and I called Professors Clark’s hotel in Los Angeles and they told me some very disturbing news.” The Doctor says very quickly.
“Alright Doctor slow down now you said that you called the Professor’s hotel and what did they tell you?” Steve asks.
“They told me that he never checked in!” The doctor replies.
“Alright Doctor don’t panic maybe he went to another hotel….” Neal replies.
“Or he decided to stay with a friend in L.A.” Steve points out.
“Or no Detectives he is very predictable he always stays at the same places whenever he travels, oh my goodness this is just horrible! I can’t believe he never made it to the Hotel!”
“Doctor Weaver have a seat.” Steve replies as he pulls a chair out from underneath the desk. “Try and stay calm it won’t do us or you any good to get upset.”
“Let’s take this a little at a time Doctor what school was he scheduled to do his first lecture at.” Neal asks.
“Did you call the school?” Steve asks.
“Oh yes immediately after I talked to the Hotel and he never showed up to give his lecture and that is not like Professor Clark.”
Steve and Neal look at one another.
“I just can’t fathom what might have had happened to him.” The doctor replies as he looks at them. “I even tried to go by his house.”
“What do you mean you tried?” Steve asks.
“I got a few streets away and then I became scared.” The doctor replied.
“What scared you exactly Doctor?” Neal asks.
“What I might find when I got there Detective Schon. If something bad had happened to him and if I found him like that I, I don’t think I could stand it. Do you understand?”
“Sure Doctor we understand.” Steve replies.
“So I turned around and came here. Your Captain was very helpful and nice he told me that you two were the best ones to handle this.”
“And he was right Doctor now all we need from you is the Professor’s home address and we’re go by there.” Neal replies.
“1411 South Alexander.” The doctor replies.
“How big of a place is this Doctor?” Steve asks.
“Well it’s a small two story house with two bedrooms, one of the bedrooms he had converted into an office.”
“Is the Professor married?” Neal asks.
“Oh no you see he never found the time.” The doctor replies as he cover his face with his hands.
Steve and Neal look at one another then Steve puts his hand on the Doctor’s shoulder. “We’ll take care of it Doctor now if you want you can stay here.”
“Yes I think I might just do that.” The doctor replies.
“I’m going to have a squad car meet us there.” Neal replies as he gets on the phone.
“Thank you Detectives thank you.”
1411 SOUTH ALEXANDER:
The squad car beat them there by a minute or two and both officers were waiting on them outside of the car. The house, at least from the outside seem to be normal, surrounded by a wrought iron fence and on either side of the gate was two huge trees which hide the front door from the street and the addition of more trees and bushes did even more to conceal the house from the street so standing on the sidewalk they couldn’t see much.
“Wow now that is what I call a jungle.” Steve replies.
“Why don’t one of you stand here by the gate just in case a nosey neighbor comes calling while the other takes a look around the outside for anything odd.” Neal replies.
“Sure Detective.” One of the officers replied.
Steve walked the short distance to the gate and he opened it and he noticed it made a high pierced squeal then with Neal following behind him they started up the cobblestone walk way and when Steve reached the point to where he could see the front door he raised his hand to stop Neal.
“Neal please tell me that’s red paint.”
“I hope it is Steve for Professor Clark’s sake I hope it is.”
Neal and Steve continue their walk up the walkway to the front door and when they put their feet on the first step to the porch they could see that the door was open and that is when they both pulled their weapons from their holsters.
Moving slowly and in concert up the rest of the steps to the front door they separated to take up positions on opposite sides of the door. Once there Neal was able to kick the door open the rest of the way with his foot.
“See anything?” Steve asks from the other side of the door.
“Just a suitcase and a briefcase. Professor Clark are you in there?” Neal yells into the living room. “Professor Clark I’m Detective Schon with the Oceanview Police Department if your in there make some sort of noise just so we know that you’re okay. This is Detective Schon with the Oceanview Police Department if anyone else is inside the house make yourself known now!”
After waiting a few minutes they hear nothing then Neal looks over at Steve and Steve nods. Slowly and with extreme caution Neal enters the house with Steve right behind him. Once entering the living room they fanned out checking the other rooms in the house with them ending back up in the living room.
“Find anything?” Neal asks as Steve comes back into the room putting his gun back in it’s holster.
“Nothing, you?” Steve asks.
“Steve I think we got blood.” Neal replies from where he is kneeling on the floor. “And it’s a lot of blood.”
“Neal look blood drops and they go thru the kitchen.”
Neal gets up and he joins Steve as they follow the blood trail thru the kitchen to the door that goes out to the garage and once they opened the door to the car the Professor’s car is gone.
“Whatever happened that is how they got him out of the house.” Neal replies.
“He used the second smaller bedroom upstairs as his office and it was tossed just like his office back at the University and there’s a big closet there that he converted into a dark room.” Steve replies.
“It was tossed too wasn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Steve replies as he scratches his head.
“Okay let’s go back to the car and call it in we need to get the crime scene guys out here.” Neal replies.
“We’re going to need more patrol officers to keep the press and the neighbors away too.”
“Yeah hey do you hear that?” Neal asks.
“Yeah it sounds like it’s coming from out front, let’s go.”
By the time they made it thru the kitchen then into the living room they could see one of the officers struggling with a young woman on the porch.
“I’m sorry Detectives she came out of no where….”
“Let me go!!!” The girl replies as she struggles with the officer.
“She kept yelling something about being the Professor’s niece….” The officer replies.
“I am his niece now let me go!” The girl suddenly rears back and she kicks the officer in his shin which causes him to let go and before she gets into the house Steve catches her.
“Wait now just hold on you can’t come into the house!” Steve replies.
“What do you mean I can’t come into the….oh my god what is that on the door?!” The girl cries out as she sees what is painted on the door. “What….what is that!!! Somebody tell what is going on here? My uncle is he in the house?”
Steve manages to spin her around then he maintains a tight grip on her upper arm as he pulls her down the stairs and up the walkway as she keeps looking behind her. Steve manages to get her out onto the sidewalk.
“Alright calm down now.” Steve replies.
“Calm down? Calm down? What is going on here and who are you?” The girl replies as she looks at Steve.
“I’m Detective Perry with the Homicide Division….” Steve replies.
The girl’s eyes suddenly widen. “Did you say Homicide? My uncle? Did something happen to my uncle?”
“We don’t know yet but he isn’t in the house Miss? What’s your name?” Steve asks.
“Lydia….Lydia Clark. Oh please can I sit down?”
“Oh sure.” Steve replies as he opens the passenger side door to his car and he helps Lydia to sit down.
“Are you going to be alright?” Steve asks.
“I think so I just felt lightheaded.” Lydia replies. “Are you sure you’re a cop?”
“Yes I’m positive see here’s my badge and I.D.” Steve replies as he shows her then she takes it and she looks closely at it.
“You sure don’t look like a cop.” Lydia replies as she hands it back to him.
“I get that a lot actually.” Steve replies as he puts the case back in his pocket.
“You said that my uncle isn’t in the house?” Lydia asks.
“Yes I did say that all we found was his suitcase and briefcase he was supposed to be going on a lecture tour.” Steve replies.
“Oh yes of course that is right.”
“If you don’t mind I would like to take notes.” Steve asks as he takes a notepad and pencil out of his pocket.
“Oh sure go ahead.”
“When was the last time you saw your uncle?” Steve asks.
“Am I being interrogated or something.” Lydia asks.
Steve smiles. “No of course not I am just trying to get some more information, you don’t mind do you if I ask you a few questions. I mean it could help to find your uncle.”
“Oh of course go ahead.”
“Now Lydia tell me the last time you saw your uncle.”
LATER THAT DAY BACK AT THE PRECINCT:
“Hey Steve I got us some dinner, wow what’s all that?” Neal asks as he sit’s the food down on the table as he looks at the boxes.
“It came while you were gone Doctor Weaver sent them over.” Steve replies.
“Well that explains a lot what are they?”
“Professor Clark’s work and his books, Neal look he went to Africa! He went there to document their rituals and see this?” Steve replies as he turns the book so Neal can see it. “He took the pictures.”
Neal picks the book up. “He took all these pictures?”
“Yeah.” Steve replies as he takes the Chinese food out of the sack. “Remember Doctor Weaver said that the Professor took all of his own photos. Peking Duck?” Steve asks as he holds the box up.
“Yeah. Do you think these people in these photos knew that he was there, taking photos of their ritual?”
Steve shakes his head. “I don’t think so. What are you running around in your head there partner?”
“Remember what Doctor Weaver said Professor Clark’s latest project was?” Neal asks.
“Yeah he was where he shouldn’t have been.” Steve replies.
“But the question is where is the good Professor now?” Steve asks.
“How did Doctor Weaver take the news?” Neal asks as he sits down at the table to eat.
“Not well. The crime scene guys took a lot of pictures, dusted for fingerprints and in a few days they should have for us what that was on the door.” Steve replies.
“Do you, you know, believe?” Neal asks.
“Yeah you know in the devil?” Neal asks.
“Oh sure.” Steve replies.
“You mean the devil with the horns and tail, that devil?” Neal asks.
“Yeah I’m Catholic remember?” Steve replies as he nudges Neal with his shoulder. “You don’t believe Neal?”
Neal ducks his head. “I believe in evil and we have seen evil Steve.”
“Yeah we have.” Steve replies.
“But the concept of the devil walking around among us, I mean the devil with the horns and the tail version, I don’t believe in that.” Neal replies.
“So what about this Satanism in modern day California?”
“I think it’s a bunch of bored, rich College students who’ve seen too many horror movies.” Neal replies.
“But we still don’t know where the Professor is.” Steve replies.
“What did the officers find out when they talked to the neighbors?” Neal asks.
Steve reaches for his notepad. “The neighbor that lives on the right says the Professor isn’t home much but when he is he never leaves the house or he’s out working in his garden or landscaping.”
“Landscaping?” Neal replies.
Steve shrugs. “I know I guess he didn’t have much time for landscaping.”
“So the other neighbors didn’t see anything?” Neal replies.
“Nope, the officer said that most of the neighbors weren’t home.”
Neal and Steve turn to see Captain Reynolds walking towards them.
“Hey Cap we thought you left.” Neal replies as he and Steve stand up.
“Oh no boys not when I have a desk full of paperwork I have to do but first I have something important to do.”
“Oh what is that?” Steve asks.
“Detective Perry.” The Captain replies as he puts his hand on Steve’s shoulder.
“Yes sir?” Steve replies.
“I think it’s time that you tried your hand at being lead detective and now son, this is your case. You are now officially the lead on this one. Good luck.” The Captain replies as he shakes Steve’s hand.
Steve looks at Neal and the Captain. “Really?” Steve asks. “Neal you had something to do with this too, didn’t you?”
Neal shrugs. “All I did was make a recommendation and I think you can handle it, so do you accept the offer?”
“Do I accept? Sure I accept and I won’t let you two down I promise.” Steve replies as Neal shakes his hand.
“We know you will do a great job well boys I better go and get some dinner then it’s back to the paperwork. See you two later.” The Captain replies as he walks off.
“Thanks Cap.” Neal replies.
“See you later.” Steve replies.
“So Lead Detective what do we do now?” Neal asks.
“Well Doctor Weaver gave me the description of the Professor’s car and he also gave us a picture of the Professor, we need to send a B.O.L.O out on the car and get his picture to the newspapers and TV to find out if anybody has seen him. Then after we do that we finish dinner.” Steve replies.
“Sounds like a good plan to me. We better hurry B shift’s patrol briefing will be starting soon.”
“Let me grab the paperwork.” Steve replies.
THE NEXT DAY AT THE PRECINCT:
“Lydia, how long have you been here?” Steve asks as he comes into the squad room and he sees Lydia seated at his desk.
“Oh not long, I saw the story on the news last night about my Uncle….I was just wondering if you’re heard anything yet?”
“No Lydia I’m sorry not yet but now that’s his picture is out to the media we should have some information soon, I mean somebody has to have seen him.” Steve replies as he smiles at her. “You have questions don’t you?”
Lydia smiles back. “How did you know?”
Steve shrugs. “It’s normal to want to know, were you and your Uncle close?”
“He’s my only family.” Lydia replies.
“Lydia I’m sorry….”
“That thing that was on the door it was in blood wasn’t it?”
“We aren’t sure….” Steve replies.
“It was in my uncle’s blood wasn’t it?”
“WASN’T IT!” Lydia replies loudly causing the others in the office to turn and look at her.
“Lydia….” Steve replies as he holds her by her hands. “We don’t know anything yet and that’s the truth. Do you know anything about the book he was writing, the research he was doing?”
“No he didn’t talk much about his projects….at least to me. You think whatever he was working on got him killed.” Lydia replies.
“Lydia we don’t know if he’s dead, right now he’s a missing person and we’re trying to find him. If there’s anything you remember, even if you think it doesn’t make sense or might not seem like much, to us it could be a big lead. Do you still have my card?”
Lydia nods. “When you find anything out about my uncle how will I know?”
“I’ll call you myself and if you need me just call the number on the card, there are people here that will get in touch with me.” Steve replies.
“Can I have your home phone number?”
“No Lydia I can’t do that.” Steve replies.
“Steve….” Neal replies as he comes into the room. “Oh sorry I didn’t know you were busy.”
“Lydia this is my partner Detective Schon, Neal this is Lydia Clark.”
“Oh yes Miss Clark how are you doing?” Neal asks.
“Alright.” Lydia replies as she shrugs. “You know under the circumstances.”
“Oh yes of course.” Neal replies.
“I should let you get back to work, thank you Steve for talking to me.” Lydia replies.
“Sure Lydia anytime I’ll be in touch okay?”
“Yes I’m sure that you will, bye.” Lydia replies as she leaves the squad room.
“Bye Lydia.” Steve replies.
“Did she have any new info?” Neal asks as he watches her walk away.
“Just that her Uncle was her only relative.” Steve replies.
“That’s rough.” Neal replies as he looks down at the floor.
“How did the briefing go?” Steve replies.
“It went well and that is why I’m here I came to get you.” Neal replies as he hands Steve his jacket.
“Hopefully, a neighbor across the street from the Professor’s house.” Neal replies.
“Let’s roll partner.”
1410 SOUTH ALEXANDER:
“Now Mrs. Ross….” Neal replies.
“Oh please call me Beverly, would you boys care to join me at tea time? I think tea time is such a fine way to past an afternoon, I have Ginger snap cookies.”
“Sure Beverly we would love too.” Steve replies as he smiles.
“Oh wonderful I’ll be right back.” Beverly replies as she goes off into the kitchen.
“Neal look she has a great view of the Professor’s house.” Steve replies as he holds back the curtain.
“Yeah she sure does.”
“Oh let me get that Beverly.” Neal replies as he goes over and he takes the tray from her and he sets it on the coffee table.
“Thank you Sergeant, would you boys like cream, sugar or lemon?” Beverly asks as she sits down on the sofa.
“Lemon and sugar for me.” Steve replies.
“Just lemon for me.” Neal replies.
Beverly pours the tea and she makes each cup as they like it then she hands it to them. “Sergeant Perry sit next to me.” Beverly replies as she pats the sofa cushion next to her.
Neal smiles as he watches Steve go over and sit next to her.
“Are you sure you’re old enough to be a Detective?” Beverly asks.
“Yes ma’m I’m sure.” Steve replies as he blushes.
“You two remind me so much of my own sons, they look very young too.”
“Where are they now?” Neal asks.
“One is in Los Angeles, Hollywood actually, he works at one of the studios there! He always gets tickets to those game shows or the latest movies and my youngest Peter is in San Francisco, he’s a cable car driver!” Beverly replies happily.
“It sounds like you are very proud of them.” Steve replies.
“Oh yes they are two good boys oh I am sure that your mothers are proud of you too, I mean who wouldn’t be proud to have their sons as police officers! Sergeants no less!!” Beverly replies.
“Beverly when you called the Precinct you said that you had some information about Professor Clark?” Neal replies.
“Oh yes oh my goodness I almost forgot I was having such a great time visiting with your two! I saw his picture on the nightly news and I knew that I had to call you.” Beverly replies.
“Can you tell us what you saw?” Steve replies as he takes a notepad out of his pocket.
“Oh yes you see I have, from time to time, insomnia and when I can’t sleep I like to watch those, old late night movies on television.”
“When was this do you remember?” Neal asks.
“Oh yes it was a few days back, late Monday night, early Tuesday morning they were showing Gone With The Wind! My absolute favorite and during a commercial is when I saw them.” Beverly replies.
“Them?” Steve asks.
“Oh yes them, there were two of them. It’s all very odd because one minute they weren’t there then the next there they were.” Beverly replies.
“Where were they?” Neal asks.
“On the roof of the garage.” Beverly replies as she takes a sip of her tea.
Neal and Steve look at each other. “Beverly?” Steve replies.
“Did you see how they got onto the roof of the garage?” Neal asks.
“Oh yes of course they jumped.” Beverly replies. “Ginger snap?”
Steve reaches for a cookie as he looks at Neal.
“Beverly?” Neal asks as he scratches his head.
“Where did they jump from exactly?” Neal asks.
“Well silly they jumped up from the ground to the roof of the garage. Would you like more tea?”
Steve holds up his cup as Beverly fills it.
“Then they went thru the window.” Beverly replies.
“What happened next?” Steve asks.
“Well it had to be 15 to 20 minutes later when the garage door opened and the Professor’s car came out.”
“Was the Professor driving?” Neal asks.
“Oh no he wasn’t driving but it was his car.” Beverly replies.
“Beverly?” Neal asks.
“Yes Sergeant Schon?” Beverly replies as she smiles at Neal.
“Were they wearing robes? You know like with a hood?”
“Why yes they were now that you’ve mentioned it, how did you know that?” Beverly asks.
Neal looks at Steve. “Lucky guess.” Steve replies. “Beverly if you saw this going on at the Professor’s house why didn’t you call the police?”
“Well I didn’t think too much about it really, I mean Professor Clark is a teacher and besides they have been there before, more tea anyone.”
Neal and Steve immediately perked up.
“Thanks but not right now Beverly….” Neal replies as he sits down on the other side of Beverly. “….What do you mean they’ve been there before?”
“Oh it was the night before last I believe.” Beverly replies.
“You saw them inside the house?” Steve asks.
“Oh yes.” Beverly replies.
“Beverly may I use your phone?” Neal asks.
“Oh yes of course it’s in the kitchen.” Beverly replies.
“Now Beverly when you saw them drive off in the Professor’s car which way did they go?” Steve asks.
“Toward the highway.”
Steve looks up when Neal comes back into the living room.
“Okay they are going to put a squad car in front of the house but for only a few days, that is all the man power they can spare.” Neal replies.
Steve stands up. “Thanks Beverly we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.”
“And if you see anything else funny at the Professor’s house just give us a call.” Neal replies as he hands Beverly the card.
“Yes I will I wish you two didn’t have to leave so soon I do enjoy having guests.” Beverly replies.
Steve smiles. “Thanks for the tea and cookies but we have to go.”
“Important police work?” Beverly asks.
“Yes Beverly very important.” Neal replies.
“I hope you find the Professor he’s a nice man, he liked his garden and teaching. I hope he’s alright.” Beverly replies as she puts her hand on Steve’s arm.
Steve cover her hand with his. “We hope so too bye Beverly.”
THE NEXT DAY AT THE PRECINCT SQUAD ROOM:
“Thanks Robert.” Steve replies then he hangs up the phone.
“It’s what we thought it was human blood on the door and it was the Professor’s.” Steve replies.
“Damn!” Neal replies as he throws his pen down on the desk.
“You were hoping it was going to be something else?” Steve asks.
“Yeah.” Neal replies as he rubs his eyes. “I was hoping it was at least animal blood.”
“What do you think about what Beverly told us?” Steve asks.
“You mean do I believe her?”
“Yeah.” Steve replies.
“Well if we haven’t had that security guard tell us he saw a little person in a robe with a hood then I would have to say no but yeah I do and I think they went back to the house because they are definitely looking for something.”
“That window above the garage goes into the Professor’s office.” Steve replies.
“And in the office is a dark room right?”
“Right.” Steve replies. “We need to go back over there and take a closer look in that dark room.” Steve replies as he opens one desk drawer after another.
“What are you looking for?”
“My hairbrush I know I left it in here.” Steve replies.
“Maybe it’s in your bag.” Neal replies as he stands up.
“No it isn’t.” Steve replies.
“Come on you can look for it later let’s get over to the Professor’s house.” Neal replies as he takes Steve’s jacket and bag from off of his chair and he holds them as Steve stands up.
“I hate to lose stuff.” Steve replies as he puts on his jacket.
“You didn’t lose it, it’s just misplaced and that’s not the same thing. Let’s go partner.” Neal replies.
“When we come back from the Professor’s house I have to call Lydia.” Steve replies.
“I’ll remind you let’s go.” Neal replies as he steers Steve towards the door.
“Damn I hate that.” Steve replies as he looks back at his desk.
“I know you do but it’s not a big deal we’ll find it later.” Neal replies as he continues to push him in the direction of the door.
“Neal I’ve have you know that wasn’t a cheap hairbrush….”
“I know I know the bristles were made from some exotic animal that we can’t even pronounce. And you had to buy it at that fancy, store where they sell high priced hair products, right?” Neal replies.
“Right but how do you….”
“I was there remember?” Neal replies.
“Oh yeah!” Steve replies as Neal grabs Steve by the arm and he guides him thru the door and out into the hallway.
1411 SOUTH ALEXANDER THE PROFESSOR’S HOUSE:
“Four cameras?” Neal asks.
“I guess they do different things.” Steve replies as he sits at the Professor’s desk.
“I guess so.”
“What’s that in the corner?” Steve asks.
“A file cabinet.” Neal replies as he goes towards it.
“No, no remember fingerprints.” Steve replies as he shakes his finger at Neal.
Neal reaches into his back pocket and he pulls out a handkerchief. “ Hanky.” Neal replies as he holds it up and he shakes it.
“Steve there are boxes of negatives in here and their numbered and there are some missing.”
“Do are hooded friends know how to develop pictures?” Steve asks.
“Maybe they don’t want to develop them just destroy them.”
“Hey Neal come here a sec.”
“What you got?” Neal replies as he goes over to the desk.
“The Professor’s notepad. The good Professor had written something on this notepad and somebody else ripped the page off. Luckily for us the Professor wrote hard, do you remember the serial rapist case and the schoolgirl?”
Neal smiles as he reaches over and he takes a pencil out of the pencil jar and he hands it to Steve. Steve then takes the pencil and he rubs it over the writing on the paper.
“What? What does that say?” Neal asks as he turns his head one way then another. “Is that an S?”
“Do you mind?” Steve asks.
“Sorry. It needs to be a little darker.” Neal replies.
“There is that better?” Steve asks.
“S.M. 75226?” Neal replies.
“I wonder what that means?” Steve asks as he looks at the paper.
“I’ll get a box and whatever the hooded Gnomes didn’t get we’ll take with us.”
“Good idea partner.” Steve replies as he hits the pencil against the notepad.
“What’s your gut telling ya?” Neal asks.
Steve pushes himself away from the desk and he wanders over to the window. “That we’re missing something, all of this is not adding up. A piece of the puzzle is missing.”
“The Professor?” Neal replies as he walks up behind Steve.
Steve shakes his head. “I don’t think so, I don’t know. What say you get that box so we can get out of here, this place is giving me the creeps.”
“You got it.” Neal replies as he leaves Steve standing at the window.
THE NEXT MORNING AT 1 A.M. NEAL’S HOUSE:
The ringing of the front door bell is what brought Neal out of his sleep and even before he got to the door and opened it he knew who it was.
“Steve.” Neal replies as he rubs his eyes.
“They found the Professor’s car.” Steve replies.
TO BE CONTINUED….
©LAB and SRP & JRNY FANFICTION 2007 to 2010. All rights reserved. Steve Perry and Neal Schon’s likenesses appear only as characters. Any resemblance to any one living or dead is purely a coincidence. This fictional story is for entertainment purposes only and for the complete enjoyment of the author and the readers. I have no permission from Steve Perry or/and the members of Journey to use their likenesses or names and this story is purely fiction and written solely for the love of things and people back in the day. No real rock stars were injured in the writing of these stories and I put them back when I am finish with them.