Will Bryant and Rick White helped Andy Cobb to his senses, and as soon as they removed the gag, he let out a torrent of incoherent words in their direction. It was obvious that he had gone quite over the edge, and it took them a full hour to return him to some semblance of sanity. When they did so, he remained quite furtive, speaking only when asked, as if his mind had withdrawn into it's own closet now that the body had been freed.
Will wondered just how much had been from Andy's original personality; Rick confirmed his worst fears, Andy had been outgoing, now he was quite reserved. He seemed to be quite disinterested in the condition of his home. He did point out that many things had been rearranged, and he confirmed what Will had thought, Andy's captor had been unable to deal with the state of the home, and so cleaned it up, sweeping it everyday, and quite meticulously. Will suspected that it might have been more to wipe out any traces of his captor's presence than to clean up the place.
One thing Andy did make clear was that he did not want to be in his home for any longer than he had to. Apparently, his captor could come back at any time. Will wondered whether they should lie in wait for the captor, take him down then, but Rick quickly reminded him what happened the last time they set an ambush for him. Will did not dismiss his own plan though, anything he could do to catch this killer would be done.
They arrived at the police station in short order, it was nearing dusk when they did so. Inside the police station, Joey was impatiently pacing about the reception area, and Jenny was nervously sitting behind her desk. Rick set Andy down to one side, as Joey strode purposefully towards them.
"It's about time you all got back, I've found something you all should see." Joey said immediately, not even looking at the slightly quavering figure they had come back with.
"At the moment I was hoping you could tend to his wounds." Will nodded towards Andy behind him.
"Who is that?" Joey asked.
"He's Andy Cobb. I think our killer held him captive for several days. He might have valuable information we might need." Will replied.
"But you have to see what I discovered." Joey insisted.
"In a moment." Will told him quite forcefully, and Joey quickly backed down. He was not going to pick a fight with Will Bryant, there was a hardness to him that seemed quite impenetrable. Will then looked to Jenny, "Is Kempe in? I need to speak with him."
"He left several hours ago." Jenny replied, looking a little disappointed herself.
"Do you know where he went?"
"No, he just said he was looking for evidence." Jenny replied.
"Where has he looked before?" Will asked, not sure quite what Randy had gone and done, but he was sure it had been pretty stupid of him.
"At the murder scenes." Jenny replied, her face growing more forlorn. "Oh, he also talked with the prisoners. They won't tell him who escaped the DDD incident."
"Does he suspect that is the person doing this?" Will asked.
"Yes, they all do. I hope they catch him."
Will nods, smiles towards her, and then returns to look at the slightly frustrated Joey who was investigating the wounds, slightly annoyed that his patient was living, so he had to deal with it complaining. Will got his attention and then said, "I'm going to talk with the prisoners a bit. I want you to have whatever it is you have discovered ready for me to see when I get back."
Joey looked much happier with that pronouncement, and nearly dashed back to the veterinary clinic to get it. Will just shook his head in mock dismay, as Rick looked at him, slightly on edge, a little bit reproachfully. Will ignored that, and headed back to speak with the prisoners.
His name was Tyler Goode. His name was Tyler Goode. His name was Tyler Goode. He had finished all the food, and was by now really wishing that he could have told Randy what he wanted to know. Unfortunately he wasn't Sheriff Davis, so he couldn't tell him. He could only tell Sheriff Davis, and a soon as Davis got back he would tell him. However, it had been a little fun to tweak Randy, after all, Randy had killed several of his best friends, why should he have to like him or do what he says?
Randy had been shouting angry obscenities as he had sat there in the office, without a clue as to what to do. He remembered hearing the voice of that sweet young receptionist trying to calm him down. He fancied that she was even trying to flirt with him, but it was so far away he couldn't tell. He could hear voices in there still, though different ones, and ones that were less angry, but he couldn't quite make out what they were saying.
He didn't recognize two of the voices though, that is what bugged him. The other two were obvious, Rick and Jenny. He'd gotten to know the voices of many of the Barkenites quite well over the last year, some he liked, some he didn't. He never liked Randy, and he doubted that he ever would. He liked Sheriff Davis in a way. He had hated him for what he had made him do, write those silly statements that he had so vehemently disagreed with. Now he looked on them in tacit acknowledgment. How could God not forgive him of this, oh he so desperately hoped He would, after all, He was a God of love and forgiveness, wasn't He?
Just then Tyler heard another sound, and he climbed up off the floor and looked out of his cell door. A figure was entering the area, looking in each cell, obviously unfamiliar with the structure of the place. Now who could this be? As the figure drew closer, he could see that he was at all, wide of shoulder, dressed in a hand-tailored suit, with a pair of sunglasses in his breast coat pocket. He was certainly the most professionally dressed person he'd ever seen come back here, and now his curiosity was piqued.
"Good evening, gentlemen. I am hear as a duly appointed representative of the United States Government sent here on your behalf." the man said quite smoothly, almost as if it had been a mantra. How in the world was this happening? How did they find out? How did they know about Barken and Cherry? Nobody was supposed to know what had been going on since the two towns had been erected oh so many years ago. Tyler would have asked, but Brad beat him to the punch.
"Who are you?" Brad asked, his voice revealing that he did not completely believe him. "And how do you know what has been going on?"
"My name is Will Bryant. I am from the FBI. My job here is to relate to you that you are being held against your will, without trial or bail, and in violation of your 8th amendment rights." Will replied.
"Our what?" Brad asked again, now confused.
"Your 8th amendment rights. Nobody shall suffer cruel or unusual punishment. You are indeed being unusually punished. I am here to help you out of this situation, and to put the people who did this to you behind bars." Will explained.
"So what do we have to do?" Brad asked.
"Well, we need a character witness, otherwise the Barkenites will make up any story they please, and there's nothing I can do. I need to know the names of anybody who might know of your situation, first hand knowledge now." Will explained, hopping the set up worked.
Tyler considered the FBI agent. This seemed quite suspicious. Here he was offering them a chance at freedom, but attaching strings. Tyler did not like strings at all. All he wanted at the moment was to get some food.
"I can only think of one person. The guy who escaped that night." Tyler heard Tony say, and then he heard Tony gulp in shame, how dare he say what he just did!
"And who would this person be?" Will asked. "If you give us his name, I'm sure we can work to get you all out of here as soon as possible."
Will's question was met with silence, as all four of them just sat thinking in their cells, debating whether to tell this man; debating whether they could trust this man. Tyler found himself moved to speak though after a few minutes of silence, though his own words would scare him more than anything else had in the last year.
"I don't think helping you can help us. We have killed so many Barkenites, that we should be locked up for life for our crimes. If we stay as we are here, then at least we have a chance of getting out. Davis only wants to keep us in here till we have become Barkenites ourselves, and can integrate us into the town of Barken. That's all they're trying to do, it's much more humane than Cherriers do with Barkenites they catch. I remember helping skin a few that we had caught but hadn't killed. I just want to get some food, I'm hungry."
Will looked stunned for a moment, but he then added, "If being locked up for your crimes is what makes you baulk, then let me put your fears to rest. If you testify, all of your previous crimes will be wiped clean. I will ensure that your criminal records stay pristine, its in the law books, you can look it up. I just need to know that name, and I'll be able to help you all."
Brad then asked, his own suspicions clear, "If you are here to help us, why did you all take so long in getting to us. The worst of this is already over; its not that cruel any more."
"The reason it took so long, honestly, is because we are extremely back logged, and this case was not that high priority. I'm sorry to say this, but you all were on our 'to do' list and somehow got misplaced. You're lucky they finally sent me out here. You could have been here for who knows how long before you were given a chance at justice."
Tyler felt inside that he was being given justice, but he could not vocalise it. He could not himself tell this man, he did not want to risk placing himself in the law's eye; it could only make his situation worse. Yet then his mind was startled to realize that this was a set-up when he heard a voice he had not for a long time. It was Harry Carrello, not completely human, he must have just shifted to a median form.
"Hey, you were there that night! You were the one who shot Schwarz!" Harry exclaimed, and they all looked at the man as he remained as trapped, not giving away any revealing emotions.
Brad laughed, "Yes, you were! Now I recognize you. Nice try, good trick, almost had me fooled."
Will then sighed, his ruse up. "Fine, you found me out. I had to try, but so much the better, I can survive without his name for now. I will find it, your denying me of it is only a delay, I will find this man. You all rest assured of that." With that Will turned on his heel, and left the four alone again. Tyler sat back, thinking over what this meant. He was not important to anybody out there, at least not so important that they would risk their necks for him. Who cared for him then? Only the one taking care of him, and that was Sheriff Davis. Only a Barkenite cared for him now, and the realization hit home, and he sat back in his cell pondering this new development.
His name was Tyler Goode. His name was Tyler Goode. His name was Tyler Goode.
When Will returned from the lockup, Joey had brought in and laid on a table one of the corpses. He had a lamp held over it, with a darkly shaded light bulb inside. He had pinned the skin back in one section, revealing the inside of the dead dog. Jenny looked quite distressed over the dead dog in the reception area, while Rick was simply passive, almost as if he were fatalistic. Andy seemed too withdrawn to notice.
"So what do you have?" Will asked as he returned.
"Did they tell you anything?" Rick asked quickly, getting in before Joey could reply.
"No, one of them recognized me." Will shrugged, then turning back to Joey, and approaching closer to the table he asked again, "So what have you found?"
"Rick, can you turn off the lights?" Joey asked, and Rick went and did so. Joey looked up in the darkness to Will, the feeble light streaming in from the windows illuminating the room enough so that they barely see each other. "Now watch as I turn on this dark light."
Joey reached for the switch, and turned it on. Immediately, the inner lining of the skin came alive, as the paint that had been applied lighted up in the presence of the dark light. Will stared at the words written on the side, his whole posture changing as he breathed, reading it several times to make sure it was for real. Joey then turned the dark-light off, and Rick turned the regular lights back on.
"All For You." Will said, reciting the phrase that had been painted onto the inner lining of the skin.
"The other three have exactly the same thing written on them, in exactly the same way." Joey added.
"Did what's his name..." Will began, stumbling for the name.
"Eddie Jones." Rick supplied.
"Yeah, did Eddie Jones do this?" Will asked.
"Not that I know of." Rick shook his head.
Will grabbed a seat and sat down. "All For You. That sounds so familiar."
"Where from?" Joey asked, carefully removing the pins from the body, and putting it back together again.
"I don't know." Will looked out the window, looking westward at the setting sun. He felt his stomach rumble, and he suspected that the others were hungry as well. "I suggest we head over to motel and get something to eat, we can discuss this over dinner, I'm buying."
"Sounds good to me." Joey quickly agreed.
"Besides, Andy needs a place to stay until this is all over." Will looked at the still figure, which turned to face him at the sound of his own name.
Paul Aberdeen looked at the gun pointing at him, and tried to keep his blood pressure down. He was not so much afraid of dying as he was of the man himself. He knew that Randy would most likely kill him, and he knew that he should not fear death, for hasn't he been a man of God all his life? Yet he was afraid of what this man would do to him, and he couldn't help himself.
Randy Kempe on the other hand was quite angry, so angry in fact as to have come and done this. His path was now set, there was little chance that he was going to get away with this, for the moment he set foot outside this church, he would be vulnerable. For while the church was the instrument through which the people of Cherry were made to believe that the people of Barken were devils, it was also the only place that Randy could tread without fear of death, for he knew they could not kill in the house of their Lord, it would be tantamount to cursing their Lord, and he knew they would not do that.
"Now," Randy began, idly fingering the trigger, "you will tell me what I want to know, or you will die, and somebody else will tell me."
"What makes you think I won't lie to you?" Paul told him, his hands quivering.
"I know you won't." Randy told him, leaning forward. "You are a man of God. You may have killed many innocent people, but you most certainly would never lie." Randy's voice took on a tone of sarcasm that Paul resented.
"I won't lie." Paul said truthfully. Randy was right, he would never lie, that would be a sin, and he must live blamelessly, but he was wrong, those people he had killed had been devils, and it had been his job to do so. "But I never killed an innocent man, they were all guilty, as you are, of consorting with demons."
"My father never consorted with demons, nor have I, nor have anybody else that you have ever killed!" Randy nearly burst with rage. "You killed my father in cold blood, you bastard!"
"And I would do it again." Paul replied, the gun no longer an object he feared, but one that seemed destined to kill him no matter what he said.
Randy did not shoot then, instead he knocked the ornate pencil case that had been sitting on the desk to the floor, along with several papers that had been stacked neatly beside it. "I loved my father, and you took him away from me. I should kill you now for that."
"And you took my son away from me." Paul countered, remembering that incident nearly twenty years ago all too well. It had been a pleasant evening, until he and his son had seen them, and then it was like a red blur of rage, as the killing ensued.
"In self-defence, you both attacked first. Why couldn't you have left us alone, we were happy. Why couldn't you have let us be happy, damnit!?"
"You revel in the carnal. That is sin. Sin must be stopped."
"You sacrificed your son for it." Randy told him, his grip on the gun becoming quite tight, as he felt the sorrow in him well up. Rarely did it ever, yet when he thought of his father, he could not help but feel sorrow, for he had loved his father more than anybody else he could know. How he had let this man, Paul Aberdeen, live for such a long time he did not know.
"So did the Father." Paul told him, finding a pleasing similarity there.
"Don't even start making yourself a Messiah." Randy told him, shoving the gun further into his face. "You are a devil if I ever saw one. Now you will damn well tell me what I want to know!"
"Maybe." Paul replied shrugging slightly.
"No, you will tell me." Randy told him confidently. "Now, who escaped your attack on Barken one year ago?"
"Why do you assume I would know?" Paul asked.
"You run this damn town! You would be the first to know!"
"He wasn't from here." Paul told him, smiling slightly.
"Bullshit!" Randy was nearly frothing at the mouth. "Only a Cherrier could kill so!"
"Hardly." Paul countered. "You kill in cold blood. I can't count the number of people you have killed over the years."
"I do it to save men's lives." Randy pointed out, not liking the detour the conversation took.
"And we do it to save men's souls. We're back at the impasse again." Paul told him quite efficaciously.
Randy then with a quick smooth motion, pointed his gun at the computer screen, pulled the trigger, destroying the monitor, and then returned the gun to its original target. "Don't change the topic again. Who is he?"
"Who, the man who escaped that night or the man who is killing your folk now?" Paul asked.
"Are you suggesting that they are not the same person?" Randy asked.
"Not at all, I was just wondering which one you meant."
"Are they the same person?" Randy asked, eyeing him warily.
"Then what is his name?"
"I refuse to tell you." Paul said, knowing that might mean his death.
Randy then picked up one of Paul's books, and through it at the glass frame. It shattered, and the skin that had been pinned up fell into Randy's waiting arms. Randy held it aloft, and laid it before him on the table. "This was the skin of my father. If you don't tell me, I will use it to strangle the life from you." Randy's voice was surprisingly calm considering his unkempt rage. He also holstered his pistol, afraid he might accidentally pull the trigger in a fit.
"Then strangle me with it, for I will not tell you his name." Paul told him, offering his neck as best he could.
"All right." Randy held the skin in his hands. "If you will not tell me his name, tell me where he is from."
"Barken." Paul shrugged. "Sort of...."
"What do you mean sort of?"
"He didn't originally live there, moved there for certain reasons some time ago, and then left again."
"That I will not tell you."
Randy nearly jumped across the table then, but he held himself in check. "Where is he?"
"He's in not in Cherry. I will tell you only that. Now are you going to strangle me or what?" Paul stood from his seat, and he could see the rage burning in Randy's eyes as they both locked gazes. Randy burned with the desire to kill this man, but he knew that it might provoke a fierce counterattack by Cherry. Yet he had killed his father some twenty years ago. How could he let that go any further unavenged. He held his father's skin in his hands, feeling it, kneading it, ruffling the fur, feeling the smoothness of it, and remembering his love for his Dad. With that, he made his decision.
All four of them were sitting at a table in the motel. Jenny had stayed at the police headquarters, hoping that Randy would return soon. They had waited for Joey to return the cadaver to the veterinary office first before they had gone on, but now all four of them were eating a delicious meal of T-bone Steak and potatoes. Mrs. Brumfield was serving them, and continuously bringing out things for them so that she would be in and out of the kitchen, dropping tidbit's, generally useless, into their conversation.
"So he writes All For You on his victims, why, who is it all for?" Will asked.
"Depends, is the you singular or plural?" Joey asked.
"No idea." Rick added.
"Did he ever say those words to you, Andy?" Will asked. Andy had been eating the food, and he had come out of his stupor some, but he was still pretty locked up from the whole thing.
Andy chewed on the piece of steak he had in his mouth for a long time, looking as if he were in thought. They could tell that he had heard the question because he had glanced at Will for a moment before returning to staring at his plate. After he swallowed, he took a drink of milk, and then looked back up at him. "He said it a few times. It was always followed by something long, I can't remember the words." Then he returned his face to the dish and quickly stuffed another piece of steak into his mouth, as if he didn't want to be addressed.
"Well, its obviously his calling card." Joey said. "Does it have to mean anything?"
"Maybe not, but it's something we didn't have before. If it can provide any clues, then we need to figure it out." Will replied, hoping that it did indeed mean something important.
Just then Mrs. Brumfield brought Will another slice of the delicious steak (it was a little rare for Will's taste, but he thought it good). Rick looked at her and asked off-handedly, "Rhonda, what do you think All For You sounds like?"
"All For You?" Rhonda Brumfield asked, slightly taken aback that she had been asked a direct question. "It sounds like one of those 1-800 numbers that you see advertised on TV."
"1-800 numbers?" Joey held back a laugh.
Will looked at her, his mouth agape. "Wait a moment, she might have something. All For You, there are two words in that that can be respelled with only one letter, for and you. So we could rewrite it All4You or AllForU. That's seven letters. It could be a telephone number."
"You're right." Rick said, figuring it out himself. "Thanks, Rhonda."
"I'm glad to be of help." Rhonda then returned back to the kitchen.
Joey got Will's attention, pointing to a phone hanging from the wall behind him. "Want to test your theory?" Will smiled, nodding.
The man checked over the wiring, slightly frustrated. There was a single bad wire, and he had to go through them all to discover which one it was. It was getting dark already, midnight only five hours away. He had already been working on this for six hours, he was not going to be stopped by a bad wire, he was not going to be stopped by something that simple.
The figure lurking in the shadows continued to keep the whining dogs in silence, as the man continued to construct his device. Picking up his remote control, he pushed the central button, and before each collar, the metal springs released, and the weights attached to them clashed forcibly together. "I think it's working." he said, a smile crossing his face.
"Good." the creature called back, before turning back around in surprise. The man did as well, looking at the source of the intrusion. His phone was ringing. He looked at the figure, which glowered at him, "Pick it up."
The man carefully walked out of his contraption, and picked up his cordless phone. He raised the antenna, and turned down the speaker volume to soft, so that the dogs wouldn't be picked up. "Hello?" he asked.
"Ah, I take it this is All For You?" he heard the voice call back.
The man smiled. They found his phone number, how good of them. "I see you all are not as stupid as I thought, how nice."
"You bet, October tenth, 1863." the voice called back, and the man nearly stumbled over the wiring he'd lain across the floor.
"Well, it's good to hear that somebody over there has a brain in their head. However, I can't talk now, you caught me at a bad time, could you call back, like say tomorrow?"
"What?" the voice sounded surprised.
"Call me back tomorrow, I'm kind of busy at the moment." he reiterated. "You all have a good night now." he then hung up, much to the person on the other end of the lines frustration. He then disconnected his phone. He looked back over to the figure who was skulking in the corner, watching him carefully.
"I thought you said they wouldn't find us." the figure growled at him.
"I gave them my number the minute I killed George Thompson. It's been just over a week since that day. I think we have little to worry about." the man reassured him. "Now, we have five hours to make absolutely sure this thing works, then our jobs really get hectic."
The dark figure nodded in tacit agreement. Tonight would be quite productive.