Following after Will Bryant, who as a sheep dog seemed quite appropriate in the role of leading, the four of them were all following their own trains of thought. Joey wondered just how badly Julie was going crazy without him, and he relished the thought. Rick was speculating on wether they would find the twenty-fifth body tomorrow morning or not. Randy was wondering where exactly Will was leading them, and at the same time reprimanding himself for not realizing that Will probably would have known that Jenny was a hacker in her spare time. Joe was wondering just how Will knew that Jenny was a hacker in her spare time.
"How do you think he knew?" Joe asked Randy in subdued tones as they followed behind Will.
"Because I had Jenny hack into his computer once, shortly after the DDD incident. Will caught her, but he was nice enough not to press charges." Randy explained.
"Why did you do that?" Joe asked, amazed at Randy's lack of tact.
"I was suspicious, he knew so much about us, and we knew little of him. Had to find out." Randy shrugged. Joe found Randy's calm demeanour so intriguing since the bubbling rage he had displayed yesterday. However, what could he say that would explain it, there was nothing that he could tell the more experience sentry to help him. Randy's mystique was simply too untouchable for him to truly fathom, or appreciate.
It didn't take long before they reached the hotel, and then it dawned on them just where he was headed. Rick remembered that Ted had taken the maps to his room, so obviously they would be there. He had said that the clues were in the maps, so that is what they would have to find. Randy explained the situation to Mrs. Brumfield, who grabbed her master key, and took them up to Ted's room. Will scooted in as fast as he could, running over to the desk, where the maps were strewn about. Mrs. Brumfield then left them, and returned to her kitchen.
Randy moved into position over the maps, and rifled through them. He found only two with any markings on them whatsoever. He put them onto the bed, which Will jumped on, and laid them out flat. The first was the map that Will had drawn the pentagram on. The second was of a drawing of a similar pentagram, but it was on a larger scale map. There were three circles drawn on the two maps, two on the first, one on the third. The first two circles occurred in the centre of the pentagram, and at the south-eastern corner. The third circle was in the centre of the larger pentagram.
"Well, does anybody have any clue what these mean?" Randy asked.
"That one is the maintenance shack for the water tower." Joe pointed at the circle in the south-eastern corner. "This one is smack dab in the residential district, I could get the address if you gave me a few minutes. This other one is off in the middle of nowhere though. I bet that's where Ted went."
"So what should we?" Rick asked.
"Well, I don't think anybody who's not up to snuff should go to any of these locations." Randy said. "Sorry, Joe. I think you should just stay back at the police station for this one. Also, I think we should check out this one in the middle of nowhere last. I don't know how he found it, but this must be it."
They were all distracted by Will's prancing just then. He had started when Randy had begun giving out assignments, and he didn't stop until they paid attention to him. "What is it, Will?" Joey asked.
Will put one paw on the maps, and looked at them expectantly. "What do you want us to do with the maps?" Joey asked. Will whined a bit, not sure quite what to do.
"Only ask yes or no questions." Joe told him. "Is there something we're missing, Will? Wag your tail if yes."
"All right, so we need to work on these maps
some more, figure out what Ted did?" Randy surmised.
"Who in town would even know where to begin?" Rick asked. Will whined at that, looking at him a little testily.
"Is there anybody in town who would know how to do this?" Dr. Vermiclin asked.
"Great, how are we going to find out his name?" Rick asked. Will was already ahead of them on that one. He reached down for one of the pens that Ted had used. Randy saw what he was doing, and found the feeling very familiar. He took the pen, and gave it to Will so that he could write with it. Will then bent head down, the pen clutched in his jaws, and began to sloppily write. They all watched, and after a minute, he was done. The writing was a mess, but in that mess amongst the swirls of ink, amongst the landscapes of the map he had written on, they saw the name Jason Kubelik.
"That's right, I heard he was staying with the Barclay's." Rick mentioned. "He's also got a package for him back at the station, I'll go and kill two birds with one stone."
Will then jumped down and stood between Rick and the door, barking at him, a growl forming at the back of his throat. Rick stopped, shocked that Will would do this. Randy picked up on it immediately, "Do you think the package should be delivered, Will?"
"Don't give him the package, Rick." Randy said.
"I guess that would be a good idea. I'll take Will's word for it." Rick then left to retrieve Jason Kubelik.
The figure stepped out of the car, with his plastic gloves on, and the large clippers in his hands. He climbed the telephone poll, whistling to himself as he went. As he reached the top, he held himself in place, and looked at the various array of power cables. On touch and he would be zapped back into the stone age. Of course, he wasn't that stupid. He put the phone line between the blades of the clipper, and then quickly snipped. That done, he got back in the car, and drove, he had other jobs to do.
Jenny was sitting in front of her computer, finally having managed to find the Bangor Municipal Hospital's home directory. Then suddenly she was disconnected from the server. She tapped the side of her computer experimentally, as if that would have done any good. Then she tried reconnecting, no good, couldn't even call up the server. That was odd, she never had problems with that before. She picked up the phone, and then she knew exactly what the problem was, there was no dial-tone.
Little Stevie Engel was sitting on the sidewalk, feeling glum. It was a boring day, and nothing was going to happen. He had just barely been allowed outside, his mommy still a bit miffed about finding those toys yesterday. However, just getting outside had a first seemed a goal that would reward him with some joy, but instead it was rewarded with more boredom. All his friends had work to do of one form or another, or they were in trouble with their parents, or what not.
Sighing, he completely missed the sight of the figure that strode down the street quite confidently towards him. It wasn't until he felt that tap on his shoulder, and the voice shouting, "Your IT!" that he sprang to action. He reflexively chased after the one who'd taped him, and it took him only a moment to realize who it was. It was Nicholas! He then stopped, his mommy had told him to run away form this man. But he was playing tag with him, how could he bad if he was playing tag?
Stevie chased after the man who was running deliberately slow. Stevie caught up to him after a few minutes, and he noticed that they were now far form his home. Nicholas collapsed in a heap by the street, right next to an alley. He smiled at the young Stevie Engel.
"Now it's your turn to try an tag me." Stevie said, but Nicholas stopped him.
"Actually, how'd you like to try and catch me while were dogs?" Nicholas asked.
"That would be great!" Stevie was nearly jumping for joy. Then he stopped and his face looked so disappointed. "I'd have to go home to change."
"Not true, I always carry this little sack with me, we can put our clothes in it, and I'll carry it on my back as a dog." Nicholas pointed out. "We can change in this alley here, not that people haven't done it before."
Stevie liked this idea, and he quickly shed his clothes, and became a little dog. Nicholas stuffed the clothes into the sack, and then his own as well. He strapped the sack over his shoulders. The straps were quite uncomfortable for him as a human, but when he became a dog, mixed breed he was, it was a perfectly snug fit. Before Stevie could react though, Nicholas took off down the street, faster than Stevie thought he could run.
Stevie did not pout at his almost certain loss, but instead saw it as delightful fun, because he knew that eventually he would catch up with this man. He continued to chase after him, thankful that Nicholas never left his sight, just a straight run, right through the streets, out into the desert air, and quite in the middle of nowhere it seemed after a time.
By the time Nicholas finally collapsed, and Stevie was able to catch up with him, they were well out of Barken. Stevie tagged Nicholas, who by that time had shifted into median form, and grabbed him, and held him tight. He then pointed over towards a truck that had been hidden behind a dune. "C'mon, I'll take you to my place for the night. I'll take you to my home in Colorado in a few days if you want to."
Stevie licked his face, happy to be with this nice man.
"All right, Jason." Randy pointed out the maps to him. "We need you to figure these out."
"Do you all have any idea what this is?" Jason asked, looking at the blank faces before him. "No idea whatsoever?"
"Well, he said it was related to the Frober-or-something design." Joe replied meekly, trying to scrounge up that word that Ted had used to describe it.
"Well, it starts with an F, that much is helpful." Jason remarked. Then picking up the maps, he cradled them in his arms, and looked at the police officers. "Look, I'll have this done by tomorrow at the earliest, you're asking me to do some thing that is difficult. I'll let you all know first thing in the morning."
"Fine." Randy replied. "By tomorrow we should know many things it seems. Rick, you and I are going to pay this maintenance shack a visit. Joe, get two sentries down to this other house, see what they can find. The rest of you, just hang loose."
They all nodded, and then each went their separate ways.
Randy and Rick found the shack in short order,
they also found something that was very telling. It was a note, attached
to the top of the door by tape.
This is Ole St. Nick. I am not here at the moment. I will
be tomorrow though, so please feel free to drop by.
"That son of a...." Randy swore. "Rick, we are going to be here exactly at midnight tonight. Be armed, and ready to kill, because I think we might just have to."
"I'll be here." Rick assured him.
Avery Perkins and Vance Lawford had both recovered from their experience in that back alley almost a week ago. Now both were assigned together again, this time to visit the house of a one Mrs. Stephanie Engel. No explanation was given other than that it might have some bearing on the case. They approached this like a civil case, but were prepared for anything.
The lights were dark in the house when they went in, the front door being unlocked. However, the smell of fear was strong. The shades had been pulled, so they could only vaguely make out the image in the centre of the room. It was of a person sitting in a chair. Avery turned on his flashlight, and trained it on the figure. It was Stephanie Engel. She was bound and gagged into the chair, and her eyes were wild with fright.
Avery and Vance quickly rushed over to her, despite the shaking of her head, and Avery took of her gag while Vance worked on her binds. It was quite a surprise for both of them to see that once Avery pulled the gag off, a grenade with the pin pulled came spilling out her mouth and into her lap.
Neither had time to move, as the grenade exploded, and the room was filled with a gas that sent all of them reeling. A gas grenade, Avery thought as his thoughts grew clouded, he never intended for us to die.
Joe looked out the window of Davis's office. It was already night, the day spent, and here he was stuck on night shift, as Randy felt that he shouldn't involve himself in any action at the moment. He was probably right, but then again, Joe liked to see action, he wanted to be the one that got to pull the trigger on this bad guy, he wanted to take his life for all his friends that had already been killed.
He heard the door to the front of the police station open, he turned saw who it was, and went back to staring out the window. Jenny had left long ago, and now they had another problem. The phone lines were down yet again. They had sent for Albert Barclay to go repair them, but he had yet to report in. He hoped he wasn't dead, that would make life so much more difficult. Then there was Avery and Vance, he'd sent them to that house hours ago, why hadn't they reported in?
Staring at the window, he noticed something that made him turn suddenly, but of course, too late. The reflection in the window was one of a man holding a gun, pointed at him.