Season One – Episode 1 “Pilot”

“Strange Nights”

Season One

Episode One

By: B.A. Holland

Production Notes:

Started: 1/24/2011 (6:00PM EST)

“Air Date” 1/25/2011 Midnight EST

Published by: Abyssalbooks

www.abyssalbooks.com

Copyright ©2011

All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer

This series is a work of fiction. Characters, names and incidences are either productions of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

For Dad

Pilot

Chapter One

B-ball, Saxophones, and Bullshit

The sidewalk held fast against the incoming assault of water that slammed into it’s ever vigilant surface. The sunlight of the day was soon totally clouded out as the day gave way to the unrelenting twilight of the afternoon overcast. Through the haze of wet streaks were two figures on a large plot of pavement. The rain got worse as the figures continued their dance around one another. One figure was a six and a half foot muscular black man. The man menacingly advanced on someone else – a young girl, no older than thirteen. Through the translucent droplets that slapped against everything in sight, someone spotted the encroachment of the young girl and pulled the car up next to the gate. The black man stopped as blue and red began to emanate from the windshield of the unmarked patrol car.

“You! Stop!” Came a feminine scream.

Amongst the rasp of the intense rain was another sound. Ping after ping, the sound of rubber hitting the sidewalk added to the ambiance of the rain’s beat like an unexpected member of the band. The girl leaned over the bulky black man. Her short dark hair would have been a brilliant blonde if not hidden under a backwards cap. Her dark eyes pleaded for the officer not to come any closer but she did anyway. The umbrella popped out of the door before the woman advanced on the two of them in the onslaught of dreary weather.

“Hi Misses McKinzie!” The older man said.

“Mom?!” Came the younger voice. They were both soaked to the bone.

The detective advanced on them, pushing her expanded umbrella through the thin narrow wire-gate to enter the court.

“Please tell me you just got caught out in the rain… As in – you didn’t decide to continue playing when the rain started.” She said to her daughter who was clad in a soaked basketball jersey, a pair of boxers, and squishy tennis shoes. She had the basketball under her arm as she sighed. Cars were slowing down to catch a glimpse of the police vehicle and already, Jordan was feeling like she got caught with her pants down.

“You said that if I did all my homework, that I could play with Zak…” She said. “I used to do this in Iowa all the time! And you’re embarrassing me in front of my friends!” She pointed to the police car that may as well have been a blinking Christmas tree on wheels.

“First off… You’re not in Iowa anymore! Your father used to let you do things that I would never adhere to.” The young thirty year old detective turned red as she held back the anger. “This is New York City… You can’t just — go out and play basketball all alone. There are people around that don’t mind hurting you.” She said.

“Mis,” The deep booming voice of the dark tall hoop player insisted, “.. I promise I’ll take good care of her. I’ll escort her home myself and I won’t let her leave my sight. Noone’s gettin’ past me, I guarantee.”

“Zak… Just because you wear a uniform doesn’t mean I trust you with my daughter.” She turned on her heel to look the man in the eyes – which she could only do by arching herself onto her tiptoes. “Same goes to you! What the hell do you think you’re doing. You’re on duty tonight and I don’t want to have to hear about someone filling in for your shift because you caught the common cold.”

The man frowned and wiped some of the rain droplets off of his bald head as he took a good long look at Anna.

“Detective, what are you implying?” He asked.

Anna could tell that she offended Zak and she sighed.

“I’m sorry, Zak.” She caved in. “It’s just that, I assumed that you would notice that…”

“These,” Jordan pointed to her shirt that outlined the small bumps of breasts, which there wasn’t much of in the first place. Her athletic prowess took care of that problem but she never knew if her mother was relieved about that or not. “Are you joking? Mom… I don’t even look like a girl and Zak never looked!” She said.

“Never,” Zak enforced that part of her statement. “Now you on the other hand…” Zak looked Detective Anna McKinzie up and down and sucked his bottom lip in as he shook his head with utter disrespect.

Both women kicked Zak for that.

“Eeehey!”

The umbrella came down on him a few hits as well; despite being open, it still brought some formidable hits from Anna’s nylon fabric.

“Come on, get her inside and get dressed. You passed the test.” Revealing what Anna had originally drove back for.

“Excuse me?!” Zak said.

“You heard me detective third grade Zak Jones…”

Zach leaned over his knees just a little so that he could see Anna’s head under the umbrella. “You’re fucking with me?”

“Come on! You’re wasting time!” Anna snapped. “Get Jordan back to the apartment, get dressed in your best civies, and join me for a night on the town. Congratulations.” She kept the smile and the cheer in her voice as she added, “… and don’t curse in front of my daughter or I’ll blow your balls off.”

“Yes ma’am,” Zak said as he took Jordan’s hand and ran back into the apartment building with her.

“Can you believe it?” Zak said as they ascended the stairwell of the near-ancient apartment complex. He leaned against the railing as the young girl smiled up at him. She reached out with her hand and slapped a wet hand against his large hand that was almost as big as her head. They both made move toward one another and slapped their chests against each other in some sort of brotherhood comradery. She had to jump up to do it but it looked rather well rehearsed. For their major age difference, they were oddly best of friends. They finished ascending the steps to her floor and he waited as she keyed the door and stepped in.

“Now remember, no going off while I’m gone okay? Don’t be makin’ me look bad.” Zak said with a finger pointed at her.

The little girl gave him her trademark cheese-eating grin and retorted.

“There is no way – in this entire world – that you could possibly make you look worse.” The girl giggled as she closed the door on him.

“No way that I could.. What?” He said to himself as he pointed to himself and then to the door. He attempted wrapping his mind around that statement. He walked down the hallway repeating that to himself a few times.

What he didn’t see was the lurker around the corner, waiting for a sign that the apartment wasn’t fully occupied.

*

Nero woke up to the sound of a car alarm. He hated waking up. He despised waking up. Six months since he had died, and he wanted to die all over again – for real this time. No, actually, he just gave himself that thought to make him smile. Life, or, death, was being good to him so far. He found himself a nice condo that he put a down payment on using forged records regarding an uncle he never had.

“Wonderful uncle that man — whom in his will, he left everything he had to Nero.” That was his cover for being able to outright buy out the lush furnished apartment with an unobstructed view of town square. As a human being, he had never been one to strive for the good life or to throw himself upon the rat race. Being dead, with the allure of immortality, however, gave him more incentive to think a little bigger.

… Okay, so maybe it was just the fact that he had the ability to rob a bank in down town Wall Street with his newfound powers that had something to do with it. As a police officer, he was used to catching criminals like himself. He had never been on the take, never stolen anything from anyone, but he was damned good catching anyone that did. As a human being, that was his job; his calling.

Being a Vampire sort of changed his world view on morality just a little.

The Sanctum, however held his actions in a very dim light. They actually threatened to track him down and kill him the next time he pulled another stunt like that. He thought he was free to do as he pleased with all those supernatural powers under his command. He then soon came to realize that being a Vampire came with all of the godawful demands of loyalty and bureaucracy as being Human. The bitch of it was – this was an immortal bureauracy. They regulated everything. The Sanctum simply let him know that since he was a fledgling, unaware of the laws of decency at the time that he committed the crime, that he would be permitted to live, and to keep the money that he laundered so well.

A broke vampire? No way… Not me! He thought.

In his mind, all Vampires had to be rich somehow. That was the way Count Dracula was… All the other famous immortals – Duncan McCloud, Dorian Grey… They were all filthy rich! Now, so was he. Now worth thirty million dollars, he was well-to-do, with no taxes to pay. Of course, he did still eighty million, but the cost to make that money untraceable was high and no one did it for free. He still made out filthy rich! Filthy flipping rich! He smiled to himself. He felt like he had just stuck it to the man, both mortal and immortal. His only major mistake was the idea that now that he was a vampire, and filthy freaking rich, that he could spend his eternity living off the interest of his heist, and hypnotize himself with the late-show for for the rest of his nightly eternity.

As a mortal… He locked up other mortals for doing things he did as a vampire…

Now – as a Vampire, he was catching other Vampires for crimes against the Sanctum.

No, he didn’t want to get up.

Nero finished his shower quickly and jumped into his overly flashy clothes. His coat was near neon blue, his tie a blinding yellow, donned onto a white shirt tucked into black pants and shiny shoes. He had long wavy hair that reached down to his back. Although fashionably cruel to himself, most women would agree that it was what was underneath that counted when it came to Nero. Before leaving the corner condo that overlooked times square, he checked his stocks and smiled to himself. The large computer monitors that surrounded his circular desk was telling him that he was getting more rich every day.

There was a knock at his door. He sighed to himself and rolled his eyes. He opened the door not knowing which would be worse for showing up – a member of the sanctum or a former big-shot of the United States that lived on the top floor that constantly asked favors of his equally rich neighbors.

And there he was… Flanked by two men in black suits, dark sunglasses (at night too), radio ear buds, and complete with guns. The old man had a head of grey, a bright red robe, and a saxophone in his hand.

“Ey, buddy..” He said. Nero thought the man always sounded like he was trying to eject a floater into the porcelain goddess with every breath whenever he talked. He had that straining sound to his vocal chords every time he talked. And that southern accent just didn’t seem like it belonged in New York City. “I was wonderin’ if ya could help me out again? The dang – headstrap nook just came off again. I was just goin ta play a round for my daughter when I visit DC next week and – well, I was practicing and the damn thing nearly hit my foot.”

Nero rolled his eyes and smiled, “Come on in guys. The gun’s under the counter as always. Make yourselves at home. Don’t mess with my sights k?”

The bodyguards walked in and checked all rooms of the condo as usual and unloaded Nero’s gun while the old man sat down at Nero’s sofa. As usual, Nero wasn’t allowed in the kitchen while the guards were there. Knives…

“Can your bodyguards offer you a drink? I’m afraid all I have is a bottle of mountain dew.”

“Ah it’s quite okay, buddy.” He said. “How’s the market treating ya?”

“Not bad, Bill.” He said as he sat across from him and observed the nook. It was just a bent piece of brass. He pretended to grab a tool from his repair kit while he bent the nook back into a closed loop again between his fingers. “How old is this thing?” He asked.

“Oh, I’d say.. Eighty Seven, Eighty Eight… A good twenty-three years – thing harbors some good memories.”

Nero looked up at the man and smiled. Everyone knew him more or less in title. He never thought that he would end up his neighbor. Nero knew that he would eventually get to know the man on a more personable level as time goes by. Until then, he would refrain from joking about cigars while he fixed the saxophone.

“Ya know… Got to be careful with the market.” Bill said. “We’re at maximum peak debt right now and the world is struggling right now in a time of relative peace. If North Korea blows something up, we’re all screwed… Uncertain times, my friend.”

“I love the way that you put that so delicately.” Nero smiled at the return. “Don’t worry. Only a portion of my money is tied up in the market. A small portion. I’m living small and sitting on the bulk. Are you worried I won’t be your neighbor for much longer?” Nero joked.

“Was I always that transparent?” Bill smiled. Nero returned the smile and handed the man his sax back. He strapped it over his shoulders and inspected the link. “My my… Very nice. I knew I could count on you, my fellow American…”

“Don’t wake up the neighbors tonight. It’s getting late soon.” Nero suggested.

“Ah, buddy – I won’t… We’re still on for dinner on Saturday?”

“I’ll be there.” He said with a thumbs up. Nero wondered if he thought that everyone would naturally be his friend. He wasn’t a bad guy, but – he walked around like he was everyone’s friend anyway. If any other neighbor dropped by a few times a week with nothing but a robe on, he’d be worried about them. At least he was gone now. He didn’t mind him, but regardless of status, he thought it would have been nice if even he called before showing up.

The phone rang.

Nero took a quick sigh and picked it up. The phone was the cheapest thing in the house. A cheapass Panasonic and it was the only piece of equipment that came from Best Buy.

“Margo?” Nero assumed.

“You were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago. Where the hell are you?” Came a smooth female voice.

“You don’t want to know. You wouldn’t believe it..” He said while adjusting the tie on his two-hundred dollar suit. He always enjoyed making something look good out of things that were relatively cheap. It was a habit from his mortal years that he still held onto – the years where he was a struggling cop that refused to ever be on the take.

“When are you going to do your job?” Snapped the voice.

“You know Margot. Back before this job was thrown into my lap, I hated jobs that I had to actually apply for. This makes everything twice as worse. Since I can’t ever get fired, I just assume do my job any time I want. All you need are the results, am I right?” Nero smiled into the phone waiting for the piercing reply. Instead, he heard the clicking of the line.

“I love pissing her off…”

Anna McKinzie and Zak Jones parked in the alley next to a couple of black and whites.

“Starting to get cold,” Anna commented as she zipped up her coat.

“I don’t need a weather report to know that shit,” Zak commented more to himself than her as he rubbed his hands together. “Hey, ever think about Florida?”

“You just got a promotion and you’re talking about losing it all to live in a place full of old guys that drive with their left turn signals on?”

“And hot women from Miami.”

“Jordan would be devastated if you left her for hot women in Miami.”

She laughed cruelly to herself as she watched her new partner’s eyes widen so much that they were in danger of popping out of his skull. She knew from experience that there was nothing that this man hated more than people who took advantage of others. She knew that when she met him – having to pull him back from a man that did horrible things to minors. The only reason she didn’t let Zak beat the shit out of the man was the fact that he had a future in their chosen profession. It was also the reason she didn’t care in the slightest about him becoming friends with her daughter. Teasing him about it and keeping him on his toes was always fun, however.

“You really got to stop that shit, Anna.”

“And miss out on all the fun of watching your jaw clench like that?”

“No, really… You know nothing pisses me off more than being accused of ruining someone’s future for selfish lust.”

“I can think of one thing.”

Zak punched his fist against his palm.

“Homicide…” His voice intent like someone heading into battle. “Close… Close Anna,” the thought made him warm with angered intent.

Anna stopped him and looked up, way up, into his eyes.

“Follow me, watch and listen closely… Rookie.” She winked.

Zak’s shoulders swayed like a boxer warming up for round one as he followed Anna up the steps to the apartment. As they climbed the steps, they noticed the looks off the officers around them as they descended past them.

“What’s wrong?” Zak asked.

“The way they’re looking at us.”

“What way is that? Isn’t that normal. This is a murder, right?”

“It’s not a luck of disgust. They’re – perplexed.”

“Perplexed huh?” Zak chuckled. “I hadn’t heard that one in years… Perplexed…”

They entered the room after donning a pair of fabric covers that went over their shoes and strapped around their ankles along with gloves. They walked in and let CSI do the work. A man in a suit, about six feet tall, slender, mid to late forties, with short brown hair and blue eyes walked up to them. He shook his head and waved his arms a bit.

“Hey… We’re not quite finished yet.”

Anna looked around before replying. The place was royally screwed up. Blood spatters were everywhere. It looked as if someone had picked a man up and used them as a bat on most surfaces in the room. The glass coffee table was halved and shards peppered the floor around them, CSI standing lights were placed in all rooms because there was not a single lamp left in the entire apartment, shelves were splintered – the books that used to lay on them were now ontop of the sparkling glass shards that confetti’d the hardwood floor. The walls had gashes in them that were lambasted with blood droplets and one whole section of wall between two windows was burst out like it had been hit with a wrecking ball from the inside.

“Holy shit…” Zak said as he observed the room.

“We’ve actually seen worse. There are just a few things in this scene that don’t make any sense.” The CSI officer said.

“Like what?” Anna asked.

“Well… The force needed to break through these walls would be equal to a Buick ramming into the side of a building for one. I’m thinking, multiple assailants in this murder. There is too much damage and the disturbances were reported soon after the neighbors heard the noise and called the police.”

“I don’t see any body, chief…” Zak said out of turn again, looking around the house.

The CSI officer looked up at Zak and pointed his pen to the hole between the two busted windows. “The body is one street north.”

“You can’t be serious…” Anna said.

“That’s why we’re not done here. Too much doesn’t add up, and there are two crime scenes. Now – whatever put him a street north of here had to have been some sort of machine or something. The blood spatter and the damage on the body suggests that he was actually thrown through the wall,” he said reluctantly.

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me…” The CSI officer said. “Thrown – through the goddamn wall.”

“… and landed a street –,” Zak walked over to the other side of the room, careful to hug the corners of the room. He stepped over the enterence to the bedroom and shuffled to the edge of what was left of the window, next to the large gaping hole next to it. “… about – a hundred and fifty yards away?! Bullshit!” He said. “I’m sorry… I mean no disrespect. It’s my FIRST day on the job and I have to call bullshit, please, don’t hold that against me.”

“Zak… Come on.” She said before her new partner did anything else to embarrass her anymore than the results of the crime scene had. She looked to the CSI officer. “Anything else?”

“We’ll keep you informed as soon as we get teams on the two rooftops as well as the street. It’s a lot of real-estate.” He said. “The body is in very bad shape. According to what the apartment and his wallet tells us, he was Brad Peters. Stock Broker, twenty-six years old, graduate of Brown University. We aren’t going to contact the family until we know for sure we have a positive ID.”

“That bad?” Anna asked as she pulled her blonde hair behind her ears end eyed the CSI investigator with her pretty blue eyes.

“He fell seventeen stories, skipped off two roofs, took out an entire AC unit, and then fell the rest of the damn way to the ground.” Zak wedged in again. “If that don’t fuck a man up, I’d never figure what else would.” He said. When he saw that Anna looked like she was contemplating answering his question with practical method on him, he decided to cap that comment off with something to calm her. “Sorry, Detective McKinzie – I just.. Are all cases like this? I mean.. Damn! I tend to go off when I get flustered to this degree.”

“An air conditioner?” Anna asked, pretending to not care that her partner kept interrupting a more serious conversation.

“That’s what it looks like. Like I said. I’m not going to tell you definitively what happened until we’ve looked at everything but it looks like the work of superman.”

After a few minutes of sending their business cards to everyone on the entire floor, they left CSI to do their work on the buildings. Their department issued Droid Phones were being flooded with all the eyewitness reports, emergency call times, and family histories of everyone that could have been involved. Of course, Zak couldn’t read it right away because Anna kept slapping him in the back of the head for a while after getting into the car.

“Did you act like this when you were a beat cop?!” Anna asked with the addition of one final slap. Zak had already forgotten how many total slaps to the back of the head that was.“You’ve been hanging around my daughter too much. I think she’s rubbing her adolescence off on you. Ever hear about polite conversation?” Anna asked as she keyed the ignition on the crown victoria.

“You know how I get when I get flustered. Doesn’t this piss you off? Is this a department prank? Detective Third Grade Zak Jones… Here’s your initiation.” He said while holding his droid phone and his free hand in front of his face as he mocked what he assumed was going on at first, knowing that there was no way in hell that the police department would spend this much money and effort into an initiation.

“Yes.. It is the weirdest one I’ve seen yet,” Anna said as she smiled. She had a smile similar to her daughters. The thought of her ex husband leaving her for anyone else was tragic. The man didn’t know what he was missing out on. Zak caught himself looking over her agile slender body and he stopped himself before she noticed. Anna continued, “… but, no matter how weird something gets… You have to have self control! I can’t have you beating the shit out of anyone and getting fired. It takes a detectives recommendation along with your application to earn that shield of yours and if you lose it, it’s my ass too.”

“Your ass…” He said softly.

He received another slap to the back of the head.

Chapter Two

Dieing for Jordan

Jordan pulled her robe up to her knobby knees as she rolled herself into bed, comforted by the — biology book that she was forced to read for her ninth grade class. The still unopened boxes from Iowa held wonderful books that she would much rather read. She found herself looking at the boxes. They were practically reaching out for her embrace.

Come get me… I’m right here.. Full of books!

She started to wonder if she were getting weird. She often thought of inanimate objects as sentient when she didn’t want to do her biology. The thought of the box of goodies from Iowa as too much a temptation to pass up. I’ll do biology later. She felt that since it was getting on ten o’clock anyway, she may as well read something interesting before she dozed off. What’s the point in life if you can’t have the little pleasures? Oh god – I hope my “Zombie Survival Guide” didn’t get ruined!” That was the spark that got her out of bed and scrambling for the boxes. The thought of her favorite nonsense novel getting bent by the crushing weight of over three hundred other novels horrified her beyond words.

Before she could pull the top box off of her stack she thought she heard something from the living room. She lightly put the box down and cracked the door to her bedroom to look around. The lights were off. I don’t remember turning them off. She thought. She looked through the slither in the doorway. She could see the neon glow of the fish tank light that cast an eerie moving dark blue across the room.

She leaned in further to get a better look around the door and that’s when the door came back and hit her in the face. The man had kicked it so hard that the door caved in the center after it hit her face. She fell backwards over her box. The sting of the impact made her whole face feel as if it buzzed as this man entered her room. She didn’t hesitate to spray him with hairspray as she stumbled to her feet. The man yelled in protest as she jumped around the bed. As she walked around the bed the vision in her left eye began to fade. She ran past him and out the door. The cold pavement of the twelfth floor balcony slapped with each passing step of her bare feet as she stumbled along the railing. She began to get dizzy as her face started to swell.

Cursing and threatening, the man that broke into her apartment ran back through the door that he had picked to get at her and spotted her stumbling down the hallway. She began to descend the stairwell as she heard the steps of the man chasing after her close in. She knew that she would not make it to any relative safety before she was in his grasp.

Scrambling down the concrete coated stairwell, she made it to the eleventh floor. It was then that she scrambled around for anything. The potted planet was nice since it had a cactus in it.

“Oh god this is going to hurt…” She cried out as she wrapped her hands around the thorned plant. She cried as blood began to drip from her right hand. Down the man came, knife in hand.

She wasted no time. The slap hurt her as well as him as she pushed into the slap, and dug the plant into his face. As he reached for his face in agony, he became unbalanced and she pushed him forward over the railing with all of her might. Screaming with the man as she released him over the railing. He continued trying to pull cactus out of his face during free fall until his head hit the sixth floor balcony’s edge on the way down. There was only a shrieking crack of glass afterward as the body of a would-be-rapist met his untimely and much deserved demise at the hands of a thirteen year old girl – a girl who introduced his face to a cactus, his skull to a balcony, and the rest of his head to windshield of a Nissan Stanza.

“My Stanza!” A man yelled from somewhere. If she wasn’t passing out from the pain of a cactus and the concussion from her bedroom door, she might have wondered if she tactically produced her first piece of abstract art at an early age with nothing but a cactus and an asshole for artistic tools. As she passed out, two men walked out to the car eleven stories below – in disbelief.

“Yo, that’s Rickey man!” Said the person in a suit.

His brother was none too happy as he looked the only un-cracked window of the Stanza to see his brother Rickey DiSoto dead. He wasted no time. He pulled his Colt 1911 from his jacket and proceeded upstairs. His friend, Tony, the more sensible of the two pulled at him.

“The heat’s gonna be on us in minutes! Deal with the man that killed him later.. He ain’t goin’ nowhere! Come on!” He pleaded.

A middle-aged man came out after quickly pulling his pants on to check the damage to his car. His cell phone was already to his ear as he came out of the first floor apartment to check on what happened to his life-long investment.

“What the fuck is going —,” He stopped when he saw the heavyset Italian with the gun. By then it was too late.

“Anthony!” Tony yelled into his ear but not even a fog horn could have stopped him as his business partner and friend unloaded the magazine into middle-aged man’s chest before he could have traded that Stanza in on something more fitting his Mid-Life Crisis.

“Holy shit!” Tony said as he ran his fingers through his slicked back hair. In the dark of a moonless night, there was no way to see the two of them where they were. He only knew that he had a smoking gun to his face.

“Don’t you eva’ take the lords name in vain Tony… Never!” The barrel of the gun broke the skin of his forehead as he slapped it at him. As blood dripped between his eyes and down his nose, he watched as Anthony pointed to the stairs. “If that fuck gets away…. I’m gonna kill you. I don’t care how long we’ve known one another! No matter!”

“Relax… Anthony… It was probably that cop woman… What’s her name.” Tony said in a whisper as he held his hands in the air. . He felt himself shaking in terror at how his friend reacted. He didn’t know his best friend anymore. Granted, the man’s brother died right before his eyes, but his anger problems just doubled and he knew it.

“If it were dat cop… She’d be down here already.. With bullet’s in her face!” He was unsettled between crying and incisive anger. The sounds of sirens queued their speedy retreat.

Nero found himself on the roof of the apartment building next to poor Brad Peters’ apartment. For anyone that had a really bad deathly taste for sick humor, he noted that this was reminiscent of a Loony Tunes skit where Road Runner slammed into a wall. Brad hit the air conditioner on the rooftop so hard that he left an imprint of his upper torso in the metal. Nero almost caught himself smiling.

“Hey, what the hell are you doing here? This is a crime scene.” A man in CSI coveralls yelled.

“Nero Lenn from the New York Minute… Do you mind if I ask a few questions?” Nero was quick with that. It was so flawless that the man never thought for a minute he would be there for any other reason than to snap pictures and be an annoyance.

“You could have your press ticket pulled for this. You know the rules.”

“Quite right…” He said. “I tell you what bud..” He said in a near salesman like way. “If you feel like giving us any exclusive information.” He tapped the man’s shoulder and slid a business card for a barber shop out from between his fingers. “… you call me alright, eh?” He patted his sides and skillfully pulled the phone out of the man’s pocket.

“Get out of here!”

Lenny descended the stairwell to the nearest elevator while scanning through the computer.

Investigation File

Primary Contact – Detective Anna McKinzie #901

555-0102

Nero had to smile at himself as he left the phone in the capable hands of the Elevator where the CSI technician would hopefully think he lost his phone in there – worst case scenario, someone else gains a brand new Droid phone to hawk at the nearest pawn shop for some crack.

Nero knew what he had to do next. He hated cleaning up the mess of this other Vampire.

Anna and Zak spent the last hour calling witnesses to the crime. People that didn’t want to be woken up at midnight and wished they never confessed to seeing a flying corpse land in the street; people that didn’t want more noise when they complained about noise in the first place. Calling random people in New York in the middle of the night was not a detectives dream. Luckily for Anna, she put Zak on the phones for those tasks and called it the price of being a trainee. She did enjoy seeing him flustered. She smiled as she sat across from him with her feet propped on her desk. She had her Ipad on her lap and was combing through her case files on it but she was caught red handed, enjoying her friends frustrations.

“What?!” Zak shrugged his shoulders.

“Sucks to be you!” She said with a laugh.

“Man… Three more hours of this shit and I’m goin’ home… HOME!” He said in his best impression of a preachers dramatic voice. There were a few smiles around him. Everyone knew him for the young uniform that loved to make a scene. Now, it seemed that nothing had changed except for the fact that he could do his job in style. He had been waiting to break out his eight-hundred dollar suit for this occasion. Damn anyone who thinks it’s too flashy! I’m not in a uniform, bitch… He thought to himself with a smile. Everyone else thought he was just reveling in his ability to make people laugh at his impatience.

In the middle of dialing the next pissed off New Yorker, on the station’s land-line, Anna’s phone rang. He waited before dialing the last digit that would inevitably cause more murders, he waited to see if there was any sort of new lead coming in so that he wouldn’t have to do it.

“What?! Is she okay?! Oh my god!” Anna stood up from her desk and couldn’t control her breathing. Zak got up with her and rounded his desk; he knew that there was something wrong at home and grabbed the keys off his partners desk for her. “Which hospital?!” She said.

She nodded and said yes a few times before replying again.

“Did he – was she…”

“Yes! You have my permission. We’re on our way!” She hung up. The entire precinct went quiet and listened intently.

“Someone broke into the house and I —,” She stopped a moment and broke into tears. Zak held her as she fell into his chest. “… I think they… Ah… Jordan!” She yelled through her sob’s.

The captain of the precinct was quick about stepping into the offices at the start of the commotion. He spotted uniformed officers and detectives circled around Detectives McKinzie and Jones as Jones held his training officer.

“Captain… We gotta go. I’ll be bringing her Ipad in tow and I’ll pick up the slack for McKinzie. Something terrible happened to Jordan.”

The captain, Louis Ashton, a thin fifty-nine year old Irish man in good fit condition for his age nodded.

“Very well. I want an update in an hour. If I see anything drop in this case, you drop it and hand everything over to Phillips and Grey, understood.” The Captain said in his light hint of an Irish accent.

“Understood, sir.”

Nero’s night wasn’t getting any better. Mercy Hospital was a maze. He couldn’t simply ask anyone in particular where the morgue was because that would always raise red flags and questions. As he walked into the doors, an unmarked police cruiser nearly ran him over. Two detectives got out of the car and ran into the building. It was Detective McKinzie. He knew her from the time he was a rookie cop. She would recognize him if she saw him. Was it possible that – that they were already back to examine the body? He made sure to get into track where the floors stopped on the elevator. The nice thing about being dead was the fact that he didn’t break out a sweat when zooming up stair cases at lightening fast speeds. Luckily, they got off on the seventh floor so he didn’t have give himself an undead workout after all. He followed the detectives down the hallway a little, careful not to get spotted. He ducked into a doctors office and borrowed a lab coat.

Zak let Anna in the room alone and hoped for the best. He felt better knowing that they were not in the critical condition ward, or the operating room. Two other detectives walked down the hallway and nodded to Zak as they stopped.

“Officer Jones, not in uniform… With a detectives badge…” The older latino said with a laugh. “Congratulations. I wish it could be under better circumstances.”

Jones nodded, “What happened?”

“Two bodies in the same location. One with fifteen holes in his chest from a colt 45 and another that looked like he had a face full of cactus and did his swan-dive into a Nissan Stanza… We ascertained that the dead man with holes in his chest was the owner of the Stanza. He resided in apartment twenty-four. We have no idea yet what the motive was for his death. We were hoping that Jordan could tell us.”

“How did the other man die? We were told it was a rape. Not a murder.” Zak said.

“Not sure what all went down. McKinzie’s daughter has a lacerated hand from the potted plant, and the dead man in the Stanza had a face full of it. It looks like she served some righteous payback if he did do anything. One things for sure, she got quite a shiner.”

“She killed the man?”

“That’s what it looks like…” the other younger, skinny detective said as he rubbed his chin. “Self defense, through and through. She gave better than she got.”

“Damn…” Zak said as he looked to the door as it opened. A doctor emerged from the doorway with Anna who visibly looked much better. The doctor patted Anna on the shoulder and smiled.

“If you need anything…” The doctor stated. She walked away.

Anna was in the spotlight as she looked at the other three detectives, wiping a tear from her eye.

“Well – she wasn’t raped…” She reached out and held onto Zak’s arm as she sighed in relief. Zak too, felt immense relief at that. “… she has some swelling but it’s expected to go down in a couple of hours. The scans indicate that she does not need surgery and they want to keep her for a few nights just to observe. But, she’s going to be alright.”

A few rooms away, Nero sat quietly and listened. Sooner or later, one of those cops were going to mention where the morgue was and he wanted to get there before anyone else.

“You stay with Jordan,” Zak said. “I’m going to go with Patton and Darren.”

“You’ve never talked to the coroner before about this sort of thing. I really should go with you.” Anna protested.

“We’ll walk em’ through it. Sit tight. Relax…” Said the older cop.

“Ready to see some popsicle’s, son?” Said the older man.

Nero waited until they walked by and let them continue on down the hall. He wasn’t going to be recognized by another cop. Finally, after some effort, one of them mentioned the second floor. He had no more time though. He had to go and get there fast.

All of his clothes dropped to the floor as a thick mist entered the nearest air vent. The elevator was slow and the mist traveled fast, getting to it’s destination quicker than if he had run. The mist slithered through the cracks of the door and easily settled into the ambient mist of the coolers that kept corpses cold. Luckily, the coroner was gone at the moment. The mist collected until it formed Nero. He stood there in the nude, surrounded by corpses, and not liking the fact that he left his favorite suit behind on the seventh floor. Frantically, he uncovered several corpses until he found the one he was looking for. He checked the neck and found a chunk of flesh that he didn’t want anyone to notice – two bite marks on the neck of the poor Brad Peters. He didn’t have time to dispose of Brad’s body but he did have time to hide a chunk of his neck. Taking a scalpel, he quickly cut around the skin and yanked the part of his neck that suggested that Vampires existed.

Nude and in a hurry, he looked around the room and found the only place he could think of putting it. And down the disposal it went.

“Damnit…” He whispered to himself as he heard voices coming down the hall. He didn’t have time to change to mist. Quickly, he pulled himself onto a Gurney and closed his eyes. As a Vampire, he could stop breathing and play dead very well. As he closed his eyes, he counted the sets of footsteps… Four? Six? Twelve? How many coroners does it take to talk to a detective?! He thought as he lie on the metal slab as good as dead.

The doors opened and the three detectives walked in led by the coroner and a group of second year med students.

“Alright, I’ll grab your reports detectives. I just need to wheel out a few cadavers for the students here. It’s going to be a busy night.” The coroner said.

To Be Continued…