Berardo furrowed his brow in confusion, “What do you mean sir?”
“We don’t need to beat around the bush now do we Detective Abarca? I already know you have gotten involved in this Destiny Burst things.”
Berardo stammered, “What? You already know about it? How? Wait, how much do you actually know?”
“Enough.” He said waving his hand, “Magic, unauthorized gambling fights using kinda people. I’ve heard some stories but usually they avoid contact with police. Most people like that do.”
“But how? How do you know this? How many people in the force know about this?”
“No need to hang your jaw about this.” He huffed. “You watch police activity long enough you notice certain patterns. As for how many people know about this, not many, although it took you long enough. I had thought you would figure things out sooner.”
“Sooner? I’ve afraid I’m still floundering here.”
“Do I need to explain everything for you? Why do you think you, Detective Alexander, and Detective Zinnes all work alone? Didn’t you find that as usual?”
“Are you saying that Detective Alexander and Zinnes knows about Destiny Burst?”
“Maybe, I don’t follow all the details of what each of them knows. However there are more strange things in the city then just Destiny Burst. Those two follow different cases.”
“Are you saying that we are like secret police agents trying to solve normally impossible crimes?”
“Now your getting it. Took you a while.”
“And we are alone because these things need to be kept quiet.” Berardo paused, “Also because the jobs are dangerous. Pairing us up means that if something terrible goes wrong then only one of us dies.”
“Close enough. Although none of you truly work alone. Right?” He eyed Berardo piercing through anything that Berardo might try to say.
“I suppose that is true. Then Alexander? Who does..”
“That is not for me to discuss. Secrecy is important remember.”
“Then if you know all this stuff then who really are you?”
“Is the being the chief of police not enough for you? I suppose I could say that when I was a young whippersnapper like you I held a position much like yours. Solving crimes that people were better off not knowing about. Now you are that person. And you should get back to work instead of blabbing in my office.”
He waved at the door, “If you have any request just send them to the correct channels and I’ll make sure it gets approved.”
“What if somebody notices something weird? Isn’t this supposed to be secret?”
“There are generally two types of people. Those that only notice this stuff if it shoved in their face and those that will constantly be bugged about it until they figure out the truth. Should any of the latter show up in the police then I alway have more work that needs to be done. Now you are dismissed.”
Berardo nodded and left the office. He should get used to being stunned since it seemed to happen all of the time. Had he really been as blind as he apparently had been. He looked over at Detective Alexander who was laughing with a group of officers. Was he really involved in stuff like this and Berardo never noticed.
He heard the whisper of Rose’s voice in him mind through the communication spell, “Well, at least it went well. No unemployment for you.”
Berardo flashed a short grin, ‘Good, I’ll need that vacation money after this. Although you two are going to stay inside your cards during the plane trip, those things are expensive.’
‘Ohh’ came the disappointed sound of Horizon. She surely would have liked to ride in a plane.
Berardo had had Horizon check Theo for tracking spells before she had returned to her card from. He was clean. That made it easier to just hand him over to the police and tell them to keep him save. Given the chief’s apparent understanding, Berardo gave orders to confirm any plans about Theo with the chief because the person threatening Theo’s life was very dangerous. The officers nodded in understanding.
A few minutes later Berardo knocked on the door to the forensics office. Jerry, one of the police forensics officers looked up from the desk he was working on.
“Hey, Jerry, I had some questions if you could help me.”
“Sure Detective.” He spun to face Berardo with his swivel chair.
“Two months ago there was a murder case. Silver Johnson was the victim, he was an artist.”
“Yeah, I remember. We believed that it was done by his former lover however we couldn’t find any decisive proof and her alibi held up. The crime was never solved but all the leads ended in dead ends.”
“Precisely. Do you remember anything else unusual about that case?”
He placed his finger on his chin. He had been trying to grow a beard but had been failing. “There were no witnesses. Those who lived nearby said that they didn’t see or hear anything unusual. One of the reasons the old lover was figured. She had been coming and going from his home for many months and wouldn’t have been seen as usual.”
Since that didn’t seem to satisfy Berardo he tried to think of other things, “He died of some painful and slow acting poison which takes several hours to kill and could be prevented with a hospital visit. We know it was a murder and not a suicide because showed signs of being tied up. The murderer must have been looking for something because the house was also ransacked but we hadn’t been able to figure out what had been taken.”
“Well, other than the victim’s cell phone which was missing. However you would hardly ransack an entire place to find somebody’s cell phone.”
“Do you know the victim’s cell phone number? The police report I read didn’t have it.”
“Probably, let me check,” He swiveled back to his desk and checked the computer. He pulled up some files. “Yeah, it is right here.”
Berardo looked at the screen and the number. He pulled out his notebook and checked the number with the number on his list. They matched. Looks like Meike had been right. “Damn.” Said Berardo.
“You know something?” Asked Jerry.
“Yeah, I think that the murderer of Silver Johnson is the same person who killed Kathie Picozzi.”
“Really, what did you figure out?” He sounded eager. Normally a commendable trait but Berardo didn’t want to say too much.
“I have a list of contact information which I believe is how the murderer is finding their victims. Including Kathie and Silver is makes 4 confirmed deaths of people on the list within the last four months and potentially 3 more.
“Maybe even more. These are just the ones I’ve been able to get some validation from. Also my list is incomplete there could be others that he has murdered and they wouldn’t be on this list. That is one of the reasons that I need your help.”
“My help? What do you need?”
“My list contains only phone numbers and email addresses with a handle. I need to find out how he is locating the people and their address since I have reason to believe that he isn’t just reaching out to these people through the contact information.”
Berardo handed over the copy of the list to Jerry who looked over it. “Is this a mailing list or something. Most of these names look like handles and not real names.”
“Yeah, something like that. I was able to use my badge to figure out some of their real identities but I don’t think Cockatrice has access that that method and I want to know what method he is using.”
“That is the name I have been given. I don’t know what his real name is though.
“Serial killers certainly try to make themselves frightening.”
Berardo nodded, “The one with the handle of Lighthouse is Kathie Picozzi and Second Picasso is Silver Johnson. A man named Theofilus is in police custody upstairs and he is on the list under Alchemist.”
“Interesting, all of those names have phone numbers associated with them instead of email addresses.”
“True, but I don’t want to rule out too much that he could track down people using their email address too. “
“No, not that, your name is on this list too. At the bottom.”
“Yeah, I had to sign up to get access to it.”
“Where did you get this list? What is the connection between this people?”
“I’d rather not tell you since you might poke your nose into it and the Cockatrice might come after you.”
Jerry gulped, “Alright then. I’ll keep quiet and just try to find ways of tracking this people.”
“Thanks. Send me a message if you find out anything.”
With that he left the forensics office and headed back upstairs.
He heard Horizon’s voice speak to him, ‘So what is next? Wasn’t that your last lead?’
“Not quite. I still have one more idea. I think it is the key to all of it.”
“The key? What key?”
“The Eternal Hero. It is what Cockatrice is looking for right?”
“Sure, that is what Meike said. So?”
“Well if he is going after different Dreamers he must think they could have this hero and is checking them one by one.”
“Alright. I guess that makes sense.”
“So, why go after Kathie Picozzi?”
“Um… Because she might have the Eternal Hero.”
“Yes, but is Rose the Eternal Hero?”
Rose voice echoed in, “I’m pretty sure I’m not but we don’t really know the qualifications of what makes the Eternal Hero.”
“But Cockatrice probably does know something about it. And Kathie and Rose were reasonable well know. If Rose was the Eternal Hero there would be no need to kill other people like Silver first.”
“So what?” asked Horizon. “Am I the Eternal Hero.”
“What? I am?” ask Horizon.
“No, no, probably not, but Cockatrice had to check.” Said Berardo.
“Oh, I guess that makes sense.”
“But here is the important part. Your pack hadn’t been opened yet. It was new. That means that Cockatrice believes that is it possible that the Eternal Hero had not yet been awakened.”
“Oh, so the Eternal Hero is new!”
“Exactly. Remember another important thing. Cockatrice come to the city more than a year ago but the oldest reported deaths are 4 months ago. That is when he believes that the Eternal Hero could appear. My hypotheses is that he believes that the hero will be or has been sold by the Destiny Burst store starting 4 months ago.”
“What about Theofilus? Did be buy a hero pack within that time.”
“I don’t believe so but his interaction with Cockatrice was an anomaly. He was using that as a means of checking Horizon to see if she was the Eternal Hero by pitting Theo against us in more lethal combat then we were expecting. And he was able to do it without having to expose himself to the person that was hunting him. Cockatrice very careful.”
“This still doesn’t give us much to work with.” Said Horizon. “A hero pack sold in the last 4 months would be difficult to track down. How would we know who got sold packs? Could we convince the makers to tell us?”
“Doubtful, but that is a very important question. How does Cockatrice know who bought packs?”
“You sound like you have an answer.”
“A potential one yes.” He held up his phone, “You see the phone publicizes official battles and you can check who won. While it doesn’t officially state how many crystals each dreamer has you could guess based off who won matches. That would give you a pretty good idea of when people would have enough crystals to buy a Hero pack. But the most important thing is that you watch.”
“You mean Cockatrice watches the Destiny Burst store?” asked Horizon
“I think that the greatest lie about Cockatrice is who Cockatrice is. I think he is one of the people on the Destiny Burst battle list. He uses that to keep an eye on everything. Then when he needs to be Cockatrice he dresses up so that nobody recognizes him.”