"Those women died last night. We think there were two victims, but truthfully we haven't finished putting together the pieces, so we're not a hundred percent certain. It could be more, or it could be just one woman, but that's an awful lot of blood for only one woman, don't you think?"


He laid the baggie of polaroids carefully on the table, so that they didn't touch any of the other photos. He stared at all the pictures, his face gone death white, his eyes huge. His voice squeezed out like it was an effort to breathe, let alone talk. "What do you wish to know?"

"We want to stop this from happening again," I said.

He was staring down at the pictures, as if he couldn't look away. "He promised he would not do it here. He swore that he could control himself."

"Who?" I asked, softly. Yeah, the government had given him a name, but that was the same government that wouldn't give our John Doe one.

"Van Anders," he whispered the name. He looked up, and there was surprise underneath the shock. "The other detective said you knew it was Van Anders."

Great. Nothing like giving your suspect more information than he's giving you.

I shrugged. "Without eyewitnesses it's hard to be certain."

Something like hope sparked in his eyes and he started regaining some of his color. "You think this might be someone else? Not Van Anders?"


I riffled through the files again, and Heinrick flinched. I found the thin folder with the picture of Van Anders and the two women. I flashed him the picture. "Van Anders with the victims from last night's slaughter."

He winced at the last word, and the color that had been seeping back into his face drained away again. His lips looked bloodless. For a second I thought he might faint. I'd never had a suspect faint on me before.

His voice was a hoarse whisper. "Then it is him." He laid his forehead on the table.

"Do you need some water, something stronger?" I asked. Though truthfully, black coffee was as strong as I could give him. There were rules about giving liquor to suspects.

He raised his head, slowly, but he looked awful. "I told them that he was crazy. I told them not to include him."

"Told who?" I asked.

He sat up a little straighter. "I agreed to come here against my better judgment. I knew the team was assembled too quickly. When you rush such a task, it ends badly."

"What task?" I asked.

"To recruit you for a mission."

"What mission?" I asked.

He shook his head. "It doesn't matter now. Some of our people got you on tape raising a man in a local cemetery. He did not look alive enough for what my employers wished. He looked like a zombie, and that is not good enough."

"Good enough for what?" I asked.

"To fool people in the country that their leader is still alive."

"What country?" I asked.

He shook his head, and a ghost of a smile crossed his lips. "I will not be here long, Ms. Blake. Those that employ me will see to it. They will either work to free me soon, with no charges, or they will have me killed."

"You seem calm about that," I said.

"I believe I will go free."

"But you're not sure," I said.

"Few things in life are certain."

"I know one thing that's certain," I said.

He just looked at me. I think he'd said more than he'd planned to say. So he was going to try not to say anything.

"Van Anders will kill someone else tonight."

His eyes were bleak when he said, "I had worked with him years ago, before I knew what he was. I should not have believed him that he was in control of his rage. I should have known."

"Are your employers just going to leave Van Anders here to butcher more women?"

He looked at me then. Again, I couldn't quite read his expression. Determination, guilt, something.

"I know where Van Anders is staying. I will give you that address. I know that my employers would wish him dead now. He has become a liability."

We got the address from him. I didn't hurry out after it, because unlike the movies, I knew I wouldn't be allowed in at the capture. Mobile Reserve, St. Louis's answer to SWAT, would be the ones running the show. When you have people that can go in with body armor and fully automatic weapons, the rest of us are just outclassed.

I opened one last file and showed him the man they'd crucified against the wall. "Why did you need Van Anders to do this? Not his kind of kill."

"I don't know what you are talking about."

He was going to deny it, fine. Even if we could have pinned it on him, I doubt we could have kept him long enough for a trial. "We know you and your team did this. We even know why." If Bradley was telling the truth, I did know.

"You know nothing." He sounded very sure of that.

"You were ordered to kill him because he ran. Ran away from people like you, and people like Van Anders."

He looked at me then, and he was worried. He was wondering how much I knew. Not much. But maybe it was enough. "Whose idea was it to crucify him?"

"Van Anders's." He looked like he'd swallowed something sour. Then he gave a small smile. "It won't matter, Ms. Blake, I'll never see trial."

"Maybe not, but I always like to know where the blame goes."

He nodded, then said, "Van Anders was so angry when we shot him first. He said what good is a crucifixion if the person isn't struggling." He looked at me with haunted eyes. "I should have known then what he meant to do."

"Whose idea were the runes?" I asked.

He shook his head. "You've gotten the last startled confession you shall get from me."

"There's still one thing I don't understand." Actually, there were lots of things I didn't understand, but it's never good to appear confused in front of the bad guys.

"I will not incriminate myself, Ms. Blake."

"If you knew what Van Anders was capable of, then why bring him along? Why make him part of the team, at all?"

"He is a werewolf, as you have learned from what he does to his victims. There were those who believed you were a shape-shifter, as well. We wanted someone that could manage you without risk of infection, if you fought us."

"You were planning on kidnapping me?"

"As a last resort," he said.

"But because Balfour and Canducci didn't like my zombie, the plan is off?"

"Those names will do for them, but yes. We had reports that you could raise zombies that thought they were still alive and could pass as human. My employers were very disappointed when they saw the tape."

I owed Marianne and her coven a thank-you note. If they hadn't gotten all witchier-than-thou on me, I'd have raised a fine, alive-looking zombie, and I might even now be kidnapped, and at the mercy of Van Anders. Maybe I should send Marianne flowers, a card just didn't seem to be enough.

I tried some more questions, but Leopold Heinrick had given out all the information he was going to give. He finally asked for a lawyer, and the interview was over.

I stepped out into the main area, and it was in chaos. People yelling, running. I caught the phrase, "officers down." I grabbed Detective Webster of the blond hair and bad coffee. "What's happened?"

O'Brien answered for him. "The Mobile Reserve Squad that went out to pick up Van Anders--he cut them up. At least one dead, maybe more."

"Shit," I said.

She had her jacket on and was digging her purse out of a drawer.

"Where's Zerbrowski?"

"He's gone already."

"Can I catch a ride?"

She looked at me. "Where to? I'm going to the hospital."

"I think I need to be at the crime scene."

"I'll take you," Webster said.

O'Brien gave him a look.

"I'll be at the hospital later. I promise."

O'Brien shook her head and ran for the door. Everyone was leaving. Some would go to the hospital. Some would go to the crime scene and see if they could help there. Some would go sit with the families of the downed officers. But everyone would go. If you really wanted to commit a crime in any city, wait until there's an officer-down call, everyone drops everything.

I'd go to the scene of the crime. I'd try to help figure out what went wrong. Because something had gone very wrong if Van Anders had taken out an entire squad from the Mobile Reserve. They're trained to handle terrorists, hostage situations, drugs, gangs, biochemical hazards; pick your nastiness, and Mobile Reserve can handle it. Yes, something had gone terribly wrong. The question was, what?

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