The Cactus Killer – Chapter 14

In case my anniversary trip has no interest to you… Chapter 14 to The Cactus Killer is here!!!

The_Cactus_Killer

Chapter 14

 “So I read most of the documents we found last evening. This Warren Tucker is quite delusional.”

“Did you go to bed at all? You’ve gotta be running on fumes Elizabeth.”

“Trust me, I am going to be fine for a few more days before I need to rest. And when will you stop being so formal. I told you before you can just call me Beth.”

“Beth doesn’t really seem to suit you very well.” I took a sip of my coffee and began to think. “What about Liz? That has a better ring to it.”

She didn’t say anything for a second. She seemed to be lost in a memory or thought. “You know, I think that will do.”

“I’m glad that is settled. So what did you find out from those weird papers?”

She put a few pages on the table and pointed to the first. “This one talks about the Hammer of Jehovah and how our friend Tucker was chosen by him to do God’s work. It was dated in December of 1977, just a few months before the first murder.”

“Do you think someone put him up to this?”

“It is very hard to tell if this is some delusion he came to believe or if this Hammer of Jehovah is a real person. He considers him an archangel and that his will is God’s will.”

The possibility of another nutcase out there gave me chills. “So besides that ominous fact, what else did you learn?”

“He was very vague is most places. I take it in context when he talks about vanquishing daemons he is referring to the vampire murders. There is nothing of real interest to help us until we get to the most recent page.”

She shuffled to the top a paper that you could tell was pretty recent. The paper wasn’t faded and the ink was still bright black. “Is this a confession we can use?”

“No, nothing so simple like that. This is where he talks about injecting his followers with ‘Holy Water’ to make them invincible in the upcoming war with the daemons.”

“You mean to tell me all those men we found were injected with some sort of concoction?”

“I will be most interested to hear what Dr. Tello discovers from the body we were able to bring back.”

I looked at the clock and it was almost eight in the morning. The doctor had emailed everyone this morning and asked for us to meet in her autopsy at Full Moon General at nine to go over everything. She had the two bodies from the mine attack, Hector Alvarez, and now our John Doe from Elephant Butte. I was really hoping that something of value could be found from one of them. The deeper we got into this, the more the idea of Warren Tucker out there operating as he saw fit scared me.

The rest of the morning sped by and soon we were heading down to see the doctor. We were met by the entrance by my dad, Chaz, and Billy. Apparently the mayor was already here and being briefed. We hopped on the next elevator and soon were in the basement and being let into autopsy.

Dr. Tello’s had popped up when we entered. “Gentlemen, lady, I am very glad you were all able to make it this morning. As I was just going over with the mayor, we have some very disturbing events happening.”

I saw Argent sitting in the corner and I am pretty sure I’d never seen the man so distressed looking in my life. “Are you okay mayor?”

“Vic, what Dr. Tello is about to share with all of us cannot leave this room.” He then looked at Liz and sighed. “This might be most troubling to you in particular Ambassador Swansea.”

I was confused by that, but no time like the present to get a mystery solved. “Well doctor, what did you find?”

She walked up to Alvarez, “The werewolf was drugged with wolfsbane, injected in the back of the neck. He would never have struggled. The cactus was inserted next followed by the gunshots. Each bullet was silver.”

That all made sense; the wolfsbane drug is like chloroform to werewolves. And of course silver was used; its properties are toxic to most of the supernatural world.

Next, she walked in between the dead bodies from the mine attack. I noticed they also had scars on them, but not to the extent of the monster or guy we found yesterday. “These two and our green friend shed the most light. Where you see the scars, right underneath are ports used in chemotherapy.”

“Did all these guys have cancer then?”

“No, it was not used for that. Instead each was injected with something. I think these two over here were just starting, as the chemical compound did not have time to turn them green. The last body had experienced numerous injections and his body was breaking down by the time you found him.”

Dad walked over and got a closer look at them. “Just what were they injected with Donna?”

“Callum, they were injected with a mixture of silver nitrate, mercury, and vampire’s blood.”

“What?” Everyone turned to Liz and if it was possible her face was even whiter than normal.

“I am very sorry, it appears whoever was doing this to these gentlemen was using vampire’s blood as the main ingredient.”

“What caused them to go green?” Chaz was examining the John Doe on the end.

“That would be the silver nitrate; it responded to the chemicals in the body and caused the green hue.”

“Is that musky scent I keep picking up from this shit?” It had been at every scene so far, so it would make sense.

“Yes it is sheriff. That seems to be another by-product of the mixture.”

“As you all can see, our serial killer is trying to create an army to wipe us all out.” Argent had finally stood up and was walking back over to the group. “Ambassador Swansea, I feel you may need to get the rest of your council involved. This is reaching code red levels.”

“I was just thinking the same thing mayor. The use of vampire blood in such a way is an abomination. Something must be done quickly.”

I took my eyes off the scene before me. “Is there anything else doctor that you found? Anything that might point towards a base of operations?”

She considered my question for a moment. “I’ve been thinking about this most of the evening. You would need medical supplies and a stable place to keep the vampire blood. An abandoned hospital would be the most obvious choice but even an old refinery would have the necessary facilities if you had your own supplies.”

“Thank you for your time doctor. This definitely gives us something.”

We all filed out a little more uneasy then when we first got there. On the elevator ride back up, Liz filled the three Alphas and Billy in on the documents discovered.

“So I am guessing that this Holy Water is what Tucker is calling the chemical he’s injected in those guys?”

“I think so dad, but I have one question. Not one of those boys looked like the monster in El Paso. So either most people aren’t compatible with such a mixture or is it possible that he’s changed the formula?”

“This is just getting worse. Chaz, Callum would you come to the office with me? We need to get in touch with as many Red, Black, and Silver Alphas as we can from here to California. We need to snuff this guy out of whatever hole he crawled into.”

“While you guys do that, I will head back to the office. Hopefully Jacobs has something from her meeting with Sheriff Munoz. Plus, Ambassador Swansea can use the office phone to maybe get a conference call going or something.”

The three Alphas left and before the three of us went over to the office, I pulled Billy aside. “My gut tells me this guy is close. I want you to go up to Truth or Consequences and get a hold of as many condemned building notices as you can. If anyone asks, just tell them we are looking for a spot to buy to expand the silver mine operation.”

“You got it boss. Do you need anything else?”

“Don’t be afraid to put some feelers out if you come across anything suspicious. But do not engage anyone; if needed, call me and we can make the run up.”

I gave him a pat on the back and he was off.

“Will he be okay?”

“Don’t let the act fool you, he is a good investigator. I think our best chance to locate this guy just drove off.”

We hopped into the Mustang and headed over to the office. I would set up the conference line for Liz and then meet with Jacobs to go over everything she learned from Munoz. I hoped today would be the day we caught our first big break in all of this.

When we pulled into the office, the lights were all still off. Jacobs’ car was here, so that seemed a bit strange to me. I pulled into the parking spot and when we got out, the musky smell was here too. Not as strong, but I picked it up. I pulled Roscoe out.

“What is wrong Vic?”

“That smell is here. Make sure you got that tanto out at all times.” She nodded and pulled hers from the scabbard.

We slowly walked into the office and followed the scent. I picked up blood too and I knew it was not going to be good. I kicked the door open to Jacobs’ office and lowered my gun. She was sitting on her chair with a piece of cactus stuck to her face. I counted five bullet wounds to her torso, plus numerous slash wounds.

“Vic, you should turn around.”

I did and stuck to the back of her door with a knife was a note, written in blood it looked like. It simply said ‘We’re watching you.’ 

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About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/jeremycroston to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/jcroston2 (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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