Will and Lecter looked at each other. The conversation having been halted by Will and he didn’t want to return to the topic of his innocence. The two men quickly went up to the crime scene and were on the roof of the hospital, at the helipad. The landing Eurocopter was the sole reason that the body was found. It was also the reason that most of the evidence had been destroyed.
The wind cut to the core on the chilly late fall day. Both men were bundled up, bracing against the blowing wind. The body was splayed out in the very center of the helipad. Lidless and empty eye sockets looked up into oblivion. The body was, of course, female. Her hair had been removed. The once beautiful woman was just an empty bloody husk now. A poem was scrawled on the concrete.
My love my life.
No other woman deserves my love but you.
I write for you the long lost tale of a man so empty and barren.
It wasn’t until you graced his vision did he know truth.
I burden the hours with my tales of woe for when the only good is you.
I leave my offerings in your name with the hope that one day you will love me all the same.
Soon my darling.
Soon my love.
We shall meet again.
And when we do, it will be just me and you.
Forever and an eternity more.
Jack Crawford came up behind the two men. “Lovely bit of poetry isn’t it?”
Lecter was still looking at the words scrawled when Will Graham spoke. “Is that the victim’s blood or do we not know yet Jack?”
“Some of it is and some of it isn’t.” Jack replied.
Lecter could feel his blood boil, although his outward appearance was as detached as ever. “Where is Anastassia right now?”
Will looked startled with the question, he had not thought about the living woman’s safety.
Jack spoke again. “She is preforming surgery. There is security in the observation area, just in case.”
Lecter nodded and turned to both Will and Jack. “Do we know who the victim is?”
“We assume she works here. There were scrubs found on the scene as well as a destroyed ID. The picture and the name had been removed. Someone is checking on who she could possibly be.” Jack Crawford replied.
Will carefully walked over to the body. He was examining the details of what had been done to her. The rest of the crew faded back to let him work. It was there. It was all there. He just had to find out the why.
The woman had been carved up with care. Her fingernails had been burned off with what looked like a chemical. The tips of her fingers were mere bones. The breasts had been mangled with a sharp object. Perhaps a screwdriver Will thought. It was the heart shaped removal of flesh here and there that was disturbing. The most disturbing of all was how the genitalia had been reduced to ribbons. Literally ribbons, they were also tied in a bow. Someone had gift wrapped this body for them. But was it the work of the Inquisition Killer?
Will Graham could feel time slipping backwards. He could see the killer doing his work. This was a fast job. This did not take weeks. This happened today. She was attacked from behind, given the blow to the back of the head that he could see. She had been brought up here when the helipad was clear. Given the amount of blood and gore, this was the crime scene. The killer was methodical. He was precise. He did not care if the woman lived or died in the time frame that they were up here. All that mattered was the proclamation of love. This was his art. The way some men would write a love letter or send flowers. This is what he did.
It was the only way that in his deranged mind that he could prove his infatuation. La Petit Mort came to mind. The little death. Was this orgasmic for the man or something else?
Will’s head snapped up abruptly. “Get Dr. Serdste up here as soon as possible. She knows this woman.”
A call went out via closed circuit radio, and the handlers were told to bring Anastassia up when the surgery was finished. It just happened to be that they were closing now.
It only took a brief moment in time before the door burst open leading to the helipad. Anastassia Serdste was flanked by armed men and women. She pushed past them and ran over to Lecter, Will, and Jack. It was there that she stopped dead in her tracks. Anastassia blanched. All of the fair coloring of her skin and bled away and left her deathly pale. Her hand jerked up to cover a gaping mouth. She just stared.
Lecter touched her elbow and while she jerked, there was no other response. His accented voice crooned in her ear. “Ma Stassi, tell me. Tell me what you see….”
She swallowed hard a few times. It took a moment to find her voice. “That is Jocelyn Coure. She is a physician on staff here for the OB/GYN department.”
Hannibal Lecter kept his hand on her elbow; his fingers stroked the soft skin. “Did you know her?”
Anastassia nodded a couple of times before the words came out. “Yes. We socialized. She was my running partner.”
She looked as if she was going to either faint or be sick at the sight of her friend, yet Anastassia did neither. She stood there staring. Perhaps she was in shock? Perhaps she just didn’t know what to say or do? Nobody was certain at that moment, not even Anastassia herself.
When she turned away after several moments, Hannibal Lecter wrapped his arm around her to provide a modicum of comfort it seemed. In reality, he wished to gauge her physical reaction. Realizing it was not what he expected, Lecter led Anastassia back down into the hospital proper. The armed agents flanked both Lecter and Anastassia on each side. Jack and Will stayed behind to discuss the new findings.
“Will, he is now attacking her loved ones and friends. He is going to be going after her soon.”
“I think the significance was not just the friendship Jack, it was because Dr. Coure was an OB/GYN. I think he wants to start a family with Dr. Serdste.” The answer was quiet; Will continued to stare at the body.
“Why do you say that?”
“I don’t know. It is just a feeling I have. This man doesn’t do something at random. Each kill seems to have meaning. There is more meaning that just a small friendship between two women. Plus, the way Coure’s genitalia were gift wrapped. It seems to fit. He did this here. He did this on Dr. Serdste’s safe ground. He is trying to prove a point. Nothing is going to stop him from getting his prize.”
Jack barked out an order. “Get her back to Quantico. I want every bit of trace that can be found so we can find where this asshole is hiding.”
One of the techs grumbled something about the trace was worthless after the helicopter started to land. Jack shot the man a look that made the grumbled words end abruptly.
Will turned and walked away without another word. He had seen too much. Something was there; he just didn’t know what it was. Jack radioed the guards. He wanted to know exactly where Anastassia had been taken. He felt it was time to have a little talk with the good doctor.