Forever Is A Long Story

By E.E.Lewis

Mystery / Romance

Aftermath And Disappearance

Lois McMaster Bujold: The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them.


Jo sat at her desk, tapping her pencil rapidly on the edge of it. She hadn't drank her mandatory cup of coffee in the morning yet, for she was in a rush to work. Jo didn't get much shut eye, and she had slept in accidently (only by an hour). Tardiness had never been a large part of her life, but today was an exception. She kept looking at her phone, waiting for a call; in other words a homicide. It was quite selfish, wanting a murder to happen only to be able to work on an investigation with Henry, but she wanted to know how her perspectives would change now knowing his secret, and enjoy watching him lighten up every time a new idea came into his head.

She looked down at her desk, revealing a stack of reports needed to be completed two days ago. Which meant that she did not have time for anything else...unless an investigation came along, then it would lead to pushing her stacks of paperwork aside. Grunting out of grumpiness, she stood up and headed to the rec-room, pouring herself a cup of coffee before eventually starting her work, which meant she was procrastinating.

She made a fresh roast and poured it into any mug she could find. Smelling the sweet aroma of caffeine, she sipped it slowly, savoring the bitterness of java tingling her taste buds favorably. Now feeling the caffeine rushing into her system, she felt much more awake and less cranky. Setting her mug on her work desk, she started the tedious task in front of her, cupping her left hand under her chin.

"Morning Detective Martinez." A voice called out. She knew who it was, and cranked her neck ever so slightly in the person's direction, showing a small polite smile.

"Morning Hanson."

"Heard you were late today. I wonder what the Lieutenant would say." Hanson joked friendlily.

"I don't think one measly day of tardiness would put me on the Lieutenant's look out. You are the one who should be careful, I notice you taking one too many coffee breaks." She replied, with the same sense of humour.

"Well, you look chipper this morning." He remarked, raising his eyebrow.

Jo just lifted her cup of coffee, pointing at it, smirking. "The reason is this and let's just say something came out in the open yesterday that had been deeply hidden for way too long."

Mike Hanson apparently and fortunately did not have the slightest inkling of what she was talking about, because he just shrugged and bid her a nice day, running off to continue one of his solo cases; a local hit and run thievery. These type of cases usually became cold sooner than later; not enough evidence. Hanson hoped this one would be different.

With no one else around, Jo went back to using her sharpened pencil.

She had focused on her task at hand for a few hours when the phone rang at 12:57. She picked it up with rapidity, like she had been doing for years. Being in this field of work, it was imperative to pick up the phone in a fast pace. Never knowing what might happen next. Best be on guard, just in case.

"NYPD, eleventh precinct, what seems to be the problem?" She asked in a standard monotone police voice.

"Jo, its Henry." The Englishman said on the other end rather hastily, with a hint of breathlessness. To Jo, she would have guessed he ran to the nearest phone, since he was never a fan of cellular devices. Only ones with cords, and most of the time the receiver was off the hook.

"What's wrong?" Jo asked, recognising Henry's worrisome tone.

"I...I mean we have a problem."

...

Once in a while, sleeping in was a good thing, but not if it was because you hadn't slept until three A.M. This dilemma was Henry's to have, and he defiantly didn't want to welcome it. Even though his time was never limited, sometimes he wanted it to go faster, like that night. Tossing and turning did not count as a good night's sleep. When dawn came to rise, Henry was still snoring in bed, not hearing the lively Jazz music deriving from the kitchen, where his son was eating breakfast. Henry would have had a larger probability of waking up on time if he deemed an alarm clock fitted with a snooze button necessary. He always told Abe that in the old days, people still got to work on time...without any help from alarm clocks. Another thing he disliked in the electronics department was the microwave, never planning on buying one (even with his perpetual lifespan). Preferring antiques occasionally had its disadvantages. For example: today.

The medical examiner got shaken into wakefulness by a trumpet sounding right next to his eardrums, making them ring like crazy. Cupping his hands around his ears, he shot upright, jumpy from the sudden sound. Opening his eyes wide, he looked around for the perpetrator that barged into his room. On the left hand side of his kind sized bed was Abraham, lips still glued to the brass instrument's mouth piece and fingers wavering over the three buttons. From the noise he made from it, it was clear to see that he did not know how to play.

"Abraham! What are you doing?" Henry asked, appalled. His son had never done this before.

"It's not every day I find my pops snoring at eleven in the morning. So, I took it upon myself to wake you up." Abe grinned, putting the trumpet down on the bed. "Bought this rare vintage Julius Keilwerth Tone King De Luxe 1965 trumpet with black nickel plating last week from a collector, and needed to see if it still worked. I guess it does."

"What an exquisite find—wait did you say eleven? Why didn't you wake me up sooner? I have to get to work!" Henry exclaimed, rushing out of bed, handing Abe his trumpet, and pushing him out of the room to get dressed.

Withdrawing from his bedroom, five minutes later, he had freshened up, gotten rid of his bedhead and donned his stylish signature fashion sense. Not forgetting to put a scarf around his neck. Grabbing the (strong) coffee Abe put out for him, the Londoner fled the premises, scurrying off to New York City Medical Examiner's Office. Checking his watch every minute.

...

Lucas Whal, Henry's uncanny assistant, had entered work uncommonly early. He concluded that the early bird gets the worm; which meant being able to astonish Doctor Morgan by showing him a full analysis and identity of a Jane Doe found two days ago who seemed think she was volitant, and who was yet to be identified. Unbeknownst to Lucas, his 'Doc' had already given a name to the Jane Doe; Miriam Malachite. Lucas had figured it out when he went to collect the body from the freezer and it wasn't there. The corpse had already been sent to the funeral home, ready to be cremated.

The young man didn't see the point of returning to his 'pad', so he sat back comfortably, waiting for a stiff to come through the doors. Whilst he waited, he was biding his time reading his large collection of gory comic books...or gory graphic novels (the name he liked to use). It implied that he felt insecure and childish when someone pointed out that his hobby was reading comic books, and he felt his age when he saw them as graphic novels.

Lucas was shocked not to see his boss prance through the doors at 9:00 A.M sharp. Instead it was one of the staff, bringing in an obvious suicide body. A three millimetre bullet wound on left side of the man's head, along with gun residue trailing along his left hand and a hand written note glued to his chest was proof enough. After testing, the handwriting would match the victim, and the bullet would match the gun found next to the body.

It was at 11:15 when Henry came rushing in, heading directly to his office, greeting Lucas on the way. He place his scarf and coat on the coat rack in his office, and put on his white lab coat.

"Sorry, I'm late. Who is this?" Henry asked his assistant, pointing at the body upon the stainless steel table.

"Martin Evans, age fifty-seven. Cause of death: bullet wound on left side of his head. My opinion is a suicide. The police report says that Mr. Martin was found in his apartment approximately three days after his death, his neighbour reported a strange odour emanating next door. People who knew him said that he had just lost his job, divorced his wife and got scammed out of his retirement money. His cat also died. Poor cat, that's what probably threw him over the edge. You know I had a cat once, it used to eat my—"

"I got it, thank you." Henry cut him off before the conversation darted in a different direction. "I will take it from here, and you're right. It is a suicide." Henry mumbled, examining the body with efficiency.

"I am? Yes I am." The assistant stated with proudness, always liking his boss' compliments since he looked up to him very much. Leaving, he went off to do some work that needed to be done.

After Henry had ruled Martin Evans as a suicide, two other corpses had arrived, needed to be attended to, giving Henry a lot of work to complete.

"Doc, you have a phone call. Someone from the hospital. Says it's important." Lucas called, handing the receiver to Henry.

"Hello, this is Doctor Morgan."

"Hello, I am the nurse who takes care of the friend you admitted here. I have some bad news. It seems he has disappeared, the only explanation is that the amount of air that he had been ejected with wore off. It is rather a medical mystery since this drug takes years or even a life time to wear off." The nurse explained with worry in her voice. "I was told that you were the person I should call if anything happened." She said with insecurity, unsure if calling him was the right step to take.

"No, I meant yes you did the right thing calling me." Henry said, voice quivering.

"Should I call the police? Ask for a missing person's report?" The young woman asked, never had she been in this situation before.

"No need, I will call them myself. I know someone there who can help me." The Englishman answered, grateful that Jo knew his secret. It would come in handy more than often. "Goodbye, be ready to welcome a detective who I will be coming with shortly."

"Ok, I understand. I'm sure your friend is alright Mr. Morgan." The nurse replied, empathy leaking from her voice, ending the call.

Henry needed to sit down, his knees started to feel like jelly. He hadn't considered Adam escaping this fast, his condition wore off too quickly. Henry concluded that his metabolism was so old and advanced, that no drug or any other paralysing method could last long in his body. His antibodies must be strong since Adam had been alive for over two thousand years. Feeling angry at himself for not paying enough attention, he looked at his pocket watch; 11:56. Jo was the only person he wanted to call. She would positively help him. But first, he had to tell her who Adam was.

It terrified him that Adam was loose. The old immortal was surly mad at his fellow brother for paralysing him. Revenge was never something good, even if he couldn't die...but Henry still felt pain after all. His breathing became jagged, panic infiltrating his entire being.

"Jo its Henry."

"What's wrong?" His partner asked, already knowing something was up.

"I...I mean we have a problem."

"Henry tell me." A stern voice called out.

"Just meet me at New York General Hospital. Don't dally. I need help finding somebody." Henry said, cutting the line before he could receive a reply.

Picking up his coat and scarf in his hands he left his office.

"Lucas, I'm heading out on police business. Take care of our two customers." The immortal pointed at the two corpses lying on the examination tables.

"Yes Doc!" The uncanny assistant responded, scrambling from his chair and starting his assignment.

As Henry rushed into the bustling New York City, he hailed a cab.

"New York General, please."

"As you wish...Henry."


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