Glancing at his watch again it was now 7:15 am and stretching in his chair he closed the file shut on the handover he had prepared to brief the morning shift with when at that moment D.C.I Williams walked into the office.
“Good morning Greg; any complications after I left you?” John asked as he looked around the room
“Not as far as I’m aware Sir. Emma Colbeck is heading up the forensic investigation and I have everything prepared for the early turn to make a start on the case with.” Greg tapped his finger on the pile of papers he was putting together. Williams picked up the folder and tucking it under his arm; pausing briefly as he reached the doorway John turned his head towards Greg and said
“I want you on my team for this one Greg so I shall see you later on today after you’ve had a few hours.”
“Yes Guv.” replied Greg with a weary nod. Williams walked off towards the briefing room ready to start the proceedings that would bring about a murder inquiry to the Metropolitan area. It was some time later that Williams finally managed to extricate himself from the melee of people and questions that any murder inquiry creates. Closing the door behind him as he entered his office he took the plain brown envelope that had been left in his mail tray by a clerk from achieves as per his request. Opening it he spread the contents across his desk and began to pour over the details. In amongst old reports dating back to the early eighties were crime scene photographs and statements from witnesses all concerning a string of brutal murders in which the bodies had all been mutilated. As he stared at the pictures his mind flashed back to the scene that he had been at several hours ago the night before and the similarities were such that these photos could have been taken from the crime scene last night not almost thirty years ago. At the time he had only just been made a detective constable and it had been his first murder inquiry that he had been involved in. It could not be the same person, it’s just not possible. Unless….Williams thought to himself. Glancing at the clock on the wall he became aware that it was fast approaching three o’clock and he had an appointment to keep with an old friend.
Gathering up the evidence into the envelope he tucked it inside his coat then slipping out of New Scotland Yard via the back stairs he turned his collar up against the chill wind that was blowing through the city at this time of year. He stepped out into the cold afternoon air and made his way through the crowds of people moving to and fro; he soon entered Trafalgar Square where he could see the grandiose steps leading up to the National Gallery. Upon entering the Museum Williams walked into the cafe and sitting himself down with a cup of Earl Grey tea he watched the double glass doorway leading to the cafe sipping his tea as he waited for a very old friend to arrive. His mind wandered as he sat there sipping on the warm tea the waitress had brought him; as he looked across at her once more his thoughts were reminded of the first girl that had been killed at the beginning of his inquiries back in the early eighties. She was much the same he thought to himself; a young girl in her early twenties working late at a local restaurant and on her way home when she had been attacked. Williams was lost in his thoughts and did not notice as the large double glass doors began to swing shut, having just made way for a young woman pushing a pram with a baby aboard, when a gloved hand caught one of the doors and held it open as its owner peered into the seating area of the cafe. Marcus Tremane was as tall and rigid as any hardback copy of a best seller you may find on the shelves but equally as aged and dusty as one that had been forgotten for a long time sitting in the dark dusty corners of a library. Tremane dipped his spectacles as he caught sight of Williams and with a practiced motion slid them back upon his nose before walking slowly to sit with his old friend. John Williams folded his newspaper that he had been pretending to read as he saw the figure of his friend approach his table. John stood as he stretched out his hand to greet him and said with a smile broadening upon his face
“It’s been too long a time my old friend.” John said with a slight wistful tone to his voice.
“Indeed it has” replied Tremane as he shook Williams hand then sat himself down opposite John. A brief silence between the two old friends was interrupted as the industrious waitress came over to the table to take their order. Tremane removed his hat and scarf and looked up at the waitress with a smile before saying
“Tea please my dear; I believe my friend here is drinking Earl Grey and that will suffice for us both. Thank you.” Williams smiled and nodded at the waitress then handed her his empty tea mug before turning his attention to his friend Marcus.
“You are looking well for an old Professor who spends his days cooped up in a class room sending students to sleep with that monotone voice of yours.” Tremane smiled at his friends dry humor and replied
“You should do well to stay awake during our little luncheon then but please John do try not to interrogate me; I’m your friend not one of your ruffians you have dragged from the street. As such I enjoy the art of conversation or have you forgotten how we civilized people converse?” Marcus finished his sentence with polished sarcasm. Both of them laughed briefly before Marcus continued
“Now what is so urgent that I had to leave those students with a free period to cause god knows what mischief.” Fixing his old friend with a serious look John simply said
“Think back thirty years to how we met.” John paused and looked gravely at his friend before carrying on
“I believe it’s happening again and this time we have to stop it before it turns into that nightmare that we endured all those years ago.” Tremane’s face darkened and bringing his hands together he leaned forward fixing John with a cold look before almost whispering
“That’s impossible. You saw it die”
“I saw him die” Williams interjected.
“You still don’t believe do you John; even after everything you saw and all that we did to end it?” Marcus paused as the waitress returned and placed their order onto the table before briefly smiling then leaving having asked if there was anything else and receiving a polite no. Williams slipped his hand inside his overcoat and pulling the plain envelope he had taken from his office earlier he slid it across the table towards Marcus Tremane
“These are from the crime scene I went to last night; I warn you now they will bring back some very unpleasant memories.” John Williams sat back in his chair and smelt the aroma of his tea as he watched his friend slowly shuffle the pictures of the young girl who had been brutally slain last night. His mind dwelt upon the words Marcus had spoken and he felt doubt creep back into his mind where there had been none before.
His mind drifted back to himself standing upon Westminster Bridge once again with Marcus calling out a warning to him then the gun shot sounded as something slammed into him before tumbling over the side of the bridge. They had found Ian Cain laying dead on the embankment near to the steps at the bottom of the bridge where he had fallen following being shot by Marcus as he had attacked John. Cain was found naked and pronounced dead at the scene with the presumed cause of death being two gunshot wounds to his chest. It was also presumed that during his fall from the bridge the murder weapons he had used along with his ritualistic garb had fallen into the Thames river and then been swept away as nothing was ever found despite weeks of police divers searching the area. It had taken several months for psychologists; detectives and forensic scientists to come to the conclusion that Cain had been ritualistically murdering his victims under the guise of a man simply out walking his dogs in the evening. They concluded that he would find someone isolated and engage the victim with simple conversation before bludgeoning them with a heavy instrument to subdue them then he would set his dogs upon the victim and watch as they tore the person apart. It all made sense when it had been presented to the Judge for a ruling and he of course was part of the squad responsible for stopping one of the most violent killers that had ever stalked the streets of London. Marcus had of course protested at the hearing and pointed out that in their final encounter with Cain that no dogs had ever been found and he argued that he had not seen any weapons that evening. The only surviving witness to the attacks had been in too much of a state of shock to confirm anything other than she had been attacked and that it happened all so fast. The wounds that had been inflicted upon her shoulders were deemed to have been inflicted by a clawed tool of some description and not animal bites. It had been easier to go along with their findings and to believe what conclusions had been drawn by the inquiry rather than believe what Marcus had convinced him of back then. William’s journey into the past was abruptly ended as he heard Marcus speaking to him.
“These are truly horrific John and like you said all too familiar with past events.” Marcus had placed the photographs back into the envelope before sliding it across the table to John.
“I also spoke with the heads of the regional local borough inspectors this morning and they have had two missing persons reports filed with them over night. Both young women and both expected home last night.” John lowered his voice as he looked around the cafe careful so as not to be heard.
“This is how it began before Marcus and you know all we found of the other girls were their remains. I want to stop this now and save them if they are still alive if we can.” Slipping the envelope back into his overcoat John looked back to Marcus and said
“So for now we are agreed then that this however improbable it may be is possible?” Marcus’s eyebrows furled together almost becoming one as he replied
“Knowing what may be about to happen all over again I don’t think we have any choice but to assume the worst and act accordingly.” As Marcus began to place his scarf and hat back on he stood and stared at John with a resolute look in his eyes saying
“I will start with Cain; he may still yet be the key to solving this mystery before it turns into anything more.” Williams stood and shook his old friends hand and simply said
“Thank you.” Williams watched Professor Marcus Tremane leave and finishing his tea stood then made his way back to New Scotland Yard.