Chapter 41 - The Truth at Last
Robin woke up to the familiar sounds of the vacuum pump and heart monitor. Lt. Hawk was standing at his bedside.
“Hello, Robin. Welcome back,” he said amiably.
“I just had the strangest dream, Hawk. I was on the roof and I died. Amanda Potts was there and she told me it wasn’t my time yet and that I had to go back. I heard Malissa calling me and I remembered how much I love her so I…” It was then that he realized the truth. “Malissa! Is she okay? That fiend hit her with a knife.”
“I’m fine, Robin. The knife didn’t do much damage. No vital organs just shoulder and muscle.”
She was sitting next to the bed with her right arm in a sling.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed, or something?” Robin asked.
“I’m fine. I’ll have to write left-handed for a while, but otherwise I’m fine and no doctor is going to keep me away from seeing you. Did you really see Amanda Potts?”
“Who is Amanda Potts?” asked Lt. Hawk.
“A friendly spirit,” Nancy said a little too quickly. Lt. Hawk looked at her and opened his mouth as if to speak, but nothing came out. He decided she would tell him in her own good time, so he let it be.
Robin could see Amanda Potts floating in the corner. He smiled at her. Malissa turned to see what he was looking at and saw her. She mouthed the word “thanks”.
“You’re welcome,” Amanda Potts said.
Sgt. Tinker was leaning back in a chair against the wall. He suddenly sat forward making a loud noise that made everyone look in his direction. “What kind of friendly spirit?” He demanded.
Robin ignored him – he was looking at Malissa.
“Yes. She helped me get back to you. I…” He reached out his right hand for Malissa’s and she took it.
“The scarecrow!” said Robin. He attempted to get up, but didn’t have the strength.
“Relax, Robin, he’s dead,” said Lt. Hawk, pushing him gently back. “Save your strength for healing up. Don’t talk. Just listen. Everyone is curious about what happened on the roof the other night, but they can wait.”
“Didn’t Malissa tell you?”
“No, I didn’t, Robin. I was in shock most of the time and couldn’t remember much of anything,” she lied.
“I’m a bit fuzzy myself. I spent a good deal of that time unconscious – apart from that bit when I was dead – other than that my memory is fine.”
Lt. Hawk didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or be angry with him. Instead he ignored Robin’s remarks, “Get your strength back and then you can talk to us. Until then, let me tell you everything we have uncovered so far.”
Lt. Hawk began to tell his story. “First I have to tell you that you’ve been under sedation for the past four days. Don’t get excited…” he said as Robin started to get up again. “They kept you quiet while they refilled your body. It seems you left most of your red cells all over the hospital roof and stairwells. They weren’t sure you would make it back to us given that you were running on empty.”
Lt. Hawk nodded his head toward the half-empty IV bag of saline and Robin looked at it.
“That’s the fifth one. You also had some red ones.”
“Most of it mine, by the way,” said Sgt. Tinker. “Your blood type is a little rare. Consider it an engagement present.”
Robin managed a smile and said, “Thanks, Sergeant.”
“Call me Tinker. We’re blood brothers now.”
Robin smiled again. “I guess we are at that. Thanks, Tinker.”
Malissa had tears in her eyes. “We weren’t sure you were coming back this time, Robin.”
“Neither was I.”
She put her cheek on his hand and closed her eyes. Her tears flowed silently onto it and Robin thought, It’s all right my Auburn Angel, I’m going to be all right, Amanda Potts told me so. He pulled her slowly to him and held her against his neck. He gently kissed her forehead and rubbed her back.
“Here’s the story as we see it,” Lt. Hawk continued. “Apparently, he used poison gas to subdue the Nurse’s station and the armed guard outside your door. He killed them all before they could raise an alarm. He had already disabled the fire alarms and elevators before setting a fire on the floor below. That floor was empty because it’s the operating theater. Fortunately, there wasn’t anything going on there that time of night.”
“Poison gas? But their throats had been cut. There was blood all over the place,” said Robin. He could still see the horrible scene.
“He did that after they were already dead. God only knows why. We think he liked to drink the blood of his victims. His stomach was full of it, but I’m getting ahead of myself.”
“While you two were lying on the roof unconscious, one of our officers at the scene was looking up at the hospital building to see how bad the fire had become. He saw Jake standing up there. He wondered why he wasn’t trying to leave the building in spite of the fact that he was standing next to the fire escape.”
“He decided to try to attract his attention by running toward the building yelling. As he reached the fire escape, he heard a blood-curdling scream. He looked up in time to see Jake come flying off the roof backwards at an incredible speed. He landed on the officer’s squad car.”
“He ran back to his car to see if he could do anything for the guy, but Jake, of course, was quite dead. He knew Jake couldn’t have jumped off the hospital roof because his police car was parked more than a hundred yards from the building. In fact, it was parked behind a fire truck that was pumping water to the hoses. The impact was so hard that it shattered the windshield, smashed the light bar, and pushed the roof down till it touched the dashboard. Our forensic guys say it was more like he had been shot out of a cannon rather than thrown off a building.”
Lt. Hawk watched Robin for a reaction, but he just looked as if he had no idea what the Lieutenant was talking about. He studied Robin’s face and decided that he either was a good actor or he really didn’t have a clue about what happened to Jake, so he continued his explanation.
“Anyway, it was at that moment that the Officer had an irresistible urge to check the rooftop to see who might have thrown Jake over the edge. It’s a good thing too because when he got to the top of the fire escape he found you half-dead and Malissa sitting beside you in shock. He immediately called the Paramedics; they resuscitated you and brought you both down. He saved your lives. “
“Thank goodness for that,” said Nancy.
Lt. Hawk continued. “It was obvious to the Officer on the scene that neither of you could have thrown Jake that far much less push him off the roof in your condition. The person or persons who did manage the deed were nowhere to be found.”
“That’s too bad, Hawk,” said Robin, “I’d like to thank them. The last thing I remember was that he was about to kill us both and then I was floating above my body looking down on Malissa. I have no idea what happened to Jake. That part’s a blank.”
“It’s definitely a mystery, but the biggest mystery of all was the condition of Jake’s body.”
“What do you mean, Hawk?” Malissa asked.
“We’ve examined the body and in addition to having ingested a lot of blood, another interesting thing cropped up: All of the bones in his chest area, rib cage, and spine were literally pulverized into dust.”
“Is that possible?” asked Nancy.
“No. That doesn’t happen from just falling from a roof. In fact, it never happens at all. Unless you run it over with a steamroller, but that would damage the outside too. From the outside he looked pretty normal until they tried to lift him off the patrol car. That particular area of his body was like rubber. It had no bones to support the flesh.”