The Predator Taskforce was on full alert. Another body had been discovered, this time in Kennedy Town of Hong Kong Island. There were no shifts, everyone was on 24-hour call until further notice. Peter Leung had been placed in charge of the forensics team and he had been dispatched at 4:30 am that morning after being woken by a call from Shum. A dismembered body had been found and reported to the Western Police Station. As all stations had been advised to contact the Predator Taskforce in the event of such a finding Shum had been notified. He, in turn, had alerted the Taskforce. Within an hour everyone was at PHQ awaiting orders.
The remains had been found by a couple of teenagers at around 1:00 am. Exactly what they were doing in a back alley of Belcher Street at that time they didn’t say and the first responder officers thought it best not to ask. As they were only 16, the girl and 17, the boy, the officers had insisted on calling their parents. The police would leave it to the relevant families to decide what they had been doing or contemplating when they found the body.
The ‘body’ consisted of several pieces of what had been a human being. One of the pieces was the lower part of a left leg which was still wearing a sock. Peter Leung had the unenviable job of collecting all the bits and pieces, and this time his team paid special attention to any liquids attached to the pieces or lying about. By 9:30 that same morning he had identified the same enzyme from the last case, that of the saliva of the Komodo Dragon. The Predator had struck again.
Karin Baker, nee Phelps, was not overly surprised when she awoke and found herself alone in their bed. In fact, it was something of a relief. She was not in any pain, which was a pleasant change. She wondered briefly where her husband was and then decided that she really didn’t care. The most important thing was that he wasn’t there.
It wasn’t the first time he had failed to make it home after one of his escapades. She had known for a long time now that she failed to cater to his ‘needs’. The problem was that when he couldn’t find the right person to cater to those needs he came home and took it out on her.
She showered, had a leisurely breakfast and went into the office. It was a busy morning and it wasn’t until lunchtime until she realised her husband hadn’t turned up or even called. She tried the home number, thinking that he had gone home to sleep it off but there was no answer. During the afternoon she started calling some of their mutual friends, no one had heard from him. When she locked up the office that evening she went home to an empty apartment and it was only then she became officially worried. However, it was not until the following morning when she reported him missing to the Hong Kong Police.
After he had disposed of the Baker’s remains, Roger Lansard did not immediately return to the apartment. He walked slowly back along the seafront thinking and contemplating his future. He carried with him a plastic bag that had been tied at the neck. When he was certain no one was looking he tossed it into the harbour, pausing only long enough to ensure that it sunk.
His father’s mutation was less controllable now. In the past, after feeding for a few days at least there had been a return to a degree of normalcy. However, these periods were getting shorter while signs of the transformation were increasing. He knew that it would not be long before he turned into one of the creatures that had given him such a long life. And this, of course, brought his own predicament home to him. How much longer did he have before he became a monster?
He had decisions to make about his own future and his father was not going to be part of it.
(c) Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2017 – Not for Distribution
The Featured photo is by Mark Dumont – Flickr: There Be Dragons, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25935468