My mom wasn’t happy when I decided to move to London to go to school. Even less so when I decided to stay and make it my home. To be honest I wasn’t expecting it myself, but I had made some good friends here. Although, becoming a cop when I was working towards a PhD in archaeology wasn’t part of the plan. But even as I was still working towards it, I found it to be a good fit so far.
Now I had been called on to my first case since the academy: and it was a murder case. Oh boy! I took a deep breath as I approached the building, a blue trench coat that I bought at a thrift store for a Jack Harkness cosplay covered my purple button down shirt and black slacks as I marched towards the building in scuffed brown boots. I flashed my badge and they pulled up the tape for me, making a brunette in a blue coat similar to mine turn and look.
“Either this is a freak accident, or you’re trying some sort of bonding technique, Rookie.” He greeted warmly, looking me up and down.
I looked at my coat, then at his, just now noticing how similar they were. “Cosplay can be comfy.” I excused before extending my hand. “Sarah. Sarah Sprague.”
“Alfie Scott. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting an American.” He admitted.
I shrugged, making sure to make eye contact, and seeing the pretty blue hue of his eyes. “And I wasn’t expecting John Barrowman as my partner for the case, but I guess we’re both full of surprises.” I countered with a smile.
“Well you are certainly, sassy lassy.” He countered before gesturing up to the building. “Shall we?”
I nodded and followed him into the building where a man dressed in a Sherlock Holmes costume lay on the floor. “What do you see?” Alfie asked crossing his arms.
I pulled my hair back into a ponytail before crouching down to examine the body. “Lips and finger tips are purple, no cuts or bruises, slight foam around the mouth, and by the smell, his bowels relaxed, but that could also be from death.” I listed calmly. “I’m not seeing any pills lying open around, so I’m thinking poisoning, but not necessarily suicide. But we should get a coroner report before we make too many assumptions.”
Alfie grinned. “Not bad, Rookie.” He responded, waving for the people to come and remove the body.
I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and slipped them on, already feeling the latex sucking the moisture out of my hands. “Let’s take a look around, shall we?” I responded, feeling my curls bounce on my back as I headed for the wardrobe. Opening it up, I saw it was mostly empty, except for one pile of clothes. “Odd…” I mumble to myself, carefully moving the clothes, only to find a string that disappeared under the floor of the shelf. “That’s not a string, that’s a rope.” I corrected. “Alfie, I think I have something.”
Alfie was behind me in a second as I pulled the string. “What is it, Rookie?”
My eyes widened behind my round, half-rimmed copper colored glasses. “A secret compartment and possible murder weapon.” I said lifting up the contents for him to see. A nicely engraved dart gun and dart.
“That just adds to the poison theory.” He responds pulling out an evidence bag and holding it open for me to drop the dart gun into.
“Bathroom door’s still locked too. I’m going to look for a key, but if I can’t find one, be prepared for swearing and possible injury on my part when I try to break it down.” I told him going over to the duffle bag on the bed. “I’m surprised the CSI’s didn’t do it yet.”
Alfie shrugged. “Well, this isn’t America, Rookie. We sometimes have to do things on our own.” He informed, one hand going in the pocket of his black slacks as he watched me work.
I started sorting the items into piles, small to big, metal from plastic, usual and unusual….that sort of thing. “Alright! Let’s try you.” I said, finding a small, metal, skeleton key and heading for the door.
“Do you always talk to yourself?” Alfie asked with a chuckle.
“Oh shut up.” I teased back sliding the key into the hole. “It helps keep my thoughts organized. I also talk to animals and inanimate objects.” I said as the door opened smoothly.
“And as you can see, it works.”
Alfie chuckled. “So it does, Rookie. So it does. Now, why don’t you look around in there, while I go talk to the landlady.” He said heading out the door.
“I’ll holler if I need anything.” I called as he left. I had to admit, he was really cute, friendly, and easy to talk to too.
I went into the bathroom and the first thing I saw was an X marked on two of the bathroom tiles. I looked around and found a masonry tool-spade-thing, I don’t know what the hell it’s called, on top of the garbage. I picked it up and carefully crawled into the empty bathtub, making sure I wouldn’t be stepping on any evidence, and carefully started prying at the tiles.
I set both on the toilet to be put into an evidence bag along with the tool and looked inside. My brow furrowed as I carefully pulled the not-so-hidden tablet out of the wall. “Why would someone hide this in a wall, only to mark where it was? Kind of defeats the purpose.” I mumbled as I climbed out of the tub and turned it on.
I watched carefully as an image appeared out of static, a man in a half-mask, the rest of his face covered in shadow, and a blue cape with a hood. “Because that’s not dramatic at all.” I mumbled rolling my eyes as the static faded out with two words written on the black background: “I’m Back”.
“Dramatic or not, this does not bode well.” I said turning my head towards the open door. “Alfie! You might wanna get up here and see this!” I called.
I turned back around and saw a man dressed the same as the one who had appeared on the tablet, only I could see the rest of his outfit now: an old style blue suit, white gloves, and an M holding the cape around his shoulders. “Who are you and how’d you get past the tape?!” I demanded, reaching for my gun.
I didn’t get it out fast enough, because the next thing I know, he had me against the wall, with the only thing between me and the knife in his hand, being my own arm fighting his strength. Thinking fast I pulled the knife quickly so it was about to go into the door before throwing my right fist into his face, making him drop the knife and jump back.
I finally got my gun out and held it pointed at him. “You wanna try that again?” I asked, pulling back the hammer.
He just turned, climbed over the toilet and sink, knocking down the items I had put there, and took off out the window.
My eyes went wide as I raced over and looked out, only seeing glass on the street three stories below. “Ok, looks like Harry Houdini has left the building.” I mumbled as I brought my head in as Alfie came into the room, bracing on the door frame to catch himself.
“Rook! Are you ok?! I heard crashing!” he panted.
I looked at the tablet, knife, and other items on the floor and then at him. “You might not believe me when I tell you.”
“Try me, but first, we need to finish up here.” He informed looking at the room behind him.
I sighed. “Well, let’s look at this.” I said grabbing the garbage can and dumping it on the bed. “There’s torn paper right here. Looks like a file.”
Alfie looked over my shoulder. “Huh, should be easy to put back together.”
I started doing so, remembering the times I put together puzzles as a kid before finishing it up. “A library receipt. Looks like we have our next clue. Whatever book this is, the clue left behind is on page 68.”