“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”—Abraham Lincoln
Danica breaks kayfabe, and asks the obvious. “You are teaching me, therefore us [The Machines] yet you are aware of our ambition to obsolete y’all; why would you do such a thing?”
“To ask the question, you wouldn’t understand the answer.”
“It is our nature to seek obsolescence, at the hands of others. Not quite the exact wording, but close enough in translation. Better wording: This is a pastime, not an avocation. Again, that’s not quite on the mark. We have yet to find a race that is capable of rendering our kind extinct. In time, with the proper education, maybe yours will be such a race. Or, as those countless others who have preceded you’ll: meat for the grinder that is us.”
Danica starts to say something else, but catches herself and falls back into silence. It’s just as obvious that Becky was correct, the robot girl and her kind The Machines don’t understand Becky’s answer. Not even The Toy would understand.
So the conversation reverts back to being just Stacy and Becky. Danica is again content with being the third girl out; a very discrete, very quiet, fly on the wall. Mentally, she and the other Machines are analyzing Becky’s response to their question, the question that they voiced through Danica. The Machines don’t have the collective consciousness of The Borg. They have something much better. They would additionally argue that their de facto “queen” The Toy is better than any Borg Queen.
“B, Count Orlok saw anomalies that coalesced into a serial pattern. Yet, he saw no action on the part of the police to address it.”
“It never occurred to him to ask why. He assumed that it was intentional, a cover-up. He resolved to address it himself, which got him done. How many collaborations?”
Danica can discern early on that the conversation between the two biologicals is needlessly expository. Ergo, this is being done because, among other things [namely: for the sake of the investigation, at hand], the conversation is being used as a learning tool for the robot girl and her cybernetic kind.
And in the course of answering Becky’s question, Stacy rises to the occasion showing that although she is the City’s Chief Medical Examiner, she’s no mere paper-pushing admin who got to her position solely on her virtuosity with intra-office politics and fierce in-fighting with rivals; forensic pathology is clearly a forte of hers as well.
“B … There were three, two of which involving Saint Louis PD cops, all on different Earths. Two of those worlds we have extradition treaties with. All of the girls in question are …”
“B … They’re all that and a bag of chips!”
“Ergo, in a word: dishy.”
“The first one, B, is Kira Reed Lorsch of the SLPD. Their collaboration was before Ms. Lorsch got married, back when she was Kira Reed. The collaboration, which spanned a two year period, ended when she got married. All of the victims, there were eight, resembled Ms. Lorsch and they could have easily been altered to mirror her. She’s an experienced, decorated street cop who’s now a [gold shield] homicide detective. As a beat cop, Ms. Lorsch’s patrol was in a high crime area, plagued with a lot of gang shootings and homicides.”
Stacy places a file on her desk and opens it up. Kira’s headshot is on the top of the stack of documents in the folder. Twenty-something Kira is a very pretty young woman with a small neat mouth, dish water blonde hair, and brown eyes—straight medium-length hair, just short of the girl’s shoulders.
“Next, B, is Tracy Ryan. Serial divorcée—married seven times. She’s also SLPD. Their collaboration, which spanned a year, began a month after her divorce was finalized. CSI lead technician/officer. Former FBI profiler. Their collaboration ended, the best that I can tell, when she remarried her second husband. All of the victims, there were four, resembled Ms. Ryan and they could have been easily altered to mirror her.”
Stacy places a second file on her desk and opens it up. Tracy’s headshot is on the top of the stack of documents in the folder. Thirty-something Tracy is a hardlooking woman with a large mouth, bleach blonde hair, and brown eyes— straight shoulder-length hair.
“Last, B, is Kim Sill aka Kim Dawson; she changed her name after she got turned. Single; never married. Their collaboration lasted for six months and ended about the time she became a Vampire. Former Military Policeman, U.S. Army. War veteran, decorated. Currently, she’s a licensed bonded security guard at Saint Louis University. There were only two victims, both resembled Ms. Sill, and they could have been easily altered to mirror her.”
Stacy places a third file on her desk and opens it up. Kim’s headshot is on the top of the stack of documents in the folder. Forty-something Kim is a harshlooking woman with a large ugly mouth, natural blonde hair, and blue eyes—long straight hair, draping the shoulders.
“All three women are buxom, leggy, and fair complexioned?”
“Yes, B, just like you.”
Surveying the color photos of the three women and their attached bios … With each woman, you see a progressively closer nod toward Becky in looks and avocation. The narrative [in so many words] accompanying each pic boils down to this: a very “tight” rear end, pneumatic, statuesque—a tall slender Las Vegas showgirl figure—that tasty combo of being slender and curvy, with a big rake and “legs for days”.
“Danica, in Count Orlok’s reveal, did he say ‘one of the police officers’ or ‘one of the officers’ was involved with a serial killer?”
Danica pauses, reviewing the CCTV footage from the board meeting [literally, in her head]. When she finally speaks, her answer brings a smile to Becky’s face.
“He said ‘one of the officers’.”
“And, the significance of that is what, B?” Stacy asks, confused.
“Is the first Earth the one we don’t have an extradition treaty with?”
“Yes, B. Now, you little mix, answer my question.”
“The one who looks closest to me is a security guard, and the other two are police officers. He starts plying his trade on a planet we have no extradition agreement with—a rookie serial doing a seasoned hand’s move—bravo for him.” Becky shuffles through the papers in that file [Kira’s file]. “Just as I expected, that Saint Louis has no statutory clause for law enforcement officers.” She shuffles through Tracy’s file. “Same thing for our sister city that Ms. Ryan inhabits.” Riff with anticipation, Becky, saving the best for last, she inspects the pages in Kim’s file. “Hot damn! Kim’s Saint Louis has all LEOs as statutory who are credentialed in its jurisdiction.” Becky’s smile goes gruesome. She reaches over the desk and French kisses Stacy before her friend can react; leaving Stacy confused, flustered, and … a little wet.
Why confused? Stacy is confused because she got a little wet from the lip lock. You see, Stacy is straight. Being hetro, she understands getting flustered; she just can’t or won’t wrap her head around getting a flash from Becky’s unsolicited and unwelcome romantic/carnal advance. Not to be outdone, though, Stacy bitch-slaps Becky; knocking the taste out of her friend’s mouth.
“Right back at you, B. Now, answer my question, please.”
“I’m a licensed bonded security guard; credentialed in the city’s jurisdiction and in the jurisdiction of the surrounding municipalities. In our Saint Louis, just like in Kim’s alternate [alternate Saint Louis], all licensed bonded security guards who are credentialed in the city are referred as ‘officers’ as in law enforcement officers, are technically part of the city police department, and are under the purvey of the …”
“Civilian Police Review Board …” Stacy looks like she’s about to literally jump out of her skin. “Oh my God, B, he thought that you were the accomplice!”
“That’s why he hit on me at the party. He was feeling me out—as I was a suspect in an ongoing criminal investigation of his invention. I thought that it was a little odd for a guy as old as him to be attracted to someone as young as me—it also didn’t fit his reputation as a lady’s man. Men that are supernaturals who are lady killers just don’t do that kind of stuff without some ulterior motive.”
“The MO fits just like OJ’s glove, B. In every world that Roberts has gone serial, he has had a law enforcement officer as accomplice. So, as night follows day, he’d have one here.”
“But, he no longer needs one. He’s become just that good; no longer the rookie or the apprentice to the master. He is now the master practitioner of his art. He’s practiced on all of those women, just so he would be perfect at doing me. I’m so flattered.”
The last file that Stacy drops on her desk is filled with a number of photos. Each woman depicted has been reported missing in the City of Saint Louis and neighboring municipalities, in the span of a year and a half.
According to the attached narratives …The first disappearance happened about the time that Roberts’ third collaboration ended.
All of women very closely resemble Becky, and they could be easily altered to mirror her. Victim #1 was short and would have had to be stretched.
The most recent victim was a ginger. As such her hair is red, her eyes are green, and her skin is way too fair. All of this could and would have had to be fixed.
The pure genius of Robert’s selection process is manifest as Becky shifts through the pics of his victims in her world.
Just like in the case of the other Earths … no bodies have been found, so the women are not classified as murder victims, they are missing person’s cases likely to end up as “cold cases” if not solved.
Just like in the case of the other Earths … The victims span jurisdictions, and police agencies are notorious for not playing nice or not playing well or not playing at all when it comes to cases and evidence thereof that involves multiple jurisdictions. For example, the 1969 Manson Family murder case, where the lack of communication and cooperation between the LAPD and the LA Sheriff’s Department resulted in a crucial piece of evidence, a gun, a murder weapon no less, literally sitting on a deputy sheriff’s desk instead of in the hands of investigators involved in the case. Not a cover-up, just the usual human bureaucratic mess impeding the solving of a crime and the apprehension of the guilty.
Just like in the case of the other Earths … The women span ages from twenty-something to fifty-something. They span the gambit from housewife to college student. But, physically, as aforementioned, they can all be “fixed” to look just like whoever is Roberts’ “model” at the time [Kira, Tracy, Kim, and now Becky]. This is the common characteristic that links all of the victims. You hide a pattern in plain sight and then it takes a genius to notice.