Heavens Alley - Chapter 9: The Professor
Amora was unable to sleep and for the first time in weeks her insomnia was caused due to euphoria rather than distress. What she had learned at Rothmans had definitely set her on a path that lead to Lucifer.
Rothman was sceptical about his clientèle, and rightly so considering the shady nature of his dealings. To avoid unnecessary mischief he had installed cameras around his store that monitored different spots of the office and the back room 24/7. From the insignia on the clue Amora had brought, Rothman determined the sheet was printed and sold sometime that year. This was good news but there were still thousands of hours of footage and the task of scanning through it was assigned to Amora and Captain Jones, and Rothman had no choice but to assist for he was the only one who could identify the faces of the guilty.
As she lay in bed staring at the ceiling, she recalled the last face she saw on the large TV that was replaying the CCTV footage Jones and her were examining. Their method was simple. The tape was relayed on fast forward and when Rothman saw someone he recalled had come to him for 'under the table' business, he would notify his captors. They would then take a screen shot and send the photo to the precinct where an officer who owed Jones a favour would run a complete database search and prepare a file for Jones to later review. Off the record of course.
They were in their last session of monitoring for the day when she appeared on screen. Amora saw a pretty woman enter through the door and surf around in fast forward. Amora looked away to grab a bag of potato crisps when Rothman said "pause". Amora swung around in surprise. On first glance neither Jones nor she suspected the woman on screen. "Her? Are you sure Rothman?" enquired Amora. "I'd never forget a pretty face with evil intentions", Rothman grinned, but quickly regained his passive demeanour looking at Jones' angry expression. They watched the video in silence. There was something off about this woman. Every other suspect they had watched walked around with a purpose, some were nervous but still had the body language indicating they knew what they were doing. This woman was different. She was extremely fidgety and walked around the store clearly contemplating whether she should go through it. They watched her approach a busy Rothman, who looked much younger than the one sitting next to them though the video was just a few months old. The past few days of constant scrutiny by Jones was wearing down on him. "Do you remember her name?" Jones asked, eyes still on the screen. "That I'm afraid I don't", Rothman replied. Amora wasn't sure why but her gut told her they had found their person. Jones took a screen shot and mailed it to his guy who in turn had PIs looking into the matter. Jones would receive a detailed report the next day.
Despite the lack of sleep Amora was up at 7, a first for her. She showered, dressed up and was out the door in an hour. The anxiety was choking. She prayed the woman on screen would take this investigation forward. Jones and she had decided to meet at a cafe near the precinct. She walked in to find Jones already sipping on a coffee. He didn't look ecstatic, the way she would if the news was good. This didn't bring her spirits down though for Captain Kami Jones rarely showed emotions of elation. Probably a reason why his wife had left him six years ago. "Mornin Cap", she greeted as she took a seat opposite Jones. "Please tell me we've struck gold", she added. Jones sighed. "Her name is Holly Fischer. She was a doctor at St Michaels Hospital." Amora registered the word 'was'. Jones continued "She was found dead two months ago. Natural causes. Heart seizure in the middle of the street. Or so the coroner discerned. Looks like a Lucifer victim." Amora sat quite for a while. "So. Is this good news?" she asked. "It's just news. It gets puzzling. She was suspended from duty a month before her death. She was implicated for stealing surgical needles and other equipment from the hospital. There was an interrogation and her friends said this was very unlikely behaviour for her. They say she had met someone. Apparently was dating this someone, secretly since none of her friends or colleagues knew who he was, and since then she had been behaving very reclusive. This I would say is good news", Jones said and a faint smile dawned on his hard, seasoned cop face. Amora had no issues showing happiness and she raised her hands up in victory. "Oh Cap I love you!" she exclaimed. "Such a high this detective work gives you. No wonder you cops never really retire."
Amora left the cafe in good spirits. The detective duo decided to visit St Michaels Hospital the next day and interrogate the staff. Jones was going to file a formal case with the magistrate to receive a warrant and make the investigation official. He would ask this be kept a secret of course, since Lucifer was still out there and listening intently.
Eric was completing his final asana when the door bell rang. He frowned. He didn't like people intruding unannounced. He was not going to disrupt his routine for some imbecile. Let them wait, he thought and continued his workout to completion. Ten minutes later he walked towards the door. The bell surprisingly didn't ring after the first time. He opened the door and stared at the person in front of him. Fuck. He should have answered immediately. But how would he know?
"Come in professor", Eric said regaining composure. In the past, the professor had always called Eric and told him where they were to meet. Eric was never visited at his home. He didn't know the professor even knew where he lived. Eric had done something wrong, he was certain of it.
The Professor never forgave.