Authors: Dale Mayer
I don't understand what you could have done with Alexis. After all, it's her mind we're in now.
Stefan kept awe and confusion in his voice.
Kevin waited breathless.
Of course you don't, because you're thinking from the human perspective, not the soul perspective. You have to work on that!
Like they say on TV, you have to think outside the box.
Sorry, it's difficult while grounded in physical life.
The asshole seemed somewhat mollified by Stefan's admission of a lesser status and talent. Yeah, right.
Kevin waited and watched. At the same time, he tried to observe the frozen stalagmites forming the visual of Alexis's mind. He didn't understand – how could this be? Everything about this case could have come from a horror show. Were these surroundings hers or the asshole's? Not that it mattered, but he had to locate her and help her free herself.
He scanned the space he could see. There! Off on the far wall, back slightly out of view, stood something frozen in the ice. Alexis. Excited, Kevin started to tell Stefan, only to be cut off immediately.
I know. You need to get over to her, but don't let this maniac know
. Stefan's faint whisper came so faint as to be an impression felt rather than clear words.
Go to her? How?
The ice is Alexis's vision, only she doesn't know it. Become one with it and you'll become one with her.
Shit. He'd never tried anything like this. It didn't matter. He had to succeed. There was no other option. He didn't know about becoming one with the ice, but he could definitely relate to water. Could he warm the surface of the ice enough to melt it to a film of water?
It was easier than he'd thought. Almost instantaneously, he found himself slithering across the frozen surface, inside the slightly warmer film connecting him to the icy particles that made up the chamber of Alexis's mind. A small part of his brain watched the proceedings in awe. How was such a thing even possible?
There was no time for amazement or shock. That would surely follow, but for now he raced through the cold watery flow to help the woman he loved.
lexis fought the rising tide of panic. None of this made any sense. Disjointed images flooded her subconscious, washing her in sounds and impressions that refused to fit together. She shuddered under the chaotic onslaught. Pain and confusion blinded her. Inundated on all sides, she fought for clarity.
When clarity finally came, amazement beset her. She existed simultaneously in two planes. Always before, she'd been focused in one energy field, blocking out any vivid awareness of the other. Not this time. That juxtaposition and merging in itself seemed as horrifying as it was exhilarating. The panoramic vistas of both realities overwhelmed her with their sharpness.
A lucidity she didn't appreciate once she realized she was a prisoner in both worlds.
In the physical plane, ropes were strangling the circulation in both her ankles and wrists and a tight cloth gagged her mouth. Worse than that had to be the awkward position she'd been twisted into. It felt like she was the last item shoved into an already-full cupboard before the door was slammed shut quickly to prevent her falling out.
Right now, falling out would be a welcomed relief.
Tears welled up as she tried to shift her body. Muscles screamed for relief but there were only scant inches to move in any direction. The gag pulled the skin on her cheeks, and worse were the few loose hairs caught in the tape that ripped her scalp with each tiny movement. Defeated, she collapsed back down to her original position.
She was going nowhere here.
Simultaneously, she was transported to the other world. She drifted in and out of sleep and wakefulness. Icy cold surrounded her in this place where pain and fear inundated her.
This reality was no better.
Imprisoned and suspended in an icicle, she appeared to be in the middle of a huge stalagmite that dominated an icy cavern. Peripherally, she registered the presence of others.
Yet something was familiar. What? No, not what – who?
Was Kevin here? She concentrated harder, searching for his tangible thread.
She could feel his comforting presence. And Stefan's too! Joy pulsed through her. They were both here.
Then she sensed a third presence.
Numbing coldness encroached on her emotions, fighting with gripping fear. Her captor was here. This last realization, oddly enough, was what grounded her firmly in this reality and made things clear.
He had to be stopped.
Now, through the surrounding frozen wasteland, she could feel, and even to a certain extent, see, the vague outlines of both the asshole's and Stefan's energies.
Stefan's energy looked distinctly odd – tight, controlled, yet wispy. Alexis focused next on his adversary. A malevolent force she recognized straight away – evil oozed from the center of his black heart.
Where could Kevin be in all of this? Carefully, she closed her eyes and opened her senses. She could feel him, but not see him. She smiled. There he was. He was…everywhere. Kevin existed in the ice that surrounded and supported her, covered and held her.
The soft voice rippling through her consciousness. His words slid in at the DNA level. Without sound, without form, only a distinctive knowing that allowed her to understand. And to respond in kind.
So relieved to hear you. Maybe you could explain what is going on?
Alexis whispered. Her mind opened wider as the words slipped out on fragile snowflakes – the link between the two of them made words unnecessary.
True to thought, images played through her mind. Became a movie of what had happened, and how they all came to be there at the same place.
That place being inside
Alexis slumped, understanding what her reality had become.
, Kevin admonished.
Don't what? Be depressed? Be afraid? I think I'm entitled to feel a little alarmed over a science fiction war currently being fought inside my head,
she said, fear sharpening her voice to that of a razor's edge.
True, but you're not alone,
We won't let anything happen to you.
His soothing tones washed through her, but she knew better.
she lashed out.
It is not. We're trying to find the physical you. Can you help us? Do you know where you are?
In a padded cell? If not now, I probably will be soon,
Stop! You are not crazy. Help us.
, she snapped. A fraught minute later, she pulled back. He was right. They all needed to keep their wits about them or she'd never survive. There'd be time for a full-scale breakdown later.
It's not going to happen, so don't even think about it.
Harsh crystal tones jarred her senses.
What do I need to do?
Do you have any idea where you are? Did you see anything? Glen mentioned a locked closet.
That sounds about right. I'm jammed behind some kind of wooden door. It could be a closet or a storage locker. That's all I know. I only just woke up
. She felt like apologizing for her predicament. Alexis hesitated as his words sank in.
I'll explain later. Are you hurt? Do you need an ambulance? Can you tell us anything else?
No, it's too dark to see.
What about smells, sounds – anything distinctive?
She paused to consider the odd scents that assailed her nostrils.
Car smells, gas, oil. Maybe a garage or a mechanic's shop. Not overwhelming, possibly someone's garage
Good, keep thinking. Did you hear anything? Did you feel anything unusual? Think.
Alexis remained silent for a moment, letting the words sink deep into her consciousness.
Movement. I remember traveling, maybe being carried, but the memories are slippery, inconsistent
, she protested.
We can't rely on them
Wrong. Even though you were out cold, these sensations were emblazoned on your consciousness. You can tap into them.
If I were to guess, I'd say I was brought here to someone's garage in the trunk of a car.
Alexis didn't understand his sudden excitement.
It's not as if I told you anything new.
But you put things together in a different way and that made all the difference. I think you're inside John Prescott's garage.
What? Why there?
I think Charles has stashed you there to implicate John. Glen said something about 'maximum destructiveness.'
Alexis found her focus wavering. It was getting harder to concentrate.
His sharp ringing tones forced her attention back to him.
I'm losing focus
Alexis, stay awake! Do you hear me?
Her voiced faded away for a moment, before rallying once again.
I think I'm hurt.
Then she was gone.
"Don't panic, don't panic." Kevin raced through the hospital corridors dodging people and carts, heading for his car and open air and his cell phone. "Just because she faded out doesn't mean she's badly hurt," he muttered to himself, ignoring the many fascinated looks from people walking the same corridors.
"Detective Sutherland," Scott called out a thick Irish burr.
Kevin whirled to see Scott striding quickly behind him.
"I called out several times, but you must be doing some very hefty thinking to not hear me." He smiled, but thick worry lines showed on his face. "Sorry to bother you, but I can't locate Alexis." He paused for a mere second. "Have you seen her?"
Kevin motioned Scott to follow him out of the huge building. "She was kidnapped from the police station this morning. I'm on my way to check out a potential lead now."
"I'm coming." Scott barreled beside him, anxious to hear the details. "Don't you be thinking I'm not."
"I wouldn't dare." Kevin rolled his eyes at the huge man. "Get in."
After throwing lights on the top of his roof, Kevin ripped out of the hospital parking lot and cut the corner too close, bouncing over the curb. Kevin felt Scott's sidelong glance, but he chose to ignore it. He used his cell to call dispatch for backup and an ambulance.
The nightmarish trip continued through town until the truck came to a screeching halt just ahead of the black and white backup car. The ambulance also waited for them.
As the two men raced to the front entrance of the house, the door opened and a stretcher was wheeled out. Kevin stopped, transfixed.
It was Sandra, John's wife.
"What the hell happened?" he said, his voice sharp with worry. His gaze darted in all directions as he searched for signs of Alexis.
"Looks like a heart attack. We're taking her in now." The two ambulance attendants maneuvered the trolley carefully down to the waiting vehicle.
"Is she stable?"
"For now, but she needs to get to Emergency."
Kevin nodded. "I need you to wait another moment. We have reason to believe there's another injured person on the premises."
Both paramedics looked at each other before nodding. "Only long enough to get her loaded, or we'll have to come back."
"Done." Kevin didn't waste any more time, he headed into the front foyer with Scott following closely behind. The other policemen were directed around back. Kevin knew the layout of the house, and he headed for the door leading to the garage.
He entered at the same time as the other officers entered through the outside door. Carefully, he looked around. The space appeared deserted. A large cupboard occupied most of the far wall. Kevin couldn't recall ever seeing it open.
A large bolt secured the wooden doors.
"Useless things, these are."
Scott reached out a meaty fist and wrenched the whole door off, taking the latch and bits of cheap pressboard with it.
Alexis, unconscious and bleeding from her head, was slumped to the floor at their feet. One of the two backup officers raced out for the paramedics, while the other three people bent over her prone body.
"Is she alive?" asked Scott anxiously.
"Yes, she's breathing." Kevin grimly sliced through the tight bindings that pinned her poor arms back. As he did so, a low groan escaped from her slack mouth. Quickly, the others took care of the remaining bindings as a paramedic arrived.
The medic checked her over thoroughly. "She has a head injury, and almost certainly a concussion, but I don't see any breaks or major bleeding. Let's get her to the hospital where they can check her out."
The second stretcher arrived and within minutes, they were on their way to hospital, an anxious Scott holding Alexis's hand.
Kevin had to stay behind and finish his job.
For long moments, he contemplated the empty driveway and the plume of dust as the ambulance peeled off. Charles was physically responsible, but was he mentally responsible? Who would pay the penalty for these crimes? More aptly, who should pay for the murder and mayhem? Glen had mentioned finding a new host… Could he even be stopped?
Would anyone believe this tale, let alone convict a coma patient of being a serial killer? Shaking his head at the vagaries of fate, and the other side of reality he found himself policing, he headed back inside to take care of business.
Charles drove up an hour later and parked in the driveway. Calm and cool, he walked into his father's house using the front door, calling out, "Hello! Is anyone home?"
Kevin walked out to meet him. "Charles, we need to ask you some questions involving the kidnapping of Alexis Gordon."
The younger man looked at him in astonishment. "What are you talking about? I had nothing to do with any kidnapping."
"Eyewitness accounts tell it differently." Not quite the truth, but Kevin hoped to prod him into revealing more than he would have otherwise. So far, Charles's surprise appeared genuine.
"Bullshit! I've been at work all morning. Go ahead and talk to the construction crew about it."
Kevin stopped to consider. "Someone will go and corroborate your story. In the meantime, what makes you think she was kidnapped
Charles looked at him in confusion. Stunned and bewildered, he didn't appear to know what to say. "I don't know. I guess I just assumed it."
Could Charles be ignorant of Glen's actions when being used as a host? It was often that way with multiple personality cases. Kevin nodded noncommittally. "Like I said, we need to ask you a few questions. Shall we go inside for a few minutes?"
"I don't want to bother my mother with all of this," Charles replied, stiffly.
Kevin grimaced at what this young man didn't know. He made it brief and succinct.
Charles didn't adjust well to the news. Bitterly protesting, Charles took a seat in kitchen. One of the officers stood quietly off to one side and slightly behind him.
Kevin phoned the hospital to get an update on their latest patients. Hearing that all was as well as could be expected, with Alexis still unconscious, he updated Charles. Giving the man a moment to deal with the news, Kevin then worked on getting the answers they needed.
"Let's start with where you've been since last night."
Charles willingly complied, giving a full and detailed account. If Charles's statement heavily implied that his father had been somehow involved, Kevin ignored that.
"Charles, I need to ask you about of your little sister's death. What can you tell me about that?"
"The only important thing to know is that my father killed her." He seemed almost relieved, even delighted to say the words aloud.
The door behind them opened wide and his father entered the room abruptly.
"I certainly did not kill my daughter!" The shock of betrayal laced John Prescott's voice.
This wasn't sounding good. On the other hand, maybe now they could get to the truth.
"John, I didn't know you'd arrived home." He studied John's ravaged face. "Have you heard about Sandra?"