Red, Black, White – Part 10

Roger finished the circle, then bade O’Malley to step back to a corner. The stocky Irish cop nodded, and moved to the corner closest to the hall opening. As a precaution, he pulled his .44 magnum, flipped open the cylinder to check that all cartridges were loaded, then snapped it closed. He lowered it to his side, ready for use I something bad happened. As he’d seen before, bad things did happen often enough that he wanted to have his weapon to hand. Roger began chanting, holding the hairs he’d collected from the bedroom.

His trace spell began to take shape as his consciousness slowly dropped into a near sleep. He felt the tendrils of the spell trail out and surround the hairs, melding with them and sending a call to more of the same. He frowned as interference started unraveling the spell as it formed. His consciousness returned to full wakefulness, and he opened his eyes. The bodies had begun shifting. O’Malley brought the pistol up and fired a shot at the one nearest the circle. The bullet struck the side of the head, blowing brains, flesh, bone, and maggots all over the floor away from Roger and the circle. The maggots wriggled then crawled towards the body, which pushed itself to hands and knees, and continued a slow crawl towards the circle.

Roger felt the pull at his spell, and focused his senses. The pull of energy was to the moving corpse. Out of the edges of his perception, he could see the other bodies begin to slowly animate. As they began moving the pull on his circle increased. Growling a curse, Roger fed more power to the circle and watched the closest body begin to move faster towards him. O’Malley’s second shot tore into the body’s shoulder, propelling it onto its side, where it thrashed three-limbed and tried to right itself. Is it using my spell to power itself? Thought became action as Roger dropped the circle. The bodies furthest away dropped to the floor, inanimate. Only the closest continued moving. “Screw this,” Roger snarled, then called up a fire spell. The one armed body tried to reach for Roger, then disappeared in an oily burst of heat as the spell consumed it totally.

He stepped over to the next body, and burned it, then repeated with each body. “What was that? It didn’t act like any zombie I’d seen before”, O’Malley commented as Roger methodically burned the last body. Roger looked down at his employer and friend. “They’re not. It was something else. When I powered the spell, the bodies started moving. I think it was those maggots that were doing the work.”

“The maggots?”, O’Malley asked him. Roger nodded. He went over to one of the few that were still mobile. “Watch, I’m going to focus a little power at this one.” O’Malley watched as the maggot suddenly accelerated, crawling deliberately at Roger, growing to the size of a fat grub in mere moments. He glanced at Roger, who gasped, and stepped back. O’Malley took that as a cue, and stomped the growing maggot flat under his shoe.

“They feed on magic. I could feel it pulling at me. I was overconfident.”

O’Malley nodded. “You figured it out. That means you’ll know what to do next time we see them.”

“That’s true. I just hope we don’t need any magic soon. I need to rest.”

“Gentlemen, if you’re finished in there, you have visitors out here.” Lieutenant Kruger stepped into the doorway, then gasped, and covered her nose with one hand. “What did you do to the bodies? Burn them?”

Roger smiled mirthlessly. “Yes, they were infested.”

Lt. Kruger frowned, then glanced at O’Malley. “Your other ‘consultants’ arrived.” She fixed O’Malley with a irritated green-eyed gaze. “How about not destroying more evidence until after we’ve gotten some images to reference?”

O’Malley nodded. “Sure, so long as the evidence doesn’t try to jump anyone.”

Roger walked out onto the front porch of the house. He saw Marian, and Wally exit the vehicle. Marian smiled as she approached, which turned into a grimace as she got close enough to smell them. “Gods what have you two been doing? You smell like burned meat.”

Red, Black, White – Part 9

Marian Kolchak gripped the wheel of her car, and gritted her teeth. It was bad enough that her editor Updyke reassigned her to ‘social events’ from the ‘Crime beat’, he’d added insult to it by assigning the new guy to that position. How is it that he just walks in and gets the Crime beat when I’ve been working there for two years and have given Up-tight the scoop on so many important stories? She looked over to the passenger seat, and her uncle Carl’s old straw fedora resting there. What would he do? Uncle Carl would have stolen copies of the files Up-tight gave him, and gone and done the job. Marian thought about it for a moment, then shook her head. I hate being honest.

As she turned off the side street and back to a main thoroughfare, her cell-phone began to chime. The car swerved as she dug in her bag, pulling the blue cased phone out. A quick glance at the screen showed it was Wally. She tapped the phone with her hand as she straightened the car out. “Wally, I’m driving. What’s…”

“Excuse me ma’am,”, an unfamiliar voice cut over her own. “Could you come to the corner of Beedle and Hawthorn? I’ve a young man who insisted I call you instead of an ambulance.”

“I’ll be right there,” Marian replied then dropped the phone. She signaled a left turn and turned north. Ten minutes later she rolled up behind a black-and-white police cruiser. One officer at the wheel, while another was standing by Wally. Marian could see he was unnaturally pale. She got out of the car, and walked over to the young man. The officer took a step towards her. “Marian Kolchak?” he asked politely but authoritatively. She nodded in response, then kneeled down next to Wally.

“Dumb question, but what happened?” Wally took a deep breath painfully then shook his head. Marian looked back up at the officer, who was standing at a polite distance. He was a lean, angular man who easily topped six feet. His jaw was long, giving him a hatchet-faced appearance. His eyes were dark enough to be almost black, and the tips of his pointed ears barely peeked through the wavy black hair that feel beneath the officer’s hat. Elf? On the force? How many of the fae are really there?

Wally looked at her. “I was, uh,” he slowed as he looked over at the officer, “jogging, and my chest suddenly felt like it was on fire.” He coughed, then slowly started to rise. Marian slipped an arm under his left shoulder and helped him up.

“Jogging, and how long were you jogging before the pain happened?”

Wally shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I think it was like five minutes”

Marain pursed her lips then sighed. “Okay, I’m driving you home. Then you are going to set up an appointment with the doc. If this is happening, it needs to be looked at.” She let Wally go, and he staggered slightly, then straightened and walked slowly to Marian’s car. The officer stayed at a discreet distance through it all, which was odd. Maybe they’re not comfortable around Wally being a half-breed.

She glanced over at the officer in the car. He was much shorter than his partner. His round face was barely above the top of the steering wheel as she looked at him. He seemed also more rounded all over than the tall officer. She didn’t see any pointed ears, so it could be the man was just a human. Marian pondered it for a moment, and then got in her car. Wally buckled his seat belt as the engine roared to life. She pulled around the car and gazed in the rear view mirror. The officer was intently tapping at something in the car. Wally turned to look back.

“I think he was running your plate”, Wally told her.

“What makes you think that?” Marian asked him.

“Because the only thing the officers have in the front seat like that’s a computer they use for running plates, or punching addresses. I got to do a ride-along for a senior class, and that’s what our cop said he used it for.”

“Oh joy. Why the hell would they want to do that, I wonder.”

Wally just shrugged, and turned back around. “Probably a habit to make sure you are who you said you were.”

“Maybe. I hope that’s all it is.”

“Now who’s paranoid?” Wally chuckled as Marian scowled at him.

“It’s not paranoia if they’re out to get me. Then it’s common sense.”

“Sure it is.”

Red, Black, White – part 8

Wally Allen, aka ‘Rapidfire’, streaked towards downtown Boston. His red suit with a white boxing glove on the front announced to the world who he was. It that didn’t, the red streak of his passing did. His mind wasn’t wholly on running at the moment. He’d gotten home from working as a security guard, and collapsed just after he made it inside his home. Wally fell, and threw up as his vision danced and swam so badly he didn’t know if he was on the floor.

The colors suddenly were glaring, painful to look at, closing his eyes did nothing as they simply grew brighter, spinning dizzily before him. His left arm cramped and ached, the pain radiating up and down the arm like a classic heart-attack sign. He lay gasping in pain for what seemed hours, then the sensations faded, like water soothing a sunburn. Five minutes later he was able to stand up. He checked his throat for anything irregular, but all he felt was a strong, steady beat.

The dizziness didn’t return while he started laundry, which had him believing it might be he’d pushed himself a little hard the last few days trying to patrol as Rapidfire in between semi-hourly sweeps of the facility he was assigned to guard. The division of actions had been tough to balance all week. Small things kept slowing him down. Mugging, attempted arson, drunks in traffic, drunks driving. It’s said the devil is in the details, and Wally was inclined to agree. He checked his watch as he moved the wet clothes to the coin-operated dryer. He put the dryer on medium, then fed in enough quarters to keep it cycling for two hours. That would give him time to make a quick trip downtown patrol and back.

It wasn’t that he saw responsibility, he did understand responsibility, he just saw the chance to be a hero like those on television irresistible. Wally always had a sense of recklessness, which got him into numerous scraps as a kid, but he never backed down, and he never let anyone bully another when he was in school. Looking like a nerd didn’t help, and begin as strong as a limp spaghetti helped even less, but Wally was always stepping in rather than watching. He didn’t know why, or really care. It was who he was.

Okay now where was that interview? Oh, yeah. He pulled a scrap of paper from his pocket, and read the address. North side, about four miles from here. I’ve got 10 minutes. No problem. Grinning at the chance to run, he bolted out the door, pausing just a moment to close it behind him, was gone in a flash.

Red, Black, White – Part 7

She released her hold, and, firmly holding his arm, marched him to the cruiser. True to his word, or to the fear she might follow through on her threat, he meekly allowed himself to be taken to the car, and placed in the back seat. A scream suddenly cut through the murmuring noise of the crowd, tearing Clio’s attention from the car. She turned, looking in the direction of the scream, and another scream slashed through the air. People started screaming and running. In one moment, the crowd went from a restive bunch of humans, to a herd of panicked cattle, scrambling madly to get away from something.

Clio could not stop the stampede of humanity past her, and a quick glance showed that her fellow trainees were also being overwhelmed as the panic spread like wildfire. She was jostled and pushed about like a log bumping rocks in a rapids. She fought back, leaning against the throng and puhsing her way back to the line. As she did, the all clear came over her radio. They found the shooter. A moment after that announcement, the radio was flooded with angry voices asking who let the crowd back into the area before they’d cleared it with the prisoner. As she listened, ears burning, there was a hissing laugh by her left leg. She looked down, seeing Kibalt. The now-green homonculus looked up with a snaky, snarky grin that showed plenty of sharp teeth.

“I think you’re in trooooouble.” Kibalt’s grin widened.

“How do you figure that, lizard?” Clio dropped the backpack next to her. Kibalt sprang to the top of the bag, loosened the drawstring, and scrambled inside.

“Because you’re the one they broke through first.”

“How do you…,”Clio started to ask, then something clicked. She grabbed the bag, and shook it, which got another hissing laugh from Kibalt. “You started it, didn’t you” Clio snarled. Her voice started to pitch higher. She closed her eyes, taking deep slow breaths to calm herself. It wouldn’t do to lose her human form now. The panic would just start up, or worse, the crowd choose her as the target of their collective ire.

“Couldn’t help it. Fat cow stepped on my tail. I hissed at her and she screamed.” He shifted in the bag. “What am I supposed to do, let her walk all over me?” Clio shouldered the bag by its single strap, then moved back to the police line. She saw other trainees doing much the same thing. How am I going to survive this?

Red, Black, White Part 6

The crowd at the police barricade was getting restive. Clio Winter had been quietly doing as she was told. “Boston PD has cordoned the apartment complex off to do a building to building search for the fugitive. We’ll let you back to your homes as soon as we catch him.”

She looked to her left to see how her classmates were doing, when a belligerent voice growled, “This is bullshit! All you’re doing is keepin’ us here so you can do illegal searches in our homes. I bet you’re plantin’ evidence too, just so’s you can get rid of us!”

She turned back towards the crowd as a large man forced his way to the front of the barricade. He had on dark pants, with a oversized blue baseball shirt that had ‘Boston’ in red letters. He was of a height with Clio, but his bulk was easily double her weight. His dark skin gleamed in the sunlight, making him seem carved from Walnut. Blue eyes met her own as he scowled.

He looked to either side, smiled, then pointed his hand at Clio. “This is just another trick of THE MAN, the establishment keepin’ us down! Put them in their place! Screw ’em when they get uppity! Just another police state against us! You can see it! Look around! They’re just…” Clio stepped forward and braced the man. At a touch over six feet, she could look him straight in the eye.

“Sir, I understand your frustration. If you will please wait, we will be making an arrest soon. We apologize for making you wait. You’ll be able to go home soon.” Clio stayed in front of the man as she spoke, her eyes remaining on his. She knew that breaking eye contact was not recommended, as that gave the troublemaker a psychological edge.

The large man stiffened, looking at Clio. “I’m going home now, bitch.” He pushed the yellow and black sawhorse out of the way and went to push past her. “Come on, we’re done wit’ dis shit!”

Clio took a step in front, placing her hand on his chest, stopping him. “Sir, you are under arrest. Attempting to cross a police line and inciting to riot.”

The man stopped in his tracks as Clio grabbed his arm, stopping him from crossing the picket line. He looked down at her slim hand, surprised at the strength within the grip. He turned to look at the restive crowd, and started to take a deep breath. Whatever he had in mind stopped the moment Clio grabbed his balls in an iron grip, and twisted, hard. His eyes bulged, and the color seemed to drain from his face. He rose on tiptoes and uttered a weak, gasping squeak as Clio loosened the pressure, and the tightened her hand and twisted again.

“You are under arrest, you do understand?”, Clio told the man. He nodded his head rapidly up and down. “You will walk quietly to the cruiser parked to your right without complaint. Do you understand?” Another vigorous nod. Clio half-thought his head might fall off he was nodding it so fast. “I will let go now and we will go to the car. Any kind of action that is not walking and is in any way disrespectful or threatening, I will. Twist. Them. Off. Do you understand?”

He nodded, then nodded faster as Clio twisted a little harder. The crowd looked shocked when their self-appointed leader suddenly quit agitating. She noticed a couple of the men wincing as they saw what she was doing to the agitator. Maybe I should ask the class instructor if this was proper procedure. She shook her head. If it wasn’t it might go on her record. She decided that what people didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them.

Red, Black, White – part 5

Kibalt, meanwhile, was being himself. The small dragon-like homonculus had snuck out of its bag of holding cum home, and was busily looting the ground floor corner apartment of the middle of three apartment buildings. Kibalt flitd through the window, landing on the small two person table. The kitchen had barely enough room to house a refrigerator and stove. To the right of the stove was the sink and a small portion of counter top.

The kitchen opened into an undersized living room that had a three person sofa in tattered disrepair, a floor seat surround sound chair to go with the expensive forty-eight inch plasma television, and the brand new gold gaming console. Kibalt quickly stuffed the shiny gold object into the bag, then went to through the open door to the bedroom. A small double bed covered with tie-dyed sheets sat on a series of small drawers built into the frame. Kibalt opened these, finding a large hunting knife and a nickel-plated nine-millimeter automatic.

As the little red winged lizard turned to check the living room again, the door to the apartment opened. Kibalt froze as a gaunt-looking human rushed by him to the kitchen, muttering “I got to get one. I gotta have one.” Kibalt furtively watched the man as he pulled the utensil drawer open, then set it on top of the counter and reached in the hole, pulling out a bag of syringes, a small candle, a spoon, and a bag of white crystals.

The little dragon-like homonculus watched as the man opened the package, poured a small pile of white powder on the table, then took a razor blade and made a narrow line. He pulled out his wallet, then rolled a dollar into a tube, and leaned over putting the tube just above the powder and inhaling sharpley. The powder disappeared up the tube. The man dropped the dollar on the table and leaned back, looking up at the ceiling. “Oh man, I needed that.” He sighed, then giggled. Kibalt, grinned toothily, then sprang from his hiding place, and landed on the table with a thump, causing the junkie to give a startled yelp. He pulled a ivory handled knife from his boot, then stared, jaw going slack, at the sight of Kibalt.

The man’s eyes were red and bleary as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. “Wha’ hell are you?”

Kibalt gave a hissing chuckle then grabbed the knife, and biting the hand that held it. The man yelped again pulling his hand back to his chest. “I’m a figment of your imagination”, Kibalt told him as he tossed the box, the bag of powder, and the knife into the backpack that he carried with him. He raised his hand to his nose, then extended and wiggled his fingers. “Just a figment, remember?” He winked conspiratorially and launched himself out the window, leaving the junkie trying to decide if what he saw was because he was high, or was high because of what he saw.

Red, Black, White – part 4

Academy trainee Clio Winter checked to her left, noting that her instructor was checking her out as well. In an unexpected turn, the sergeant instructor had pulled the entire class of police trainees out into the field to be part of a police line. There’d been a shooting in van Duyck project, and police were already spread thin at other hot spots, chasing down a speeder, responding to a hostage situation at a quick trip, and this. A sniper had randomly shot four people, including one child. Police on the scene had only the vaguest idea of his location. As experienced officers were being assigned to the slow building to building search, the cadets had been called in for crowd control.

“Get used to it!”, barked the sergeant instructor, a grey haired, iron jawed man. Clio thought he belonged on a marine recruiting poster, rather than being a police academy instructor. She turned her head, looking to her right. Her partner Gary something-or-other, was fielding questions from some people who were pressing up against the sawhorse ‘barrier’. She guessed they might be residents of the apartment complex the sniper had been shooting from. She turned her head back to the crowd in front of her. It seemed like uniforms were magnets for people. She repeated what the instructor had told her to. “Please stay calm, we’re checking each building. As soon as the felon is apprehended, you can return to your homes. Please go to the YMCA or to a local church to wait. This should be done soon.”

About a quarter of the crowd shuffled away, the others waited by the barricade. Clio could feel the unease in the crowd and hoped things wouldn’t take too long. What she really hoped was that Kibalt wasn’t being his usual self. It was bad enough that a sniper was in the area. Seeing a flying miniature dragon-thing would get everyone’s attention.

Red, Black, White part 3

Roger looked at the other two bodies. Both smears of blood behind them made it look as if they had been crawling towards the door. That made sense as the easiest way to escape the house, and maybe save their lives. That it didn’t work was gruesomely obvious. He swatted flies away frim his face and returned to concentrating on the body. The magic should have dissipated more swiftly than what he was sensing. Something didn’t add up. Either they were killed much more recently than the partly decomposed bodies would suggest, or, the necromantic magic had been more powerful, and left behind a corresponding more powerful residue. Or, there was something else. He decided to wait and see what else O’Malley and he could discover before trying to make sense of everything.

Roger and Jack continued their inspection of the bodies. The flies had been at them for a while, maggots crawled all along the underside of the bodies, and the rancid smell never really left them. After looking at the three bodies, two in the front, one just inside the hallway, they moved back a little further into the house. The hallway had three doors on the left side. The first was partly open, showing decorations and photographs of family. The single bed was rumpled, as if someone had hastily awakened. The small closet door was open, and a box of twelve gauge shells were scattered on the floor.

“I didn’t see any shotgun out front. And something like this makes me think the perp didn’t want, need, or have use for a shotgun.”

Roger nodded absently. He glanced about the room, trying to take in any sense of why this house was hit, and why a necromancer would kill people here, rather than ritually in a place of power. It didn’t make sense on the surface. That meant he was missing something important. The other rooms might well hold the key to why.

The second bedroom was like stepping back in time. An army cot made of wood and olive drab canvas was in a corner. On it was a mannequin wearing an Nazi SS officer’s uniform. Kneeling was a SS medic. Off to the side was a US Army mannequin. A small desk sat beyond the ‘American’. An SS dagger tuck upright in a laptop computer. On the floor, was a fourth body, with a blood smeared trail leading back to the overturned chair at the desk. Flies buzzed above the corpse, and Roger had no doubt that the body was infested with maggots like the others.

O’Malley took a long step in and to the right, standing beside the cot. “Looks like he was big into war memorabilia.” He looked down at the officer’s uniform, and took a step to the front of the cot. There was a hollow creak from the floor as he did. O’Malley stopped for a moment, then rocked his foot back and forth. The creaking sound was heard as he shifted his weight. Roger watched as the stocky red-headed officer moved to various spots in the room and repeated his rocking. There were soft creaks, but none of the louder, hollow squeaks like from the first location.

O’Malley returned to the spot by the cot, then looked the floor over carefully. He pulled out a small knife and opened the blade. He put the blade into a seam in the floor and twisted the knife gently. A five inch by one inch wide piece popped out of the floor. Underneath was a small cavity. A metallic box lay on its narrow side within.

“Well well well,” O’Malley repeated quietly. His scrabbling fingers got a purchase, delicately pulling the box free of its hiding place. As he turned it over, a symbol on the top of the box came into view. O’Malley heard Roger’s quick intake of breath. He felt a chill as he recognized the dreaded symbol. The grinning SS skull and the Nordic rune for power etched into the skulls forehead was the mark of the Thule society.

Red, Black White part 2

“Roger, over here. Wojo says to watch your step. A couple a the guys lost it on the porch.”

Roger carefully stepped over the crime scene tape, and strode purposefully to the porch. O’Malley started up the steps, taking the last two at once to avoid the mess left by one of the officers. He wrinkled his nose at the smell. Roger followed him with an elegant stride that avoided the pool of vomit. He walked to the open door, closing his eyes. Roger looked over at his friend and erstwhile employer.

O’Malley never seemed still to him. The man’s eyes were in constant motion, taking in the scene, noting things to study in detail. In contrast, Roger held himself in rigid control at all times. He knew that his ability with magic would cause ‘side effects’ if he did not keep himself in self-control. He looked again at the stocky red-headed detective. “May I go in?”

O’Malley and Wizard Reilly stopped just inside the doorway. The miasma of rotted flesh hit them like a physical blow. The heat inside the house had let the bodies putrefy. Flies, hardy survivors of the weather, had found the corpses and were eagerly buzzing on and above the bodies. Roger looked at the first one. It had been torn badly, then apparently dragged six or so feet from where it fell. The smeared blood behind it was like a finger pointing at what had been a man.

Further into the bungalow style house, a second body could be seen just before the hallway to the back. The second body also had a smeared trail of blood, as if someone pulled it a short ways out of the hall and left it. A third body, barely visible, was in the darkened hall just short of an open door.

“The bodies were moved. The question is why?” O’Malley straightened his tie, then reached inside his jacket. He pulled out his cellphone, and frowned when the screen never lit. “Damn things is defective. This is the fourth one I gotta replace.”

Roger ignored O’Malley’s complaint. He slowly moved to the first body, carefully avoiding any bits of material or blood on the floor. The corpse was face down. The clothing had been shredded and burned by something. Roger closed his eyes, then concentrated his senses. Necromantic magic clung like a miasma to the body. Whoever this had been, their lives had been ended by death magic.

“The body wasn’t dragged,” O’Malley said. “See these spots? That’s where a hand or knee pushed the body along. They were alive when they left the blood behind.” Roger nodded. It was likely they’d tried to crawl away as the magic killed them. Escaping pain and fear was a human primal instinct. It was everything’s primal instinct when it came down to it.

Red, White, Black

The sun shown down from a cloudless sky. Trees spread their empty branches like skeletal hands trying to reach for the light one last time. The ground was a light brown of dead grass, waiting for the spring. Two police cars, one in the gravel driveway, one against the curb, stood watch as uniformed officers used yellow crime-scene tape to surround a small forest-green house with tan trim. The two bedroom home’s door stood open to the unseasonably warm air as a third vehicle pulled up to the curb.

The stocky redhead that got out of the unmarked car gazed at the house for a moment, then closed the door with a thump. The nearest officer turned at the sound, then held up the tape.

“Morning sarge, what’s got you out here?”

The sergeant looked up at the taller beat officer. “I’m out here because I was told the circumstances are unusual.”

Sergeant O’Malley looked like a cop. Short auburn hair framed square pugnacious features. His light blue suit coat looked like it came off of the economy end of the local five and dime store. His white shirt looked starched, making the dark blue tie stand out against the pale background. Light khaki pants nearly concealed the black leather sneakers.

The officer holding the tape, let it drop then straightened to his six foot four height. He saluted smartly then said, “The new guys didn’t bring the barf bags like I told them. Watch yer step, ya short mick.”

O’Malley looked back up at the tall officer. “Yeah yeah, meaning you stepped in it ya tall pollack.” Officer Wojohowicz grinned and gave O’Malley a thumbs up. The banter sounded like old friends needling each other, which it was. They’d grown up on the same street. The north side was all Irish, the south side, Poles and Czechs. Rarely did the two sides interact, but Wojo and O’Malley had found a common ground.

The youth gangs that ran around found out quickly if you took on one, you had both to deal with. It was that way through school, and into college. Both went into law enforcement, like their parents. Wojohowicz’s temper had him busted back to beat cop after he’d gotten too enthusiastic going after a ghoul and got himself and two others sent to ICU at Boston General. The local supernatural community paid the politicians well to cover it up, but the event never was far out of Wojo’s, or O’Malley’s minds.

O’Malley flipped the collar of his suit coat up against the slight bite of the unseasonably cold weather. As he reached the wooden porch steps, the grumble of a four cylinder engine made him pause. A vintage Willys Jeep pulled in behind his old blue Taurus. The man that stepped out looked more like a GQ model. The black duster he wore draped open, showing off his impeccable black suit. A dark blue tie adorned the white shirt under the suit. Roger Reilly pulled a pair of fashionable sunglasses out, putting them on to cut the glare of the sun.