The silence of K’s office was lessened only by the soft, dull ticking of the miniature clock perched on her partner’s desk. Emerr was due back any minute now, and the loud clacking of his typewriter would soon grace her ears once more. K had now become aware of just how focused she was becoming on the minute details in the room. Indeed, the large stack of documents now piled on her desk continued to sit untouched while she stared off into space. There was just too much on her mind.
She had been living out of her office for the past three days now. Being the target of the first unsuccessful murder attempt of a so far successfull serial killer had brought her a lot of attention, not all of it good. Her apartment had been locked down and combed for evidence, and it was due to have a rostered guard watching the building for the next week at least. Abed had made multiple statements to the press that he claimed were “on behalf of his beloved”, most of them being entirely falsified. Worst of all, the details of her own life were now being scrutinised by damn near every officer in HQ, all of them trying to understand the link between her and the previous victims.
And her plant. Oh god, she thought, my poor baby! The sight of severed bamboo still caused her eyes to swell with tears.
With a bustling crash, Emerr barged into the room. Carrying his own stack of documents, he had instead used his posterior to knock the ajar door open further. The comically large pile of books, folders, and sheets partially blocked his eyesight, causing a few loose leaflets to flutter about the office. He huffed as he dropped the stack onto his desk, his face red and flustered.
“Here we are; a copy of everything the department has on you!”
Mon balked at the size of the gargantuan stack. “That much? What on Earth have they been documenting about me to fill a stack that size?”
Emerr looked confused for a moment. “Oh, the whole thing? No, this is you.” Emerr plucked a small binder from the pile and set it down beside his typewriter.
“Then… what’s the rest of it for?”
“I bumped into the Chief while in storage. He asked me to shred all this junk,” Emerr replied, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow. “I don’t think he actually knows what my job is.”
Mon wasn’t quite sure she liked either amount of documentation on her. On one hand, the stack would imply an uncomfortable amount of scrutinization, and on the other, she was practically nobody. Emerr tossed her another binder, a copy of his own.
“Time to start digging. You figure anything out while I was downstairs?” he asked, slumping into his chair.
She shook her head with little emphasis. “No, nothing. I mean, everything I know about these other girls… I just feel like I don’t fit the crowd.” She began to flick through the binder, as did Emerr. Office call logs, case summaries, internal communications, as well as her own personal bills and contracts breezed by as she shuffled through the pages.
Emerr frowned. “There has to be some connection. Let’s start with occupations.”
“Lacie was a call-girl. Miranda had no job. Kelly worked in a strip club. Sam - another call-girl. There’s a fifth girl out there somewhere, but if I had to make a bet, I’d say sex-industry worker as well.”
“Right, they all seem to have a lot in common there. You sure you aren’t… uh… working on the side?”
Mon shot him a deathly glare. “Fuck off.”
“Okay! Sorry!” he apologised, open hands raised in the air. Another bead of sweat swept down from his brow. “I just wanted to make sure for clarity’s sake”.
Mon turned back to the documents laid out in front of her, frown still stuck to her face. She ground her teeth together in annoyance. Across from her, Emerr loosened his tie and collar, exhaling with relief.
“What about Miranda? No occupation was listed. Could she be another outlier like yourself?” Emerr drew her file out, flicking through what little they had available of her transaction history.
“No job, but her friends made statements alluding to her having ‘multiple new boyfriends a week’. Maybe not official, but…” Mon let her statement hang, her hand sweeping back gently.
“Right, I see what you’re getting at. Why work if everything’s already paid for. Smart lass.” Mon could hear a tinge of admiration in his voice, though the thought of Emerr living off of his girlfriends alone sat strangely in her head.
He continued. “They all appear related, which supports the killer having a type, though we have no individuals or services linking them togeth- blast, how did that get in here?”
She looked up. Emerr had yanked a file out of Miranda’s folder. “What is it?”
“One of your phone bills must have been shoved in here. I need to hire someone to organise my crap, I’m telling you.”
It was difficult to make out any of the text as he held the document in the air, but Mon did recognise the logo. Yellow and black text over the cartoon image of a bee. Buzzbox. That can’t be mine, she thought, my provider is Star Telco, not Buzzbox.
“You reading that right Hayden? My phone’s with Star Telco. Looks like Miranda’s bill to me.”
Emerr mimicked a sarcastic laugh. “My eyes are fine. Your name is right here, front and center.”
Mon could feel her heartrate kick up a notch. Wheeling back her chair, she almost jumped around her table and made her way to her partners side. Laying eyes on the sheet herself, she could plainly see her own name written throughout the document. What’s more, the phone number and address were incorrect. Correct in that they were Miranda’s details, but they weren’t Mons.
“This… this isn’t right at all. Why would she...” An idea surfaced in her head. “Quick, the other girls! Let’s see their phone bills too.”
“Sure thing boss,” affirmed Hayden. She could tell he was trying to remain calm, but the worry was showing in his voice. It was more than likely that he was reaching the same conclusion she was.
For all four girls they had on file, every single one shared this abnormality in common. Each girl had two contracts, both billed to their home address. The first was always correct; the right name, the right address. These contracts were correctly filed under their personal contact details. But the second was what sent shivers racing through Mon’s spine. For each girl, their second contract was haphazardly filed under secondary or occupational numbers and all were listed under the same name.
The revelation hit the two partners simultaneously. This wasn’t just some murderer moving from one girl to the next, picking them based on whatever grievances he held or metrics they filled. No, he was targeting someone.
And his job wasn’t done yet.