Pairings/Characters: (this chapter): Mel/Johnny (Johnny does not appear in this chapter), Charles/Doris, Mike Cameron, Cal Schaefer, Patrick O’Reilly, Vinnie Morelli, Doc White, Carter Baum, William Rorer, Harold Rienecke
Fandom: Public Enemies
Genres: Challenge, Holiday, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction
Rating: (this chapter): R
Warnings: Please note that this story will contain gore, violence and character deaths. Each chapter will have their individual warnings. This chapter: Violence, mutilated body, implied cannibalism, character death
General Summary: On Halloween, the Bankers Building becomes a literal House of Horrors.
Chapter Summary: The hunt begins for the killer terrorizing the Bankers Building.
Date Of Completion: October 10, 2011
Date Of Posting: October 20, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1104
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2011 Guns_Fedoras Public Enemies Fic/Art Halloween Challenge. Option 1: (Elements of Halloween used set in or around Halloween: Pumpkins/Jack O’Lanterns, Black-And-Orange, Monsters).
All chapters can be found here.
THE HUNT BEGINS
Sir Alec Morrison
"Down Through The Ages"
Mel tried to stop shaking as he sat in his office, Charles smoking furiously as he leaned against the wall. Mike and Cal sat slumped in chairs as they waited for Patrick O’Reilly and the coroner’s wagon.
There was tension out in the squadroom as people spoke in hushed tones, shaken by the ghastly expressions on the returning men’s faces. Mel declined to say anything until he had talked to Patrick.
The Police Chief arrived quickly, shutting the door behind him.
“It looks like our killer has come to the city.”
“I’m afraid so.” Mel rubbed his face with a shaking hand. “The blood was still fresh, so this happened only a few hours ago.”
Patrick nodded. “With any luck, this sicko has moved on, but I’d almost rather he hadn’t.”
“Why?” Cal asked, wiping his face with his clean handkerchief. The bloody one was set on the desk with Jerry’s badge folder.
“Because we’d have no clue where he’d strike next. Here we can hunt him down.”
“Should we evacuate?” Mike asked when a commotion sounded in the squadroom. Patrick opened the door and a shirt, wild-eyed man in a rumpled suit yelled, “Cameron! I found a mangled body!”
“I thought my men had the stairwell roped off,” Patrick muttered.
The civilian grabbed Patrick’s arms. “It was awful! The flesh was torn off the bones! There was no face left!”
Charles quickly shut the door on the shocked and alarmed faces of the agents out in the squadroom.
“Yes, I know, Vinnie. We’ve got it under control in the stairwell.”
“Stairwell? This body was in the tenth floor men’s room!”
“What?” Mel asked, standing up, the other men shooting to their feet, too.
“Yeah!” Vinnie still clung to the Police Chief. “And…and…the Mummy did it!”
“What?” Patrick scoffed.
“Yeah, you know! Like Boris Karloff in the movie. The thing shuffled and moaned and his bandages were all bloody. Smelled like an open grave.”
The men exchanged incredulous looks. “Shock,” Mike mouthed to Mel. He sat Vinnie down. “I’ll get my men on this.”
“Pat.” The policeman turned to Mel. “We have to evacuate the building.”
Patrick nodded. “I’ll have my men go floor-to-floor.”
“I’ll prepare my men to join you.”
Everyone left the office, the security guards going with Patrick and Charles stood by Mel’s side as he explained the situation, Doris soundlessly putting a hand to her mouth at the news of Jerry’s death, quickly looking at a stone-faced Charles. Mel did not elaborate on the condition of Jerry’s body, but everyone had seen the photograph of the body found in the North Woods.
“We’re going to search for the killer as well as notify everyone to evacuate.” Mel flexed his hand. “Pair up and bring your guns. Carter, assign the floors.”
Carter nodded as Mel went back into his office. He opened his desk drawer and took out his revolver, checking to see if it was loaded. He grabbed a box of ammunition and went back out to the squadroom. Charles was gripping a Winchester and Doc White was checking several guns, one a rifle.
Charles walked over to Doris’ desk. “You’re going home.”
“I agree,” said Mel. “Charles, will you escort Doris out, please? And take your partner.” Mel looked at his men. “No one goes anywhere alone.” Everyone nodded. “All right, let’s go. Carter, with me.”
The agents of the Dillinger Squad filed out, grim but resolute. One of their own had been brutally murdered along with a civilian. This killer was far more dangerous than bank robbers.
Mel and Carter took the elevator to the tenth floor. Mel was reluctant to send his men in harm’s way, but it could not be helped. He had deliberately chosen the most dangerous floor and would have gone alone, but Carter would not have allowed it.
They found the men’s room, two patrolmen standing guard outside it. Mel asked, “Is Chief O’Reilly here?”
The gray-haired officer nodded. “Yes, sir.”
Mel and Carter entered the bathroom, Carter startled at the stench. Mel surveyed the blood-spattered walls and floor, Patrick and a plainclothes detective squatting as they studied the floor. The detective pulled out a plastic baggie and used a paper towel to pick up a piece of bone.
“My men are on the hunt,” Mel said.
“Good.” Patrick stood with a creak of joints. “We can work together. I’ve got more men coming.”
“Carter and I will do a systemic search of this floor.”
Mel and Carter left the bathroom. “Whew,” Carter said, looking a little green at the gills.
“Not pleasant. The blood and torn flesh make for an unappealing olfactory mix.”
“I wonder. Is that smell only blood and bone?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve had experience with dead bodies before. I worked in the Brooklyn Police Department for a few years before joining the Bureau. I don’t remember the smell as quite like that.”
Mel frowned. “I doubt you’ve seen murder victims like this.”
“Thank goodness for that.”
Mel opened the door of Morris, Schonstein & Associates, and Carter followed him inside.
William Rorer was a practical man. He had seen the picture of the murder victim in the northeast corner of the county. Jerry Campbell had ended up the same way but he had no intention of becoming the latest victim.
Besides, Fat Harold will probably be the first to go. He’s a bigger target.
Harold Rienecke was sweating profusely, his fingers hovering over his gun’s trigger. He mopped his pasty face with a crumpled handkerchief.
“Damn, fuckin’ weird, huh?” Rienecke asked.
“Pretty bizarre.” Rorer frowned. “Sounds like someone didn’t get the word to clear out.”
Rorer pointed down the hall. “Someone’s around the corner.”
”Maybe it’s the killer!” Rienecke whispered.
Rorer doubted the killer would allow his presence to be known, but it would be wise to take precautions. He gripped his gun a little tighter.
He called out, “Hey! You should leave the building! This is the Bureau of Investigation!” The footsteps shuffled but no answer came. “Hey, I said…”
A shadow stretched out on the wall, Rorer blinking. He wondered at the head of hair on this guy. Definitely not a fashionable sort.
“Hey, buddy…” His nose wrinkled as a stench of decay wafted toward him.
Rienecke whimpered as a howl seared Rorer’s ears. An explosion of fangs and fur hurtled toward Rorer, flesh sliced from bone as the smell of the grave enveloped him in red-tinged pain.