Robert entered the Library first, it looked exactly the same way it had done the last time he had been here, books, large red leather armchair, small wooden table, little golden bell, steaming cup of coffee, "moon" orb floating above the scene, and a large, old, wood bound book, sitting on the seat of the chair,
"Listen, I'm really not up for this right now, my heads spinning and I really would prefer to just lay down", Robert told Woods,
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that", Woods replied, though Robert didn't actually believe a word of it, "take as much time as you need, Robert, but you are not leaving this room until you have read the next journal, now please go and sit down!"
Robert, tutting, turned towards the little reading area set up directly under the "moon" orb, looking very much like a disgruntled teenager, he paced the floor to the chair, and picked up the book, he had forgotten how heavy they were. He sat down in the chair, then turned to ask Woods something else, but Woods, like the door to the Library, was already gone, replaced by yet another book shelf,
"OK, how the hell does he do that!", Robert tossed the journal to the floor, it landed with a loud 'thud', he got up and walked briskly over to the shelf that had appeared from nowhere, examining it and its contents closely, Robert attempted to push, pull, lift and in one instance, throw the books, although that was due to growing frustration. Nothing happened, no 'clicks', 'ticks' of 'clunks' mechanical or otherwise. He punched the shelf, with drawing quickly from the crushing pain in his hand,
"WELL THAT!", he stopped shouting, took a moment to breath, then continued, "was such a stupid, Connor thing to do!", he shook his hand, then wished he hadn't. Robert walked back to the chair and sat back down, retrieving the book from the floor as he went. He sat back down and rested the book in his lap, it's weight hurting his throbbing hand and wrist,
"Don't you have anything in a PAPERBACK!!", he yelled at the missing door. Robert dropped the book to the floor again and his head to his hands, they were shaking, actually shaking, and it wasn't becasue of the pain,
"Why are they doing this to me?!", he asked the empty room, the orb begun to dull. the 'smoke' swirling around inside it loosing its intencity and slowing in its twists and turns, becoming a tranquil floating cloud, almost like a snake stretching out in the sun to warm its cold blood.
The pain in Roberts head subsided a little as he sipped his hot coffee, the combination of caffine and warm milk soothing him slightly, helping to channel his anger out in slow breaths. This wasn't something he was used to having to do, control wasn't exactly something he had ever mastered, he just didn't get emotional about anything, he remembered being in his kitchen, about a year after killing the old drug dealer on the estate, his father was consolling his mother, they had just received word that her father had died in hospital. Robert watched her cry, her fingers curl around his fathers shirt, fists clenched, his father looked over her head at Robert, he wondered If his father was wondering why Robert wasn't upset, and to be fair, Robert did wonder too, there had never been a death in his family, in his life time, and after being told how sick his grandfather was, he wondered of his death would provoke a response, an emotion that until then he had never known, but it hadn't, he didn't cry or shake, laugh for no reason or even get depressed.
He moved his hands from his eyes, and stared at the book on the floor, he gritted his teeth and narrowed his gaze, not seeing the book, but Woods, Wolf, Barricade and Eclipses faces, laughing, taunting him, telling him he was weak now, he was nothing, that careful planning, spanning fifteen years, night after night of over analizing and calculating facts, figures and people, meant nothing!
"NO!", he snatched up the book, ignoring the sudden throb of his hand and wrist in its weight, lay it flat on his lap and said, out loud to the room,
"Fine....Bring it on!", he downed his coffee, gripped the key and as he turned it as quickly as he could, and at the instant the lock tumblers all 'clicked' into place at the same time, the room around him went black, and the black screamed at him, inside his head,
"COME BACK TO US, COMEBACK TOUS COMEBACKTOUSCOMBACKTOUSCOMEBACK!!!"
And then everything went black.
He stood up, straighting his blue uniform, and re-arranging the tall hat on his head,
"Damn cobbles!", he moaned, another officer was approaching fast,
"You alright, Jimmy?!", asked the other Police officer,
"Yeah!", Jimmy groaned, "Tripped on em stupid cobbles, didn't I!",
"Whatcha blow ya whistle for??!!", asked the other officer, Jimmy looked down at his hand, he was holding his whistle, then it began coming back to him, the reason he'd been running,
"I saw this bloke, looked right shifty so I tells him to stop, right? But the bugger ran off, down there!", he pointed towards a dark alley between a butchers shop and pub,
"Why'd' ya try an stop 'im?!", asked the officer, Jimmy was struggling to remember his first name, he suspected it was Tom,
"Cos he was being odd?! Tom!", he took a chance, "and with all them murders, well, ya don't wanna be the idiot who said he caught Jack the Ripper, and let 'im get away??!!", Tom seemed to consider this for a moment, before replying,
"Na, course not mate!", and he slapped Jimmy hard on the shoulder.
Jimmy wiped the street from his face, he stared up at the scene before him, Victorian London at night, the moon rising above Saint Paul's Cathedral, the air full of smog and smoke. Usually this street would be a wash with life, a bustle of people passing through, drinking, whoring and stealing, a place where the most poor of the cities residence try to scrounge a life, but tonight, the streets were empty, everyone was hiding.
The women working the streets of London, earning a few pennies from men for sex, were being killed in the most horrific manner ever recorded, the work of a psychotic madman who thought himself a Doctor or surgeon. So far four murders had been attributed to this maniac calling himself Jack The Ripper, and another possible three, all the women had been prostitutes, their throats cut, and in the most extreme cases, the last three, 'pieces' of the victims had been removed, surgically.
The whole of London was screaming out for a capture, the police under pressure from every inhabitant, from the lowliest whores to the Queen herself, everyone was a suspect, there were some who even surgested that a member of the Royal family maybe involved. Anyone out after dark, doing anything they shouldn't or be anywhere they had no business to be, was being stopped and searched, but still the killer avoided detection, now every officer they Metropolitan could muster was out on the beat, nerves were lost, attitudes bad and tempers pushed to their limits, fights were common, riots were being threatened and very foundations of the police force were being shaken to pieces.