In a happy city plagued by sorrow, one man struggles to retain his humanity.
Out in the middle of the Klein River, a storm was breaking. Huge bullet drops of rain splashed against the unfeeling concrete and iron of the buildings. The water of the river was thankful to have within it real water.
Standing out on Octave Quay, Detective Jandrova took another drag on his cigarette, then flicked it out into space. He glanced down at the corpse in front of him. Coroner's agents and medical men scurried about, busying themselves.
"Who's the stiff this time?" Jandrova's partner, a big ruddy man named Halleck, spoke around enormous mouthfuls of a sandwich he held in his left hand.
Jandrova checked his clipboard. "District sub-supervisor John-Paul Waters. He had a pacemaker, and the coroner was able to check the identification number etched into it."
Halleck nodded apathetically. "Hmm. Weird. That's the twelfth murder in the Parks this week."
"Yes, but this wasn't just any murder. It follows the pattern of the Goldstar serial killer we've been following." He lifted up the white sheets that tried unsuccesfully to hide the gory corpse. The falling rain made the blood dilute and wash away. "All four limbs have been severed yet kept close to the body, the head has been removed, and many of the internal organs are missing."
"Did our guy leave his calling card?" Halleck managed to forcibly shove the rest of his food down his insatiable gullet.
Jandrova picked up an evidence bag. "A ring made of 18-carat gold, with an ornate 12-pointed star as a symbol. He managed to brand the star into the victim's left inside thigh."
"There were a bunch of rumors about Waters, saying that he liked to 'play' with children..."
Jandrova pondered. "That would fit our killer's profile. The stamp always seems to be located in a region that would match the victim's 'sin.'"
The two stood in the falling rain, staring at the corpse of a man. Jandrova let out a sigh. He seemed always to be sighing, or someone else did. Halleck shrugged uncaringly.
"Well, I know you can figure it out, Jan. You always do. I, however, am hungry." He marched off in search of another morsel of food.
Jandrova pulled out a cigarette and lit up, sheltering the thing from the downpour.He stared up at the sky, the ever-gray sky. Just another day in sunny Capitol City.