Beginning the InvestigationMature

Sergeant Mark Woods kept his eyes focused intently forward as he drove his police cruiser through the busy streets of San Tenebris. He paid little attention to the news broadcast his partner Carl Menendez was listening to, concerning the recent brutal murder of a journalist.

"Some folks have already taken to calling this unknown assailant the 'Butcher of San Tenebris'," said the reporter. "Local police have issued a statement saying that a full investigation is underway, however, some citizens remain fearful, and with good reason..."

"Christ man, they'll be covering this 'round the clock," said Carl.

"They already are," said Mark, not taking his eyes off the road. "Chief said he hasn't seen this kind of public pressure in a long time."

"Guess we'd better find this fucker then," said Carl. "Before anyone else gets their guts pulled out like that poor guy."

"Yeah, I can see the chief marking this as high priority."

"So where are we going again?" asked Carl as he bit into a burrito.

"Some old warehouse in the industrial area," said Mark. "The victim was supposedly investigating it with his partner, Sara. The paper she works for got an anonymous tip that a serial killer was hiding out in the area, and they didn't bother reporting it to us because Sara figured we wouldn't believe her. Which, sadly, may have been true. Anyhow, Sara hasn't been seen in a few days, not since Keiran came up dead."

"So what do we do if we don't find anything at this warehouse?" asked Carl. "Seems like kind of a stretch to me. They just so happen to find out where a serial killer is hiding out?"

"I know, it sounds sketchy to me too," said Mark. "But it's all we have to go on, so we have to pursue any lead we get before Sara meets the same fate." Carl went back to browsing the radio stations while Mark continued driving toward their destination.

"You ever get around to listening to that CD I lent you?" asked Carl.

"I did," said Mark.

"And?"

"They're rippin' off Wu-Tang."

"Oh come on!" said Carl, putting on a look of sarcastic outrage.

"Please man, I know rap, and those motherfuckers on that CD are serious Wu-Tang wannabes."

"Man, that's bullshit," said Carl. "You're just saying that because of your man-crush on Inspectah Deck."

"Kiss my black ass," said Mark.

"Oh, what an original response," said Carl, giving a sarcastic applause.

"Well, say stupid shit to me, I'll say stupid shit right back," said Mark. "Might as well get a laugh out of it."

"Ah, whatever," said Carl. "Oh, isn't this the place?"

"It is," said Mark as he pulled the car to the curb. The two exited the vehicle, and standing before them was the empty warehouse they'd been told to investigate.

"Man, this place reeks of creepy," said Carl.

"No shit," said Mark. "Let's look for a way in." The two went in opposite directions, searching for a door into the warehouse. Carl disappeared around the side of the building for a moment, but soon came back and walked toward the trunk of the car.

"What are you doing?" Mark asked as Carl opened the trunk. He withdrew a pair of bolt cutters and went back to the side of the building. Mark followed, watching as Carl used the tool to snap off a lock that had been placed on a small door. A metallic click sounded as the tool cut through the lock, which Carl promptly tossed on the ground, and opened the door.

"Told you these would come in handy," he said as he placed the bolt cutters on the ground.
 Mark said nothing as he withdrew his flashlight from his belt and entered the warehouse. He was immediately hit by the foul odour brought by years of neglect and abandon. Carl proceeded into the warehouse holding his free hand over his nose, jumping slightly when a rat scurried by.

"Well, look around," said Mark. "Can't be too much to this place."

"Other than the fucking smell," said Carl as he slowly walked off in another direction. Mark waved his flashlight around the interior of the building, taking note of his surroundings. Empty space was at the forefront, with a few closets on the ground floor and doors leading to other rooms, as well as stairs leading to upper-level offices and observation rooms. Mark made for the end of the factory floor and through a doorway leading to what he then observed were break rooms. He could hear metallic creaking in the distance as Carl slowly climbed up one of the staircases. He spent another minute searching the rooms before he was disrupted by Carl's frantic voice.

"MARK! MARK, GET UP HERE MAN!" he yelled. Mark immediately turned around and bolted for the staircase where Carl stood waving his flashlight.

"What is it?" he asked. Carl gestured for him to follow, and took him inside one of the offices. Mark shined his flashlight toward the centre of the room, where there sat a young woman, bound in a chair, covered in filth and shivering.

"Cut her loose," said Mark. Carl complied, taking out a pocket knife and cutting the thin twine on the girl's wrists. He removed the rag from her mouth, and the girl let out a heavy sob, still violently shivering. Mark slowly stepped forward and looked at her.

"Are you Sara?" he asked. The girl nodded and he gestured toward Carl. "Call the paramedics." Carl immediately took out his radio and exited the office. Mark sat with Sara for the several minutes it took for an ambulance to arrive. She was taken out of the building by paramedics and put on a stretcher, and the ambulance left almost immediately, sirens blaring.

Mark and Carl got back into their cruiser, sighing heavily. Mark took a sip of water from a bottle in the cup holder.

"We're gonna need to tape this place off," he said, looking at the building. "We'll catch this fucker."

The End

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