The symbol was always the same - three yellow tendrils from a single point, spiralling out in a way that seems to move the longer you looked at it. The largest was on a wall by the docks, so Aloysius reckoned we should start there. When we arrived, I could feel that same fear I had felt the first time - the feeling of something beyond this world, beyond our understanding.
But apparently, not beyond the understanding of the black clad man now wandering about the site.
His eyes darted from one place to another, his mind clearly working faster than the rest of his body as he slowly paced and observed, occasionally making notes in his little book. It felt even worse with him about, if anything - he seemed to suit the unworldly nature of the place.
How could he have known about the novel?
How could he have known about the problem?
Nevertheless, he was here now. I still remember the words of the chief:
"The guy's a genius. No idea how, but he just resolves this sort of thing. Keeps himself to himself. He's on the top floor - likes the view, I guess."
Except the room he had only had a single window, and that was pointed out to the empty wilderness of beaten earth and torn electrical cables strewn across what used to be a park.
Whatever he saw in it, it wasn't anything most people could see.
I started to ask questions - initially, out of fear of the silence, but then they were more and more born of actual interest.
"How long have you done this job?"
"As long as I have needed to."
"What sort of cases have you solved in the past?"
"Strange ones - cases like yours."
"Is there anything you like to talk about?"
"Depends on the person."
"Would you like to talk about anything right now?"
He simply shrugged, and went back to examining and writing in his little book. He then moved to the car, sat atop the bonnet cross-legged, and closed his eyes. I was half expecting him to be meditating, but there was no chant or mantra coming from between his lips. I looked into the book - the pages were filled with esoteric symbols and letters which seemed to be gibberish, and numbers which seemed to crop up repeatedly and add to either one or zero, all of them placed in a strange spidery fashion around certain circled symbols - most likely the "elements" he kept referring to.
His eyes opened after around five mints of his thinking, and he dismounted the car and asked to be taken to the docks.
"Not until you tell me what you know now," I replied. I turned the car key the other way, and the engine let out a last pathetic chug before stopping. The lights in the car faded, and Aloysius was left blank.
"Very well. Allow me to demonstrate the method."