Following the usual system Eve sat in a white room and went over all the supplied information. Some of it was in the form of newspaper articles, others were photographs. Eve studied the likenesses of the two men, and as ordered, committed their specifics to memory. She was looking for details that would reveal something about them. Something more than what was in the file. Their eyes were dark, not connected to their brains. The shorter one had a sort of twisted face – maybe he had been in a car crash and his face had been rebuilt – possibly making him question his self-worth and instead of trying to chat up the girls in his inadequacy it had become easier just to snatch when he had the urge. Lloyd was his name, he looked old and bitter. Like someone with a Woodbine voice who spoke like people traipsing over gravel.
The other scum, John, looked like any man on the street from the left side. He seemed relatively young, although the photographs taken from different angles and heights identified the tell-tale balding. However, one particular aspect caught her attention: he had a vertical scar dividing his eyebrow, cutting into his upper cheek. That scar was deep. It tugged on his bottom lid and exposed that pink wetness that held the eye in its socket. Eve knew the physical pain he must have endured to maintain such a wound. Was that a real eye or a glass one?
She chewed her lip, sucking some of her clear lip balm off; that scar was individual and clearly identified him. Was it any wonder the victims maintained a vague recognition when he was amongst the line up? It must have a vaguely luminous quality and in any half-light rape scene would be engraved into the psyche of the victim.
Eve read the accusations: the men merrily rounded up numerous young people from night clubs with the suggestion of a party. They plied them with their homemade date rape pills either GHB or Rohypnol. Once the victims were under the influence they were taken to either of their rented houses and repeatedly abused. In the morning they awoke in some alleyway dishevelled and totally disorientated with a hole in their memory of the previous evening’s events. The giveaway was an unmistakable physical pain.
Eve felt the surge of blood constricting her throat and placed her hand on her neck; she could trace the raised vein, it always hardened and was prominent when she got really angry about the bastards and their behaviour. She struggled to control the surge. Eve took a breath, her face was flushed. Tapping to the rhythm of ten enabled her to re-focus. Pulling herself together she studied their faces once more. She resolved to remove them from the earth’s surface as soon as possible, in the most degrading way.
Taking a break, she glanced around the room and clicked her pen quietly to the beat of ten. Eve read on, the clicking filled the empty space with an aggravated tone. On the end of a ten beat Eve turned the page.
The files revealed that the men, after abusing their victims, took them to outdoor locations such as parks and laid them on benches. The victims often suffered hypothermia, or wondered aimlessly, scantily clad, unaware of what had actually taken place. Eve’s clicking tempo increased. How could they do that? What made them think they had the right? It was heavy stuff and every word built a solid hatred for them both. The bastards were hopeless inadequates who deserved Eve’s focused attention. She would enjoy their termination and intended to create for them the perfect strategic demise.
After another break, she considered how she would choose to annihilate such people. They didn’t deserve a clean death, it would be drawn out and painful. Eve clicked ten; there were numerous ways she could kill them. She chewed her pen, she needed a simple but painful death, one that appeared like an accident but didn’t need too much research. Yes she could blow them apart, it would be spectacular but would lead to a full-scale murder inquiry.
She glanced about the walls, her response was being recorded. Sue was more than likely studying her facial expressions and emotional response, analysing her for subconscious gestures. Eve took a deep breath, she had to keep it together, she had to concentrate. She must not show her anger and rage. If the CLAN thought that these men had got to her, she would be whitewashed for sure. No way!
Click, click, to the beat of ten. Was it feasible to kill them together and make them look as though they had accidentally killed each other? Maybe she could make it look like some perverted sexual act, she could use their own depraved techniques against them. Eve sighed, was it better to take one out at a time? She clicked her pen more rigorously and adjusted her hand so the pen was under the table. She intended to appear to be in control and send the right signals to those who were watching.
Eve scanned the articles once more and committed the second wave to memory. She used an association technique. That way she could continue working without any form of documentation in front of her. Eve glanced up at the camera and nodded. ‘Finished.’
When she was sure everything was complete she arranged the papers exactly in line with the table. Each paper’s edge perfectly aligned in a pile and each pile’s edge exactly ten centimetres from the table boundary. She wondered whether they would notice and put that on her file as well. She fought with herself not to ruffle them but her innate need to be precise was just too strong to permit her to change the file formation.
Eve stood up, arched her back and pushed out her chest, stretching and relieving the muscle ache from sitting hunched over files. ‘I’m finished,’ she said again. She brushed herself down, flicking invisible specks from her plain black suit. Finally she looked defiantly straight into the camera. ‘I said I was finished, now let me out!’ she demanded.
The door was released remotely with an electronic click. It swung open to permit her to leave, she did so with a bit of a swagger. Eve navigated the hard marble floor along the length of the white corridor in serious thought. The other women who worked for the CLAN acknowledged her, but knew not to chat; instead they continued walking. They had been informed about Eve and knew not to disturb her after she had been given a new project. For a moment she paused by a window and peered over the cliff-top out to the sea. She watched the white horses racing onto the beach atop the black oily waves. The wind was westerly again. Eve glanced at the clouds, they were lifted at the edge and foretold of high winds in the stratosphere. The weather was going to get worse. Of course it worked in her favour: not many people ran in the rain, well not many of sound mind. And today of all days she needed to be alone, the rain and its monotonous beat would give her space to think. Eve descended the metal steps to the exit. Gemma sat motionless in a high-backed chair like a waxwork figure. She watched numerous monitors that revealed nothing of interest.
‘So do you have any idea how you’re going to do it yet?’ She said jerking into life. Eve shook her head. ‘You always ask me that question. The best ideas don’t happen straight away, they have to brew. I allow my subconscious some churning time while I run and when it’s ready it will reveal the most apt solution to me.’
‘I wish I had a mind like yours. You could have put it to great things. You know, like Nobel prizes or something. Not just killing,’ said Gemma.
‘I have put it into something worthwhile. Killing is what I’m good at,’ said Eve sharply. Eve sighed, Gemma was so fixated by how she made her plans. ‘But Gemma you intend to train to become what I am.’
Gemma nodded, ‘I just get the impression that your mind is so advanced that killing people seems a bit of a waste.’
Eve could see her point, the way I see it Gem - is that what I do is actually a great thing. I am ridding the world of people who cause pain to people who don’t deserve to suffer. I protect the innocents from enduring agony. What’s better than that?’
‘I can think of numerous things. Sex and chocolate for a start. Although I think I’ll stay on your good side. Sometimes Eve you bloody scare me!’ She said.
Eve shrugged, ‘I don’t eat chocolate. Anyway you know I don’t do anything to anyone who doesn’t deserve it.’
Gemma looked Eve up and down, finding it hard not to reveal her admiration. ‘I really wish someone like you didn’t do this. I know there’s a wonderful person buried beneath that harsh exterior.’
Eve shook her head. ‘Not any more Gemma, she disappeared a long time ago... Now as much as I enjoy you attempting to persuade me to return to real life - it just won’t happen. As long there’s a scar on my body there’ll be no change.’
‘I know Eve... I just think… well you have a lot more to you.’ Gemma wasn’t going to let it go.
Eve patted Gemma on the arm. ‘We all have a lot more to us, we just make choices to enable us to survive.’
With that Gemma pressed a door release button. A door rolled back revealing a second door and then a third. Eve stepped into the first and waited for it to close. She would follow the exit routine, which was just a reversal of the entry regime. The second door opened and Eve stepped through. Finally the third door opened onto the edge of a path leading up the cliff face.
Eve hiked the cliff face and sat up at the top of the cliff on a viewing platform. The cutting wind ruffled her hair as she stared out to sea. The images of her two targets rampaged through her mind. She leant back on the bench and twirled a strand of hair. She had to act fast because it was often the case that when people were released from prison they quickly fell back into old habits. The familiarity of the environment was often the trigger. They would certainly frequent their old haunts and old friends. That is all they had to hold on to when in prison. That was why they were given a contact on the outside, someone they could meet. Eve wondered whether she should ‘buddy’ them. That could be her way in, her way of meeting them face to face. She shook her head, why did she feel compelled to meet them in person? Usually she just investigated them, did the job and it was over. Was his livid scar bothering her? What had caused him to turn him into such a monster? Maybe the scar didn’t have any bearing at all. Eve unintentionally snapped her hair. The pain must have twisted him, the same way it had twisted her.
Eve swung her leg to the beat of ten. When she slowed the beat, she slowed her breath and her heart. Eve fixated on the curl of the snapped strand; what exactly made a man rape or molest an innocent person? Why did they believe they had the right to force another? Why were they allowed back into society? She found a piece of skin on her cuticle and played with it until she tore it off. She didn’t understand. Was it the sense of power? Was it the level of control? Or was it simply madness? It had to stop.
She completed her cycle of ten beats, stood up and made her way to her car. She climbed in and sat for a moment. What about the girl she was going to be working with? How was she like her? What could she have been through to become a killer without conscience? Eve turned the key in the ignition and made a firm resolution: she would not trust her. She would show her how she worked, but that was all. She never intended to trust again.
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