Identities -- MMGiru + Red Pen
"Two-nineteen Orchid, Apartment thirty-two."
"I gathered, Sergeant Keys," came the reply, dryly.
The black car -- police light cycling atop -- pulled up to a curb behind two more officially styled vehicles of the same order. Out of the driver's side stepped a man in his late twenties; broadly built, dark-skinned, and bearing an expression of well-tempered annoyance. From the other front door came a woman approximately twenty years his senior, shorter and thinner in stature, with hair that curled and greyed smoothly out of its former orange. Her own face was as disinterested as her words a moment before.
As the two walked up to the apartment complex's primary entrance, they flashed ID to a pair of uniformed officers standing on either side of the door. The men both stood aside after a quick glance, their conversation only resuming as the door closed behind their superiors.
The Inspector paid no mind to the 'Out of Order' sign taped to a small elevator, instead moving up the stairs jauntily. On the third floor, they were met with the sight of two doors, one of which was open, had yellow tape across half-way down, and had camera clicks emanating from within.
"Thirty-two, you say?" She did not look to see her sergeant's expression, but smiled when he quipped back "It may have been thirty-one, ma'am."
"There's hope for you yet, Keys." The small woman ducked beneath the police tape, rather than lifting it. Her partner was less fortunate with his own height. While he moved into the room, the Inspector spoke up to the uniformed officer photographing the scene.
"Jones. Where is this weirdness you hinted at?"
The balding man being asked didn't take his eye from the camera's screen, but answered, "There's some right here, as a matter of fact. Look at this."
She did, and couldn't help but grimace. "Jesus. That explains the screaming." She crouched for a closer look, and pulled on a glove from her pocket. Before reaching out, she looked back to the photographer. "You got this, Jones?"
The Inspector scowled at the name before picking the alien object off the floor. Her Sergeant moved closer, and she stood and turned to afford him a clearer view.
"Ma'am," he began, "how does something like that... happen?"
"I've not seen a cut like it before," she answered. "It almost looks like a sort of torture, except...."
"Correct. He'd have been struggling if someone had done something like that to him. And what can cut bone that cleanly anyway? It almost looks machined, for fuck's sake. I saw his hand; that cut was just as clean."
"Will the pieces match up, d'you think?"
"The lab will know, but... it actually looks plausible, now I'm staring at the thing." She smiled grimly. "I don't think they'll be stitching it back on."
Her Sergeant's expression was pensive as he looked her in the eye. "You think he was going to do it, then?"
"Certainly gonna do something; he chloroformed her. You don't just ask someone if they have any sugar after that."
"But someone stopped him, and cut half a finger off -- down the middle, no less -- before he could manage anything."
"I don't imagine he did it to himself, Keys."
"Nor did he likely smack the rock into the back of his own head, ma'am. We should bag that and check what type it is, as well." He paused. "Why is this trail of blood next to where the finger ended up? Did someone toss it afterwords?"
"A frightening thought. Look at that wall though."
The Sergeant did as instructed, observing a splatter of blood, the left side of the stain with a strangely abrupt end, compared to the right.
"What do you make of it?"
"I don't particularly, ma'am. The head wound and the finger are the only places he bled from, the nurse told me. And the woman didn't have a scratch on her. You don't suppose it's the other fellow?"
"Quite possibly. Another for the lab. Glad he helped us finger this bastard, at least."
Sergeant Keys did his best to ignore the pun while the Inspector bagged the partial digit she'd been viewing. Before she could proceed to the wall where her partner now stood, a man with ten years on her entered the room.
"Sir," the Inspector addressed him. "What's merited your visit? In the area?"
"Wrap it up, Liz. We have people from the capital coming in. They'll want everything neatly bagged."
Everyone in the room was surprised, but only the Inspector had the rank or inclination to express as much. Annoyance with her given name was forgotten. "They're taking it from us, sir?"
"Yes," came her superior's answer, before leaving the room without anything more than a once-over.
Two minutes later, some distance away, Fenton Avery's alarm clock went off. He looked at the time, observed two hours had passed since he last saw it, and cursed under his breath. Half an hour after, he walked into a small cafe, showered and dressed, but with bags under brown eyes. He could only hope it would be a quiet work day.