Alwin stared needlessly at the grey sky; winter was setting in and the wind was sharp on his exposed face. While the heat of the summer was a nice idea in practice, it didn’t account for the tick in the human brain that drove people insane. His day-to-day cases at the station always slowed down as the heat subsided, and it was a gentle requiem for him considering the larger case at hand. There was a different evil lurking in the frost, however.
He picked up his phone to call his partner, who strangely took up a lead without his knowledge.
“Hey Collins, its Al. I just wanted to check and see what you were getting yourself into.”
“Yea, I meant to let you know but with your brother coming into town, I figured you would have your hands full as it is. I’m just following up on some information about the weapon used, that crazy looking pistol the bastard almost fired at me.”
“Found anything yet? I’ve been combing surveillance footage in relation to the woman at the scene, and hopefully we’ll get an identity and background on who these people are soon enough. No fingerprints, however. Not even on the glass.”
“It’s crazy, isn’t it?”
“Listen, just be safe out there. They made one attempt on our lives, who knows how many they will try. Update me if you find anything.”
“Sounds good Al, tell Dom I said hey.”
He clicked the end button on the phone call.
“Sorry about that, I had to take that call. My partner.”
“Ohh I see, I’m supportive of all types of relationships. I’ve sometimes thought of it myself.”
Collins blew air through his teeth.
“My partner on the case that we’re trying to solve, and while you’re sitting around eating Twinkies and making gay jokes, there’s more than likely some innocent person staring at their own reflection in the barrel of this gun that I need you to identify,” he sighed and paused for a moment.
“Listen Chester, my nerves have been rattled a bit lately, and I really need your help. Can you just look at this and tell me what you think?”
He slipped a manila folder of pictures of the victim’s wounds, an artist’s crude rendition of the gun, and various other evidence collected from the crime scenes.
“Ah yes, I have indeed seen this kind of gun before. Not this particular one, but it is indeed the work of a master gunsmith.”
The man tipped his fedora as he handed back to Collins the folder of evidence. News of the events at the downtown club where a shootout took place days earlier spread like wildfire throughout the city, and questions were met with no answers. Collins knew a man who could tell the make and model of a weapon based on the bullet fragments left in a blood-stained wall, making him Collins only hope in gaining a lead in the case.
“This would be a very dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. The 1911 has a history of use in the American military, being the solution to a demand for a more deadly handgun in combat situations. It uses .45 caliber ammunition that will tear apart flesh in a very gruesome manner. As for the gold paint, maybe that’s just for show, but knowing what one 1911 pistol is capable of tells me that two of them combined makes for a weapon that is built specifically to kill and leave no survivors. You might survive a bullet wound from another gun, but this is basically a shotgun in your pocket.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen in person what this gun has done, but can you give me any names, anything on where it was made or who could have purchased it?”
“Only one guy I know of, and he’s located across the country. I can give you his contact info, but I can’t make any promises as to his co-operation. He’s a private fellow, older and set in his ways. He takes the odd contract for a specialty weapon, and his reputation is extremely well-renowned in this trade.”
“What’s the name?”
“His birth name is Slidell Jorgensson, but most of us in the trade refer to him as Thor. Take that bit of information as you will, I don’t know you and I didn’t tell you.”
It was clear that the rotund, sweaty man was nervous about mentioning the name, and Collins didn’t push it. They were classmates while in college, and paired as roommates in the dorms. Collins studied criminal justice while Chester deviated into mechanical engineering. Their friendship was odd but sweet; they could relate very passionately on a few subjects, such as certain foods or T.V. shows, and this formed the basis on their permanent acquaintanceship. Friends, but not friends.
From her window, a girl could see a man coming to take her away. It was a fuzzy feeling, the nerves in her arms would seem to vibrate and pulse, moving faster as the strangers came closer, but most importantly, as It neared. There was a certain darkness in his hands that she could do nothing to stop, and she had quite a while to think about this day.
She walked to the hallway, staring at her family’s photographs, daydreaming.
She remembered her first day with her new parents. Tiny fingers wrapped around her new mother’s fingers, the baby girl was bright-eyed and smiling.
“She’s so adorable, I mean you told me this but you didn’t tell she was this cute. Jessie, you know this makes me want to have a kid of my own. Starla across the street had been going on and on about trying to get pregnant and having her husband Nick take all these all natural supplements and vitamins to help his um.. potency.”
“She’s my darling little angel, and she’ll always be. I get teared up sometimes just thinking about raising her, we’ll be a family finally. All the little birthdays, with cakes and balloons and shiny wrapping papers. We’ll get a dog and they will get to grow up together and she’ll learn to love. Teaching her about broken hearts and becoming a strong women, it already makes me feel proud to think of how amazing she can be.”
Sometimes she wanted to tell them it would never come to that, but she indulged in the fantasy of a normal human life. The day was losing sunlight, and she wanted to tell them good bye but they were away on a day trip. The value of a conversation, of even just two words, became larger than the galaxy of darkness she would soon face.
“I just need a who. Lives have been lost, and more are going to be lost. A little bird tells me you know something about this gun. Maybe that you even made this weapon yourself.”
The old man did not change his expression. Age didn’t treat his features well; the skin around his jaw drooped, and the crow’s feet around his eyes turned into crow’s nests when he turned eighty. His home doubled as his workshop, and he lived in a very humble manner. Collins pulled out a picture of the first murder victim.
“You see this? This is what has been done with your weapon. A little girl murdered in cold blood using a gun identified as a double-barreled 1911 and you are the only one who would have the capabilities of producing such gun. I’m not asking you to implicate yourself in any crime; I’m trying save another life from being stolen.”
“Stolen? Interesting choice of words.”
The older gentleman stroked his thinned white beard.
“I made the weapon and there was good money involved. Very good money. The materials were extremely rare, and some things were done that I am not proud of. But I believe I made the right choice.”
“We can talk all day about this, but I just need a name. Who commissioned you?”
“That is a complicated question.”
Collins was getting frustrated. He ran his fingers through his hair, sighing heavily to help relieve the stress.
“I will give you the name of the one you seek, but you will need to do something for me first.”
“Be careful what you of what you start demanding of me. I can arrest you at this moment based on your connection the weapon implicated in the murders.”
“Be careful about who you play cards with boy. Now, there’s something I need you to do for me. You see, the thing that separates my work from everyone else is that I use steel made from iron delivered from the cosmos. Iron retrieved from meteorites is very difficult to come by, you must understand.”
“I’ve been caught up in a terrible business, and I need your help in getting out – can you do that for me? You’ll have your names, addresses, birth certificates, whatever it is,” he shifted slowly on a cane to a file cabinet nearby and pulled out a sheet from a manila folder.
“This is the man you’re looking for, yes? Your face is telling me we have a deal.”