Beginning the Investigation
“Well, now that the official details are out of the way, do we have anything else on the agenda?” Angel asked, looking around the meeting table at the others.
Gunn raised a hand. “Well, there is this one thing that looked odd,” he said, looking at Angel. “There was news of this murder in the papers; it had all the appearances of being a professional murder, but the target wasn’t really the normal victim of those kind of people. He was a fourteen year-old escaped mental patient; guy made a few enemies in his time, but none of them had the finances capable of hiring an assassin to target him.”
Angel nodded thoughtfully as Gunn looked inquiringly at him. “Interesting, but not really our field,” he said, after a few seconds reflecting on the information. “How’d it come to your attention?”
“It wouldn’t have normally, but the subject was mentioned in a few of your records from your first year in the business,” Gunn said, as he looked over at Wesley and Angel. “The kid was called Ryan Anderson.”
Wesley and Angel looked up sharply at that.
“Wait a minute; Ryan
?” Angel asked, looking at Gunn in shock. “You’re sure?”
“Um… yeah,” Gunn said, as he looked between the two of them. “Why, was there something about him we should all know?”
Wesley shook his head. “Not really; Ryan wasn’t a particularly stable personality, to put it bluntly,” he explained. “He literally had no soul whatsoever; he nearly killed his younger sister, Stephanie Anderson, before Angel was able to get her out of the house along with their parents. Ryan was sent to an asylum, and we never heard from him again.”
“Wait a minute; no soul
?” Fred asked, looking at Wesley incredulously. “But I thought that was something we’re all
meant to have no matter what!”
“In most cases, yes, but Ryan was… well, an anomaly, to put it bluntly,” Wesley said, as he looked back at Fred. “Although, in all fairness, he might
have had a soul; it’s just that, if he did, it was the blackest Hell; an Ethros demon tried to possess him, and told us before we killed it that Ryan was the only thing it ever feared.”
“Anyway, this isn’t helping matters; shouldn’t we be thinking about who/ what did this and why
it did it?” Lorne put in, looking over at Angel inquiringly. “After all, the guy may have been a soulless monster, but he never made any actual enemies
Angel nodded. “Good point, Lorne,” he said, before looking over at Wesley. “Wesley, see if you can find out any extra information about the attack; Lorne, check your old contacts and see if you can find out anything about a hit that had been placed on Ryan lately.”
“We’re sure it’s demon related?” Gunn asked, looking up at Angel inquiringly.
Angel nodded. “Ryan couldn’t have made many enemies in the human world- nobody sends out assassins after mental patients- but demons who favour possession as a means of power wouldn’t want somebody like Ryan active if they could help it; he’s a danger to them more than he’s a danger to humans.”
A thought occurred to him, and he looked back at Wesley. “And while you’re at it, take Matt with you.”
Wesley looked up in surprise.
“Matt?” he asked Angel, evidently wondering if his friend had taken leave of his senses. “You mean… Matt Murdock? Our new lawyer? Why should I bring him?”
“Didn’t you check his file, English?” Gunn asked his friend, smiling as he looked over at Wesley. “Murdock’s got this incredible
knack for knowing when someone’s telling the truth or when they’re lying to him; it’s as though he’s got a built-in lie detector or something.”
“Exactly,” Angel said, nodding in agreement to Gunn as he looked back at Wesley. “Trust me; if you’re questioning people, Matt’s your best candidate for knowing whether or not they’re telling the truth.”
Wesley nodded. “All right…” he said, before glancing up at Angel again. “I don’t have to tell him about the supernatural aspect of it, do I?”
“Not unless you feel you have to,” Angel assured him. “Just say that you found out about his abilities at working out the truth and wanted his opinion on the situation.”
“Very well,” Wesley said, as he stood up. “Then I’d best be off; the sooner the better, after all.”
In a distant warehouse, left abandoned for at least three years after the previous owner- a vampire called MacKenna- had been staked by Angel after his attempts to create a world of permanent night was thwarted, the fit, slender, beautiful form of Elektra sat in the middle of the floor, legs crossed, as she stared out ahead at apparently nothing in particular, meditating to achieve the focus that had been denied her after her resurrection…
Then her mobile rang.
Sighing, Elektra stood up, stretched, pulled her phone out of her pocket, and held it up to her ear.
“Yes?” she asked.
“Sorry for the delay, Miss Natchios, but we have located your next target
,” the voice said on the other end of the line. “He’s currently only a few blocks down from your position, engaged in a…
“I see,” Elektra said, nodding in understanding. “Is it just him, or are there others I should be taking out?”
“No, only him; he’s the source of the trouble these days
,” the voice explained. “His name is Rondell, and he once came close to neutralising your prime target; we’d be interested in seeing how you handle him
“I see,” Elektra said, nodding thoughtfully. “How will I know which one’s him?”
“He’s the one with the crossbow
,” the voice explained. “Their ‘gang’ has a fetish for old-fashioned weaponry
“I see,” Elektra said, as she terminated the call.