For tonight, something else.
There had been brutal murders in the city of Broadgate. This one, Kleinmann thought, was nothing less than an atrocity. It seemed that nothing that belonged inside the man's body was left inside his body. Nor his wife's. Their respective remains covered the entire floor of the apartment, the expensive couch, the paintings on the walls. Only their faces were intact. Not their heads, but their faces. All that was left of them showed surprise, staring at their own inner workings.
"Hideous," Kleinmann muttered. He stood in the doorway, looking for a path inside. Surveying the room, he could see no footprints on the clean areas. There had to be a path. His nostrils were filled with the scent of blood and sweat. Several people, but only three scents weren't the police officers securing the crime scene. One person had done this.
"We're secure, Court Officer," the sergeant in charge reported. The man's eyes snapped from Kleinmann to the gruesome scene in the apartment. As Kleinmann watched, the policeman went pale.
"I take it you have not found the suspect yet," Kleinmann said.
The sergeant narrowed his eyes at Kleinmann. "You expect us to find the guy five minutes after we get here. Nice."
"No, sergeant," Kleinmann answered, keeping his voice even. "I assumed you had not because you certainly would have told me if you had."
"Oh." The man lowered his eyes, stealing another glance at the murder scene. "I'm sorry, sir... this is just..." He threw up a helpless hand, gesturing to the carnage.
Kleinmann nodded. "The worst kind of murder... as though one were better than another. But you see what I mean."
The sergeant shrugged and wiped his brow, looking away from the room. "Disgusting."
Kleinmann was silent for a moment, staring. Searching. "The worst kind. Vicious, but intentional. This took time. And expertise."
"Sounds like an assassination to me."
Kleinmann nodded. "Who are the victims, sergeant?"
The sergeant was removing his gloves, prepared to leave the rest to the Court Officer and his subordinates. "The front desk tells me this is Geoffrey Harrison's suite. Apparently, he works for the Finance Ministry."
Finance. "Thank you, sergeant. Send the forensics team straight here when they arrive."
"Yes, sir." With an offhand salute, the sergeant turned and headed back toward the elevator. Halfway down the hall, he stopped. "You are Court Officer Kleinmann."
Kleinmann looked the man in the eye, seeking his intent. "I am."
The sergeant nodded. "Well, it was good to finally meet you, sir. Good luck."
A ringing noise shrilled from Kleinmann's pocket. "Thank you," he said, answering his phone. The sergeant stepped into the elevator.
"Walter. Have you discovered anything?"
"Nothing yet, Councilor. I've only just arrived." The elevator doors closed, and the sergeant was lost to sight. Kleinmann turned away from the open door and shut his eyes. "But this is perhaps the most horrible thing I have ever seen. The victim was a state employee. Mr. Geoffrey Harrison."
"Yes, I know," said Councilor Donovan, followed by a short gasp.
Kleinmann stood up a little straighter. "You do."
The Councilor sighed on the other edge of the line. "Yes. I was informed."
Kleinmann waited through several seconds of silence. No further explanation came. With a sigh, he said, "It sounds like I will have to take a statement from you, Donovan."
He pictured Donovan Llewellyn nodding resignedly on the other end of the line. "Of course, Court Officer."
"When I am done here."
"Very well. Until then, Walter." The line went dead.
For a long while, Kleinmann held the phone before him, looking at it questioningly. Strange notions, bizzare scenarios ran through his head, anything to explain why the most decent man he knew would be involved with the most brutal murder he had ever seen.
The faces of Geoffrey Harrison and his wife, only now settling to room temperature, remained silent.