Chapter Twenty-four

XXIV

November 2nd, 2021

                Lucas didn’t know if he liked where this internship was taking him. Karen’s an amazing reporter, but to sit outside an abandoned lumber mill, waiting for a serial killer to finish doing God knows what, was not in the description! They’d followed the black Sedan, carefully, through the city before it had drove down a long-wooded path. Luckily, Karen had planted a small tracker onto the Sedan as the driver had gone into a gas station. Lucas and Karen had then followed separate country roads to reach the same destination. Karen had insisted they had to stay close, in case more than one vehicle left. “They won’t notice us” my ass. I’m not being paid enough to risk my life. Factually, Lucas wasn’t being paid, in the traditional sense. Of course, interning for one of the most prominent journalists in the north-east United States had its benefits. She never makes me get coffee either, I’m sure most interns would kill to do real journalism. DING!

Lucas was jerked from his reverie by the text, which read “Hey, Sedan just pulled up. I’ll follow it, you stay back, see if anyone else leaves. Doubtful that they came here alone.”

Somewhat relieved, Lucas typed back “Okay, I’ll wait. Be careful!”

“You know me, risks aren’t my thing! ; D” Karen responded. Lucas chuckled, letting out a drawn sigh, as he leaned back, closing his eyes. Hmm, a winky-face. Maybe she’s finally been enticed by my irresistible charm and whimsy. Lucas smiled, picturing Karen, as he’d done before, in his arms. Sighing, Lucas picked his binoculars up from the passenger seat, using them to watch the front entrance of the lumber mill. Every ten seconds or so, he switched to the back entrance. Karen would kill me if I missed something. She’s right, too. Sheffield wouldn’t go to some remote lumber mill for no reason. The guy was a ghost, he’d faked his death. He must have somebody bring him his victims. Anybody who lets him do what he does to people…that’s the kind of person that needs to be exposed.

Lucas thought back to when the “chemist” had been at large last year. A mob owned factory had been raided, where they’d found three of Sheffield’s victims. The victims were maimed, blinded, treated with illegal weaponized chemicals, and even paralyzed. They’d all, fearfully, revealed the culprit to be someone called the “Chemist”. Normally the victims were probably killed, hidden, by Sheffield’s mafia cronies. One of the chemical’s in used on all three of the victims ended up being directly related to a Professor Simon Sheffield’s recent works. A court ordered raid on his summer mansion, in Philadelphia, had come up clean. But Sheffield had disappeared, completely, the day before the raid. And now we found you, you sick fuck. The media had plastered Simon Sheffield’s name and picture during the initial man-hunt, but it turned up nothing. No wonder, either. This guy we’re following is the same height as Simon was, but his features are off, his hair’s a different color. Probably got some surgery and changed his ID. Slippery.

Lucas sat up, as the back door of the lumbermill burst open. His mouth parted, intimidated, as he saw a giant walk out. The giant paused, put his hands on his hips, before turning to shout something into the building. Two men in what appeared to be military-grade body armor, carried a small, black bag. Oh no. Is that a body bag? It seems small, though. Lucas’s heart skipped a beat as a large van sped past his location, heading towards the mill. Shit. Okay, I don’t think they saw me. The van drove another half-mile before pulling onto the mill’s lawn, driving around the building.

As the van came to a halt, the driver and passenger swung out, quickly opening the back of the van. They’re wearing the body armor too. That almost looks like a repainted SWAT van. Who the fuck are these people? Since when do mobsters work with the fucking SWAT?! The driver, wasn’t wearing the same headgear as the other three armored men. He had a crazy long beard, and a large build. Not as large as that giant though. He must be at least seven foot two… Callously, the two–armored–soldier’s carrying the bag threw it into the back of the Van. The large bearded man also got into the Van’s back. The giant and one of the soldiers walked back towards the mill’s exit, as the other two soldiers got into the front seats of the van, and started to drive.

Lucas felt his throat climb in his mouth, as he perspired profusely, despite the cold morning air. Alright, Lucas. Nice and easy. Can’t be worse than trailing the chemist. It’s just and armored van of crazy-SWAT-mobsters transporting a what appears to be a corpse. Easy. Lucas pulled his phone from his pocket, typing a quick message to Karen “Okay, four swat guys and a literal giant just stored what appears to be a small body in what appears to be a repurposed SWAT van. Guys are armed to the teeth. Wish me luck, <3” Hell, if this doesn’t impress Karen, nothing will. Fuck my life. Lucas started his old VW as the Swat van turned right, leaving the lumber mill. Got lucky on the direction. They won’t pass me again.

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