The Imitator - Chapter 1
It all began with the disappearance of Lord Damdonald’s son. He was last seen leaving the Red Mask House of Lady Margaret on April 9th around 4am barely able to walk. Since he was such a generous benefactor, he enjoyed protection in the area like many other perverts of noble descent. Nobody would mess with one of Lady Margaret’s loyal customers. People in the Gospel District knew better. Hence this was really strange.
His father avoided talking about him to protect his political career but apparently cared enough about him to subsidize a major investigation. Pressure from the wife I presume. All kept hidden from the public eye, of course.
As we gathered witnesses we discovered that people have been disappearing in the area for months now. The people we interviewed always mentioned cries of some woman or child. The cries were allegedly “weird” or “distorted”. A street child described them as “fake”. I suppose she knows how real cries of desperation sound like. I dunno. The cries were followed by the frantic screams of horror of the victims along with a sound of an animal which could not be described by the majority of the witnesses. This same child mentioned it sounded like a croak of a toad. A big, big toad. When we went back and mentioned the croak, the other testifiers agreed with an empty stare as if the word “croak” brought back the memory of the sound and they were trying to immediately block it again. This is surprising given the types of people we are talking about. Remember, this is the Gospel District. The worst of the worst and they were terrified like babies. Hardened thieves, old prostitutes, mindless thugs… all of them scared except for that child. A little street mouse. Nine years old at the most.
Men were put on the streets but for weeks missed to catch the transgressor. Every once in awhile they could hear the sounds but even as they rushed they would find nothing. Always dark alleys. Never the same one. A couple of weeks into it one of ours disappeared so we resolved that they would be sent in pairs. Soon thereafter we received the first visual report. Two men heard the voice of Jameson, the man who disappeared, and run to the alley close to the corner of Morgan and Baltley. As they approached they could even hear words “please, help”. It was really convincing as per their account. Fortunately they had their guns ready because faster than they could make sense of what was happening, an enormous shadow launched towards them. They screamed and shot aimlessly over and over again. I miracle they didn’t kill each other, really. The creature escaped as fast as it approached and left the two men screaming in horror and crawling backwards to the safety of a streetlight. They kept hearing the distorted voice of Jameson coming from the creature as it disappeared into the sewer. Random phrases like “yes captain” or “nothing to report” but with and eerie distortion.
They mentioned a snake like creature with a big mouth and many hands along with a beautiful face and moth wings with eyeballs on them. If the two accounts would not have been identical we would have dismissed them as crazy. The two men were put on psychiatric observation as they were unable to pull themselves together after that night. Moral took a dip between our men after this. We could push them and we did but it was obvious we were in over our heads with this. That was the first time the idea of a special unit was mentioned. Just as an idea… but fortunately Lord Damdonald had deep pockets and so it became more than that.
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