Everyone gathered in the Amazon lounge Saturday morning to discuss what needed to be done. Three horrific murders were not things that made anyone comfortable.
“But shouldn’t we call the police?” Tom, not the swiftest member of the football team, immediately asked when he got told.
“So there have been seven murders.” Amina shivered, like she felt each one personally.
“Three,” Jessica corrected.
“The Sybil says seven. I don’t think the police have found them all yet.” Maria bought into everything. Emily felt it prudent to take hold of the conversation.
“The police only know of three, except they have no suspects because they can’t figure out what is killing these girls. They have asked us to keep our eyes and ears open.” Emily assumed the victims were girls but she had neglected to ask. It was possible one or more of the victims were boys.
“Not us,” Jessica spoke up loudly. “You. The police asked you to watch. You asked us to help.”
“Makes sense,” Tom said. When Jessica looked at him oddly, he explained. “I saw what she did to those two men that attacked you. If there is trouble, Wonder Woman is the one I would call.”
“Did I tell you about how she held that flag?” Karyn interrupted.
“Yes,” several people responded.
“But what makes them think it is something on campus?” Owen asked.
`“You’re my Wonder Woman,” Tom said completely off topic.
“On campus makes sense,” Maria started to answer Owen’s question but Owen interrupted again.
“No. It could be someone in town. The campus might just provide an easy group of young women for whatever it is they are doing.”
“They?” Emily asked.
“He, she or it.” Owen responded with a shrug and a look at Maria.
“And what makes you think “they” are doing anything beyond murder?”
“Now that makes sense,” Maria said. “There are several body openings through which fluids might be extracted, the mouth being the most obvious. But whoever is doing it must have a reason for doing it even if it is just for lunch the way Detective Mousad suggested.”
Emily had told them that much. She did not tell them Detective Schromer, that is, Lisa’s response. If it was something like that, she would have been contacted. Emily still had to think about that one.
“Yes, they have to be doing something with the liquid. There must be a reason for it,” Owen agreed with Maria, but sounded hesitant.
Amina spoke up. “I feel strongly that it must be connected to the university.”
“How can you be so certain?” Owen did not give up.
“I feel it in my gut.” Emily had not told any of the others about being elect or what that might mean. She was not sure what it meant, except the image of Wonder Woman did not sit well in her mind. She knew it meant she ought to follow her intuition, and that kept telling her this was undoubtedly an on campus situation.
“Guts don’t hold up in court,” Karyn pointed out.
“So we need to find out who is killing these students and get the evidence that will hold up in court,” Emily responded. “I appreciate your help, only don’t take any chances. If you find something suspicious, call me. And don’t say anything about this to anyone outside of this room, Jessica.”
“What?” Jessica broke herself away from Tom at the sound of her name. Emily sighed and repeated herself.
Sunday noon, the police got a missing person call and Ashish Mousad got rudely taken from his NFL Sunday. Lisa picked him up and dragged him down to the nursing home where they endured an hour of nursing assistants giving explanations and excuses.
“Missus Cox was in bed, and then she was gone. I know it sounds impossible, but at one hundred and seven years old there is no way she could have gone anywhere on her own, even if she was ambulatory, which she isn’t.”
“I don’t see any sign of forced entry at the window,” Ashish reported.
“So someone had to come in the front door in the night and take her out without anyone noticing,” Lisa suggested.
“Impossible,” the nurse said, and she explained for the umpteenth time why that would be impossible.
Ashish complained when they got back to the car and out of earshot. “Did we really have to come here for a simple missing person? I know how night crews work in these places. The old woman’s family could have come in with a marching band and taken her out without anyone noticing.”
“You know full well for a city this size there are far too many missing persons. We are off the charts, even counting those that turn up dead which is itself an unbelievably high number,” Lisa said. “Anyway, this one is connected. Not directly.” The woman was old, extremely old, and thus far, all of the other victims were young and strong. “It is connected somehow to the university, to something happening there. I know it.”
Ashish surrendered. “I know what it means when you say that. In the long run you are always right.” Ashish pulled out his handkerchief for a good blow. “And here I thought when we became partners it would be my big nose sniffing out my suspicions, not yours.”
“I like your nose,” Lisa said as they left the nursing home behind. “Only what could they hope to get out of a hundred and seven year old woman?”