Precinct: Issue Seven
now, youve taken quite a shock to the system.
I tried to open my eyes but the lancing pain
that flared through my head said, uh-uh. It was
cold. Not dry cold either, wet cold and I was
Give yourself some time to acclimate, John
I call you John?
You just did. I said, or rather croaked.
My throat felt like someone had ripped my vocal
chords out by the roots, and hey, if this guy
was going to kill me he at least had some manners.
Ah, a semblance of humor. Good, very good
John. I was worried for you there, my young friend.
Now before a thousand questions begin dancing
through your addled consciousness, let me first
Boyd, wheres Boyd. I
I was preparing to ask you the very same
question, Detective, but my best guess is that
our disappearing Mr. Castanet was hurled back
to this plane much as yourself but seemingly another
Does everyone involved in this crazy scheme
talk in riddles? I wanted to know.
Yes, yes, I understand how out of sorts
this must all appear but I assure you that everything
youve experienced is real and not the product
of a disturbed imagination. My name is Vic, and
I was, am, a friend of Boyds. From what
Ive been able to gather through examining
the somewhat stale flow of what was, you have
been made aware of me and my relationship with
your partner. Is that correct, John?
Vic. Victor Tepecio? The same Vic in the story
Id read on the net about Boyd and his friend
croaking some badass at the Museum?
Yes, John, the one and only. And it seems
that Boyd and I were not as thorough as Id
have liked, but thats water under the bridge
at this point in time. He said as he read
my mind, and by now it didnt seem to faze
me in the least and that bothered me as much as
anything. I chased away the pain for a moment
and took a look at the guy hovering over me, and
while everything was swirling around a little
I got enough of a glimpse to see a dark haired,
handsome enough and late-thirtyish face
that looked Italian.
Good. He said, looking into my eyes
like there was something really interesting he
wanted to find. As soon as youve all
of your wits about you, youll realize that
were back in the rear entrance of the establishment
you and Boyd forced yourselves into. I closed
the path to the Outer Crossing, for a time at
Sure enough the little stars at the edge of my
vision began twinkling out and I could tell that
we were in the storeroom of the Tattoo Parlor.
No spooky hallway, no blue sanded beach stretching
out forever, just a plain old storeroom that needed
a new roof because it was cold and damp enough
to keep a penguin happy.
How indeed, John. I have yet to sort through
all of the agonizing details but it would appear
that you share or shared an affinity to Boyd that
defied mortality. Take this as a matter of fact
and things will go much easier, my young friend;
I can see certain events of the not too distant
past much as you would view a film of a boring
friends vacation. Snippets, sometimes vague,
sometimes crystal clear images of what has transpired
involving someone I am closely attuned to. I myself
recently arrived back in the City and was drawn
to this place while searching for our friend.
His quest took you beyond the mundane veil and
into the Crossing, but neither of you were prepared
to do battle with the elements of grave desire
that dwell in that condemned land. Boyd knew that
your weapon would not have the desired effect,
but what he didnt know was that the two
of you were linked closely enough to cause havoc
when you fired upon the Dreadlings. He was correct
in thinking you could not kill them, but had no
idea that your intervention could breach the fabric
of that unwholesome dimension.
And I suppose you read all that from my
head while I was catching a few winks here, huh?
I said, mostly just to say something, anything
to stop him from confusing me even more.
By and large, yes. There are times when
I may not enter a demesne without formal beckon,
and while I did manage to see something of your
travails, most of it came from your recent rememberings.
What I failed to notice was the direction Boyd
took, and now I can see that you are without knowledge
of his whereabouts as well.
Okay, Vic, nobody knows where Boyd is so
we got to find him somehow, but tell me this and
no BS, okay? Is he dead or not.
Sad to say, he is quite dead, John. Had
I freed myself from my own adventures sooner,
I might have been able to save him, but Boyd Castanet
is entirely absent from this world as a corporeal
being. At least for now.
I nodded and the pain in my head had subsided
to the point that I only grunted rather than screamed.
Boyd was really dead. This guy Vic was some kind
of honcho over the things that went bump in the
night but he was Boyds friend and to me
that meant a hell of a lot.
So can you hook up with his spirit or soul
or whatever it is that pops on in and talks to
me? I asked.
Probably, hopefully. He answered
as he helped me to stand. I myself, my very
essence was fragmented and scattered to a far
distant shore and locating our missing companion
will not be an easy task. On a positive note,
none of our enemies know me to be back and will
Speaking of our enemies, I began
as I dusted myself off and waited to get some
strength back. On my feet I was an inch or so
shorter than Tepecio, but nowheres near
as broad across the shoulders. Im
still a cop and even if I wasnt Id
be looking for the skells that killed Boyd. I
cant let this go, Vic. Professionally and
personally I cant let this go so no offense
but Im still going to be looking to collar
And I would not think of hindering your
search, John. For very many years Ive been
of some assistance to New Yorks constabulary
and will lend a hand to your investigation. But
not now, not today. You need to get back in touch
with your superiors and then retire for a time
to heal. We will leave this place but return soon
enough, so have no fears the miscreants will escape.
Funny thing. I believed the guy. He just seemed
so calm and full of vinegar at the same
time that I didnt doubt hed help me.
He placed a hand on my shoulder as he led me to
the door and it opened easily under his grasp.
Ever think that you missed your calling,
Beg pardon? He answered, raising
Used cars, pal. Line like yours just begs
to sell some old lady a clunker.
Okay, I was feeling him out some, testing him.
And Ill admit that the belly laugh I got
in return reassured me more than all the fancy
I think I can trust this guy.
[ END ]
©2002 Bob Yosco