Patient number 6000 has disappeared from the main hospital dedicated to preventing murderers from ever being born. Patient 6000 was the only survivor in a mass poisoning incident that killed over a thousand people in the main subway line. She became mute at age four after witnessing the death of her grandfather, who was murdered by one of the top five serial killers: Reaper. She also witnessed the murder of a female teenager named Erica Watson when at her house to play. Erica Watson was also killed by a serial killer: Wrath. The final murders she witnessed or what was reported was her last was restaurant employees and the customers in a pizza parlor being eaten alive by another notorious serial killer: Gluttony. She was taken into the care of Machina hospital because it was determined that a child that had seen so much death would become a murderer in the future. She was only twelve when she came to the hospital and escaped at age fifteen. We need to find her before her murder instinct kicks in.
Flashing lights and sirens filled the air as police gathered evidence around the newest murder victim: James Connor, age twenty-five. The top detective of the current century, Joshua Collins, age twenty-two, approached the body in his long brown coat. The body of James Connor was a gruesome sight: his neck was slight; his eyes blood shot; and bruises all over his body. He lay in mud and grass and besides the bruises lipstick in the shape of lips was imprinted on his right cheek. Joshua’s eyes furrowed at the sight of the body brushing his fingers through his brown hair. He looked toward his assistant, Christopher Pike, age nineteen, and ordered him to call the station.
Christopher peeked at the body and nodded. He pulled out his thin cell phone from his own jacket pocket. He pressed speed dial and asked, “Should I tell them that Envy is back?” Joshua nodded.
Envy was one of the top serial killers in the century. She apparently stalks men and eventually kills them by slicing their throat and then kissing their cheek. It seems that her lipstick is special for no test can trace her DNA. It had been at least a year since her last victim, until now.
Christopher hung up after reporting the return of Envy, but he knew like his superior that just the body wasn’t enough to trace Envy.
Joshua wrote down notes in his small vanilla notebook as he studied the crime scene looking for any clues he could use to trace Envy.
“Mr. Collins, can I go get something to eat?” asked Christopher. Joshua chuckled and muttered, “You are the only guy I know who can eat after seeing a dead body.”
“Well I have to eat before I lose my appetite.”
Joshua allowed Christopher to leave as he continued his investigation.
Christopher walked out of the crime scene and headed for the nearest convenience store. He walked pass an alleyway, but stopped in his tracks and peeked back into the dark alleyway. Next to the dumpster was a girl around her teens wrapped in newspapers. Christopher ran to the girl asking if she was all right. Christopher held the girl in his arms and finally took notice of her features.
The girl was covered in scratches and dirt. Her nails were long and stained with mud. Her skin was pale as was her chapped lips. Her hair was long, chestnut brown, and tangled. She almost seemed like a dead body.
Christopher felt a pulse against the side of her neck, so he wrapped her in his black coat and carried her out of the alleyway. He headed in the direction of the hospital, but the unknown girl suddenly grabbed the front of his shirt and buried her head into the nape of his neck.
He felt wetness against his neck. He didn’t have to be a detective to know that she was crying. He held her lightly against her back and said, “I’m just taking you to a hospital, so don’t cry.” The girl shook her head as she buried her face deeper into his neck. He heard her voice cracking as he placed her near a bench. He peeled her from his shoulder and saw the tears falling from her emerald green eyes.
“Why don’t you want to go to a hospital? Can you tell me?”
The girl shook her head clenching the jacket around her delicate form. The girl’s eyes seemed to widen as a police car rushed behind them. The girl seemed to be screaming while tears ran down her eyes, but a sound didn’t leave her lips. Christopher tried to calm her, but all she did was clench the front of his shirt and soak his shirt with tears.
Christopher found himself hugging her trembling form. He pulled out his cell phone with one hand and dialed the number of his superior. The line rung a few times before Joshua answered.
“How long does it take for you to buy a burger?” asked Joshua from the other line.
“I got side tracked.”
Christopher glanced at the nameless girl in his embrace.
“I think I may have found a Jane Doe, who was most likely raped.”
“If that’s the case then don’t return to the murder scene until you have that girl checked out, OK?”
Christopher hung up the phone and swept the girl off her feet and into his arms like a bride. He knew that she didn’t want to go to a hospital, so he came up with the only other alternative he could think of: take her back to his home.
Christopher’s home was a cheap apartment with a single bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Even though he was the assistant of a great detective, his pay was still not that high.
Christopher entered his apartment taking his shoes off in the process. He placed the nameless girl on the only sofa in the room and heaved out a sigh. Christopher didn’t think about it before, but he had a feeling that Joshua would throw a fit when he realized what Christopher did. Christopher heaved out another sigh as he looked at the girl, who wrapped his jacket around her naked form.
“I’ll get the water running, so you can bathe,” informed Christopher. The girl nodded. Christopher headed to the bathroom, but suddenly heard something crash and glanced over his shoulder. The girl was rolled up in the sofa shaking. Christopher approached her in concern and then noticed the TV remote against the wall as if it were thrown.
“Do you dislike TV?” asked Christopher, but the girl said nothing. Christopher reached out to the girl making her look at him. The girl buried herself into Christopher’s chest and wept like a child. Christopher hugged her small form wondering why she was crying. He could feel her breasts against his chest and felt heat rise to his cheeks. He felt possessed as he began to rub her back. The girl’s sobs slowly began to stop. He felt through her hair and then moved her hair aside away from the back of her neck to feel the flesh there, but stopped in his movements when he noticed a red barcode imprinted on the back of her neck. He withdrew his hands with wide eyes.
In that time, there were only certain individuals that would carry a red barcode on the back of their neck.
“Are you a patient from Machina Hospital?”
The girl nodded still silent. Christopher gritted his teeth now realizing why she didn’t want to go to a hospital. He gripped the girl’s shoulders and asked, “Why aren’t you in the hospital and why were you in that alleyway?” The girl shook her head as croaks came from her mouth. Christopher narrowed his eyes and asked, “You can’t speak, can you?” The girl nodded. Christopher removed his hands from her shoulder.
“I have to take you back to the hospital for your own good.”
Christopher began to stand up. Suddenly, the girl grabbed him by the arms and yanked him down. The girl shook her head rapidly with tears falling from her eyes.
“Look, you have to…”
Christopher finally took notice of the bruises around her wrists and the barely noticeable scratch near her neck. Christopher recalled his childhood of when his father abused him leaving similar marks that he saw on the nameless girl. He grabbed her right hand gently and asked, “Have they been hurting you in the hospital?” The girl nodded with tears trailing down her cheeks.
Christopher immediately hugged her and whispered, “I won’t let them hurt you.” The girl was silent, but then continued to cry.
When the girl finally calmed her tears, Christopher began to fill his tub with warm water. Christopher thought of the crying girl and sighed.
“I wonder if I’m doing the right thing?” he asked himself. He heard the bathroom door open behind him and looked back only to see the girl looking at him with his coat still around her naked form.
“Are you ready to go in the bath?” asked Christopher. The girl nodded removing the coat around her. Christopher blushed at the sight of her naked body and turned away.
“Well I should go out now,” stated Christopher bright red. Christopher stood up, but the girl suddenly tackled him making him gasp. The next thing he knew, he was falling into the water filled tub. Christopher coughed and gasped as he sat up in the water filled tub with the girl still attached to him. He looked at the girl rubbing the water from his eyes and saw her wet form looking up at him with confused eyes. Christopher groaned and said, “It wasn’t necessary for you to tackle me to stay.” The girl remained silent as she placed her chin against the nape of Christopher’s neck. Christopher blushed and sighed.
“I guess I should stay with you until you are finished taking a bath.”
The girl nodded as she peeled herself from Christopher. Christopher stepped out of the tub soaking wet and then kneeled next to it, so he was eye to eye with the girl.
“Just this once,” stated Christopher. The girl nodded with water dripping from her hair. Christopher washed the girl’s body thoroughly with a bar of soap as she looked at him.
“If you’re going to stay with me then I should give you a name.”
Christopher tilted her head as the bubbles formed in her hair and smiled.
“How about Avalon?”
The girl blinked in confusion making Christopher chuckle.
“Avalon means paradise and I’m sure with this name that you will find paradise someday.”
The girl looked thoughtful and then smiled that sent Christopher’s heart racing. Christopher’s smile widened thinking that the girl liked her new name.
“Well Avalon, my name is Christopher Pike, your friend.”
When Christopher was finished bathing the girl, now named Avalon, he wrapped a towel around her and led her toward his bedroom. He sat Avalon on his bed and began to search through his drawers. He handed Avalon a large football shirt and said, “I’ll buy you some underwear tomorrow.”
Avalon nodded slipping the shirt over her head. Avalon got her head through the shirt, but had a hard time trying to figure out where her arms were supposed to go through. Christopher shook his head with a sigh and helped Avalon get her arms through the sleeves.
“If you’re going to stay with me then you need to learn how to bathe and change your clothes, OK?”
Avalon nodded with a smile.
Christopher’s phone suddenly rang making Avalon jump. Christopher patted Avalon’s wet head and then picked up the ringing phone.
“Christopher Pike speaking.”
“It’s me, Mr. Pike,” said Joshua on the other line. Christopher smiled and said, “Good to hear your voice.”
“I’m glad to hear that, but I wanted to know if you already had that Jane Doe sent to the hospital and her checked out.”
Christopher glanced at Avalon, who was rubbing a strand of her wet hair between her fingers, and said, “I learned that she was a Machina Hospital Patient.”
“Machina Hospital Patient?”
“That’s right, but she’s harmless, so I thought it was best for her to stay with me for the time being.”
“Mr. Pike, you must understand: Machina Hospital Patients are dangerous. They are the highest risk to be criminals and some are already criminals. She may look harmless, but she did something that made her a patient. I want you to take her back to the hospital for her own good and for your safety.”
“Just do as I say and then we can go back to trying to catch Envy!” yelled Joshua and then slammed the phone down.
Christopher gulped as he hung up the phone. He looked back at Avalon and said, “Mr. Collins wants me to send you back.” Avalon looked at Christopher with wide eyes. Christopher placed a hand on his forehead and said, “I knew he would say that, so why did I tell him? It would have been better if I didn’t say anything.”
Christopher sat next to Avalon and placed the towel over her wet head.
“You’re not dangerous, so I will find a way for you to stay with me,” said Christopher as he rubbed the towel through her wet hair. Avalon placed a hand on his hand and smiled. Christopher smiled back as he dried her hair.
When he finished drying her hair, he rubbed the back of his head and said, “I’ll find a way for you to stay with me tomorrow, but I can only do that after I find Envy.” Avalon tilted her head to the side filled with confusion. Christopher chuckled.
“I guess being in that hospital you never heard of Envy.”
“Well Envy is one of the top serial killers in the world. She stalks her target and eventually slices their throat and kisses them on the cheek with a lipstick that hides her DNA.”
Avalon’s eyes were wide. Christopher then added, “She hasn’t killed in a year until today. The victim’s name was James Connor, age twenty-five, and from what I know, he is an office worker in Wiles Enterprise, a big shot. From the looks of it, his murder wasn’t instant. He most likely suffered before breathing his last.” Avalon covered her mouth in shock. Christopher gasped at the realization that he just told a teenager about a gruesome murder.
“I’m sorry, Avalon.”
Christopher pulled out a magazine and handed it to Avalon.
“You can read this for now to get your mind off of what I just said,” offered Christopher. Avalon took the magazine from his grasp. She flipped through its pages and then gasped dropping the magazine. Christopher looked at the fallen magazine and then back at Avalon.
“Was there something you didn’t like in the magazine?” asked Christopher. Avalon shook her head and then clenched the front of Christopher’s shirt making him gasp.
Christopher didn’t know what happened, but the next thing he knew he heard the doorbell ring. Christopher got up from his bed with Avalon still holding his waist. Christopher headed to the door and suddenly noticed that the sun was seeping through his window.
“It’s already morning?” Christopher muttered. Avalon was shaking as she held onto Christopher. The doorbell rang again. Christopher shook his head and sat Avalon on the sofa.
“Wait here,” instructed Christopher. Avalon nodded holding her legs to her chest.
Christopher opened the door and saw the mailman smiling at him.
“Good morning, Mr. Pike.”
“Good morning, I guess.”
The mailman handed Christopher one envelope and a newspaper smiling. The mailman then noticed Avalon sitting on the sofa and chuckled.
“You just moved in three days ago and you already have a girl over. You sure move fast,” said the mailman with a laugh and then walked to the next apartment.
Christopher blinked in confusion wondering what the mailman meant. Christopher knew that he moved in three weeks ago after becoming Joshua’s assistant and the mailman should know that. Christopher looked at his newspaper and gasped when he saw the date: April 11, 6039, Monday on the newspaper. April 11 was three days after he moved in, but he remembered that today should have been May 4, 6039.
Christopher ran back into his apartment. He turned on his TV and saw the news with the date April 11, 6039 on the screen. He looked at his calendar and saw that today was April 11. Christopher held his head in confusion. He pulled out his phone and dialed Joshua’s number. He held the phone to his ear listening to the ring tone, until Joshua picked up.
“Joshua Collins speaking.”
“Mr. Collins?” asked Christopher in a shaky voice.
“Mr. Pike, is something wrong?”
Christopher gulped and asked, “Can you tell me what today is?”
“April 11, 6039, Monday. Why do you ask?”
“That can’t be right. Today was May 4, 6039. Well technically should have been May 5th by now. How is this possible?”
“Are you all right, Mr. Pike? I know that you just started three days ago as my assistant, but I can give you a day off, if you are not feeling well.”
Christopher’s eyes widened and said, “Are you serious? If this is a joke then this is going too far. We have no time for jokes with Envy on the loose.”
“You must be feeling very sick. Envy hasn’t struck for at least a year. Now get some sleep, Mr. Pike, so you are ready for tomorrow.”
Joshua hung up the phone leaving Christopher in shock. Christopher hung up the phone and looked at Avalon.
“You believe me right? That today was supposed to be May 4th?”
Avalon nodded as she closed the TV.
“Then why are people saying that today is April 11?”
Avalon stood up and headed toward Christopher. She leaned her head against Christopher’s chest as she began to sob.
Christopher had a feeling that Avalon knew something, but couldn’t say because she couldn’t speak, so he managed to grab his notebook from the kitchen table and a pencil and held it to Avalon.
“Please tell me what you know,” urged Christopher. Avalon nodded taking the pencil and notebook. She flipped the notebook open and began to write something down. When she was done she held it up for Christopher to see.
“I’m sorry about this Christopher. Ever since I was young, I would travel to the past if I heard the news, read news articles, history books, watched television, or even heard someone talk about a crime. I would only be able to return to the present if I watched it all the way through or managed to make some type of huge change whether good or bad. This has made me suffer and made me see so many murders that I was taken into that horrible place. No one believes my power and I can’t control it. I’m usually alone when I travel. This is the first time that someone else has joined me.”
Christopher’s eyes were wide after reading what Avalon wrote.
“Are you serious?”
“So we are in the past after I told you about Envy?”
Avalon nodded again and wrote, “It was also the magazine article that gave information about Wiles Enterprise.” Christopher held his head in exasperation.
“This is confusing,” muttered Christopher. Christopher suddenly came to a realization and looked at Avalon.
“If we are in the past then that means that James Connor is still alive. Envy hasn’t struck yet.”
Christopher chuckled and hugged Avalon making her flinch.
“We have a chance to save James Connor and to capture Envy,” cheered Christopher forgetting his initial shock. Christopher smiled at Avalon and said, “You said that we can go back to the present by watching all the way through or making a change. Let’s make a change that saves a life.” Avalon’s eyes became saddened as she wrote something else in the notebook.
I did try to save lives with this power, but always failed.
Christopher patted Avalon’s head and said, “That’s because you were alone. Now you have me.” Christopher pulled Avalon into another hug and whispered, “What you have isn’t a curse, but a gift.” Avalon burst into tears and hugged Christopher back. Christopher smiled as he looked at his calendar.
“We can change history.”