"I'm beyond the guessing game at this point," Blake said as he got out and flicked his spent cigarette butt away "Let's just find out now." The grass in the yard was in bad need of mowing and the house itself looked uncared for in quite some time with broken vinyl siding and a moss covered roof with decayed shingles. Blake walked right up to the front door and banged his fist a few times.
A chain lock being unhook sounded and the door opened a crack to reveal a man peeking out. "Are you cops?" he asked in a dry raspy voice. "Not really, no," Blake said. The man went to close the door as Blake shoved his foot in. "We're investigators," Blake said "And we already know you're a person of interest in something very peculiar."
"You need a warrant to come in," the man said as he tried kicking Blake's foot out.
"We just want to talk."
"So is this guy," Blake said as he motioned to John behind him.
"I have nothing to do with what's happening out there," the man said, opening the door a little more to reveal his graying brown hair and tired looking face. All that seemed odd to Blake considering the man looked only in his mid 30s. "It's not my fault," the man continued.
"There are at least half a dozen people dead out there," Blake said "And I'm trying to figure out why. That angry religious woman you encountered before is doing whatever it is she thinks she needs to do. Me? I'm just trying to find and stop whatever those things are. Help me."
"No," the man said as he kicked Blake's foot back and slammed his door shut and locked it again. "It's not my fault!" he shouted "It wasn't supposed to happen that way! This isn't what I wanted!" Blake exhaled sharply through his nose as he turned to see John. "This guy knows something," John said "I'm not leaving until we figure out what."
"Ya think?!" Blake yelled as he tossed his hands up "I can get us a fake warrant and a couple badges, but not today."
"I don't think he'd buy that at this point anyway," John said.
"It's gonna be one of those days, isn't it?" Blake asked as he pulled out John's phone from his pocket and dialed Matthew again "At this rate we'll have to go door to door all over Albany to find these things on top of the fact that no one wants to even help us figure out where they came from."
"We can always burn Albany to the ground," John suggested "Lots of collateral, but it guarantees we get the monsters too."
"We'll call that Plan B," Blake said as he listened to the ring back from Matthew's line before it abruptly cut off. "Hello?" Matthew said.
"Albany sucks!" Blake yelled into the phone.
"Oh, hello Blake," Matthew said, almost bored.
"How's our little Lizzie?"
"I've got a few running theories that I'm narrowing down. The mother also has a very intriguing history."
"One crisis at a time," Blake said "You got a detailed knowledge of a bunch of lesser gods and demons and other such beings from other realms, right?"
"Definitely more than you do," Matthew said.
"Vitaearnus. Who dat is?"
"Nothing I've ever heard of, or even come close to hearing of."
"Well, he's something."
"And where did you find out about Mr. Arnus?"
"A dream. Anin's to be specific."
Blake could hear Matthew groan on the other line. "Really, Blake?" he asked "A dream."
"Well, not really a dream per se, it's complicated. But I'm still sore from an uppercut I took in there to suggest whatever I experienced in there is legit."
"Right, right," Matthew said, sounding like he was trying to think "But I've never heard that name before. You sure this guy isn't trying to throw you off?"
"He would have given me something more legitimate in terms of names for me to chase down, not just make one up."
"But why even give his name?"
"Cuz he's in control, or so he believes.
"I'll look into it if I have time, but I don't know what you're expecting."
"Maybe he's new on the scene?"
"There hasn't been anything new on the supernatural front in over 2000 years if we're talking about something that has the kind of power and influence you're suggesting. Whoever this is, they've existed in our realm for a while. I'd need more information though."
"Yeah, well, we're still having trouble nailing down the energy of this crap. Everything we test seems to point to all human."
"Ever stop to think that maybe it's just that, human?"
"You should see what Anin described in her last-"
Blake was cut off by the sound of a gunshot. He looked to John. "That came from inside the house," John said. "Gotta go call you back later bye!" Blake said as he quickly hung up and ran with John back towards the house. "Still locked tight!" Blake said as he unsuccessfully tried the doorknob. "Out of the way!" John yelled as he ran up and kicked the door, blowing it off of its latch and chain and slamming it open and against the wall inside the house.
Right inside was the living room where an assortment of furniture clashed randomly with the deep blue carpeting. Various bits of mail and paperwork were strewn all over the coffee table along with several empty beer cans, whiskey bottles and glasses. An ash tray full of spent cigarettes sat in the corner. Nearby was a wastebasket full of even more papers, all burning from a recently lit fire. Overlooking it all was a recliner with the man from before sitting, a revolver in hand and a bloody hole gaping in the back of his head.
"Great," Blake said with a huff. John picked up one of the papers on the table and looked it over. "He left a note," he said as he began to read it aloud "I'm sorry. May God forgive me. May God forgive us all." Blake grabbed the note and crumpled it up before tossing it into the wastebasket to burn. "What did this guy do that he'd kill himself over?" John asked as Blake looked over various documents on the table.
"Pay stubs from random dead end jobs," Blake said as he sifted through the papers "Grant rejections, unpaid bill notices, notice of termination. This guy was in over his head." He looked to the burning wastebasket and wondered what clue he just lost out on in finding out the truth behind everything. "Dr. Melrose," John said as he picked up a discarded white lab jacket and read the ID tag.
"He didn't destroy everything," Blake decided "He couldn't have. He went to see Suzie at the hospital, Whitey happened, we weren't that far behind. He had to be pressed with guilt." John shrugged. "You're point?" he asked. "The obvious stuff is gone," Blake said "We just need to piece together the leftovers to figure out what to do next."
"I take it we're not calling 9-1-1 for this either?" John asked as he walked back to the door and tried to close it. "We'll call on our way out, you big baby," Blake said "Just gimme a bit to figure something before we have cops crawling all over this place." He picked up papers and looked them over "For once I want to get to a person of interest first, not last."