Mareek was tired.  Every time that he transitioned, it took something out of him.  The device was a gift.  A special gift given to him three years ago from his uncle Fasal, in Saudi Arabia.  He had told him to use it wisely, and not for bad.  Allah had blessed his uncle with the device when he was a close friend of King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud during World War II.  He helped ship oil to the United States to help them with the War.  During this time, Fasal stumbled upon the device when he was traveling to the United States through the recently freed Nazi Protectorate of Morracco after the November, 1942 invasion that pushed the Axis out.  It was sold to him by a merchant in the Tangier market place.  It was only a few days later that Fasal discovered the true purpose of the device.

It looked like a pocket watch with 4 different dials on the face, a large fob on the right side and a sliding pin that ran vertically between the 2 pair of dials.  Each dial could be set at different settings of symbols by twisting the outside plate that held each crystal.  As Fasal discovered, the first two dials were for the setting of the location that you wanted to go, and the second two dials controlled the time.  The symbols didn’t really match our longitude and latitude system, but after a couple of attempts, he figured out where home was and had marked it with green paint on the back of the device.  When Mareek accepted the gift, Fasal had already placed the symbols on the back for the location of Mareek’s home.  It was an amazing device because it never let you transition unless the coordinates were to a location that was open and safe.  Some how it’s creators had been able to make it so it detected dangerous points to transition to, and it would just not work for those numbers.  It would not transition you to inside a concrete or stone wall, or out into any body of water such as the ocean or a lake, or on some precarious location such as a cliff or mountain top, unless you could go there first and prepare a “landing”.  That had to be an area atleast 9 foot by 9 by 9 foot cubbed that was completely open with a flat base, no extreme temperatures or wind gusts over 25 miles per hour.  The device was quite safe except for one thing.  It didn’t detect dangerous locations being produced by mankind.  It could transport you into the middle of a no-man’s zone in a battle field, or into the middle of a mine field.  For some reason, it could detect streets and highways so it wouldn’t send you there.

During the War, Fasal had used the device for many secret trips to help the Allies.  He had developed a book with the coordinates and names of the locations that he also presented to Mareek.  The device could travel either a head or back in time as well.  However, the amount of time difference was limited.  It couldn’t take you back centuries or sling you a head by centuries.  But it could take you ahead or back a couple of years.  The going forward was possible theoretically by physics introduced by Albert Einstein with his Special Theory of Relativity.  However, going back in time was thought impossible, even in Dr. Einstein’s day because of the conflict with the space-time continnum.  Kurt Godel, one of Einstein’s associates had come close to finding the secret of traveling back into time, but the creator of this device had it down to a fine art.

Mareek decided it was time to transition to his home base.  He dialed up the coordinates and transitioned right to the center of his bedroom.  He placed the device in the lockbox, spun the tumblers, closed the top drawer of his dresser, and fell back into bed.  There was a knock on his door; a voice said; “Mareek? It’s time for your medication.”

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Inspector Hardaway was looking through the door at the bathroom, when Detective Bowers spoke;

“Seeing anything interesting Jack?”

“Oh, hell-o Will.  No, nothing yet.  One thing though, we can’t find any signs of breaking in or entry.  It’s as if he just appeared.  The bathroom window was open, but there’s no finger prints, and no foot prints in the dirt outside.  The dirt is soft and well turned over from the construction so we should be able to see something if the perp entered through that window.”

“Have you checked the neighbors?  Have they seen anything strange?” Detective Bowers asked.

“Yes, and No.  Yes – we’ve asked both sides and the back neighbors.  And No.  No one had seen anything unusual.  Just another day in paradise, I guess.”

“Who was the victim? She make any enemies?”

“Her name was Carla Weaton, 48 years of age.  Single, wealthy.  Worked part-time at the local hospital as an administrator.  Use to work full-time until about 2 years ago came into a lot of money.  Scaled back her job responsibilities, built this new house, and traveled a lot.”

“Was she ever married or have a close relationship?”

“Never married.  We don’t know about relationships.  That needs to be researched.  Comeon Will, we just got here 2 hours ago.”

“Sorry, just trying to get as much info as there is.  I’ll do so looking around.  Maybe at her job I can get some more information.  Well, it looks like things are almost wrapped-up here.  With that, the Medical Examiner’s van opened it back doors, and they began to remove the body for further investigation.

Detective Bowers clicked his pen, and folded his notebook, placing both in his breast pocket.  Sammy came slowly up to the Detective and he gave him a little pat on the head.

“If only you could talk.  I bet you could tell us a couple of things that we don’t know about your master.  They’ll take good care of you and find someone to take you in.  The bassett hound looked up with such sorrowful eyes, that he could barely keep the tears back.  Will had a soft spot for animals and he wanted to be sure this poor dog found a good home.

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Shadowcaster – The Abductors

The photographer was just beginning to take his second set of shots.  Usually, they took a first set before any thing was disturbed then waited until all the evidence had been tagged and bagged, or identified with numbers and left where they were found.  The body was still in the bathtub, eyes staring straight ahead and opened very wide.  The mouth was open, with a small bruse on the left side of the mouth that was half filled with water.  The Tongue was purple indicating cyanosis, always a sign of asphyxiation.  Her arms were on the sides, with no evidence of resistence; no broken nails, blood or other tissue under the nails, or scratches.  However, samples would still be taken for analysis; maybe they’d get a break.  A towel was wadded-up in the corner by the door, with no evidence of blood or tissues to the naked eye.  The killer may have used it after drowning the victim, so it was placed in a bag for later analysis.  No finger prints were found on the door knob, so the killer probably wiped it clean with the towel.  The window to the bathroom was open, so finger printing was being done to that to check for entrance evidence. 

The body was found by a part-time housekeep that came very early, every Tuesday.  She had let herself in when there was no answer, began to clean the living room when she noticed the dog Sammy seemed to be really upset.  He kept going back and forth from the living room to the hall that led to the bathroom.  Finally, the housekeeper followed the dog and found the body, calling the police immediately.

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As Detective Bowers approached the address he had written in his note book, he couldn’t help noticing how remote the house was.  Off a gravel road, tucked away under massive fir trees that were bowed from the chronic Westerly winds that blew off of the ocean, the house looked to be brandnew.  No plantings yet around the sides, no grass planted, and a pile of scrap lumber off to the left.  The garage was separate from the house but matched the house in style and paint scheme. 

“It must of took a pretty coin to build this place.” he thought.  The yellow tape stretched out in front of the porch.  A three story classic house with a covered porch that went completely around 3 of the sides.  There was a new greenhouse off to the right with new plantings just starting to rise, and just next to it a small deck with a barbique.

Detective Bowers leaned under the yellow tape and walked into the foyer.

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Captain Thomas called the meeting to order and began reading off the last 24 hours new cases.  Three suspicious deaths, 2 armed robberies, and a lost 7 year old boy.  The boy was attending a grade school science fair and was seen before classes started but never appeared in his class.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t reported missing until later yesterday afternoon.  The two robberies appeared to be methamphetamine motivated by the descriptions given from the witnesses.  Two suspicious deaths were probably by-nats.  The last one was intriging: a woman apparently drowned in her own bath tub.  No sign of a struggle, except a slight bruse on the left side of her mouth.  Forensics was still on site, so Detective Bower decided to have a look.

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It was Tuesday, at 8:27 when Detective Bower arrived at the West Precinct to check his e-mail, voicemail and report for the morning briefing. It had been a long evening and he was looking forward to catching a few z’s in his car during a stakeout. His partner, Detective Franks was good about letting him catchup on his sleep when it was a slow day on a stakeout. But first, Detective Bower needed to findout what was new at the morning briefing.

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As Carla closed her eyes and let herself relax, there was a sudden sound of air rushing out of the bathroom under the small space between the floor and the door. As Carla opened her eyes, there just to the side of the bathtub, Mareek suddenly appeared out of thin air. As she took a deep breath to scream, Mareek quickly bent over and covered her mouth. As he pushed her head under the water, Sammy came up to his side wagging his tail. “You’re a good doggie, aren’t you?” Mareek said in his own baby voice.

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