Peter was walking toward the entrance when Mike burst in. He broke into a run and grabbed his friend. "What? What is it?"
"Are you all right, man?" Mike asked, wide eyes scanning Peter up and down.
He nodded. "I'm fine --- a bit hungry, but otherwise.....why? What's happened?"
"I saw him. The guy from your dreams.... I saw him."
Peter released Mike and ran out of the station and down the stairs, scanning the street, hoping to find him. He pulled up short; still looking around, when Mike and Jameson ran up behind him. "Where?" Peter gasped. "Where is he?"
"He.... he got away. It... it hurt to look at him!"
Peter turned to Mike, his eyes wide. "Come on..... let's get home. We've got to talk to MacLaren." He looked at Jameson. "Can you... can you bring us some books to look at?"
"Mug shot books, you mean?" Jameson asked. At Peter's nod, he said, "Sure..... I'll bring what we've got."
Peter smiled and gave Jameson their address. Then he and Mike went to the Monkeemobile and drove home.
They ignored both Micky and Davy's greetings and walked right into MacLaren's bedroom. "Hey," Mike said, rapping his knuckles on the top bunk. "Hey, wake up. We gotta talk."
The familiar voice pierced the veil of sleep and MacLaren reacted like a friend instead of the vampyre he was. Both Peter and Mike shuddered as memories of his first wake-up calls struck them. The small vampyre rolled over to face them and opened his eyes. "What time is it...." he murmured as he rubbed his eyes.
"It's nearly dark," Peter said. "We've got to talk and it can't wait."
MacLaren nodded and sat up. "About what?" he asked as he gave a fanged yawn.
"We got some kinda role reversal goin' on here and it's scarin' the hell outta us," Mike said bluntly.
One more blink to ease sleep all the way out of his eyes, and MacLaren dropped down between them. "Tell me."
Talking over each other, they did, following MacLaren into the kitchen where he got his nightly 'breakfast' out of the fridge. He listened as he drank.
When they were done, he licked a drop of red off his lower lip and asked, "Michael, tell me more about your saying you could feel the evil."
"That's the only way I can describe it. It made me sick. It.... it hurt."
Peter nodded. "See what we mean about role reversal?" He smiled winningly at the scowl Mike sent his way.
MacLaren smiled. "I see. Well, Mike, from what I've seen and heard, I'd say you found your Gift today."
"My what?" Mike asked.
"Gift. Each of you has a Gift and a Price. As I told Micky, my Gift is immortality, my Price is the blood I must consume and the sunlight I must avoid. Peter's Gift is psychic ability, and the Price is fainting and hyp...hyp..."
"Hypoglycemia," Davy piped up.
"Yes, that." MacLaren smiled at his double, and went on: "And your Gift, Michael, appears to be Empathy. You can feel feelings from other people and intuitively know things about them from a look or a touch. Like all Gifts, it has a Price attached."
Mike shook his head. "I've not noticed a Price."
"Hey, who took all the aspirin?" Micky asked, coming out of the bathroom and waving the empty bottle.
A sheepish grin crossed Mike's face. "I did. Been havin' a lot of headaches lately."
"Headaches?" Suddenly Peter was back in what they'd affectionately termed 'Daddy-mode'. He held Mike's arm with one hand while his other danced over Mike's forehead and cheeks. "You don't feel warm...."
"Stoppit, willya?" Mike growled, knocking the hand away. "I'm okay, just been havin' headaches."
MacLaren nodded. "When was the last one of these?"
"Other than the one I got now?"
"When did this one start?"
Mike thought back. "Uhm...... back when I bumped into the guy."
Micky met MacLaren's eyes. "The Price?"
"The Price," the vampyre confirmed. "Headaches."
Before Mike could respond to that, there was a knock on the door. Peter looked through the peephole, then smiled and threw it open. "Hello, Detective Jameson! Come on in, meet my roommates!"
Jameson walked in, his arms laden with thick volumes. "I brought three mug books and as I was leaving, Dora slid another one on the stack, so I brought it too." He set them down. "It's not a mug book, though. Sorry about that." He looked at MacLaren and Davy. "Whoa --- twins?"
"Not hardly," Davy laughed.
"He's from England," MacLaren grinned. "I'm from Scotland. Distant cousins....perhaps...."
Jameson laughed. "The Patty Duke Show with Y chromosomes!" At MacLaren's blank look, he said, "They were identical cousins -- and one was from Scotland."
Micky stepped forward, laughing as the 'cousins' rolled their eyes in unison. "I'm Micky Dolenz. The one in pajamas is Peter MacLaren -- he goes by his last name so we won't get his name mixed up with Peter's -- and the other one is Davy Jones."
"No locker in sight?" Jameson teased as he sat down beside Peter, who'd opened a book.
"Don't start, man," Davy groaned.
Mike opened a second book and frowned. He looked all through it then picked up a smaller book and opened it. He looked nearly all the way through before he jabbed a picture. "There! That's him!"
Jameson frowned. "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive! That's the man that bumped into me! Those eyes are unmistakable!"
"Why do you look doubtful?" MacLaren asked.
"Because this is the book Dora slid to me. This isn't a mug book ---- it's a roster of civilian employees." He touched the picture. "This man works at the police department."
Mike's eyes narrowed. "I'm telling you, this is him. Just because he works at the police department, he's automatically not a suspect?"
"I didn't say that," Jameson countered. "I'm merely saying it's ---"
MacLaren's soft voice cut in. "Jack the Ripper was a respectable citizen as well."
Micky's head turned to face MacLaren, his eyes widening, then narrowing in thought.
Peter caught it. "Mick?"
"Jack the..... Jameson, what were the murdered ladies' names? Polly March...?"
"Polly March, Miranda Tolin and Jeanette Owens," the detective said.
"Polly March....Polly Nichols.....Miranda Tolin...Martha Tabram....."
"Good Lord!" MacLaren gasped. "How could you know those names?"
Micky smiled at him. "Photographic memory and eclectic reading interests. Only one that doesn't fit the pattern is Jeanette Owens. The Ripper's third victim was Annie Chapman..."
"My God." Jameson had gone pale. "Jeanette Owens was an actress --- her stage name was Annie Cole."
In the pregnant silence that fell after that remark, Peter whispered, "That sick bastard is copying the Ripper murders. But why?"
Jameson let out a deep sigh and lay the book on the table, tapping the name below the pictures. "Terrence Caine. Well....." He spread his hands. "I'd love nothing more than to bring him in for questioning ---"
"What's stoppin' you?" Mike asked.
"Technicalities." He met Mike's eyes. "I have to follow the law in procedure, or he will be released on a technicality. So far all we have are dreams and suspicions pointing to him. To make it stick, I need concrete evidence."
Peter paled. "That means another woman is going to die."
"Not if we're fast enough," Jameson assured him.
But Peter shook his head, meeting Jameson's gaze. "No, you don't understand. He knows this. He's going to kill again -- soon."
Jameson rubbed his eye in a gesture of frustration. "Peter, what would you suggest, huh? I can't stick an officer to follow him 24/7!"
"An officer, no." Micky raised his head, the grin that a club owner had once described as 'insane' on his face. "Five nondescript civilians, yes."
"I can't believe I'm even considering this," Jameson sighed as he tapped his fingers on the wheel of his sedan.
"Much less doing it," Peter grinned at him.
"I've said that before, huh?" Jameson grinned back.
"Only about ten times now."
Jameson chuckled --- then both turned serious as the radio crackled. "Mobile one to Mobile eyes --- Caine is on the move. Heading your way." A pause, then "Be careful, mates."
"Always, Davy," Peter said into the microphone. "We have him in sight...Mobile eyes to Mobile three; he's headed your way."
A pause, then a second accented voice. "Roger, Mobile eyes, have him in my sight. Following now."
Peter relaxed as Caine passed out of his sight. "That's him, all right."
Peter nodded. "Yes, I am."
With that, Jameson started the car and they followed Caine at a discreet distance.
"I'm picking up Davy," Micky radioed to them. "Give us your locations."
As they stopped the car, Mike's voice bellowed, "Guys, he's following a lady! Uuuuh....Fifth and Hall!"
Peter and Jameson began to run toward that location, only to see a familiar jeep roar up. They heard a woman scream, and Micky and Davy tore out of the jeep, pounding for the area. Davy had something in his hand.
"Leave her alone!" Micky cried as they ran.
The man bent over the woman stiffened, turned -- violet eyes shone clear in the streetlights --- then he ran.
Davy whirled his arm twice over his head and let fly with what was in his hand.
The seatbelt he'd ripped from the jeep whistled as it flew through the air, and came to rest exactly where Davy had aimed. It tangled around the man's legs and brought him down.
Jameson thundered up, gun drawn. "Freeze! Police!" The man -- it was Caine -- put his hands over his head.
"Are you all right, miss?" Peter asked.
She nodded, clinging to him. "Thank you...thank you so much!"
Micky walked over and lifted the necklace she wore. "ES?" he asked.
"Yes....that's me....Elisabeth Sutter."
"God," Micky gasped. "His fourth victim was Elisabeth Stride."
"How'd he get the names?" Peter asked.
Still holding Caine down, Jameson ground out, "Meet Terrence Caine -- civilian assistant to the records clerk. Each of the victims either had a record or had been a witness or suspect at one time or another. There's our proof --- it was him," Jameson took his eyes from Caine for a moment to smile at the Monkees. "Good work."
Caine struck. He knocked the gun from Jameson's hand and bolted. By the time the surprised men could react, he was gone.
"Damn!" Jameson swore. "Stupid rookie mistake!"
"You had him once," Peter said. "You'll have him again."
"Yeah, but how many women have to die first?" Jameson growled.
"None," Micky said, walking up and smiling. "Elisabeth lived. The pattern's been broken."
"How can you be so sure?" Jameson asked, holstering his gun.
It was Mike who answered, his voice deadly grim. "Because we've just made ourselves his next target."
It all happened too fast for Peter to stop it. He woke from a sound sleep to find a man dressed all in black going through their shared dresser drawers.
"Hey!" He hissed. "What's going on here?"
The man whirled and shot at Peter. The glint of the weapon gave Peter just enough time to fling himself away, and the bullet put an end to Peter's pillow's life instead.
The man breathed a curse in a language that wasn't in Peter's repertoire, and pulled the hammer back again. The agonized scream Peter let out when the intruder pumped two bullets into Davy's sleeping form served only to enable the gun to be fixed on him once more. The man's teeth glinted in a smile and his violet eyes shone as the hammer was drawn a third time.
Peter gasped and bolted upright in the bed. He lurched over and snapped on the light. Even though it was daytime outside, the black plastic on the windows prevented him from seeing much without the light. He saw Davy --- whole and healthy -- asleep in the downstairs bunk and the dark shock of MacLaren's hair sticking from the covers in the top bunk.
With a sigh of relief, Peter snapped the light off and got out of bed. He intercepted Mike coming down the stairs. "I'm fine," he said softly, seeing the way Mike was holding his head. "New bottle of aspirin in the bathroom -- save us some."
A primal grunt of acknowledgement was all Peter got as Mike staggered for the bathroom. Peter smiled ruefully. "Hell of a Price," he said as he turned toward the kitchen ----- and staggered, himself.
"Tell me about it," Mike said, his arms suddenly around Peter's waist as he helped him to the kitchen. "You sit. I'll make breakfast." He set some orange juice in front of Peter. "Drink. Now."
"Yes, sir," Peter grinned as he obeyed.
"You're up early," Mike said as he slid the final pancake onto the stack and set it on the table.
"So are you," Peter shot back.
"Yeah, and I have you to thank for it," Mike said with a tight smile. "That nightmare of yours woke me up."
There was a moment of silence, and then Peter smiled. "I don't know whether to say sorry or not -- I can't help what I dream."
"Not, it's fine." Mike squeezed his shoulder as he sat down. "But I do want to know what you dreamed."
Peter sighed and pushed a bit of pancake around the plate for a moment. "Remember the dream I had right before all this started?"
"With the burglar shootin' Davy?"
"That's the one." He met Mike's eyes. "I dreamed it again. The burglar was clear this time -- it was Caine."
Mike's face went grim. "Did it feel like one of your other dreams?"
Peter nodded. "Hypoglyc and all." He raised a forkful and took a bite.
Mike nodded, thoughtfully.
Mike met Peter's eyes again.... and began a slow, feral grin.
Caine jimmied open a window and let himself into the bedroom. He looked at the sleeping forms and smiled. Slowly, he removed the gun from his pocket and attached a silencer to it.
"Goodnight, sweet prince," he said as he took aim. "And flights of angels send thee to thy rest." With that, he squeezed the trigger twice in rapid succession.
The body in the lower bunk jerked as two bullets landed square in its chest.
Peter flung the door open and gaped at the scene before him. Then he took a deep breath -- and screamed.
Caine whirled to him, gun on the rise. Before he could fire, however; a low, unearthly hiss sounded from behind him.
Slowly, Caine turned back to the bed. Peter turned the light on, and Caine screamed, scuttling backward.
The man he'd shot was slowly climbing out of bed --- hissing like a snake, eyes blazing red, vampyre fangs descended, two holes in his bare chest.
Caine screamed again. He brought up the gun and fired shot after shot after shot. Each one hit MacLaren dead on, each one stopped the vampyre for just a moment.
None took him down.
Click! Click! Click! Cain squeezed the trigger again and again on an empty chamber, backing up steadily as MacLaren made a steady assault. Peter stepped aside and held the door open as the odd tableau moved into the living room. First Caine backed through the doorway, then MacLaren followed.
"My God," Jameson whispered from the upstairs landing. "How's he ---?"
"Parlor tricks," Micky said breezily.
Davy leaned over the landing and watched, then asked, "Want me to bring him down?"
"Subdue him," Jameson corrected. "No unnecessary force."
Davy nodded. "Gotcha." He vanished into the bedroom and reappeared a moment later. A thrown shoe knocked the gun out of Caine's hand. Before he could react, a pile of laundry fell over him, the weight and angle knocking him off his feet for a moment.
When Caine gained his feet, it was to have a pair of handcuffs snapped onto his wrist. Jameson met his eyes and told him, "Terrence Caine, you are under arrest for three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder."
Peter walked up to them. "One thing I have to know --- why did you do it?"
Caine laughed. "Don't you know who I am, boy?" When Peter shook his head, another laugh rang out --- this one with the unmistakable tinge of madness to it. "I am the Ripper, boy! Reborn into this world! I will finish what I started --- the streets will be cleansed! I was reborn to complete my work!" He turned to Jameson, and the voice turned almost little-boy pleading. "Please....let me complete my work!"
Jameson led him out of the Pad. "Your work's finished, son. Come on."
Mike looked over at MacLaren, who was staring at Davy. "Are you okay?"
"Hm?" He turned to look at Mike. "Oh --- yes, I'm fine. The holes will heal by nightfall tomorrow." He looked back at Davy, who was coming down the stairs now. "....WeaponsMaster," he whispered.
Davy blinked. "What?"
"They have mental Gifts....yours is physical. You've made a weapon out of a seatbelt, a shoe, and a pile of laundry--"
"Yeah, my laundry," Mike groused as he picked it up.
When the laughter died down, MacLaren squeezed his double's shoulder. "You seem to be a WeaponsMaster --- they are rare things."
"What is a WeaponsMaster?" Peter asked.
"Someone who can literally make a weapon out of anything," MacLaren said. "It's a very rare skill ---- and I'm surprised to find it here. Usually people with that skill are drawn to government work, no matter what country they are in."
Davy smiled. "I'm happy where I'm at...." then he sobered. “.....Price. What Price do I have?"
"Loneliness," MacLaren whispered. "Such loneliness in you....that seems to be your Price. People instinctively fear a WeaponsMaster --- and the loneliness that creates has already seeped into your soul."
Davy regarded him for a moment, and then burst out laughing. "You're out of your mind!" he laughed. "I am not lonely!" He grabbed his jacket and headed for the beach.
"MacLaren?" Peter asked, coming up behind him.
The vampyre sighed. "There is none so blind as those who refuse to see the truth." He smiled a bit at Peter. "I'm tired."
"And it's nearly dawn," Mike put in. "Bedtime anyway."
With one last, sad look at the beach, MacLaren turned in. Mike and Micky headed into town to run errands and make sure Caine was in jail. Peter followed MacLaren to bed and to dreamland.
And his dreams were pleasant ones.
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