Constraints: Follows ‘Reunion’


Synopsis: Two serial killers go to war.

Morgan V Morgendorffer.


Content: Violence + some nudity + swearing at this time.


Legal: MTV’s Daria Vs. Showtime’s Dexter. Also thanks to Dervish for her advice on the direction of the story.




“Isn’t it strange that all your husbands just seem to die with elevated nicotine levels?”


The woman stammered as she replied “th-they smoke, I told them to quit-”


“No one else saw them smoke,” said the man as he picked up a scalpel and slowly drew it down the woman’s cheek.


“They hid it from all but me, please, whatever you’re planning-”


“There were no cigarette butts in the trash, no cigar butts, the pipes and pipe tobacco was unused, it was only the last two that cops started to make the connection but they never had enough to actually build a case or for probable cause, and your husbands got increasingly agitated as their nicotine was suddenly cut off and they then die in a car crash on their way to work in the morning.”


The woman just stopped talking now. She knew she was busted.


“So what are you planning to do to me?”


The man picked up a slide and a pipette and placed some drops of the woman’s face and he smeared the blood between the sheets of glass.


After he put the slide … … wherever he put it, he picked up a knife. He placed the tip of the knife over the soft spot under the woman’s sternum.


She had long ago given up trying to free herself of the plastic and ductape that pinned her to the table.


Having a knife slide into her chest and through her heart hurt less than she thought it would. She felt the flesh part around the knife, it felt cold and it stung, and the way her heart reacted to the knife entering one of it’s lower chambers felt like a really bad period only higher up and with a much heavier discharge.


It took less than fifteen seconds for her to lose consciousness.




Having fed the gators, Dexter returned to his new harbour.


The cops, led by Frank Lundy, were still working on the bay harbour, so now Dexter dropped his cadavers into the everglades.


It was strange that having the feds arrive in force would shut Dexter down for the foreseeable future, but a local serial killer was the business of local cops first with a single federal agent leading the investigation, whereas that vigilante that showed up recently, he was essentially considered a terrorist, and had he killed anyone on Dexter’s turf under the call sign of the Bay Harbour Butcher, the full weight of the FBI would have been brought to bear and the effect the cops were after, Dexter being unable to kill anyone, would have been achieved.


Dexter got in his car and returned to Miami.


The gators should mean that the current cake and ass party shouldn’t happen again, unlike the refrigeration of the sea, the stomachs of the alligators should destroy the evidence.


Should … …


If any body parts were found here, Dexter would have to move again.


And there lied his worst enemy: A pattern of activity matching his pattern of movement.


What other options did he have?


He could try incineration, but he would have to pick his venue carefully. He could try placing the cadavers in medical waste bins in marked biohazard bags, that should be fairly reliable, but that could still go wrong and he would be found out.


He could dig a pit, fill that with charcoal, placing the parts within the charcoal, mixture of resin and sodium chlorate to start it, but he would need a location high enough over the water table that the charcoal won’t get soaked, AND he would need to be absolutely certain no one would walk in on him as he was burning the bodies or that no one would extinguish the fire.


What else?


The Sweeny Todd option?


Dexter chuckled at this idea, he knew it would horrify Harry, his step dad and mentor.


It would mean that he’d only have the bones and intestines and other inedible or unpalatable organs to dispose of, the rest could be frozen and consumed at leisure as stews, pies, steaks, curries …


Debra would have to move out though, sudden appearances of large amounts of meat and organs in the freezer, especially if not packaged in the standard containers, and he couldn’t share the meat preparations.


Still, it would save on his food shopping.


He continued to mull things over as he came up on a woman walking along the side of the road.


Who walks this far from civilisation?




Daria glanced back at the car coming up behind her, she reviewed her position with relation to the road, and moved about 30cm further out just in case.


But the car was slowing.


Cautious driver or was the driver interested in her?


As she turned slightly towards the vehicle, she placed her hand on the Sig holstered in the back of her trousers (around the side, anything hitting you in the back you don’t want your own weapon helping the enemy, that’s not what it’s there for) under her backpack full of two or three dried snacks, a camping pan, some firelighters, and just about every gun she felt she could bring along from the last city she had hit. She’d even managed to get some inside holsters, holsters that conceal the gun on the inside of the trousers, that meant she didn’t have to worry about the gun sliding into or out of her trousers.


The fact she was reaching for a gun should be concealed from the angle the driver was viewing her from.


The man lowered the window and asked “are you okay? This is a bit far out of town for a pedestrian.”


This guy was probably a local, or he wouldn’t be commenting on the remoteness of the location.


“I’m fine, wouldn’t mind a lift though,” said Daria.


If this guy decided to attack her, she would feel perfectly fine with the idea of slotting him and making off with his car.


If he didn’t, it would be a free ride, maybe a way to gather some intel on her next target: Miami.


“I’m prepared to reimburse estimated fuel costs.”


“That’s not necessary, I’m headed for Miami, is that your destination?”


“It is.”


“Hop in.”


Daria removed her pack and stepped into the car. She wore loose jeans and a loose red shirt with a pineapple motif and a tan coloured fishing hat. The shirt was big enough to hang over the gun holstered inside the back of her trousers. Her boots were high enough to seal the trousers against snakes and other creatures that she wouldn’t want crawling up her legs.


She closed the door, noting the handle was still in place and she fastened her seatbelt. If she did slot him, odds are it would be while they were moving at 70 miles an hour on a highway, and it was possible the result would include a leap across the central reservation and having that happen to the vehicle you’re in while you’re not wearing a seat belt would just make things that little bit worse.


She had another gun just under the flap on the top of the pack, she kept both hands on the carry handle on the top of the pack in case she needed it.


He selected gear 1 and moved off, ascending to gear 3, and then gear 5 as he reached 40mph.


She looked around the outside of the vehicle, watching where he went, and kept looking at him, hoping to get some visual cues in the event he was planning to attack her.


He did have this vibe to him that told her he was dangerous, but she knew that vibes were unreliable.


He wasn’t trying to make conversation with her.


He was glancing at her occasionally, as if trying to assess her mood or intentions. Pick up a stranger in the middle of nowhere, course he’d be nervous. He’d also be nervous if he was going to attack her.


Some of his glances went to her hands, both hands on her bag, she was probably providing a clue that she was ready to act against him.


That could either deter or spur an action from him. That’s the thing about strangers, you don’t know them, so you therefore don’t know what they’re going to do.


They got onto a main road, route 9336, and he selected gear 4 to boost to 60mph, returning to gear 5 when he felt they were moving fast enough.


They were headed to Miami like he said. Just because he was honest about that part didn’t mean he wasn’t a threat, so no relaxing until … … No relaxing.


They started passing signs of human civilisations, car parks, farms, etc.


They then passed into the suburbs, the junctions now too close together to support a 60mph limit, they dropped to 40mph.


Eventually 9336 became a duel carriageway, and he took Highway 1 to route 821, this was a proper highway, and the speed limit increased to 70mph.


Eventually they ended up in a hotel district and Daria said “pull over anywhere along here.”


They did. They had stopped in full view of way too many strangers for him to try anything without drawing attention to his appearance, his vehicle and his vehicle index, so she released her seatbelt and prepared to alight.


Daria stepped out of the vehicle taking her bag with her.


“Thanks,” she said.


“No problem,” said the man.


She closed the door and walked away.


The man pulled away.


Now Daria had to find herself somewhere to hole up while she built enough intel for an attack.




There was something about that woman Dexter couldn’t quite shake, something about her bothered him.


He got home and removed his air conditioning unit.


The box of slides of blood he kept, the trophies of his previous kills, the only parts of his victims he kept. He added tonight’s slide, and ran his fingers back and forth over the row of slides.


He then closed the box and put it back.


He then put the air conditioning unit back and sat down behind his desk.


Turning on his computer, he kept trying to put a name to the face. He had seen that woman before. Definitely. Where though?


His front door opened and Debra entered. “Evening Dex.”


“Deb,” acknowledged Dexter. Debra was his foster sister, she was a homicide detective at Miami Police Department, where he also worked as a blood splatter analyst.


“Have any idea where Clearasil Daria’s likely to strike next?” asked Debra.


Daria! That’s the name he was trying to find.


“No idea,” Dexter said, “if I were her I’d pick a city out of a hat.”


He opened a search engine and entered ‘Clearasil Daria’.


He clicked on one of the images at the top of the page.


That was her.


“Maybe she’ll hit Miami,” said Dexter.


“With the Bay Harbour Butcher working here?” asked Deb.


“The Bay Harbour Butcher only seems to target killers, she goes after pimps, and she hits them en masse. I think at some point, she’ll turn her attention to Miami.”


Clearasil Daria. Clearasil because Clearasil eliminates pimples, and Daria eliminates pimps.


She apparently has this idea that if she just keeps killing them in these massive surprise attacks, eventually people considering taking up forcing girls and women into prostitution will just stop.


This doesn’t seem to have happened yet.


Daria was like a serial killer in that she has a key stressor, but that was where it ended. She didn’t stick to one method, she used all available, she used poison, fire, shrapnel, blast force, blunt force, sharp force, electricity, radiation, deception, and there was no way to identify where she had been, she managed to manufacture everything she needed, RDX, perchloric acid, DDNP, tetryl, used whatever she could buy or steal, coke cans, pipes, light bulbs, pencil leads (why call them leads? Graphite for fuck’s sake, no lead in there), gasoline, glycerine from soap, sodium, silane, phosphorus, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, nitrogen dioxide, she had also been seen using suppressors obviously improvised out of beer cans.


Usual pattern was that she would kill the first ones as quietly as possible, using drugs and other harmful materials to poison the first targets, the next ones she would kill using knives or blunt instruments, and the final wave was where she would go completely overt and shoot, bomb and incinerate them.


She always avoided killing or injuring prostitutes because the whole point of her activity was to protect them.


Her method was clinical in it’s own way, it made a gynormous mess, but it was done in a way that delayed discovery until she was on her way out. Another thing that made her different from most other serial killers was that she was not cold blooded. She was widely perceived as being cold blooded because of how she had interacted with people at school, but she had been spurred into action because of her empathy. She was a hot blooded killer.


He wanted her blood in his collection.


But now he had to find her again.


Game on.




Daria broke into the motel reception area.


She couldn’t hide from the cameras, so she would simply change the tape, fast forward it, and hit play at the appropriate point.


The Managers will just think it was a minor screw up.


Meanwhile, Daria was going to break into the computer and register another guest, combining two names at random, paying in cash for the next month or so. She added the cash. ‘The customer must exist, here’s the money. … Ah, my memory’s just really shit is all.’


She could, of course, just hire the room like anyone else during business hours, but there’s a chance someone would recognise her, and then she’d be located, and her room watched, and then she’d be screwed.


She completed the operation and went to the room to set up.




“This is your head,” said Quinn, indicating the skull and dragon skin model down range.


The bone stand in was a composition of materials that was designed specifically to imitate bone. There was a brain stand-in composed of actual cow brains from a local abattoir.


Quinn picked up a 9mm M1911 and slid the slider back. Chamber was empty. She pulled it all the way back and saw the first round pop up against the clip’s mandibles, she released it and switched the selector to ‘arm’, announcing “FIRING, ONE SHOT!”


She lined up the sights and fired.


The gun was now pretty comfortable in her hands. She remembered that raid. Holding something that could throw lumps of lead at supersonic velocities was not the same as something that could throw plastic balls filled with paint at barely enough speed to fracture them at their maximum designed effective range.


“This is your head after a 9mm round takes it apart.”


Quinn removed the clip and locked the slider back, there were no other rounds in the chamber, but assumptions kill.


“Want to take a look?”


The eight year old kids hesitantly approached.


A sheet of paper had been set up behind the fake skull, and all the brain matter had been splattered across it.


The Hydrashok rounds were not as commonly available as the full jacket parabellums normally used, but Quinn wanted to make a point.


There was a small entry wound in the eye, not too surprising, but the sphenoid and temporal bones had completely detached, and the hole in the parietal and occipital bones was huge, jagged, and had a spider web pattern.


“ONLY in the movies does the protagonist always win. … In real life land, even if you do your best, you get into a gunfight, it’s highly probable you will be the one that gets this happening to you, and not your opponent.”


“Any questions at this point?” asked Quinn.


“Yes,” said one kid in the middle of the crowd, “why did you get into it?”


This question was a bit of an asshole, but it always came up. The only answer Quinn had was “I didn’t trust the police to get it right. … I should have, but I didn’t. Not only did I nearly get killed by gangsters in a brothel, I also nearly got killed by gangsters in prison too. Want to see what a shiv does to you?”




“How did it go?” asked Stacy as Quinn returned.


“Usual, mouthy kids puked, couple asked why I saved your ass, I had to give the answer designed to suck the dick of authority,” said Quinn.


“You take them before they become gangsters, your sister takes them after they become gangsters,” said Stacy.


“Not funny,” said Quinn.


“I know,” said Stacy.


Stacy sure had changed. She used to apologise for just about everything she did and didn’t do weather it was good or bad. Now she was confident and strong.


They all had doctorates in chemistry now, Sandi and Stacy focused on biochemistry, Tiffany, unbelievably, on physical chemistry, Quinn had gone for the pure math and business qualifications, and they now owned the beauty market.


Quinn wondered if Daria’s call sign would ever change to reflect her success.




Dexter ate breakfast in front of the computer. This was unusual for him because he preferred to avoid getting crumbs and what knot on his keyboard, but he wanted to make as much progress as he could and it was really difficult to do this kind of thing at work with Doakes looking over his shoulder.


Sergeant James Doakes, former special forces, knows Dexter’s a killer although probably not THE killer Miami PD was looking for, not sure how, but Doakes knows.


Dexter could usually sneak his research into his targets, but he normally had a good idea what to look for and how to get his answers with minimal abnormal behaviour.


Finding Daria meant figuring out how she worked. Fact was he didn’t have an address or witness statements or anything on file that could assist.


The fact Daria goes into a city and plans everything herself might work in his favour because he’d built up a good idea of the layout of the city’s criminal activity from the crime scenes he’d visited, so he should in theory have an advantage over Daria if he knew how to exploit it.


Debra emerged from her room, dressed, but her hair still damp, and she picked up the plate of breakfast Dexter had prepared for her.


She wandered over to Dexter and looked at what he was working on.


“Wow. … You really think you can catch the bitch?” asked Debra.


“Probably not,” said Dexter, “but it’s fun to try.”


“Right,” said Debra as she carried her breakfast to the coffee table and sat down to eat it here. “Well, good luck with that, and we do have our own serial killer to catch.”


‘Yeah, me,’ thought Dexter. It was a bit awkward having his sister hunting him, it might have been an idea for Harry to have included Debra in this, although there was apparently a reason Dexter had been chosen: Dexter was a sociopath.


If Harry hadn’t gotten Dexter into this, Dexter would most likely have killed the innocent or otherwise gotten caught, either way it would have been bad. Debra on the other hand, wasn’t a sociopath, and getting her involved would have gotten Dexter caught.


Anyway, back to the other killer: Clearasil Daria.


Daria goes to a city, finds the pimps, then decides how she’s going to kill them and initiates her attack.


He should, in theory, be able to observe her entering or exiting a known area where prostitution occurs.


The question is when will or when did Daria start looking around?


Most things have patterns, cycles of activity, when would Daria expect to see the most prostitute activity?


It generally depends on when their customers would have the free time, for instance, morning breaks, find a prostitute, get a blow job, lunch time, maybe spend a little bit longer, actually get into bed, afternoon break, see morning break, evenings would probably see the most activity, three or four hours to fuck.


She’d also need a consistent source of electricity in order to manufacture some of her explosives and it is normally helpful when distilling or refining some materials.


Although the only two materials you’d need that aren’t widely available are explosive and oxidising materials.


Looking at the explosives Daria had used in the past, the detonators are thought to consist of 15mm copper pipe with a plate soldered to one end and explosive filler added from the other. The diameter of the pipe was such that she would definitely have enough for any explosive material she chose to detonate, plenty of ingredients for tertiary explosives existed on the shelves of many shops nationwide.


Fusing was little more than foil, wire, and batteries, she tended to use impulse explosives added to the detonator whenever she needed a delay element in the fuse, and a lot of pimps surprisingly were getting killed by car bombs, so Daria must be disguising the bombs more effectively too.


She was also getting vacuum pumps from somewhere because a number of pimps died from radiation burns, unless she was stealing the X-ray tubes from hospitals or dentists, she had to be evacuating a jar with an appropriate system set up within. What she’d then need to do is rig a power system capable of belting out a lethal dose. Seven greys of radiation would be needed, that’s seven joules per kilo of flesh, aim at the gut using something rigged from a glass ketchup bottle with a brass olive as an anode, you can get a decent concentration of keV level X-rays, the symptoms might resemble food poisoning and a skin rash maybe, that would be about half a kilo of intestines in the target zone, so 3.5 joules would be sufficient.


400mAh at 9V = around 13kJ, so a PP3 battery would be all the power she needs … of course the bulb she would likely find for her heated cathode would be suitable for 3V, and she’d need to boost the 9V to about 6 or more kV …


The resources she would need were definitely not the way to approach this, his best bet was to guess her scouting method.




Daria walked the street dressed in a floral dress and woolly jacket, a pink 10 Gallon hat and star shaped shades.


Hopefully she looked enough of a dork that everyone would ignore her. She identified a number of women and even a few men that seemed to be parading around in revealing clothes.


Now, that on it’s own wasn’t enough, they could be waiting to meet someone specific, so she needed to see them being approached by strangers for sex or their pimps for money. It was the pimps she was after anyway.


She passes a car with two men sitting in it. both men looked bored.


Cops? Could be gang enforcers. Daria would have to find a good position to observe from that wouldn’t make her look conspicuous.


She picked a payphone and pretended to insert coins in it.


She might have a problem convincing people she was actually talking to someone if she stood there for more than 10 minutes, she was dressed as a dork, but a dork wouldn’t carry bags of change around just in case they happen to want to spend hours on a pay phone.


She would have to find a better location.


It didn’t look like it was going to be an issue though, this man appeared and walked along the line of men and women, talking to them and collecting money off of them.


Daria couldn’t be seen to leave at the same time as this guy, or those stalkers, police or gang, would know she was watching him, she’d be compromised.


If she could at least see what car he drove, she should be able to get the index and potentially find it’s owner’s address. The guy approached the stalkers and a side window dropped. He dropped some of the money into one of the occupant’s hands. Stalkers were cops. Gang members would be paid in private, the dynamic was definitely wrong for this to be internal.


Daria held her position and watched the pimp go back the way he came. There was a better way to find a pimp than to follow him from his show street: Hire one of his whores and hypnotise her. Usually that gave her all the intel she needed and it would do it far faster than following pimps around. She could then confirm the intel in a short space of time and plan her attack on the individual and his or her gang.


One thing she sometimes did was irradiate some of the pimps and gang members early on. The two good things about irradiation was that the symptoms resembled food poisoning early on, the pathology made it difficult for the coroner to determine exactly what happened, the fact that so many pimps and gangsters died this way had led the cops to realise that that was what she was doing.


The other good thing was that any actual food poisoning would set off a panic. The number of false sightings meant the police couldn’t respond to all the calls and still handle the day to day criminal activity. (pretending for a minute they even do that.)


Another thing she could to if she hypnotised a whore is manipulate her target into doing something that would help her kill him more effectively. She could often get enough trivia that she could use the gangs themselves as her weapons, and she could also use the prostitute to place weapons or distract the pimp while she places the weapon.


She headed off to try and identify another show street, even if she didn’t see the pimps, she could plan her pickup and interrogation of the prostitutes the pimps sponge off of.


She did notice the occasional lone prostitute standing there, but she was less certain those would be actual prostitutes because of both their proximity to what looked like middle class residences. Housing associations generally did what they could to keep prostitutes from working on their streets because a lot of them were parents who didn’t want “unwholesome influences” around their children. More likely they were bait for vice squad honey traps.


If she ever got picked up, she would have to kill the arresting officers, no delay, she was an escaped death row felon, and you can expect to escape the same prison system exactly once if at all.


Of course a side effect of killing a cop was that she would have to call off the operation this time and hit another city.


She had considered including bent cops in her kills, those shits pissed her off especially as they were supposed to be protecting people from harm, and instead were doing the exact same thing the pimps were. On the other hand, there was the perception of the public to consider, if she was also going after cops, the public would be more understanding of the diversion of police resources into hunting her. Pimps? Sure you couldn’t have a vigilante running around, but pimps weren’t that popular to anyone who wasn’t a gangster or gangster wannabe themselves.


Shooting cops would be a massive escalation, gangs don’t share intel or resources or co-ordinate or really do anything that would make them a threat to her. LEOs, however, do.


That was one thing that concerned her though. Gangs may not act for mutual self interest, but that was also an indication that gangsters just didn’t care. Even the most level headed gangsta had an ego the size of a universe, usual mentality was ‘it won’t be me that dies.’


That could be said about just about everyone in the violence business, cops, criminals, soldiers, security guards, they usually had enough fear of death to stay alert when they perceived a threat, but the sheer size of the united states was such that the probability of any given city being the next place she cleans was not that high. Mainly she hit small cities, only hitting the larger ones every now and then simply because smaller cities were easier. She wasn’t going to have much of a deterrent effect, this was increasingly apparent because any city she hits a subsequent time, business is just as booming as it was before.


The high turnover did have one favourable effect, it made it easier for LEOs to infiltrate gangs, those who were about to enter a gang would see entire gangs being wiped out and might decide to go for something with actual survival prospects.


She crossed another road.


That people carrier with that man.


Daria glanced again as she crossed the road.


The guy that drove her into Miami. A stretch to call it a coincidence, but not impossible either.


Okay, time for a Crazy Ivan, see if he’s following her.




Dexter couldn’t be sure but the fact she had turned a full 270 degrees indicated a Crazy Ivan.


If she saw him, she could have recognised him from earlier.


He needed a change of vehicles or to follow her on foot in some kind of disguise.


He broke off and headed home.


He was certain it was her.




Daria had kept the mirror at about upper arm height. It peeked around her arm and she saw the people carrier pause, the man look at her, and then it drove off.


He was following her. Definitely. He had recognised her diagnostic manoeuvre and broken off his surveillance.


If he was a serial killer or serial rapist, why hadn’t he tried anything while they were out in the middle of the forest?


Because he hadn’t considered her to be of interest then.


Why now?


Because he recognised her?




He knew where she was likely to go.


He might call the police.


And the police will hang up.


He might pursue her himself.


She needed information.


She remembered the sat-nav destination that had been displayed when she was riding with him, that might be his home.


She headed off in search of an internet café so she could get the location on Google maps. She could then mark it on her own map, and use that to find out who was following her.




Dexter finished breakfast and set off to work. Last night had been useful only because he had confirmed the identity of the woman.


Daria Morgendorffer, Call sign ‘Clearasil Daria’, was indeed in town.


Now Dexter had the problem that she knew a man looking like him was following her around.


That was going to make Daria hard to follow. Harder to follow.


He rarely had to follow anyone around. Usually police reports had so much information about the day to day habits and the locations frequented by his target that he almost NEVER had to follow anyone around.


If he was a full cop instead of a CSI, he’d have the training specifically for following people around without being seen by them.


If he was seen by her any more times during her operation, she could decide to leave or turn around and slot him. One of the main things he always had to do was prepare the battle space for maximum advantage.


This was not an option in this case, right now he had absolutely no information that could help him capture her.




He got in his car and drove off.




He could draw up a shadow plan and grab her on her way out.


The problem with that was there would need to be only one exit.


If there were two or more, his odds of success would depreciate rapidly.


No. He needed to find her base of operations.


Okay, electricity, you need easy access that no one’s going to see. Just about anything outside could be discovered and disrupted at any time. She needed to assure that her equipment wouldn’t be discovered.


How do you manufacture nitrated explosives without access to industrial grade chemicals? You ionise the air to make nitrogen dioxide. You have to do that somewhere cold too otherwise all your nitrogen dioxide will evaporate, and that stuff smells too, so emphasis on the cold.


You also want to use it immediately if you can, because again, PHEEEEE-EWWWWWW!


You also want to be certain that when you apply the nitrogen dioxide to the fuel that all the nitrogen dioxide is used, and that the final product isn’t swimming in the stuff once it’s formed. Again, you have to hide it, and it has to be able to run by itself unsupervised while she goes out looking for targets.


She had asked to be dropped off on a motel strip. He could start there, but she could be in a motel on the other side of town. How many days would it take for her to gather her information?


No way to tell.


All he could do was try.


He parked up and entered the police station.




His driving style was so clinical the guy had to be either a qualified driving instructor, a Vulcan, an android, or unhinged. What concerned Daria was that the guy worked at a police station, but was he a cop?


She recognised another car as well, it was one that had left a few minutes before he had, being driven by a redhead. Girlfriend or wife? She also worked at a police station.


Yet she hadn’t seen her at any point. She knew because she was extremely alert when it came to identifying stalkers. She wasn’t in on the hunt, so this was some kind of side project, or maybe he was trying to do it all alone and take all the credit.


That would be damn idiotic, but some cops did astound her with their level of stupidity.


Maybe it was the damn janitor with delusions of grandeur.


Now, what of the black haired woman in the jeep that was also following the man.


The woman had noticed Daria, this couldn’t really be helped, the only way for Daria to follow the man was to follow the man, she had only one person working surveillance: Daria Morgendorffer.


Daria continued on past the police station, and watched to see what the woman in the jeep would do.


The woman followed Daria.




She might know something.


Daria headed off down an alley, speeding off past a pair of dumpsters.


She parked the bike behind the furthest and ran back to the first, moving a trash can up to it for cover.


The woman drove past.


Daria waited until she was past the second dumpster before she ran up to it and, like a crab, ran up to her jeep.


The woman was looking at the bike and ahead, but failed to notice Daria until Daria was sat behind her.


“Good morning,” said Daria, as she lifted her gun into view before lowering it so it was out of sight while still pointing at the driver. The woman frowned and barely sighed.


“Why don’t we go somewhere more secluded and talk about why you were following the man I was following?”


“Okay,” said the woman, as she put the jeep into reverse and backed out.


British accent. Tourist or immigrant?


“While you’re driving there, hand me your wallet would you?”


The woman handed Daria her wallet and Daria opened it.


“Lila West. So Lila, you don’t sound local, and you don’t look like you’ve spent very long in the sun at any given time, what are you to my target?”


“What is he to you?” asked the woman. Clearly the woman wan not new to the whole people pointing guns at her thing. Law enforcement, military, security or criminal?


Whatever her background, she was calm. Daria closed her wallet and returned it.


“Annoying. I want to know how annoying he’s likely to get. Describe him.”


The woman turned the vehicle onto the road and selected gear 1, heading back to the main road, she said “Well, he’s got this girlfriend called Rita Bennet, saddled with two kids, Astor and Cody, Dexter could do much better than her, and you by the way so hands off.”


“What else?” asked Daria. Was the woman pretending to have a romantic fixation or was that straight up? If it was straight up, Daria might appear to be a rival.


“He does some beautiful paintings at work, he gave me a couple of them.”


Paintings? A sketch artist? No, that would mean he gave her a couple of sketches. “Paintings of what?”


“Of blood spray. He was attempting to replicate blood splatter patterns from a crime scene.”


A scene examiner. “What else? And have you warned the other woman off of him?”


“Other wo- … You mean his sister?” asked the woman, as she laughed.


His sister? “Does his parents also live there?”


Lila laughed even louder. “No, his mum lives across town and his dad is dead. And the only reason his sister lives with him is because she’s still freaked that her fiancé happened to be the Ice Truck Killer, I mean, imagine, she’s a cop, and she’s dating a fucking serial killer.”


Daria smiled and chuckled “that is actually quite funny, I have to admit.” She then said “I notice you withheld their names.”


“Dexter Morgan, Sister’s Debra Morgan.”


“Okay. You’ve been really helpful. Shopping mall, park up in there.”


Lila turned off the main road at the appropriate junction and entered the car park.


She pushed the button and took the ticket saying “You will refund the parking fee, won’t you?”


“What? … … It’s going to be five bucks at most. Just park up.”


The woman parked in the first available space and Daria produced a small syringe, 3cc capacity. “Head back, open your mouth.” The needle wasn’t suitable for hypodermic injections, it was strictly for spiking drinks.


“What is that?” asked Lila.


“It’s my alternative to killing you. My ONLY alternative.”


Lila sighed and tipped her head back and opened her mouth as instructed.


Daria slowly dripped the liquid into the woman’s nose.


The woman would have little choice but to swallow it, the viscosity was just too low for her to be able to manipulate it, she was definitely swallowing it all.


Daria watched the time in the jeep’s clock and once five minutes had elapsed, she pinched the skin on the woman’s neck hard.


No reaction.


Hopefully she was a rubbish actor.


Daria reclined the seat and folded the woman’s arms.


The liquid was a really strong solution of rohypnol, some of the pimps she had been able to steal things from had drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol, and rohypnol was useful here because it was an amnesiac.


Dexter Morgan. And Debra Morgan was about to marry a serial killer.


There should be something on that somewhere on the web.


As for verifying that Dexter is a blood splatter analyst, that would be difficult without breaking into either the police station or Dexter’s apartment.


It might also be worth checking out Lila’s place, Daria now had Lila’s address, so she can check that out at her leisure.


In fact, now would be a good time to do this.




“So this guy steals a motorbike, and rather than either trash it or sell it to a chop-shop, he leaves it in a back alley?” said Debra.


“I know. It’s like the guy wussed out halfway through delivering the bike, he was like, ‘I’m gonna steal this bike’, he steals it, then he’s like ‘This is wrong, I can’t continue down this line’ but rather than returns it, abandons it,” said Vince, “Probably never made it past 1st base either.”


As if Vince ever managed to get a girl to accept a drink from him. Vince Masuka: Fellow CSI, hornier than a rabbit with near fatal Viagra poisoning.


Dexter returned to his lab with his coffee and resumed his official work. He had finished noting the location of every motel in Miami earlier that morning. Apartments would be a problem because there are just too damn many of them.


Aside from that, motels and hotels have one thing that apartments don’t: A high turnover of occupants. If Daria used an apartment, she was more likely to be noticed because the neighbours would be familiar with the appearance of most the other residents. The landlord is more likely to notice as well, they usually find out what they can about the person renting their property because they don’t want to be saddled with someone who would destroy the flat or drive everyone else out.


Dexter would have to figure out if he could cover more than one motel at a time, because he didn’t know how much time she’d take to complete her survey.


It would help if he had the authority to just walk into a motel and ask for the CCTV footage of the last 48 or so hours. He produced his ID, there would be so many questions …


He could just break into the managers office.


That, on balance, was less risky, he’d be able to avoid being identifiable if anyone did see him.




Lila’s apartment reminded her of Jane’s bedroom, all the works of art, the mish-mash of items …


A drawer full of sobriety chips.


Maybe stalking this Dexter guy was her substitute addiction.


No apparent needle marks, drug addicts tend to have piss poor hand-eye co-ordination and often forget to sterilise the needle and the injection site, so if she was doing drugs, she was either smoking, snorting or … Girl’s teeth were perfect. She was skinny, that could indicate drug use due to the physiological effect of a screwed up metabolism.


Rita and her kids were real, and after looking on line and following up with a visit to the library, it seemed that Debra Morgan really was a cop and really did almost marry the Ice Truck Killer.


The set up and motivation would be too elaborate and too pointless, so Daria decided to trust what the evidence indicated for now.


She’d have to talk to people to find out what the actual state of relations were between Dexter and anyone else, so she had no way of projecting the probability that Lila would tell Dexter of her encounter with Daria. There was a chance Lila might end up with no choice but to reveal what she could remember to the police. The fact she was pretty calm throughout her encounter with Daria mean that the memory of Daria should be too fresh to be unaffected by the rohypnol. If the woman had been more agitated, the memory might have stuck a little more hard.


Okay, next stop: Dexter’s apartment.


Daria would have to find out if Dexter held the qualifications to be a blood splatter analyst.


She headed out from Lila’s apartment, securing it just the way she had found it.


It took a while to go anywhere on foot, but she couldn’t spend too long in any stolen vehicle or she would attract attention.


After her long trek, she arrived at Dexter’s apartment, neither his nor Debra’s vehicle was around, so for the moment she assumed his apartment was vacant.


She couldn’t see anyone paying particular attention to the block, so she proceeded with her break in.


She picked the lock and entered the apartment.




There’s that neatness again.


She knew his computer might log her activity on it, but she couldn’t find what she needed without using it.


As the computer booted up, she took the time to look through the drawers.


One folder held a series of letters from colleges telling him he had passed the veterinary medicine courses, pharmacology courses, there were also certificates in … martial arts?




She entered ‘CV’ into the file search.


She found three versions, dated in sequence, she figured the earlier two were superseded by the third.


She checked out the third one.


He was definitely qualified for scene examination.


And just about everything else on the planet.


She decided to check out his internet history.


Lots and lots of traffic to AFIS, CODIS, MDPD …


He could be a vigilante.


There was no sign of the guy having any kind of hobby.


She opened another draw and found some sobriety chips.


Is that where Lila latched onto him?


He could be substituting homework for a drug addiction.


But with his expertise in pharmacology, just why, why, WHY would he get on drugs to begin with?


He’d attended five or six sessions, these were weekly sessions, Lila had attended more than twenty.


Well, there wasn’t much more for Daria to go on.




What would Debra think of Dexter’s obsession with police work?


Maybe he had concealed items he’d use for his hobby somewhere?


She turned off the computer and closed everything, placing the chair where she had found it.


Where to hide stuff?


Well, the air conditioning unit was right next to her, might as well start there.


She pulled it out and immediately found a wooden box.


She removed the wooden box and opened it.




She removed one.


The material was red.




No labels.


Why no labels?


To minimise the probability of the slides being connected to criminal activity?




Daria closed the box and returned it.


She placed the air conditioning unit back where she had found it and moved on.


She found a bag in the bottom of his wardrobe.


Duct tape.


Polyethylene dust sheets.


Hypodermic needles and bottles of Etorphine.


She found a tool bundle and unrolled it.


Knives, meat cleavers, bone saws, scalpels …


Dexter was now looking more and more like a serial killer.


The alcoholics anonymous or narcotics anonymous meetings may relate to another project.


His dad was dead. Was his death the result of a crime? Dexter’s key stressor?


Daria packed everything back up and returned it to it’s hiding place.


There had been more than forty slides in the box.


If those slides were trophies, that’s more than forty kills.


He was highly adept at killing people and getting away with it.



And he was interested in her. He wanted her blood, on a slide, in his collection.



This changes things.




Quinn turned up at the school. The demonstration had been set up in the gymnasium in advance of her arrival.


Three kids and the school principal were stood there.


Quinn quickly checked her watch and said “how long should we wait for the others?”


“There are no others,” said the principal.


“Eh? How come?”


“Apparently the fact you’re gay pissed them off, they feel you’re an inappropriate influence.”


Quinn had never hidden the fact she was gay, she never went into details, and neither did Sandi, and the paparazzi, of course, made up all sorts of things about Quinn and Sandi’s sex life, but Quinn hadn’t felt a need to hide it since high school.


“Right,” said Quinn. She was surprised at how shocked she sounded.


“Are you really a lesbo?” asked one of the kids.


“Have you brought any strap-on dicks with you?” asked another.


“Yeah, I can see where having an openly lesbian guest teacher could be a problem: They’re not worried about their kids being traumatised, they’re worried about weeks of non-stop lesbian sex jokes at the dinner table,” said Quinn. “Okay, you probably have more questions about lesbian sex than you have about gang wars, but that’s not what I’m here for, so remember the gang war questions and focus on those only.”




Daria opened the freezer portion of the refrigeration unit.


The power line entering the freezer was the only clue anyone would have that anything unusual was going on.


The power lead connected to a neon transformer she had stolen from a previous city, and that boosted the voltage high enough that it would jump between the two wires at the top of the bottle.


The bottle was upside down over a jar, the nitrogen dioxide dripped into that.


She had about 300mL.


She unplugged the system and packed the transformer up.


She then removed the jar and put the perforated lid on it.


She then retrieved the improvised test tube rack of capped lengths of copper pipe. The lengths of pipe had crushed firelighters in them. She uses the radiator behind the fridge to heat the nitrogen dioxide, that then travels along some plastic pipes to the copper pipes, that slowly nitrates the hexamine to make RDX.


The nice thing about RDX is that it can be used on it’s own as a detonator filler.


Another explosive material, also an oxidiser, was in a bedside cabinet in an oven tray. She used salt and made sodium perchlorate from it. She checked on that and saw the water level had dropped about a third, and that crystals were starting to form.


She often had to make new electrodes for this process. She could use copper wire for the manufacturing of nitrogen dioxide because there was no way for the copper to migrate from one electrode to another or to dissolve, and it’s oxide was a solid at room temperature, but in a liquid the electrodes would dissolve. Carbon required such an ionization energy that she wasn’t worried about it dissolving in the manufacturing of the perchlorates, whereas carbon dioxide was a gas and using carbon to manufacture nitrogen dioxide would erode the electrodes.


She sat on her bed and lay back.


She needed some sleep.


Her sleep cycle was roughly nocturnal, but she didn’t really sleep that deeply. She grabbed whatever sleep she could when she could.


Having someone as skilled as Dexter chasing her was agitating the crap out of her.


Dexter had a hypodermic syringe, but no darts or anything for launching darts. She couldn’t be certain, but that indicated his favourite method of capturing people was to get right up on them and inject them direct.


He’d want surprise, so he’d set up an ambush.


He’d therefore need to know where she’s going to be so he can get there before she does.


This was going to be a serious pain in the ass. Maybe she should kill him first.


What were his targeting criteria anyhow?


She should have returned to his computer and looked.




She had been so freaked out. …


She was STILL freaked out.


Maybe she should abandon Miami this time around.


Jujitsu wasn’t that impressive next to MCMAP, and Daria had kicked Kerry Thompson’s instructor qualified in MCMAP ass, so Daria should be able to take him in a fight, but the element of surprise undercuts everything.


What was that about warriors and egomania?


She didn’t want to let someone else dictate her actions, but if she died, she would no longer be able to kill pimps.


She might be able to do a partial job now, but if she only part does a city, than pimps would wonder just what it is about Miami that scared her off?


No. If she cancelled Miami, it would be a total disaster.


She had always been in danger from every law enforcement agency in the United States, but she had always remained hidden from them. This one serial killer, on the other hand, knows she’s here and knows she’s planning to kill every pimp in the city.


He may not know her requirements for electricity and somewhere she can leave explosives plants running, and he hopefully doesn’t know she knows he’s after him.


She needed a new plan.




Rita insisted on seeing Dexter on nights he attended Narcotics Anonymous.


This was to verify that he had attended, and that he was still on course.


Why the hell had he told Rita he was addicted to drugs? His apparent expertise in pharmacology could EASILLY be explained away by conversations with other CSIs, he’d basically gone and complicated the ever living fuck out of things.


Of course if he hadn’t lost his temper and bounced a frying pan off Paul’s head in Rita’s kitchen. … Paul: Colossal prick, Rita’s ex-husband. He shows up after doing time for beating the shit out of Rita, he starts manipulating the kids to get them to compel Rita into letting him back into their lives. He pulls this stunt where Rita would be forced to allow him partial custody of their children, then he goes and threatens Rita right next to him …


So, Dexter knocks him out, drags him to a motel, sets him up with a skin full of Heroin with a needle and other gear so he’d be in violation of parole. Automatically back in prison pending a future parole hearing.


Problem was he managed to convince Rita he was set up by Dexter, and then Paul then does a death by inmate (walk up to the biggest, most psychotic fuck ugly prisoner in there and starts a fight), and now Rita wonders how Dexter knows how to set people up like that.


Of course, if she had asked “Are you doing drugs” instead of “Are you an addict,” his sarcasm might not have gotten the better of him, and he wouldn’t have to be attending these mind numbingly boring assed utterly irrelevant …


He SO needed to kill someone.


And there was Lila’s apparent interest in his deep dark secrets. He made up this cover story for the group, first night, Lila takes him out for a cup of coffee, and the first thing she asks is “So tell me: Exactly how full of shit are you?”


Did Lila know he’s a serial killer?


He collected his sobriety chip, shook hands with other people, where was Lila?




He drove off to Rita’s house.


He would need to sneak out once Rita fell asleep and break into those motels, he had to find which one Daria was staying at before she could attack.


Then he’d have to return before Rita wakes up and finds him missing.


She finds him missing, she’ll assume he’s out scoring drugs.


Well, actually, being excluded from Rita’s house wouldn’t be that much of a problem in the short term.


He could play this just fine, his emotional connection was fake … well … fake-ish … well … he wanted to assure Rita and her kid’s survival prospects as far as possible.


Maybe he wasn’t a true sociopath after all?


Well, this was all fascinating, but this introspection was a distraction, he had work to do.




Sandi finally asked “Are you feeling okay Quinn?”


Quinn looked up from her plate of Tagliatelle Carbonara she had been playing with.


“Yeah. … Fine.” Quinn had been silent all night, looking somewhat sullen.


Sandi hoped it wasn’t the food, she had thought she was quite a good cook. But then so did Quinn’s dad. Sandi had also hoped that being naked except for a waist length corset and locking en-Pointe heels would arouse the other hunger Quinn normally felt.




Quinn finally said “Some of the parents at that school I spoke at, actually most of the parents at that school I spoke at, cancelled their permission because they found out I was gay. How is it … No, I know a lot of people are still homophobic, I’m aware our mail department still finds bombs, poisons and other dangerous or menacing letters addressed to us … I just can’t get my head around the fact … I don’t know, I just … How is it still such a problem?”


“I don’t know what to tell you. … I’m sorry you had to go through that,” said Sandi.


“Just our products sell just as well in the ‘Bible Belt’ as anywhere else, hell, Saudi Arabia and Iran can’t quell public demand and those two are about as homophobic and misogynistic as they get,” said Quinn.


“Well, if you pretend I’m them, maybe you can feel better,” said Sandi.


“Appreciated, but that’s the wrong way to deal with it. I only want to hurt you for sexual pleasure, I do it to release frustration, I could end up going way too far and … … It just doesn’t motivate me, it’s a distraction to think about it. It displaces any fantasy I have. … I’m sorry.”


Sandi nodded. … She wished there was something she could do to cheer Quinn up. Times like this, all Sandi could do was wait and hope Quinn would get sufficiently over it enough to still enjoy life.




The clatter of the cans falling from the top of the door woke Daria.


She had taped one can to the frame over the top and placed another can on top of it. As soon as someone opens the door, a load of noise is made, drawing Daria’s attention to the fact someone is entering the motel room while she’s asleep or taking a shit.


Had Dexter found her? This was going to be complicated.


Daria pulled her gun and Groucho-walked up to the bedroom door. She emerged, aiming her gun at whoever had opened the door.


The cleaning lady screamed and fell down beside her cart, saying something in Spanish.


Daria holstered her weapon and said “I left a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the handle.”


“My boss said this room was empty,” said the cleaning lady.


“Okay, you know that book I signed when I leased out this room and took the room key from the office?” asked Daria.


“I’ll check,” she said as she left.


Daria returned to the bedroom and sat down on the bed.


She didn’t want to bug out, but as a history nerd, Daria knew full well that history was littered with the embarrassment of leaders who had pushed things just a little too far. Or a lot. Operation Barbarosa sprang to mind. Operation Market Garden. Saddam invading Kuwait. She could get seriously dead from this.


On the other hand, if she didn’t push herself every now and then, she gets rusty. If she could do this even with Dexter hunting her, that would be a really sweet victory.


There was only one place he could really ambush her, and that was entering or exiting her motel room.


That’s not particularly insurmountable.


She should be able to do this.




Dexter broke into the first Motel on his list.


It was silent. No TV, radio, no nothing.


He entered the cabinet with the stack of VCRs and shelf of VHS tapes.


He found the one looking at the rooms and turned on the screen. He had a rough idea when Daria is likely to leave and return to her apartment.


He might have asked Debra for her insight into the work habits of prostitutes, before moving to homicide, Debra was working Vice as a decoy prostitute.


He tried to think of a female detective that hadn’t had to work vice as a decoy whore. … … … … … … … … … Nope.


He rewound the tape and looked for his target.




Dexter returned to Rita’s place, hoping to sneak in without alerting her to the fact he was returning from a midnight excursion.


The drug addiction story meant that Rita won’t suspect Dexter of being a serial killer, so that was a plus. For now Doakes, having followed Dexter to a meeting one night, was also convinced Dexter was a drug addict, that was also a plus. Debra might hear of it, that might cause her to search Dexter’s apartment for hidden Heroin stashes, causing her to find the slides matching the bodies sitting in their morgue tent and the tools with striations matching those found on the bones of the bodies sitting in their morgue tent, that was a minus.


He just got to Rita’s bed, which was empty, when he heard the back door, which he’d snuck in through, open and close.


Rita entered.


She did not look at all happy.


“How much money did you steal?”


Not ‘Where have you been?’ but ‘How much money did you steal?’


Oooh fuck.


Dexter eventually said “None. I couldn’t go through with it.”


“So you’re in recovery, yet you’re looking to fund your habit?” asked Rita.


“Actually this was going to be a substitute addiction. Was going to steal money, but I decided against it because it would draw too much attention.”


Since when does Rita know how to stalk people? Okay, back to the topic on hand: Rita seeing Dexter committing some felony offences.


“I see,” she said. “Dexter, this is not a healthy way to go. And … … It’s creepy. … … Go home. We’ll talk later.”


“But … I … ” Dexter stammered, feigning reluctance. He then sighed, nodded and left. This should be acceptable as long as Rita don’t report him, but at the moment there’s no evidence Dexter actually did anything. He was tops at counter-forensics.


Rita followed him on foot, if he drives the next night, he should be able to keep Rita off him while he hunts Daria.




Daria started her final approach to her motel room again.


She walked around the back of the motel and hid around a bush for ten minutes, holding her gun ready to react.


If Dexter was going to ambush her at this point, he would walk right past her.


The ten minutes elapsed with nothing happening.


Daria continued onto her motel room, re-holstering her gun, but keeping one hand on it as she used her key to open the door.


She entered and closed the door.


She waited there for ten minutes, watching everywhere in silence.


She thought she saw some movement at one door and she Groucho-walked up to it, her flashlight in her other hand braced against her gun hand. She passed the door and checked around her again.


She thought she saw him in her peripheral vision and just about stopped herself from putting a round in the back wall of the motel.


She turned to face outwards, glancing both ways.


If he was in the motel room, she needed a reliable way to diagnose it. There were three rooms, the bedroom, the bathroom, and the lounge/kitchen area.


She entered the bathroom.


There was no place big enough to conceal him within it.


She moved back into the lounge/Kitchen area.


The cupboard under the one and a half bowl sink was big enough to conceal him, nowhere else was sufficient in the area she was now clearing.


She kept glancing back at the two other rooms to try to catch him if he was hiding in the bedroom and was trying to move from the bedroom to the bathroom.


She completely cleared the Lounge/Kitchen room and finally checked the bedroom.


Wardrobes first, being injected in the ankles would give her more time to respond than being injected through the carotid artery, she could unload the clip through the bed and might even have time to recharge the gun and burn off a second clip.


Beds were next.


Okay, he wasn’t there. At all.


She thought.


Man this was annoying.


She set up her intruder alarm and decided to make use of the adrenaline and cortisol saturating her blood plasma by shadow-sparring, turning the TV on and selecting a news channel so she could absorb anything that might be of interest to her. Quinn showing up in Miami for instance. If that were to happen, she would Definitely have to call it off. One serial killer was enough of an ass pain to her, every federal agency saturating Miami was certain doom.


About an hour later, she felt sleepy enough to try to grab some sleep and had seen nothing on the news to interest her.




Dexter was on his way to another motel.


Doakes hadn’t appeared in any of his rear view or wing mirrors since he had shown up at the NA meeting and told him to stay on the wagon and “By the way: You owe me a set of Michelins you motherfucker!”


He was looking out for his girlfriend Rita this time.


Contrary to popular belief, shaking a tail is not about driving at warp 10 through narrow streets and back alleys. That’ll just get you on the news and just about every ‘Police, Camera, Action!’ variation in existence. The way to shake a tail is to drive like an idiot. Signal the wrong way, change lanes erratically, cut people off. You basically keep driving like an idiot until the other guy makes a mistake.


But luckily no one was following him tonight.


Game on.




Daria woke up.


It had been a week and a half since she had arrived in Miami, and she had completed the groundwork for the overt stuff and the subtle phase kills.


Now it was time to go overt. All she had to do was what she normally did, then she’d be out of Miami and away from Dexter.


She tooled up and hydrated, and packed up anything that could indicate her presence.


Now it was time to go to the forward attack position.




Dexter was on foot, lock pick kit in hand when he heard an explosion.


He didn’t see any fireballs, but he knew it had to be fairly close, maybe a block away, they were in a residential area.


He then heard another explosion.


Then he heard some gunshots.


Had it started?


He ran back to the people carrier and drove towards where he had heard the noise.


He found two cats lodged in the backs of cars parked on the driveways of ambient houses, the side windows were shattered and there was blood splattered on the inside of the windscreens. The fender was also blown out. The charges were small and planted under the cabin.




He drove past five or six dead bodies.


He then noticed some bodies on the porch of a house.


He could just about hear the gunshots through his car windows.


He then saw Daria emerge and glance in his direction.


She took a second look, and obviously recognised him, but she shrugged and kept on running.


She was committed to the mission, and didn’t consider him any greater threat than her targets. She might also have decided she would prefer to have him live. Her mistake.




Dexter was following her.


If he was still on her ass when she was leaving, she would shoot out his tyres so he’d have to follow on foot. If she couldn’t lose him on foot, she might need to slot the guy.


For now she was perfectly happy to let him watch provided he didn’t interfere.


She continued onto her next target. A car full of men appeared in front of her, they were leaning out pointing guns at her. She selected full auto on the micro-Uzi she was currently carrying.


She shot at the radiator first. That was where the bullet fuse for the bomb she had planted was located. The driver exploded, and the gangsters leaning out the side looked shocked at the apparent effect Daria’s bullets had possessed.


Daria swept from left to right across the car, taking full advantage of their inattention to her. She then continued on.




Dexter pulled up in the next parking lot and parked to continue on by foot. He was fit enough that he should be able to follow on foot without Daria getting away from him, and he wasn’t shooting up every brothel he came across, so he’d have more rest breaks than she did. The difference now was that he was able to use ambient cover or concealment more effectively.


This was his last chance to grab her, as soon as she was done shooting up the city, she would be gone.


He caught up with the sound of gunfire.


He saw her pull a tube from her backpack and flip a switch that seemed to lift a pair of sights.


No way …


She pushed a button on it and an apparent bolt of lightning shot from the button to the back of the device. A fireball then shot out the back, unaffected by gravity for a full half second until the heat finally managed to draw it up.


The car full of gangsters she was aiming for blew up.


The gasoline tank hadn’t been hit, but the cabin no longer had any windows, the roof was now miss-shaped, and the driver was missing his torso.


Some of the crime scenes had shown up fragments of that looked suspiciously like a rocket nozzle, but that was thought to be off a firework.


No witnesses had described a rocket launcher. It didn’t resemble any specific type he’d seen, in fact the colour looked wrong, she’d made it herself. She shot the nearest two bodies she ran past, just to make sure. White butterfly effect had probably killed them, but she obviously wasn’t taking chances.


He continued to chase her, holding his breath as he ran through the smoke. It smelt like sea spray. Sodium Perchlorate: Lose the oxygen and you get salt.


Makes a handy tertiary explosive too.


The warheads probably weren’t designed to blast through armour, but then they didn’t need to be.




Daria finished off her last target and ran to her disposal site located in a back alley that garbage men feared to tread.


The rocket launcher tubes she had retained in order to reduce the probability of the police working out she was packing rockets. That was pretty much the only thing she had to worry about, but you never know what you’d need to burn, so she always had one ready.


The disposal site consisted of a trash can with a bag of gasoline in it, she’d rigged a lid that sunk into the can with a trash bag on top of it to stop anyone else adding anything to it. She dropped what she wanted to burn in it and followed it up with a flare, five seconds, fire starts, then she’s out of there. She pulled yet more garbage bags off of her escape vehicle.


She got on her escape vehicle, a small motorcycle she had stolen in anticipation of her escape. She started it and was about to shift it out of neutral when she felt a sting in the side of her neck and the feeling of pressure in her carotid artery.


“Damn iiiiiii-” she just about got out before the etorphine took effect.




Dexter hit the kill switch on the motorbike and pulled Daria off it.


He carried her over his shoulders until he found what seemed like a good place to hide her until he could retrieve his car and transport her to a suitable kill room.


If anyone asked why he was leaving the crime scene, he’d say he needed more supplies.


Handily enough, that was true. The crime scene was fucking massive. Four city blocks. He’d have to pack the car floor to ceiling with data sticks, swabs, sketchpads, and enough coffee to keep him up all night and the next few days. The one good thing about the mess Daria had made was this excuse.




Daria awoke to the feeling of dampness in bands across her torso, arms, legs, forehead, and opened her eyes to the sight of plastic on the ceiling.


After trying to move she found she couldn’t. Not a millimetre.


“Aww for fuck’s sake.”


“That was quite a fight you gave me,” said Dexter as he got up and walked over to Daria.


“Apparently not enough. You know I’d have been okay with leaving you alive. Strictly speaking I should have killed you to mitigate the risk of this happening to me. I know where you live, I know where you keep your blood slides and your knives, I know you use etorphine to knock people out … It seemed important to let you live. … It still does.”


“So you’re not pissed off about the fact you’re about to die?” asked Dexter. Daria noted the plastic apron, the plastic suit, the rubber gloves, the face visor, everything designed to keep her blood from linking him to her murder.


“Well … Hmmm. … YEAH I’M PISSED! … … How much time have you allotted?”


“Ten minutes,” said Dexter.


“Guess I’d better hurry then. I still consider you to be a useful asset, whatever you think of me. I’ll tell you everything I know about what I do, it’s possible none of it will be of use, but you never know, so listen up,” said Daria.


Dexter listened to her talk.




Dexter arrived home.


He hadn’t seen Debra’s car outside, but he decided to check her room to make sure she was out.


If she wasn’t, he’d just make out that he was checking to see if the room needed cleaning, stating the absence of her car made him think she was out.


But the room was empty, so Debra was indeed out.


Dexter removed the air conditioning unit and removed the wooden box.


He opened the box and removed the slide with Daria’s blood from his pocket.


He stared at his newest trophy as he remembered how Daria had seemed to just stare blankly at the ceiling as his knife had plunged into her chest. He had felt her convulse as she bled out through the knife, her heart further tearing itself on the blade as it had reacted to the impalement.


It was just like any other kill, one minute she was a conscious, living being. Then he pushed his knife into her chest, skewering her heart, and her personality, her experience, everything ingrained in her brain, her thought processes froze as there was no longer any oxygen to react with the glucose, and she had felt the process, she knew everything that made her her was being lost. Then the irreversible tissue necrosis that made it permanent.


The arms and legs that had earlier that night been trying to defeat him were now dead as he wistfully sliced through the skin, muscle, tendons and cartilage linking her limbs together. Much easier and neater than going through bone.


That’s what he did. Take live people and turn everything that they were into five bags of alligator food.


Something felt a little off though.


What was it?


Probably the fact that in some ways Daria was just like him.


Not completely, mind. He kept it low key and only went after murderers. She went after pimps and made a public statement about it.


But yeah. That must be what felt off about it.


His compulsion had been sated once again. He put the slide in the box and closed it.


He placed the box back in it’s hiding place and returned the air conditioner to it’s position.


He picked up his bag of knives and went to his room to put it away.




“Sign here,” said the UPS currier.


Ian Jarrod signed the document and the currier turned and left.


The guy had been nervous when he had knocked on the door and hand asked if he was Ian Jarrod.


Not a surprise, this being a Crip neighbourhood and all, no cop car ventured within three blocks of this house. It was not at all surprising or even offensive, in fact it was extremely gratifying that the currier couldn’t leave fast enough.


He chuckled, and then he turned his attention to the box addressed to him from ‘You Know Who’.


He didn’t know who. Who did he know that was in the habit of shipping cube metre capacity boxes to him?


He pulled his switch knife and cut away the tape.


There was an inner box of PS foam.


The foam was 100mm thick.


Inside the foam was a folded up human.


“The fuck?” he asked as he tipped the box over towards the human content’s back, and when the head fell back, he noticed that it was a woman in her late twenties, not bad looking though, kind of strong, maybe he could make her into a dominatrix, although that would require her to be more switched on than what a heroin user would be, so he would have to addict her to crack.


The woman was in expensive looking lingerie, she had a nasal gastric tube going up her nose, a plastic bottle seemed to be part full of stomach acid, there was a tube in her mouth, from some of the movies he had seen, he knew it led into her trachea, there was a thinner tube going up through that connected to an oxygen cylinder. Whoever had packed her had taken every precaution to prevent her from asphyxiating as she was delivered to him.


He remembered that the box had no air holes and the position might not have allowed her to breathe while she was sedated.


There was a box underneath her labelled ‘IMPORTANT: CHECK CONTENTS BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE!’


He cut open the box and found a note, an antiseptic wipe, and a syringe.


“In this syringe is the correct dose of cocaine to awaken your gift. Wake her up before removing the tubes. Feel free to test her for disease but I assure you she is clean of all disease. Have fun with her.”


No signature or anything saying who had sent her. That bothered him a little, but who was he to turn down free pussy?


She might know something, he could always beat the information out of her.


He opened the wipe and sterilised a spot over her carotid artery.


He then removed the cap and checked there was no air in the needle before he pushed it into her neck and pushed the plunger forward.


The woman woke up.


She wore a relieved expression as she saw confirmation that she had successfully hypnotised Dexter into sending her to any pimp he could find in another city.


She also decided to never do Miami again. You survive getting caught by the Bay Harbour Butcher exactly once if at all.