What is Found in the Night


* Part 1 *


"It has been several weeks since Ms. Hawthorne's last correspondence. Elizabeth and I caught a flight to visit her residence in Egypt. We know that she set a bad impression on the locals during her initial arrival and made several enemies but we had been reassured that the letters sent by her assistant were greatly exaggerated. Now we fear that those initial fears may have been well-founded.
Another concern of our is that Boris, her assistant, is not a member of the Society and has yet to be interviewed for reliability and trustworthiness. Ms. Hawthorne is well known as someone who manages to keep bad company, we hope that Boris did not have a hand in whatever may have transpired. We are pulling up to her property now, the beauty of which is surprising. Like an oasis in the desert a small manor stands before my view." Wesley wrote in his journal as he gazed out of the window of the car. "We're here." Elizabeth remarked while quickly opening the door and leaping from the hastily stopped vehicle. "So it is." Wesley mumbled to himself as he followed slowly behind her.
They both took a moment to stretch before approaching the door.
"I hope she's okay." Elizabeth commented as they neared the location. "You always hated her, why care now?"
"I did not hate her! I just thought she was someone I wouldn't like to have around, on any regular basis." She retorted. Wesley chuckled.
"I think that qualifies." He responded.
They both frowned as they looked at the slightly open door of the manor.
"I know she's awfully trusting..." Wesley began.
"Stupid you mean. Who leaves their door not only unlocked, but already open too?" She remarked snidely. "Perhaps this part of Egypt isn't like our home in Orlando. Maybe she's safer than we think?" He responded.

They pushed the door open to see that the splendor of the exterior oasis was lost on the inside. Like discovering that it was all a mirage, the interior was an absolute disaster.
Broken objects which may have once held value, books, letters, plants with their soil spread out like the ocean of sand outside, and all manner of indistinguishable objects and materials lay across the floor before them.
"You first." Wesley said coyly. Elizabeth gave him a glare but proceeded to enter first after all.

Once inside they could see that some rooms of the manor lay largely untouched and in remarkable condition. It was the trail of disaster that laid out the path they would follow. The markings of nails and blood were found in spots along the way, where one involved in a

struggle might have tried to grasp on to in order to avoid being dragged to an unpleasant destination.
It was becoming clear that there was indeed cause for concern and as they arrived at the start of the struggle they had definite reason to fear for Deborah Hawthorne.
The body of a man lay in the floor with deep bloody wounds gouged into his flesh as is stabbed many times over by a blade of significant size. Despite his disfigurement we could recognize that this was indeed the assistant Boris. Deborah had sent them photographs many times over of her "victories" in finding some artifact that she believed held significance. Boris was often there to accompany her through them and appeared in many of those photographs.

Elizabeth now began to play the role of detective and analyzed the scene of the crime for more information. She was quick on the discovery too. With a piece of cloak found here, the tip of a blade over there, and Deborah's journal which Wesley began to pour over.
"It is really understandable why she never has had a reliable friend." Wesley remarked as Elizabeth continued to pour her gaze across every surface.
"I told you. The woman's awf-" Liz began. "Yes, yes, I know." Wesley interrupted dismissively causing Elizabeth to stop what she was doing and stand up straight. Clenching and shifting her jaw she bit her tongue to keep from leaving a snarky response. "Yes. Remember when you put her on team Charlie for that one year? What a disaster that was..." She replied with a smirk. Turning back to her work she couldn't see her husband looking at her as he grinned and chuckled.

"Deborah's last message in her journal was concerning some dig site in Greece, and have you seen a tablet and vase intact anywhere?" He asked looking around at the mess.
"None that look interesting. There's a lot of clues here about who attacked her, but nothing that would tell me who specifically was here. We should compare her notes and what I've found." She responded, shaking her head in disappointment.
"Agreed, but let's do it on the way back home?"
"Definitely. We'll send Alpha out to find the dig site."
"Send Beta too. I think this could be a dangerous one."
"As long as Charlie isn't involved we're fine." Elizabeth finished, hoping to further ease the seriousness of the situation. Wesley laughed out loud in reply and the two left for home.