Day Nine  part 1

Amanda was dozing in her bed, her mother calling her to come down for breakfast, there was a knock at the door.

“Good morning madam, I am sorry to bother you, the house next but one.”

“Yes, it’s empty, no one lived there for ages.”

“We are just checking on empty properties, wonder if you have seen anyone coming and going the past few days. You know, perhaps someone new looking around, that sort of thing?”

“Excuse me a minute officer,” Joyce Mills turned away from the door, “Amanda Mills will you get your but down these stairs now.” She turned back to the policeman. “Teenagers. Gone for hours on end and then comes home at all hours and sleeps for hours. Why are you asking about the house?”

“Well, a few weeks a go there was a little spate of thefts from unattended properties, so we are just working our way round all the properties that we know are empty, check if they are still secure, asking the neighbours, just that sort of thing. I stress it was a few weeks ago now madam, and it was unattended properties, not ones where people had just popped out. Good Morning Miss,” He nodded to Amanda who had come to the door, a simple dress on, eyes squinting in the sunlight.

“Don’t s’pose you have seen anyone about at all have you miss?”

Amanda looked at him and then there was a definite pause as she stopped and thought about what he said, and then she answered. “No,” and she walked back into the house to look for her breakfast.

‘Thank you Miss,” the policeman called, “oh, madam,” he added, “you haven’t heard of any large black cats hereabouts have you, or even seen one?”

“Cat? Round here, no, not that I’ve seen. There’s plenty of mogs around, but none black as far as I know.”

“Ah, right madam, no, I mean something a bit bigger than a domestic cat. Okay, thank you for your time.”

Joyce turned to her daughter, “large black cats,” she said, “stuff and nonsense. This is England, not Africa, we don’t have large black cat’s here.”

Bones banged the table. “Right come on everyone, sit lets see where we are, plan for today. I know that Dick wants to say something on the DNA, but from what I saw in the summary report, I think we will take that last. Right, Hilt woman’s house?”

Jason String responded, “Naff all Guv, it and the lane have been wired up like David Bowie for Sound and Vision and not even a wasp fart.”

“Not a surprise really, that coop has been blown. So, this morning I want Rebekah and Christine, our two representatives of the fairer side of the force to go through her house with a fine tooth comb. I don’t want to know what is there, I want to know what isn’t that should be. We know she went back, what for? Check for hidden safes, loose floorboards, post or letters and bills to that address but with a slightly different name, anything that means we have missed her when she has been under our noses.”

Bones turned away from the women and directed the next to Chris.

“Right, empty properties and vulnerable people. Chris, anything?”

“No sir. 3 out of the 10 vulnerable were barking mad, and from the reports back the poor souls had absolutely no idea what they were being asked, or even what planet they were on. Really sir, those people should be in a home, they really are not safe to be home on there own. Bit of a well done to the constable concerned sir, he managed to get into each house and rummage around checking that there were no extra unaccounted for crockery, unlocked doors and windows, mismatched shoes in the hall, that sort of thing. Good bit of initiative I thought sir, but, end of the day, nothing untoward at the 10 vulnerables, and nothing at the empty properties. All but two show signs of forced entry or any unexpected use, the other two were being used by local youths for drugs. Council are re-securing those two properties this morning sir. Bust I am afraid, they haven’t gone to ground in an empty property or in the vulnerables.”

“Okay, how is the traffic monitoring?”

Gurpindar responded to this one, “nothing sir, there are being no reports of Vanessa Hilt on the bridges, or on the approaches. I am suggesting that we extend it to the motorway, sir, we have three camera’s that we can include. Typically they are not being pointing in the same direction, so we should hit both north and south bound carriageways.”

“Good call Gur, can we also go back and look at old footage over the last week?”

“Yes sir, but that is done by the system looking at the backups, we can being implementing the online lookup almost straight away. It is my guess the old data will be taking some time.”

“Okay Gur, leave it in your hands. Right okay Dick, your turn, DNA and SOC?”

Dick responded. “Okay sir, sorry, this is a bit complicated and please bear with me, you may find some of this confusing. The full DNA Strings have now been analysed properly , please, believe me, I don’t believe me. Right. Ancient DNA man, really is Ancient DNA man. The DNA that is leaving behind is positively confirmed as a strand of DNA that did die out in around 5800 BC. Sir, We have his sample from several sources, and everyone returns the same results. Sir, there is also evidence of a partial third helix. This is a total unknown, and the suggestion was that this was not an old DNA but actually a new variant, but for one thing.”

Dick Jones paused and took a sip from his tea, pulled a face in disgust and carried on. “Sir the results are back from the full analysis of Ancient DNA Man’s semen samples, again, we have more than one. Sir, it predates 1945.” He paused again. “Christ this fucking tea is awful,” and put the cup down before carrying on. “Every living thing on this planet born or grown since the Manhatten Project, and thus the exploding of nuclear devices in the atmosphere has something called a nucleoid signature. Pretty much by looking at what these are in our blood the boffins can tell when since 1945 we were born and lived. Every bomb apparently has different characteristics. It is way over my head, but believe me. So, Ancient DNA man has no nucleoid signature. Vanessa Hilt has it, the cat has it, the female, I’ll come on to that later, from the crypt has it, but not Ancient DNA man.”

He had the total attention of everyone in the room. No one was looking to but in or ask questions, they were just focussed on Dick Jones’ words.

“It now get’s weirder. The cat and the unknown donor in the crypt. They both share things called aliels, which are DNA markers. Now we share about 97%, apparently, with chimpanzees, and we both know how many miles away from monkee’s we are. The Cat and the unknown donor are over 99% identical. That, biologically is unknown. Oh, and both the cat and the unknown donor are female. The cat at first looks to be Panterus Pantera, and this is what is comes up with a quick DNA pass, but bizarrely, detailed analysis shows this not to be the case at all, as I say, closer to human than cat. Equally, the unknown donor shows to be a human female, but then detailed analysis shows her to have feline DNA elements.”

Dick paused, reached for his tea and then thought better of it. He continued. “ And then we come to the best bit. Vanessa Hilt’s DNA has changed. The first sample that she took and handed in, if we are to believe that it is indeed hers, after all, we have no proof that it is in fact hers, is different from the sample taken from the boathouse. It has in fact begun to demonstrate a third helix.”

Dick shut his note book and leaned back in his chair. There was a silence in the room than Bentley spoke. “I though time travel was impossible.”

Bones responded quickly. “Come on Chris you should know better. Right boys and girls, we do not know what we have here. There are some things we do know, DNA is an inexact science. This may be the first case that actually proves something new, something that we do not already know. We also know that radiation adversely affects DNA, there are two Nuclear Power stations in the area, perhaps something leaking from there has affected one person, who in turn has affected a second. We know that cats and humans are both mammals, we know they are not the same mammal, and so some girl has a secret pet panther, but somehow the DNA from each other has become corrupted, again , this may be the result of the corruption possibly caused by Ancient DNA man.”

The room was full of blank looks. “For christ’s sake people. You are police detectives, the answer is not in a comic book or TV Sci Fi programme. Go with the facts, we may not have the answers to what the facts mean, but don’t go mixing fiction with fact.”

Christine Jackson looked at Chris Bentley and smiled. She remembered his bollocking of her where a similar turn of phrase was used.

“Bekah, let’s get to Hilt’s house” she said and stood up to leave. Most of Dick Jones report had gone straight over her head, but a good rummage through another woman’s knickers drawer was something she could understand. As they left she heard someone humming the Doctor Who theme tune.