He ran through that alley, going towards where he saw that shadow pass. He had no plan in mind, no weapons on him. He just had a rage flowing through his veins and a sense of revenge.
He didn't know what he was doing.
Running through the intersecting alleys with all he had, he reached a dead end. Caved by two buildings and a wall ahead, he was left alone in the narrow alley.
Suddenly, he turned very uncomfortable. He could sense someone watching him, his skin felt like it was burning. He looked around, no one.
Sweat started dripping down his forehead. Everything around him was still, he could hear nothing.
Elliott heard his heartbeat gradually decreasing. His heart was stopping and he was running out of breath.
He looked around again, falling on his knees.
At a distance, he saw someone sitting in a corner of the alley. Elliott's eyes widened as he supported himself by placing his hands on the ground.
The blue patient clothes, the scattered white hair and the pale skin. He could never not recognise her.
She was the only thing on his mind lately.
She sat on her knees and her hands played with the pebbles on the ground. The structure of her backbone was visible through her blue shirt because of her thin and small body. Her hands moved precisely like she knew what she was doing. Like she had it all planned out.
Tears escaped Elliott's eyes at the unbearable pain he was feeling. He fell to the ground.
The last thing Elliott saw was how the girl slightly moved her head to look at him. She looked frightened but her eyes showed no emotions.
As the pain hit Elliott's head, his face dropped to the ground.
Familiar but muffled voices and the sound of a car revving signalled that Elliott was regaining his consciousness.
As he slowly opened his eyes, his head booming and heavy, he could see three faces leaning in front of him.
"Is.. this heaven?" Elliott said.
"If you wanted to go to heaven, you could've just told me. Why are you so f*****g keen to die in the hands of that bastard?" Fred yelled. Sure everyone was mad at him for trying to go after Phoenix.
They were right.
"Are you hurt?" George asked.
"No. My head just hurts. It's not that terrible as before." Elliott said.
When they tried asking him what exactly happened after he ran away, Elliott tried remembering but his head ached every time he tried. So he postponed the explanation for later.
"Where are we going?" Elliott asked, looking around.
"Back home," Fred answered, driving.
"What about the third yellow spot? We didn't go there yet, did we?" He asked, curiously.
"No, Elliott. You need to rest." George said, looking at him.
"I surely won't be able to rest if I don't go to the third location. Please, just take me there." Elliott pleaded. He needed to know what Phoenix was trying to do. He wanted to know the game.
"To think of it, that location isn't too far from where we are. We could just tie Elliott up in the car and go ourselves." Jack said, checking the laptop.
"Yes exactly... wait, what?" Elliott frowned, thoughtfully.
"If Phoenix is there, then we would have to put up a fight. We could die. With one of our teammate down, our success rate goes down by 2%. We can't take that risk." Fred replied, slowing the car down to discuss.
"Excuse me? Am I worth 2%? Without my help, no one would've been here." Elliott crossed his arms across his chest.
"Brave of you to think we wanted to be here in the first place. We burnt unnecessary fuel, saw a gruesome dead body and almost got you killed. Thankfully we found you at the right time and fled from that area before the police arrived." Jack said, scrolling through one of his fake f******k accounts.
"What happened to the body?" Elliott asked.
"The police took it away and started investigating," George said, looking outside.
"The Phoenix is probably not going to be there so we should go to the third location. We might find something." Elliott said, confidently and Fred nodded, taking the next turn which will lead them to the third yellow spot.
Numerous thoughts rotated around Elliott's head.
Leaving the girl out of the whole Phoenix situation was his fault. Just the thought of her lifeless eyes gave him goosebumps. That girl wasn't innocent. She was definitely a part of this.
But she couldn't do it alone.
These days there have been various people claiming to have seen Phoenix. People described it being a ghastly tall dark figure lurking around the shadows near the dead bodies.
It was just like the figure Elliott had seen. So he couldn't overlook that.
It might just be possible that the big man did the deeds and the girl helped her. She had inhumane powers, that was very useful for killing someone.
But no one had come up with anything related to her. No one saw her, no one knew of her.
Then why Elliott? Why not anyone else?
He had to be very careful with whatever he did or decided.
The car stopped in a normal locality named Amberville with a lot of houses and people roaming around. Kids played on the streets, old people watering their gardens, people cycling. What were Elliott and his team doing here? Why was the tracker.. here?
With the help of the laptop, all of them were following the directions, they ended up in front of one of the houses around. The house was beige and brown and looked pretty basic to have a wanted serial killer inside.
But maybe that's what they want. To show how normal they were. That's how they want to hide and not be suspicious.
Elliott saw a shoe stand outside the door and only one pair of black boots covered in mud lying there. He had a sudden urge to pick it up. So he did and turned it around. That's where he found it.
The faint glow of the tracker. Elliott's eyes widened as he saw the others, shocked.
He got up and rang the doorbell. Everyone's hands shot up to their knives, ready to protect themselves.
After the third bell, the door opened slowly. To everyone's surprise, a chubby bearded man opened the door, yawning. As soon as his eyes fell on the four people in front of him, he was alerted.
Fred dug out his old ID as a detective and held it in front of the man's face, hoping the man didn't notice the cancelled stamp mark.
"We are.. uh.. detectives." He said, trying to put up a smart face.
"Dude, that's the least intimidating you can be. You make it sound like we are postmen." Jack whispered, irritated.
"I haven't done this for a very long time," Fred whispered back.
George pushed them aside and took the lead.
"We have questions to ask, sir. Please cooperate with us." George said, his expression looked cunning. He surely was their boss.
"Uh.. come in?" The man said, backing away.
"Are you sure walking inside the devil's den is safe? We don't have a backup plan." Elliott reminded them.
"If the old man has approved of it, I'm sure he has an ace up his sleeve," Fred said as they walked into a minimal but messy house.
"What do you want?" The man asked, his eyes teary from yawning.
"Why is the chip on your shoes?" Elliott shot out, curiously.
"Could you be vaguer?" Jack scoffed. Elliott decided to keep his mouth shut.
"What chip? What is this about?" The man clicked his tongue in disgust.
That's when George turned to Fred and motioned him. Fred nodded and quietly seeped through and vanished into one of the man's rooms. Fred indeed was a spy.
"Did you go to 43 Joseph Street two days back?" George asked. Suddenly, the man's expression faltered and he looked around to find a proper answer.
"No." The man said fake laughing. Elliott noticed Jack roll his eyes and pull out his phone.
"Don't lie. Just answer honestly and we'll be done sooner." George continued his interrogation. Trusting George, Elliott lets himself get distracted as he peeked into Jack's phone.
"Just 6 likes?" Elliott asked, holding in his laugh. "In a week of posting?"
"They are my friends. And look at you. The closest you'll get to socializing is having another run-in with the Phoenix." Jack shot back, putting his phone away.
"I have you guys," Elliott replied. He didn't miss the small smile that formed on Jack's face.
"Just tell me the truth," George said with his scary low scale voice.
"I-" the man said, terrified.
"Busted." Said Fred as he came out of a room with a black jacket and a pair of small metal claws. He had also found some newspaper cutouts about Phoenix and the murders of the last few days. He definitely knew something.
Everyone stood up. The man's eyes bulged out.
"Who.. who are you?" The man said, shook to his core.
"We are detectives and you are under arrest," Fred replied with a smirk on his face.
"He realises that he's making us look stupid, right?" Jack whispered. Elliott nodded.
Deep down Elliott knew this was just another part of the Phoenix's game, but this man knew something. So taking him back to the agency might be of some benefit.