Hello and welcome to Cat's-Eye PI: European League of Heroes. This is the third book in the Cat's-Eye Private Investigators series. While I do try and summarize what went on in the last two books, I would highly recommend reading them, Cat's-Eye Private Investigators and Cat's-Eye PI: Remnant. Also, as a heads up to past readers, while the rating of this story is the same as the rating for Remnant, I do consider this story to be much more gruesome than the first two. While not overly descriptive, there will be some gory murders over the course of this story and if anyone is uncomfortable with that, I would advise going no further. So, without further ado, on with the story.
"--was there to save the day."
"No argument there. Stay tuned, our sports coverage is up next--"
The channel flipped, changing to another new channel. A complicated computer program was scanning through all the local news channels throughout the world. The owner hadn't created it; he had bought it a year ago with a very specific purpose in mind. He saw it as part of the hunt. So his quarry had disappeared off the face of the earth. The man wasn't deterred. Eventually his prey would resurface, and this particular tracking device would make sure he was informed when that moment finally came.
The next news channel proved to be as useless as the one that came before it. The man barely listened as the anchors blathered on, although he did grin to himself when he saw the pale skin of the female. Maybe he would hunt her in the near future. Such pretty skin, but in the end she would be nothing more than an easy hunt and quick kill. What he wanted was a real hunt- to once again chase the perfect quarry. But that would have to wait until his prey resurfaced.
He returned to scrapping his dull knife over the rawhide he was making. It would make a decent coat in the near future, but it was far from perfect. The creature it had come from had been nice and pale, but it had spent far too much time outside in its short life. There were moles and blemishes all over what should have been perfect skin. What a waste.
His eyes flickered over to his partially created coat. It was far superior to any he had made recently. A masterpiece. It had taken him sixteen years of careful selection to get it as flawless as it was now. Perfect hunts combined with truly perfect skin. Only one hide was missing. The piece he intended to use for the upper body and the collar. Seven years ago he had targeted his final quarry, only to lose sight of it time and time again. No matter. He was a patient man. His masterpiece would be finished soon enough.
The channel flipped again. He looked up and snorted at the newscasters. One had tanned and the other had dark skin. Utterly worthless to him. He returned to scraping the rawhide, keeping one ear focused on what they were saying.
"Last night Atlanta's citizens were once again saved by her super-hero team. Both the Bengal and Torque have become familiar faces over the past few weeks, but we may finally have evidence to support the rumors of a third, unnamed hero on the team. As many of you know from the rumors, this member is described as a 'shadow'." He looked up sharply. Could it be? "Not much is known about him or her. In fact we're not even sure if they exist beyond what people have said- that shadows have been assisting Bengal and Torque in their protection of Atlanta's citizens. New footage from last night seems to support these claims."
The news switched over to a shot of a fight. A big man with ugly dark skin wearing an orange and gray uniform was fighting what could only be described as a group of low level crooks. Two of the crooks were sneaking up behind the big man, but before they could attack there was a flicker of shadows and the crooks doubled over and collapsed.
"Not exactly the best supporting evidence in the world," the male anchor laughed as screen switched back to him and his co-host.
"No," the woman agreed. "I guess we'll just have to determine for ourselves whether or not Atlanta has two or three heroes. Cat's-Eye Private Investigators, the agency affiliated with Atlanta's heroes, has refused to give a statement of any sort on this possible third hero."
"Didn't see Bengal in that footage," the man said.
"Actually we haven't seen anything of her all week," the woman said. "The conclusion people have made is that she's visiting family for Thanksgiving."
"Well, I guess even heroes deserve a break. Up next—"
The man walked around his work station and turned off the TV. He licked his lips. While that silly footage was hardly hard evidence for anything, it was all he needed to begin the hunt. At worst he would come away with a few extra skins. But he could very easily come away with his prize.
He went to a large cabinet and pulled it open. Eight large hunting knives stained with blood hung prominently on the doors and within the cabinet. Seven represented each hero he had killed and one marked the hero he was still hunting. He grabbed that knife and fingered it lovingly, remembering the first blood it had taken from the hero, followed by all the times it had come close to achieving its purpose.
The man returned the knife to its place in the cabinet. He had preparations to make. It would take time to set up a trip to America, but he wasn't concerned. If this mysterious rumor was his quarry, it sounded like it wasn't going anywhere soon. Plenty of time to arrive and begin the hunt.
He began to chuckle as he ran his hand down the blade. "Remnant," he rumbled, "How I've missed that lovely white skin."