Meanwhile, at the Ryndale police station, Watts sits at his desk filing away some reports. He does more paperwork than Hunter does, which is fine by him; the more he can avoid the outside cold, the better. His colleagues are another story, though. He's been collecting evil eyes from them since being pulled off of the Morrison case. Vindictive eyes; eyes that say 'there's the guy who failed to find him'. Not like they should talk. They'dve failed, too, if they were assigned the case. They're all hypocrites; they look down on others, meanwhile they themselves can't do any better. As quitting time arrives, Watts packs up for the day, grabbing his coat as Hunter appears from down the hall.
"Watts. You're not gonna believe this," the man says.
"What is it?" Watts asks.
"The results from the lab are in. That graffiti on the streets...wait for it," Hunter says. "...It's blood."
Watts stops cold, coat arm frozen in midair. "...What?!"
"You heard right," Hunter says. "And what's worse, it's human blood."
"You're kidding...!" Watts replies in shock. "Who's is it? What type is it?"
"We don't know. The results were inconclusive," Hunter says. "They're running further tests, but request additional samples."
"Hmm. That could be tough. Reports of graffiti have trailed off in recent days, and most already found have been painted over."
"Nevertheless, we should try to find some more," Hunter says.
"Yes. But tomorrow, maybe. We're off the clock for now," Watts says. "It's good that you want to get to the bottom of this case, Fred. But I would advise against getting too...obsessed with it."
"...I'm not obsessed, Owen. Merely curious," Hunter replies, taking his leave.
The detective heads out of the station, getting into his dark gray vehicle. He drives down a long rural road, heading into the town's main square. It's not much to look at, but has more buildings than other parts of Ryndale. It's a quaint town center, complete with several cozy establishments: a bar, a convenience store, a Dairy Queen, a barber shop with the spinny thing. Hunter keeps an eye out, wary of any and all signs of red markings.
As he continues down the road, he suddenly spots a young man off in the distance. The boy wears tattered clothing, loitering around an old bar. Hunter squints his eyes, eyeing him with suspicion. He stops and parks out front. As he heads Dave's direction, Dave notices, quickly scurrying away.
"...Hey!" Hunter shouts, at once giving chase.
Dave rushes off, running down the empty streets. He darts into an alleyway, Hunter twenty feet behind. Dave's feet stomp the ground hard, heart pounding loudly in his ears. He bangs into a pile of crates, knocking them down as he continues to flee. He runs for his life. He doesn't know who his pursuer is; he just wants to get away.
Hunter maintains his swift pursuit, jumping past the knocked over crates. His brown shoes pound the pavement as he goes, splashing the occasional half frozen puddle. The man breathes heavily. He's in good shape, but at forty isn't as young as he used to be. He gives half a smile, suddenly enjoying the thrill of the chase. He hasn't had to run like this since his days as a beat cop. As he closes in on Dave, Dave turns, heading from the alleyway into some woods.
"Stop! Police!" Hunter yells. Dave ignores him, continuing through the trees. The two keep on for a bit, hopping through shrubs, stones and dead trees. The weather is cold, and the clouds above are bleak. It wouldn't surprise either of them if it started snowing at any second.
Detective Hunter struggles through the woods. He does his best to keep up, but before long, Dave gains ground on him. Dave's still young, and light on his feet. If there's one thing he's good at, it's running away. When you're homeless, you're not welcome anywhere, and accordingly get used to getting chased from places fast. This isn't the first time Dave's made a hasty escape, and he wagers it won't be his last.
As Dave disappears into the brush, Hunter grits his teeth, heaving a heavy sigh. "Damn...!" the detective says, breathing heavily whilst leaned against a tree. He's annoyed with himself. Ten years ago, he could've caught the boy with ease. But he's not getting any younger these days, and it's starting to show. As the man stands catching his breath, he looks up, suddenly shocked by what he finds.
There, mere inches from where he leans lies a pentagram, etched in blood. It rests before him upside down, scrawled onto the north face of a tree. Its designs are messy, its runny red ink dripping down from the bark. Hunter takes two steps back, looking over the ominous marking. The symbol is remote; well out of sight of passers by. If it were mere graffiti, the artist would surely want it to be seen. Why paint it here...? Hunter stands in silence. Looks like his chase was well worth it. He rifles through his old trench coat, suddenly producing a small camera. He takes several pictures of the site, proceeding to take a sample off the bark.
Just then, a snapping twig catches his ear. He turns, alert as he looks all around. "Who's there?!" he yells, pocketing the sample and drawing his gun.
The woods stand utterly quiet, save for a chill wind whispering through the trees. Hunter eyes his surroundings, spotting no one in sight. He waits for awhile, listening in for another noise. Hearing nothing, he sighs, eventually holstering his gun. Must've been a wild animal, he thinks, returning to his car with fresh evidence.