Chapter 31.

Horn is in police custody.



The police brought back Horn to the police station where Detective Strong was waiting for him. When the time had come on Monday morning and Horn had not responded the Detectives had broken in the door and had discovered Horn’s disappearance. The alert had been given to all police cruisers and so it was only a question of time before Horn was apprehended. Strong was therefore not surprised at the turn of events.

The police car arrived at the main downtown station and two police officers escorted Horn in the station. He was then fingerprinted and his picture taken.

“I am not a criminal!” shouted Horn at the top of his lungs. “My lawyer will take care of this, you’ll see.” he said in a menacing voice.

“Mr. Horn, no need to get upset. In fact, if you don’t calm down I will have to sedate you immediately. The doctor here is able and willing to do this.” Strong said, pointing at a man by his side. The man looked at Horn in a curious way, as if he were a circus animal.

“I assume this is my new patient. My name is Doctor Pike.” the doctor said. He was about to extend his hand to Horn and then realized that Horn was still in handcuffs. “Is this necessary?” asked the doctor, turning towards Strong.

Strong looked at Horn and decided that inside the police station Horn could not go very far. He fetched the key and removed the handcuffs. Horn was looking at him with an air of defiance.

“Now please Mr. Horn, sit down with us and lets talk about our predicament.” Horn as well as the doctor sat down with Strong facing them. Coffee was brought to all three men and the discussion began.

“Now Mr.Horn, can you explain to me why you decided to flee you house?”

“You know damn well why I fled; I have no intention of submitting myself to this forced sedation. I do not consent to it.”

“I understand,” said Strong. “But we had a deal and you agreed to this deal willingly. Now you are reneging on it forcing me to take drastic action.”

“You mean the court ordered incarceration into a hospital? You mean the suspension of my rights as a free individual?” exclaimed Horn, visibly agitated.

“Do not forget that you are a menace to the health and security of your fellow citizens, who just as you have the right to live out their lives without fear.” Strong said. The doctor was listening to the conversation with interest. He had been appraised of the problem caused by Horn, or rather by his shadow. He still could not believe it. He decided to interject.

“Mr.Horn, don’t you think that it would be wiser for you to submit willingly? After all, we all want the same thing, a peaceful resolution of the problem caused by….you or your shadow, right?” said the doctor. He had hesitated between laying the blame for the murders on Horn or the shadow but it was clear that Horn had not killed. Strong had discussed the case with the doctor and had fully explained to him the particulars of it but the doctor was still unconvinced.

Horn decided to respond to the doctor in no uncertain terms. ” I will not submit to being put into an artificial coma. The only way that I would submit to this is if you show me a plan by which you can capture or kill this shadow, and a deadline for it, nothing else.” Horn was standing his ground. If he was to be incapacitated then it would have to be against his will.

Detective Strong had listened to Horn’s speech. There was a way to sedate him with his agreement but that entailed that he submit a plan to capture the shadow and he had none so far. But he still decided to stick his neck out. “Fine, give me 24 hours and I will present a plan to you. For now, you will stay in this cell and you will remain as calm as you can. We will bring food and some books for you.”

Horn was dubious of the offer but decided to push in the direction of Strong to see what would happen. “And what happens if you have no plans after 24 hours? I want to be free, so here is the deal; present a plan in 24 hours or you will agree to let me live in my house freely but under house arrest until the shadow is killed or captured, deal?”

Strong decided to take the offer. In the worst case Horn would still be confined in his house and that would limit the risk to the public but it would not eliminate it. He would try to present a plan as it was in the interest of all to do so. “Fine, I accept your offer.” With that Strong and Horn shook hands with the doctor looking on approvingly.

Horn was escorted to a cell and given books as well as a television set to pass the time. As it was only for 24 hours he thought that it was well worth it if it meant a return to his house and not the threat of a hospital. Meanwhile Strong decided to call a meeting in his office, asking Detective Fisher to join him as well as Doctor Pike and he decided to call Professor Grugen as well. The more people had ideas the higher were the odds of finding a solution to the problem.


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