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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter Five


___"If you want my opinion, Marty, we haven't a chance of solving this one," Jeff remarked as he pulled away from the curb outside the club.
___Hopkirk pouted at him. "You know what I like about you, Jeff? You're always so optimistic - even when things look hopeless, you're always SO positive..." he turned away to mutter under his breath. "Positively useless!"
___"Look, I can't help it! If I don't get some rest soon, I'm going to fall asleep at the wheel and kill myself - d'you want that?"
___"Oh, go home to bed then. Some detective you are!"
___Jeff didn't reply. It was taking all his concentration just to stay awake and steer properly.

___"Right," Hopkirk glared at his partner, as he crawled into bed. "While you recharge your tiny little brain, I'm going to hack into the police computers. Maybe I can find a lead there."
___"And by morning, they'll have cracked it. Forget it, Marty."
___He turned on him angrily. "No! I'll tell you what, Jeff - I'm going to help Inspector Large with the case. You sleep your miserable life away - see how I care!"
___Randall moaned and curled up, covering his head with the covers. "Do what you like, Marty," he mumbled tiredly.

___Hopkirk went to his partner's phone and concentrated on it carefully. In a trice, he had become vapour and jumped inside the device. From there, he could explore the entire communication network: phone lines lead to the internet, and from the internet, each and every computer was open to him.
___While exploring the police computers, Marty found a file on Jeff Randall. Unable to resist the temptation, he erased most of the hair on his partner's head and blackened three of his teeth.
___"Right, that's the beauty therapy taken care of," he remarked. "Let's see what they say about you, Jeff!" After editing Jeff's file, he found his own. "They haven't got my skills in here!" he exclaimed. After further editing, he moved on to the job in hand.
___He learned that the dead man's name was Gareth McReady. He had been thirty-five years old and married. His wife was aged twenty-nine. The deceased's address was in the file, so Marty made a note of it. Once he was satisfied that he had enough information to be going on with, he returned to Jeff's apartment.

___"Wakey, wakey!" he called to his partner as he reappeared. "Time for breakfast, Jeff! If you don't hurry up, I'll serve it to you in your bed."
___Randall moaned and rolled over.
___"Jeff! Get up before I do something you'll regret!"
___"Please, Marty..." Jeff whined without so much as opening an eye.
___"Geddup, you lazy little twerp! I've been working all night, now it's your turn!"
___"Still tired," he mumbled sleepily. "Please Marty... Five more minutes?"
___Hopkirk took a deep breath and blew open the bedroom window, drawing back the curtains at the same time.
___"Marty!" Jeff sat up in bed, pulling the covers about him. "What are you doing? It's freezing!"
___"Well, if you get up and get dressed, you won't feel so cold, will you?"
___Randall grumbled as he dragged himself from his bed. "I hope you've got a good reason for waking me up - AGAIN!"


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