Chapter Two; Page 4
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A Lothario.
One whose chief interest is seducing women; a successful womanizer. A man known for his "love and leave 'em" motto.
Better known as A Player.
Doctor Cumulus's nurse offered me a cup, which I gladly accepted. I was going to need it.
The title was made famous by the play "The Fair Penitent" (1703), by Nicholas Rowe, Lothario is the character that seduces and betrays the innocent Calista, who after being betrayed, killed herself. The word "lothario" has thus entered the English language as an eponym: a lothario could mean a handsome, seductive ladies' man.
"The eight victims died in the same matter. They were infected with the AHIV41 Virus."
The AHIV41 Virus? Akin to the HIV Virus in humans, but found only in Aliens. Quick acting and always deadly, there was only one way to contract the virus. Sexual contract.
I took a long sip on the extra strong coffee I was offered. Death by lovemaking. Lovely.
So how did eight humans get infected with an alien virus?
"Simple, Captain Curious. The investigators at the Beaker home found that Doctor Circe Beaker had in fact been trying duplicate the virus in her Lab."
"Your kidding?"
"No," Cumulus shook his head, "I wish I was. One of the tubes scattered and the family was killed within minutes of the virus going airborne, killing her, her husband and the foster son."
"And the five hotel victims?"
"That's the real crime. The virus was planted in a perfume bottle, a gift to the bride. Once she sprayed herself with the perfume..."
"The virus went airborne and by morning, everyone in that room didn't stand a chance. The maid came in the following morning, find the four dead women and before she could even reach the phone, she would drop dead from the fumes."
"Exactly, Ms. Curious. But there is another twist. both Doctors Beaker were having affairs. With Aliens."
"Wild, yes?" Doctor smiled at the irony. "The lady Loki Beaker was seeing, is, like my family, from Calai Betha. There are only three families in Strangetown are Calaiates. The DNA of Circe's lover, we don't know the race of yet."
"Very. What is more, Jessica Piferson was having an affair with the very same Alien Circe Beaker was sleeping with."
Jessie was cheating on Ajaya Loner? He must have known. No wonder he was so angry her gravesite. I felt fresh tears well up. Jessie had always been a free spirit, never settling down in one spot or with one man. Now her free loving life was the cause of her death.
"The irony is, it's Circe's fingerprints on the perfume bottle, but the prints on the perfume box came from another source, as well as the signature on the card."
"So Circe murdered Jessica Piferson?"
The Coroner nodded slowly. "But I believe she was setup to take the fall. It is clear she laced the perfume with the virus, howver she may had not known the intended victim. But clearly from the broken vial bottle, she and her family were murdered as well. Though it was overkill."
"I don't understand?"
"Both Circe Beaker and Jessica Piferson were dying of the AHIV41 Virus. It was clear from their autopsies reports. Both women would have been dead within a matter of weeks. Loki contracted the virus from his wife and was in the beginning stages. None would even have known they were sick until it was too late."
I took a deep breath, not liking at all what I was hearing.
"The alien, your Lothario is a carrier of the virus. His last gift to his lover Jessica was perfume, mixed by his other lover, knowing it would kill her."
We have a serial killer.
"There is more."
I took another deep breath. I need more coffee.
"Both women had given birth about four months ago."

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