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Getting the Knowledge

copyright 2003, by Alouette

Disclaimer:    The characters Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Clarice Starling, Jack Crawford and Fredrick Chilton were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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Part 1



In the hours that followed Dr Hannibal Lecter's disappearance, Special Agent Clarice Starling underwent an intensive de-briefing by FBI personnel. When questioned about the events that had taken place at the Chesapeake house, she insisted that she was unaware that the house belonged to the late Paul Krendler of the Justice Department; only that Lecter had driven her there after she had been injured at Muskrat Farm; that Lecter had saved her life, and had tended to her injuries. When she eventually regained conciousness, she could hear Lecter and Krendler talking downstairs but couldn’t make out what they were saying; She went onto the landing and found the telephone wires were cut. She fixed them and telephoned the FBI immediately.


"The man promised the FBI would put a trace on the call and advised me to go outside and wait or, I could stay on the phone and talk to him . He said they would get there in 10 minutes. "

"Do we have confirmation of that call."

"Yessir."

"So what did you do?"

"Left the telephone off the hook and crept downstairs."

Starling described the scene in the dining room, . Krendler sitting at the table and Lecter cooking something on a small stove

"Lecter said I should be resting and to get back to bed. Then he saw me looking at the clock on the wall. . .....….Starling paused, she was pale and sweating, her hands clenching till her knuckles turned white. There was a lump in her throat that felt like a walnut….

"Go on...."

" He took Krendler’s woolen hat off his head and put it on the sideboard and I could see this cut line around Krendler’s head. Lecter prised off the to........the top half of Paul’s skull. I could see his brains!."

"So what did you say!"

"I felt nauseaus. I begged Lecter to stop. I said I'd trade him five profile points. He said trade was like biting on a cheap coin."

Clarice’s nose was running water, she began to snuffle and swallowed the walnut, which now felt as big as a golf ball.

"Lecter said Krendler was not in pain because the brain feels nothing. He....he dug out a piece and fried it on the stove. Then he spoonfed it to Paul.. "

Did he eat it?

Starling nodded. . She wiped her nose with the edge of the blanket they had placed around her shoulders..It left a snail trail on the woolcloth..

The interrogating officer, Kevin O’Brien, sighed, paused the tape and gave her his handkerchief. Leaning back in his chair, he watched her while she blew her nose,

"Girl, are you in one helluva mess!"

Starling glared at him.

"Ten minutes the man said! Ten minutes after the call, Krendler was still alive !."

"If you’d obeyed Pearson's orders and stayed away from Muskrat Farm, Missie, Lecter would never have killed again!"

" Are you telling me he should have been fed to those hogs?" I went to Muskrat Farm to take Dr Lecter into custody!"

O’Brien stared at the ceiling in exasperation.

So..... after the meal, what happened?

Lecter wheeled Krendler into the kitchen. ."

Did you see Lecter leave the house.

"No."

What was he wearing?"

There was a knock on the door.

"Yes what is it?"

A man in shirtsleeves came into the interview room and whispered something in O’Brien’s ear. O Brien raised his eyebrows and looked intently at Starling.

Well, ….. A man has just been dragged out of the Chesapeake...

Starling’s face drained of all colour.

"Is it Lecter?"

"That's what we want you to tell us." C'mon let's go."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The black body bag on the Chesapeake shore was zipped open. Starling inspected the bloated body of the drowned man, dressed in a dark suit, with a once white shirt and tie, now soaked with mud. She straightened up and shook her head..

"It’s not him.. . and it looks to me this guy's been in the water more than 24 hours"

"Millward! I want you to check if anyone’s been reported missing in this area.. My guess is Lecter wanted a change of clothes…looks like this poor sap was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."


O Brien and Starling drove back to the interrogation room in silence. They took up their positions on opposite sides of the table.O’Brien switched on the tape and leaned towards Starling.

"Right, now will you repeat what you just said about the drowned man."

Starling obliged.

"Nearly, right, but you missed something out."

Starling looked blank.

"You checked his hands and said, " No, it's not him and it looks to me this guy's been in the water more than 24 hours. Why did you check his hands Starling?"

"Because Lecter only has one hand."

"Since when?"

" After he left the dining room with Krendler, I followed him with a candlestick from the dining room table. I was going to hit him on the head but he was too quick - he threw me back against the refridgerator. Then he asked me if I'd ever thought to say

'Stop! If you loved me, you'd stop' and I said

'Not in a thousand years'

he said 'that's my girl' and kissed me, and I let him, because it gave me time to get the handcuffs out of my pants.."

O’Brien stared in disbelief.

Did you cuff him?

"Yes"

"What did he do?"

"He asked for the key"

"Where was it?"

"In my mouth."

Did you tell him?"

"No."

"So what did he do?"

"Picked up a kitchen cleaver and chopped off his hand."

"Just like that! Picked up a cleaver and chopped off his hand."

" I thought he was gonna cut off mine!"

"So where is it? His hand?"

"I don't know! I just ran out into the garden. The FBI had got there by then."

"Why wait until now to tell me all this, Starling? You've given him a head start!"

Silence.

"OK let's wrap it. Millward will drive you home, try and get some rest. Do you need counselling?"

Starling paused, then shook her head.

"I'll be OK. I'll talk to Ardelia."

Afterwards she wondered why she had given Lecter a head start. She still could not admit to herself that she wanted him to get away.


O Brien convened with Pearson, then called up all agents working on the case.


"I want the Chesapeake house and grounds searched for that hand. If you don't find it, I want all hospitals in the locality checked - any admissions of a white male who has lost a hand in an accident. Limb severances can’t be that common; The chances are that he was transferred by Air Life to a bigger hospital with better surgical facilities for reattachment. Starling has been debriefed; she was at Muskrat Farm and is sole surviving witness to everything that happened there and at the Chesapeake House. She was not authorised to be there and was on suspension pending an enquiry as accusations had been made that she tipped off Lecter when he was in Florence. These allegations have been found to be groundless. She claims she was framed by Verger and Krendler. Lecter performed a lobotomy on Krendler at the dinner table . He fucked up, Krendler died. She's had a rough ride, go easy on her. If this story gets out, the shit will hit the fan. Lecter cut off his own hand after Starling actually managed to cuff him. He can’t have gotten far. Maybe this time we’ll ketch him."



Fin

Part 1 of 9

1 of 9 | 2 of 9 | 3 of 9 | 4 of 9 | 5 of 9 | 6 of 9 | 7 of 9 | 8 of 9 | 9 of 9

Copyright 2003, by Alouette

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