THE VIOLETTA MURDERS
That headline haunted Erik as he stepped out of his town car. He'd already read the newspaper article, heard the broadcasts on the television, investigated the site himself, as well as he could... The Violetta Murders -- unimaginative, childish, lacking in finesse. Although the City was abuzz with the bloody intrigue of piles of corpses left in the street last night, corpses dressed with perfect replicas of the outfit his Christine wore for La Traviata, Erik found himself infuriated rather than horrified.
No stranger to the mania that could surround a successful diva, and no stranger to the brutality of human depravity, Erik saw the crime for what it was. Clearly, his Christine was the ultimate target. The Violetta Murders themselves? A message, perhaps. A fantasy enacted on those fortunate enough to resemble his pupil. Practice. Whatever it was, he would not permit it to stand, would not permit it to continue, and would never allow Christine herself to be caught up in whatever puerile attempt this might be. While the City's law enforcement began its investigation, Erik had begun one of his own. He would find the truth.
Another safeguard for his Christine, and one that fit well into his existing plan, brought him to the jeweler's, where he now stood. The storefront was sleek, black, powerful - with understated, simple silver font proclaiming it to be "Babiole". He stepped to the window cases and with a critical eye examined the display pieces for the quality that the store felt worthy enough to display. Was it worthy enough for Christine?