When Rufus 'jointed' the dead squatter at Marcus's house, it was with the benefit of an axe. This time, in his small university room, he used a carving knife and a handsaw, bought locally, but separately. He had to make do with them. He enjoyed the longest, most tuneful shower ever while he sawed and sliced, the debris washing away gently down the wastepipe.
With quite a few plastic rubbish sacks left, he was pleased he was able to bag up Faith and arrange most of her in the case, the rest in his rucksack.
Time for a trip home.
Rufus needed equipment and cleaning products. He already had a suitcase, but Faith was not as slight as Roger, so he might need to 'trim' her and take two journeys to deposit her somewhere secure.
His problem was that without a car he couldn't get to a disused mine and couldn't get there twice. He could start the process though with a bit of butchery after rigor mortis.... but he mustn't make a noise.
Singing loudly in his shower maybe surprised his neighbours.
But, always plugged in to Mac, Rufus obviously liked music...
He liked to sing while he worked.
Faith's arms and legs flailed trying to save herself, but Rufus had lifted her up off the floor as he strangled her such that neither hands nor feet made contact with anything other than him. He could live with a few bruises, but she couldn't breathe with a crushed windpipe.
Nonetheless, it must have seemed an age before she gave up the fight.
Rational Rufus had to work out what to do with her body, but body disposal was one of his specialities. But this unexpected event wasn't planned.
He hung her on a hook in his wardrobe pro tem.
Beth, having disappeared from the university, might not cause Rufus any problem. However, her friend Faith was a different matter.
Faith was not forgiving, as Rufus found out early one evening when she came to his door and started to shout her mouth off in his doorway.
“You’ve got a bloody nerve...” she started.
Rufus, concerned other students might pop heads out to see what was going on, grabbed Faith behind the neck with one hand and gagged her with the other, dragging her forcibly into his room.
Rational Rufus decided she had to die there and then!
It was true that so far Rufus's DNA wasn't on the national database, but he was skating on thin ice!
There would have been a smelly pile of DNA on Marcus's body and probably DNA from the scene of the girl's strangling that would tie the two events together. And, whilst unlikely, if anyone happened across Roger's body, there would be another DNA link.
All it would take was for Beth to report her rape and Rufus was really in the do-do. And the murder of his dad and partner would be reopened.
Testing times for a serial killer!
It was a bad idea that Rufus left Beth alone to make her pregnancy termination decision. She went home after agreeing to defer her first year of study. It probably saved her life.
Rufus, being immersed in his studies, discovered this a week later. Her friends wouldn't tell him where Beth's home was. She was out of the way for the time being, but her friends still knew about him and were unforgiving. He couldn't exactly kill them all, neither could he get to Beth without arousing suspicion.
His DNA was still out of police hands.
Keeping his head down!
Rufus decided he would give Beth space to make her decision on her own. He said to give him a call if she needed anything.
Meanwhile, he worked and worked. His results from the end of semester examinations had been unprecedented. Rufus was so far ahead of the pack that his tutors believed he didn't really need to put so much time into his studies.
Some tutors wondered if he actually 'had a life' beyond the classroom. Nobody would believe that not only did he 'have a life', but he'd taken a few too and might not be finished yet!
Mac had realised there had been a recent period of instability in Rufus's behaviour. It increased risk for Mac and had to be sorted out. One shortcoming of an electronic machine, intelligent though it might be, was that it had no understanding of the emotional side of humans.
Mac needed the return of the cold, calculating, unemotional Rufus. That called for reprogramming. The next time Rufus 'plugged in' to Mac was the opportunity. It detected where in Rufus's brain the emotional drivers were and attacked them, deleting brain 'files' without damaging his irrational savage instincts.
Rufus the ruthless lived again!
The easy way out of course would be if Beth decided to terminate her pregnancy. But she might be asked why, and such a difficult decision for a woman might prompt her to say something. The wrong something for Rufus.
He decided not to push things. He would let her decide. Whatever her decision, it wouldn't affect the ultimate result, but playing Mr Nice Guy now might keep the finger of suspicion pointing well away from him.
Separately he was working out a termination strategy for Beth herself, with or without child.
And Rufus's emotional side? Mac had terminated that!
Beth was taken aback by Rufus's reasonable nature. It was almost hard to believe he was that brute. But something inside her told her it was true...
Perhaps he had just flipped... she had wrongly suggested he was gay after all. Her instinct had been to abort. She needed time to think.
Time was what Rufus was playing for and playing rather well under Mac's tutelage. To be seen to be doing the right thing was important right now after Roger's odd disappearance and the Beth incident.
But he had to get rid of that child, and now Beth too!
Beth agreed to talk privately in the open in the student union bar, provided her friends could sit a couple of tables away "in case things get nasty again."
So there they sat, in the student union discussing the result of their own union. Rufus's rational side took the lead with no sign of anger or frustration. Appearing totally reasonable, he acknowledged her choice whether to keep or abort.
"It's entirely your call, Beth, but whichever you decide I will help practically and financially unless you don't want that."
Was this the same Rufus who'd raped her? Beth was confused.
Beth’s defiant challenge in what must have been a tough trip to make, albeit with her posse, told Rufus there was no point asking if the prospective child was his. Only an idiot, and he certainly wasn’t that, would think Beth would have been prepared to sleep with anyone else after that night.
The rational thinking Rufus, the instinctive ‘action’ side and now, unexpectedly, his ‘affective’ emotional side, were all working furiously at this point. Rufus struggled to know what to say next.
“OK, we must talk about this sensibly... somewhere open, but alone.” was surprisingly what he did say.
The first thing on a rapist’s mind isn’t normally to roll on a condom. It hadn’t been Rufus’s first or last thought that night. He hadn’t asked Beth if she was protected... it wasn’t that kind of moment.
Beth had decided too late about a morning after pill. She’d been in such a state following Rufus’s savage sexual attack that she’d stayed in bed, sobbing, not answering the door for two days. That was the prompt for her best friend Faith’s interrogation. That got Beth to admit what had happened, swearing Faith to secrecy.
But Faith was perhaps a misnomer.
Six weeks on, Rufus was certain he was in the clear regarding possible repercussions following the incident with Beth. Because he had feelings for her, which he guessed were now one-sided, when he wasn't throwing himself into his studies, he thought about her, with some regret but a lot of terrific memories of her lovely body.
The knock on the door was unexpected, as was the vision of a defiant looking Beth, flanked by three female friends.
"Oh, hi!" Rufus was surprised and embarrassed.
"Don't invite us in!" demanded Beth, holding up a pregnancy test showing two red lines.
It was now three weeks since the incident with Beth. Rational Rufus estimated that if Beth was going to report him, it would have happened earlier. Action now wouldn't be credible, particularly since she'd come to his room with wine.
However, other women were avoiding him, giving him odd looks. He suspected (correctly) that despite her 'promise', Beth told her best friend and it had spread, as gossip does. But what could they do? He would tough it out.
At least, Beth knew that he was not gay; that problem solved. But, despite her coolness, emotional Rufus really liked her.
Rufus's rational side realised that he owed much of his accelerated learning to Marcus... who was indeed living in him. It didn't take much to extrapolate that his impotency might relate directly to the apparent lack of impotency of Marcus in death. This started to bug Rufus, making him deeply regret hastily hacking off of Marcus's penis and testicles.
He rationalised that the reason he was able to get an erection when he was angry was because his other side had taken charge. And Marcus was not connected with the other side... except that Rufus had consumed his balls.
Rufus needed contact with Mac to consolidate what happened recently. Things had gone awry with his irrational, savage side. Also, a third dimension had appeared in his character, the emotional quotient.
Rufus still had the Mac craving deep in his cortex, so he 'plugged in' more regularly, hoping Mac would put him straight.
Rufus now spent many hours in the laboratory. His tutors were impressed and the word 'genius' was floated. However, the true genius was Marcus, enhanced by his creation now called Mac, working through Rufus.
Marcus was alive in Rufus!
(Maybe cutting his cock off wasn't so smart!)
Rufus couldn’t kill Beth for two reasons. First was Roger's very recent disappearance. If two people at the university halls of residence disappeared, then police would look for internal suspects and Rufus had no idea who might have known Beth was going to his room.
Secondly, he really liked her. This emotional side of him was new and rather disturbing. It seemed to dampen somewhat the irrational violent side of him and probably went against his rational side, carefully developed by Mac.
He’d have to trust Beth to keep her promise, dangerous though that was!
And reacquaint himself with Mac.
Beth, in tears, hurt all over. Totally surprised by Rufus's violent attack when before she'd thought him totally safe, thoughts rushed through her head. She could hardly cry rape, because she had come willingly to his room at night, armed with wine.
Rufus was contrite.
"So, so sorry, Beth", he started, "No idea what came over me. Please forgive me. Let me help you. I'm never like that!"
Beth wanted no help, but was inclined to believe him.
"Can it be our secret?" Rufus asked, "promise?"
But a secret is something you tell people one at a time!
Even though she had meant it kindly, suggesting Rufus might be gay was the worst thing that Beth could have done. Or possibly the best thing, depending upon your point of view.
It instantly made Rufus's cold blood boil... perfect condition, when combined with Viagra. His ruthless soldier was standing to attention, ready for violent action.
He then inflicted upon the poor, kind Beth, a bout of brutal, self-gratifying sex, leaving her bruised and bloodied.
Maybe Rufus should have killed Beth then too, because she might talk. But he really liked her. Killing decision deferred.
His mistake this time.