Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Murder at the Olin Part 3 - Autumn in Alexandra

Mertyl Payne looked up when the door to the Alexandra Police Station opened and Dr Susan McKinney walked in. "Good afternoon, Dr McKinney." she spoke in her most professional voice, but Mertyl's voice was naturally loud. Naturally VERY loud. Apparently many compared it to a scream, even when she was TRYING to be quiet.

Susan suppressed a groan as the voice bored into her head. "Afternoon, Mert. Is the Chief in? I have something for him. Official."

Before Mert could answer the door to Chief Adum Brate's office opened and he stuck his head out. "Come on in, Dr. McKinney." he glanced past Mert. "Lynch, in my office. And thanks Mert." then he vanished back into his office, leaving the door open so that the Doctor and new officer could come on in. He sat himself on his desk and leaned back, maintaining a casual look about him.

Susan walked into the office and seated herself, suppressing a giggle and rubbing her ear, as if she were in pain.

Darcy Lynch snapped to attention and stepped up from her seat at one of the office computers "Yes Sir." she said with obedient efficiency. It was still her first month in the Alexandra PD and she was still eager to make a very good impression. She walked briskly to to office giving Mert a brief nod as she passed and greeting Susan formally after following her in "Doctor McKinney."

Susan nodded at the new officer. "Officer Lynch." she pulled the file out of her soft briefcase ... really a messenger/medical bag and handed it over to Adum. "And we kick off Autumn with Roy Carter. His autopsy results were just faxed to me. I cancelled my one o'clock and came right over." she leans back and waits on Adum to read a little before she goes on. "Pretty simple. I already established that the victim had been dead only a few hours at the time Elmo Swanson's Pomsky found him. The coroner already knew that is was Mimi who was ripping at his fingers. You already know the body was not killed where Elmo and Mimi found it and the coroner confirmed. There were indeed two shots to the back. The body was cleaned before it was dumped."

Adum looks over the technical jargon with a sigh. "I hate autumn." he murmurs, taking the pieces of paper. In many ways he is glad he doesn't have a window to daydream out of. "So ... what does this tell us, Lynch?" the new officer was no student, but he was still 'feeling her out' as it were. She was already proving to be good, and he was pretty glad that she was already proving reliable.

Darcy stood straight with her hands clasped behind her back and looked between her Chief and the Doctor "The victim was shot by someone he didn't expect, since he didn't have time to turn, at close range since the shots were precisely lethal. The crime occurred in a residence or a hotel or motel because of the access to water for cleaning. It was tap water. not ocean right?" She turns slightly towards Susan. looking for confirmation.

Susan looks at the new cop with arched eyebrows. "Right." she stares up at her and then over at Adum, questioningly. This new girl reminds her a bit of Josh Greene, who was ex military and a bit stiff ... but Josh had been on a month long vacation, so he and this Darcy would not have met yet.

Adum shrugs, then nods. "And that morning was spent interviewing everyone in the damn Olin. Wright and Lynch interviewed anyone found in their rooms and Sharp canvassed out front." he looks at Darcy. "Anyone pop out at you? Let's go over that again." he only knew of two people staying at the Olin ... Megan's new friend and his own ... apparently secretly connected, although he had not shared that with anyone.

Darcy has no hesitation "Room 8. Heather Ruby. She was very nervous. Apparently she lives with a boyfriend who we have not been able to interview. She says he goes out of town a lot but the timing is suspicious."

 Susan listens as they devolve into boring police procedural. Before Adum can answer, she stands. "If you two need anything, please let me know. I have patients." and she will head for the door if neither has anything they need her for.

Adum glances at Susan. "Thank you, Dr. McKinney. We will contact you if we have any further questions." he stands and opens the door for her, always the gentleman. Then he closes it and leans on it, glad of the excuse to calm his own heart. "Do you think this Heather Ruby is a suspect, accomplice, covering for the boyfriend ... what?" he asks as he moves back to sit behind his desk.

Darcy had nodded at the doctor as she left "Good Day Doctor." She shifted so her stance was fulling facing the Chief again and replied to him "My guess is accomplice or witness to something. She's no killer. Just a gut feeling Chief. She seems shell shocked by whatever happened. I've seen every kind of PSTD in the field and she wears hers like a badge."

Adum keeps his face blank as he listens to her. "Do she may have seen something. There have been rumors that she may be the victim of domestic abuse. Could be either or both." its less a question than anything. "Of course, no one heard gunshots at the Olin. At that place you couldn't get a witness to a sunrise." he strokes his chin and leans back, not liking this. "Hell of a start to the season." he growls softly.

 Darcy looks confused, being newer in town "Season Sir? Crime is seasonal on this island?" She's kind of joking but cautiously.

 Adum sighs, unaware he'd spoken so loudly. "Actually ... yes." he tells her. "More than eighty percent of our violent crimes happen between September the first and December the first." he admits. "I suppose one example is that, so far this year we've had a single murder. At the Olin. Back in the spring. Man beat his wife, who later died of her injuries. Since September the first we've had this murder, two felony assaults, one rape, one attempted rape, and a drowning. Four of these happened at the Olin." he looks a little ashamed. "And we have over a month to go." he considers telling her about the legends that the Olin is a cursed place. In the Autumn ... he believes it more than any time of the year.

 Darcy contemplates this "Huh....usually there is a spike before winter in cold places. You know jail has better food than the streets, but it doesn't hit those deep freeze temperature here that goes with that. What's with the Olin specifically?"

Adum doesn't argue. "Well, we also have no homeless whatsoever. First, we aren't really set up for that, as the only ways to get here are by water or air. Add to that that there a couple of people in this town who would take anyone who had no home here and take them over to Town Hall and help them apply for aid and, in the meantime take them into their own home." he lifts his hands. "ZIlpha .. Miss Z is one of them. My home is the local cat shelter. Cats don't have to buy ferry tickets and for some reason the ferry seems to unintentionally drop off cats on a regular basis." then he pauses. Then he recites, as if he long ago memorized some kind of seriously messed up tourist flier. "The Olin Motel, built, owned and operated by Gerald Olin, was the first motel on Alexandra. The inn housed families as they waited for their homes and stores to be built elsewhere on the island. During the first winter … one of Alexandra’s harshest … two separate families in two separate rooms were found dead. One family seemed to have committed some kind of mass suicide; including the children. In the other room a father took time to torture his family before killing them, and then himself. Gerald Olin himself died in his own hotel, years later, committing suicide in one of the rooms." he stops and shrugs. "At least that's the history. In Alexandra, by the way, Halloween is banned. Pretty much always but definitely since it became such a commercial success. There's never been trick-or-treating or any f that stuff allowed on this island." he sits back and watches her for a response.

It is known that Darcy has a military background and has seen war zones in Syria and Afghanistan, been on strike teams to get hostages out of mass shootings and clean up tasks forces for drug and prostitution dens but she still does a slight eyebrow raise at the notion of one place being so cursed. To her violence is random in location, even if it's constant in humanity at large. She nods slowly and says thoughtfully "I see Sir."

 Adum shrugs. "Alexandra history. Fascinating." he takes in a deep breath. "Back on track. Could Heather be reacting to alleged domestic violence or possibly what she saw?" he asks, always happy NOT to talk about Alexandra's history.

Darcy nods "Valid theory. Course that makes the boyfriend more of a suspect. If he's prone to violence."

Adum considers. "Well, there is no proof of domestic violence. Accusations. No proof. Either way ... we need to bring the boyfriend in for questioning for this murder anyway. Take Sam and see if he's in ... if he isn't..." he pauses, considering. "I suppose we can simply wait for him to show up and bring him in. Then we'll ask our questions and see where it goes from there."

Darcy agrees "If the girlfriend's still there, he's coming back But let's keep a tail on her too."

Adum nods, slowly. "Absolutely. But nothing too obvious. I don't want the boyfriend to bolt when he sees a cop car at the Olin .. so one of the few civilian cars in town." Alexandra statute limits driving of gasoline powered cars down by limiting them to high ranking city personnel or those willing to pay huge permit fees.

Darcy clearly understands "We could schedule plainclothes walk bys even Sir...or rent room 7..."

 Adum considers it. "I ... hesitate to rent room 7, but .... " he sighs deeply. "You're right. That may be the only way. He's been too slippery." he nods slowly.

 Darcy sighs "You'll have to pick some unknown faces for the rental fake. Unfortunately they know some of us now from the investigation."

 Adum chuckles. "There ARE no unknown faces in Alexandra. Not even you. But I CAN suggest to Olin management that they need to cooperate with us for a little while, have restaurants deliver food, to avoid my officers having to leave the room and change shifts when there is little to no traffic. We've done this before, and it is no fun. But in a town this small being the face no one recognizes is getting a LOT of attention."

 Darcy meets Adum's gaze "Understood." She stands ready to receive either orders or dismissal.

Adum offers her a nod. "Go and get Sam ... Wright. The two of you change into civvies and then go to the Olin. I'll call ahead for you. I'll see to it you're relieved at midnight, if the suspect doesn't show up before then. Dismissed."

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