It was an epidemic. Two more bodies. Two more missing brains.

More chapters from Dark Continent Continental

A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental

Chapter 6

“Good morning, Skeeter.” Angus greeted his partner as she walked into headquarters.

“Did you leave last night when I did?’ She asked.

“Yeah, pretty much.  I called up Padilla and thanked him.  I told him we would keep him posted.”

“What was his demeanor?”

“Funny thing—he was back to his old gregarious self.  He acted like he would like to take these guys off the street, himself, if we get a match.”

“Okay.  I am ready to get with it.  Let me get some coffee.”

*     *     *

     “I’ve got one—I’ve got a match!”  Angus called out to Skeeter.  “Guzman!”

“Skeeter answered, “Okay, let’s keep going, go through the whole stack.  We think only two perps were involved.  Let’s see if the ones we are calling probable matches have any accomplices they usually work with.  Even if they didn’t leave prints at the scene, they might have been there, too.  If the prints are a definite match, we are going to have to do a door-by-door in the neighborhood of the invasion and show photos.”

“I doubt if we will get any cooperation there.”

“I don’t think so either, but if we look at their reactions to the photos, we can make note of that and go back and prod further.  Someone is bound to have seen them—they were casing the joint.” Skeeter concluded.

“Right!  We’ll be able…”  Angus was stopped in mid-sentence when his desk phone rang.  “Okay, Doc.  Thanks a bunch.  And call back any time, if you know what I mean.”  Angus returned to work going through his stack of Faxes, making comparisons.  Suddenly, he began to rummage through his desk drawer until he found his small pocket atlas.  He turned to the front map of the whole United States.  It occupied two pages, facing each other.  With a red marker he drew a small circle on Toronto.  He drew another small circle on Miami, then, he drew a circle on Salt Lake City.  He put a red question mark on Mexico.  He then drew a red circle on St. Louis and another red circle on Chicago.  He stared at the red dots.  “Okay, Skeeter, I am almost through with my stack.  How about you?”

“I have one more guy to check.”

“When you get through, we’ll compare notes.”

After ten minutes went by Skeeter said, “I think Ortega is a match for some of the prints from the scene. It says that Ortega usually works with Solis.  What have you got?”

“Well, Guzman.  Guzman is not known for working with anyone, but it says here that Solis is his cousin.  Imagine that!”

“So, it may be possible that Ortega, Guzman and Solis were all at the crime scene.”  Skeeter summed it up.  “Ortega and Solis do not have violent backgrounds.  They are mainly burglars, petty thieves.”

Angus added, “Guzman’s crimes are not known to be violent, either, Skeeter.  Okay, let’s get our probables over to forensics so they can line up these prints for definite matches.  While they are doing that we can come back over here and make copies of their photos and enlarge some of them.  We can take some of the enlargements to our sketch artists and have them change them—hair length, facial hair, caps, hats.”

“Okay, let’s go!”

“We have got tomorrow all lined out.  We are taking photos to the crime scene neighborhood and pounding the pavement.”  Skeeter announced to Angus as they waited for the call from forensics.

Angus got his pocket atlas out and turned again to the map of the United States.  “While we are waiting, I want to show you something here.”

Skeeter got up to get a closer look.  Angus continued.  “Remember that call I got this morning?  It was Doctor LeBraun.  Two more brainless bodies have popped up.  One in St. Louis and one in Chicago.”

Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.

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