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Fish and Chips and a Corpse
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Image Credits: JamesStewart

Player: Garcia
Date of Birth: 17.03.1958
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#1
'Duck' Anderson wasn't too keen on Pubs normally. Cop bars were one thing, you knew the customers and the guy behind the counter and there were little to no outsiders during the happy hours. In a normal Pub that was out in the open, it was always having to look for what one was saying and keeping an eye out for people out for trouble. But his regular place was closed for repairs and other things, so one of the patrons had recommended this place and so he had decided to give it a try. Funnily enough if one dicsounted the more brit-sy stuffs, the place reminded him of several higher class harbour bars he had known in his day, which was a plus, somewhat. Thus, when it was time to get some lunch, he had come to the place.

As he sat at his table with a newspaper and some notes, he wondered how long it'd take until he'd hear from Smithson. Apparently, he had a body in the morgue and was looking forward to share the results of the examinations as soon as they were done. Or so the LT had said after welcoming Anderson by slapping a collection of notes and writings on his desk that looked like it wanted to become a case file at some point. He hadn't been able to get to know much, the papers were slim and hastily collected. An end-of-shift happening by the looks of it. Another reason he liked day shifts... He knew that the local head eccentric had been found on the Crown, dead, and that it had not been a pretty sight. Details? Who needed details anyway, such a holdup for orderly proper police procedure! So he had little to do than hope that Smithson called soon and filled him in on details. In the meantime, he had ordered a plate of sandwiches and a big glass of milk. He didn't feel too adventurous today, especially after a slow day when he still had five hours work before him. In the end, he flipped some pages to get to the crossword puzzle and klicked his pen.

French mustard city with five letters? Hmm...
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Pub Owner

Player: Willowleafs
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#2
It had been a rather calm afternoon, so when he had a guest, Adrian did what he liked to do: he tried to make them feel 'at home'. The man had opted for a plate of mixed sandwiches, so these were made. They always made sure the food was as fresh as possible, and so he cut the loafs in neat slices, two rye, tow white, three whole bran, which were the only ones he toasted lightly.

He made the rye into a local favourite: BLT, with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and freshly fried bacon and a light saucing. The white bread, he transformed into a smoked salmon sandwich. He always kept some smoked meats and fish on stock, as the locals seemed quite fond of them, especially the fish. The last one, the all-bran, he made a classic cub sandwich, with boiled ham as meat filler, the fresh produce serving the role of veggie fillings, and with a rather delicate Dijon mustard sauce to complement the boiled ham.

He then brought it over to the table himself, as there was nobody occupying his time at the bar. And he liked to meet new guests to his pub, after all.

Good afternoon, sir. Here is your sandwich plate, and drink. I hope you'll enjoy your meal here. With that, Mr Willis places the plate near Donald, taking care not to put them on the newspaper.
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#3
"Good afternoon."

Of course Donald didn't explicitly know that this was Willis, but from the things he had heard about the place and the owners, it was a very reasonable guess. He lowered the newspaper und put it aside, but didn't get to the food just yet.

"Pretty sure I will, thank you."

He looked around, the place was pretty empty, well, still pretty empty.

"An interesting place you have here, Mr Willis... What brings a European far enough to voluntarily come to us and bring us the blessings of British civilization ?"
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Just my lucky day

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#4
For Steele, the door to The Very British Pub opened for the second time that day. And honestly, that wasn't all that surprising from him. A man had to eat, and anyone who had ever spent a day with the cop knew that if a town had any restaurants or other places that served food, he'd be there when he was hungry. His cupboards and the fridge was quite empty most of the time, with just the occasional leftover accompanying the light inside. He left the cooking to those who could do it.

At least this time Steele hadn't just woken up and looked slightly more alive after his… Breakfast. In the middle of the day. But that was after a night shift, so who could blame him? At the very least, this time he was more alert, his eyes scanning the pub as he entered. For once, he couldn't see that British pretender behind the bar, the man's gaze surveying the counter as he walked past. Seemed like a quiet evening, this time. It didn't take long for his eyes to meet those of the bar owner hovering near a table, along with… Oh. The Sarge. Steele's face didn't really look all that pleased, but really, when did it look pleased? Some surely had started to suspect if he lacked the muscles to change his expression from his usual frown.

Guess they had picked the same time to visit… And by now it seemed like it was too late to just come back later.
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Pub Owner

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#5
(09-12-2017, 04:09 PM)Donald F. Anderson Wrote: "An interesting place you have here, Mr Willis... What brings a European far enough to voluntarily come to us and bring us the blessings of British civilization ?"

Adrian grinned at the question. It wasn't the first time anyone had asked him that, though never before in this manner. He saw the humour in it all, all to well. Well, to be frank about it all, there's enough of these back in the UK already, my French is way to meagre to try Canada, and I detest high heat, so my Austalian brethren had to go on without me. I was an Englishman, looking to start anew, and with this region being referred to as New England, it was the better fit. He sounded a bit overly dramatic, and he most likely had been exaggerating a bit, but the gist of it seemed to be in honesty. And beyond that, I met this lovely lady that pretty much tied me down here. And I still love her for it every day. That, and the fact she's a fiend with our books. I think even the guys at the IRS are a tad scared of her.... The last part he said with a rather large amount of mirth, and not a small amount of grinning, either.
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#6
"The IRS? Not too bad, those are hard to intimidate. remind me to stay on Mrs. Willis' good side, then !" After a short look left and right to see whether Mrs. Willis was anywhere near, he leaned closer towards the Brit and lowered his voice. "Sir, if you are under duress or forced to remain here against your will, blink thrice. If I take you in, we can have you out of town before your wife and her lawyer have everything ready to retrieve you." As if to lend some credence to his words, he pushed his jacket a bit aside so that Adrian could see the golden badge affixed to his belt. However, he did pull up one corner of his mouth prematurely and snickered before picking up the glass of milk. "To the wives, past, present and future! And to the lucky bastards that have the same one for all three."

At this point he notices the officer who entered earlier and gives him a nod before returning his attention back to the milk and the first sandwich. "Mr. Willis, this is a pretty decent sandwich."
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#7
Smithson

The door opened and the coroner walked in. "Good evening!". He looked at Steele, then at Duck, then at Steele once again. Mildly surprised, in a good way. "What a lucky coincidence, both of you here! I thought to call later, but... Nothing against sharing what I got a bit earlier, right?" He took a seat at Duck's table, made a gesture as to summon Steele as well. "And... errr... Mr. Willis? I'd like to have some of those sausages of yours. And a strong ale. And frie- hm, chips. And I guess I'll need some more coffee, too".
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Just my lucky day

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#8
Steele gave the older cop a nod. Seemed like he was good to go while the other man was distracted with his conversation, giving him plenty of time to slip past the two so he could sit down elsewhere. The biggest issue here was that what was currently occupying Anderson was the person Steele had to talk to too! His ticket to food, the only reason for his arrival. Luckily, he was sure his presence would attract a business owner sooner rather than later, if they wanted their money…

But before he managed to get much further in, the door was opened behind him and a familiar voice boomed behind him, causing Steele to flinch before he quickly looked over his shoulder. Smithson. What was this? He hasn't made any plans of meeting anyone here, yet all three of them had somehow ended up in The Very British Pub at the same time. Didn't seem like Anderson and Smithson had planned to meet, either.

Steele didn't manage to say anything before the coroner walked past him, right to the table with the other cop. Uninvited. It only got more awkward when he was invited to the table as well, but by Smithson. Glancing aside, it seemed like this was just going to happen. No calm dinner by himself today. But at least it seemed like this was something work-related…

A moment of hesitation, but Steele finally walked to the table and sat next to the coroner, glancing up at Willis.
"…I'm going to need dinner too. Surprise me, but I can't be drinking now," was his request. It wasn't like he really knew what half of the menu even was, anyway.
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Pub Owner

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#9
At the "we can get you to safety" plot, Adrian could only laugh from behind his moustache. Jolly good show constable. Jolly good indeed. Then, as he was about to retreat back to his spot behind the bar, as he had already learned by multiple exposures that Steele wasn't the chatty type, he was stopped right in his tracks by the entry of Dr Smithson. Not an unknown guest, either. But with now realizing that he had three people affiliated with the Law in one booth, and one of them the coroner, well that wasn't something one should be too involved in.

Then again, the Dr and Steele both placed a dinner order, and one did NOT skimp on hospitality. One 'Naked Toads in a Green Hole with a coffee, and some Bangers and Mash with the same, then. Unless sir rather had water or a soda? He deliberately used the much more popular American terminology, and his accent wasn't half ass pronounced as it had been but a moment ago. He had seen Steele's looks before, and had deemed him "not receptive" to the common image Willis had taken for himself, so he went back to his much more sedate, but equally recognizable, natural Liverpudlian accent.

I'll keep foot traffic away from the booth as much as possible for you gents. he said in his natural accent, right before he went back to the overly posh one to greet a new arrival to his "humble establishment".
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#10
"Right. I mean, might as well use the lucky coincidence."

Sure, some of the people had already been talking about Smithson behind his back. Rumor-mongering how the guy was like a barrel without a bottom when it came to food, especially after 'work'. There were some healthy and some not as healthy theories about the details, but Donald didn't plan to get involved with that too much if he could avoid it. Still, he wondered whether this was a normal serving for Smithson or not... He waited until Steele had taken a seat, took another bite from his sandwich and got the newspaper and some other stuffs off the table, producing his notepad and pencil.He scraped the tip of the pencil with a small pocket knife, leaving the shavings to fall onto a piece of paper placed on the table strategically.

"So, what do you have for us ?"
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#11

Smithson

"So... Hm, glad to have you here". He looked at the kitchen, impatient, then at the two cops again. "As I was saying this morning, it's an interesting case. You'll get all the papers neatly written once I have the results of the last tests, however what we have here is a good start. First of all, our victim was strangled". He looked at Steele, who'd seen the body. "Now, this is not CSI, so you don't get the precise minute of his death or the killer's favorite song, however it's quite safe to say the time of death was not too long after midnight. No sign of struggle on site, just a neat path across the island, so the most likely scenario is: he was strangled somewhere in town, then brought to the island, and there he had his skull cracked, probably with a stone, and probably after a few hours".
A pause, to be sure they were following. A sniff to the air. "It's not over, though. His skin... Under his shirt, he had some rather complex lesions. Superficial, but interestingly shaped" - he put some pictures on the table: livid skin, cuts like arabesques. "These too were made after his death, with a sharp blade such as a scalpel or a razor". Before continuing, he waited for any comment.
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Just my lucky day

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#12
"Coffee's fine," Steele just replied in his usual gruff manner, not objecting to whatever it was that the barkeep was going to bring him. He was the one asking for a surprise, wasn't he? Mr. Willis soon disappeared from their table, the cop's attention turning back to the coroner as he started to explain what he had found out. Strangled. Now, he hadn't been able to get a very good look at the victim to even suspect that, but he was going to take it. He could take the theory that the body was carried to where they had found it, too. There just… Had been that whole thing with the boat that just stuck out to him. Sure, the guy could have been carried to the island first, alive, but… There was been that piece of a plastic bag around…

It wasn't all. The cop frowned as Smithson started talking about the odd cuts, even showing them a picture of the corpse. Leaning closer to take a better look, the skin of the body was cut open in a way that almost resembled a toddler's doodle on a wall. Clearly a pub where one person was eating and the other two were going to eat was the best place to show such pictures. Steele wouldn't put it past Smithson to actually not even bat an eye if he saw something like this while he ate.

And these too were something made after the guy had died. But the knife scribbles were looking a lot stranger than a bashed skull.

"Great," Steele huffed, leaning back in his chair,
"So we have some lunatic on the loose now?" He frowned, not looking very happy. Who else went around not only killing people, but also cutting such strange marks on the bodies of their dead victim? No one sane, that was for sure.
"What was used to strangle the guy? Something more rope-like or did they use their hands?"
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Pub Owner

Player: Willowleafs
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#13
As he was working in the semi-open kitchen the playlist of the pub turned up the most annoyingly fitting tune it could muster, almost like it was a semi-sentient entity. It was the trademark song by Monty Python, from the movie "The Life of Brian": 'Always look on the bright side of life'. From the kitchen came an enthusiastic singing-along, whistling included. The most convenient of coincidences being that the chores reversal "Always look on the bright side of death" came right after Smithson paused, waiting for any comments.

Meanwhile, the smell coming from the cooking area wafted into the pub, filling it with the smell of meat and baking batter.
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#14
Smithson

"They used their hands... He used his hands, I'd dare say. From the extent of the lesions, we're looking for someone of quite extraordinary strength. However, this isn't the most interesting part...". His hand extracted a small jar from his pocket and placed it on the table. Inside, a few dead, wingless insects floated in what looked like a preserving fluid. "Once I cut the body, I found it was literally swarming with these. I know a thing or three about the various maggots you can find on a body, but these? No idea what they are, or how come they multiply so fast".
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#15
Donald didn't try to pick up on Smithson's line about the favourite piece of music of the killer. Enya perhaps ? Elton John ? Anyway ! He picked up the pictures one by one and had a good look at them to see if they resembled letters or ornaments or something with a discernible sense of, well, sense behind it. What he could see of the lesions on the neck fit Smithson's idea, but then, he'd be a shoddy craftsman if they wouldn't have. he tapped his chin with a finger and made some notes before going for a sip of milk.

"So what you suggest is, the perp strangled the victim at... some place we have yet to find, undressed the body to make the superficial cuts visible on the photo, then dressed it again, brought it to the island, bashed its head in and left the corpse to be found by whoever happens to come along... A bit outlandish, but nothing out of the ordinary, I guess."

The Sergeant didn't have a degree in Biology, but what he knew about marine environments concurred with the Doctor's findings. The maggots didn't fit. He took a good look at them as well. He didn#t like insects as such a lot, but he wasn't afraid of them either. Fascinating little things, even if they busied themselves mostly with being pests.

"So did the maggots develop normally, or could they have been placed there as a sort of message ?"

The body was a message, he was pretty sure about that. If the killer hadn't arranged for the body to be found, it could have literally been made to disappear effortlessly and the work with the scalpel was too much effort to just dump the body unless this was just a piece of practice, which, again, could have dumped omewhere where noone would find it easily. Donald himself didn#t mingle with the 'occult' crowd a lot, but it looked like those were either the people they should look for or at least the ones the killer wanted them to look at.

Which one would it be ?
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Just my lucky day

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#16
Steele let out a deep, musing hum at Smithson's discoveries. So their suspect was, well, suspected of being a guy who liked getting real close and personal with his killings. A strong guy – though they could figure that out already, considering that the body was carried, not dragged. There could have been an accomplice, sure… But right now it all was still very open.

But there was something more interesting the coroner produced, digging out a small jar from his pocket. It was filled with some kind of liquid and… Bugs. The cop leaned closer again, tilting his head. Honestly, all bugs just looked the same to him if they had the same general shape and color. He couldn't have said anything about them, he couldn't recognize them. But neither did Smithson. Not any commonly known bugs, then?

Still, couldn't have been such a great find to cut open a body swarming with creepy crawlies.

"Sheesh. The guy wasn't even dead for long and he already was in that state?" The island sure was sounding like an even more horrible place now – if that was where the bugs came from. Could they have been there before he died? That would have given more time for them to multiply, but would a person survive like that? Then again, maybe Smithson was just exaggerating, but…

Steele glanced at Anderson. Could they have been planted there? Who would do something like that? Well, probably the kind of a person who also cut some weird scribbles on their corpse, so that wasn't out of the picture. Not that they really knew what that would have even meant.
"…Figuring out what the critters even are in the first place would probably help, there. Probably shouldn't be letting them out in case they don't belong here, don't want to be a part of a case about invasive species released in the wild."
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#17
Smithson

The coroner nodded to Donald's reconstruction. It was either that, or some variation of that theme. As for the bugs..."I can't really tell what they are, all that I know is that they aren't normally found on bodies. On fresh bodies... let's not even start. But, whatever they were doing there, it wasn't 'normal'. I can't tell how anyone could've put them there, however, because they weren't just on the body - they were literally filling every cavity, every organ that had enough space for them to crawl...".
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#18
Donald wasn't going to let his imagination on how those things had been able to get where they had been found too much. He opted to picture it as the tapeworm method for now. Smithson would get most things rolling in that department on his own anyway, so he was sort of glad to not have to go too deep into that.

"Okay. Then we'll set the usual gears in motion and wait for the detailed report. Have you found anything else that is uncommon or doesn't belong ?"
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Just my lucky day

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#19
"…Guess we should see what countries he's been to lately," Steele hummed. Just because Smithson didn't recognize the bugs didn't mean that they couldn't be normal… In some other part of the world. An awful parasitic infestation or something the poor sap had picked overseas? Could a person even live long if they were so full of insects? The mere idea made his skin crawl…

The cop's eyes flicked to Anderson, already shifting to work mode and wanting to get to the next part of the report. Steele had a hunch there wasn't going to be anything stranger when it came to the corpse after the whole bug infestation part, but maybe Smithson had heard something else.
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#20
Smithson

"Why, aren't crazy incisions and a bug infestation enough?" He smirked. The question was legit, actually, but in truth there wasn't anything else. "Nothing else that matters, really. As for where he'd been, that'd help, sure. Although, I doubt he had all those in his system while alive. When I say they're swarming, I mean literally".
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Just my lucky day

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#21
"Could have been eggs until they hatched," Steele suggested. Not that he really knew anything about parasites or other bugs and how they would live in a host body or how they would even get there in the first place, but… Well, sure sounded plausible to him! Maybe that would explain the bugs while still keeping the guy alive. Still, if that was it, it sure sounded like he would have died soon enough if he was so infested with the insects…

Could they have gotten there after he had died? Didn't sound like they were bugs Smithson was familiar with, so maybe they weren't local. Could someone have placed them in the corpse, then? …But why? That certainly wouldn't be the first strange thing about this case and their murderer, but it would have only made this all even stranger.
"…I think there was a bug expert I could show your specimens to…"
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#22
"Well, they are a start."

He smirks and drinks some milk. He definitely diesn't like where this is going the more he hears about it, but won't let it sow for now. If there is more where this came from, there will be enough opportunities to get fully grossed out anyway. Or confused. Its one thing if theres a little challenge involved, but this hasn't properly started yet and is already making less sense by the minute.
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#23
Smithson

"If we have someone who knows what these things are, that'd be an improvement. In all honesty? I don't know if they could have hatched in such a large number - all that I know about them is that they're nothing like your regular maggots... Oh, awesome, food is coming!"
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#24
It had taken the better part of twenty minutes for Mr Willis to get the meals ready, and as he brought them over, the smells coming off of them were enticing, to say the least. Here's the Toads for you, putting the bacon-wrapped sausages on leeks in from of Smithson, And the Bangers for you. He also placed tow rather substantial cups of coffee next to the dishes.

Anything else I can help you gentlemen with? Mr Willis stood there for a bit longer, awaiting either a positive or negative reaction telling him what his own next action would, and wouldn't, entail.
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#25
Smithson

"Oh thanks! That looks delicious! Hm, I think it's enough by now, although you never know. All this talking about work makes one hungrier than ever". And there he smirked. There were a few things he enjoyed; among them were food, and extremely horrid humor.
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Just my lucky day

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#26
Steele nodded. Seemed like the other two were agreeing with wanting to figure out the mystery of the bugs. Who knew if that got them any closer to the killer, but it sure might have. There wasn't much else he managed to say before Smithson eagerly chimed about the food, causing the cop to raise his head to indeed see the certain British fellow walking closer with some plates of food.

Of course he was interested, basically having ordered a surprise plate for himself, but what came back didn't look like anything suspicious. Just your usual homely food, but that was goo enough for Steele. Something greasy and tasty.
"I'm good, thanks," Steele looked at the pub owner, his own expression rather subdued compared to the coroner.

Probably the only guy who got hungrier when talking about corpses full of maggots, but at least Steele hadn't lost his appetite yet as he reached for the cutlery.
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#27
"No, that would be all, thank you."

Anderson also had little left on his wishing list for now, but then, there was enough on the plate still. So he took a bite out of his sandwich.

"Who are you thinking of, Steele ?"
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#28
A fork skewered one of the plump-looking sausages, a trickle of fatty juices oozing out from the hole now that the skin has been pierced. Steele cut off a small piece and shoveled some of the mashed potatoes on peas on the forkful before he stuffed the package in his mouth. Yep, pretty much what he had expected. Nothing too fancy, but the kind of cozy homely food that warmed him from within. The kind of stuff everyone could eat and be happy with. And the cop wasn't a fancy man himself.

Smithson was busy shoveling food into his face as well, but Anderson seemed to be interested in talking. Mainly, about who Steele had been talking about. He swallowed his mouthful before speaking.
"…A weird coincidence. The girl who found the body said she was," an antro, anthro, ant… Uh…
"Some kind of a bug expert. Apparently was out there studying some bugs. Figure she'd be familiar with the things."
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#29
"Hm, so she's already involved. Has she been cleared or are there still options for her to be involved in what whent on ? As long as any suspicion, that she might be too familiar with the things, stands, I think it'd be not too wise to pull her in."

If it was at all, seeing how she could be emotionally invested in or traumatized by finding the body. However, if she was the only specialist in the viocinity, that was an interesting bind they found themselves in. Police protocol was clear on this, but so was Donald's experience concerning the rate of solved murders and how it developed the more time passed. He put down the sandwich.

"As long as there's any doubt on the integrity of that specialist, I don't want her involved. Find someone else to take a look at it, if you can. I'll accept reasonable reports, but I don't want to see any compromised name on it. Are we clear on that ?"

He didn't doubt Steele's ability to read between the lines... What he'd do with that, was up to him.
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Just my lucky day

Image Credits:

Player: BOOT
Date of Birth: April 10th, 1986
Pronouns: He
Height: 5'11"/180cm
Plotter: LINK
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41 Posts
3 Threads

#30
"When our suspected murder weapon is someone's hands and there weren't signs of dragging on the ground, I doubt a little thing like her could have done it. At least, not alone," Steele mused, taking a sip from his cup of coffee. Hell, he wasn't sure if she was able to transport the body in any way using her own strength, dragging or not. Could she be an accomplice? Someone who ordered the hit? They didn't have the needed information to say that.
"There's nothing I know of directly connecting her to any of this, other than her having been the first one to stumble on the scene. Suspicious maybe, considering the place and the timing," the cop left it at that and shrugged. Would a murderer really make themselves stand out like that, though…?

"Obviously I haven't heard the latest details or if she has any connections or an alibi now that we have some estimated time of death. Haven't been to the station yet," he continued, placing the cup on the table and returning to his meal. Some things that they had to figure out first, but they had the investigators on the case. It was just a matter of actually hearing their findings.
"My head ain't quite as thick as your midsection yet. Relax."
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