An Investigation in Force

From the Log Files of Karl Nash

Day 36 - Evening:
Joe Fortson burst into the First Inn, weapon drawn and at the ready. Karl Nash was hot on his heels. He began his sweep, then paused and stepped aside, making room for Nash, as Fortson saw the bodies lying on the floor, Mariana Stuart standing over them.

A few quick words and an explanation by Mariana, then Nash turned to Fortson and said. “We certainly are going to need a council meeting soon, but first Joe, round up some support quick as you can handle it and I‘ll meet you at the upper bridge. We’re going to visit Reye’s farm. Get as many as you think you need.” Nash then turned back to Reye, “Lester I understand that Jack and the rest of his bunch are,” and with another look at the bodies he amended, “–or were–staying out at your farm. Am I right on this?”

Pale and shaking Reye responded, “Yes they were staying there Karl, but surely you can’t think I had anything to do with what was on the surveillance tape.” He couldn’t bring himself to say anything about what the tapes actually showed.

“No one is accusing anyone of anything Lester, but I want to make sure that if evidence exists, evidence of anything, it doesn’t simply disappears before we get around to looking for it. I would appreciate it if no one uses their com unit or leaves the Inn until Joe and I are back. Is that clear enough for everyone?”

Silence reigned supreme and as he prepared to leave Nash said to Mariana, who was looking like she was about to join him, “Please Mariana would you stay here and make sure anyone else that shows up stays, and that the bodies aren’t touched before Kurt does an examination? This could be very important.”

If anger could boil water they would all have been poached, but holding herself in check Mariana simply nodded.

Nash made the bridge just moments before Gene Washburn, Sabbu Akai, and Manuel Ortega reached the abutment with Fortson leading the way.

“I’ll take point, “Fortson commanded, “Let’s make time till we reach the marsh above the foot of the lower bridge. “We’ll figure out what comes next when we get there.”

They covered the distance in a little under twenty minutes and halted at the edge of the sandy area adjoining the marshland. It was getting dark rapidly now but there was still enough light remaining that after they skirted the marsh to the north and found a position to examine Reyes cabin from they could tell there wasn‘t any activity around the farm house. They could also see light from a fire and maybe an electric lamp that was illuminating the window facing their position.

Nash was letting Joe handle this and thankful for the opportunity. “Ok,” Joe said, “If Buchanan’s there and everybody’s home a max of six. Manuel get around back, Gene take the window on the side, Nash will back me up. I’m gonna give 10 minutes for you guys to get in position before Karl and I move in. It’s gonna be dark by then, so unless they got a lookout, and ain’t no reason I can think of that they should, we will be in place without anyone the wiser. I’m gonna bust through that door doin’ one of the no knock search routines the Goonies were famous for, and when I do Mannie and Gene, smash out the glass and point your rifles inside. But just in case ya gotta use ‘em, make sure they’re not pointed at me or Karl. We all clear on this?. . . Good, let’s do it.”

For the second time in the last hour Fortson burst through a door. As he did so this time he heard the smashing of broken glass and saw Burt Buchanan and four others seated at a table in the combined main room and kitchen playing cards. While they were still too surprised to say a word, and Nash kept them covered, Joe looked into the empty bedroom. Nothing.

“What the hell’s going on here,” Buchanan started to bluster.

“Jacks dead, and this is part of the investigation, don’t say a word, just be nice and calm and you all can accompany Karl and me back into Liberty city and we we’ll be happy to fill in the details for you.” Fortson said. “Manuel stay here and watch the place. Some one will be along to relive you as soon as we can handle it.” Then back to those still seated at the table, “If you gentlemen,” he said looking at the card players, “would follow Mr. Nash, Gene and I will bring up the rear.”

They all filed out in silence and with the use of hand held lights headed northwards. By the time they were back in Liberty City and reached the Community Building it looked like a Council session might be getting underway that night after all. But Nash was hoping the forensic results could be produced first.

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