Friday, March 20, 2009
55 Wordzzles all in a row (well, not exactly in a row) (more like in continuous publication or something like that I suppose)
Run by the Raven's Nest and get all the info on the Wordzzle program will ya?
The Ten Word Challenge: humanity, shadow, ricochet, wrong, pluralism, mathematics, personhood, printing press, ink spot, choral society
Mini Challenge: kingdom, take names, best seller, three times, inner demons
This Week's Episode: Extrication
Dan and Carla watched as the helicopter flew over them towards the trail head. Dan came up from under the cover of his rock's ledge and looked after the receding chopper. The couple observed the craft till it was little more than an ink spot in the night sky. As they looked on, the helicopter's running lights came on, the searchlight having been extinguished, and the craft changed course towards the mountains and the distant coast. Carla looked to Dan as she emerged from the shadow of the boulder into the soft moonlight, "You put new meaning into the phrase let's go hiking in the desert, Sugar" she smiled at him.
"I've been out here to this section of the preserve at least three times in the last couple of years and everything went well." "Sorry about this babe, I'll make it up to you." "Our next trip will be something luxurious and relaxing" Dan answered apologetically.
They made it back to the Bronco without further incident, though both were dead tired after the multiple hour hike at a much more brisk pace than the first part of their hike. Dan used his CB radio to contact the park ranger and then the California State Police. Griggs understood the pluralism of law enforcement society and made sure he didn't step on any toes.
The ranger was kind enough to come out on a Sunday night/Monday morning and take their statements directly. He could see how beat and frazzled the couple was and showed his humanity by arriving with hot coffee and donuts. It took till dawn to finish up with their statements. The staties said they would come out sometime Monday to go to the site with the ranger and see that the film was processed. On this point Dan demurred and stated he would have the film processed by the Laughlin PD and provide both the negatives and film to the California State Police by Tuesday at the latest. He didn't mention that Carla had pictures as well.
As part of the statement Ranger Olafson made sure to take names and addresses of Dan, Carla, their employers and in Dan's case even Captain Jenkins, when the ranger was told that Dan was consulting on the murders in Laughlin. Professional courtesy was extended by allowing Dan to process the film at the Laughlin lab. In any case it would not have been done any sooner through either the Forest Service or California State Police labs.
The really good info Dan gave Ranger Olafson was the exact coordinates of the site from his portable GPS. It would be no problem for the agencies to find the spot and examine what ever the helicopter's crew had left behind. Dan's inexpensive Garmin E-Trex H didn't have a lot of fancy features, but it had the one needed most and it was highly accurate. The small unit he always carried in his backpack was a best seller for under a hundred bucks and had helped Dan return time and again to hard to find places from previous hikes.
By the time Dan and Carla got back to Laughlin it was mid morning and both were tired, dirty and in need of sleep. Dan dropped Carla off at her place then headed over to the police station to get the film processed and talk with Captain Jenkins.
"It got a little hairy out there with Carla along" Dan explained. "I was concerned we had walked right into some sort of Drug Cartel crime scene or something Ned" Dan finished as he bagged the film canisters and headed back to the photo lab. The tech looked at Dan and asked "When are you old school boys going to go digital?" "Someday maybe" Dan replied. "We need these back by this afternoon Larson" Captain Jenkins stated. "Sure Captain, no problem" the tech answered back as Jenkins and Griggs headed for the Captains office.
"You know Ned, I think your photo tech thinks I'm as old as the printing press" Dan laughed tiredly. "There's something so wrong about me being the old guy in this" he finished. "We got the identity of the Jane Doe over the weekend from the state lab" Jenkins told him. "It was Connie Liplin's personal secretary."
The two discussed the implications of this information and the curious inability of the state's lab to confirm the corpse in the Tahoe as Connie Liplin. Dan brought up the idea that perhaps more investigation should be done on the Realtor. "Somebody really didn't like her if they went to all the trouble of killing her and her assistant" Dan added. "Assuming that the body in the SUV is confirmed as Connie's it would point to a business connection" Jenkins pointed out. "What if the body in the Tahoe wasn't Connie Liplin?" Dan pondered. "Then where would we be?" he asked. "It won't change the mathematics" Jenkins replied. "We still have two murders on our hands." "Three, if you count the skeleton in the desert we found this weekend" Dan corrected him.
"Not my jurisdiction and not my problem unless they end up being connected" the captain stated. "I realize that possibility Ned, but think of it this way; there's been 4 deaths of citizens of this town in the last 4 weeks, two of which we are considering as accidental" Dan noted. "What if all of them were connected and the latest find in the desert is just another in a continuing stream of murders and suspicious deaths with a common theme?" "Quite a conspiracy theory Dan" Jenkins chuckled, "but I'd have to see a lot more evidence to begin to think that way." "Me too" Dan smiled back, "but my weekend in the desert has me thinking black helicopters and new world order."
"Christ Dan, go home and get some sleep" Jenkins said. "Watch out or you'll start talking about your "personhood" or joining the damn choral society" the captain concluded. Dan agreed and drove straight home for some sleep. He was working the graveyard shift tonight at the Pioneer. Before he sank into the soft oblivion of his perfect sleeper and right after he set the alarm, he made one phone call though. "Hey Thomas it's Dan, long time no see." "How are things in Phoenix?" "I know you're not going to believe this, but I'm working on this case here in Laughlin and thought you might be interested" he finished as the answering machine beeped and told him to finish his message. Maybe his old buddy Thomas McCool would have some ideas about this case. Either way it would be great to talk to him again.
"Cathy preferred the south of France to French Guiana, but knew she would need time to perfect her new identity. The occasional trips to Europe were helpful but not totally safe. There was always the possibility that a tourist from the "kingdom" might be vacationing here and recognize her, though any poor and adventurous enough to come to the small towns would be too insignificant a person to worry about. Still, she knew that her benefactors would seek retribution if they found her. Besides, this would be a one time trip here.
As luck would have it she passed a pretty young girl as she strolled down the beach. The blonde hair and pale skin labeled the sweet young thing as a tourist. Cathy turned back and smiled her best smile. "Do you speak English?" she asked. "Yes I do" the girl smiled back. "What do you think of Aau Tru Monte?" Cathy asked. "Oh, it's beautiful" the blonde replied. "Just like you" the innocent added. Cathy took the young girls hand and led her up the beach.
Cathy had excelled at her previous profession, but found her hobby to be much more exciting. It had culminated in her newfound power and confidence in dealing with her prey. The interludes of glorious soft feminine sex followed by the agony of the victim’s deaths had allowed her to unleash all her inner demons. The stunning couple stopped at a large shelf that jutted into the sea. The waves seemed to ricochet off the land and spray a luminous cloud into the air. They had not talked to this point. "Don't tell me your name" Cathy instructed the fair haired girl as she positioned herself behind her and cupped her breast. "Let's communicate this way" she whispered.
This would have to be Cathy's last night here in France, but she intended to make the most of it.