The Killers Amongst Us:Chimera Dawn Chronicles(7)By: Declan Conner
Shaw looked around. There was nothing to see. It was just a patch of waste ground; stained where they had found the body. With no houses nearby, there were no doors to pound for any witnesses. He walked back to his car, settled on his seat and set off along the highway back to the city. His mind wandered in all directions. Maybe, the dog had run off and Lucy was still searching for him. But then why not phone home? He pulled into the headquarters parking lot, when it struck him that the journey had been a blur, and that maybe the long hours working were getting to him. Parking in his usual spot, he climbed out of his car and set off walking to South Spring Street and the Justice Department.
Shaw was used to seeing death masks, but the vision of the Bullmastiff’s head, hanging by a chunk of its coat attaching it to its body, churned his stomach. He shook his head, but it failed to dispel the gruesome vision.
“What the hell could do that?”
Friday, 12:55 p.m. 11th, July 2008. Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit.
ARRIVING at the MUPU reception desk, Shaw showed the young woman his ID and was given a nametag. The receptionist pointed him in the direction of the meeting room. There was just one guy in the room. He walked up to Shaw and they exchanged glances at their nametags. The guy held out his hand.
“Detective Shaw, pleased to meet you,” said FBI agent Summers, and shook his hand.
“Please, call me Brett.”
Agent Summers nodded, but failed to exchange the same civility.
More people arrived, exchanging introductions, when a small in stature, but well-rounded guy, walked into the room. His nametag simply had ‘Homeland Security’ typed on the paper badge. He hardly looked the part, wearing a crumpled shirt, and the knot of his tie skewed to one side. His pants looked like they had never seen an iron, and his hair had never seen a comb.
“Homeland security?” Shaw said. “Surprised they would have an interest in the cases.” The guy offered no response. Shaw held out his hand. “Detective Shaw, LAPD homicide. And your name is?”
The guy took his hand in a firm grip and answered.
“My name is on the tag, Homeland Security, but you can call me whatever you want. I’m only here as an observer. As for our interest...” He released his grip and tapped his finger on his nose. “That’s for us to know.”
Shaw turned away, took a seat at the polished oak table and dropped his missing persons’ file on the surface. Homeland Security pulled a chair away from the table, and sat in the corner next to the door. Shaw thought the HS guy was a self-righteous son of a gun, full of his own importance. He could think of many names he would like to call him, but none of them to his face in front of witnesses. He knew that he had to have shown his ID at reception, so he would be legit. But why he didn’t want his name known was beyond him, apart from it was the height of ignorance. Shaw shrugged his shoulders. With all present, Rachael Gomez, the head of MUPU, took the chair at the head of the table. Shaw took his cell phone from his pocket and switched it off.
“Please, if you’d all take a seat, we can begin,” she said.
A shuffling of chairs, and opening of brief cases, then all eyes focused in her direction. Gomez’s vision coursed over those at the table, settling on the stenographer to her left and nodded to her.
“Gentlemen, Ana, sorry we’re running late, but thank you all for attending. I know this meeting is unprecedented... but then so are the circumstances. Ana is going to record the minutes and you’ll all receive copies. As head of MUPU, I can tell you that our role will be to collate the information necessary to ensure that any law enforcement agency searching the various databases, they will have access to enable them to identify with the missing persons. All the relevant details will also be posted on our web site for the public to access, and the national database for those with security clearance. I have to say though that the governor has been informed and he says that what we put out for public consumption needs to be sensitive to both the victims’ families, and to avoid panic in the population.”
Shaw wasn’t surprised by that revelation; not with nineteen, eighteen-year-old girls, all going missing on the same day. Scenarios of newspaper headlines and television news reports had already formed in his mind. Gomez swayed an open palm in the direction of agent Summers.