"Would you run that by me again?"
Right outside the lab Dr. Blake, Larry, Linda, Dana, and Jay, presumably, had just had the experience of a lifetime, a police detective was attempting to understand the forensics specialist's assessment of the scene. Frankly, if you explained it to him one hundred times he probably still could not have understood exactly what had taken place inside the lab.
"I have already explained this five times...", said the crime scene investigator.
"And I'm asking you...again. I will continue to keep asking you until I get an answer that makes sense to me", replied the detective.
"Well, good luck with that, because if you can figure that out you're doing better than I am, man."
The crime scene investigator walked back to his van as the now exasperated detective turned to stare him down as his back was now to him.
The scowl on his face was more than enough for his partner to chuckle a bit.
"I don't see a damn thing funny going on here, Mike", said the detective.
Mike, his partner, replied, "It's funny every time you get mad, Seth. You look like a troll hiding under a bridge when you make that face. It's really not becoming."
Mike sipped his coffee. He handed Seth his cup as well. Both men took a sip as Mike attempted to recount the scene of the crime.
"So we have one dead body, that the coroner claims had been dead for about...how long was it, again?", said Mike.
Seth grinned as he stared down at his cup of coffee, "Six weeks, she says."
"Six weeks, but this whole thing only happened two hours ago inside this lab. According to any witnesses that were in ear shot of the gun going off, no one knows where this 'dead' person came from, how they got in, or even how a gun got on the premises. Even the eye-witnesses in the room that saw this 'professor' shoot the victim are completely unsure where the gun, or the 'dead' person, came from. Even the 'professor' has no idea where the gun came from, that he himself used. And to top it all off, the 'professor' has a personality disorder that led him here to this facility to have a scan to possibly explain his condition, and then this happens. Make sense?"
Mike laughed, "Yeah, I'm clueless too, if you listen to that crap and don't read between the lines."
"So you're thinking what I'm thinking then?"
Mike looked at Seth, "Enablers? Covering for the 'professor' and his condition?"
"Could be, but that still doesn't explain the coroner's initial assessment of the body. She said it literally had decaying flesh on it's person. Decomposition that looked like a period of six to seven weeks, as if the body were already dead when the 'professor' shot it. Now, how the hell do you pull that one off?"
"She is going to do an autopsy, right?"
"Of course, but there's not much to look at and it's pretty cut and dry what killed this thing in the room. No one is questioning that or denying it. Only thing I can assume is we're dealing with a potential fraud case here."
"Think about it. The doctor over this facility might be losing money, maybe losing grants for his research. So, if you can't convince people to send you the money the right way..."
"You create a situation."
"A publicity stunt."
"Something to maybe cash in on the insurance claim for damages?"
"And with a stunt like that, you could have a corpse, and a gun handy with a group..."
"Looking for their cut."
"I'm with ya, Seth. Then use a crazy person who may not know any better, keep them off their meds for a few days, they'll believe anything you put into their brain if it will make them think for even one moment they aren't crazy..."
"Then go out there telling the right people what happened as well..."
"Maybe get an endorsement from those producers just up the highway filming that television show as well..."
"Hey, easy money! Then vuala, you're back in business. That's how you commit fraud."
Seth turned his head in the direction of the person yelling his professional name.
A young woman was running towards him, continuing to yell for him and his partner Mike.
"Detective...", the woman said with gasping breaths, stopping in front of him.
"Slow down now, what's going on, Lucy?"
"The body is gone!", Lucy replied, righting herself.
"What body, the dead one?"
Lucy nodded, "And the gun."
Seth and Mike looked at each other, then darted over towards the coroner's van. Lucy, the coroner, was fast on their trail and thoroughly winded from her initial running, yelling trip.
When Seth and Mike arrived at the open rear of the van, the body was indeed gone.
"Was this door open like this?", Mike asked.
"No! I had just opened it. When I did, the body just wasn't there. Then the forensics guy said the gun was missing too, so I ran over to you."
Seth turned around and surveyed the area. He couldn't believe a body could just disappear in broad daylight with hundreds of people around.
"I want a complete account of who is currently working this case; I want all non-essential personnel cleared out and all civilians removed from the area to a distance of one hundred yards. Detain anyone in that perimeter that will not cooperate for questioning. Someone get me the station, we need to confirm the whereabouts of our eye-witnesses. Let's move people, this body did not get up and walk away", said Seth.
Mike cleared his throat. This grabbed the gaze of Seth, who had an ickling of what Mike was about to say.
"Technically, it already did once, according to our eye-witnesses", said Mike.
Seth was not amused.
Jay, Larry, Dr. Blake, Dana, and Linda were all sitting in an interrogation room at the police headquarters. No police officer or detective was currently in the room. Only a camera kept a watchful eye on them, as well as the two way mirror. All of them sat slumped in their chairs, utterly whipped by the chain of events that occurred in the lab. Dana had not spoken sense the event. Dr. Blake was staring at the table, still somewhat mesmorized himself. Linda had obviously been crying at times, but currently she was sitting there with her eyes closed. Larry was fiddling with his shirt button with both hands. Jay was resting his head in his hands on the table. Finally, Larry broke the silence.
No one responded to Larry, as he brushed off his shirt and leaned back forward, resting his arms on the table.
"...anybody else hungry?"
Dana, sitting to Larry's right, turned her head slowly toward him. Larry looked at her, astonished by her response, somewhat, but acted normally. Dana gave him a "go to hell" look, then looked back in the direction she had been. Neither Dr. Blake or Linda responded. But Jay began to laugh.
Jay leaned back and looked at his friend, "You're thinking about food at a time like this?"
"Dude, I'm starving! I haven't had anything since last night because I was worried about you, man. And this whole scan thing was supposed to be simple, in and out, back by lunchtime. It's almost four o'clock now, man. I mean, aren't they supposed to bring us something? Anything?"
Jay just continued to stare at Larry, a slight smirk on his face.
No one else responded to Larry at all.
"Let's not go there right now, Lar", Jay said.
"I think we should. It's a common need for survival we all share and I'm sure everyone in this room is hungry right now."
"I don't know if I can ever eat again", said Dana.
Larry looked her way, "Oh, she can speak, and from what I can tell you could probably use a few extra sandwiches every now and then."
"Love to honey, but I love a little extra cushion, you know what I mean."
"SHUT UP, YOU..."
"ALL RIGHT, KNOCK IT OFF! Both of ya! That's just pointless. You'll both go round and round until you bring us all into a feud that ends up with us all still sitting right here, waiting. On what, none of us know. So why don't we just save the energy and see what happens next?", said Jay.
After Jay said this, the door to the room opened. This grabbed everyone's attention. With all eyes on the door, a bald man in a dark gray suit walked in.
"Good afternoon", the gray suit man said.
No one responded.
The man closed the door, then proceeded to smile. He casually approached the table, sitting in the interrogator's chair. He crossed his fingers together and politely addressed them all again. It was obvious to everyone already in the room that this man was not a regular cop, if he was a cop at all. He looked more like a salesman. His three piece suit was tailor made, with a perfectly pressed white shirt. The only thing that stood out was the tie. The tie was multiple colors and not indicative of a man that worked for the government or any other agency. They had no idea who this guy was, but they were all about to find out.
"So, you all had a very crazy situation unfold this morning?"
Still no one responded.
"Well, I can assure you,..."
The man leaned in a little closer.
"...you're not crazy."
He looked directly at Jay, then looked at everyone else smiling.
"We'd like to take you somewhere, somewhere that you can all clear the air. Would you all be up for a trip?"
Again, no one responded, but the looks the man was receiving had changed. They had gone from looks of confusion to curiosity, mixed with confusion. Finally, someone asked the question that needed to be asked.
"Who are you?", asked Larry.
"Forgive me for not identifying myself. I'm Pat."
"Short for Patrick."
"And where are you wanting to take us?"
"Some place where all your questions will be answered."
Larry started laughing at that response. Pat continued to sit there and smile, then he began laughing with Larry.
"Are you a cop?", asked Larry, still laughing.
"Oh no, I'm no cop", replied Pat.
"Of course not. So where you gonna take us then? Maybe Area 51?"
"Oh no, that place is too commercial these days."
Larry laughed even louder now. Pat laughed with him again.
"Of course, what was I thinking. There's been too many shows and movies about it. Maybe it'll be some fantastic island, with a midget. Or maybe where some mysterious power exists that no one knows about?"
"I've actually been to an island like that before."
"Of course you have, cause you've probably been everywhere..."
"...man", Pat finished Larry's sentence.
That made both men laugh hysterically.
Larry looked over at Jay, "This guy is a riot! You should try it, man."
"I think I will. Does anyone else know you're in here?", asked Jay.
"No, no one else does, and no one else knows you're in here as well."
"What are you talking about? The police put us in here and left us waiting for hours."
"Did they now?"
With that statement Pat stood up and walked back over towards the door. He opened the door, took a step to the side, and left it open. He motioned towards the door with his left hand, "Have a look."
Larry was no longer laughing, his laugh had slowly disappeared since Pat's final response to Jay. Jay looked at Larry, then proceeded to leave his seat. He walked around the table over to the man standing in front of him. Pat still continued to smile, his left arm extended towards the door.
Jay peaked around the open door. What he saw outside was unbelievable. He stood there, his mouth hanging open. This had the attention of everyone else in the room now. Linda finally spoke.
"Jay, what do you see?", Linda asked.
"We're not at the police station anymore", Jay replied.
Everyone else in the room stood up, to join Jay and Pat.
"Of course you're not, Jay. None of you are", Pat said, continuing to smile.
Jay looked at Pat.
"You're at The Fleece, and I'd be glad and honored to show you around. We've been expecting you."