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| Category: || Mystery and Crime Science Fiction |
Posted:|| September 22, 2020 Views: 27|
Chapter 17 of the book Killer Candy
Serria is threatened, also she visits the disability office
"Tackling both cases"
Serria and Keur are hired to find who is giving away candy killing kids and to find out why a veteran is not getting his disability money.
“I’m on my way to the police station.” Serria said with a confidence she didn’t feel, her gaze darting around like an injured fanghorn. “Detective Danforth is expecting me.” After taking a deep breath, she glared at them, her confidence returning.
Dramatis Personae of Deadly Sweets
“Stop your investigation of the sweets distribution,” one Crescenji Warrior said, his face covered with scars. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with. They’re important, influential nobles.”
“Probably the Syndicate, maybe someone on Jetahn or Kaskellia.” Serria told them,
Before she got to answer, a half dozen police dashed up, and the warriors separated, sprinting away, disappearing like fog on a sunny day.
The Fanghorn Brothers vanished too.
“How did you know I was being threatened?” She asked.
“An anonymous call came in telling us you needed help,” one of the men said as they entered the building.
“I understand you had a bit of trouble.” Detective Dansforth motioned for her to sit.
“Yes,” she said then explained what happened with both Mel, the warriors, and her suspicions.
“I closed Tandra’s Sweet Shop, had it searched, but found nothing, so I let her reopen.”
“Here are the sweets I got from those who lost children but some from Mel also.” Serria opened her purse, removed red and green wrapped sweets she had in a bag, and handed him all but one.
Seeing a magnifying glass on his desk, she grabbed it and scrutinized the wrapping.
She spotted a tiny hole. “Look.” Serria held the glass over the sweet. “I think something was injected into these after they were wrapped.”
“Sergeant Ottosohn,” the detective called. He added the one to the bag.
Moments later, a lanky Alosian entered.
“Take these to the lab and have them tested,” the detective ordered. “And don’t sample them. I suspect they are very dangerous.”
The man nodded, accepted them, and left.
As they waited for the results, she removed the sketch from her purse and slid it across his desk.
“I got this from Mr. Wilkerson, the custom’s officer who had seen the man giving away the sweets.”
The detective studied it. “This should help in catching whoever is doing this on Alosia.” He paused then added, “I don’t know what these people are up to, but it’s making parents very nervous.”
They continued to talk until a willowy Alosian woman walked in wearing a white coat.
“This is Doctor Wallingham, She is our lab specialist.”
“Serria Stripeclaw,” the private investigator said.
“I found korital in the sweets. Very addictive and illegal on all planets in Republic, Kaskellia, and Jetahn. Large dose can kill adults. No wonder kids dying,” the doctor said.
“Even if the Syndicate is responsible, I wonder why, and how do we prove it?” Serria asked.
“Who's making candy, and where is the Syndicate getting it?”
“That’s all a good question,” Detective Danforth said. “By the way, could you please get a list of suppliers from Tandra? If she won’t give it to you, I’ll have to issue a warrant.”
“I don’t expect any problem.” Serria said, stood and left.
Serria grabbed an aircab and rode to Tandra’s. A flush of adrenaline tingled through her as a line formed outside the door.
“What’s going on?” Serria asked.
“It’s so crowded Tandra and her helpers are limiting the number of customers in at a time,” one short, plump Alosian woman said. “You’ll have to get in line like everyone else.”
“I don’t think so,” Serria said, walking up to the open door. “Have someone call for Tandra. I think she’ll let me in.”
The ladies grumbled, but one lady did shout for Tandra, who came immediately.
“Serria,” Tandra said. “Come in. I hope you have good news.”
“Yes,” the private investigator said.
“Why does she get in without standing in line?” The same Alosian woman who answered Serria’s question inquired.
“Because she’s trying to find out who is responsible for those deadly sweets.” Tandra folded her arms across her chest.
“Oh,” the woman said.
Serria slipped inside and glanced around at the crowded aisles. “I’m glad to see your customers don’t believe you’re responsible for the deaths.”
“Nope,” she said. “Come back to my office where we can talk in peace and quiet. It’s hectic out here.”
Tandra led her to the back and closed the door.
After they sat, Serria brought her up to date on the investigation.
“I’m glad they’re willing to put their suits on hold.” Tandra leaned back in her chair and took a deep breath.
“Detective Dansforth asked me to get a list of your suppliers,” Serria said. “If you don’t comply he’ll have to shut you down again.”
“Why didn’t he just call me or send me a message?” Tandra clenched her jaw and started tapping into her computer on her desk. “I’ve have done it without any questions.”
Moments later, the printer began spitting out page after page of the requested information.
Someone knocked on the door.
“Come in,” Tandra invited.
One of her new, young assistants entered. “We’re running out of everything.”
“Put a sign out saying we need to make more and lock the door,” Tandra ordered.
“Yes, ma’am.” She turned around and departed.
As Tandra gathered up the papers and stuffed them in an envelope, she said, “You can slip out the back door.”
Serria nodded. “Do you happen to have any of Cliny’s pastries in reserve or scherai? I like to bring some of the latter up for Alyci.”
Tandra smiled. “Yes.” She guided Serria to a door the private investigator hadn’t noticed and led her into the kitchen where everyone was busily making sweets and pastries. Aromas of khavae and berries made Serria’s stomach growl.
She glanced at her watch. No wonder. It was well past lunchtime.
Tandra made up a box of voringas and scherai and then handed it to her.
“How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing,” Tandra said. “Considering you and Keur are saving my business.”
“Yes, but we’re being paid for that.”
“Call it an extra perk.”
Serria shook her head and sneaked out the back door.
After dropping the paperwork off with the detective and grabbing a bite at her favorite diner, she took an airbus to the disability office, a dark brown stone building which sprawled across a whole block.
Serria stepped onto a dirty brown tile and marched up to the first desk.
“I’d like to see Mistress Jane Kristensohn or Mr. Willis Morgenstern,” Serria said as nice and polite as she could.
“Do you have an appointment?” The middle-aged woman asked.
“Let me see when either of them have an opening:” She opened a large, green leather bound book.
“I’ll see them now,” Serria demanded, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Nonsense,” she said. “You’ll wait for an appointment like everyone else.” Her nametag read Magret Kullison.
Serria uncrossed her arms and dug into her purse, extracting her PI license, thrusting it at the gatekeeper. “I am Serria Stripeclaw and have been hired to find out why Luken Bjornsohn cannot get a consistent answer on what his disability checks should be.”
The woman ignored her and continued to scan the book.
“Then I want to see whoever is in charge of this facility,” Serria demanded and glared at Mistress Kullison.
“He’s in a meeting.” Her brown eyes returned the glare.
Serria spun around, read the listing on the wall and marched through the maze of desks. People stared at her.
Another younger woman sat behind a desk. “You can’t go in there. He’s in a meeting,” she reiterated.
“I don’t care if he’s hosting the entire pantheon of gods in the known universe.” She yanked open a light brown door and stomped in.
“I’m here on behalf of Luken Bjornsohn,” she said. “I want to know why he’s getting such poor treatment by your office.” Again, she crossed her arms.
Before he got to say anything two men in blue security uniforms entered.
“I’ll leave now, but next time I come, I’ll bring a warrant for your books and the police.”
Again she caught an airbus to the shuttleport. At the entrance, four Crescenji Warriors encircled her, blocking her way into it.
“If we find you at the assembly office again, you’ll find yourself beat up or dead,” a warrior warned.
”We’ll see about that.” She assumed a warrior stance.
He shoved her; she shoved him back.
“If you continue to bother me, I’ll have you arrested.”
They backed away.
Serria picked up her painting and returned to the space station.
Cultures of Deadly Sweets
Alosian—canary yellow skinned, Nordic culture
Crescenji—brown-skinned, warrior culture
Jetahn—white-skinned, Russian culture
Kaskellia—red/crimson skinned, Chinese culture
Muswella—black-skinned, Scottish culture
Muswella—desert, brown-skinned, Meiglan, Islamic culture
Muswella—desert, brown-skinned, Nutmeigs, Radical Islamic culture
Serria Stripeclaw—Crescenji Warrior, private investigator, partnered with Keur
Keur Matiason— Half Alosian, half Kaskellian, computer expert, private investigator, partnered with Serria
Vik Juleskova—Half Jetahni, half Kaskellian, trader, owner of RAINBOW DREAMS
Mike Brimsen—Alosian, trader, co-owns the SILVER MOON
Shaylyne Brimsen—Alosian, trader, co-owns the SILVER MOON
Alyci McCready—Muswellan, black-skinned, agent at Thair and Thatt Agency
Lieu Kwan—Kaskellian, Keur’s aunt, famous for her teas
Skerry Royk—Kaskellian, Vik’s mother, bioengineering specialist
Rogel Irriksohn—Alosian, rich, owner of Irriksohn Corporation
Mak Redtail-- Crescenjian, doctor on Alosian Space Station, Serria’s boyfriend
Neu Knotts—Alosian, rich, trading partner with Keur Matiason, owner of BRIGHT STAR
Any help in lengthening this would be appreciated.
and 2 member cents.
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