Yende and Hagic have eight months to solve a multiple murder. Can they do it?
Eight Months of Darkness
It’s completely dark. Only the Moon above could be seen. Suddenly a bright light broke through the darkness. A Hover Rescue Chopper descended from above. The light shown on the wreckage of a large hovercraft.
As the chopper got lower to the ground a side door slid open. Chaotic noise could be heard from within. A glance of movement could be seen briefly. Then three ropes come flying out of it. Followed by six individuals who quickly slid down to the hovercraft below.
An hour later twenty individuals, and their rescue equipment, surrounded the hovercraft. Each one busy at work doing something. “What’s the final decision?” asked Rescue Leader Nomia.
Kaseon, directing four others tearing apart the wrecked hovercraft, didn’t stop working as he spoke to Nomia. “Five individuals within. Two adults and three children. All of them dead.”
“Was it the accident that killed them?” asked Nomia.
“For the four passengers it was, but the male behind the Controls it wasn’t.” Kaseon looked at Nomia with sadness, and anger, in his eyes. “You need to contact Military Law. I think this male has been murdered.”
Two hours later Military Inspectors Yende and Hagic arrived. Nomia and Kaseon were the only one of the Rescuers still there. Yende went to check out the hovercraft while Hagic talked to Nomia and Kaseon. “Who contacted Military Law?”
“I did.” Nomia had just laid down a young girl who appeared to be about ten.
“I’m the one who authorized it.” Kaseon looked at the others from that wrecked hovercraft.
“What makes you think this is a murder problem?” Hagic asked.
“The Controller of that hovercraft got shot by a Death Bullet.” Kaseon saw a visible hole in the back of his hairless head.
“A Laser Bullet that disintegrates as it bores into its target is what killed him!” Hagic had a shocked looked on his face. “Only the military has those types of bullets.”
“That’s why we contacted you.” Nomia moved the head of the adult male to reveal his face - or what’s left of it.
The Laser Bullet created a large hole from the inside out. His face was almost completely gone. Hagic first examined the adult male. Then he slowly scanned the other with his eyes. They all looked the same. “Are you sure it’s only the Controller who got murdered? The others look the same as he does.”
“He’s the only one who had a hole in his head. That’s why I concluded he was murdered,” said Kaseon.
Nomia checked the back of the heads of all the dead. “Kaseon is right. There are no others with holes within them.”
“They look like they all died the same way,” said Hagic. “I wonder how that happened?”
Just then Yende joined them. “I have finished checking out the hovercraft.”
“What did you find?” Hagic asked.
“Not much.” Yende took Hagic away from ear shot. “The hovercraft has been almost completely destroyed.”
“Does that mean you didn’t find anything?” Hagic asked.
“I didn’t say that,” Yende said in a low voice. “Whoever did this probably hoped the hovercraft would be destroyed.”
“Then you did find something,” said Hagic. “What was it?”
“I’ve discovered who they are,” said Yende. “The adult male was Thoman, and his spouse was Portina. They had three children. Carie was the youngest at eleven…”
Yende got interrupted – by Nomia and Kaseon. “We were close,” said Kaseon.
“I thought she was about ten.” Nomia and Kaseon didn’t realize that Yende and Hagic had been looking at them.
Turning away from Nomia and Kaseon, and lowering her voice, Yende continued. “… The other two males. Vinsint was twelve, and Rollan was thirteen.”
“Do you know what the connection is between them and the military?” Hagic asked.
Yende did a quick jerk toward Hagic with a surprised appearance on her face. “How did you know about the military connection?”
“Because of how Thoman died,” said Hagic. “What is the connection?”
“Portina is,” said Yende. “She works at the military base about two hundred miles from year. It’s a weapons development and testing base.”
“She must have seen something she shouldn’t have, but why wasn’t she killed by a Death Bullet instead of Thoman.” said Hagic.
“We need to find out what she saw,” said Yende. “I think our next stop is Base 312.”
Yende and Hagic help up their hands palm first to reveal small red gems embedded into them. “We are here to see Commander Deoni,” said Hagic.
Without a word The Assistant got up and entered the office behind her once the door slid open. A minute later as she walked out the door Yende and Hagic heard Deoni speak. “Send them in right away.”
“Pease take a seat,” said Commander Deoni. “What can I do for you?”
“Do you know someone named Portina?” Yende asked.
Commander Deoni had to think about that for a minute. “Yes she was – why.”
Yende and Hagic told him everything they knew. After it was over he replied. “I’m sorry. I would like to help, but I can’t. Portina was an Assistant. She couldn’t have seen something she shouldn’t have. We don’t have anything here that is worth killing over. I know what people say about this base, but we aren’t involved with anything like that.”
After talking like this for another hour or so Yende and Hagic left. Once outside they started talking again. “Do you think he was lying,” said Hagic
“She’s lying about something, and sooner or later we will learn what that secret is.” Yende and Hagic headed for the gate they could see in the near distance.
“We will also figure out why Thoman got killed instead of Portina, and how his family got killed like he did.” Hagic looked up at the darkness above.
Yende stared up into the darkness too. “We always do. I just hope we do it before the Sun comes back up – in eight months.”