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Author Topic: A Murder in Alvedara - Chapter 21 - Trying to Make Sense of it All  (Read 1494 times)
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Kane
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« on: November 22, 2010, 05:08:03 AM »

A Murder in Alvedara – Chapter 21 – Trying to Make Sense of it All

I sat undisturbed in my office until almost twilight. I wanted to give my people some time to rest and there was little we could do but conserve our strength. In two days there would be another body. After my talk with my brother and Selene, I was becoming convinced that the bodies were almost a sideshow; minor in comparison to what was coming. I never claimed to understand the powers of the Order, but I wasn’t a fool. They were frightened so whatever was happening would make a handful of killings inconsequential.

I called out to one of the guardsmen to order dinner for three and find Yolan and Sergeant Bashar. I needed to talk out what we had and what we could do over the next two days; if anything. Bashar and Yolan showed up just a few minutes later; they’d been close at hand but staying out of my sight. They knew my moods and were smart enough to let me cool down.

As we ate I told them of my meeting with my brother and Selene. I stated it plainly without any opinion; just facts.

Yolan was the first to speak. “I think your brother is right and there’s a symbol, a purpose that we just can’t see … yet. Did you discuss the chains and why the killer takes them with him?”

As soon as he said it, I could have hit myself. I was so focused on who the victims were and where the bodies were found; I never mentioned the chains to my brother. I can’t believe I was such an idiot to leave out something that important. “No I didn’t, and yes I should have. Bashar, have a runner take a note to my brother and include what little we know or guess about the chains.”

Bashar leaned out of the office and quietly passed the task to one of his men. Without another word he nodded to me that word was being sent. The sergeant walked over to the map and touched the spot where corporeal Mehan was killed. Something was bothering him and I could see him struggling to come up with the right words.

“Sergeant, if you have something on your mind, just say it.”

Turning back to me Bashar paused for just a moment, “Mehan was a good man, but he was no noble or priest. The other three men were powerful in one way or another, with influence in the city. Mehan was a guardsman with almost no authority. If there’s some great ritual, why chose him?”

I’d been toying with a similar thought most of the day. Besides their size, was there any reason to choose those four victims? I was beginning to think that the killer only chose the victims to taunt us. They could just as easily been dockworkers, beggars, or slaves. The killer was taking a much larger risk killing powerful and prominent people; so he must think the risk is worth the message he’s sending.

“I agree. Mehan was an insult and a threat. I don’t think the killer needs a particular person except for the size.”

Yolan joined Bashar at the map. “So far he’s killed a member of the court, the military, the Order, and now the city guard force. What’s left?”

The room got quiet as there wasn’t an easy answer. I started to go through a list of large men I knew who fit the profile. I started to smile as I came across a few I’d like to see face up with their chest carved open. If I could whittle down the list of potential victims, we could assign guards to them. The only thing I could think of was a merchant or maybe a member of the Prince’s inner circle. I said the same to Yolan and Bashar.

Yolan tapped the map and the bridge district. “Still think the next victim will be found here?”

“Just a feeling; nothing I can pin down; but yes. We’ve got maybe two days. Let’s search that district and look for some likely locations the killer will use. We might get lucky and find a prepared site. Not likely, but I can’t see anything else to do.”

We sat for another thirty minutes quietly eating. We had nothing.  Teams would go out at first light and comb the bridge district. It was something to do and kept the men busy. Better than just sitting and waiting.
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