Shalmendo Glineux

Goodunnit: Chapter 6 – A Nasty Case of Death!

Dr Ryne Beck Gravatar I tossed the report on the sheriff’s desk, “There’s your post mortem.”

The sheriff looked down at my scrawl and then back up at me, “And?”

“What? You can’t read now?” I snapped.

“Don’t get cute with me, doc.” His tone was calm but I heard the snarl behind the words.

“Okay, sorry Fuzz but it’s been a rough day and frankly I’d like to tie it in a sack and kick it into the ocean!” A nun shuffling past with coffee for us looked at me and raised an eyebrow, a perfectly curved eyebow above a eye of emerald green. I smiled a smile and hoped to hell no one could read my mind right. As she left, she bent over to pop a chunk of cheese in the cells for Willard and my gaze fell on her curves like honey over a spoon, “Still, it’s had its moments, I’ll admit,” I added, suddenly a little distracted.

“Thank you Sister Mattic,” Fuzz said with a wry smile, “I’m sure Willard can do without his treat for now.” She nodded and bustled off. “Doc, doc, doc, what is it with you and nuns?”

“A habit, Fuzz, a bad habit.”

He smiled a frown, which is a nice trick, “The report? What does it say? How did this guy die?”

“Bottom line he was stabbed, several times, looks like a sword.” I replied.

“A sword? What type of sword? Rapier? Broad?”

“From the wounds I’d say a cutlass. Large flat blade. He was stabbed three times in the abdomen and two in the chest and had defensive wounds to his arms, hands and thighs. I say he fought back but was probably unarmed at the time.”

“Nasty,” Fuzz muttered with a shake of his head.

“Well it was no prom dance, that’s for sure,” I replied.

“What about the green goo around him?” Fuzz asked.

“Hard to say, but my best guess is some form of mucus membrane produced by the squiddy thing to protect itself. Dr A thinks that her wee pet was deliberately mutated to a point where a human could be fed to it, although how she didn’t know.”

“So whoever mutated the goo-beast did so with the intention of getting rid of a body. Only the goo didn’t like what was on the menu, wrapped it up and waited for Mother Nature to work her magic,” Fuzz filled in.

“Sounds about right to me. So you know how he died, but not who he is, why he ended up like a pin cushion and who had a beef with him.”

“Actually I do know who he is,” Fuzz said in a matter of fact way.

I sat up, “You do? Who? How?” I asked like a turkey just being told about Christmas.

“Pinkertons. Came in, saw the body, IDed him as John Doe.” Fuzz stated with an odd expression.

“John Doe? You have to be joking? Who the hell is called John Doe?” something about this case smelt worse than the Skylar child and I didn’t like it.

“Apparently he was. It’s a good ID, solid.” Fuzz said.

“But what the hell are the Pinkertons doing here? And how do they know him?” I asked.

“Turns out he was here investigating smuggling in those precious slums of yours. I’m guessing he found his way to something, or someone, he shouldn’t and was perforated for his troubles.”

The slums? My slums? “You’re thinking the Bing Kong aren’t you? So what next?” the Bing Kong were not just a thorn in my side, but as whole rose bush in my tush.

“Next? Next you go home doc. It’s police business now. Thanks for your help an’ all, but we can take it from here.”

Damn him, I knew he was right, but damn him.

“Look, I’ll let you know what happens, but you’ve done your part. You have patients that need you, and I’ve taken you away from them for a whole day. Get some sleep and get back to them doc.” Fuzz smiled warmly but he looked weary.

“Don’t worry about me, Sheriff,” I stood and picked up my bag, “you look tired enough for the both of us.” I said my goodbyes and cycled off. Sure I was tired, tired like Santi Claus on Boxing Day, but I was damned if I was going home. I cycled off along a shortcut through the hills behind Shanghai and headed for the hotel that rose high above the harbour, although what I was looking for lay deep below it…

Goodunnit

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To be continued…
All the “Goodunnit? Murder in Steelhead!” posts can be read here.

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Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Sheriif Ortega’s intial desk report is here and here
2) The murder is discussed for the second time at the weekly town hall meeting here.
3) Read more about the urchin Skylar in his tale about being lost in Steelhead’s wilderness here.

Goodunnit: Chapter 4 – Trapped Where The Sun Don’t Shine!

Dr Ryne Beck Gravatar The rope was tight, but then it had been tied by a metal gargoyle who, I guessed, didn’t have internal organs to worry about.

“You ok there, doc?” Shal asked.

“As long as I don’t try anything foolish like breathing,” I replied with my stomach quite literally in my mouth in the way that ‘literally’ meant I was making it up for dramatic effect.

“Ah,” he smiled, “you’ll be fine doc. Better to be safe than digested, eh?” He had a point. “First sign of trouble, I’ll yank you back, ok?”

I looked at the size of his chest and arms, “Just don’t yank too hard, I’m rather attached to my legs.”

He grinned a knife drawer grin and I began my cautious approach of the squiddy thing and its gruesome contents. If it detected my presence, it showed no sign whatsoever. I passed a large blood stain on the cobbles and by the time I was next to the tower of green goo and dead guy, I could see another two, one of which was on a ramp leading down to a small dock below.
Goodunnit

I walked around the site softly, but it was soon clear that wee squiddy posed little danger anymore – it seemed to have gone into a state of shock. I called Shal over and breathed a sigh of relief as he removed the rope noose threatening to cut me in half.
Goodunnit

“Hard tell which one came off worse,” he said gazing into the slime at the body suspended inside, “Do you think it ate him as he passed?”
Goodunnit

I looked round at the blood in the yard, “I think there was some sort of struggle here, or the body was moved here at least. I won’t be sure until I can get him out and I have no idea how to do that, I was never top in my squiddy things classes, y’see.”

“Heh, well the sheriff said he was going to speak to Dr Alter about its removal, I guess she’s best placed to administer a giant enema to her pet. You got plans until then?”

Plans? Did I have plans? Do I ever have plans? “Yeah, rounds to do for a start. Patients seem incapable of not getting ill no matter how many times I tell them not to, but what you gonna do, huh?”

He slipped me a grin like a new moon, “A doctor’s gotta do what a doctor’s gotta do, I guess. And you seem to have things in hand so I’ll take my leave and head off in to the wild blue yonder.”

I nodded, “Well thanks for the help. I’ll se you around no doubt.”

He smiled me a smile that could floor a rhino walked off around the corner whistling a crazy tune. There was a sound like someone sawing a double bass in half and wandered off after him to see what it was. He was gone. Just like that. Gone. I scratched my whiskers and muttered “Well I’ll be damned…”

“Indeed, as will we all,” a voice hissed behind me. I spun round but the yard was emptier than a pawn broker’s Christmas stocking. “Ahem” came an annoyed cough near my ankles. I looked down into the into the green eyes and mouse-munching mouth of a tiny evil-looking kitty.
Goodunnit

“Dr Alter, I pres…” there as a sharp snick as she flicked a quivering claw at my face. “If you are thinking of saying what I think you are thinking of saying, I would advise you to think again. Now if you don’t mind, I believe I’m needed here to once again prove my own innocence.”

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To be continued…
All the “Goodunnit? Murder in Steelhead!” posts can be read here.

*****{*}*****

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Sheriif Ortega’s intial desk report is here and here
2) Dr Alter notices the body here and here.
3) Elle reports that the issue was raised at the town hall meeting here.
4) The murder is discussed at the weekly town hall meeting here.

Goodunnit: Chapter 3 – You, Me and the Body Makes Three!

Dr Ryne Beck Gravatar It didn’t take me too long to get ready. One of the advantages of being a poor doctor in the slums is that I had very little to get ready with and with my satchel lashed to the back, I set off on my bike, more rusty than trusty, to see the John Doe in the jello.
Goodunnit

Goodunnit

The ride was smooth and quick, the streets of Steelhead still smelt of recent work and tax-payers dollars; if only City Hall would throw a few in the direction of the slums but hey, I was always a dreamer. I even managed to cock a rye smile as I passed the Justice League Halls – the last JLUer who wandered into the slums to, and I quote, “sort out the Bing Kong ruffians once and for all!” was last seen dressed as a girl guide tied to a mast on a very slow boat to Zindra. I shouldn’t laugh. No, I really shouldn’t.

Goodunnit

Goodunnit

I rounded the hall and drew up to the wall of the aptly named Evil Tiny Kitty Laboratories. I could see yellow police tape and warning signs all over the place, but no Sheriff. I propped the bike against a wall and walked over to get a look at the stiff in the green squiddy thing, and if the stiff looked stiff then the squiddy thing out stiffed him with ease. Hell, you could practically run a flag up it and salute St Peter and all the angels to their faces. I was no squiddy thing expert, but even if the damn thing had eaten the poor sap on purpose, I’d lay money on the fact he didn’t agree with it.

“Doesn’t look well, does it?” a voice like someone pouring molten steel down a valley suddenly appeared at me ear. I spun round and found myself face to face with a gargoyle. A six foot gargoyle in a top hat with a grin that would give a crocodile a complex and skin colour the envy of every battleship in the fleet. I did my best not to look flustered, but sometimes your best just isn’t good enough.

Goodunnit

“Which one? The giant green spear of snot or the poor sod inside?” was all I managed in return.

“Ha!” gargoyle boy laughed, “either, both, take your pick. Shalmendo Glineux.” He held out his hand in greeting. I took it and let out an involuntary gasp – he was cold, cold like ice, cold like stone, cold like “Metal?” I asked.

“Heh, I’m made of it in exactly the same way you aren’t,” he replied with a smile that made me think of steak knives, “Dr Beck, I presume?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Well the doctor’s bag on your bike was my first clue. The Sheriff told me to look out for you, point you to the body, not that you could miss it,” he nodded his head towards the still stiff stiffs.

Goodunnit

“No, guess not,” I said, “I’m going to take a closer look.”

“The sheriff said you’d want to, asked me to keep an eye on you in case Squiddster there did eat a passer-by and is still hungry. I’ve got some rope.”

I raised an eyebrow, “Rope?”

“Yeah, rope. You know, like mountaineers? Round your waist and heave ho if you fall of the edge into the goo. Rope.”

What could I say? Well, there was an endless supply of thing I could have said, but in the end I let a metal gargoyle lasso me before I gingerly approached a column made entirely of green goo and dead person. Just your average day in Steelhead, I told myself for the thousandth time…

Goodunnit

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To be continued…
All the “Goodunnit? Murder in Steelhead!” posts can be read here.

*****{*}*****

Links to other blogs and stories:
1) Sheriif Ortega’s intial desk report is here and here
2) Dr Alter notices the body here and here.
3) Elle reports that the issue was raised at the town hall meeting here.
4) The murder is discussed at the weekly town hall meeting here.