Here is the Link to the Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, and Chapter 19
“What was that?” Trout asked, as he Hanson and Chief Grassly were all back in the office.
“It was the sound of the judge removing her inner ability to influence,” Hanson said.
Trout imagined the judge removing some sort of light crystal from the heart of Stacy as she cried out in pain. “Really?”
“No,” Hanson clearly enjoyed the joke, and the chief couldn’t help but have a chuckle at Trout’s expense as well. “More likely she found out a painful truth. I found out this morning, and honestly I reacted almost the same way. Her daughter,Trish, moved on last night.”
“Moved on?” The chief said in surprise.
“You mean the second death?” Trout asked.
“Some people call it that.” The chief replied
“What do you call it?” Trout asked.
“I try not to think too much about it.”
“So, we can call a witness from those who have moved on?” Trout asked.
“No. You can’t,” the chief jumped in.
“But you said…”
“I was bluffing.” Hanson said with a calm that only comes from a gambler after his play has worked out.
“That was a little gutsy.” The chief said. “You went to trial with your only witness not available. You basically had nothing.”
“Nothing is a bit strong, I had circumstantial evidence and I had visited with her daughter, who helped me quite a bit on the details. She had agreed to testify but she moved on. I wasn’t going to give up because of some bad luck.”
“Couldn’t they wait until after the trial to take her?” Trout asked.
The chief and Hanson shared a glance. “I’m not sure who you think ‘they’ are, but we don’t have any control over it. In fact, the second death, as you call it, is as unpredictable as, actually...” he thought of something they handled everyday, murder, and changed his mind, “even less predictable than the first death.”
“Where do they go?”
“Not sure. But it isn’t here.” Hanson stated with the same matter of fact tone he usually did.
“Do we ever see people who have moved on?” Trout asked.
Hanson turned to the Chief, “You take this one.”
The chief cleared his throat, which was completely unnecessary for someone who is dead. “Well, some people say they have seen people who have moved on. The best way to explain might be to ask, did you know people in life who claimed to see us? I mean dead grandparents in dreams and things?”
“Not personally but heard of people, mostly crazys.”
“There you go. Same here, but we do exist, so I guess they might be telling the truth.”
“I guess.” They could tell that Trout was not fully satisfied with their answers. But the truth was the questions weren’t answered any better for the chief or Hanson; they had just experienced these situations long enough to know they worked, even if they didn’t know why. So at some point they stopped asking and just lived with it. Sort of moved on, and that is exactly what they tried to do now.
“Speaking of the board, Hanson, they came back with what to do about you and I can’t believe what you’ve done.”
“What?” Hanson feigned innocence.
“Well before I tell you, how about your outburst at sentencing?”
“Oh yes, I’m sorry but five years was a bit light.”
“Not your call.”
“Fine. The judge called you back for that?”
“No. She didn’t mention it. She is a bigger person than I would be. It’s the board. They came back on your using the elements to stop Tom from using drugs.”
“They’re still bent out of shape about that?”
“No, turns out the board had it reviewed by the judge panel. Judge Sherman wanted me to tell you. They have ruled that you effectively used your expanded authority in enforcement to further the protection of life within the boards of duty and further that such use is hereby authorized for all members of enforcement. You’ve done it again, you have changed the rules of the game.”
Hanson gave a smirk
“I’m proud of you. But I’m supposed to remind you that we have to get those things vetted before, not after we use them.”
“Oops,” Hanson said in as much jest as was possible for him.
“Well, after a big case win like that you boys need a day or two off.” Hanson glared at the chief. “Just kidding, I’ve already got a case. It’s an odd one. No body. Almost unsolvable.”
Hanson smiled, “That is more like it.” He turned to his junior, “You ready, Trout?”
Trout was looking down unto his visor, ignoring Hanson.
“Trout, I said you ready?” Hanson reiterated.
“Stop interrupting. I’m reading the case file.”
The chief laughed, “You two are the perfect team.” but his words were spoken into the empty space in front of him, they were already on the case.
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