Scene setting – The school.
co-written with VunG.
Razorbackwriter: It was a sobering drive over to the school. Detective Frank Malone had gotten his cell and texted his current partner – Detective John Moss to join them at what would be a crime scene. That was how Frank saw it, though he would be shocked by what he found….or rather didn’t. The night was dragging on, and it was obvious that all would be needing coffee to stay awake through it all. Frank, had come good considering how much he had to drink earlier. Perhaps the photo evidence and now this current investigation had sparked something within the war horse. Tommy parked his car in the school teachers car park and alighted the vehicle – going around the back and opening the trunk. He pulled out a small sports bag, with camera equipment as well as a good flash light. You know the kind that security guards use. A long black handle and large torch end. Slamming the boot closed, he turned at the sound of another car approaching. It was Frank’s partner, John. Already Frank had gotten out of Tommy’s car and urged Elissa to follow him and meet John. John looked like he’d just rolled out of bed. Racking his fingers through his hair, he approached the trio and asked.
“Want to tell me why you got me out of bed, Frank?”
“Easy, Elissa here has been sent some pics of damage to the school, thought we should check it out before the Commander gets wind.” Frank replied, knowing that John would probably be pissed at Frank acting without back up of the department. John rolled his eyes, before glancing at Elissa. “Don’t I know you?” He asked off the cuff.
A loud crashing sound caught everyone’s attention, and Tommy shone the light in the direction of the sound. “No time for pleasantries. Come on.” Together the four headed into the school grounds, only to be confronted by a sight that was like something out of a war zone. Massive holes that had been caused by some sort of explosion had left a trail of destruction, with everything from desks, chairs and papers scattered. Walking through the debris, Tommy shone his light left and right, but there was no one about – not a soul.
“Hello?!” He sung out, as Frank surveyed the damage in one classroom. There was no one about, and very little smoke. Just a lot of debris and broken bricks. “It’s like there was a battle here…..but there is no shells, no blast residue….nothing. What the hell caused all this?” He asked, looking back at Elissa. Had she seen anything like this before?
VunG: Throughout the journey over Elissa was staring at the pictures that had been sent to her, trying to notice things and areas truly worth examining right off the bat. Of course, the whole thing looked like a mess, and fine detail was lost on the phone cameras, so it wasn’t quite what she needed, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Once the car arrived, she joined the others in getting up and equipping themselves with flashlights, though she didn’t bother with a camera at the moment since she actually didn’t know the proper techniques for avoiding glare. Like Frank, her eyes trailed immediately towards the newcomer to the party, and she would gladly join in welcoming the poor fellow to the crime scene, though it was obvious that he wasn’t exactly in the sort of position to be all that happy; probably just woke up.
When John asked if he knew her, she would nod and put her flashlight under her arm while she reached for her notepad… but wouldn’t even get it out as they were reminded that they probably on the clock. Immediately she would join the lot in the charge forward, and find her breath catching as she looked on the mess before them. War zone was just the right word. As they approached, she almost immediately went to examine one of the blast marks more closely, not bothering with the interior of the school but rather trying to the actual technical side. She knew that was her best area… normally. This sort of damage was bizarre. It didn’t so much look like it was hit with an explosive, the damage was too clean, too localized for that. But it wasn’t a normal round either; there weren’t shells around but that could be explained away. She knew of a few ways to prevent shells from showing up; she knew that there were even prototype weapons using casing-less rounds. But… there should’ve been slugs. Putting on gloves she began running her hands along one of the blast zones, trying to find any sign of one of the things, trying to figure out the weapons used. But even as Frank spoke, she realized that there weren’t slugs either… nor even shards of lead or steel or anything that would suggest such a thing.
Frowning, she stepped back and began walking about the school grounds, pausing every now and again when she came upon an undisturbed section of carnage. There was evidence of something moving around here, things were disturbed, the debris had been kicked around, this wasn’t just a ghost job. But… that suggested that the damage wasn’t simultaneous either. This wasn’t deliberate per se, more like something had experienced a firefight in here, and the people were either moving in or out. As she realized this, she began taking note of the direction of things, and began following the rough path in towards the gymnasium… or… what was left of it.
For a time she stood there, just examining the damage, spending the whole time gesturing with her hands, flashlight in one of them, trying to paint herself an image of what happened, trying to figure out where all the debris came from. As she stood there, she would have to dodge a bit of falling concrete, and she’d begin to leave the area… only to notice something rather peculiar: the windows were mostly intact. Now that was interesting. Bringing a hand up to her mouth, she whistled sharply and would begin moving to a place a little out of the gymnasium where they could see her.
Once the guys were there, particularly Tommy since he was her translator at this point, she’d begin signing while gesturing to the windows, ~Whatever did this was either direct fire or physical. The windows are intact; explosive shockwaves tend to break them.~ On top of that, she gestured for them to look in the gymnasium and added, ~That seems to be where the worst of it it, but I’m not certain how stable it is in there. Watch your head if you check.~
Razorbackwriter: Over the years, Tommy had covered actual war zones in the middle east and was used to seeing the kind of debris and ruin left by mortars and explosives. Even gun cartridges, and smoldering ash from fires caused by the carnage, but this…this was unlike anything he had seen before. Waving his flashlight over one of the walls, that had major structural damage, there was nothing that showed what caused the blast points or gaping holes in the brick. Tommy set down his sports bag on one of the remaining outdoor seats and pulled open the zipper, to find his camera and flash unit. He wanted to take as many pictures for evidence as he could before word of this got out. Snapping the flash unit in place, he started to take pictures, clicking madly as Frank and John were investigating what would be the pathway to the gymnasium. Both men had heard Elissa’s whistle and followed her lead. John mentioned to Frank; “She’s a quiet one, isn’t she?” Not knowing that the girl was a mute. He knew he had seen her before, some time ago but was only now putting two and two together when Frank made mention that she was once with the SWAT team. “Oh…right.”
Tommy jogged to catch up with the trio and added to Elissa’s signing. “The gym took the brunt of the battle by the looks of things. Elissa’s right about one thing though, I’m not so sure that the structural integrity of the building is all that sound.” He said, shouldering his camera and turning the torch in the direction of the destroyed gymnasium. Frank did notice one thing. There was no bodies. Surely after a fight of this size and scale there would have been causalities….but there was nothing. No bodies….no blood….nothing. The cogs in his mind started to turn. Could this have anything at all to do with what happened to Rory? Great creatures that were invisible to the naked eye, but able to be caught on film? Detective John Moss walked unsteadily over what was once the wall in the gym. He did notice that the windows were not blown out. So the force of the explosions didn’t cause shock waves. Again…that made no logical sense. Tommy took a few more photographs, but already John was starting to get suspicious.
“What if….this is some sort of…government..military type operation? Like, trialing some new weapons, though you’d think they would pick a place more suitable than a school.” Frank wasn’t too sure about John’s deduction. If the government was involved, they wouldn’t just allow anybody to wander on the sight. “I don’t know. Something is just really off about this. There is no residue smell of explosives, no fire…no ash.”
It was clear to all of them that there was little in the way of clues or evidence to suggest what caused all this destruction. In the mean time, they had another case waiting to be solved. The murder of Rory Lismore. They now had photographs of what took Rory that night, and a witness. Unknown at the current time, but it would hopefully be solved as they followed the leads that they had.
John approached Frank and Elissa and suggested. “We should call this in. If Commander Bracks finds out we were here and didn’t report it, we could lose our badges for obstruction.” John was now sure that what ever caused the damage at the school was not something that could easily be solved. Frank looked at Elissa as Tommy started to pack away his camera back into his sports bag. “Should I call this in, guys?”