Complications Regarding Answers In the Affirmative

That single-word answer presented me with, shall we say, a fairly substantial practical and ethical conundrum.

Practically speaking, I was at that point relatively certain there was a connection between John Q’s House of WTF, the missing Doe Four from that night, and the Christmas Day homicides. I was relatively certain of this because I had received a fat wad of information that I wasn’t supposed to possess from an informant that had thus far declined to formally identify himself to me, despite my suspicions, and because I’d gone poking around in places where I wasn’t actually supposed to be poking, on my own recognizance. Ethically, I had the responsibility to tell the detectives conducting that investigation everything I knew or suspected about it and also a responsibility to the friends and family of the victims, which didn’t end with the determination that their loved ones had been murdered. It never does just end there — what happened is only one half of that answer. Why is the other and I…felt and feel very strongly that why is hanging there right in front of me, just out of reach, waiting to be found.

Why is not usually a question I can answer.

The cheap and easy way out would have been to call the police anonymous tip hotline and strongly suggest looking to a situation involving the female victim and an incident that took place in October. Instead I called the detective in charge and asked if we could meet at some point soon to discuss the case and some concerns I had. She agreed and we met that day for lunch at a place local to her station. As it turns out, some of my concerns were defused almost immediately: she was not unfamiliar with the local DHS Office of Special Operations and their unlovable habit of hijacking investigations that, on first glance, do not look like the sort of thing that DHS would trouble itself with at all, no matter how expansive a definition of “homeland security” you’re using. I did not bring the information concerning the three Does. Instead, I brought copies of my own crappy pictures of John Q’s Basement of WTF, since she had already twigged to the whole fours, fours everywhere thing and might not think me completely insane for suggesting the possibility of a connection there.

On the plus side: she did not think me completely insane. She did, in fact, agree that a connection was possible and was troubled enough by the concept that she called her partner right then and there and asked him to get in touch with the female victim’s co-workers, particularly the other members of her ambulance crew.

On the not-so-plus-side: she did think me relatively crazy for going to the bother in the first place, especially since doing so involved a not insubstantial risk of pissing off a bunch of people who had the theoretical power to have me sent to an undisclosed location until I existed only as a family legend whispered of by my sister’s great-grandchildren. She encouraged me to, for fuck’s sake, not get caught if I was going to play Hardy Boy any further and to keep her posted on what I found out if I did. She would return the favor. I carefully did not mention that, technically speaking, I’d already been caught and was now engaged in something vaguely resembling a conspiratorial backscratching information exchange agreement with somebody who’d stolen evidence of a far more WTF-worthy issue, namely that John Q’s basement violated not just the rules of demonstrable sanity but also the laws of physics.

On my way out, I saw him. He was sitting by himself at a table on the far side of the restaurant from where we’d been — if it hadn’t been for the damned red tie he was wearing, I wouldn’t have noticed him at all, he blent in so well with the rest of the GQ catalog page set that made up the general clientele. The one who’d ordered me off the scene at John Q’s house in October and had me escorted off the porch when I’d argued the point. Same exquisitely tailored black suit, same red tie. Short, wavy dark hair that wasn’t quite a curl, olive skin, striking eyes — incredibly striking, even at a distance and in the thin winter sunlight coming through the windows, his eyes were pale, almost golden. He didn’t even pretend to not know that he’d been made — instead, he smiled the most smackably annoying smile in the history of the known universe and saluted me with his water glass.

I cannot express, in words alone, how much I wanted to go over there and hand him the receipt for my new camera memory card. I heroically restrained myself. Instead I went back to the office, called McDreamy, and invited him over for dinner some time that week — because everything was still pointing back to John Q’s House of WTF and if I was going to go any further in the direction, I was going to need some help.

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~ by Dr. Nate Harada on January 10, 2012.

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