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Chapter 03

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      "Morning Mark," He greeted the desk sergeant, "How's Timothy?"
      "Graduating at the end of the month," the gruff and graying bear replied. "After the summer he's off to university."
      "Good. Wish him good luck from me."
      "Will do."
      Denton went to his desk. Alice's desk was still bare. She hadn't arrived yet. She wouldn't be in for another hour. He liked getting an early start. He put his gun in his desk, he didn't like wearing it in the precinct, and headed for the evidence locker.
      "Morning, Matilda." He greeted her. "They have you on evidence duty today?"
      The tabby nodded. "Yes, and after yesterday, I'm not complaining." She shuddered. "Three dead bodies is enough to last me a while."
      "You might be in the wrong line of work is that's how you feel. I'm going to need those files and the evidence that was collected. I want to get cracking on it."
      "Oh, I'll get used to it, I just need a break." She went in the back, came back a minute later to check the sign out sheet. "Sherman signed those out last night."
      "Sherman? He's not working this case, why'd he do that?"
      "I don't get reasons on this sheet, just who took what." She smiled at him. "You're going to have to go ask the captain yourself."
      Captain Jack Sherman became a cop after he was shot while deployed overseas. Denton had never managed to get him to say where the deployment had been, so he suspected it had been in one of those countries they weren't suppose to get involved with, officially.
      He'd been thirty-two. He barely passed the physical, spent five years on the street, then started climbing the ladder. He made captain at fifty. Now fifty-eight, the rumor in the precinct was that the mayor wanted him to take over for the commissioner when he retired in two years.
      Denton knocked on the door, and the stern looking lion waved him in.
      "What can I do for you Brislow?"
      "I'm looking for the files on the Lewiston case."
      The captain closed the file he was looking at and rested his hands on it. "The feds have taken over that case. They came in last night, just before I was to head home and requested them."
      "What? Why?"
      "They wouldn't say. They had the proper forms, so I had to hand over what they wanted."
      "This is our case, sir. The Lewistons are important people in the city, solving this would do wonders for the way the police is viewed."
      "I know, but this is out of our hands now."
      Denton turned to leave. "Any chance you can talk them into making this a joint investigation?"
      The lion shook his head. "I tried, they're adamant we not get involved."
      "Fuck," Denton whispered.
      "Will there be anything else?"
      "No, captain." He went back to his desk, and went over paperwork for other cases. When Alice arrived he told her about the Feds taking the case. She had a few choice words for them, but then fell into the routine of a normal day.
      He couldn't let it go. He wanted that case. That also bothered him, he wasn't normally attached to cases, he'd had many taken away from him over the years, either by the Feds, or just assigned to another detective due to being overloaded.
      If only he knew who the Feds were, he could get in touch with them, try to convince them to work together. Maybe at least get some information, find out what their interest in it was. He was pretty sure he could seduce the information out them.
      He wasn't proud of it, but he'd seduced his share of straight guys when he was younger. Not that he could do that since he didn't know who had...
      He stood, Alice didn't look up from the file she was going through. He went to the back of the building, passed the coffee room, and the change room, to the last door in the hall, marked surveillance.
      He knocked. He didn't have to, the door wasn't locked, but Ryan hated it when people barged in his kingdom uninvited.
      "Come in."
      The room was twelve feet on each side, with the wall in front of him, as well as a half each of the side walls lined with monitors. Before them a white ermine sat, eyes going from one to the next
      "What can I do for you Brislow?" The tone was curt.
      "I need to see the video from last night, at the desk sergeant."
      "What time?"
      "I don't know, close to when the captain left. Some Feds came in and took a case from us."
      Ryan spun in his chair, and stared at him. His eyes were wide, wider than they should be and his stare always made Denton uncomfortable, like he could see more than was there. He had some form of autism, he didn't know which one, and he didn't want to know, but it made him extremely adept at processing video input.
      "If the FBI have taken them, it's no longer our case. Why do you want to see the video?"
      It also made him very strict. Ryan wasn't one for bending rules, even a little. He wasn't stupid, him being here wasn't one of those 'employ a disable person' crap. He'd earned the right to sit there. He'd aced the entrance exam.
      "I want to find them, so I can ask why. They wouldn't tell the captain, but I think we have a right to know why they took such an important case away from us."
      Ryan was thoughtful for a moment, then spun back to face the monitors. His fingers flew over the controls, and a moment later he watched as two government agents walked in, talked to Fred, who then pointed to the captain. They were out of frame for thirty minutes, according to the timer, then they left carrying four banker's boxes full of their files and evidence. They hadn't signed in our out.
      "Can you find a frame with a clear view of their faces?"
      Ryan found one. Unlike every movie portraying bureau agents, they weren't wearing sunglasses. One was a cougar, the other a canine of some sort, not a wolf, but he couldn't tell exactly the type of dog he might be.
      "Send it to my phone."
      "No. No information can be sent out of this room electronically."
      Right, he'd forgotten.
      "Print it out then, thanks."
      He grabbed the high quality print on his way out, and made a call.
      "Zee, it's Denton. I need your help with something, can we meet? Yeah, after work, seven works. Really?" he stopped walking on hearing where he wanted to meet. "You're serious? Okay, I'll meet you there."
      On his way to the desk they were called out, a body in the Heights.

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