Chapter 17: "Too Quiet"
A couple of weeks before the original October 11 murders at the various and sundry West Coast strip clubs, one of the Phoenix Bloody Rollers had been killed at a roadhouse brawl in San Diego, and some of the victim's teammates and roommates had been interviewed in the wake of the subsequent stripper murders. A San Diego detective had flown out to Phoenix during the course of that investigation, and had met with some of the surviving Bloody Rollers. Then, after the wolfladies starting popping up, there was a Schroedinger's cat-like incident whereby the Flagstaff team reportedly disappeared on their way home, after a match with the Bloody Rollers. Meanwhile, the Rollers all had seemed to have disappeared, according to the Maricopa County authorities.
However, concurrent and in conflict with those reports, other derby fans reported that neither the Phoenix nor Flagstaff team showed up for that last match in the first place—while other fans said they watched the whole contest play out in its entirety, and talked with various of the girls on skates, moreover.
So, now that the cat was dragging in undead Bloody Rollers to the Pacific Northwest, Thompson on Sunday night had telephoned to follow up with Detective Joe Lopez, for his assistance in determining which, if not all, of the Bloody Rollers were now missing-and-presumed-moondog. The boys felt they needed to know whom they were hunting. What teams were involved, if you might.
Meanwhile, the Monday morning coffee room tabletalk continued among MacKinney, Thompson, and Smith, regarding how they might proceed with their brave, half-baked plans.
“What's the difference between regular sharks and ones that can go about on boat decks and dry land?" Smith objected. "I guess my point is this: The sharks we're looking for should be hunted out of the water. Otherwise, there is no way to be sure we've nailed the correct shark. So, while the Coast Guard may still keep a watchful eye, I believe the shark hunt must be a landbased affair.”
“Your point is well made, but I would feel better if we had a good ship on standby, just in case,” Thompson said. Smith remained skeptical but accepted his colleague's point.
“So anyway, using the dead furries as bait might still be a useful strategy, though on land rather than at sea,” Smith said. “And there is no subtle science to this, no nuanced legerdemain, no firm bag method. That's why we've already left the realm of typical forensics in these cases, and gone to hunting. So I can think of no better way to proceed than to gather up a shitpot of sharkdust, a truckload of furry bodies, slather ourselves with chum——and not without some fanfare in order to call upon these battling furries and dirt sharks to come and get it.”
“I hear you. To anyone eyeballing us, we look like rabid, vigorous, painted, drunken, banked track womens roller derby fanatics. Anybody except our marked targets, that is. And of course to them, we look like fucking steak dinners. Irresistible,” Thompson said.
“OK. That's one place for us to sit and be fit. What other shark-and-furry-prone chapels can we haunt, what other good hunting grounds can we think of?” Smith asked.
“We all agree, having a good vessel on standby is wise,” Thompson answered, and angled again in support of leaving solid ground. “But the Blint Mary, specifically, she is touched. I think we could get our little carnival packed onto that thing, and, basically go trolling for offshore furries. We'd get all slicked up in monster dust and juices, but without even any need to bait a line—we'll be fishing for monsters using their own freaky kharma as the bait. MacKinney needs to negotiate for us the Blint Mary.”
“I like it,” Smith gave up. “And let your Lickers know we'll be there with hells bells on this weekend."
When MacKinney got off the phone, he told the boys that the Coast Guard seemed optimistic about being able to provide the Blint Mary for use in official state police business, and that they would call back regarding the request within 24 hours. The boys tentatively planned their first seaborne expedition to begin Tuesday. Meanwhile, it still rained.
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