Chapter 19: "Scooby Don't"
Earlier that morning, the first thing Dixie had done when she got to work was take a look at the end-run bad-news sum of the existences of Janice Allison and the swordfish. When the woman was killed on Saturday, she had been in town celebrating the wake of her only next of kin. So, there were no realistic expectations that anyone was going to try to claim this body, and she considered just leaving the mess intact, just as it was. But she felt it was owed some sort of job. She separated the woman from the creature, and cleaned up the mess the best she could.
Rick Thompson and Scott Smith had stopped by on their way out of town, and taken samples of the shark dust, explaining their intent to go monster hunting/fishing, and that they expected to use it for bait. They said they would probably be using some of the creatures' corpses for monster baiting later in the week as well.
In their rain gear, the detectives and two of the crewmen stood on the deck and watched the coastline pass by in the distance, as the Blint Mary traveled north. By the time they got to the approximate location where the ship had been attacked, it was already about 6 p.m. and the gray fall day was fading. Thompson mentioned that it might be ultimately necessary to dive the area, which is still on the continental shelf and so relatively shallow, to see whom or what might be strung up down there as a result of the Sunday morning sea battle.
“No problem. We can dive it tomorrow,” said one of the crewman, a man named Jones, probably in his early twenties, Smith estimated. That would at least give them some sort of agenda for their second day of this whole on-the-water thing, regarding which he still had a funny feeling, though he wasn't sure if it was skepticism, or fear, or something even darker.
The captain killed the diesels at the mouth of the Juan de Fuca Strait, and they floated in the relative quiet of the rain. Thompson lit a cigarette.
Down in San Diego that afternoon, Detective Lopez and the sergeant of detectives discussed the potential value of Lopez vacationing up to the doorstep of the Great Northwest to have a go at the wolfladies on the upcoming weekend. “I can't resist the opportunity to see one of these creatures—much less an opportunity to bag one. I'm taking vacation time if I can't get clearance to go up there on San Diego's clock and dime.”
“I'll tell you right now, there's no way I'm signing off on that. Forget it. But, I hear what you're saying. I think it would be worth a few days vacation time,” he said. “I say head up there Friday and make it a three day weekend.”
Nobody, not Lopez's West Coast peers, Thompson or the Oakland force nor anybody else, had been able to close any of the cases stemming from the October 11 homicides. And exactly one week later, at the strip clubs where the original murders had happened, occurred all sorts of bloodshed at the hands of the furry monsters—and there was yet no resolution to any of those week-after cases either—and their probably wouldn't be, Lopez thought. And he was probably right, not any sort of normal resolution, anyway, and that fact, in part, is why he had decided to help out with the hunt. Otherwise, it was a situation where everybody was failing to serve and protect, while raggedy wolfies were having an unfettered field day with the West Coast nightlife and the general citizenry at large.
“I'll make it a road trip. You're welcome to join me, sergeant,” Lopez answered.
Meanwhile, the sun had fully set on the Tacoma crowd at sea. The crew kept an eye on the traffic nearby—there were some commercial vessels in the area—a tanker headed south with a load of black gold bound for more temperate realms, and some fishing boats farther out. There was an unidentified, unlit vessel a couple of miles behind them, the navigator noted.
“Keep an eye on her, and be vigilant,” the captain said. “Don't hail her, and don't approach her. Yet. Let's just observe from afar. Even if it is them, and it probably isn't, I doubt they would try anything—they wouldn't have any luck boarding us.”
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