Chapter 8: "Russian Egg"
The dock foreman had one of his longshoremen cut the big fish open while it was still hanging. The incision into the gut of the Great White rendered a shock that would have phased most, as the present audience of mariners and detectives looked on. What the longshoreman's blade revealed, within the belly of the beast, looked at first like a large monkey in a kilt – believable enough, as Great Whites often eat their prey whole, but for the mystery of a monkey in the ocean. The man who had opened her up then reached in with his arm, and pried at the animals' last meal, which tumbled out and hit the deck with a thump. And there at the feet of the men lay the first shark regurgitated wolflady any of them had ever seen.
“Talk about jumping the shark,” Wallace said.
“If this is connected to our cases, Wallace, it may be a signal that they're unsolvable. Because this has everything to do with what our colleagues' investigations stemming from the intracoastal October 11 killing spree that has waxed supernatural,” Smith said flatly, pointing. Everybody was still staring, and beginning to poke lightly at the miraculous abomination at their feet. “They've been dealing with suspects and bodies similar to this gal crumpled at our feet. I don't think anybody has figured out why or how these things are walking God's Green Earth. But they can bring us a brieing about what they do know.”
“Right. I've been hearing about it, on the news and some talk of it at work. But until now, Olympia had avoided any involvement in this thing,” Wallace said. “Can you get your people down here tomorrow to debrief us?”
“Affirmative,” Smith toned. “I'll have our coroner come down as well.”
Wallace at that time telephoned the Thurston County dispatch to send someone out to bag up two bodies at the port terminal. It was about 4 o'clock. Smith phoned his office as he drove up I-5 back to Tacoma. MacKinney picked up, and said Thompson was not in. So he rang Thompson's mobile successfully, explaining to him the scene he had just left at the Port of Olympia Marine Terminal, and informed him of Detective Wallace's request that he and Dixie Thompson meet with the Olympia personnel for a briefing the following morning.
“They cut one of those things that you have been chasing, out of the belly of a Great White shark. This fish itself purportedly, mysteriously just showed up there, port personnel said, hanging from a scale hook with an axe shoved into her throat,” he explained to Thompson.
“The shark's throat or the furry's throat?” Thompson asked.
“The shark's throat. Incidentally, the port terminal is also where an Olympia woman, a musician like Tina Santos, was found axed to death last weekend. The OPD case has some big differences – this woman, her name was Katherine Wells, she was 29, she was raped, and hacked innumerable times. But there is still enough in common among the demographic and crime style that Wallace and I have been comparing notes,” Smith said. “So now this. Supporting correlation between the recent axeplay and your canine creatures. By way of the Port of Olympia Marine Terminal and a Great White shark.”
“What was she wearing?” Thompson asked.
“Wells?” responded Smith.
“No, the furry in the shark,” Thompson said.
“Some kind of cheerleader uniform. See for yourself in the morning,” Smith answered. “That shark and that thing from her gut are headed for the Thurston County Coroners Office at this moment. That's where we're to meet up, as soon as we can get down there in the morning."
“Yep. I'll bring Dixie with me too. And I can tell you and OPD and their medical staff, and whomever cares to listen, all about what we've seen on this thing in the last week, Scott. And I can speculate. But that doesn't mean I can explain any of it,” Thompson said. “
Detective Smith was cooly ambivalent but nevertheless slightly discouraged in a practical sense, regarding this development, stemming
from which were a handful of significant potential implications. The first of which (likely representing the least messy of the various possibilities) was that the shark and the thing inside her were mutually exclusive in terms of forensic relevance with respect to the Santos and Wells homicide cases. The downside of this scenario would be the general lack of noteworthy development on the Santos and Wells cases. The very good news about this scenario was that it would not relegate Smith's investigation to barking at the moon, he thought, in an intracoastal netherworld morass of werewolf ladies that had swamped Thompson and countless other cops from here to San Diego.
However, it was difficult for Smith to disregard the plain evidence. That axe in that shark, and its location at the incumbent marine terminal – these things in their own right were extremely compelling, quite possibly very useful as evidence because of the axe alone. But the contents of the shark's stomach clouded the forensic waters, with the risk that both the Santos and the Wells cases could be grouped with the October 11 murders, and written off as an act of God.
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