Assessing the Damage

“I can’t believe this! This is a complete disaster. I am 99.999% sure that Kyvon is calling the shots here, but I ain’t got jackshit pinning him to this. At least the Legion’s I-teams are working well with ACPD. That’s the one good thing that’s come out of this. I’m starting to lean on my contacts in the Imperial Navy and Ministry of Internal Order to see if there’s anything from that angle. We were able to move about 98 people out of the city so far, and the Legion’s trying to evac more as we speak, but Kyvon’s got a head start. We’re playing catch up, and unless we catch a break, Kyvon’s going to get away clean. That can’t happen. It can’t! I must bring them back, no matter what it takes.”

  • Duke Shasta Ardeind

11 January YC123
Outside a small brownstone in Amarrinn city on the planet Mekhios

Two black sedans pulled up outside the brownstone house. The vehicles had scarcely stopped when Legionnaires dressed in civilian clothes and wearing light body armor jumped out. Sergeant Bard, the squad leader, saw that the door to the house had been kicked in and drew his pistol.

“■■■■! We’re too late,” the sergeant swore as he began ascending the stairs. “Trooper, contact AURORA, and call up the second element.”

“Sir, yes sir!” the trooper said, reaching for his comlink. The other three troopers followed their sergeant into the brownstone.

“Ma’am! Ma’am! Anyone home?” Bard shouted as he entered the house. He could see that a fierce struggle had occurred in the building- chairs overturned, lamps smashed, papers and household mementos strewn across the ground. He signaled for two of his men to search the upper floor while he and his partner continued forward into the kitchen.

“Ma’am! Ma’am!” the troopers shouted as they searched the house. Bard kicked open a door and entered a small study. He could see that the desk in the room had been overturned, and the chair was thrown halfway across the room. Papers were strewn across the room, and many of the drawers had been ransacked. He saw a door a few meters away and approached it carefully.

“Ma’am? Are you in there?” he said, as he gently pushed the door open. “Ma’am?” he spun into the room. There was no one there.

“Damn it!” he said, as he holstered his weapon and walked back out of the room. He saw another Legionnaire run up to him with a pistol in one hand.

“Sergeant! What do you want my team to do?” Corporal Hendricks said as he holstered his pistol.

“Start searching the building. Take holos of everything, and see if Miss Fujko’s attackers left anything behind,” Bard replied “A scrap of clothing, a flask, anything!” Corporal Hendricks nodded and ran off. Bard shook his head. Damn it! Damn it all!

ACPD Detective-Lieutenant Kyle Kendricks and his partner, Detective-Sergeant Will O’Donnell, drove up to the crime scene in their unmarked cruiser, lights flashing. They parked just outside the police tape, behind a marked ACPD vehicle, and exited their car. A uniformed officer met them as they ducked under the tape.

“What happened here, Officer Cross?” Detective-Lieutenant Kendricks asked the officer.

“Suspected kidnapping. Another Ardeind supporter,” Cross replied. “Legion troopers arrived on scene to evacuate the homeowner, a forty year old Jin-Mei female named Junyo Fujisiki, and found the door had been forced. They entered after notifying ACPD and cleared the premises. The Legionnaires are over there.” Cross pointed to the Legionnaries, who stood around their vehicles chatting. “That one, the big, burly dude pacing next to the sedan, he’s the leader.”

“All right. Thanks, Officer,” Kendricks said.

“I’ll check the house and talk to Mike,” O’Donnell said, jerking a thumb towards the door to the house.

“Alright. I’ll talk with the Legionnaires then,” Kendricks replied as O’Donnell walked up the steps to the house. The Legionnaire looked up as Kendricks approached.

“Hello, Trooper … ,” Kendricks began.

“Bard. Sergeant Bard,” Bard replied.

“Sergeant Bard. Very well, Sergeant, I’m Detective-Lieutenant Kendricks,” Kendricks continued. “So, what exactly happened here?”

“We got a call to come here and evacuate one Junyo Fujisiki. The first element pulled up and found that the door to the house had been forced. I ordered the second element to join me, and also notified ACPD. We then entered the building to look for Mrs. Fujisiki, but we did not see her,” Bard explained.

“Hang on, hang on. Elements?” Kendricks inquired.

“Yeah. Basically a fire team,” Bard replied. “I command a squad of 10 Legionnaires. The squad is broken up into two elements with five men each. Standard operating protocol is for the first element to pull up, and the second element gets called in if the first comes under fire or requires backup.”

“Ah. Okay. Thank you for your help,” Kendricks said, turning away from the sergeant as a big black SUV pulled up to the crime scene tape. Three men exited the vehicle. Kendricks recognized them, Supervisory Special Agent Nudicoro, the head of Duke Shasta’s security detail, and Praetor Najir Darim, the senior officer of the Dark Wolf Legion, and Shasta himself.

“Detective Kendricks,” Shasta said, ducking under the tape. “Thank God you’re the detective on this case. You mind meeting me and my staff at the Legion forward post tonight?”

“Sure,” Kendricks said, as O’Donnell and the CSI inspector, Mike, walked over. “I’ll see you then.”

Shasta turned and began walking back towards his SUV as Mike began to brief Kendricks on the forensic evidence recovered at the scene.

“Thank you for meeting me here,” Shasta said, shaking Kendricks’ hand. The two men stood in the penthouse that the Legion had rented for use as a HQ for them to base their investigation out of. A number of Legion investigators were sitting at desks, reviewing files and inspecting evidence.

“So, eighty one abducted so far,” Shasta began. “Any leads?”

“No! None at all! It’s like they dug a hole, came out of the hole, made the kidnapping, threw the prisoner(s) into the hole, jumped in, and pulled it in after them!” Kendricks said. He handed over two evidence boxes. “Here. First box is some evidence for your labs to analyze. Maybe you’ll have better luck. The second box are some of Ms. Fujisiki’s belongings. These are all the belongings that CSI has released already. As CSI keeps releasing other items, I’ll keep sending a courier over to deliver them to you.”

“Thanks,” Shasta said, taking the boxes. “Agent Alonzo!” A young woman wearing a Legion windbreaker walked up. “Have a courier deliver this to the lab. Thanks.”

“Have you got any progress on identifying the troopers in the surveillance footage from the various raids?” Shasta asked.

“Nope, none at all,” Kendricks replied as the two walked towards Shasta’s desk. “You?”

“No identification on anyone, but we did get a few good shots of the equipment they were using. We’ve been able to conclusively identify the types of weapons used: bolt rifles, SMGs, pistols, stun pistols, and body armor. All of it is from Ariend Arms. We’re trying to see if we can figure out any of the serial numbers of the weapons used,” Shasta said. “That may just be our best lead, finding the weapons to find the perps.”

“Hope so. The captain is pissed that we can’t find ■■■■. He’s thinking about asking the 21st for two detective teams to help with the investigation,” Kendricks said.

“Two teams?!? Geez, you’re really not having any luck at all, are you? Well, the labs are working overtime to process the evidence, so we should have something within the week,” Shasta said. “Until then, we do our best, and hope that they ■■■■ up and give us something to run with.

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