Red Hering, 3

Massacre at Pete’s Corner was the word, and detective Ben Warner was assigned the case, due to his prior entanglement with the crowd that called itself Pete’s patronage. He hadn’t ever been able to stick anything to them, but that wasn’t that unusual in New Brooklyn. They were, however, quite reliable when it came to hints about missing persons, which turned out to be homicides in the end. Always pointed Warner in the right direction. Warner was sure the Cornermen, as they were called behind their backs, were somehow responsible for those deaths, but now they were the vics, not the suspects.

Wendy stood in front of the corner club when Ben arrived “So, what do we got, Jones?” Ben asked his partner “Late as ever, partner” She looked over Ben’s car “When are you gonna ditch that bucket, Warner? Someone takes a shot at you in that, you won’t be able to carry it away” Warner gave her the look. “Right… five dead, two with GSW’s to the head, well aimed, two other’s shredded to bits with lots of small caliber bullets, old man with multiple GSW’s to the torso. Pete called it in, paramedics already got him to the emergency room. He’s been hit bad, but the bar counter saved his sorry ass” Ben stepped into the bar “this place is banged up bad. The old man, was it Russ?” “He finally got what was comin’ for him” Warner covered his nose from the stench “Word. When’s Pete up for questioning?” “He just got into surgery. Damned shame he’s a witness. City pays to fix up some crook, ‘cause he might’a saw something, but they cut our CSU support” Ben inspected the bar counter and removed some bullets with his Swiss army knife “SMG ammo, 5.56. Old school, guy who did this. Haven’t seen these since I was a kid. Whoever used these is really making sure we don’t track them through their suppliers” Wendy picked up a bullet casing “I wouldn’t be so sure. These got serials. Bought, stolen, we can find out where they were seen last by some authority” “Where the lead will run dry. I’ve been workin’ homicide for 20 years now…” “You been workin’ your car for 20 years, too” Ben gave her the look again “twenny years, and you got what?” Wendy looked intensely at her shoes “Two”. “In twenty years, I’ve seen all kinds of stuff, also century old bullets lodged in people’s foreheads. They were untraceable then, and they are now”. After an awkward moment of silence, Wendy turned to the door “Nothin’ more to see here, then, Warner. Might as well file some paperwork and wait for our damned witness to wake up”

Ben caught Wendy’s wrist just before she passed the door “Wait. We need to follow up some more leads. Everyone had it in for Russ and his boys. We should gather a few men, bash down their doors and take a few in for questioning. Shouldn’t let a perfectly good murder go to waste” “Don’t we need a warrant for that?” Wendy looked rather confused. A sort of smile, the creepy sort, appeared on detective Ben Warner’s face “Not here in New Brooklyn, we don’t”

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