Chapter 10: Investigation

“Inspector?”


“In the conference room Carl.”


Margo turn to her right as the door opened. Carl gave a startled gasp as he nearly ran into a dividing wall Margo had placed to prevent people from opening the door and seeing what was being worked on. Margo waited as Carl walked along to makeshift hallway and turned the corner into the rest of the conference room, a bemused look on his face. Margo just smiled and waved.


Carl started to speak, but then thought better of it. Instead he looked at the sheets of blank paper Margo had placed on the wall. Nearby were a pair of white boards with the names of every member of the haven along with a few others in fine lettering. A few were crossed out already.


“Where did you get the paper? And the marker?” Carl eventually asked.


“From Reg. Apparently there is an entire room in the library archives that is nothing but stationary, pens and pencils. Morning by the way.”


“Morning. Why have we never heard of this before?”


“To quote Reg: 'It has to last us until we create a paper mill and the ability to create our own inks, unless you want to write with charcoal, and before you ask, no you don't.' I didn't argue.”


“I take it this is all the paper we get?”


“Pretty much,” Margo said with a sigh.


“We are sure the saboteur is a person right?”


“Well it isn't someone or something the Pandoravirus has co-opted. I personally checked the sensor grid. It is fully functional. The only mutant in the haven is the mouse, and there has been no breach there either.”


“Human it is. Speaking of cells, I notice Vincent is in the brig, and is not happy, even for him.”


“Good. Even the Commander couldn't argue against this transgression. Vincent is in there for a couple of days, and they do not count to the days he is banned from the library.”


“You enjoyed locking him up didn't you?”


“Slightly. Hopefully some intelligence sinks in while he is in there.”


“Not likely,” Carl grumbled. “Back to business, is Reg a suspect?”


“Not a chance. I asked him point blank to tell me he was a saboteur. It's kind of adorable how bad of a liar he is.”


“Good. We need all the big brains on this we can get. I assume you two spent the night brainstorming ideas?”


“No actually. He called it quits at midnight. Something about thinking better with a full night's sleep.”


“So did you two get any sleep?” Carl teased.


“Yes we did, thank you very much,” Margo said flushing. “I'm not his girlfriend.”


“Your loss. Please tell me Vincent is a suspect still.”


“Not sure.”


“You want to run that by me again?”


Margo walked over the conference table, which had a few sheets of paper on it as well. She picked up one that had a drawing on it. She then attached it to the wall with a magnet. Carl looked at it and his shoulders sank.


“That is the toy Reg has been having the field team search for for the past couple of years.”


“And was 'lost' within a month of finding one.”


“Yeah, 'lost.' I'll bite, how is the toy involved?”


“It is a mechanical spider robot with magnets for feet and a camera on it It could have easily snuck into the workshop weeks prior to the actual sabotage and hidden in the rafters. Then after the final inspection prior to leaving the haven, it could have climbed inside the TAPV's engine compartment and waited until it was in the courtyard before punching a hole in the fuel line. Then when the TAPV had left the haven it could have jumped out anywhere within five hundred meters of the haven. That's the ranged of the transmitter.”


“That is pretty diabolical.”


“Yup.”


Carl looked at Margo.


“You asked Reg how he'd do it didn't you.”


“And that is what he came up with within a few seconds.”


“Who creates a toy like that?”


“The CIA probably. I mean they did bug TVs to spy on people so I wouldn't put it past them.”


“Back to suspects, with a range of five hundred meters anyone in the haven could have done it.”


“Which is why the current population of the haven is on that list along with any transfers out that were here when it happened.”


“Field team is out of the question because they'd already left when the sabotage occurred.”


“Crossed them off the list already, along with Reg and yourself.”


“How do you know I'm not a suspect?” Carl asked mischievously.


“Because you were in Ross River for the week prior you twit.”


“Just checking. Any others off the list?”


“Carson obviously.”


“Good point. How is he?”


“Still in a lot of pain. Even regular doses of opium aren't helping.”


“Geez. Hang on, your name isn't crossed off.”


“I'm still a suspect.”


“Without you knowing about it?”


“We live in interesting times.”


“Ugh. Personally I don't buy it. Where were you when the sabotage occurred?” Carl asked in his best interrogator voice.


“In bed, asleep.”


“Can anyone verify that?”


“Not that I know of.”


“Well that isn't a good alibi. Still don't believe it was you though.”


“Thanks. Most of the haven aren't going to have alibis as most were asleep at the time.”


“On the bright side, at least our suspect pool isn't an entire city with airports and trains and so forth.”


“Instead all we have to go on is a single piece of fuel line with a hole in it and no prints,” Margo countered.


“We could search the base for a remote control?”


“That is the plan for the day.”


“Oh, we should post guards in the rendering plant to prevent anyone from destroying evidence that way.”


“Already done. Got a couple of guys there already. They are searching everything that comes in and out of there. They are also searching the waste for any metallic components.”


“Well that's a crappy job. Who got that detail?”


“Herman, Alita and Maxwell.”


“So the three people that came back with me. Great. Bet they were happy with that.”


“They were actually quite understanding about it.”


“Any other suspects we can cross off before starting the search?”


“Just some guards in full view during the time window, but that relies on witnesses. Our first stop will be retrieve the security camera footage from the secure hangar. We'll use that as a starting point for witnesses and go from there. After that we'll grab the guards from the secure hangar during that period and have them help us search.”


“Why them?”


“They are the only guards on the base we can track the movement of for the entire window the sabotage could have occurred in. They are the only people that work 4 hour shifts.”


“I forgot about that. Okay, off to the secure hangar.”


Margo and Carl left the conference room, locking it behind them. Margo didn't want anyone she didn't trust snooping.