17

I burst into the room, gun drawn, hands shaking, eyes misted red with rage. Pat looks up as I burst through the door and drops the cloth back in the box.

"DON'T MOVE" I roar, almost incoherent with fury, he raises both hands by way of placation.

"Easy miho, easy." he's modulated his tone to a soft murmur, good technique, often works on people who don't know what they're thinking, but I know "I just got in." he continues, trying to keep up the momentum "This box was on my desk, I just opened it, I've no idea what it is."
I pull back the hammer on my gun, my voice cracking "Take it out."

Pat's been around the block, he knows when a person's about to crack up, so he doesn't try and argue the point at all, instead, he reaches into the box and pulls the contents out of it, laying the thing on his desk.

Around five feet long, several holes around the material, two patches of dark fur on it, the red mist washes over my vision again and I can feel my finger tightening on the trigger. Pat senses that there's nothing to be lost from his perspective now, so he might as well do anything to try and avoid the likely outcome.

"I know it doesn't look good" he's still talking softly "but you've got to look at this logically, I couldn't have done most of the killings, you know that."

Part of me is holding back, this man and I have history and that should count for something, even in a situation like this. Some part of him understands this, and he keeps going.

"I was at S1 all of yesterday morning, and most of the day before that as well, so it couldn't have been me that did Eve."

"Your phone made the call" I snarl.

"You can't take phones into S1" he snaps back, "you have to leave all your equipment at the door, anyone else who had access to this building could have had it."

I don't know if that's accurate about S1, but I can always check later. I want to believe him, as foolish as that might be, so I nod, allowing him to go on.

He pauses to order his thoughts "I don't know anything about Ebb shit, and I've no ability with chemicals, hell boy, I have trouble making coffee in a morning."

Truth in that, even though that could be used as a plausible excuse if it ever went to court. Still, there's something about the whole thing nagging at me. Someone at IA did, or was at least a party to the killings. Some of the techniques that have been used couldn't have come out of anyone who had only operative training, too many of the things that were used couldn't have been obtained by anyone who was lower than SCL5 and/or knew something about physiology. That said, the deciding factor is that call from S1, surely no one who's known by them could be a party to something like this.

I'm lost for a moment as my brain goes into overdrive, and I almost don't notice Pat inching towards the concealed pistol that I know he keeps under his desk. I wrench myself back to the room and re-level my gun at him, shaking my head slightly. He looks at me for a second and then his eyes flick to a point just beyond me and the sound of a footfall behind me causes me to curse myself for the sin of inattentiveness.

My gun roars and Pat's head disappears in a red mist. I look in horror at the gun, I didn't pull the trigger............

"Don't be turning around, dude."

I know that voice......