2

The room is clean, unnaturally so, painted a clean white, all the windows and other doors are sealed up, and everything is covered in plastic sheeting, a single light is on, bathing the room is a shining glow, far more than is usual for DownTown.

This is what my first glance tells me, they say that first impressions are important, well, my first impression is that whoever did this is a nut-job, let's hope that that impression is important shall we?

I glance around the door to the bed by the end of the room, there's a lone figure curled up in a foetal ball on it. A channel has been cut in the centre of the bed, allowing the blood to run off the sheeting and into a large container, and on the wall is painted (in blood, natch) Pacifism.

Strange, not usually something to kill someone for, let's see what else the mystery guest can tell us. I pad silently over to the body, drawing my pistol and reaching out with my left hand to roll the corpse onto it's front. The body rolls easily, slumping almost casually on the plastic with a soft crackle as the plastic bows under the weight. It's an ebon, or rather, he was an ebon, now he's a corpse. Across the body are carved glyphs, all the same one, I'm no ebb specialist, so I don't know what they mean and wouldn't presume to guess, I'll leave that for a wiser person than me. I look at the body, it's not been dead that long, maybe a day, maybe two, decomposition hasn't set in yet, but that smell could only have come from something long dead. I look under the bed, there's a small pile of black material, and it's here that the smell is coming from. I prod the thing with my pistol, no reaction, I prod it again, no reaction.
I reach in with one hand and drag it out, it weighs almost nothing, but it's very solid, as if it has armour plates in the middle of it.

There's something definitely wrong here, and then it comes to me, there's a dead ebon, this must be his DeathSuit, I almost slap myself on the head before I remember that I'm carrying a dead DeathSuit in one hand and a large chunk of artillery in the other. I drop the DeathSuit and call in Eve, let's see what she makes out of this.

She almost gets through the door and makes a puddle of vomit out of it. Guess they don't teach sniff before you walk in newbie school. I smile to myself for a second and help her back out the door, taking one of the respirators off the shivers outside. She looks up at me, grateful for the fact that I haven't taken her to task for making a mess of the scene, then walks (a little unsteadily) back into the room. She recovers well, not touching more than necessary, not moving anything without marking its position, and making notes to herself, you can tell when people do that, their eyes tend to flicker slightly, as if they're turning a page in their head.

She motions me outside after five minutes, and gets all the way down the stairs before she takes the mask off.

"I must apologise for my lack of restraint, Captain." She is stood almost to attention, her eyes pointing straight ahead, her back ramrod straight, arms parallel to her torso line.

I smile before I turn back to her, schooling my expression back to one of mild distaste so she can see I'm being serious. As I see her standing there, the whole façade drops into my usual avuncular smirk. "I must apologise for my lack of restraint, Captain?" I mimic her voice as best I can, I don't really have the vocal training to manage it, but I try, if someone was on hand to kick me in the nuts, I could probably do better.

She's not sure what to make of it, she looks upset now, as If I'm being cruel to her, so I skip onwards

"Eve," I make the word sound as if god himself couldn't have meant it more "you have to understand something" Somehow she manages to stand even straighter than she was doing, my eyes drop downwards as her chest tries to escape from her uniform. I look back upwards almost instantly, trying to keep my face straight..

"My name," I pause for effect "is Captain Conan Arran Donal O'riordan, or Rio, to my friends, now, let's hear you say that..."

"Captain Conan.." she starts.

"Rio" I interject with a little force.

She pauses for a second, daring to actually look at me for a second, I raise one eyebrow at her.

"Rio?" She says quietly.

"Rio." I emphasise "And now, drop that pose before your shirt gets damaged and give me your report."

She relaxes visibly and looks up at the room at the top of the tunnel "Well, he didn't die quickly, whoever did this has patience, and a plan."

Excellent, she got the main clues. "Why do you say that?" I ask, keeping my tone light.

"Well, the eyelids were cut off, surgical job, it'd take at least paramedic training to do that without damaging the eyes, then there's the matter of the deathsuit." She pauses and motions for one of the Shivers to pass her a coffee.

Taking a small sip, she continues "Don't know how they did it, but that DeathSuit doesn't have a scratch on it" she shudders almost imperceptibly "and the glyphs weren't done slow, whoever did this did it quick, and precise, they're fast, possibly inhumanly fast." She looks over the road where a couple of the locals are beginning to take an interest "and this guy didn't have a chance to resist what they were doing, there's no sign of a struggle."

I nod, as much to myself as to confirm what she's saying "so, your conclusions?"

She pauses, orders her thoughts, that's good, she's not too anxious to open her mouth without making sure that the words will be the right ones. Excellent, that's what's required of a good agent.

"Whoever did this was either an Operative, or some other type of pro, there's too much time involved to be a simple slice and dice, and there's too much ability to be your average, garden variety, sociopath with a bad comic book collection".

I smirk broadly. "Suggestions?"

"Suggest we bring in Ebb, they can tell us what the glyph means, and they can possibly provide some insight into what, who, and why...." she shrugs "I also suggest that we don't let this one go back to department just yet, be better to keep the number of people on this one to a minimum."

I nod again. "Good, place the call, and I'll go get us some food."

She reaches for her phone and mine goes off with a synchronicity that most film makers would kill for.

"Rio." The voice is Patrick Thaddeus, the head of the department.

"Pat."

"We've got one more, corner of twenty second and dante, Shivers are refusing to go in there."

"Understood, we're on the way."

I glance over to Eve as she finishes her conversation, it's going to be one of those days....