Desk fatigue, p.1
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       Desk Fatigue, p.1
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           Andrew Galvan
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Desk Fatigue


  Desk Fatigue

  Andrew Galvan

  Copyright 2012 by Andrew Galvan

  © Andrew Galvan, 2012

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of said author/publisher except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, events, or places is coincidental. Logos and graphics are also original works of the author and are so protected by said copyright.

  Mandible

  ***The following are transcripts of the coroner’s audio log dated from August 1971 to September 1971 from the mortuary in St. Louis, MO.***

  -08/21/1971 8:23pm-

  Dr. Darcy: “Ok, I think we are recording now. *clears throat* This is Dr. Harold Darcy, medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri...and I am ready to conduct the forensic examination of said individual. The time right now is 8:23pm on August 21st 1971. I am opening the body bag now.”

  Detective Bridges: “Detective Jim Bridges for the St. Louis police department is also present. Not so fast doctor, let me put on my mask here. I could smell that body before they brought it into the building. I’m surprised it doesn’t bother you.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Nothing bothers an old coroner like me, James. Let’s see what we have here.”

  *unzipping of body bag*

  Detective Bridges: “*cough* Jesus Christ.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Yes, this body is at least eight days old. *clears throat* Victim is a white male and appears to be in his late twenties. Height is five feet and seven inches and weight is a hundred and thirty two pounds. The obvious cause of death is from the severe...massive lacerations on the left side of the neck. If I hold back this loose tissue with the forceps...I can see that the lacerations are clear down to the cervical vertebrae, specifically C3 through 6. It is indicative that the entire carotid artery has been also torn in this incident. And...lateral to the artery, inside the carotid sheath with the common carotid, are the jugular vein and vagus nerve, also torn in the same manner. Being that this is the primary injury, victim would have suffered a massive loss in blood pressure, and dying within about a minute.”

  Detective Bridges: “And probably for the better too. Doctor, move your hand so I can get a better shot please.”

  *click*

  Dr. Darcy: “There also seems to be some post mortem injuries as well. Small cuts, about...quarter of an inch in length and quarter to half inch in depth. These cuts would in fact be multiple stab wounds inflicted after complete exsanguination of the body due to the fact that there are no indications of bleeding. They seem to be made into the body in an elliptical pattern. I count about three individual sets of sixteen...one on the shoulder, another on the abdomen, and one more on the chest. The major diameter is measured to be...four and a half inches; this is consistent with all three sets. If I turn the body *grunts* there seems to be no immediate injuries underneath. Also, no signs of sexual trauma. Interesting.”

  Detective Bridges: “Whoever did this is pretty sick. He must have really hated the guy. So doctor, any idea on what kind of weapon the killer used?”

  *click*

  Dr. Darcy: “James...where was the body found?”

  Detective Bridges: “On the far side of Forrest Park in a storm drain...naked as the day he was born, why?”

  Dr. Darcy: “There is a zoo there, right?”

  Detective Bridges: “Yes.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Start there. I would ask if any animals have escaped. *clears throat* This is Dr. Harold Darcy, medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri, performing a forensic examination on John Doe corpse, August 21st 1971. End of session.”

  -END-

  -08/30/1971 9:45am-

  Dr. Darcy: “This is Dr. Harold Darcy medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri...I am ready to conduct the examination of said individual. The time right now is 9:45am on August 30th 1971. I am ready to begin...James?”

  Detective Bridges: “Detective Jim Bridges for the St. Louis police department...also present.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Yes well *clears throat* victim is a Latino male and appears to be in his early twenties, if not late teens. Height is five feet and six inches and weight is a hundred and twenty seven pounds. Initial police report estimates the time of death was last night between midnight and three in the morning, which I would concur with. The cause of death however, is from...massive lacerations to the right side of the neck. And...it is apparent that these lacerations are clear down to the cervical vertebrae. C3 through 6 is exposed and they appear to have scratch marks engraved into the periosteum of the vertebrae themselves. It is indicative that the entire carotid artery has also been torn in this incident. Victim would have suffered a massive loss in blood pressure, and dying within a minute. Also note that puncture wounds to the trachea are present.”

  Detective Bridges: “Shit. Are you thinking what I am thinking, Doctor?”

  Dr. Darcy: “Yes, it is identical in my opinion. Do you have the photos from last week...are they developed?”

  *removes gloves*

  Detective Bridges: “Yeah, let me pull them out. Here you go.”

  *papers shuffling*

  Dr. Darcy: “Thank you James. Yes, the same small stab wounds are here as well. These killings appear identical. And did you find this body naked?”

  Detective Bridges: “Yes, but near the river bank this time. I also questioned the manager of the zoo last week...all animals are accounted for. Maybe a mountain lion is loose or something?”

  Dr. Darcy: “Possible, I just don’t know. We shouldn’t make assumptions just yet. Do you have a contact number for the zoo?”

  Detective Bridges: “Sure.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Let me have it, I would like to contact one of the veterinarians there. Let me suspend this session and talk to the superintendent...I’m sure he would want to know about this immediately.”

  Detective Bridges: “Right”

  *door opens and closes*

  Dr. Darcy: “*clears throat* This is Dr. Harold Darcy, medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri, performing a forensic examination on John Doe corpse, August 30th 1971. Session is suspended pending further investigations.”

  -END-

  -09/01/1971 3:18pm-

  Dr. Darcy: “This is Dr. Harold Darcy, medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The date and time is September 1st 1971 at 3:18pm. With me is Dr. Steven Linus, veterinarian of the St. Louis zoo here as an expert in predatory animals...Dr. Linus please say hello.”

  Dr. Linus: “Hi.”

  Detective Bridges: “And detective Jim Bridges for the St. Louis police department, present.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Good, once again I would like to thank Dr. Linus for attending this session. This is the body of a young Latino male, murdered on August 30th in the very early morning and was found...naked on the west banks of the Missouri river.”

  *unzipping of body bag*

  Dr. Linus: “Oh God.”

  *table is bumped*

  Dr. Darcy: “You alright, Dr. Linus.”

  Dr. Linus: “*coughs* Yes, I am...just startled is all.”

  Detective Bridges: “Dr. Linus, if you would please examine the body and let us know of your opinions, it may help us in finding this mountain lion or whatever is killing these people.”

  Dr. Linus: “Sorry, of course. Let me see...well my initial opinion is that this is definitely an animal attack, no doubt about that. This looks like a very common...*clears throat*...kill. Went straight for the throat, bit down, and t
hrashed it to pieces...some signs of gnawing too. It must have been a fairly large predator to take him down. Were there any signs of a struggle?”

  Dr. Darcy: “No, nothing. It’s almost as if he had his neck ripped open instantly without any provocation.”

  Detective Bridges: “There was also no blood at the scene.”

  Dr. Linus: “So the bodies were killed, and then dragged to their respective locations?”

  Detective Bridges: “No drag marks...we think the bodies were carried.”

  Dr. Linus: “It’s possible with a large enough animal. This boy only weighs what, 125...135 pounds? Many large predatory cats are known to carry close to 250 pounds with nothing but their jaws. But what interests me is that these people were outright killed and not eaten...which would suggest rabies in my opinion.”

  Detective Bridges: “You’re saying that there is a lion with rabies roaming the streets St. Louis?”

  Dr. Linus: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Please detective, this is all preliminary.”

  Dr. Darcy: “James, please let him finish. Dr. Linus...”

  Dr. Linus: “*clears throat* Yes well, what I was about to say is that you need to test for rabies. I would suggest having a tissue sample of the wound tested immediately. As far as this big cat theory is concerned, I highly doubt this is felid in nature. This bite structure totally does not match.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Can you be more specific?”

  Dr. Linus: “Well first off, pay no attention to the neck wound...there is far too much damage there to determine much of anything. However, these puncture wounds interest me much more. See how there is no deep or penetrating openings where the larger cuspids would be.”

  Detective Bridges: “Cuspids?”

  Dr. Darcy: “The fangs, James.”

  Dr. Linus: “Yes, well that is what is peculiar about these additional puncture wounds on the chest and shoulder. These teeth marks do not correspond with a large cat...and I think a bear can be ruled out as well.”

  Dr. Darcy: “What animal bite would this be similar too, Dr. Linus?”

  Dr. Linus: “Um...well...if I tell you, you’ll probably think I’m crazy.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Please, Doctor.”

  Dr. Linus: “Ok, well...I have to say that, in my opinion, the predator with the most similar bite to this would be...a shark.”

  *phone ringing*

  Detective Bridges: “I got it fellas.”

  Detective Bridges: “Hello, this is detective Bridges... Where? ... You sure?... Alright, I’ll be there in thirty minutes. Just contain the scene... Bye.”

  *click*

  Detective Bridges: “Doctor, you are not going to believe this. There has been another murder. Another naked body was found near the fairgrounds, throat ripped wide opened. I have to go.”

  Dr. Darcy: “We will continue this later, Steven.”

  -END-

  -09/01/1971 11:02pm-

  Dr. Darcy: “This is Dr. Harold Darcy medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri...ready to conduct the examination of said individual. The time as of this moment is 11:02pm on September 1st 1971.”

  Detective Bridges: “James Bridges, present.”

  Superintendent Clement: “Superintendent Bernard Clement, also present.”

  Dr. Darcy: “Alright, this is the third victim in a string of unsolved murders involving similar bite wounds to the neck. The recent victim is a white female, possibly late thirties. Height is five feet and four inches and weight is a hundred and fifteen pounds. The police report estimates the time of death was around three in the afternoon, today’s date. Again we see the large and gaping lacerations to the left side of the neck down to the cervical vertebrae. Puncture wounds to the carotid artery and trachea are also present.”

  Detective Bridges: “Doctor, were you able to send some tissue samples out for rabies testing.”

  Doctor Darcy: “Dr. Linus offered his help with that. The zoo has its own medical wing and he says he can give us results sooner than the hospital can.”

  Superintendent Clement: “Gentlemen, I need something to tell the public. Tomorrow morning I am going to make a statement to the press and I need the best possible information you two can give me.”

  Doctor Darcy: “The turnaround time for rabies testing can take as long as twelve hours. Dr. Linus is at the zoo right now trying to figure that out. He also thinks he will be able to even identify the type of animal we are dealing with.”

  Detective Bridges: “But what we do know right now is that all of the victims are relatively small in stature and weight. So I believe small adults and maybe even children are the ones being targeted.”

  Superintendent Clement: “A rabid animal that targets children? That’s ridiculous! Rabid animals don’t pick and choose, they just attack. Can you imagine the panic that would result from a press release about a large rabies infected animal killing children? Think Bridges! We need evidence, not hunches.”

  Detective Bridges: “Yes, sir.”

  Doctor Darcy: “Well I can tell you both that everything about this attack is identical to the other two. I won’t know anything else till the tissue samples come back.”

  Detective Bridges: “The time of day of these murders isn’t consistent. Hell, we don’t even know where the killings are taking place, we always find the dumped bodies. I think the only way we are going to catch this thing is if we bait and trap it.”

  Superintendent Clement: “That’s not a bad idea. Let me make some calls to Harvey over at the department of animal control and see if we can get some help on this from the rest of the county. Doctor, call me as soon as you learn the test results from the zoo.”

  Doctor Darcy: “Will do, superintendent.”

  *door opens and closes*

  Detective Bridges: “God...that guy.”

  Doctor Darcy: “Don’t be too hard on him, James. He is stressful because he has two hundred thousand people to answer to tomorrow.”

  Detective Bridges: “I know, but sometimes he can be a real ball-buster...is that thing still recording?”

  Doctor Darcy: “Oh, yes...sorry...I will end it now and edit later.”

  -END-

  -09/02/1971 10:22am-

  Dr. Darcy: “This is a personal log of Dr. Harold Darcy medical examiner for the city and state of St. Louis, Missouri...dated September 2nd 1971 at 10:22am in the afternoon.”

  *stirring ice in glass*

  Dr. Darcy: “This morning the Superintendent made his statement to the press about a rabid animal possibly loose in the park or fairgrounds. He has assembled animal control employees from across the county to organize a massive hunt across the city over the next week. This should be successful I would think. Also, Dr. Steven Linus from the St. Louis zoo just called with the test results from tissue samples extracted from one of the victims.”

  *sipping from drink*

  Doctor Darcy: “They were negative for rabies, but the more interesting part was that he was able to identify the type of animal involved in these attacks...a large primate. In ways it may correspond with the attacks now that it is known to be premeditated and victim specific, being a highly intelligent animal and all. Perhaps it escaped from an abusive owner and has a grudge against humans; targeting smaller individuals of similar size.”

  *sipping from drink*

  Doctor Darcy: “But in other ways it doesn’t make sense. I’m no expert, but I do believe that most large primates have fangs. This conflicts with the bite marks found on the three victims. It also does not explain why all the victims are found naked. So we are no better off than where we were last night. This is disappointing to say the least, after waiting all night for these results...I should have retired last year.”

  *sipping from drink then refilling glass*

  Doctor Darcy: “There are rumors circulating around saying that the FBI refuses to be involved since these are animal attacks and not technically murders. It seems that the whole city will be
shutting down...even some of the schools are closing their doors for a few days while this hunt goes on. Can’t be too careful I suppose.”

  *stirring ice in glass*

  Doctor Darcy: “Also, there has been no luck in identifying the first two victims...but the latest victim, the female, has been identified as Alyssa Gaston. Apparently she was with the traveling troupe of circus performers in town. They too were forced to leave early after she was attacked and killed. I never much cared for the circus, especially the freak show attraction they have with all of those poor souls on display...geeks, invalids, wild tribesman and such.”

  *sipping from drink*

  Doctor Darcy: “Anyway, I hope this hunt goes well and they catch the beast so this can all end...*sigh*...I’m going home to get some sleep finally. This is Dr. Harold Darcy medical examiner for the city of St. Louis, Missouri...September 2nd 1971.”

  The Pallbearer

  It is a humid night. The kind of night where the stench of the city seeps from the still warm ground through the cool night air, wafting up to the highest penthouses. Beads of sweat roll from the armpit of a nervous middle aged hooker as she tries to make her pimp’s quota for the night. The gentle flicker of lighters can be seen heating spoons of heroin in the city parks. It is the kind of night where people get calls to meet at undisclosed locations. The kind of night when dirty secret work is done. Work that is carried out by people...like him. There is a call at two in the morning with instructions to meet in a seedy neighborhood with lots of broken street lights. The price is six grand per body. This is the agreement; the unwritten contract between him and the Vor of the Krukov family, kingpins of the Ukrainian mafia. An agreement to clean up after his Bratva. 65th street is coming up, as he makes a left turn spotting a black sedan parked on the side, the kind of car that has no place in a neighborhood like this. Park the van facing the sedan, flash the lights twice, and wait for a response, these are their codes. This sort of work is not enjoyable, lots of secrets, lots of lies, lots of death, but lots of money. The sedan flashes the lights and begins to drive off, he also puts it in drive and tails him to the destination. He takes the freeway, barley able to keep up with the speeding black sedan. It is possible to make out only two figures in the car; just a couple of henchmen. An exit; appears to be the industrial section of the city with large warehouses, crumbling silos, and a train yard. Passing through the gates it’s not hard to notice the chain and lock were cut off with a pair of loppers. The sedan pulls up to a cargo container, another fellow leaning against is. The two step out of the sedan. Monstrous figures in black leather jackets, built like gorillas and just as intelligent probably. Giving hand signals to guide the back end of his white van to the container’s steel doors. With a loud creak, the doors break open. He watches from the side mirrors as the two goons walk inside and begin loading the bodies in the back. They are completely black shadows with burning red cigarettes protruding from their faces. The third man is still leaning against the side of the container.

 
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