A Working Holiday

Prompt: home is where we are not

“So, the judges all headed home for the holiday,” Aidan said. He looked at the members of his team and then at Thom. “I’m sorry we couldn’t do the same, however, this matter must be decided with all haste.”

Thom nodded. “We all understand that,” he said, his voice soft. As much as he would have liked to be with his wife and son on this day, they had a murder to solve. “Have we learned anything of use?”

“The killer was waiting for Judge Reinsch,” Steve said. There was such certainty in his tone that both Thom and Aidan looked at him sharply.

However, Syusuke nodded. “He’s right,” he said, sounding perfectly sane. He looked at Thom with bright eyes. “Think about it for a moment: Judge Reinsch took the same trail through that park at the same time everyday. It’s very likely that the killer watched her and learned her routine. He struck when she would least expect it.”

“So,” Eric said, “that discounts the theory that she was the victim of a random attack.” His brows furrowed. “She was intentionally attacked – something made her a target. What?”

“That she was a member of the High Court?” Aidan asked. “Does that mean the other judges are in danger?”

Noreen shook her head. “Not necessarily,” she said. “All the other judges… she and Judge Norse were the only members of the original High Court left.”

“And then, there was one,” Syusuke said in a low, creepy voice. For a moment, the others simply stared at him. He blinked and shook his head. Returning to his normal tone, he said, “Sorry… um… right! One died of old age and the other two retired.”

“Why did they retire?” Kyle said, his brows furrowing slightly.

Thom frowned. “What’s that got to do with the case?” he asked, shaking his head.

Aidan looked thoughtful. “Maybe nothing, but we won’t know unless we check it out,” he said. He looked at Eric and said, “The press asked Ezra about why the High Court was… homogeneous. It didn’t used to be.”

“That… in an interesting thought,” Eric said. He nodded. “We’ll start working that angle – see where it takes us.”

“We’ll keep working the forensics,” Thom said, nodding. His brows furrowed and he said, “Is Ezra checking into the background?”

“Probably,” Aidan said, nodding. “I’ll make sure he knows it might be connected with Judge Reinsch’s murder.”

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Going It Alone

Prompt: he who travels fastest goes alone

Mariah frowned slightly. Where were the others? It didn’t surprise her when Aidan was late. He was seldom punctual now that he and Shinichi were on separate teams. However, that left Steve and the others on the missing list.

Sighing explosively, she spun away and headed to the crime scene. The Ameria Forensics Team had already gone over the place. However, she needed to see the place for herself. She wasn’t looking at it as a forensics expert. She was looking at it as an Enforcer. If she wanted to take someone out and she wanted to do it there, what was the best way?

She had just rounded the corner of the path when she heard rustling in the bushes. Reacting without a thought, she grabbed the person she saw and threw him to the ground. It wasn’t until she had him subdued that she stopped and sighed in frustration. “Steve,” she growled.

“Hey, Mariah,” he breathed, releasing a nervous giggle. “I… wanted to see the crime scene. I figured I’d meet you all here.”

“Mariah,” Eric said, his voice soft. “Did you want to get off my… husband?”

Mariah growled and got up, yanking the smaller man to his feet. “You should have warned me that you’d be out here! I could have killed you!”

Steve sighed. Brushing himself off, he said, “Yeah, well, that’s probably why Aidan wanted us to meet up at the office.” He looked over at Eric and smiled, then looked back at Mariah. “I needed to see the place at the time the crime took place – see it how the victim did.”

“And I needed to see it how the killer did,” Mariah replied. She sighed and shook her head. “Let’s get to work.”

“I’ll call Aidan and tell him where we are,” Eric volunteered.