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Uno and Fog: Fake Autopsies and Other Diversions

June 29, 2019

“Its about time you got here.”  The Fog doesn’t look up from his computer screen.

“Some of us have to work.”

“You really don’t.”

“I’m not having this discussion again, you know that I do.  So what is it?”

“Better that I show you,” he tapped a few times and pulled up an autopsy, “this is the official report, electronically filed, of one Dr. Howard Willis.”

“The one in the news,” I peer over his shoulder, “it says he had some kind of reaction to his medications”, I read the list of medications, its mostly gibberish to me, “that would explain him walking out into the snow without shoes or a coat and dying of exposure.”

The Fog nods, “it would if he had actually been on those medications.”  He hands me several pieces of paper, “that’s the real autopsy.”

I look through it, there’s no trace of anything resembling medication.  “You sure this is the real thing?”

“Renee go it to me, in fact she’s the one that brought it to my attention.”  Renee Chateau was a detective among the New Amsterdam’s finest and one of his many contacts.  For an individual that didn’t enjoy socializing, he spent a fair amount of time cultivating people that could provide information to him, usually after performing some favor for them which was a fairly common occurrence for us.

It was a two way street, he provided information to her, and she did often returned the favor.

“She say anything?”

“Just that that the investigation was fast tracked and shut down as quickly as possible.”

“So what do we know about him?”

He pulls up several documents, “he lived by himself in an old Victorian on Raritan Island, worked for the Department of Animal Disease and Control for the last two years, graduated with honors from college and grad school with a degree in microbiology.  Was last seen leaving his home and taking a ferry over to New Amsterdam until his body was found in the park.

“Neighbors say he was acting strange the two weeks leading up to his disappearance and then death.”

“So, how do you want to start?  Lean on the medical examiner or the investigating officer?  Check out his home?  His place of work?”

The Fog looks at me and smiles which gets me a little worried.  Usually when he smiles he’s going to suggest something I’m not going to like, “Place of work.”

“Break into some government building that studies diseases, so what’s the catch?”

The Fog pulls up a government website for the Animal Disease Control, he’s listed as one of the staff at a midtown office.

“Simple enough.”

“You would think, except I check the site and the information about him, including where he supposedly worked has been added in the last two weeks.”

“So where was he working?”

“He was working for them, just not there.  He was working here.”  He pulled up a map and indicated a small island to the east.

I looked over at him, “you’ kidding.”

“I do not kid.”

“Maniwond Island?  The government said they shut down their research area there years ago.”

“There’s always been rumors that it was still open.”

“Yeah, and rumors they were experimenting with mutating animals and breeding super viruses among other things.”

“Just so, I’ve been wanting to go there for some time to see for myself.”

“Hold your horses, I’m not sneaking into an abandon research center, or a secret government center for mad science without some convincing.”

“I did some digging, there are a number of individuals working for the department that aren’t listed anywhere in the public records, but are listed on their internal registry with a very wide range of field specialties.  I picked one, while you’ve been working, I staked him out, followed him from his home to here,” he pointed to a place on the map, “where he and a number of people get on a passenger ferry.”

I shrug, “lots of people take the ferry to work.”

“Yet this one is not on the schedule, and you can’t buy tickets for it.  So I watched with high powered binoculars where it went and it goes to Maniwond Island, and returns in the evening with the same passengers.”

“I’m not going to like this, but how do you propose we get there? We can’t just fly in, or take a boat ride over.”

“I’ve got charts of the currents in the area, if we take a raft here, he pointed to another location, it should take us right to the island next to the lighthouse.”

“And if you’re wrong.”

“We’ll have to swim.”

“And how do we get back?”

“Sneak onto the ferry, they won’t be expecting any stowaways for the return trip.”




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