Critical Error

Critical Error -88

Their reprieve lasted two days.  On the third day Paul received word they might have caught a break.  After finishing the call, he sat them all down and explained.  “Seems when one of the officers was moving your car, Eilea, he found a card that had lodged under the seat and well hidden.  They were going to giving it a going over to ensure he hadn’t tampered with anything.  As soon as the officer realized what it was, he took it into HQ and had an analysis run.  We got DNA!”

Eilea half rose out of her chair, “OMG Paul, you mean this could be over?” she asked before sitting back down a hand at her throat.

“Not quite yet.  We’re on the right track though.  He apparently got mixed up in a squabble at a bar last night.  When he tried to run, the cops were called and managed to get to the bar in double quick time.  After spending a night in jail due to drunk and disorderly, they’d naturally taken a breathalyzer and his DNA popped up again with a flag so the officer tracked it back.  It was the same guy.  Unfortunately, he’d been released as his mother put up his bail.  But we know who he is.”  Sliding forward he held out a picture.  “Take a look, ring any bells?”

“Omg, that’s a guy that kept coming into the Chamber of Commerce when I worked there.  Every few days as a matter of fact.  He’d recently moved to Hardy and wanted to know what sort of outdoor activities I could suggest, specifically any I’d personally recommend and done myself.  Following protocol as I would with any visitor, I gave him the information.  Every time he’d finished another on the list, he came back in to explain in detail how it had gone, who he’d met and to thank me personally for the helpful information.  It became so awkward that as soon as he’d show up, one of the other women would either give me heads up or hand me a call to take so he couldn’t chat me up.”

“Makes sense.  It was a one time contact and your helpful attitude was misconstrued by a whacko.”

“Who is he, where does he come from?”

Paul explained. His mother was an invalid and required semi-constant care.  “He lives with her when he’s in Duncan, but has his own place in Hardy and traveled continuously between the two locations which ties letters from both locations as well as the timing…he’s our perp.”  He went on to add he wouldn’t get out of this no matter how many lawyers he might have on hand since not only were the threats against Eilea enough, but he’d since attacked to officers and was in pit deep.  The bomb threat alone meant he’d never see the light of day outside of prison walls for a hell of a long time!

Eilea didn’t know whether to be thrilled or shocked vacillating between the two emotions.  “I’m torn,” she admitted, “on one hand it’s great that we have an identity and can tie him to all the crimes, but I’m still nervous, we haven’t caught him yet.”

“He’s boxed in now, Eilea.  He can’t go home since we know where both locations are and what vehicles he has at his disposal.  His mother was shocked and horrified to learn what he’s done.  She’d been down that road and they moved to the island to get away from the same situation when she was a young woman.  That’s also why it took so long to get DNA results.  They’ve been living incognito since he was born.  She’d not talked to family and friends since then and ended up making a good life, a happy life she called it, in Duncan.  She’s also willing to help and call if he shows up.  He might be her son, she said, but that didn’t excuse inexcusable behaviour.  She’d like to meet you one day to apologize for her son.”

“That isn’t necessary, she isn’t responsible.”

“No, but she feels it deeply having had to run from the same thing herself.  It’s something to consider at a later date.”

Eilea yanked Paul to his feet and hugged him.  “Oh my god, this could be over – soon!”

Paul heard the pop and sound of shattering glass and yelled, “Down, everybody down!” as he threw his body across Eilea’s.  His eyes quickly swept toward Christina and Andrew making sure they’d listened.  Paul grabbed his phone, “Shots fired, shots fired.  Heads up out there!”

Momentarily they heard a rush of feet alongside the house.  “Paul, Paul, everybody ok in there?”

“Came through the front window, sniper rifle, has to be.  Fan out, be careful, he nearly hit us so he’s got some ability with a gun.”

 

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