Log in

No account? Create an account
19 November 2017 @ 07:28 am
_Stone_ part 11  

Chapter Fifteen NSA


Weekend off?

Monday morning

Kris drummed his fingers nervously on his desk.

It had been a nice relaxed weekend—the sister-in-law working and her wretched dog had disappeared again—so he had the house and Nicole to himself most of the time.

But Monday had brought a new problem.

He ran through the report again.

Leonard Stone was an orphaned or abandoned child. The case files were brief. A naked boy of about five years of age, found wandering the streets. Didn't speak. No physical cause. Neglect suspected. Stuck in a foster home while a search for his parents was carried out. Unsuccessfully. The elderly foster parents had been working on his speech, kept the boy, raised him . . .

The boy's high school yearbook was online. The pictures were quite clear. Outthrust face, broad, heavy jaw with a long chin. Grinning out of a studio portrait, accepting an award, beaming elderly couple behind him. Winning a track event. Wrestling team. Football team.

"At least his hair is darker." Kris rubbed his face. Dark brown, about the color of the dog's hair. Have I got AQ1 living in my house? Maybe I should go home and shoot him.

Except . . . what happened out on that cattle ranch? Did he kill two fellow gang members?

Shit. If I'm going to believe in werewolves, four gang members died out there. Were killed. Why?

I should hear soon about the DNA test on those dead dogs.

His eyes slid to the pictures of the messy half eaten remains. Big heavy short haired dogs. Pale brindle hair. Smallish ears mostly erect, just the tips flopped.

Damn it all. They probably looked a lot like Stone before they got all chewed up.

Leonard Stone had received one traffic ticket in Vermont two years ago, one in Maine, just six months ago.

So what was he doing out on a cattle ranch west of Albuquerque?

Or limping down an Arizona highway.

Looking like a dog.

He checked his email. His requested DNA analysis of the dogs still hadn't arrived. But the raw crime scene description of the Albuquerque site came in just before noon.

He sat back and studied it. Nodded to his boss as Brent Masterson stuck his head in the door.

Masterson eyed the chart on Kris' computer.

"How's it compare to our sites, or the Carolina sites, for that matter?"

"In the Carolina's they buried everything except the poles. Here they dumped the bodies—or what was left of them—down old abandoned mines and caved them in. Well, you've read all of those reports."

Masterson nodded.

"It's nice to see one of their killing grounds that hasn't been concealed. Nice and clear. A single stake, rather than the usual three or four. But the hole was freshly dug, not a long standing . . . installation, so to speak. The post was close to the north side of a circle cleared of vegetation. A fire on the south side of the clearing. Their victim was tied with ropes, that's the way they usually do it, from the marks on the victims. But here we have the intact ropes, knots still tied. He must have wiggled loose."

"This is only their third male victim, right?"

"Right, and the only one, male or female, related to them. A traitor?"

"Sure sounds like it." Brent tapped a spot on the map.

"Clothing. The victim's, we believe." Kris scrolled through the report looking . . . "Sorry, I just got this and I haven't gotten to any names . . . Oh, they have three IDs from the site. From both of the bodies, and a wallet in the clothing there by the stake." Kris scrolled down . . .

Body #1

Neil Sampson Wolfe

654 Wanderlust Dr #132

Albuquerque, NM

Body #2

Kenneth F. Wolfe

654 Wanderlust Dr #65

Albuquerque, NM

ID in clothing

Leonard S. Stone

6931 Green Meadow Ln

Bangor, ME

Masterson stuck his finger on the last. "An outsider. A feud within the Forty-eights?"

Kris swallowed, trying to regain his composure. "We, umm . . . The four groups are quite distinct, not much mixing. So gang warfare is certainly a possibility."

"We need to find Leonard Stone."

Kris shivered. So the dog's owner was in the area, with the dog. The dog survived . . . so where is the man?

He scrolled further . . . the two Albuquerque addresses . . . the apartment complex manager had been puzzled by the abrupt departure of six tenants. All six apartments were stripped and very clean. They were being swabbed for DNA.

"Damn. They must have found out before the killing site was discovered." Kris bit his lip. Better early than late. "As it happens, I was looking for a Leonard Stone prior to this, on what I thought was a private matter."


"Yes. My sister-in-law's come to stay with us. She took I40 all the way from Nashville to Flagstaff, passing the kill site about 48 hours after the killing. Roughly thirty miles into Arizona she picked up a big dog limping down the road, heading west. We traced the tags to a Harriet Stone in Atlanta, Georgia. The vet's office said both the Stones had died five years ago, and perhaps the dog was with their son—they thought his name was Leonard."

Kris stared at the screen. "I think I'll see about getting a bite impression, just to double check that there really isn't a dog involved in the actual killings."

"Indeed." Masterson nodded. "If we can locate Stone, perhaps we can get close enough—returning his lost dog—to actually get our hands on him."

Kris nodded. "Maybe an ad? A 'Found Dog' sort of thing?"

"Let me coordinate with Albuquerque first."

And maybe I should coordinate at home.

Stone is definitely sleeping on the porch.

­With all the doors locked.

"Right." Kris took a deep breath. "And it looks like we'd better start looking around Atlanta, for kill sites. And find out what happened to the Stones."


Kris was halfway home when his boss called.

"The NSA, complete with armored personnel carriers has descended on Albuquerque. The State Police, County Sheriff, and our field office are all off the Forty-eight Kill site."

Kris sighed. "I suspect we're next on their agenda, and we won't make the 'need-to-know' list. Dammit. I wonder what triggered this?"

"I figure they're going to have to go public with all these old mass graves being connected, the work of a single gang."

"Oh." Kris nodded. "And they want to look like they're serious about it. That's . . . what the hell are they going to do with an APC? Do they have a lead on what and where to raid? Dammit, I want in on this."

And what about the bloody dog?

I don't believe in werewolves, vampires or zombies.

But I haven't gotten anything back on the dog DNA . . . Surely that couldn't be what triggered a . . . response from the NSA?

The dog showed up to watch Monday Night Football, wagging his tail whenever the Raiders scored.


And as he'd half expected, the NSA arrived early Tuesday morning.

"Brian Wright. Pleased to meet you. I need all of your information on the Forty-eights."

"Right, have you got the preliminary report on the kill site discovered last week? Good." Kris winced, internally and pulled up the file on Leonard Stone. "The strong resemblance leads me to believe he's related, but by the history we have on him, he may not be part of the gang. I was wondering, in fact if he might be AQ1. I have not yet queried Atlanta as to whether they have DNA of the lost child later named Leonard Stone."

Wright leaned and studied Stone's pictures. "Now that is interesting. We need to find this young man . . . why were you looking for him?"

"Tracing a lost dog."

The NSA agent straightened abruptly.

Kris leaned back and studied the man. "I requested a DNA analysis of the dog remains, for breed identification, maybe find the breeder, check his sales records. I haven't heard back at all. Do you have that information.?"

"That is need-to-know only. Where's the dog now?"

"Over the fence and gone. So . . . what are the dogs?"

The man's eyes narrowed. "That is no longer any of your business." A brief drumming of fingernails. "And you didn't send an anonymous email about . . . anything. Did you?"


He waved it away. "Some one was cute and tired to hide their tracks."

"Through my account?" Kris eyed him. Got a nod. "Home or here?"


"Right. And you're not going to tell me anything about it, are you?"

A thin smile.

Kris grabbed a thumb drive, downloaded all of his files on everything to do with the Forty-eights and Leonard Stone and handed it over.

Wright glowered.

Kris shrugged and deleted them from his computer.

Wright nodded and produced a card. "Send me anything else as quickly as you can." And walked out.

Kris looked back at his computer. Stupid. Surely he knows I've got back ups. Most likely he's got me tapped and is waiting to see what I do. So we've got a script kiddie playing with . . . dammit. Stone is not a werewolf and he didn't send an email from my home.

I am going to leave the Forty-eights in the competent hands of the NSA, and get back to what I ought to be doing.

Which, now that I think of it, is get back to work on the matter of embezzlement on the reservation . . . I'll check if Rick's got anything new . . . talk to the Boss . . . think about home security.

Or what to do if the dog shows up tonight.

Because if the dogs were just Mastiffs or some such, why not just say so.


Kris left work on time for a change.

Was met at the door with an ardent kiss from Nicole.

"So now you're being left alone all day by both your husband and your sister?"

"Umm, and the dog. I suspect he was off before you were this morning. Or maybe last night. I feel responsible for him, which is silly. Not my dog, you know?"

"Yes . . . I noticed an absence of dog, this morning. We'll just have to see if he comes back when he gets hungry."

And then we'll find out if Wright is watching me.

It was nice to have some time alone with Nicole.

Rachel bounced in just after eight, checked the back yard, shook her head. "Just as well. Bit of a nuisance, bound to be an issue with the neighbors."

Kris ignored her frequent glances toward the sliding glass door, and the unhappy downturn of her mouth. Yeah, he's a good dog . . . sort of.

(Anonymous) on November 19th, 2017 10:37 pm (UTC)
Interesting turn - now I'm wondering about Leo's government lab theory. Also, I see LiveJournal is being hashtag-stupid (#stupid) today.
matapampamuphoff on November 20th, 2017 12:39 am (UTC)
Is LJ at the "one more improvement to utter uselessness" point? Firefox just passed it.
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on November 20th, 2017 03:23 am (UTC)
I know LJ is really trying for uselessness. A lot of authors jumped the fence and ran to dreamwidth recently.