Tracking down six people that a whole squad of trained professionals couldn’t catch was a definite challenge. Walking outside the station, I walked around to the supermarket. It was the last joint in town that sold the paper at a reasonable price.
Walking inside, I passed a girl with long brown hair, a strange tattoo on both shoulders covered by her purse and shopping bag. She was a pretty girl for a town like this. I watched her leave, letting my eyes wander down her body, grinning in spite of myself. Single men have their own fantasies, right?
The newspaper section of Angelus is only there because it’s a small town. Usage of the internet, while there, is relatively sparse. The population gets by on its newspaper sales. Thus, the culture is heavily influenced by the television media, which oddly enough is owned by the same people running the papers.
The print on this day was extremely disturbing. A picture of generic bank robbers filled the page. “The Angelus Six: They Are Coming After You!” The title was in big blood red bolded letters.
“The Angelus Herald - “The Angelus Six: They Are Coming After You. By Thomas Jefferies
They live in every town. Children you thought you knew from the elementary school buses. They are watching you, waiting to strike from the shadows.”
The article was a hit piece, designed in large part to exonerate the police. Only then did you see the propaganda machine at work like this.
“The Angelus Six have murdered ten people in the last month. They have been on a rampage since the first victim six months ago, Angelina Kensington, living on the south side of Angelus. Two teenagers, 19 year old Alisa Mortinque 18 year old Azare Kellian, and the ringleader, Kris Martin, aged 24, are believed to be behind the brutal slayings.” With only a few select word choices, anyone could be painted the villain.
There were pictures on the front page, but they were blurry fast shots of which barely any details could be made out. It was time to go back, and read my trove of information from Chief Samuel Hograph.
When I finally had time to read Angelus P.D’s highly praised “confidential files”, they weren’t much help either. I took the pictures that were attached, out. Pictures would tell me much more than any words could.
My eyes darted between all six pictures. A strongman named David Luna, bald, looked like a butcher. Something didn’t feel right as my eyes drifted to the next one. Kris Martin, age 24, a mother of one child, a girl. Her husband, James Martin, 29, a respected real estate broker, town darling, was next in line. The other three were 13 year old girls, Alisa Mortinque and Azare Kellian, and 20 year old Faith Dechawn.
I picked up the dossiers, staring at them. There had to be something I missed. The paper had the ages of the girls’ wrong, which no doubt could get them in deep shit since they published photos of underage teenagers. As I remembered, there was no mention of James Martin or David Luna. Probably didn’t make for a good story. Martin could buy his way out of anything, and sue the fuck out of the paper. Maybe one lawsuit was good enough for the Angelus Herald.
Nothing was in the files of course. There were no priors on any of them. The worst was a misdemeanor pot charge on the Dechawn girl, dropped when Angelus legalized weed the day of her conviction. The papers said the twins, Alisa and Azare were 19.
My cell rang, as I threw it across the room. Probably Sammy, trying to explain why the fuck he saddled me with a case of “Find the baddie in the Swiss Family Robinson”. I stood up, staring at my phone and picking it up. Just as I thought, he was calling.
I pushed the send button. It was time to rip a “pig’s” head off.
“The fuck you doing, sending me this shit! Sammy, these people are clean as snow. No priors on any of em. How the fuck do you know they died! The girls are fucking 18 and 19, according to the Herald! What else aren’t you telling me!”
“First, calm the fuck down Lemar! This shit happens. We’re engaging in a lawsuit of the Herald and I’m running an internal investigation on the squad. That information is wrong.”
“Your entire police force can’t track two teenage girls and their best friend? Fuck you Sammy!”
“Let me finish my fucking sentences Lemar, then I’ll let you talk. First off, onea our boys went to the papers, telling them that the girls were 19 so that they could publish the photos. The files are right. If they’re all together as the Angelus Six – “
“And who the fuck penned that name Sammy? Your press agent? The papers are saying they’re still alive! Who the fuck gave out the word they died? An informant, or you tryin to bury em for something your cronies did! ”
“You believe that shit Lemar? Give me a break you know as well as I do the media wants to milk this shit out to the last penny!”
A woman with a shopping bag passed my window, and before I knew it, I was rushing back outside. I was going to do my own investigation. I was a detective after all.
“I have to go Sammy. Someone has to do their job around here.”
The papers have had a monopoly on truth in this town for generations. Such things were to be expected in a small town where 99% of people only cared about driving American made cars down the tarred potholed roads.
Piloting my way through the bullshit was a small price to pay for a piece of that monopoly. I followed the girl, and soon found something amazing in a dark alley.