Fourteen Months Ago
Zith Fleen was sitting next to the campfire in his friends cave in the open Sesla desert. He was released from the hospital over two months ago. His head injuries were still healing. His headaches were still severe. He was now, very uncomfortable around anyone—except his friend.
He had found this cave at night when he was hunting for food two months ago. He was lucky. The caves only inhabitant—besides scorpions; a large, female, grey wolf that wasn’t hungry the night he wandered into her den. It was only due to her already full stomach that he wasn’t eaten.
Over time, she grew to except him as a dweller in her den. Maybe her mother’s instincts began. Zith didn’t know or care. He was happy to have a friend and shelter.
As Zith remained in the cave while continuing to heal, she caught rabbits and other prairie animals and brought them to him. He cooked in the cave while dwelling there as he continued to recover.
Zith and the wolf quickly became friends. He named her Neechehe.
“Good girl,” he said as he rubbed her fur, “You’re the only one that I can trust. You’re the only friend I have.”
He was cooking a rabbit over the flames from the campfire that his friend Neechehe, the large, female, grey wolf, had caught for him. “It’s almost ready. Would you like to share my dinner with me, Neechehe?”
He ripped off a piece of meat and handed it to her. Neechehe sniffed the cooked meat and turned away. “I know you like the taste of raw meat and blood. You’ve probably already eaten your fill. There’s no shortage of rabbits in the desert. Thank you for bringing me this one. Without you, I would not survive. I’m still not able to hunt. My head hurts too badly,” Zith said.
He began to rip off pieces of cooked desert hare and eat them as he rubbed Neechehe’s soft fur. “You know Neechehe, he said, “I believe you think of me as one of your wolf pups. I can tell by your belly that you’ve had a litter. You’ve never said what happened to your pups or how many you’ve had. Maybe someday, I’ll meet one of them. That would be nice.” He continued to eat his rabbit and talk. He rubbed to his friend’s fur as the night continued.
“Did you know I was a star mesnuk player for the Kinkorx Horned Hares? It’s true. I bet you’d have never guessed. I am short—that’s for sure. I won many games all by myself. I could out run all the players on my team.”
He continued to rub Neechehe’s fur and tell her about his glory years as a mesnuk player in high school, college, and professional, as he enjoyed the cooked rabbit. “I played mesnuk in high school. I bet you didn’t know that. I was good. I wasn’t as short then. I was fast. I could outrun everyone.”
Neechehe lay on the cave floor contently as he rubbed her soft fur and ate while talking. “When I was in college, my height started to become an issue. I was still fast. I scored many points. Some of the players were so big. I was fast and tough.”
He continued to rub Neechehe’s fur after he had finished eating his rabbit. “You can understand a lot of what I’m telling you. I can tell by the look in your eyes that you understand. When I was nearing the end of college, not only my height but also my family heritage was going against me. You see Neechehe, I’m a Pirtt. Folks don’t much like Pirtts. We’re the low-life coteries of the desert. Well, I guess we’re the low-life of Sesla – actually.”
Neechehe seemed to have a confused look on her face. “You look confused Neechehe. It would be kind of like a small, ugly wolf in a pack of big, beautiful wolves like you. Some wolves would naturally not like the other wolf because it was different. That’s kind of what it’s like for me. Because I’m a short Pirtt, coteries naturally don’t like me. I had no chance of playing professional mesnuk after college because of that. That is until Mr. Grexenn bought the horned hares. I got my shot because of him.”
Neechehe seemed to look happy again as he rubbed her fur. “Just because Mr. Grexenn and Coach Mydos liked me, didn’t mean the other players liked me. First, they began to avoid me off the field. I tried to talk to them. They shunned me. Before long, they abandoned me on the field as well. I was scoring most of the points during the games before my head injury. I was playing really hard. My teammates seemed to forsake me.”
Neechehe looked sad again as he continued to rub her fur while telling the story about his career ending head wound. His head began to hurt again as he remembered. “The last game I played was against the Wyluxx City Generals. I was the only member of my team that was trying to win. My teammates were leaving me all alone to be beaten up by the Generals. I was taking one big hit after another. I was covered in bruises. The game was almost over. I was all alone again and going for two when one of the Generals hit me so hard, I went flying. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital. I had this horrible head injury.” He moved the flowing hair on his head and showed Neechehe the scar.
“The way my team left me alone on the field, I’m lucky I wasn’t severely injured sooner. I never got any back up or protection. It was like they wanted me to get hurt to get me off the team,” he insisted. Neechehe looked sad again as he spoke.
Zith said while holding his head, “My head is hurting really bad again, Neechehe. I’m going to sleep now. That’s the only thing that helps.”
Thirteen Months Ago
At the Kinkorx Horned Hares Practice Field in Downtown Kinkorx
“Today was another dismal practice,” Coach Mydos said angrily and loud. “I better start seeing more speed and more scoring or some of you are going to be looking for another job –and soon! Not one of you is giving me your best! The way many of you are playing, we don’t stand a chance in “It’s the Rallies.” When you come to practice tomorrow, you had better be ready to play. I want to see some speed and scoring. Hit the showers.”
Coach Jo Mydos was angry as he shook his head while walking to his office. He said as he angrily walked, “We need a leader on this team. No one has stepped up since we lost Zith Fleen. Do I ever miss him? He gave his best every day.”
The tired and sweaty horned hares ran into the locker room. “Coach Mydos was in a bad mood again today. We’re all giving our best,” said Nead Beeing, the horned hare player as he prepared for the shower.
The players hurried into the group showers. “We all better start working harder. No one wants to lose their job,” said Team Captain, Guiss Korter.
“Guiss is right. If we lose our mesnuk jobs, no other teams will hire us. The pay for jobs out there is lousy. We better start working harder,” said Cottir Greem, Zith Fleen’s former University of Kinkorx mesnuk teammate.
The players knew to quickly shower and exit the locker room. Coach Mydos had a reputation of making loitering players run laps when he was in a bad mood. The players quickly finished their cleanup and dressing. They evacuated the facility.
As he always did, Nead Beeing began walking home. He lived in the old, downtown district – not far from where Zith Fleen lived before his career ending head injury.
Nead was a Horned Hare before Zith Fleen walked onto the field to try-out for the team – several years ago. He and Zith seemed to have conflicts almost from the start. Zith was faster than Nead and he always scored more points. Almost from the day Zith was hired as a Kinkorx Horned Hare, Nead seemed to have issues with him and avoided him.
Over time, the other players began to have problems with Zith as well. Some of the players merely sided with their friend, Nead. Without any real reason other than that, the group that avoided Zith Fleen became larger.
As the rumors of the team’s internal conflicts began to emanate from the Horned Hares players into the public, the coaches defended Zith Fleen. He was usually their top scorer and defensive player. That always earned him the coach’s favor.
Over time, the conflicts between Zith Fleen and Nead Beeing grew. Nead secretly conceived a plan to abandon and forsake Zith on the playing field. It was Nead’s plan to cause a severe injury to Zith –thus getting him off the team. That same plan ultimately caused his head injury – thus ending his mesnuk career.
Nead Beeing’s secret plan to hurt Zith Fleen wasn’t as big of a secret as he thought. Several of Zith’s closest teammates had privately warned him of the plan and its orchestrator— Nead Beeing. They had secretly warned Zith to watch his back.
As Nead Beeing was walking home through old, downtown Kinkorx, he was worried about the threats that Coach Mydos was making – lately. He knew his performance on the practice and playing fields were less than remarkable. He was in jeopardy of losing his job and he knows it.
He walked along the old, spooky section of downtown Kinkorx, with the old, creepy, abandoned warehouses and scary alleyways. As he walked, he caught a glimpse of a shadowy silhouette that seemed to be following him. “Who goes there? Who are you?” he asked as fear gripped him.
His fit heart began to race in his muscular chest as he walked along the old, creepy streets of old downtown Kinkorx. He soon saw two shadows silhouettes following him. One looked like a coterie. One looked like a large animal. “Who are you? What do you want?” he asked loudly as he hurriedly walked along the creepy, twilight streets.
As he hurried along the spooky, shadowy streets at twilight, while seeing the two silhouettes shadows following him, he ask loudly, “Who…Who are you? What do you want?” His heart was pounding in his chest as he began to run toward his small, rented apartment.
As he ran, the two shadowy silhouettes started getting closer. “Who are you?” he screamed frantically and loudly as he ran.
As he turned and ran down the darkening alley toward his apartment, the two twilight shadows closed in. The large animal used its powerful jaws and grabbed his legs from behind. The animal pulled him to the ground. The shadowy, hooded Seslean grabbed his head. The large animal viciously ripped huge gashes in his legs as it bit and twisted. The coterie mercilessly attacked his head and face with a crowbar. Blood was splattering on the pavement as the Kinkorx Horned Hare was being beaten and ripped apart.
Before long, as the vicious attack continued, Nead Beeing’s legs were ripped off. Blood was splattering onto the pavement. The large animal began attacking his arms and torso. The hooded Seslean continued with the all-out assault on the mesnuk players head and face. Blood was splattering everywhere as the animal ripped one arm off the torso – then the other.
After crushing the mesnuk player’s cranium and face, he began to rip the head from the torso. With a lot of help from his friend, he quickly succeeded at his mission. With blood everywhere, including on them, the body of Nead Beeing was beaten, slashed, and dismembered. The hooded coterie put the body parts in a large bag. He – with his animal friend at his side, hurried away with the body parts.
The hooded Seslean was completely unaware that a local resident observed the gruesome murder. The resident silently watched as he and his animal friend murder, slashed, and dismembered the Kinkorx Horned Hares player, Nead Beeing.
Together, the two horrific murderers carried the body parts to a major road. Zith dumped the bloody segments next to a section of road that was well driven – thus assuring the dismembered body would be found quickly.
Detective Jynn Reedier and Lieutenant Aqe Neuyh, of the Kinkorx Police Department were called to Joddi Smythe’s apartment in the old district of downtown Kinkorx. The eighty-five year young widow and retired grocery store worker reported a murder.
As the two detectives questioned Mrs. Smythe, a team from the police lab was combing the crime scene for evidence.
“Mrs. Smythe, tell us exactly what you saw out of your kitchen window. Take your time,” said Detective Reedier.
As Mrs. Smythe sat on her small, living room couch she began, “It was getting dark. But I could still see. This person was wearing a sweat suit. He was running. He looked scared. He looked to be in good shape. He turned the corner in front of my kitchen window. He was right out there.” She pointed. “A big wolf attacked him from behind. The wolf grabbed his legs. It was very large. It started tearing the poor man to pieces. Then a person wearing ahead started beating the man with a crowbar. I couldn’t see his face. He kept hitting the poor, helpless, man in the head with the crowbar. The big wolf kept ripping the man apart. It was an awful sight. There was blood everywhere. It looked like a horror movie. They ripped the man to pieces. The hooded figure put the pieces into a big bag. Whoever it was ran away with the bag and the wolf followed.”
“Are you sure you couldn’t see the killer’s face?” asked Lieutenant Aqe Neuyh.
She replied, “The person was wearing a hood…Oh—I just remembered, whoever it was, they were really short – if that helps. The wolf was big and grey. That’s all I can tell you. My husband liked horror movies. It looked like something he would watch on TV.”
“If you think of anything else, Mrs. Smythe, you can contact us at the police department. He’s my card and thank you,” said Detective Reedier as he handed her his business card.
“We’re really sorry about the loss of your husband,” Lieutenant Aqe Neuyh said as they began exiting her apartment. After they stepped through the old door into the night, she closed and locked the door.
“The killer is short. That’s not much to go on,” said Lieutenant Neuyh as they walked toward their police car in the darkness.
“When’s the last time you saw a large grey wolf in downtown Kinkorx?” asked Detective Reedier as they walked.
Lieutenant Neuyh looked bewildered. “I’ve never heard of a grey wolf anywhere in Kinkorx – definitely not in the downtown district. Wolves stay in the desert—away from coteries.
“Do you believe the woman’s story?” asked Reedier as they walked closer to the car.
Neuyh replied, “I believe the story she told us is what she thinks she saw.”
“Let’s get back to the precinct and file the reports,” said Detective Reedier as they climbed into the police car.
Lieutenant Neuyh started the motor and pulled away into the night. He replied as he drove, “Maybe the lab will find more to go on.”
The two detectives drove back to the police station.
In the darkness of night, the lab team continued to investigate the crime scene while collecting blood samples and other evidence.
The Next Day
Kinkorx Police Headquarters
The police lab team had completed their investigation of the crime scene in downtown Kinkorx. Their findings were consistent with the eyewitness’ report. The animal that helped to dismember the Kinkorx Horned Hares player, Nead Beeing was a very large grey wolf. There was desert sand present at the crime scene that helped to narrow the search. The Kinkorx Police Department was now searching for someone in the desert between Kinkorx and Wyluxx City – not far from the Wyluxx Highway. The sand was from that area of the desert.
Early the next morning, the Kinkorx Police Department, led by Police Chief Aazon Pomur drove away from the Kinkorx Police Station and began their search. The group of Kinkorx Police Cars, equipped with police dogs, drove toward Wyluxx City.
As they reached the outer-limits of Kinkorx, they continued on the Wyluxx Highway toward Wyluxx City. They would begin their hunt along this highway in the open desert.
Thirty minutes into the desert, Police Chief Pomur said over his police radio, “The sand sample was from this area of the desert. Let’s start here – pull over.”
The squadron of police stopped on the side of the sandy highway. They exited their police cars. They loaded their firearms and readied the tracking dogs. Chief Pomur addressed his officers, “This killer is extremely dangerous. He uses a wolf to help with the kills. I want the coterie alive. Kill the wolf!” said Chief Pomur, “Let’s go! Let’s find our killer!”
As Sesla’s sun was rising in the early morning sky, the police, led by the tracking dogs, began their search. They trudged into the colorful, majestic desert. The ancient stone formations and flowering plants were breathtaking to view as they hurried into the desert. They were leaving a wide trial of footprints and paw prints on the multi-colored sand as they ventured. The officers were too enthralled in their search to enjoy the aromatic fragrances from the multitude of full bloom desert flowers and plants.
They hurried along the rolling, multi-colored sand hills and around the magnificent stone formations, while being led by the tracking dogs. “Check in there!” Chief Pomur ordered as he pointed to a cave in the rock formation.
“I’m on it Chief,” Detective Jynn Reedier said loudly as he directed his tracking dog toward the opening in the stone formations. As the Seslean tracking dog pulled the Detective closer to the opening, the others waited.
With his heart pounding from anxiety, Reedier and his dog entered the dark, creepy cave. They looked around as they continued further into the dark, scorpion infested, cave. As Reedier approached the back of the cave, he said, “Nothing’s living in this cave except scorpions. Let’s go.” He and his dog hurried back to the entrance. As they walked out of the cave and into the open air, he said loudly, “All clear Chief!”
“That way,” Chief Pomur ordered. He pointed to a distant stone formation.
While being pulled by their tracking dogs, the team of police officers trudged through the deep, multi-colored sand toward the next stone formation. “The dogs aren’t picking up any scent,” said Aqe Neuyh, Police Lieutenant.
“Check in there!” Chief Pomur instructed as he pointed.
“Got it chief!” Lieutenant Neuyh responded. He and his tracking dog entered the small cave. Neuyh looked around the small, one room, short ceiling cave. “There’s not much room in here. It’s empty. Let’s go,” he said as they exited.
Neuyh said loudly, “All clear Chief!”
“Come on! The killer’s probably deeper into the desert. Keep moving!” said Chief Pomur. The group marched deeper into the multi-colored desert as the tracking dogs led.
“Over that next bluff. There’s another cave,” Detective Reedier stated.
Chief Pomur replied loudly, “Check it out!”
“Right Chief!” said Reedier. He and his tracker dog hurried toward the next cave. As they approached, his dog started barking. “He’s got a scent!” yelled Reedier.
Reedier and his dog approached the cave as the dog barked loudly. “He’s got something!” yelled Reedier. Reedier’s heart pounded with fear as he entered the cave behind the dog. His dog continued to bark violently.
As he and his tracker dog searched through the dark cave for what the scent was, a large horned hare raced out of the cave. The other dogs went crazy as the large rabbit ran away as fast as its long legs would take it. Reedier and his dog exited the cave. “It has just a rabbit!” he said loudly with relief as his fear abated.
“Did you see those horns?” asked Neuyh.
Reedier replied, “Yes – They’re huge!”
Chief Pomur ordered loudly, “Keep going! I know our killer is somewhere around here!”
“Chief, we’ve been out here for two hours and found nothing. Maybe the sand at the crime scene came from somewhere else,” Detective Jynn Reedier whined loudly as his out of shape legs cramped.
“Keep moving!” Pomur yelled angrily.
The posse of police officers and tracking dogs continued to trudge along the hills and valleys over the multi-colored sand. They walked around countless flowering plants as they searched through the sandy desert. Their tracking dogs were leading them deeper into the open, vast, Seslean desert. As they passed several ancient stone formations, they checked for caves. They found none.
As Detective Reedier’s legs continued to cramp, he began to complain again. “This hunt is fruitless. Before we get too deep in the desert, we should go back. Maybe the sand came from somewhere else,” he said as he paused to catch his breath and rest his cramping legs.
“That’s the problem with detectives – you’re all lazy. Keep moving!” shouted Chief Pomur. The group continue their search across a desert. The officers were still too engulfed in their mission to enjoy the sweet, aromatic fragrances from the multitude of flowering plants and bushes that flourished in the Seslean desert. They were viewing the many ancient, majestic, stone formations as nothing more than a place for a killer to hide.
“Around those rocks!” Chief Pomur shouted.
The exhausted team of out of shape police officers followed their boss’ orders. As the dogs pulled them across the multi-colored sand, they hurried around the very large stone formation. “Over that bluff!” yelled the persistent Chief.
The officers trudged around the large stones – toward the distant bluff. “My legs are killing me,” muttered Reedier.
“Keep it down. You don’t want to make the Chief any madder. None of us are in very good shape,” said his friend, Aqe Neuyh.
“When the chief thinks he’s onto something, he doesn’t stop. He’s killing us,” said Reedier as he struggled along the sand with his tracking dog pulling him while barking.
“That’s why he’s the chief – I guess,” Neuyh added as he was being pulled by his tracking dog. “My legs are cramping too. I don’t know how much more of this I can take – either.”
Reedier replied as he panted for breath, “I think we’re on a crazy hunt. I’ll bet the killer is nowhere near here.”
“I don’t believe a word about the pet wolf – do you?” asked Neuyh as he limped slightly while following.
“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. A pet wolf that helped this killer maul his victim,” said Reedier as he paused for a moment to catch his breath and ease the cramps.
“A wolf that goes into downtown Kinkorx—into the slumps,” said Neuyh as he stops to breathe, “and works as a partner to dismember a victim.”
“Even though the lab confirmed Mrs. Smythe’s story, I still think it’s craziest,” said Reedier as he stood while catching his breath. His dog continued to tug at him and bark as he stood still breathing hard.
Chief Pomur looked back angrily at his two slacking officers. “You two having a party back there? We have a killer to catch. Keep moving!” he ordered loudly. He was becoming more and more angry at the laziness of his officers.
They continued to trudge along the sand while persisting in their search. They searched over hills and into small valleys. They searched inside numerous caves while looking for the killer.
After a lengthy time of hunting, the officers began to slow and complain again. “We’re getting tired, Chief,” Reedier protested as he walked.
The chief’s patience with his team was beginning to wear thin. Before long he exploded. “You’re all a bunch of out of shape cops! Stop your whining! I can’t believe how out of shape you all are!” he said angrily as he continued.
“I told you we were going to make the chief mad,” said Aqe Neuyh as he followed.
“We better keep up with the group. Detectives who get on the wrong side of the Chief don’t last long,” Reedier warned as he picked up his pace as his dog pulled.
“I don’t want to move to the wet lands for a job. I want to stay away from the Gang of Five and the Joqzonions as long as possible,” said Neuyh as he hurried while being pulled by his tracking dog. “Let’s pick up our pace before the Chief gets really mad and fires us.” Their dogs pulled them and barked loudly as they increased their speed while pursuing the rest of the team.
The team continued to struggle along the multi-colored sand for hours. Their legs were cramping badly. While searching for an unknown killer and being pulled by their tracking dogs, they continued to search one rock formation after another.
Their search was now into the fifth hour. Sesla’s sun was shining proudly in the afternoon sky. They were journeying deeper into the colorful, magical desert.
“Over that next bluff!” the chief ordered loudly.
With frustration, the exhausted team followed the chief’s orders. They struggled to the next sand formation. As they fought their cramps and walked around the long formation, they approached a small, varmint hole in the sand. The dogs began to act wildly and bark loudly as they approached the small opening in the multi-colored sand.
Reedier said exhaustedly, “Chief. I think we found something.”
“Look inside!” Pomur ordered loudly.
The tired detective asked with alarm, “You mean, stick my head in that hole?”
“Do have a problem with that?” Pomur responded with anger.
Reedier replied with great concern for his face, “No Chief.”
As the dogs continued to act crazy and bark, the tired detective bent down. He cautiously looked inside the small hole in the wall of the colorful sand. When he saw nothing but an empty, very small hollow in the sand, he breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s very small and empty – Chief.”
As Reedier stood, he opened his canteen and began to drink.
“Go easy on that water. We might be out here for a while,” said Chief Pomur loudly.
With frustration, Reedier closed his police water flask. “I was only having a quick sip,” he grumbled.
“Chief! Over here!” said Neuyh as he pointed.
Chief Pomur looked in the direction Neuyh was pointing. “What is it!” he asked angrily. “I don’t see anything.”
“Wolf tracks! Big…wolf tracks!” Neuyh reported.
The team rushed toward Lieutenant Neuyh who was a short distance away. Their dogs were going crazy as they pulled the officers across the sand toward the tracks.
“Let the dogs get a good whiff of those tracks,” said Chief Pomur, “I knew the killer was around here.” He glared angrily at his officers as they stood exhausted and weary while catching their breathe.
The dogs were acting crazy and barking fiercely as they sniffed the scent of the large wolf that made the recent tracks in the colorful sand. “There’re ready. Follow the dogs!” yelled the Chief excitedly.
Their search was into the seventh hour. Sesla’s sun was dropping in the late afternoon sky. They began the search for the large wolf that made the tracks. The officer’s legs were cramping and their thirst was becoming overpowering as they hurriedly trudged.
As the tracking dogs barked loudly, they pulled the officers along the multi-colored sand. They passed by one stone formation after another. The dogs pulled them along the sand and barked loudly as they pulled. The officer’s legs cramped as they continued to follow the dogs as they tracked the large wolf.
The hours past as the dogs barked, howled, and tracked. The team followed the large wolf tracks. Sesla’s sun was drifting toward the evening horizon. “It’ll be dark before long chief. We’re deep in the desert. Shouldn’t we abandon the search for today and start again tomorrow?” asked Reedier.
Chief Pomur yelled, “We’ll stop when we have our killer! Not a minute sooner!” The team continued to track the large wolf tracks into the evening. They tracked the large wolf prints across numerous hills and valleys in the open desert.
“The wolf’s leading us deeper into the desert!” yelled Reedier.
Pomur responded, “It’s leading us to the den. Keep following the dogs!” he yelled.
The dogs continued to bark and howl as they pursued the wolf. Farther and farther into the desert they trudged. Sesla’s sun had slipped past the evening horizon. The night sky was becoming visible as they stayed on the wolf’s trail.
The officer’s legs were aching—their mouths were dry. Their stomachs were empty as they followed their dogs. “How do we know the wolf isn’t leading us into the desert just to kill and eat us?” asked Aqe Neuyh loudly as he hurriedly walked.
Chief Pomur shouted angrily, “We don’t! Keep on the trail!”
It was now dark. The officers were hurrying along the sand while tracking by flashlight. The dogs continued to bark, howl, and yelp, as they tracked the large wolf prints in the night desert. “That wolf could be circling around for a surprise attack,” said Reedier.
The Chief said loudly as they pursued, “Anyone sees the wolf – shoot it on sight!”
As the night desert sky became more brilliant, they could see the billions of stars. They could also see the blue, yellow, and red gaseous clouds that illuminated the night sky. “The night sky in the desert sure is pretty,” said Aqe Neuyh as his tracking dog was pulling him.
The team continued to follow the tracks over hills and valleys and around gigantic stone formations as the dogs barked and howled excitedly. Their legs were aching and they were becoming weak from hunger and thirst. Their exhaustion was beginning to overtake them again.
The night was now fully dark as they pursued the tracks. “It’s getting close to midnight, Chief. How long are we going to follow these tracks?” asked Detective Reedier angrily and exhaustedly as the group trudged farther into the dark desert.
Pomur angrily replied, “We’ll continue until we find our killer. Forget the time! Keep moving!”
As the group followed the wolf tracks by flashlight, one of the dogs began to track away from the group. “Chief! This dog’s onto another scent,” said Reedier.
“Follow it. You two – go with Reedier,” Pomur ordered while pointing.
The three followed the new trail. They tracked in a different direction. They followed the trail toward a large group of stones that were sticking up from the desert floor.
As the first group pursued the original tracks, suddenly the tracks and scent ended. The dogs circled and sniffed without a direction. “The wolf scent disappeared. What happened? ” asked Aqe Neuyh, Police Lieutenant.
“That’s one smart wolf. It backtracked on us. Let’s catch up with Reedier,” said Chief Pomur. The first team pulled the dogs and turned them around. They hurried toward Reedier and his team as their dogs began to bark and howl again.
Reedier and his team were pursuing a track that was leading them into the large stone formations –ahead. It was after midnight. The night sky was magical as the team followed the second tracks toward the large stones.
The first group soon caught up with Reedier and his team. They reunited and all followed the second scent and tracks. They were tracking by flashlight as they hurried along the hilly sand, as the tracking dogs barked and howled.
As the police team trudged closer to the stones, under the moonlight, they could see a cave. Pomur said, “The tracks are leading straight to that cave. Quiet down the dogs. Our killer’s probably hiding in there. Hopefully sleeping. Let’s surprise whoever it is.”
With the dogs now quiet, the team silently approached the cave.
They quietly crept to the entrance. Detective Reedier peaked inside. He turned back to the group and reported, “There’s a small fire. Somebody’s definitely living in the cave.”
“Draw your weapons,” Chief Pomur ordered while whispering. “On the count of three, we rush the cave.” The entire team silently pulled their firearms from their holsters. They quietly removed the safeties.
Pomur whispered, “One…Two…Three.” The entire team, including the tracking dogs, entered the large cave. They had their firearms pointed and their flashlights shining as they rushed in.
The large wolf that they had been tracking growled ferociously as it lunged at them. The wolf grabbed one of the dog’s necks in its powerful jaws. The other police dogs ferociously attacked the large wolf as it continued the death grip on the yelping dog.
The battle between the wolf and police dogs was immense. The vicious sounds of growling and barking could be heard for miles. The dogs and wolf bit and gnawed each other as the officers tried to get a clear shot at the wolf. Fur flew into the air as the ferocious battle raged.
“Boom!” sounded Lieutenant Aqe Neuyh’s Police rifle.
The wolf yelped and released its death grip on the police dog’s throat. It leaped over the dogs. In a flash, it darted out the entrance of the cave and into the darkness.
“I think I wounded it!” Lieutenant Neuyh shouted with excitement.
Detective Reedier added with excitement, “Good shot Neuyh! I think you got it. That grey wolf was huge.”
“I’ve never seen a grey wolf anywhere near that big. Is everyone ok? Are the dogs ok?” asked Chief Pomur.
Neuyh said, “The dogs got chewed a bit. They’ll need to see the Vet when we get back— Rabies.” He nodded to emphasize.
Pomur ordered, “Check the rest of the cave! Our killer’s hiding somewhere in those tunnels.”
The team kept the dogs quiet as they began their search of the cave. The cave was large and deep, with several caverns that tunneled in different directions. “Split up! We need to cover every inch of this cave—and Fast!” Pomur ordered loudly.
He said to one of the officers. “Stay by the entrance. Make sure the killer doesn’t escape. I want them alive!” he shouted as he pointed.
The officers split-up as there were several tunnels to search. They no longer felt the exhaustion or hunger. They were feeding on their desire to catch the killer. Their adrenaline was flowing throughout their bodies. Their hearts were pounding in their chests and their hands were sweaty as they gripped their firearms and flashlights.
Each officer slowly searched a section of the dark, creepy cave. The search continued into the depth of night. Each officer slowly and quietly walked along the dark, stone tunnels. They constantly stepped on desert scorpions that were crawling in the cavern as they slowly walked.
As Lieutenant Neuyh turned a corner, while shining his flashlight and directing his dog, suddenly someone grabbed him from behind. “Ha!” said Neuyh loudly. He dropped his flashlight as he struggled with the attacker.
His tracking dog immediately attacked the stranger. With the help of his dog, he quickly subdued the small attacker. The battle only took seconds.
“Over here!” he yelled, “I’ve got the killer!” Neuyh frantically wrestled with the restrained attacker. Surprisingly to the Lieutenant, the attacker wasn’t putting up much of a fight. He was easily overpowering his small attacker in the dark with the help of his dog. “For a killer—you’re not very big or strong,” Neuyh said as he remained on top of the killer while overpowering him.
The flashlights came closer—Fast as the other officers and their dogs rushed to Neuyh’s aid. Everyone shined their flashlights on the small Seslean man as Neuyh retained his controlling grip. The dogs no longer remained quiet. The growled and barked at the stranger.
As Neuyh continued to conquer, Pomur shined his light on the short coteries face. The killer attempted to hide his face in the shadowy silhouettes of the dark cave. “Cuff him,” ordered Chief Pomur with authority.
Detective Reedier removed his handcuffs from his belt. He quickly secured the killer’s hands. “Now—Let’s see who you are,” Reedier said.
“Don’t you recognize him?” asked the Chief, “That’s Zith Fleen – the mesnuk player who was injured in the game against the Generals. If he’s our killer, I’d say his motive is revenge.”
“Let’s see if he’s our killer,” said Reedier. He removed his small, portable, fingerprint kit from his detective’s belt. As the officers shone their flashlights on him and their prisoner, he carefully made a thumbprint from the captive’s thumb. Using his electronic detective tools, he compared it to the thumbprints that were recovered from the brutal dismemberment of the Kinkorx Horned Hares player in downtown Kinkorx. “Chief,” he said. “We have a match. The lab will make the final call. From what I can see, we have our killer.”
Pour ordered, “Read him his rights!”
Detective Reedier turned to Zith. “You are under arrest for the murder of Nead Beeing. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, an attorney will be issued to you…
After Detective Reedier issued Zith Fleen his legal rights, the group began to walk toward the entrance of the cave. Two officers pulled their prisoner as the others shined their flashlights onto the cave walls and floor.
As they walked, while stepping on numerous scorpions and squishing them, they were surprised at the lack of resistance the killer was offering. He was seemingly walking almost freely. “You’re not fighting very much—for a killer,” said Neuyh as they walked.
It was after 3:00am when the police team left the cave. “Follow our tracks,” ordered Chief Pomur. The exhausted, hungry, and thirsty team walked, with their prisoner, along the dark sand as they trudged up one sandy hill and down another. They walked around one stone formation after another – under the picturesque desert night sky.
As they walked, they exhaustingly viewed the brilliant stars, as well as the yellow, red, and blue gaseous clouds that added to the night skies splendor and beauty. Some of them began to smell the fragrant flowers. “I didn’t notice how wonderful the flowers smell in the desert. The aromas are sweet,” said Neuyh exhaustingly as they walked while holding onto Zith Fleen.
“It’s a real flower garden out here,” Pomur said with irritation and sarcasm as he walked, due to his tiredness and hunger. He looked at Zith while shinning the flashlight in his face and said, “For a killer—you’re awfully quiet. This is when killers like you try to convince me you didn’t kill anyone.”
Zith remained speechless as they trudged under the spectacular desert night sky across the dark sand. The team of police walked for several hours with their prisoner while following their previous tracks, as the late night slowly turned to early morning. Due to exhaustion and hunger, the dogs remained quiet as they led the group across the desert sand.
Sesla’s morning sun was rising brilliantly in the sky when the team of officers finally arrived back at their cars. “Get the prisoner loaded and locked in. I don’t want him escaping,” Chief Pomur ordered with cramps and fatigue.
The very sleepy and hungry police officers put Zith Fleen in the Chief’s squad car. They locked him in. They loaded their hungry, tired police dogs. “Let’s go. I want to get him locked into a jail cell as fast as possible,” said the very exhausted and irritable Chief.
The police officers entire bodies ached as they slowly entered their cars. With complete exhaustion, they waited for the chief to start. Chief Pomur turned on his red and blue flashing lights and siren. “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo…,” screamed the chief’s siren. He began to pull ahead with his prisoner in the back seat.
The other police followed suit. They turned on their flashing lights and sirens. “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” the screaming sound of police sirens was deafening as the caravan of police cars followed the chief as he speeded back to the Kinkorx Police Station.
As they drove at a high speed, Chief Pomur radioed ahead to Police Officer Jitta ReFrex, “We caught the killer. We’re bring him in – ETA thirty minutes.”
Thirty-Seven Minutes Later
The squadron of police cars with their screaming sirens, “Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo, Whoop, Whoop, Whoop, Wee…ooo, Wee…ooo….,” and flashing red and blue spinning lights arrived at the Kinkorx Police Station.
Kinkorx TV News roaming reporter Pymur Muxx and Seqre Tarser roaming news reporter for Kinkorx Ultra -Modern Radio had just arrived on the scene. Both news reporters were ready while in the police parking lot. They were going to get the exclusive first story thanks to their inside informer. It was Police Officer Jitta ReFrex’s responsibility to contact the Kinkorx TV and radio stations whenever Chief Pomur called in an ETA with a prisoner.
Chief Pomur and the other officers discontinued their sirens and flashing lights—then exited their police cars. Chief Pomur and Detective Reedier opened the rear door and grabbed Zith Fleen. He was doubled over with head pain as they pulled him out of the rear seat.
The two Executive Officers, while escorting their alleged murderer, approached the reporters and camera crew that were standing in front of the station door.
As they approached the media, Pymur Muxx and Seqre Tarser began their introductions of the exclusive, live reports. “I am Pymur Muxx. I’m reporting live from the Kinkorx Police Station. Only moments ago, Police Chief Pomur and his team of top police officers arrived at the police station. Chief Pomur, what can you tell us about your prisoner?”
The cameras flashed photo after photo of Chief Pomur, Detective Reedier, and their prisoner— Zith Fleen. The live video techs recorded with their video cameras. Zith winced from the continued head pain as it was exacerbated by the flashing lights.
Chief Pomur began his live statement. “After collecting strong evidence from the crime scene. The police lab informed me of where they thought the killer was hiding. Yesterday morning my team set out on a hunt to find and apprehend the killer. I am happy to report that after a twenty-six hour hunt through the desert, with tracking dogs, we caught the killer—”
Seqre Tarser interrupted and quickly asked, “Chief Pomur, isn’t that Zith Fleen—the former Kinkorx Horned Hare that received the career ending head injury during the game against the Generals?”
Pomur replied with anger and exhaustion, “That’s correct. When the police lab confirms Detective Reedier’s findings. We will have irrefutable proof that Zith Fleen is the killer. When I charge him with the brutal murder of Nead Beeing, the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player, I will record revenge as the motive. For now, I’m keeping him locked in my jail where he can’t Slash and dismember any more of the Kinkorx Horned Hares players.”
The camera technicians began snapping photos again of Zith Fleen as fast as their cameras would go. They knew their best photos would be on the news wire within the hour. Zith Fleen’s picture would be on the cover of every news story and newspaper on Sesla. Their names would be on the pictures.
Chief Pomur was irritable and lethargic as he said, “We need to place our prisoner in a cell where he can’t escape and kill anyone else. Then we all need to get some sleep.” The photos continued to flash as the chief, his detective, and prisoner entered the police station.
The two reporters closed their live reports.
Pymur Muxx said, “Early yesterday morning, Chief Pomur and his officers began a twenty-six hour hunt that lead them deep into the desert off Wyluxx Highway…
Seqre Tarser began, “During a twenty-six hour hunt with police tracking dogs, Police Chief Pomur and his officers searched deep into the desert. Chief Pomur and his team apprehended and arrested Zith Fleen for the brutal murder, dismemberment, and slashing of Nead Beeing, the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk player.
We all remember the severe head injury Zith Fleen suffered at the end of a mesnuk game between the Horned Hares and the Generals several seasons ago. That injury ended his fairy-tale professional mesnuk career. During that same time, there were a number of strong rumors that were emanating from the Horned Hares locker room. Those rumors concerned Zith Fleen. Zith Fleen is now safely locked in Chief Pomur’s jail. If Zith Fleen is found guilty of this brutal murder, Chief Pomur has stated that he will record revenge as the motive. This is Seqre Tarser, reporting live from the Kinkorx Police Department on Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio.
Both reporters and their teams finished their exclusive, live reports. They scurried to load their equipment into their vans so they could rush back to their TV and radio stations. They wanted to broadcast their exclusive story over the news wire as fast as possible.
Meanwhile At The Home of Detective Maxx Zeqster
Maxx was sitting in his plush, recliner in his welcoming living room. He was enjoying a cup of tea after his long morning stroll through his neighborhood streets in Bedsult. He was watching the Kinkorx TV Breaking News Report as he rested from his early walk.
He thought as he watched the report while the broadcast switched back to the Kinkorx TV News Studio, “According to Chief Pomur, the next step is to carryout police testing on Zith Fleen to confirm that he is indeed the killer.”
Meez Broplen at Kinkorx TV News Studios continued: “When we learn more about this shocking murder case we will immediately inform you. This has been a Breaking News story live from the Kinkorx Police Station. I am Meez Broplen, anchor for Kinkorx TV News, now back to our regular programming.”
After watching Pymur Muxx’s live report, Maxx said, “If Zith Fleen did murder Nead Beeing, he’s the most gruesome murderer we’ve ever had in this area. He bashed in Nead Beeing’s head. He slashed and dismembered the body. Then he dumped it on the side of a busy road. According to Chief Pomur, it was an act of revenge. I wonder how many other Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk players he wants to slash, kill, and dismember as an act of revenge?”
Within An Hour
Due to the news wire, Zith Fleen’s photo was being pasted on the front page of every newspaper in the desert and the wet lands. Zith Fleen was the top story on every news channel on Sesla as well. A typical headline read:
Zith Fleen – The Kinkorx Horned Hares Slasher is Captured