The Price of Demand (Reintegration Edit 6)

Altman knelt on one knee amid the scattered stones at the scene of the accident, casting a critical eye at where each had ended up through the same pair of goggles he’d used before the accident. He’d adjusted the complex system of levers that switched out lenses to magnify what he saw. He sighed. “I wish we had a proper inspector here to investigate this.”

Waldon Sias snorted from behind him. “There’s lots of things it’d be nice t’have, but for now we just ‘ave to make do.”

“I suppose you’re right. There’s only so much I can do though. I studied the geosciences, not criminal investi— … Interesting.” He leaned in closer for a better look, flicking levers to bring the rock that had caught his attention into better focus.

“What’s interesting?” Sias sounded anything but interested; his voice carried the forced patience of a man who had a thousand other things that needed doing, but who needed answers more.

“These stone bricks. They bear the characteristic marks of stone cutting, just as one would expect, as well as the signs of the fall off the tower, but … Some of these are scratched up on one side, and look here at the pitting on this one.”

Waldon scratched his stubbled cheek. “Sounds t’me like you’re ‘xactly the sort ‘o investigator we need ‘ere. No police Inspector ever caught detail like that that I ever ‘eard of.”

Altman smiled under the goggles, but his face remained serious. “These bricks were pushed; their fall was no accident.”

“Could Claver ‘ave brought ‘em down with him when ‘e fell?”

Altman shook his head. “No, I was here at the time and saw him fall. He didn’t bring them down upon himself. Of that I’m certain.”

“Well ‘hoever did this is obviously keepin’ it quiet, or they’d have confronted us in public. What we need to do is find out what they’re up to, what they want from us. They must want SOMETHING.”

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