NaNoWriMo: The Fallen (fragment)
Twenty-three coffins were laid out in a row for the third ceremony in as many days. Adway stood a ways back from The General, observing the crowd attending the ceremony, much as he had done for the previous memorials to those DCU agents killed in the Day Of Fire, a term which the streams had bestowed upon the concerted attack which had so badly affected the organization. Most of the faces which passed by the coffins were familiar from the DCU building, and some were obviously the relatives of the deceased, but Adway noticed the regular police force mingled in with the sea of well-wishers, the mourners, and the ghouls who came to see what the tally was.
With one-hundred and sixty-nine confirmed dead Adway hesitated to continue the vigil at the back of the crowds for much longer, but the need to know for sure that the Kings were behind the attack was eating at him. Leaving the staging area and moving through the extended corridors and rooms which had been hastily transformed for hospitality purposes, Adway considered that the messages containing vital clues and hints pointing in the direction of the street gang may have been a clever diversion to throw attention away from the true perpetrators.
“Too many people?”
Adway looked to the direction of the voice, finding Connell. The fat slob was eating an ice cream at a funeral, displaying one of the many reasons which Adway could name as a factor in considering the DCU transfer seriously.
“This is a serious day, with serious business going on, and you’re eating a fucking ice cream?”
“A strawberry ice cream actually, and don’t forget that you were the one who asked me to be here. The precinct is like a ghost town since someone declared war on the DCU.”
“Why are people staying away? They should be out here investigating.”
“Half of them are on someone’s payroll. Now if that someone turns out to be involved in all the shit which went down, they’re gonna be asked a lot of hard questions. The other half are thinking that if a bunch of terrorists aren’t bothered about taking out a Federal agency, what are they gonna think about a fuckin’ cop. Zilch. Zero. We’re walking targets.”
“Just… Keep looking for anyone who looks suspicious.”
“Anyone that’s out-of-place?” Connell asked.
“Yeah, anyone who doesn’t belong here.”
“That could include you. Should I report back to you that I saw you here?” Connell licked his ice cream, nodded, then turned and merged back into the crowd, leaving Adway with more questions than ever.
“Half the police force couldn’t possibly be on the take…”
As the names of the dead were read aloud once more, Adway unconsciously rubbed the back of his neck. The stress and strain which came with nearly dying had been aggravating his back pains, and annoyance with the curtailing of his investigation into the meme murders was beginning to bring more heat onto his unofficial investigation.