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Ship of Death (standard:mystery, 6031 words)
Author: hvysmkerAdded: Aug 13 2004Views/Reads: 2595/1624Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Killings aboard a Cruise Ship
 



“I'm tired Mama, can I go now?”  Twelve year old Nora asked her mother. 
The family was on vacation.  Her mother had won a free cruise on the 
‘Milton Sharps' a medium sized cruise ship, to Bermuda from New York 
City.  They were currently sitting on the Promenade Deck, looking out 
over the Ocean. “Go ahead, Dear.  You know the way, we'll see you in a 
little while,” her mother told her.  “or tomorrow, if you're asleep.” 

They didn't know it then, but it would be the last time they saw the
little girl alive.  When they returned to their cabin, she would be 
found raped and dead, the door to the cabin unlocked.  Only the first 
victim.  There would be many more over the years. 

**** 

A short, slim man flitted down empty corridors toward the rear of the
ship.  He was dressed in a crew uniform, Blue and white with a red 
stripe on each sleeve.  It was the uniform of a common seaman.  A low 
ranking person who could be used in any Department needed. 

Using a key, the little man unlocked and entered a storeroom.  Locking
the door behind him, he pulled off the grill to a ventilator and 
disappeared inside.  If anyone had seen him they might have recoiled in 
horror at seeing his face.  The man's face was a dull red, with pale 
scars over most of its area, dominated by large deep-set, dead black 
eyes. 

**** 

“Mr. Masters, my company would like to hire you.”  The well dressed man
sat across the desk from the Private Eye.  “I've heard about your past 
reputation as a homicide detective.” 

“I take it you've had a homicide?”  Jake Masters answered, turning from
his PC where he was typing reports.  “Tell me your problem, and I'll 
tell you if we can handle it or not.  Normally the police take care of 
that sort of thing.  I'm retired now and don't want to step on my old 
buddy's toes.” 

“Oh, they're handling it the best they can, Sir.  The problem is that
we're a Cruise Ship, normally to and from South America, sometimes to 
Europe.  They can only work here in New York City.  We need someone to 
go on the cruises, and work from there.”  The man scratched under his 
collar.  “We have some kind of serial killer aboard, and are being sued 
by a couple of the victims.  Under Federal Statutes, if it's a crew 
member we can be held responsible. 

If a passenger, we just have to use reasonable care.  A lot depends on
the outcome, as well as not wanting anymore killings.  We've hired a 
Security Company, but it hasn't seemed to help.  There's already  been 
a killing since they were hired.” 

“I take it you've checked the passenger lists for repeat customers?” 

“Oh yes, of course with no passports required on most of our trips, 
people could use other names.  We sometimes have around nine hundred 
passengers, too many to keep track of twenty four hours a day, plus a 
crew of about five hundred.” 

“So I would have to do a lot of traveling, is that it?” 

“Yessir, that's up to you, but we would like to have you or someone
aboard.” 

“And what kind of murders are these, I read of a young girl being killed
about a month ago, was that it?” 

“Probably, they've all been young girls, twelve to twenty, small, dark
haired, raped and killed.” 

“I'd need to take a couple of others with me. And who knows for how
long.”  Jake was thinking to himself. 

“We'd give you all the help we could, Sir.  If you can't solve it, We
might have to dock the ship, and fire the crew.  Either that or losing 
these, and any new, lawsuits could break us.” 


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