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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 20 - The Adjudicator[]

Former Word of Blake Prison Camp
Kittery Star System
Late 3159

[Kittery Crime Scene...]

They'd been at it for days now, and multiple gym-sized tents were erected to serve as field mortuaries while Capellan Forensic scientists went over the crime scene with her crew.

It wasn't a big enough atrocity to only be expressed in statistics, but statistics were pretty easy to correlate using an eighty year old comm directory.

In the background, earth movers removed overburden from the mass graves, while medical and isotropic testing was used on the decayed remains uncovered.

Clarissa supervised the collation of data with a Maskirovka senior agent.  The man's face seemed locked in permanent horror as they tabulated results.

"No children under five." she said, examining the results thus far, "A couple of fetuses in the eight to eight and a half month stage-they killed the adults pretty much entirely, and it looks like everyone over the age of five."

A steadily growing pile of identification documents and transit papers was growing in one of the evidence tents.

This correlated with pre-Blake-War civilian contact directories still housed at the Planetary Capitol.

"I was wrong." Clarissa said, tiredly, and sipped dry mix tea from a ship's bulb.

"About what?"

"They killed the potential witnesses. They did so very thoroughly." she said quietly, "CCovered it with the relocation program..." her mind assembled an image, buses full of people who'd been told they had to leave their homes and what to take, they'd boarded the buses, then, disembarked...

She stepped out of the tent and looked around.

There.  There would be the Dropships.  Kittery's Drop Port was a mess. So it would make sense to move the evacuation to a rural area. "There, they had the dropships parked there." she said, pointing, "I bet McCrory can tell us where and what models based on scorch and pressure leavings, even this far along in time."

She turned, remembering the rail lines and roadways they'd seen from orbit.  "The buses would come up...over there." she said, "Probably a fence line. Maybe even using this compound as a processing site. Because hey, it's got a fence and buildings for barracks.  They marched them from the buses to the processing site. Maybe separated the infants for vaccinations, maybe gave everyone vaccinations, only...not vaccines."

She walked a paced walk.  "It would have to be something that lets them walk to the pits." she added, "Sedative maybe or a mild pentothal derivative or something. To keep people from panicking or resisting.  They separated the infants in either case..." she walked a bit further, studying, "Lined them up in waves and killed them. They let the bodies fall in the pit. Maybe someone had to go in there and even it out so the ground would stay level when the earth movers pushed the overburden back in, but this one..." she stopped at the first pit, "Something wrong with the soil. Maybe something that would suggest a sink-hole if they didn't firm it up, so they laid a layer of concrete on top of the bodies first."

"Why would they keep the infants?" her Maskirovka equivalent asked.

"Why would you keep a collection of easily influenced or adopted out non-witnesses, Hmm?  Someone you can raise to be extremely loyal with no history of their own?  Human memories tend to start at age five. Anything before that, even for very sharp people memories fade fast through childhood into adulthood. Infants don't even have that much connection to their past.  If you were planning ahead, say, and wanted a secret service that would be absolutely loyal, with no family ties..."

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