[identity profile] nekonexus.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] if_i_trace
When all that's left is tying up loose ends...

~*~*~

Part 32
~*~*~

There were lawyers, of course, but in the end no lawsuits. A posthumous trial was a waste of money and Keiran's lawyers wouldn't hear of it. Kurosai quickly realized that they simply couldn't press charges without revealing there was something they were hiding: bio-engineered human hybrids were not currently on the government's list of acceptable project matter. Val's existence was denied. His involvement was edited out of the record of events.

To state the obvious: it got complicated.

They recovered Tamsin's laptop, and one of the flash drives, but the rest were swallowed by the drainage system. The techs said it would take them months to recover the data he'd thoroughly reformatted, and even then, it would likely be useless bits and gibberish. They were told to try anyway, at first. Months later, it was simply dropped. Kurosai quietly acquired the laptop and nothing more was heard of it.

The flash drive, on the other hand, contained only a Trojan virus. It didn't even match the one on the other flash drive they had (the one Val had not been given, of course, because he wasn't involved). It was a simple virus in a completely different coding style. Buried in the code was an owner tag that pointed them to a "S4ndm4n." It wasn't Tamsin's handiwork, and no one proposed a theory as to why he'd bothered loading it onto the drive. It became another disregarded footnote in a (nonexistent) case full of loopholes.

~*~*~

Steve was suspended, pending review. They let him keep his pay at least, citing self-defense as his valid and probably justifiable motive. He wasn't allowed to discuss the case. His computer equipment was confiscated, his access to the police networks temporarily revoked. He smoked a lot, and brooded, and waited.

~*~*~

Dr. McCullach Sr. and his wife were outraged and uncharacteristically willing to embrace their deceased prodigal son as a paragon of misunderstood genius. They demanded a full inquiry and threatened a wrongful death suit against the police force. Once the autopsy had been performed, they held a "private" funeral that almost the entire town turned out for.

Keiran didn't attend.

Nor did Aaron, but that perhaps went without saying.

Some time later, after the lawyers had spoken at length, money changed hands. Kurosai made a private donation to a research project of Dr. McCullach Sr.'s choosing. The demand for an inquiry was subsequently dropped, as were the charges against Officer Garrett.

~*~*~

The media made a zoo of it at first, until the spin doctors stepped in and the "official" story was established. One or two reporters still tried to pursue the obvious holes in the story now hidden behind a veil of doubletalk, but nothing ever came of it. It wasn't just Kurosai that had a vested interest in keeping the details out of the papers; the government stepped in and declared it a closed case, while conducting their own inquiries.

The problem was that, while the story was interesting from some points of view, the individual details didn't make a good story, and the general public very quickly decided it didn't care. The angle of a cop shooting an unarmed civilian was always newsworthy, but only for a day or two, since details about the man himself were supressed. The fact that there was one of those rare and mysterious hybrid vehicles found near the scene of the shooting was another interesting tidbit, especially when it was discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen from a garage where it had been left in a non-running condition. But again there was nothing to make a full story out of. Within a week or so, it all ceased to be front-page news.

Jake watched it on TV, even followed it in the papers, for lack of any other real sources of information. He'd pretty much had to close the shop for a couple of weeks, while he dealt with all the questions about his involvement with Tamsin and the ensuing barrage of reporters. For the first time in his life, he could honestly say he was sick to death of people. Even the thought of dealing with Sarah grated on his nerves. He reopened the shop as quickly as he could, and kept it open probably more than was reasonable for him to manage alone, but he had bills to pay, and no other source of income.

He'd ride it out, he knew. He told himself it had nothing really to do with him (and it didn't), and soon as the reporters figured that out, they'd drop him (it took them a while). But what really bugged him, if he was honest, was the waiting. Waiting for an explanation that was never gonna come.

Bad luck, he told himself. Nothing new about that. But it was hard, when he had too many nights to spend wondering....

~*~*~

Keiran stayed in town for a month. Long enough to make sure his lawyers knew how to handle any questions about the wyverns, knew where to redirect and where to be blunt. Honesty is a tool and a weapon, and Keiran made very very sure that the people who worked for him knew how to use it effectively both ways.

Four weeks to the day after... it happened, he and Tessa headed out on to the road and simply disappeared. No one heard from them, no one could get a hold of them, no one even saw them for three months.

Suspicious behaviour, perhaps, but Keiran and Tamsin had been twins, after all, and the lawyers weren't afraid to play on that for maximum sympathy. Dr. McCullach (Jr.) needed time to grieve, they said. They claimed he'd left detailed instructions (which was true) and emergency contact information (which was not). The media in turn, and without anything else to report on, played the human sympathy angle hard, but even that grew old quickly.

Like any span of time, the space of three months was both infinitesimally short and infinitely long, depending on how you looked at it. Everything changed and nothing changed and the machinery of the system rolled it all together and forced everyone to keep moving.

~*~*~

owari

>> Epilogue 1
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Imperfect Likeness

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