Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Beginning

As the door shut and the porch light went dark the sheriff found himself all but alone. His sister was right. He had carried this baggage for along time and it had change him. All because of one choice. No, not the choice to bring Johnny to his sister...that was an easy decision. One that he had known was right. No...the decision that started it all. A simple hand shake between a brand new, wet behind the ears sheriff that had just been elected and the head of the largest employer in the once dead town. The hand shake was an unspoken agreement that the sheriff would protect the interests of the company and there by protect the interests of the town. It seemed like a no brainer at the time. Heck, without Herman Pharmasuticals Research and Development there would not even be a town.

HPR&D had landed in town and set up shop about two years after the last plant had closed in Dry Springs. They had only been there about a month when the sheriff was elected. By that time they had already replaced ninety percent of the jobs that had been lost over the last ten years! The sheriff only saw this business deal as a small way to say thanks to HPR&D for bring life back to his dying town. For the first year and a half everything was great. But then HPR&D opened a new wing of the plant...Alpha Wing. This wing was off limits to everyone in the town. It seemed that what was going on in Alpha Wing was to be kept top secret.

Over the next year the company started to bring in scientist and doctors from all over the world.It seemed that suddenly the sheriff was playing personal baby sitter for the company. He was being "asked" to run them around and to do back ground checks on each and every visiting scientist. But as annoying as that was it all suddenly stopped! By the end of that year they had hired a man to over see the operation...Dr. Alexus Morgan and his assistant Gracie Morgan....his wife. And with their hiring all of the visits came to a stop. The sheriff did not mind the end to the visits. It meant he could go back to being a small town sheriff and spend less time running after the companies visitors.

But the quiet did not last long for the sheriff. Within the next month he had been called out to no less than a half dozen houses to investigate disappearances of family pets. In each situation the animals had been kept outside during the day and when the owners had returned from their shift at the Company the found a cut fence, or a broken lock, or a cut run line and no sign of their pets. over the next six months the sheriff and his men logged another twenty calls that met these same circumstances. The only thing that each of these cases had in common was that there was no evidence left behind and in every case the missing pet was a dog.

It did not take the sheriff long to start putting two and two together. As he spent hours pouring over these cases and back tracking through old records he came to two conclusions. Prior to the opening of the Alpha Wing there had never been a case of any missing pets in the town of Dry Springs and it was up to him to investigate the connection between the Company and the cases of the missing pets.

The problem was how do you walk into the company and ask the man who was saving the town from drying up if he has been running around stealing all the dogs in town? So the sheriff decided he would take a different route. He climbed into his car and headed out of Dr. Morgan's house. During the ride to the house the sheriff thought about the young doctor and his wife. He had spent several days shuffling them around when they first came to Dry Springs. The sheriff seems to recall that they seemed like good people and even remembered a sense of happiness when he heard they would be over seeing the Alpha Wing Project. What was it that Dr. Morgan said he did.....some type of behavioral specialist. Anyway, the sheriff thought maybe a casual visit to the Morgan's might give him more information than the direct approach.

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