Raeden (Rae) Seiko

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

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Stench putrefied the air as she walked over the carcasses stacked thick in the cargo hull. Unlike her partner who had been forced to scramble back outside for some fresh air, she was blessed with senses that could pick and choose their focus. At the moment her sense of smell was turned off as much as she possibly could, letting her eyes focus where the large flashlight highlighted and studying the scene. Even so, the smell was stomach turning.

 

The Anda was a small cargo ship, the windowless belly of it meant for metal cargo containers not the decimated human cargo she now picked her way over. She was up to forty bodies and the count was still rising.

 

A week ago the harbor master had been asked to let the small cargo vessel dock a couple days while they got resupplied. The captain had paid cash and then never came back. When the harbor master decided to step on board this morning he was struck by the scent of death and instantly knew he had a problem.  Which was why she was here, the basic blues that had come to investigate couldn’t handle the extreme nature of the loss of life.

 

It was a pit, a black hole of stagnant air. The door had been padlocked shut from the outside leaving the victims trapped with little air and no food or water. From the decay she suspected they hadn't made the trip across the ocean, dying miserably somewhere along the way. Some were stacked against the far wall, likely by those that were still alive and trying not to wallow in rotting flesh. Death had come in waves. She pitied the souls that had been the last to go.

 

They had been refugees.. she was sure of it. Skeletal remains of horns, wings, even tails peppered the more human looking dead. If she had to bet, they were all outworlders who had latched onto some swindlers promise to get out of Europe. It wasn’t the first signs that the registration violence was making its way to their shores.

 

Boots carefully picked her way back to the single steel door, trotting up the stairs to the rusty deck to take a deep breath of fresher air, nostrils starving for something other than the oppression of death.

 

Npc:…I've never seen anything like it

 

Lance's voice quaked as her cool expression flicked to him. She didn’t rattle. Its what made her so good at her job.

 

There is likely more but I got a count of fifty nine…. they are stacked at the back so hard to get a full count till we start pulling them out.

 

Eyes flicked to the harbor master, poor guy was pacing along the dock unwilling to come close to the vessel.

 

I suspect all outworlders… likely promised a better life here… "immigrants" coming to the "new world"…. probably paid a small fortune to end up in a metal coffin.

 

Npc: Fuck….

 

Ya….that about sums it up. Going to need his full statement.. don't trust the blues to get this one right.

 

Npc:.... sure... am on it

 

He pulled out his notepad  and trotted down the plank to the dock below, thankful to be off the floating cemetery.

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Hazel watched Lance talk to the harbor master as she rested a hip on the railing, continuing to breathe deep the fresh air.  This cross the pond shit had been spilling to their shores for about a month now but nothing of this magnitude. New York tended to be a bit more of an accepting melting pot, but recently the tension that was floating from Europe had bled into the city. Dumb asses were starting to take sides, random violence was on the rise per the department but the reports looked a lot like targeted violence to her.

 

The city was a powder keg waiting for a spark.

 

Eyes had been focusing on the small marks on the metal deck… claw marks by the looks of them. The magnification was over thirty times and Lance's voice was missed the first time.

 

Huh?

 

NPC:…I said our harbor master's pretty shook up. Not planning on coming over here any time soon. Best he remembers was two guys from the ship. Overweight middle aged Caucasian, maybe five foot eight or nine and a tall lanky Asian in his late twenties.

 

He was used to repeating himself when she was studying a crime scene.

 

The kind that can just blend in and vanish in this city.

 

NPC: Pretty much…

 

This shit hits the news…. NPC: I know…. can expect some protests…even possibly riots…  yeah…..

 

Sigh was soft in her chest. Between the virus crimes she had been investigating and the growing divisiveness with this damn earthborn purists movement… sleep was a luxury the force was starting to severely lack in.

 

Hazel flicked to the four white vans coming up to the dock… coroners were here. Hip pushed from the railing to head down the plank to meet them. Best they had a bit of a warning before walking into this mess.

 

She was worried the powder keg was already sitting next to a lit match.

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