Abe James was not a tall man, but he didn't let this bother him. As a matter of fact very few things actually did. He considered himself able to look past the small annoyances of life and see a bigger picture, and draw consolidation from what he saw. This however, bothered him.

The plastic shrouded corpse he was rolling from the crime scene bothered him a great deal. As had the last three. The problem stemmed from the fact that for once he could not let it show.

Abe had been working for the ME's office for almost 2 years and the horrors that mankind inflicted on each other were not supposed to touch him anymore. In fact they really didn't , but this was something else, and he knew it.

"OK, lets get back to the barn." Abbot said as they loaded the last body into the ME van less than affectionately known as the "meat wagon".

"T' Boss is gonna love this..." Abbot drawled.

All Abe could muster was a noncommital "unh."

The officers of the TPD were still filing and inventorying the scene, but James and Abbots part of the dance was now done. Their final charge was to get the last of the bodies back to the lab where a trained pathologist would try to make sense of what had happened to render a SUV full of college girls into so much pate'.

Abe knew that they would have a job cut out for them, he had seen two of the other girls.

The ride back was a silent one, with Abe watching the cityscape roll past, and Abbot, who had worked with Abe for a good chunk of the last two years, knowing when it was best to just concentrate on the road.

Finally they pulled into the low brick structure of the ME office, and backed up to the loading dock. The other three girls were already here, one having been transported by Abe and Abbot already. Thankfully, with the approaching dawn, this promised to be their last run for the night.

They rolled the last wrapped figure into the waiting hallway, along with two of the other girls, one was apparently already in the examination room. Tampa was a fairly rough town, but four homicides in one night was still enough to demand quick action.

As they walked back to the truck, Abbot tried to pry Abe out of the shell he seemed to have been in since they had first arrived on scene.

"So, what'choo think happened?" Abbot delicately inquired around a mouthful of dipping tobacco.

"I really don't know, and I don't thing that I really want to know" was Abe's even reply.

"Ill tell you what I think, I think they got 'jacked, shot and the dogs got at them" Abbot seemed to boast. Abe was sure that the official ME report would contain the same type of rationalization.

After begging off from a trip to one of the local bottle clubs , Abe was finallly able to retreat to the safety of his small car and head to his modest apartment in the Town n' Country part of town.

Once back in the safe confines of the apartment, he set his deadbolt and headed directly for his computer, which was idling in the corner

Once into his favorite email service, he typed a brief message asking an old friend to respond to the message if he still used this address, sent it off and sat back to wait.

After refreshing his inbox about ten times, he saw a spam add offering to improve his sex life through the use of yoga.

Abbot deleted the message, and shut down his browser, this time launching a chat program. Hen entered a string of numbers and characters from memory and was rewarded with a room opening up. There was only one other occupant.

USER ABE4270 has logged into chat:

USER ZEUS001: What seems to the the matter Abrihim?

USER ABE4270: This towns got a problem.

USER ZEUS001:What sort of problem?

USER ABE4270: I just got back from a call and I think that the reason for the call was a D, or multiple D's.

There was a distinct pause before the reply.

USER ZEUS001:What makes you think this?

As way of reply, Abe entered the IP of the ME's intranet, along with the last characters of the case numbers.

After about a minuted pause:

USER ZEUS001:I will investigate, contact you in the usual ways.

USER ZEUS001 has logged off of chat.

Abe leaned back his leather chair, Well, it's out of my hands now.

He would go about his business, and wait for some kind of orders. First order of buisness was a beer. He headed for the fridge.

.