Investigating the Death of a Ghost - Part Two *Chief Petty Officer Matthew Swiftwind and Private Rea Joban and featuring Talibah t'Ghaladriel and Joseph Swiftwind S'Ghaladriel* Sydney, Earth Matthew stared at the blank screen for several minutes before letting out a frustrated growl. "Damn sub-space communications network," he muttered. Joban peered into his new boss's office and gave the guy a smile. "There a problem, Chief?" "Just tried contacting our vic's only living relative but the comm went down and I don't think she got the whole message." Huffing again at the futility of long distance communications, he slumped into the outer office where his aide was studiously logging all the evidence so far. "Anything new?" "Lots but nothing very enlightening," the young Bajoran sighed. "We found some red hair, looked dyed until we examined it and realised it was meant to be that vibrant a colour. Not human, but with some male human DNA in it. A hybrid maybe, but we can't identify the other markers so we don't know what race it could be from. Oh and there was a letter." He gave the piece of paper over to Swiftwind before shrugging. "We didn't notice it at first because it's paper, not electronic. And it's old. We assumed it was an heirloom or something." Humming to himself, Matthew leaned against his aide's desk to read the note. "A son?" he blinked. "This is written to our vic and says he has a son. You're joking, right? This is for real?" "Yes, sir," Joban said. "The way it's worded, it almost sounds like the author's a Vulcan or Romulan or something. I don't really know any other race that goes on about bond-mates and being bonded like that." "Me either," Matthew sighed. "Did you check those two races against the mysterious DNA?" "Yes, sir, but there's no match. Whoever this guy is, he's not Vulcan or Romulan." Matthew nodded slowly. "But is he related to our vic?" Joban let a dark smile cross his face. "Oh yes, sir. His human DNA comes directly from our victim. Whoever he is, he's Samuel Jameson's son." ------------------------------ Oklahoma, Earth Matthew stared out over the reservation that he called home. There was a crag that overlooked the whole thing, from the doctor's surgery at one end all the way to the shaman's hut at the other. It made him smile, just seeing the way it was all laid out. 'Why'd the witch doctor and the medical doctor live so far apart, papa?' his small son kept asking. "Because secular medicine still doesn't have room for soul medicine," he said to the air as he took a deep breath of it before heading home. He'd decided to leave work early, giving the poor lad he was working with a chance to be home before ten p.m. and give him the time to walk off his frustration before he saw his wife. Why couldn't he get this case out of his head? It was driving him mad, really getting to him. He was starting to wake up at night and see the man's face, or what was left of it, dancing before his eyes. Alien DNA, alien symbols but nothing recognised on the computer databases. Who the hell had a son with a woman whose race had never been logged on a Federation computer? Especially a man who, by all records, had never set foot off planet. "Not good," he muttered as he stomped down the familiar path to his home. "Not in the least." "You're talking to yourself again, e'lev," a quiet, female voice said from behind him. When he turned, he smiled softly at his wife who was carrying his young son in her arms. "Sorry, ho'nehe. I can't switch off this case." Talibah tutted then handed Joseph to his father so she could kiss Matthew on his cheek. "You'll work it out. You're a smart man. For a Human." Huffing at her gentle tease, he rolled his eyes. "And you're beautiful, for a Romulan." The raspberry she let out made him burst into laughter. "Pretty pixie-eared lady?" "Stop digging, Matthew Swiftwind, or I'll not tell you my news," she warned, her voice warm and deep. "News? Good or bad?" "Good." Taking his spare hand, she placed it on her abdomen. "Little Jada." The whoop Matthew let out rang round the street they were walking down. "A girl? Hear that Joseph? A little sister." "Do they bite?" the boy asked, his head tilted to the side. "Only if you bite them first," Talibah told him. "Or they're feeling particularly hungry." "Hmm," the boy said. "She can stay. As long as she doesn't bite."