It was all over the news, the Speaker of the House was dead. Parliament was suspended as a sign of respect, and King Hector had personally made a visit to his home.
Sir Hillary Moorland was a bachelor, an explorer, and an amateur geologist. When he failed to arrive for some important meetings at the Parliament, some members of the Firsts were sent around to check on him. They found the house securely locked, and no response from the Speaker could be gained.
Later in the day, with suspicions aroused, specialist watchmen were sent around to gain entry.
The athletically built intrepid explorer and politician was found dead in his study, a serious wound to his head. A cleanly wiped candlestick was setting on the floor next to his body, and it was clear that it had been moved from the mantel.
It was odd that though it seemed to be a burglary gone wrong, there was no sign of entry. The windows were securely fastened from the inside and all of the exterior doors had keys in place in the inside keyholes. Furthermore, while many expensive items were available in the house, only three items seemed to be missing, and each of them from Sir Hillary’s geological collection: a piece of pumice stone from a volcanic bomb, a chunk of desert sandstone from the Dunes War, and a pebble of red jasper which wasn’t even polished.
Chief Superintendent Montoya stood before the reporters from the various news sheets.
“At the moment we are treating this unfortunate incident as a burglary. It seems that Sir Hillary disturbed the culprit and was bludgeoned with a candlestick from the mantelpiece. The First Precinct, and the Specials from the Eighth are working diligently to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
As he spoke, two conjurers from “the Magical Discovery Branch” of the Eighth passed by carrying an array of detectors and other apparatus. Their black wizard’s robes with embroidered purple roses stood out among the other leather jerkined watchmen.
“Sir Orlando, Sir Orlando” several journalists called out, “Why are ‘Discovery’ here?”
“Totally routine,” he responded. “There will be no further statements at this time. Thank you.”
Over the next couple of days crowd control became an issue outside the residence. People were becoming even more curious over the continued presence of the “Specials.”
It was therefore necessary to maximise the Watch presence at the site, and against all usual custom (and some believed common sense) Inspector Cruikshank was ordered to dispatch officers of “The Lasts” to Sir Hillary’s home.
Haunted Wordsmith’s Challenge: bomb, desert, jasper