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Location: Corona Park

Caroline Dawson

Friday Afternoon

It was a Friday afternoon as the sun beat down on Caroline’s black sweat pants, a fire engine red tank-top under a white zipper sweatshirt, her sunglasses were tight against her face with her flaming red hair pulled back into a pony tail as she did an afternoon run through Corona Park. The park was practically deserted and Caroline was loving it. Her ear buds blocked out the world as she was almost running in prefect synch with the drums of Max Weinberg, of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, as he was playing a drum solo to a live version of “Rosalita” from a concert two years ago in Seattle. Caroline knew someone who worked at the stadium where Bruce was playing and got her copy of the concert for Christmas last year. That concert never failed to make her smile, because that was the night not only did she use her radio “clout” to get in the front row, but she managed to be one of the young ladies to dance with Bruce on stage during “Dancing in the dark.” Most cases she would go running at the Luna Sports Facility, but at the moment Caroline didn’t feel much like being around too many people. Not to mention it wasn’t too far away from where the club blew up. Caroline didn’t need to go down there. She didn’t need to try and guess where Scott and Ann were standing or be part of the madhouse that was that area. Conspiracy theorists were already spouting off some of the most asinine theories ever, and Caroline was ready to kill anyone who said one near her.

Usually at this time Caroline was thinking about heading into the station to cut some commercials, harass the interns, or even touch base with Dave Burton, the afternoon drivetime DJ, and maybe even share a good laugh with him. However, this was not a usual Friday afternoon. Bob-O and the station’s owner Mrs. Popkin did, basically, an intervention for Caroline after she finished putting together the tributes for Scott and Amy. They could tell with one look that she wasn’t ready to go on the air, and with the anniversary of her mom’s passing less than twenty-four hours away Caroline was in rough shape. They insisted that she take off until the following Monday. Caroline had built up so much vacation that she could take off for two months and still have time left over. This was just beginning the start of a long journey that would take years for her to understand if ever according to her dad who she talked to after she left the station. Her dad was always there for her and his advice was to go out and do something that made her feel good. He suggested hanging out with friends, but the only friends that she had were at the station and they had their own grief to work through. They had decided to meet up at The Lighthouse around seven that night, but that seemed like days instead of hours away.

This was the first time in three years that she was tempted to have a drink. Caroline had sworn off drinking since the night she got so drunk she blacked out and woke up the next day in a strange room with a guy she didn’t know. From what she could gather the encounter was consensual, but it was the fact that all signs had pointed to Caroline being pregnant. She swore that if she wasn’t, she would never touch another drink again in her lifetime. Caroline wasn’t pregnant and she kept her vow but now her Faith in that vow, and to a point her Faith in God, was dramatically shaken.

Caroline without realizing it was starting to run faster and faster until she felt a sharp biting pain in the back of her left thigh, accompanied by a popping sensation. She realized she had just torn her hamstring. Caroline gritted her teeth as she tumbled to the ground. Grabbing the back her leg the pain was now a burning stabbing pain. “Damn it!” she muttered under her breath. The downside to the privacy that Corona Park offered during this time of day was that if something like this happened there weren’t too many people to help her out. Caroline laid there for a moment, and then said, “All right Dawson there’s only one person who can save you, and that’s you.” With that she managed to get to her feet, but she wasn’t putting much pressure on her left leg. She hobbled over to a bench and sat down breathing heavily and rubbing her leg. Caroline knew an ace-wrap, an ice-pack, and several aspirin were in her future. Caroline knew she would have to wait a bit for the pain to subside and once it was tolerable then she would have to move to get home before it stiffened up. Caroline said, “On the bright side, at least I’m sober.” She then saw a liquor store across the street from her bench and said, “For the moment at least.”

Life has gotten in the way. I will try to get a post up this weekend.
@MST3K 4ever

You got plenty of time, go for it. We're gonna do an epilogue after this skip to finish off the chapter.

Ok I'll have something in 48 hours.
How soon before this chapter wraps up? Trying to decide whether to do another post or not.
See you all further up the road.

Sorry I haven't established any relationships yet. I figured with this timeline getting ready to end it wouldn't be wise to get to in depth on relationships.

I promise that will change after the break I am really liking what I've read so far from everyone.
Celia didn't mind Earle in her lab asking questions and wanting to help. She knew he was vet and wanted to get things moving before the case grew cold. Celia knew that the first 24-48 hours in an investigation were critical.

The "Star Trek" ringtone made Celia smirk briefly as Earle went to another corner to take the call. She could hear brief mumblings about what was going on, but that wasn't her focus as one of her techs walked into the lab. The tech handed her a file and a plastic bag with the what appeared to be scraps and pieces. He said, "Here's the preliminary work up so far. There are some interesting items I think you should take note of Dr. Carter."

Celia took the file and bag and said, "Thanks David." He left the room as Earle was getting off of the phone. She heard his apology and said, "It's okay life gets in the way from time to time. No worries." Celia wheeled herself to a desk and put the bag and the folder on the desktop and said, "Well Agent Earle, things just got interesting."

She pointed to the bag and said, "The powder residue indicates that these shells came from a forty-four magnum. However, the shells themselves have been customized." Celia looked up at Earle and said, "They don't match anything in our database. Meaning our killer has money to get bullets like these done. They're a ceramic polymer with metalac elements in the base material meaning when they enter the body a lot of times they break apart causing the shreds to destroy tissue and bone far more effectively than an ordinary bullet. We've two rounds that are pretty well intact so that gives us something" Celia nodded and said, "That also means that the theory of this being just another gang banger on the wrong side of a turf war takes a bit of a hit. Unless someone in a gang knows someone with bucks who can get custom made rounds like this."

Celia then pulled out a couple of the photos of the body and used a pointer to point out two creases in the shirt. She said, "Those creases didn't come from our body bags. Which means that the killer did our victim in another part of town possibly, and dropped them where the body was found."

Taking a deep breath Celia said, "Our killer knows we would figure that part out. Custom rounds, a forty four, putting a gang banger in the wrong turf. This perp is very smart, and they are toying with us because they can." Celia looked at Earle and said, "Time for us to get to work."

Celia picked up the phone and dialed a number. She said into the receiver, "Ross? Hey it's CC how are you?...Not bad...listen I've a casing and it's not in our database meaning...yeah we need you to take look at it and see if you recognize the handy work....great I'll send one of my lab rats down within the hour....right...bye." Celia disconnected the call and then dialed three numbers. She said, "David get in here you're going on a field trip."

A young lab tech entered the lab and Celia put on rubber gloves. She put them on and pulled out a plastic bag, removed one of the intact casings, put it in the bag and gave it to the tech. Celia said, "Take this down to Ross he's expecting it."

The lab tech left and Celia turned back to Earle and said, "Ross Kraft he is the manager at the Gun Club on Wilshire. He knows about everything there is about guns and rounds. When we get stumped on something like this we call him up and he usually comes through for us." Celia closed the file and asked, "So anything else you can think of Agent Earle?"
Location: 92.9 The Bull Studios

Caroline Dawson

Friday Midmorning

Caroline would never forget getting the phone call at 8:10AM telling her to get down to the station right away. Caroline knew that it was serious because Bob-O was supposed to be on the air at the time and Stacey Ellis their news reporter was on instead detailing what had happened throughout the city in terms of the building and sports arena, but Caroline had cut off her radio before she heard about the club. It seemed like all Hell had broken loose, and as Caroline biked her way to the studio everyone was shuffling around in a daze. When she arrived at the station that was when her world was shattered. The entire staff was gathered in Bob-O's office and Caroline felt she was among a group of children who just found out about Santa. Scott Beckett, the mid-morning DJ, and Amy Carlton, a member of the sales team, were at the club when it exploded. Bob-O announced that they would be putting together on-air tributes featuring Scott's best moments and stories from the staff. They would also include remembrances of Amy from those who knew her. Bob-O asked Caroline to take care of the Scott tribute from the station as a group and to have her private tribute ready to go by her air shift at seven.

Caroline was in autopilot mode as she sat behind the mixing board in one of the production rooms just listening to an audio file of Scott do a crank call to Russell Wilson QB for the Seahawks. Scott impersonated Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, and he had Russell believing that the Raiders were on the verge of acquiring him in a mid-season deal. In the end Scott let Wilson off the hook and the Seattle QB had a great laugh over it, and the two actually became quite friendly after that. That was Scott Beckett a jolly soul with a heart of gold that made people laugh even when the joke was on them. Amy was one of Caroline's best friends at the station. She had known Amy liked Scott and Scott had feelings for Amy she encouraged them to go out with one another. Now Caroline's heart was broken and she wondered if it would ever be the same, because of what she did.

Caroline had was making the final edit when Bob-O walked in. He put his hand on her shoulder and he asked, "How's it going?"

Without looking up she replied almost mechanically as she studied the screen, "I'm almost done. I'm thinking of putting in the bit where Scott called the Mayor and edited that speech by the Governor that made it sound like he was getting ready to impeach him."

Bob-O spun the office chair Caroline sat in so he looked at her. He said, "Not how the tribute is going. How's it going with you?"

Caroline took a deep breath and wiped a tear as she said, "I don't know Bob. I just lost two people I cared for and tomorrow is the anniversary of my mom's death so I think I'm taking it pretty damn well."

Nodding slowly Bob said, "I also know what's eating at you."

Caroline just stared intently at Bob as he said, "It's not your fault." Caroline looked a bit taken aback as Bob said, "I know you were the one who not only got Scott and Amy to go out with each other, but you told them the club to go to."

Bowing her head Caroline closed her eyes and said, "I know that one day I won't blame myself, but right now I'm so numb with pain..." She raised her head as tears engulfed her eyes and Caroline shook her head and said, "Oh God, Bob..." She tried to say "why" but out came a high pitched shriek as she buried her head into Bob's chest and Caroline wept.

Stroking her hair Bob said, "It's not your fault kid. It's not your fault."

After a couple of moments Caroline pulled away and she wiped the tears away. She said, "Thanks for letting me let go Bob. I doubt that'll be the last time I do that."

Bob nodded and replied, "Anytime kid. Hey listen if you want to take off until Monday it's not a problem."

Quickly Caroline shook her head and said, "No, I got a job to do and, as cliche as it sounds, they would want me to get to it."

Nodding Bob replied, "Okay but if you change your mind let me know. The offer stands until 5PM."

Caroline said, "Thanks Bob. Now if you'll excuse me I got to finish up here."

Bob replied, "Sure hey make sure you include the bit about Scott calling you up as your dad. That was classic."

Caroline smiled as she said, "I put it in my private one."

Bob left the room and Caroline got back to she felt a single tear roll down her face.

My post will be up before 11PM EST. Touch up work is being done now.
Have a rough draft in place just need some tweeking to be done. 24-48 hours.
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