Lieutenant Horatio “H” Caine pulled up to the scene, immaculate hair complimenting of a jaunty air of arrogance that marked him out as Miami’s top homicide detective. The day was just starting to warm up at Long Beach. The salty humidity stirred by a gentle sea-breeze promised the hope of another perfect day in paradise. Perfect that is if it wasn’t for the dirty business of death.
Stepping out of the car, Horatio swaggered over to the scene of the crime. A team of forensic specialists swarmed over the remains like an army of ants, analysing the sticky mess that dominated the lawn. White fragments, thousands of them, could be seen scattered in amongst the sea of internal fluids. The entire macabre location had been sealed off from any passers-by with the requisite miles of polices tape.
As his officers sought to record the visual evidence, cameras flashes popping like paparazzi at a Lindsay Lohan court appearance, Horatio looked past the immediate scene to the wall that stood behind it. It was tall, probably 10 feet, and made of stone blocks put together by hand. The type of extravagant designer architecture that he’d come to expect from the wealthy residents who lived in the area.
Cynicism running high, he reflected that he was unlikely to get much help from the local residents. Preoccupied with their own doubtful celebrity, they tended to spend their time socialising, yachting and playing polo down at the aptly named King’s Polo Club. Seriously, who played polo these days but English aristocrats and these pretentious doctors, lawyers and business men who in many ways considered themselves the royalty of America?
Detective Calleigh Duquesne extricated herself from the scene and, removing her mask and hood, she walked over to her boss.
“So tell me what we’re looking at?”, he prompted.
“Well notice those white fragments all over the scene? Forensics have determined that it consists of predominantly 95-97% calcium carbonate crystals, stabilized by a protein matrix. At first glance they all look flat, but over here you can see a bigger piece where the curvature is obvious.
Furthermore, this goo that covers the area is not just one homogeneous consistency. These yellow patches here tend to stick together more tightly into lumps, and around the rest is this more clear fluid that runs more freely. The yellow appears to be characterised by phosphorylated proteins, lipovitellins and phospholipids.
If I’m not mistaken, I would say that prior to death, these liquid contents would have been co-located on the inside of a three dimensional oval-ish structure with the white curved calcium carbonate encasing the lot.”
“So what you’re telling me, and let me get this right, is that what we have here is a giant egg?”, asked Horatio.
“That’s about the size of it sir”, she replied. “Even more strange, you can see over here a whole bunch of foot prints.
These ones are unmistakably hoof prints from a horse, while these ones over here are human. We’ve taken some plaster molds and will be checking the local sports shops, but for me, my money’s on them being riding boots.
I can’t quite understand why, but it looks like they were trying to piece the shell back together again. There are a whole bunch of fragments over in this corner that have been lined up together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle. Would be an impossibly hard one too, with no edges or pieces of sky to start from.
I think whoever it was must have realised that too and got spooked. They certainly left in an awful hurry. You can see there’s no human footprints leaving, only horse and they were going at a fair clip too.”
Bloody King’s polo club, Horatio thought to himself, why did they get involved? Well they’ve now got me to contend with. He rose from studying the footprints and looked into the distance. With a wry smile he said, “It’s not going to be easy”. Then whipping off his glasses, he turned to his deputy as said, “But we’re just going to have to take a crack at it.”