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Investigating the Reserves

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1 Investigating the Reserves on Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:07 pm

Gareth shuffled through the papers he had been given while standing just inside the dust storeroom. He had the mission to help out the mines keep track of the reserve supply of dust for the academy. All the numbers were on the second sheet he had, but he quickly did his recount on another sheet to make sure he didn’t miscount anything.

He did seem to be short on a few crates.
A few too many crates for it to be a simple error.
Gareth took a breath and examined the storeroom more carefully. It was mostly in order. He walked the shelves, feeling for any spot that was misaligned or moved recently. There didn’t seem to be anything conspicuously wrong and there weren’t any gaps in the boxes. So it wasn’t raided or anything quick and intrusive. If there were any misdeeds, it was probably an inside job. Or a subtle intruder. Or someone had been falsifying numbers until this last report. (Or someone just screwed up badly.)
Gareth stopped at a pile of recent additions to the storeroom. There was a space for new boxes to be added at the end, as it should. He knelt beside it. Near the other boxes, there were faint marks on the ground like something had been there and was moved from the end of the stacks. He frowned as he considered this.
Gareth stood and brushed himself off.
First things first, he should turn in the sheet.

Gareth told the mine foreman about the discrepancies and the evidence he found.
He figured the most optimistic answer was just someone moved a shipment and didn’t file the new numbers yet.
The foreman’s concern quickly proved the optimistic answer was once again wrong.
“Do you have any suspicions?” Gareth asked evenly. “Maybe Anyone with after-hours access to the area?” The fact that there didn’t seem to be any evidence rush or violence meant someone had a lot of time or no concerns about being spotted taking dust out.
The foreman scratched his chin and considered it, but shook his head. “Maybe one or two, but nothing really.” He groaned to himself and shook his head. “There’s going to have to be a whole investigation and—” The foreman stopped. He looked up at Gareth.
“You’re a hunter, right?”
“I, uh,” Gareth said wittily, caught off guard by the question and the sense he was about to get into more than just an inventory check. “Kind of?”
“Could you look into this?”
Gareth put up his hands. “Well, I’m actually still training and perhaps the police would be better—”
“You don’t have to do anything,” the foreman quickly said. “Just look around a bit more. Keep an eye out.”
Gareth considered this. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll investigate a bit more. I’d recommend starting to fill out the police report, though.”
“Thank you,” the foreman said emphatically. “This really means—”
“Maybe don’t thank me unless I actually find something,” Gareth interrupted.
“Fair enough.”

Stakeouts were boring.
That is what Gareth learned from this.
The foreman gave him permission to sneak around the mine and offices and store areas, but so far he hadn’t discovered much. He had marked a couple of the new crates of dust and a couple of old ones, near the tops and edges of piles. (Which seemed to be the thief’s pattern to keep things inconspicuous.)
But so far, no one suspicious walked out of the storeroom with any kind of crates all day, just as the shipping manifest ordered.
Gareth was tired and bored.

He was starting to nod off when someone finally exited the storeroom.
They had a cart of crates.
Some of the crates had things like trash or cleaning supplies, but Gareth could see some of his small marks he made earlier that day.
So the janitor was sneaking out crates of dust with his office rounds.
Gareth watched the janitor leave the premises with the cart and dust, carefully and quietly walking along the main paths to keep the janitor in view.
Technically, his mission was done. Find the primary suspect.
But could he really say he investigated if he didn’t even know where the suspect went with them, what happened to them, and who it might have ended up with?
The answer was “probably”, but not the answer Gareth was going with.
He followed the janitor.

It was dark and secluded where he followed the janitor to.
It seemed the janitor had been delivering the dust to a group of shady people. Gareth eased into a shadow to observe the group.
They exchanged money, though Gareth couldn’t quite make out all of their faces. There were five people, including the janitor. He considered what he might do with this information. Obviously, the janitor was busted since they already had all the information on him. These other guys though, unless he could pick them out of a lineup or the police came up with something clever, they might not get caught.

Suddenly someone jerked Gareth back by the collar of his jacket. They threw him out of his hiding spot and on the ground.
There were six.

Gareth scrambled to his feet.
The other five were now also glaring at him.
Gareth gave an awkward wave. “Hi, uh. I think I took a bad turn,” he said cautiously. “Do any of you happen to know where Garland Avenue is?”

They didn’t buy that.
He got beat up.

“Stupid thugs,” Gareth grumbled as he pulled himself back out of the pond they threw him into and back onto solid ground. “Stupid heroics.”
He sprawled out flat on his back and pushed his wet hair out of his face. He let out an annoyed huff. “This is what Academy training is good for,” he said aloud to no one. “Getting beat up by thugs that probably haven’t even seen a Grimm!”
Gareth halted his complaints as he suddenly had an idea.
He burst out laughing and pushed himself up.
It was a stupid idea, but it might just work.

The ferocious roar split the air of the otherwise quiet local.
The thugs froze as they heard it, backing up towards each other nervously.
A wolf-like monster charged into the scene slamming down in the midst of them all and blocking them off from the stolen dust supply.
“Shoot it!”
“I’m getting out of here!”

There was quite a commotion as the thugs fired wildly and shoved each other out of the way to flee as fast as they could as the wolf-beast jumped back and forth, roaring and swiping and dodging shots.
Gareth grinned to himself, happy he could finally make use of that unfortunate resemblance.
In no time all the thugs had run off and his summoned semblance plopped down without circumstance now that it had no need to act scary anymore.
“Way to go, Hati,” Gareth said, claiming the cart of dust and unsummoning the beast.
Time to return the stolen property and make his report.
He grinned the whole way back.
Score one for Gareth.

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