Extra credit story
Murder in a Cartel
“Look at how beat up this body is” Brent muttered aloud to no one in particular as he paced the room trying to put two and two together. Mr. Fernando may not have been a saint, but he certainly didn’t deserve this death.
“Where are the techys Jason”, Brent asked
“Carl and Bob? Outside in the garden running some tests last time I saw them”
He slowly walked through the library of Mr. Fernando’s estate. It isn’t everyday that a billionaire is killed in his own study. He earned his keep through oil, quite a scarce commodity in this part of Narnate, with only one real competitor who had just recently entered into the oil industry. Fernando was a cut throat business man, a reason he did so well. Even so, he wasn’t hated by the community, rather respected. He was a strong contributor to charity and research organizations. The respect was well earned.
Crossing the courtyard and descending the marble staircase he saw the makeshift lab that the two boys had thrown together in the back. Lifting the white tarp that made the door, Brent stepped inside.
“How long has he been dead?”
“About a day, taking into consideration the air temp, his current body temp and the way the …….”
“A day, that’s all I wanted to know” he cut in, “Thanks guys”
Turning back the way he came he was nearly at the door when Bob spoke.
“He wasn’t just killed, he was passionately beaten. Who would do such a thing Brent” Bob rattled off as fast as he could with a high pitched whine that fit his perpetually nervous mood.
“Truthfully? I have no clue.”
Brent always thought better on the road, there was something about driving that relaxed his mind and let him think. The hills rolled by and soon enough he was pulling into the city. The drive had taxed what little gas he had and seeing the 1.60 premium gas sign, he pulled into Fernexico to fuel up. Stepping out of the car he swiped his card and tried the pump. It wasn’t working. He tried again to no avail. He turned to go inside and that’s when he saw the closed sign in the window.
“Why are you closed? It’s a Wednesday morning?” he called to the grease monkey that was sitting outside the door.
“All Fernexico’s are shutting down. Fernando’s will is in effect now and he wanted all of his assets to be liquidized and given to charity. Every station in town is closing down. You will have to go across the street to MobilRyan’s if you want to fuel up.”
Another motorist who was having the same dilemma chimed in from the other pump “Man, I was just getting used to paying 1.60 a gallon too. Guess it was good while it lasted, wish it was longer then a day though. I’m not looking forward to the 2.40 MobilRyan is charging. Can you imagine how much money I could save if ……..”
Brent was no longer listening to the conversation the other two were having. The wheels were working in his head and things were starting to come together. One day ago prices were lowered. One day ago Fernando was murdered. It all was falling into place.
“Dispatch, send a man over to Mr. Ryan’s estate and have him taken to the station. Also, get a copy of the companies financials for when I arrive. Put him in interrogation room C, over”
His car was parked behind the station 20 minutes later. With a coffee in hand Brent looked over the financial statements to his satisfaction and entered into the interrogation room.
“That was a pretty brutal way of killing him. We are lucky the butler was outside the door when he first heard the commotion or he wouldn’t have had the urge to eavesdrop.” Brent lied. “Now we know who the killer is, all I have to explain is why. It’s actually easier then I thought it would be. When you came into this business a year ago you entered into a cartel with Mr. Fernando. He agreed because he saw it as the best thing for the business, and he didn’t know how you would react. Just yesterday he broke the agreed price of 2.40 and dropped his price considerably lower than yours, taking away your sales, something you couldn’t afford. See I looked over your financial plan, and you have a considerable amount of debt. With a few calls I was able to figure out that if your price was any lower than 2.40 you would default on all your loans. Mr. Fernando seized the opportunity to make an extra profit, and maybe even force a competitor out of business. You just couldn’t let this happen could you. You had to stop him, and you did just that.”
“My whole life was put into this business; I put every penny that I owned into it! I wasn’t about to let it all go because he wanted to have a monopoly over the market! I took it into my own hands!”
“I think that just about settles it.”