“It looks pretty convincing to me.” Said Clemens.
“We have had a lot of practice. However I’m not going to comment on the body yet. Not until everybody is here.”
The last to arrive was Somarliðr who was slower than the other guests.
Once he had arrived Quincy looked around, clapped his hands, and said, “You may begin now.”
Zosi knelt down near the fake corpse with Isaac standing just a little behind him. He had put on gloves and examined the body slowly without touching it yet.
“Cursory examination shows that the victim was likely drowned, although that looked obvious it is good to confirm such things. The victim is showing signs of water wrinkles which likely means he spend a signifiant length of time understand, probably before his death.”
There were nods of acceptance from the other people.
“There are marks on the victims wrists, he must have been restrained.”
Marylou had gotten closer as well and she knelt down and placed a finger in small pool of water that Nitzan was laying in. She then brought it to her lips and frowned, “Salty, this must be sea water.”
There were confused looks from everybody as they began to try and puzzle out what had happened.
Demetra then pointed something out. “Look, in his hand. A crumpled paper. Zosi, do you think you can pull it out.”
Zosi nodded and gently pulled apart the fingers of the corpse and lifted up the wet crumpled piece of paper. Then he read it aloud, “With you my revenge is almost complete. Soon your partner will join you.”
There was some suprised muttering but Clemens was the loudest, “What does that mean, your partner?”
Quincy had a dangerous looking sparkle in his eyes, “It looks like our murderer wishes to perform a double feature. How daring of them.”
“A double feature?”
Demetra answered, “It means that the murder things they can get away with a second crime and still not be discovered. I truly difficult task.”
Qunicy nodded, “Very true. So far nobody has ever succeeded in getting away with a double feature. Because of that is has been a while since anybody has tried.”
Zosi was still examining the body while this discussion was going on, “If I had to wager a guess at the time of death I would say about five hours ago. Although the murderer must have gotten their hands on him much earlier than that. The victim must have been submersed for a signifiant portion of time too, three hours I’d estimate.”
Clemens checked his watch. It was currently a little after 1pm. “That means his time of death would be at 8am.”
“Indeed it would.” Said Qunicy he clapped his hands together, “Anything else you can find Zosi?”
“Nitzan wears special excise clothes while working out and he is not wearing them. This seems to be his normal clothes instead. It is pretty clear that this location is not the scene of the crime, the murderer left the corpse here with the intent that it would be found. Since Nitzan is very often in this location in the morning it seems like the first place people would look when trying to find him.”
“Somarliðr, any other apparent clues in the room?” Asked Qunicy.
Somarliðr has been looked around the other parts of the gym. “Nitzan’s gym clothes are in the lockers. However there is no signs of a struggle.”
“Curious.” Said Quincy.
Severina shook her head, “Not weird.” She then paused as other people looked at her. She didn’t talk must but finally under the gaze of the others she said, “Who among us could fight Nitzan and win? None of us. Even with a weapon it might be impossible. Either he was surprised or tricked.”
Isaac nodded, “Very true. Among his many talents he also trained in martial arts. Truly brawn and brains. You are very true that any direct confrontation with him would be doomed to failure. Even in the worst case for him he would be able to escape and tell people about the attempted murder. The murderer must have used guile to capture him.”
Marylou was looking at the bond marks on Nitzan’s arms, “Even restrained and maybe drugged he would difficult to move. I doubt I could carry him more than a few feet.” She looked over at all of the members of the murder mystery association, “Another than Quincy I don’t know if any of us could do that without a dolly or similar.”
“Don’t look at me like that. I’m not any stronger than most of you and even if the Deep Sea Diving port is close that would still be an incredible pain.” Said Quincy trying to deny the claim.
There was more muttering then Demetra said, “Deep Sea Diving huh. I suppose that seams logical if he is covered in sea water. However that seems too simple. Why try him up, drown him out in the ocean, and then bring him back here. Seems like a lot of effort.”
Marylou touched her chin for a second and then said, “We should go see the entrance there and check if it has recently been used. Maybe that will give us a clue to who the murderer is.”
There were nods all around and the group headed to the watery entrance to the resort. It only took a few minutes to arrive there since it was close to the gym.
Marylou went over to the activation panel and messed with it for a moment before saying, “Do you want the good news or the bad news?”
“What do you have?” Asked Qunicy.
“Within the last twenty four hours there are been only two uses of this exit to the base. The first was at 5:15am when Nitzan left the resort. Then three hours at 8:20am he returned. Nobody else came or went before, after, or during.”
“What does that mean?” Asked Clemens.
Isaac was writing little notes on his small notepad and answered, “There are two options in my mind. Either Nitzan actually went outside for exercise and was ambushed on his way out of the ocean or the murderer has another way in and out of the resort.”
Marylou shook her head, “Unless Nitzan deliberately went outside wearing wrist bonds it seems impossible for him to have went outside of his own free will. Those kinds of markings take time to form.”
Isaac looked contemplative before speaking, “Unless the bonds were post death. There is a five hour gap between when he died and when the body was found. That would be enough time to cause that kind of bruising even for a corpse.”
“This all seems kind of complication to me.” Said Clemens who wasn’t really following all the different threats of logic that were being discussed.
Qunicy and Demetra were standing back with Clemens and letting the others discuss the issue. Demetra said, “Right now we are throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. Figuring out what could have been possible and what is likely and what is unlikely.”
Qunicy nodded, “Yes and we must also stay ever vigilant for lies. After the the murderer is among us and could be trying to lead us astray. Don’t take anybodies testimony as true fact. The murderer could be lying to protect themselves. For example maybe Zosi lied about the time of death to give himself an alibi or Marylou hide the fact that she had also left the resort. While I don’t expect the murderer to lie quite that brazenly that is the type of think to keep an eye our for, things that could be false.”
“Ah, right, Somarliðr tried to warn me about that too. That you all are experienced actors because of these events and that I should watch out for anything strange.”
Quincy and Demetra both nodded in approval. The other had devolved into minor arguing about different possibilities and which was more likely than the others. With a simple clapping Quincy silenced them and said, “Alright everything you will have plenty of time to argue your case later. But the more important thing is first. It is time for Alibis. Lets head back to the entrance hall and remember to stick together, no letting people wander off to destroy evidence.”
A few minutes later everybody was gathered in the entrance hall in the circle of chairs. There was one less member here today then the last time since he was still laying back in the gym unconscious.
There was some quiet unease as they sat the glancing at each other.
“Alright everybody, since I’m calling you all here to explain your alibis I guess I will start first. I believe the times in question are between 4:30 am and at least 9am potentially later depending on how people think the murder took place.” Said Qunicy dramatically, “Now the second part is easy, I meet up with Marylou in the observation room at 9am and we played several games against each other and we were just about to stop playing when we were alerted to the murder.”
He looked over toward Marylou who nodded and said, “Yes, that is correct.”
“Now prior to that I don’t have many solid alibis. I woke up at approximately 7:30 am in preparation for my games with Marylou and headed to the observation room at a little after that. On the way there I passed by Zosi in the this very room.”
Zosi nodded but clarified, “I do remember that but I was extremely sleepy at the time so I can’t vouch for the exact time that we met, only that it was around then.”
Quincy said, “And unfortunately that is the whole story since it was so early I hadn’t expected the murder to happen then and didn’t guard myself close enough. It is a failure of mine.” He then sat back down and motioned for the next one to speak.
There were sitting in the same order as the first day so Demetra was next to speak. She had a lazy smile on her face when she said, “I hadn’t yet slept during that time. I had stayed up enjoying myself and during the last portion I was entertaining Zosi who is a lightweight and stopped too early.”
She paused and then said, “As for exact times, Zosi joined around 5am and managed to last until 7am when he abandoned me to return to his room. After that I too was feeling a bit tired but I went to sleep in one of the booths. They just felt so comfortable.”
Zosi again nodded saying, “Yes that is true, at the very least I remember that the start time is correct. Again my later memories are a bit fuzzy so I’m not exactly certain what time we ended at.”
Isaac was next. “I’ll go backward since that makes more sense. I had planned to meet Nitzan at noon in the theatre to watch an old movie but he never showed up. I arrived at the theatre at 11am and when I did Severina had already locked herself away with her movie. As for before that I regret to admit that I am not an extremely early riser. I got out of bed at around 9:30am so I was sleeping alone during most of the times mentioned. However when I took the lift down to the first floor I was joined by Clemens who seemed to also share my sleep schedule. After that we nabbed some breakfast before I left to visit the theatre.”
Clemens was the one to agree this time. “Yes, I head down at 9:45am every morning and I was joined by Isaac this time. Since we were both hungry in the morning we went for breakfast.”
Severina was next in line. She pondered for a moment before finally saying, “No alibi. I was in the theatre all night. Since I was alone nobody can confirm my story. Next.”