The cops greeted me with a smiling face and asked me to disembark from the aircraft. They took me aside for a talk where a thick beard mildly obese person named Mr. Job was waiting for me. Mr. Job introduced himself as the chief investigating officer of Dr. Rasley’s murder case. He extended his apologies for getting me of from the aircraft. He also said, to conceal my identity in relation to the murder case in front of other passengers and flight crews his staff lied to me that I needed to be contacted for visa issues. While conversing with him, I agreed to cooperate with his investigation and he assured me a free return flight ticket back to my homeland by the end of that day.
I didn’t think much and agreed to stay back till evening, however under one condition, I won’t leave the airport premises. Not sure why did I say so, but Mr. Job happily nodded to that.
Immediately, I texted my situation then to my family members and some of my colleagues who might be concerned about my whereabouts.
With all my luggage Mr. Job drove me with him in his car. He took me to a room inside the airport which seemed to be used for various types of interrogations by law enforcement authorities.
Then Mr. Job narrated how he and his team found me in relation to this case. After Dr. Rasley’s death, on checking the CCTV footages from the train and railway station they came to know about me. Initially they thought about me simply as a co-traveler of the deceased and ignored. However, at a later time in the process of their investigation when they came to know that Dr. Rasley couriered me just before is assassination they thought of interrogating me. By the time they reached at my hotel address I was away for my flight and they had to come all the way to the airport to complete enquiring me.
In the meantime, I informed Mr. Job all I knew about Dr. Rasley and also showed him the briefcase. His assistants started to photograph the briefcase something I had already done during my closed door investigation in the hotel room, but they were doing it in a much mature and professional way.
Few airport authority staff showed up then and argued with Mr. Job how can he proceed an interrogation on that airport without pre-informing them. Their exchange of words became bit loud gradually and they went out of the room to fix who was right and to what extent. Such bickering between police and airport staff, shook me in fear of possible expatriation from the airport premises, which I felt unsafe for me as it could have brought me in the telescope of Dr. Rasley’s assassinators.
It has been about 10 minutes, I am all alone in the interrogation room of the airport, neither Mr. Job nor the airport staff’s voice could be heard anymore. I felt like being in a true awkward situation, and for a moment I regretted about my decision to stay back to help the police. Some amount of suspiciousness was squirting out of my mind in regard to Mr. Job, how much should I trust him. I prayed to god, Mr. Job should not be connected with the wrongdoers associated with Dr. Rasley’s liquidation, otherwise I would be in grave danger. Moreover, the surplus agonising silence of that room with no window to see outside was paralysing me more emotionally. For a moment I even felt like being in a solitary confinement.
While puzzled with such whirly thoughts of whom to trust, one of those two cops returned with two cheese burgers and a bottle of chilled soft drink. Well that was an appropriate token of hospitality I needed at that moment, and appreciated happily. After that light snacks, I opened my laptop and tried to scan through various documents and photos I accumulated in relation to Dr Rasley’s murder. Then I thought of reviewing the particular research article which I found in the briefcase. So, I took the article in hand and slowly started to read through it, although superficially.
The article had multiple authors, Dr. Rasley being one of them and was about the effects of a particular medicine among aboriginal city dwellers who took the medicine as a part of their treatment for diabetes. Finally, I reached the last 2 pages of the article, dedicated for citing references.
Bibliography, although is a vital requirement for any publication, I always found it as the most boring part. I seldom go through it throughly, unless I really feel something in the article is fishy, contradictory or riveting, which sparks the urge to check back with the references. Same was true for that article in the briefcase too. While casually turning through those two page s full of references I felt something was unusual and after thoroughly scrutinising them it became apparent that the references didn’t belong to that particular article. To be sure, I tried to compare the same article on internet and found the bibliographic pages that were in Dr. Rasley’s briefcase were not the true component of that article. These references were from some other article. Unfortunately, I couldn’t dig out the host article to which those belonged. It was also possible that those were references to some unpublished article which would make it difficult further to find on the internet, but there was no way to be cent percent sure about it.
Why should Dr. Rasley put bibliographic pages of another article with that article? Did he do that purposefully to give me some hint or that was just a mere coincidence? Being haunted by these questions, I rescanned repeatedly over those 2 pages, full of references. Then my eye caught on the footer section of those 2 pages where the origin computer from which those were printed was mentioned, possibly by the default setting of the printer. Contrastingly, the footer section of other pages didn’t match to these last two pages. I called Mr. Job on his no. and informed him about it. He returned immediately and also found that astounding.
Part of the print in the footer line of those 2 bibliography pages was ‘/rash’, which I doubted as the name of the owner of the computer from where those pages arose. I asked Mr. Job if he can find someone called Rash, which might be the person’s first, middle or even the last name, and our only hope to solve this murder case. Although Mr. Job took my words seriously and informed his staff to look for the person named ‘Rash’, he depressed me a bit giving rise to the query if ‘Rash’ is the name of the computer the person might be using but not its host’s, because some people, instead of keeping their own name as their computer’s user account name, prefer using the following – ‘guest’, ‘pc’, ‘my pc’, ‘peace’, ‘my computer’, ‘display’ and so on. Such computer names gets printed in the footer region of printed pages in such cases.
Next part of this series can be found here: The briefcase story: part 5: men in sky mask
P.S: THIS ARTICLE IS A WORK OF FICTION, PRODUCT (COPYRIGHT) OF THE AUTHOR, ANY RESEMBLANCE OF CHARACTERS OR EVENTS IN ANY FORM WITH REALITY ARE PURELY COINCIDENTAL AND ACCIDENTAL.
Previous parts of this series can be found here-