Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Hand of Crete

October 2, 2016,
01:47 local time,
Commercial Portland,
Paphos, Cyprus, Aramean Empire

“I’m telling you,” said Ischyros of Lentas, whose fishing trawler had pulled into the port of Paphos earlier that night. “I don’t know how it got there.”
“We’ve come across a lot of strange things sweeping up a ship,” said Rhys Imas, a detective with the Paphos Port Authority, “but a hand?”
“Ships catch a lot of things on their journey,” said Ischyros, the burly man struggling to maintain his composure as fatigue set in. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had a hand get discovered on the hull of my ship, but there it is.”

Imas folded his arms, refusing to believe Ischyros’ story.

“Look, if I would have known you’d given me a hard time I wouldn’t have reported it to you,” said Ischyros, letting out a huge sigh. “Do you think that if I murdered someone that I’d so readily call the police?”
“Actually,” said a voice coming in and entering the discussion, “there are a lot of criminals who would report this kind of stuff thinking it would throw off the police from their scent…for exactly the same reason you just provided.”
“…and who are you?” said Ischyros, exasperated as he had now been dealing with officers for over four hours.
“Omarosa Ri,” said Omarosa, of Akkadian descent. “I’m a licensed forensic investigator who consults regularly with all levels of Aramean police.” Though the bronzed brunette had a lean physique, her muscles were well developed, giving her a strength she looked like she shouldn’t have. “I’ve been called in by the Port Authority to examine the hand.”
“By all means,” said Ischyros. “Do so. Maybe you can give me some answers.”

She put on a pair of rubber gloves and took the hand out of the plastic bag and began examining. That scratch mark is obviously from where it caught a divot somewhere along the underside of the boat. Looks like the divot stopped the hand in its tracks, as there’s a long scuff mark indicating that it floated for a bit before coming to a stop along the divot.

“What’s your name?” said Omarosa approaching Ischyros.
“Ischyros,” said Ischyros. “I’m a fisherman…I come to Paphos every week to sell my fish at the market. I was examining my boat as I usually do and…there I saw it.
“Did you ever notice a ‘bump’ or something while you were travelling?” said Omarosa, looking on with interest.
“I kind of get a lot of ‘bumps’,” said Ischyros with incredulousness. “She’s a beaut,” he continued, referring to his ship, “but she’s an old beaut…lots of things ‘bump’ into her.”
“OK, fair enough,” said Omarosa, nodding her head. “Where did you find it on the boat?”
“The keel,” said Ischyros, “near the bow of the ship.”
“Thank you,” said Omarosa.

Omarosa then observed the keel of the ship and then re-examined the hand. There’s the line that shows the hand caught one part of the keel and eventually settled at the end of it. It does appear like it caught the keel from a perpendicular angle, as there’s a slight diagonal section to the scuff mark. Since the trip from Lentas to Paphos is mostly an east-west trip, the hand had to have caught the ship while it was floating southward, and that only happens when the ship would meet the current originating from northern Crete and travelling easterly before dipping southward and back around the island. Also, the hand looks like it had been at sea for quite some time- it’s not congruent with any possibility that Ischyros threw someone overboard and their hand caught the keel of his ship.

“I’m going to say the time of death for this hand was sometime on September 25,” said Omarosa firmly, “and it hit your ship on September 28. Can you account for your whereabouts on those three days?”
“Of course I can,” said Ischyros. “My ship’s got cameras…you can review the footage. You can see that for at least the last week I’ve had no one on my ship except for myself.”
“We’ll need that footage,” said Omarosa.
“You…you don’t think I did it, do you?” stammered Ischyros.
“Well,” said Omarosa, comfortable that Ischyros was not the suspect, “the hand, just from the state of decomposition, appears to have been floating for quite some time, originating possibly from a place near Knossos. That’s in the north side of Crete, as you know, and you are from the south of Crete. I don’t want to give you false hope, but, from a logical standpoint, I don’t think you’d have a lot of reasons to be near Knossos, simply based on your profession. The tape will settle that for us.”
“I’ll give you the tape right away,” said Ischyros, happily.

“Thank you,” said Omarosa, “then you can go.”