...“You’re here for the conference too, eh?” he asked.
Manos had seen a large poster at the airport boasting of the criminology symposium. Day one in Greece, and I’m already at a seaside crime scene. Tomorrow, a seaside criminology conference. No country for those with aversion to salt.
“Uh, I’m on vacation.”
“Mr. Manu is from the States,” explained the officer. “He’s with Interpol.”
“Interpol in America?” asked the captain.
“Interpol Singapore,” Bellas answered again.
“So, there’s Interpol in Singapore...” the older man said, as if to himself.
Manos cleared his throat. “Our Global Complex for Innovation is there.” His Greek, learned mostly in New York, was halting but correct.
The two natives looked at him, uncomprehending.
“My division is based there,” he said.
Manos could see thoughts of pay grades and rank flit across their faces and then vanish.
Coolly, the captain asked, “And Interpol sent you here?”
“We were just getting acquainted, and I asked him to come take a look,” said Bellas.
Captain Panagiotis gave them a sharp look, then shrugged his shoulders. “Someone goes down every summer,” he said.
The officer was staring at the water. “This one’s particular.”
Manos thought again of the volumes of import packages necessary for a neural system to detect the shoreline of Mykonos. Ornos Bay itself, to be exact. Millions of images. Trillions of pixels. A classifier for the seas. But where to get those image libraries? A bit bashfully, he took out his phone and took a shot of the aqua waves. Have to start somewhere.
Captain Panagiotis cut speed, deftly turning the wheel. The harbor boat obeyed, homing its course around the buoy. Standing in another boat just nearby, a man gave them a nod.
They had reached the corpse.
[From Chapter 36]
...“You come every summer, huh?” asked the Greek, rummaging in the little hatch of the inflatable dinghy for ropes.
“Really? How’d you find out about Ktapodia? First-timers only make it to Rhenia, or at most Tragonisi - never this far down.”
Knowing the other was looking for the cooler, Fischer contemplated him digging around without a word. All he found were ropes and a can of spray paint, which he gave a light shake before putting down.
“What’s this for?”
Fischer watched. Silently.
“It’s like those kids who do graffiti up in Athens! Or the guy who buried those two bodies at sea, I read it in the -”
The Greek shut his mouth. Too late!
Fischer made no reaction. He gathered up their face masks and swim fins, clutching his Riffe close to his side.
The Greek carefully replaced the spray paint. “Have you seen the... uh -”
The cooler was forgotten on the beach. With slow steps, Fischer went to fetch it, handing it to the Greek with a piercing stare. It was a mere flash, but it was enough. The two octopi went into the cooler. This was normally the most satisfying part of a fisherman’s day out, but an ominous cloud now loomed overhead.
Es muss sein! It must be!
For a fraction of a second, either outcome was possible. The Greek gathered up the ropes with a nervous smile, trying to stay calm. Fischer stood over him, ready to push the boat into the water. The seconds ticked by. Nothing happened.
“I use the spray paint for the buoys,” said Fischer. The outcome was sealed.
“I want whoever finds them to know why they died.”
The Greek went white. Ok, just talk. He thought. About something else, anything else! But only the murders came to mind, not pleasantries. It was just the two of them, late in the day, all alone on a remote islet. His opponent was the one with the weapon. Knew how to use it. But he clung to hope.
“Who? Who do you mean?”
Fischer smiled. The time for innocent queries had passed. The fisherman inwardly cursed himself. Why did I talk about the murders? It’s none of my business!
“I won’t say a word!” He spoke so sincerely only a madman would not have been convinced.