Ray Sullivan publishes science based fiction adventures on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith and other good eBook retailers as e-books. Additionally all of his books are available in paperback on Amazon. He also muses on technology, posts comedic books in serial format and discusses the world of self publishing.
Books written by Ray Sullivan
Monday, 7 January 2013
Parallel Lives chapter 42
Alfred Makeson, the Coroner covering the death of the
worker, was not amused. That much he had made Alan’s boss aware of, absolutely.
‘This report has thrown the whole case into disarray,’ he
ranted, ‘and is putting the inquest into doubt.’ Alan’s boss, his senior by two
grades, made noises and grunts throughout the phone call, promising to
investigate and report back as soon as humanly possible. The problem was, he
had been unaware of the re-submitted report until the Coroner had called him at
home. Departmental protocol insisted that a substantial change to such a report
should be run by him as a matter of routine: that this one hadn’t wasn’t in
itself a major surprise, as most of his senior investigators would point to the
obvious subjectivity of the ruling.
Alan had, of course, caused his boss a certain amount of
concern over the years. Hardly a team player, his drinking and lecherous
attitudes being well known, his generally dishevelled appearance coupled with
the pervading smell of stale alcohol, garlic and whatever Alan had fallen in
the previous night were all issues that he had had to contend with. In
mitigation the high standard of reporting when he could be persuaded to
actually write something, Alan’s renowned ability to spot the cause of an
accident, his ability to identify companies that were hiding evidence and his
generally successful rapport with those in industry who he worked with made him
the star of the enquiry team despite his shortcomings.
The original report, the one he had read the previous week,
had detailed how one person had been actively involved in the maintenance of
critical safety components for the past two years, and that there were strong
indications that the components may not have been changed over this period
despite documentary evidence that the person claimed to have done so.
The new report, it appeared, implied that there may have
been some mis-reporting of the components changed, but failed to confirm that
the same person had been solely involved over the suspect period. In fact the
report now could be read to imply that the person previously considered to have
been under suspicion may not have acted irregularly at all. So much wasn’t an
issue, except perhaps for the fact that the report was so badly rewritten the
Coroner had needed to make assumptions all the way through. What had riled the
Coroner was that the inquest had been brought forward on the basis of the first
report. In fact he had reluctantly agreed to bring it forward some weeks ahead
of normal schedule, exploiting a gap in the programme that had presented
itself, as a matter of urgency. Alfred did not like the smell of this and would
have liked to postpone the inquest on principle, if for no other reason. It was
only the distress it was likely to cause the family of the dead worker, who
would be unlikely to understand the protocols involved in these matters, that
had stayed his hand.
Climbing back into his bed, Alan’s boss decided that
tomorrow would be the day he and Alan had serious discussions. Stroking the
hump made by his wife’s inert hips, he turned off the light and rapidly slipped
back into his slumber. As he drifted he determined to himself that he would tackle
Alan immediately following the inquest scheduled for the following morning.