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Miss Murple
Fictional Character
"Hoxbomb"
Science Fiction
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Species: Snarre't
Nationality: Latimer
Occupation: Investigator

"Miss Murple"[1] was an investigator with the Snarre'i self-protection agency residing in Latimer on Lacanth C. She was part of the team that investigated the hoxbombing of newborn Sean Cravath.

Miss Murple was initially reluctant to participate in the investigation, but was ordered to by her superior, Sam Spud. She was immediately contacted by human investigator John Paul Kling, who reported that the victim's father encountered Snarre't about the time his mother became pregnant. While Miss Murple was initially insulted by this line of thinking, Kling quickly pointed out that hoxbombs were a Snarre'i weapon, and that she, as a Snarre', would be more likely to be able to track the hoxbomb. Miss Murple agreed with this logic.[2] They met at the hospital to compare notes. Kling informed Miss Murple that the Cravaths did not seem to have any enemies, and were simply blindsided. When Kling commented that they would have to track down everyone the Cravaths dealt with about the time Bev Cravath became pregnant, Miss Murple informed Kling that some hoxbombs were planted in a parent's genes years before the affected offspring were born. Kling was horrified by the possibility.[3]

Miss Murple obtained a tissue sample from the baby and provided it to lab technician Louie Pasture, who was relieved to see that the sample was more than sufficient to analyze. After some waiting, the tests revealed that the hoxbomb was a "Scrambled Egg 7", one of the oldest models of hoxbomb. Louis confirmed for Miss Murple that it was a simple enough weapon for even humans to build.[4]

She informed John Paul Kling, confirming that both species could use it, and that it was a bomb designed to damage a young fetus, and so would to have been used at the start of the pregnancy. After further discussions, she agreed to contact the Snarre't identified as having contact with the Cravaths, while Kling talked to the humans.[5]

Miss Murple met with Sharon Rock and Joe Mountain. She was an actress who appear in "lifeys"; he was a retired athlete and sometime actor. They had purchased a scooter from the child's father, Jack Cravath, not long after Sean was conceived.[6] Both explained that they liked humans because humans didn't recognize them as celebrities, and thus basically left them alone. Both were also quite insistent that they had nothing to do with the hoxbombing. Miss Murple didn't think they sounded or smelled like liars, but she also kept in mind they were performers.[7]

Kling contacted Miss Murple inform her that he'd collected a jacket from Petros van Gilder, a human person of interest. She requested that her people test the jacket for the hoxbomb as they could detect smaller traces of organics than humans could. Kling was suspicious, pointing out that the Snarre't had an interest in placing the blame for the hoxbombing on a human. When she challenged him, Kling relented slightly, agreeing to send part of the right jacket pocket, where van Gilder kept his hands prior to shaking Cravath's.[8] Then she met with Sam Spud, who hoped that van Gilder would be the culprit. He did not like the idea that the celebrities Sharon Rock and Joe Mountain were responsible for a number of reasons. However, when he told Miss Murple that couple had traded a brain for the scooter, both were forced to concede the possibility that they'd gotten rid of the brain to cover their tracks. Miss Murple alerted Kling. Kling agreed to look for the brain.[9]

Miss Murple returned to the lab and met with Louie Pasture, who confirmed that he found evidence of Scrambled Egg 7 in the jacket pocket; the human lab had found nothing. Miss Murple still had some reservations, but passed the information along.[10]

Kling promptly arrested Petros van Gilder, but fell dissatisfied with the outcome, primarily because he still needed to know how van Gilder had obtained the hoxbomb in the first place.[11] While reviewing the videostream at van Gilder's dealership, Kling found that Snarre't shopped there, but face-recognition software couldn't identify them. He contacted Miss Murple.[12] While she expressed reservations about looking at the images without smell, she agreed to try. After some time, she did recognize someone, and headed over to the human police department. On a larger screen she was able to recognize Sharon Rock's too perfect physique. Joe Mountain was with her. Both were meeting with Petros van Gilder. As the two detectives watched the video, Joe Mountain provided Sharon Rock the hoxbomb, and she in turn placed it in Petros van Gilder's jacket pocket. Miss Murple explained to Kling that the two were celebrities. Kling was darkly amused by the fact that in both species, the rich and the famous got away with the most egregious crimes. [13]

The two presented the video to Sam Spud. While he watched the video, he was still worried about Sharon Rock and Joe Mountain's status as celebrities. When Miss Murple argued that a sniffer could determine if they were lying or not, Sam Spud agreed, even inviting Kling along for the arrest.[14] The three headed for Rock and Mountain's home, but they were at the nightclub belonging to another Snarre' celebrity, Famous Janus. They arrested the two celebrities without incident.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Her actual name was "a collection of screeches and smells that don't translate well into humanstyle phonemes."
  2. See, e.g., We Install and Other Stories, loc. 1039-1095.
  3. Ibid., loc. 1118-1164.
  4. Ibid. loc. 1200-1245.
  5. Ibid., loc. 1245-1292.
  6. loc. 825-1090, loc.
  7. Ibid., loc. 1339.
  8. Ibid., loc. 1385-1397.
  9. Ibid., loc. 1408-1442.
  10. Ibid., loc. 1476-1488.
  11. Ibid., loc. 1488-1512.
  12. Ibid., loc. 1512-1523.
  13. Ibid., loc. 1523-1610.
  14. Ibid., loc. 1610-1646.
  15. Ibid., loc. 1646-1704.

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