We went to the next logical place, the Orion fire department. Orion is a sleepy town when it comes to flaming buildings, the fire fighters are more famous of getting cats down from trees than extinguishing deathly, spreading flames. Fittingly, when we walked into the station, they were all in their rubber boots and suspender pants playing poker around a table. There was a Dalmatian dog, old and too tired to acknowledge us, asleep underneath the table.
“Hey kids, what can I do for ya?” one of them asked barely taking his eyes off his hand of cards.
“Um,” I started but then realized that I had nothing to say. Um, we think that your fire department is corrupt and may be working for some serious evil-doers who are responsible for the disappearance of our friend. A little too forward, I think.
Luckily I was interrupted by an eruption at the table. One of the younger men had one the game and was wrapping both arms around the chips that were piled in the center of the table. He gloated, unsure of himself still. “Watch it, Rookie, or we’ll make you clean the bathrooms again,” laughed our guy who was interested in us again. “I’m sorry, what was it you needed?”
Nia jumped in to save my bumbling drivel. “We are writing an article for the Endeavor High Newspaper. We just wanted to take a look around if that’s alright with you.” He told us “of course” and sent us on our way with a wave of his hand, glad to get back to the heckling of his co-workers.
We walked around and it was Hal who spotted the wall of photographs. Every year was documented with a group photo in front of the station. “Look, this was the year of Fitzgerald’s attack.” We looked at the photo. “Is that Stark Craven?” We all squinted a little closer. It looked like he was the chief. “That’s impossible, he was in high school and this guy looks exactly like he looks now.”
“Exactly the way he looks now,” Nia leaned in closer and the mysterious man in the photo smiled back.