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Smile For The Camera, Please!

Smile for the camera, please!
Jules — 14 Sep 1998, 8:14 AM

"My apologies for not being at the station to meet you, Mr Locarno. But as you can see, I was unavoidably detained."

Marshall Tuvok sat upright in a chair, looking across his desk at his fellow lawman, who had adopted a much more casual sprawl in his own posture. But his grey-blue eyes were alert and businesslike as he said, "No problem. I understand that you've been having some difficulties. And I regret that the business which brings me to town is likely to add to them. Shall we get down to it?"

He reached into his briefcase and brought out a handful of photographic plates, which he laid out delicately in front of the Marshall. "The Krenim Gang. Or at least their principals. Kid Obrist. Annorax Heyes. Wheat Carlsson."

Tuvok picked up the first of the photographs and studied it. "How did the Hirogen Detective Agency obtain these, Mr Locarno? I can hardly suppose that the Krenim Gang would be obliging enough to walk into a photographic studio and pose for their portraits."

The other grinned roguishly. "Actually, that's more or less what they did. Photographer was taking family portraits at the county fair in Garenor last month. The Krenim Gang were milling around, trying to lose themselves in the crowd, having hit the Garenor City Bank earlier that day. I guess that they didn't see any harm in standing just where they did, beside the photographer's stall, but one of our detectives recognised them from the descriptions given by the bank tellers and persuaded the photographer to turn his camera round a little. They got away, but at least we now know what they look like."

"Indeed," agreed the Marshall, continuing to study the photographs. Only the self control that he had spent a lifetime schooling himself in prevented him from raising his eyes to re-read the erroneous descriptions on the bank robbers' wanted posters above Locarno's head. He knew the wording off by heart and had no need to refresh his memory, but it was a natural reflex all the same.

"And you believe that they will strike here - in Voyager City - next?"

Nicholas Locarno shrugged. "I'm the errand boy. I go where they tell me to. But our intelligence suggests that yes, the Krenim Gang are very likely to consider Voyager City an inviting target. There's a lot of money coming into town this week, with that big race meeting of yours. It would tempt any bank robber. I doubt that the Krenim Gang will be able to resist that temptation."

"You are most probably correct. I will keep a vigilant eye on the activities of the town throughout the period of the festivities. Is there any particular assistance you wish me to render you in your attempt to apprehend them, over and above this?"

Locarno picked up the photographs one by one. "Just one. You could introduce me to the bank manager. If we're to get these men, I'm going to have to work pretty closely with him."

"Her," corrected the Marshall.