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This cache is probably different from any you have ever done. Only time will tell if trying something new actually works.
Do exactly what your mind tells you.
The sound of shattering glass rips you from a restless sleep and out of bed.
Instinctively you dive behind your nightstand, grabbing your side arm in the same motion.
Without making a conscious decision your eyes blink rapidly trying to adjust quickly to the once dark room. Now though, that room is being flooded by moonlight through a hole in the nearby broken window. Looks like those years in the academy and midnight drills actually paid off.
As your brain races to catch up to your body’s actions you begin examining the situation and putting your thoughts in order. The door to your bedroom is still shut, meaning you don’t have to worry about someone sneaking in without being obvious. It also means you don’t know who could be waiting for you to open the door on the other side.
The closet doors are swung wide open, just the way you left them, exposing your grey-scale rainbow of suits. Off-white, light grey, charcoal, slate grey, black, and many intermediate shades without names fill the space from left to right. Overall everything looks just as your left it. As you were trained to leave it. It’s all about controlling and knowing as much of every aspect of your environment as possible.In your own home, the most controllable environment there is, there is no excuse to ever be surprised. Surprises are never a good thing in your line of work. Like the surprise of being woken up in the early hours of the morning and finding an ammo box laying among broken shards of glass on your bedroom floor. The only good thing about that surprise was that the glass is on the inside of the room which lets you know it came in through the window and wasn’t dropped by someone who took a less than graceful escape to the outside. That was only slightly reassuring.
With your surroundings analyzed you begin to take on the next challenge. What’s in the ammo can? Is it a bomb just waiting to go off as soon as you open it? Perhaps it’s on a timer? Could it be some kind of gas that is already leaking and poisoning you slowly? Or could it be some local hooligan taunting you, much like your dreams have the past week. The only thing you know for sure is that it, in some way, relates to the case you are working on.
That stupid case. The root of all the terrifying dreams you’ve been having lately and long sleepless nights. It’s the force that makes heads turn, and causes coworkers to whisper when you walk into the precinct. The reason no one wants to talk to or be around you any more. The mystery that has haunted you for a little over a week. The dead geocachers.
It seems that someone has taken to slowly disposing of a local group of hobbyists that crawl, climb, scale, hike, and traverse multiple terrains using a GPS in search of tupperware, film canisters, magnetic key boxes, and ammo cans much like the one laying in front of you now. That’s all that you understand about the crazy hobby, or sport as many of them call it. None the less, people from your town were disappearing while searching for caches only to turn up dead. The sickest part is that the bodies turn up with a log shoved into their mouth with the FTF being credited to KacheKiller. Date and time included. How thoughtful.
You decide that opening the can is your only choice. If it is leaking gas you’re already inhaled enough to do some serious damage. If it’s a bomb on a timer there is little chance that the boys from the bomb squad could arrive in time. Besides if it was on a timer why set it for such a long time from the instant it crashed through the window, even though it had probably only been about 2 minutes from the time you were jolted from sleep. If it was set to detonate when it was opened you may welcome the reprieve from working on this seemingly dead end case.
You grab the olive green container and take seat at the end of your bed. Taking a deep breath you undo the clasp and pry open the lid. No flash. No bang. No puff of smoke. That was the good news. The bad news is that what you find leaves you scratching your head. A piece of notebook paper with a note. Time to put on your thinking cap.
[STAGE 1] Qverpgyl haqre cubar
[FINAL] Ynetr pbagnvare arne n ynetr fghzc