The Department doesn’t have a large Forensics facility. For the most part we leave the crime scene science to the experts but there are some kinds of analysis that they can’t help us with. There’s no point taking a hair sample to a regular lab and asking if it’s from a Werewolf or a Kitsune*. For that sort or work we have a small Lab attached to the Psychoactive Plants Lab beneath Kew Gardens. I parked Chris and Mycroft back at the Discordian Research Group labs and took the short cut from the Archive to the botany Library at Kew.
In spite of all you see on Television most real Forensic Scientists are specialists. Fingerprint technicians know little about gene sequencing and there’s not much of a cross over between toxicology and ballistics. Our Forensic Scientists are different. They have each mastered at least two branches of Forensics with an interest in a third. Which is handy because there’s only 3 of them.
When I got to the Lab only one of the Forensic team was in. Cherry Short doesn’t look like a scientist. She looks more like a professional showgirl. Or possibly an unusually short drag queen. Today she was looking fairly restrained for her with a bright purple bob, golden lipstick and false lashes on only the upper eye-lid. Beneath her lab coat she seemed to be wearing a scarlet strapless stretch mini-dress which she had paired with knee high lace up leather boots with 3 inch wedge heels.
“So what you got for me?” She said.
I put the Stick O’ Doom down on the bench in front of her. “Hopefully some DNA and a new project. Did you get the blood from the Aberdeen Murder victim?”
“Yeah. I wasn’t sure what you wanted done with it so I just did the usual. I haven’t found anything strange.” She said.
“I need you to sequence the DNA.” I said.
“The whole genome?” She said.
“Yep. Now inside this stick, behind the rubber tip, is a blade that has been in contact with someone’s neck. If there are any cells I want you to extract the DNA and sequence that too. Then I want you to compare the sequence from the stick and the one from the victim with each other and with a the human DNA database.” I said.
“Do you want the moon on a stick as well?” She said.
“Yeah, if you’ve got one handy. Look I’m not expecting it right now. And I know if there’s no cells on the blade then there’s nothing you can do about it. But this is important. I’m asking you to sequence the DNA of another species of Human.” I said.
Cherry’s eye’s lit up like the Oxford Street Christmas Lights. “Which one?” She said.
“Well they call themselves the Hob or Hobling. As far as I know there’s no Latin designation so you could get naming privilege.” I said.
“Right pop the blade and then go away. I need to be alone with Science for a while.” She said.
*Kitsune are Japanese shape changing fox spirits. Probably some kind of local Fae.