The wharf Chief Beatcom had referred to was located close to the Hudson River. At the time, there were several unused buildings that remained fenced off from the public. Most of these buildings were old storehouses for expired meat packing or fishing companies and were scheduled for either renovations or demolition; as such, construction equipment was a common sight and the crash of various tools mere background noise by now.
The "accident," as Chief Beactom had put it, concerned one of the smaller warehouses that had once been the possession of a processed meat industry. A huge hole had been torn through one of the walls, causing the remaining three to sag dangerously. The roof had caved in, spilling chunks of tile all over the surrounding ground and the stench of rotten meat hung thick in the air.
"Ya call this an accident?" Centipede asked the Chief now, surveying the scene with wide eyes. Already, people were gathering around the sturdy fence that separated them from the catastrophe and a construction crew was hard at work removing the worst of the debris from the ground.
"Right now there's no evidence to suggest otherwise," the Chief replied. "That right, Mr. Galloway?"
A well-built man, garbed in the uniform of a construction foreman, nodded.
"Buildin' was scheduled for demolition in two days. Not sure, but I think somma my guys already set the blasts in the building, which is why we've kept this place deserted. Never know when you can get ahead of schedule."
"So, you're sayin' one of the explosives might've gone off?" Beatcom asked.
"That didn't happen."
The three officials turned to stare at Rin, who had accompanied Centipede as her demonic power and speed would be of great use to any potential injured folk. Now, the half-demon pointed at the destroyed building.
"If the explosives went off, where's the smoke?"
"Well, like I said," Galloway replied, "we don't know for sure if that's what happened."
"Then shouldn't you be checking into it?" Rin asked, glaring at Chief Beatcom. "Pardon me for saying so, but you're taking the fact that a building was destroyed pretty casually."
"Hey, hold on one-"
"Rin's gotta point, Chief," Centipede interjected. "Until we know for sure this was an accident, I want you an' yer precinct ta make sure there ain't some one runnin' around who gets a kick outta collapsing buildings."
"Yes, sir," Beatcom replied. "Hopefully, though, this will be an isolated incident."
"Hmmm..." was Rin's only comment. With a snap of her wings, she flitted over to the gaping hole and began running her hands over the jagged edges.
"Think she's on ta somethin'?" Galloway asked.
"Hope so," Centipede said with a grin as he watched his adopted daughter inspecting the scene. "That girl can track people down from halfway around the world."
"Yep. She found us, dinnit, she?"
"Er, Mr. Mayor?" Centipede turned to see that two of Galloway's workers had stopped their labor and drifted over.
"Uh, not to be rude or anything," a thin-faced young man stammered, "but, uh, where was Rin last night?"
"Well, sir, it's just..."
"It's just weird that somethin' weird like this could happen without anyone knowin' about it," another worker butted in. "Almost demonic, I'd say."
"Ya think Rin did this?" Centipede asked, frowning.
"All I'm sayin' is that I dunno anyone else who could knock down a building like that. It weren't no explosion and buildings just don't fall over like that, so-"
"So I must have done it." The two men nearly jumped out off their skin at the sound of Rin's voice. The young half-demon's ears twitched twice, signifying that she had heard everything the men had said and her eyes were mere slits of anger. "Come, if you're going to accuse me, do so to my face." Rin's upper lip peeled back, displaying her fangs.
"Easy, Rin," Centipede said, glaring at the two men. "They were just leavin'. And I'm sure they'll be careful 'bout sayin' who's guilty unless they got proof."
"Especially since making a false accusation can lead to jail time," Chief Beatcom added.
"Just sayin'," the more mouthy man said, holding up both hands, but refusing to look at Rin. "Just sayin'." He and his buddy retreated back to their fellows, some of whom were watching intently.
"Listen, miss," Galloway said, turning to Rin. "Whatever they're sayin', they're-"
""They were being honest," Rin said, cutting him off. "Don't trouble yourself with explanations, Mr. Galloway. And don't worry, I didn't destroy your building."
"Oh, hey now, I know that!" Rin faced the foreman, tilting her head slightly.
"Did you now? Well, you'd be one of the few."
"It's alright. This sort of thing doesn't even faze me anymore. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd rather not waste a summer day stuck on the ground." Rin ran a short distance, jumped, and was soon lost in the sky.
"Chief," Centipede said after a moment had passed, "I hope yer right 'bout this bein' a one-time thing."