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((Lab, FedSec HQ))
The scientist among them exclaimed loudly after consulting the lab analysis results.
Tahna: I've got it! It's a fungus, a mushroom, it was probably hidden as a powder or something in his food so he wouldn't notice it. The Gorak mushroom, have you heard of it, Agent? It's got enough potassium to make a human sick, though it probably wouldn't be enough to kill them.
Lynas: Gorak? It was an invasive species that was believed to be eradicated about twenty years ago.
Stoyer: I am guessing it would not have been hard to keep some of them.
Neathler: Or maybe someone kept them alive, grew them somewhere.
The Pelian's face scrunched up in thought, ears twitching. He tried to wrack his brain for the information he once read about the nasty little fungus. It had been years ago, during his medical school days and late at night, when he'd crammed for one particularly difficult exam.
Lynas: Ensign Tahna, does the field guide volume from Bisul's library mention anything else about the Gorak mushroom? Properties, uses?
Lynas: ::nodding his head:: I seem to remember there being some dissent when the eradication effort was going on. Some did not agree with it but I cannot remember why.
Stoyer: So it is likely that the mushroom has been kept for reasons.
Lynas: If someone were cultivating this species in secret, they might have hoped to use it as an unlikely poison that could defy detection. What if the recipe was part of a warning to Bisul not to ingest any baked goods for fear the Gorak poison could be introduced with that vector?
Stoyer: That is a possibility.
Neathler: Shouldn’t there be news articles around that could shed a light on who was against the destruction of the mushrooms?
Stoyer: Agent Lynas, what much dissent was there during the eradication process?
Lynas: I remember it was a minority of people. But they were a vocal minority and raised quite the protest.
The Pelian crossed to a wall panel and typed a question into the on-screen search box. After a few minutes of reading, he came away with a memory aided by the information in the computer archives.
Lynas: The Gorak indeed has medicinal properties for some species. Specifically Vulcanoids - Vulcans, Rigellians, ::pausing significantly:: Romulans.
Stoyer: Could this be a motive for the murder?
Neathler: That happened twenty years ago. That’s a long time to hold a grudge against someone. And I doubt Bisul was as high placed person back then as he was now.
Lynas: No, he would have been a lowly Melden back then. The largest organized protest group was called the Pelian Way. They believed the greater good would be served by preserving the natural Darime ecosystem. Many offworlders backed the movement.
Neathler: Agent Lynas, any idea where your wife and Bisul, regularly met each other?
Lynas: They enjoyed shopping at bookstores throughout the city and often stopped for lunch at a nearby diner, The Burrow. It ... ::awkward pause:: ... It was where I first discovered them together. ::pause:: But that is in the past now. Do you think someone might have seen Sylan recently?
Neathler: It’s in the details but Agent Lynas is correct. The notes are written by two different people. ::She paused briefly.:: So what was written by Bisul and what not?
Neathler: Cory, find the closest location of the meeting places Lynas mentioned. ::She gave a brief nod towards Lynas.:: Our priority is finding Synal. ::She stood up and looked at Meru.:: Do you still need anything from these labs?
Lynas: ::quietly, with a touch of annoyance:: Sylan. Her name is Sylan.
Lynas: Certainly. One last thing I should mention that has become relevant. Bisul's attendant mentioned in his interview that His Eminence was set to announce an understanding with our Romulan brethren.
Lynas: Apparently some of the Romulan colonists expressed an interest in converting to the Pelian faith. It would be a controversial step.