Murder, They Rolled
-said suspiscious things on radio to company
“Here’s how it happened.”
“We were coming on shift, yesterday afternoon.. me and Doug and the rest. I was looking forward to catching up on the messages. We got to the main cabin and everyone was all upset.”
“Lee was weeping.. the Captain was rushing around between the bridge levels looking for something.. Andy was out on deck somewhere and Jedidiah just looked smug. It was freaking crazy!”
“So Ed goes up to Pillai and asks what the problem is and they go into the radio room to talk. That’s my room, but it’s private. I had to hang around and try to find something to eat.. we always get the leftovers, on second shift.”
“Finally they come out and I go in to work. The captain said something about how he’d have a message for me to put through soon, to the Singapore office, but that he just has to go up to his cabin first.”
“I get set up and start playing back the recorded stuff from the day shift.. out in the main cabin people are going in and out.. and then everyone is yelling. Apparently, the Captain didn’t make it back from his cabin.”
“I told them that and answered a few questions. Actually, the way it works is that there’s an automated system – we work in GMT, so that’s when I’m awake. Most calls outside my shift are recorded.”
“If it’s a priority frequency, distress- there’s an alarm..”
“No. I haven’t heard one in weeks, since we came near a warning beacon for reefs in the Strait.”
Mike Dennison explains the basics of a radio operator’s job to James and Gary. The recording thing is pretty primitive- you can only play it back once.
Somebody could thus ‘delete’ messages by playing them before Mike got in. However, only he and Pillai had keys.
Mike: “I didn’t think to check… I could go and look. I might be able to tell from the tape spool positions.”
“Well. I reported the captain had fallen into the sea, and couldn’t be rescued.. headquarters put me through to ‘claims’ and told me to tell them everything.. um, what did they ask..”
“I think first the guy said, ‘was it foul play’? So I told him it was.”
“Then he asked if it was anything to do with the company operations, so I said yes, there was a lot of dispute over the cargo and whether to dump it.. then they asked- huh?”
“No, everyone agrees Pillai was killed. The railing’s been broken deliberately when he was pushed over. "
“[The Cargo]’s what they were yelling about when we got there, yesterday, and when I was in the radio room. Trying to concentrate.”
Mike: “No, it got broken when he was pushed.. I don’t KNOW who wanted what.” He’s still half-asleep, or just naive.