Chief Irons nodded. “He was…recommended to me after the imbroglio with that serial killer and those role-playing cards.”

“A psycho leaving playing cards at murder scenes like the goddamn Joker?” said Officer Kennedy. “Is that a joke? Tell me you’re joking.”

“Certainly not. This isn’t anything related to comic books, but my encyclopedic skills are once again of use to the boys in blue.” The speaker trundled in on a Roustabout-brand electric scooter, his face grave and bewhiskered, his head alternately bald and overflowing with greasy hair. “Sherwood Greg. Private graphic novel archivist, loremaster, licensed Pokemon breeder, guild leader, head of the Council of Twelve, and overall coordinator for Nerdicon, at your service.”

“This is Sherman Gregward, recommended to me personally by Chief Strong,” said Irons.

“An expert witness, huh?” Kennedy snickered. “Well I suppose if we’re looking into insights on fat nerds like our victim here…”

“Sherwood Greg, as I indicated, if you please,” said Greg with a confident flip of his head. “And yes, officer, I am being retained for my insights. I am sure that if the next victim is a boorish reprobate hiding behind a badge like a +2 amulet of strength, your services will be sought instead.”

“I’m pretty sure there was an insult under all those flabby nerd words,” said Kennedy. “Get off my crime scene.”

“Very well,” Greg said, beginning the laborious process of turning his scooter around. “But good luck identifying that guild symbol without me.”

“Hang on,” said Chief Irons. “What’s that about the symbol?”

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just the symbol of one of the most powerful guilds in the Dungeons of Krull MMORPG, the most popular online game of all time if you don’t count Bejeweled.”

“Why would someone paint it on the wall in the blood of a murdered nerd?”

Sherwood Greg cocked his eyebrows and tented his fingers, Spock-style. “That, Detective, is the right question,” he said. “It might interest you to know that not one month ago that guild–the Fireshields–was proscribed by the Dungeons of Krull team for massive illegal item duplication and laundering in-game gold mined in China. Players lost everything. And depending on what information you’d like to share, I’d wager that this victim of nerdur most foul was either a guild member…or one who reported on their illicit activity.”

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