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The 'Droids in Question

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Lestrade opened a cardboard box in a warehouse that, according to his intel, was supposed to be empty.

The box was packed full of smartphones. Lestrade recognized them as the missing Android shipment.

"That's one smuggling ring that won't be getting their goods any time soon," Anderson said smugly from where he was lifting prints off the several-days-old body of the warehouse guard. He finished and slipped the corpse's skin back onto its hand like a glove. "Looks like we have a closed case. No psychopaths needed."

"Wrong." Lestrade jumped. Where the hell had Sherlock come from?! Sherlock made a dismissing move of the hand. "Those are not the Androids you are looking for."

"What?" Anderson said, obviously taken aback. "Where the hell did you come from? This is our crime scene!"

Sherlock made an annoyed tongue clicking noise. "This is a decoy stash. The majority of the shipment is elsewhere. Isn't it obvious?"

"No," Lestrade said, resisting the urge to rub his face. He'd touched the corpse too.

Sherlock pointed. "The corpse. It's three days old, and shows clear signs of decay in a water-rich environment, obviously chosen for its lack of immediately identifiable characteristics. Just look at the way the skin peeled off the hand. It hasn't rained in this part of town in over a week, and a closer inspection will reveal that the decomposed liquids have yet to sink into the concrete, hence the body has been in this location for less than a day." Lestrade signaled Anderson to look at the body. It was disgusting.

Sherlock made a wild all-encompassing sort of gesture. "This warehouse is in an area that belongs to a rival smuggling ring. Marks on the floor indicate that something was deposited here recently; the scoring on the concrete is sharp, but contains little dirt or decoloration. The general dustiness of this warehouse indicates that prior to this recent activity, this place was abandoned for a long time. And a shipment this large would be heavily armed. Even if there were only one guard, why were the phones not taken when he was killed? They can't have been blind. Also, most of these boxes here are filled with something amorphous, probably sand; just look at the way they bulge; the sides of the boxes containing the phones are straight, because no one wants to damage anything so expensive by accident. So, why would the smuggling ring set up a decoy here? To throw us off their trail and to hinder their rivals, of course."

Sherlock looked so smug that Lestrade felt oddly obligated to point out that they knew this already. Sherlock gave him an annoyed look and told him he knew where the rest of the phones were.

"Alright then, where is the actual shipment?" Lestrade asked. Sherlock turned and ran out of the warehouse. "Follow him," Lestrade snapped at Sergeant Donovan, who sighed, looked down sadly at her sensible choice of footwear, and took off after everybody's least favorite consulting criminal.

"Mark and bag everything!" he called to the rest of his team. "We're moving out!"