AQ – 02 – Old Enemies become New Friends

Jonathan’s eyes fluttered open.  His head was pounding and the cotton mouth had returned, but it had a metal taste to it now, a taste of iron.

He licked his lips and realized that there was dried blood on his lips.

“Greetings, Let us try this again,” said the voice of Osama Bin Laden floating in the air 5 feet away.

Jonathan’s brain was not cloudy any longer.  He smiled at the gangly old man and said, “Yes, let’s do that.  You can start by untying my arms and legs.”

Jonathan was strapped to what was a wall from his current perspective.  It could just as easily be a ceiling or floor, but it didn’t matter when space was relative, and Jonathan new one thing for certain.  He was in space and this sorry piece of shit in front of him needed his help more than Jonathan needed Osama’s in return.

The old man lightly walked himself hand over hand towards Jonathan.  He smirked in an ironic way that only a few reporters had ever witnessed and then unlatched the Velcro restraints that had Jonathan’s arms pinned down.  Osama glanced down for just a second towards the chest and leg restraints and then looked away with a  blush on his face and proceeded to retreat in an even more awkward hand over hand movement keeping his eyes locked on Jonathan.

Jonathan removed the chest strap himself and chuckled as he attempted to bend down and unlatch his own legs.  He too was wearing one of the ridiculous unitards and still had a fucking hard on as did Osama now that he thought about it.

“I take it that despite yourself, you aren’t exactly happy to see me?” Jonathan joked as he pointed at Osama’s engorged embarrassment.

“No and Yes.  It would seem we are all inflicted with this curse after awaking from deep sleep.  However, I am somewhat pleased to have someone of your skills present under the circumstances.  We have a most pressing problem.”

“No shit, we are stuck in space together, and I am the only rocket scientist on board.”

“Yes, and we are starving.”

As Osama said that, Jonathan recognized his own pangs of hunger.  He felt as if he had just run a marathon on fumes and desperately needed to refuel.

“We have searched the ship to the extent that is safe and we can find no sources of food other than the IV drips that seem to have ceased to function when we came out of stasis.”

Jonathan immediately understood the problem.  They were not supposed to be awake.  They were supposed to remain in stasis until their ship was retrieved out of Earth orbit.  Somehow they must have awoken prematurely or maybe Earth had simply failed to retrieve them and some fail safe system had kicked in and woken them up.

“Why should I help you or any of your crazy jihadist buddies.  The last time I was forced to help assholes like you, I ended up in prison for twenty years and then dumped into space after that.  Hell for all I know, if I help you, you might try and use this space ship as a weapon against the Earth.”  Jonathan’s anger had increased with every word.  After so many years in prison, he was not against the notion of killing himself.  He had definitely entertained the idea many times and worked through several different ways to do it, given half the opportunity.  Unfortunately, until now, that opportunity had not manifested.

“You are not a fool and we share something in common.” Osama said.

Jonathan snorted.

Osama continued, “We are survivors.  You survived in Pakistani custody for three years and in Guantanamo for twenty.  You were tortured by the Pakistanis, and by your own people.  You may not wish your people any harm, but you know how to survive.  I too know how to survive.”

Jonathan’s stomach rumbled audibly.  He nodded and said, “Let’s see what we have.  For now.”

Osama floated back a foot or two and gestured two his right.  Jonathan pushed off the wall and grabbed the handholds and started to proceed into the next compartment which lighted as he entered.

It was a massive cargo hold with rows and rows of oval tubes larger than a man.

It took them about five minutes to navigate to the end of this hold and this brought them to a door.  The door had a small rectangular port hole and warning language near the door.

It was an air lock.  Jonathan approached the window and looked out into starry blackness.  He looked at the door again and noticed a blue lever labeled hatch lighting.  He flipped the switch and looked back out the port hole.

Over one hundred meters away along a frame like structure of tubes and cables, Jonathan could make out what had to be the primary compartment for navigation.  This would have been the structure for the pilot that had initially launched the ship.  The void in between was the space previously occupied by the shuttle that the pilot had likely departed the ship within.

To get to the main controls of the ship, they would have to find a way to navigate one hundred meters of vacuum, absolute zero temperatures and god knows what type of radiation, and they needed to do this within just a few days or die of starvation.

Jonathan realized that before him lay the opportunity to end his own torture, sabotage whatever plans Osama had started to conceive and more.  All he had to do, was to release the air lock.  He looked down at the safety cover over the release lever.  He started to reach for it, and stopped.

If worse came to worse, there would be other ways to kills these mother fuckers.  Sucking the air and the life out of them, refreezing them in outer space, that was too easy.  He would not make martyrs out of these assholes.  He would make them pay first.

Continue to Next Chapter - AQ – 03 – Clearing Your Head Before a Space Walk

017 – Manhood Revitalization Services

version 1.1

Brad really couldn't get out of Jenny's place fast enough. He wasn't physically rushing, and there was nothing strained in his departure. He was simply hyper aware of her presence.

He was walking a fine line on this case already. If things got any more personal, he might have to request reassignment. It would not be the first time. In fact it was expected in cases where the parties involved had too great of a connection with an investigator. So far he was within the realm of ethically acceptable, but he did have to resist giving Jenny a hug and offering her consolation and . . . 'Fuck I've got to be careful." he muttered.

He arrived back at his home at 9:40 PM. He hit the can, grabbed a drink from the fridge and quickly scrolled through the news headlines first.

"Al Qaeda Prisoners Awoke 1 year Ahead of Schedule"

Prisoners on the space ship circling the solar system apparently awoke 50 weeks ago, or 1 year ahead of their anticipated potential landing date.

It is unknown why they awoke out of their hibernation early. Scientists are scrambling to figure out what could have caused this and how or if they might have survived in a space ship with minimal support for this extended period of time.

There was a hydroponics module on the space craft, an independent scientific test designed to grow manna, a type of glucose rich algae based material that some scientists believe was used by ancient Hebrews that wandered the desert with Moses after fleeing an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Horemheb, who had succeeded Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It is likely that the manna machine was stolen from the Egyptians of the time.

A manna machine discovered 900 feet below ground in Nova Scotia in 2030 was reverse engineered and sent on this space ship to test its capability to progressively generate more nutritional food stuffs over a 50 year period in the confines of space.

"The world is just too fucking weird sometimes." Rubenz said aloud. Then he toggled over to check his account balance.

Today's Earnings $53,254.43

Account Balance $53, 290.78

"Fuck Yeah!" Brad said aloud as he saw the bounce in his income.

It was probably from whatever viral video craze was taking place after his p3nis fuck up. Brad wasn't really embarrassed by much, especially when he might be able to retire early because of it. He did like being a detective and hoped that wouldn't get fucked up, at least not before he could help Jenny.

Jesus stole my Sk8board started playing on his cell phone.

"This is Detective Rubenz."

"Detective, I'm connecting you with Dr Razel Tulley at Walter Reed Medical Center Research and Development Unit." the automated voice said.

"Hello, this is Colonel Tulley, may I ask whom I'm speaking. Please also state your credentials and security key?" stated an extremely sultry voice with an even more authoritative tone.

"Certainly, this is Detective Brad Rubenz, Atlanta Metro Police, my security key is Java Hector Java Eight Tree Symmetrical Four Seven Eight." stated Rubenz mechanically.

"Confirmation received. How can I be of assistance Detective?"

“I need your assistance with some background information relating to a homicide investigation. A local distributor of prosthetic devices named Terrence McBoyd was murdered in his warehouse earlier this evening." Rubenz said.

"Terrence, Terry McBoyd was murdered?" Colonel Tulley stated.

"Yes Doctor, I mean Colonel, um how exactly do you prefer to be addressed?” Asked Rubenz.

"Colonel Tulley or Colonel will be fine Detective Rubenz."

"Certainly. Given your initial response, I take it you were aware of or possibly knew Terrence McBoyd? What if any type of relationship did you have with the deceased?"

"My company, Haifan Incorporated, works in a joint venture with the research department of Walter Reed Medical Center. Our joint venture licensed the rights to manufacture and distribute prosthetic devices worldwide. In essence Terry McBoyd managed the exclusive license."

"How exactly is your company partnered with Walter Reed in relation to this license?" Rubenz asked.

"I do want to cooperate but I am unable to be specific for legal reasons. Let us just say that my company and Walter Reed Medical Center share portions of the rights to the patents surrounding the prosthetics licensed to McBoyd." stated Tulley.

"Are you trying to say that this is some sort of national security issue or a legal non disclosure agreement. I assume it is not patient confidentiality... "

"I can say that It is one part national security and one part legal, but I will cooperate within the bounds that are allowed me." Tulley confirmed

"Understood. Are you familiar then with Mr McBoyd's , uh. level of internet fame?" asked Rubenz.

"No, I'm afraid I am not."

"Mr. McBoyd was apparently known as the King of the Whack Jobs. Can I assume that you know what a 'Whack Job' is? After all, we're talking about one of your um, inventions Colonel?"

"Yes, I am aware of the meaning of the slang term 'Whack Job'." Colonel Tulley stated with a glint in her eye that could easily be a smile of humor, or an inviting, faux tell conjured on demand to pull her feeble minded prey in for the kill. Rubenz had a feeling that she could have made a great actor a hundred years ago.

“Can you describe for me in layman's terms why prosthetic devices designed by the government trigger a super orgasm when they are cut off of a person? Is that really a necessary byproduct for a government developed prosthetic?" Rubenz asked.

"Of course, when we first designed the protocol for our prosthetic devices we focused on fingers, arms, feet and legs. The level of sophistication involved in managing these devices as if they were the real thing requires something akin to tactile sensory feedback. In a few of our early devices, we realized that if a device was 'injured' it triggered a sensory perception far stronger than a similar injury might cause.

“If we turned the intensity down during pain events, it turned the volume down across the board in the mind, so that a user could not feel pressure from a slight amount of heat, or the touch from the edge of a piece of paper.

“We couldn't find a way to modulate the extreme without impairing the ability of the device to appropriately sense base level activities. We couldn't subject our patients who had previously endured so much personal trauma already to a level of pain amplified falsely by our devices. So instead of modulating the pain down, we created an inverse of the event. Instead of pain, we opted for pleasure. It was an imperfect design. For prosthetics that did not involve sex organs, the pleasure was not sexual in nature. It was more akin to receiving a quick deep muscle massage.

“Later when we moved into sexual organ prosthetics, we, well we went too quickly. Our test subjects for the early devices seemed like representational examples, but as it turned out they were actually outliers. We were a few years into creating prosthetic P3nises before the situation came to our attention.

“We have not yet found a better alternative to the design dilemma but we are working on it very closely. In medical terms, we look at this as a side effect and not a life or system threatening problem at that.

“I can’t wait to hear the medical disclosure at the end of your future television commercials.” Rubens said dryly. “In fact, from my cursory review of Mr. McBoyd’s business, it would seem that this design issue is actually very good for business. I just visited a warehouse full of millions of P3nises.” Rubenz stated flatly.

“Oh, that was you.” Colonel Tulley said in a suddenly knowing way.

She seemed to blush a bit. Maybe that was the wrong description Rubenz thought. He had this growing feeling that he was misreading her body language, but couldn’t quite figure out why that was. Regardless, he didn’t respond, just let her pregnant-pause extend and grow a bit further, until she continued.

“I believe I saw you on the news a short time ago Detective. However, the volume was down and your face, was, it was slightly obscured.” Colonel Tulley seemed to be regaining her composure and that look of a predator was evident again.

Rubenz feigned slight embarrassment, cleared his throat and said, “Yes, I have also had opportunity to experience your handy work this evening. So tell me have the men of the world actually lost millions of penises. Are prosthetics that much in demand that millions of these items would need to fill a warehouse? I do not seem to recall any news stories to that effect lately?” Rubenz wanted to see how Colonel Tulley would do if she were playing defense. This was supposed to be a basic background discussion, but he sensed there was more to it.

“As the CEO of Haisham Inc and the leader of the project at Walter Reed Medical Center, I can confirm that those devices were not officially licensed. We have already submitted a patent and trademark dispute, and we are taking other steps as called for in our license to the late Mr. McBoyd’s company,” stated Tulley.

“Which company are you going to seek that claim against Colonel?” Rubenz asked again hoping to put her on the defensive. “And how long have you been familiar with More Cox 4 U?” he added as an afterthought.

“Excuse me Detective, we learned of More Cox 4 U Inc tonight from the news following the viral video report featuring yourself. We followed up by performing a due diligence search on the product ID’s on the packing material featured in the video, which led us to More Cox 4 U Inc and from there we traced the company to Mr. McBoyd.”

“Since you are filing licensing claims then, are you saying the P3nises distributed by Terrence McBoyd were black market items, and the man who was supposed to manage your worldwide prosthetic license was found in a warehouse, that we have confirmed he owned and managed directly, filled with blackmarket items?”

“That is our preliminary view,” stated Colonel Tulley.

“As a medical Doctor, Colonel, can I ask you a question about your prosthetics, specifically, what happens when a person wearing a prosthetic expires while the prosthetic is still connected?” asked Rubenz.

“Our trials and clinical testing did not include testing the devices through the process of the host’s expiration or death. However, as a doctor here at Walter Reed, I have seen far too many soldiers and veterans die, and a few of those included good people that were wearing one of our devices. The device requires a very small amount of energy from the person that wears it to maintain a connection. When a person dies, the processes of the body begin to fail. This includes the micro amounts of electricity that flow through the body. The prosthetic is designed to use more of its own power to maintain connection for a short amount of time. As the electricity inherent in a living person starts to fail, the energy level sometimes pulsates up and down. The swings down, trigger the device to work harder, and the end result is something similar to a repeated suction from the device. Once the prosthetic is removed after such a situation, it can sometimes leave traces of a suction mark on the body, similar to a subcutaneous hematoma caused when the lining of the blood vessels are slightly damaged and blood escapes into the skin. Most people refer to this as a hickey. I cannot say if this occurs with our prosthetics universally nor over what time interval as we usually remove the prosthetics of our patients after they decease and sometimes before if we are treating them here.

A warning light indicator flashed on Brad’s phone indicating that their allotted interview time was almost up.

“Thank you for your time Colonel. I may need to follow up with you as the case continues, although I will endeavor to minimize any distractions possible. I would ask, that if you are aware of any information, even casual considerations, that you feel might be pertinent to the demise of Mr. McBoyd, please feel free to contact me or send them through the formal post interview communications medium. Specifically, I would like to make a final request for a copy of the license agreement that Mr. McBoyd was responsible for prior to his death. I will need it for my investigation and I suspect IP Vice may need to review it as well.”

“Of course detective, I will provide you with any information or assistance that I can,” responded Colonel Tulley who had that predatory look in her eye again.

They signed off, and Rubenz sighed it was going to be a long night. He went to take a shower and think. The crime scene Bots had cleaned him up, but he still felt the need to shower. At the last minute, he detoured and decided to run on his virtual tread mill for a few miles. While he was running he started reviewing the available virtual crime scene, in a cursory inspection to regain a sense of the place and the ordering of the items in the crime scene.

After he determined that he had a good sense of things and he had run for about 50 minutes or about 11k, he then finally headed for the shower to clean up and decompress.

The time was a little after eleven PM. He would need some rest before tomorrow, but there was still some work to be done while the case was very fresh in his mind. He set his alarm for a 45 minute power nap and killed the lights in his bedroom.

Continue to Next Chapter - 018 – Al Qaeda Eunuchs in Space

015 – Another Discovery

Part 2

vers 1.0

Brad transferred to a smaller single pod for the last leg of his journey. The stench of the crowds transferring tonight was heavy with travel commute stress.

Rubenz thought the smell alone was enough to give him a headache.  It wasn't the first time he wondered if the headache was just a mental thing or if there really was a type of accumulated air pollution triggered by such high numbers of people.

He mumbled, "Why the do I keep making these stupid trips to crime scenes?" So what if he closed cases a little slower?  While he did like having the reputation of being fast, it was the closing of the case that was most important.  He just couldn't completely rely on the recorded version of the crime scene alone.  If that cost him one closed case a year, it was too many.

When he got to his house, there was a digital delivery message on his door.  He walked inside, and opened his digital mail box as he walked towards the kitchen.

There was a flashing red urgent message from Goozmos, the monopolistic media company that controlled most of the content, entertainment and news on the internet.

Your personal contract needs to be updated and signed.  Until we receive your updated contract, we will have to hold all revenue earned on your accounts.  If the updated contract is not received within a three (3) day period, your pending earnings will be forfeit.  If the updated contract is not received within five (5) days, your account will be placed in suspension for a period no less than 1 year.

"Shit," Rubenz said to himself.  “That's all I need”, he thought.

He forwarded the message to his automated legal advisor program.  It processed for about thirty seconds and came back with a rapid message stating,

"The new contract has changed in two substantial ways:
1.  The new agreement calls for your release of your personal image to be used, reused, repurposed, modified and broadcast at the discretion of Goozmos in return for an increase in usage rights revenue for this image at a rate of $0.2346 cpm.
2.  Your account level as been graduated to the status of 'Temporary Web Celebrity" which entitles you to access to Goozmos talent agents, at a fee of $0.00000063 of your web contents total cpm, including the use of your personal image.

In layman terms, Goozmos feels your personal image has greater value as you are now a temporary web celebrity.  They will hold your account and all revenues, past and future hostage, until you agree to their terms.  As they are a monopoly and have greater legal resources than your personal financial statement currently indicates, it is advised that you agree as quickly as possible and return this agreement.

*DISCLAIMER - Personal Automated Legal Advisor Wizard Inc is a subsidiary of Goozmos Inc, an independent legal review would be advised.

"Well that can't be good.”  Brad flipped over to the news and was treated to a video of himself shuddering in an orgasmic like way with that damn P3nis stuck to his forehead.

" . . . and an Atlanta Detective was caught enjoying himself during an investigation . . ." the commentator was saying to her anchor sidekick, who was laughing like a damn fool as they looped that section over and over again. "... this video went viral 15 minutes after it was broadcast live to the internet during a routine investigation into the homicide of the infamous King of the Whack Jobs . . ." the anchor continued.

"... family members are calling for the removal of Detective Rubenz from the case as his head is not in the game apparently.. Meanwhile, spoof videos, mixes and other versions of the video are circulating faster and faster.  Estimates indicate this viral video may break new records as it has already been remixed 142,532 times and growing!"

Brad clicked off, pulled up the agreement, signed with his finger on the touch screen and sent off the document back to Goozmos as fast as he could.

"Holy Shit!  This is going to be embarrassing as hell, but it might just pay for his early retirement and after the job the press was probably going to do on him, he might need that money even sooner."

He did a quick mental calculation on a modest one billion views / one thousand x a modest twenty-three cents that was about two hundred thirty thousand dollars or four years salary.

He needed to do some more things to fully capitalize on this fast wave, but he didn't have time.  He still had a crime to solve.

He pulled up his research list.  He needed to better understand the technology, some basic background information, and some technical details, especially about the cause of those welts.

He performed a couple quick searches, and tracked down the name of Razel Tulley, Phd, MD, who worked at Walter Reed Hospital.  Tulley had apparently been involved in several key areas of research and development with prosthetic systems.

Prosthetics had made rapid advancements since soon after the start of the Afghanistan War at the turn of the century.  Shortly after the first decade of that war, researchers were already making progress in the direction of developing prosthetics that could be hard wired, almost literally, into the brain.  They weren't pretty and the surgery involved was even uglier.  But the results were distinctly functional.

The hardware weighed less.  It was more functional, recharged in reasonable amounts of time, and restored a significant amount of mobility to soldiers and later other people that had suffered traumatic injuries.

About the same time, other researchers were making rapid advancements in systems that grew real skin, faux skin, materials that looked like skin, even skin that grew on inanimate objects.

There were obvious things missing, such as a pulse, warmth, or in some cases coolant that brought the temperature of the prosthetic up or down to something close to 98.6 degrees.

Research seemed to hit a plateau until about 8 years ago.  Most functionality could be restored in operation, movement and appearance, but there were two areas that lagged significantly.  The first major area involved tactile feedback systems.  These systems slowed down response times just a fraction of a second in all prosthetics such that movement was still just slightly mechanical in appearance.

The other major area was surgery.  It was still a very invasive surgical procedure.  Depending on what area of the anatomy was being wired back in, surgery could take days.  If multiple prosthetics needed to be attached, such as an arm and a leg, or fingers and toes and an eye, the patient would either have to endure a marathon of surgery that could take up to twenty hours or they would have to come back for repeated surgeries, undergoing, surgery, recovery, adjustment, and repeat for each prosthetic.  That could drag out for months or years.

This time and surgery and planning was insanely inefficient and expensive.  Plus, it always increased the possibility of complications, infection and rejection.

Dr. Razel Tulley had zeroed in on this problem and had focused her research and efforts on finding a 'plug and play' solution.  She wanted to entirely eliminate the need to perform an invasive neurosurgery.  Furthermore, she wanted to minimize the deficiencies in tactile feedback.

One news article described Dr Tulley as, "...smart enough to realize that the two problems were connected.  She isolated and interpreted the actual signals sent by the nervous system.  She identified a method that utilized communication networks in a universal way such that any nerve could function as a contact point for input and output in short, an incisive breakthrough."

Once translated, she then went about designing a contact patch that could interface directly with nerves through the skin.

Her research was speeding along at this point.  The only problem now was finding a method for attaching, 'sticking' the prosthetic to a person such that the attachment could hold the weight of the prosthetic and maintain the intended functionality.

Humans had dabbled in ways to attach prosthetics for hundreds of years, using everything from straps, to screws, surgery and implants and more.  This was never ideal.  It might create chaffing at best, and severe pain or life threatening infections at the worst extreme.

Fortunately, Dr Tulley had the backing of the Defense Department.  The defunct NASA space agency happened to be sitting on a dead end technology.  They had developed something of a tractor beam, a 'ray' that could capture an object in space and pull it in without physically having to touch that object.

The technology worked, but had long ago been replaced with more efficient technologies that required less energy.  It seemed that the tractor beam required large amounts of energy the further away an object was located.

However at small distances of millimeters, the energy required was minimal.  Some NASA researcher had actually solved the attachment challenge long ago.  They had used the tractor beam to lock new attachments of space stations to one another, like magnets.

Prosthetics were developed that essentially had this micro tractor beam technology built in, as the device made contact with skin, which itself had a micro charge of electricity, a connection was completed and the tractor beam activated, which then pulled itself closer, tighter and firmly to any dense mass identified as a stable system, such as bones in a skeletal system of a human.

It was a brilliant adaption and allowed plug and play prosthetics to advance quickly, however, the research articles didn't discuss the demand for prosthetic sexual devices or prosthetics as consumer products that could be bought off the shelf.

Brad replayed his conversation recorded with Jenny earlier.  He re-experienced his amazement that she was ... . had been married and married to the murder victim.  He realized he would need to inform the family of the murder in an official capacity.

He did a quick check of the file he had for Terrence McBoyd.  He was married to Jenny McBoyd, no children.  Terrence was previously married to Karen Chanier with one daughter age twenty-four.

That was damn close to Jenny's age.

Continue to Next Chapter - 016 – The Widow

001 – Uploading for Dollars

iterative update 1.6

Read this Chapter on a KindleBrad Rubenz clicked the upload button and watched as forty-three thousand five hundred eighty-two seconds of content were uploaded to his 43rd movie site. He speculated that he would earn at least thirty-three cents per second of movie on average for the life of the content. Each second was part of a movie generated in his MCMS, which stood for Movie Content Management System.
Read this Chapter on an iPad

So over the course of the next year . . .

Then he would earn . . .

He quickly pulled up a spreadsheet and ran the calculation again, entering forty-three thousand five hundred eighty-two in a cell, thirty-three cents in another and multiplying them together in the amount of time it takes most people to scratch their nose.

It would earn him fourteen thousand three hundred eighty-two dollars and six cents over the life of the movie, which he could cash in through a video copyright backed security at a return of about 74%, based on the performance of his past results. If this batch continued to improve in performance, next month his per second rate would increase to thirty-nine cents, which was a nice extra. However, he would finally boosted his video copyright security rating to CCC+ up from his current DD-. That would translate into a security payout in cash up front of 81%. On a $15k batch of video that extra 7% meant just over $1k more per month in income, which would finally give him enough to invest in retrofitting his past videos with real voice over artist performances.

Well at least his best videos, and then only in the highest paying languages of Cantonese, English with a Scottish accent and urban Pashto street Jive. Good voice over artists were expensive. The marginal increase in cash would not cover the full cost, but would finance the down payment to accelerate his profits and keep his leveraged operation growing.

Brad smiled with hope and thought, “Not too bad for a week’s worth of work. And that would sure as hell be better than the type of work he was doing lately. Even though the amount was only about half that of his normal monthly salary, but if he could produce enough of these movies…”

"Jesus Stole My Skate Board," started playing on his cell phone. The hyper rap death metal ring tone was a negative signal emphasizing his point. Brad used friendlier ring tones for friends and family, but he preferred really nasty shit to set him on edge and get him in the proper frame of mind for some of the more troublesome people he worked with.

Brad pulled his phone from his pocket seeing the incoming call from department dispatch. Yep, that was about as negative as it got.

"Shit," Brad muttered, before swiping up on his phone. He answered the call stating, "Detective Rubenz."

"Detective, please proceed to 104301 Warehouse Way. Just off Industrial Boulevard. This is a mega warehouse complex. Your destination address is the mixed space warehouse, office of . . . Let me spell this for you. Tree, X-ray Tango Roger Alpha Charlie Zero X-ray Four Uniform Incorporated." Said Wolverson, the overly gung-ho dispatcher, just out of the military.

As far as dispatchers were concerned, Brad liked Wolverson, but he could do without the gung-ho lingo. "Just tell me the name of the company Wolverson."

"Detective, its uh .. ."

"I don't have all night." Brad snarled.

Wovlerson mumbled something that sounded like "Its Extra Cocks for You, Detective."

"Wolverson, What the fuck are you talking about?"

"That's the name. That's the way it’s pronounced or listed anyway."

"Ok," pissed now, "Spell the damned thing again."

Hearing the embarrassment in his voice and maybe a little anger, Wolverson punched the words out in a rapid fire staccato stating, "Tree X-ray Tango Roger Alpha Charlie Zero X-ray Four Uniform Incorporated... Detective."

The military delivery gave Rubenz a vision of Wolverson calling in fire on his condo. The precise emphasis that Wolverson used on the word ‘Detective’ let Rubenz know that in Wolverson’s mind Brad was somewhere between a mine field and asshole territory.

Brad was writing the letters down on a pad of paper deciphering the lingo that appeared to be some type of hacker’s idea of a company name.

3xtra C0x 4 U, Inc.

"What's the situation Wolverson?" Brad asked.

"Probable multiple homicide, Detective. It’s not on the air waves yet, but I received a picture message from a buddy of mine, and I've never seen anything so sick, even when I was fighting in Afghanistan during the seventh Deck."

Brad knew that Wolverson had fought in Afghanistan. He had never heard that Wolverson had fought during the seventh 'Deck' or decade of that war that never ended.

The seventh Deck was a period of cleansing. There had been two previous periods of 'cleansing' where one side or the other decided that the only way to end the war would be to kill everyone possible on the other side and start fresh. Unfortunately, this also always led to a power void and after each period, new factions of warlords, gang leaders, recently retired colonels that would never see general, and religious zealots would migrate in with a new merry band of rebels armed to the teeth and pick up right where the last murderous group had left off.

The seventh Deck was worse. Both sides had initiated a cleansing period at the same time. Few people survived, let alone made it back to the continent to restart a normal life if they had been present to endure the seventh Deck.

Talking slower and with a new type of respect Brad started to say, "What do you mean by that . . ." He was cut off as another call came in. Caller ID let him know that it was Captain Bruhaus.

"Never mind. Call coming in. Out." Rubenz cleared one call and accepted the other simultaneously.

Rubenz figured Wolverson would like the 'Out' Sign off a bit anyway. If you gave a soldier a bit of shit, they could generally deal with it in short order as long as you didn’t dig your own grave with a lot of stroking and horse shit apologies.

He swiped his phone again, and said, "Detective Rubenz here Sir."

"Brad, I'm getting hit with a media shit storm. What are you seeing at the scene?"

"Sir, I'm at home."

"What the fuck are you doing at home Detective?"

There was that asshole intonation in the word 'Detective' again.

"Why aren't you at the scene of the murders?"

"Sir I just received the call from dispa..."

"God Damn it! Brad, Shit! I'm not yelling at you. Somebody has fucked this up good. Get your ass over to that scene yesterday and watch out, this one is nasty even by your standards." and he clicked off.

Brad let out a deep sigh, then said "Fuckin A" for good measure and stood up gazing longingly at his computer monitor, wishing he had uploaded those files last year and had a different life right about now or at least a different option on life.

Next Chapter 002 – Piece Meal