002 – Piece Meal

iterative update 1.3

Brad was en route to the Mega Warehouse complex. His phone indicated that he should arrive in about three minutes. It was an unusually long commute, especially in an era where live crime scene investigations were almost unheard of.

He was traveling at an ever increasing speed in an emergency response terminal that itself moved within a hyper train.

Hyper trains moved at speeds approaching three hundred fifty miles per hour. The trains however were extraordinarily long. Any given train could easily carry up to ten million passengers. The trip might not take long, but getting through the line of people or from the rear or middle of the train to the front of the train or exits, well that's where the trip could be grueling.

Brad was riding within an emergency response terminal. It was essentially a mobile pod within the train, it actually traveled on an upper level of the train, moving from the rear of the train to the front of the train. All passengers traveled in pods, that would be released as a traveler approached their destination point or exit ramps to smaller trains that would get them closer and closer. Some public terminals or pods even required the passenger to disembark and switch to a different pod on a different system.

Wealthy people had access to pods that also moved on the upper section of the train, but emergency personnel terminals were always given precedence and their own restricted area within any major hyper train and most minor trains as well.

Brad checked his phone again. Two minutes until arrival. He could be anywhere in the area of primary jurisdiction within 4 minutes, but typically dispatching optimization routines kept travel time down to a minute or less. It was atypical for Brad to be sent to a crime scene so far away regardless, he’d have to consider that later.

His phone buzzed quickly and he noticed that he was finally receiving an initial crime scene folder. This was late also and that was not normal. He'd been on this case less than 5 minutes and things were already FUBARed.

He twitched his nose and his eye lens implants activated a filter that would ensure the contents of the folder would only be viewable by his eyes only. The lenses contained an encryption key of ridiculous strength that filter out the signal images from his phone, translating them in real time so that he could view the information.

No one sitting close or using some type of surveillance device would be able to view this file in real time, although a good cracker could parse the governmental encryption key in about an hour. Few hackers had that kind of time these days. As always, Brad's head start on this case working with the incoming information would be one of his few advantages especially if the media leaped on at some point.

The file opened up on what could only initially be described as a bloody, fleshy mess.

Brad was viewing a video pan of the crime scene, with scrolling information running on the right side. He made slight rotations and twists with his hands holding his motion sensitive phone and the video angle panned and zoomed at his direction.

At first glance, he seemed to be looking at the remnants of body parts strewn across a warehouse floor between two massive aisles of pallets of goods stacked ten stories high. The shrink wrapped pallets were covered in blood that was still dripping down the sides to puddles on the floor.

Brad had seen a crime scene once where a body had been run through a commercial shredder to destroy the evidence of a white collar crime. This seemed very similar sans the shredder. Plus, the body parts were a little too large to have been sliced up by a shredder.

He zoomed in a bit and looked at a pile of flesh. He touched a sensor pad on his phone to increase the illumination on the image.

"What the fuck!" Brad cringed and almost lost his dinner at the same time.

He quickly glanced at the scrolling data.

... Initial body count estimates 87 victims & increasing.

One mostly complete body,

Male, approx. age: 42

Name: Terrence McBoyd (nickname Terry). CEO and President of ...

Possible Alias . . .

Brad's terminal came to a halt, and the exit door slid open. He walked outside the door to the crime scene entrance.

Continue to Next Chapter 003 – Ulmec Skull Suckers