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

016 – The Widow

version 1.1

Brad punched a button on his phone activating the official interview function.  This would trigger a call to the interviewee with full legal disclosures and forms.  Once accepted it would also document the interview completely.  Furthermore, this would also be included in the live video feed.

He stated, "Official Investigation Request, Interview Dr. Razel Tulley, Walter Reed Hospital."

A vaguely automated voice responded, "Did you mean Dr. Razel Tulley at Walter Reed Medical Center?"

"Yes, yes that must be the one." Rubenz stated not certain if it was 100% accurate himself, but knowing the phone search engine would have offered him other options if they existed within the search parameters.

"A request has been placed with Dr Tulley's calendar system.  There is a time slot open for a 30 minute window at 9:45 PM, approximately 45 minutes from now.  The next available window is 1 hour, tomorrow afternoon at 3:25 PM.  Do you have a preference or would you like to place an investigation over ride if legally possible?" the voice asked.

"Let's go with 9:45 PM tonight." Brad replied.  "Please make the connection at 9:45 for me and ring me when the Dr comes on the phone."

He had 45 minutes.  He sent Jenny a quick text message.  'Can we talk?'

Her reply came back in seconds, 'Yes, I'm back in my townhouse.'

Brad thought of the townhouse she had inherited from her grandparents after they died. It was a nice place in the middle of the recently restored Buckhead area of Atlanta.

'I'll be there in 10 minutes.' Brad replied as he turned and walked back out the door.

The nice thing about Jenny's place in Buckhead was that it was easy to get there fast.  She lived right off a main loop, near a recently demolished mall called Phipps.  It was an antiquated old shopping mall, although no shopping of anything other than prostitutes and illicit drugs had been found in the broken down old structure in over forty years.  Now that it had been leveled the neighborhoods around it actually felt safe, even though it was probably only a cosmetic safety.

He walked down the corner, hopped into a transport bubble and was on the primary corridor ninety seconds later.  Five minutes after that he stepped out of the transport bubble and walked up the block towards Jenny's townhouse.

As he approached, he could see her sitting on the front steps outside, waiting for him.  Jenny looked miserable and beautiful.

She stood up, wringing her hands, hesitating as if she wanted to hug him, scared as if touching him might trigger an electric shock to her system.

He thought to himself, that was exactly how he felt too, but wondered if her reasons were the same.  It would be best to confront this straight on and get the worst, the new worst behind them.

He stepped up, paused and said, "Hello Jenny. May we step inside?"

She started to tremble and shake, "Oh god, its true.  You never remember to say ‘may’ unless you need to say something serious."

He stepped closer reaching out to guide her elbow without touching it, more of a gesture.  With the high level of static charge in the air it almost felt like a threat to even Brad, like ‘please let's go inside, don't make me touch you, I can't hug you  . . . yet.’

What he really said was, "Please, we need to step inside."

Her misery temporarily turned to anger, "Of course.  Job first. Shit you are as bad as Terry."  She was muttering and probably trying to stoke the anger just a bit, an exaggeration to avoid the tears, but she did turn and led him up the steps.

They walked in through her door and instantly the static charge disappeared.  He stepped to the right into the living room.  Even without the charge, he felt awkward as his training kicked in.  He realized that he was keeping eyes on her as she closed the door behind them and turned to follow him into the living room.  She looked at him briefly, sighed and then sat down on a couch.  It was new.  He did not recognize it even though he had helped her pick out most of the furniture in the house.

"Jenny, Terrence McBoyd is deceased.  I am not at liberty to say much more for reasons that are probably obvious.  As the next  . . . next of kin," Those words really stuck in his throat, "I must inform you and let you know that I am investigating the circumstances of his passing.  Family services and grief counselors are available should you need them."

"So you are a homicide detective still,” she said emphasizing the word ‘are’.  “That must mean someone thinks this was a homicide." Jenny said.

"All I can say is that yes, I am still a homicide detective." Brad replied.  "How did you hear about Terry's death Jenny?"

"I heard it from his fucking wife.  I mean, his ex-wife.  I'm his wife now, or was his wife.  Shit, shit shit!”

The anger and grief were bubbling again.  "She called, she was accusing me, rubbing it in.   she said, 'He's dead and it’s because of you and your sex-freak lifestyle." Jenny added.  "Yes, we met having an office affair and all, but cheating doesn't equate to being a sex-freak."

“On the phone earlier you said something about a video message.”  Rubens queried.

Jenny paused, “I must have imagined it, like déjà vu. I thought I had received a message.  I could have sworn that I watched it, but it wasn’t on my phone.  I started to check with the police station via the web, then I called you and you wouldn’t say.  Then she called later via holovision.”

Brad didn’t follow up on that one, yet.  He would double check phone records.  Video messages didn’t just disappear; they were stored forever virtually, just accessible via a phone.

Jenny could be telling the truth, but that didn’t mean that someone with money, influence or both hadn’t done something to the video message records.  Then, Brad couldn't help envisioning Terry boy with whacked off p3nises all around him, in a warehouse full of them, and in a warehouse that Terry owned.

"How did you meet Terry?" Brad asked.

"I took a job working for him, not directly that is.  He ran a distribution business here in town.  I took a position writing logistics algorithms.  It was a small office.  We all worked a lot of hours.  He had also written logistics algorithms early in his own career and acted as a bit of a mentor to me for a while."

"When did you  . . ." Brad trailed off, his own emotions suddenly getting in the way of the question.

Jenny picked up with a flash in her eye, "Start sleeping with him, dating him, or decide to marry him?"

She could probably see the retreat in his eyes, and said, "I'm sorry.  It’s all so much.  We just kind of lived and breathed work.  We got close.  It all kind of melted together.  He was separated from his wife, living in a different house for several years.  I was looking for someone.”  The way she said ‘someone’ made Brad want to finish the sentence for her, ‘someone, not like you.’

"Eight months ago his divorce was finalized, and 2 months ago we were married." She finished.

"Why do you think is ex-wife was . . . " Brad started

"Such a bitch to me? She's probably not really.  I think she never expected the divorce.  She just thought Terry was a workaholic and would move back when things were practical.  When he filed for divorce, I think she was shocked."

"I do not know the details of the divorce settlement, but I think she received a lot of money.  Terry and I had pretty rigid prenuptial agreements.  Terry's business was pretty large and extended, and I have my own inheritance.  Neither of us married for the money, but with my family, siblings and a complex trust, and his family, ex-wife, a daughter and multiple business partners, it just seemed the easiest way.  We were together as a couple, but financially we were completely separate."

"So now that he has passed, you retain nothing from Terry?" Rubenz asked.

"Nothing material.  Nothing from the business that is.  I believe I will receive some money from a small insurance policy, but that's more than likely for tying up loose ends.  With my trust, there wasn't much that he could leave me that would make a material financial difference." She added.  Jenny was about as rich as they come.  She didn’t have to work, and especially didn’t have to work for someone else.  She always had though.  Jenny wanted the experience of working her way up the corporate ladder despite having a trust large enough to feed a small nation.  But she came from tough stock.  Her father and grandfather before her had each amassed amazingly large accumulations of wealth, making each of them one of the ten richest people in the world in their turn.

They both gave away 98% of their entire wealth to charity only leaving a small fraction of their wealth in a spend thrift trust to each of their children.  Jenny was just starting out.  She didn’t have the inventive genius of either her father nor her grandfather, but she did have an amazing drive and probably would eclipse them some day.

He recollected his thoughts catching the time on his phone, "I understand.  I can't stay long, but couldn't delay the visit. I will do what I can." Brad said.

"That's true.  God, this must be a homicide, which is hard for me to fathom at the moment, but I do know that if it is something atypical then you can definitely figure it out.  Shit. shit. shit! It must be something extra gruesome or they would have just sent crime scene bots and some junior level investigator.  This isn't normal is it?" Jenny asked.

"I can't say more, but you know what I do." Rubenz said, "I do need to ask you two remaining  questions:  When did Terry's ex-wife contact you and what type of products did Terry's business distribute?"

"She popped in via holovision and started ranting at me." Jenny said, "I wasn't here.  Terry and I lived at his house.  This is the first time I've been here since just after the wedding 2 months ago.  She still had a holo key allowing her to appear at his house.  I guess that was primarily for their daughter to call.  I don't think I ever saw his ex call via holo before."

"It must have been around 7pm.  I checked in through the police website and was routed to the officer in charge.  When I saw the url address pop up, it had your badge id and that's when I realized the case was assigned to you, I just called you immediately and didn't finish filling out the form online." Jenny said

Rubenz thought of the crappy security loophole on the police website.  That overly simple url had caused problems before, and it could have almost derailed this investigation.  He clicked a button on his phone, which tagged this time in the interview as an item for internal process review.  His superiors were always looking for situational examples, anecdotes that they could show to politicians to make improvements, budget justifications, and get things done in general.

Jenny hadn't stopped talking, "so he was primarily involved in medical prosthetics.  We shipped prosthetics all around the world, not just for veterans."

"Just prosthetics?" Brad asked.

"Yes, well and a few accessories that shipped with them for maintenance or repairs."

"Was Terry involved in any other businesses? Any other product lines?" Brad asked.

"No, there were a number of shells and subsidiaries in different countries, but it was all the same primary business."

"Ok, Jenny, get some rest" Brad was going to table the hard questions until he had more background information.

Continue to Next Chapter - 017 – Manhood Revitalization Services

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

014 – Al Qaeda in Space

vers 1.1

Brad was headed home and he was exhausted after having to decontaminate. Fortunately, the crime scene Bot’s ability to lift individual layers of evidence also gave them the ability to clean up a mess relatively well.

In reality, Rubenz had actually become a piece of evidence himself. He frowned at this notion as he realized how ridiculous this would look when this case ultimately went to court, not to mention his next review.

Brad was riding back in a common pod. As there was no emergency to respond to now, he did not rate the emergency response pod. He was sitting across from an off duty patrol person, who sat next to what appeared to be a soldier on extended leave maybe even a recently discharged veteran.

Next to him a teenage girl and her grandmother seemed to be wrapped up in a video game. Grandma was apparently much better at first person shooters judging by the curses coming from the granddaughter.

Brad had a lot of follow up work to do, including some interviews with a long list of people. He needed to track down a specialist in prosthetics, he needed to investigate some of the background of this sexual fetish trend, and he needed to dive into the financials of the victim, his company and more.

He touched the side of his own hand held computer which came to life in vivid 3d color visible only to him. The optical illusion of the screen made him forget that he was sitting in this pod and made him feel part of the online landscape.

A.D.D. kicked in and he was instantly pulled into a news update about Al Qaeda in space, this also apparently seemed to be the topic that the patrol person and the soldier were discussing.

Brad started to read a report, refreshing his memory and getting the latest on this event that was likely to cause a lot of trouble both internationally, and maybe locally.

"About 50 years ago in the mid twenties, while the remains of the US government were still being rebuilt and the UN had reached a war crimes stalemate in regards to Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. For almost two decades fighters picked up around the world and some on the battlefield had been held in various locations around the world where the UN had little sway. Initially, they had kept many of them in Guantanamo Bay Cuba in a US military prison. But after Castro finally passed away and Cuba melted back into a capitalistic economy, the base there fell into question. The prisoners proceeded to move on a musical chair like path from one gray holding area to another."

"Times have changed but not that much. We can't just bring them back to earth and lock them up again," said the soldier who continued, "but take it from me we can't let them go again either."

"Do you really think some backwards resistance fighter from the turn of the century could keep up with the advances we've made in crime investigation, anti-terrorism, hell even warfare? It has been 15 years since I served in the military myself and even then we were far more advanced than when these Al Qaeda losers were still training on monkey bars." said the cop.

"... the US was losing political favor at an international level. Antarctica and the moon were both bastions of the UN, and the US could not hold them on their own soil or face war crimes charges. No US administration wanted to touch the problem with a ten foot pole. . . . "

"They have a will to fight and fight back unlike what we are used to today. Yes we are technically better, but mentally we are a little softer because our current adversaries are also softer. Everyone knows that the Taliban these days are pretty much just bureaucrats and Al Qaeda is more of a PR firm than a terrorist cell, but give them a fresh infusion of psychopaths with a blood lust and nothing to lose . . . " said the soldier.

"Shit we can practically predict a crime before it happens in most cases today. Plus, we have extensive psychological profiles on these assholes in space. I had to write papers on several of these tools myself in 101 level courses in college. Even if they have the will, they could barely reach down to pull a knife out of their boot before we'd know, let alone cause mass murder." said the police officer.

"...Remnants of the twentieth century NASA program that wanted to salvage some portion of their once sizable budgets dug an old technology out of the vault and offered up a solution. The idea was simple. The prisoners that did not qualify for repatriation, mostly Al Qaeda and various suicide bombers that had failed to detonate would be put into hibernation, a technology not far removed from cryogenics. They would be placed in a space ship and sent into space on an elliptical journey around the solar system."

The officer continued, "many of these guys are going to be pretty docile after being imprisoned for almost two decades on Earth as is. They are not young men any longer."

"That actually is something that makes it even harder for us," said the soldier. "Sure some will be docile, but those will actually serve to hide the dangerous ones even more. During that time they had ample opportunity to cook up new plans and ideas for revenge. Plus some of the political skeletons that were buried in past peace reconciliations will likely be disturbed all over again, unsettling people that for thirty years have come around to our side, but once disturbed might cause trouble again. The original warlords themselves may not be much of a threat here on the ground, but their children and grandchildren have benefited from their payoffs. A lot of people received those old fashioned greenbacks to stop fighting. Even while that money was being used to buy better food, homes and more, they were going home at night and telling and listening to the old stories of battle and glory in the name of Allah. Add into this mix, several thousand heroes of Allah that haven't been around or close to show just how crazy they were or are and their influence today might even be greater than it was when they were at the peak of their training." said the soldier.

"It was a fifty year journey. The decision basically kicked the political can down the road. Once the deed was done, no one could do much about it, but the fifty year game ends in two weeks. Al Qaeda would be returning to Earth and no one knew what to do with them still. No one alive today, really had much skin in the game for the decision made fifty years ago. The US government didn't truly exist in its past form. The world community didn't hold much of a grudge against the US for the mistakes of its predecessors. The former countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were now collections of large feudal city states, did not want the fighters back. They had been continuously at war the entire time, but the fight had changed. Some factions still wanted to have foreign fighters removed from their soil, but the definition had been muddled. There was almost no side in the fight that did not have foreign fighters on their side. The immediate families of the men and women of Al Qaeda in space had all aged and mostly died away. Those that still survived would not acknowledge the connection, even though intelligence reports still had them documented."

In short no one wanted Al Qaeda. Plus, for fifty years parents around the world had turned Al Qaeda members in space into something of a bed time story bogeyman for their children. 'You better eat all of your food or Al Qaeda will fly down from space and blow you up.' 'Don't eat that gluten filled cookie or Al Qaeda himself will hit you with a beam from space and give you a belly ache.' The stories were never very realistic and often times personified the entire group as something of an angry super man or woman depending on the story.

But now the real Al Qaeda fighters were going to pass by Earth. If the world failed to pluck them from the sky, these Al Qaeda detainees would go around the solar system again, which seemed very inhumane. The world collectively felt like it had advanced past such barbarism, but it couldn't collectively figure out a solution either.

If they did collect the spacecraft, bring Al Qaeda down to Earth, then what? They couldn't be prosecuted. It was inhumane to hold them on Earth longer, especially if they were allowed to age. From the information they had from the spaceship, all of the sleepers were still in good health and had not aged much, it would be as if they had been asleep for about a month.

"No matter what, we can't just send them back around the solar system to lose another 50 years. That would be adding one crime to another, and they would be that much more out of place in fifty years when they came back around. Besides, there is the emissary issue. We are starting to get more signals from other likely sources of intelligence in space. What happens if some other species come to visit us, and stumble upon Al Qaeda first? Do we want Al Qaeda to make the first impression or alliance with a foreign intelligence? They are more of a threat to Earth in space than they are here living amongst us," said the patrol person in a definitive statement.

They would need physical rehabilitation. Their bone density and muscle mass would need a severe amount of therapy and rebuilding. So they would not be an immediate threat in a physical way, but what about their infective ancient ideas of revenge and terrorism and fighting off foreign invaders from their home land?

"That's just some old superstition that dates back almost 100 years to some silly science fiction movie that was old even to my grandparents. We shouldn't opt for a dangerous bird in the hand to avoid a hypothetical pair in the bush. That analogy only works in reverse when the potential involves reality, not some politically cooked up fear. That's the type of fear that started this war to begin with." said the soldier.

To Brad's ears, the pair seemed to be arguing in circles and he was starting to have a difficult time assessing which side either of the participants were really on.

The world frankly felt that they did not need those old wounds re-infected. There was only so much that science, therapy, re-education, and re-training could do. The Al Qaeda banishment of fifty years ago as terrible as it was, is still one of the few effective punishments to prevent suicide bombers that society has come up with. It deprive a suicide bomber or terrorist of their homeland, of their life (temporarily), of their afterlife and all of its promises for fifty year stretches and the cost benefit analysis that was pitched to a suicide bomber became much more difficult to rationalize.

'Go blow yourself up for the cause, and you will die a martyr in heaven with seventy-two virgins and the best afterlife possible under god. . . .' But that didn't play out very well when modern science could heal almost any wound. That included many suicide bombers post detonation. Science could keep a brain alive if found in tact and put someone's consciousness on deep freeze for fifty years ago blocking them from their heaven.

Furthermore, PR campaigns in a post super digital world were so powerful that any given terrorist organization could barely account for whether or not a suicide bombing had been remotely effective. Digital cover ups stopped them from finding out if the bomb went off. It prevented them from determining if anyone was killed or injured including the bomber. They could barely determine if any property was damaged, destroyed or scratched.

Terror did not work if no one saw the results of terror. With no horrid death and destruction visible, it was as if a tree fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it, talk about it, and no one could find the remnants of the tree at all! No terror, no career path for terrorists.

But these Al Qaeda space travelers had the concept ingrained in their psyche before the super digital revolution. That and they had been imprisoned for fifty to seventy years or more, held captive, in some cases physically tortured, and in all cases severed from their families and friends, who were now probably dead. In short they had yet another axe to grind.

Even with the PR tools of the present, the ever present digital recording devices around the planet would watch them around the clock. If they did find a way to cause damage, it would be sensationalized worse than the hundreds of movies on just such a possible scenario had predicted fictionally, while they were still in space.

It was a big fat mess and Brad was captivated by the story, but he had some work to do. The community pod came to a stop. As he got up, the grandmother snickered and her granddaughter snapped a quick picture of him. Brad stepped out of the car, and could see through the window as the pair started talking. On the screen of the grandmother’s device was a news report and video playing featuring an image of Brad standing in the warehouse with a giant erect phallus on his head.

Continue to Next Chapter - 015 – Another Discovery

011 – The Base Falls Off <-8

version 1.1

Brad quickly resumed his review of the crime scene. He was always getting shit in the office for actually working the crime scene and not relying on the automated scene reconstructions that could be reviewed in his office or at home.

"Wastes valuable investigation time traveling to crime scenes." and "Reluctant to embrace technology to its full extant."

Those were common negative review bullets that he regularly had to defend on a quarterly basis with a discussion of his theory that working a crime scene in person gave him a greater insight, which contributed to his higher success rate. He not only closed more cases successfully, but he typically closed them 15% faster than his peers.

He'd probably get less shit, if his techniques worked for other investigators, but for reasons unknown to Brad, his peers were slower and less successful on average when they personally visited a crime scene. In fact, it was rather unusual for IP Vice to have shown up here at all. . .

What were they doing here?

Anyway, he had to regain his focus or his own speed might slow down and his next review might be less defensible.

He recalled noticing the base of the penes seemed to share the symmetrical looking pattern that formed the welts on the victim's body.

He suspected that some short circuit in the prosthetic had caused it to fail and fall off the victim once it had been severed or soon after maybe. There were no severed prosthetic members left attached to the body with the exception of 2 that were only partially severed. These were both located on the tops of his hands.

He queried for more information on the prosthetic technologies to confirm his hypothesis. He stated, "Prosthetic penis failure causes" and came up with a long list of items that seem to be mostly complaints about device failures, too hard, too soft, out of control rotation syndrome.

Jesus Christ this was a weird situation he thought to himself. He refined his search "prosthetic penis failure causes cutting".

This brought up a selection that seemed to be more on topic. The first item was a three dimensional web video tutorial "How to cut your dick off and love it!"

This was followed by a link from the manufacturer disclaiming any warranty on a penis that had been cut, severed, smashed, electrocuted, burned, melted, frozen or blown up with specially designed fireworks. Fuckin A, there were some sick people out there Brad thought as he opted for the video "How to cut your dick off and love it!"

He bookmarked the video, and then proceeded to fast forward to the actual section that displayed a penis getting cut off. A rather simple but attractive looking woman, someone that could be anyone's wife or girl friend, was teasing an average looking man, lightly rubbing his chest, then his belly, and then he reached down with lightning speed, grabbed his penis and with the other hand in a rapid slicing motion cut through the penis in one fell swoop.

A warning sign popped up on the video, 'WARNING! Rapid cutting is not advised especially for inexperienced whackers. You might miss and cut yourself or your partner somewhere that will bleed real blood. Cut an artery in your partner's leg and they could even die! For more information on accidental deaths and how to avoid them when whacking your partners penis off click here'

The video frame moved on to what seemed like a repeat of the last scene. The same woman was again lightly tracing her partner's chest and belly with a finger nail. She then reached for his penis, held it by the head of the penis with her hand leaving a few inches of the shaft of the penis exposed. She then turned the knife in her other hand in a way that the sharp point of the blade was pointed in the same direction as the knuckles of that hand, or the opposite direction that a blade would normally be pointed.

Then she hooked the sharp section underneath the arm holding the penis and lightly resting against the penis shaft itself, base of the knife blade an inch or so above the base of the penis. She then sliced pulling the knife hilt towards her abdomen and applying pressure with her cutting hand as if she were delivering a backhand blow while pulling the penis onto or towards the blade with her other hand.

The penis was cut cleanly through in one swipe and a new pop up message stated, "For maximum safety, always cut in a direction that is away from you, away from your partner's major arteries, face and hands."

The video refocused on the severed penis which spurted what looked like a lot of blood for a short few seconds and then stopped. The man who just had his penis 'whacked' looked like he was experiencing the best and longest orgasm possible. It took him a full two minutes to recover.

During that entire time the remaining base of the penis never fell off. Eventually, the man peeled the base off, tossed it in the trash, reached for another penis, connected it to his skin and then advanced on the woman who had a very happy look on her face.

Brad scrolled through some related video tutorials demonstrating other cutting techniques. They showed how a person could perform more exotic cuts, with different types of knifes from butter knives and steak knives to hunting knives and more. A few videos demonstrated devices that looked like a combination guillotine/vice that seemed to clamp down and flatten the penis for a minute or two, then release the pressure, which caused the penis to re-inflate and then a slice from the blade cut right through the formerly mutilated dick.

But in all of the cases, there was no welt left on the skin after wards.

Brad still thought there might be something to his hypothesis, but now realized he might have to check with the medical examiner to determine if it was a trait that only surfaced with a corpse that had lost his penis.

Continue to Next Chapter 012 – Live Sh1ver