Brad walked back through what appeared to be an office area. There was a guard by a door at the end of the office. There was no window on the door, but as he approached, the officer opened the door to a vast warehouse area just on the other side of the wall. This was some type of combination office warehouse space.
As he walked through the door, he was struck by the immensity of the storage area. The rows seemed to go on forever. The shelves for each row were stacked six levels high. Each level was approximately 7 feet tall, for a total height of close to 50 feet. He couldn't see the end of the warehouse as he peered into darkness at the end of the row in his path.
He could see flickering, flashing lights to his right. It was similar but not quite a strobe light effect. He recognized the neon green flashes of a crime screen scanner technician bot.
The crime scene technicians were scanning the crime scene area for future interactive play back and review both for investigators and if necessary for a jury and judge. The scanners operated in a way that recorded the position and layering of every object, speck of dust, drop of fluid or blood and much more in the crime scene area. Like an archaeologist reading the levels of silt build up over thousands of years, the crime scene scanner could identify and deduce from layers, spray patterns and more the order in which different materials or objects had been deposited in a crime scene area. This was exceptionally useful in complex areas where there was a significant amount of materials such as a multiple car wreck, the day after a riot scene, mass killings or a crime scene that had been exposed to the elements, people and animals several days after the crime had taken place.
It was also important for commerce. The crime scene technicians were also responsible for cleaning the crime scene, completely and thoroughly to minimize the amount of time an area might be inaccessible to the public. The cleaning could be charged directly to a property owner or insurance company, but from the owner’s perspective, getting an asset back into use was the more important factor. The days of an area surrounded by crime scene tape for hours or days were long past.
Once forensics came in and matched up each and every item, it would be possible to identify exactly when an item appeared in its position in a crime scene.
In a classic case where more than one victim had been shot or stabbed, multiple blood drops or spray might layer on top of each other. The analyzer could identify which layer appeared first. This was very useful for crime scenes involving animals, insects, or even vagrants as well. Sometimes a crime scene needed to be rebuilt slightly if it had been contaminated by a party or object that was not party to the original crime or event.
Brad took a breath and headed towards the light. It was further than he initially expected. The massive rows looked very distant, but even after walking for 80 meters approximately he realized that he still had a way to go.
He approached the modern day equivalent of crime scene tape. By appearance it looked like an archaic three dimensional lighting effect almost like a hologram as depicted in classic science fiction movies of the previous century.
The effect of the lighting mechanism was one of a slightly translucent but actually opaque optical wall. It gave the impression that if you stared at it long enough, you would be able to make out the details on the other side. In fact, it was completely impossible to see through the image.
It was designed to mesmerize and captivate the attention of people passing by the scene for a few moments. A scanner would record and identify each and every person that gazed on the wall. Once identification had been confirmed and logged, the illusion of transparency would end for that individual and it would be replaced by an image that would give the viewer a slightly uneasy feeling.
The goal was twofold. First, stall the person long enough to gaze at the wall and enable visual identification of the gazer. Second, disperse the viewer after identification had been made by presenting them with a visual emotion that would repel them from the area. The result was one of almost perverse interest and repulsion.
In his training, years before, Brad had learned that to understand the phenomena might help to avoid the negative feelings, but he suspected that was just urban legend. He actually believed that these devices became more magnetic and respectively repulsive with each software upgrade. If knowledge of the process could build up some form of inoculation against the effect, then any criminal could teach and train themselves to ignore it. As it were, Brad too, always paused for just a moment just before entering despite the fact that the same device recorded his entrance into the crime scene area.
The device was trained to identify law enforcement officials and end the charade much faster, but Brad sometimes felt that this expedience was sometimes delayed so that the device could either use officers as a calibration control group, or possibly just to test their reactions to see if they might have something of a guilty look on their own faces.
Technology policing the police existed at every level of crime processing these days. You could never be too sure where it existed and where it did not exist. This type of intelligence had been blocked from his pay grade decades earlier by some accountant or CID investigator that spotted a conflict of interest.
The wall of course also warned people not to pass through. If necessary, it could actually prevent the physical movement of unauthorized personnel via biological electro-magnetic pulse wave. The same technology that could kill electronics on a battle field or after a nuclear explosion, could scramble the mental wiring of a person to turn away from the wall, like a dolphin stuns or scatters fish sub-sonically in the ocean.
As Brad walked through the area marked off for entry as if it were a large sliding vertical elevator door, the brightness of the warehouse suddenly stunned his pupils a bit. Just past the wall the level of lighting was very high. Brad realized that the shimmering light had actually been light reflected off the ceiling 50 feet up that had then bounced back down and off the aisles for 100 meters back towards the office entry.
The electronic crime scene wall didn't allow light to pass through it, but the corrugated roofing material made for an imperfect seal 50 feet above. The electronic walls were designed to go up operationally to a height of 100 feet, but the roof had foiled it. In outdoors area the electronic tape actually formed a dome to prevent helicopters, drones, and remote micro vehicles from being able to capture video or still images to sell on the WWWN, worldwide wiki news platform.
As his eyes adjusted, he was finally able to take in the crime scene and he cringed inwardly in shock. He felt a deep sense of revulsion. There was something fundamentally wrong about the images his eyes were being forced to process. There were body parts everywhere. The body parts were illuminated in a ghostly way by the standard super fluorescent lighting of this section of the warehouse, combined with the green scanning lights that were hitting every available surface almost instantly from multiple directions at the same time.
A robotic technician picked up body part after body part as the scanner instantly kept pace with this work. Each body part went into a unique evidence bag, which instantly vacuum packed upon sealing. The bag was then deposited on an inventory tray platform where every item of evidence was scanned again. This second scan was instantly indexed with the crime scene scan so that the custody of the evidence remained virtually perfect with only a fraction of a second where the item would have moved from the scene to official custody.
Brad was able to identify every body part almost instantly. They were different in size, hue and shape, but they were all the same . . .body part. Brad could see that the floor was littered with severed penis heads. Blood was everywhere, across the carton containers, pallets, the floor and a splatter pattern almost nine feet up.
There was a raised crime scene path, a transparent and firm gel that had been applied in a narrow sidewalk like path that could be traversed by foot, gurney or robot to enable emergency responders to attempt to help the victim without corrupting the crime scene further. The gel existed just above the detritus of penes cluttered on the floor like dead leaves fallen from a ghastly penis pod tree.
It reminded Brad briefly of a child hood fight he had had with a neighborhood girl. A large tree with a long flat pea pod type of seed hanging from the branches had haunted him after a slightly older girl,maybe twelve years old, had teased him that the pods were actually shriveled penis sacks that a witch had hung on the tree to scare away little boys. Brad had been old enough to know that her taunts were crap, but he had had nightmares about the concept for weeks afterwards anyway.
A month later, he had seen an elderly lady raking leaves and the pods in her yard. She had driven a riding lawn mower with a leaf bagger through the fallen pods and leaves creating a path on her first pass that looked very similar in the memory of his mind’s eye to the path that he was walking now.
Following the gel path forward with his eye, he realized the actual victim must lie several dozen feet further into this disgusting area. There must be 50 - 100 severed penises. He mentally noted that this image was going to scar him mentally for a long time, and he had instant second thoughts about his need to put up with shit like this.
Opposite the gel bridge, the crime scene robots had cleared a path through the body parts as they collected evidence. They were working their way towards the gel walk way, which allowed them to document the area while detectives could traverse the path and begin investigating the victim’s body immediately.
Brad methodically covered the path as it wound its way to the body taking in a significant amount of information, even for a human. There were a couple swerves around extra large piles of body parts. Eventually he arrived in the presence of the victim.
The victim, a middle aged man was strapped upright on his feet to a large dolly. It was unlikely the dolly had been used in the warehouse where forklifts and robots would have been used to move pallets and boxes. The dolly was more likely used in the office to move supplies.
The deceased man appeared to be slender in build, Caucasian and very pale almost on the pinkish side, rather odd for a corpse actually. The man had thinning to bald white hair, which was extremely odd for this day and age where such a deformity would typically be amended with a simple transplant procedure of new hair follicles combined with stem cells to stimulate recoloring and renewed growth.
The victim had obviously turned down this treatment, which was almost unheard of even for the deviants that like to practice extreme forms of naturalism, almost like the religious whack jobs of the former century who would turn down basic medical help and would instead chant and pray by the bedside of a child that didn't have a hope in hell of recovering without medical help.
The man seemed to have a slight indentation across the bridge of his nose with a symmetrical pair of indentations just to the side of this bridge as if two small ovoids had pressed against his skin daily for years. Brad glanced down and sure enough noticed a pair of broken glasses laying on the floor, yet another bizarre old fashioned device.
The man was not fat, but not in very good physical condition. That wasn't surprising, a person that wouldn't even have their eyes or hair fixed, was unlikely to accept treatments to improve or correct their muscle tone or mass a process that Bollywood and the military had perfected decades earlier.
The victim appeared to have pink, red welts all over his naked body. The welts seemed to be forming something akin to bruises on the corpse as the corpse lost its color. The welts were almost starting to turn purple. They had an odd circle overlapped by to other circles pattern. There were different sizes, but only 3-4 different sizes. There were dozens of these welts covering the victim literally from head to toe. There was a large welt that touched what would have been his hair line and his fore head. There were smaller patterns on the tops of his feet, overlapping his big toes.
Brad estimated his age to be somewhere in his mid to late forties, even though with the white hair and the glasses, it was a look that most people didn't accept or allow until they were at least 90 to 100 years old. Maybe he had some perverse notion of naturalism. Most people did not accept this look these days and again he was befuddled that Jenny could be married to this guy.
There was a stacked ring of body parts in a half circle around the victim from one pallet around the body and to the next body. The blood splatter almost made it look like the body parts had spilled out of the boxes shrink-wrapped on the pallets.
Each body part, a penis, had been cut off. This was apparent as the shaft of each penis had bled from the cut clear through. Weirdly, these members had a, base, where the testicles met the shaft that was flat and not bloodied at all. There was a jelly like gleam to this area. It had a skin tone color he noted in his mental report.
The bases of the penes separated from their likely respective severed shafts were scattered around the victim. As Brad looked more closely at what would have been the inside of one base . . .
Brad's thoughts were interrupted as his HUD buzzed his ear lobe. Brad hated the old fashioned heads up display video messaging device, especially when he was at a crime scene. Soldiers in old war stories, used to complain about losing their night vision temporarily when a blinding flash erupted. That was long before the invention of basic rod replacements that enabled eyes to automatically adjust to changes in light, but you just couldn't completely change the wiring in your brain to look at two different things at the same time and keep your level of focus at one hundred percent. Fortunately, this area was well lit, so his old pet peeve would not be to off putting.
Continue to Next Chapter 010 – Advice from the Rookie
[b1]Which officer? (one of the two patrol officers not detectives