“Thanks. Good to meet you.” I said. I sat down on a metal chair with beige cushions. I stared at them for a second, studying them for stains. Who knew how many fluids had been excreted around here on any average day?
Human beings are disgusting.
“I’ll power up my screen so you can see some of the files. You need some coffee?” She said, sitting down. She was dressed in a grey skirt with a matching suit coat over a white shirt. On her right breast was a badge that doubled as communicator and personal computer. It was the typical bronze police shield. It looked so clean it could have been a costume.
“No thank you. Not a coffee drinker.” I said.
“You sure you were in the army then,” she said.
“Unfortunately, very sure. Worst mistake of my life,” I said.
She laughed a little and sipped a porcelain teacup with vertical ledges lining it.
“Don’t start this conversation by being honest. That’s a high standard for anyone to maintain.” She said.
“Hard not to be honest about my time in the core. How about you? You ex-military?”
“No, not exactly. Family was sent here. I grew fond of it,” she said.
“Really? Well not the Neon Quarter surely?” I said. She smiled and focused on a notebook on her right that was scribbled with notes. A light melody of classical music was coming from a speaker somewhere beneath her desk. This was some sort of a green oasis in this metal jungle.
She said nothing. The screen ahead of me powered up. Two-way screens were an easy way to convey information. Whatever information the presenter was presenting, I would see too, unfiltered. The gadget was clear, thin and almost two feet high. Detective Segul tapped a few keyboard keys and a variety of images silently slid onto the screen.
“So you sure this isn’t some ritual killing or something? Crime rate per foot in Rumeo is the highest in the world. Was it some Mob message or anything?”
“You mean Mobs.” She said, not looking up from the monitor.
“Mobs? Why is it plural. Shouldn’t it be singular. Isn’t there just the Mob?” I asked her.
“No, it is mobs. Multiple ones. Multiple subjects. Multiple bosses. There is not just the Italians, Germans, or Russians from old Hollywood flicks with wine and cigarettes, but hundreds of ethnicities, heritages, and such that have criminal syndicates here beneath the skyscrapers. You would benefit from remembering our diversity. We’ve been inclusive about everything here in Rumeo, even our crime.”
“And none of the murders echo they’re tendencies? Are they looking to expand their grisliness to intimidate other organizations? Are they looking for more territory or real estate?” I asked.
“Yes but no. There are plenty of crimes each week that are about setting new boundaries on territories. Murders, robberies, beatings, but none matching this weirdness.”
“Okay, I’ll skip the summary. What happened?”
Images blinked across my eyes. Blood, gutters, walls, asphalt, guts, and everything else in-between. Most focused on dead man with a gaping hole in his head. Something decided his skull needed a crater.
“Man was found yesterday in an alley behind one of the smoke shops in the Quarter. There were no witnesses. Brain was removed. Found a few yards away completely intact.” Iria said. A screen appeared on her flat, plastic desk. It flickered for a second then came into focus.
“Fucking hell, brain removed? What is this a 1950’s science fiction film? Christ. What else?” I said.
“Scalp and skull were pierced open by some sort of appendage. It left marks on the gray matter membrane. Our doctor said it might’ve been a tongue, a big one, at least 12 inches, with some sort of tooth on the tip of it.”
“Fuck.” I said.
“Yeah, exactly, now you see why we sent a wire to the military. This is out of our wheelhouse completely. In fact, I don’t know of a single wheelhouse it would be in. Assuming that a person did this, their physical strength would have to be incredible.”
“Barely human.” I said.
Back at it. Part eight. Need to catch up on what the hell is happening in this story? Go to this page for all the other entries or else the homepage for Genesis Adust. This is just getting started and I’m pleased with where it is going. Thank you for reading my writing.