In Extremis

Chapter 2

After speaking with their captain about their next case, the two lead detectives drove to the vacant lot where a body had been discovered by a group of construction workers planning to tear down the building right beside it due to a number of violations not taken care of by the building's owners. The body was that of a young man between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two and upon examining him, Wes and Travis found that he had been brutally stabbed multiple times, then finally shot in the head.

"Talk about major overkill," Travis remarked upon standing up from kneeling over the body. "There are at least fifteen stab wounds. Somebody sure hated this kid. What are you thinking, Wes? You look like you're confused, or maybe just deep in thought. I can't really tell with you."

"I'm guessing that from the more shallow gashes, this kid was tortured first, the wounds becoming deeper the longer the torture session lasted," his partner answered as he continued observing the body. "He obviously lasted quite awhile, but I'll bet that the gunshot to the head means that he finally talked and whoever did this, now have whatever information they were looking for."

Travis nodded, then replied, "Man, tough break."

Wes continued as he asked, "The real question is, what kind of information could this kid possibly have that would warrant such brutality?"

"That's what our investigation is for," Travis responded sarcastically.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," the blonde detective said in frustration as he watched Travis pull out the young man's wallet. "Any identification?"

Travis pulled out a couple of cards, including his driver's license, and answered, "Well, according to his license, this guy's name is Harold Ramis. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this ID is a fake. I wouldn't be surprised if we were to discover a ghostbuster costume, proton pack included, at his apartment, if we can even find out who he really is."

Wes stood as he glared at his partner and replied, "That's funny. However, I think you're definitely right about…"

"About him having the ghostbuster costume and proton pack at his apartment?" Travis asked jokingly as Wes grabbed the ID from his hand.

"About this card being a fake," Wes responded curtly, then looked around at the crowd that had gathered around them to observe the crime scene. "We should ask the onlookers if any of them witnessed the body dump."

As they both noticed one of the observers start to slowly back away upon overhearing the detectives, Travis spoke again saying, "It doesn't look like we're going to have to."

As soon as the teenager took off running, Wes and Travis quickly took off after him as Wes shouted, "Why do they always have to run?"

The two detectives chased the young man three blocks while running through the numerous obstacles he threw in their way, such as garbage cans, mailboxes, and wood crates that had been stacked up outside of an old warehouse nearby, but the chase abruptly ended when Wes ran into him from the opposite direction after taking an alternate route to cut him off. Travis picked the kid up off the sidewalk and shoved him up against a car parked beside them, while Wes stood and brushed himself off, as dirt covered his clothes.

"What are you doing?" the teenager cried as Travis began to cuff him. "I didn't do anything!"

"You made us run!" Travis answered angrily. "I hate having to run after criminals and perps."

Wes quickly replied, "He does, he does hate to chase down our perps, so I suggest you help us out by explaining why you ran or I'll let him bring you in. Believe me, you don't want us to do that. I can't be held responsible for what he might do."

Travis angrily responded, "You can start by telling us your name."

"My name is Joey Franklin," the teenager answered finally. "And I ran because I don't want to be seen talking with two cops."

"Let me guess, you don't want to be seen talking to us because you're involved with a gang and they don't like a snitch," Wes replied as he noticed a gang insignia tattooed on his neck.

Travis stared at the kid as he asked, "You're involved with a gang? Kid, how old are you?"

Joey responded angrily, "I'm sixteen. And I'm not a kid."

"You are just a kid and a stupid one at that," Wes answered curtly as he got into his face. "You're only going to get yourself killed way too early. Do you know who our dead man is?"

"Man, no I don't know who he is, but whoever they are, they wanted his ride awful badly," he replied as he shoved Wes backward once Travis finished undoing the cuffs.

Travis quickly stated, "Hey, take it easy. Otherwise, I'll take you in for assaulting a cop. What do you mean someone wanted his ride? Are you saying you saw someone steal his car, or bike, or whatever he drives?"

Joey looked toward one of the apartment buildings nearby, then responded, "I saw a group of men drag your guy out of that building and into the lot behind it where his car was parked. Their own car was parked out front of the building. Two of the men got in it, but the others drove off in your victim's. That thing was sexy hot; a brand new Porsche 918 Spyder."

"A car like that must cost well over $800,000.00," Wes said quickly. "How does a kid living in these parts afford a car like that?"

"He can't, unless the car's stolen or there's something different about this kid," Travis answered as he looked over at his partner. "If we can figure out which apartment is his, then maybe we can figure out how he got his hands on a Porsche."

Wes nodded and then turned back to Joey as he spoke to him saying, "Thanks for the help, kid. And take my advice; get out of the gang of yours before you become too involved with them and no longer can't. You'll one day regret it if you don't, trust me."

As Joey ran off in the opposite direction of the detectives, Wes and Travis headed toward the building that the kid had pointed to in hope that they'd be able to find the right apartment, then Travis spoke up again as he asked, "Trust you? What was that about? I saw the look on your face when you tried to encourage him to leave his gang? What do you know about gangs?"

"I'd rather not talk about it," Wes replied grimly. "Just leave it alone."

"All right," his partner responded with a shrug. "Okay, I'll leave it alone, for now. Let's try to find out who our victim really is before the day is over. Surely someone around here knows him."

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