Cyborg - First Generation
‘Clary, get me coffee, black, sweet.’ Detective Chief Inspector Ben Tobin nursed the mother of all headaches after another night of hoax callouts and Kinroy whiskey.
‘And good morning to you too, Ben.’ a female voice replied huffily. ‘Do you need me external or screen mode?’
‘Screen.’ He could not cope with her hologram bustling around the room, especially with her fashion sense, a swatch of chiffon barely covering her top, whilst the hem of her skirt argued with her crotch.
‘Coffee ready in one minute. Ben, those signs of primitive emotions are more evident. Please check out with Caremed.’
‘Not later – now. I care about you.’
He grimaced, she shouldn’t have that kind of power. She was always on his back. ‘I said, later, I promise.’ Stumbling into the lounge, he collapsed into the chair, to feel foam arms encircle his body, massaging tense muscles. Closing his eyes, he groaned in relief.
‘Here you are buddy, coffee straight.’ Albert, an X2 level droid, grinned, his white teeth sparkling. It hurt Ben’s eyes to look at them. Today, Albert sported a blue spandex body suit with flashing buttons matching his teeth. What was it with these droids? They seemed to have a thing about clothes, the more bizarre the better.
‘Not today Al, my head is killing me.’ It was at times like this, he wished he hadn’t gone for the Buddysoftware.
‘Cut it Al’, ‘Clary’s voice boomed, ‘Ben, you’ve got a call from the station. PC Thomas. Are you okay for visuals?’ Sensing his body rise from the chair, the foam arms retreated.
‘Yes – yes, put her through.’ The officer’s face appeared on the stark wall, her lips a sombre line, replacing the usual toothy grin. ‘Sir, homicide just come through – West Beach – same MO.’
‘Call Detective Sergeant Dunwood, tell her I’ll meet her at West Beach. Inform SOCO – no officers or droids, no matter what their rank are allowed near the body until I've seen it. Get hold of D.S. Dunwood, Doctor Morton and Superintendent Cain. Tell them to go straight to the beach. I’ll be there in ten minutes.’
‘Yes Sir. Body already tented. Over and terminated.’
Moving to the bathroom he opened the cabinet and took out the medgun then jabbed it against his upper arm. Within five minutes, he was out of the door, the black faux leather jacket slung over his shoulder.
A group of detectives huddled by the perimeter of the crime scene, their clothes rumpled and eyes bleary, witness to a hard 12-hour shift. The gaunt expressions showed Ben the ferocity of the crime. No one would be going home today. A young woman stepped forward, her black bob, a shock of tangled chopsticks in gusting winds.
‘Reporting for duty boss.’
Ben nodded at his temporary partner. There was no time to ease her into the job. But, Dunwood was a tough kid. Despite the early hour, people milled around the perimeter of the crime scene. Sensing the macabre, some shoved their way forward, craning necks to catch a glimpse of whatever lay in the tent. At least, the media hadn’t arrived yet.
A young constable fresh out of Police Academy, his cheeks flushing a darker red than his hair, stood ready with a protective nano spray to coat their hands, clothes and boots.
Sergeant David Jacobs standing guard by the tent, turned to him, the grooves deepening in his face. ‘Bastard’s demented Chief – just a bit of a girl you know, just a….’ He shrugged his shoulders, grey eyes hardening to splintered slate as he glanced towards the tent.
Ben opened the tent flap to see snakes decaying over the tender young body. He pulled away a sea anemone suckling on the pallid skin of her chest.
Detective Mistral Dunwood paced outside the tent, eyes squinting in the morning light. As the Scene of Crime Officers trudged towards her, she called out, ‘Boss, SOCO’s here, shall I bring them in?’
‘No, I need to process the body first, keep everyone away until I call.’ As he placed the magnetic I.D. card to the victim’s pale wrist, the details tattooed in her skin appeared.
Secretary to Dr Naomi Pearson.
Apartment 8, 11 Marine Parade,
Area West Sussex, BSX 890.
Date of birth, 21.10.2040.
He whispered, ‘I’m here for you angel; we'll find the bastard.’
A stone relic lay under Melanie's foot: the carved body of a woman, half-human half snake. He recognized this as a Snake-Bird Goddess. He pressed his right temple, activating the photonic camera smaller than a human hair, embedded deep in the hypodermis, relaying Melanie’s details instantly to his personal cloud. He would need to study this in private. He tapped an implanted nano sized cell invisible to the human eye on his wrist, immediately transferring the information to Central Processing.
Stepping outside the tent, he looked over to Dunwood, ‘Detective, arrange for DC Heller to inform Melanie Wordsworth’s parents. Have a family liaison officer go with her. Then send a couple of uniforms over to me.’
Misty strode towards a group of uniforms, her Rubenesque curves attracting quite a few male glances; the ample buttocks swaying seductively as she moved.
Within seconds, two female officers arrived; the taller one came forward, her blond frizzled hair covered with a helmet pulled down almost over her eyes, whilst the other, stood back, her box-shaped body braced, lips crunched into a thin line.
Ben scribbled down an address. ‘See if Doctor Naomi Pearson is there. Report back.’ He turned to Misty. ‘Take a look detective, prepare yourself, the body is mutilated, it stinks in there.’
Seconds later he heard her gasp, ‘Fuck ... no,’ the words ricocheting off polyester walls. She rushed past him, biting down on white knuckles, her stomach throwing the remains of her breakfast on the sand.
Misty stumbled away, wiping her mouth. This was her first day as his partner, and she’d ruined it, acting like some wimp at the initial sight of putrefying snakes. She watched the pathologist treading carefully over the stones to the tent.