01 March, 2011

Public Trust

This is one I wrote as an experiment to see if I could write characters without actually naming them at all. No "he said this" or "Jane looked over at him" or whatever, just dialogue.

Not 100% happy with how it flows, and I don't like the ending, I'm also not sure it's clear what has happened. Feedback definitly needed on this one:

“Ah, Chief, good glad you could make it”

“You sounded bothered”

“You’ll see why. Come through I’ll show you”

The room they entered showed all the signs of being a typical office, cubicles, screens and paperwork filled the view.

“Quite bloody as I said”

“No, you said quite bloody, this is a massacre”

“Not quite, there’s only one person’s blood here. It’s as if someone was making a point, trying to have an overly bloody scene to capture our attention”

“Show killing?”

“Possibly, but for one thing” at this he walked to the centre of the office “let me show you something”

“The body?”

“Bits of it, look as far as we can see this corpse is severely mangled. From what we can tell it’s not blunt instrument, not sharp knives, looks if anything like the man has just been pulled apart by human hands, but the strength is too high.”

“Drugs”

“No drugs we know of that can do this, not to a normal man anyway, besides the hands are of incorrect size, the impressions that we can make out imply a three fingered clawed hand significantly larger than that of a human”

“What does the surve say?”

“Nothing, whoever did this had a pretty effective way to knock out the surve”

“Is that even possible?”

“It’s happened”

“Any relation to the previous case?”

“Same evidence of superhuman strength, both cases are missing surve footage for whatever reason. No evidence of rape though.”

“Oh I forgot to mention that, the analysis came back from that case. There was no DNA in the sperm”

“That’s not possible”

“Unless someone went to a lot of care so that they could rape recreationally or someone is using some bio-engineering that’s under heavy patent protection”

“That doesn’t make sense either, they would put the markers in the sperm anyway to trace usage”

“Exactly, something isn’t right here”

“So you called for the cavalry then?”

“I’m always wanting any help I can get”

“So what are you wanting to know”

“Local surve was knocked out in quite a brutal murder, we want to know how they did it and if we have any other options”

“Always other options, you rely too much these days on the surve, where’s the detective work when all public crimes are recorded”

“Motive, what goes on behind closed doors, drugging, brainwashing, lots of things you have to prove and rule out”

“Well the sattelites are yours, next time we register a surve blackout you’ll get an overhead shot”

“When do you expect the next crime”

“If there is another one. There was a four day gap, so could be minutes, could be months”

“So we’re on then”

“We’re on, blackout at a ‘bot factory over near Janice fields”

“Got anything useful back yet?”

“Not yet, here you go, sat footage authorised, let’s have a look at the area around the blackout.” The visitor carried on muttering to himself “Removing civilians, removing knowns, search for movement, ah here we go”

The screen flashed up an overhead photo of the scene with a figure running into the office building

“That’s our man then?”

“Probably, hang on give me a little while I’ll see what we can reconstruct from the shadows and evidence you have so far”

“Is that for real?”

“4 limbs, about 8 foot high, 3 fingered, moving at about 40 mph, headed for the woods”

“Any ident”

“Nope, if that’s anyone we know it’s not carrying a transponder”

“So it’s either wild or military then”

“Or someone’s been very busy at home yes”

“Ok we’ve got a hunch, we think we know what they’re after”

“Go on?”

“This crime is unprecedented, so much so you’ve done everything you can to suppress it yes?”

“Yes”

“And this has caused a lot of trouble”

“Oh yes, people are asking lots of questions about freedom and censorship. It’s unprecedented the amount of things we’ve had to censor to keep this crime from causing panic”

“So we think it’s a good bet they’re trying to stir up trouble, whoever it is wants distrust of the government and what better way to cause mistrust than to give us something we want to cover up”

“Bait then?”

“Bait. Give him something big and easy for him to attack we’ll have to cover up”

“Any ideas on what?”

“Death of the man investigating his case would be a good one”

“Me, you’re going to use me?”

“Relax, we can rig up a ‘bot to impersonate you, remote link it to a vr box that you’re controlling and no one need know the difference”

“Bit expensive no”

“Oh with what we’ve learnt about this guy the sky is the limit to catch him”

“Why so urgent”

“Let’s just say that I will let you know when I have my fears confirmed.”

“So we just need to get the word out who I am and what I’m investigating and where I’ll be”

“Yep”

“Ok you sort out that bot, I’ll sort out the armed response unit ready to spring the trap”

“So how come this bot will be immune to the blackout”

“It won’t if he’s using an EMP then it’ll take the bot right out along with it”

“So he’ll know something’s up”

“Sure, but by then we’ll have him near enough to track, given past action”

“What if he suspects it’s a trap”

“Then he doesn’t take the bait, or he comes in all guns blazing. Either way we have a chance to do this”

“Ok we’ve just lost section 3”

“Ok all hands on deck, he’s got to come through one of the entrances, comms will be back up in a minute, let’s see who he’s taken out”

“Can you hear anything?”

“No, quiet”

“Ok comms are back, we’ve got a flatliner on 1st floor, west wing”

“Damn, how did he get there, ok teams, converge on 1st floor west wing”

“Flatline again on second floor, Sir they got Steve”

“Damn it’s that’s the perimeter breached”

“The ‘coptor has him tracking him”

“Don’t let them lose him”

“He’s gone Sir jumped into the sewers”

“Tracking systems there?”

“Down sir”

“Damn it how did he get through so easily, it’s like we weren’t even there”

“Please tell me you have some good news?”

“Well I know what it is now and how he got past us so easy. Frankly from what it was we’re lucky to be alive. The question now is who got hold of it”

“Back up there, who and what?”

“We managed to get some DNA from the assailant or creature whatever you want to call it. Looks like much of the DNA has been modified. Natural DNA is very easy to tell from engineered DNA even if the DNA has been encrypted.”

“You can’t enrypt DNA”

“Oh you can, all engineered DNA is full of notes not only telling the reader what each bit does, it also has a certification, at the very least it has the exact traceable code about which compiler was used which allows you to know who created something – only the very old compilers or a very select few military compilers don’t follow this”

“And military DNA is encrypted to hide it’s meaning”

“Indeed, most bio weaponry you don’t want your competitor to just copy what you’ve unleashed against then. No point unleashing your latest killer project only to have it turned right back at you”

“So this monster is a balck project then?”

“Quite an old one but a lethal one. A suit of living armour that wraps around the pilot. Quite literally every muscle is on the very limits of what is biologically possible, More than that from the look of it this is a derivative of that existing program with enhancements; some of the things this creature can do the opigonal couldn’t and studies of the RPGs that this thing absorbed implies that it is in fact a hybrid, a mix of the original biological with modern materials enhancements. It looks as if they have access to some old military research programs to enhance the strength, but they’ve combined this with modern genetic theory for clean insertion into the DNA. The original program had issues with the new DNA being badly rejected by the host cells, modern compilers build their whole metabolism from the ground up and this is what this seems to have done.”

“It survived RPGs? You never told me that”

“You don’t think my team let it run away with just a few vulgar words spoke to it did you? The only thing we had that seemed to make a dent were the armour piercing rounds and if the healing capacities of this are anything like the original within an hour or so it’d be back to full strength”

“So how do we track it?”

“We don’t this thing was designed to live off the land for deep insurgence use. Sure it’ll need to eat a lot of food and its digestion system is about as efficient as a log fire.”

“Fine so we chase energy food supplies and watch for mutilated cattle”

“Dogs were a favourite in the development program – lots of meat and just the right size”

“Anything else?”

“The assailant, you know we need a codeword for him, if he follows the pattern of the original will have significantly enhanced strength, senses, neural processing, regeneration and immune system. It’s not just the suit, it taps directly into the host body and stimulates and enhances. Worst case scenario he has the senses plugged directly into his brain, if he has that then only the will of the pilot will be the limit; everything else can be offloaded into the suit. Regeneration wise like a lizard can grow back its tail, this suit can regenerate seemingly indefinitely provided the core survives.”

“He can be killed though?”

“With enough armour piercing rounds or a tactical nuke then yes. With anything I’d want to unleash on this city, not really no.”

“Well I’m either going to make your day or ruin it.”

“What?”

“I called in a few favours. Did you really expect the military would give up on something with that sort of potential?”

“You called in the military?”

“You’d have preferred them to bring a tactical nuke? No it turns out there was a platoon trained to use these suits and they’ve been under constant development”

“So there’s now a platoon of those creatures going around our city”

“Hey it’s better than letting that madman do it freely”

“well it looks like he achieved his goal.”

“What do you mean”

“If you were the public would you trust us now, and look at all that we had to cover up to hide this and now it’s all out in the open”

“I think people will understand it was needed at the time”

“I wish I shared your hope”

“Well that was a disaster”

“It was acceptable losses”

“Half the platoon was torn apart”

“We weren’t to know about his modification”

“You had a man with total access to military’s most top secret program, a security breach of the highest level, bent on undermining faith in the government and police system and you didn’t think he might have a trick up his sleve”

“To be fair it wasn’t his trick, the venom was an idea proposed early on in the program”

“That was abandoned though judging from today it’s hard to see why”

“Leave your sarcasm for another time please, the situation is resolved”

“With how many civilian casualties?”

“Less than a dozen, look those that went into the blood lust were quickly spotted and contained.”

“That blood lust as you call it was contagious”

“But contained. Don’t worry we’ll have an antidote to it soon and those infected are all contained. I’m just surprised at how effective it was on the normal humans”

“Well he won in the end, we can neither be trusted to tell the truth nor trusted to protect them”

“Innocence is lost maybe, but we’re safe.”

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