Is there trouble? Must be Thursday
Detective Thursday just caught another homicide in the borough, her first serial killer case. So much for the holiday spirit. These horrific murders should be bad enough, but as she works the case, solves the puzzle and finds a witness to protect, Hayden discovers a much bigger intrigue at play, one that will change her life irrevocably.
Detective Hayden Thursday leaned over the grotesque image of a body frozen in dimensional stasis, and sighed loudly. This was her second crime scene today, and her third murder this week.
“Risen, tell me you have an answer on cause of death this time?” Hayden looked up to glare accusingly at the medical examiner as only a homicide detective could.
Dr. Charlie Risen didn’t like to commit to anything, not without all the proper tests. Educated guesses were against his religion or something. He pushed back his containment visor and matched Hayden glare for glare. “I can give you time of death,” he said testily. “Anything else is bullshit.”
“Fine,” she sighed. “Give me time of death.”
“According to the stasis field read outs, about twenty minutes ago.”
Hayden felt that old familiar nausea grind through her stomach. She looked at Risen to see a mirror of her own horrified expression.
“You’re telling me this man was alive when officers arrived on scene?”
Risen nodded, then hurried to say, “But, they couldn’t have known. That was deliberate, torture I suspect, though I can’t test that hypothesis.”
Hayden ran a palm over her face, then stood. Her smaller stature didn’t even come close to catching up to most of the men and women on the scene. Looking up was a way of life for her, and she did so now, searching the high beams of the construction site for any movement that couldn’t be a police probe or an officer on perimeter search.
“So, let’s recap this shit sandwich here. This guy,” she looked down at the handsome businessman in the expensive suit who was frozen like an ice statue in a stasis field used generally for handling volatile chemical compounds.
The bomb squad had their share of them. The unit was portable, small enough to fit in the back of a patrol vehicle, and it kept things from going boom, until someone at sec law wanted it to go boom.
Hayden looked at her palm comm device, and read his name. “Antony Price worked for Paradigm Industries, the contractor of this project. He was brought here, to the future home of Paradigm North America,” she gestured at the crime scene which was a collection of heavy equipment and mounds of mud and dirt.
“Where he was sliced twice in the abdomen and then placed in one of the on site hazardous materials stasis units, so that he could be aware and awake while first responders, who would have priority of securing the scene, would believe him to be past help until it was too late.”
Risen moved around the body to stand side by side with Hayden. “It was a very slow bleed, probably already past help, but he likely wouldn’t know that. The stasis wouldn’t stop the bleed out, but it would have slowed it to an excruciating rate. He could have been here for more than a day. Yesterday was Christmas Eve. The crew was on holiday break. Someone wanted their victim to die this way; slowly, painfully and within yards of the holiday traffic of downtown. Twisted,” Risen finished with a measure of horror in his voice.
“God,” Hayden said disgustedly. “Okay, just get me the report soon, Risen. I’ll do the notify and start profiling my vic. God, this just… I really hate the holidays.”
“You’ll have a report in a couple days.”
Hayden sighed. “Just hurry. I have a very bad feeling about this one.”
Risen adjusted his collar against a brisk wintry wind. “I’m not sure how anyone could have a good feeling about this one.”