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Next of Kin, Chapter Eighteen: 38%


  01:27:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 860 words  
Categories: Next of Kin

Next of Kin, Chapter Eighteen: 38%

Eighteen, 38%

The ambulance arrived before the cops did, and took him away.
When they did finally come, it was Martens, with IA. ?You're an advocate, so you beat that man half-to-death in the course of your investigation,? he said. ?Hence IA.?
?Hence you?? I asked, and couldn't keep the suspicion from my tone.
?I was familiar with your case,? he said, and shrugged. ?Now, you told dispatch that the suspect was in your car, trying to jimmy the receiver, right??
?You pulled him out, brandishing a bat. When he resisted, IE, wouldn't stay on the damn ground, you hammed him with the bat. I would say batted, because it's more technically accurate, but when I hear batted I think a kitten swiping gently at a piece of string. And judging from the photos snapped by the medics before they carted your guy away, there was nothing gentle about the beating you gave him. It's not every day a man literally spits teeth. But as soon as he stopped resisting, you dropped the bat, and called in the cavalry. And a review of the video will confirm all of this?? I nodded.
?Well I think you pulled me out of bed for nothing.? I frowned at him. ?Vehicle with this proximity to your domicile is legally a part of your home. So this homeless piece of trash invaded your home. Which gives you every right to beat the ever-loving shit out of him.? He paused an instant. ?Sorry, there, audience, I meant 'poop.'?
?But who was he?? I asked.
?Scum,? Martens said. ?If you really want to know, you've got access to the same databases I do. But if you want a word of advice. You really don't want to know. As somebody who's been in those shoes, reading about how Dickensian the guy's life was is only going to make it harder to finish your case. Justice is about seeing that people get what's coming to them; it's only human to sometimes feel lousy about how that plays out. But it's your psyche; damage it at your leisure.?
Martens not acting adversarial put me on edge. Maybe that was because I wasn't going after him. Maybe he thought my beating a man half to death gave him some leverage. Or maybe beating a man half to death made him feel like we had more in common than he thought. Whatever it was, I wanted him to go back to antagonizing me, because this détente was worse.
As soon as he was gone I went back inside and queried the database. I was sure he was right, on some level, that knowing the sob stories of criminals wasn't really going to help. But I nearly murdered a man at the demand of a braying public; I needed to know what kind of man I almost killed.
The sext show as back in full swing, only enough of an audience had appeared for it to justify video chatting. They were role-playing, me and the burglar, only in the show it was now a lady burglar, and it wasn't a bat I hit her with. Under nearly any other circumstances I would have been at least flattered, if not outright aroused.
But I was distracted reading up on Charles Dean. He was, for all intents, scum. He got failed out of a series of schools for multiple attempts to sell drugs to kids. The administrators at the time showed mercy, reported it administratively, rather than calling the cops. At least some of the time. He spent a few years total in juvie for a handful of different offenses. And his adulthood ran much the same way. He had been in and out of court-mandated rehab programs for years.
I was almost starting to feel justified, even self-righteous. This far from the pound of bloodlust, and now that I had a sex show being performed in my honor, my rating increased again. Maybe I deserved to watch a pornographic tribute. I caught a line of dialog from the chat, ?SexyPredator: I wanted to get caught in your back seat, so that you'd punish me by getting into mine.? To emphasize, the actress stroked her rump enticingly.
My momentary self-congratulation died when I hit the dependents section of Dean's file. He had a wife, and a kid, and I couldn't not see Tara and Max in them. She worked when she could, but both her and the kid had ill health, and thanks to this being a right-to-work state, her employers didn't put up with any absences whatsoever. I was surprised I even had some information on the family's financials. Roughly 70% of their income came from Charles, and he was going to prison- once he got out of the hospital- which I was sure they'd bill him for.
A shiver shot through me. All of this, over a receiver? A receiver I hadn't even wanted to buy. Jesus.
I closed the video chat window, and started to strip off my clothes. I ignored the innuendos coming from the chat, and muted it, then remembered to engage the autocensor. I needed a shower. Maybe forty.

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