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Next of Kin, Chapter Thirteen: 43%


  07:44:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 841 words  
Categories: Next of Kin

Next of Kin, Chapter Thirteen: 43%

Thirteen, 43%

I tried to ignore the hellstorm roiling in the chat as I walked. But with every step, the poison seemed to burn hotter, its venom becoming ever more pure. I knew engaging wasn't a good strategy for me, personally, that I was as likely to bring more buzzards. Half a dozen comments flew by that got my fingers into the home position, before I cooled myself off. So when this message flashed across the chat, I already had my input ready, ?PuntGunter: You should have shut up that communist cunt with a slap. Closed fist or pref. Dick.?
I started to tap out a reply, but realized halfway through that it was immolating myself in the hope that it would scare the monster away. Then a follow-up message arrived. ?ShartGurgler: Definitely the D; women only get that political when they haven't been dicked hard enough.? That made the decision for me.
?ME: All right, that's enough. You want to have a debate over the woman's politics, you want to criticize some aspect of her job or the questions I asked, fine. But the sexist shit ends, now, or I'll personally punt you and your Gunter out, personally.?
I felt pretty pleased with myself, until my rating halved in a matter of seconds. I wondered what spending several months in prison for pissing off jerks on the internet would be like.
But then the women in the chat seemed to rally around a chatter named LeslieBien, and my approval rebounded, and even gained a handful of points. I was still only in the middle forties, but after seeing myself in the low twenties, I'd take it.
I didn't have time to celebrate. I got a message that my GPS/camera query was done rendering. I didn't remember making a request, but right on the tail of that I got a private message from Chase.
?Kid, took the liberty of ordering a deep track of your brother's comings and goings. He was using a ghosted GPS, and from a quick db search it seems like he was probably rotating out identities every week or so, but the information's enlightening. Happy hunting. P.S. Kick IA in the balls for me. Tell them it's from me, and tell them I know what happened to Henderson, so they can't touch me- unless it's to blow off some of that anger. I like a good rage job.?
I wondered if Chase was continuing in his obnoxious persona, or if there was more truth in the character he put in front of the audience than he was aware of. But it didn't matter. It gave me a direction.
But IA? That sounded familiar, from watching cop shows with my mom. I'd never spent much time paying attention to the shows. I considered doing a search to figure it out, but something told me it was going to be evident if I just looked at the render.
I pulled up a map, and the GPS data traced a line from one yellow dot to the next, starting when John arrived home a few hours before he was killed. The yellow signified time spent in any one location, the more time, the bigger the dot. A clock in the corner of the map counted backwards from ToD, the time of death.
Every third dot, a camera still popped up beside the dot, showing him walking away from a coffee shop, or leaving a public restroom or a store. After a few minutes, it became obvious that he was circling around a specific part of town. In the center was the largest of all of the yellow dots.
He spent all afternoon near the dot, making dozens of stops in seemingly random places, but working his way away from the central dot. But it only seemed random, to evade the usual automated surveillance algorithms. He was making drops, possibly pick-ups; I once made the mistake of offering to give him a ride. It was his third 'errand' that I figured out what he was doing, and told him to go to hell.
Three more stops with stills, and we arrived at the large yellow circle. My interface printed the address and full name of the police department headquarters.
The last still showed John, entering the second floor of the police department's building. The floor was identified as IA- Internal Affairs- the cops who investigate other cops. Who watches the watchmen? These assholes. When LECCRA passed, one of the congressmen said that he wanted law enforcement he could drown in a tub. IA were the ones holding them under the water.
I tried to play the video, but got only static. The video had been lost since the screen capture was taken. Something told me it wasn't an accident.
With most investigative work being done by advocates, internal affairs made up fully half of the department, and held everyone else under a microscope. Including us advocates.
I was going to have to go into the lion's den, and hope they weren't hungry.

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