Ok, I’ve written another chunk of my story, so I’m gonna update you on the progress. I’ve been at least staring blankly at the screen most nights trying to figure out where the story is going, and I think I’ve kind of got a ghost of an idea in my head now. One day I’ll put everything from my head down on paper and organise it, but for now I seem to be doing ok just pulling it out a bit at a time. Most nights I’ll manage to get 1 or 2 hundred words down, which I think is ok progress.
This time, I’d like more feedback if you all don’t mind giving it? How am I doing? Does it read ok? Does it make sense? Is there anything I’ve glossed over, or put too much detail into? Also, chapter length. Is the end of this post a good point to end a chapter? Should the chapter be longer? Or shorter?
Anyway, too much me yapping and not enough showing you more of what I wrote.
For part 1, click here
Still no title for the story
Thirty minutes later the market was, once again, a hive of activity. This time, however, it was police and medical teams filling the street. Jessie had a good view of the scene from her seat at the back of an ambulance; she had suffered a few bruises and was very shaken up, but nothing too serious.
Looking around she could see plods interviewing her neighbours. Little Ryan from up the road was giving a very graphic demonstration of the happenings, acting everything out; as she watched he mimed the part where the crim’s hand exploded. Traders from the market were making their ways back to their stalls, hoping to pack up and lock their wares away before the urchins pinched them all. There was little chance of that; the urchins of Darktown could smell an unattended stall from a mile off, and in the last five minutes she had seen three of the little buggers sneaking off into alleyways with suspicious bulges in their ragged clothes.
Out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of Detective Stone, and her thoughts returned to the “incident” from earlier. Over the past half an hour she’d replayed the whole thing in her mind over and over. She hadn’t half been stupid, and she’d put her life and the detective’s at risk, and probably loads of other peoples’ too. Jessie had always been a bit clumsy, a little careless, always making a mess of things, getting in everybody’s way. But not anymore! From this day forward, Jessie Snowdrop would be a changed woman! She smiled to herself at that thought, and got back to her observations. Stone was stood at the top end of the street by a black car. He was speaking to a short, fat man with a combover. The little man didn’t seem to be very happy; he was gesticulating wildly, and she could just about hear his raised voice from this end of the street.
“What’s his problem?” she thought to herself. Her brow furrowed, and she felt anger at the little man. How could he possibly be angry?! Mac had got the bad guy and he had saved her life for crying out loud! She wanted to go over there and put the little shit in his place, even started to get up, but the paramedic was still sat with her and wouldn’t let her move. He said something involving the words “resting” and “ordeal”, but she wasn’t paying any attention. She resigned herself to sit and wait until they let her go.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?! Are you insane?! You’ve got insane, haven’t you? Three dead crims in as many days! That’s more then any other officer in 6 months! This is not how we operate! I should suspend you…”
Chief Inspector Boyle continued that way for a while longer, but Mac wasn’t really listening. They went through this song and dance at least once a week; Boyle screamed, flailed his arms about and jumped up and down a bit, and Mac just stood there, indifferent. Oh, threats of suspension, demotion, and sometimes even criminal charges were made, but Boyle wouldn’t follow through on them. He couldn’t; Mac Stone was by far the best detective on the force and Boyle knew it. Everybody knew it, and no-one more so than Mac himself. Despite his misgivings, he got the damn job done. No messing around, no waiting for warrants, no special treatment for the rich, nobby types, and people respected that. It was about all they respected about him though, and he was perfectly fine with that. People, for the most part, either got on his nerves or got in his way, and he had no time for them.
“…Drag you kicking and screaming into a cell and leave you there! Do you hear me?!”
“Yep. Now if you’ll excuse me, sir, I have a corpse to examine.” And with that Stone strode off towards the Medical Examiner a little way down the street, grinning to himself as he went. Boyle screeched in exasperation, kicked a nearby bin, and stormed off.
“Bastard!” he muttered to himself as he left the crime scene.
“You really know how to push his buttons, don’t you?” the coroner grinned as Mac made his way over to him.
“You know how it is Harper, you’ve gotta grab your fun wherever you can find it these days.”
“If you say so Mac. Just be careful; even cats only have nine lives, and you must have used up at least twelve by now.”
Dr. Harper Wilkes, Medical Examiner, was a well groomed man, about the same age as Stone. He was wearing a long, white lab coat, and lavender latex gloves. His hair was dark brown, almost black, with a peppering of white hairs throughout, and he sported a short, smart goatee. His eyes were a piercing, icy blue, over which he wore thick, horn-rimmed spectacles.
“Let’s get down to business, shall we Harper?”
“Yes, let’s. Your latest victim,” he said, giving Mac a smirking glance, before going back to his pad, “is a caucasian male in his 30s. He was very fit, I’m surprised you managed to keep up.”
“I didn’t, that’s why he got shot. Well, that and him not stopping. Anything unusual?”
“A couple of things, actually. The first one is a biggy, too.” He squatted by the crim’s head and tilted it to one side. “This,” he said, indicating a slight bulge just behind the left ear, “indicates that he was chipped.”
Being chipped is kind of like having a little computer in your head that’s connected to your brain and eyes. It can be used for all kinds of things, such as recording what you see, sending and receiving messages, or even watching TV (if that’s your sort of thing). The process was pricy though, so only the super-rich and their entourages tended to have them.
“That is strange. Can we get any information from it?”
“I can extract it at the lab and send it to the boys in Tech, see what they can do. Now, the other weird thing is this.” He pulled one side of the man’s shirt aside, revealing a tattoo underneath. “There’s something about this tat that I can’t quite put my finger on. It seems so familiar, but I can’t think of where I’ve seen it before.”
“I can help you out with that one, doc. That,” he announced, pointing at the tattoo, “is the insignia of The Raven’s Talon, a specialist infiltration squad from the good old US of A. Faced off against them a couple of times during the war, and they were pretty fierce. In fact, it was one of these bastards that blew a hole in my leg the day we met in that infirmary.”
I remember it well. You were screaming like a baby until I gave you that morphine.” Harper grinned.
“Correction,” interjected Stone. “It wasn’t the morphine that shut me up, it was the bottle of whiskey.”
They looked at each other and burst out laughing at the memory. Everything had gone downhill at the start of the Last War (as it was known) in 2018. It was 2054 now, and nothing had improved since. It felt good to find something to laugh about reflected Mac.
“Good times, Mac, good times. But we digress. What’s one of those boys doing over here? And why is he chipped?”
“Well, doc, it’s actually not that uncommon to see this sort of thing. A lot of soldiers from across the pond didn’t like what their government was making them do, so they deserted. Looks like some snob found a use for this guys “skills”,” he mimed the quote marks, “and employed him. Let’s hope we can find out who the snob is from that chip. God knows, I could use a break. Three murders, three dead suspects, and this is the first hint of a clue I’ve had all week!”
“I feel your pain. Anyway, I’d best get this corpse back to the morgue. It’s getting a bit warm out here, and I’d rather he was still mostly solid for the autopsy.”
“Okie dokie Harper. Keep me posted.”
“Will do. Catch you later bud.” And with that he loaded the body into the back of his van and drove off.