Genre Savvy

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Genre Savvy

Post by PiEdude on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:23 pm

The man walked through the door into the precinct. It took him a moment to adjust to the dimmer lighting. He didn’t look completely out of place. His attire was business-casual, with a long brown jacket and matching slacks. He looked around with his eyes still squinting as he headed towards the front desk. Officers walked about, some carrying the day’s paperwork, others were leaving to go out on their patrol or coming back from them. There were various flags hanging around, for the country, state, and city. Like most precincts, it also had some emblem with some Latin phrase denoting something about justice.

When he reached the front desk he was greeted by a weary secretary tapping away at a computer. “Joseph Saneman?” she asked in a dull tone.

“Yes.” Joe replied simply.

The captain is expecting you. Third floor, take the elevator behind me. He should be waiting for you when you reach the top.” She went back to her computer screen.

“Thanks.” Joe received no reply as he walked around the desk, and to the elevator.

After an uneventful ride to the third floor, the double doors opened, and the captain was waiting, as promised. He extended his hand to Joe impulsively as soon as he was visible. “Nice to see you in person Mr. Saneman. I’m Captain Oscar Blivious, we spoke on the phone.”

“Yes, I remember.” Joe replied, taking the handshake. “You need my help with interrogating a suspect?”

The captain started walking, and gestured for Joe to follow.

“Yes, he’s a tough one. We’ve been grilling him for days, but he hasn’t given us anything.
“What makes you think it was him?”

“We have a significant amount of evidence pointing to him. Finger prints, an eye witness, and he has no alibi. The most damning thing, however, is that he refuses to contact a lawyer.”

Joe nodded. “What’s his name?”

“Douglass Herring. He’s known locally as ‘Red’ due to his hair color.”

The interrogation room was just a few feet away. Joe stopped in his tracks and turned to the captain. “His name is ‘Red Herring?’”

The captain nodded. “He’s a slippery one. The evidence is there, but something’s just missing.”
“Uh, huh.” Joe responded. “Just take me to him.”

“Of course.” The captain opened the door into the room.

There was the two-way mirror that was expected in any room of this kind, and they walked in on the transparent side. A man sat on the other side of it in a metal chair, idly looking around the room. A microphone was still on in front of him, the report from it echoing into the current room’s speakers. There was already a man on Joe’s side of the glass, holding a coffee, and reading something. He looked up to acknowledge the captain and Joe.

“Morning captain.” The man greeted before looking to Joe. “Is this the guy?”

“Yes, this is him. Joe I’d like you to meet officer Chekhov. He’s been with me on this investigation from the beginning.”

Joe nodded before looking at the man’s side arm. “I can assume that that is your gun, officer?”

With a confused expression, Chekhov nodded. “Yes, why do you ask?”

“No reason.” Joe replied.

“Well then, enough about Chekhov’s gun.” The captain interrupted. “Let’s look at our evidence.” He picked up a file-folder sitting on the nearby metal table, and began sifting through it for the most important aspects.

“We have the fingerprints from the scene, matching his, and the report from the witness.”

“Can I see that?” Joe asked. The captain handed both to him, but he only read the report from the witness. “Hmm…” He looked over the paper quickly.

“Can you call in your witness?” Joe asked, looking up.

“He’s still here in another room. I’ll have someone bring him in.”

It was a few minutes later when another man walked through the door. He was slightly tall, had a pale complexion, and thin frame. He looked as though he hadn’t gotten much sleep lately, if the bags under his eyes were any indication.

Officer Chekhov gestured to him. “Joe, this is him. Thomas Ronald Kelso.” The man nodded. He seemed very relaxed, and oddly confident.

“Mr. Kelso,” Joe began. “In your statement, you claim to have heard two gunshots from the apartment down the hall from you, correct?”

The man nodded simply.

“Why is it then,” Joe continued, “That no other residents of the same floor claim to have heard the shot?” He looked the man in the eyes with a clinical expression.

“Well, you see,” Tom began. “I was in the hall. I was taking my groceries into my apartment.”

“The problem with that though, is the fact that you never claimed that in your original statement.”

“Maybe I just forgot.”

“Forgot your original story, you mean? Because it says here, that you claimed to have been watching the television at the time.”

The man looked slightly nervous now. He didn’t show it in his face, but Joe noticed him playing with the buttons on his shirt, and tapping his feet in a rhythmic fashion.

“There’s one more important detail.” Joe grabbed another sheet of paper, one that nobody had bothered pick up before. “The woman in the apartment next to the victim’s claims to have heard a muffled popping sound, she described it as sounding like someone hammering cloth. What I believe she heard was the sound of a gun being fired with a plastic bottle taped over the barrel.”

“That’s ridiculous.” Tom finally blurted out. “What other possible proof of that could you have?”

Joe smiled. “In the evidence report, there were traces of plastic found in the sink. Meaning that you walked into the victim’s apartment with Mr. Herring’s own pistol, which you stole, used a ‘poor man’s silencer’, which aren’t totally silent, by the way, and then disposed of it in the victim’s garbage disposal.”

The man was sweating now. He’d lost at his own game, and knew it. The captain looked at him. “Do you have anything in your own defense, Mr. Kelso?” he eyed him suspiciously, while reaching for his handcuffs.

Thomas wasted no time. He reached over and tightly grabbed the captain’s side arm, and pulled the trigger twice. The first shot missed, but the second went directly into the captain’s leg. He screamed in pain as Thomas pushed him over and jumped from his chair, kicking up the table as he went.

After Joe heard the first shot, he dove back, behind his chair. Officer Chekhov stood, and reached for his weapon as he stood, but before he could even reach it Joe saw him react to three bullets entering his chest. He fell to the ground beside Joe, bleeding, his eyes still open.

Joe knew he was going to die. He didn’t think he was. He knew it. He had no chance now.

Then he heard a tapping at the window behind him.

Joe looked up to see the suspect, Red Herring, trying desperately to see what was going on. “Hello?” he asked, his voice heard through the room’s speakers. Footsteps were heard, and then the door opening, as Kelso walked out of the room. Joe wondered at first why he hadn’t shot through the glass, but then he realized it was likely bullet proof.

Joe knew that Tom knew, because he thought like he did. That’s what Joe would do.

He stood up, and looked into the room. Red was still knocking on the glass, a confused expression on his face. There was no noise when the door behind him opened, and Tom walked in. Red hadn’t even fully turned around when Tom raised the captain’s stolen gun, and shot him three times in the chest, the sound amplified by the microphone. All three went through. He fell back to the glass, and blood was smeared as he slid down.

The mirror was “spider-webbed” now, but still too strong to shoot through. Tom had never left the door, nor had he closed it. He just stood there, in the doorway, waiting for Joe to come out. The microphone was still on. Joe could still hear the static buzzing in his ears. “Hello Joe.” Tom finally said. He was looking at the mirror. Joe knew Tom could only see his reflection, but it still felt as though he were looking into his eyes.

“I’m a big fan of yours. I read your book, Genre Savvy. You know, the one about the increasing awareness of criminals towards law enforcement techniques of finding them? It helped a lot with this one.”

Joe’s eyes widened. “You see Joe, the reason there were so many clues were because I left them for you. Of course, knowing you, this should already be pretty obvious. The homemade silencer, not washing the sink enough, using his own sink to dispose of it. Let’s not even get into the fact that I didn’t even have any grocery bags with me when I supposedly heard the shots. Can’t believe you missed that one.” He smiled. It was oddly devoid of emotion. “I guess we all make mistakes.”

That was enough. Joe looked below the window/mirror, and saw a switch that read “Mic 1”. He flipped it and Tom’s voice went silent. Joe looked over to Officer Chekhov. His gun was still in his holster. He grabbed it, and walked towards the door. He could hear his own heartbeat, and if he were another man he might’ve assumed Tom could too.

Slowly, he turned the knob to the room’s exit, before violently thrusting the door open without walking through. The sound of gunshots reverberated throughout the hall, and the door was riddled with holes. Joe had been counting the shots. If the captain had had a nine millimeter, as he had assumed, then he would have only one round left, and that was if there were an extra in the chamber. Joe inhaled deeply, before running and knocking the door open one last time. He aimed in the general direction of Tom, closed his eyes, and kept pulling the trigger until Chekhov’s gun was empty.

He opened his eyes, his ears now stinging and a ring resounding through them. Tom was still standing there for a moment. He lowered his own weapon, and stared Joe in the eyes. “Well done sir.” He managed to say, before falling to his knees. Joe looked and saw three entry wounds, widely spaced, in the man’s torso. He’d emptied the entire clip, and had only hit three times.

Footsteps were heard, and Joe looked behind him to see the police coming up the stairs. He dropped his gun, and put his hands up. The captain was still alive, he knew, though probably going into shock. He had an alibi, a story, evidence and motivation for self defense. As far as the law was concerned, Joe was clean. But he knew that this would stay with him for the rest of his life.

In the end, Tom had won.
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PiEdude
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