Humanity was dying, withering away to nothing. They asked the scientists what to do, and these wise men spoke of a parasite that would cure everyone and everything. However, no one could find it.
The water rushed by through the muddy river. The smell was awful. I knew that the brown swell was just a sewage runoff. I was standing naked and shivering along its soggy banks. Blank faces stood around me. One of them was cutting me. Shoving a rusty knife into my flesh, opening wounds along my arms and legs.
"Many parasites are in these waters, one of them is the one we need." They whispered, "The one that will save us all."
And so I waded into the waters and let my blood draw them in. I felt them. Like worms slithering into the open flesh. Tiny creatures with hundreds of sharp teeth clawing into my blood. Burrowing into my organs, nesting in my heart. Infecting me. Destroying me.
I felt them all writhing inside me. Millions of them. I crawled onto the shore and begged them to let someone else do it.
One of the silhouettes broke from the group. Jeremy Graham walked up to me with a shake of his head. He punched me in the face. "Burton!" He shouted.
BAM! BAM! BAM! "Burton!"
Three Punches then a shout.
-M! BAM! "Burton!"
Someone was knocking loudly on my door and shouting my name.
I rolled off the bed and hobbled over to the door, nearly ripping it off it's hinges.
"WHAT!?" I shouted.
Thaton was standing in front of me holding a phone. She did a double take. "Jesus, you look like shit."
"People are telling me that more and more these days." I said, my vision was blurred, but I could still tell Thaton was in no better shape. "When's the last time you slept?"
"I don't remember." She said handing me the phone. "It's Wells, he says he couldn't get you on your cell."
I patted my pockets to see if my phone had any messages before I realized I had destroyed it in the shooting.
"What is it?" I said bringing the phone to my ear.
"Got another match." He said.
"The DNA on the second victim?" Wells had my undivided attention. "Who is it?"
"Well that's a tough call. One that you need to make." Wells replied carefully.
I closed my eyes and tried to wrap my mind around what was going on. "This isn't a game Wells. Just tell me the goddamn name."
"Look. I pulled the name, but the guy didn't have a criminal record. It could screw the entire investigation."
Why couldn't things ever be easy?
"What do you mean he didn't have a criminal record. Why is he in CODIS?" I growled.
"Same question I had. So I did some digging. The report is from 1996 and when I pulled up his driver's license for that time, he was living in Windor, Colorado."
"And that's important, because?"
Wells sounded disappointed at the question. "I thought you might already know. Anyway, that was the when and the where of the first DNA dragnet in United States history."
"It's a small town. Local author was brutally murdered. Stabbed so severely that the knife went through the body and stuck into the floor. Gruesome stuff. Seeing as there were less than a thousand males total in the town, they instituted a dragnet. Everyone was asked to give a DNA sample. It worked, they found the killer though I can't remember if it was because of the dragnet."
"It was this guy you just found in CODIS?"
"Nope. The only thing I can think is that someone doing the sampling went ahead and entered every sample into CODIS. Or maybe he just didn't like this guy and thought it would be funny. I don't know, but if a lawyer heard about it, they would be up in arms."
Jared was right, and I heard myself groan. It could be considered a breach of civil rights that his information was added to CODIS. We were currently going on the idea that this name was another victim. If we caught our perp based on this information, however, a lawyer might be able to argue 'fruit of the poisonous tree." Any evidence obtained unlawfully cannot lead to the capture of a criminal.
I shook my head and looked at Thaton wondering if she'd been told the story. She wouldn't want to make this call. No one did. The buck stopped with me.
"Give me the name." I said after a long pause.
"It's Derrick Meyer, he lives at 111th South and 786 East in Sandy."
I thanked Jared and hung up.
"Where we headed?" Thaton asked.
"Let me change real quick." I said grabbing the now crumpled set of clean clothes that had been thrown around all yesterday.
I went to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. I didn't have time for a shower, but I wetted the sample soap provided and rubbed it on my face and under my armpits. I toweled myself off, threw on the new clothes, and walked outside to find Thaton leaning against her car with a cigarette.
"You signed up as part of my protection detail?" I asked.
"Someone had to relieve Bowen and it was on a volunteer basis. A pretty short list if I say so myself. You don't seem to have a large pool of friends Detective." She said.
"You should see my Facebook page," I said causing her to snort. "And what were you doing before that?"
"Me and Gavin were working the leads. Finding dead end after dead end. You should see the sketch artist renditions from the two witnesses. Might as well be chasing the unibomber."
I shook my head. "This was the last time you sign up for this Thaton. I'll tell Gavin the same thing because I'll need you guys focusing on this case. You're no good to me if you can't keep your eyes open. I'll find someone else."
She nodded, and flicked her half finished cigarette. "Alright, so where we headed?"
We sat down in the car.
"111th South and 786 East." I said but my voice sounded like an echo. Both of us sat confused until Thaton's police scanner burst to life again.
"10-54 at 111th South and 786 East, Officers please respond." It said.
Thaton let out a string of curses and I told her to call Gavin while muttering a few myself. I called it in that we would be the responding officers. She threw on her lights and we jettisoned out of the parking lot.
10-54 was police scanner code.
It meant 'Possible Dead Body'
END PART II