SEER (Special Encounter Extermination and Reconnaissance) is a team of experts from several countries across many domains recruited to protect humanity against what they do not understand.
Ghost in the Machine is the first Short Story.
SEER: Ghost of the Machine
It seems like it always rain in Seattle, like the earth itself is sad about some long forgotten ill that befell her in this land. Maybe that night it cried for the mother that lost her child, stabbed and left for dead in an alley between Madison and Spring street.
The blues and red of siren lit the scene, casting errie long shadows of mixed colors onto the buildings. A handful of curious swarmed not far, kept at bay by the barricade tape. Hushed whispers were drowned by the drumming of the rain on the squad car's hood.
A quickly cooling coffee in hand, I stepped out of the car, my partner doing the same, still struggling to wipe away the embrace of morpheus from his eyes.
"Sometimes I wish murderers would pick a better time than three in the morning." He said, a yawn stretching his face.
"Detectives." One of the coats hailed us, as he navigated across the markers and officers. "Carter." He said nodding at me. "Jenkins." He then said at the man flanking me.
"What do you have for us?" I asked.
"I don't know yet, clearly an homicide, but I've found a few things odd." He glanced back and made a motion to follow.
The corpse – I mean victim – wasn't a pretty sight; drenched in blood and destroyed clothing, a smell of gore mixed with that of burnt flesh filled the proximity. I was laying on it's side in a pond of body fluids diluded by the torrent of rain.
"I can already tell you that the man was stabbed with something large, at least three inch of width, we're looking at a sword or a large knife."
I squatted next to it and with my pen moved the tip of the man's trenchcoat, the wound was large and gapping, it wasn't bleeding anymore, but the whole of his torso was covered in gore. Next I moved around, and took a glance at his left side. A large part of his trenchcoat had melted onto his form, a part of his neck and head was burned, chared even but most remarkable was his hand; no flesh remained on the skeleton, as if it had been melted away by some unknown force.
"Any idea what could have caused this?" Jenkins asked.
"None what so ever." I answered. "You Doc?"
"Neither do I, Nothing that could be applied to this situation."
"But something you've seen?" I asked, looking back at him.
He seemed to hesitate, but he answered. "I spent some time working in private company owned clinics, I've seen plasma burns that looked similar... The technology is nowhere near portable though."
"So we're at a loss as to what caused this mess." I sighed. "Great."
I stood up and moved around, looking at all the marked evidence. About a feet away from the victim, there was a high powered handgun that had suffered from the same fate as the dead man's left side. Not too far away, were some melted slag along with some vaguely organic looking goo.
I paced around looking at everything when I noticed a faint glimmer in the darkness, hidden between two discarded and soaked cardboard boxes. I leaned down and pulled a pair of tweezers from my coat, the metalic object was the size of a coin and was attacked to a broken chain.
"Did you find something?" Jenkins asked, shining a small flashlight my way, giving me a better look at the pendant.
"I don't know." I muttered.
The pendant looked like the saint's medal some catholics wore, but it bore a traingle on one side while the other showed gears or cogs. The pyramid side bore an inscription in another alphabet.
"Get me a bag."
He didn't waste time and he came back with a ziplock which he handed me.
"Still no idea what we're looking at, but it might provide some background." I then turned toward the nearest officer. "Did the victim carry any ID?"
"None, sir." He answered.
"Well, that complicates things." I muttered. "Alright, boys. Gel the body and start bagging the evidences."
As I said so, a man under the barricade tape, flanked by two others, he opened his coat and showed a badge at the officer in charge of the perimeter.
"My name is Kaidan Takemura, SIU. We're taking over this crime scene." He was tall and his skin tanned, clearly Japanese, but he spoke with the local accent.
I looked at the time, the display in the corner of my glasses told me three fourty two.
"What's the special investigation unit doing here?" I asked, getting closer. "It's been less than an hour since the body was found, what were you doing in the area?"
"That's strictly need to know." A young woman answered from his side. "Special Agent Rachael Loken." She presented herself, she eyes me over her glasses and pushed her soaked hair away.
"This investigation is now under federal authority. All matters concerning what happened are a matter of national defense as of now." The Japanese man declared.
"Please, Vacate the scene." Miss Loken said. Everyone started to move except me. "That includes you, Detective Carter."