Alone Again... NaturallyMature


Dustin slowly regained consciousness, and opened his eyes. The light in his eyes made him hesitate, but he forced himself awake. A sterile, white, and cramped room surrounded him, medical equipment on either side, none of it hooked up. Dustin was lying on a rough bed of some kind, and the entire room shook every so often. He realized that he was in the back of a moving ambulance, and tried to shoot up.

His chest had been held down by a belt, so Dustin mearly hurt his neck rather that sitting up. He looked down in bewilderment, and saw that not only his arms and torso had been held fast, but his ankles as well. He dropped his head down and groaned in defeat.

"-'Bout time." A rough voice said. Dustin looked to the side, and saw an older police officer sitting next to him. The ambulance stopped at a red light. "Had a good nap?" He asked dryly, obviously annoyed.

"-No. Why the h-"

"-Ya have the right to remain silent, anything ya say can and will be used against ya in the court of law, ya have the right to speak with..." The cop droned out the rights in the wrong order. He probably knew the correct order, but didn't care.

"... Woah, woah, woah- You're arresting me?!"

"Yeah, fer interfering with a police investigation, ya twat." He gave Dustin a look and pulled out his badge.

"Son of a-..." Dustin looked away. He straightened out his thoughts, and took a deep breath. It may have seemed stupid to them, but there was a reason he had to look. Now there was proof backing his suspitions... But there wasn't anything he could do with that info right now. Dustin sighed. He'd just have to wait.

The cop leaned to the side and parted the curtain to the front seats. "... We can head downtown now. He's awake, but we need him back at the station." He told the paramedics. The ambulance made a turn, and Dustin sighed once more.

Crap, he thought.


Dustin sat alone in the questioning room, his hands behind his head, trying to relax. He was 17, so they had to charge him as a minor, which meant they couldn't cuff him. Dustin looked at the long mirror that streached across the room. The phone number he gave them for his parents was just ringing three times before going to a generic answering machine.

Or, rather, it should have been. Dustin had no way of knowing for sure. The room was deafeningly silent, and he couldn't see past the one-way glass. He put his tounge in his cheek. Fake number, an old trick he picked up when he first started messing with what a computer could do. He just hoped the number hadn't been reassigned.

He tried leaning the seat back on two legs. It was cemented to the floor. Jeez, he thought, a freakin' chair, even? They just bolted down anything a suspect could touch. Even the camera had a heavy-duty metal frame around it. Both of them. He looked behind himself. No, three... and a microphone. Just render the questioning down in three dimensions, why don't 'cha? Watching from the one-way glass wasn't enough, obviously. He got a little paranoid and slinked down in his chair.

That was cemented to the floor.

He was going to drive himself insane, he thought. Tracy had his freakin' laptop... Where ever she was. They confiscated his phone on the way in here. Not a Rubik's Cube in sight. No Missile Command poster, no They Might Be Giants albums, nothing. His room was a hundred miles away. Only a concrete wall surrounded him, like an even lonelier Fortress of Solitude. A Fortress of Nothingness was more appropriate. 

Dustin twidled his thumbs. This was getting old quick. They even took his wristwatch away... No sense of time, only himself for company.



Eternity passed. Dustin was ready to collapse, rather than wait any longer... He went through the steps to his plan in his head, since he had nothing better to do than come up with creative ways to fake an injury to get out. If he could fit his head in between the camera casing and the wall, and twist hard and fast enough...

The door swung open. Dustin jumped a little in surprise, and sat up straight. Not that it mattered, they were watching the entire time.

Officer Jankins, from the video and the phone call, walked in and plopped himself down in the chair across from Dustin. He was stressed, as he always seemed to be, and he stared at Dustin as the door slowly closed. 

"... Hello, Mr. Newman..." He said, almost angerly.

"-Heh... Heh... Riiiiiight... About that-"

"-'About that', my ass. Kid, you don't understand the gravity of the situation you're in, do you?" He leaned in a little.

"... Uh, no sir... I mean, yes sir... Or..."

Jankins sighed, leaning back and putting a cigarette in his mouth. He lit it with a pocket lighter, and proceded to suck on it a few times before blowing a long, grey cloud from his lips.

"... Stealing another man's identity is a serious matter, Decker. $75,000 fine, plus jail time. You steal his wallet?" He asked, still annoyed, but more level-headed.

"... No... I'm innocent..." Dustin said, not really believing it himself.

"Heh. Riiiiight..." He imitated Dustin in as close of a tone as he could. He didn't make it sound whiney.

"- N- No! I am! I'm trying to help you guys!"

"Quit talking out of your ass, kid. Just give us a real freakin' number to contact your parents, and we can be done here!"

"Wait! I can- I can help you guys! I know important stuff about Case 900!"

"... Like what? That YOU killed him? That would be all we want at this point."

"N- No! There's a connection between this case and few others! I-"

"Fuck it, I don't want to hear it. I'm tired of all you kids trying to wiggle out of responsibility..." He puffed another stream of smoke.

Dustin stood up. "-NO!! LISTEN!! GODDAMMIT!!- More people will die unless you listen to me! I found a connection between the cases when I was ha-" He stopped himself.

Jankins raised an eyebrow. "... Go on..."

"... Fixing the networking optimization on a few computers..." Dustin trailed off, and sat down.

The police officer took the cigarette out of his mouth and nodded towards the mirror.

He turned back to Dustin. "... We're going to have our IT guy do a run down of the systems, and he'll be back to ask you a bunch of crap..." He got up and walked to the door.

Dustin froze. His mind raced, panic bouncing around the inside of his skull. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap.... I didn't fucking erase the file cookies! How the hell did I forget-?! Ten minutes, and I'm a fucking goner...

The End

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