"-'ey! Why doe' she get the front seat?!" Jake complained as he squirmed around, trying to get into a comfortable sleeping position in the back seat of the Trans Am.
"... I already told you," Tracy responded, slightly annoyed and very drowsy. "-I need it because of my arm. And I got it first. Deal with it." She leaned back and closed her eyes to retire for the night.
"-I said deal with it.
"-I said deal with it!"
"Jake, deal with it, for crimeny's sake..." Dustin finally replied, rubbing his forehead.
"... What a shite set-up..." Jake muttered, defeated.
"It's the best we can do right now. Helluva lot better than a prison cell." Dustin stretched his limbs a bit.
"At least they feed 'ou 'n prison..."
Dustin shot him a look. "Before we made it to your house, the last time me and Tracy ate was Saturday morning. I think you'll survive."
"-'ou'll survive...' Bollocks t' it..." Jake waved him away and curled up.
Dustin felt a vibration in his pocket, and pulled his phone out. The screen flicked on in the darkness, and he squinted to read the message.
"... Crap... Crap, crap, crap, crap..." He snapped up and started the car. The engine roared to life. Dustin quickly shifted into reverse.
Tracy pushed herself up. "-'The heck's going on?!"
Dustin looked back, pulling out of the vacant parking lot they were in, and put the gear into drive.
"... Another murder."
After a rushed hour-long drive, Dustin swung open the car door and got out, staring on as the sweeping blue and red lights filled the road in front of him. He slinked back instinctively, but they were a good two hundred meters from the house the police were investigating, and he had left the headlights off. An ambulance had also pulled up to the scene, but Dustin knew it was in vain.
Another innocent killed.
Tracy got up out of the car, and looked out at the crime scene. "... They're just as confused as Heartfield was..."
Dustin nodded, frowning. "Yeah. But give it another hour and we'll be swimming in FBI agents." He looked up at the streetlights lazily and dimmly illuminating the road a dull orange every twelve meters or so.
Jake got out, a bit disoriented. "... Walkings is tonnes differen' than Heartfield..." He looked around at the quiet and middle-to-upperclass neighborhood.
"... Yeah, and since it's on the Indiana side of the border, we should be able to have a bit of breathing room..." Dustin checked his phone for the time. 2:12 am. "... For a little while, at least."
The breeze lightly rolling through the mid-April night, the police lights sending rays out like lighthouses, and the almost utter silence, all added to the ominus and tense atmosphere. Dustin put his tounge in his cheek as he decided on the next course of action, considering if it was worth risking. There was a moment of silence. Tracy looked over at Dustin, and he returned the glance quickly.
"-Come on." He directed, as he started walking out to the sidewalk.
"What? What's goin' on?"
"... Dustin's getting us killed, that's all." Tracy remarked, but continued to follow him.
"Trust me, I got it under control." Dustin said, tapping and swiping away on his phone. Walkings High Schools. Eastern High. Eastern High Press. Eagle Gazette. Dustin smiled at his screen.
Dustin turned the corner in a light jog, his long coat flowing behind him, and came screeching to a halt at the yellow police line surrounding the house. He caught his breath as he took out his pad of paper and pen, and jotted down a few things on it. He looked up. Two officers were discussing something between eachother a few meters away near the front door, and paid no heed to him. Tracy and Jake came around the corner and stopped near Dustin.
"... Well, some quality security we got here..." Tracy quipped sarcasticly.
Dustin shot her a stern look, and mouthed 'Shut the fuck up' at her. He regained his composure, pulled his sleeves a bit more over his wrists, and glanced back at the cops.
"-Uh, officers? Could I have a word?" He called.
One of the uniformed men, the younger one in his late twenties, glanced over at the trio, and calmly walked closer. "Sorry lads, no civilians."
Dustin shook his hand at him. "-No, no, no, that's alright, we're from the Eastern High Eagle Gazette, and we just wanted a few words with an officer at the scene."
The deputy lowered his eyebrows, a bit skeptic. "... What are lads like you doing out this late? Curfew is ten o'clock."
Tracy and Jake both looked away, trying not to show any signs of panic, but Dustin kept his ruse up. "We woke up and came over as soon as we heard the sirens. Stories like this almost never happen around here!" Dustin smirked and flipped through his notepad.
The cop sighed. "Right... Could I have some names?"
Dustin didn't miss a beat. "Sure, I'm Ferris, that's Marty over here, and she's Jennifer. Could we have your name, sir, and your level of responsiblity regarding the investigation?"
The deputy blinked, having the question been redirected so abruptly. "I -uh, am Deputy Markus Lars of the WPD, and I am a -uh, member of the homocide control personnel."
"-Wonderful, wonderful, now, could you tell us what kind of homocide occured here?"
"... I don't think we can discuss that here... "
"-Oh! Just the thing we needed this month! I can see the headline now, 'WPD Witholding Info On Deadly Crime'!" Dustin smirked.
"-Now hang on..."
"-We may be a school newspaper, but this stuff will get around. Good publicity for the city!"
"You lads need to look-"
"-Hm? An inside look?"
"Uh... No, but..."
"-But what? We need a good scoop, sir, otherwise the student council will surely cut our crew again this year..."
"... Fine, but you aren't going to like what you see..."
Tracy stepped up, leaning right under the line with a "Why, thank you."
Deputy Lars looked at Tracy, twisting his lip in regret, but Dustin snatched up his right hand and shook it.
"... Thank you, sir." He said with a smirk.
"... Like I said, not a pretty sight, lads." Deputy Lars led the trio into the living area, and gestured across the room.
Large portable lamps lit the room, illuminating the blood-stained carpet around them. The area reeked of dried blood, filling the air as the ceiling fan slowly turned. The body had already been carried away thankfully, and a few yellow evidence markers with numbers on them left in in it's place.
Jake glanced around the empty room from the doorway. "... Bloody 'ell..."
"... Yeah, no kidding..." Tracy dryly agreed, almost equally stunned.
Deputy Lars looked down at his watch. "You lads have only two minutes here. We can't be having you here for long."
Dustin waved him away. "... Don't worry, we won't be long..." He slowly and carefully stepped into the living room, and studied the setting. "... Where was the victim?"
The officer stepped into the room, and stood near a table at the side of the room. "... About here. The victim was attacked from his front, towards the wall, and fell back to the center of the room."
Dustin nodded. "So he was standing at the table?"
The officer looked at Dustin, lowering his brow. "I suppose. But why would you need that info, lad? A school paper isn't that in-depth."
Dustin more or less ignored the threat. "Just trying to provide a quality article..." He continued to study the table side of the room. "... What do you think, Jennifer?"
Tracy gave the room another once-over. "... Phone displays don't cause this kind of damage... There had to have been some sort of... projectile..."
Deputy Lars stepped forward. "We've found no evidence so far that a gun was used, and what the hell was that about a phone display?"
Dustin glanced under the table. "We know a gun wasn't used, and we didn't say anything about a phone display..." He spied something metallic on the ground about a meter away.
"... 'The hell's going on here?..." Lars said, putting a hand on his belt, near his holster. "... I'm sure I've seen you lads somwhere, too..."
Jake looked at the deputy's hand, and nervously pretended to not notice as he continued searching the room. "... Oh, 'ou've probably seen us 'round town 'nd such..."
"... No... Just last night... On... On TV..."
Dustin bit his lip a bit, and kneeled down at the evidence marker labeled with a '4'. He gently nugded it out of the way, revealing a red-splattered smartphone. He looked back at Tracy and nodded towards the officer in blue.
She returned the nod, and walked over to Lars. "... So... Markus... You saw us on TV, eh?..." She said, adding a touch of smoothness to her voice.
"Are you trying to sweet talk me, lass?" Lars responded sharply.
"-Oh, hell no." Tracy stepped back. Dustin quietly snatched up the phone as Tracy continued. "Just curious, that's all, jeez."
"... Doesn't excuse the fact that I'm sure I saw you lads on TV."
Dustin stood up. "-Two minutes, right? I guess we should be heading back, I think we have enough for a story..." He started walking towards the door.
Lars stepped in front of him. "-No one's leaving. I saw you on the World news..."