Tagged: fiction

Written in 365 parts: 6: I Have A Vested Interest

“It was hundreds of years ago?” surprise and then quickly it turned to disbelief, “that’s not possible, that can’t be true.

“It might be impossible, Marsh, but it is true. So however unlikely it feels it doesn’t change a thing.” Drick felt a sense of puzzlement wash over them, “I am confused as to why, if you are from the twenty-first century that you can understand me. I didn’t think they had sub-dermal implants back then.”

“Sub-dermal what? No. I don’t know what that is. I understand you because you are speaking English.”

“I can assure you that I am not. I am speaking the Rillish dialect. The officers who arrested you would have been using a pulse language, all droids do. Yet they processed you which would have involved some communication if only them telling you to stand still and you can understand me as well. Which makes me believe you have a sub-dermal translation unit. The monitor wouldn’t scan for it automatically and I can’t re-callibrate it even if it could, lean forward and let me see behind your ears.”

“A what? Do what?” A shake of the head “I am not going to do anything you say until you explain who you are and what is really going on.”

“I told you who I was.”

“You haven’t told me anything, you said your name is Drick, what does that even mean? Who do you work for? Why are you in here with me?”

Drick sighed. “Look. Okay. Let me explain a little more. Normally it doesn’t help and people clam up, but you seem especially confused. I am a private insurance investigator, Marsh. I work freelance. I know someone who gets me onto the prisoner transports with anyone who has committed a crime that’s likely to have an insurance claim attached to it. You’re a K tag, you killed someone in some way, so that means there is a body. It is law here to have a personal insurance plan to cover any eventuality such as causing an accident, being in an accident etc. The only people with no personal equity insurance are people with no equity and they don’t get arrested, if they’re caught they go through a different kind of processing. So this is just about a claim for me.’

“A claim?”

“Sure, an insurance claim, as I said private investigator. You sure it’s just your memory that’s messed up? Look, when there’s anything like a death, a serious injury, or a major crime like grand theft there is always an insurance claim. The companies will always put out a contract to investigate. I like to get ahead of the competition. You are worth two point three percent of any claim I can disprove and point zero four percent of any I cannot.” Drick smiled, “So I am likely to be your best chance of help right now, marsh. Because anything that I learn that reduces the payout of the insurance companies will increase my percentage so I have a vested interest in everything you say. So put your head forwards please.”

Written in 365 parts: 2: What Do You Remember

“Do you know how I got here, or not?” The civil tone was making a rapid run for the hills now and Drick could see the eyes narrow despite them being slits from swollen cheeks and brows.

“You don’t need so much attitude, it isn’t going to help.” Drick kept a neutral tone.

Drick watched as K14792 stared and then looked around the transport. They seemed to be confused with a furrowed brow as they looked at the almost blank metal box they were in.

“What type of vehicle is this?”

“As I said, it is a prisoner transport. Pretty standard one. Metal box, toughened steel walls, roller-shutter doorway, camera in the corner, vents in the ceiling for air and so they can pump it full of gas to shut us up if we get too rowdy. Fairly standard stuff. I am guessing this is your first time in one? So this your first crime, or just your first murder?”

“What?” A raised voice but out of surprise and not from anger. They looked shocked, eyes were wide and mouth slightly agape. “Who said I did a murder?” the anger was returning to the voice now.

“Hey,” Drick kept a calm voice, “don’t get stressed, you could be innocent for all I know.”

“Who said I killed someone?”

“Look,” Drick wished they had more than a few feet between them in this soundproofed metal box, ‘no one said anything at all. They tossed you in here and said nothing about you at all. I was just going from your designation.’

“What designation?”

“The K, you know what that means, right? It stands for killer, only people who have taken a life someway have a K designation in the prisoner ident.”

“I haven’t killed anyone, or at least I don’t remember killing anyone,” they looked around confused and shaking slightly, “I don’t know where I am or how I got here and I certainly don’t remember any damned murder.”

“Look if you’re aiming to lessen your sentence by claiming some amnesia or mental illness, you’re out of luck. The authorities here will not believe you.”

“I am not trying anything, look I don’t know what is going on.” They were shouting with anger and possibly fear.

Drick tried to smile despite feeling worried, ‘okay calm down. I am not calling you a liar, just letting you know how things stand. Why don’t you tell me what you do know. What do you remember?”

Written in 365 parts: 1. Where Am I?

“So how did you get here?”

There was a dry cough before the rasping reply, “what, where, where am I?”

Drick watched as they struggled to sit upright, hacking up dry lungfulls of air and squinting through teary eyes. “You need to slow down or those restraints are going to cut into you. Try blinking, your eyes will be dry and itchy from the spray.”

“What happened?”

“Well that’s a query with a fiscal tag.” Drick snorted mirthlessly.

“What?” spitting to one side with eyes still streaming.

“Million dollar question. You want to be careful with spitting if you’re caught they will gag or bag you.”

Drick watched as they took a few minutes to stop coughing and for their eyes to clear enough to sit up properly. They looked at Drick. Not too bad looking even with the puffy eyes and busted lip. Nose could be a little shorter, hair less of a tangled mess, that might not be from the method of detainment.

“Where am I?” Calmer and more controlled, almost a civil tone of voice.

“Prisoner transport vehicle.” Drick smiled with no detectable warmth yet not cruel. “Looks like they tagged you as K14792.”

“How did I get here?”

“Well now, that’s where we started,” Drick gave another little laugh, “that’s the question I asked you.”