Mindcrash Pt. 2

May arrived at the crime scene and luckily somebody had erected a barrier around the body. That was good as a crowd of pale people in dark clothes had gathered around with curious and cautious eyes. It had probably been one of the AI servitors who operated as officers in the Lost Land. They usually laid dormant until moments like these. The barrier was bright white and eight feet tall and made of energy. May flashed her badge at the barrier and it rippled and pulsed and allowed her to step through. It felt a little claustrophobic inside the barrier but at least the crowd could not see inside. There were only two other people present inside the barrier.

Dylan was standing and looking down at the body. He was really tall so May had to look up which was kind of annoying. He nodded at her and she nodded back. Cirra was crouched over the remains like a pale spider. May recognized her as one of Vampire Town’s local Learned. She had probably been closest when the call went out. It looked like Cirra had just finished coaxing what energy was left of the body’s energy into a container.

“What do we got?” May asked. She crouched close to the container and peered at it until Cirra gave her a scathing look which caused May to stand back up.

“From what I can tell,” Cirra said. “A male. Energy signature matches an Akemi Nakamura.” Her voice was monotone and kind of sounded disinterested although May knew from experience that it was just how she sounded. She loved doing her job even when it was this morbid.

“What killed him?” May asked. “Was it a Fracture?” The Fractures were the distorted remnants of those who had been lost in the server failures on Christmas Day. The files of their mind had been corrupted and twisted. They operated much like ghosts but their energies could be unpredictable and harmful. Most people were scared of them but some found them fascinating. May thought they were sad and wished there was some way to help them.

“It was not a Fracture,” Dylan said. “Scans prove there has been no Fracture activity in this sector for a while. The only ones remotely near here were on the other side of town.”

“Good work, Dylan,” May said. “So what is the cause of death?” Dylan was a go-getter and had obviously been able to get out of bed a little earlier. May felt a little embarrassed that she was lost to the party but she could play catch up with the best of them.

Cirra sighed. “It’s a little early to tell,” she said. “I will have to run any data I find to create a simulation. It was violent, though. I can tell you that it was most likely not natural causes.”

May raised an eyebrow. “Do we even have natural causes in here?” she asked.

Cirra shrugged. “Maybe,” she said. “We don’t know enough yet. It’s actually my personal research project.” The Learned were highly intelligent and creative citizens of the Lost Lands who chose to study the Lost’s unique human condition. They were the doctors, the scientists, and, in this case, a crime scene investigator.

“Interesting,” May said. “Not exactly useful here but I’d be interested in hearing any results.”

“I think most people would be,” Cirra said. “That’s why I picked it.”

“Is there enough to reboot?” Dylan asked, interrupting. “Seems a shame to see a guy go like this.”

“I think so,” Cirra said. “There is significant data left over but I am not sure what will come out of it.” She looked hopefully and thoughtfully at the container.

“And whatever is rebooted from Mr. Nakamura will have no memory of the crime,” May said. “We need to know who he was.”

“Nakamura had designated himself a citizen of Gamezone,” Dylan said without looking at the container. “He was a top scorer.” Gamezone was the part of the Lost Lands dedicated to video games and gamer culture. It could be a pretty wild and violent place.

“What was a gamer doing all the way over here?” May asked. “It’s not the most inviting area.”

“People have different interests,” Cirra said indignantly. “I could go over to Gamezone.”

May gave her a sidelong glance. “Do you go over to Gamezone?” she asked.

“I said I could,” Cirra said. “if I wanted to. I probably won’t want to.”

“Uh huh,” May said. “Fair enough. Anything to add here Dylan?”

“Not really,” Dylan said. “We should probably head over to Gamezone to check out Nakamura’s friends.”

“Of course,” May said. “but we should also question any witnesses around here and drop a note with the head of Vampire Town as a courtesy.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Dylan said with a nod.

“Back to the lab for me,” Cirra said. “I’ll let you know when I know anything else.”

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