September 21, 2017
By Anonymous

The year is 2038, my name is Alessandra Moore (Alessa for short). Six years after a devastating civil war in the U.S. that resulted in a massive increases in crime and civil unrest. The U.S. Military was sent all throughout the United States to try to put an end to the civil unrest. The military couldn’t stop the war and the incoming destabilization of all law and order was inevitable. People were scared and so as a response an organization called Absolution Inc created a system they called Omniscience that could scan someone and take the data it got from the scan like heart rate, whether the target was sweating, breathing heavily, fidgeting due to nervousness, any and every detail was scanned by this system and with it they could predict who would commit crimes and who would not. Very quickly Absolution became the savior of the U.S., many civilians said, just by being able to tell who would do a crime or attack a military outpost which was common during the civil war and since it was all-seeing nobody would risk being seen and arrested due to the fact that not all law was gone at the point of its creation. The Omniscience system was quickly put all over the U.S. and restored the peace as people didn’t want to be punished before they even committed the crime, people were just too scared to continue fighting for what seemed absolutely no reason. Roughly a year and a half of Omniscience stopping the civil war people started adjusting life with an all-seeing artificial intelligence prying on their everyday life and for a while life was peaceful but that wouldn’t last forever.

Back to the world now in 2038 with special police called Chiefs and their foot soldiers that our organization, the CPB (The Civil Protection Bureau) calls the “Hounds”. Hounds are people that were once Chiefs but due to things, they have had to do to uphold the law they were labeled criminals and were demoted and sent to prison. The only hope an ex-cop has of seeing the real world after being labeled a criminal is to become a Hound and stop crime for the rest of their days. In the CPB there are Divisions which are what each team of Chiefs, Hounds, etc are called we are Division 3. Division 1 is out of commission due to the deaths of many of the members of Division 1 and the fact that Benjamin White and Ajax Harrison which were the former Division leaders left and joined Division 3.Crime has decreased but it still runs rampant in the slums so Chiefs like me have a lot to do; but recently my life had been quite easy that was, until that mundane day. It was a slow start of my day I woke up very tired with little sleep and ran into the shower, brushed my teeth, etc. I arrived at the police headquarters grabbed a coffee and waited for the day to end whilst in my office chair. But I got a call about a murder which I thought was a joke but I was wrong. It was a full-fledged murder and Omniscience didn’t detect it which immediately meant someone knew what made Omniscience work and knew how to exploit its flaws which nobody knew or so I thought. So far there had not been any evidence found not a single thing about the case that would lead me to the killer besides a note that said “Catch Me if u can” which immediately told me this wasn’t about the murder this was a game just a game that the killer was playing to test us for no apparent reason. A week passed with no progress made at all when suddenly I heard a report of a hostage situation and was brought to the scene with my superior Benjamin White. I was assigned to handle the hostage situation under Benjamin White. An Omniscience scanner determined that a civilian it scanned whose name was Isaac was likely to commit a crime. Designated for life as a criminal from his scan by Omniscience, he decided to fulfill the prophecy by kidnapping a woman and beating her out of pure rage. During the mission, I learned from Hound Ellie Campbell about the use of the weapons that during field work we would be using. They are highly complex and with a single shot can either incapacitate or eliminate any target, they are called Grunts. Hound Nathan Wright finds the criminal Isaac, but due to the drug he was on, the Grunt's non-lethal paralyzer didn't affect him. Isaac ran and then is eliminated by Hound Ajax Harrison. Our analyst Aria Clark who feeds us information about our current mission told us that the hostage had been marked as a borderline criminal which means treatment is possible to prevent them from being marked as criminals. Before Ajax could execute her, I paralyzed him with my Grunt and I somehow managed to calm the woman down, letting her CP (Crime Possibility which is was we use to gauge whether someone is doomed to be labeled as a criminal or still able to be helped and returned to society) reduce to the point where she can be paralyzed and arrested rather than eliminated.

The next day I had to bring my report to Benjamin about what happened the previous day. Nothing really came of the report he just read it and said what I did was debatable but in the end was the right call. Hound Andrew Baker who was the eldest in our little merry band of crime fighters teamed up with me to take out a threat at a shopping mall because the suspect’s CP rose very high very quickly and upon our return, I shared a meal and some revealing conversation with Nathan which consisted of him bragging about his cooking skills and what he wishes he could do other than fight crime as a Hound. Later, I visited Ajax, because he remained hospitalized as he was recovering from the Grunt’s paralysis. He reinforced my belief that I made the right call during the hostage situation which is what led to me turning in my report earlier with no regret.

A few weeks pass and a string of murders where the murderer would turn the bodies into sculptures started happening suddenly made which made Ajax very angry and I didn’t know why, but when I asked him about it he got very defensive. It was the next day and we were still investigating the string of murders I still didn’t know why Ajax was mad until Benjamin told me everything and what caused Ajax to get marked as a criminal. It turns out that Ajax was Ben’s partner before Ajax became a Hound and that murders like this which got dubbed the “Michelangelo Murders” (since the murderer would create sculptures out of the victims it seemed fitting at the time among the agents of the CPB) were very personal to Ajax because his best friend Morgan Bennett was one of the victims. After his friend's death, he became obsessed with trying to find the killer and he did find him but his CP was still stable until the events that would occur later would ruin his life and career. One day him and Ben as well as a few Hounds found the killer’s hideout and inside was a man named Ethan who was the person committing the murders so everyone (besides Ajax) thought that this case was closed but Ajax new better. Ajax was thinking about how it could be possible for a man who was so ordinary to somehow do all of these crimes while not being detected and also rent out an entire abandoned school by himself while keeping his social life and job intact. Something didn’t add up he knew that it would be impossible to do all that alone, but then he remembered what Morgan told him which was that a man with pure black hair would always follow him home he was always very nervous so he stopped walking home and started taking the bus. The CPB figured that this man that was following Morgan home was Ethan who was just watching his next victim but Ethan was brown haired which most just said well Morgan could have been mistaken, but Ajax knew his friend wasn’t mistaken. Knowing that meant only one thing could be possible that this black-haired man was Ethan’s accomplice and it would explain how Ethan’s CP didn’t rise while committing the murders because he wasn’t the one committing the murders it was this black haired man which Morgan described in detail the day before his death, he said he was 6’4, black-haired, well dressed (meaning he was very wealthy which explains how he rented out an abandoned school), he had bright blue eyes, very pale skin, and the last thing was he had a tattoo on his arm which was a quote from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar the tattoo read "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." This is what he needed to find the accomplice, but when he took this information to Ben he just disregarded it and said “The murders have stopped why waste our time finding this random black haired man which for all we know could just be a creepy stalker” to which Ajax replied furiously “so what we found this random school teacher who is not the killer I want to avenge morgan with or without your help.” After months upon months, Ajax fond nothing new this black-haired man was very elusive and could not be scanned by Omniscience which drove caused Ajax a lot of frustration leading his CP to drop so low marking him as a criminal and forcing him into becoming a Hound.

These recent murders being exactly like the “Michelangelo Murders” meant that Ajax was right Ethan had an accomplice so Ajax started thinking and he came up with a theory that would make more sense than having this black haired man be the killer because he is so elusive he doesn’t need anyone else to pose as the real killer so that he won’t get caught he would just stay elusive and would never be found. Ajax’s theory that a mastermind might have influenced the murderous actions of Ethan and the recent suspect by essentially providing them with the ability, motivation, supplies, etc to carry out their murders. That would explain why that note that said “Catch Me if u can” was only written by this new killer, the first killer Ethan didn’t write a note to tease the police because he had no reason to tease the police. If the black-haired man was the killer why would he taunt the police, an elusive and intelligent man would not do this he would just sit in the shadows like he has been doing and why would he taunt the police now and not before. Everything points to there being one mastermind and multiple independent killers. We brought this information to Ben and he agreed but we still needed to find this new killer to find the black haired man. After several days we found one thing that was common between every single victim, they all went to the exact same place the day before they went missing. Every victim said to their loved ones that they were going to an auction in a very large industrial district and one victim wrote the address down on a sticky note that was in their office. We headed to the warehouse and sure enough inside was a young woman who was talking to a younger woman who was tied to a chair which was clearly going to be her next victim. We told her to put her hands behind her head and to drop the knife but she ran Ajax followed her but she entered an escape vehicle and he couldn’t catch up. So an air unit started following her and apprehended her while we were transporting the hostage woman that was tied to the chair back to headquarters.

Since we knew that this killer was just the grunt for the black haired man we knew that if we left this investigation alone he would just create another murderer and the cycle would repeat so for the next few days we focused on finding him. Some time passed and when I showed up for work Ajax was nowhere to be found and that was because he had gone missing. I knew this was no coincidence and that it had something to do with the black haired man because the black haired man has shown some interest in Ajax before so it doesn’t surprise me that he would try to find and capture him to do what I didn’t know but I just knew that the black-haired man took Ajax somewhere. I asked Ben where he could have gone missing and we normally always have tracking bracelets on Hounds’ legs and so we knew he was in what is called the Upper Slums District which is a dead zone (a dead zone is a location Omniscience can’t scan therefore it is unprotected and illegal to enter such zones) so we knew something was up. Fifteen minutes later we arrived and it said on my tracker that Ajax was underground in an abandoned nuclear waste storage facility that could still contain hazardous radiation so we couldn’t enter it to go into the lower level of that facility which was the only non-irradiated zone in the entire facility. With no other entrance, we had to wait for hazmat suits to arrive and highly trained bomb defusing soldiers because there was a very powerful bomb right at the entrance so if we tried to enter since it is a proximity-based explosive it would blow up before we could even touch it.

Twenty minutes passed and we got into the hazmat suits and the bomb was disabled by an emp grenade (electromagnetic pulse grenade) that was stuck onto the wall next to the bomb. Ajax still had nominal vital sign on my tracker so he was ok but we didn’t want to leave him there any longer so we ran as fast as we could to him and we found him running from a humanoid machine with thermal eyes that track targets and 12.7×108mm (12.7×108mm is the calibre of the bullet) semi-automatic cannons on each shoulder which were highly illegal meaning we had the authorization to use our Grunt’s lethal eliminator on any and every armed suspect. We quickly dispatched of this machine and started talking to Ajax he said that the black haired man who was revealed as the Kayden Bennett brother of his best friend Morgan Bennett and that he did all of this because he wanted to have fun and that he never meant for Ethan to kill Morgan but since Ajax wouldn’t stop chasing him he said he needed to tie up any loose ends. After hearing what he had to say it was time to put an end to Kayden. Kayden knew we wouldn’t kill him unless we were forced to because we wanted to bring him to justice not kill him because like Ajax said “that was the easy way out” so Kayden tried fleeing but he was inevitably seen by our friends in Division 2 as he was exiting the facility. We returned back to CPB headquarters and awaited Kayden’s trial. Ajax was very pleased with the fact that he avenged his friend and put an end to Kayden’s rampage. Ajax was so pleased that he did the impossible, he was somehow able to bring his CP back to stable level and join Division 3 not as a Hound but as a Chief and return to his position as Ben’s partner. Frankly, none of us thought anything like that was even possible but despite everything he still did it, yes it was not on purpose but he did it nevertheless. Ben was feeling generous when we returned to headquarters and so to celebrate our success and Ajax’s reinstatement into the CPB as a Chief we all had dinner and Ben, despite the fact that it is against CPB rules he allowed all of the Division 3 Hounds to have a week free to live like a normal person for once in a very long time. With all expenses paid of course.

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