Validate (A Word of the Day Story)

“This reminds me of my prom night.” Ameer Anwar spoke, peering at the body. The great coat clad man was regarding the victim with intent eyes. A tuxedo-clad young man had been found bundled into a wet waste disposal unit at the back of manufactory plant, just off the L-405. A shard of plastisteel had torn into his side and been left there, and the disposal unit had taken care of the blood.

“Shanked and bundled into a waste unit?” Came the reply from his partner. Standing a good foot below Ameer, Astrid van Bergen was rolling out the police line tape around the area, moving slightly stiffly thanks to the exoframe wrapped around her body and limbs. The sleek pattern of carbon fibre and plastisteel laid over her clothes and mapped their position to her joints perfectly.

“No, never got there at all. Only I was stuck in a derailed train. Only thing that got shanked was my credit account on getting that taxi back home.” Ameer grumbled, before glancing over at her. “You okay?”

“It’s always a little stiff on start up.” She replied, before giving him a long look.

“What? I said nothing.”

“You didn’t have to. You have a crude mind at times.” Astrid chided, before nodding at the body. “Can you get some ID from him?”

“All part of the human condition, and I’m already on it.” Crouching down as he spoke, Ameer focused on the vacant eyes staring out at him, pulling up the retinal scanning software installed into his eyes. As they processed, he started up the RFID cracker software and began to force-validate a friend request. “So, what are you thinking so far?”

“On Prom night? A crime of passion. The jealous, the jilted. Definitely someone with strength, to get them in the disposal unit.” Astrid mused, looking around the crime scene. “They were stabbed once they were put inside. There’s very little blood out here for the wound they received. But we’ll have to wait for forensics and the M.E. You?”

“It makes a lot of sense. But they’d need to have gotten this shard from somewhere. Possible it might have been pre-meditated. It’s fortunate that this disposal unit is an older model. The newer ones have automated blockage clearing mechanisms. These ones just flag up for maintenance. Tech comes to fix it, we get the call.” Ameer straightened up with a slight grunt, rubbing at his right shoulder with a hand. “Thank goodness for budgetary cut-backs.”

Across his vision, information started to fill up various little windows. “Got RFID. Corey Mason. Retinal validation confirmed.” With a furrow of his brow, he pushed a copy of the information across his datalink to Astrid.

“Aldrin High School’s star quarterback? Huh… looks like people are missing him at the prom already.” She remarked, scrolling through the vid-bites, voc-bites and txt-bites on his social stream. Questions on where he was, when he’d get there, clips of the things he was missing out on. In the distance, the sound of sirens could be heard drawing near.  “Well Ameer, I guess there’s one good thing that’s coming out of this evening.”

“Yeah. I finally get to go to prom.”

Author’s note – It’s been a while, but I’m making a start again. Today’s story was from the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day and was Validate. As I sat pondering it, the idea for a brief scene featuring two characters I’ve been working on came up. In the future, digital identification will replace searching for wallets.


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