Computist 4: Discovered (hypno)

It had been a few months since Detective Kirby had gone through his cold cases, but this most recent disappearance was ringing all the bells again. Justin Gesric, 27, had not been seen in over 2 weeks. He'd left behind all that he had, which was a considerable amount, and left without any indication of someone taking him. Questioning friends had led nowhere, everyone had been totally shocked by the disappearance. No one had had any idea of any kind of trouble with anyone, et cetera. The list went on and he had heard it before.

At least 4 other young men had disappeared under similar circumstances, and Kirby knew it. He just couldn't convince anyone. Each of these cases played out this way, till some piece of information showed they were somewhere else, having disconnected from their lives for various reasons ranging from religion to disgust at how the money was earned. But to Kirby, each of those just didn't ring true. The evidence felt planted, the stories too pat, and so he kept at them, his personal cold cases.

Now, going through the old files again, dwelling on the new case and trying to find a link to the old, he found a DVD tucked in the oldest casefile. He hadn't remembered putting anything like that in there. He took the disc out and wheeled over to his computer. Maybe it was from one of the other cases and had been accidentally pushed into the wrong file, and so he'd never seen it. It was a hell of a longshot, but he had to play it. With no other leads he was grasping at straws.

The DVD started with a message about testing the video quality. Kirby reached to jump ahead, but the message went by too fast, and suddenly he was confronted with a kaleidoscope of flashing, shifting color. The lights and the colors were to fast for him to track. They hurt his eyes, but he couldn't seem to look away. He felt like he was spinning and tumbling into the colors. He found thought almost impossible. The colors seemed to eat into his mind. I can't... they are... was all he could form in his head before his mind stopped and descended into empty, emotionless mush.

Detective Kirby gets discovered

After 10 minutes, the DVD ended, and Detective Kirby immediately went to a file transfer website. He clicked in seeming dead space, typed in when prompted for the password, and was confronted with a slow moving black and white spiral as the picture in a video chat. “Evasion agent 26 reporting in on most recent acquisition.” He said to the spiral, totally deadpan.

“Proceed.” A synthesized voice responded.

“Acquisition’s apartment was cleansed per standing procedure. Case following normal course track as to witnesses and trail. However, case is not ready for resolution and rapid closure.”


“Currently no leads exist to case, but vigorous action is being pursued due to parental influence. Standard measures will not prevent further digging and discovery of false trail.”

“I see. Recommendation?”

“Option 7. Father is a single parent with good resources and connections. Lives alone. Will be easy to recruit into the fold. Once he is indoctrinated, trail will be easy to plant and conceal.”

“Excellent then. Indoctrinate him at once. I will expect a call later for details on current indoctrination level. I will set his reinforcement script and assign him a number at that time. Carry out instructions.”

“I hear and obey, master.” Kirby said before disconnecting. Still stone faced, he picked up his phone, looked up a number, and dialed it. Just as a voice came on the line, emotion returned to his face. “Mr. Gesric? … This is Detective Kirby. Sorry to bother you so late, but there's been a development... Yes, I found a locker your son had and it had some interesting literature and a DVD that may point to where he would go. But I want to be sure. Can I come over and show them to you? I want your take on whether this sort of group would interest him... Yes, I can be there in a half hour... I'll see you then.”

Picking up the DVD and some fake literature from a kit his conscious mind never saw, Kirby headed out into the night...

A few weeks later, Kirby was sitting at his desk, looking disgustedly at the Gesric file, marked closed. Even though he'd found the evidence that had let the father at least contact the son and verify he was okay, it felt phony somehow, too pat. He didn't remember finding the DVD, just as he never remembered he had found a crack in the story and had fallen into a trance to fix it. Or the recruitments he had carried out to make the stories work. He just knew that this case bugged him, just like all the others. He grabbed the file and went to copy it. It looked like another file was going to be added to the cold cases.