Pooch Patrol

“We gots the gun and a broken camera. I call it open and shut. She killed herself. Junky got tired, happens all the time.”

The voice is like a bunch of rocks in a drier and thumps around with the rotgut eating at the detective’s concentration. It wasn’t any different of a late-night than usual, more a continuation of a bender he would be hard-pressed to remember when started.

He got the call on the body, and here he was, standing over a dead girl under a sheet. Same age as his daughter. Same everything, right down to seeing her ID and disbelieving it was someone else.

Someone’s little girl.

He shakes the thought away because it doesn’t help and looks for the owner of the voice. Not to stop him, more to capture his face so he can add him to the ever-growing list of names filled with cops who will one day be used in the detective’s own game if the need ever arose. The stupidest man in the Brownsville precinct is the uniform talking to a fucking reporter from channel one, the smoke show with the legs. Ratings booster. Every hard-on in the tristate will pay attention for the thirty seconds she is on camera.

Obviously, the boot was sanctioned by someone in management to talk out of turn like this, and stopping the conversation would be career suicide. The detective would consider it if career suicide didn’t include a trip upstate to Sing-Sing.

Regardless though, the vic was a prostitute. Ya sure. Did she deserve it? Make wrong-headed choices? Put herself in harm’s way? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and more. Lots of ladies don’t become streetwalkers, but this one did. And he finds himself hoping someone else types up the paperwork so he can sign it and go find the bottle he left in a drawer.

And the news media, taking a quote from the world’s dumbest cop, asks, “what about the pooch-tech, any chance we will see it used today?”

Pooch tech, what a fucking joke. Especially for an open and shut case. A girl got killed because she was a moron. He wants to scream this all out, spew it from his system before it can give him cancer, but can’t as the uniform says, “sure,” and presses the little puppy icon on his belt.

Out pops a fully functional robot Doberman.

“Bark. Initiating. Bark.”

Then the robot dog begins sniffing around the junkyard. The uniform and the reporter and the cameraman follow.

As lead investigator, through the haze of alcohol-induced brain damage, and the idea his tomorrow matters as little as his today, the detective does as well.

It doesn’t take long before the robot dog whimpers and bounds away with the clatter of metal paws on muddy cement.

The detective immediately wishes again this case had fallen onto some else’s desk, especially as the metal-dog finds the murder weapon. A cop’s weapon. A weapon issued to someone who gets first crack at new toys. And this toy? Still clutched in that someone’s hand as it dangles out of the giant car crusher as if still attached to a living being.

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