I was staying at safe truck-stop for the night before over to the address I was given after what I heard happened Janie’s kinswoman, Melanie Jayne. Now, how the fuck is like that was almost beyond me until I remembered similar cases, including my own. Anyhow, I opted to stay at truck-stop for the night, didn’t feel like driving with my panel truck that was diesel powered during the night. I had already converted the back into an office. Still, I had information that was being withheld from the public about what was going on in the media. I had gotten contact with Janie, who was still distraught about the idea what was bound to happen. I was kinda of a skeptic despite being a supernatural fan. Still, I needed to focus.
Like Melanie, I wasn’t a smoker, so I went to suck on a lollipop like it looked like I was smoking. I looked over the information I was handed over, all about some kind of plot straight from an anime I watched in my teenage years. Yet, the media made it sound like Melanie and four other committed a murder, which even the police started to get suspicious. Being a trained hacker, I broke into the information of the police in that area where the murders took place. There was no records of any arrest, no records of contact, and the investigation death of the victim was ongoing but didn’t appear to be violent… let alone near where it took place. It was later found, the victim was having sex with a random stuff animal, which turns out to be a secret fetish, while listening music from the ladies. Later, the ladies given a letter from the victims's family, thanking for making the final moments the happiest despite being the situation. The person had been depressed for far too long and decide to listen to their music but got carried away and handled the meat too hard, resulting in a heart attack. The police wasn’t sure what was going on since it was simply to find some lookalike if one really goes for it.
Sure enough, one officer had done a DNA test with one of the samples belonging to Melanie and the crime scene. There wasn’t match, the ones taken didn’t even match. The police were just as stump as there was nothing against them. By all accounts, the police were starting to believe something wasn’t right when they pulled over one of them, Emma. Victoria, Geri, and Mel followed after. They were interrogated, DNA tested, and given a lie detector. They were all placed in custody, but the police did so by their request as they were looking for Melanie. She was missing. They knew something wasn’t right and feared for their lives.
Now, what in the fuck does the media thinks they’re murderers unless they murdered Melanie? I paused for a few moments to think about the situation until it donned on anyone with a brain of two things: They’re close to Melanie, so the rules out murdering her and knows she has daughter, Scarlet. It was understandably be out of the question, as why would anyone want to kill a mother. It didn’t add up, and the police was asking that too. It was clearly obvious that the paparazzi was making it up for some reason, and the police along with others playing along. It sounded fucking bullshit, but I guess you need to throw off the press.
This was where I had to come in, as one of the many friends of Melanie, Jay, had came on to the media, trying to dispel the rumors even some on social media was growing suspicious. Despite this, the news about murdering a random person seem to be more of a media. However, there was one thing I knew Melanie had a lot of that her lookalike didn’t. I had noticed that the lookalike was watching wearing a jumpsuit, which didn’t odd since Melanie had been seen a lot in a tracksuit. Yet, I noticed some features, and finally, got a look on the lady’s bare right arm and confirms what many was asking. I knew Melanie had a tattoo there, which the lookalike didn’t have… at least, real ones. I noticed the ink that was used to make it look like Melanie, along with poor drawing, even a person with an neuro-developmental disorder, like autism in my case, can spot a counterfeit. It looks more like someone was using a marker found in a dollar store and drew the tattoos.
With this information, I had to do my own detective work. I was eventually able to hack into any camera system that were active during the moments leading to the likely kidnapping. Looking at the last date Melanie was sight and location, I had to analyze the footage on the probable devices I had with me… any clue on whatever happened to her. It was a brutal practice, not to mention the crack of dawn I had started. Yet, I got a few messages on my smart phones, they were telling me about what the lookalike. I didn’t let them in on it, because I wasn’t sure if she was willing to go with it or not. I didn’t give up on the footage and found what I was looking for. Since he was still trying, I had to talk with Jay.
“Yes, is this paparazzi?” Jay asks, in an aggravated tone of voice. Don’t blame him.
“No, but I have something that could crack the case.” I told him.
“Oh, it’s just you.” Jay said calmly.
“I was going over footage of the day Melanie went missing…” I told him.
“You have proved that Melanie didn’t kill anyone.” Jay said.
“Not exactly, this doesn’t seem like a murder, at least not in their hands. I have a feeling the police are being tricked to go along in hopes they could lure those who took Melanie.” I said.
“What does that mean?” Jay asks.
“All signs are point that Melanie Jayne, was indeed a victim of a kidnapping. The other girls and the police believe it could be the case, but someone had to be pressured into faking a murder story.” I said.
“That can’t be right.” Jay said.
“Have you looked at Melanie’s tattoos?” I asks.
“Yea, me, Wu, and Foster are starting to noticing that someone had killed Melanie and replaced her. I think the others could be scared that they could be next if they said anything.” Jay said.
“This isn’t the first time a rumor of person from Liverpool being killed, only to be discover the media was just exaggerating.” I explained.
I forward over the footage.
“What is that?” Jay asks.
“That’s exactly I’m going over. I seen taken a closer look at the license plate of the vehicle… a Ford Box Truck. It’s linking to a man with a sinister past. It seems he tried to cover up his information but mess with the wrong folks.” I told him.
“What kind of sinister plan?” Jay asks.
“From what can gather about… he’s once a surgeon but went mad when he tried to create something. I had only heard had of something similar in a HG. Wells novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau.” I explained.
It was coming clear on what the fuck was going on.
“This can’t be the work of…” Jay said.
“Remember that case what five other women were kidnapped and a week later, one of them, Cheryl, was found by some random stranger. The police were dumbfounded to see what had been done to her. She was scarcely holding on to life but provided clues on who did the deed.” I said.
“Yes, they found the bodies of the others, with Nadine’s body being subjected to God Knows to What. Yet, there was a strange thing that was found. Despite being decapitated, with Kim provided the clues, they were still alive.” I explained.
“How is that possible?” Jay asks.
“That’s what the police wondered, especially seeing what was happened to Nicola. I seen something like that from a film I once seen, but that took the headlines.” I said.
“This could…” Jay said.
“It’s all I got. I’m going to trace the whereabouts and sent a drone over. It’s far too dangerous to sent the police at this time. I understand it had been two weeks, but the information given were puzzling.” I said.
“I understand… just find out what happened, even if it’s her body.” Jay said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this makes the headlines.” I said.
I had to keep my hopes up, as I knew I was onto something. I got the information about, only known as Monty, and his GPS locations despite his attempts to delete his tracks. It was able to recreate the mapping location and the pings how in the surrounding area, which me a location that seems to be close off to the public. Only the military could be allowed. It did beg the question on how Monty was able to get through despite the levels, only to discover that it had been abandoned some time ago. I used one of the military drones I restored to enter the location keys, before going to the last picture Melanie was seen alive.
As I finally arrived, there were some crime scene tape nearby, but I didn’t care. I stay put in the truck, working on the drone, entering the codes to location, looking for an innocuous place to launch the device. I covertly sent the police the footage about what happened before hacking to a video streaming site, to do the same. I know it had to be a pain in the ass for the police, but they don’t seem to know what the fuck they were doing. It also gave me a chance to monitor what the drone was sending. I received another call, it was Foster. I used voice chat, so I can watch the drone feed as well.
“Answer” I said.
“I’m not sure how but one of the guards noticed something wasn’t right with Melanie.” Foster said.
I knew the truth but played along.
“Keep talking” I said.
“Well, someone noticed that there was something leaking. One of the guards pulled Melanie aside and noticed that her tattoos were melting. I thought tattoos don’t do that.” Foster said.
“They don’t.” I added.
“Well, that’s what one of the guards thought. She had Melanie’s dental work and hair sample. Had them tested and got the results. They repeated the examination and got the same results. The press is going crazy over this.” Foster told me.
I knew I was going to end up hearing from Janie about what was really happening.
“With social media at a fever pitch, I wouldn’t surprised.” I said.
“Now, the police are in serious damage control.” Foster said.
As I tried to explained to Foster, I noticed something.
“I’m getting a signal. I can show.” I said, giving live feed from the drone.
“What is that?” Foster asks.
“Look like one of those Quonset huts. I got the infrared mode.” I said.
As I peaked through, it spotted movement. It was Monty, had to heard me. Luckily, the drone had gone to ninja mode and kept moving, as I had to used a N64 style control for it. I was able to make out some of the facial expression, which gave my advantage as it could help detect a familiar one. I finally got where things were kept frozen, but I wasn’t expecting what I found inside. I noticed a familiar face, took a picture, loaded the image program, and analyze the image.
“OH MY GOD” I said.
“She…” Foster said.
“If they’re still talking about a homicide, we got us something.” I said.
"This can't be! Doesn't this sicko know she's a mother." Foster said.
"Clearly didn't care. I managed the video of what he did to Melanie. One would think when it comes to crime, recording would be the dumbest." I told him.
"I know this feel uncomfortable but..." Foster said.
"Sadly, we're going have to review before following it over to the police. Last thing we need is the dark web getting a hold, and I had seen some serious shit there." I said, ending my call.
I got the information I needed and got the drone out of the area, but I knew Monty had been watching. I had to alert the others about what I found and sent them the footage. We had to be careful on leaking the subject matter, as the last thing I needed was the paparazzi to get a hold of this. I was on my way to the meeting spot, while news about the situation was going on. Both TMZ and E! News were going at it with the lookalike story, but they’re asking questions. I waited patiently for a member of the police office to make a statement, same goes with any judges. Charges were dropped after it was confirmed to be an error in paperwork, as they got mixed up with another group with similar names and looks. It was their fingerprints that cleared them as they didn’t match.
I finally arrived at one of the locations of the meet-ups and waited for one of the other members of the squadron, with the video of the incident. I noticed Janie, right across the room, she wasn’t happy, same with young Scarlet. I tried not to make eye contact, as I write down the information I was able to gather in order to hand over to another squadron. I felt like raiding the guy, but I had to resist due to the dangers. Luckily, I was able to track down a team of doctors who worked the case I had explained. I was nervous as fuck… never had I felt like shit. I paid attention to the TV at the bistro, seeing if I should get an order… make myself blend in. I was glued to the TV as the police made that news about a possible homicide, which caught the room by surprise, except me of course.
I had to lay low, eating my grilled chicken meal with cookie-n-cream pie. Finally, Wu arrived, just the man I needed to see, as I had to hand over the information about the whereabouts. I was able to take some pictures of the compound. Wu took a closer look and spotted a landmark, which gave us a clue on what we were dealing. I knew a small group of researchers had working on ways to bring people back from the dead if they can. To my knowledge, it had only worked on those who died from hypothermia. I also overheard a meeting with a medium, who was explaining about what had happened and Janie was in earshot.
The details were making me sick to be stomach. The last thing you want to hear during dinner was shit like a vivisection. At least, give the poor thing some painkillers of you're going to slice and dice her rather numbing her in a tub of ice. However, I cue in some vital clues, which I was able to find something very important about Melanie. Again, I was fucking sick, but at the same time, I couldn’t believe what Monty did, it was similar to the case I discussed. There was some hope on putting the puzzles together, if not the sanity that was falling apart. Wu looked at me. He told me, we’ll have to raid the location. I knew it was dangerous, but I had a way. After all, Melanie was dismembered alive, one can understand what I was sick to my stomach. I didn't want to think about seeing that blade meeting flesh and bone during that despite being numbed by the cold that was applied, feeling each slice as the skin is split apart and seeing each organ removed. I had to show Wu the video after I seen it myself, wanted to puke afterward.
The following meeting, after a few days of being forced to let the dust settle in. As much I hated that, what choice was I was given as we had to gather the troops. During the time, me and a few other hackers were able to get as much information as we could and wasn’t good to say the least. I had to track down a surgeon who was moralistic yet willing to do whatever to keep a person ahead. Thanks to the definition, it was still some hope we could get Melanie, or what’s left. We had to have a quick meeting.
“Okay, we know what we got on our hands.” Jay said.
“Apart from Futurama, this is serious shit.” Wu said.
“How serious is this?” Heidi asks.
“If having a headache wasn’t bad enough, spare…” Simon said.
“We get the joke.” Jay said.
“Look, we’re dealing with someone with a fucked up idea. I was able to track down a surgeon in Italy, he’ll help.” Foster said.
“Are you sure this would work?” Heidi asks.
“What choice do we have?” I asks.
“Wait, what kind of substance and is this probable?” Simon asks.
“Well, there was a patent in 1988 simply called the cabinet. It had a host of details on how it’s done. Got a hold with a doctor on the similar case. She explained how it can be done, without the need for many of the basics for human survival. There’s even a system to recycle human waste to power the device.” Jay said.
I showed what the plans were.
“He altered the way to ensure survival for an indifferent period amount of time.” Wu said.
“Jokes on him, where are you going to find an acephalous body?” Simon asks.
“There’s no need. It’s about self-reliant, although a rally pack maybe needed but he’ll try to put some mind control substance.” I said.
“How about…” Foster asks.
“I hope you know I’m stealing her arms. No way, I’m letting him broke those in if you know what I mean. Last thing that's needed is a date with setup by Rosie.” I said.
“Can she sue if that was going to be the case?” Heidi asks.
“Let the court of public opinion figure that out.” I said.
“Wait, would she need a body to fix that?” Simon asks.
“Why else we had to get that guy?” Jay asks.
“Track down someone who can fix that.” Wu said.
“Okay, but when we they coming?” I asks.
“Now…” Jay said.
I just looked at that Korean right in the face.
“Look…” I said.
Before I was able to get a word in, we were told about something that happened at the location, catching us off-guard. Still, we have to find out what the fuck just happened. As we arrived, there was a team of police, army, and those fucking press. Monty was somehow caught but for tax-laws. However, we had to do our job, finding Melanie. We had to locate the section she was being stored or what’s left of her. I worked inside of one room, it was like something straight from Dexter. Melanie was likely kidnapped, tied to the table, and who knows. I also looked inside of one of the freezers, that often held part of flesh… often from animal kills. It looked like one of those chest types, instead of the kind in a morgue. Let’s say, I lived up to my word, but I noticed around the shoulders would be attach was altered… having a computer parts.
I was starting to figure out that Monty was planning to do something more than what happened years ago. With a pair of nitrile gloves, I exam the limbs and was impressed on what the skin was preserved along the axles located where the shoulder, elbow, and wrist would’ve been. It was clear her bones were removed and replace with some kind of metal alloy with nanomachines, but I had to get a closer look to see what I was dealing with. Speaking of her, it was clearly had been infected by the nanomachines, making both muscles and skin partially transparent. I can't image the pain the poor thing went though. I was still disgusted on what happened to Melanie but impressed on the craftsmanship. I looked further to see if I could find anything else. I soon found part what looks like rib cage but the organs were replaced with kinds with bio-mechanical components.
Of course, I knew there was one organ that was near to impossible recreate in such field, which sent a stinking feeling down the back of my spine. I did hear a few steps behind before back handing the creep, which was Monty with an ice-pick, didn’t even look while using her left arm as a weapon as a reflex. Never sneak up on me! At least, Melanie had the last word, though having her arm briefing having a mind of it's own in order to deliver that punch to the face... long enough for a high five, was kinda gave me the creeps but I had to stay focus. I was just as stunned on how much stronger than normal, reminded me of Full Metal Alchemist while tempted to quip a line from Gears of War, where a fallen friend's knife made point. Still, I had to find the CPU that would be needed to activate, which meant one more room. It was clearly what I feared as I was able to find a window to look inside upon wiping off the frost. In fact, I backed off and tip off the others, resulting in an unusual sound of silence, even the crickets were quiet once we opened the door. The only sounds that anyone could hear were the beatings of our hearts, function of our lungs, and the movement of our eyeballs. I took a closer look, running my fingers through her hair, felt each stitch done, to see what kind of damage being dealt with, likely it was the only part that stay normal as far as skin and are concerned. It was pretty clear for a moment, she literally had an out of body experience, reminding me of that scene in Get Out. It look like that scene for Ghost in The Shell, which could explain how one was able to survive, pretty much putting the guillotine out of service as a killing device. At least, Monty was sane enough to put it back and stitched up, like in second Tree-House of Horrors. We had to bring Melanie, or what kind of puzzle she became to be exact, to a hospital, at that point. I had the task of transporting the device, I called the Apollo pack, because the helmet reminded of those in the Apollo space program. I took a closer look on how it was done, even though she can now survive in the condition she was in without it. I assumed it had to contain the atmospheric pressure to allow her to talk, as she was her own power supply, though she required some nutrients. If you ever seen that Team Fortress 2 where the Spy had the same problem, you get the idea. I had Wu do the driving, as my full attention was to be place on her.
What I failed to notice, I accidentally "woke her up" when I was carefully move the device her head was placed in. I had put on some music from my Bluetooth player. I heard a voice asking about what happened, which I told her... cue the double take, perhaps playing 'Mein Teil' at that moment was pretty much a bad idea as it was about cannibalism. Melanie was clearly scared, in a state of fear I never seen before as I looked straight into her eyes, also been replaced which made sense but why Dune-style on the iris. The poor thing didn't have anybody, no pun intended, but what can be done. Still, I had to stay calm in order to keep her sanity in check, striking up a conversation, even showing some videos on my phone like 'Top 10' on WWE and Planet Dolan. I was even impress on that creep on a way to let her speak despite her condition. It was the most intense hour of our lives. Yet, she remind me of the scenes of Mars Attacks, though hers is place in something I seen in Futurama or that in the Simpsons Homer was trying to guess one of Selma's partners. Since they had to fix each part separately, so you can guess what I had to do waiting, at least we were given a private one but felt not to let her kinfolks to see. I'm not in the mood to see a child to go through like I was. Finally, when they were ready, I handed Melanie over as the room for filling up. While there, I just looked at folks in the waiting room, while they were working on her. They told us what can be done.. We had to bring Melanie, or what kind of puzzle she became to be exact, to a hospital, at that point. I had the task of transporting the device, I called the Apollo pack, because the helmet reminded of those in the Apollo space program. I took a closer look on how it was done, even though she can now survive in the conditon
“Fuck, I never that I would meet up like this.” I said.
“Is the rules of robotics install into her?” Heidi asks.
“Doubt it, Monty left her brain where it belong. I’m just surprised she’s alive but in pieces.” I straight said.
I wasn’t going sugarcoat it.
“What’s going to happen?” Simon asks.
“Well, worst-case scenario, she could go insane. I don’t think I need to explain the other case.” I said.
“What did the police say?” Wu asks.
“Well, as far as it’s known. She was simply taken, under that device where the Star Wars movie was out. That much they can explained.” I said.
“What about…” Simon asks.
“Black market, I’m afraid. How else he makes his money to put innocent people through? I wouldn’t be surprise if they wanted to commit suicide but programmed not too.” I said.
“I think I got it.” Jay said.
I looked on… a quick peak.
“One of us will need to talk to family” I said.
“I’ll do it. I know her love ones.” Simon said.
Simon leaves to speak with Janie, who was still upset.
"I couldn't let both Janie and Scarlet see Melanie in the condition I did. I know family would want be there, but I had to spare them." I said.
"I don't blame ya." Jay said.
“How far…” Heidi asks.
“They’ll let us know.” I said.
After about few hours, we were allowed to be let in. They got her back to together, but they had use what they find to replace what was stolen with the bio-mechanical organs, like the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys with the help of a 3D Printer. We had to contact a team in Australia for the live feed. Don't even get me started on whatever poor sap got them the original organs without knowing the source. I could only think of few countries, Iran and China, that would allow anyone to sell an organ for a shitload of money. I'm still impress on what serious the technology was advance to allow a donor to keep living, even if they donated certain organs. I later discovered it was might for the military to help the wounded, as traumatic amputations were a common hazard. The reassembly looked straight from Deus EX game, that scene where Adam Jensen goes though the same thing.
Once all done, Melanie looked exactly the way she was taken but something straight from Cyborg 009 and Ghost in the Shell. To let her new body settle, they had to put her in a coma for awhile despite having to full out her ‘human’ death certificate by law. I analyze a copy I was able to obtain. It would be too much early on, besides I had to deal with the press. Being a hacker, I was able to gain access in the way many thought would to clueless about, in order to ensure her sanity stay put. I added in a program into her new system to ensure she wasn’t going to be taken out by other hackers or any EMP attack, with can killed her. I also added some figures that would help fill-in for the senses that had to be replaced, though I was careful when it came to pain while adding a bit more color she lost. I didn't want her to go through anymore of that bullshit.
As days passed, the press begun to back off, the police had to tell them why they took the actions they did. Janie heard about, she had Scarlet with her. I figure… just to give them some time, but I was still required to be guard duty until one of the others come. However, while the duo were holding a vigil, I opted to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to calm down. I’m not sure if anyone heard me, I heard someone being called Angel and knew that Liverpool accent. I checked out, Melanie was returning to life, a daughter is reunited with her mother, and I thought about giving them some space by getting the Puerto Rican lady self out of there.
It took about a few more days for Melanie to get used to her new body, knowing she’ll unlikely be the same again. She reminded me of a mixed of Full-Metal Alchemist and Metal Gear Solid character. I’m still shaken up, to the pointing I started pacing at random times. Stimming was common in autism, but no amount would make me unseen that. The media finally cool down, let the girls go, Monty was dealt with, but it also opened an eye in the medical world. It was a double-edge sword, saving lives but at what cost. Finally, I was approach by that officer who noticed the skills I put through in order to get Melanie back, even if she’s couldn’t be consider normal… as far as being a pure human is concern. She also approach the ladies in hopes others in their situations. It was like creating a mixture of my abilities and the ladies new why of life. I was by Melanie’s bedside while still getting a custom wheelchair for her when the officer asked us. I was just as surprised on how they upgraded her legs to fix that, as the bones were removed. We just looked at each other, not sure about it. We just stayed there… thinking about the offer.