No lies detected
"I always knew there was a possibility that all this technology and shit would put me out of a job, but, like … " the words no one was listening to anyway started drowning in the next big gulp of the umpteenth drink I shouldn't have had. My vision blurred as I came up for air and squinted to see the television behind the bar. Another breaking story, another murder. I rolled my eyes and took down another hefty gulp. Empty. Great.
"Bartender!" I hailed him over, as if I didn't already know his name and he hadn't already been on this journey to rock bottom with me over the last few years.
"You know I can't serve you anymore." He pulled the empty glass away and dunked it into the soapy sink. As if it being wet and covered in bubbles would stop me from drinking it from it. We both knew it wouldn't.
"Jake, these people are dying all over town. Not just dying. Being murdered! I know no one wants to talk about serial killers anymore because technically we shouldn't have them anymore but we do! Turn around and look at the tv right now, it's happening as we speak!" I put my head on the bar and stared down at my feet. These feet that used to take me to every crime scene, to every family member's house, to every courtroom. "People use to be excited for me to show up, you know? People used to praise the techniques and experience. I solved so many cases. I solved them! Found missing people, brought evil to justice time and time again. They think deTect is going to do the same? It's not! It hasn't!!! It can't find this guy. He's out there, killing at will, laughing in their lens while he stands over bodies, Jake."
"I know, I've seen the stories on the news."
"Why hasn't deTect found him then, huh?" Tears welled up in my eyes. Not to have Jake feel sorry for me being an ousted detective, replaced and discarded. I just knew that those families would be asking the same thing. If this stuff was so fucking great, why couldn't it do the one thing it was supposed to be able to do?
"I know no one cares anymore what a human detective thinks anymore but I'll tell you one thing, Jake. He's getting away with it because deTect is letting him."
Jake pulled another glass up from under the bar and poured me another drink. Truth serum.
"The guy is a ghost. Not literally but technically he is. Nothing pulls up in deTect when they scan him. He has no history, no profile, no id. He doesn't exist. Except, obviously, he does. Everyone thinks he must be some criminal mastermind, avoiding being caught, not leaving DNA behind. He isn't a mastermind; he just doesn't have any of that data to get pulled. I think this Enigma Killer is able to get away with it because deTect can't recognize someone who is already dead."
Jake went to pull the drink back from me, seemingly concerned and confused. I let him take it. I didn't need it in this moment.
"Jake, think about it. deTect is only a few years old and only loaded information that was available for every living human in the last five years. All dead people 20 years back. What if this guy was "dead" before then huh? Maybe he was a solider lost in battle or a fisherman lost at sea or a victim himself presumed dead. All these instances, no body. No body to get DNA from. He's a walking, talking, murdering proof that deTect is ... flawed. Worse than a human even. Worse than even a drunk like me, Jake."
I got up from my seat and threw the crumbled twenty dollar bill on the bar. I was going to take myself somewhere I could use my dumb human brain and catch a ghost.