Since I felt that I had no choice, I didn’t ask anyone’s permission. Nor did I have a problem flipping the switch on the jammer. Sure, if the controller had been listening to my thoughts, when Peace came through the door, he or she knew what was going to happen, but I jammed the signal before they tried to stop me.
I quietly moved to Peace and twisted his head violently to the left. I heard the popping sound and felt the jerk as his body reacted to the severing of the spinal chord. Peace was almost instantly brain dead. I did a check to be sure that I didn’t need to suffocate him a well. He was resting peacefully as I’m sure they would say later in the mortuary.
The problem became what to do with him. I immediately went into my kitchen for plastic gloves. While I stood over the body, I did a quick threat analysis. As I slipped into the gloves, I began to wonder exactly what would be the best way to dispose of a body like his.
Did I want him to just disappear. If so a vat of acid was the way to go. That seemed like more trouble than it was worth. If I hadn’t been involved with another death just a few days before, I would probably call Blevins. It just seemed like too many bodies in too short a time.
So, Peace needed to be disposed of another way. First I used my computer to turn off the real time camera over my rear door. Video was a two edged sword that needed to be blunted. A few key strokes and the video camera was off line.
Next I needed to do something with the body. It wasn’t leaking anything. so I wasn’t too worried. I did have to haul the body away inside the maroon cruiser, or in the back of the orange pickup truck. I decided to go with the pickup. I went into the storage room and found a plastic painter’s drop cloth. It had never been opened and it was white, not clear.
Dragging Peace onto it and then sitting him up and leaned forward into kind of a ball wasn’t hard at all. Rolling and securing him inside the plastic sheet was a little clumsy. Since the sheet was new, I wiped only the wrapper for finger prints. It seemed unlikely that even that had been necessary. I included the drop cloth wrapper inside the package with Peace inside.
He was heavy, but I could have carried him even in my old body. Using the new new body with the hydraulics, there was nothing to it. He was a ball in the back of my truck in no time at all. I was a little surprised at how easy it had been to haul the man, who was much larger then me, into the rear of the truck.
It was simply a matter of leverage. The hydraulic joints and muscles had way more power than I needed. Hell most of the time I fought to keep them under control. It was nice to see that they really were useful now and then. Bristol was headed for the Cowtail Ford Bridge over the Elon River.
I found the Cowtail Ford Bridge back when I was still me. I filed it away for a rainy day, and it appeared to be pouring at that very moment. Everybody has a body drop spot filed away in their brain, just in case, don’t they? I thought with a smile.
Even though I had no idea where his car was parked, I had taken his keys, just in case I ran across it. I removed both of them from his key ring, then replaced the ring into his pants pocket.
When they found Bristol’s body, there was little chance they would declare it an accident, but I planned to keep them as confused as possible. The drive to Cowtail Ford didn’t take long. It was reasonably close to home, which is why it stuck in my mind.
At 2AM nothing was moving on the two lane road. I knew exactly what I was going to do, so it took me less than five minutes to open the plastic and toss Bristol’s body from the bridge. It is good to dump bodies in water. It is even better, if it looks as though the death could be accidental. I had left no evidence at all on the body.
I was back in town by 2:45AM. I rode around the area until I found the car registered to Bristol in a parking lot several blocks from my house. I quickly drove the truck back to the apartment.
I left the Townhouse several minutes later on the bicycle. It was cold but not to me. I really did like the new body now and then. That night was one of the now and then moments. My body did not get cold, and the sensors that replaced the human eye was a hell of a lot more sensitive to low light. I could crank it up to almost daylight and pedal the bike very safely.
I put the bike in Bristol’s trunk. I simply drove the car back to the mission and left it parked behind the empty meeting hall. It would be several days before anyone used the meeting hall, so the car might go unnoticed for a while. The four mile ride home on the bike was hardly more than a twenty minute ride at noon on a summers day to me. During the fifteen minute ride home, at a pretty good speed, I was able to split my attention between the road and thoughts of what I had just done.
I had committed a pretty clean murder. Okay, in my mind it was justified homicide, but I decided I would just skip the coroner’s jury bit. There was no need for an inquest, I knew what happened and I knew it was necessary. The only question was could I get away totally clean, or would there be more details to deal with later.
I knew that the farm would shut me down before they allowed the cops to arrest and put me on trial. As with anything else Peace has been a calculation and he just came up on the wrong side of the equation. He was determined to get even, so as long as he was alive it could come at anytime. He might even be able to do me real damage somehow. That would be a truly bad thing for me personally and the program as well. So I’m sure they would have given me permission to terminate Bristol Peace, if I had bothered to ask.
When the sun finally came up, I went out to check the truck. I had disposed of the plastic drop cloth and the duct tape, which I had used to transportation of the body, far from home. I just couldn’t think of any loose ends. The only bad thing would be if Peace had told someone he was coming to see me. If that were the case, I was going to be a suspect, but there was still no evidence.
After I was sure the truck was clean, I turned the camera back on and the jammer off. My first thought which went to the farm was, I think I’ll ride the bike over to the Sit Down for breakfast then go to the Mall to walk. I was expecting to be asked where the hell I had been, but nothing was said.
It was possible that I wasn’t monitored very closely unless I was operational. That would explain a lot of what was going on. Mostly it would explain why they weren’t all that concerned to have lost contact with me.
I had coffee and a bagel while I made normal morning conversation with the cops, firemen, and paramedics inside the Sit Down. I enjoyed being seen, but I would have done it even if I hadn’t. I needed to be just as normal as possible on two levels. One level was to convince everyone that I was still the same ole Maxine as I had been before the nanny slut shot me. Then there was the new level, nothing out of the ordinary had happened over night, so here I was being me.
After I ate I rode the bike to the mall where I walked four laps. The dancer showed up just as I was starting my last lap.
“Hey Maxine,” she said smiling.
“Either I am early, or you and Leon need to stop the morning sex,” I said laughing at her.
“Oh why is that?” she asked.
“When I get back to the door where my bike is parked, I’m headed home,” I said.
“Surely you don’t think I come here to walk with you?” she said smiling. I was never sure exactly when Dancer was serious.
“Well, now that you have Leon, I’m sure you are not coming here to meet men,” I said laughing.
“Nor am I coming here to meet women. I am coming here to walk, so that my muscles don’t turn to Jello like Leon’s are going to do.” she said bitterly.
“Leon is not like us Honey, he was one of those intellectual types. His idea of exertion is climbing the stairs,” I said.
“That is true, he bitches every day about having bought the third floor apartment.” she said.
“Well he can always try to sell it,” I suggested.
“Are you mad, Leon would never leave Vlad, Anya and you. He would rather see me move out than to leave you guys. You are like a gang or something.”
I made it home from the walk without anything being said to spoil my good mood. There was something about eliminating a threat that just felt so damn right. The first thing to bring me back to the real world was the call from Jen.
“So Harlot, the Christmas Elf, would you like some good news?” she asked.
“I can only imagine good news from you being about business and it’s still the holidays.” I said.
“Yes it is. You know how much I love your business. The college professors just agreed to the purchase price of unit two at the drugstore townhouse. I set the closing for January 5th.”
“Remind me later, I have a few things going on around that time,” I admitted.
“Of course you do. You are just too, to popular,” she said.
“Screw you Jennifer,” I said.
“You wish slut,” she said giggling like a school girl.
“Okay, lets do it then. If you need my okay you have it. So what’s your New Years Plan?” I asked.
“Bob and I are planning to do the New Years Cruise for old farts this year,” she said.
“I can’t believe you are finally ready to admit that you are old. Hell you are the same age as me and I’ve been old for years,” I said with a smile in my voice.
“I certainly hope you enjoy your party on the lake,” she said just a little snippy..
I hope I do as well, of course I can’t say for sure till it happens. It looks as though Sylvia will be going along. I might even take Peter along to drive. I’m still trying to decide about that. He and Sylvia might be doing the deed, but she is Euro Trash, so I’m not sure how significant that is, even if it is true.”
“Oh you think she is one of those ‘screw six guys at the same time’ kinds of chick,” Jen asked.
“I don’t know and I sure as hell am not going to ask. I like having her working for me.” I said.
“She is gorgeous I can see why. I bet the men are attracted to her like flies to shit.” Jen said.
“Jen what has gotten into you. You don’t talk like that,” I said.
“Just using words I’m sure you will understand potty mouth,“ she said.
“Well she is beautiful and when we were at that party in DC, the men did hover. I have to admit now and then some of the attention spilled over to me.
Now I have to go get ready for work it’s almost time for her to arrive. Now that Christmas is over, I’m going to try to get something going.” It was a lie. It was my plan to just sit around and do nothing till enough time had passed so that I could head to the party in upstate New York.