A Hardliner On Snuffworld : a story by: GF Willmetts

April 2, 2018 | By | Reply More


‘WHY HAVE I BEEN CALLED?’ Chief Detective Llanbasah Caddoasec’s boomed, looking down at the two detectives. The Granolan towered over the two detectives, holding a megaphone in his hand. He had seen it being used on an Earther film where everyone listened to its authority.

‘A conflict of murders,’ Detective Inspector Baratty Rabatty replied. ‘He wants to execute my witnesses.’

The ‘he’ in question, Detective Inspector Yipee Brutus growled, ‘That is tradition. Why should it be any different?’

‘With no provision that the murderer hasn’t escaped the immediate area and free to commit more murders. Based on what I have seen and transferred onto my compotator, there is now the added possibility that the two cases might be more than joined.’

‘Now Rabatty wants to steal my murder case as well,’ Brutus complained. ‘I was here first.’

‘Two murders so close together with the same MO cannot be a coincidence. I’ve been tracking this murderer for several cases. He likes to kill in pairs of close proximity. So far, several in fact. Stops for a few days and begins again.’


‘He’s dead. Because of jurisdiction, the investigation has been waiting for your decision to find out if he or she is one of my double serial killer.’


‘This is the sixth pair today. Generally, he does ten pairs at a time. We don’t have a lot of time.’


‘None that have conceded to my authority.’


‘I can offer a fresh pair of eyes. With so many murders, perhaps Rabatty needs more than his own abilities.’

‘Providing he doesn’t kill all the possible witnesses first, Chief Detective.’


‘It has proved effective for Grand Emperor Borro, Chief Detective.’

‘The Emperor’s pet,’ sneered Brutus.

Caddoasec stared down at him, ‘YOU ARE TIRED OF LIVING, INSPECTOR?’

‘I am no one’s pet. Do not let the Grand Emperor calling my assistance from time to time to sway your decision, Chief Detective.’


‘It would be easier if none of the witnesses are executed. We would be doing this murder’s job for him. They would provide clues as to who I am looking for. So far, it’s been based on appearance. Unauthorised murder is still unauthorised murder. He sprees and stops. I would rather capture him today.’

‘Killing all suspects ensures that.’

‘From someone who is working across the city block by block. You’ll never catch up, Brutus?’


‘My way is faster, Rabatty,’ Brutus muttered as Caddoasec trotted off.

‘My way ensures there are enough people left to commit more crimes to keep the department busy.’

There was another person examining the second body when they got to it.

‘You’re a long way from your lab, Mistress Doctor Morbrondo,’ Brutus said more boldly.

‘On my orders, Brutus,’ Rabatty keeping his explanation short. ‘I need a quick confirmation not a full autopsy. What do you have, Mistress Doctor?’

‘Same as the other ones today and a few days ago. Initial low stab to stop him. Several slashes to finish the job. He…or she must have some blood on them. Certainly the murder weapon.’

‘And no one calls out?’ Brutus asked.

‘Those that we’ve spoken to in the past thought it was an authorised execution, so why get involved.’


‘City centre.’

‘We’ll cross-check their IDs on the way.’

‘That will take far too much time. Do I have to ask permission to go ahead?’

Not at all, Brutus. See if you can locate him.’

They watched as the detective trotted away.

‘That’s the escape route covered.’

‘Do you think he’ll know you tricked him, Rabatty? He doesn’t know who he’s looking for.’

‘He’d just as likely kill everyone along the route given the chance, Jumpee. Let’s drive ahead of the route, shall we?’

They got into Rabatty’s vehicle and drove on a parallel road in the same direction as Brutus.

‘He could but you’ve been gauging his speed. Any thoughts on how he picks his victims?’

‘They aren’t as random as they look. Each run of people has the same clothes.’

‘Like he’s trying to find the right people? Maybe he can’t see too well?’

‘I was going to add that, Rabatty. He could have myopia…short-sighted.’

‘Two victims each time?’

‘Diplopia. Double vision. Of course, he could just be cross-eyed or drunk.’

‘So I’m looking for someone with a squint?’

‘Or anyone who gets really close.’

‘Would he target the left or right person first?’

Jumpee shrugged. ‘All the autopsies indicated each died within seconds of each other. Don’t take it for granted that he’s slow.’

‘I wish he was consistent with his times.’

‘Maybe he’s after shift workers.’

Rabatty stopped the vehicle and looked at Jumpee. ‘You should become a detective, Jumpee.’

He drove on and then realising where they were and parked and they both got out. He dug around in the boot and they put Kevlar undervests and then coats similar to the last two victims. Crossing the road, they stepped into the adjacent road that they hoped the killer was still walking.

‘I’m learning off you, Rabatty,’ Jumpee continued. ‘Do you think his last victims were the right ones or was he going through his shift?’

‘I’ll be sure to ask him. Voices down now. We have to blend in.’

‘Anyone who comes close is a suspect, Rabatty,’ Jumpee whispered, reminding him.

They trotted down the road. The Granolans trotting the other way arcing around them but none of them seemed to be panicking.

‘Maybe he’s given up for the day,’ Jumpee muttered.

‘Then we’ll have to do this over again. Never the same road, but your idea of shift workers might be pointing to a particular business. Whoa!’

Up ahead, they saw a medium-sized Granolan seemingly bumping into a larger Granolan, eyeing him in the face and then move forward. Instantly, the larger Granolan keeled over and both Rabatty and Jumpee charged forward to either side of the downed victim.

‘Choice of three,’ Rabatty said, matter-of-factly, as the murderer peered at all three of them. ‘Put down your weapon and you’ll live longer.’

As the murderer wavered, suddenly there was a shot from the crowd and he dropped dead.

‘What were you waiting for, Rabatty?’ asked Brutus, holstering his gun. ‘You wanted him to kill you or Mistress Doctor Morbrondo?’

The nearby Granolans continued their trotting on to their destinations. Nothing to do with them.

‘We wore Kevlar. I wanted him alive so I could find out why he was killing these people,’ Rabatty said angrily.

‘He’s dead. No more murders. There is no problem. It will say so in my report. Case closed.’ Brutus paused. ‘On my score sheet.’

‘If you insist. Anything else related to this case is mine. Including his motivation.’

‘And mine in the morgue,’ added Jumpee. ‘Maybe he was just insane.’

Brutus shrugged and trotted off.

‘He didn’t even ask why we got ahead of him,’ Jumpee said.

‘He probably expected me to do something different to him,’ Rabatty put a code into his compotator requesting a truck for the bodies. ‘He’s an old school hardliner, just going by the body count.’

‘And you?’

‘I want to know why he was killing so many people just to find some members of a shift. Now it will be a lot harder.’

‘I’ll see what else they have in common.’

‘You don’t think it’s over?’

Rabatty shrugged. ‘When has anything been over? This is the third with the same MO. We’ll just have to wait for the next one or find the company and find out why they are being targeted.’

‘There’s a “but” coming isn’t there?’

‘Without a murderer, it’s not in my department.’

‘You’re patient, Rabatty. Like trains, there’s always another one.’

‘Let’s hope he’s not running late.’


end for now


© GF Willmetts 2018

All rights reserved

Ask before borrowing

Chief Detective Llanbasah Caddoasec

Detective Inspector Baratty Rabatty

Forensic specialist Doctor Jumpee Morbrondo

Detective Inspector Yipee Brutus


Category: Scifi, Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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