Suspense Crime

There's a soda can on a wooden desk. The room has no windows but is super bright. A scientist is being interviewed; can't say I know him. It looks like it's something about additives in food and water. The reporter is from a big newspaper. I think I saw him in a TED talk. Let me check. He stars in a TV show with computers and software.

That must be the scientist in charge of the project. He's sipping from the can, nodding at the reporter. He's laughing, making friendly chit-chat, pointing at his soda can. "Do you want a sip?" That's a weird thing to ask a reporter. Alright, now they're ready to start the interview. Is he going to use his phone to record? He pulled out a tripod camera.

The scientist keeps drinking soda. Probably the company is sponsored by that brand. That's why he keeps waving it in front of the camera. The first question is about the recently developed food additive that... Why does he keep drinking that soda? For fuck's sake, put that thing away. And he sips so loudly. That makes for a crappy interview.

The scientist said it's the mission of the company to bring forward innovation for the mass market with a new line of... What is your problem, my guy? Just throw that fucking thing away. How can there still be soda inside? He keeps guzzling it down. God, I hate him. Look at the reporter. He's getting angry as well.

The next question is what data is available on the chemical... You motherfucker. He pulled out another can of soda from under his desk. The reporter looks stunned. "What is that?" he asked. "What?" the scientist said. What do you mean "what"? You goofy fuck. Why do you keep drinking soda in the middle of the interview? That's what the guy is asking.

That is unprofessional. Okay, he says he'll put it away. The reporter looks relieved. The answer was they did test it for months on rats, and the data looks promising. The scientist hands over some documents; he's pointing at some pie charts. The reporter asks him if there is similar evidence-based... He's standing up. That's what I'm talking about. The reporter is livid; look at him go. Yeah, buddy, that's right: fuck your soda can.

The scientist just can't help himself. He keeps drinking it. Oh, that's it, he's packing the camera away. The reporter is about to leave. He took his cute tie off and everything. He's done. Wait a minute. What's happening? What is that?

Hey, watch out! Stop, what are you doing? Someone help him; he's dying. You sick fuck, what did you do? You won't get away with this; I've got this recorded on the servers.

Can anyone hear me? Is anyone on this frequency? I've just witnessed a murder at Bigbio Labs. A reporter from a TED talk just got mauled by a crazy soda-drinking scientist. Hello, can anyone hear me? A guy was stabbed with a pen and is now dead. That's some John Wick shit that went down inside the lab. I'm inside the building with this deranged fuck. I need the cops to shoot his ass. If you can hear me, please call the police, tell them about me. I can't use anything other than this frequency; they make you leave your phone at the gate.

I'm just a software engineer. I can't be left with this guy in the building. I shouldn't have been here tonight. It was supposed to be a private interview, just the two of them. I found out about it in an email. I shouldn't have read it, but I knew something is rotten with this place ever since I started working here. My supervisor gave me orders to shut down all cameras and turn in my fob for the weekend. I know there's someone out there on this frequency, someone who is into conspiracy theories. Come on, this is your chance, this is what you've been yearning for all your life. Now is the time to bring down the big corporations. Now is the time to march into Bigbio Lab and burn it down. But before you do that, please help me.

Two cops sat in a patrol car next to the main gate. One smoked while the other rested his forehead on the window.

"What do you think?"

"Jimmy? He's full of it."

"Is he the boy who cried wolf?"

"Check out his other videos: aliens probed my ass but I probed back, how dentists poison you with toothpaste, I rode the secret Carpathian tunnels with Joe Rogan and ended up in Egypt under the Great Pyramid... It's hard to take this guy seriously."

He threw the stub into the empty security booth. The cop grabbed his radio.

"Dispatch, this is car 69. I need the last workplace of one Jim Franklin, who lives on Mole Avenue."

"Car 69, his last job was at Bigbio Lab, hired last year as a software engineer."

The two cops exchanged glances.

"What has he been saying?"

"Just asking for help, going on about conspiracies."

"Does he have eyes on the scientist?"

"He says the scientist is roaming through the building drinking soda, and it is just a matter of time before he finds Jimmy."

"Can we talk to him on this frequency?"

"We could if we wanted to, but I doubt he wants to talk to cops. We're part of the industrial corporate machine, remember?"

"Captain, you're not seriously suggesting any of this is true, are you?"

Before he could answer, Jimmy cried out for help. They could hear screaming and grunting, and then everything went quiet.

"Jimmy, are you alright? What is happening?"

"Jimmy, this is the police. We're at your location. Are you hurt?"

Nothing but static came from the radio. The two men held their breath, waiting for an answer. It came in the form of a soda can popping open.

July 16, 2023 12:27

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