Chapters: [01]

Working title: "Choice Bounty"
First draft, last updated: 2002, Tuesday, December 31st.
© Original Copyright 2002, Copyright 2003, Ikasatu Kirasawa. All Rights Reserved. Published online, with permission, by KeyAny Press.

-Chapter One-

I don't ever expect to get calls.

I don't ever expect to be called, because I don't give my number out, and I'm never the first person they contact, in such instances where my wervices would be required.
When someone gets murdered, there's a proceedure, and I'm usually dead last in the line of operations.
Someone wanders down the wrong alley. This is the first person.
A second party decides that they would very much like, for whatever reason, to kill this person in (statistically) a very unpleasant way. (You don't get many people who force others to die from sexual exhaustion, or too much good food). They're the second rung down the ladder.
Some terribly helpful (and usually brainless) person stumbles over whatever remains of the first party. This person can also be the one who, rather than noticing that there's a dead person somewhere strange, will notice instead, the conspicuous abscence of a live person, somewhere normal. This is the third party, and usually the main suspect. Not without reason, as sometimes criminals streamline the process, by shouldering the burden of two or more of the previous duties.
The local police are informed, step four is completed.
The local police dispatcher sends two or three squad cars, a detective, and a few forensics to look the place over. (five, six, and seven)
The policemen (five) gather witnesses, reports, and also safely case the area from tampering, so that the forensics (seven), can gather untainted evidence. The detectives (six) pull together police reports, forensic evidence, and their intuition, and help make the call as to whether the second party is the third party, or if it's one of the members of the eighth group, the suspects, who are gathered by the police (group five).
If party two isn't party three, or a member of group eight (as gathered by group five), then they are a member of group nine, the general populous.
The general populous is comprised of subgroups ten, the guilty (party number two), and eleven, the mostly innocent masses.
The police would then inform the populous by way of group twelve, the media.

If six looks at the evidence from seven, and decides that two isn't three or one of eight (as gathered by five), and that two is one of nine, then they tell twleve, who asks eleven to find ten, who has been determined to be party two.

Should any of the gears in this whirling machine of justice lock up, or fall out, plan thirteen goes into effect.
The bounty hunters are called, and the hunt begins. I am the thirteenth of thirteen thirteens. In turn, thirteens one through twelve have their chance at each bounty.

It's like being the Speaker of the House in the old United States Senate. Chances are, you won't be forced into the Presidency, for the same reason that Communists were hungry during the 1950's. Lines long enough to soucher the Grand Canyon.

Though I'm the twenty-sixth person to be involved in any murder case, I live well enough off what I do get, in those rare instances where I'm the only one left who can handle the job.
This is why, after pocketing fourteen million cold for Salvadore Grummon, the broken bottle bucher, I was particularly surprised to get a call the next morning, at 0800 sharp.