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Authors: Girish Karthikeyan

Remember (5 page)

BOOK: Remember
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“The trial goes as expected.”

Vintage likes his sports references and they’ve grown on me.
“Do we have a foothold, yet?”

“I would say so. We made a bulletproof case. I just don’t want to get your hopes up.”

My expectant eyes follow his. “What have we done, so far?”

“Let’s take each witness one at a time, okay?”


“The first witness the state called, Agent Liam Davidson allowed me to highlight the quickness with which they arrested a suspect. Additionally, the obtaining of info from you just minutes prior to your arrest. The police gathered the info through correct procedure after your arrest to cover any issues with your questioning. This surely leaves some grounds for an appeal. Do you have any questions?”

“Not right now. Go ahead.”
The extent of his expertise makes even the most complex legalese easy to understand.

“The second witness, the paramedic on the scene Cooper Madison, helped establish the fact you were instrumental in the survival of Dr. Mekova. This doesn’t factor in as much as it seems. The state uses the fact you saved her as a way to show you caused the situation. It sells their motive. Does that sound clear?”

“Yes, so far.”

He stands up, pushes the chair back, and rests his arms across the backrest from behind. “The next witness, Investigating Agent Margrove shows my best work. I managed to steer her into admitting the possibility that another person was at the scene of the crime. The jury may not look favorably on the fact I limited her to yes or no questions.” A wide smile escapes him. ”It could translate as trying to get her to say something she doesn’t want to. That remains speculative. Are you okay with that?”

“Was there some other way to do it?”

Vintage lowers his head for a while before answering. “I thought about presenting evidence at every wrong turn. It portrays as even more confrontational.”

“Nothing else.”

“Now on to the last witness, Dr. Buren. I pretty much took down their motive. The psych consultant helped me there. Who would have thought a chemical could give you symptoms of a mental illness. What was it again… oh, yes…
memory enhancer-LS
. The lab tests put it over the top. You
with her. She possessed the afterthought to check for possible chemical causes.”

“Have you ever heard of heroic personality disorder?”

He considers me. “I wouldn’t know much about it. I’m just a lawyer.”

“How am I doing?”

“Let me put it this way. I shot so many aces in there I’ve lost count. It is match point, advantage Vintage.”

He mimics a serving motion with his hands. I’m in a very good position. Mr. Vintage leaves me alone to eat my lunch, not on the scene yet. I just chew on my thoughts. What about the possibility I ultimately carry blame for what happened to Dr. Mekova? I stayed late to download the data from her computer. The people she or I work for might attribute a problem with me snooping. Would they do something like that? I can’t say. Whenever I work with them, they almost always use nonlethal means to accomplish their goals. What do I know about them anyway? I have to stop thinking this way. Good, here comes my lunch. I’ll just have to see how things turn out.


Do No Harm

Mon 10/5/17 1:30 p.m.


lease rise for the Honorable Malcolm Waters,” the bailiff says. Everyone complies. The judge enters the room.

“You may now be seated. This court is in session,” the judge says. He looks over to Mrs. Alamander for her next witness.

She says, "The prosecution rests, Your Honor."

Waters answers, "Very well. Mr. Vintage you may present your case."

Our turn. Mr. Vintage displays confidence that we can win this. I’m innocent. Justice will be served.

“I call Donegal Martland to the stand. He is a techie specializing in medical equipment,” Mr. Vintage says. An older looking bald man approaches. He wears a t-shirt with a different image every few secs, over shorts. He recites the oath, just like everyone else. He sits down, ready to answer questions.

“What does your job entail?”

“Sure. My main job is consulting with users of medical equipment. A wide range of clients use my services, from individuals to hospitals.”

Mr. Vintage goes to the prosecutor’s desk and retrieves the murder weapon. “What does this look like to you?”

“It seems to be a CART, cardiac arrest recovery tool.”

“How does it work?”

He sweeps his hand across the back of his head. “If placed anywhere on someone and activated, the CART reestablishes a stable heartbeat. The CART first checks for an irregular heartbeat. Upon detection, tech tendrils deploy into strategic locations. An electrical signal runs into the body. The state of the heart is checked, again.”

“Did you examine this CART?” Vintage hands over the CART, which Donegal turns on his fingers.


“Did you find any alterations?”


“What alterations did you discover?”

He returns the device to Vintage. “The tech produces a blade, but could manifest as anything with similar mass. I brought a visual.”

He takes out a device from his pocket, and puts it on the railing, a spherical shaped clear object. It projects an image in front of the gallery. The image shows the CART, a disc shaped device with a bowed out back, identical to the murder weapon. He highlights two sections.

“The CART now delivers its entire electrical payload in 1 sec. A detrimental pattern to the body increases the damage. Other than that, nothing else appears altered. The CART still holds all the internal and external components and sensors.”

Vintage leans back on the defense desk. “What does this electrical payload cause?”

The veteran techie massages his left palm absent-mindedly. “With this pattern, it causes little or no heartbeat impulse for 12 minutes and no other muscle activity for 15 minutes. In rare instances, complications occur resulting in an unrecoverable state as is the case in this situation.”

“What did the sensors record on the night of the incident?”

“At 7:55, an unidentified tech id used the weapon on Dr. Mekova. At 8:05, Dr. Abby handled the weapon, but he didn’t use it.”

“What are the required skills to make a modification to a CART?” He fingers the edge of the CART.

“That question has two parts, access privileges and expertise. The only qualification that fulfills both requirements is Technology and Information Engineering. Anyone who reached the level of techie could do it.”

“Does Dr. Abby have the ability to make these changes?”


“For a techie, a Technology and Information Engineer, how much time would these modifications take?”

“Anywhere from an hour to 2 weeks, depending on the experience of the techie.”

“How difficult is it for an experienced techie to pull off?”

He inspects his cuticles. “This sort of mod defines difficulty. Medical devices abandon an interpretation programming language. An archaic set of symbols and characters code the programming.”

My lawyer puts the weapon on the desk in front of me. “Was any other tech used during the incident?”

“Yes, S-tech or support tech is used to insure survival of the target. S-tech provides everything the body needs for survival in times of cardiopulmonary failure. The quantity of S-tech proved
to get Dr. Mekova through her complications from the weapon.”

“Was the goal of Dr. Mekova’s attack to kill her?”

“Objection, speculative,” Mrs. Alamander says.

Mr. Vintage responds, “I’ll rephrase. What is the combined effect of the weaponized CART and the S-tech?”

“The appearance of death for 10–15 minutes, providing everything goes right. It
that night.”

“I have no more questions for the witness.”

“Mrs. Alamander, you may pose your questions to Mr. Martland,” the judge says.

Mrs. Alamander stays behind the desk leaning on her arms. “Yes, Your honor. Mr. Martland, could Mr. Abby learn the required info to make the changes himself?”

Techie Donegal leans back and slides forward with his hands over stomach. “He could obtain some of the required info. The biggest issue is practical application. It isn’t possible just to look up all the required info. Modifying a CART relies on a wide range of knowledge, not to mention the legal issues. Without practice, it is nearly impossible to pull off. Practice hinges on access privileges. Dr. Abby isn’t a techie, his access is restricted.”

“Was the unidentified tech id linked to any other cases?”

He smiles wider at the question. “Good you asked. In the process of trying to id the person, I searched for other occurrences. In the trespass of Dr. Mekova’s office, the exact same id shows up. Let me look it up.” He looks at his tech for a few secs.

“Yes, here is the id 452-686-0505.”

“Could Dr. Abby have hired a third party to modify the CART and provide the S-tech?”

“Yes, there are some unidentified techies that provide such unsavory services.”

“Could Dr. Abby have contacted the modified CART two times on the night of the incident?”

He shifts his lips to one side then back. “Yes, it is possible, but unlikely. It doesn’t make sense to me that he would take the extra precaution of a different tech id the first time. Then, just 10 minutes later, how could he not take the same precautions.”

“What is the process of charging a personal tech id?

“Let's start with the basics, anyone interested in anonymity, wouldn’t use tech in any big way. Changing tech ids requires restricted materials. A personalized tech suppressor submerges the projection of a specified tech id. The suppressor introduces a chemical signal that the tech understands. Another tech id may then be injected. This is strictly a temporary measure. Permanent methods are also available, but can’t be undone.”

She crosses her arms halfway through his answer. “Is it possible to copy a tech id? If so, how is it done?”

“It is quite easy, once you have a sample of the desired tech id. Getting a copy is an invasive process always noticeable. You use a computer to read the sample id and imprint it on tech. “

“Could Dr. Abby have utilized this method to get the required privileges to modify the CART himself?”

“That is possible. I just see one issue with your logic. You are making one supposition on top of another supposition making for a shaky argument.”

“What about the unknown tech id, could that be a fake?”

“Yes, it is possible also.”

“I have no further questions for this witness.”

“Mr. Martland, you may step down. Mr. Vintage, please call your next witness,” the judge says.

Mr. Vintage says, “I call psychological consultant, Dr. Winter Stevenson to the stand."


White Hat

Mon 10/5/17 2:39 p.m.


he emerges from somewhere in the gallery, dressed so completely in white that disappearing in a crowd looks impossible. Her white fuzzy sweater hangs loosely from her shoulders over white denim. Her almost white blond hair lies around her neck and flows out to the clavicle. We are the same age. She is sworn in.

The bailiff says, “Do you solemnly swear to say the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help you?”

Dr. Stevenson says, “I do.”

“When were you first brought onto the case?” Mr. Vintage asks from halfway to the witness stand.

She gives him a warm, smug smile. “I believe you came to me. The prosecution’s case hinges on psychiatric testimony. I agreed to help if anything showed up. I’m known for always doing my process, without searching for something beneficial.”

“What were your next steps?”

Winter throws a few errant tresses away from her face. “I conducted my first session to get a general idea of where he was at. I asked questions about his life. This gave me some insights. Dr. Abby struggled with feeling emotions. Only intense emotions made any impact. This effect was noted in himself and his perception of others.”

Vintage veers to the jury booth just short of the witness stand. “What did this mean?”

“The next session provided a chance to start testing his neural activity. I programmed his tech to monitor the nutrient flow into various parts of his brain. The end result facilitates forming a definitive diagnosis of any mental illness he may have.”

“What was the result?”

She crosses her legs from the squeezed together position. Her hands land neatly on her upper leg. “All conditions tested negative except for narcissistic personality disorder and heroic personality disorder. Those two conditions were inconclusive. The areas associated with those conditions took in an abnormal amount of nutrients. The change wasn’t enough to be considered definitive.”

“What does this call for?”

“An inconclusive result isn’t unheard of. It now turned to me. My third session with Dr. Abby entailed an exhaustive evaluation of his psyche. I asked questions about his experiences. The second part was interpretation of situations and abstract stimuli. This session led me to the diagnosis of heroic personality disorder.”

Vintage stands up straight and pulls his jacket forward. “What treatment did you recommend?”

“I decided to use
emotional stabilizer
, the classic treatment for bipolar depression. It has been effective for heroic personality disorder, in small doses. The standby medication was
neuroplasticity enhancer
. Along with mental training,
has been used for suffers of various mental illness.”

Her testimony just refreshes everything she described about my treatment during those sessions she talked about.

“When did you first get suspicious of your diagnosis?”

“During our fourth session, we were talking about his work life. I was surprised he was a research scientist. It was recorded somewhere in his profile, but it escaped me until then. He didn’t have any of the associated occupations. Heroic personality disorder is common among security officials, medics, disaster support officials, and hospital staff. Any first responders are vulnerable to this disorder.”

BOOK: Remember
9.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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