Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Microstory 567: Spontaneous Human Combustion Proved Inaccurate


Detectives from the SDS have finally arrested the culprit responsible for a number of inexplicable deaths by fire all over Kansas City. The story has been sensationalized for the last week, leading many to conclude that they were hard evidence of a previously thought to be myth called spontaneous human combustion. Lead Detective in the case, Dimitri Orion released this as an official statement: “Okay, so, calling it spontaneous human combustion is a huge misnomer. Nothing was spontaneous about it, these are several counts of negligent homicide, at best...all perpetrated by the same individual. There’s also a logical scientific explanation for it, just like there always is.” At first, Orion and his team explored the deaths themselves, trying to understand just how the victims caught on fire with no sign of accelerant or any other external influence. What they found was so bizarre and unexpected that experts worried the entire city would face complete quarantine from the rest of the world. All victims had been suddenly exposed to dangerous levels of a form of radiation that has never been seen before. These signs of radiation presented themselves exclusively internally, leading investigators first to believe that victims ingested some kind of advanced poison, but there was no evidence of this either. To calm any fears of an epidemic, radiation levels have all dropped to zero, and the city is now safe.
Authorities began to search for any connections between the victims, a subfield known as victimology, but they found nothing substantial. They didn’t work at the same place, nor did they travel the same routes on a regular basis. They didn’t know each other, or have some mutual friend or enemy. They were of all shapes and sizes, ages and genders. As time went on, however, a pattern began to form. They noticed that victims were killed exactly every twenty-four hours, and that they were killed in pairs. The two people in these pairs were not standing anywhere near each other, but they did die at the exact same time. Further exploring their bodies, the SDS discovered that each pair shared genetic traits between each other, not because they were genetically similar, but because they literally transferred DNA to each other. This made no sense to most people, but it did to Orion. He realized that these were not attempts at murder, but at something else. Josiah Mackeral became a suspect because of a paper he published, outlining his ideas on teleportation. Upon being discovered, he immediately admitted to executing unsanctioned human trials. He was attempting to teleport people around the city by switching their places. The combustion was merely an unforeseen consequence for this that came out of the instability of the exotic fuel source he tapped into to power the experiments. Mackeral was allowed to release his own official statement: “If I had stopped after the first pair of deaths, I probably would have been okay. Not great, but okay. That I kept going even after accidentally becoming a murderer means that I will spend my life in prison. I’m just glad that capital punishment was outlawed in 1659 [sic] (capital punishment was actually outlawed in this country in 1649, and all around the world by 1798). Mackeral’s trial has been set to begin next month.

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