I turned the body a bit and got a better look at the boy.
It was a boy. Not old enough to call it a man.
Hair was shaved, and the scalp was tattooed like the kids down the Spine like to do. Complicated swirls, bioluminescent in parts, probably others only revealed under UV or other uncommon light. Tendrils of ink came down to coil around his eyes, and and down his neck where they disappeared beneath his shirt. Clothing was loose, good for grabbing, another hallmark of the Spine.
There were scars running down his forearms. Multiple suicide attempts. Again: common down the Spine.
His pants were stained. Blood and other bodily fluids most recently, but older grease stains spoke of industrial work.
And finally, the knife.
What a knife. Neon green plastic. Fabricated from some jailbroke maker probably. Not easily traceable, though I hoped I’d get lucky. Maybe find the killer had used a public maker and forgot the cameras.
It was in his gut. Multiple stabs.
Facing his attacker?
Unlikely. Nothing a spine-rat could afford would be worth stealing.
If he was a spine-rat. Dressing like one and being one were not the same thing.
Without an ID, it would take a few hours to find out. If the kid had ID, it was broken, since I was close enough to touch him and not picking anything up.
“Nic?” the woman behind me asked. Ana, 42, widowed, 2 kids officially, 2 surrogates. Artist; amatuer drug dealer; hates the smell of Rondôn’s preferred cleaning solution.
“Yeah, yeah, almost done,” I told her.
“I don’t mean to sound callous,” she assured me, guaranteeing whatever she said next sounded callous, “But I’ve got customers coming in soon. Nobody’s gonna come into a place with a body out front.”
“Ok, ok,” I said as I stood, “Rondôn?”
Yes? The ship signaled, What can I do for you officer?
“Let’s get the body out of the street,” I whispered to the ship.
Requesting confirmation from Civil Authority.