System Fault: Fatal

Chapter 1

Several drops of blood stained the white snow. One had splashed onto her wrist band. Colored plastic pearls threaded onto a cheap elastic string. Someones boot had pressed it all into a hollow imprint, made to look deeper by the rays of the setting sun. Judging by the size, it was no doubt that of another schoolkid.

Sitting on his heels, Serge scanned the immediate area for more traces but there were none. Of course, there were plenty other footprints – hundreds if not more – which was entirely normal just outside a school. The same was true for the countless tire tracks on the road. But unless someone had seen the snatch, the police was going to have a hard time.

He looked up and found the video camera mounted on the school gate less than a hundred yards up the road. Despite being brand new it wasn’t going to be of much use. It was a fixed angle model covering only the immediate area of the gate. So close, yet blind as a beggar. How long was the tape? For a moment he considered breaking into the empty school to see the recording, but dismissed the idea. It wouldn’t show anything of real importance. And there wasn’t enough time before the police arrived.

next page