Red Rooms

There have been a chain of murders across central Manhattan. All the victims are teenage introverts, as described by their parents. Never going out, always contained within the same four walls, scrawling ironically through social media. Police are dumbfounded as to what caused the many deaths. Allegedly they were the repercussions of an internet link, but the men were apprehended. Investigator Carrie McKee has been fascinated by the mystery of the case itself, and takes it on with the few leads she has. Little does she know that she was entering into something far deeper than she had first anticipated, that could cost her things she never knew she had. This wasn't a small case. This was something global. It was all over the internet.

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7. Aaron.

The interview room felt cold and a little claustrophobic. The white walls loomed over Carrie's small frame and threatened to swallow her up. It had been an hour and a half since she'd awoken, and already it felt like a long day. She turned round, to be met with the ashen, dark face of the most suspicious group member. Composing herself, she walked towards the table and seated herself directly parallel to his disapproving expression. He was a lot younger than he had seemed through the glass. Carrie blamed the terrible upkeep of his facial hair and made a mental note to no longer judge poorly bearded men. Poorly bearded men who had pretty epic facial potential. Shaking her head, she decided it best to focus on being a professional.

 

'What exactly did you aim to achieve through this operation?' she began, tapping on the table with a ballpoint pen.

' I don't know...a few laughs,' the man retorted, and Carrie identified a heavy Scottish accent. And also bad breath.

'You do realize you could have exposed pornographic or similarly mature content to young children?' Carrie said, refusing to break his gaze. He firmed up, rolling his eyes before reclining backwards so that the tip of the plastic chair hit the wall.

'Any "kid" old enough to have a social networking profile will have already seen that shit,' he smiled. 'I know I have.'

He winked at her, and Carrie also recoiled backwards.

'Disorderly conduct in the presence of an investigator could result in a minor offense.' Carrie prompted him. The man rolled his eyes.

'Could it really?'

 

'What is your name?' She asked, avoiding the question she knew all too well the answer of.

 

'Aaron,' The man replied, before looking at her badge. 'And you're Carrie, glad we cleared that up.'

Great, he was sarcastic and rude.

'And why are you involved with something so...immature, exactly?' Carrie asked, tilting her glasses down her nose.

'You look hot when you do that,' Aaron sniggered.

'You're pretty vulgar aren't you. Answer the question,' she spat, though she felt her cheeks heat up ever so slightly, fortunately hidden behind a layer of creamy foundation.

He sighed helplessly. 'I sent some gay porn sites to my ex-girlfriend's new man. After that I just...stayed with it. They paid me to ghost the URLs and since Jeff fucked up...I'm holding my hands up to my convictions.'

'What do you mean by ghosting the URLs?' Carrie asked.

'Basically I prevent third party pursuers from tracking our 'activity'. Jeff was so fucking paranoid, sort of ironic considering he was the one who got us in this mess, and not me.'

'You must be a valuable asset, to them,' she inferred.

'You could say that, so how many years behind bars am I gonna get for this?' Aaron joked, daring her to retort in an unprofessional manner.

'Look. There were just a lot of...potential risks...with what you were doing.' Carrie explained. 'It's fairly obvious none of you will be prosecuted. But honestly, two kids paying you to prank people? You're relying on this sort of income? What poor financial circumstances have you got yourself into?'

'Hey, I work. But regardless I see no reason to turn down extra money. Especially when it's a reward for something that comes easy to me.'

Carrie nodded, smiling at how the tables had turned (somewhat).

'Fair...enough, but I think that now things are effectively out in the open, you should cease the petty little operation you have going on and you might make it home for some decent sleep.'

'This is so pathetic, have you guys got nothing better to do?' Aaron laughed. 'You're bringing in people at 4am because of some URLS to the odd porn site, or wait, did you get scared from the little ghost prank we made?'

Carrie paused. 'You did that?'

'Well yeah, and I don't see why you're so shocked?' He said. 'The links were just a way of subtly distributing it. I made the hologram myself. S'pretty clever actually, took a shit-tonne of time to do, though.'

'It's a pretty cliche prank' Carrie scoffed, completely brushing off the sheer terror she had experienced.

'Whatever.'

'I think you should take that down.' Carrie muttered. Aaron grinned at her.

'So, you are scared of it.'

Avoiding the question, Carrie walked out of the interrogation unit and into the room in which Mal was proceeding to yell at one of the confused offenders.

'Let's just give them a metaphorical slap on the wrist and go home, Mal,' Carrie said. 'We can't prosecute them, so we are just wasting the time and money of the state.'

Mal looked crestfallen. 'Do you have to come in here and make me look bad like this Carrie?' He practically whined.

'Let's just go,' Carrie whispered, tugging him out of the interview unit. T noticed them as they made their exit, smiled at the young man squirming in front of her, and also left the building.


All Carrie could hear in the back of her mind, was one simple phrase.

'So, you are scared of it.'

 

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