He got out of the car and walked across the street to the officer who
responded to the call. He didn't bother to step around the fluffy kernels
littering the street. Breezes and the crows had already disturbed the crime
scene beyond any hope of figuring out who fired at who first.
hate these things."
"I know, son, but at least it's biodegradeable. Even if the noise does
frighten the neighbors".
"But gang fights used to be so predictable. A bunch of brass here, a handful
over there, and you had a chance of identifying the gun".
"I know. This whole popcorn-code-of-honor thing screwed up everything. Both
sides agree on a meeting place, and then the popping starts. The gun
captures the pressure, and when it builds up high enough the cube of butter
launches, the corn gets vented through the muzzle brake, and it starts over
He looked over to the gutter, the shape unmoving beneath the butter-stained
blanket. "Finish your report".
A large van came down the road, preceded by a loud whirring sound. "Great.
It's the Halfbakery Crime Lab. It's going to get worse."
A man and a woman, dressed in disposeable white suits, climbed out of the
van and immediately began spraying some kind of preservative over the scene.
The corn ceased drifting in the breeze, and the crows fled, complaining
The woman picked her way carefully through the corn, avoiding stepping on
any. She stopped by the corpse and sniffed the air.
"Two-stroke biodiesel. Probably corn oil."
The man finished his spraying and joined her, holding one fluffy kernel in
each hand. Looking from one to the other, he said "This one pops at about
437 degrees F, the usual stuff. "
"But take a look at this one. Looks as if it could be genmod, probably for
higher pressures and temperatures. You could run this in a turbo two-stroke
(to be continued)