Odds Against You, Copenhagen!

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The mist-like spatter looked just like aerosol paint, if not for the skull fragments and brain tissue.

Camcorder in glove, I wrapped up my second walkthrough documenting the evidence sprayed across the wall. DSLR slung front-to-back, CSI Jason Brown finished annotating the living room sketch, whistling.

‘Three mass suicides in two weeks? This cult’s getting serious.’

Five more, killed with the same madman’s contraption: Revolvers rigged to one Geiger counter next to some uranium. If radioactive decay is detected, all five guns go live; people, dis-alive. Else, click then repeat.

Repeat until BANG.

Jason opened his field kit before proceeding to dust the Russian roulette mechanism for fingerprints. Squatting, I reexamined for the umpteenth time the 5 un-bagged fatalities, related solely by their common interpretation of some thought experiment, plus their mutual idiocy.

Tyres screeched and double shots ringing from the driveway were ensued by twin bodily thuds, both policemen young but not mortal.

The district-attorney was next, what was supposedly nonlethal fatal. The on-site detective barked something into his walkie-talkie, still boots stomped on after another failed barter of ammo.

We’d scarcely unholstered our sidearms when she busted through the yellow tape like a finishing line, brandishing a pistol modified with a black box mounted atop. The absence of balaclava-clad accomplices was unnerving; meeting this unmasked woman who had so casually downed 3 law-enforcement officers sure felt surreal.

‘STOP-’

Everything turned slow-mo, buzzing ears denying my eyewitness account’s credibility. The pattern of viscous crimson pooling from Jason’s exit wound appeared consistent with the angle and range, though. Droplets streaked across my face, tasting salty, coppery. My partner fell flat, blood darkening the white bold FORENSICS on his vest as though in macabre irony.

Despite years’ worth of training, my slight tremble maimed my aim, the bullet merely grazing her exposed shoulder. Jerked backwards, the perpetrator shrieked more from shock than agony, before firing.

For a split second I was glancing straight down its barrel, tunnel vision constricting, till all light was pinched out and consciousness ebbed…

CLICK!
For that split second, I must’ve blacked out. Delirious lucidity kicking back in, my trigger finger’s muscles contracted and this round hit right under her collarbone.

Arterial blood spurted in an arc as she crumpled wild-eyed to the rug, stained with one final casualty. Her heavily customised semi-automatic clattered while I reached hastily behind, handcuffs snapping shut. Applying pressure to cease the bleeding, I fumbled for my walkie-talkie with a slick, shivering hand whilst she grinned smugly.

‘-KILL ‘EM, NO, THEY AIN’T DEAD! THOSE TWO PATROLS? IT DIDN’T FIRE AND THEY ARRESTED ME, NOW THEY’RE IMMORTAL. THE DA? IT DIDN’T FIRE AND HE ARRESTED ME, NOW HE’S IMMORTAL. THAT OTHER COP? IT DIDN’T FIRE AND HE ARRESTED ME, NOW HE’S IMMORTAL. YOUR CRIME-LAB COLLEAGUE? IT DIDN’T FIRE AND-’

Where were the other detectives anyway? I thought as early birds swooped on this slaughterhouse for their scoop. Soon news would saturate airwaves and Twitter feed: Investigators brutally massacred, with the lone survivor drenched in gore and seemingly suffocating a restrained suspect.

At least in my case that handgun hadn’t gone-

BANG!
Seconds after his colleague collapsing, the other CSI followed suit, eye blown out as if to chastise him for poor marksmanship. Despite having a point-blank advantage alongside unobstructed line-of-sight, he’d missed. Unscathed she stood, arms-wielding arm to her side, petrifying realisation spreading faster than the puddles of red.

Inside the black box, the atom had decayed during both all and none of the 6 measurements. The bullets existed in simultaneous states of being mechanically chambered and not, their targets alive in one, dead in the other.

It was plausible she was subsequently detained in six out of the 7 outcomes; still if the Many-Worlds Approach held, she could only subjectively observe the seventh. In which she was a murderer, who had executed 2 patrols, 1 defence-attorney, 1 detective and both CSIs.

Odds against you now, Copenhagen.

From the death-plagued living room she could hear vehicles pulling in. They were siren-less, thus most likely the press.

Striding outdoors toting her quantum gun, theoretical physicist Amy Everett purred like a wave function-collapsed cat. Time to test for more significant stats….