The Ken-Rex Killing Case

The wealthy don't die like the rest of us do. They just don't up and get murdered like that.  
— Detective E. Abath, the Isdal Detective Agency
  An arms-manufacturing executive is found dead in his personal quarters, surrounded by the best security that money can buy. Automated turrets, guards, and guard Cybiders proved no defense against murder most foul, creating one of Megacorpolis most enduring - and profitable - mysteries.    

The Crime

  At 03:58, the corpse of Charles E. Morgan was discovered inside his apartment on the top floor of the Ramsey Executive Complex. Infamous for his fierce temper, he was found to have been dead for at least three days before service personnel dared to enter the apartment when he failed to answer knocks and missed several appointments.   Early reports indicated a violent struggle and a large amount of blood, but it is unclear if people aren't just thinking of the third movie in the Cutter Charles franchise.  
There were no signs of forced entry and no signs left of the assailant... Besides the body, I mean. No DNA, no shell casings, no digital trail. Whoever killed 'em knew what they were doing.  
— Detective E. Abath
COME SEE THE INFAMOUS ROOM OF DEATH! Chills, spills, and cybernetic thrills await those who dare step into the haunted home of Cutter Charles!  
— Ken-Rex Mystery Tour Ad
  Initially, the Ken-Rex corporation kept the details of the murder under wraps but with mounting public interest, they smelled an opportunity. Regular forensic reports were, after modifications, soon released to the public on a subscription basis. In the months and years that followed, several suspects have been named and even brought to trial, but no one has ever been convicted of the murder of Charles E. Morgan.    

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by Rob Treen

   

The Theories

  With the popularity of TrueCrime media about the case, the murder of Charles Morgan has remained in the public consciousness. Every new theory sets off another cycle of movies, podcasts, and youtube videos. Only a few are considered by serious investigators as the most plausible.    

The Rival

 
Did I kill Charles? I wish.  
— Ms. Dust
  Sometimes called the Crimson Countess, Dust was a long-standing rival of Charles in the field of weapons development. The two would frequently compete, much to the detriment of the low-income housing where these contests were held. When Charles was murdered, most believed it had been the final, fatal contest.   There has never been any evidence that directly ties the Countess to the crime, but she does have both means and motive. With a case that is almost entirely circumstantial, and the considerable wealth she possesses, she has never been even charged.              
Murder.jpg
by Jonil

The Yeti

 
Able to come and go anywhere, remain absolutely traceless and unseen - remind you of anything?  
— Terry Cullen, Bigfoot Hunter
  When the Yeti was discovered to be real, Charles E. Morgan's weapons were among the foremost used to hunt them. Some speculate that the murder was their revenge for the carnage he wrought upon their kin. Some say that traces of unidentified hair were found within the apartment and that Charles's head looked like it might have been flattened by one massive foot.   Yeti-revenge media has been popular ever since their extinction, but none of the yeti clones have ever shown the same ability to disappear and reappear as the wild ones. Some wilder theories claim that Ken-Rex research into yeti-based weaponry created something terrible and that it killed him.  
ColdCase4
by Lenta.ru

The Mórrígan

 
Dissidents like her are dangerous. There's no more definite proof than this; she keeps hacking our profiles and removing the spooky desaturation!  
— Detective E. Abath
  With such a lack of physical evidence, some theories believe that someone turned the executive's defenses against him. There are only a few forces in the Megacorpolis capable of such a feat and while plenty of people point their fingers at the Computer, it is far safer not to accuse the establishment. As such, the Morrigan usually gets the blame.   The Morrigan is a rebellious and mysterious hacker, known for acts of terrorism against the Megacorps, citizens and seemingly random targets. Few can match her on the neural waves, and none have caught her. The Hacker has never killed before, but some think this is the next step of her Signal.  
MurderMorrigan
by Simon Weaner

The Disgruntled

 
Of course I wanted to kill him; he's my boss. Everyone wants to kill their boss. But even if you do, they're just replaced with some other asshole.  
— Dr. Prachatarang, Ken-Rex Researcher
  Charles E. Morgan was not a popular person even within his own company and had made many enemies. His superior distrusted him, and those who worked for him lived in fear, even more than the average tyrannical manager. Several employees of his department have been named as potential suspects, though none have been indicted due to lack of evidence.   In addition, several Ken-Rex board-members were growing concerned over the chance that his unstable behavior might lead to a decline in shares. Any single employee within the experimental division would have access to weapons that could possibly explain the strange circumstances around his death.  
Placeholder
by Johny Mnemonic
  Others think that Kelly, Charles's heavily augmented Cybiders "pet", was the one that killed him. Kelly's lawyers have so far kept it far away from any trial or jail. Its whereabouts are currently known.    

The Franchise

 
It's tragic, yes - but at least his death has entertained millions and generated profit for his company. Charles would've wanted that, I'm sure.  
— Bruce Charleton, Head of Ken-Rex Media Division
  The mystery of the Ken-Rex Killing has been a financial success to the megacorp, primarily due to the vision and ambition of its Media Division. They realized early that the public's appetite for true crime was as strong as it had always been. There was profit to be made there, and from those humble aspirations came a media empire that now rivals Ken-Rex's weapons research branch; the very division once run by Charles Morgan.  

Movies

  Including the reboots, there are seven feature-length movies about the Ken-Rex Killing and three cross-over movies. While the first few tried to maintain a gritty, true-crime tone, the fourth movie saw Charles return from the grave as Cutter Charles, out for revenge.   The change infused new life into the series and catapulted it to stardom, with Charles (or "Cutter") as a wise-cracking, weapons-developing wraith. The character has since spread to other media.

Crime Tours

  Citizen investigators can for a fee visit the apartment where Charles was slain, complete with murderous prop and set actors. It is a form of living theater that has proven immensely popular, with the scenario varying between groups.   Citizens can play detectives, see the sights, or put themselves in the day of death in a re-enactment of various theories. Very rarely do they end up in the crossfire, which only adds to the appeal.
 

GimmeJava.gif

by Johny Mnemonic (with slight alterations)

 

Games

  Cutter Charles makes several appearances in various video-games, from his own stand-alone products or as characters in another.   It has been the least successful venture in the Ken-Rex media empire, with the mobile games drawing the ire of consumers.

Shows

  Every few years, a new show goes through the mystery of the Ken-Rex Killing. In fact, the media division has a carefully designed formula they follow that ensures the case, and the character remains profitable.   New details carefully parceled out throughout new products or invented outright.

The Victim

 
Murder1
by Dhelian
  Charles E. Morgan was an executive for the Ken-Rex Weapons Corporation and in charge of its experimental weapons design department. He was brilliant but unstable, ruling his division with fear rather than respect. He was known to occasionally fire experimental weapons from his apartment balcony in the Megacorpolis slums and sometimes on journalists whose questions annoyed him.   There was no lack of people who wished to see Charles get what was coming to him and the Ken-Rex Corporation would later release a statement that amounted to "Good riddance".
He leaves behind a stock portfolio and his pet augmented Cybider, Kelly.    
I think his murder might be the happiest day of my life.  
— Unnamed Ken-Rex Weapon Researcher
 
His death came with a substantial .0457 drop in our shares. His estate has been billed accordingly.  
— Ken-Rex Accounting CEO
 
Well, I mean, sure he used to shoot at people, but he was always nice to me...  
— Soma Yun, Experimental Ammunitions Department
   
ColdCase3
by Timo Peter
   

Independent Investigations and Citizen Sleuths

 
With all law enforcement privatized for decades, the Ken-Rex Corporation only really keeps the case open to generate marketing material. Most serious attempts to solve the mystery come from curious citizens and other, independent interests. Citizens who follow the case call themselves Charlies and some have dedicated years of their lives to solving the case.   Ms. Dust, one of the suspects in the case, has spent a considerable amount of money on an investigation of her own.  

Witnesses

 
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by Ninne
 
We'd hear gunshots from the apartment all the time, so we just kept our heads down and stuck to the routine.   I don't know if I heard anything more unusual than high-velocity weapon discharge.  
— Anonymous Security Captain
 
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by Jurassic World
 
OH NO, WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS FABULOUS PRIZE NOW!?   THERE WAS NO ONE THERE TO TAKE IT, ONLY SMOKE AND BLOOD!  
— Anonymous Raffleraptor
 
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by Johny Mnemonic
 
01001001 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101111 00100000 01101011 01101001 01101100 01101100 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101000 01101001 01101101 00101110  
— Anonymous Server Cluster; Recently Decommissioned
   
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by Johny Mnemonic (with slight alterations)
   

True Crime Craze

  Besides the official channels of media and products, the Ken-Rex Killing is a popular topic for true crime podcasts, streams, and youtube channels.   Some people involved have made their entire financial world about their slice of the case. The first law enforcement agent on the scene still does the circuit of shows to recount his experience.    
Murder1
by Dhelian

Ken-Rex Media Divison on Charles

 
Charles was rough around the edges, but he was my co-worker, my friend. He was a great talent that always brought value to the projects he worked on. I wouldn't put him in charge of people, sure, but you put him in charge of a gun that needed making and he'd make it.   He will be missed, but we'll make sure he is never forgotten. Charles'll bring the same value as he did when he was alive, and I think he'd like that.  
— Bruce Charleton, Head of Ken-Rex Media Division


Cover image: by Johny Mnemonic

Comments

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Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
26 Oct, 2019 19:29

A arms-manufacturing executive...
*An
 
...before service personal dared...
You'd probably want to swap that to "personnel."
  I love the contrast with the first two quotes column'd beside one another. The mostly serious detective juxtaposed against an ad, wonderful!
 
Initially, the corporation kept the details of the murder under wraps...
"The" corporation? Which corp? The owners of the complex he was murder in? The people he worked for, who haven't been mentioned yet? Someone else? It isn't really clear who here.
  SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FORENSIC REPORTS?! I love it! Great way to capitalize on morbid curiosity!
 
...the murder of Charles Morgan have remained in the public...
*has
 
With a case that is almost entirely circumstantial, and the...
I would suggest adding something like "However," or "But," to the start of this sentence.
  I had to pause to read the yeti article, how could you?
 
The Morrigan is an rebellious and...
*a
  I caught the bolded letters for the Morrigan, "Hello I own t" or "ownt" perhaps—
  THE PET HAS LAWYERS. WHAT.
 
...mobile games drawing the ire from consumers.
I'd remove "the" there.
 
...a carefully designed formulae they follow that ensure the case and the character remain profitable.
New details carefully parceled out throughout new products or invented outright.
This is a little awkward to read, I'd suggest a semicolon or em-dash at the end of the first sentence, or rewrite the beginning of the second to read like "With this formula, new details..." to indicate the connection between the two more clearly.
  I love the ideas here for the media division's various projects. The crime tours especially are a wonderfully morbid idea!
 
He is known to occasionally fire experimental weapons...
I'd suggest changing this to "was" as he is dead, and what he was known for is now past tense.
 
He leaves behind a stock portfolio and his pet augmented Cybider, Kelly.
Same suggestion as above, switching this to past tense may flow better.
 
Most serious attempts to solve the mystery comes from...
*come
 
Ms. Dust, one of the suspects in the case, have spent a...
*has
  The server cluster knew who killed him, but are decommissioned! For shame!
  A nice read, I liked the little puzzley bits you snuck in. Going off the server knowing the culprit, and Morrigan saying "I ownt" I'm assuming they are the culprit. That said, it's funnier if a yeti did it— and his own company seems to have much more motive than Morrigan, though without the article on their Signal I cannot say this with confidence.

26 Oct, 2019 19:57

Thanks for the feedback; I'll have a look and do some editing :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
28 Oct, 2019 21:12

I love the rampant consumerism of this world -- having the murder be turned into movies franchises and video games (though less successful) is fantastic and hilarious, I love it. I actually really like the unique spin this world puts on a "cold case", it fits nicely and is wonderfully executed!   Also, I think Ms. Dust did it. Them dastardly rich rivals always find a way to hide their crimes! I appreciated The Mórrígan's hidden message, and I've decided to trust her 100%.

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
29 Oct, 2019 06:48

Thank you so much <3 I'm glad you like it   The Megacorpolis is a real fun to write for, because I can take everything to weird places, haha. And how can you not, when she says she's nice? :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
29 Oct, 2019 16:27

I'll bet he's really excited his death turns a nice profit, everyone says so. :X   The pure capitalism here makes me shudder. Especially when I wonder what they'd do if this world merged with your necromancy one.   I loved how Yeti are genuinely also suspects. You always run in such unusual and yet oh so logical directions with these worlds of yours. Nice work, yet again.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.