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John Paul Kling
Fictional Character
"Hoxbomb"
Science Fiction
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Species: Human
Nationality: Latimer
Occupation: Police officer

John Paul Kling was a sergeant with the Exotic Crimes Unit of the human police force in Latimer. He was part of the team that investigated the hoxbombing of newborn Sean Cravath.

Kling was alerted by Dr. Romanova at the Tristar Hospital. After viewing pictures of the child, he decided that it likely was a hoxbomb, and that he would need to have a Snarre't officer to participate in the investigation. He made this formal request with his lieutenant, Reiko Kelly, and made his way to the hospital.[1]

At the hospital, he contacted the Snarre'i self-protection agency and was placed in contact with a female Snarre'. Kling informed her that the victim's father had encountered Snarre't about the time his mother became pregnant. While the Snarre' was initially insulted by this line of thinking, Kling quickly pointed out that hoxbombs were a Snarre'i weapon, and that she, as a Snarre', would be more likely to be able to track the hoxbomb. The Snarre' agreed with this logic.[2]

Kling then began his investigation, meeting with Sean's father, Jack. While Jack Cravath had sold scooters to Snarre't in the past, he couldn't think of any that would want revenge. Kling contemplated the possibility that this had been a random act. [3] The female Snarre' met Kling at the hospital to compare notes. Kling informed her that the Cravaths did not seem to have any enemies, and were simply blindsided. When Kling commented that they would have to track down everyone the Cravaths dealt with about the time Bev Cravath became pregnant, the Snarre' informed Kling that some hoxbombs were planted in a parent's genes years before the affected offspring were born. Kling was horrified.[4]

Kling met with Kelly to share this information. Kelly was already feeling tremendous political pressure to close the case. Both could foresee relations between the humans and the Snarre't falling apart with humans jumping to the conclusion the Snarre't were somehow involved, and conflict following from that conclusion. Kling agreed.[5]

For a lack of any other starting point, Kling began under the assumption that Beverly Cravath caught the hoxbomb around the time she got pregnant. He was also hopeful that the Snarre't would help, given their lead in genetics.[6]

After gathering a list of humans and Snarre't the Cravaths interacted with about the time the pregnancy began, Kling and the Snarre' detective reconvened by phone. She'd learned through her investigation that the hoxbomb was a "Scrambled Egg 7" model. She also confirmed that both species could use it, and that it was a bomb designed to damage a young fetus. Thus, it would have to have been used at the start of the pregnancy. After further discussions, she agreed to contact the Snarre't identified as having contact with the Cravaths, while Kling talked to the humans.[7]

Kling interviewed Petros van Gilder, a scooter salesperson like Jack Cravath.[8] He'd encountered Cravath the same night that Cravath sold a scooter to two Snarre't.[9] Van Gilder expressed a great deal of cynicism about whether the Snarre't were actually investigating the hoxbombing. Van Gilder couldn't remember the night in question; while he acknowledged the video recording of him shaking hands with Cravath, he had no recollection of the particulars. He agreed to allow Kling to seize the jacket he'd been wearing that night.[10]

Kling contacted the female Snarre' detective to inform her of the jacket. She requested that her people test the jacket for the hoxbomb as they could detect smaller traces of organics than humans could. Kling was suspicious, pointing out that the Snarre't had an interest in placing the blame for the hoxbombing on a human. When she challenged him, Kling relented slightly, agreeing to send part of the right jacket pocket, where van Gilder kept his hands prior to shaking Cravath's.[11] A little while later, Miss Murple called back to let Kling know that the Snarre't she was investigating had paid for their scooter with a Snarre'i brain, and that getting rid of the brain might have been an attempt to cover their tracks. Kling agreed to look for the brain.[12]

Kling learned that Cravath had sold the brain to Intelligent Designing. He met with Dr. Bridgid Singh. She explained that the brain was old in the first place, and that it died within thirty days of their obtaining it. She assured Kling that there was nothing on the brain that related to the hoxbombing.[13] Immediately after, he learned that the human lab did not find traces of the hoxbomb in van Gilder's jacket.[14] The Snarre't did find traces of Scrambled Egg 7, and passed the report to Kling.[15]

Kling promptly arrested Petros van Gilder, but fell dissatisfied with the outcome, primarily because he still needed to know how van Gilder had obtained the hoxbomb in the first plate.[16] While reviewing the videostream at van Gilder's dealership, Kling found that Snarre't shopped there, but face-recognition software couldn't identify them. So he contacted the female Snarre' detective.[17] While she expressed reservations about looking at the images without smell, she agreed to try. After some time, she did recognize someone, and headed over to the human police department. On a larger screen she was able to recognize two Snarre't. As the two detectives watched the video, the male provided the female the hoxbomb, and she in turn placed it in Petros van Gilder's jacket pocket. The Snarre' detective explained to Kling that the two Snarre't were celebrities. Kling was darkly amused by the fact that in both species, the rich and the famous got away with the most egregious crimes.[18]

The two went to present the evidence to the Snarre' detective's superior. While the superior watched the video, he was still worried about the suspects' status as celebrities. When the detective argued that a sniffer could determine if they were lying or not, her boss agreed, even inviting Kling along for the arrest.[19] The three headed for Rock and Mountain's home, but they were at the nightclub belonging to another Snarre' celebrity, Famous Janus. They arrested the two celebrities without incident.[20]

Kling promptly let Petros van Gilder go.[21] He then received a phone call from Jack Cravath, who thanked Kling for finding the parties responsible.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. See, e.g., We Install and Other Stories, loc. 1015-1039.
  2. Ibid. loc. 1039-1095.
  3. Ibid., loc. 1095
  4. Ibid., loc. 1118-1164.
  5. Ibid., loc. 1164-1176.
  6. Ibid., loc. 1200.
  7. Ibid., loc. 1245-1292.
  8. Ibid., loc. 1351.
  9. Ibid., loc. 962, ebook.
  10. Ibid., loc. 1351-1385.
  11. Ibid., loc. 1385-1397.
  12. Ibid., loc. 1408-1442.
  13. Ibid., loc. 1442-1465.
  14. Ibid., loc. 1465-1476.
  15. Ibid., loc. 1476-1488.
  16. Ibid., loc. 1488-1512.
  17. Ibid., loc. 1512-1523.
  18. Ibid., loc. 1523-1610.
  19. Ibid., loc. 1610-1646.
  20. Ibid., loc. 1646-1704.
  21. Ibid., loc. 1704.
  22. Ibid., loc. 1716-1739.

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