I think I found the thread Slither mentioned to post a little something I cooked up a few days ago. Time to revive the thread with more short stories. I hope you all enjoy.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I rose from my deep slumber of exactly three hours, fifty nine minutes and forty six seconds to the sound of an alarm. A standard human being needs eight to nine hours of sleep each day to function and keep a clear head.
Me? I’m not a human being. I’m a tool, a dispassionate automaton with the sole purpose of enforcing the code imposed upon the citizens of this forsaken City by the Council - to dispense objective summary justice, punish the guilty. Those five remaining hours I could potentially spend in this sleep machine? Almost four thousand crimes will threaten the safety and order the Council has built.
Maybe if I wasn’t the man I was, I’d have given in - let temptation seduce me. At that point, I had been running entirely on three packets of EverUp for the past two days, coupled with the latest stimulant drugs from ViriiSoma. I felt numb - my feet were blistered from running miles and miles, and that cracked rib I got from that Mixer was still sore.
The Academy had made sure none of these would stop me from dispensing justice. We all have our primal, basic urges - to feed, sleep, breed. That was all eroded away from me when I was a Cadet. An iron will and full belief in the Militant Code of Justice replaced all of it. Why wouldn’t they? The authority we had, given to the men and women of the Withmore Hall of Justice was too important, too open for abuse. It could never lie in the hands of the weak and easily coerced.
My brief, short time with my own thoughts came abruptly to an end when the monotone voice of the Operator popped up in my head over the Secure Identification Network, on the Withmore Justice Force encrypted key. “Be advised; riot in progress in Media Gardens, Central Gold. Sentence at will.”
So, that was my cue. It was probably a bunch of wage slaves and Mixers rioting after whatever NLM had done this time. The latest TV show having a higher monthly fee? SIC downtime? Service costs getting way more expensive? Maybe the rioters had a point. Corporations will do anything to milk anyone of their money, and whatever NLM had pushed for this time around, disguised as something that would cost less, was doing exactly that.
I pushed the thoughts of corruption out of my head as quickly as they came. The last thing I wanted was a group of Inquisitors putting me under investigation for harboring heretical thoughts against the corporations. I had witnessed first hand what happened to a corrupt colleague - someone I already suspected was taking bribes - when Grand Inquisitor Anderson found out, it wasn’t pretty. Nothing was harder on the Law than Law itself.
As I injected another batch of stimulants, the punishment flew into my head as smoothly as water. I had done this a thousand times over before. Inciting a riot was punishable by a fine of no less than twenty thousand chyen, but not more than a hundred thousand. Maybe I’d let them all have a go at the new Correctional Facility down in Red, see if TiDi teaches them anything.
I slipped on my bodysuit and gloves and felt the tug against my forearm as they constricted against my skin - and finally slid my personal Enforcer into the holster on my thigh. A marvellous piece of technology, keyed only for me to use. The lights on the side flickered briefly as I held it, signifying that it recognized me. It wasn’t just a weapon for us - it was a symbol of our office, of what we were - Street Judges.
Duty called. No matter who did the crime, no matter what they worked as - anyone who threatened the natural order of Withmore deserved to be punished. The population had to be controlled - Mixers kept in the Mix, wage slaves on Green, and the hot shots up at Blue.. well they had to be protected at all costs. For those that didn’t want to play by the rules? Those that would risk everything we had worked so hard for by disobeying the Law?
For them, it was time for judgement.