6 – Planning Ahead

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“Here’s the plan, everyone,” Shelby greeted us all at the morning briefing. “I’m your Commander now. What I say goes.” She went to on to tell everyone to go to their regular post or to investigate the burn sites more.

After everyone else had left, Commander told me my mission personally. “Alright, miss. You’re going to go to Famine’s home and do what she says.”

I shrugged. “As you order, Commander.”

“Go on, sir.” She laughed. I left.

I got into a car on my own. I didn’t care much for driving, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t do it. A few minutes was all it took for me to get to Famine’s home.

I got out of the car, and opened her door. Famine was sitting at her table, writing stuff down on a list. She looked up at me. “Great, you’re here. Just give me a few moments and I’ll give you your orders.” She continued scrawling down notes while I stood in the doorway.

“Alright, here we are. I need you to tell everyone on this list about our target tonight. The person of tonight owns one of the town’s superstores. He recently started raising prices above what would be reasonable for the people who shop at his store. His name is Gary Brown.” Famine handed me the note. “These are the addresses of five other members. They’ll get the message spread quickly.” I nodded at her, and left.

I got back into the car and looked at the addresses. Most of them were in the lower district, but there was one person who could afford a middle class home.

I drove to the home nearest me, and knocked on their door. They didn’t seem to happy to see a police officer at their door, and tried running out their back door. I only managed to convince them to stay after yelling that Famine sent me. The older woman, probably in her thirties, stopped herself and the younger man next to her. He couldn’t have been older than nineteen.

I told her everything that Famine told me. She looked at the boy, and he went deeper into the house. I got back into my car. A few moments later, I saw the boy run out of the house. Most of the other houses I handled in the same manner.

The only one that was particularly different was the middle class man. Well, he hardly seemed like a man, what with hips that equaled his shoulder width.

I approached his door, and he opened it before I had even knocked. “What’s the news, Renegade?”

I shrugged off my mild surprise, and told him about Gary Brown. He nodded. “Don’t bother with his address, I know where the bastard lives.” The man thanked me and I left. I found myself rather bored with the day’s events. Nothing interesting had happened.

I put off my disinterest and returned to the station. Shelby was going through various files and documents. She saw me, and greeted me. “I have some concerning news, Officer.” I sat in the chair that opposed her desk.

“We have a different Superior who’ll be coming to investigate our station. She’s going to test the loyalty of everyone in the force around here. I’ve heard stories about her. She has executed dozens of men who were traitors to the police. We’re at risk of being caught.” Shelby looked at me, as if expecting an answer. I didn’t feel a need to respond.

“We’re going to have to find where she’s staying and try to… do something.” I nodded. She wanted Superior dead, but she didn’t know if that would be the best choice.

“Framing a different officer is very easy. You could make it out to look as if they were the last traitor. They go to investigate wherever she’s staying, and I can follow close behind. I shoot Superior, then follow by shooting that Officer. Problem would be solved faster than you’d believe.” She looked at me, almost stunned by my apathy for other humans.

“How do you even manage this level of ruthlessness?” I gave her a smug look. She looked at her lap.

“Well, who would you send to handle this?” Shelby looked back up.

“To start with, you need to know where she is staying. I’ll follow her after she comes and investigates. She’s only a superior, so it’s unlikely that she’ll have any guards or protection. She might cover her tracks some amount, but not anymore than I can handle.”

Shelby didn’t seem as surprised that I had so much thought out ahead of time. “Okay. You’re off duty right now. Get whatever you need ready to follow her. She’ll be here in a few days, about the same time as debriefing.”

“What is this Superior’s number?” I inquired. Shelby informed me that her number was 84405.

“On it, Commander.” I stood up to walk away.

“Before you go,” Shelby started at me,” I couldn’t help but see that your scores in academy were brilliant in every category until you reached about fifteen years old. What happened?”

I turned back toward her. “My school didn’t like the good example doing bad things. I had to choose between entertaining myself and good grades. I believe it’s clear which one I ended up sticking with.” Shelby looked away, breaking eye contact another time. I turned toward the door once again, and left Shelby’s new office.

I went to the locker room to put my gear away. Then, I went home. I was going to look up this superior on my computer.

A short walk and many locks later, I was in my basement looking through the information available to a Commander about our Superior. It turns out that the Superior prior to this one had been found to be a traitor shortly after his retirement. He was thusly executed by his usurper. She’s led a much harsher reign so far, and most people feared her because she has the most executions on record.

I figured the government appreciated her ruthlessness and willing to kill, but hasn’t promoted her to a Master because she wouldn’t get nearly as much hands on work done. Either that, or there is something else going on that Commanders aren’t allowed to know. One way or another, I was going to find out.

I closed the tabs on my computer, and shut it down. As I waited for my computer to finish booting down, I had an entertaining thought: What if I could get the account information for a Master’s account? I laughed at the idea. I would have power over so much. I could essentially shut down every city within 100 miles with that kind of power.

The computer screen went utterly blank, and I locked up the room it sat in. I believe that would be a great idea. Hell, why stop short? Maybe I should start looking into promotions, and eventually break into all of the President’s accounts and ruin even more than just a few towns. I shook my head and laughed some more.

It would be best for me to stick with the most approachable goals, first.

Next Chapter

Author: Kaleb Kathleen Walker

I write short stories, and post them to my site justmynarratives.com

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