Work had ended for Zoe and I just a short while ago. Commander’s shift had ended before ours, so we had to report to Superior when we left.
“Alright, Fifteen, I’ll see you some other time,” Zoe said before she left Commander’s office.
“Goodbye, Zoe.” Before I had the chance to leave after Zoe, Superior asked me to stay.
“What do you need, Superior?” Hearing that, Superior sighed.
“I already told you my name. You can call me by that when the other Officers aren’t around.”
“Alright, Miranda. What else do you need from me?”
Miranda leaned back in her seat, and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand. She wasn’t sweating, so I think it was just a motion she made from habit.
“Fifteen, is there anything that happened on your shift that you didn’t file in your report?”
“We didn’t break any laws in particular, if that’s what you mean.”
“Don’t avoid my question, Fifteen. I’m too old for this.” Miranda tapped her finger on the desk. Slowly. She looked as if she was directly controlling every body in her muscle, including her heartbeat. She was calm and lax, and held herself with a calming air. If she were talking to anyone else, she would get whatever information she pleased.
“At most, we didn’t arrest an orphan.” I stood straight and stiff, holding my ground. Zoe had a right to privacy, and I wasn’t going to give her in.
“I heard about that the first time you gave mercy to the child. You seem to still run into her.”
“She lives near one of our patrol points, and stops by. We humor her and send her on her way before we leave.”
Superior leaned forward. Her eyes put pressure on me. I closed mine, and rolled on my feet. If I did it well, it made me look just a slight bit impatient.
“Fifteen, I have Controllers who are trying to get me discharged for one reason or another. They think I’m getting soft in my old age, and I need to keep up executions. What is Zoe hiding from me?”
I opened my eyes and stood still. Miranda was leaning forward even more. She was trying to crack me, but I wasn’t going to have it.
“Miranda, if this rebellion works out, you won’t have to worry about your job. Likely, we’ll both end up unemployed for a while anyway. I shouldn’t be so concerned,” I consoled her.
Miranda laid both of her palms flatly on the desk. “What was Zoe hiding from me?”
“Zoe was hiding nothing from you, Superior. She told you what had happened, and I stand by her. She got nervous because you started laying pressure on her to give information she didn’t have. That is not her fault, but yours.
“Perhaps instead of grasping at straws, you should do some actual investigation work in order to weed out the members of this task force who are doing actual illegal activity. Such as Amanda, who takes home some police issue guns then sells them outside of the force. Or myself. Or Marty, who resells confiscated drugs. Or Commander. Or Sandy, who uses the internet access here to download porn on his old phone when he’s off of his shifts.
“Perhaps you could do an investigation upon yourself, if you’re truly that desperate.”
Miranda had lost her composure. Her fingers were tapping at a different tempo, and she was leaning towards me once again, but this time her face betrayed her hunger for what I had just said.
“Zoe is innocent in everyone’s matters. We are not. Remember that, Commander. If you don’t tread carefully, you will be at a greater risk than anyone else.”
I turned, and walked away from Miranda, but I stopped in her doorframe. “One more thing, Superior. Sandy hides in the locker room for a few minutes after his shifts to download the videos he wants. He would not be hard to discover.”
With that, I left the office, the police station, and went home. Despite the new things I was being faced with, Superior wasn’t at nearly the same amount of risk as she would like to think she was. She wasn’t ever really going to get dismissed or executed, because her controllers didn’t really care. If they had, she would have been fired long ago.
Once I got to my house, I was greeted with another mask I recognise; an eye of Death was awaiting me at my home.
“I’m glad you’ve arrived. Death has summoned you.” The older man was moving something in his hand in the same repetitive motion. He was toying with something. Likely a pen or or pencil.
“Perfect. Come inside, then.” I walked up to my porch, and unlocked my door.
“I’d rather not. Besides, Death would like to see you in person.”
“Does he, now? What brought this about?” I looked at the eye expectantly. I was certain I knew the answer, but I wanted to be sure.
“You’ve taken initiative in various times when no one else would. This has benefitted Death greatly.” The eye leaned against my house, still playing with whatever he had.
I turned the key in the lock, relocking it. “I see. Where is his home?”
“We aren’t going anywhere just yet. It would very unprofessional if we just threw you into this without warning. You’ll need to be at Rockford Park three days from now, three A.M. That is where you will be guided to Death’s location. I hope you’ll be there.” He got up from his leaning position and walked off of my porch. “Luckily, Rockford is a small park, so you should be able to find your guide easily.”
The eye left me and my home alone after telling his message. Now, I had another time restraint to wait for. Every day was becoming oh-so much more exciting than the last.