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From "The Job" - Madolyn Locke
Alissa checked the time again. She would have sworn it was later, but the glowing numbers under the skin on the inside of her forearm didn’t lie. She had only been waiting a half hour.
She hated waiting. Had never been good at it, even as a young girl. She always felt the need to be going, moving, doing. Anything was fair game at least once, and if she liked it… or failed at it… it was done again. She learned as much as she could from her mother, but eventually Alissa wanted more freedom, so she started studying with anyone who intrigued her. The faster and louder it was, the more she liked it. The day she had first jumped on a zip-board was one she’d never forget. Hovering over whatever surface she wanted, speed controlled by her body placement and sheer will…
Alissa sighed just thinking about it. That was where she should be, what she should be doing, how she should be handling things. But ever since some mucky-muck in the Law Corps got creative and instituted the shar-domn SpyBots- As if on cue, she heard the tell-tale whirring of one approaching on its circuit. She made a concerted effort to look natural and most especially to NOT look up at the thing.
The SpyBots had completely changed the game around here. After a steady increase in crime of every level and the complete inefficiency of the police – Ah, those were the days, she thought – the fat cats in power decided to rape the brain pool of uber-geeks who had been turning the world on its ear with their inventions. Poor geeks…, she shook her head. All they’d wanted was to keep churning out their gadgets & gizmos, super-tech and neuro-fashion. Guess nobody’s free from getting reamed the wrong way.So after better armor and weapons for the police still didn’t clean things up – If I never get hit with one of those lock-blasts again it’ll be too soon, she shuddered – the corporations had decided to take matters in their own hands. So the Law Corps was created. They were bigger, tougher, better trained and, oh yeah, part metal. Joy. And to add icing to an already ridiculously fattening cake, in came the SpyBots.
The blasted things had made her life miserable… nearly impossible!
Guns? Can’t be concealed unless they’re registered, and since Alissa had no intention of ever registering any of hers, no-go there. Knives, Clubs, Swords, or other weapons like that? Since they didn’t actually have to be registered, the cursed pieces of tin would send the imaging to the closest member of the Law Corps and it was all but guaranteed that they’d show up to ask questions. You might slip by if you got them laid – And didn’t that work like a charm, she chuckled to herself – but the odds of that going off without a hitch were slim… less if the Corpsman was one of the ‘honorable’ ones. Oddly enough, they still had them.
You couldn’t even carry most poisons anymore! And wasn’t that a shock to discover, she grimaced in memory. The scans on the devil-bots could pick up non-biological ‘alien’ substances.
Yep, people in her line of work had been forced to get awfully creative. Of course, there was an up-side to all of this. The wanna-be’s had been weeded out rather quickly, leaving only the very lucky or very talented. And that, in turn, had allowed those still in the game to increase their prices quite a bit. It’s amazing what truly desperate people are willing to pony up to get rid of their… whoever, she thought. But you won’t hear me complaining!
As the SpyBot finished its sweep of the street and moved on around the corner, Alissa risked another peek…