Neo-Tokeyo 199X: M1
Arron and Kix exited the M1 HQ garage and got onto the fast lane to head to their designated sector and zone they would be patrolling today when their helmet visors and the dashboard of the APC started flashing a red warning message.
[Red Alert! Code 2! Red Alert! Code 2!]
“What is it now? We just started and something big happens?” asked Kix as he sipped on a pouch of Synth-energy jelly, using the long straw that was attached to the pouch.
Seconds later the alert changed and started flashing [M1 OFFICERS DOWN!]
Toothbrush's head appeared in the upper right corner of both Arron and Kix's helmet visor.
“Sector 6, zone 3 which the two of you are heading to, is where the M1 officers were shot. You are to proceed with caution as the troubled suspect is armed and dangerous. Another unit will be arriving later to help you as well as the local patrolling drones,” said Tooth.
“What's the status of the two officers?” asked Arron.
“Dead. I'm sending you a clip showing the last recorded footage from their helmets. The person shown in it is the Troubled suspect you are in charge of normalizing if necessary,” said Tooth as he tapped a few options and sent the short clip to them. “If you have the stomach for it, I can send the full recording.”
Ping! Arron's NerViz notified him of the new message.
He tapped onto the blinking notification and swiped the Holovid towards the dashboard of the APC where the short clip of just 2 seconds continued to loop. It clearly showed the troubled target's face and the modified gun that he was pointing directly at one of the M1 officers.
Arron's heart fell when he saw the two officers who were killed. He had met them several times in the locker room as they prepared for their patrols.
“Send me the full video,” said Kix.
“Alright,” said Tooth with a shrug.
Kix swiped the file towards the dashboards replacing the silent looping clip.
[Were getting reports someone has been sitting inside a hovercar for the past 8 hrs staring at people as they pass. You are to normalize the situation. The address is ...]
[We're close by so we'll take care of it before heading back.]
The video fast-forwarded to the two officers pulling up behind the hovercar and stepping out of their vehicle.
Everything was going fine as the first officer asked in a friendly tone [Step out of the car and come talk with us.]
Unlike the report stated there were two people in the hovercar. The passenger stepped out with his hands up and slowly walked towards them.
While the driver slowly stepped out his right side was hidden from view.
[Stop stalling and get over here.]
The driver hesitated for only a second before turning around and slowly walking towards them a few paces before his right arm rose...
Pop, pop, pop.
Eleven shots were fired quickly at such a close distance leaving no time to dodge. The view from the recording changed as the officer was hit several times and fell to the ground moaning.
Soft footsteps were heard as the troubled suspect walked up to the two officers unhurriedly.
A few more light steps were heard before the blank unemotional face of the troubled target appeared standing over the second officer with his modified gun pointing at the helmet.
The recording ended there.
“How did something like this happen?” asked Kix.
“They were careless,” said Tooth with a shrug.
“No not that. The information sent to them was completely wrong.”
“Let's see... ah, I see. The Office of Reason is the one that sent in the request for M1 to normalize the target. Not sure why they didn't do it themselves... no mention of the target being armed or dangerous... Anyways, the Office of Reason wants you to take him in alive.”
Kix mumbled a few choice words after Tooth ended the holo-call.
With their quick speed, they soon reached the spot where the shooting had taken place.
A large portion of the area was currently under heavy construction. New apartment buildings were being erected in place of the old ones that had been recently torn down. The information on the area stated that the new building would have nearly double the apartments while still using the same space as before... meaning the apartments would all be smaller than the old ones.
Kix stopped the APC behind the armored vehicle the other two M1 officers had been using and the two cautiously exited the APC.
Arron stood behind the door and held his sidearm at the ready as scanned the area for any immediate sign of the trouble suspect.
With nothing popping out and attacking them he turned to look at the two vehicles ahead of them where a patrol drone was hovering and projecting a small boxed-off area using holo-tape with the scrolling words [Crimescene do not pass].
The sight in front of him was not pleasant. On the ground a short distance in front of the armored car and behind the red hovercar of the troubled suspect...
… were the two bodies of the m1 officers who still lay in pools of their blood where they had been left out in the open. The Troubled suspect did not even try to hide the bodies or clean up the scene.
Arron looked up from the deceased M1 officers over to an apartment building across the street which was the only fully built building in the local area.
The door to the building was opened just a crack and had two eyes peeking out at Arron and Kix.
“Kix, a possible target,” said Arron using his helmet's secure com's as he immediately turned and pointed his service weapon towards the door.
The door to the building shut as soon as they saw Arron and Kix moving quickly towards the door.
Arron slammed the door open and barged into the building with Kix covering him as they scanned the area for any hostile targets.
The only person they found was an elderly lady standing in the hallway.
She had a sour look on her face as she watched the two barge in and sweep the area with their drawn weapons.
“We're looking for the person who killed the two M1 officers, did you see anything?” asked Arron.
“I saw the whole thing.”
The old lady explained all that had happened before the officers had arrived and what had happened after they were killed. The information matched what they already learned.
“You're saying he went into that building?” asked Kix.
“Yes, why would I lie about something like that? Good grief, what is Mother and Father doing allowing such violent people to have weapons? They should have passed a law banning such things long ago! They are just too dangerous for normal people to have.”
Kix snorted at this.
“Ma'am there are already several laws put in place banning both the purchase and ownership of any type of weapon. We would be out of a job if the Troubled and Separatists actually followed these laws,” said Kix.
Arron and Kix only spent a few more seconds listening to the neverending complaints from the old woman before they left her talking to herself in the hallway.
The two walked over to the large building across the street which was still under construction.
There was no one guarding the place and the gate surrounding the work area was wide open.
“Whoever is in charge of this area is going to be lucky if they only get fined for all these violations,” said Kix as he looked around.
Arron stepped over the cheap destroyed security bot that had been shot several times.
The building lacked any security that one would expect for such a large-scale building project.
The 300-story skeletal building structure was quiet, and with no walls or floors built yet they were able to look through each floor.
Arron turned on the heat detection of his visor and scanned the entire 300 floors... but found nothing.
“Wow look at these metric tools,” said Arron.
Scattered all over the ground were several tools that looked ancient, each using a measuring system no longer in use for many generations.
“How odd...it looks like these builders are not using the standard Imperial system. Only the barbaric and backward people long ago used the metric system. It is surprising to see such tools still in use.”
Several minutes passed as the two continued to search and scan the area.
“Arron, over here,” said Kix notifying Arron of his discovery over their secure coms.
Arron walked over to a large pile of junk material next to where Kix was squatting down. In front of him was a large hole that led into the sewer system under the city.
“Don't tell me... we have to go in there?” asked Arron.
“Shouldn't be too bad... your armor boots should be able to keep out the waste and your helmet can filter the air. I did a scan of the area and didn't find anyone hiding around the hole's opening. He probably already made his way to another hideout using the sewers.”
“Let's just get this done and over with,” said Arron as he jumped into the hole.
“*&^%^,” Arron cursed as the moving sludge reached his upper thigh.
Splash! Kix landed next to Arron, splattering him with more gunk.
Arron activated his helmet's external lights and looked around the massive parasteel pipe that was wide enough to hold 4 semi-hover trucks side by side and was even taller than that.
The pipes had to be this big to be able to handle all the crap that they took.
Arron's armored boots were having a hard time getting a solid lock onto the metal pipe whenever he moved, causing him to nearly slip several times.
The flowing sludge helped push them forward as they continued down the path looking for any sign that the target had passed by.
Nothing stood out from the ordinary as they continued walking for half an hour. Arron was starting to think that they had jumped into the sewers for nothing until a large yellow light coming from the ceiling shone down from an open manhole. There was a set of metal rungs going up the wall covered in fresh sludge.
After climbing out of the sewer Arron pulled up the information on where they were.
[Retirement housing building #902].
The building in front of them was not very good-looking. It had bars on every window making it look like a jail.
On the ground, there were fresh tracks of sludge that led into one of the old folks' homes.
“Fitting for a killer to hide out here,” said Kix.
“How so?” asked Arron.
“These 'homes' are where old people with no family go to die. Several rumors have been swirling around about Mother and Father like turning a blind eye to the mistreatment and sometimes murderous 'care workers' that work at each of the buildings. These 'care workers' are always finding ways to clear out and open up the rooms so even more old people can pass through the revolving doors earning them a lot of money.”
“But what would they get out of all this?”
“Other than some money... The main benefit is the reduction of the megacity's aging population of retired old people who they view as nothing more than a drain on the megacity's resources,” said Kix.
Arron and Kix walked up to the door where the tracks stopped and on the count of three, Arron kicked the door open and used his helmet’s light to illuminate the dark apartment.
The room had a deep stench of the sewers as this room had no windows to let fresh air in.
“M1 PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” Shouted Arron as his light stopped on an old man sitting on an empty bed. Half of his sewer-covered body was hidden under a thin blanket.
The man looked over to Arron with eyes that looked murky and glazed over.
“Show me your hands!” said Arron.
“It is better to die in one's own bed normally than to die unnaturally in a cold bed controlled by Mother and Father,” said the zoned-out man.
“What?” asked Arron as he cautiously stepped into the room with his service weapon pointed at the man.
“For the murder of two M1 officers we will be sending you to the office of reason who will decide what to do with you,” said Kix, pulling out his magnetic cuffs as he walked over to the old man.
“It is better to die naturally by one's own hand than by Mother and Father!”
The man's hidden hand had pulled the trigger and sent a shot tearing through the blanket and his brains.
“Was he really the killer? He seemed to be on some type of drug,” asked Arron.
“I don't know, something didn't feel right about him. But with the recording we saw... everything points to him being the killer, we'll have to take the gun back and let them test it to see if it matches the one that was used to kill the officers.”
Arron, Kix, and the rest of the M1 officers not on duty had taken time out of their day to attend the joint funeral that was held for the two dead officers.
They were all here to pay their respects to the fallen and their family.
Arron and Kix were now solemnly standing to the side watching as the two grieving widows and their families met with several of the officers one by one.
“First time?” asked Chief chesty, walking up to Arron. “It never gets any easier.”
“It... is something I hope I don't have to do often,” said Arron.
“Puller? Is that you?”
Arron and chief chesty turned to a middle-aged man standing nearby.
“Old man, what are you doing here?” asked Chief chesty his mood visibly changing as a smile crept onto his face.
“One of your officers who was killed was the son of my friend. So I could not miss the funeral,” said the middle-aged man. “Who are these two youngins?”
“This is Arron, and this is Kix. They are a few of the newer generation of officers that have recently joined the M1,” Chief Chesty.
“Is that so? Be sure to keep your head on a swivel and make sure you stay alive,” said the man as he held out his hand for Arron and then Kix to shake.
“We'll do our best to stay alive,” said Arron.
“If you ever need any spare parts or other hard-to-find items no longer in production call me up! I just might have it!” said the man swiping a holocard to both Arron and Kix.
As Arron and Kix exited the funeral they noticed a few news drones hovering near the entrance along with a random no-name reporter.
Arron switched on the broadcast to see what was being said.
“As you can see there is nothing special about this funeral as there are so many things happening that it is not worth reporting on,” said the no-name reporter.
“I mean it's their job. They knew they would die someday. No need to go out of our way to cover it in great detail,” said Kommy.
“You are correct, the number of M1 officer funerals is like talking about water being wet,” said Fela.