A Day in the Life of Officer Wallace
>>>>>>> BEGIN TRANSMISSION:
How did it get this way?
A series of cases in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in front of the Supreme Court led to the recognition of extraterritoriality of megacorporations greatly empowering them and consequently de-regulating them. Shortly thereafter, the resurgence of magic allowed tribal shamans from various Native American nations to challenge the United States hyper-power from within, eventually causing its collapse and the balkanization of the North American Continent.
The loss of the World’s Policeman emboldened other nations to revert to pre-United Nations methods and launch wars of aggression against their weaker neighbors. These wars led to further destabilization and destruction of infrastructure which in turn led to further balkanization on a global scale. All the while technology was improving at an exponential rate, blending man and machine while magic became more and more prevalent throughout the world.
In the end this left us with a world of corporate feudality fueled by hi-tech and magic that rivaled and frequently dominated the remaining nations . . .
“Wallace! You better not be watching history channel feeds on your AR again.”
“Of course not sergeant,” Officer Daniel Wallace waved his hands minimizing and muting the history channel feed.
“Seriously Wallace you keep that shit up and you’ll be out of a job even before Knight Errant takes over.”
“Honestly sergeant I…”
“Can it. We got a call. Some vat-job is having a meltdown about 10 blocks from you. People are already evacuating and we have drones on-scene but you’re the closest manned unit. So get rolling. We don’t need another repeat of that crap last week. The Star may be on its way out but I want to make sure we go out shining.”
“Roger that Sergeant. Rolling now.” Wallace grabbed the wheel reasserting manual control over his cruiser. With a thought he engaged the lights and sirens and all the nearby traffic on Grid Guide automatically pulled to the side of the street. With another thought he input his ultimate destination. Grid Guide redirected local traffic to the side of the road as his cruiser screamed through Tacoma.
It took in less than 30 seconds.
Standing in the middle of the street was the vat-job. Wallace’s cruiser screeched to a halt, passenger-side facing the suspect. He was about 100 meters away. Even at this distance it was obvious that the suspect was a troll. Lovely. Wallace got out of the car drew his Colt Manhunter and took aim on the suspect. It wasn’t moving. Still it was over two and a half meters of chrome and muscle. Several nearby vehicles had clearly been battered by the suspect. At least one door was ripped off its hinges. As dependable as the heavy pistol was he knew he was getting need bigger ordnance.
Wallace linked in to the feeds from the drones hovering overhead. One of them was an LEBD-1 mounting a light machine gun, so at least he’d have some covering fire if things went south. More troops were on the way. Through the drones input and his own visuals he could tell that most of the people on the street had fled. Storefronts to either side of the target showed no visible signs of movement. However, AR icons indicated that a few civilians were cowering behind cover, though at least some of those may only be dropped commlinks. As he was scanning he re-holstered his man hunter and got his M–23 out of the trunk.
The suspect was still stationary. Its head was bowed and it shoulders slumped forward. It appeared to be muttering something but Wallace couldn’t make it out. He tasked one of the surveillance drones to move in closer for a look and listen.
“Ice cream… They said there was ice cream… Where is the ice cream? What have they done with it?”
What the fuck is this? “Dispatch this is LST 107. I have the suspect in sight. Suspect is a troll over 2.5 m in height and clearly cybered. Suspect is currently not moving, but appears to be muttering something about ice cream. Suspect appears to be mentally unhinged, possibly hallucinating. I have no visual on civilians in the area, however AR indicates possible civilians hiding in adjacent storefronts. Request further instructions, over.”
“LST 107 hold your position. Backup is en route. Suspect has not yet been identified. TechDiv is working on that now. Over.”
“Roger that dispatch. Holding position. Out.”
Wallace could hear more sirens in the distance. Backup was on the way. Still as he stood there looking at the suspect, a mountain of mean cybered muscle, he felt the hairs rise of the back of his neck. Something wasn’t right here. He hoped the suspect came back SINless. Then they could just bring in the heavy guns take him down. Subduing this thing was just going to get a lot of good people hurt and maybe killed. Why bother?
Behind him he could hear several more sirens coming up quick. Down the street, several hundred meters away, another Lone Star cruiser screeched around the corner coming to a halt on the far side of the suspect. It was LST 113. Great. Daniels. That’ll be a real big help.
Officer Lester Daniels jumped out of the car and immediately began shouting at the suspect. The suspect’s head snapped up and turned to the newcomer. “Daniels, you ass clown.” Wallace hissed on the local tactical channel, “shut the hell up!” Daniels was still screaming for the suspect to lie down on the ground put his hands over his head.
Instead, the suspect took a half turn to his right and something on his back began to move. What the fuck is that?! “Daniels get down!” An articulated mechanical arm pulled free of the rags covering the troll. It held a long bulky object that began to whine as it spun. Daniels snapped off a few shots from his Manhunter at the target.
They only pissed it off.
In return, a solid beam of light stabbed out from the troll’s shoulder, chewing through LST 113. Daniels disappeared behind a cloud of debris but Wallace could hear him screaming over his ‘link. Wallace thumbed the safety off and took aim at the target. The mini gun stopped abruptly.
“Where is the ICE CREAM?!” The troll shouted. Wallace could still hear Daniel whimpering over the ‘link. But he also knew his M-23 would be like a popgun against this thing. Still, Daniels was a brother officer.
“Officer down!” Wallace took aim at the vat-job.
“All units hold your fire!” The new voice shouted over the Tac-Net. An AR tag indicated it was Capt. Gleason. “This target has been designated a priority capture.”
“What the fuck?” Wallace muttered under his breath. “This thing takes on one of our officers and we’re supposed to capture it? There’s nothing right about this.”
“That’s correct officer. The subject will be difficult to contain.” Wallace looked over at the lieutenant who just joined him. He hadn’t heard the LT come up. Wallace didn’t know his name but his uniform meant he was from the Star’s Paranormal Activities division.
“What’s going on here sir? That’s not just some street-sam on a novacoke rampage is it?” Wallace’s AR feed told him that paramedics were already tending to Daniels.
“No officer. That is not a street samurai. That is a cyber-zombie, and I bet it escaped from that underground lab last week.”
“You mean the one where Knight Errant’s new QRT tangled with the Azzies over by the docks?” The lieutenant nodded. “I thought that place just made washing machines.”
“Seriously officer, do you think the Azzies would have their own QRT on standby for a factory that made washing machines?” The lieutenant’s head snapped to the right “oh hell…”
The subject had evidently noticed them because it was charging their way. Wallace was now flanked by a half-dozen officers with assault rifles and body armor behind a wall of police cruisers. He did not feel confident. The AR feed said a mob-master was on the way with special quick-drying foam to encase the subject, but it was still several minutes out.
The lieutenant was scowling and the air shimmered around the subject slowing its rush to a crawl. He gritted his teeth and gasped “he’s so strong! I can’t hold him!” Sweat was trickling down his face. The lieutenant leaned forward, breathing hard, supporting himself on LST 107.
He crumpled to the ground and the troll bolted forward. Wallace and the rest opened fire – bullets slapping into meat, ricocheting off chrome – but it was not enough. The target barreled at LST 107, lowering it shoulder. Mini-gun spraying death at the officers on Wallace’s right, the troll slammed into his cruiser knocking him to the ground and sending his AR goggles flying…