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August 24, 2005
A Story, Bit-by-Bit
Superego: Part 16 - Walking into Danger
Posted by Frank J. at 03:33 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (8)


How could I tell if I was scared? I don't remember being scared before, but the feeling was like what it seemed fear should be - this nagging feeling that I didn't want to continue onward.

So what was I afraid of? Not death, of course. Not the Detective - she might be able to see through my ruse, but that's a contingency I'm always prepared for.

Something about this whole job to kill Senator Gredler was making me scared, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Anytime I have emotions, it's obvious why. How could I lose touch with myself so much as to have feelings I can't understand?

"Are you all right, Rico?"

I quickly recovered. "Just thinking of yesterday." The Detective bid me into the passenger seat of her car. "Don't you have a partner, Detective?"

"Not at this time," she answered as the vehicle rose into the air, "I'll be meeting some officers in the area before I proceed with the investigation."

"I assume you're starting at a mosque."

"We had pictures up on the news of those still left with faces," she explained. Was she criticizing me for going for headshots? "One was identified as an attendee of a mosque on the edge of the city. I think our tips have come from Galtists, though, and I assume you know of their rivalry with Islam."

I nodded. The Galtists were an alien religious group - inclusive to almost all sentients - known for occasional violence. I think they'd rather be known for their message of salvation through meditation, but violence always makes the news.

"Cyber-Islamists tend to work locally from a sympathetic mosque," the Detective continued, "so this is worth checking out. I hope to get there right after one of their daily prayers."

"Should be easy to tell right away from the leaders if theyíre involved."

She smiled. "You think?"

"Yes," I said indignantly. "If this isn't them, how many other mosques are there to check out?"

The Detective shrugged her shoulders. "I'll get in trouble if I go around harassing people just because of their religion. Iíll actually have to use my detective skills if I donít want to get yelled at.."

"If," I repeated, and she chuckled. Luckily, I wasn't concerned with religious tolerance. Actually, I'm usually never concerned with any tolerance whatsoever. I'd have to put those views on hold, though, so as not to scare off the fair Detective.

We landed near a patrol car. The building around us were ramshackled and vandalized. Probably plenty of people guilty of something around here... other than me, of course.

The officers were a human male and a Corridian female. They both stared at me. "So that's the hero?" the male asked.

"Police officer on a planet called Rikar," the Detective told them, "Good with a gun, but I didn't have time for the paperwork to let him be armed."

I smiled. "I brought a knife if that's okay." More than one, actually.

"So you're doing this without any backup?" the female asked disapprovingly.

"I got Zippy with me... and I'm just asking some questions now."

"Anything suspicious, call us and we'll be there in a second," the male told her.

"And do call us," the female stated, "Don't be stupid."

"I'll take the 'not being stupid' under advisement," the Detective said dryly.

The male looked back to me. "Rico, do you have any idea what you're getting into with Thompson?"

It was hard not to laugh. "Who doesn't like a little adventure on his vacation?"

"He asked to come," the Detective told them, "How could I say no to a hero?"

The male shrugged. "Fine. Just don't get him killed."

The officers got back into their vehicle and lifted off.

"So what was that about?"

"What was what about?" the Detective answered, beckoning me to follow her down the dangerous looking streets.

It was just a perfunctory question, anyway; I already gathered plenty from that exchange. "We're walking?"

"From here on."

"And who or what is Zippy?"

"You'll see." She stopped to look at me. "Now, if you keep asking questions all the time, that will be hindering me." She smiled to try and hide whether she was serious or not. She was.

Near us, an alien grumbled something that my universal translator said meant "humans" though it sounded like an epithet. We both ignored him. "Now let's find these murderers. Who knows how much time we have before they strike again."

A reckless detective and a murderous psychopath posing as a police officer - now that's a team. This was probably going to be a lot of fun... as long as we didn't get ourselves killed.

Even if, maybe.


Rating: 2.1/5 (29 votes cast)

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