Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VII: Deviant Behaviour

There was a knock at the door, but it was too late for housekeeping, and Lukas never arranged meetings for an operational site.

He looked at Mads and Gabriel. "Room service?"

They looked at each other and then back to him, shaking their heads.

And the op had gone so well.

With a series of hand gestures, he directed Lyta and Todd to get ready for trouble, trusting them to marshal the others into some semblance of a defensive posture.

Quietly, he approached the door. Lukas always felt uncomfortable about peepholes--they were designed as a safety feature for those within, but Todd had shown him some trideos in which the occupant was shot in the eye through the hole on gazing out and another where the authorities used a clever device enabling them to look in. But there didn't seem to be another option.

Detective Gorash stood on the other side. His hands were at his sides, empty. It felt like he was looking Lukas square in the eye, through the door.

"Who is it?" asked Lukas.

Gorash very slowly reached into his jacket and withdrew his badge. "Lieutenant Gorash. Public Order Protectors."

With those five words, Lukas knew that their tenure in the Alliance was over.

"Please open the door, citizen."

"Just a moment...I need to put on a shirt," Lukas stalled. The shuffling behind him came to a stop. Lukas' reach for the door handle was checked by the sudden clatter of a metal object--presumably one of Mads' sticks. A muffled "Sorry, bro!" confirmed the source.  Gorash didn't appear to hear it.

Lukas opened the door, standing firmly in the opening.

"What's this about, officer?"

"I'm placing you under arrest." The detective shrugged, slightly. His overcoat bore the wrinkles of a million shrugs.

Hastily, Lukas tried to remember the civil rights of extra-nationals. Generally the same as citizens, and there was no obvious probable cause, so....

"Do you have a warrant?" Without one, if Lukas was right, the police couldn't enter a dwelling--even a temporary one, "including but not limited to a room in a hotel, boarding house, or hostel".

"I have a blanket arrest indictment for this address; so long as there are less than ten of you, I have a warrant." There were eight of them. Damn.

"OK. I'd like to see it."

That got a reaction. Humanists rarely balked authority figures, even to ensure their own due process, taking for granted the legitimacy of the Protector class. Gorash blinked, twice, before nodding. "Here you are."

Lukas scanned the document. He verified that the address matched that of the hotel, that the room numbers matched, that there was a blanket arrest clause, that it was for up to ten individuals. The date was correct, there was a signature, and everything passed the limited tests for forgery available to Lukas in the moment. It felt real. The feeling was terrible.

"Please don't stall. All the exits are covered, and I have VDSS agents on the floor above as well as bellow and sniper units surrounding the building," Gorash said, evenly.  Apologetically?

Lukas looked back over his shoulder, but, of course, the blinds were drawn, and he couldn't see out.

He examined the rather crumpled looking Humanist. Unusually for a Protector, he wasn't especially tall or imposing. Lukas was confident that he alone could incapacitate the man. If the Protector were lying, if there were only a handful of troopers backing him up, they might force their way out.  Lukas looked him in the eye, probing.

Detective Gorash was not lying. Lukas was utterly certain. They would be arrested, whether they submitted or resisted. Escape, as a group, was not possible. It was all over.


But the VDSS had not stormed the hotel, had not, in fire and smoke, crushed the Badlnders as Lukas had witnessed first hand in Gropius.

Why? Why talk? Why come softly?

"Is there a problem, citizen? I must insist that you comply now, or shall I contact the VDSS?"

Why, indeed?

"No, Lietenant Gorash, no need. Please come in. We submit to your arrest."

Lukas called back to the others. "We're being arrested. Come on forward."

Why? could only mean that the Humanists wanted something, and Lukas knew how to make a deal.

Why? was an opportunity for escape--and profit.

The Protectors filed down the halllway, filling the room's foyer with their bulk.

Patrolman Sergeant Mikal had arrested 22 deviants during his service with the POP, but could not recall any one of them smiling as the plasticuffs were placed.

Clearly another sign of deviant behaviour.

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