Friday, May 8, 2015

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter IX: Drunk Tank Red

1 Spring 1928

Preceptor Mia Robinson sat at the head of the conference room table of Raleigh’s central precinct. Around the room, staff members examined their data-pads and terminals. The image on the conference room wall shifted from a woman in her late 20s to a man of approximately 50 cycles. He wore the dark blue scrubs of an inmate, with close-cropped black hair and slender fingers. The live feed showed him staring intently at the inner courtyard fronting his cell as citizens and protectors walked past, none of them giving a second thought to the one-way glass that hid the deviants from public view.

“Who’s next, Lachlan?” asked the preceptor after they’d taken a moment to observe the feed.

Halfway down the table, one of the protectors busied himself with his data-pad for a moment, then cleared his throat. “Victor Leclerc, fifty-one cycles. Native of the Southern Republic. Entered the Alliance by train at the Bangwuleu-Raleigh crossing on 40 Winter 1928. Apprehended on 42 Winter for attempting to purchase controlled medical equipment without a license.”

Preceptor Robinson nodded. “What sort of equipment?”

Lachlan queried the database. “A portable neuroimager, cauterizer, microdrills, and several mono-scalpels.”


“They function on the same principle as vibro-blades but on a smaller scale.”

Preceptor Robinson glanced back at the live feed of the deviant. “Does Mr. Leclerc have medical training?”

From the other side of the table, a woman glanced up from her data-pad. “Yes, preceptor. It looks like Dr. Leclerc was granted his MD from University of Port Oasis Medical, class of 1908. He functioned as a MILICIA field medic during the war.”

The preceptor turned her attention to her aid. “Thank you, Chelsea. And yet Dr. Leclerc was apprehended for purchasing specialized equipment without a license?”

A moment’s pause. “It seems Dr. Leclerc’s license expired in 1926, preceptor.”

Preceptor Robinson faced the man at the far end of the table. “Ethan, do you have access to Dr. Leclerc’s history in the Alliance? Any signs of previous deviance?”

“Of course, preceptor.” Ethan consulted his notes, then looked back up. “Dr. Leclerc has visited the Alliance five times in the last twelve cycles, each for one week or less. Each time, he kept to major urban areas. He spent considerable sums on specialized medical equipment, software, and pharmaceuticals with every visit. There are no previous signs of deviance.”

“He was not apprehended on any previous visit?”

“Dr. Leclerc has not visited the Alliance since 1926.”

“Evelyn, what is the usual sentence for deviance of this nature?”

To the preceptor’s right, a young woman with blue-streaked hair consulted her database. “Deportation to his home nation and a flag in the deviant’s file that they are not to re-enter the Alliance without proper documentation. Depending on the issuing judge, sometimes they are given with instructions for license renewal in the nation of issue.”

Preceptor Robinson nodded. “Very well. I shall advise the judge accordingly. Unless anyone has any further issues, we will move on to the next deviant.”

She paused and surveyed the room. Most faces were still on their data-pads, consulting and querying their various feeds. She was about to move on when a quiet voice spoke up from the far end of the room. “Preceptor?”

“Yes, Jared. Do you have any more information?”

“Maybe.” He stared intently down for a moment, reading furiously. “It seems there’s a warrant for Dr. Leclerc’s arrest, issued by the SRID.”

Robinson’s brow furrowed. “The SRID?”

“Yes, Preceptor. It seems…” He paused, his eyes scanning the data in front of him. “Maybe you should see this yourself, ma’am.”

Robinson nodded and the file came up on the projector, next to the continuing live feed of the deviant’s cell. The logo of the SRID sat comfortably at the top-left of the page, next to the words “Warrant of Arrest.” Robinson scanned the document, picking out key phrases: unsanctioned and unethical surgeries, prisoners of war, remorseless, extremely dangerous.

Jared’s voice cut into her reading. “There are accompanying pictures, preceptor. Some from Dr. Leclerc’s practice in 1916 with the MILICIA, some more recent. I’m ceding control of the document to your terminal.”

Robinson nodded absently as she reviewed the rest of the warrant. She would have to revise her recommendation to the judge. Leclerc would need to be ceded to SRID forces, which would bring attention from higher echelons of the Protectorate, maybe even from HIRA. Her analysis of the deviant’s case would certainly be reviewed by her superiors. Likely she would have at least one debriefing session in Perth. She sighed inwardly as she realized her paperwork had just tripled.

Resigned, she moved the document forward to the image files.

Her hand gripped the projector remote tighter as the doctor’s operating theatres and former patients appeared on the screen. Around the table, faces grew paler. She flipped to the next image, and the next. Evelyn’s complexion took on an unpleasant green hue. Lachlan rose and hurried out of the room with only a muttered apology. Robinson did not attempt to stop him.

She flipped through the rest of the images quickly, then closed the file. The cell’s live feed played on, recording the doctor as he took in every detail of the passers-by.

Preceptor Robinson pressed her lips together and breathed slowly through her nose. She glanced around the room. Six sets of anxious eyes looked back at her. Robinson put down the remote. “Ethan, inform Tatant that we have a high-priority deviant transfer for them. Expedited processing. Prepare Dr. Leclerc for transport. I want him out of here within 18 hours.”

Ethan blinked a few times, shaking the images out of his head. “Of course, preceptor. At once.”

Robinson nodded and closed her eyes. She couldn’t allow Leclerc’s extradition, even if it meant disciplinary action from her superiors. She would need only to show them the images accompanying the warrant. They would understand. She had no choice.

“All right,” she said after everyone had a moment to compose themselves. “That’s settled. Lachlan, who’s next?”

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