Prompt: Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it.
For sale: Sarif arm, lightly used.
I hovered over the listing, something itching in the back of my mind telling me to investigate. The stack of case files next to me suggested more productive uses of my time, but what’s the point of setting up a net filter if you don’t use it? Those cases would wait; who knows how long the arm would stay on the market?
Throwing my coat on, I ran a scan and pulled the host IP. Local boy, no record. Probably a stolen hand comp. In evidence, I pulled the hand comp of a current, uh, “resident” and put in a bid to meet. Five minutes pass before I get a pinged location. Never takes long for a piece like this.
“Bill,” I said to my partner, waving the hand comp his way. “Got a live one.”
“Jas, we have case files dating two months back and you want to pick up something new?” he replies, looking more annoyed than I’ve seen him in at least two days.
I shrug and say, “Got a hunch.”
He sighs and pulls his coat on, holstering up and typing in the code to get a civ car released for the investigation. We head out the back door, avoiding eye contact with the other detectives; we’re supposed to be benched right now. Upper management didn’t like the last string of arrests we did; something about interfering with a local corp’s business. Honest cops are hard to find these days.
I drive while Bill looks over the posting and my notes. He’s quiet for a minute, calculating, creating that same mental timeline I did.
“Shit,” he says. “You really think it might be him?”
“Timetable fits. Who else could afford that kind of gear on what we make?”
He swears in that hybrid dialect of ex-corpers, something colorful about someone’s heritage from what I can piece together.
“Hey,” I say, glancing over. “We knew this was a possibility. I don’t want it to be true any more than you do.”
He nods, stowing the data in the glove compartment. He checks his gun, casually flicking the safety off.
“Whoah now. We need information.”
“What?” he says. “He doesn’t need legs to talk.”
I give him that look, the one that tells him when he’s out of line, and he sighs, flicking the safety back on.
“Fine. How do you want to play it?”
“I want information. I’ll meet him, chat, see what I can get from a scan of this guy. You cover the back alley in case he gets any smart ideas. If he does run, I want him alive.”
“He’s still technically alive without-”
“Bill. Alive and well. I don’t need another headache on my plate right now, and I’m going to ghost someone who might not even be involved. For all we know, he found Wells in the trash and salvaged the arm.”
He exhales slowly before replying, “Yeah I guess.”
The rest of the drive is quiet, only the patter of rain echoing in the small car. I drop Bill off a couple blocks over from the meeting, then drive slowly to give him time to get in position. I park and get out, pulling my hood over my head and trying to look as shady as possible. Not hard in a town like this.
I walk down the alley, nerves on high alert, location pinging on my comp as I get closer to the meet site. Ahead I see a man, heavily cloaked as I am, and I pray that his cloak doesn’t block scanners, that I’ll be able to get a bioscan and ID this guy for Bill. I stop ten feet out, peering out from my hood, eyes zooming and filtering for low light to get a view of his face. The figure steps forward, throwing back his hood.
“I knew you’d find me, Jaz,” Wells says, raising a gun. “I’m sorry it had to end like this.”
This story is continued on Day 16.