Written in 365 Parts: 12: Cut the Small Talk

Drick boarded the shuttle for the return trip from the central judiciary and selected a seat near the back. Drick activated the privacy screens so as not to be disturbed and slipped the harnesses on in a manner that suggested they had done this a thousand times before. A quick tightening of straps and then a helmet was lowered over Drick’s short cropped hair.

Now that they were alone Drick was able to put a call through to Krennar, as usual the line was busy so Drick left it on hold and triggered to activate into full screen once Krennar picked up.

There was a slight bump of the main hatch sliding shut and then the usual announcements made over the tannoy. Drick partially listened in case anything different was stated. As usual the gravity and inertia compensators wouldn’t be turned on for the whole of the journey which would take about five hours.

It once amused Drick that they always saved energy on the return shuttle flights by turning off the gravity. When transferring prisoners and working law enforcement officers the gravity was kept on, but for the innocent schmucks returning they could float. In reality it made practical sense not to let prisoners float around, they could cause more damage to themselves and others in a weightless environment. But it was still amusing.

Drick’s comlink beeped and they noticed that Hooper had been true to their word. A full breakdown of the justice bots report was in the archives along with the names of any witnesses and organisation involved in the incident. Drick noted the route and made a task to drive it on the way over to Volstron Services.

Although it would be easier just to vid-call Volstron Drick often found that faceless companies always employed an organic receptionist. It was the official way to humanise any emotionally deficit entity. A meatspace meeting was always a good way to get a read on a company and more often than not a good way to get extra privileges.

Drick’s screen flashed and the notification warned Drick there was an incoming transmission, it was the on-hold call. Flicking the screens gave Drick a view of Krennar, as usual they looked tired and angry. Also as usual a small credit charge window appeared, Krennar had put Drick on the clock.”

“Good localtime to you Drick, how are you today?” Krennar was all polite words but the face read that they didn’t care what the answer would be.

“Let’s cut the small talk, Krennar, this is costing me money. I need you to sit on a K-tag for me and I want them unmolested if possible. Goes by the name of Marsh and they were taken in today. You can get all the details from Hooper.”

“Well that’s good, I am also well if a little tired from the heavy workload I have. It was kind of you to ask if I had time in my calendar.”

“If you didn’t have the time why did you take the call?”

“Maybe I like to be social.”

“Looks like I am paying for your likes, if this is social why am I being charged?”

“Oh, just habit. Who did this Marsh kill?”

“We don’t know yet.”

“Have they been found?”

“Yup but the victim cannot be identified just yet, and neither can Marsh. Marsh has no skin dents. In fact they have no implants except for a vocoder unit. Recently fitted.”

“Sounds delightful. You realise I am going to charge more for any extra services I might use or need?”

“Same old. If I were you I would take along one of your lumpier pets, there is a lot that stinks about this and someone might try a little strongarm persuasion.”

“I still haven’t agreed to help.”

“You’re not helping. You’re being employed. Let’s be honest, you rarely have anything better to do except chase divorces and custody battles.”

“Very well. I will get the next shuttle. I assume they have been taken to the judicial processing centre?”

“They have, I will probably meet you in the terminus as I am heading back, so you could be a sweetheart and swing by my apartment and pick up a few things I might need.”

“Such as?”

“I’ll text you the list.”

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