Written in 365 Parts: 42: Significant Issues

“Officer in Charge, this is Benson.”

The Officer in Charge of External Security for Yee On Kline District looked up at the holoscreen showing Benson. The organic, Benson, had been with the External Security since passing out of college and completing mandatory training like most of security. They were good, if not a terrifically innovative guard. “What is it Benson. I hope it is good news. Did you manage to apprehend the target or remove them from causing any further complications?”

“No command. We have encountered some significant issues.”

The Officer shut down a few other screens containing less important issues and personnel and turned the conversation mode into high priority with maximum anti-scrubbing filters to reduce the chances of anyone of the wrong pay grade examining this material. It would also help remove any evidence later if needed. “Describe to me in detail what you mean by significant issues.”

Benson paused and the Officer in Charge was sure that they had paled a little more, it might be the harsh LED lighting from the inside of the armoured personnel carrier, but the Officer doubted that. “We had to have a recovery vehicle come to attend to us. We were flipped and then sabotaged by a group of street punks. One of the hoverbike gangs that roam the streets down here.”

“Did you get identification?”

“No. They were wearing masks and had covered up most of their usual colours, it was most certainly a local gang but we cannot be certain of which chapter. They turned us over and then prevented the vehicle from self-righting, after that they damaged the gravity system.”

“Did you manage to get sensor readings?”

“Only live readings that were not recorded. Our instructions were to ensure that there was no evidence left on any system so all recording, remote linking and auxiliary diagnostics and analytics were disabled. By your order.”

“I am aware of that. I was hoping that someone may have got enough information.”

“No. It was very sudden and mostly we were reacting to a lot of circumstances. There is more worrying news.”

“What is more worrying than the fact that a squad of trained personnel in an armoured truck were taken out by a group of itinerant children on scooters?”

“We have lost contact with the pursuit craft. It went to the lower levels and we think it may have entered the tunnel systems. There are vague reports  floating around of a vehicle firing on a marketplace in the lower sections. The organics down in this section are a little aggrieved and have started to make very vocal complaints already. We have received a short note from the Engineer’s Union asking us for confirmation that we had a warrant to exceed our territorial jurisdiction.”

“Please tell me this is a joke, Benson? You’re reporting to me that not only was a squad laid useless along with their vehicle but we have lost a very expensive combat craft and that it might be involved in an illegal assault?”

“That is correct.”

“There will be severe consequences if all of this is true and becomes broadly known. You had better clean up as much of the mess that you have made and find out as much information as possible. Get that pursuit craft back in the hangar immediately and I want to see all the units involved as soon as we have managed to clear this up. We had almost covered up this mess. You only had to apprehend one lousy organic in an executive vehicle.”

“I know. It became very complicated. I have sent a full report to you.”

“You wrote this down?” the Officer heard themselves screech.

“Encrypted eyes-only data packet. Read once and destroy. I am not wholly incompitent, Officer.”

“Good. I will want the same from everyone, now find that pursuit craft.”

“And the organic target.”

“Leave them, for now. This is getting too messy again. Way too messy. We will have to hope that the other routes being explored become more fruitful. Consider your entire shift on suspended duties pending a full investigation the moment you have finished clearing the mess you have made.”

The Officer in Charge closed the connection and slammed a fist too hard onto a resin desk surface. They felt a knuckle crack as the surface failed to make a significant sound. A slight hiss left between clenched teeth. They would have to report this to their superiors. This was going to be awkward and if they were unlucky it might result in slow molecular disintegration.

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