Writer’s Note: I hope you’re enjoying the book….so far. If you are, be certain to let me know and share the story with others. Honestly, you should probably be sharing these posts even you don’t really like it, mostly because I’m asking you to do me a solid. 🙂 Help me make my mom proud on Mother’s Day and like this post and share it.
Enjoy the rest of Chapter 1 and the beginning of Chapter 2!
…Chapter 1, Continued….
In my ear I hear a voice, “I don’t know why you still act this way after talking to these people. You’ve been doing knock and talks for a few years now and never had a problem.” It’s my handler’s voice. The ear piece starts to shift in my ear. He asks, “Who’s Andrew?” Some dirty cop that doesn’t exist.
I tell Dean, my handler, that this guy doesn’t suspect me of anyting and that we should meet here in three hours before he tries to get cute and make catching up with him difficult. In the meantime, contact HQ and have an unmarked unit monitor his apartment and keep a good distance. Dean acknowledges with his snarky tone, “Take it easy, snitch. I’ve already called it in. You’re starting to sound like a cop.”
I breathe again and emerge composed from the shadows to the asphalt. Feet striking with intention and making a sound of authority. I get in what passes for an undercover Law vehicle and drive off. They must have bought this thing at an estate sale. It smells like garage and old people.
Law enforcement has changed over the last few decades after what some people call the “Resurrection”. Gone are the days that you can’t lay hands on a suspect or conduct surveillance with a warrant. Rights? What are those? After so many attacks from terrorists and countries that claimed they didn’t support or fund them, the security of the overall population took precedence over any one person’s privacy and rights. One well coordinated attack in multiple cities on the same day brought a fragile society to its hardly-scraped knees. Since then, enough people have been more than willing to allow the government to provide security in exchange for a loss of freedoms. What they didn’t count on were the unintended consequences of essentially trapping millions of people with millions of personalities and millions and millions of different motivations inside walls in a more compacted space than anyone would be comfortable with. While are we are secure from outside threats, it is now each other we have to keep an eye on.
The streets are rough. Then again, they’ve always been rough. No silver lining, just another day trying to get by without a boot or knuckles to the face. As far as I can remember the asphalt has borne the burden of accepting me as a permanent resident. And as far as I can remember, this place has always been like this. Inundated with contentious louts while those of good character try to slip by unnoticed. The incessantly damp streets are filled but remarkably clean. Everyone has a job, including picking up the candy wrappers and scraping gum off the streets. Littering is a mandatory 72 hours locked up. What they fail to mention is the high crime rate and not just the ABC gum street crimes. Everyone ha s a job, but it hardly pays the bills or keeps the fiends from stealing and murdering. People like me get by doing those things that are barely legal, like delivering “mail” – ok, so it’s not even barely legal, it is illegal.
Since I could work I was given the opportunity to deliver postal mail to the residents of the exaggerated cubicle that is the city and is just as mundane. Of course, the money was more like board game money and no matter how much you saved it was never enough to buy anything you wanted or needed. My parents called in “monopoly money,” I guess it was some game they used to play. Inflation really sucks the life out of a decent earning.
Like a lot of people, I made some money on the side. First-class mail delivery, also known as delivering whatever people wanted that is otherwise illegal to pass through the postal service. Payment up front. Never saw too many of the same clients repeatedly. I rarely knew what was delivered. Didn’t want to know. Mostly didn’t care besides the general curiosity when an obviously well-known and terribly disguised political entity was sending their own first-class mail. It wasn’t until an undercover agent gave me a pakcage to deliver that I got caught. Since I knew very little about the packages, I was recruited by the Law to continue delivering mail, but for them instead of 10 years locked up.