The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.14

Candy’s Colleagues to the Rescue

This, of course, had all happened in the space of very few seconds. As my upper body settled on the twin mounds of Helen’s chest, the lights came back on and several large PASO’s crammed in through what had now become an open door.

I looked up and down to take in my situation. Laying beneath me was an apparently unconscious WPASO Candy. Her blouse was ripped from the neckline to just below the shoulder, exposing the soft pale brown skin of her upper chest. As if that wasn’t enough, there was blood.

At the time I had no idea where the blood was coming from and really had no time to work it out there and then. This was because WPASO Candy’s male colleagues reacted to the apparent plight of their fellow officer exactly how you might expect a group of Neanderthals to react. They ‘did’ first and grunted later.

Within moments of the door opening, I had been dragged to my feet by an ‘octopus’ of PASO’s, grabbed rather uncomfortably in my basement department and raised up vertically at a rapid speed until my head crashed into the ceiling. At this point, I lost consciousness.

Naturally, one would imagine that the police operatives involved here would, after the initial and perhaps understandable tsunami of adrenaline, and other unusual hormones they undoubtedly possessed, would step back and consider the likelihood that I would assault a WPASO in their own interview room.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.13

Cat steals my thunder as usual…..

That made me sit up very straight. Mr. Cat indeed. That blasted tin can robot. I couldn’t even get arrested without him piping up in the interrogation. I couldn’t believe it. So not only had he been giving speeches on his pet and pointless research topic, but he’d seen fit to wax lyrical whilst doing so about my missions. And, from the sound of it, he was taking an incredible amount of credit for my achievements. Wait till I got him home and in the sonic washer-dryer. He’d learn the meaning of the word clean after a few runs through the cycle reserved for stainless Rubanite utensils!!

I leaned forward in my chair some more, with my best cheesy smile playing out across my face, intending to probe Helen and find out more about Mr. Cat’s recent speaking engagement. Repeating slowly the full unexpurgated facts of his tales, whilst watching him tumbling around through the sonic washer’s door appealed to me. However, just as I reached that point of familiarity where I felt that touching Helen’s forearm, in a kind of ‘brotherly’ manner was a good next step, the second ‘thing’ happened. And this second ‘thing’ was a lot worse, ultimately, than the dismay I felt at having Mr. Cat’s contributions to my successes thrown at me.

At the very moment that my hand touched Helen’s body, the lights in the room went out. As they went out she screamed very loudly and I sensed her start to fall sideways from her seated position. I grabbed at the top of her shirt but could do nothing, as I felt her body slump away from her chair and the thin cloth of her shirt tear in my hand under the weight of her. As she fell away and hit the floor, with a bit of a thump, I stood up in a panic and tried to move around the table in the blackness to reach her. All I managed to do though was catch my foot on one of the table legs and stumble down to the floor as well. My landing was, however, softer than my brain initially expected, landing, as I did, sprawled over Helen’s soft and warm body.

To be continued…….

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.12

That Blasted Cat!!

WPASO Candy added, with a giggle, that the investigating officer who had written the report was quite new and junior. This really didn’t help to alter my sense of incredulity at the apparent manner in which law enforcement could be swayed by perceptions of social status and position. Not that I necessarily thought this was a  bad thing right at this moment. Accordingly, I persuaded myself to continue to be polite and smiley as, after all, I seemed to be benefiting from their prejudices.

Showing me part of the written report seemed to break the ice a bit with Ms. Candy who seemed to be increasingly in awe of what she’d heard about me.

“So,” she said, “it must be so exciting and dangerous to travel the Universe tracking down tax fraud and dealing with Mud Lizards.”

“Well you know, it has its moments,” I responded.

“But you must be quite scared at times. I mean everyone knows what the Mud Lizards’ can be like and you’ve defeated their dastardly plots more than once. All I ever get to do is issue tickets for hovering offences. I never get anything exciting. Or dangerous. I don’t even normally get to interview any suspects. That’s why I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to talk to you about this crime. Even though I knew you must be innocent. Please tell me, how do you manage to cope with the kind of dangers you’ve faced on your intergalactic missions?”

I was positively starting to enjoy my interview with the ‘vision of be loveliness’ that was WPASO Candy. I relaxed in quite a rush, leaned back in my chair and said,

“Well my dear, after the first few times, you know, you just get used to it. You think  of your planet first and your personal safety a very distant second.”

I found myself leaning forward as I continued to verbally preen and strut my intergalactic tax inspector stuff. Things were going really well and then two things happened to rather spoil the moment.

First off, Ms. Candy or rather Helen, as I had just started to call her after she had told me more about herself, including her name, said,

“But it must be so much easier and helpful to you on these missions to have Mr. Cat leading the way. I mean, everyone at the station knows his immense contribution to what you do as a team since his speech here on ‘Nothingness’ earlier this year.”

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.11

My Interview Continues

Typically, just at that very moment, my Cortex thought assistant decided to pop up a notification that the ion battery had now received several bids on Cadabra Universe. WPASO Candy, who was monitoring my Cortex implant scribbled even more furiously on her wrist. I explained,

“Look I didn’t know it was a stolen battery when I put it up for sale. I really just didn’t know what else to do with it. What would you have done?” I enquired with a rather sticky sweet smile.

My attempt to be friendly seemed to suddenly work as Ms. Candy responded with a slight smile around the corners of her mouth,

“It’s ok Inspector, we were always fairly sure that you were not intentionally involved in the crime,” said Candy.

I sighed,  and said half-jokingly, “Well I’m jolly glad to hear that. Wouldn’t want to be clapped in Kliks would I?”

She smiled a bit more widely this time and said, “We just had to bring you in for process reasons really, just to be absolutely sure you were who you said you were. Even if you did try to b sell the battery on, we were always pretty sure you were not involved.”

I could feel myself blushing at the thought that she knew I’d put the battery up for sale the minute I realised it was no use to me. How embarrassing.

She went on, “Look, I can show you what the investigating officer recorded earlier this morning.”

In front of my face, a small square display appeared as she touched her forearm with the stylus she had been using. Handwritten words appeared on the screen underneath the heading,

‘REPORT OF INCEDENT AT STARLING HITES MORNING OF FIFF AUGUST – REPORTING OFFICA TPASO RYAN’

WPASO Candy pointed at the words she was referring to.

‘……. the iron battry is from stolen veerkle 9/42966/AH. The recever of the battery is Inspecta Proof. He is a guvenment officeal so is probably innocent’.

As I read them I blinked rapidly wondering how best to keep anything I might say from sounding sarcastic. I marveled in my mind at the spelling prowess of our law enforcement officers and wondered at the rather dubious approaches they might have to decide whether someone was innocent or not.

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.10

My Interview with WPASO Candy Begins

Before my mind had the chance to fully interpret my last statement, Ms. Candy responded with,

“Inspector Prouff, I must warn you that anything you say or think may be recorded and later and used to support any case brought against you.”

“What?!!” I said incredulously.

At that WPASO Candy scribbled on her forearm with the sharp stylus she had. I looked at straight into her eyes and said,

“You’re joking, right?”

She scribbled again and after I said ‘Oh come on’ and then ‘Can we start again?’, both of which were instantly followed by more scribbling, I decided to shut up.

WPASO Candy fixed me now with what was probably the ‘stare’ described in detail in the ‘how to intimidate a suspect’ manual she had doubtless been issued with at PASO training school. She then proceeded to ask the same questions she had asked me earlier that day on the aircast, religiously scribbling be down my answers with her stylus on her forearm. After she got to the bit about whether or not I received an ion battery from a man in the hovercar park and I’d responded ‘yes’ as I had done earlier she added,

“Did you not think it strange that a man should just walk up to you and give you an ion battery?”

I thought for a moment and then answered,

“Not really, at the time. But, I must admit now on reflection, no one has ever given me an ion battery before, so I guess it is a bit strange.”

“So,” said Ms. Candy, now in full WPASO mode,

“You thought it was odd but you still took it. And not only that, but you took it from a man who is a criminal,” she ended incredulously.

“Yes, true. But how was I supposed to know he was a criminal? He wasn’t wearing a sign!” I responded indignantly. “I can assure you there was no criminal intent on my part.”

To be continued……

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.9

To the Interview Room

I duly followed her down a lengthy corridor, having abruptly closed my saliva rich mouth and wiped my own lower lip and chin with my own sleeve. We passed through an area with lots of workstations, occupied I noticed exclusively by males, before Candy reached a door which she opened with her thumb. As the door silently slid open, Candy stepped aside and said,

“Do go through into the interview room and take a seat Inspector.”

I walked through the door and into what was a quite small room, probably no more than 3 metres square. There were no windows, even artificial ones. There was a table, roughly in the middle of the room, and two chairs. I went around the table and sat on the chair that was furthest from the door, with my back almost against the back wall of the small room. Ms. Candy followed me in, closed the door behind her and sat down opposite me.

She opened a tactile notepad on her left forearm and produced a very pointy looking stylus, which she held in her right hand. I must say I hadn’t seen such antiquated technology since I attended some face to face classes at junior virtual school. It made me rather wonder what it must be like to still have to actually write. I also thought, given the width of her very feminine forearm, that she was either going to have to scroll a lot or write very short sentences.

smiled at her and said in an effort to be friendly,

“Well, this is quite a small room I must say. And no windows. I’m surprised that you don’t use VR to at least give the sensation of greater space. It’s a bit claustrophobic if you don’t mind me saying so. We are rather on top of each other, don’t you think?”

To be continued………

The Sequestran Dilemma – Chapter 1.8

A Vision of Loveliness

After disembarking from the CustodyDroid I reported to a very old and surly looking policeman at an entrance reception desk and deposited the ion battery with him. I then waited for around 10 minutes in front of the now security screened reception desk, until I was roused from what had become a rather soporific state by the angelic voice of what turned out to be WPASO Candy calling out my name.

I stood and walked back over to the reception desk, where a small portal had opened to allow me through to meet WPASO Candy. I have to confess the vision of loveliness that stood in front of me rather took me by surprise. I was kind of expecting to be confronted by a more functional looking being in an armoured suit with granite-like features and muscles. If not real muscles then the BioDroid kind that gives artificial strength to anyone needing it these days for arduous manual tasks. Ms. Candy, as I decided I would now like to call her, was anything other than artificial. Slim in build but with prominent bumps where young females still sometimes had them, her long blonde hair shimmered under the cosmic lights of the station. She looked at me with eyes surely worth dying for and said,

“Inspector Prouff. Good of you to come in to meet me.”

I decided to be cool and responded casually,

“Did I have much choice Ms. Candy?”

I’d decided I would call her Ms. as my mind instantly liked the idea of being more personal with this lady. In addition, ‘Did I have much choice Woman Peace and Security Officer Candy’was a bit of a mouthful. And, in some respects, my choice of a shorter title for her did inadvertently help her out. You see, a combination of 10 minutes of soporific mindless thinking whilst I was waiting to see her, followed by my lower jaw almost hitting my knees when I clapped eyes on the woman, had led to a considerable quantity of drool accumulating in my lower jaw. Consequently ‘Did I have much choice Ms. Candy’ came out with quite a lot of spit, but probably not as much as ‘Woman Peace and Security Officer’ would have generated.

To her immense credit, WPASO Candy showed considerable ‘steel’ in being sprinkled with my spittle, wiping quickly from forehead to chin with the sleeve of her shirt, before saying,

“Please follow me Inspector.”

To be continued…….