Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Criminals

"Is it clear?" I remarked to my partner, Lieutenant Isabel.

"It's unquestionable," she returned. "This couple are teaching their children that there is a God."

I hated these types of cases. But the law had to be enforced. We headed out the door.

We entered a standard cube of working class apartments, our badges out and our hands near our weapons. I ran my finger over the badge's scan spot that activated the police ringtone and cycled the door. I gave them a few minutes to come out voluntarily before forcing our way in.

 A middle-aged woman, pretty in a dowdy sort of way, slowly opened the door with a look of shock on her face."What's the problem, officers?" she sputtered.

"You have been accused of corrupting young minds with abusive fables," I stated with a firm voice. "I have a retrieval order. You have the right to a hearing if you want one."

"No!" she screamed bursting into tears.

The man bulled his way past her and ran at me. "You're not taking my children," he screamed. I hit him with my shock grip. As he lay writhing in the room, I called for backup. We would have to take them all in.But there was something nagging at me from the back of my mind.

On the way in we heard the latest on the war with the Theodoules. They claimed all they wanted was to be left in peace in their own territory. But if they got away with it, every godbeliever in the nation would seek refuge there.

Later, I watched the man in the conditioning room on the therapeutic table. It was stimulating pain in his mind whenever he saw a religious image. "Any hope for him?" I asked Dr. Karen, the re-educator, as we walked over to her office on the other end of the floor.

"Not much," she replied. "The children are young and should be easy to reeducate. There is some slight hope for the woman . But the man is unreachable."

Then the lights went out. The standard office area with the lights off  is as dark as a cave. Which is why there are three backups, which all seemed to have failed. I heard weapons' fire, but I could not get anywhere in the dark. I only later learned it was a Theodoulian raid. And they had taken all the prisoners.

It took some effort to find them. They had commandeered a cruise foil and were headed back to their so-called state. Our plan was for officers to sneak in from different directions and surround them. I do not know who fired first. But Isabel was caught in a fire fight with a couple of Theodoules in an alleyway. They went down, but Isabel took a shot to the chest. She did not make it.

In anger I turned to face the unarmed fugitives. Legally, I could shoot them down where they stood, and part of me wanted very badly to do so. Then I looked into the horrified faces of the couple I had arrested earlier.

I heard the voice of my middle grade teacher echoing in my head. "Religion has done all matter of evil. It has forced its beliefs on people and even tortured and killed people who would not consent. It stole people's children and raised them in its own beliefs. It made wars on others who had done no harm in order to impose its beliefs on them."

I lowered my blaster and walked away.


  1. Part of a book you are writing? You leave me wanting more.

    1. It is one of a series of short stories I have posted on this blog detailing possible futures. I had considered assembling them into a book perhaps in a more developed form.

      I had not considered developing this particular story into a book by itself. But I could change my mind.