DON’T LOOK AWAY
“Let’s go,” Ronnie told her partner.
Daniels put his hands up, too, and opened his eyes. The bags under them spotlighted his weariness, not to mention his hangover. Ronnie was seriously going kick his butt later for showing up on the job in such a pathetic state, especially on a day like today, which was shaping up to be a really shitty one. Bad enough on any normal day when they were rounding up the latest gang-enforcer or Pure V dealer, Pure V being the hottest new street drug, a cheap variation of Vicodin. But it was much worse now, when they had to come to this side of town and undergo a thorough inspection.
After they had been given the nod by the sergeant in charge, they stepped out into the bright sunshine, and were each immediately approached by different security teams.
“Sloan, D.C. Police,” she said as soon as one of the men reached her, his weapon still trained on her head. Another soldier stood directly behind his left shoulder, and a third was holding the leash of a thick-chested, sharp-toothed K-9.
Never lowering his semi-automatic, the first soldier held out his other hand. She passed over her badge and photo I.D., then moved away from the car for a thorough search. Both of the vehicle, and of her.
He examined her badge. The gun came down. But he didn’t holster it.
His mouth barely moving, and his face expressionless, he asked, “Weapon?”
She nodded. “Glock. Rear holster.” Ronnie knew better than to reach back and offer it up herself, which was why she hadn’t made any proactive move toward it before exiting the car. Her head would have been a slushy pile of brain and bone on the sidewalk the second these hard-nosed troops had seen a weapon in her hand.
“Take off your jacket.”
She did, glad to lose the extra weight of the dark, city-issued clothing. Ronnie missed the way she had dressed during her early years as a detective—the pre-2017 days of wearing street clothes on the job. But the way the whole country demanded confirmation and re-confirmation of every person’s identity, she figured it wasn’t surprising that every cop now had to be in uniform. All the way up to the Chief of the National Department of Law Enforcement.
Assuming a customary position, she went completely still, arms extended at her sides, legs apart. Without saying a word, the men got to work. One of the soldiers removed the 9 mm and spare clip off her back and stepped away to examine them. Another appeared out of nowhere with a digital scanner. He passed it over her upper arm like it was a can of beans at the grocery store, looking for the microchip that was implanted in the arm of every law-abiding American citizen.
The non-law-abiding ones didn’t like them so much.
Neither did the civil rights fanatics who had been among the loudest screaming against the idea several years ago when the government had first tried to get its citizens to voluntarily submit to implantation.
Glancing at the data on the tiny screen, the soldier nodded toward the sergeant. “Identity confirmed. Sloan, Veronica Marie, born Arlington, Virginia, January 5, 1993.”
One step closer. But still not done.
Clipping a state-of-the-art, super-powerful sensor to his hand, the sergeant moved in beside her. He was so close she could feel his breath on the side of her face and smell the sausage he’d had for breakfast.
“Don’t move.” He bit the words out from a jaw so tight it could have been used to crack a walnut.
She was tempted to promise she wouldn’t, but that would constitute moving her mouth and she really didn’t want to get shot or clubbed today. So she just stood there waiting for him to finish.
Showing no emotion, he ran the miniscule device over her entire body, his hand less than a centimeter away from her clothes. If he got any kind of thrill off of scraping his palm across her nipples, he at least had the courtesy not to show it.
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Genre - Thriller
Rating – R
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