New Sheriff in Town: The Answer

There were hands to shake and smiles to be given. Myrtle greeted her staff and tour the Law Enforcement wing of Enceladus’ Security Complex. She appeared interested, calm, and completely collected but inside Myrtle reeled. For four years, Myrtle had rehearsed what she would say if she ever saw Hatchet again. She would rage on how she felt, how their son felt, how his leaving broke their hearts, she would tell him of the anger and the hurt. Instead she merely shook his cool grey hand and mumbled polite noises. She hoped her face didn’t betray her when she learned he was one of her detectives.
When they met Myrtle was a rookie cop and Benji — she used to call him Benji back then because 83Nj100 was such a mouthful —was her police support auxiliary. Some of the other officers treated their android auxiliaries like equipment but Benji was more than that. He was her partner. They had written together patrolling the Martian badlands and shared a desk in Robbery Homicide. They had the highest completion rate in the city. He always had her six and she had his. They were friends, then more than friends. Despite the whispers and the dirty looks they bought a micro farm with a farmhouse and a white picket fence and adopted Django. In honor of her last name Carries Two Axes 83Nj100 renamed himself Benjamin Hatchet. Together their little family buffered the protests. Then one day she came home to a note on the kitchen table and the end of everything they built together.
Her hands trembled as her office door knob scanned her thumbprint and unlocked. Myrtle nearly fainted when she opened her door and there sat her Benji, Det. Hatchet. She closed her door and sat behind her new desk.
The slick contemporary office furniture, the tasteful abstract prints, a fresh orchid in a slender bud vase, Myrtle took in her office looking everywhere except at her ex. Finally her eyes landed on her tablet she opened her calendar.
“I saw when you and the boy stepped off the Manifest. He’s gotten so tall. How’s he—“
Her eyes met his. Hatchet stopped talking. He looked away. The Kimber droids are humanoid very human with factory grown skin and flesh. They were manufactured gray-skinned with pale eyes and dark hair. Built as soldiers, servants, and sex workers, the Kimbers were intelligent, strong, fast, intuitive, and highly imaginative. So imaginative, the Kimbers, the most popular droids in the solar systems, started to imagine they had rights. Myrtle could see the weight of the last civil war on Hatchet’s face. Myrtle began to work hoping Hatchet would take the hint.
“Even if you hate me it is good to see you,” Hatchet said crossing his long legs and settling back into the chair.
“You know I couldn’t hate you even if I tried but I certainly tried. Now I’m indifferent,” Myrtle said without looking up. “How the hell did you get in here?”
“You know I’m good with tech.” Hatchet chuckled and the laughter bubbled with warm memories. The air between them was charged.
Myrtle flung the orchid and vase at his head. Hatchet caught it and chuckled again.
“Why did you bring me here?” Myrtle stood up. “Don’t tell me it is because I’m good. You nudged my name to the top of candidates list, sweet talked the algorithms. You’re wheels inside of wheels.”
Hatchet set the flower back on her desk. His finger trailed the pink blush of the ruffled petal. He walked to the door. He looked out of the office windows. A series of domes bustling with factories and farms stretched across the ice glazed land. His eyes narrowed.
“You know why you’re here. Good day, Sheriff.”

1 Comment

  1. Mike U. says:

    You’ve got me hooked. I’m really enjoying this Sheriff series and can’t wait for the next installment. As a life-long sci-fi geek, this is right up my alley. So well-written! 🙂

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