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Mr. Jeffry vs. Candice Wilson and Cowlitz County Safety

July 12, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, Setting, The Craft  2 Comments

MAIN CASE FILE
MR. SCOTT
CONSTITUTION ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
PACWEST OFFICE OF CONSTITUTION ENFORCEMENT

In the matter of Jeffry vs. Candice Wilson and Cowlitz County Safety, I find for the plaintiff, Mr. Jeffry.

Mr. Jeffry, formally of the 101st Airborne Division Orbital Insertion Battalion, and previous resident of Ryderwood, a town located in Cowlitz County, was the neighbor of Dee Wilson, Candice Wilson’s younger sister.

Dee Wilson was a known drug abuser who on a frequent basis took snorf (see Appendix A). Her father (Lou Wilson) and mother (Tawny Wilson) are successful restaurateurs of Portland, Oregon, owning three upscale restaurants, one of which is in Vancouver, Washington. As outlined in Appendix A, the Wilsons tried several times to rehabilitate their daughter to no success. Dee became pregnant. Dee could not seek support from the father of her child, as she was high on the night of conception and participated in a group sex activity where the participants did not have to verify their fertility blockers were installed and intact.

I have not been able to determine whom, or what, removed Dee’s blocker, or if she had ever installed a tube-blocker (also Appendix A).

Now legally an adult, Dee relocated to Ryderwood and her parents gave her a living stipend on the condition she not return to Portland.

While legally an adult per the Constitution, Dee was not in the proper frame of mind to live like one and started a relationship with a local drug dealer whom called himself “Flo-Jo” (see Appendix B). Flo-Jo happily took over Dee’s finances, but regrettably, Flo-Jo was dealing drugs so he himself could afford their usage. Her small home fell in disrepair, but indications are Dee did manage to stay clean while pregnant. She successfully gave birth to a daughter she named Jackie.

Unfortunately for little Jackie, Dee took up the life of drugs again. Mr. Jeffry, living next door, sought to alleviate Jackie’s precarious situation by petitioning her grandparents and aunt to pay Dee a one-time payment in exchange for them raising the baby or putting it up for adoption. The Wilsons declined (see Appendix C).

It was at this point Mr. Jeffry offered a lump sum, and his house, for becoming the Guardian of Baby Jackie, now six months old. During this offer, he got into an altercation with Flo-Jo, which Cowlitz County Safety intervened. Dee declined Mr. Jeffry’s offer (see Appendix D).

Mr. Jeffry decided to monitor Baby Jackie’s situation by taking time off work and paying close attention to Dee’s house. It was during this time he concluded that nobody was feeding Jackie and she had been crying off-and-on for three days, with the cries “becoming ominously weaker and infrequent.” His observation was collaborated by the certified medical condition of Jackie post-incident (see Appendix D).

Mr. Jeffry decided to intervene for the safety and well-being of the baby, determining she was in immediate danger. He donned a set of off-the-shelf light armor and armed himself with a charge pistol, a M16 MK31 rifle, ammunition for both, three HE grenades, a Japanese katana and a TacWin tactical helmet of unknown model/make. He then released two small TacWin data drones, also of unknown model/make. He then activated his helmet (the telemetry available in Appendix E).

Mr. Jeffry proceeded to kick the front door of Dee’s house off its tracks. The cheap, but effective virtual fence installed at Dee’s residence called Country Safety. This and other telemetry from the virtual fence is in Appendix F.

Mr. Jeffry went up the stairs and found Dee and Flo-Jo in coitus in the master bedroom. It was at this point he told Flo-Jo and Dee he was here to save the baby and not to interfere.

Flo-Jo responded by jumping out of bed and reaching for a sidearm. Mr. Jeffry then split Flo-Jo in half with his katana.

Lengthwise.

Ignoring Dee’s screams, Mr. Jeffry went to the baby’s room. As shown on the high-resolution helmet video, the baby was covered in her own feces and urine, and showing the outwards signs of dehydration and malnourishment.

Mr. Jeffry then took Jackie to the kitchen in which he washed her off in the sink. The baby protested this, and started to mew, having no energy to scream or cry. Mr. Jeffry then fixed a baby-meal by pressing the activation button on an easily found baby formula bottle and stuffed the nipple in Jackie’s mouth. The baby then proceeded to feed in earnest.

It is at this time Dee came downstairs with Flo-Jo’s firearm. Mr. Jeffry informed Dee to say goodbye to the baby, as Dee would never see her again.

Dee was silent for several minutes and then whispered goodbye. She then put Flo-Jo’s firearm in her mouth and pulled the trigger.

Mr. Jeffry then went outside where a County Safety tactical vehicle stopped in front of the house. Both Mr. Jeffery and Dee were clients of Cowlitz County Safety (Appendix G). We can presume Mr. Jeffery knew of their impending arrival by the video feed of his drones, as he shifted the baby to the crock of his arm, sheathed his katana and moved his rifle to a sling-on-back position. The four Safety Officers immerging from their vehicle with pistols and carbines drawn demanded Mr. Jeffery put down the baby and raise his hands.

Mr. Jeffry extended his hand in a manner suggesting that he wished the Country Safety Officers to see that he was not pointing a weapon at them. Below is the totality of the conversation between Mr. Jeffry and the officers:

MR. JEFFRY: Stand down. Do not point weapons at me or the baby.

OFFICER LORRIE: Put the baby on the ground! Keep your hands where we can see them!

MR. JEFFRY: Stand down.

OFFICER LORRIE: Damn it Jeff, put the baby down!

MR. JEFFRY: Do not interfere.

There was a pause indicating the Safety Officers were having a sub-vocal conversation (data unavailable).

OFFICER LORRIE: I’m not going to tell you again to…

Mr. Jeffry did not put the baby down nor raise his hands. The TacWin drone #1 unleashed a full-spectrum, full-power burst of white noise which penetrated the Officers’ filter suite on their own tactical helmets. In the resultant confusion, Mr. Jeffry drew his charge pistol and shot, from the hip, each officer in the head. Twice.

(Note the baby still has an impressive grip on the bottle and is still feeding)

Mr. Jeffry did three things in quick order. He placed two of his HE grenades onto the tactical vehicle and put the bodies in the vehicle and closed the door. The SUV, sensing zero life signs from the occupants, reverted to auto programing and proceeded to drive away from the scene, the final destination which I will note below.

Mr. Jeffry next action was to retreat to his house and begin gathering “bug-out” supplies and his “bug-out” kit. He also placed an emergency call to PacWest Office of Constitution Enforcement, the transcript as follows:

DISPATCHER: PacWest OCE. Please note OCE per the Constitution does not mediate private arrangements between individuals and CEOs only involve themselves in matters directly pertaining to the Constitution per our charter. What is the nature of your emergency?

MR. JEFFRY: Mortal interference of Guardianship by a collective.

DISPATCHER: That is a very serious allegation Mr. Jeffry, but before I dispatch an Officer, are you in danger right now?

MR. JEFFRY: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Is your ward in mortal danger?

MR. JEFFRY: Yes.

DISPATCHER: I note your location as Ryderwood in Cowlitz County and that Cowlitz County Safety has gone under high alert. Is County Safety the collective that is interfering with your Guardianship?

MR. JEFFRY: Yes.

DISPATCHER: Only a few more questions and I thank you for your patience. These questions are important for you and your ward’s safety. Are you Mr. Jeffry, formally of 101st Airborne Division Orbital Insertion Battalion?

MR. JEFFRY: Yes.

DISPATCHER: I am dispatching Mr. Scott of PacWest OCE; his qualifications are on the data channel now. Is that adequate for the tactical situation you are now in?

MR. JEFFRY: More than, yes.

DISPATCHER: Excellent. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

MR. JEFFRY: No.

DISPATCHER: Thank you…

MR. JEFFRY: Actually, one thing. If you give a malnourished baby an auto-bottle and she drinks it all, do I give her another right way?

DISPATCHER: One moment. No. The baby should fall asleep shortly after the first bottle. If the baby was strong enough to drink the bottle in the first place, then she was hydrated enough not to warrant an IV. Feed her again after she wakes up and you change her. Is there anything else I can help you with?

MR. JEFFRY: No, thank you. You’ve been great.

DISPATCHER: Glad to hear it. Please be sure to fill out the satisfaction survey at the conclusion of PacWest OCE involvement in your case. I hope your day gets better. PacWest, OCE Dispatch, out.

MR. JEFFRY: Jeff, out.

During this exchange between Mr. Jeffry and PacWest OCE, Cowlitz County Safety launched two flights of tactical drones. Mr. Jeffry’s other drone (TacWin drone #2) proceed to target each county drone with a small EW data stream. The drones responded by attempting to take the TacWin drone offline through bursts from their auto-shotguns.

The TacWin drone responded by performing evasive maneuvers while using the same EW attack in a round-robin fashion on the county drones.

It should be noted that while the EW attack on the county drones were ineffective, the result was all twelve drones proceeded to chase TacWin drone #2 all over the wooded areas of Ryderwood.

Right as Mr. Jeffry finished putting the last of his supplies in his bug-out bag, he noted that Baby Jackie was indeed asleep. He carefully placed her in a duffle bag with but did not seal the bag. He then received a call from Cowlitz County Safety, Sheriff Kippler.

SHERIFF KIPPLER: Jeff! What the fuck? I’m reading zero vitals from four of my officers right after video telemetry of them pointing their guns at you and screaming at you to stand down, telemetry that cut out right after an EW burst!

MR. JEFFRY: Kip. Listen up. Jackie is now my ward. Do not interfere. I’m her Guardian. Do you understand? Her Guardian.

SHERIFF KIPPLER: Damn it Jeff! Their SUV is rolling up now. With fucking blood dripping out the fucking door. Have you gone war-frenzy? Huh? Is that it?

MR. JEFFRY: For the love of the Old God, Kip, stand the fuck down! I’ve called OCE and a CEO is on the way.

This is the point I tried to contact Sheriff Kippler via the Cowlitz County 911, Government channel, while travelling north on the I-5 Corp. Bridge in the emergency express lane at 200 kilometers per hour. The call was dispatched immediately to Sheriff Kippler, who did not answer.

Back to the conversation between Kippler and Jeffry:

SHERIFF KIPPLER: Fuck you! You shot them in the head! Their brains are gone YOU FUCK; we can’t regen them. And don’t fucking play the OCE card on me! They are nothing but a bunch of burned out vets who cover the asses of other burned out vets. They are calling me right now. Well fuck that. You’re done, Jeffry. You’ve got three safety departments…

MR. JEFFRY: Sorry, Kip.

Mr. Jeffry remotely detonated the two HE grenades still attached to the tactical vehicle. This took out Sheriff Kippler, the high-security emergency bay of the Cowlitz County Safety Trauma Hospital, two EMTs, the trauma doctor and three Country Safety Tactical Officers.

I then attempted to call Mr. Jeffry, who answered the call.

MR. JEFFRY: Mr. Scott.

CEO SCOTT: Mr. Jeffry. Are you still involved in a situation?

MR. JEFFRY: I am.

CEO SCOTT: Well, I have not one but three County Safety departments not answering my calls nor giving me any tactical feeds despite my request. How bad is it?

MR. JEFFRY: I’m in my armor.

CEO SCOTT: Okay. When I arrive at your location will you stand down?

MR. JEFFRY: Yes. But right now I am on the move.

CEO SCOTT: I will add you to the tactical feed to my SUV. Can you please hook up with me?

MR. JEFFRY: Affirmative.

CEO SCOTT: Can I ask you some questions? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but it would be helpful for me, but mostly you.

MR. JEFFRY: Go.

CEO: Have you been drinking today?

MR. JEFFRY: No.

CEO SCOTT: Are you taking any recreational or medicinal drugs that would impede your judgment?

MR. JEFFRY: No.

CEO SCOTT: How long have you been awake?

MR. JEFFRY: I have been up since oh-five-hundred.

CEO SCOTT: How much sleep did you get?

MR. JEFFRY: Eight hours.

CEO SCOTT: How old is your ward?

MR. JEFFRY: About six months.

CEO SCOTT: Jesus Old Christ on a Pogo Stick. Are you telling me a baby was in mortal danger by Guardian interference from a County Safety department?

MR. JEFFRY: Correct, Major.

CEO SCOTT: And you are a client of their services.

MR. JEFFRY: Correct.

CEO SCOTT: And did they know who you were?

MR. JEFFRY: I want to say yes, but it’s obvious now, no.

CEO SCOTT: Well, this sucks.

MR. JEFFRY: Aye, Major.

CEO SCOTT: Okay then. Please hold.

I then called the 911 channels of the Clark, Cowlitz and Multnomah County Safety Departments, both on their 911 tactical emergency channels and their Government channels.

CEO SCOTT: I have an active case with a Mr. Jeffry as the plaintiff. I require everyone to stand down while I investigate the claims to conclusion.

SHERIFF LARS: Scott, we’ve got a stack of dead…

CEO SCOTT: Lars, if you all do not stand down right now I will respond with lethal force.

SHERIFF LARS: Damn, it Scott!

I terminated all six channels. Fortunately, all three departments stood down and I met up with Mr. Jeffry and proceed with my inquiry. During the course of the investigation, Candice Wilson formally counter-petitioned OCE for custody of Baby Jackie.

In the matter of Candice Wilson and Cowlitz County Safety, I find for the plaintiff, Mr. Jeffry due to Constitutional violations now attributed as Mortal Guardian Interference.

The Constitution articles on Guardianship are clear and succinct on the matter of Guardianship. Once Mr. Jeffry determined Baby Jackie was in mortal danger by her very own Guardian, Dee Wilson, he was allowed to become a primary actor on behalf of the baby. If a person becomes the primary actor on behalf a person who cannot make decisions herself, he or she goes from a primary actor to the Guardian of that person (Child). Once that occurs there are three considerations (the person requiring a Guardian for this explanation is henceforth referred to as a Child for clarity):

Consideration One: If the primary actor becomes the Guardian because the prior Guardian is incapacitated or absent, he must relinquish Guardianship to the prior Guardian or prior Guardian’s designators once the Child is no longer in danger. An immediate family relation is a de facto Guardian designation, which is the primary mechanism in which an immediate family member becomes the Guardian of a Child when the Child’s primary Guardian is unable to perform his or hers Guardian duties.

Consideration Two: If the primary actor determines that the Guardian herself is placing the Child in Clear and Imminent Danger, the actor can assume Guardianship of the Child until such a time as the primary actor contacts Office of Constitution Enforcement and files a claim of Constitutional Violation on behalf of the Child, usually the Whole of Body clauses. If OCE determines that the Guardianship transfer did not have Constitution backing (such Clear and Imminent Danger was absent, even if the perception of danger would led a person to conclude otherwise), then the Child is removed from the primary actor’s custody and place back into the custody of the prior Guardian or prior Guardian’s designees. At that time the Guardian(s) can hire an Investor for the crime of kidnaping or any another crime committed during the improper removal of Guardianship.

However, if OCE finds that the primary actor was correct in removing the prior Guardian, the primary actor is now the Child’s Guardian with no restriction as the Constitution does not have clauses placing restrictions on Guardianship except for the considerations I am articulating now (see Section 1: Guardianship, Clauses 8 through 13).

Consideration Three: While esoteric today, it is important to note War Authorization Clauses can usurp Section 1 (Guardianship) of the Constitution.

Based on the evidence presented by both the Plaintiff and the Defendants, Mr. Jeffry is the Guardian of Baby Jackie and thus all claims of Constitutional Violations on Mr. Jeffry and claims filed with an Investigator for the crimes of Homicide and Kidnapping are void.

The first question I asked when determining a Judgment was, when did Mr. Jeffry become a primary actor towards Baby Jackie?

Mr. Jeffry became a primary actor when he contacted the Guardian designators with his concerns that Baby Jackie was in danger from her own Guardian:

Unfortunately for little Jackie, Dee took up the life of drugs again. Mr. Jeffry, living next door, sought to alleviate Jackie’s precarious situation by petitioning her grandparents and aunt to pay Dee a one-time payment in exchange for them raising the baby or putting it up for adoption. The Wilsons declined (see Appendix C).

Once I established a primary actor, and that the primary actor was Mr. Jeffry, I then posed the question: did Mr. Jeffry try to resolve this situation before resorting to (lethal) force against the current Guardian?

I concluded yes:

It was at this point Mr. Jeffry offered a lump sum, and his house, for becoming the Guardian of Baby Jackie, now six months old.

Having tried to resolve the situation for the Child on behalf of the current Guardians, did Mr. Jeffry, as the primary actor, have the implicit duty to then become Baby Jackie’s Guardian?

I concluded yes:

Mr. Jeffry decided to monitor Baby Jackie’s situation by taking time off work and paying close attention to Dee’s house. It was during this time he concluded that nobody was feeding Jackie and she had been crying off-and-on for three days, with the cries “becoming ominously weaker and infrequent.” His observation was collaborated by the certified medical condition of Jackie post-incident (see Appendix D).

Mr. Jeffry decided to intervene for the safety and well-being of the baby, determining she was in immediate danger.

That Mr. Jeffry did not contact County Safety with his immediate concern has no bearing in light of the absent of monitoring from Cowlitz County Safety after the altercation between Mr. Jeffry and Flo-Jo, where Mr. Jeffry expressed concern to the County Safety officers that Baby Jackie’s life was in danger.

Why County Safety did not set up active or passive monitoring is unknown and the officers involved, including Sheriff Kippler, perished in the resultant altercation whereupon Mr. Jeffry became Baby Jackie’s Guardian. I was told directly by Candice Wilson (see Appendix H) that Cowlitz County Safety contacted her parents and discussed the situation at length.

However, such factoids are only relevant in understanding what occurred from low-level observations and has no bearing on the if Mr. Jeffry was in violation of the Constitution for Guardian usurp , but they do have bearing if County Safety was in violation of the Constitution when interfering with Mr. Jeffry as the Guardian of Baby Jackie:

DISPATCHER: …What is the nature of your emergency?

MR. JEFFRY: Mortal interference of Guardianship by a collective.

Concerning the counter-claim of Designated Guardianship Petition from Candice Wilson, I find in favor of the Plaintiff, Mr. Jeffry. Candice Wilson ceased to become a Designated Guardian once she refused to become the primary actor for Baby Jackie when Mr. Jeffry expressed his concerns about the Child in a good faith effort to resolve the situation. I have confiscated 5,000 Nuevo Credits form Candice Wilson, 4,000 of which I awarded to Mr. Jeffry and 1,000 to PacWest OCE as per our Constitutional Charter.

Cornering Mr. Jeffry’s claim against Cowlitz County Safety, once Mr. Jeffry decided to save Baby Jackie he was her Guardian. All the actions from that point are filtered under Section 1 of the Constitution (Guardianship). It is unfortunate that so many Country Safety Officers perished in the altercation, but a Guardian can respond to mortal interference of Guardianship by a collective with lethal force.

I have fined Cowlitz County Safety Department 3,000,000 Nuevo Credits. The department did not have the cash on hand and their insurance company refused to pay out. I have therefore confiscated cash from the various holding banks they had, and then confiscated the rest of the cash from individual officers’ personal accounts if the officer was an active commissioned employee of Cowlitz County Safety at the time of this Judgment. 100,000 of those credits was transferred to PacWest OCE as per our Constitutional Charter.

This is my Judgment rendered without Question with one Consideration:

OFFICER SCOTT: Guys, it would be great if one of you posed a Question on the Jeffry Case.

OFFICER JUSTIN: Scott, this may be the first time a CEO has actually asked for a Question. Ever. Dude.

OFFICER HANA: I am so not touching this one.

OFFICER SCOTT: Come on guys, a Question will save me a mound of paperwork on the backend. I’ll buy you a beer.

OFFICER GINA: I’ll pose a Question…

OFFICER SCOTT: Really?

OFFICER GINA: …if we weren’t in the middle of a divorce.

OFFICER SCOTT: Ouch.

OFFICER JUSTIN: Ouch.

OFFICER HANA: Burn!

OFFICER SCOTT: You are all not nice people.

Case Addendum 1: Investigator Evelyn of Daniel and Evelyn Investigations, Portland, Oregon

You know I had this huge flame addition in which I ripped everyone who interjected me into this cluster fuck a new one. I went off on how fucking stupid you have to be to interfere with a FUCKING ORBITAL TROOPER who is one of the few members left of the 101st Airborne not because of luck but because he is a fucking BAD-ASS of monumental proportions to the point where the GUARDIAN OF THE FUCKING EMPRESS awarded him a FUCKING IMPERIAL KATANA OVER FIVE HUNDRED YEARS OLD for reasons NOBODY KNOWS but if you put two and two together one can surmise he was instrumental in SAVING THE PRE-NATAL EMPRESSES LIFE. So when a bunch of ASSHOLES get whacked when he is trying to save the life of ANOTHER BABY, people wonder why there is a pile of dead bodies, while I am sitting here wondering WHY THE BODY COUNT IS NOT IN THE HUNDREDS. I guess Mr. Jeffry had an off day.

However, Danny is encouraging me to make a good faith effort. Fine.

Lou and Tawny Wilson attempted to hire me for to Investigate the death of their daughter Dee Wilson as a homicide and OCE abuse of office, specifically the Constitutional Enforcement Officer Mr. Scott. No sooner than the request hit my office comp, I received the same type of homicide/OCE abuse Investigation from the Clark, Cowlitz and Multnomah County Safety Departments.

As Investigators have authority over CEOs when the latter commit crimes or Constitutional violations of their own, I spent due diligence in a pre-Investigation of this case(s) for a grand total of ten minutes. I then sent an official reply to the potential clients:

Fuck off.

Shortly thereafter I received a call from Charles [REDACTED] Olsen, the [REDACTED] Space Marshal. He asked me, nicely, if I would please Investigate if OCE was indeed violating their charter as outlined in the Constitution.

I actually considered telling Charles to also fuck off. However, Charles is sitting up there in Space Station Matachi doing who knows what when the man should be retired, so I decided to cut him some slack. That he was a phenomenal lay as a CO had nothing to do with it, indeed I hold that against him.

After I stopped crying from being used by Charles (again), I opened an official inquiry against PacWest OCE and Officer Scott. Then I took a shower because I felt as dirty as a woman could feel.

In any official inquiry against OCE, and Investigator asks these questions in no particular order:

Does the Investigator have valid jurisdiction over OCE at this time?

Did the CEO commit a crime?

Did the CEO abuse the powers of his office?

These are valid questions. But let me ask another question on the request to Investigate multiple homicides committed by Baby Jackie’s Guardian, Mr. Jeffry. Did Mr. Jeffry commit unjustifiable homicide? To me this is a valid question, as I am an Investigator and I am empowered by the Constitution to Investigate crimes on behalf of a client. It’s an academic question (wait for it), but since I was asked (nicely) to answer it, answer I shall.

My answer is no. Each homicide in this case was justifiable.

Let’s start with “Flo-Jo.” Well, let’s not. Fuck Flo-Jo. Let’s start with Dee. Dee killed herself on video that has an intact non-tamper encryption key. This is a slam dunk. Mr. Jeffry didn’t even encourage Dee to off herself, every single word recorded to Dee Wilson was said with compassion and honor. They were absolute words, but honorable words.

We then come to the altercation, the Guardian of Baby Jackie was clear in his declaration:

MR. JEFFRY: Stand down. Do not point weapons at me or the baby.

OFFICER LORRIE: Put the baby on the ground! Keep your hands where we can see them!

MR. JEFFRY: Stand down.

OFFICER LORRIE: Damn it Jeff, put the baby down!

MR. JEFFRY: Do not interfere.

Mr. Jeffry had no obligation to say anything even as a client to Cowlitz County Safety. He was acting under Section 1: Guardianship of the Constitution. Unfortunately, this is where things went bad:

OFFICER LORRIE: I’m not going to tell you again to…

Whoops. Hold on there, girly. Did you get that? I’m not going to tell you again. Congratulations County Safety Officer Lorrie, you are singularly responsible for this entire trail of destruction that could have stopped with “Flo-Jo.” You killed all those people for “Flo-Jo” and the Baby Abuser, Dee. Let me put that in perspective:

You put “Flo-Jo” a known drug dealer and addict and Dee, A KNOWN ADDICT AND CHILD ABUSER WHOM KILLED HERSELF above Mr. Jeffry A FUCKING ORBITAL DROP TROOPER who was in process of SAVING A BABY’S LIFE.

But that is a digression. At this point Mr. Jeffry surmised the Safety Officers intent to interfere with the Guardianship of his baby and that interference was now classified as mortal interference. Buh-Bye, Lorrie.

Note that was a charge pistol Mr. Jeffry used. A charge pistol. You know what a charge pistol is? It’s the precursor to my needler. Yes, the second deadliest sidearm on the planet.

Anyway, our trail of destruction now heads to Sheriff “I Am Suspected of Taking Blood Money From the Wilsons” Kippler. In the request packet sent to me about this case from the Safety offices, it was suggested this was pre-meditated murder because Mr. Jeffry put the HE grenades on the SUV out of sight.

That Mr. Jeffry committed homicide is not in question. Did he commit murder?

I concluded no. Hey look at that I am staring to sound like Mr. Scott.

Anyway, Mr. Jeffry was involved in a tactical, running battle. He had (correctly) surmised that County Safety may be acting against the Constitution in ways that would usurp his Guardianship even if he brought in OCE to try to mitigate the altercation (carnage). Behold, Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Jeffry in all his tactical glory:

DISPATCHER: PacWest OCE… What is the nature of your emergency?

MR. JEFFRY: Mortal interference of Guardianship by a collective.

Followed by:

SHERIFF KIPPLER: Damn it Jeff! Their SUV is rolling up now. With fucking blood dripping out the fucking door. Have you gone war frenzy? Huh? Is that it?

MR. JEFFRY: For the love of the Old God, Kip, stand the fuck down! I’ve called OCE and a CEO is on the way.

Uh-huh, uh-huh, wakka wakka doo. Mr. Jeffry did make the tactical assumption that as a group, Cowlitz Country Safety was going to crawl up his ass. For saving a baby. But it gets better!

SHERIFF KIPPLER: Fuck you! You shot them in the head! Their brains are gone YOU FUCK; we can’t regen them. And don’t fucking play the OCE card on me! They are nothing but a bunch of burned out vets who cover the asses of other burned out vets. They are calling me right now. Well fuck that. You’re done, Jeffry. You’ve got three safety departments…

MR. JEFFRY: Sorry, Kip.

That wasn’t murder that was self-defense. And the defense of a Baby. You know, what a Guardian is EMPOWERED BY THE CONSTITUTION to do.

Just so everyone doesn’t think I am heartless bitch (okay maybe I am), I am sorry too. The doctor and the two EMTs got blown up and they weren’t a threat. But again:

DISPATCHER: PacWest OCE… What is the nature of your emergency?

MR. JEFFRY: Mortal interference of Guardianship by a collective.

The doctor and EMTs were in the wrong place at the wrong time and their families, or contractual estate managers, could file a negligent homicide Investigation request against Mr. Jeffry (the three tactical officers were in the County tactical channel at the time and thus associated with Sheriff Kippler’s actions).

They could file, that is, if they were not a part of the collective that was in a running battle with a Guardian trying to save the life of his baby.

So there you have it. Justifiable homicide end-to-end.

Which is all moot. Let’s go back to my three questions and answer them in no particular order:

Did the CEO commit a crime?

Well that is a no-brainer. No. Mr. Scott. Commit a crime. As if.

Does the Investigator have valid jurisdiction over OCE at this time?

An odd question, no? Investigators have jurisdiction over OCE. OCE has jurisdiction over the Military. The Military has jurisdiction over Investigators. So why bother asking this question?

This question is far from academic and resides in the heart of the War Authorization Clauses of the Constitution. There are WAC Protocols empowered by these WAC Clauses that can remove my jurisdiction. For example, OCE suspects one of the participants in an active case is a Unionist.

Ick. Thank you all you fuck-heads for making me think things like that.

Then we come to the last question an Investigator (that would be me and I may or may not be drinking at this point) would ask:

Did the CEO abuse the powers of his office?

My answer is no (damn it I did it again). Mr. Scott acted with all his bloodless, professional glory (how he mages to still be attractive I have no idea) with neither malice nor abuse. Indeed, he acted with distinction and honor. The monies collected were straight from a published OCE Schedule of Judgments (see Appendix Whatever you can do your own fucking net search). At no time did Mr. Scott do anything for personal gain or personal bias in favor of either the Plaintiff or Defendant.

But I get it. I GET IT OKAY. I get that if Mr. Scott made a mistake in his Judgment then all these dead bodies are indeed unjustifiable homicide or even murder and thus we have ourselves a situation.

So pay attention here folks. I am going use small words. Brief and to the point:

Only a CEO can rule on Constitution violations.

Did you get that? I even centered it, bolded it (is bolded a word?) and put it in emphasis. A CEOs authority in interpreting the Constitution is absolute. Only OCE can question another CEO and they take that super-duper seriously, like they give Question the magical upper-case Q (why do we capitalize everything Anyway It Makes No Sense).

Soooooooooooo:

This is my Judgment rendered without Question…

Zing!

But still, I’ll go there for you. Because I’m drunk.

I looked up how to become a CEO. All you need to do is get obtain a Level One cert in Constitutional Study from any Tier One Accreditation service. As anybody who has gotten a cert in CS can tell you, that’s like, well, fucking difficult. I have cert Four and I was damn proud of that. Level One CS is so mind-numbingly boring and filled with cross-studies such as Tactical Applications in Mob Incidents, that there is a current 100% hire rate for anyone obtaining this certificate. And it’s all public.

But wait! There’s more! What cert does Mr. Scott have? 1.1? 1.5 like Officer Gina?

Nope. Mr. Scott has a Level Zero Constitutional Studies Certificate.

What the fuck is Level Zero I thought to myself. So I looked it up. It took some digging. It’s not obscured but it isn’t optimized for a search, either.

Level Zero is a classification given to the people who helped write the Constitution.

That’s right. You assholes asked me to Investigate a CEO WHO WROTE PART OF THE CONSTITUTION for Constitutional interpretation. HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT YOU FUCK-TARDS. And I bet Charles knew. He knew. He just wanted it all out there. Social stability or something like that. Well fuck you Charles. AGAIN. I’VE ALREADY FUCKING FORGAVE YOU, OKAY?

I’m back. I had a fight with Dan. He ran off and I think he’s fucking his therapist. Awesome. But I don’t care. Because I took snorf. Yup. Snorf. Snof-Out with Your Tits Out! Just like Dee. Woooooo!

So I’m going to go somewhere else. Fuck the Constitution. Did you catch that? FUCK THE CONSTITUTION. The real question on the table is a matter of morality and how our broken society tried to un-break itself. Are you ready for this? Are you? Here we go.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the Government has a monopoly in force. Not a single place. Indeed, in the WAC section of the Constitution is pretty clear that each person who Declared and swore the Declaration Oath has an obligation to dismantle our society if the current society is engaged in Prohibited Acts or using Forbidden Technology. The use of force by a non-Government person is explicit in that regard and thus is a clear precedent, even. And don’t even get me started that County Safety departments are not in the Constitution either. No one single word about. They are private corporations. A collective.

So for you tiny brain peoples I’ll say it one more time:

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the Government has a monopoly in force.

One last thing. In the war I used women like Dee as bait for Unionist cyborg rape bots. I would drag them to suspected Unionist activity locations, wait for the cyborg, and track it and their screaming victim to a crèche. I would then cap all their evil asses, but I would wait until the cyborg was finished. They were programed to receive pleasure in the act of inserting their extraction tubes in a woman to set up the egg extraction. They took their time. They made these little grunting noises and some of them liked to lick. Some of them were quite talented. Their victims sometimes, you know, responded.

The moral of that story? Don’t mess with babies.

To the Wilsons: no amount of deflection can change the fact you are the worst parents and dishonorable people and I would not piss on if you were on fire.

Everyone can go to hell.

Case Addendum 2: Mr. Scott, PacWest OCE

Lou Wilson has killed himself after killing Tawny Wilson.

Case Addendum 3: Officer Peter, PacWest OCE

I have sold all of our drones on the open market and replaced them with TacWin models. Not as effective as Investigator drones, but clearly a superior product compared to the current competition. I’ve put them through an evaluation and they meet all use cases and then some. Highly Recommended for all OC Enforcements.

Case Addendum 4: Mr. Scott, PacWest OCE

Candice Wilson committed suicide.

Case Addendum 5: Mr. Jeffry, Unknown location

Please rate your satisfaction with your interaction with PacWest OCE on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the least satisfied and 5 being the most satisfied:

5

Please rate the competence of your case CEO on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being least competent and 5 being the most competent:

5

Please rate your satisfaction with your interaction with PacWest OCE Dispatch on a scale of 1 to 5, with one being the least satisfied and 5 being the most satisfied:

5

Thank you for rating PacWest OCE, your answers are helpful. If we have any questions on your ratings, may we contact you?

 No.

Please let us know of any comments or suggestions:

Thank you for your help Mr. Scott and Dispatch you were both very helpful.

I had my doubts about the seemingly ridiculous Government we setup after the war but I am a firm believer now. Take care.

Best Regards,
Jeffry and Jackie

Little Girl Gone

(from Landmark OCE Judgments of Mr. Scott, Tokyo University Press, 29)

Incoming (whistle, BOOM)

July 12, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, Not Exactly Random, Setting, The Craft  0 Comments

While it may be a bit silly to write a blog post on a blog post, I feel some explanation is in order for the incoming short story.

I have a world-building notebook that sometimes I type in when I’m stuck with a concept, plot detail, characterization, or thematic. Sometimes I realize I need to ramble a bit on-topic but off the rails in order to solidify my thoughts.

Blog wise, I’ve had this ongoing series about cases Mr. Scott, a character in the Lexus Toulouse Mysteries, solved when he was a Constitutional Enforcement Officer. I do it mainly to explore libertarian concepts in the future.

The next blog post is one of those “case files.” As such the whole is intentionally all tell and no show. But, strangely enough, there is a lot of showing by this telling. It’s long, but as I work towards finishing book two, I thought a few readers might be interested in my thought processes around the world Lexus and Mr. Scott live in, and receive some entertainment at the same time.

The story is over 6,200 words and has mature, provocative themes.

By Your True Name I Bind Thee

May 22, 2012 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, The Craft  0 Comments

Troy was supposed to be rebound guy, mainly because his name was “Troy.”

Karen found herself, however, thinking about him in that school girl way she knew was a one way ticket to Head Over Heels, Population Crazy Woman.

Troy fought dirty. Her daughter adored him, absolutely and completely. This played right into her insecurities of not having a man around the house. When she booted her worthless husband out, she didn’t expect him to abandon his own child, but he did. Troy however, though her daughter was more fun than all of his hobbies combined. Troy did not watch TV, instead, he played Barbie sparkle pony.

Troy’s negatives was his intensity. He was either all in or all out. His idea of relaxation consisted of biking down trails better left to mountain goats and climbing rocks with some “safety” line that didn’t look safe for an anorexic ballerina, much less his man-frame. Troy was an alpha but he had long hair, which for some reason bugged her to no end. Troy thought her friends’ politics were stupid and said so right to their faces. Troy could not cook. Troy’s tolerance for pretentious crap was zero.

In bed, Troy thought nothing of releasing his inner caveman. Grabbing a fist full of her hair was natural to him as kissing. He wasn’t content to be inside of her, her always pulled her as close to him as possible, as if he wanted to fuse their bodies by pressure and strokes.

Her brain usually shut off and she had trouble turning it back on afterwards. She loved every minute of it.

What really got her going, Karen realized one day, was that he never called her a pet name. Never once did he call her Baby, Honey, Sweetheart, or any other endearment. She asked him about it.

“I love to hear my name roll off your lips in a moment of passion,” he said, “so I assumed you like the same.”

Troy loved to kiss her neck. He was simultaneously teasing and demanding when he did so.

One day, after a five-hour marathon of sex and napping, she told him to stop screwing around and move in.

He told her to get dressed. When they did so, and went outside, his truck was already there, packed with his stuff.

The Unfinished Song: Initiate by Tara Maya

January 05, 2012 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Atmosphere, Awesomesauce, Characterization, Plot, Setting, The Craft  0 Comments

For anyone new to Rehabilitated Hack Writer Recommends, I target my book reviews towards novelists (you can find my prior reviews here). I also need to point out that this is a review of the first book of a series, not the series itself.

Before we dive headfirst into the fantasy pool of epic goodness that is Tara Mara’s The Unfinished Song: Initiate, we need to take a step back and formally define what epic fantasy is in the novel landscape of 2012. The classic definition of epic or high fantasy is it’s a sub-genre of fantasy set in invented worlds.

I hate that definition.

To me, epic fantasy needs to be, well, epic. Epic. This is fun, but not epic, fantasy:

A mysterious, sexy pale-skinned sword dancer hires an infamous mercenary to find her kidnapped brother. The mercenary learns there is more to women than bedding them, while the sister learns that if she lets her quest define her life, she becomes defeated before the rescue of her brother ever begins.

Bonus points if you can guess that book, by the way.

Now this, this is epic:

The good peoples, it seemed, never defeated the evil that threatened to consume them all, only delayed the final battle. The dark and vile lord who threaten freedom everywhere wrapped his essence into a ring, and now a band of unlikely heroes must cast the ring into the fiery pit of its creation or see it reunited with its maker. Setting out on their quest with the best intentions, the task soon falls to the smallest and unlikeliest hero while the armies of evil marshal to crush everything in its path. If the hero doesn’t destroy the ring and thus the dark lord in time, there won’t be anything left to save.

Epic fantasy is ambitious. Epic fantasy is grandiose. Epic fantasy is bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s heroic, it’s classic, it’s is all-encompassing and all-consuming fantasy. There are stakes. The stakes are high. You could say that the stakes are (wait for it!) epic.

And Mara’s Unfinished Song: Initiate is an introduction into 21st century epic fantasy. Here’s the teaser:

Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

Now I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, wow, that sounds cool, but um, that doesn’t sound too epic to me.

Oh, my friends, pour a cup of hot tea and wait for it. Don’t let the girly frou-frou cover and character-driven teaser fool you. Behind the rich, detailed world-building lies the heartbeat of an epic fantasy tale that rises above the bounds of mythology and into a coming-of-age novel that will leave the reader yearning for more. Maya clearly dips her plot and characters in several different mythologies, yet the book has a distinctive voice that tugs at your heartstrings.

Let’s deconstruct the goodness going on here.

World-Building

Maya’s world building kicks ass. It’s unique, it’s ambitious, and it has an undercurrent of femininity that, without the advent of the interweb tubes, the story Maya is trying to tell never would have seen the light of day. It’s so different it is, and I say this with no exaggeration, a high fantasy literary bomb of mass destruction. It is not so much a filled with troupes and familiar themes as it becomes a classic example of the very idea of world-building.

How does she accomplish this? Maya’s neolithic setting latches on the magical undercurrents of the world she envisioned and never lets them go.

For example, stone-aged peoples in the real world were concerned primarily with survival. Gender roles and relations follow a path necessary for the continuation of the individual and the group.  There is a reason when an attractive woman smiles at a man she unconscionably puts her hair behind an ear, why rejection impacts men and women differently and why we are creatures of instinct despite our technological advancements.

Yet, toss magic into the fray. Magic, like technology, lends itself to the removal of the disparity of force. Maya takes this one step where few tread: it’s not necessarily what you can wield, but more what you know. Dindi’s quest isn’t so much a classic grab-onto-the-power but an unlocking of a mystery.

That moves us back to the impact of the type of magic Maya puts forth. Women, in her tribal society, have distinct roles but they are far from simple property. Women need to bear children so the society she has shaped takes that into account, but it’s not as if the magic is something that sits around in a feudal or even Victorian society as if it’s a character by itself rather than infused into the setting. It has a distinct feminine vibe without the politically correct bullshit.

This is evident from the ground up. It’s in the way characters talk. You might think ancient peoples would also have a primitive language and culture. But neolithic-era people with magic? Maya nails this. It’s in the way they dress, how they pick their mates, how they relate to other tribes, how they view politics, honor and duty. In a world where magic comes forth from a dance, where pixies, talking bears, and fae abound–Maya uses this magic as the glue to everything: setting, plot and characterization. It is the basis of her world-building and because of the creative and talented way she does it, Initiate comes off as highly original, unique and engrossing.

I’m not exaggerating here. World-building. How To. Tara Maya. Initiate. Read it.

Characterization

My number one surprise with this book is that this book has guy stuffs in it. I could talk at length how fascinating Dindi is, how she comes across as both vulnerable yet puts aside her fears to do what must be done. How she seems like she is fourteen going on eighteen one moment, and fourteen going on twelve the next. Maya pens her as tenacious and doesn’t shy away from giving her a sexuality. Dindi’s great.

My little fantasy heart, however, belongs to Kavio.

Because Kavio kicks ass.

Kavio, actually, is a tragic figure. Maya gives him nobility and youthful idealism as his moral fiber, and tosses him into situations of conflict where it becomes apparent that Kavio greatest enemy is himself. Kavio is a good guy, but he’s also a weapon of mass destruction. He follows the rules when obviously he could, quite simply, make up the rules himself with his magic. He’s like a Jedi Knight being given a ticket by a traffic cop. Press hard, Kavio, you’re making five copies. The cop has a gun and feels superior, but Kavio could turn him inside out, burn his cruiser, go to the station, and have it swallowed whole by a rent in the earth while blood pixies rip out everyone’s eyeballs through their noses making the police station scene in The Terminator look like a scene from a Jane Austin novel.

Instead, he signs.

Did I mention he’s a bad-ass?

As a writer, Kavio fascinates me mightily. I’m beginning to wonder if someone handed Maya an honorary penis because she hones in on the masculine feel of Kavio with laser-like focus. She nails what I call the Tragic Masculine Paradox: when confronted with an attractive young woman coming-of-age, the man of honor is torn with feelings of protectiveness as a father figure yet desires as a lover. You see this in fiction all the time. Rarely do you see it done with such empathy and understatement. Many writers go overboard with this, giving this a tragic (and pervy) element. Maya, however, simply presents it as-is. Kavio has bigger problems than his youthful naïveté.

Dindi’s feminine, innocent beauty, simply highlights Kavio’s main attraction: Dindi is magically powerful. Without going into the rest of the series, he’s slowly falling in love, and love, my friends, is messy. Dindi is more than a girl and then more than a young woman. She’s the catalyst to…

But I digress. Dindi isn’t the only character in a come-of-age journey in Initiate.

Plot

Which leads us to the clever, delicious plotting, and how we come full circle back to our discussion about epic fantasy.

A prevalent, and welcomed trend in speculative fiction is the come-of-age journey set in a fantastic (be it wonderful or dystopian) setting. I am a huge sucker for these types of stories, and in Initiate, Maya plots a literal come-of-age journey as Dindi goes out to become a woman, ready or not (and no, she wasn’t ready).

But epic fantasy has stakes. Big stakes. End-of-the-world (or worse!) type stakes, but unlike much of what is out there today, this book is surprisingly not a coming-of-age novel with an epic plot line to give the character’s punch and excuses to reveal their literary humanity. No, this is a book that provides the foundation for the true story: the battle with the malevolent forces out to crush humanity. It’s not exactly Clan of the Cave Bear meets The Lord of the Rings, but you get the idea.

Dindi is on a personal journey and she yearns to become a magical dancer in the society she was born in. However, if, as a reader, you’re paying attention, you can spot the epic plot that Maya is serving up like drops of water to the thirsty.

And this is where we depart the shackles of traditional publishing. Maya fearlessly has plotted out a twelve book series and each book is building  on that plot in a relentless, epic fashion. Let me be very clear, I am not a big fan of many-book fantasy series. Many of them have problems with continuity, editing, and, quite frankly, sometimes as a reader, I feel I’ve been ripped off around book four because I’m being milked rather than being cleverly entertained.

eBooks, and today’s book market, however, has expanded the types of books we can find and buy, and Maya’s greatest accomplishment as a writer is taking  full advantage of medium. The twelve book format, based on her world-building, is not only daring but also a little slice of epic fantasy goodness, and her skill at characterization draws the reader right into her world.

It’s epic fantasy by our very definition, and it’s yummy. Give me those twelve books. I’ll gladly ready every one of them. If you love a good fantasy series fix, Maya’s your drug dealer, Baby.

More Please

You can tell I’m a fan. Initiate is a wonderful, rich and diverse book and the series thus far is a fantasy reader’s fantasy series. I do have quibbles with it, but they are nits in the larger picture. I’m not a fan of the cover art. I disagree with some of the editorial decisions made and feel Maya’s talent could easily support books of larger word counts, smoothing some of the abruptness of the plot presentation.

Yet these are mere nits because from a storytelling standpoint, it just doesn’t work, it’s a slice of Awesome Toast with Bacon. I tell my non-writer, but reader friends, the Era of the Reader is upon us. Novels like Initiate proves that assertion. If you are a writer, take a step back from all the meta that goes on with writing, look at the bigger picture, and read Initiate. You’ll realize the sum of the book is bigger than its parts, and, at its heart, epic fantasy many readers want to buy, but haven’t really been able to do so.

I give Initiate four bacon strips out of five. And while this is a singular book recommendation, I’ll just drop a teaser that as good as it is, the other books in the series get better.

Predator of Predators

August 01, 2010 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Setting, STUFF BLOWING UP IN SPACE, The Craft  0 Comments

From my world-building notebook for Stuff Blowing Up in Space.

We read in science fiction stories all the time about the “adaptability of humans” or some other superior concept such as individualism, the triumph of the individual over the collective might of the pesky aliens (or even groups of humans).

What makes the Predator movies so fascinating is humans consider themselves predators, and the movies flip that on its end. Especially the first movie.

Humans are not predators of predators from a pure evolutionary standpoint. Humans need other humans to survive. They are socially adaptive.

The sish, the dominate species in the galaxy for Stuff Blowing Up in Space, form complex social groups to assert dominance to avoid food competition, not because they need to get together and fertilize eggs. They are loners and individuals much more so than humans are. They come with a slew of natural weaponry. What they cannot overpower they seduce with biological seduction weapons. What they cannot biologically seduce they can out think. Evolution can take many paths, the path for fight leads to brains that process information quickly. It’s not just a basic response, either. To a sish, exploration and advancement ties directly to food, and food is sex. Stepping foot on a new planet isn’t just fun, it’s foreplay.

Thus the adaptive, individual race is not humans. It’s sish. On the same evolutionary scale, they achieved FTL faster than others, they found more habitual planets and they are very effective diplomats, seeing war and conflict as the elimination of the food supply.

The human advantage over sish is a cultural one, one that leads to greater technological progress.

That’s a different entry, however.

Below are two sish, talking amongst themselves.  They are also vying for dominance and possible sex-play. Not to toot my horn too obnoxiously, but while this banter moves the plot forward, setting the stage for some juicy conflict, it’s also jam-packed with world-building without obnoxiously beating the reader over the head with it, as I have done with the text above.

If anybody who knew anything about military space vessels were paying attention, they would have immediately known something was odd about Task Group Inaeo’s two cruisers and their orbital positions.

Nobody was paying attention, because the last of Task Group Aoe’s space assets had crossed the FTL safety line and disappeared. If someone had been looking, they would have noticed the two cruisers covered a wide swath of the planet, rather than a wide swath of the space before the planet.

The two captains were in their respective private cabins, they had just finished watching what video there was of the human in train car.

Such video was ironic. They only had it because one of the sish in the car had an expensive recorder from the Terran sector, and it was EMP shielded. Who would have thought of such a thing?

“Quite an extraordinary play of events, don’t you think?” said the first captain.

“Indeed. A violent fellow, and the glimpse of the huntress was remarkable,” said the second. “A powerful, powerful telekinetic.”

“The Princess gets kidnapped, now this. Fleet has stepped in it for sure.”

“I am not so sure, Sister. He did say he was a contractor. Witnesses said he was an ‘Ambassador.’ Such people could be contractors, hired by Fleet at whim. Fleet is the only governance for the United Planets of Terra; they tend to hire civilians to deal with other civilians.”

The other sish captain nodded. “In any event, how convenient, do you think, that all of Aoe’s space assets are currently absent from the system.”

“A shame, really.”

“Scandalous, even.”

“Too bad we are forbidden from initiating any contact of the more, ah, free-enterprise elements that grace the pretty planet below us.”

Both cruiser captains were knee-deep  in the last system conversion to the human’s hyper-capitalism, becoming quite wealthy in the process.

Both hated, to their core, the matriarchal system of governance, an anachronism they could appreciate but recognized as one of the biggest disadvantages of dealing with the over-productive humans.

They had seen the endless human fleets. The Navy knew what was going on, even if the system governments did not.

“Yes, our orders were quite clear. Here we sit, unable to open communications.”

“Yes, orders are orders; one could even say they or superiors designed them for the maximum amount of ass-coverage. In case something goes wrong.”

“Funny how we two are the types to always think of what the right thing is to do despite the consequences.”

“Indeed. Very Fleet-like of us, don’t you think?”

“Indeed. What is that Terran saying? Keep your friends close, your enemies closer?

“I always liked, speak softly and carry a big gun.

Each suppressed a giggle and sighed.

“La la la, la la la,” said the first captain.

“Dee dee dee, dee dee dee,” said the second captain.

The first captain took out a hairbrush and started in on her ever-hated helmet hair.

The second captain started painting her nails a nice shade of green.

Bleep bleep, went the comm chime in one cabin.

Bleep bleep, went the comm in the second.

Both sish smiled, fangs already extended.

Dex, 2

April 26, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

I did a bit of exposition into Dex and the people around him, continuing to world-build in the YOUR LITTLE SISTER universe.

If you have been follwoing along, this is pure world-building Anthony: Hack Writer style. It’s not a short, but it is connected to the previous Dex world-building post. If I was going to stuff this into a book, it would be half as long. Or even shorter. Right now, I have no real plot concerning Dex, although I am thinking Major Hackett will make an important appearance, not here, but later.

I love typing away without structure when world-building, seeing where the setting will take me. Here, I am expanding on the history of the YOUR LITTLE SISTER universe. The novel(s) are set eighteen years from these world-building “notes”.

***

Dex wanted boring back.

Hackett led him to a waiting room at the apex of the space station. She patted his hand, winked at him, and left without a word.

The door slid open and a young woman walked into the room. She was extraordinarily attractive, but her face was a story of fear and worry. She was wearing a brand-new uniform, with Lieutenant Stripes and a S&W G17  strapped to her thigh. Dex guessed she was just out of pre-vocational. She paused when she saw him.

Then she burst into tears and ran from the room.

“The Space Marshal will see you in about five minutes, Leftenant,” said a serene, feminine, voice in his left ear.

Hoo-boy.

Never had five minutes crawled so slowly. Finally, the door opened and a friendly voice called from inside. “Come in, Leftenant, come it.”

Dex strode across a hardwood floor of all things, his new boots clicking. The Space Marshal was standing before his high-tech desk, and Dex stopped and saluted.

Charles Olson held the command General of the Orbital and Space Force, and was primarily responsible for many of the decisions leading to the winning the war and the vanquishing of the enemy.

The new Constitution specified he was beholden to no one. Literally, he was the last in line, both rank wise and from a literal standpoint floating in space above Earth. But a single lowly Constitutional Enforcement Officer could replace him after one of their Jury Trials. Dex thought this was insane, but he had to admit, for a check-and-balance, it was a brilliant insanity.

He knew it was wrong, but he always assumed the man was older and taller. Instead, he was middle-aged, and reminded Dex of his father.

The Marshal returned his salute, briskly shook his hand (and thankfully did not kiss him) and motioned towards a couch with a loveseat in a corner. Dex took the overstuffed chair while the Marshal took the couch.

“This is an orientation, Dex, in which I impress upon my newly minted unrestricted line officers the state of O&E and where they fit into the service.”

“Yes, Sir.” So far, this wasn’t so bad. Dex was still trying to come to grips that he was an unrestricted officer, slatted for command. His two years of vocational training focused on logistics, not command. He would have to go to command school.

He hoped command school was in his future. He really did not know what he was doing. Having people salute him was unnerving.

“First off, and you’ll get all of this in training: O&E is simply a branch in the Military. And that is with a capital “M”. The Constitution does not classify sub-groups, and we probably shouldn’t either. With that said, let me display a the command structure of our entire Military force.”

The coffee table beeped and Dex realized it was a holo projector. Up popped a bunch of boxes with names, connected by lines, and as more boxes came into view, they shrank to display more data. Dex realized he was looking at a three-dimensional org chart.

The chart rotated slowly and the Marshal kept talking. “This is our current officer personnel structure, created after the Military split in three: Office of Constitutional Enforcement, Investigator, Military. Efficiency experts, command analysis and computer modeling designed this model. It flows and adjusts dynamically to standards for our society’s maximum military capabilities.  It’s a brilliant model. Except, of course, it just highlights the singular fact we’re all fucked.”

The Marshal paused and looked at Dex. Suddenly Dex had a bad feeling, one of those nebulous feelings that clawed at the bottom of the gut like an itch.

“Sir?”

“The model doesn’t lie. This is what the design is. Now let me show you the model from Year 1 to today in Year 3. Red is unfulfilled slots.”

Red boxes started appearing. And then more. And more. Suddenly half the chart was in red.

“This model is broken. We can’t use it, so we’re using something we all know sucks. Is sucking a bad thing, Dex, since we won the war? Do you think this is a consequence we should just live with?”

“I…” Dex shut his mouth. This was no easy question. Dex decided to do the ‘think aloud approach’. It could sink him, but at least he wouldn’t be sitting on the couch with his dork hanging out.

“Sir, if that is the model, based on an analysis of our global society as it exists, although new, then that is the model and to ignore it is inviting disaster. On one hand, you could argue the model is moot because there is no enemy. We waged genocide and killed them all.” Dex leaned back as he was thinking. He was getting into the rhythm of his answer.

“On the other hand, the purpose of the Military is to wage war on behalf of society to protect it from threats. Well, we already encounter a threat, and it nearly whipped us out as a species. Therefore, we need to plan for an enemy just as nasty and evil as the Unionists. Denial of logic is responsible for killing three-fifths of the planet’s population, if you add the enemy’s casualty count. We cannot deny the possibility of this happening again.”

The Marshal also leaned back and smiled warily. “Very good, Leftenant.”

Dex wasn’t finished. “In a sense, this model is a blueprint for our future society. We learned, with horrific cost, that Total War was necessary or we would cease to exist. ‘Military’ doesn’t mean much today because for several decades every free person was engaged in a war for our very existence. There was nothing political about the war. It was resist or die. So, in a sense, the model is broken.”

The Marshal cocked an eyebrow at him. “Oh, how so?”

“Can we, as a society, do anything else but wage Total War?”

Silence filled the room. Finally, the Marshal spoke. “A good question, Dex, a really good question. One I don’t have the answer, and neither does anybody else. We’ll just have to see and pray the Constitution can build a society where we can prevent something like that from ever happening again.”

Dex gave the Marshal a thin smile. “We’ll it helps there is only one Government. We’re finally united as a people.”

At horrific cost, was the qualifier that Dex did not need to add.

“Now we come to the part about you. I read your closing thesis, Current Military Expenditures and the Post-War Economy Incomes. In it, you assert corporate user fees cannot sustain the Military past the war infused Nuevo Credit reserves.”

He paused.

“Yes, Sir.”

“An accurate portrayal of finances, and you even took account post-war economy efficiency gains. Without a tax base, you assert, the Military is sustainable but would regress in capability.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Which is all true. To your credit, you did not give an opinion, one-way or the other, if this would be a good thing or not. So I am now here to ask you that very question.”

Dex did not even hesitate. “No Sir, that is bad. Really really bad,” he added, sounding just like his little sister.

“And why is that bad?”

“We belong in Space. Space won this war; our space assets will win the next war. The answer, I believe, is to somehow encourage private expansion into space beyond the Moon. We’ll just follow.”

The Marshal leaned back, looking thoughtful.

“You’re a credit to your generation, Dex. Your parents and your teachers have taught you well. But I am not here to blow nano up your ass. In a way you are right, but your model, just like the one you see floating here,” the Marshal waved a hand at the floating chart, “is broken. No fault of your own, you’re missing a key data point: Japan.”

Dex was puzzled and he was sure he looked puzzled. Japan went untouched by the ravages of war; they were a very industrial people steeped in tradition. Indeed, Dex held an enormous amount of respect for their culture; they adjusted their entire war economy without ripping their society apart like everyone else. If there was any old-style country with borders, it was Japan. They were not an anachronism; they were simply a lifeline into something normal from the past. Dex was sure without Japan, the war would be lost and the human race would have ceased to exist.

Tradition or no, the Japanese were just as enthusiastic about the new Constitution as everyone else was, so Dex didn’t get it.

“I don’t follow, Sir.”

“That’s because nobody talks about it, Dex, because it’s nobody’s business. Except ours. Because of your commission, I will give you the poop: the Japanese are funding the military through taxes. They have a 10% flat tax rate. And the entire amount, literally, goes into Military coffers.”

“But that is emphatically illegal, Sir. There is no tax authority. It is impossible to compose a government that actually collects taxes.”

“Of course. You’re going to find Constitution Enforcement Officers in Tokyo, but they aren’t going to be arresting anybody. You see, this tax is completely voluntary. The Empress of Japan, through word-of-mouth, simply asked people to make the payments. And that’s it. Everyone does. 10% of any Nuevo Credit earned in Japan simply is donated to us on a monthly basis.”

Dex mind whirled. The implications were staggering.

The Marshal grinned. “Amazing, isn’t it? Don’t think this is a pure altruistic dynamic, Leftenant. For one, what the Japanese giveth, the Japanese can taketh away. If the Empress wanted me to hop on down to the Palace and kiss her lily-white butt, I would do it without hesitation and ask her if she wanted me to wipe her ass with my tongue while I was there. There is also a bit of self-defense in their donations: they are very enamored of their wartime economy. They do not want to go through the upheaval everyone else did by going cold turkey. So they didn’t. And it’s a good thing too, because convincing a private company to make us spaceships when they economy is still adjusting to post-war reality would be an exercise in futility. We’re talking decades to get to the same point, if ever.

Dex was thoughtful. What the Marshal just described was a centralization of power, something the newly designed government was supposed to prevent. Yet it wasn’t illegal, so, in the end, wasn’t this just part of the design of letting people do the right thing?

“Wow,” was all Dex could say, feeling stupid for saying it. He couldn’t think of anything else though. He felt punch-drunk.

“Wow indeed. But back to you, Leftenant. Your paper was widely read by everyone interested in recruiting, which, as you can see here by our handy floating model, is everybody. Let’s stuff you in this model, shall we?”

Suddenly there were blue rectangles replacing the red ones. Dozens and dozens.

“The blue represents places where we can stuff you. See all those white squares above the blue ones, connected by the wispy lines? Every single one of those wankers, and I say that with affection, made a play for you. But I cashed in two silver bullets and burnt a bridge to snag you for my greedy bastard self.”

“Why, Sir?”

“Take off your boots and come with me,” the Marshal replied, taking his off with practiced ease.

Dex did so and felt a little foolish, but the Marshal was also in stocking feet, so he mentally shrugged. They walked out of his office, and then through a door from his reception area to a small room devoid of any furnishings or fixtures. The hardwood turned to bare metal, and in the center of the floor was a simple metal disk, a big dot.

“Step on the dot, Mr. Landau, and keep your hands to your sides.”

Dex did so. He heard a whisper and looked up, and a circular hole opened above him.

And then he was floating, quickly, up. He passed through three rooms and suddenly he was in space.

His caught his breath. Literally, it looked like he was “above” the station, floating in space. There was nothing above him. Nothing to the sides. Below him, there was the station, with a small hole at the top of a tower. Between his bare feet and the hole was nothing.

The Earth loomed impossibly large. It seemed to be tugging at him, and the feeling of vertigo was almost sexual.

Dex realized he was still alive, so he decided to start breathing again. He also realized he was stationary, part of the station’s artificial gravity. There was a “down” and an “up”.

Why did I take off my boots?

Dex took a small hesitant step. His foot found a floor. It felt padded, squishy. He was standing on an invisible floor! He could not help it; he put his hands out to his sides, as if to balance. It felt as if he was walking on pillows, and he moved out twenty feet until he bumped into a wall.

He heard another whisper behind him. The Marshal was standing there, grinning.

“You’re doing a lot better than I was when I first came here.”

“What is this place?” asked Dex, almost in a whisper.

“Don’t know. This is an old US, Japanese and Russian built station. Did you know that before the war, the Japanese and Russians hated each other?”

“No Sir, I didn’t. I find that hard to swallow.”

“Heuh, well threats of annihilation of your very soul is a great catalyst to put petty national interests aside. Anyway, this room is not on the original blueprints. The people who built it are not talking. Hell, we don’t even know who the orbital workers were. All the records were lost in the Cyber War. Anyway, we think this room has some early war religious meaning concerning the alliance of Japan and Russia and their contribution to the Federation. You can line yourself up with the three towers of the station and look down to the Sea of Japan. Or something like that. “

Dex looked out at the Earth. “Well, it certainly is having an impact on me Sir. I have never in my life felt this way before.” Dex felt euphoric. The view was so intense it was like a drug.

“Good. To answer your question, this is half the reason why O&S snagged you from the recruit channels: we believe you’re a pilot. You have no qualms like the prior generation about getting implants, nor Uplinking with an AI. The fact that you are standing here, right now, without pissing your pants, and yes, that does happen, means you can adapt to what we call ‘the macro of space’. All of this is similar to what you will feel and experience when you Uplink. Your senses will expand, and you just have to be the right kind of person to do that. It’s why your placement tests and deep scan seemed like they went on forever. Uplinked pilots are both born and made, and thus hard to find.”

Dex absorbed that.

“And the other reason, Sir?”

The Marshal actually frowned, and Dex felt his heart quicken.

“That’s personal. There’s a certain kind of officer, specifically, vets, that I want on my team. It’s a thin red line. One side lays madness and despair over the horrors of war. On the other side, denial. You, my Brother, are on the razors edge.”

Suddenly Dex did not want the Marshal to continue, but the man held his gaze and Dex was helpless.

“I need the kind of young man who made the decision to kill his little sister in the heat of battle. The same young man who saw beyond the utter awfulness of that act to the long-term ramifications on what would happen if he didn’t kill her. That giving her to the enemy would be a crime beyond her murder. You made a choice where other men could not.”

Dex wanted to float away. “But I didn’t, I didn’t kill my little sister,” he whispered.

The Marshal walked right up to Dex. “Of course you didn’t. But you tried.”

How does he know how does he know how does he know?

Dex fainted.

Dex

April 25, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Characterization, The Craft  1 Comment

Had an itch to write sci-fi separate from the YOUR LITTLE SISTER manuscript. So I decided to do some more world-building and see where it took me. Since I have been accused (by more than one person, I should add) of having a fascination with kissing, here’s a sci-fi kiss. We have the return of Major Hackett, and a new character, Dex. After writing this, Dex seems really fascinating. I don’t know why.

I’m digging the expanded Major Hackett though. Big time.

***

Leftenant Landau, the Space Marshal wants to talk to you,” said the Major in a neutral, flat voice. The short, sharp-featured woman looked him up and down, as if was a fresh piece of meat. Considering he was just off an orbiter, he was. He could almost see her mentally smirking through the thin veneer of her professional blankness.

Dex froze in place. He had not been on Space Station Mitachi more than five minutes. It was his first time in space. It was his first time in uniform. Hell, he did not even know where the head is, and he had to pee.

But he wasn’t stupid. He saluted the woman, remembering his training.

Training he received only yesterday.

She saluted back, and then stuck out her hand. “Jill Hackett,” she said, her voice warming up. “I am the Marshal’s attaché and all-around gopher girl.”

Dex took her hand and instead of shaking it, she clasped his wrist and pulled him close. She actually stood on her toes and kissed him on each cheek. He hoped his surprise did not wash across his face.

His cheeks felt warm as if he was blushing, and he realized the warmth was not from embarrassment. She was a wælcyrie! He had heard of them, but never had met one until now. His brain raced with the cultural meaning of having one kiss him. It was a social greeting, but also more. They were marking you with nano riders carried on their lips. No one knew why, or if anyone did, they were not telling. Eventually, his internal nano regulator would neutralize the benign foreign nano tech.

Theoretically, at least. It was some small comfort that if the nano was malignant, his regulator would go into full neutralization mode.

He pushed this from his brain as he realized she was now smiling at him. “This way, Leftenant.”

He followed dutifully. He tried to memorize the route but gave up after five minutes. She was probably following a trail displayed in her contact lens HUD, avoiding crowds and construction in real-time, both of which seemed abundant.

Dex decided being shy was stupid. He may be still wet behind the ears, but he was a commissioned officer, newb status notwithstanding. He was being silly.

“Could we take a detour to the head, Major?”

“Of course. This way.”

Soon they were in a unisex bathroom. He made a beeline for a urinal while she disappeared into a stall.

As they were both peeing, she got chatty.

“I saw you have a combat record, Leftenant. Did you see a lot of action?”

“No ma’am. In the war, my family operated a Whisper Net Repeater in the Northern Territories. We got hit with a drop. That was the extent of my contact with the enemy.”

“I glanced at your file, personal details are sparse. You have sisters, yes?”

“Yes. Four. Three older ones and one younger one.”

She came out from the stall and they washed up next to each other.

“Four! Goodness, Landau, how did you survive? And I guess that’s why you’re not shy with having a conversation with a female while peeing.”

“I learned to hide really well,” he said grinning.

“I bet the younger one has you wrapped around her pinky.”

Dex felt the grin freeze on his face. His mother used to say to him “You be careful, Dex, that sister of yours has you wrapped around her pinky!”

Concern played across Hackett’s face. She reached across and moved his hands away from the faucet, and the water turned off. He had spaced out to the point he did not realize his hands were still under the running water.

Now Dex was embarrassed. He didn’t know much about space stations, but he knew wasting water was rude. It had to be re-filtered.

“I’m sorry, Dex. I did not mean to bring up bad memories.”

Dex sighed. “Not so much bad as—bittersweet. Is it that obvious?” Sometimes he felt he was wearing his grief from losing his parents in the war like a cloak. He dried his hands quickly, still embarrassed.

“No, no. The war has been over for only three years, you’ll spot it yourself here soon enough. We all have the odd thing that reminds us of those who are no longer with us.” Suddenly her eyes grew large and luminous. “Sometimes, the hurt just sneaks up on you and wham; it’s like a punch in the gut.”

A single tear slid down her face.

Dex felt a pang of sympathy so strong, it nearly made him shudder. Almost against his will, he reached down to her pixie-like face and brushed the tear away. Suddenly, arms were around his neck and she kissed him, a desperate kiss of mouth and tongue, and he kissed her back, just as desperately.

The door to the head opened and they suddenly looked at the entering man and woman, Corporals. The two stopped in their tracks and stared, the Major still had her arms around his neck and he realized he had a hand on her shapely butt.

The enlisted quickly recovered and snapped smart salutes. Dex just as quickly separated from Hackett and they returned the salutes.

“Major,” said the man.

“Corporal, at ease.” The Major smoothed out her uniform.

Leftenant,” said the woman. She bit her lip and her eyes were dancing.

“Corporal,” Dex said. Suddenly he felt very foolish. He gave her a nod and left, quickly followed by the Major. As the door closed behind them, Dex did not hear laughter but he was positive that is what was going on.

“This way, Leftenant.” He could swear she was blushing.

As he followed the mysterious woman, no, the wælcyrie, Dex had to remind himself­­­—he wondered what the Space Marshal wanted of him. In the span of three days, he advertised his availability for work, received a commission, took a 12-hour orientation corpse, was deep scanned and re-assigned to Orbital and Space because of his genetic predisposition to neural implant acclimation coupled with high scores in AI interfacing. In moments, he will be meeting with the Commander of Orbital and Space. Tomorrow he will undergo surgery and then tanked for regen therapy for a month to finish growing the cyber tech and then acclimate his body to the implants.

Somehow, in the midst of all of this, he kissed the Space Marshall’s intelligence officer—a genetically engineered soldier from the war times who, technically, was not human.

Dex had to admit to himself that his future, if the present was any indication, was a big unknown to him, very different from his carefully sister-arranged life. This both terrified and elated him. Whatever tomorrow holds, it would not be boring!

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room

April 20, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Plot, Setting  2 Comments

From my world-building notebook for Your Little Sister. I’ve gotten in a habit of creating back-story for people who don’t make an appearance, but live, in the world.

When world-building, I start with a general idea and just start expounding. As I progress, I shift from exposition to direct storytelling. This type of world building works well for me. In no way is this a short story. More of a definition of a theme than anything else.

***

The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room sits surrounded by boys vying for her attention, at a table by the window. She wears a gun. She has been contemplating getting rid of it all day.

High school in Year 3. Only, no one calls it high school anymore. It’s finishing school. Let’s get it done, school. You need to become an adult school. Pre-vocational training school. It would be a decade before a new cultural name would emerge: prevoc. Very swanky sounding, prevoc. Prevoc is what you did before moving up to advanced training, or research. General education, well, they just called it “General”.

Half the seats in the lunchroom are empty. The prior government built the school in an earlier age, where every child could get a public education. Now school cost money, no taxes are collected to fund education,a child’s family had to fund it 100%. Some parents could not afford it, but the gist of it all was, smaller schools were more attractive. Schools like this one were going out of style in a slow, gradual death spiral of market corrections.

This one catered to military families, so it was still seeped with macro sized learning techniques. It was, after all, only three years since the war ended. Both the mother and father of the most beautiful girl in the room both served. By all accounts, they were outstanding soldiers.

They were, by the same accounts, lousy parents.

The next table over, going clockwise, is the Math Squad. This group keeps their numbers even, three boys, three girls, not in some mathematical formula of balance, but simply because they were all in relationships. Only couples obtain admittance to the Math Squad.

Two of the couples are actually doing it. The first, the founders of the club, engage in desperate sex, as if each night could be their last. As far as they know, it could. Both are war orphans. They are happy they had relatives to take them in and pay for school. These two, well, these two are broken. Perhaps being together will make one productive adult out of them.

The other two, the youngest of the group, actually, are simply fucking like mad weasels because it feels good. In twenty minutes, they will sneak to an unused classroom, and have sex right on the old teacher’s desk. Their hedonistic streak does not end there. After the last period, they go to the girls home for dinner, bringing home stacks of impressive books, pilfered from the empty class room. After dinner, they go to the girl’s room and close the door.

Her parents think she is studying. In actuality, she is engaged in more enthusiastic sex. They do it for hours.

The Math Squad only has a mild social interest in the most beautiful girl in the room. Most of it is either a small attraction, or envy. Sometimes, she has the highest senior math score.

Continuing our clockwise stroll around the immediate tables surrounding the most beautiful girl in the room, we come to another couple, sitting alone. She is very pregnant, this young woman. In three weeks, she will give birth to a baby boy, at a whopping nine pounds, three ounces. The young man sitting at the table is both her husband and the baby’s father. Legally adults, they have pre-paid for all four years of finishing school with the money they inherited from their parents’ estates.

They are the last of their line. Their parents, of course, are dead from the war. This baby matters more than most. He is a new beginning to a bad end. They will have six children in total, and eventually adopt three more.

The pregnant woman thinks the most beautiful girl in the room is quite beautiful, and she is also envious. The most beautiful girl in the room thinks the same of her. The husband carries no thoughts of the most beautiful girl in the room, other than a base attraction when they were swimming together one year.

The next table over is a teacher and three of her students. She teaches pre-war history, and these three students are very fascinated by both her age (old), and her willingness to speak frankly about many subjects, subjects now taboo to their parents. She is a good orator, and likes to talk. It is a good combination, these four. She only eats half her lunch, but by the end of the break, one student will volunteer to mow her lawn, the other to fetch groceries and the third to have the accumulator serviced on her small e-car.

None of these four have any interest in the most beautiful girl in the room. She is, quite simply, a person of no historical interest, nor one interested in history. She might as well be invisible.

Our circle of tables is almost complete. At the last table surrounding the most beautiful girl in the room, sit two boys. Rumor has it they are gay. They are not gay, they are collaborating on a software project, and it is all consuming. This project will turn into one of the very first civilian released overlays for a quantum computer, and finds classification as an AI Level 3. In only three years, they will have accumulated nearly a million Nuevo Credits. They refuse all VC money tossed in their direction, and start a computing empire stretching for hundreds of years.

These two are watching the most beautiful girl in the room. When they go home, they share fantasies about her. Sometimes silly, sometimes nasty. Right now, they are contemplating how they can get her to go to the Spring Formal with one of them.

They are too late, unfortunately. It is a lesson each will remember well. All they had to do was ask, they found out later. The most beautiful girl in the room always said yes, because hardly anyone ever asked her to dance. You could even kiss the most beautiful girl in the room, all one had to do was make a play for her rosy lips. Each would remember this lesson, and socially, they sprouted wings and flew. They never were shy again.

Back to the most beautiful girl in the room’s table. The boys at it are of no consequence. Each is flirtatious, in his own way; most are charming and even mature. But they are competing with her thoughts. She can’t help but think of her gun, and what it would mean to give it up.

Lunch is over. The most beautiful girl in the room leaves, but does not go to class. Today she has been excused post lunch. She sighs, knowing she is the faculty’s disappointment, and heads to the Principal’s Office.

Principal Vernon is expecting her. Inside the small office with him is a short woman dressed in a distinctive, but unrecognizable, uniform. The most beautiful girl in the room sighs again, and sits without asking.

“Sandra, I want you to meet Major Hackett of O&S.”

Sandy raises an eyebrow, and shakes the woman’s hand to be polite. Whatever Vernon is doing, however, she does not want to be a part of, no sir. She frowns, unfastens her holster, and slides it across the desk.

“No,” she says simply.

His eyes flash with anger, actual anger. He pushes the holster back.

“Don’t give me this bullshit, Sandra. It’s your pistol now. You’ve worn it for a month now, it’s yours.”

“Mr. Vernon! Don’t you cuss at me!”

“Ha! See Sandra, you’re an adult. You have been for an entire year. You haven’t Declared because you’re saddled with the apathy from your fucking parents and you’ve been wearing it like some kind of mantle.  Hell, I’ve been more of a parent to you for the last four years then either one of those two sloths, and I am here to tell you to knock this shit off. We’re all tired of it.”

Sandy could not believe what she had heard. Vernon never cussed. Until now, she had never even heard him say “darn”. She slumped in her chair. She contemplated crying, but couldn’t muster the tears. Maybe he was right; maybe she wasn’t a girl anymore if being cussed at by the Principal did not make her cry.

“But what would I do?” The words are out of her mouth before she realizes perhaps this is why Major Hackett is here. She looks at the woman.

“If you Declare, I have a job for you. Briefly: you fit a profile for our advanced piloting program; you’ll start right after a month of space acclamation, followed by on the job training and formal instruction, which will last two years. It will be a very intense two years, but Day One you will be an officer with a commission. “

“Piloting?” Sandra was confused. She did not even have a car. She narrowed her eyes. “Profile? Who gave you a profile of me?” She put her jumbled thoughts together and turned to face Vernon. “You had no right to violate my privacy!”

“Right? Right? Adults have rights. You, Sandra, are merely a child.”

Oh well played, sir, well played. She felt as if the Principal had just slapped her across the face. She slumped further in her chair. By rights, she should call her father and have him give the Principal what for.

If he wasn’t drunk.

And fucking the neighbor girl.

Her mother of course, was more useless. Sandy should have been the daughter. Instead, to her mother, she was simply sister to the brother who died when she was merely one month old. Slain by the enemy. In a bad way.

“And what does my profile say?” she asked the Major. It came out bitter.

“It says many things. But the gist is: institutions to you are familiar, you have above average marks, you test well under stress, you are attractive and your nervous system is well suited to implants for the neural interfaces.”

Sandra’s mind whirled. She wanted to ask what being attractive had to do with anything, but this is not what came to the front of her mind. “Would I be anywhere near my parents’ chain of command?”

“Absolutely not. If you say yes, in twenty minutes you will actually outrank your parents.”

A chill went down Sandra’s spine. Oh they had her. They had her now.

She looked at Vernon. He started smiling. She contemplated punching him in the nose. She stood up, and put her pistol back on.

“Do I get a starting bonus?”

The Major actually paused. “Yes. Yes, you do.”

She looked at Vernon again. “I want it to be the same as his finding fee.”

Now the Major flinched. It was small, but noticeable.

“Ah, yes. Yes, I can authorize that.”

The grin threatened to split Vernon’s face.

It took ten minutes to walk to County Safety. They were expecting her (damn them all), and in three more minutes, she was an Adult. Her very first contract was accepting an Officer’s Commission for Orbital and Space. It took eight minutes to receive verification and for the major to swear her in.

The Major was driving her to her parents’ house, no longer her house, in a rental e-car.

“Major, what does being attractive have to do with anything?”

“Good question, Leftenant. You’ve been matched to an AI. Level 1. She was very specific. She said, and I quote, ‘If I’m going to Uplink with a stinky human, make it a woman with some brains and nice, perky boobs’.”

Sandra burst out laughing. The Major gave her a side-glance.

“You are not offended?”

“Are you kidding? That’s funny as hell.” Sandy was still getting used her ‘Uplink to an AI’ future, but it was funny. Everything seemed almost like a dream, and she would wake up only to find her same apathetic life with her same apathetic family.

Major Hackett grinned. “Damn it all if the profile matchup actually worked.”

They pulled up to Sandra’s house. Suddenly she was nervous. But something again was nagging at her brain.

“Ma’am, is this a ship left over from the war?”

“Negative, Leftenant. This is not an orbiter. It is an armed corvette, with a landing shuttle and everything. It can go planet side, but it is built for space duties.”

“Space? Why do we need armed space ships?”

“Well now, you’re smarter than you look, Leftenant,” said Hackett as she got out of the car.

Whoa. All thoughts about a stressful meeting with her parents were now gone.

What’s going on, and what did I get myself into? thought the most beautiful girl in the room.

Dawson vs. Fernando

February 19, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Setting, The Craft  6 Comments

Dawson vs. Fernando came to the Portland office as a Whole of Body case.

Mr. Dawson of Hazel Dell, Washington, owns a Boston terrier named “Skootie” (see Attachment A). Mr. Fernando, also of Hazel Dell, claimed that Skootie was “driving him absolutely mad with her incessant barking” (see Attachment B).

The Portland Office of Constitutional Enforcement received this complain earlier, and we referred Mr. Fernando to several local mediators operating in the Portland-Vancouver area. Mr. Dawson agreed to mediation. Mr. Fernando, however, claimed the mediators he talked to were too expensive to employ (see Attachment B). Mr. Fernando then repeatedly called the Portland Office for assistance.

In the Portland Office, a robust and unnecessary game of rock-paper-scissors ensued, in which I lost. Thus, the next morning I drove to Hazel Dell and waited in the neighborhood for the sun to come up, after a call to County Safety so they would not harass me in my morning barking stakeout.

I observed several interesting things on this fine spring morning (see Attachment C):

  • Mr. Fernando lives in a well-kept house in a nice suburban neighborhood, driving a modern Toyota
  • His wife, Ms. Lashmir, wore expensive clothing and drove away in a year-old Ford Mustang convertible (top down, hair in a scrunchy)
  • Her car had a Starport of Portland parking barcode on it. Doing a quick goog search, Ms. Lashmir is the Second in Command of Accounting at SoP

At 07:15, the front door to Mr. Dawson’s residence opened and Skootie immediately ran out. The door closed, and I observed (see Attachment D):

  • Skooite barks at many things. Birds, a jogger, a squirrel, the lamppost, a cat and an evil chew toy which refused to play with her
  • Skootie ran, unhindered, to a neighbor’s yard (not Mr. Fernando), and took an enthusiastic morning poop in a flowerbed
  • She then, with her back legs, tossed flowers and dirt willy-nilly, doing nothing to cover said poop but looking enormously pleased with herself
  • After running around the neighborhood for fifteen minutes, Skootie then sat by the front door of the Dawson residence
  • She whined repeatedly, looking forlorn and finally barked for five minutes until the door opened

Simialar activity occurred both in the afternoon and at night.

I repeated the Great Skootie Stakeout of Year 2 for an additional three days. I observed familiar behavior from Skootie on all the days, and did not observe at any time Mr. Dawson or Ms. Lashmir walking the Boston on a leash.

It is my judgment that Mr. Dawson is indeed in violation of the Whole of Body clause. His neglect of Skootie the dog causes inappropriate behavior that is disruptive to the neighborhood. On day three the barking was actually getting on my nerves.

I have seized Skootie to have her put down as menace animal. I handed my autopistol to Mr. Fernando, and told him he was in the right to do so and that was my Judgment. He refused.

Skootie is now orphaned through no fault of her own. For his failure to render Judgment as directed, I seized 10,000 credits from Mr. Fernando to pay for the upkeep of Skootie throughout her Boston life.

This is my Judgment, rendered with one Question. The Question is as follows:

Officer Gina: Oh my God, is that the dog? She is soooo cute! Look at that little face. I could just kiss that little face! What are you going to do with her?

Officer Scott: She’s my dog now. I’ve signed us both up for doggie training.

G: Give me the dog.

S: What? No. This is my dog.

G: You live in a high-rise apartment.

S: There is a very nice park by my building.

G: I live on five acres.

S: Gina, she’s not a big dog. Are you, Skootie? Who’s the little dog? Who is?

Skootie: Bark!

G: Scott, you are not a dog person.

S: I am too! Well, I could become one.

Skootie: Bark!

G: I Question your ability to properly give Skootie the squirrel chasing she deserves. Look at her. She is sad.

S: She’s a Boston! She looks sad even when she is happy! And are you Questioning my Judgment in this case?

G: Yes, I am.

S: Well, I will call a jury.

G: You wouldn’t dare.

S: Look, I have my PDA, I’m calling it right now.

G: I’ll give you visiting privileges.

S: Not good… um, like what?

G: Occasional weekends, no less than 1, no more than 3, a month. I will also let you walk Skootie when I have her here in the Office.

S: I want it in writing. And I want dinner when I come over. I also want the Judgment monetary seizure to go into a separate account, not your personal account.

G: Fine.

S: Fine.

Skootie: Bark!

S: How about the occasional breakfast?

G: Do I need to put that in the agreement too?

S: Only if you say yes.

Skootie: Bark!

Mr. Scott
Office of Constitution Enforcement
Portland, Oregon
May 17, 2

(from Landmark OCE Judgments of Mr. Scott, Tokyo University Press, 29)

The Lover

February 09, 2009 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  2 Comments

From my world building notebook for Your Little Sister:

***

Her lover is punctual, showing up at her doorstep the very minute she requested his presence.

If she told him, “Come over for dinner at 7:00,” sure enough, at 7:00 PM the bell would ring, and there he would be, all smiles and handsome and holding a bottle of wine.

Other than his spooky knack at punctuality, her lover was a free spirit. He was malleable in many areas. Where they went, when they went out, was her purview. One time she tested him and scheduled a chick flick, then the next date the opera, and finally, a book reading and signing for some sappy book. He enjoyed each and was charming and gracious to everyone he met.

She would have considered him one of those ‘yes’ men that would say ‘yes’ to anything as long as the end of the date he was between her legs. He had absolutes that seemed to absolve him from a limp-noodle nice guy label. For instance, he disliked driving, and he would grump like a spoiled brat when she made him. He did not eat sweet things—he avoided sugar. He had the habit of rubbing his head when he was nervous, which was rare, but he did do it, it was somewhat cute.

One time, he called her to see if she could pick up soup for him. He was sick. She lived in his small apartment for three days, nursing him back to health. He was not infallible, but he seemed strange in a way, as if his life was perfect with not an unhappy thought in his head. For a living, he was a hotel manager, which seemed to suit him well. He loved people.

She envied his life outlook—a simple man, with simple needs. When they made love, he was simultaneously generous and needy. He had a keen sense of pushing her buttons until she was mindlessly moaning and panting. The man was definitely addictive in that regard, his timing was near perfect.

Which is why, when she overslept from her nap, she was very surprised that he did not wake her up by ringing the bell, or calling her if she did not hear it.

This worried her, but she was not prone to panic, merely a frown aimed at herself in the mirror as she quickly took a shower and got dressed. The moment she turned off the hairdryer and decided to call him, the doorbell rang, and she jumped. Goosebumps appeared on her arm, she could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand out, and then she actually shuddered.

She peeked out the peephole and there he was. She opened the door and smiled as he raised an eyebrow.

“Are you psychic?” It was a silly question, but she had to ask.

He actually laughed at her, a warm laugh, both inviting and infuriating.

“Ah, no.”

“Well, how did you know I overslept from my nap?”

He came in and closed the door. “That would be because you are the one that is psychic.”

“Me?”

“Yes. You. You broadcasted your desire to meet later, so I simply showed up later.”

Now she giggled. “You’re being silly.”

“Hey, when you think things, I am powerless to resist your superior mind powers.”

“Bah! Isn’t that something like love?”

“Of course it is, and I do love you. I have for quite some time, but have been too afraid to say it. But your obvious powers of psychic manipulation propel me to confess my true feelings for you.”

She opened her mouth and subsequently was speechless, so she closed it rather than stand there looking like a dork. She threw her arms around his neck.

“Oh, I love you too, you silly man!”

Later, after the sweaty love making they skipped dinner for, in her dark bedroom filled with the earthy smell of sex, she suddenly realized he was serious. She rolled over and smacked him.

“Ow!” he said, coming awake. “What was that for?”

“I am not psychic!”

“Whatever,” he said, rolling over and putting his head under his pillow. He did that when she wore him out and he wanted to sleep.

She lay there contemplating his snarkitude.

Why don’t you roll back over and make love to me again, she thought at him, feeling stupid, but putting every ounce of desire she had for him into her thought.

When he rolled over and cupped her breast, it was then she knew she was in trouble.