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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Sh34r Excellence
Sh34r Excellence
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:17 am
Posts: 2335
Location: Earth.
With the PPMB unpredictable at the moment, I figure I might as well post this here too.


Constraints: Some point long after they’ve grown up.

Synopsis: One superpowered cop tries to clean the streets against a superpowered villain.

Cops And Robbers And Magic

Content: Some violence and swearing.

/*/*/*/*/

“I didn’t grass on you, I swear-” protested Sam Jester, the drug delivery cyclist as he squirmed in the grip of Bob Francis, the meathead holding the desert eagle against Sams face.

“THEN EXPLAIN GETTING OUT IN 30 MINUTES WHILE THE REST OF THE WORKFORCE IS LOOKING AT REMAND?” asked Bob.

“Because I let him go.”

Bon, Sam and the two goons Bob usually had with him turned to the voice, it’s owner was a 1.9m tall woman dressed in hiking boots, a plaid knee length skirt, a denim jacket, a white canvas shirt underneath.

“Who are you?” asked Dob.

“Detective Inspector Matilda Woodworm, one of the officers working the investigation into your activities, so, you appear to be intimidating a potential witness there, can’t help noticing,” said the woman.

“Yeah,” said Bob, he then pointed his gun at Matilda saying “shame I can’t have a cop witnessing this, goodbye.”

The trigger wouldn’t move. He looked at the fire select noting it was set to safe.

He was certain he had set it to arm. Oh well.

He set it to arm and pointed his gun at her again, and the magazine fell out. “The fuck? … Oh well.”

He fired the round that was already up the spout.

The bullet hit something behind her, and her image faded to be replaced by her real self stood half a metre right of where she had seemed to be. “How did … ?”

“Assault with a deadly weapon. … Naughty.”

The other two goons drew their weapons but Matilda was faster drawing hers, instantly in the correct pose, she shot the hand of one and had her firing solution on the other one before he was even a quarter way through raising his. He stopped.

Matilda told the one she had shot “I do hope that wasn’t your wanking hand, I’d hate for you to have to get used to using your other hand for earning pot noodles in prison.”

/*/*/*/*/

As Matilda and her backup drove their catch back to the police station they encountered two uniformed officers stood on either side of a lamp post, their hands cuffed to the others hands.

They were missing a load of their equipment out of their webbing.

“Again?” asked the cop sat next to Matilda. The convoy pulled over as Matilda stopped the car, getting out to help the uniformed officers.

“What happened then?” asked Matilda as she set about unlocking their cuffs.

“Carrie,” said one of them.

That was all Matilda needed to hear.

It was strange that in the same town there were herself and Carrie, two women with apparent superpowers, telekinesis, telepathy, but there had also been accounts of Carrie electrocuting people, only when she’s searched immediately before or after the event, nothing is found on her.

That could have been Telepathy, but who knew, electrokinesis seem at least more likely than the telepathy in terms of understood physics since electric eels were a thing.

There was an additional problem however that superpowers were just not believed to be real, even when demonstrated right in front of people.

The facial features matched those of a presumed dead highschooler called Carrie White.

Presumed dead under circumstances where telekinesis and other effects were observed.

So in Matildas mind this Carrie was probably Carrie White.

It would be irrelevant to any court mind, no DA, ADA, or any other legal professional, or even any cowboy private prosecutor would have anything to do with a case dealing with superpowers, so if Matilda was going to bust Carrie, it was going to have to be on things dealing in the mundane.

Still, if they move fast enough, they could probably get her while all that police gear is still in her possession.

/*/*/*/*/

“Pleasure doing business with you,” said Carrie as she handed the last customer the Taser pistol and replacement heads, she then said “Right, that’s it, sold out,” and the crowd dispersed.

She then started counting through the money, and was about half way through doing so when a car with two coppers she knew almost on a first name basis screeched to a halt.

Matilda got out as Carrie continued to count her money exclaiming “Matilda, Hi, I just got done selling a load of socks I was done with, how are you doing?”

“Search her anyway,” Matilda told her partner and he obliged.

“Whatya looking for?” asked Carrie as she stood with her arms and feet apart, her dress style consisting of cargo trousers, a Hitler smiley face tee shirt, blue trainers, a wrist watch, her hair shaved on the sides of her head to a fuzz with explosive hazard signs shaved into that, the remaining centre band of hair in a basic pony tail.

That shirt was an extension of Carries trolling humour, one of the things they had previously tried to get her on was being in the country illegally, owing to the lack of official documents, only she had somehow arranged for someone to make up the documents so her name officially was “Carrie Hitler Starlin Al Baghdadi” who had gone to a school that had been demolished years ago, they were fake, but no one could prove it.

And that almost troll face grin on her face told Matilda they were too late.

“Yeah, nothing,” said the cop that had been searching her and stepped away.

“Couldn’t you have lingered on my crotch a bit longer? I could use a good handjob,” replied Carrie.

“We could confiscate the money owing to the suspicious circumstances,” said the cop that had done the search.

“Why that’s such a wonderful way to get your ass sued,” replied Carrie.

“We’re done here, come on, we got forms to fill out,” said Matilda as she returned to her car. These powers to confiscate property on suspicion of criminal activity had always bothered Matilda, it felt a lot like voting in the 2016 presidential election.

“Yippee,” said one of the other cop as he also got in the car and Matilda drove off, Carrie waving them goodbye as they left.

“Not a bad day that,” she said to herself as she continued to count her money.

/*/*/*/*/

“You didn’t confiscate the cash?” asked the superintendent.

“Aside from the ethics of those powers, sir, she has successfully sued us before and would again,” replied Matilda, “I have an idea though. I would like to work with the quartermaster on some of the CS sprays and Tasers, next time she steals any of these items, I want her to wish she hadn’t.”

“Okay, now, what about these meth dealers?” asked the superintendent.

“They seem to be connected to Aryan Nations, cooking methamphetamines, so war on drugs aside, the money they make could be funding weapons stockpiles and recruitment efforts.”

“Christ on a fucking bicycle, if that’s where the money’s going, I’m going to have to ask the Interior Secretary for funding for an expansion of our EOD.”

“They’re getting their weapons from somewhere, that means their money is going somewhere, I have an idea for that. I’ve asked for that funny money from that trial to be kept around for just this purpose, I’ll also need about 600 methamphetamine test kits and a warrant for about 300 hours of beam time at the local nuclear power stations reactor.”

That last item caused the superintendent to ask “You what?”

/*/*/*/*/

The chamber opened and Matilda approached it, carrying her Geiger counter.

Holding it over the money caused it to max out. She nodded in satisfaction and put the last roll of radioactive money in the case.

She then left, walking past a queue of impatient scientists, each with their samples that they want to hit with neutrons. It felt a bit mean to be using a warrant to jump the queue, but they needed to find these Supremacists fast.

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie was hired off the books to weld steelwork. This was something she did besides stealing police gear, stealing police equipment was something she paced to a minimum to try and avoid creating the pressure for cops to evolve better procedures and to avoid being caught with it in her possession, the money in that case was secondary, purpose one was to annoy the police.

It was some point after she destroyed her highschool and killed her mom that she had an encounter where she got annoyed enough with someone to zap them (that’s what it had initially taken to use her powers of electrokinesis)

Some point in her travels after discovering her skill she had noticed a device consisting of a box with three wires, one going to a mains socket, one going to a big classic jump lead type clamp, and this sort of handle with a thumb clamp, it obviously used electricity to do something.

Next to this machine were boxes marked ‘Welding Electrodes,’ plus other things, brand, safety advice, wire diameter, from science lessons she was aware of electrodes in the context of electrolysis experiments, but welding electrodes … … .

It was pretty obvious how this worked, electricity flowed through the electrode, creating an arc with the pieces to be joined, the wire melted to fill the gaps. The rough textured coating, the ‘flux’ she had to speculate initially, but there was also a manual nearby that laid out all the principles, advising on preparation, current settings, and things like that.

Electrokinesis was a useful skill, no faffing around adjusting the current of a power supply, she could throw as much current as needed through the electrode to suit warming and then dial it down to avoid melting a fucking great big hole in the path.

It had taken some practice to get a consistent bead, but she managed that after hours of doing graffiti on steel doors and the sides of trains and buses and intermodal containers.

The Draw Mohammed pieces she had done on intermodal containers had made the news, even drawing Obama out to tell the world “that’s not who we are.”

She had even learned to write in Arabic and had done in both Arabic and English ISIS recruitment ads.

Having got her skill levels up, she was able to go around building sites and auto repair shops and using telepathy to convince people to hire her off the books.

She was able to do it as she needed the money, so the rest of the time she could basically wander around town amusing herself.

She walked up to a busy traffic light controlled junction and decided to use her telepathy to convince the stopped stacks that the lights were turning green.

The collisions that resulted gave her an almost doubling over laughing fit and she continued past as drivers ranted and apologised and exchanged insurance details.

It might even be the case that her welding abilities might be needed, the way some of these cars front ends had been crushed.

She continued on her way, trying to work out what else she wanted to do with her day.

“Doesn’t that feel a bit pointless?” asked this man in the blue jogging suit, what looked like steel toed boots, the hood up over a blue baseball cap, that happened to be next to Carries path.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said, wondering how he worked out she had done what she did.

“You are strong with the force, you could rule this rock,” said the man.

Carrie stared at him, unsure what to make of him, and eventually said “Okay, sure, I suppose I could rule the world. Thing is, even if I wanted to be the most selfish ruler there ever was, that’s still way more work than I can be fucked to do, what’s it to you anyway? What’s this force thing?”

“Peace is a lie, there is only passion, through passion I gain strength, through strength I gain victory, through victory my chains are broken, the force shall set me free.”

After a few more seconds of Carrie trying to estimate whether he’s for real or just nuts, or both and Carrie eventually decided “Okay, well, I got shit to do, so … See ya,” and walked off.

She took 8 steps before she found herself unable to lift her feet, they were stuck to the ground.

She looked back at the man, who was walking up beside her.

She asked “Alright, here’s another question, I should rule this world? What would your role in all this be? ‘Cos I ain’t being your bullet magnet.”

The man laughed saying “it wouldn’t be like that. See, I work for an empire that has many worlds already, we want this one too, but would prefer to have a leader in place that can secure it for us rather than having to mount an invasion, it’s too far out of the way for us to send occupation forces, but close enough that we would like control over it.”

“Ah, okay, so we would be like one of those banana republics, right?” asked Carrie.

“Eh, … yeah, that works I guess, although there wouldn’t be that many rules over private vs public ownership, be as capitalist as you like, be as communist as you like, just ally your world with us and let us run operations from here.”

“Alright, so that’s get elected, create a one world government … … Would the United States only do? You could use Area 51, no one takes rumours of aliens landing there at all seriously,” said Carrie.

The man chuckled saying “I think you’ll be better at this than you think. I’ll keep in touch, and might be able to support your efforts, no guarantee, but run any problems you experience by me and I might be able to help.” He then handed her a cylindrical device with a microphone grille on the front.

Carrie found the controls on it and tried them, causing a beeping noise in one of the mans pockets. “Okay, well, time to familiarise myself with the system of government I suppose,” she walked off to the library as the man also walked away.

Carrie didn’t have a lot of faith that this man was in actual fact an alien, in fact, she felt the odds were at best trace, but then if she didn’t have the superpowers she had, she wouldn’t have a lot of faith those exist either.

Still, best not depend on the man actually being an alien, not without some kind of proof. But taking over the United States, how good would that be for pissing off Matilda and everyone else she normally trolls “WHAT? SHE’S PRESIDENT? ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” (head explodes).

Donald Trump got into office in spite of being perceived a clown, so really, how hard can it be?

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda held up the circuits, the temporary LEDs coloured to show proximity to each other.

One set would go in the holsters, the other set would go on the less lethal weapons, this would be something the cops equipped wouldn’t be aware of, since Carrie had telepathic abilities, but if the devices were too far away from their holsters for long enough, the tasers would secrete cyanoacrylate glue into the grip and electrocute the user when it sensed the grip was being pulled, and the CS sprays would explode when they sensed they were in hand.

The monetary value of the reported losses at the rate the losses occurred told Matilda the thefts were less about the money and more about pissing off the cops, so a dose of Carries own medicine seemed appropriate.

Even then, if this happened after the weapons were sold, that would get customers mad at Carrie and at least eliminate the financial incentive.

Then two cops she had assigned to collecting the meth swabs entered the lab and said “Okay, gathered the swabs as instructed, but it’s end of shift, so-”

“I’ve secured overtime for us, those Nazis get to a position where they think they can start doing attacks, people are going to die,” said Matilda, “that could include people you care about.”

“Fine,” they said, they set up the map of the town on the light box and started placing the blue liquid filled pouches on the corresponding locations.

The strongest blues indicated the heaviest concentration of meth smokers, that told her where she needed to plant the money for best effect.

She then got a phone call. She answered it, “Matilda here.”

“I’m Clarissa Eisley, I run the town library, I was transferred to you by dispatch when I mentioned Carrie.”

“Wonderful, what’s she doing this time?” Asked Matilda.

“She’s reading,” said the librarian.

“She’s … Anarchists cookbook?” asked Matilda.

“She’s reading a load of presidents biographies,” replied the librarian, “and about the structure of the various tiers of government.”

Matilda absorbed this and said “Okay … Has she damaged any of the books?”

“No, she seems to be behaving properly, leaving the other library users alone, she’s … … being respectful.”

Eventually Matilda gave up trying to figure out what Carrie was up to and said “Okay, well, I don’t know what her game is from the information you’ve given me, so, all I can suggest is keep an eye on her, write anything down, photo and email me the notes.” This could easily be an attempt to get Matilda speculating like crazy, if that was the point, Matilda intended to disappoint Carrie, there was simply insufficient data to form a hypothesis as things stood, so, wait until Carrie does something else basically.

“Alright, that’s in work,” said Clarissa and hung up.

Matilda shrugged saying “Well, at least I don’t have to worry about her stuffing up our operation,” she then pocketed her phone as she grabbed the bag of radioactive money and headed out telling the other cops “thanks for staying after hours, have a good one.”

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie eventually decided she had learned all she could form the previous presidents.

She just wasn’t used to researching anything anymore, so she felt like her brain was melting, so she returned the books.

Picking up her notes, she noticed the library’s computer terminals and decided to give the internet a go.

There didn’t seem to be a consistent formula for success, at least not in policy platform. She wasn’t really up for any more reading, but she thought maybe some footage of televised debates, campaign adverts, things like that might help.

Their policy platforms were for Trump, build a border wall on the Mexican border and get Mexico to pay for it (why the fuck would Mexico do that?), stop all Muslims entering the US (Carrie had been aware of the first amendment though it being quoted by various people prompting her to look it up, banning an entire religion = fucking illegal), kill the families of terrorists??? Fucking what???

A bit of digging around and this had been a serious proposal from him.

Jail women for getting abortions.

That one almost made Carrie zap the internet.

It also wanted her to find out how to do the surgery needed to give Trump a womb to impregnate.

Having said that, she had seen women picketing abortion clinics, so would that really change his mind?

The thing is, after he had won, he had backtracked on some of his pledges (no longer going to jail Hillary for instance).

There had also been videos before the election of Trump contradicting all his election run stances, so going into the election, anyone who is paying attention to all this stuff wouldn’t know what if anything Trump stood for.

So, people who find his platform abhorrent wouldn’t vote for him, and anyone who wanted his promises to be true but had checked his history, well, they might still vote for him in case it’s true …

How many people had voted for him anyway? The wikipage on the election said 46.72% went to Trump. … and Hillary scored 47.73%? … Errr … what?

Projected electoral vote 306 Trump 232 Hillary, but the vote share … Hang on … Bit more research revealed that the votes went through another stage, it was accumulated by area, so the most votes in a particular area turned an elector to whatever candidate had the majority of votes in that area.

What in the unholy fuck was the point in that?

Reading the background segment on the electoral college felt too much like earlier, so she went back to the 2016 election page.

Something else too, 61 million and 62 million, that’s only 123 million, US Population’s meant to be … She looked that up, about 325 million? Less than half turned out.

Wait, that might include children and people not registered to vote … But that wouldn’t take it down to 123 million surely? … About 80% is over 15, so say 78% are eligible, fuck it, say 80% for simplicity, 3 times 80 plus 2 times 8 plus 5 times 0.8 would be 240 plus 16 plus 4 would be 256 plus 4 would be 260.

So more than half eligible voters, like herself, couldn’t give a fuck about the election.

Her reason was not wanting to fuck around with bureaucrats, except for that trial to get her deported, she chuckled at remembering that, cops thought they had her, what she did was not only blow their case out the water, but also give herself a name that would be universally hate … … ed … … Bugger.

Alright, what was Hillary’s policy platform?

Improve and expand Affordable Healthcare, improve and expand medicare, improve and expand Medicaid, improve and expand mental health services, redirect prescription drug advert funding to research new treatments, devolve government funded healthcare decisions to state level so states that want to can, create more jobs somehow … Sort out infrastructure, those two together if they can be specified could revive the rustbelt areas like the one she had come from, but that would depend on who would be guiding the policy … what else?

Restore union bargaining power. … Carrie didn’t know anything about unions, she was vaguely aware they go on strike, a bit more reading said that strikes were a last resort, that ultimately they seek to leverage better job conditions and better job security out of employers. … The only thing wrong with that of course was employers ended up having to spend more money on salaries and various employee benefit expenses, so there was an incentive for employers to leverage anti-union legislation out of politicians, and ad time and ad space was expensive.

There was actually quite a lot to like there.

So, Hillarys policy platform should have won it. Why didn’t it?

She started searching for YouTube videos discussing the Hillary Campaign and the Trump campaign.

The primary stage pits parties against themselves, so that could easily translate into things their eventual opponent would be able to use.

For starters, Shillery Clinton, the Wall Street candidate. Bernie, her primary rival wanted to write off all student debt. Clinton waved it off as a pie in the sky fantasy.

Carrie remembered people discussing college in high school before the prom, she wasn’t sure where her grades were. Stupid, but there it was. But surely having more college graduates in your workforce would make your country more prosperous, wouldn’t it?

What else was there? Killery Clinton. She had voted in favour of Iraqi Freedom and the Lybian job.

She was pushing for a no fly zone over Syria, a country where Assad and Putin were fighting a load of rebels including ISIS. ISIS made the news often for the fucked up shit they were doing, hence Carrie making ISIS recruitment adverts on the sides of steel containers to troll people, she had also broken into churches to alter those pegboard signs to make them read “All Week: ISIS Recruitment Fair,” things like that.

But that no fly zone of course would be used to prevent Syrian and Russian aircraft bombing civilian areas.

And that meant world war 3.

Okay, that’s scary, but so is Trumps idea of nuking ISIS held areas (if it was thought he was serious).

Hillarys basket of deplorables speech. That was often quotemined, “half of Trump supporters are out and out racists, homophobes, etc.” was the first part, the next part “But the other half are those who feel left behind by the current economy,” was often left out.

It is hard to make your speeches quotemine proof, but if the message can be sufficiently shortened, you could make them more quotemine resistant.

But Donald never seemed to give any fucks at all about being quotemined. But then no quotemining was needed.

Okay, what else?

“Vote for Hillarys Vagina, 2016.”

That sarcastic tagline reminded her of a question someone at work had asked of another: “So, you voting pussy or pussy grabber?” So much had been made about “Hillary Clinton will be the first woman president. Isn’t that exciting?” Errrrrrrrr no, not really, Carrie didn’t think men had a monopoly on being assholes, she’d encountered plenty of women who were, some were even serial killers and child abusers.

It also reminded her of someone at work claiming “these quotas for women are great: A prettier workplace, AND, we get to stretch out the contract.”

Groans and eyerolls, and beyond that, no one cared, female welders were just as good as male welders, and Carries welds were far superior to anyone elses.

She did understand the arguments for and against “affirmative action” also referred to as “reverse discrimination,” it was viewed as a potential way to counter in group preferences that might unreasonably keep women and visible ethnic minorities from securing work.

The argument against was that in the desperation to fill the quotas, unqualified people would get jobs they wouldn’t know how to do or would be incapable of doing.

Okay, “the establishment,” “the elites,” the various things “they” were called, weren’t trusted, and Trump was “anti establishment.”

Was he?

Well, he had never held office. He Had been a party member of the Democrats for decades. He had otherwise been a property tycoon, built this tower in New York that seemed successful but several hotels around the country that weren’t successful, a couple of Casinos had failed owing to insufficient demand.

Trump had also done an airline, that had failed, but he hung onto one of his planes.

WWE wrestling, did some of that, worked at a presenter on The Apprentice, some show where people are tasked with things to do, known for telling people “you’re fired.”

Trump University, a fake university that stiffed anyone who bought a course with them.

So he’s mainly a very successful bullshit merchant.

Clinton had lied too, one example had been parroting the traditional conservative line that “marriage should only be between a man and a woman,” but that was more about choosing her battles, ultimately Obama had allowed equal marriage by simply not fighting DOMAs corner in the supreme court.

Yeah, the Judicial branch of government confused her a bit, she had this vague idea that citizens could sue the government through it, get laws changed, and there was this big deal over the appointment of new supreme justices as some had recently retired out …

Yeah, this was some pretty serious shit. She had another look at Trumps cabinet. VP was Mike Pence, who Carrie instantly disliked, he was a creationist who wanted to zap the gay out of gay people, security chief was too racist for republicans back in the 1980s, wanted to dial “enhanced interrogation” up to 11 …

This wasn’t just about Trolling the cops any more, she wanted Trump bounced out of office in the next election, but the problems with the Democrat party still applied.

So, run as an independant.

The 5.55% that had voted for other candidates, a couple had been in the presidential election game longer than Trump had.

Something had made Trump far more popular than the other candidates, and that could have been his gigs on TV, Wrestling, The Apprentice … Brand awareness mattered, and even seemed to overcome the obvious flaws in Trump.

But mostly it had been a “FUCK YOU, THE SYSTEM!”

But that kind of thing wouldn’t work next time around, Trump wasn’t proving as anti-establishment as he had claimed to be.

Then there’s the legislating chambers, she would need their co-operation to get anything done, she decided to research Obama a bit because she had heard the ACA being discussed at work.

And wasn’t this interesting, Obama had wanted to do Universal Healthcare, a nationalised health care system that funded medical cover through general taxation, that should have been an easy sell, compared to paying out of pocket (Carrie paid out of pocket because her other living expenses generally were very low and she had found herself rarely in need of medical assistance anyway) or paying for medical insurance which may bend over backwards to deny you payment if you need something expensive or won’t take you on if you have a pre-existing condition.

The republicans had made him do the Affordable Care Act which compelled people to take up medical insurance from the existing insurers, but also forced the insurance industry to accept all without charging extortionate (and extortion is the correct word here) amounts if they have any particularly expensive medical needs. And that got nicknamed “Obamacare.” Now that’s taking the piss.

Yeah, the Republicans as a whole really pissed her off at this point.

She was also going to need to make the legislating chambers friendly towards her. She would need a political party.

This would take more research, but she felt she had a germ of an idea.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda finished telekinetically placing the money, making it look like it had just blown onto the porches of these meth heads, that way they pick it up, go “Oooh, I can buy more methamphetamiens with that,” and take the radioactive money to the Aryan Nations meth dealers.

She launched this small drone with a gieger counter on it, and had a go at flying it overhead to get a feel for how it sensed the money.

It picked it up just fine, but there was a bit of a problem that these things were noisy, so she would have to make use of cover and pick the best times to deploy these drones.

“Is it entirely legal to expose suspects to ionising radiation?” asked a voice behind her.

Matilda turned to the source of the voice, its bearer was a … … well, it had tits, so it could be a female … whatever things with cones for ears and two long thick tails coming out the back of its head … And it’s style of dress … Matilda asked “Judge seemed okay with signing the warrant, I have to ask though, given you know what I’m doing here, what do you intend to do with this information?”

“I will keep it to myself. There is another problem and you might be able to help me with it, I sense you are strong with the force.”

“The what?” asked Matilda.

“The force,” repeated the woman, “it is an energy field that goes through the universe.”

“Erm … … I know of four forces, nuclear strong, nuclear weak, electromagnetism and gravity, this one of those or a fifth?”

“It’s … Well, as a Jedi Knight, I spent years on this, I’m here because I sense a malicious presence here, a person who uses their force powers for ill.”

Matilda sighed, saying “Carrie … What’s she been up to this time?”

“Who is this Carrie?” asked the woman(?).

“She’s this woman with similar powers to mine, plus electrokinesis I think, I’m not certain of that one, not quite sure what she does for main income, but she seems to spend a lot of her time on practical jokes and criminal damage, mostly for the lulz.”

“Hmm. … This doesn’t sound like the threat I’m describing, but she may be recruited by the Sith Empire.”

“The … Okay, erm … I’m trying to work out whether or not to take your appearance seriously, are you an alien?”

“Yes. … Is that a problem?”

“Not really, it’s just the difference between believing aliens exist at all and believing they visit Earth, number of stars with planets in their habitable zones in this galaxy alone, in all likelihood aliens exist, but visiting Earth, the amount of time it would take without some kind of fix for relativity as is currently understood … but then I have telekinetic and telepathic powers, and physics can’t explain that. … Okay, sake of argument, I’ll believe what you say. I’m a cop, it’s part of my training to compile and contrast stories. This Sith Empire, you think they’ve sent agents here? What’s so special about this planet?”

“I do not know, all I know is I had a force vision of a Sith Inquisitor looking at these co-ordinates, and there is a chill in the force, have you felt it?”

Matilda thought and said “yeah, that sounds a bit familiar. I’m not going to claim certainty on that. … I don’t even know what … Nation, alliance … ”

“The galactic republic,” said the alien.

“Sure, a republic … I don’t know if I should take your side or their side or neither based on I’m only getting your side of all of this, what I will try to do is estimate the danger my world is in.”

“That’s understandable. Do you know what Carrie might be doing about now?”

“Well, last I heard, she was reading up on past presidents and on … … Fuck me, what you said about this Sith character seeking to recruit someone like her makes that make sense. … Assuming this isn’t all an elaborate prank Carrie is setting up.”

“I assure you it isn’t. I will check out this library. It’s the public library, right?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Thank you.” She then walked off, and leapt onto the roof of a nearby apartment block from street level using her telekinesis. Matilda chuckled at the idea of some piss tank seeing the alien and swearing off of booze.

She then went home.

Additional Geiger counters had been set up about town, so if any of the money is driven or carried past them, that would narrow down the possibilities for where the money could physically be, and Matilda and her team wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

/*/*/*/*/

Clarissa watched as Carrie left, notes in hand. The research had turned to real estate.

She photographed her own notes and emailed them to Matilda.

It looked like Carrie, if she really was going to try to become President, was trying to imitate Donald Trump.

Clarissa chuckled at the thought of Carrie so obviously imitating Trump and failing because the public mood will probably have changed by then.

/*/*/*/*/

“So, how goes the operation to make Carrie regret stealing our gear?” asked the superintendent.

“Everything’s set up, but I have reports that Carrie has started buying up land around town to start a chain of hotels,” said Matilda.

“Eh?” asked the superintendent.

“Right after researching past presidents, the recent election and the structure of government,” said Matilda.

“So she’s trying to mimic Trumps path to success?” asked the superintendent.

“Possibly. … ”

“But not quite?”

“Well, she’s a massive troll, she’s pretty smart about people, she’s got to know being Trump with tits won’t cut it,” said Matilda.

“So what is she doing then?” Asked the Superintendent.

“Could be a property scam.”

“Call the SEC you reckon?”

“Yeah, this is more their thing.”

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda got back home after a long day working both the search for the white supremacist treasury and armourers and whatever scheme Carrie was running.

The SEC had listened to everything she and the superintendant was telling them, and sounded keen in working this case.

She saw the alien sat on her sofa and asked “what are you doing here?”

“I was hoping to get an update on your investigation of Carrie, I’ve been following her as best I can without being seen, but all she’s been doing thus far is buy property and apply for chance of use permissions and apply for loans,” replied the alien.

“What were you hoping to see?” asked Matilda.

“Someone who is not from this planet, who had no reason to be where they were. … I don’t know, something that stands out.”

“Okay, would this alien your after be able to plug into the cellular phone system we have here?”

“cellular phone system?” asked the alien.

Matilda pulled her smart phone and said “currently the cellular phone system includes 2G which is audio and text messages and 3G which uses data packets, the spectrum is 225 megahertz to 3.7 gigahertz.”

The alien nodded and said “I’ve been monitoring transmissions from Carries device, it’s so far been entirely business related.”

“I see. Pity I can’t use that without getting the whole case chucked out.”

“Why is she building all these hotels? I checked the use of existing hotels, the demand isn’t there.”

“It’s hard to tell with her, she’s infamous for doing pranks using telepathy, telekinesis, and possibly electrokinesis.”

“Some Sith have demonstrated electrokinesis, it seems to be a property of force users that give into the dark side.”

“Okay, anyway, she spends a lot of time trolling people with her powers, we’ve had businesses and churches report cases where weld bead graffiti or in some cases signs announcing church sermons have been tampered with to announce talks on ‘why Hitler wasn’t so bad’ or ‘ISIS recruitment fare’ or ‘how to get away with raping choir boys’, and I can’t fully discard the possibility this is a massive elaborate prank,” said Matilda.

“Could she be trying to prank the Sith?” asked the alien.

“Well … I suppose, I think she’d have less of a clue what buttons to push with this Sith, aside from wasting his time. What would this Sith likely do if it turns out Carrie is taking the piss and never intended to become president?”

The alien shrugged and said “Moat likely look for another force user, or try someone who isn’t force sensitive but can be leant on.”

Matilda said “Those already with a chance tend to be surrounded by secret service agents, except for social media, and that ain’t exactly secure, it would be very hard for a complete nobody as this Sith would be regarded as to get through, at least in the United States and NATO members generally, Russia, who knows? Putin doesn’t even pretend to have moral scruples, well, not credibly, if the Sith could demonstrate they are part of a powerful empire, Putin could easily ally with them. … Come to think of it, a bit more research into geopolitics might prompt the Sith to try to make inroads into as many governments as possible, I mean, the United Nations may represent all countries, but some are more equal than others if you get my meaning, there’s a security council with seven permanent members and a bunch of lay members, the seven permanent including the United States and Russia can veto any action proposed.”

“Which could mean the UN could allow the seven permanent members to take over the world if they all felt like it?” asked the alien.

“Yeah. Of course that would mean the end of the United Nations, and … Logistically though, maintaining an empire by force is a bit of an arsehole, so this would mean the rest of the nations being simply an additional tier of puppet governments, this is how the Cold War was waged, open conflict between nuclear armed states would have been suicide, so the security services of the various superpowers infiltrated all these other nations and overthrew existing regimes while the superpowers governments claimed ‘nothing to do with me guv’. And alien empires would have the additional advantage that anyone discussing alien visitation is regarded a lunatic, a bullshit merchant, or a troll.”

“What would it take to make alien visitation credible?” asked the alien.

“Proof that there’s an accessible technical way around the speed of light,” said Matilda, “thus far the more credible methods involves arranging black holes in such a way to create a relativistic superhighway, otherwise interstellar transport would involve generational ships, ships where people spend their entire lives not having arrived at their destination, and I just can’t imagine any people being sufficiently mission orientated to accept having their lives merely being links in a chain, odds are they’d rebel and fuck the mission.”

“There may be something I can do about that,” said the alien, “as I understand your worlds various patents systems, if a concept is prolific enough, then it can not be made the exclusive intellectual property of one person.”

“Yeah,” replied Matilda.

“I place the information on the principles of operation on every hosting site I can find, that should make it prolific, it will also increase the odds of someone with the resources to build a hyperdrive building one.”

“Okay.”

/*/*/*/*/

Three weeks after she started, Carrie was watching the furniture flow off the semis parked in the docking bays of the central hotel of the chain, she had splashed out on powertrucks, like pallet trucks, only, well, powered.

She was still wearing the Hitler Smileyface teeshirt.

It occurred to her that at some point she might need to expand her wardrobe.

At the same time though, she would need some kind of character that will make her stick in peoples minds, she was almost certain that she wouldn’t be able to telepathically make everyone vote over a TV broadcast.

Well, she’d need campaign funds first.

“Seen some of the room layouts.”

Carrie turned and saw Matilda stood next to her.

Carrie asked “Do a spot of breaking and entering?”

Matilda replied “Nah, walked up the side of the building. … The layout is pretty good, it’s like all that time you spent using motel rooms without the owners knowledge and without paying them for the time you spent in the rooms really payed off.”

“Oh, well my instincts are pretty good for someone who has categorically not done those thing, good to know,” replied Carrie, slightly surprised Matilda had figured that part of Carries life out.

Before she arrived in this town, some point her telekinesis got so good she could pick locks with it, so that meant she could stop the survival sex and start sleeping where she damn well pleased.

There had been times when owners had investigated the sensors in the minibar being triggered because Carrie hadn’t known they were rigged with such sensors, it took about five times of that happening before she worked it out, each time resulted in her telepathically convincing them she was never there and getting in another room in another motel. Damn inconvenient that had been.

Still, meant she had shelter sorted as she earned her keep welding.

Nowadays she slept on a sofa in her office.

“Also surprised how fast it went up, it’s like you know the construction industry backwards, sideways, anyways we can name ways.”

“I do have a certain amount of experience,” replied Carrie, “You haven’t found anything you can get me on have you?”

“Nope, neither have the SEC,” replied Matilda, “and you appear to have spent the money lent to you entirely lawfully, all your creditors have no legal claim to backsies … Not until the businesses fail from lack of interest. So, what comes after that?”

“Hmmmmmm … The sun enters it’s red giant phase? I mean, this hotel will be selling room time hand over fist until something causes us to abandon this world.”

“Right … We’ll see … ”

“Yes we will.”

Matilda eventually left.

/*/*/*/*/

On her way back to base, Matilda noticed a car surrounded by goons in disruptive pattern waistcoats, trousers and hats, armed with M4 looking rifles, there was a latino family stood next to it with their hands on their heads.

Matilda pulled over nearby and called 911.

“911 emergency, which service do you require?”

“This is Detective Inspector Matilda Wilson, I need backup at Ruger Street just east of Guppy Lane, silent approach, silent approach, there are 8 suspicious looking goons with guns, I’m going to talk with them, I’ll leave the line open so you can get everything down.”

“Got that, backup is in work.”

“Thanks,” Matilda then put her phone back in her pocket and got out, walking up to the crowd.

One of them seemed to be examining the contents of one of their wallets, asking the male adult of the family about where he went to school. Matilda asked one of the perimeter goons “Excuse me, what’s going on?”

“Miss, this is militia business, these could be very dangerous people, please go about your business.”

“Militia business huh? Is what you’re doing here legal?”

“Yes it is, the second amendment authorises well regulated militias to defend the nation, please go about your business,” replied the goon.

“Who gave you that advice?” asked Matilda.

“Our leader is a very good lawyer, please go about your business.”

“Right,” Matilda initially turned away, pulling her warrant badge out of her pocket, she then opened it and turned back saying “your leader should be disbarred, this is an illegal search, and you’re all busted.”

Three of the nearest goons raised their rifles to her and one of them said “Right, we’ve been told that if someone tells us that, then they’re not a real cop and we should detain them, so, hand on the car.”

Matilda slowly complied saying “you lot have no clue do you? Who is this idiot that’s telling you all this?”

“C-SPAN, that’s who.”

Matilda looked astonished, unable to work out if he was being serious. “Are you taking the piss?”

They started searching her as she telekinetically set all their rifles to safe and slowly telekinetically pulled the charging handles back, using the same telekinesis to keep the rounds inside the weapons and misaligning them so that they remain stuck between the bolt and the breech, jamming the weapons. If they decide they want a fight, they’d lose vital seconds examining their weapons to work out what the problem is.

They didn’t even look at the screen of her phone as they placed it on the cars roof, alongside her weapon, spare clips, warrant card, wallet, one of them asked “reckon there’s a communist membership card in there?”

This was the point at which three police cars appeared on each side, the cops got out, their weapons out, but not raised just yet.

Matilda asked “are you going to pretend they’re fake?”

/*/*/*/*/

“We got some solid information off of them, but I have to ask, why would their leadership supply them with such transparently fake information?” asked the superintendant.

“They wouldn’t,” said Matilda, “Someone fed their leadership fake information, and it was only their leadership that received this information, someone linked them to a fake C-SPAN site, URL had a bracket next to the first capital C making it technically a different domain, with the majority of C-SPANs content mirrored plus the fake story.”

“Can they use this to get out of the charges we’re preferring?”

“ADA says it would depend on what the Jury says, they’re going to trial, the leaders might have a connection to the white supremacists we’re chasing, some of the radioactive money has ended up being entered into his account, we’re also finding out where they’re getting some of their guns and precursor chemicals for their methamphetamines.”

“What about this fake website?” asked the superintendant.

“Went to the NSA, they followed the site back to an account holder, followed the bank details to an address that doesn’t exist, to a name that doesn’t exist, bank manager that set the account up can’t remember setting the account up,” replied Matilda, “this sounds very familiar.”

“Hasn’t Carrie been busy with her badly located hotel chain?” asked the superintendant.

“Maybe she had a few hours to spend on something,” said Matilda, “actually, I remember some incidents involving visibly ethnic minority workers, some asshole started posting Aryan Nations logoed posters telling them to ‘go home’, and there was insufficient evidence recovered from those posters to give us a suspect.”

“Well how did Carrie work out who these leaders were in order to target them with this fake site?” asked the superintendant.

“Before she started this, she had a lot of spare time on her hands, I can only guess she knows exactly who these people are and has trolled them in the past.”

“But to make our case, we’d have to prove she hypnotised key personnel.”

“Yeah.”

“By the way, we picked up 20 groups, and 3 other groups were picked up with the same problems with their rifles, they all had a round stuck all fuckeye between the bolt and the back of the breech, what do you make of that?”

Matilda thought inwardly “that there’s three other telekinetics that encountered these groups,” but outwardly said “Strange as fuck, don’t know what else to say.”

/*/*/*/*/

Two days after, Matilda was driving into work, the hotels had opened yesterday and it seemed they were booked out.

The bookings were apparently authentic, except no one for the life of them could work out the basis for the demand.

So, Carrie had managed to magic demand out of thin air?

Matilda had no idea.

She found herself stuck in traffic.

This was strange, because the hotels were all at the perimeter of town.

Why would the traffic be this dense?

Maybe there was some attraction in town that she wasn’t aware of.

After about half an hour of waiting, she got to the front and saw crowds of people around city hall with home made signs.

Matilda couldn’t see any of the signs because they were all facing forwards.

She found a metered parking space and pulled into that, paying with a smart phone app before she moved to get around to see what the signs were saying.

‘No to tax incentives for abortion pill manufacturers (prop 5483),’ ‘no to sharia supreme court (prop 6535),’ ‘no to university of patriarchy (prop 6997)’, Matilda just kept reading them all.

/*/*/*/*/

“None of those propositions actually exist,” said Matilda.

“Carrie again?” asked the superintendant, “shits and giggles or for effect?”

“For effect,” said Matilda, “that’s where the demand for her hotels came from. She did all these fake news stories, same MO as the one she used to get those militia mentalcases to set up those checkpoints.”

“How long is that going to last?” asked the superintendant.

“How long did that Roswell got aliens movement last?” asked Matilda.

“Oh god fuck it,” replied the superintendant as he face desked.

/*/*/*/*/

“So, ‘Make America Great Again’ is taken and will likely be downright toxic next election, so we need a new four word or close to four word slogan that is just as catchy as it was last election,” said Carrie.

“Okay,” said her personal assistant, “All Americans America maybe?”

“All Americans … That sounds like the ‘unity and togetherness’ stuff from the Clinton campaign, that was a reality bending fail,” replied Carrie, “Errrm … ‘How Bad Can Carrie Be?’ maybe?”

“Like Trump asking ‘what have you got to lose?’ of black Americans.”

“Ugh … I’m going to need to get out there and explore, I’ll need to do that anyway to select legislators for the senate and congress seats that are coming up for elections, I have, like zero trusted contacts out there, but I need inspiration damn it, I have to cram in a fuckload of policy details into messages that are short enough for voters to pay attention to.”

“What is your policy platform likely to be?”

“Jobs and the environment, I mean, there’s been this fallacious link pushed between immigration and low wages, except it’s our own fault for failing to enforce employment standards, and I have to sell to coal mining towns the idea that they stand to benefit from green infrastructure, so, I’d seek to encourage renewable energy generation systems factories to set up in coal mining towns so that as coal extraction declines, they can move to these factories.”

“Any foreign policy? Dealing with ISIS?”

“In Iraq, I’d arm the Kurds, behind the backs of central government if necessary, it’s like central government think of Iraqs Kurds as the enemy within, and frankly, if Erdogan invades Iraq, I want him to wish he hadn’t. … In Syria … … My current policy on dealing with ISIS in Syria, is … … … Really hope I’m not asked that question because I can’t think of a single good answer.”

“Shiniest turd then?”

“Ooh, the shiniest turd … would have to be get the civillians out anyway I can and help the Iraqis reinforce their Syrian border.”

“Won’t that mean deploying troops?”

“Yeah, but they won’t be doing urban, there will be better opportunities to funnel traffic through checkpoints, urban and jungle are the real bastard cunt gigs, except with disguised special forces who don’t have to be in uniform like regular occupation forces and are far sneakier, it would still be dangerous, but we’d be in a country that wants us there and would have the space around them to better defend themselves.”

“Alright, Ukraine and Crimea?”

“Right, not practical to liberate Crimea, that way apocalypse lies, Ukraine, I’d like to send weapons to help them route the Russian troops that according to Putin either aren’t there or are there on holiday, ‘but not under orders, honest,’ the problem is that might cause Putin to ramp up arming the rebels and deniable troops even further.”

“Okay, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.”

“Erm … … I have no idea what’s happing there, what’s who doing with who?” asked Carrie.

“Saudi Arabia is bombing food supplies, water supplies, dock equipment, basically doing siege warfare to starve out civillians in areas that have terrorists in them.”

“Fucking hell. Stop buying oil off of them then I suppose.”

“And stop arming them?”

“We’re supplying weapons to them?” asked Carrie “How long has this Yemen thing been going on for?”

“Couple of years now.”

“Dear fuck,” groaned Carrie.

Carries phone then rang and Carrie pulled it, noting the identity of the caller was reception desk, and accepted the call asking “Yeah?”

“Your 11:23 appointment is here.”

“Eh? I don’t remember having one,” she looked at the tablet computer on her desk, quickly opening her diary app to see what she had planned for the day.

“You do now,” said the receptionist.

Carrie and her assistant looked at each other and then Carrie told the receptionist “Alright, coming down,” she then ended the call and headed out.

When they got downstairs, Carrie recognised the man and said “Right, yes, come through to my office,” she then turned to her assistant saying “Kira, make sure we’re not disturbed,” before leading the man off.

When they got to Carries office she asked “now I’ve got cops on me like flies on shit, I question the wisdom of a face to face meeting, but that aside, what’s up?”

“I wanted to know how your progress towards becoming president was going?”

“Well, we’re building campaign funds thanks to my hotel chain, I’m in the process of forming a policy platform, I’m about to start scouring the country for candidates for my party since I’ll need to dominate the two legislating chambers to get anything done, but if I can become president, I should be able to just order our armed forces and intelligence services to go along with hosting your forces without needing to convince the legislating chambers to go along with it provided I can keep the co-operation with your empire cost neutral, or provided I can raise revenue by means other than taxation as the CIA has done in the past.”

“If you don’t think you will need to convince the legislating chambers to raise money for our deal, why bother dominating the chambers?”

“Because in order to stay in office beyond one term, I will need to get things done that the people of the United States want done, and part of that will mean changes to taxation.”

“Could you not install yourself as emperor or something?”

“Unlikely, even with my own people dominating the two chambers there would be too much resistance to turning the United States into a dictatorship, if I can keep my party from losing the plot like the main two, I should be able to hold office indefinitely if I can undo the two term limit, if it was made it can be unmade, and I think that’s more realistic than simply installing myself as emperor.”

“I see. Well, mean time, I have a couple of things for you,” said the man from Empire, he first produced what looked like a gem stone and telekinetically handed it to her.

She turned it around in her hand saying “It’s pretty … … Anything else to it or is it just … bling?”

The man produced a cylindrical device with a lens at the front and turned it on, a red column of light came into being, the heat radiating from it got Carries attention.

He touched it against a wall, burning through the concrete before bringing it back to vertical and turning it off saying “that kaiburr crystal is an essential component in a lightsabre and is the hardest component to source.” He then produced an SD card and telekinetically gave that to Carrie saying “the rest of the components you should be able to source on Earth.”

Carrie accepted the SD card saying “Thank you.”

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda sat on the crucifix on the spire of one of the bigger churches in town, munching on an apple as she scanned the rooftops for aliens.

It amused her that all the effort SETI had been putting into searching out aliens, and Matilda encounters one by accident while on operations.

All those millions of dollars invested in building equipment to process signals from outer space listening for patterns that could indicate technologically advanced alien civilisations, and they probably still had no clue that there was at least two aliens in this arse end of nowhere town.

Again, that assumed what she had encountered really was an alien, but for now she was willing to run with the assumption that that was an alien.

After hours of scouring the landscape with a camera with a telephoto lens while occasionally eating an apple and sipping energy drinks (using telekinesis to do all these things simultaneously), she was rewarded with sight of what looked like it could be an alien.

This alien seemed female like the one she had met, only there was a large head tail on the back of her head, two smaller ones forwards beneath her horns, the horns and head tails were striped, like it was meant to be a disruptive pattern, only … white with black stripes, where in the fuck could she hide? A herd of zebras?

Any exposed skin she could see was yellow or orange, on her face there seemed to be two white patches around her eyes linked to another patch on her forehead.

There was a thrill in finding these aliens, this one especially because she had hunted this one down herself, it’s like with any other investigation where she’s looking to work out the story the evidence is trying to tell her.

She continued to watch the alien as she moved around on rooftops, dropping to street level occasionally, until she seemed to leave town.

Matilda made a mental note to try poking around in that general direction the night after tomorrow, it was important to avoid doing all nighters too close together, since falling asleep on the job or being half asleep staring at nothing while the thing you’re there to view escapes your attention, yeah, waste of your time in addition to your health.

She stepped off the crucifix and used her telekinesis to slow her descent to something more manageable, and went home.

/*/*/*/*/

“Matilda, your team has been complaining about having to use these Barbie hover board drones,” said the Superintendant.

“Because no self respecting cop would use such a thing?” asked Matilda.

“Yes, is it really vital to your operation that these things be used?”

“Yes. Because no self respecting cop would use such a thing.”

The Superintendant worked out what her point was and said “Alright, I see your point, now-” suddenly his phone rang, “hang on,” he answered it asking “Yeah?”

After listening a bit he said “Alright, coming to you,” as he hung up and got up, telling Matilda “Dispatch says 38 cops are out of contact,” as he left the room.

Matilda followed.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda and the Superintendant stood around looking at the points on the map and watching the limited CCTV shots near where the cops had been last seen.

“Well, we’ve seen this van which keeps switching plates to look like different vans of the same make model and colour, problem is those vans are fucking everywhere, especially since Carrie started building her hotels, they’re still around as they’re deconstructing their encampments,” said one of the cops.

“I doubt that driver would get on with the ethnically diverse work crew though,” said Matilda, “that’s one of the white supremacists I’m investigating, he’s been procuring ammo with the glow in the dark money.”

“Why would they be abducting coppers then? Revenge for us holding their idiots for their illegal searches of their fellow citizens?” Asked the Superintendant.

“Can’t think of any other reason, probably be getting demands soon,” replied Matilda as she started typing out text messages on her phone to her own team, she said “we know of some of their facilities now, maybe my team can help us with which one and how best to sneak SWAT in.”

/*/*/*/*/

“Spine and soul party.”

Kira looked at Carrie and asked “Eh?”

“The name of my party, see, there’s this saying, I couldn’t be a Democrat because I have a spine, and I couldn’t be a Republican because I have a soul.”

Kira smirked saying “Never heard the saying before, but it sounds entirely credible such a saying exists after researching all this for kar – … er, fucking hours.”

“It’s also the least shit party name we’ve come up with thus far,” said Carrie, “says what we’re going to be about.”

Kira nodded looking somewhat perturbed.

“Okay, please curb your enthusiasm, what’s up?”

“Well … that man who you suddenly have time for, I mean, does he have anything to do with your presidential ambitions?” asked Kira.

“How did you come to that conclusion?”

“Appointment? What appointment? I don’t have an appoin- oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, thaaaaat appointment,” replied Kira.

“Holy fuck, you looking to a job as an Info Wars corospondant or something?” asked Carrie, laughing.

“What is he to you then?” asked Kira.

Carrie thought for a moment and eventually asked “do you believe in superpowers?”

Kira thought a moment and asked “like … reading minds half way around the world, bending spoons with psychic power?”

Carrie pulled a pen out of her trouser pocket and held it up.

She then let go, the pen was floating there.

“Oh wow,” said Kira.

The pen then disassembled itself into its case, the ballpoint ink straw assembly, the spring, the parts that rotate a saw tooth type thing to keep the tip extended or retracted, the pocket clip …

“Ask David Blane if he can do that,” said Carrie. The pen then started reassembling itself and returned itself to Carries trouser pocket when it was done.

“Okay. … What’s that got to do with that man?”

“He has the same powers I do. Or at least some of them, I also have electrokinesis,” she extended an arc from her finger, it dissipating into the air like a leader stroke from a lamp post, for a half second, she then said “he says he’s an alien, that he represents an alien empire. Now, not being a retard, I don’t trust that, be cool if it turns out to be true, but if not, well, at least I get being president out of it and I get to watch Matilda and her cop friends lose their shit over me becoming president.”

“Vote Carrie, it’ll be funny,” suggested Kira.

“Yeah, probably not the tagline I’ll be using, but WE GOT A PARTY NAME NOW!” Carrie then grinned maniacally and held two thumbs up looking triumphant.

“Yes we do. Erm, your use of the word Retard to describe people you regard as stupid and hold in contempt though … ”

Carrie facepalmed saying “You’re not going to go full SJW on me are you?”

“SJ- … Alright, when you start your campaign, you need to think about what might come back and bite you, ‘Retard’ may not be ableist the way you use it, but plenty of your prospective voters will either have a learning disability such as dyslexia or a form of autism or simmilar, or know someone who has such a disability, so many of those individuals will think you’re contemptuous of them or their relatives, and those disabilities are not the same thing as the kind of idiocy you’re showing contempt for. Just go with me on this and not use that word when you start recording campaign adverts.”

Carrie nodded and eventually said “Okay, yeah, that is actually a solid point. … Could you find someone to run this place when I go on my party building tour? I think I’ll need you along with me, there’s probably more of this stuff that you’ll be better able to identify than I can.”

“Sure,” replied Kira.

/*/*/*/*/

Matildas team had located the enemy stronghold, essentially a dormitory for a “youth adventure camp,” which was stocked to the gills with illegally modded AR15s, various gas operated shotguns and ammo for such.

They had also tapped into their surveillance network which was on an IPv4 ethernet bus, so a tap at only one point was needed, they had stuck a wi-fi bridge on it so every datapacket was repeated verbatim to them.

It was so easy it was funny.

But on the other hand, these weren’t just a bunch of Reddit trolls, this lot were the real deal.

The hostages were dispersed between dormatories and the (indoor) firing range, the ones on the firing range were located between paper targets with some of the gang members using the firing range while they were sat between the targets.

Matildas attitude opposing excessive force was starting to erode as this information was relayed to her.

Something caught Matildas eye. It made her smile.

“Someone get me the ECM box, then SWAT can get to their forward attack positions, I have an idea.”

/*/*/*/*/

The SWAT team split into two teams on Matildas assurance that she could render some of the supremacists immobile, one team would clear the dormitory of white supremacists, the other would break in through the firing range using a water tempered frame charge, clearing the facility outwards from there, more conventional police would then flood in and make arrests as the situation allowed once the hostages were safe.

SWAT was rated for high intensity close quarter battle in a way ordinary rank and file cops weren’t, but ordinary rank and file cops had the numbers that if piled in and if they move slowly maintaining their formation …

The security camera footage had assured them that none of the supremacists were carrying grenades, and the armoury was right next to the firing range, SWAT would cut off any routes to that, it was for that reason everyone felt safe doing this.

Everyone was set up, and eventually the command came “Alright, standby, standby … … annnnd go.”

The team that broke in through the firing range spread out aiming at the entrance, through which four supremacists ran, weapons out, but not raised, they were clearly not expecting a line of SWAT to be there, the realisation of their mistake set in just in time for them to freeze and look scared.

They were unrecognisable in seconds. This being hostage rescue, the SWAT team couldn’t hang about. “Four X-Rays down, firing range,” reported the team leader.

“Not much fun when we shoot back is it you neonazi shits,” commented one as they approached the door, one throwing a flashbang against the armoury door so it bounced someway up the corridor before detonating, the team then entering the corridor in which three supremacists were stood, weapons out, slightly dazzled.

They also died.

Each room that had both a hostage and a supremacist, the supremacists was either spasming from a malfunctioning taser somehow stuck in their hands or doubled over coughing from a CS canister explosion, but there was knowing how long that condition would last, they could get their shit together and kill a hostage by the time anyone came back this way, so those supremacists had to die too.

Eventually they had cleared every room up to the common areas where the plan set out they were to hold the line until the normal cops could sweep through. They could take prisoners where the rest of the supremacists were of a mind to surrender.

/*/*/*/*/

“I can’t believe something we set up to catch Carrie ended up helping us with these neo-nazis,” said the superintendant.

“Yeah, know what’s worse?” replied Matilda.

“What?” asked the Superintendant.

“She’ll probably be the least bad candidate at the next presidential election if the main parties haven’t improved any.”

“Ughhh, Jesus.”

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda had staked out a location on top of a grain silo at a farm on the edge of town, and settled in to scour the fields for aliens.

Specifically that one with the stripy horns and head tails.

It took a while before she saw anything of note.

She noticed some movement near a hedgerow.

This was a humanoid figure, with two long thin horns coming out the top of its head, and two puffy headtails flowing forward. Its skin colour seemed to be a light blue, this was hard to work out in the low light level of night without street lighting, but it seemed to be blue.

It had what looked like an assault rifle, it was scanning its surroundings with the scope.

She eventually caught a look at its clothing, it was some form of armour coloured appropriately for the environment.

It was probably an alien, this one clearly armed, the other two she had seen weren’t visibly armed, maybe had pistols but if so concealed.

Aliens armed for war roaming Earth.

This made her start to consider trying to inform Homeland Security.

Except she would have to be vague about what she saw, moment she starts describing aliens, the case would end up in the circular file.

She had accumulated photos of two of these aliens, but again, people are more likely to assume CGI rather than allow for there to be actual aliens on Earth.

She held her position for now, see what else she could find happening.

It occurred to her to start speculating on where they might conceal a spaceship, it was pretty hard for her to speculate on the size, the lower limit would be big enough to enclose all these aliens, a cockpit, a highly compact kitchen, a washroom (toilet and shower booth), sleeping, the rest depended on how big life support, propulsion, sensors, electronics, energy stores (electrochemical and … nuclear? … ), weapons (this far away from either home region, odds are they’d have something to fight with), how big all this and everything else was that the spaceship had to carry.

But where around here would you be able to hide a spaceship of any size?

The first thought that occurred to her would be a lake, there were some small lakes around here, big enough to be worth setting up boat hires on the shores, but not massive like the ones on the US/Canada border.

She would have to look up the depths of the nearby lakes, but if you want to hide a spaceship inland, a lake seemed the best bet.

You could hide it in a warehouse or a barn, but you’d have to ensure no one would look inside it, so you’d have to own the farm, and somehow look like a functioning farm without any farm workers seeing inside, and hiding a spaceship in a warehouse would mean overflying densely populated areas.

A lake offered a location where the odds of being seen landing (at least at night) were pretty low, and the people witnessing it might not be believed.

You could also lay down smoke, it would be gone before anyone else gets there and would be written up as a prank. Laying down enough smoke to conceal a landing in an industrial estate would draw a fuckload of unwanted attention and in all likelihood get your spaceship found.

There was another possibility, the spaceship doesn’t land, and people get inserted and extracted as needed.

You would get around the need to hide the spaceship on earth, you could parachute in your agents, the telekinetic ones could jump up to re-board the spaceship so you wouldn’t need to find a suitable landing zone for that, although she didn’t know whether or not they had any members that weren’t telekinetic, that ability was rare on Earth in her experience, it could be just as rare among aliens too.

The problem with that way of doing things is you make multiple flights through heavily searched airspace, depending on where you approach from you might be able to insert along the mountain range that runs the spine of the American continents, but the more flights you make, the more likely it is someone will see you and even get photos of you.

It’s also less convenient. Whereas hiding your ship in a lake means it’s nearby, if you have it call it in to access it, you end up waiting at the arranged location.

She caught sight of the 2nd alien again, the woman with the stripy horn and three headtails. She was moving slowly along a hedgerow a couple of fields across from the one the blue alien had been moving along, her attention seemingly fixed on something along the line of the hedgerow.

She then crouched, and then leapt along. She then stood up again, holding this dead raccoon, wiping a knife she had apparently used to kill it against its fur before visually examining it. Pleased with her kill, she walked in roughly the direction that blue alien had been going.

She hadn’t used a projectile weapon, not even a bow or crossbow, she had leapt for it and manually stabbed it. Interesting preference.

Matilda eventually decided she had seen all she was going to see and went home.

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie, dressed in a black jacket and trousers, a white shirt and red tie, shiny black flat soled formal shoes, looking very presidential, held the two MAC-10s ahead of her, and as she fired shouted “HAIL FROM THE CHIEF MO-” the clips ran out causing the “-Therfucker” part to lose energy as she looked disappointed, she then commented “the clips really don’t last very long do they?” She then turned, keeping the SMGs pointing down range saying “Yeah, sorry, just had to do that,” before handing one of the macs to Kira saying “anyway, engaging serious mode … serious mode engaged, I am now, serious.”

“If you’re just going to be another joke candidate, I don’t feel particularly motivated to vote for you in the upcoming election,” said the range master that operated the open air firing range she was visiting.

“Okay, which one did you vote for last election, or did you go on strike?” asked Carrie.

“Held my nose and voted Trump, without a doubt he’s a dick, but Hillary didn’t seem to believe in borders,” said the range master.

“Yeah, I can see why, whatever our criteria for granting leave to remain, we would want to at least control the flow, I mean I don’t buy the claim that the majority are these murdering raping psychopaths, the majority of them are likely to be jobseekers or refugees from the drug wars going on down south, but gangs are likely to be running the illegal transportation service, and it’s not just people being smuggled,” agreed Carrie.

“Drugs, knock off guns,” said the range master, “that’s another thing, the Democrats attitudes towards guns generally, you do realise with a ban on guns, criminals are going to be armed whatever we do, right?”

“Yeah, this is another frustration I have had when researching proposals for restrictions on gun ownerships, I don’t know whether the democrats are trying to sneak things through or the Republicans just want to keep the customer base for weapons as wide as possible by leaving the loopholes claimed exist open, one of the rules I would have for my party would be to keep the bills as short as possible while also being fit for purpose so ordinary citizens with busy lives can fully understand a bill or act in an evening,” said Carrie, “One thing I’ve become aware of particularly is how the NDAA tends to be a vehicle for contentious legislation specifically because of how big it is combined with how regularly is comes around, the bill being a purchase order for our armed forces equipment and consumables.”

“Yeah,” replied the range master.

/*/*/*/*/

“I’ll grant that the views expressed didn’t mention race, but his perspective was very warped,” said Kira.

“Yes, but immigration will come up as a topic, so an answer I want to develop, but not at any cost,” said Carrie, “I think my strategy on enforcing the minimum wage would address that too, the fear is immigrants are being hired because they will work for illegally low wages, so creating a task force in the IRS to look for suspicious productivity and surprise inspect business premises based on that would be more likely to catch out businesses that hire illegal immigrants on illegally low wages will give our citizens a better chance of competing for work.”

“That won’t address the fear of suicide bombers,” said Kira, “and given everything I’ve read on Islamic State, k- fucking hell, I’m not all that surprised people are scared of those.”

“Yeah,” replied Carrie, “thing is, a lot of the Islamic State people we’ve encountered, and those in France, Britain, those terrorists grew up in the countries they terrorised. By birth they had indefinite leave to remain.”

“How are people born here becoming terrorists?” asked Kira.

“Probably their parents sending them to Islamic faith schools recommended to them by our bestest friend Saudi Arabia,” said Carrie, “we can’t ban religious schools that would be unconstitutional, what we could do is require time out of a week, 40 hours or whatever the normal time is, in publicly owned schools that deal in reality, or they will as soon as we can shift that mental case Sec-Ed Trump hired, she seems to think standards are ‘obstructing innovation,’ or some such excuse, seriously, you want continuous improvement of standards, and you want those standards to mean your qualifications are recognised nationwide, you reach school leaving age and find out your certificates aren’t worth the paper you wiped your ass with, the free-for-all she wants will make the United States even retardeder on the world stage.”

“Yeah, this connects with the Universal Healthcare that was what Obama originally wanted, and it was blocked because of some weird claim that it would turn the United States into … the Soviet Union? I mean-”

“I think the Soviet Union was about as socialist as Wallmart,” said Carrie, “Communism is another beast I don’t entirely understand, aside from having something to do with socialism, so, can’t even comment about if the Soviet Union is ‘real communism’ or not, but Socialism broadly means the means of the production are owned by the people as a whole, not one sole land owner, now, I wouldn’t apply that to everything, but if we’re talking about essential services that can’t be trusted in the hands of the free market, if no amount of regulation of a privatised version of that sector will deliver what is needed, I mean … ” Carrie calmed down as best she could as she tried to come up with a consistent formula before saying “I can’t do a consistent formula, I’d have to comment item by item, but certificates of education are essentially a currency of sorts, like vehicle operator licenses, although the education side in that instant is fully privatised and seems to serve it’s consumers reasonably well … It’s to do with the timescale, you won’t know a training course is shit until you apply it, you could feasibly take a driving test every month or whatever the minimum separation is, so you can try an instructor and work out they’re not that good at teaching you over a month for something like $200 or something, but you’re a kid growing up or a parent selecting a school for your child, you the child or you the parent won’t know for about 16 to 18 years, whatever the school leaving age, and actually physical mobility is an issue too, along with private sector tuition fees.”

Kira nodded and said “yeah, I think you’re about right on this stuff, but you’re going to have to figure out a faster way of communicating it.”

“Yeah, meaning I need to get me bullet points down first,” replied Carrie, “that’s the problem with crafting government policies, so much interconnection between everything … Yeah. Shorter, conciser, memorabler.”

“By the way, fear of terrorism, that why we’re driving rather than flying?”

“Not the terrorism, more the TSA, I don’t mind vaginal fisting, but anal fisting, I mean, come on.”

They drove on to their next location.

/*/*/*/*/

“Oh lord, guide us as we hold our meeting to shape the minds of the next generation.”

“Amen.”

Carrie didn’t confront them on their starting a meeting with a prayer, but it did feel a little creepy considering this was a city committee on education services, meaning it served all Americans within the geographic boundary of the city. Carrie had obtained a 360 camera for her campaign so that she and Kira could essentially record everything now and pick what they like later, that was set up on a tripod on the desk in front of them.

“Okay, so, we come to our first item, we have Carrie … ”

“Just Carrie,” replied Carrie.

“Carrie, and Kira Carsen, they’re starting a new political party called the Spine And Soul party, they have asked that we help them with their policy on education, so, Carrie, please set out any ideas you have and then we will have a catch the eye session of questions and answers,” said the Chair.

“Okay, thank you. So, first thing is I think schools should be funded according to need from income tax, at the national level. Whatever we want to do with our curriculum, we need stable and adequate funding, maintaining existing school buildings would depend on the buildings, and funding for teacher salaries will depend on the number of children attending the schools, I think the absolute maximum class size should be 15, but I’m not wedded to that number, I definitely think a problem with our schools historically is that if the teacher isn’t satisfied that the student is keeping up, they depend on the parents to talk with their kids to set them straight because the teachers don’t have the time to talk with their students individually there and then.

“That works fine if one of the parents can be economically inactive or down to part time work, and isn’t zonked by the time they get home, and even is sufficiently educated themselves to be able to talk their kids into taking classes seriously, but if the household is from a poor neighbourhood, and the fact the neighbourhood is poor means the teachers are particularly overloaded, no extracurriculars, no athletics programs, library full of comics and wank mags, if they even have a library, and I’m sure you can point out exceptional kids that manage to study their way into high scores in spite of their background, but that’s just it, few kids are that exceptionally smart, the majority need better.

“Now, no such thing as a free lunch, I will in all likelihood have to raise income tax to pay for it, there are rumours that if we did something about the military industrial complex or the prison industrial complex, we might be able to reallocate funding without needing to raise taxes, but I would have to ask people, what’s more important? Getting your patio repaved, or ensuring the American economy thrives into the future?

“Because believe me, a thriving economy don’t just happen, businesses need skilled and educated people to function, the fewer lawyers, the fewer accountants, the fewer electricians, the fewer machinists, the fewer welders, the fewer businesses that can exist, the less productive our whole economy is.

“Same thing with our health services, the fewer doctors, nurses, etc. we have, the less likely it is any of you having a stroke or a heart attack will be saved.

“Now, I said ‘whatever we want to do with the curriculum,’ because I don’t want to hold one policy hostage to another, that’s a childish way of doing politics, I want to win the argument because I made sense, not because I took hostages. I want to make Sex Relationships education mandatory, not just the basic ‘where babies come from’ stuff, I want to include all information on STIs, I want to include information on contraceptives, sexual ethics, where apparent consent can’t be trusted, because keeping our children ignorant of those matters, seriously, that’s fucking dangerous, I had this crazy religious mom that withheld permission for me to learn that stuff, luckily I happened across a book in the library that covered sexual reproduction, didn’t mention menstruation though, scared the living fuck out of me when I started bleeding out my cunt in the school shower, everyone ripped the piss out of me of course, open my locker afterwards, huge load of tampons fall out, but imagine if I hadn’t even the knowledge that book gave me, and some smooth talking boy decided to seduce me? I wouldn’t have had a clue I would have been risking pregnancy or picking up a sexually transmitted infection would I?

“But, we should keep our kids ignorant because … … childhood innocence … … whatever that means. … Perhaps one of yous can explain why that’s more important than keeping our children safe? … Anyway, that’s about as far as I got, I also think that even if our schools deal in reality, there’s nothing stopping them attending religious schools over the weekend, because while I’m sure many religious schools are all nice and civilised, there are some that indoctrinate their students with some murderous ideologies, not just certain chains of Islamic schools, but there will be some Christian schools that preach race war, or at the very least psychologically abuse students who are revealed to be gay or trans, causing suicidal ideation or self harm, our schools should not be so dangerous for our own children.

“ … yeah, that’s it. Sorry I got a bit sweary there, any thoughts?”

The board members looked at each other.

/*/*/*/*/

“Well, we definitely showed the spine side of our party,” said Kira as she and Carrie lay on their beds in the Motel room they were staying in, Kira working with the footage on her smartphone over her head.

“Yeah, we’re never going to please everyone,” said Carrie, “let’s upload it to our campaign channel, invite people to mirror it, see how that goes.”

“Right-o.”

/*/*/*/*/

“So, likes and dislikes, favourable and unfavourable comments, they’re very polarised,” said Kira as she and Carrie ate breakfast at the motel café.

“Along religious lines,” said Carrie, “I don’t want to be playing one side against another, but I definitely want to convince everyone it’s in everyones interest that the school system deal in reality.”

“Not just religious lines, economic philosophy too, ‘Isn’t the state big enough?’ ‘Oh great, another fake socialist.’”

Carrie laughed, “oh, wonderful, well, obviously I’m not going to be a purist, that never makes sense,” she picked up her phone and started typing out some responses.

/*/*/*/*/

“Carrie?” asked Kira.

“Yeah, hang on,” said Carrie, as she continued to type out responses.

“We’re here, we need to be inside, like now,” said Kira, having been the one to drive them as Carrie had been too stuck into the arguments in the comments section the whole way.

Carrie desperately looked between the venue and her phone a couple of times and eventually said “Yeah, okay, fine,” and closed the browser in favour of her notes.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda was listening to videos from Carries channel on her smartphone as she typed out her reports on her desktop computer.

There was a mixture of points Matilda found agreeable and outright trolling, things like when one of those education board members called Carrie a “liberal elite” and she returned with “what’s that? A liberal member of a special forces unit? That sounds cool,” and that board member returned with some rant about how global elites are conspiring to destroy traditional values, that meeting had started off with what sounded like a serious attempt at political salesmanship, but then deteriorated into straight up trolling.

She also managed to manoeuvre around immigration paranoia with things that sounded like they could please everyone, chasing down employers that pay starvation wages or even pay people off the books (even though Carrie benefitted from that, seemed more than a little hypocritical for her to do that, but if this detoxifies the public debate … ), she seemed to be selling the policy to one crowd as an anti immigrant measure and to the other as a pro-worker policy.

Then Trump weighed in on the YouTube and Twitter comments, calling the idea of this illegal wage unit a “white elephant, and a waste of money.”

Even this far into his presidency, zero clues. That temporary travel ban had dragged on beyond what he had said it would, firing anyone that disobeyed his executive orders, there was this “Justice Democrats” movement that was starting to look like a serious contender, so Carrie might have more of a fight on her hands than she had originally thought, and mentioning her panicking over her period in the school changing room shower is likely to draw out witnesses to hostile news organisations and give Trump ammunition, that could have been a mistake.

Hmm.

Could also have been deliberate, mistake or not, it was hard to tell whether or not there was method in Trumps madness at times, it had been a clanger a minute throughout Trumps campaign and had continued through his pres elect phase and was continuing through his administration, and the Democrats, so used to engineering an offensive message where none exists in less extreme opponents, were just too showered in decoys to effectively focus on Trumps policy platform.

The accounts of telekinesis at the prom Carrie turned on its end might win over some of the evangelicals, but would look fucking crazy to the rest of the US electorate.

This could be an elaborate trap being set by Carrie to make Trump look ridiculous.



Ridiculouser?



Matilda saw the screensaver activate and realised she was getting distracted from her report.

She deactivated the screensaver (was there any point in those things any more? No one had used a CRT screen in a decade, they weren’t necessary for backlit LCD screens and now everyone, her precinct included, were on OLED screens) and resumed typing out her report, until about half a minute later where she sensed three sets of moody eyes on her.

She saw three goons in suits with Secret Service badges walking her way.

They weren’t about to start a fight, but they really didn’t like her, their faces betrayed none of their feelings, but they really didn’t like her.

“Detective Inspector Matilda Wilson,” said the lead goon, “I’m special agent Chris Haggard, I’m here to ask you about that organisation you entrapped and shot.”

“Entrapped and shot,” slowly repeated Matilda, she then asked “right. We shot them. Where do you get ‘entrapped’ from?”

“Some of them were misled by a credible source into thinking we had passed the civil measures needed to protect our borders,” replied Chris.

Matilda had to absorb the revelation in that sentence, she then said “I knew they were mislead, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised this is something the Republicans are actually trying to implement, the ones we arrested for doing those illegal searches are contesting the charges, but I wouldn’t hold my breath, I am reliably advised by our DA that the judge and likely jury will take a dim view of them LARPing Crow era embarrassments to law enforcement, they’re doing the maximum time available,” this made Chriss mood get significantly worse, “as for the other idiots we shot, you know, the ones that abducted OUR officers, and stuck them in their firing range next to paper targets and shot the targets centimetres from our officers heads, leaving our officers to wonder how long before these fascists suddenly get a desire to see some pink mist, the force we used to rescue our officers was wholly justifiable.”

There were a few seconds of silence before Matilda asked “Do you have any further questions at this time?”

Chris thought a few seconds before saying “Ever since Trump took office, we’ve had traitors coming out of the wood work, putting the rights of terrorist scum above the rights of our own people, and we’ve been hard at work draining the swamp. And that means the whole swamp. We’ll be back.” The then left.

“Enjoy your stay,” said Matilda as they left. She then decided to apply a little telepathic effect on their sense of balance, and caused them to stumble into each other and an office divider, making them look like tits.

They recovered, looking around at everyone now looking at them as complete bellends, and continued out.

Laugh over, Matilda sat back, reminded of the uncomfortable feeling she kept having about the Trump administration.

This was another reason she got so into stalking those aliens, it was a relaxing distraction.

Matilda resumed typing out her report.

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie drove as Kira handled the YouTube comments on their latest video.

They were following 245th avenue approaching West Bullhead Road when a cop car appeared behind them, lights going, siren whooping a couple of times, the driver pointing to the right.

There was something instantly wrong with the situation, above and beyond not knowing what they were being pulled over for, something cold and nauseating was emanating from the cops.

“Kira, you know those powers I mentioned?” said Carrie as she pulled over.

“Yeah?” asked Kira.

“Well … I tell you to do something, don’t question it, just do it, right?”

“Ohhhhh-kay,” said Kira.

As they came to a stop, Carrie pulled her driving license out her wallet without removing the wallet itself out of her pocket, holding it between two fingers with both hands on the wheel.

As the cops approached, they suddenly drew their weapons shouting “DROP YOUR WEAPON! DROP YOUR WEAPON.”

Carrie could sense the tension in their trigger fingers.

The fraction of a second before they fired, she telekinetically rotated the cops.

Carrie got out the car saying “Kira, call an ambulance and check the one on the right is okay, I’ll do the one on the left,” as she approached the cop on her side.

Her casualty had been shot through the abdomen, he had armour, but apparently it weren’t up to the ammo his partner was using. This was actually pretty strange, every time she had stolen cop gear, the mags had always been loaded with Hydrashok or similarly expanding or frangible rounds to prevent overpeneration.

Mind, she was used to urban cops, they could easily have a different mindset concerning the need to poke holes through armour, so these apparently armour piercing rounds may just have been their normal ammo rather than something specifically intended for people they intended to murder.

He had dropped his weapon, it was no longer within his reach, and he didn’t seem able to move his legs. It was highly likely his spine had been severed. There was a movie meme of cops having ankle holsters for a backup piece, but really, that wasn’t a concern either, only weapons in his reach were a Taser and a CS can, neither of those in his possession bothered her.

As she knelt beside the man she said “alright, my friend’s calling an ambulance, I’m going to make sure you’re still alive when they get here, meantime, would you mind telling me why you and your friend were so keen to end us?”

“What the fucking hell did you do? Are you some kind of witch?” asked the cop.

Carrie cupped his chin with a finger and thumb and discharged about a third of an amp through his jaw causing him to scream loud enough to hurt Carries ears in a most satisfying way. She replied “You know, I could very well be a witch, I don’t know much about how I got my abilities, but I think your friend shot you through your spine, and this happened in the process of the two of you trying to commit murder, so your career’s buggered, you’re getting a criminal CV, and I get the sense this wasn’t your idea, even without my abilities, it’s obvious this was a straight up assassination attempt rather than a recreational attack, so whoever ordered this really dropped you in it, agree or disagree?”

“Agree,” he replied.

“So do you owe them any loyalty what so ever, or would you be fine pointing me in their direction?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he said.

“CARRIE, PHONE’S NOT GETTING THROUGH.”

The cop seemed to be amused by that. That sort of ruled out the phone problems being a coincidence.

Carrie stood up. Feeling for anything her psychic senses could tell her, she noticed something far off, coming-

She telekinetically picked up the cops gun and just let her hand do the aiming.

When she shot, something exploded in the air a few hundred metres away. A sideways pointing mushroom fireball fading to black acrid smoke, and the crack of something whizzing over their heads was heard a fraction of a second before the sound of the charge.

She then felt again.

/*/*/*/*/

As the ‘Camera Fault’ blue screen replaced the view of Carrie, the supervising security officer in the Tigerswan operations room pointed at the screen and asked “Okay, can any fucker tell me, how she did that?”

/*/*/*/*/

“We must have really pissed someone off, question is, is it Trump, Hillary, or some other group?” asked Carrie as she drove on out.

“I can’t find out anything about the area we’re in until we get a signal,” said Kira, “I don’t understand the local involvement of security services in telecommunications infrastructure on this- in this, state, but … do they got any more drones?”

“Probably not in the immediate area,” Carrie said, hoping it was true, but she was confident that “I doubt they were expecting someone to be able to shoot down their missile, let alone their drone with a handgun, we got some time, question is, can we access any network node safely?”

“Probably not,” said Kira, she opened the back of her phone and removed the battery saying “we’ll find a library and access the internet through that.”

/*/*/*/*/

“Carrie a cop killer?” asked Matilda, “that’s not going to help her run for presidency is it? Successful candidates tend to be law and order candidates, sometimes to a fault.”

“You see any of us laughing?” asked Chris. Him and his entourage dour as ever.

“Not in the time that I’ve known you, but it’s also a serious point, this is a massive departure from her previous pattern of behaviour, as is her political aspirations of course, describe the encounter.”

“The cops were alerted to two women brandishing weapons and getting into their car, they saw the described car, pulled it over, the women lifted their weapons into view, the cops drew their own weapons, but were too slow, one had his spine severed, the other lost a kidney, the two women then drove off.”

“Okay, any other details on where they were brandishing their weapons? Where were they doing that? And where did the encounter occur?”

“We don’t have those details,” said Chris.

Matilda gave it a few seconds before asking “no location, no name of informant, nothing about whether they were waving the guns willy nilly or checking the conditions of the weapons, were they threatening people, were they aiming any anything or any one … anything?”

“What’s with the interest in that?” asked Chris.

“What’s with the lack of interest?” asked Matilda.

“Carrie is a no good criminal,” said Chris.

“That we haven’t been able to convict,” said Matilda, “I suspect her of numerous cases of criminal damage and theft of police gear, nothing to indicate she is a recreational killer, or for that matter stupid enough to force a shootout with a road patrol, and the other woman, Kira Carsen, her record’s cleaner than a semiconductor fabrication plant, couple of business administration degrees, and she’s waving guns and shooting cops too?”

“You seem awfully keen on defending her,” said Chris.

“I’m awfully keen on the truth and you keep setting off my bullshit detector,” said Matilda, “now, if she did what you said, she did what you said, reality is reality, but your presentation sucks”

Chris glowered a bit and then said “you have an attitude problem. Why did you become a cop?”

“To protect people from criminals, and that especially includes criminals that pretend to be cops, you know, to get ones own house in order first.”

“What kind of double think is that?” asked Chris.

“Why did you become a cop?” Asked Matilda.

“To rid America of criminality.”

“So where’s the difference?” asked Matilda.

“I go after ALL criminality.”

After a few more seconds Matilda said “Guess the penny is in a microgravity environment.”

Chris looked confused.

Matilda asked “Any other points to discuss?”

“No.” Chris said.

“Cool.”

“Expect us,” said Chris as he headed out again.

“Will do,” said Matilda as she went back to work.

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie really couldn’t be fucked to go back to the car and get the carvac, so she just blew the dust off the public use laptops keyboard and set about accessing Twitter.

The time it was taking to load the page presented a challenge in that Carrie had to keep her telekinetic powers locked down.

A number of people had tweeted videos at her, with thumbnails that seemed to feature them as they would have been seen from that cop cars dashcam.

She selected one and waited for it to download enough to play.

It was Alex Jones saying “Well, I told you there were witches out there, I told you they were casting spells, and now we have proof, what happens when our brave law enforcers are forced to defend themselves against a pair of witches,” and with that he let the footage roll of the two cops doing their act for the camera.

The dashcam didn’t exactly afford a view of Carrie or Kira that would disprove the cops claim that they were waving guns, so expect long internet tirades in both directions on that one.

The cops were suddenly spun towards each other.

“Now, this is no stunt, those two cops are still in hospital being treated, but those of you still in denial of the Deep Government, well watch what happens next.”

The part where Carrie interrogates the cop, “Are you a witch,” “I may very well be,” that conversation ran its course, Kira telling Carrie there wasn’t a signal all of a sudden, Carrie feeling for some sense of impending doom, then her telekinetically picking up the gun, there was inset footage from a rearward pointing camera that caught the explosion.

“Did you catch that? The gun flew into her hand, and she somehow shot something down, like she had charmed the bullet. That’s some satanic shit right there folks, Deep government is everywhere, and it has Satans powers on its side, so stay righteous folks.”

And there the video ended.

“Mentions deep government, neglects to mention a guided missile being shot at us, claiming a ‘magic bullet,’” notes Carrie.

“Could he not be in on it?” asked Kira.

“Hard to tell,” said Carrie, “I mean, telling the truth would mean admitting that the government tried to drone strike US citizens on US soil, there’s precedent for it abroad, using it on the mainland … Still, frog in a slowly warming pot I guess. Come to think of it, what made them use a drone in the first place? What did they think they could say about it?”

“They could have claimed we had a bomb that went off, they had bent coppers on side, either they also had bent CSIs or they would have removed any missile fragments while ‘securing the scene’ for their CSIs, but something’s wrong with this” said Kira, “there had to have been a better way of doing this open to them, and this whole encounter just seemed too desperate.”

“Yeah, I mean, I mess with computers all the time, I mean, I got these psychic abilities to help me with that, but what I can do, the NSA would be orders of magnitude better. … Having said that, the Trump administration, well, isn’t. It’s chaotic as all fuck.”

“Yeah, but even with that, Trump may not be able to think 5 seconds ahead, but everyone under him can.”

Carrie eventually nodded. She went back to looking through the Twitter page, commenting “see what else we got here … ”

After reading through, they hit on “Mercenaries?”

/*/*/*/*/

Tigerswan weren’t bad, some might say they were cowboys, but at least they gave these three a chance, whereas the Rangers, with all their politically correct bullshit had fired them without honour just for burning the prayer mats of the three Muslim recruits of their platoon.

Just how were they supposed to protect America under those circumstances?

“There’s our X-Rays, far end of the shop,” said the one at point.

“Alright, spread out, we’ll sync with you.”

They did.

Their clothing didn’t allow them to conceal much, they had obtained micro-Uzis, modded for full auto, for jobs like this.

They drifted to their positions, reaching up the backs of their jackets to unclip their Uzis from the straps they had rigged, and then almost flawlessly and instantly acquired their targets and started shooting.

Except in that time, Kira in a manner that seemed to defy physics in the way she seemed to fall sideways and Carrie dropped out of view.

They started to approach when Carrie sat up just enough to shoot back with her own SMG, the burst hit the tail merc, the other two ducked.

Kira also had an SMG apparently, there were bursts coming from where Kira had landed, while this covering fire was coming from Kira, they took the opportunity to change their magazines, and when the bursts stopped, they got up, seeing the toilet door open and close.

Having lost an operator, the remaining two were in no mood to let those two live, they pressed their attack, advancing across the street and in through the holes that used to hold toughened sealed glass units, all the other customers were face down, some crying, some praying, usual scene, the mercs continued their advance about 3 metres before suddenly they were paralysed by an electrical current coming from the ceiling, the source of the current shouting “TASER-TASER-TASER.”

/*/*/*/*/

The mercs woke up when they felt a warm fluid splashing on their face.

They recoiled in disgust when they caught the smell of the fluid and woke up to see Carrie minus her trousers and panties still urinating on them.

Kira was looking on a little bit back, her face scrunched up.

The two mercs couldn’t go anywhere owing to them being tied to a fencepost on a country road, with the woman that had killed their friend urinating all over them.

“Wakey wakey,” said Carrie as she finished urinating and wiped her minge dry with one of their hats before getting dressed again asking “So, your idiot bosses sent you to kill us, obviously, and I’d like to know why? I just about believe it’s not the government that ordered this, but beyond that … what?”

“We don’t really know, all we know is our boss called us and told us to kill you.”

As Carrie finished buckling her belt she asked “That’s it? Your boss says ‘commit class A Felonies’ and you ask ‘how many?’ Are you retarded?”

“We’re a security firm, you threatened something we’re tasked with protecting, don’t want more of us trying to kill you, stop it. All I can say.”

After a few seconds of silence, Carrie asked “where the fuck did you get a drone loaded with guided missiles from?”

“We have connections.”

“Care to name them?”

“Can’t.”

“You sure?” asked Carrie as she arced a current from one hand to the other.

“You don’t have the time for this do you?” asked one of the mercs.

Carrie considered this and admitted “You know what? You’re right, I don’t, but you know what else? You told me to stop doing whatever it was your boss took exception to? … Well, as a Kekistani, now I know something annoys your boss … I’m going to do it more at them.”

Carrie and Kira got in their car and drove off.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda thought of how ridiculous Alex Joness spin on recent events was with all his conspiracy theory bullshit as she hunted the woods for aliens and speculated on government conspiracies.

The first video she saw was the one of the two cops shooting each other, there was no view of Carrie or Kira that could have proved or disproved the claim that the two of them were waving guns around during a traffic stop where the cops would have had the advantage over them, and then there was that explosion when Carrie had shot that first round with that cops gun, that had to have been an impact fused guided missile or a shell from a 100 or so mm gun, but for now she assumed a guided missile, the trajectory was way too flat for artillery fire because the muzzle blast would have been visible, the resolution in the videos were too crap to show where the smoke of a missile being launched from an aircraft might have been if it was at the sort of range she suspected it might have been, so in all likelihood, that was a guided missile such as a Hellfire, Brimstone, Maverick …

And that second one, three men in civvies try to shoot Carrie and Kira as they were accessing the internet at a public terminal in an internet café, this time Carrie and Kira shot back using Mac 10s, somehow they had managed to swing concealed carry permits in all states, shot one of them, Carrie had then walked up the wall next to one of the shot out windows while Kira had manoeuvred back into the café toilets while sending cover fire, and the two surviving shooters walked right under Carrie who then zapped them with electrokinesis.

She and Kira then took the two and left. They got picked up on some rural road tied to a fencepost. Carrie had urinated on them. Now THAT sounded like Carrie.

The three of them had apparently been Ranger rejects, commenters on the videos had provided links to an article to their court martials, there wasn’t really anything else to connect them to this case apart from the people who had used that drone.

And where had that come from? The only people that should have drones packing missiles are the Airforce and the CIA.

The CIA had a long and well earned rep for involvement in so much shady shit that they were her most favourite suspect.

Another post had named Tigerswan as being known to have been involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Maybe they thought Carrie was there to fuck with them?

Well, if she wasn’t there to fuck with them before, then now, a fucking they were almost certainly going to get.

From her position in the woods surrounding the lake she had chosen to watch, so far very little had happened. Normal surveillance operations involved urban settings, commandeering local houses, or maintenance worker outfits, or office workers on park benches using their tablet computers on their break, that was actually damn useful these days, you can wear all the AV surveillance gear you need openly and blend into the background as a Tech fetishizing yuppie.

But this was basically the woods, so she had to obtain a ghillie suit some camouflage cream, plenty of shops knocking around that sell this stuff, so that wasn’t a problem, but basically she was making like a pile of leaves laying prone on the forest floor moving as little as possible while keeping eyes on target.

It could easily be the case this was simply the wrong lake.

In which case she was basically denying herself a night of decent sleep for nothing.

Or it could be the right lake but the wrong night, it could be nothing was going to happen and she could move onto the next lake and miss activity at this one.

She didn’t want to leave cameras unattended, someone could nick them, some critter could shit on the lens, leaves could blow onto them, and if she used wi-fi devices for remote surveillance, the aliens might have a sensor that could pick that up.

So this had to happen in person.

But it turned out this was the right lake and the right night, because something emerged from the lake at the end of the jetty the rental boats were moored to, and out came that woman with the stripy horns and heat tails, and this big grey lump of a humanoid shape before the hatch on the object closed and it retreated back under the surface.

“Point me at the prey and I’ll show you how to hunt,” said the big grey lump.

“A: You still need to acquire the prey, and B: you need to be on top of the prey before it can run down some hole, but sure, I’ll point you at some of them, it’ll be funny,” replied the woman.

They were foraging for food.

Well, it’s not like they could get a job, too many employers would think they were having a laugh.

She kept watching to see if anything else happens, making a note to get some scuba gear to have a poke around the bottom of the lake on a future night, she didn’t know if that bit that had poked out of the water was the whole spaceship or a smaller craft contained within it, that was something she wanted to establish. It seemed a bit cramped for an interstellar craft, so for now she was assuming it was a smaller craft contained within the main ship.

She then noticed this lump in the water, and quickly identified it as the top of the head of that blue alien she had seen. It seemed to be looking around.

Eventually it moved to the shore, crawling up under an overhanging bush with a dereeler in one hand, seeming to be unspooling a black cable that looked consistent with UHF or similar coaxial. She caught a glimpse of it’s two forward head tails which seemed to have horns poking out of them.

The absence of any scuba gear or other breathing apparatus told her that the alien was an amphibian.

Having trailed the cable up onto land, the alien then came back and used what looked like an entrenching tool (collapsible spade) to cut this slit in the ground, and pushed the cable into it, obscuring the line afterwards.

Matilda kept watching as the alien worked its way slowly through the vegetation.

It unscrewed some grating from a pavement gutter and threaded the cable along it, and then unspooled several metres of the cable.

He then cut the cable off the spool and started poking the free end up a drainpipe, until it emerged in the roof gutter and arced down again, it tried pulling it through, but the friction wouldn’t allow it, so it resigned itself to poking the wire up through the bottom of the drain.

It eventually had enough of the wire through that he reattached the grate to the pavement gutter and got one of the chairs from the cafeteria slightly along from the Jetty to stand on, placing the cable in the gutter moving towards the end of the building.

It turned out the cut length wasn’t quite enough, so it pulled some tools and stuck a connector on the end, it seemed to be an F-Type connector, and then attached a double ended socked on that and another connector on the spool end.

The alien then got to where there was a wire connecting from the end of the building to the top of a post.

It cut the slack in the already present cable and added connectors to each loose end there, and then pulled a device that Matilda guessed was a tap, those things usually looked like a metal box with three F Type sockets coming out of it, this was a custom job that looked designed for low visibility.

It also got what looked like heat shrink sleeve and before screwing the connectors onto the device, it slid the heat shrink sleeves onto the wires, and then once the connectors were fixed onto the device, it slid the sleeves over the connectors and pulled a device that turned out to be a blowtorch, and shrank the sleeves onto the connectors.

Unless you look for it, it wouldn’t draw your attention, that was what most camouflage systems used, not perfection, just good enough.

Well, until a maintainance crew went up there to clear dead leaves out the roof gutter, cables aren’t supposed to go up drains, so some point between autumn and winter this was going to be found.

Maybe these aliens didn’t anticipate still being here at that point.

The alien then returned the chair and returned to cover, giving Matilda only glimpses of it as it moved away.

So, it had connected something in the lake directly to the internet. Why? That café had wi-fi, why not just stick an antenna under the jetty? Who would know the aliens were using the node?

Well, in all likelihood the blue alien was of an opposing faction to the other two who lived in the ship in the lake.

He was worried about the same thing she had been worried about when she decided she didn’t want to be broadcasting signals from equipment left here, he didn’t want them knowing his devices were there.

Eventually the woman and the grey thing returned, the woman with three racoons and five squirrels hanging off her webbing, grinning mischievously, the grey lump, … hard to know what dour looks like on such a face, but it was carrying nothing, so, probably failed to catch anything.

The craft they had emerged from appeared again as they got to the end of the jetty and they got in, once again disappearing into the lake.

Matilda waited a few more hours before crawling back out the way she came and returning home.

/*/*/*/*/

“Yeah, that’s the correct address, thanks,” said Carrie before she hung up the pay phone (those still existed, but in an ever shrinking number).

They were wanted by the police, it wasn’t the case that they were likely to be found guilty, but they had participated in shootouts and their accounts had been frozen, so all they had was the money in their wallets.

“Good thing we paid for shipping in advance,” said Kira.

“Yeah, don’t know if the police or maybe the feds at this point will be looking for these items,” said Carrie.

They returned to their motel room that the motel proprietor had accepted cash for without asking for proof of ID, Carrie could of course have just broken into an unused room with telekinesis, but this would guarantee them a good nights sleep.

Or a good mornings sleep.

They had to stow away in a cross country coaches luggage compartment, using telepathy to focus the drivers attention away from the relevant wing mirror while it was waiting at some lights and emerged when Carries senses told her they were in the next town but not being observed.

They expected to receive the components some point in the afternoon.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda’s hand slapped the button on the alarm clock radio and waited a few seconds before walking over to the 12V single can fridge and retrieved the emergency post all night op can of energy drink.

As she was sipping her drink, she noticed some green and brown smudges on her pillow. That confused her momentarily until she remembered that she had left her camoucream on last night, she had looked in the mirror as she was washing her hands from having urinated, decided she couldn’t be fucked to wash it off at that point, left it until the morning.

And now it was morning, so she finished her energy drink and washed it off.

After getting dressed, she was on her second can of energy drink and eating breakfast as she rewatched the footage from that second shoot out.

It was hard to work out where Carrie got sufficiently good at firearms training that she wasn’t caught out by the trigger group, one thing that happens a lot on live fire training where you’re drawing your weapon on hearing gunshots is that the first few times you forget to check your weapon is armed, so you unmask, building your sight picture as you should, all smooth and perfect … and the trigger won’t budge, so you have to duck back to arm your weapon with the enemy knowing where you are and hope you can slot them before they can slot you, they might have turned any hostages they’re holding to face you …

There was quite a bit unknown to her between Carries high school prom and her first appearance in her town, and even then …

Still, failing to arm your weapon while a common first fight/exercise mistake, wasn’t a guaranteed one, there was a portion of students that always check their weapon is armed before trying to fight with it, that never got caught out.

And that burst was about right, six rounds through centre of mass, shredded just about every key organ in the target, and then Carrie had rolled to the side wall of the customer area and telekinetically pulled herself to the front wall to walk up the wall next to the window out of view as Kira reversed crawled to the toilets holding her weapon with one hand, sending bursts of cover fire, successfully drawing the enemy shooters in under Carrie … .

Kira Carsen …

Matilda rewatched the footage, this time paying attention to Kira Carsen.

This was interesting, just like Carrie, Kiras hand never went into the shopping bag in which her Mac 10 was being stored, it waved over the bag and the SMG emerged under her hand.

So, Kira was also telekinetic …

Matilda brought up the file on Kira Carsen and read through it.

Admin, business schools, accountancy, … no combat training recorded.

She had secured the same CCW permits Carrie had, but there was no service history in military or law enforcement. No known association with any of the militias that the FBI or other DHS departments normally watched, and while the DHS has announced a reduction on resources dedicated to Christian and white supremacist groups, Kira had been working for Carrie before that decision was announced.

The data from these groups wasn’t exactly high definition, but they usually had a confident assessment of the numbers.

The thing was, the psychic abilities Matilda had meant she ended up taking shortcuts in exercises where the instructors had a go at her for it, even though her targeting had been spot on, she was deemed reckless but lucky, and was told her luck won’t last and she was headed for the wrong end of an Internal Affairs inquiry.

Of course the effectiveness of IA investigations and prosecutions for wrongful use of lethal force (otherwise known as MURDER for fucks sake) had proven to be shockingly bad. Matilda could only keep her station clean, she didn’t like circumventing the law for this, but at the same time she couldn’t in good conscious let these people remain cops, so she psychically commanded them to (for example) remove their uniforms before walking out to their patrol routes wearing only their hat, shoes, and webbing, or buying a big bottle of vodka or other strong booze and sipping that while on their patrol routes …

Some of them had made her resort to psychically commanding them to eat a bullet in reception.

Back to Kira though …

Like Matilda, Kira could have been keeping her powers generally a secret, and it could be Kira found a way to secretly make use of killing houses without it being recorded anywhere.

Or …

Kira Carsen wasn’t her real name and this whole file was bullshit. She could be a cop or spy doing a deep cover operation, spying on Carrie.

Matilda had seen some shockingly bad surveillance operations, but given the observable intellect of her parents, the subjects of the surveillance operation, were about as bright as a lump of coals asshole, she could sort of understand the complacency, (she had actually TOLD her parents the cops were there, but they did not believe her at all, in spite of being involved in illegal shit right in front of her), but at the same time the academy had taught her how to do scarily invisible surveillance, so there was a very broad spectrum in quality.

Matilda finished her breakfast and headed for work.

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie was welding a steel column to a plate on her desk in her hotel office when her mother walked in telling her “you witch, you offend god, you must die.”

“Mom, I’m busy, fuck off,” said Carrie as she continued the current lap around the columns shape.

“You wouldn’t have had your period if you had kept yourself pure,” said her mother.

Carrie stopped welding and telekinetically retrieved a pack of tampons from the offices en suite washroom and then telekinetically forced them into her mothers mouth telling her “plug it up mom.” She then telekinetically walked her mom out of the office and closed the door.

She was about to resume welding when the students and teachers from that prom, all looking freshly killed, one of them asked “never mind purity, how about just not killing over a prank?”

“What am I supposed to do, resurrect you?”

“No, you’re supposed to go to jail,” said Matilda, who seemed to have been standing behind Carrie at that moment, she had one end of a pair of handcuffs wrapped around one of Carries wrists.

Carrie tried to punch Matilda only for Matilda to duck and smoothly manipulate Carrie by her cuffed wrist and bend her over the desk, telling Carrie “You do not have to say anything, anything you do say may be taken down and presented as evidence against you,” and Carrie continued to struggle as Matilda, continuing to recite Carries rights as a suspect, pulled Carries other wrist to the other cuff and secured it.

She then turned Carrie around and pushed her through a door into the cupboard her mom had locked her in as a child.

She then heard Matilda reading some bible passage on what to do with witches and felt her ands and arse come into contact with water that was seeping up through the floorboards.

She tried to get up only to find the chain between her cuffs caught on something, her hands were stuck where they were as the water quickly rose around her body, soaking and chilling her as it rose.

She tried telekinetically unlocking the cuffs, but that wasn’t working, they were remaining locked around her wrists.

She yanked at the restraints hard as the water kept rising, up her waist, the bible passages kept on coming, the water kept rising, Carrie kept on struggling, the water rose past her tits, closing on her air passages, she started breathing fast and deep to try to maximise her residual oxygen before the water covered her head.

Once it did, Carrie pulled hard as she could at her restraints, feeling the urge in her lungs to cycle that would kill her in this situation, but even if she could resist this urge indefinitely, that wouldn’t solve the limitation on the supply of oxygen in her blood and the air in her lungs that her body was using up.

“Breathe, it is safe.”

Someone was telling her from inside her own head to breathe.

“You are in no danger, breathe.”

Carrie cycled her lungs.

No bubbles, and when she inhaled, no water, it was air.

She stood up, the restraints gone, the cupboard gone, she was in …

What the fuck was she in?

Walking around she saw windows in front of what looked like some kind of command deck looking set up, facing …

Space?

Nothing seemed close, and she looked for any shimmering, any variation in the intensity of the light coming from the stars.

No distortions.

She was in a spaceship in space.

The voice said “There is no emotion, there is only peace.”

/*/*/*/*/

Carrie woke up to knocking on the motel room door.

“Carrie?”

“Yeah,” half yelled, half yawned Carrie.

“UPS, got a package for you.”

“Right, hang on,” said Carrie as she got out of bed, telekinetically retrieving her jacket, figuring that would do for the moment.

/*/*/*/*/

Kira watched attentively as Carrie assembled the parts according to the animated diagrams on her tablet computer (working offline for now).

She finally satisfied herself that all the subassemblies were ready and picked up the crystal.

Glancing at the diagram a few times to assure herself everything was the right way around, she brought the parts together telekinetically and pulled it into her hand.

“Well … … See if this works.”

Pointing the shroud forwards, she pressed the button.

The blade extended smoothly and quickly to its current set length of 2 metres.

The bag of ice Kira had procured for the test was sat on a plate, and Carrie brought the blade into contact with it, drawing the blade through the ice, the steam hissing madly out through the gaps being burned in the plastic bag until it was through.

Looking at the blade for a few more seconds Kira eventually said “Okay. … that’s that done.”

Kira eventually asked “any ideas on how you’re going to use it, what you’re going to use it for?”

Carrie answered “cutting holes in walls, shanking assailants, beyond that, not a clue. … Certainly won’t help us with that mercenary problem we seem to have picked up.”

“We’d have to find where they’re based, figure out their numbers, their inventory, what contracts they have,” said Kira, “and then figure out how to defeat them with what we have available to us.”

Carrie nodded, thinking, looking at her tablet computer.

She then pulled the communicator that Sith had given her and activated it sending “Yo, Sith dude, Carrie, comm check, over?”

“We don’t need to bother with radio traffic protocol, this is strictly point to point, what do you need?”

“I need this mercenary outfit annihilated, and I have a cunning plan m’sithlord.”

There was some silence.

“Cultural reference, maybe you really are an alien, anyway, here’s how I want this done,” said Carrie as she started outlining her plan.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda and another detective, Mike Freeman, walked up the path to the door of the house Kira’s parents are meant to be living.

After knocking on the door, a white male with black hair and a moustache answered asking “Yes?”

Showing this man their identities Matilda announced “I’m detective inspector Matilda Woodworm, this is detective Mike Freeman, are you Archiban Carsen?”

“Yes, what can I do for you?”

“I want to discuss with you a situation your daughter Kira Carsen has become involved in. May we come in?” Asked Matilda.

“Well, certainly, come on in,” said Archiban, he then called up the stairs “AUSATFEVU, WE GOT VISITORS.”

“RIGHT, GIVE ME A MINUTE,” she replied.

They entered the living room, Matilda taking the house in as Archiban asked “our daughter assists a hotel chain CEO, err, Carrie, something, what is it that happened that got you out here? And is Kira alright? She’s not dead, injured or busted is she?”

“We have reports that she and Carrie have been involved in a couple of shoot outs, one with cops, another with people we think to be connected to a security firm.”

“Shoot outs?” asked Archiban, looking like he was having to work to absorb this information, he then asked “How do hoteliers get into shoot outs? I mean … ”

For a couple with an adult child out in the world, their home seemed a bit … …

The thing Matilda was looking for was personal effects, photos, trophies, there was one photo of Kira dressed in a ceremonial graduation gown and hat holding a rolled up diploma typical of many highschools, other items such as oil paintings and potted plants just seemed so … … generic.

This was something Matilda had a feel for having been in many, many homes from those of crack addicts up through those of actors, superstar athletes, so she had accumulated a feel for what other peoples homes are like, but this felt like one of the training rooms from back in the police academy.

Matilda asked “had Kira discussed her job with you beyond merely having secured it?”

“She has mentioned bits and pieces, Carrie has this odd style to her, the hotel chain was suspiciously timed to coincide with the start of a never ending stream of protest marches, and now Carrie is trying to become president? Seen some of the YouTube videos they’ve released, and I have to say, I might just vote for Carrie myself.”

“WHERE ARE YOU?” asked Ausatfevu.

“LIVING ROOM.”

She entered, wearing a dressing gown, a towel wrapped around her head, carrying an unbelievable amount of hair, and the womans face was just absolutely caked in foundation, so slap dash it would have been better for her to not have bothered at all.

And Matilda noticed something else too.

Matilda telekinetically pushed the towel off the womans head, revealing conical protrusions where the ears should be and in place of hair, two thick headtails that unfurled behind the woman who crossed her arms, giving Matilda an “okay, now what?” look.

“So, the gene for those, didn’t carry on this occasion?” asked Matilda.

“Twi’leks and humans can’t interbreed,” said Archiban, “and we’re not Kiras relatives, so, welcome to our humble forward operating base, what else would you like to know?”

“Yeah, who’s the woman with the thick stripy horns and stripy headtails?” asked Matilda.

“Ashara Zavros, was a Jedi padawan, turned Sith for no apparent reason, well, not apparent to us, but has sent messages to us apparently trying to foster peace between the empire and the Republic, but who knows what her real intent is,” replied Ausatfevu.

“Okay, that case the blue one with the horn tipped headtails and conventional bone looking horns-”

“Sergeant Fideltin Rusk, Republic Army, one of ours,” replied Ausatfevu.

“And the grey Lump?”

“Khem Val, we’ve only been able to pick up a little of his story from eavesdropping, we think the Sith picked him up either on Korriban or Druumond Kaas apparently the consciousness of some Sith Lord got lodged in his head and effectively it’s like dissociative identity disorder.”

“Okay. So … What are they all doing here?” asked Matilda.

“Pretty much as suspected, they want Carrie to become president and form an alliance with the Sith empire,” said Ausatfevu.

“And what has Kira been able to tell you?”

“That Carrie isn’t certain she’s dealing with aliens, but wants to be president to piss people off,” said Ausatfevu, “I don’t think I’ve heard a stranger motivation for a politician, it’s like doing it on a dare.”

“Eh, for Carrie that makes perfect sense, thing is, besides hunting critters farmers won’t regret seeing the back of, presumably to feed themselves, although if you have anything contradicting that I’m all ears, what are these Sith doing to further their goals? Just the ones I’ve seen so far, they only seem to be messing around.”

“Mostly research, the Humans on Earth for some reason force sensitive individuals are few and far between, you and Carrie would be two of the better candidates this Sith could turn to, and presumably Carries criminal background made her seem more likely to be willing to do what the Sith wants in terms of supporting empire activity owing to the anger in her force signature.”

“What’s Kiras take on this?”

“That Carrie isn’t what the Sith is looking for in a puppet president, despite her anger, despite some of her … ugh … actions … there is a significant chance when presented with the facts of the empire, she would most likely rebel.”

“Then what?” asked Matilda.

“It’s hard to tell, this far from either the republic and the empire, this would seems like a nice if we can get it but not really that bothered, so odds are against the Sith bothering with a full on invasion, but if Carrie turns out to be unwilling, this Sith team may be willing to find someone else and attempt to replace Carrie, that would in likelihood mean Carrie dead or tortured into submission.”

“I see. … would you be willing to assist us if they try that, or would this not being your world make this no your problem provided the Sith don’t get a foothold?” asked Matilda.

“The nature of this operation, we play by ear, and if the Sith do get a foothold, provided they think they are unobserved, the likely point would be they can bring in bigger ships than they’d be able to without the co-operation and build intelligence gathering infrastructure without it looking Sith, if they don’t know we know, we may decide the way to go is to watch what they do and report their activity back to the Republic,” said Ausatfevu.

Matilda nodded saying “Okay. Thank you for your honesty.” She then left, Mike following them.

As they emerged outside Mike asked “so, let me get this straight … … We have fucking ALIENS on earth?”

“Assuming those aren’t elaborate costumes for an elaborate prank,” said Matilda, “Haven’t made up my mind, but I’ve read up on some credible looking theories for economical superluminal travel, so it’s more plausible in my estimation these days than it was, but I am not willing to commit to one conclusion or the other.”

She then telekinetically placed a modified phone taped to a load of magnets on the underside of the car parked in the driveway saying “see where they go,” before the pair of them got back in Matildas car and they drove back to base.

/*/*/*/*/

“So, Cassandra White, it says here you were discharged for disregard for the presence of civilians?”

“Yeah,” said the woman before the interviewer, “they’re all Islamic, fewer Muslims, smaller pool for terrorists to come from, am I right?”

The interviewer nodded typing a few things saying “well, generally we agree with you on that point, but we do need to be investor friendly and if we’re open about this kind of thing, it gets embarrassing to be doing any kind of business with us, so, make something up, but for fucks sake, don’t be honest about Islam, okay?”

“Oh, sure, I can do deep cover ops like that, like when I infiltrated that stop the war group, said all the right things, virtue signalled like a proper commie, they all died from carbon monoxide poisoning, idiots left this incense burner going in a confined space,” said the woman, evil grin on her face indicating this wasn’t as accidental as the story in and of itself might sound.

“Well, you start tomorrow, first week induction to familiarise you with the way we do things, then you get a squad of our security specialists and start doing any jobs that come up that we throw your way, welcome to Tigerswan.”

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda kept having to force herself to fill out the reports of the latest round of neo-nazi arrests as she also scoured YouTube for anything discussing Carrie.

Carrie had completely disappeared off the grid it seemed, someone had driven along the road and found the hole in the road that the explosively formed projectile had made from that missile, and had done some calculations, this was amateur detectives, but the calculations seemed consistent with the images, and were consistent with a HEDP warhead that would be in a Hellfire or Brimstone missile.

Officially the cops had shot each other (the CSIs working that incident had matched the projectiles to the cops own sidearms, so they seemed to be honest enough, and the weapons Carrie and Kira were said to have been carrying in the phoned in report were in bags in the cops webbing with no fingerprints or anything, might be they intended to press the victims fingers against the guns to try to make the guns seem to be the womens guns as they were “making sure the situation was safe”), and the AP rounds the cops were packing and had ended up using were .45ACP, the MAC 10s Carrie and Kira were packing were chambered for 9mm, the only person killed with either of their weapons had shot first, Matilda couldn’t imagine any court convicting Carrie on that basis because of how absolutely ridiculous it would look (the mercs with their histories wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on and were set to plead down their charges as far as they could, unfortunately the cops that had tried to assassinate Carrie and Kira, even with the evidence floating around demonstrating they were probably seeking to murder Carrie and Kira, would probably get little more than a short paid suspension of duty to “think about what they had done,” Matilda didn’t have a lot of faith in the oversight systems of the police services).

But Carrie and Kira were nowhere to be seen.

It might be worth checking in with the aliens, but the subsequent passes Matilda had made by the house had revealed a CCTV setup that she couldn’t work around, they knew they had her, a telekinetic, interested in their activity.

Asking them straight up might yield answers, but then it might not, these people were spies watching enemy spies in some interstellar war/uneasy peace or whatever it was going on.

So, was Carrie disappearing again, or was she preparing to counterattack?

And if she was counterattacking, what mode of attack would she adopt?

Well, she had used psychological warfare for so many things, that seemed to be her favourite mode of attack, but as much as most mercs were military rejects either by fucking up or by being scary psychotic, and therefore kind of prone to kicking heads in first and asking questions never, stereotypes rarely line up sufficiently with real life, so if she was going to try to get them to start shooting, stabbing and fragging their own, she could easily overegg the pudding and get them wise to at the very least someone fucking with them, maybe even hunting her down.

Alternatively, she is perfectly capable of simply killing them with her telekinetic and electrokinetic powers, maybe using telepathy to turn some of them into her drones.

Telepathic control from experience wasn’t brilliantly reliable and required a relatively calm situation, and generally couldn’t be done reflexively, it takes time to set up telepathic control.

The problem is that there are weapons she wouldn’t be able to blow up just by shooting them, something like massive mortar attacks could concievibly get enough mortars through, or a drive by using a Dillon aero minigun mounted inside an SUV rigged to pop up through the sunroof.

Those videos from both that drone (do they even still have that drone, or had the CIA taken it back? It was very unlikely that someone officially responsible for the drone in the CIA would authorise the use of that missile in those circumstances, the more plausible scenario in Matildas mind is they simply trusted Tigerswan too far to lock them out of weapons controls and Tigerswan forgot the rules, but that was yet to be proven one way or the other) and the coffee shop would probably be telling them they need to rethink their approach, they might even have clocked that Kira’s got at least telekinesis.

Someone entered the station that had a really cold sickening psychic presence.

This was in the league of some of the weirdos she had busted in her time for abusing very young children.

She saw a man who seemed to be the source of this psychic signature being escorted to the superintendents office by a uniformed cop.

The man was dressed in standard office wear, formal suit, blue tie with an ornate looking crucifix on it, clean shaven, short cut hair, most people might worry about him doing a church sermon at them from the religious icon, but that psychic signature …

And he was looking right at her too.

He stopped looking at her when doing so would start looking weird (when she passed his 2o’clock sector).

Yeah, something was seriously wrong here, even the white supremacists who have killed for their ideology, who wanted to kill her for “being a race traitor,” none of them had the intensity of hatred this man had, and he might have been reading her too.

Could this guy have been the Sith team leader those aliens are supposed to be watching out for?

She got on with her report and did about 6 paragraphs before the superintendant came out with the man in tow, saying “Matilda, this is Gary Goodson, he works for … Fuck, can’t remember, department of unusual physical phenomena and … ”

“Department of unusual physical phenomena and threats based thereof,” said Gary, seeming perfectly friendly to them both.

“Okey dokey, never heard of it before, is it as dumb as it sounds?”

It did sound dumb, it sounded like the department of strange but true, that paranormal show she remembered seeing on TV a while back, although she wasn’t as sceptical per se about the existence of these strange phenomena, particularly telekinesis and alien visitation to earth, nothing was ever evidenced convincingly in that show.

On the other hand, because of people like her existing and because there seemed to be a credible looking alien incursion in progress, it was something that sounded like it should exist.

She also figured it would be a good idea to seem dismissive of him and his organisation if her feelings were correct.

“Oh you’d be surprised at how essential our work is. We’ve been reviewing footage of Carrie and her friend from those fights they had, and they seem to be exhibiting what might be commonly referred to as paranormal abilities.”

“Telepathy, telekinesis, electrokinesis, that kind of thing?” asked Matilda.

“Yes.”

“I have also heard accounts of her doing that from around town from before she started her political career, that’s not something I’ve ever felt I can prove in court though, so if we want to do her, it has to be based on something mundane.”

“Yes, that’s so true. Unfortunately established science hasn’t caught up with reality just yet, so, maybe as we build our evidence this will change. Is there anything else you would like to add?” asked Gary.

Matilda thought a few seconds before saying “Nope.”

“Okay then, I’ll leave you to it then, Christ be with you,” said Gary before hearing out.

“Mmm-hmm,” acknowledged Matilda.

“Your reports on todays arrests almost done?” asked the superintendant.

“Yep, should be able to email them to you within the next half hour.”

“Alright, carry on,” said the superintendant.

Matilda saluted him and copied a blank requisition form, taking a few minutes to type out a list of items she thought she might need and concocting a reason for the items in case asked.

/*/*/*/*/

Having finished her reports Matilda swung by the quartermaster to pick up her equipment.

No questions about any of the items, just a “right-o,” and minutes later, the quartermaster was back with the items she had requested, which she signed for and placed in her bag.

She then made her way to her car.

Once in her car, she opened the bag and without lifting anything out of the bag, she grabbed a full magazine and pushed it into the weapon she had obtained, cranked the charging handle and then left it in the bag, leaving the bag open.

She left the strap of the bag around the headrest of the passenger seat in case she needed to access it after a crash.

She then drove off.

The drive home went pretty normal for the most part.

A big lime green SUV passed her going the other way, the only noticed the back door was open and someone was leaning out as it passed her, not registering the break action 40mm grenade launcher until after it had fired a projectile in through one of the back passenger windows, the cabin rapidly filled with smoke, apparently that was what the projectile was about.

Matildas car accelerated, and about 6 seconds later it crashed into a lamp post.

The SUV backed up to the car, and three of its crew got out, they were carrying tasers in case the gas grenade hadn’t worked sufficiently, but the fact the car had crashed gave them confidence it had worked.

One of them opened the driver side door.

It took them too long to work out what was going on as bursts of fire erupted from the rear of Matildas car, killing each one near instantly.

Then the opposite back door window blew out and Matilda emerged, the bag slung over her shoulder, a respirator on her face, she aimed her P90 at the SUV.

Before she could get any shots off, the driver had gotten the car in motion and her shots did little more than crack the glass layers in the apparently bullet resistant windows the car had as it rapidly did a three point turn.

Then the roof opened and she saw the underside profile of a rotary barrel machinegun coming up.

Knowing she had no hope of getting her sight picture ready before their gunner could waste her, she instead opted to jump, boosting her jump with telekinesis to get over the row of houses, hearing the buzz of the rotary barrel machinegun and the sound of a fuckload of bullets reating apart the roof of the first house she had cleared.

She cleared both houses to land on the next street and got into the drive way, checking the ammo remaining in the current magazine, there seemed enough for a few more bursts if those people were still keen on killing her.

The thing is she didn’t want to just let those people go without getting some answers out of them, so she listened to hear where they were going, hoping to intercept them.

They went along the street they had attacked her on and she started making telekinesis assisted jumps along this street until she saw headlights lighting up fences and lamp posts at the end of this street.

This suited her fine.

She got into one of the driveways and positioned herself so that the wing mirror of a car parked on the street could show her what was driving across the end of the street.

It was the SUV, and the gunner was still up, scanning left and right looking for Matilda.

She positioned herself in front of the car parked on the driveway (which was pointed away from the street) and waited for the SUV to pass, pulling a CS grenade from her bag, the gunner wasn’t wearing a respirator, and odds were neither were the rest of the people in the SUV, she pulled the pin as the SUV passed.

She then stepped out into the street, releasing the handle from the grenade, wanting it to get going before it reached the SUV, and as she emerged, she had a superb angle on the gunner, he was facing forward using the mount traverse pivot, not the door traverse itself, so he was not going to get a burst off, and she heard the driver shouting “6 O’CLOCK,” just that little bit too late, the gunner looked behind and might have gotten one of the roof doors between himself and her had she not already started the burst.

He was dead.

She jumped, boosting her jump again with telekinesis, her grenade now hissing like mad as she telekinetically projected it into the roof hole, the vehicle was full of smoke almost immediately.

They drove off, their eyes streaming as they fished about for their respirators, dependant on the FLIR in the dashboard as that was physically closer to their eyes than the windscreen.

They had no sight of her now. That was only a good thing at this point, they were clearly out of their depth, eventually the passenger, one of the only two members of the team still alive, climbed back and pulled the gun back down, the roof doors automatically closing over it.

“First time we’ve chased a witch that’s a cop,” said the passenger.

“Good thing she weren’t force recon or something,” said the driver, “alright, bad result, but we report everything, pick ourselves up and try again, this is why we do what we do after all.”

“Yeah. Usually I pity them, this one I’ll be glad to see dead.”

/*/*/*/*/

The scene of the crash and the shootout was now cordoned off and being examined when Mike Freeman showed up, the superintendent was overseeing the CSIs as they photo’d and bagged items and uniform were interviewing witnesses including the occupants of the house that had been included in the crime scene because of the bullets that had embedded themselves in the roof.

“Superintendent,” greeted mike.

“Detective,” replied the superintendent, “so, we have Matilda’s car wrapped around a lamp post with an expended 40mm gas grenade in the rear footwell alongside spent cartridges from her P90, we have bullet holes petaling outwards, probably in the three dead people I see, that will need testing, more brass next to her car also consistent with a P90, some glass fragments but not enough glass to account for a whole window, too far from Matildas car to be from any of her windows and too small to be normal car window fragments, make of that what you will, and some mook with a minigun walked shots up this house for some reason, what the fuck was he shooting at?”

“You know Matilda seems to do these magic tricks, is it possible she managed to convince him, or her, or … well, whoever, that she had flown over?”

The Superintendent chuckled saying “putting the occupants of that house in danger. That’s considerate of her. Having said that, I’m a fuckload more curious about the mooks that attacked her, I’ve been hearing about a sports utility vehicle with a minigun on the roof, that’s not your bog standard street gang, that’s some serious money in play, who the fuck has she pissed off?”

“White supremacists?” asked Mike.

“Not enough money, not enough connections, too many questions if they get sold a minigun that then gets used to commit a crime, no one who possesses one is dumb enough to sell them one,” replied the superintendent.

“Has she worked any cases on ISIS?”

“Nope, and they have even less of a foothold, they have to rely on our citizens doing the Islamic equivalent of an Elliot Rodgers, most their money is spent in their shrinking to oblivion caliphate.”

Mike thought a bit and then asked “Carrie, has money and has been able to mess with records that are supposed to be un-mess-with-able, said to have spree killed a bunch of classmates at her school prom, but … … not seeing it in her history with us, and is currently on the run from Tigerswan, and we haven’t had any cause to investigate Tigerswan, they have no history on our patch, at least with ISIS we’ve had edgelords joking about being them.”

After some awkward silence, the superintendent asked “could one of the federal agencies under the Department Of Homeland Security have done this?”

It was about now a car pulled up and out came Chris Haggard and three goons, to whose appearance the superintendent said “speak of the prick and he will appear,” before greeting Chris “Hello Haggard, what can I do you for?”

“I’m a prick am I?” asked Chris.

“Well prove me wrong, explain … ” The Superintendent then made a broad waving gesture at the crime scene behind him and continued “this.”

“I only just got here, tell me what you got so far?”

“Matildas car crashed, three dead goons next to where bullets exited her car, shell casings from something being shot but no location on the bullets from that, pulverised glass not consistent in form or volume with any car window being shot out, line of bullets from someone walking fire from a minigun up someones house, and … Oh yeah, gas grenade was shot into Matildas car at some point, we’re guessing that happened before the crash for now.”

“What gas?” asked Chris.

“Awaiting tests, no standardised markings on the grenade, goons had tasers in hand, we’re speculating a sedative unless informed otherwise, we know Matilda drew a respirator and a number of CS gas grenades along with her P90 and four fifty round magazines loaded with plain full jacket ammo, so again, speculating from available information, she got her respirator on, got into the back after the crash, slotted the three goons when they opened the driver side frond door, got out, saw the goon on the roof of the car with a minigun, and somehow evaded fire.”

“Somehow evaded fire?” asked Chris looking at the line of bullet holes in the roof of the house, “what made the goon think she was up there?”

The superintendent eventually sighed saying “you’d have to ask Matilda, and she probably won’t give you a straight answer. Unless this shit changes things, I’ve never know her joking about with magic tricks to result in verifiably dead verifiably people, she mostly gets good results, but this case is testing my patience.”

A uniformed cop who had been walking up the street for a few minutes now arrived at this point saying “Superintendent, something you might want to see,” before showing him his smart phone, saying “this … well … you’ll see.”

The scene was obviously from a smartphone camera looking out through some curtains just over the lower frame of a window with the person handling it saying “just heard some gunshots, and then I heard a minigun, not going outside, but there’s a car approaching,” and then the engine noise that had been ascending in volume was joined by light from headlights and a green SUV with fractured but not blown out windows, in fact there wasn’t even a hole in the window, but it did have a man stood through an open roof hole, it’s doors circular, scanning the surroundings looking for someone or something.

It then drove up the road away from the house, even in the slow turn the car leaned hard.

Eventually a woman in a respirator otherwise matching Matildas description, wearing a respirator, carrying a P90 and a grenade consistent in appearance with a CS grenade, emerged from a drive, gun hand braced against the grenade hand, released the handle on the grenade and shot the cars gunner.

She then jumped impossibly high into the air, the gas grenade she had been carrying now fully burning, and the gas grenade then landed in the cars roof hole.

That must have been fun, they made out faces through the glass that didn’t have respirators on.

She landed beyond the car, or on it?

Couldn’t tell.

The car drove off without colliding with anything. That driver must have undergone some kind of acclimatisation training to be able to drive effectively with that going on.

The Superintendent then said “Okay, email that to all our accounts, send him,” he pointed to Chris “a copy too, then get a BOLO out on that car.”

“On it,” said the uniformed cop.

“That’s the pulverised glass explained then, that car’s been armoured, the glass in that window had nowhere to go,” said the superintendent.

“Wish I knew how Matilda does that, there’s no time to prep for a stunt like that, the fact she requisitioned that P90 tells me she was expecting this, but down to this level of detail?” mused Mike.

“Yeah, well … … ” The superintendent mulled these details on Matilda jumping ridiculously high into the air and eventually said “Know what? Fuck it, let’s assume she has superpowers, I’m probably going to wake up in a nut house and find out I hallucinated the whole fucking thing, but for now, fuck it, let’s just go with what we’re seeing. Go through her computer at work, any case files, any notes, any videos, any calls she received, find me something.”

“On it,” said Mike as he got into his car and left.

The superintendent then turned to Chris as he confirmed he received the video from the cop and said “Oi, Chris, do you think my eyes are painted on?”

“What?” asked Chris.

“That car, right? Is straight out the fucking DARPA catalogue. And you show up just as we get the scene cordoned off. … … … … … Really, seriously, what’s going on?”

“I can’t tell you,” said Chris.

“Right, fucking do one you prick,” said the superintendent as he walked away from Chris, approaching the coroner team as they got the three cadavers zipped in their bags.

/*/*/*/*/

They arrived in the self storage garage, driving onto the plastic sheet they had laid down, this procedure to hopefully eliminate the possibility they leave useful forensic material as they process the car.

The team removed the dead gunner and the clean up team leader asked “what happened?”

“Finally found a witch that knew how to fight, she had a respirator and a P90 and some CS grenades, we had to leave three of ours where they lay.”

“You have a minigun for stuff like that.”

“And she had magical leaping abilities and police combat training, she’s still out there, but now knows someone is after her. I don’t think she knows we’re witch finders, but she knows we’re driving around armoured street cars with miniguns, so … ”

One of the crew handling the dead gunner retrieved the gunners phone revealing it was lit up, a call in process, he showed it to the leaders of the grab team and the clean up team, the clean up team leader chuckled saying “fucking hell,” as he picked up the phone, silently mouthing “trace it” to another of his team who pulled a tablet computer and started working on finding where the other end of the call was located and asked “so, Matilda, now you know we are witch finders, and we will find you, and we will send you to the next life, whether it’s to heaven or hell is up to you, what do you say to that?”

After a few seconds of silence, Matilda eventually replied “You do not have to say anything, but anything you say can be taken as evidence and used against you in a court of law.”

He smiled again saying “oh, you think we’re going to face a criminal court do you?”

“Why not?”

“Because we have connections you can only dream of, if we get arraigned, we get transferred to nowhere and pop up again, if somehow we get to court and get remanded, we get transferred to nowhere and pop up again, gods will shall be done any way it can be done.”

Matilda eventually said “I see. … I don’t see any difference between you and the endless stream of neo-nazi scumbags I’ve been arresting, not in character, you may have better connections, better weapons, but just like all those neo-nazis, dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

Eventually the cleanup team leader asked “Robocop? … Really?”

“It’s an interesting movie, wasn’t my choice to watch it, it was something my family watched when I was a kid, and it’s not as brain dead an action movie as it looks at first glance, there is social commentary in there that is relevant to this day.”

“How do you mean?”

“The corporate takeover of the police and military and other public services, trends in terms of damage to the environment and obnoxious consumer culture, the ethics of cybernetics and combat drones with privately developed programming, remember that directive 4 thing? There’s so much I could name, if you want a brain dead action movie, it’s good for that too, but surprisingly insightful too I found.”

“I’ll have to watch it then.”

“Do that soon, because you don’t have a lot of time left. Like I said, dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

At this point Matilda hung up.

Matilda, who had been pulling some money out of an ATM, pulled her phone out and was about to remove the battery, when she stopped, and then decided against it.

She started forming ideas on what to do about these people.

/*/*/*/*/

Mike phoned the superintendant and when the Superintendant asked him what he got, Mike said “I’m looking at the file properties of this requisition form she did for the gear she drew, it was right after you and Gary Goodson talked to her.”

“You think something about him tipped her off that she was about to come under attack?”

“That’s a good possibility, I’m going to keep looking for other things.”

“Okay, good work, I’m going to have a word with that fed we got hanging around like a bad smell.” He then hung up.

Mike kept looking through the files but hadn’t the first clue where to start once that requisition form was out the way.

He pulled a USB memory device out of his pocket and copied all the case files she had worked on to it in case he needed to look through them later, but for now he had an idea on where there might be answers.

/*/*/*/*/

Ausatfevu watched Mike go through all the images on his smart phone, explaining what he had.

Eventually she said “the problems I can immediately see are that they’re using tasers and a retrospectively armoured street car, if these were aliens, they would have access to better kit than this, and operational success would become more important than blending in considering the idea is they’d be gone before anyone shows up if I’m reading the evidence right.

“We have forcefields and deflector shields, developed originally to protect ships from debris in hyperspace, the generators range down to the sort of size one can carry around easily and are cheap enough that so many street gangs on our worlds routinely bring them to firefights between each other and against law enforcement, so we wouldn’t use an armoured car, we’d take any car and have the shields fitted and calibrated in about five minutes if we’re talking teams like the Sith or like ourselves.

“Then there’s the tasers vs the stun systems we have in the vast majority of our blasters, tasers have a limited practical range that doesn’t even reach the length of the wires the darts trail, and those wires cause problems, you don’t get to just slot in a mag or a battery, you need to swap out the dart module, if you need to step up the firepower, you need to change weapons, you need to be on top of whoever you’ve incapacitated i-karking-mediately after the current stops, it’s just too much trouble.

“Blasters on stun, you shoot as many people as you want to incapacitate, the batteries will way outlast any demand you can reasonably expect, switch the fire mode if you need to start poking holes in things, stun them, carry the ones you want to your transport, restrain them as you drive off, job’s a good-un.

This doesn’t of course preclude locals being hired by aliens, I just can’t think of a motive for that considering the brief, going on the evidence presented, would be a covert capture where you want as few outsiders partaking as possible in case one of them grasses on you.”

Mike nodded and said “I’ve been chasing up anything I can find on this Gary Goodman character and this … ” after struggling to remember a bit, he opened the note in his smartphone and reminded himself “Department of unusual physical phenomena and threats based thereof, that he either runs or works for, and I keep coming up against barriers, I mean, this is weird as fuck basically, CIA, even DARPA have front desks we can call, no guarantee of co-operation of course, but you get some basic information, and no one seems to be able to give any idea of what government spending they draw.”

“Maybe they’re revenue neutral by various means,” noted Ausatfevu, “I mean spycraft and the lies that go along with it, that’s old as sentient life, whatever they do has to be something the government doesn’t even want to be seen even slightly associated with. Anything come back off those dead people?”

“All leads give us names that can’t be true, fingerprints and other biometrics are those of people in retirement homes, or recorded as deported, the numberplates on the car returned a mental patient who is not entitled to drive.”

“Is there anything you can point to that might have attracted their attention to Matilda?” asked Ausatfevu.

“Well … … No, I mean, all I know is immediately after meeting Gary Goodman, she requested the kit that somehow turned out to be exactly what she needed to fight these people off.”

“Then maybe all she did to attract these people was exist, she is force active, maybe this Gary person is too. This has gotten me interested now, I’m going to see what research I can do on this matter, anything involving force users is of interest to the Jedi Order.”

“Right then, keep in touch,” said Mike as he left.

/*/*/*/*/

Gary entered the operations room for the mission to take out Matilda.

“Evening boss,” said everyone in the room.

“Evening,” he replied as he looked at the screen showing the location of Matildas phone.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda entered the motel reception area carrying her shoulder sling bag and two full long term shopping bags (“Bag For Life,” and they do last a good while, but they still wear out eventually, anyway,) asking “you got any rooms?”

“Yes we do, any preferences?” asked the receptionist.

“Yeah, I’d like a room furthest away from other customers, I know that sounds anti-social, but if at all possible, it’s just … … I want to minimise the noise I get, it’s just … … ”

“Of course,” said the receptionist, picking a key that best suited Matilda’s expressed needs, she placed the key on the table saying “I can’t guarantee that the next rooms will stay vacant as other guests arrive but I will try to keep the rooms immediately next to your room vacant.”

“Thanks.”

/*/*/*/*/

“She’s going to a motel room, we might be able to move on her tonight,” said one of the controllers.

“Excellent, have the strike teams dismount and move in now, the two cars will arrive as the entry teams stack up, everyone got their armour and NBC gear?” asked Gary.

“Yes sir, and the gunners will pop up as the teams break in.”

“Good.” Gary prepared to call Matilda, once the teams were stacked up, he would call Matildas phone to try to ensure they knew Matildas exact location in the room, this would minimise scope for surprise or confusion for the teams and maximise odds of a successful kill.

/*/*/*/*/

Matilda lay on the bed, the phones earpiece still in her ear, the over shoulder bag still strapped over her shoulder.

It was hard to stay awake at the moment, but she sort of had to.

Then the phone rang. Matilda hit the button on the in line mic asking “Yeah?” as her other hand picked up the break action flare pistol that was on the bed next to her.

“Hello, is that Detective Inspector Matilda Wormwood?” asked Gary.

“Yes it is.”

“Good,” replied Gary.

As the entry teams broke in, their boots squeltching on the soaked carpets, Matilda pulled her phone through the hole in the wall and brought the flare pistol to point into the hole.

/*/*/*/*/

Gary watched as the phones location moved through the wall.

It was as the controllers were opening their mouths to tell the entry teams Matilda was in the next room that they saw on the video feed from the hex rotor drone they had set up the room Matilda was booked to be in explode, a fireball blew the windows out, tearing the roof panels in half, so when they settled back down, there was still a substantial gap in them, and a raging fire burned away in the room.

“BACK OUT, BACK OUT, BACK OUT,” they heard the team leader shouting as suddenly the room the phone had moved into suddenly lost its front window to a body carrying what looked like two pom-poms made of fire as it leapt down to the ground.

They worked out it was Matilda and that the two pom-poms of fire were in fact Molotov cocktails as she leapt into the air, apparently too fast for the gunners to adequately track, and then the two Molotov cocktails were telekinetically projected into the roof holes of the cars, setting the car interiors and its crew on fire.

She landed on the roof of a building opposite the motel as the entry team stumbled out of the burning room, themselves properly on fire, the visors of the respirators now charred black and melting onto their faces, the filters clogged with molten plastic, they were probably going to be dead before anyone got to them to begin to help them, and the crews in the cars were falling out and off their cars trying to put themselves off, managing to get their respirators off before too much damage accrued, but still having to work to put themselves out.

Matilda then said to Gary “Sorry about the noise in the background, apparently a bunch of morons just tried to kill me and failed hard at it, so what did you want to talk to me about?”

Gary growled “you evil, evil bitch.”

Matilda replied “Well that’s not very friendly, what brought this mood on? OH! … Hang on … those were YOUR goons, weren’t they? … Did you send them to kill me?” keeping a calm tone as if she were talking to a friend at the precinct or something.

“We’re going to do more than kill you, you have now attracted the wrath of forces you have absolutely no comprehension of,” said Gary.

“Have I now? Just turnabout is fair play, after all, your organisation have burned to death so many people over the centuries, you don’t consider it fair it happens back at some of your people?” replied Matilda.

“We will destroy you,” said Gary, his mood really showing in his voice.

“Will, destroy, me … Got it,” said Matilda, miming writing on her hand, she then said “Well if you are going to come after me, there is something you need to be aware of, that you need to listen to, or you won’t have a hope of succeeding,” about now the ammo for the miniguns started cooking off, some people had been trying to extinguish the fires in the cars, but failing, and with the ammo starting to explode like popcorn, those trying to extinguish the fires just threw down their extinguishers and ran off.

“And what’s that?” asked Gary.

Matilda said “Listen very carefully to this important advice … … Your mooks are on fire, you might want to fix that … That is all.”

The response coming over the line was some weird sounding yell followed by the sound of the phone clattering across the floor followed by a crunching noise possibly of the phone being stomped on followed by the call terminating.

“Something rexes thee?” asked Matilda with a casual smile. She then removed the battery from her phone to stop it having the power to broadcast and looked up at the witchfinders drone and gave the same salute to it she had given to Gary when he had stopped by the precinct and then started a series of telekinesis assisted jumps away from the scene.

/*/*/*/*/

The superintendent and Mike arrived in their vehicles as the firefighting teams were starting to retract their hoses back into their appliances, Chris and his feds were already there as Uniformed cops were going around talking with witnesses.

As the superintendent and Mike approached Chris, Chris asked “Well?”

The superintendent asked “Do you know who these people are yet?”

Chris said “No, but your officer has apparently killed them all.”

“Yes, I can see that, and I bet the circumstances I hear are going to justify doing that, Chris, the point of a black ops attack is so the government can plausibly deny having anything to do with it.”

“So?” asked Chris.

“So it works both ways you tit, the government can claim ‘nothing to do with me guv,’ and the black ops team are fair game for the criminal justice system that manages to catch them, unless their actions can be justified, maybe backed up with lawful orders in a formal chain of command, as far as I’m concerned, they’re street thugs gunning for one of my officers, and I fucking hate cop killers. Either come back to me with something justifying all these attacks, or get fucked.”

“She has endangered the lives of many guests with this stunt,” said Chris.

“No she didn’t,” said the uniformed cop that had been talking to the receptionists, “she asked for a room away from other guests, she knew this fight was going to happen.”

“Okay, she was concerned enough to keep collateral damage to an absolute minimum, when committing a PREMEDITATED CRIME, superintendent,” said Chris.

“It’s not a crime where she has reasonable expectation that a fight is imminent, she could point to the earlier attack on her and the apparent resources her attackers had and the fact they were able to home right in on her without previously knowing a thing about her, the sorts of things that indicate at least access to NSA resources, either with or without government approval, and we all know about that attempt someone made to blow up Carrie and Kira with a hellfire or similar missile carrying an HEDP warhead, the circumstances make everything Matilda has done thus far legally justifiable,” said the Superintendent.

“If it’s justifiable, it’s straining at the edges of it,” said Chris, “fine, I’m going, but you’d best be thinking about what you’re going to do when your officer steps outside of what is justifiable, on the off chance she hasn’t already,” he then left.

As he left, the Superintendant said to Mike “see if you can get some of the part numbers off those vehicles and their guns, hopefully the fire hasn’t erased too many of those.”

Numbers stamped into aluminium plates might have melted in the fire, but numbers stamped into steel should be fine, this might be useful information or it might just be yet more waste of time dead end leads.

But this was pretty much all they can do.

/*/*/*/*/

_________________
"This calls for a special blend of psychology and extreme violence."


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