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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2068444
Rogir was Head of Security of the largest shopping center on the planet of Ciaxton.

Head of Security

     “Get back everybody.” Security Officer Lennin stood over a dead female. Ten of his fellow officers kept the group back. Which hadn’t been easy since that hallway was packed with shoppers - and their gifts. They even blocked the Teleporter Booths that lined both sides of that hallway.

     All the shoppers stay back – except for one female. She knelt on the floor next to the body with a bloody knife still in her hand. The price tag still dangled from it.

     Lennin tapped the badge on his shoulder. “Rogir, we have another death.”

     From the badge Rogir’s voice could barely be heard. “I’ll be right there Lennin.”

     “No need to do that,” said Lennin. “We have the killer this time.”

     Rogir took a few seconds before responding. “Take him to Main Detention. “I will question him there.”

     Lennin went to collect the killer. As he did he thought to himself, ‘I know some shoppers will kill for a good sale, but this is ridiculous.”

A few minutes before being contacted

     “We only have a few hours left for shopping this holiday season.” Head of Security Rogir said as he entered the Monitoring Room of his house. He called it that because of the hundred monitors on the walls surround it. Each one of those monitors showed a slightly different Detention Center. “Have you selected all of our gifts yet.”

     “Almost done,” said Murta. Rogir’s wife, Murta, sat behind a desk in the center of that room. She could barely be seen behind a Desk Monitor. “I only have a few more things to buy on The Network.”

     “If you can’t find them anywhere on The Network you can always shop down below.” Rogir said with a big sarcastic smile one his face.

     “You couldn’t pay me enough to go down there.” Murta thought about that for a second. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to say it like that.”

     Rogir opened his mouth to say something, but got interrupted before he could. “We have another one.”

     That voice belonged to a female Officer. “Is it another death, Abbiline?” Rogir asked.

     “No it’s not,” said Abbiline. “It’s another Credit Thief.”

     “Take him to Main Dention,” said Rogir. “I’m on way there now anyway.” Rogir adjusted his uniform, and checked the weapons on both side of his hips, as he turned to leave that room.

On his way to Main Detention

     As Rogir entered Main Detention he suddenly stopped. The hundred desks and chairs could barely be seen because it had gotten so crowded. ‘It’s usually bad – especially this time of year, but not this bad.’

     Another Officer, Nolli, did bump into Rogir as she entered that room. She had a male held tight in one hand, and some wrapped gifts in the other. “Sorry about that Rogir.”

     “That’s okay, Nolli.” Rogir said after almost falling to the little floor that laid in front of him. “Who do we have here?”

     Nolli took a second to understand. “It’s another Gift Grabber.”

     ‘Only during the holidays are they called that. Usually it’s Cloths, Jewelry, Toys etc. Grabbers. They think it’s easier to steal when it’s crowded, but it isn’t,’ thought Rogir. To Nolli he said, “As soon as there is a free desk take down his details. I’ll question him later if I need to.”

     After pushing and shoving his way through the crowd in Main Detention Rogir got to the nearest Teleporter Booth. He punched in six numbers on a DataPad floating in front of an open opening. When a light red bright light filled that booth Rogir stepped through it.

The wrong Detention room

     Rogir stepped out of that bright red light, and stopped at a desk just beyond it. After he got the Detention number from the Officer seated there Rogir headed down a long Corridor.

     As he headed for Door Twenty-six he could hear loud talking, yelling, screaming and threats from Questioning Officers coming from the other rooms. Just before entering Rogir looked up to see it’s the right door.

     “This is the killer!” Rogir said after he entered that room. “Don’t I know you?’

     “You probably do,” said Officer Wandall. “She works at Datoni’s Jewelry.”

     “I hope you are here to report a crime,” said Rogir. “But since you in here I would say no to that.”

     “Another employee theft,” responded Wandall. “She had over five thousand worth of jewelry when she left work today.”

     ‘With one thousand stores here employee theft isn’t too surprising. We usually get one per day. Several a day during the holidays,’ Rogir thought. Then to Wandall he said, “I was told this is where they had the killer.”

     “They did come here first, but we were already here,” said Wandall. “So they took her to the room opposite us.”

     Rogir turned and left that room. He didn’t act like he noticed Wandall said ‘her’ instead of him.

Another Detention room

     Before just entering that time Rogir hit a buzzer next to that door. When he heard Lennin’s voice say, “Come in,” he entered.

     Once again Rogir suddenly stopped. The look on his face said it’s from shock. “That’s the killer who has killed twelve people in the last two months?”

     “No she isn’t that killer,” said Lennin. “She only admits to killing this one because she took the last dress on sale, and according to Monitoring she didn’t.”

     “That means the killer is still out there.” Lennin spoke to the ceiling now. “Sooner or later we will stop you – and I hope it’s sooner.”

From outside it looked like…

     The largest shopping center on the planet of Ciaxton looked like a huge rectangular structure that could hold a whole Community within it. It sat in a light green sandy desert.

     On top of that center, it had no name, in the center of it stood Main Detention, and on top of that was where Rogir called home. Surround it were one hundred small squared Detention Centers.
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