Smoke Gets Booked for Life in Prison

Smoke stared ahead emotionlessly as the police booked him.

The Southwest Station was a large metal pod with a parking lot full of police cars. It looked like an afterthought in the middle of the rainforest.

The moon was shrouded with clouds, and a gentle rain fell from the navy sky.

The police car hauling him pulled to a stop at a side door and two policemen took him out, handling him roughly.

Smoke felt the rain in his hair and on his skin, and he wondered if this might be the last time he ever experienced rain.

This was, to his knowledge, the first time he had experienced rain since…

His head hurt. He couldn't think. The doors slammed to the police station and his concentration jumped to the two men who were guiding him.

In a holding room with white walls, the police patted him down again and emptied his pockets. Two silver keys, loose change, and four silver bullets. They took his visor and stared in awe at his cybernetic implants.

They threw the items on a table in the corner of the room in a clatter of noise.

Glancing quickly at the contents, Smoke knew he was in trouble. Not that he wasn’t already going to jail. But bullets in his pocket…that was a bad place for them. Seemed like a good idea at the time when he stuffed them in there.

“What’s your name?” one of the policemen asked.

Smoke did not respond.

“You’re going to have to cooperate,” the policeman said. “We’ve read your rights. You know what they are.”

Smoke ignored him, staring at the wall.

“What’s your name?” the policeman asked again.

Nothing.

“Do you understand what kind of trouble you’re in?”

The policeman gathered the contents and put them into a large white envelope. He handed Smoke a pen and told him to sign his name.

Smoke refused.

“You’re not going to tell us anything, are you?” the policeman asked.

Smoke nodded.

“Are you waiting on a lawyer, then?”

Smoke shook his head.

“Don't make this hard on yourself,” the officer said. “You're going to get a fair trial despite what you've done. Talking’s not going to help or hurt you at this point.”

Smoke nodded.

“Fine,” the policeman said. “We’ll get your picture and then you can talk to the mean guys.”

Smoke did not change his facial expression as they took his photo. The bright flash blinded him temporarily. As his eyes focused again, the policemen took him and ushered him toward the interrogation room.

***

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