Mega-City Tales - A day through the eyes...
by Matt Wakeman

I guess that I should be grateful for small mercies. And I always try to be. From where I am I have a view that manages, at different parts of the day, to be both picturesque and plain, to be both crowded and empty. Sometimes the whole world appears to be parading all of its wares in front of me and at other times there is only my thoughts and the view. I'm sorry, how rude of me, I really should introduce myself. My name is, well, I like to think of it as a name but in reality its more like a designation. Anyway my name is K883/90-2B. Not the best, but since very few people even know that this is my name I don’t tend to lose much sleep over it.

Unlike the majority of other jobs mine is a 24-hour deal. More even then that it is a 24/7 deal. Its tough and at times it can make me unpopular, but it has to be done. When I say job, well, what I really mean is that it’s more like a role that I have. You see, I'm a judicially approved holding post. That’s right, I'm the thing that judges tie bad guys too when they have arrested them before they are collected and taken off to wherever it is that the judges take them.

As I have already said I quite like my location, its high enough so that some people even come here for the fine view that they get of their beloved sector, although some choose to show their affection by dropping stuff onto city bottom. But it’s not so high that I don’t get to see a wide variety of all of the citizens that Mega City One has to offer. My position is on one of the pedwalks in the ‘Waugh Complex’. The twin towers were chosen to form a nearly enclosed little area along with the ‘Warne’ Tower which is squat and just a little too flash, but still very nice. All of these are better, however, than the ‘Hussain’ confab which just keeps breaking down and bits falling off at inopportune times. The Waugh and Warne complexes tend to house an unusually high number of Sydney-Melbourne immigrants and the majority of the gang trouble that the judges have to deal with, and alas use me for, is conflict between these gangs and the Brit-Cit inhabitants of the Hussain confab.

For a second I'm covered in water, well, water along with a special cleaning agent that is supposed to help ward off the vast majority of all those nasty mega city smells and stains. One thing has always puzzled me though, if this cleaning agency is as safe as it is supposed to be, then how come the cleaning bots are always wearing gloves? Ah well, if nothing else this might explain just why I appear to be gradually changing colour. But now I am clean and fresh and ready to go. Well, ready to be used anyway. The wash signals the start of the judicial day for me and I know that I have been flagged as a ‘ready and active’ holding post for control to direct judges to leave their perps in my care. And here comes my first guest already.

"Shut up"
"But judge…"
"I said shut up. Control, this is Deckard. Citizen at holding post K90 at Warne overped. Intoxicated and in charge of a offensive weapon. 3 months."
"But I only had 3 drinks! It’s a cricket bat, how is that offensive? Oh come on…"
"Roger that Deckard. Soon as you’ve finished there please proceed to W.G. Grace park. Citizen reports open air barbecue in progress."
"On my way control"
"One more word out of you and you’re gonna be adding time to your sentence for wasting my time."
"But I gotta…go judge, you know what I mean?"
"Well you should of thought of that before you were downing all of that soygin, shouldn’t you?"
"Oh man"

Sadly, for me anyway, this is an all too common resident of my reluctant charms. I can still here the perp muttering to himself in what sounds like pain before it suddenly appears to be raining. But how? I can’t see any clouds in the cool night sky. Oh, I see. Well, only another 23 hours or so before I get cleaned again. Within a few minutes a judicial collection crew, the so called ‘baggers and taggers’, call in on their hovertruck. Pausing only to give the perp an extra month for defiling judicial property, they leave me on my own again. Not for long I think.

Ah, young love, how sweet. Except in this case it appears to be quite noisy as well. I can't but help think that when the judicial designers came up with the plan for me as a holding post they never quite envisioned the hand loops being used for this purpose. My only wonder is how they can stomach the smell. Well, they say that love is blind. It would also appear that its lost its sense of smell as well.

"Well, well. What do we have here then?"
"Oh Grud no, a judge"
"Control. Batty here, have a couple at post K90. 3 months each for lewd behaviour."
"3 months! But…"
"What you citizens choose to get up to in the privacy of your own habs is up to you. But in public you obey the law. Resuming patrol."

It saddens me to see the trials and tribulations that love must go through. Oh I say! Well it seems to have become clear that since these lovers won't see each for the next three months that they are making the best use of all the time that they have left to them. Oh my, that looks distasteful, painful even. I just hope that the next judge here sends for an emergency cleanup unit on the grounds of public health.


Well I'm no expert of course, but you could hardly hope to be a holding post in this location and fail to pick up at least the rudiments of the L.B.W. law. And to this holding post, well I can't but help think that the ball appeared to be pitching just outside the line of me. And since I am the wicket, well, that means that young Archibald here of hab number 98 floor 65 of the Hussain block is not out. But wait, what’s this? Oh dear, it appears that the so-called ‘neutral’ umpire from the Waugh tower is raising his pre-pubescent finger anyway. I can't see this going down well with the rest of the Hussain team.

"What? WHAT? Are you drokking blind or something?"
"Mate you’re out"
"How the hell can I be out? Look at where the ball pitched!"
"Mate you are out. Umpires word is final"

Well, although it seems to be bad cricket to argue with the umpires decision I do feel that Archibald has a genuine cause for grievance here. But surely Archie this really isn’t the way to go about it? A fine mist of blood lands on me as Archie uses his bat in what can only be described as a classic square cut to the off side. Oh good shot sir! By the time that a judge turns up the only evidence of any trouble is a yellow jumper with green stars on it that’s burning its way into ashes. If only I could somehow link up with the Public Surveillance Units cameras I think that we would be able to get a definitive decision as to the trajectory of the ball. ‘Eyes of a hawk’ these cameras have.

Yet another entry for my media scrapbook as for the 8th time, at least, I will be appearing on a Tri-D news broadcast. Some of my appearances have been relatively mundane such as when the Tri-D hover cams were doing their round up of their ‘comedy arrests – who is the funniest looking perp in the sector tonight?’ Personally I failed to see all of the humour of a man who was wearing all of his clothes inside out as well as reversing what should go from top to bottom. I mean, how can someone wearing his hat on his feet be really that funny? But who am I to argue with the citizens and at least it meant that I was on Tri-D again. This time, however, I was in the thick of the action. The simmering resentment that was threatening to boil over finally did so. What was supposed to be a friendly game of cricket between Hussain and the Warne blocks degenerated into a free-for-all. Accusations of cheating flew back and forth as Hussains ‘Nassty Boyz’ claimed that the Warne ‘Spin Doctors’ were interfering with the ball! I have to say though, that this was the first time that I have ever seen a delivery actually spin back towards the bowler. Words flew and it was inevitable that very soon afterwards so would fists. Or worse. The shooting was still going on by the time the judges turned up in force. And this is where I took nearly centre stage. In a fit of machismo one of the Warne players decided on going out in a blaze of glory by hiding behind, yep, you’ve guessed it, me to shoot at the judges. After having heard so many stories of how accurate the judges shooting is, I was a little disappointed at how many new holes that I have just acquired. Perhaps their reputation is based more on quantity rather than quality? On a plus note though I set a personal record for having no less than 13 perps being tied to me at a single moment in time. That puts me 3rd all time in the sector although still some way behind the legendary holding post AA/1001 in ‘the pit’ with it’s seemingly unbreakable figure of 32! It almost defies belief.

Into the night now. Not much longer before I am taken off active service for a while and cleaned and repairs if needed (?!) are undertaken. But before then still time for another guest.

"Control, Rosen here. Perp at K90. 3 years for taking all that he could carry off the bodies of the earlier fight between Hussain and Warne blocks."
"Copy that Rosen"
"You got it all wrong judge. I was merely…collecting all that stuff on behalf of the families. It’s a community service thing"
"Is that right? Would you like me to check that with the birdie? Huh? Thought not, so shut up and wait to be picked up"
"Rosen, control here. Reports of a man in a kangaroo suit being set upon in Hussain entry plaza"
"On it control"

The clean up crew should be arriving on the tails of the ‘bag & tag’ unit. I feel ready to be cleaned up again, today has been a long one for sure. The perp looks up as the hovercar lands. How strange, no judicial markers. Two men get out.

"What do you think?"
"Who they hell are you guys?"
"I dunno, he looks…kinda thin to me"
"I said, who the hell are you guys?"
"Scrawny yeah, but they can sometimes make the best types. Remember that one guy? Man we must have made 4,000 creds from his elbows alone!"

"Good point, lets do it then"
"Whoa, what are you saying here? Whoa, what the hell are you doing? WHOA! What the drokk have you got that las-saw for? OHMYGRUD NOOOOOO!"

What really annoyed me though, apart from the fact that despite me sending an instant alarm signal once I was damaged to Justice HQ which took way too long to be answered, was the fact that if these two organ leggers had thought about it just a little more then they would have seen that the quick way to get this guy was to simply cut his arm off. But did they? Oh no, they actually tried to cut one of the hand loops first. I’ll be lucky to even be repaired at this rate. When the ‘bag and tag’ team turns up there is not so much as a perp to be bagged and tagged as there is a smear to be identified. They notify repairs and servicing as to the damage to me and then take off to get to the next pick up point.

SHLAP! Instafill™ is scooped into the holes that I have managed to acquire during the day. My hand loop is reattached. I can't but help notice that it’s not straight. The clean up crew leave and once again I am flagged as active again, ready to help the justice department fight crime and keep the streets safe for the honest citizen. Wherever he may actually be.

"Judge Rachel here. Perp at holding station K90. 2 months for public exposure"
"Aww, but come on mate, I was only celebrating winning the cricket!"
"I don’t care if you were celebrating ‘mate’, if you want to use a bat glider suit then you do so whilst wearing the judicially prescribed gear. And last time I looked that meant that you actually wear some clothes. And as to the body paint, well, what ever a ‘Pom’ is I seriously doubt that they would want to kiss you there! Resuming patrol".

It seems another day has begun.