Rayse walked into the precinct office of the Zygerus Circuit Security. She had been summoned to the office by her commanding officer, Commander Urether, for a new assignment and to meet her new partner. Rayse had been a beat cop, walking the streets of Zygerus in quadrant three, zone sixty-five, between Alsuria and Dearen, and Fodge and Hilkanz Streets in the suburb of Miltzenax.
Rayse walked into the precinct office of the Zygerus Circuit Security. She had been summoned to the office by her commanding officer, Commander Urether, for a new assignment and to meet her new partner. Rayse had been a beat cop, walking the streets of Zygerus in quadrant three, zone sixty-five, between Alsuria and Dearen, and Fodge and Hilkanz Streets in the suburb of Miltzenax. Sixty rotations ago, Rayse had requested a transfer and applied for a promotion to Zygerus Security Force Investigator, which would give her nearly free reign to patrol the entirety of the Zygerus Circuit including its moons, stations, as well as the planet itself. Since she hadn’t heard anything since then, she assumed the position had been filled and she wasn’t going to get the promotion. However, when she got the message this morning to come in for a briefing on her new assignment and meet her new partner, Rayse was surprised and excited at the opportunity.
Zygerus’ bureaucracy moves slowly.
She approached the officer at the front desk and introduced herself. “I’m Officer six-three-one-one-four-delta. The name is Rayse.”
The officer at the desk never looked up from his terminal. “Commander Urether is expecting you. Take a seat and I’ll tell him you’re here.” He lifted a hand and gestured toward a bank of chairs along the wall behind her.
Rayse approached the row of seats and sat down next to a petite, porcelain doll-like biomechanoid in an investigator’s uniform. Rayse smiled politely at the tiny androgynous being and waited for her name to be called.
The tiny biomech turned to her and whispered, “So, you’ve been called to the principal’s office too, huh?”
Rayse shrugged. “I guess that’s one way of putting it,” Rayse said. “I’m getting promoted today.”
“Really?” the biomechanoid said with incredulity in her voice. “What’s that like?”
“Uh … You know,” Rayse said running a hand through her coarse shoulder-length hair.
“I don’t,” the biomech replied. “I’ve never been promoted. My contract doesn’t allow for it.”
Rayse had never heard of someone locked into a contract that did not allow them to be promoted. “How long have you been in your contract?” she asked.
The biomech was perceivably saddened when it said, “Fifteen cycles in a fifty cycle contract.”
Rayse couldn’t believe it. Most contracts lasted only for a cycle or two, and rarely lasted for more than three, but a fifty cycles contract was impossible, even for a biomechanoid with an estimated lifetime of several hundred cycles. “How did that happen?”
“Always read the fine print in your contracts before you sign,” the biomech replied. It must have been eager to gain employment that it neglected the first rule in Zygerus Contract Law: Always read before you sign.
“Can you get out of your contract?” Rayse asked.
“No. At least, not with it costing me several hundred thousand shares.”
“That’s horrible.” This poor little biomech was no better than a slave to the system. It would take it nearly a hundred cycles to earn a hundred thousand shares.
The conversation between them died down and stretched into several minutes of silence before the biomech extended a hand toward Rayse and said, “By the way, the name is Xaxyn.”