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.
Seated behind the big desk, across from Rayse, was Commander Urether. Although she was giving Rayse the good news, she never smiled once. In fact, it seemed to cause her pain to give up such a good beat cop to a promotion. Rayse, however, could not contain her pleasure at being promoted to Investigator for Zygerus Circuit Security. With her promotion came the ability to travel anywhere within the Circuit that her investigations led, rather than passing them along to another Investigator, if it led outside of her jurisdiction. Now, the entirety of the Zygerus Circuit was her jurisdiction. It was a great day for her.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Commander Urether asked. “We can always extend your current contract for a few more months, just in case a better opportunity comes along.” She had heard that the senior beat cop for the Algenonian Sector on Zygerus was retiring in the next few months. It was a lucrative and cushy job that only the best beat cops were qualified for. Urether thought Rayse would be a shoe-in for the job if she wanted it. She only needed to convince Rayse to stick around for a few more months.
“I’m sure,” Rayse replied, still grinning. “I doubt anything better than investigator will come along anytime soon that I am uniquely qualified for. Besides, I’ve wanted this for a long time.”
Commander Urether sighed heavily. Her hopes to keep Rayse went up in smoke. “If I can’t talk you out of it …”
“I’m sorry, but my mind is made up,” Rayse said.
“Alright.” The large woman with green freckles on her lavender skin and silvery, close-cropped hair paused, studying Rayse carefully before speaking again. “All that remains, then, is the contract.” She reached into her desk and removed an electronic tablet. She held it out to Rayse, but didn’t let go of it. This was her last hope. She knew the contracts for Investigators were strict and for many people, it was the deciding factor that discouraged them from accepting the promotion. “Read it carefully before you sign it.”
Rayse accepted the tablet and said, “I plan to.” She activated the tablet and began reading the synopsis of the contract on its first page.
Commander Urether rose from her chair and straightened the uniform around her various curves and features. “I will let you look it over, while I go speak with your new partner. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” She left the office, leaving Rayse alone to look over the details of her contract.
Rayse finished the synopsis and pulled up the Table of Contents and quickly flipped to the sections she had concerns about. The contract was for five cycles, which was longer than she expected, but after examining the language of the contract, she understood why it was so. Investigators were supposed to be the crème of the Security force and were beyond reproach, which required unparalleled commitment and dedication to the service. She could live with it. However, she was dissatisfied with the terms offered for contract negotiations, reasons and conditions for extensions, and the penalty fees applied throughout. The amount of shares needed to buy into the negotiations was nearly twice what her current contract required. The extensions were mandatory if an investigation was ongoing or the department was understaffed and needed more investigators in order to maintain a minimum level of coverage and service. The fee schedule for penalties was exponentially higher than her current contract. With so much at stake, Rayse could understand the importance of these terms in the contract. However, she can see all kinds of problems arising if she got bogged down in a case for too long. Bonuses were granted for swift resolutions. She was pleased to find that she had three days to fully review the contract before it completely took effect. Rayse transferred copies of the contract to her union representative and lawyer for reference before she finally signed it.
Commander Urether entered the office a few minutes later with the biomechanoid Rayse had met in the lobby following behind her. “Xaxyn,” Rayse said when she saw the tiny doll-like biomech.
“Hello Rayse,” Xaxyn replied.
Commander Urether looked puzzled, when she asked, “Do you know each other?” She could feel Rayse slipping further and further away. If Rayse had not signed the contract yet, this could very well be the deciding factor.
“We just met,” Rayse explained, once the surprise had worn off and she settled into the reality of the situation. She was pleased.
Commander Urether urged her face to perpetrate its best impersonation of a smile as she said, “Well, that should make this easier, then.” She stepped behind her desk and sat down. It took all she had to keep her eyes off the tablet, but she needed to know. “Rayse, did you sign the contract?”
“Yes,” Rayse said, handing the tablet to the Commander. “I’ve forwarded copies to my lawyer and Union Representative.
“Great,” Commander Urether replied. She wanted to beg Rayse to change her mind. She wanted to throw the tablet across the room. She wanted to slap some sense into girl. Instead, she slipped the tablet into her desk. She was required to file it with the corporatocracy by the end of the day. But for now, she just needed to be alone. “Xaxyn, will you show your new partner the ropes?”
“Yes, Commander,” Xaxyn replied. “Let’s go get your new uniform, Rayse. Welcome to the club.”
Rayse nodded, rose from her seat and thanked Commander Urether before following the little biomechanoid out of the office.