There was nothing Luka dreaded more than getting in his car and booting up his computer. Not only did it take forever, which seemed to be the case for any technology owned and operated by the government, it also determined whether he was going to have just a normal shitty day or the worst day of his life.
He sipped at his coffee while the tiny wheel at the center of his screen spun. After a minute, it loaded and he cautiously eyed the bottom left corner. In it was a number. Seventeen.
“Interesting,” he said out loud. Normally it’s double that. Perhaps he had finally gotten lucky. Then he heard the computer whir and that number changed to fifty four. Luka sighed. Fifty four issues to address. Fifty four headaches. Fifty four mistakes made by other people that were now, somehow, his responsibility.
“Fuck me,” he muttered as he opened the first task. This one had a timestamp from yesterday morning and was listed as medium priority, although upon reading the description he knew that it was most certainly a low priority. Regardless, it only required him driving two blocks and would help him reach his quota for the day. He slammed the rest of the coffee, burning his tongue in the process and set off down the road.
He parked outside the address listed in the issue log. One of those neo-rustic condos that have been popping up all over the city. Luka turned off the engine, made note of his arrival time and made sure his gun was loaded. He climbed the front steps and rang the doorbell. He waited thirty seconds before ringing it again. Nothing. Then he pounded on the door and shouted “Altura Inc. Open up!” Luka heard footsteps on the other side of the door.
The door opened a crack and a young woman with wet hair poked her head through.
“Hi, yes can I help you?”
“Yeah are you-” he squinted at his tablet. “-Rebecca Laurent?”
“Born March seventh of twenty thirty four?”
“Lived at 347 West Wilmington for three years?”
“Yes, what are yo-”
“-My name is Luka, I am thirty-three years old. I have two siblings. My older sister is thirty-six, my younger brother is thirty-one. How old is the oldest brother?
“What? Look I just got out of the shower an-”
“-How old is the oldest brother?”
Rebecca’s eyes searched the ground before them for an answer. “Thirty eight?”
“Nope. Where is the real Rebecca?”
“Look, I don’t really have the patience for this today. Nobody’s heard from Rebecca in three days. Where is she?”
“Okay I think you need to leave.” As she tried closing the door, Luka wedged his foot between the door and frame.
“Let me guess, you’re probably a G7? Maybe a well maintained G6? What did she do? Not update you, didn’t charge you, make you eat nails and screws?”
She glared at him and he glared right back. “Look here metal snatch, we have two options here. You can either open the door and show me where Rebecca is or I can use this thing-” He waved his tablet in her face, “A have you do whatever I damn well please. So, for the sake of time and me not having to fill out an expense report for why you’re processor is fried, how about you open the door?”
She furrowed her brow, glanced over her shoulder and then sighed, allowing the door to slowly open. Luka saw that she was naked save for a pair of men’s boxers.
“Nice,” he said. “Where is she.” Fake Rebecca led him up the stairs and into the bedroom where true Rebecca was slumped over in a chair, blood pooling on her lap.
“God damnit. Was this you?!” Fake Rebecca shook her head. Luke tapped a button on his tablet and Fake Rebecca stiffened.
“Let’s try again. Was this you?”
“No” she replied in a monotone voice.
Fake Rebecca raised her right arm and pointed ahead of her. “She did.”
Luka followed her finger back to real Rebecca and it was then he noticed the gun held in the dead girls hand. “Ah shit. When did this happen.”
“Two days ago.”
“That explains the smell. Well, fuck. Alright, I’m going to call this in. Someone from Altura Inc. will be by to collect you beforehand.”
“Will I be decommissioned?”
Luka sighed. “That’s not my call to make. What I can tell you is that in situations like these, yes you’re most often decommissioned.”
Luka grunted and started taking photos of the scene.
“Can I say goodbye?” Luke peered up at fake Rebecca and saw that she was still rigid from his previous command.
“Uh, yeah. Sure. Let me just do this quick.” He snapped three more photos and freed fake Rebecca. She crouched before real Rebecca and took her hand in hers. Luka crept out of the room and finished logging the incident, making sure to peer through the door every few seconds. He heard fake Rebecca rise to her feet and whisper “I’m sorry.” She turned to face him.
“I would like to request you put me in sleep mode.”
Luka raised an eyebrow. “Sleep mode? You sure?”
She nodded. Luka shrugged, tapped his tablet twice and watched as fake Rebecca’s chin dropped to her chest.
Luka checked his watch. Eight thirty seven. Today was going to be a long fucking day.