Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14
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My back and shoulder hurt from where Rusack had flipped me into the furniture. My arm just above my wrist was turning a deep black and purple and I think the bone was fracture from the guard's nightstick. My eyes hurt from lack of sleep, my ass was sore from the hard surface of the floor, and stomach complained about no food... but the worst of all was the torture of not knowing what had happened to my brother since we were taken into custody. Is he alive? Dead? No one would tell me.
So there I was sitting in my cell on the morning of the third day, my tears spent and emotions numb, when they finally came to get me. I could barely stand I was so exhausted but the two burly security officers got on each side of me and made sure I got one foot in front of each other.
I didn't bother asking about Korannon as I assumed they were finally going to interrogate me and I had made the plan a long time ago that I would tell them everything in exchange for them telling me about my brother. I was a bit surprised when they escorted me into an office and plopped me down in a chair opposite a desk where an older woman was working on a terminal. I was even more surprised when the guards left us alone and closed the door behind them.
I was too tired to interrupt the woman across from me from whatever it was she was typing, and the office guest chair felt so good after the days in the cell. I could feel my eyes starting to drift closed when I heard, "Mr Kodachi?"
The woman had turned 90 degrees from the terminal and was facing me directly. She pulled up a tray from the floor and started taking things out of it: my comm unit, my wallet, my room key. She looked at a paper manifest and checked off the items. "These are your things, correct? Anything missing?"
"Um," I looked confusedly at the items, "no, I don't think so?" I leaned forward, awake now. "What's going on?"
"You're being released," she said with a tinge of surprise. "Didn't they tell you?"
"No one will tell me anything!" I said loudly. There was an edge of hysteria on my voice and I knew I was coming close to losing it.
"Ok Ok!" She rose from the desk. "Look, I'll go get my boss, I'm sure she can answer your questions." She left in a hurry, making sure to pass my side as far away as she could, and I felt a little pleasure that I had scared her. But the satisfaction left quickly and I felt myself on the verge of tears again, tired and lonely. I put my head in my hands and willed myself to avoid falling unconscious.
An older woman walked in with an air of authority, the first woman behind her. The manager turned and said, "Sandra, can you give us a minute? Thanks," and closed the door behind her. As she moved to sit behind the desk she said, "I'm sorry Mr. Kodachi, I meant to speak with you before you were brought to sign the forms. You're being released."
"I gathered that," I snarkily replied. She ignored my anger and continued on.
"You see, we're not pressing charges against you or your brother."
My anger started to give way to confusion. "What? Why not?"
"The station executive branch decided it was not in the best interest of any involved parties to pursue prosecution." She leaned forward and put her arms folded on the desk. "I reviewed the case. The scene of the incident, the apartment, is empty and the ownership name is a fake. The person you had an altercation with has disappeared. The weapon that went into evidence is missing. All we have is your brother in the infirmary and you."
"My brother! Is he alright?"
"Yes, he is stable in the infirmary. He will survive but he is in an induced coma while the reconstruct his hip and tissue." She looked a bit sadder now. "He will be there a long time."
I felt a huge ball of tension and worry dissolve in my gut and I thought I would faint from relief right there. I sat back in the chair and closed my eyes. "But he will live," I said quietly.
I looked back at her, calmer now and very tired. "So what happens now? You're not charging us with anything? I can just... go?"
She nodded. "Sandra will get you to sign forms stating you received the possessions you had when you were taken into custody and that your treatment was good, then you are free to go about your business."
I thought about complaining about my arm but the look in her eyes suggested to me that she knew what I was thinking and it was not advisable. I nodded instead. She smiled and got up from the desk and headed towards the door. She stopped and turned to me before opening the door.
"And Mr. Kodachi, the next time you and your brother think you can try to engage illegal smuggling I suggest you find another station to do it in. While your family's money and influence may have gotten your ass out of the fire this time, next time I will find a way to put you in a cell for the rest of your life and throw away the key. I have all the paper trail and evidence I need now to do so. Don't give me a reason to use it."
I looked guiltily up into her face and she locked my gaze with those stone cold eyes that I can still remember clearly to this day. I flushed and nodded before looking away.
She left and Sandra came back in so we could finish the paperwork. She was nervous at first but soon she could tell I was a lot calmer and we quickly got everything done. I left the security offices with directions to the infirmary despite being dead tired on my feet; I had to see my brother. At the infirmary I talked to the doctor's and found out how bad his injuries were and how they planned to treat them. It was all very detailed and I knew I would remember almost none of it the next day, so I nodded and agreed to whatever they suggested. They seemed very competent.
Satisfied that my brother was in good hands, I left to go back to our room and get some much needed rest. Along the way I turned on my comm and was surprised to see a message waiting for me. It was a text message from my father and it was only one line.
"Don't bother coming home."