This week I’m teasing with a snippet from Core Punch, the first installment in my Uneasy Future series that takes place in a future New Orleans (now called New Orleans New). Our intrepid NONPD detectives are on a rescue mission dirt side. Which, of course, goes horribly wrong.
“In the murk of the storm, she felt again her awe at the sheer volume of water coming down. Her eyes saw it, but her brain had trouble wrapping around it. And next to them the block pile appeared to get higher and higher.
Her heat sensor pinged. She looked, then looked back outside. “There’s something out there.” The heat signature had been wrong for a person, though….
Vil stole another quick look. “A dog. Domestic.”
“How can you tell?”
“It’s been tagged.” Dirt-siders were required to tag their pets, just like up-siders. Man, it figured. She’d never seen a vid where the dog didn’t run off at the wrong time. She took another quick look at the data. “Crapeau. It belonged to our vic.” Maybe it hadn’t run off. She didn’t want to say it, but she had to. “We need to pick it up.”
“It’s a canine—”
“It’s also a potential witness.” It wouldn’t have any trace evidence left on it, thank you, WTF, but domestic pet idents have been legalized maybe forty years ago. Personally, Vi didn’t trust a cat ID. Cats were genius, but so bitter. She’d seen a case where she knew the cat was yanking their chains. Luckily some evidence surfaced that cleared the guy, because that cat hated him. “Why is it here? If it was dumped, then it was probably the killer that did it.” She gave him a quick look. That was the most expression she’d seen on his face ever. “We have to make a reasonable attempt to secure a potential witness.”
“Reasonable is not an option in our current circumstances.”
That was the most gritted she’d ever seen his even white teeth. And they still had to try to collect Fido. Yup, his name was Fido. That was the pooch equivalent of calling your kid John Doe. Maybe it had run away.
“Regs,” she said, careful not to look at him. It wasn’t a loud sigh, but it was capitulation of a sort. Her gaze flicked between the WTF-lashed exterior and her screen with the dog signal. “It’s there, on those blocks of freeway to our left.”
“And just how do you propose we secure our…witness?”
“The pooch is on my side. Wind is hitting from your side. I’m thinking I’ll open my hatch and call it. By the time we’re close, it can jump in.”
“And if it does not?”
“Then we keep going. That’s as reasonable I can be.” And way more than Joe wanted. It was crazy, but half the regs were. Vi called them the ROUCs, the regs of unintended consequences. They resulted from someone trying to hammer a nail into your table leg with a bludgeon. You might get the nail in, but you broke the table and a couple of chairs. And possibly the floor. And the table leg. “Fido’s gonna have to help save himself.”
Vi had a feeling she knew what Joe would like Fido to do, but if he cursed, it wasn’t in English.
“What do you need me to do?”
“Check your straps. I’m gonna pop my hatch and we’ll see what that does to our progress before we try to, you know, change anything.” She checked her straps. Wished she had more confidence in them. Be a bad time to find out they were mostly for show. “Ready?”
“As it is possible to be.”
“Three…two…one…” She released the hatch.
A gust hit the skimmer, flipping it on its side.”
I hope you enjoyed the snippet from Core Punch. You can buy it from most online vendors. 🙂