25 March 2011

"Shoot First"

By Curtis C. Chen

"Police Inspector!" shouted the voice inside Takeshi's head. "This man is not our suspect!"

Takeshi relaxed his trigger finger. If Buki had decided the man was not a threat, it would not fire a round no matter what Takeshi did.

"Down on the ground!" Takeshi said out loud.

The man in the hooded sweatshirt, baggy jeans, and sneakers looked around, eyes frantic. The alley had ended in a blank wall. There was nowhere to run.

"I repeat, this man is not our suspect!" Buki said. Takeshi ignored his weapon.

The man dropped to his knees, sobbing. Takeshi pulled a pair of handcuffs off his belt with one hand. "Put your hands on top of your head," he said.

"I am innocent," the man said.

"He is not our suspect!" Buki said.

"Be quiet," Takeshi said to both of them.

He handcuffed the man, dragged him to the unmarked police car at the mouth of the alley, and put him in the backseat. Takeshi closed the door and snapped his pistol back into the shoulder holster which doubled as an antenna and charging station.

"Diagnostic running," Buki said. "Testing audio transmission. Police Inspector Yamashita, if you can hear me, please respond—"

"I can hear you just fine, Buki," Takeshi said, stepping away from the car. "I did not feel a need to respond earlier."

"So you heard me say this man is not our suspect." The computer inside Takeshi's service weapon sounded more than a little hurt.

"Whoever he is, he resisted arrest. That gets him a trip to the station." Takeshi paced beside the car. "Did you compare his face to the police library?"

"Yes," Buki said. "I had ample time to perform the search while you were arresting him for no good reason."

"Innocent men do not run from the police," Takeshi said. "But I take it from your tone that his record is clean?"

"Maybe you should see for yourself."

Takeshi sighed and took his augear visor out of his jacket pocket. He fitted the translucent yellow panel over his eyes and waited for Buki to power up the display.

After a moment, two images glowed into being, appearing to float half a meter in front of Takeshi's face. The image on the left showed a hyper-color image of the man he had just arrested, as recorded by the sensors built into Buki's front sight assembly. The image on the right was a magnified scan of a student ID from Kyoto University, showing a photograph of the same man and naming him as Daijiro Nakamura.

"I have already cross-referenced with public records," Buki said. "This man is the second son of Genkichi Nakamura, CEO of Transfuture Technologic. Daijiro has no connection to our primary suspect or his associates. And considering the Nakamura family reputation, it is unlikely that Daijiro would involve himself with such people."

"Thank you for the information, Buki," Takeshi said, "but you still have a lot to learn about police work."


Photo: SIG Sauer P220 by Ken "kcdsTM," January, 2008