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Cyborg Cop (Chapter One)
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Cyborg Cop (Chapter One)
A cyborged police officer fights crime in North California in the 21st century.
[810 words]
Science Fiction
Christopher Moss
I live in Prattville, Alabama. I'm married and have a two-year-old son. In my free time, I watch movies with my family or go to my study and write.
[July 2002]
Cyborg Cop (Chapter One)
Christopher Moss

Chapter One

He was a cop . . . a good cop.

At least that's what Lieutenant Jason Cameron told himself as he stared into the darkness outside his small, prefabricated home. From this distance the deserted streets seemed safe. But Cameron knew better. Beneath the silence, beneath the shadows, things were ready to explode. Still, he had accepted the transfer. Like a good cop.

Suddenly, he remembered his father. Instinctively, he stepped away from the window. His father had been killed that way. Looking out a window. Struck down by a stray bullet. Back when Bay City got its first taste of the Troubles.

Maybe two decades ago when the feds had cut off loans and were urging cities to fend for themselves. The problem was that most of the major cities in Northern California were strapped tighter than a snare drum. Bay City, like several other metropolises, snapped.

Social programs were whittled to nothing. The people with little or any wealth didn't understand that. They took to the streets to vent their anger. His family had lived in what was known as the Northern Waterfront back then. There still had been families there, people who had clung all their lives to hopes and dreams. Cameron's father had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. A gunshot. The tinkling of shattered glass. That was the end of David Young Cameron.

Dying, his father seemed almost amazed and amused by it all. He had moved to Bay City to make a fortune working for Tehran Motors. Then, the automobile industry went under and the elder Cameron wound up working for the new company in town. Universal Products. Performing mundane tasks. But the insurance had paid for the funeral. A nice, ornate casket. Prerequisite flowers with the photocopied signatures of faceless executives. His father had looked up into his startled son's eyes and whispered: "Isn't this a kick to the head?" He had shrugged, smiled, and died.

Cameron sighed. Universal Products had turned out to be the city's savior of sorts. New housing projects. New jobs. When the city found itself bankrupt, unable to pay even the police less than a year ago, the U.P. team marched in and simply took over the struggling city services. They now paid the police force, the fire department, the sanitation crews, and the park commission. Hell, at least they paid you on time.

Cameron heard laser blasts behind him. Instinctively, he whirled around. Spotting the source, he relaxed. Ten-year-old Timothy Cameron was sprawled in front of the television set watching his favorite show, Walker: Galaxy Ranger. Cameron tried not to smirk as the space cop on the tube gunned down a dozen Muridian goons, twirled his blaster pistols, and returned them to his holsters. Walker, who was big as an ox and blubbery, wouldn't have lasted five seconds in a combat zone like the Northern Waterfront.

The hellhole where Cameron was heading tomorrow.


Cameron felt his stomach tighten slightly. He was tense, but he'd be damned if he'd show it in front of his family. It was bad enough he brought the nightmares home with him: the images of screaming faces, the bashed-up vehicles, the endless streams of blood and tears. He wasn't going to show weakness or worry in front of his family.

He glanced at the window and saw his own reflection in the fluctuating of the TV. He jumped. For a moment, the face he saw was that of his father. Yeah. He had the same high cheekbones. The same deep-set blue eyes. The thin lips, eager to smile but not quite knowing how to relax that much. He forced himself to laugh at his own uneasiness. Thirty years old and turning into a big weenie. He nearly laughed out loud. Welcome to Weenie World, J.C.

Jessica walked into the room. "Supper will be ready in a minute." Their eyes met. She knew how jumpy he felt. They'd been together too long for her not to know. They'd grown up together and had developed a friendship that blossomed into love. He forced himself to smile widely and, for Timothy's benefit mostly, he rubbed a callused hand across a tight stomach and announced, "Great, Mom. I could eat a horse."

Jessica forced a smile in return. "We had old gray mare last night. Will homemade tacos do instead?"

Cameron nodded. "I suppose I can force myself."

In front of the television, Timothy laughed. "I can if Dad can."

Jessica walked out toward the kitchen. "A couple of comedians."

Cameron watched his son settle back in front of the TV. His gaze, once again, wandered to the street. He wondered what would go down out there tonight. And what he'd find there tomorrow.


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© 2002 Christopher Moss
July 2002

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