Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"The Literature Police"


The next morning, while Boss Eggers and Pretty Boy are headed to the airport, the Kid at gang headquarters is disturbed by a knock on his office door.

"Wha- - -?" he begins to ask.

Before him stands a tall and somewhat gawky woman in a severe black uniform and black jackboots. He recognizes her immediately. Captain Rebecca Skloot.

The Literature Police!

"How'd you get in?" he growls.

"I could have obtained a warrant." Her diction is crisp, cold, efficient, perfect, like that of a well-programmed robot. "Instead I called your boss. His cell. He cooperated."

"Cooperated? WHY?" The Kid hates coppers.

She stares through him. To her-- a super-intelligent yuppy writer slumming in this movie as police captain-- the Kid's a lowlife, and no association with the Eggers gang will add luster to that fact.

"We're taking him out."

"Him?" Kid asks.



"Out. Rants. He comes with me."

Beyond tight-lipped tight-assed Captain Skloot of the Literature Police, the Kid notices now a figure standing nakedly exposed, no doubt embarrassed in the presence of Skloot but happy to be alive. He survived Eggers's bizarro Valencia headquarters, Rants can now claim.

"One of yours?" the Kid asks.

"NOW he is," Skloot replies. She turns to her charge, looks him up and down, then stalks toward the exit. The man dutifully follows.

(Cut to Literature Police Headquarters.)

Police Sergeant John Freeman gives the day's briefing.

"Men and women," he continues. "Our job is to patrol the streets of this city to make sure nothing exciting happens, no disturbances, no dissension, no debate, and that the public realizes that in this town which we control nothing exciting ever WILL happen."

(The camera pulls back to show the various officers in the briefing room. Most are sleeping.)

"Number One Priority," he continues blandly. "The ULA is still in the city; in alleyways, corners, shadows: everywhere. Let's be careful out there."

A hand raises. It's rookie patrolwoman Lindsay Robertson, the only person still awake in the room. "Gosh! But we have to know," (fresh from the Academy, Lindsay waits to jot down the facts with pen and paper). "What laws have they broken?"

Sergeant Freeman becomes alert for the first time that morning.

"Laws? LAWS?" Coffee spills threateningly from his mouth. He splutters, unable to continue. He begins coughing, choking, donut chunks emerging from his mouth, face glowing red an avalanche of sudden coughing so that the entire room is now awake wondering with no great concern if Sergeant Freeman is about to croak.

"ARUMPHAARGHGURGGAGARRRRHHHHHAUGGHCARUMPH!" the sergeant says, clutching his throat. Then he notices Chief Lopate standing unpleasantly behind him. The coughing immediately ceases.

"Yes, sir," Freeman squeaks.

Chief Phillip Lopate leans over the podium and glares at the clean-and-scrubbed preppy officers, before he barks, in a loud and angry voice, "DISMISSED!"

NEXT CHAPTER: "The Mountain."

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