Monday, December 19, 2011

Anniversary Day 1 - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

"Bartholomew Nyquist parked his aircar in one of the hoverlots at the end of the neighborhood. The Dome was dark this morning, even though someone should have started the Dome Daylight program. Maybe they had, deciding that Armstrong was in for a “cloudy” day—terminology he never entirely understood, given that the Moon had no clouds and most people who lived here had been born on the Moon and had never seen a cloud in their entire lives.

He grabbed his laser pistol from the passenger seat. He always kept the pistol on the passenger seat when he was traveling, just in case something happened. He tucked the pistol in his shoulder holster, hidden under his already-rumpled suit coat, and got out of the car.

The neighborhood looked even darker than it should have, sprawled below him like something out of those Dickens Christmas plays his ex-wife loved so much. All it needed was some sooty smoke coming out of chimneys above each house to be authentically dreary.

Oh, his mood was bad. And for that, he could probably only blame himself. He should “buck up”—wasn’t that what Chief of the First Detective Unit, Andrea Gumiela, had told him yesterday? Buck up, Bartholomew. Everyone gets divorced. And yours was two years ago. The attitude was understandable last year. This year, it’s becoming a problem.

That after she made him watch the entire complaint vid his now-former partner had filed. Nyquist knew the complaints already, having heard them from previous partners and in his divorce proceeding: surly, impossible to work with, superior. Conversations filled with biting sarcasm—and that was on a good day. On a bad day, he didn’t communicate at all.

And on this day, he didn’t have to. Still on the force, still a homicide detective, and still without a new partner. He would have partner tryouts all week. The brass wanted to keep Nyquist. He had the best closing rate on the force. The problem was that regulations stated he needed a partner. He stated that he didn’t. He worked better alone."

3.5 out of 5