Friday, January 21, 2022

Microstory 1805: Field Work

Like any young girl with parents who taught her to be independent and powerful, I dreamed of joining law enforcement. No, I know, that’s not a universal dream, but it sure felt like it back then. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. As I grew up, my passion for the work only grew stronger. I wanted to be out there in the field, making the tough calls, and actually seeing the people I was helping. While I was still in college, my personality began to change. I still wanted to help others, but I no longer seemed interested in field work. Fortunately, I knew that there were plenty of jobs that didn’t require me to do anything like that. I won’t get into specifics about the path I took, but I ended up becoming a Threat Investigator for the government. It was my job to process calls from civilians who were reporting crimes and of course, threats. I occasionally had to go out and speak to people in person, but that only ever happened when the potential threat was nearby. Most of the time, I asked questions, and determined next steps, which generally involved contacting local authorities, or my branch’s local offices. It could be rewarding, but it was also stressful. It would be terrible if I downplayed a threat that turned out to be a really big deal, and it was almost as bad if I sounded the alarm about a threat that ended up being nothing; maybe even a hoax. Citizens from all over the country counted on me to accurately evaluate each situation, and decide the best course of action from the information I was given. I made mistakes, and I lived with regrets, but nothing was bad enough to warrant a disciplinary response...until it was. I made the wrong call, and people got hurt. No one died, but they very well could have. I should have taken it more seriously, even though the caller sounded unconvinced himself, and a background check made it look like he didn’t have much credibility. I wasn’t fired, but I couldn’t let anything like it happen again. Then I received my last call.

It was from a young man who lived in my city, or rather on the outskirts of it at the time. He was a member of a militia who was supposedly planning an attack on the capitol. The more I spoke with him, the more I realized that this guy actually joined the militia with the intention of taking them down from the inside. Apparently, his family was more into the anti-government stuff, and he had been forced to pretend to be like them so he could blend in, and stop his life from being so hard. Now he was in way over his head, and he needed my help to get him out of it. I went out into the field, and investigated the threat myself. Suddenly, I found myself in over my head. It wasn’t against protocol for me to go out there for a visit, but things snowballed so quickly, and I was captured and detained by the aggressors. Well, this proved that the threat was real, but there was nothing that I could do about it, at least not on my own. Fortunately, the self-appointed mole in the organization wasn’t found out himself, so I was able to sneak him a message, which he bravely took back to my superiors. They sent a strike team to raid the place, and I would like to tell you that they successfully prevented the attack, but I honestly don’t know one way or the other. It turned into a bloody mess just as the year was coming to a close. The bad guys realized immediately which among them ratted them out, and we were both executed in an attempt to show the agents that they meant business. Again, I can’t tell you what happened after that, but I can only hope that some good came out of our sacrifice, and they weren’t able to commit any further acts of violence.

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