When Lines Are Blurred

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
In the future laws have changed. Those using firearms don't have the same advantages that they once had. Law enforcement has changed a lot, especially in the inner cities.

Submitted: October 15, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 15, 2016



The sounds of gunfire echo alone the building faces in mid-town.

The Mid-town area of this city rolls up its sidewalks just about 10 p.m., it is just the safe thing to do. Few people venture out after that hour and only the desperate go out in the early a.m. hours, but apparently someone was desperate tonight.

The sounds of gunfire awaken a sleeping jumble of circuit-boards and wires that are housed within a odd looking four foot, by four foot, steel box; well, everyone thinks the boxes are made of steel, but no-one knows for sure.

No-one has ever been able to open one of these boxes; God knows plenty of industrious souls have tried. Cutting one apart with a cutting torch hasn't worked, packing explosives around the exterior failed to get the job done, and a diamond tipped drill vaporized after two minutes of futile drilling.

Oh, and the drill operator just fell over dead from sudden and excessive heat exposure. The police just called it a suicide because, as the investigating Sergeant said, "The fool should have known better."

As the interior of the box began to glow a sound is heard. Sounds much like the sound that a miniature jet turbine engine might make when powering up for take-off.

As the sound begins the box begins to spin on its own axis, and as the sound intensifies the box spins faster. Soon the box is spinning so fast that its shape is indistinguishable. That is when the sound becomes nearly deafening. That is the moment that the box rises off the ground and a ball shaped object drops out of the bottom of it.

Anyone who is watching this occurring from nearby buildings quickly close their windows and shut their blinds, there is not a face to be seen within eye shot; it seems that they all know better.

The ball that fell from the box is about the size of a Soccer Ball, gun-metal gray in color, with small equality-spaced holes positioned all over its exterior surface. As soon as the ball touched the concrete it began rolling toward the sound of the gunfire at an ever increasing speed.

As the ball sped down the street, the box quickly stopped spinning and then gently fell to the sidewalk; motionless and silent once again.

These balls are called DOTS, ("Detail Oriented Termination Systems"), by the law enforcement authorities. But these systems are not part of the traditional law enforcement authority and they are not interfered with by police departments. They are private contractors that service certain sectors within the inner city and only deal with weapons use within those sectors.

This is the year 2107 and laws have changed throughout the United States. Due to those changes DOTS are now used extensively in the inner city. They have become an efficient and a low cost way of dealing with the worst and most vicious of society’s killers.


"DOTS-one, this is DOTS-three, Do you copy?" said a voice that was guiding the DOTS in question.

"Roger that DOTS-three, what is your ETA to the transgression site?" said another DOTS operator, --- located somewhere else in that sector.

"Two minutes and counting," DOTS-one operator replied.

DOTS-one rolled and bounced along the streets as it made its way toward the gunfire. If it arrives while they are still firing then DOTS-one's operator will be able to pinpoint the person, or persons, doing the shooting, if they stop firing before that arrival then chances are they will never find the gunmen; the system is dependent on the sounds of weapons fire to pinpoint the target's whereabouts.


DOTS-one arrives at the corner of South Street and Pennington Avenue, and as it rolls around the corner it immediately draws gun-fire from two shooters.

Those bullets have no effect on DOTS-one. As soon as they strike, the skin of the ball absorbs their impact and the bullets fall to the ground.

At that very moment, DOTS-three arrives and has used the shooter's own gunfire to locate and pinpoint both of them. DOTS-three fires a volley and the two shooters fall to the pavement.

"Fire!" an unknown voice calls out from an alley-way.

Suddenly a mini-missile launcher fires at DOTS-three! It is a direct hit and all that can be seen is a cloud of smoke with debris flying all around.

DOTS-one instantly moves to the alleyway entrance and pulverizes everything within those walls. There is not so much as a trash-can left standing.

DOTS-one scans the street and buildings, then calls, "Are you operable DOTS-three?"

"A-OK, just damage to my scanner functions. Is the threat eliminated," DOTS-three asks.

"Rodger that, all hostiles have been neutralized, returns to rejuvenation cubes."

"Rodger That."


As DOTS-one and DOTS-three go their separate ways and return to their individual boxes, a hovering unite drifts down from the sky.

Hovering above the corner of South Street and Pennington Avenue is a large rectangle shape, roughly the size and shape of a ship's cargo container. It is all black and seems to be made of a metal of some sort. On four sides infrared scanners and additional censors can be seen.

As the scanners begin working strange sounds emerge, much like the sounds of the Pings of a Sonar unit; other than that there is very little sound in the area.

This is unit is called a Sight-Sweeper and its job is to return these damaged areas to their former conditions. Weather it is body parts, weapons, or any other manner of debris, it is designed to deal with it.

As the craft moves along an ominous looking green-glowing light emits from it. And as if does, whatever was on the surface of the walls, pavement, and street, disappear into thin air, as if vaporized. Within minutes the area looks just as it did before the gunfire started, even chipped pavement, brick, and broken windows have been repaired.

As the black box moves along the street, making a final scan for material and debris, three white letters can be seen printed on it; Wii.

--- Ting, ting, ting! --- Hostiles Eliminated, Game Over! Score, DOTS-one = 380 points --- DOTS-three = 200 points


Two teens leave the Virtual-reality Gaming Center after testing a new game, ("Inner City Combat"). The offers are only given to the best of the gamers that frequent this gaming store, and they are always on a Stand-by basis.


"Wow, great game!

"Boy, everything seemed so real," said John, the operator of DOTS-three.

"I know! Right?" replied Bill, operator of DOTS-one.


Free labor when it comes to the cost of Drone Operators can really help with a business’s bottom line; besides, they will never know that they killed someone today.



D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  10-13-2016

© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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