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World of Darkness: Attrition - To Protect and Serve


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Prologue - Visions

The morning after Swara-Ann's soul was saved, and the corrupted spirit that had been controlling her was condemned to eternal non-existence, Ariel went to work. She was still tired, of course, and maybe that contributed to what she saw. As she looked around the sea of desks that she walked through every day, she imagined that each one had a werewolf in a sort of half-man, half-wolf state sitting at it. A sort of not-so-monstrous Garou form. They were barking into their phones and at each other, some growling with hackles up, others looking happily around with tongues lolling and tails wagging. Their precincts were called territories and instead of working in pairs they worked in groups called packs.

Then her delusion or perception shifted, and they were all human beings again, and nothing more. They were talking about humans hurting humans, killing humans, selling things that humans decided shouldn't be sold, owning things that humans decided shouldn't be owned. And with that, the vast size of the officer pool area seemed to collapse, and she couldn't breathe because it was crushing her on every side. Or no...she could breathe, but she couldn't move her arms or legs, she wasn't free to become...what she needed to become. There was a larger world. There was a higher law.

As she made her way back to her desk, closing her eyes when the shifts in her awareness made things to distracting, Ariel was aware of the reactions of those around her. People paused in their phone calls as she passed. They froze and waited, without even realizing it...like rabbits who were reasonably confident that they were hidden as something mean and toothy stalked past. They nodded, even smiled, when they passed her in the aisles, but their eyes drifted down or to the side, begging her not to notice them. Scary Ari, was the nickname that she'd heard, but that no one said to her face. At the time she'd thought it was kind of cool...but now she saw the truth behind the words. She'd worn the War Form, and they could sense it just under her skin. She'd never seen it before because she'd never looked; never wanted to know. It was obvious though, when she thought about it. Ariel didn't get invited to get drinks offduty. Ariel wasn't in the betting pool, or the lottery pool, or anything else. She came in and did her job and got good marks on her reviews because there wasn't any legal way to complain that Detective McKenzie does her job well, but I don't like her because I sometimes feel like she's going to eat me on an evaluation sheet. When she was gone, the 'retirement party' would be as much a celebration that she was leaving as it was a celebration of her service. That thought was more liberating than depressing though. It made her think that there was one more way she could make the day of everyone here.

At her desk, with fingers she wasn't sure she was really feeling, Ariel composed an email to the Chief of Police...the man who was her 'supervisor' since she'd been promoted to Detective. In the email she expressed that she'd just been informed of a family emergency that required her attention. She was taking the last week of her vacation, and a 1 week leave of absence to handle the situation. There was a chance she'd need more time, in which case she would contact the station.

She didn't tell him she'd decided to resign. She needed time to plan her next steps. More than two weeks, at least. No the two weeks weren't to say goodbye to her job.

They were to say goodbye to everything else.

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