"See now, I always thought that the queen of England was immortalized back in the early part of the 21st century. Her body sustained by early cybernetics, a great golden throne if you will, where she sits and watches over her people and whenever a brave young Brit dies in defense of the kingdom, she krotchet's a net of angel hair to catch his soul in to protect it and save it from going straight to hell.

"It's absolutely rubbish of course, but here's t'hoping, what!"

- Anonymous

* * * * *

It was February 1st, 2123 and Diedre was on her way to her new assignment in Epsilon Sector. Dodging in and out of traffic on a black and purple racing bike, Diedre made the long commute from Iota Sector over to Epsilon. Most of her shit was still in boxes from when she arrived on this bloody floating island, and she'd be damned if she was just gonna up an pack it on account o' some divorce-spat.

They're looking for an excuse to fire you.

Bull. She wasn't a good cop by any stretch of the imagination, but that's because XSWAT's been asking her to baby-sit bored Yak-babies.

I mean seriously, Iota Sector? It's about as lame as being cooped up in a nunnery.

She was a good cop—they just weren't utilizing her properly. Now this whole thing with hunting down an `eater.' That's more like it. Real work. Real nasty violent dangerous work.

"Bloody hell, what are ya, Bacon?!?!" Diedre curses as she dodges a sedan full of business men—each of them eyes on a computer and not the road.

The traffic around Sigma Sector was getting more and more brutal. "The beanstalk" as it was commonly known, kept growing higher and higher. Every time she looked at it, something in the back of her mind kept tugging, although she couldn't remember exactly what. Something she learned at the convent, no doubt.

Personally I think it's a giant phallus and we're all just it's hairy `nads down here in the streets. Somebody's really compensating for something.

Epsilon Sector didn't look much different from the rest of Angelus at first. Bright, neon, Asian, commercial, and artificial. Her datapad blipped. Epsilon PD was straight ahead.

Through a mound of trash, more than 20 feet high.

Friar Tuck's hairy third nipple. I'm not taking my bike through that. Damn datapad, new route! New route!

Blip. Boop.


Fine. I'm plotting my own route.

Which turned out to be an extremely bad idea. Because, you see, The Grinder is no place for a young lady to end up. Especially not one with the sweetest ride this side of the wall. It wasn't a fancy bike by any standards, but here in The Grinder it was probably one of the better pieces of hardware these punks would see all year.

When the hackles on the back of her neck started to rise, it brought back a lot of memories. Memories she'd rather have stay forgotten. She didn't bother to look. That would be too late. She kicked the bike into action and cut a few corners a little too close.

472 days, not a scratch. Transferred to new squad: 3 scratches, 4 dents, and a gouge.

Blip. The datapad chirped cheerfully.

You're kidding, right? That's a boarded up school.


With lots of police spinners out in front.


SHIT! I traded a nice comfy HQ for this piece of shit!?


Shut up. There had better not be mold in the locker rooms.

Diedre practically kicked the door open to the foyer, startling the man behind the desk.

"Can I help you, Miss?" The man at the desk asked, his patience obviously tested and his hand on his sidearm.

"XSWAT Transfer. Officer Thornhallow. Locker Rooms," Diedre replied, restraining her obvious emotional state, practically slapping the man in the face with her badge.

"This is the APD desk, Miss. You want the other door." Not another one.

Diedre turned around briefly, looking back at the entrance. "Which one? I see a glass door and a steel door." She leaned in, "It's your face. You decide."

This was just not fair! Where in the nine hells were they digging up these brain jobs for XSWAT!? They really are just as bad as the criminals: a tamed dragon will still bite you when your back is turned. "Down the hall, fourth door on the left past the rec room. And it's the door with the dress on it. Labeled `women' in case that's too hard for you." The man sat up straight, the insignia on his uniform now clearly visible: "Sgt. Esterhaus"

Damn! A paper-sergeant! "Fine." She leaned in real close. "But if I don't get to kill someone today, you had better hope your shift is up before mine is." And with that she turned, kicked open the steel door, startling an officer down the hall at the water tank, and tore through the corridor like a PMS'd bull in a china shop.

* * * * *

After the woman left the foyer, the unsettled feeling Sgt. Esterhaus had earlier that morning started to creep back in and he broke out in a cold sweat. Odd. When did it go away?

Return to Shadows Angelus II: Ten Years After