Chris didn’t mind the cross country driving and he didn’t mind the stressful work. He found satisfaction in his work and he knew it was a good cause. There was only one thing he hated about his job: he couldn’t see his family, to them and the rest of Earth, Christopher Langley, LAPD officer of ten years was dead. In reality he was a reaper, at least that’s what he called himself his real title was: Collector. Chris worked for The Bureau’s acquisition department moving throughout North America acquiring people to be sent through the dimensional portal and become babies to Amazons. He was approached almost two years ago, three months before official first contact with Amazonia, it was an offer he could not refuse. If Chris worked for this organization, collecting pre-designated people who needed help and dropping them off at pre-designated spots, his family would never worry about anything again. At first Chris flat out refused due to the fact that what they were asking him to do was kidnapping, but then they showed him the world of Amazonia and the technology they had. They told him that they wanted a partnership between the two worlds. He saw the fate that awaited the people he would collect and was initially horrified, but after talking with a few littles who had been taken in off the streets by The Bureau, he accepted.
When the news broke about the cross dimensional portal, Chris knew that his job was about to change. He had been working out of a Ford Transit and using drugs that he had been supplied with by the people who took the people he collected to… collect his targets. When The Bureau created their Earth headquarters in San Francisco he and four others were called. All five of the original collectors of Earth littles for The Bureau were former law enforcement officers. The Amazons’ reasoning behind this was that they knew how to evade capture, how to clean a scene, and how to operate under pressure. Despite The Bureau operating out in the public, Chris and his fellow collectors still operated in the shadows considering what they were doing was still quite illegal. However, The Bureau gave him a bit of tech to make his life a bit easier. That was two years ago. Today Chris was in Boston, on the job.
“Let’s see, let’s see.” Christ said as he drove his van down the street. He was dressed as a paramedic and his van was disguised with holoprojectors as an ambulance. He looked down and double checked his target’s dossier. Clarice Willing was a sophomore at Boston U and had a tendency to go overboard at parties, weekly at that. She had recently caused a Sorority prospect to go into a coma during a hazing. She was arrested but was expected to get off with probation given that her parents were quite wealthy and had assembled a team of top notch attack dog lawyers. Luckily, as a condition of her pretrial release she had to wear a GPS tracker, a tracker that Chris easily hacked into thanks to the Amazon tech he had. He soon spotted his target, five foot eleven, skinny, long blonde hair. She was waiting at a bus stop, “Excuse me, ma’am.” He said getting out of the disguised van with a clipboard and pen, “You wouldn’t have happened to have called 911 to report a heart attack would you?”
“No.” Clarice barely looked up from her phone.
“Damn kids.” He sighed, “If you could just sign here stating that you are a witness to prank 911 call, I can get on my way.” He said as he moved to hand the clipboard and pen to her.
“Why would I do that?”
“New city policy, its to get witnesses incase we catch people who make the phony calls.” Chris chuckled as the girl took the clipboard and pen.
‘Fine, where do I sign?” she said as she hit send on a text and put her phone away and clicked the pen.
“Dotted line right at the bottom along with today’s date, March 3rd, 2027.” Chris said as the girl started to sign her name before tensing up like she was being shocking and starting to fall, “I gotcha.” He said as he started to drag her to the rear of the van. Chris had stopped feeling dirty about doing this kind of work ages ago, in some sick way this was likely the most justice the family of that prospect would get. The rear of the van held several panels and screens along with a few printer like objects. In the middle of the room was a steel and blue glass pod, a stasis pod provided by The Bureau. He quickly loaded the girl into the pod and set the clipboard and pen in a small case next to it. Thankfully the windchill and rain had kept most people inside so the streets were deserted and what few people did see them probably only saw a paramedic helping a drunk student.
“Alright, last one for the day.” He smiled and shut the doors on the van before hopping into the driver’s seat just as a bus turned the corner, “Right on schedule.” He turned the radio to the news as he pulled away from the stop. It was a ten minute drive to the nearest Bureau outpost.
“We return to our special report on the spike in missing person reports across the United States and Canada.” A voice on the radio said as a chain of commercials ended, “I’m Sarah Glassrocher and this year alone there have been almost three hundred reports of missing adults and teens since the year began and that number is set to just keep getting higher. With me is FBI special investigator Andy Myers and the mother of one of the missing, Joyce Halvage whose daughter, Mindy went missing three weeks ago. Both of you thank you for joining me.”
“Thank you Sarah.” A man said.
“Thank you.” A woman said with a bit of strain in her voice.
“Now, Joyce. I know it is hard for you but can you describe the circumstances surrounding your daughter’s disappearance?” The host asked.
“Well, I was talking with her as she was driving back from work when she said she was being pulled over. She said she would call me back after wards and that was the last I heard from her. After she didn’t call back after half an hour I called the police. They found her car two miles from our house, abandoned on the side of the road. They couldn’t recover much evidence because of the falling snow.” The woman sniffled and blew her nose.
“Heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking. Now, Agent Myers what is the FBI doing to try and solve these occurrences?”
“Well Sarah, the near lack of evidence has been our greatest obstacle. At every scene there is barely any evidence if at all. The vast majority of these abductions seem to be the work of pros.”
“There are some that point to The Bureau as the cause of these disappearances due to the fact there are often ambulances, police vehicles, and even hearses entering heavily guarded Bureau properties across the country. What is the FBI’s response to this?”
“The FBI has launched an investigation and when questioned the director of Bureau acquisitions said that The Bureau sticks to the quota that is cleared by the Justice Department and that any insinuation that they go over is an insult to their values. The Bureau has also denied us entry to any property owned by then and they have said that any attempt to gain access to the property, even by means of a warrant would be treated as a hostile act and they would end of technological aid to Earth and deploy Amazon elements to their properties.”
“And you backed off?” The host pressed the agent.
“Yes, we faced pressure from several different agencies as well as the UN. The technological aid that Amazonia is giving us is evidently too important to risk. However, The Bureau has stated that fifteen or so of the cases this year were their acquisitions department and those cases have been closed. “ The agent sighed.
“Now, what do you believe, personally?” The host asked.
“Personally… They aren’t telling us everything. Do I think the sudden uptick in reports is 100% because of The Bureau, no I do not. I think they go above their quote, however, there are probably some who join willingly. Whenever I pass by a Bureau recruitment building the lines are quite often out the door. I have friends who left the FBI and joined up with The Bureau as Security agents.”
“I see. Do you think this will have an impact on the scheduled visit to Earth by The Bureau’s board of directors in nine months?”
“Barring something major, I don’t think so.” He sighed.
“Thank you, and thank you too Joyce. We will return to those special report after this commercial break.”
Chris rolled his eyes as he turned the radio off, “Fucking idiots. Of course we are going over our quota. Last year I did almost one fifty.” He said as made the final turn, “Amazons want littles, The Bureau provides littles, Amazons pay The Bureau, The Bureau pays me and helps my family stay afloat.” He sighed a bit. He saw a bit of a crowd gathered outside the small compound, “Boston-1 this is Collector-3. Cargo is secured.” He said into a radio attached to the dashboard.
“I got eyes on Collector-3, as you can tell we have a bit of a situation here.” A female voice on the other end responded.
“Want me to divert to Boston-2?”
“Negative, we will send security out. You are clear to enter when the gate is opened.”
“Roger, see you soon Cindy.” He said as he set the radio down. Within a minute he saw several squads of Bureau security, all of them were littles just like him. They exited through the main gate and started to push back the protesters. Eventually the agents had to deploy their batons to give the fake ambulance enough time to get through to the game. Even still a few rocks definitely hit the side of the van, luckily none of the projectors were damaged. He quickly rolled into the compound and the agents followed him in, shutting the gate behind them. Chris pulled into an open garage and the doors shut behind him. He turned off the projectors, revealing the ambulance for what it really was, a black 2020 Ford Transit.
“How’d it go?” A woman in a beige pant suit and black hair walked towards her.
“Well, Cindy. I’m great, how are you?” He smiled.
“I’m good, thanks for asking. What about the girl?” She walked over to the back, her high heels clicking on the concrete floor of the garage.
“Piece of cake, got her with with the stunner pen and board. Barely anyone was there beyond a few bums and people who thought I was a real paramedic helping a drunk.”
“Good good. Who is next?” He said as a team started to unload the pod from his van.
“Actually, you are wanted in San Francisco.”
“Frisco?” He groaned, “That’s a three day drive! Why the hell am I needed on the west coast all of a sudden?”
“Dunno, this came through the portal so it must be important.” Cindy shrugged as the pod was wheeled out of the garage, “Come on, there should still be some chowder left.” She smiled and started to leave.
“Sounds good.” He smiled and followed her, “How are the number of volunteers looking?”
“Eh, it’s a trickle.” She chuckled, “I remember when we first opened the volunteer position. We had people on month long waiting lists just to put them in pods.” She said as she entered a kitchen where a pot of clam chowder was warming on a stove top, “But the demand is just going up and up.” She said as she filled two bowels, “We may need to relax our criteria a bit.” She handed a bowl to Chris as they sat down at a table.
“From what I heard from Daniels, it’s because the cost of keeping littles in Libertality and Galice is going down due to the product The Bureau pumps out and littles from those places aren’t in such big of a rush to get babied. “ Chris said as he started to eat.
“Yeah, any idea when migration between dimensions will open?”
“Probably after the trip by the directors, but here is the thing. Galice likely won’t allow a whole lot of littles to leave and I bet there won’t be a whole lot of Amazons coming over.” Chris sighed
“Yeah, there will probably be a few cases of Amazons snatching people here and taking them back home.” Cindy said as she wiped her face with a napkin.
“Oh yeah, fucking Amazons.” Chris sighed
End of Chapter