Todays story prompt brought to you by Three Word Wednesday.
((Liability, badge, darken))
She showed her badge to the woman at the door and was let through in silence. The hallway was long and the light was low, layers of newspapers were plastered on the windows to keep the bright city out and red drapes darkened the lights inside. In the winter chill she could smell the dampness seeping in, seeking a release from the oncoming freeze outside. Through the chatter of the patrons, she could hear the jazz wafting towards her from the club.
Small venues like this were one of the few perks of being in the task force. Staff and patrons alike were mellow around here, but it was still exclusive; you could be on the waiting list for years. Unless you were in the task force of course, enforcer of the cities ludicrous music laws. Larger venues were more closely run than the alleyway clubs though, her presence there was seen as a liability to the corporations. The bigger the venue, the more likely it was ran by the corporation; larger pockets, larger fines when things went wrong. No one wanted to see the task force lurking around a concert or popular city club, it only meant trouble.
Lindsay was on the task force, but she didn’t agree with their methods. Fining even the unknown artists for sampling works or collaborating with the greats of the past. This was supposed to be a free society, all copy-writes where abolished decades ago. But the government still discouraged the use of the time machines for personal gain, even as they exploited the past, mining it for technology and wealth. This time someone had gone too far though, someone had brought back more than a few bars of music, they brought back Thelonious Monk himself.
Stepping into the club proper she was drawn to the bar, glowing blue against the matte black walls of the room. “Whisky,” she told the barkeep. A habit acquired from her fathers obsession with the past, few places served real alcohol anymore, opting for the synthetic blends of liquid that had grown popular as of late, but she appreciated the way whiskey burned the back of her throat. As she waited for her drink she looked around the club, everyone absorbed in their own drinks and the music. It was hard not to appreciate the old Earth feel in the room, she guessed that’s why they sent her.
No sign of Mr. Monk though, she didn’t really expect there to be this early in the afternoon. She was supposed to meet Adrian, the clubs owner in 10 minutes. She had a bad habit of being early, and Adrian had a bad habit of avoiding the task force. “Where’s the boss?” Lindsay asked the barkeep when he brought her whiskey, he just shrugged and went on to making some martinis for the couple at the end of the counter.
It wasn’t supposed to be possible to pull people forward in time, but she knew better. Before her fathers split with the science division, he had been having a love affair with a women in the early 1920’s that he met on his first jump. In time that woman had a child, but he couldn’t risk disrupting the time line. He found a way to bring the baby through the transporter and was disbarred from the Academy for it. Lindsay never knew her mother, enforcers made sure of that, but her father kept her well hidden. They never knew of the baby girl with the split time signature.