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The War on Terror: Chapter 2 The War on Terror: Chapter 2
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-03-23 09:40:25
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An appointment! I needed to have a bloody appointment! The whole damned place was empty, so why did I need an appointment. My brain had melted into a cranial mush and seemed to be swishing about inside my skull, although at least, on a positive note, the headache had gone. The slam and click of the double doors returned me to reality and I realized that I had left the station, now standing once again on the steps.

In my hand there was a slip of paper that the policeman behind the opaque window had handed me. He had briefly explained the procedures behind making an appointment and then written down the official phone number in writing resembling a child’s sloppiest effort – was that a number 7 or the mathematical symbol for Pi? Anyway, I refused to be beaten by their little bureaucracy game; it was what they wanted. I would see this through to the very end and then they would see the extent of my caliber.

The police have always been intimidating, even when I was a boy and nothing scared me. The sight of a cop filled my heart with dread and my head with guilt, I was sure they would arrest me for something I didn’t know I had done. During my college years we realized that cops were further up the food chain and their authoritative power feeds from your nerves. A lump came to my throat as I remembered my first arrest for underage drinking, then driving too fast and even possession – damn, why were they so efficient when you are in cuffs, yet when you want help you get a barely legible phone number?

“Hello,” began the surprisingly sexy female voice, “You have reached the Official Central District Police Automated Call Centre.” I breathed a sigh of relief and laughed to myself, ‘Seventh time lucky!’ The line clicked and a phone began ringing, “Hello, you have reached the holding area for the Official Central District Police Automated Call Centre, please hold…” Here comes the irritating music…anytime soon…there was nothing but silence…had they hung up or had the line disconnected?

A few minutes of silence passed and I was on the edge of hanging up when the same female voice clicked back on, “Thank you for holding. Your call is very important to the Official Central District Police Automated Call Centre, so please stay on the line and we will attempt to direct your call to the appropriate department.” I had experienced something similar before and was ready with a pen to jot down all the numbers and corresponding departments in this telephonic labyrinth.

“Dial 1 if you wish to speak to an operator. Dial 2 if you have a ten-digit number. Dial 3 if you have been the victim of a robbery. Dial 4 for murder. Dial 5 for fraud. Dial 6 for domestic violence. Dial 7 for assault. Dial 8 for other crimes. Dial 9 for general enquiries. , Dial 10 to make an appointment.” There was silence, but I waited before making my choice, “Please dial your choice followed by hash after the beep…BEEP!” I hit one and then zero and then stared at the phone as though it had transformed into a penguin…there was no hash key.


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