Monday, November 26, 2018

Stub 9.8: Regulations and Corrections

The effect on the Regulations Department was swift and decisive.

For most Cali residents, Regulations was the face of the Cali government. Regulation manned the turn-stiles and kiosks that stopped traffic on major thoroughfares every fifty kilometers. Regulation issued permits. Regulation inspected for violations and had could order you to tear down you own house...and then force you to pay for “certified” haulers to remove the debris.

Because there were millions of employees in the Regulations Department, there were few who skimmed millions of Callors. But they were hated all the same.

Word spread swiftly when the Cartel switched from Department of Homeland Security targets to Regulations. For one thing, the targets in Regulations were far more exposed. A hitman could mow down ten Regulations employees in the same amount of time, and with less effort, than attempting to kill one Department of Homeland Security employee.

Word spread like wildfire. Second shift did not show up.

In some places, travelers who were stuck behind locked turnstiles took matters into their own hands. The instructions on the controls for the turnstiles were clearly marked out in graphics and icons. The helpful travelers quickly determined that the owners of authorized thumbprints did not need to be alive, nor did the thumbs need to remained attached to the owner’s hands in order for them to work.

What the helpful travelers did not comprehend was that as long as they were close to the previous owner of the thumb...or more precisely, the previous owner’s smart phone, everybody would assume THEY were the target. Nobody volunteered to work the turnstiles when there were two corpses in them.

Sacramento had been spared the worst of the carnage. The majority of the residents in Sacramento were part of the government. There was safety in numbers. What they were not prepared for was to have all highways leading to-and-from Sacramento shut down.

That instantly threw industries that were totally dependent on Sacramento for material support into a death spiral. Industries that depended on materials from Sacramento found themselves running out of critical consumables within hours of the roads locking up.

An office building can hobble along without copier paper or toner, at least for a while. The same cannot be said for a prison running out of food or a police station running out of gasoline.

Corrections, or prison guards are a hardy lot. Like Regulations, few Corrections officers got wealthy via graft. Consequently, there were very few that triggered geo-fences.

The other thing about Corrections is that they must live with the knowledge that they can encounter a former customer at any time, under any circumstances. It was a rare Cali Corrections officer who was not hyper-vigilant and armed when in public.

Corrections is an exclusive club. They hang out together. Nobody can watch your back like another Corrections officer. And they don’t think you are weird or paranoid.

The Wardens were on the phone with Headquarters shortly the second delivery truck failed to show up. Headquarters was far more insulated from the problem and fail to grasp just how dire the situation was. HQ thought they had problems and that the Wardens were being drama queens.

The message back to the Wardens was simple. “You get paid a lot of money to deal with problems. This is your problem. Deal with it.” And then HQ stopped answering the phones.



  1. It isn't clear why the highways shut down - is it because there were inspection points or toll booths on them?

    1. Turnstile, toll-gate very fifty km, i.e. every thirty miles.

      Thanks for the question. I will sneak a sentence into the text for future readers.


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