Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story about future police work begins after the photo.
“Here we go. The first operational use of cyborg pigeons,” sighed Sergeant Jeffries.
“Why the sigh?” said Lieutenant Hector.
“I just think if we already implanted AIs in the birds, then let the AI control everything.”
“The birds would be classified as drones and therefore illegal for police use. Establishing communication between us and the animal intelligence is the most we were permitted.”
“With bird brains.”
“Have a little faith. Pigeons are pretty smart.”
“Red and Gold Flights away,” reported Jeffries. Search patterns established. Ay! I knew it.”
“Gold 3 is straying from the pattern.”
“Relax. Just call him back.”
Gold 3 still hadn’t returned when he reported a contact and activated his camera.
“Contact!” said an astonished Jefferies. “I’ve got them on camera.”
“Excellent!” grinned Hector. “Notify SWAT. Reroute the other flights.”
Cop killers Chancy and Rafe ignored the pigeons flocking nearby. They were concerned about the police cars and SWAT teams surrounding them.
“We scoped this route out,” whined Rafe. “How did they find us?”
“That’s alright,” grinned Chancy, holding a squirming young woman before him. “Time to use our heads.” He dragged her forward where the police could see her. “I know your protocols, pigs!” he shouted. “I want to negotiate! The law says, you have to send a negotiator and all these gun cops have to back off.”
Scowling, the police captain complied. He hated the new law, intended to avoid casualties. Even so, the press would have his hide if he ignored it.
“What are you doing?” said Hector.
“Pulling the pigeon flights back. It’s the law,” said Jeffries.
“They aren’t armed! Keep the birds in orbit above the perps. They’re going to use the pullback to escape.”
“Roger. Maintaining orbit. Oh, not again!”
“Gold 3 is straying. He’s…he’s diving!”
Chancy grinned evilly as the last SWAT team reluctantly boarded their van. From nowhere, bird doo struck Chancy directly in the eye. Now one-eyed, He swung around looking for the untimely bird. With one arm holding the woman and the other holding a gun, he couldn’t wipe away the stinging slop. He spied a shadow just before bird doo struck his other eye. It was too much for him. The hostage broke away, and the last SWAT team, no longer fettered by hostage protocols, moved in fast.
“Still think we made a mistake?” teased Hector.
Jeffries grinned. “I’m buying that bird a beer!”
Each Sunday, Alastair Forbes presents an original photo as a writing prompt for works 100-200 words long (up to 400 if your imagination holds a figurative gun to your head). To anyone wishing to join the fun, here’s this week’s prompt: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/sunday-photo-fiction-november-24th-2013/