When the time came, Dex followed the link in the message. He found his virtual self in a large open building that reminded him of the time he’d been in the back of an upgrade salon, only without all the stuff. There wasn’t even a bench to sit his virtual self upon while he waited. Dex couldn’t see any other avatar there and after he’d wandered around and determined that he really was alone, two more avatars linked in. There was one female and one androgynous looking creature and they walked toward him. “Andersson Dexter,” the female-looking avatar said, the voice a decent machine-replicated tone.
“Yes,” he said, one part of his mind prepared to back out of the simulation at the first sign of trouble. A weapon, for example. But these people gave no sign of violence. Seeming to read his thoughts, the one who had first spoken to him said, “Don’t worry. There’s no need to fear. We are unarmed.” After all, Dex had done nothing wrong and as it turned out, these people were only interested in those people who were wrongdoers.
The androgynous one explained that since law enforcement, if you could even call it that, was practically left to the Security departments of the firms, they only protected their own employees and only to the extent that it benefitted the firm. There were plenty of people who were essentially alone in the world and some crimes that would always go unpunished because the victim was unemployed or the crime didn’t actually inconvenience the employers in any way. It was a complicated problem, the avatar explained, but the solution wasn’t complicated at all.
They were part vigilante, part private detective and part cop. The organization operated as a check and balance on its members, ensuring that the individual members didn’t go off half cocked. They had rules, procedures, even shifts. But they operated under the radar, independent of any firm. Their members all had other jobs to ensure they had access to housing and healthcare, but they were expected to work at low level jobs — their real work was being cops where there was otherwise only anarchy.
It was a rousing speech and Dex was impressed. He could tell that he was getting recruited and it didn’t bother him. It didn’t really excite him, either, but they had let slip that there was under the table pay and there were some clear side benefits. The organization had access to some pretty cutting edge personal electronics and he would get to do something more interesting with his mind than ask consumer grade morons if they’d tried turning it off and on.
Of course, he signed up.