The applicant took a deep breath, and leaned back in her chair. “You asked me about some time when I saw or felt injustice and what I did about it? Well, that’s it. I know there’s probably worse stuff going on all the time, I’m not blind or stupid. But what happened to Johnny Burling, well, that was the end of the line for me.
“I know I can’t get by not working for the firms, and I also know I’m never going to get high enough up the corporate ladder to change the way they operate that’s for sure. But if I can help some other guy like Johnny, even if it is just by giving those dirtbags a taste of their own for a change, then I’ll be happy to do it.
“There’s no real law for guys like Johnny, no justice for people like us. Except your outfit, from what I hear. And I want to do my bit, if you’ll have me.”
Pat Malone looked hard at the applicant for a moment, then his eyes blinked rapidly a few times without closing. He accessed his onboard system, the display overlaid on his vision so that only he could see it. He made some notes on the interview then quickly sent a message to his boss. Captain Zahara Zhang made the final call on all new hires for the team, but he knew his recommendation counted for a lot. After all, he’d be responsible for this Melissa Vonruden for at least a year if she was taken on to the squad. Given her particular qualifications, probably longer. He could use a brute like her out on the streets. He refocussed on the small room, noting Vonruden’s efforts to appear patient and confident. He did his best to hide the smile he felt creeping over his face.
“Thank you for your candor,” he said in his stern interviewer voice, then gave up the effort and let the smile out. “I’ll have to confer with some other people,” he continued, “but I’d appreciate it if you would try to be available on Wednesday evening. Our next training session begins then, and I think there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to join the group, Ms. Vonruden.”
Melissa smiled then, a full real grin. “I’ll make sure I’m free, Mr. Malone, sir,” she said and stuck her hand out for the man to shake. “And please, call me Melissa.”
“I’m sure I will,” Malone said, shaking her hand.