‘Your Ascendancy’ by Alexander Yates
From Five Chapters:
You wake up this morning like you do every morning — six sharp, never mind that it’s your birthday. Never mind that you haven’t had a day off in forever. Duty is duty, and a shopping and lifestyle experience like Summertown doesn’t exactly run itself. It says that on your wall, actually. It says: A shopping and lifestyle experience like Summertown does not run itself. Below that it says: We could not do this without you. Thanks a bunch.
You dismount the cot slowly so as to not wake your old lady. You shower and you shave and you change into the same old blue-and-gold uniform you’ve been wearing for years. The badge pinned above your left titty-pocket says Deputy, but that’s just on account of Dolores in the mailroom misplaced your new badge. You’re no longer a deputy. You’re in charge — have been since the last wave of layoffs-cum-walkouts. Management called it a battlefield promotion. And you loved the sound of that, didn’t you? Battlefield.
You affix your walkie to your belt and holster your sidearm. It’s toasty warm in the condo, and when you open the front door it’s toasty warm outside as well. The lighting is picture-perfect and the morning air smells of new bread. The French Quarter, possibly the best neighborhood in Summertown, stretches all around you. It’s called the French Quarter because it was designed to look like places that were designed to look like France — cobbled streets lined with fiberglass almond trees, orderly rows of baroque and classical townhouses grinning at one another through narrow balconies, and a jazzy little corner café boasting open-air seating.