Chapter One

“These thoughts are not normal.” Phillip Masterton thought to himself in the five-o-clock glare. His hands hung limp on the wheel as the unending sprawl of cars streched before him. “Humanity is it’s own enemy. Is it better to give everybody input into the system, or to let better qualified leaders take reign? Can any two people’s concept of happiness ever completely coincide?” Squinting into the sun, Phillip reached into his glove box for his stash. Smoking a bit of pot was the only way he could stand the rush hour. All these good denizens of Dallas creeping past and worried about insubstantial issues. As he fired up the small chillum, Phillip looked into his rear view mirror. Half to look for police, and half to stare himself in the eye as if staring deep enough would reveal the source of such thoughts. A classic face stared back; it was rounded while retaining a semblance to old Greek statues. And utterly blank. “Does crime actually pay?” Phillip wondered as he attempted to change lanes. Nosing into the lane to his left was the easy part, because immediately afterward he heard the familiar sound of a siren directly behind him. It was almost comical trying to pull over in the middle of rush hour traffic. Jabbing at his horn, the police cruiser motioned for him to pull off to the shoulder of the highway. Unable to move within the solid mass of vehicles surrounding him, he had no choice but to endure the sad report of the siren unending. He he looked to his left and saw the woman staring and helpless in the car next to him. An unnaturally large forearm shot from the window of the police cruiser pointing at the shoulder. Cursing, Phillip finally exhaled and filled the cabin with haze. The extended hit had made him light headed, and momentarily, he was unconcerned with this traffic and indifferent to the angry policeman sweating in the Caprice Classic. A small rift in the traffic to his left brought him back to reality. Slowly and cautiously, the lane moved forward. The cop stuck his nose out and cleared the lane for Phillip to pull over. “Great. What a polite cop. Open my door. Pull out my electric chair.” As Phillip edged over to the shoulder, the police car snapped in behind him belieing the frustration within. “People always talk of police in the abstract.” he thought, ” THEY need better funding. THEY are necessary to serve and protect. But this man, the power of the entire government rested with THIS man. This one human with all his flaws and inconsistencies is wielding the might of thousands.” This train of thought was interrupted by a sharp rap on the driver window. Phillip grinned guiltily, and rolled down the window. A beautiful plume of fragrant smoke washed over the officer. The eddies rolled off the policeman’s navy blue work-shirt, long since stripped of actual copper buttons, and rose like seafoam on a violent cliff face. “What seems to be the problem officer?”

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