Silas Nash had never been in a riot before. He tended to arrive in places after the riots happened, or sometimes, just before. He was not a riot officer. He was very glad for all of these facts. A riot was humanity at its worst. People got panicky in large groups. A single thing set someone off, and suddenly, everyone was angry at ‘the other’. And a man in uniform was always the other. Things were destroyed in riots. Businesses were lost in riots. Cops died in riots. Innocent people died in riots. The riots didn’t care, because they didn’t have a brain.
Heather raised an eyebrow, but the smile on her face didn’t waver. “A second set of clothes ruined? Nash, sweetie, you may need to be a little less hard on your wardrobe. I’m only one woman, here.” She’d met him outside of his apartment. He didn’t have the heart to tell her what had happened last night as she had sat him down in the main office. That he had almost died, his heart stopped in his chest. She was brushing a bit of bactine across his cheeks. It stung, but that was probably a good sign. The last thing he needed was an infection. “Have you ever considered backup? Maybe even just not getting into situations where you’re going to get murdered?” she asked, tone chiding as she folded the tattered outfit. She sighed softly, and the sound was warm and pleasant, as she fussed over him. It had been a long time since he’d felt something like that. He slipped the pink book he had recovered from his jacket into his pants pocket.
Consciousness returned reluctantly to Nash. Every part of his body protested. His chest was on fire. His legs ached. The skin of his face was stinging painfully. His palms were scraped, contused by gravel. And his heart felt like it was being stabbed with every beat. But he was alive. He’d not expected that. He took a deep breath, and was made horribly aware of the way his ribs ached. He opened his eyes and took stock of his situation. He was sitting in a white-walled room, on a large, comfortable white bed. A single window let in the bright dawn light as the sun rose over the hills. He leaned back against the soft mattress. He thought back to last night.