Anniversary Day

Free Anniversary Day by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Authors: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
to block the sound completely, but enough to make the sirens less abrasive.
Not that they had ever bothered Nyquist.
Until today.
And probably, if he was honest with himself, last year on Anniversary Day as well. He didn’t remember going to the window to see what caused the sirens, but he probably had.
Or had he still been recuperating from the Bixian attack?
He didn’t want to look at the calendar to remember.
The second set of sirens had an immediate sound to them. Not that one set of sirens could be more urgent than another. But it seemed that way to him. Or maybe it was the number of response vehicles.
Or maybe it was the Day.
He left the shade up as he went back to his desk. He would get this work done even if he had to stay here until midnight.
As he eased himself into his chair, his link chirruped: Dispatch, also urgent.
His heart rate increased. He could feel it. He really was on edge.
This day’s dispatch was an older woman, with frown lines on both sides of her mouth. Either she’d had enhancements so long ago they’d stopped working or she was as contrary as he was, refusing to use artificial means to hide aging.
“Detective,” she said, using audio, which was just as unusual as using an image. Right at the moment, her image ran across his left eye only, making her seem like her tiny image was floating a meter above his desk. “Your presence is requested at O’Malley’s.”
He sighed. He’d kept up on Anniversary Day activities. “What kind of trouble did the mayor get himself into this time?”
“This is not a secure link,” the dispatch said. “I will transfer.”
She winked out, and Nyquist frowned. What the hell? Why would Soseki want to summon him, and why would that take a secure link?
Then the dispatch winked back in, floating in front of his right eye this time. He didn’t know if that was because this link was secure or if she just felt like playing with his mind. Probably the latter. He had a hunch personnel put all the budding sadists into Dispatch.
“This information has not yet been released publicly,” the dispatch said with such great formality that Nyquist realized she was recording everything more than once to cover her own ass. “The mayor is dead.”
“What? How?”
“No one is certain. Detective Savita Romey is the primary detective on this case and she has requested your presence to assist.”
Romey was primary on such a major case? Before his injury, he would have been primary on something like this.
“Has anyone informed the Security Office of United Domes?” he asked, not wanting to be the one to tell DeRicci.
“They’re sending personnel as well,” the dispatch said.
“Is this related to the Anniversary Day celebrations?” Nyquist asked.
“We have no information as of yet, Detective,” the dispatch said. “The scene is locked down, and teams are heading there now.”
Nyquist frowned, brought up the timestamp at the base of his links, then said, “Wasn’t the mayor supposed to be giving an Anniversary Day speech across town about now? Why was he still at O’Malley’s?”
Dispatch sighed. “Please direct your questions to the primary detective and do so on scene. We need you there immediately. A squad is waiting below.”
“If you want this to remain quiet, then stop sending so many squads out with their sirens on,” Nyquist said.
“We’ve have a number of emergencies today,” the dispatch said. “Anniversary Day is becoming one of the worst for troubles throughout the city.”
Then she winked out.
Everyone hated Anniversary Day. He hadn’t realized that before.
And now they would hate it worse, with the mayor dead.
The day of the bombing, everyone believed the terrorist attack was only the beginning of the attacks on Armstrong. People expected another attack that day, and when it didn’t happen, they expected one that week, then that month, then that year.
For four years, all of Armstrong had lived in anticipation of yet another attack—and the

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