travel dispatch

Life in a Libertarian Utopia

dispatcher: North Haverbrook Fire & Rescue, what’s your emergency?
citizen: My house is on fire! You’ve gotta help me, please.
dispatcher: That’s what we’re here for, ma'am. May I have your name and address?
citizen: Valerie Odgen, I live at 478 Brockaway Lane. Please, you have to send someone immediately.
dispatcher: Of course, Ms. Ogden. Now, our records aren’t showing an account associated with that name or address. Might it be under another name? Your husband or someone?
citizen: …Account?
dispatcher: Would you perhaps like to set up an account at this time?
citizen: What?
dispatcher: It’s just, there’s a fifteen percent surcharge for non-account holders.
citizen: Surch…what the fuck is wrong with you? Send. Firefighters.
dispatcher: There’s no need to be rude, ma'am.
citizen: My fucking kids are inside, you piece of shit!
dispatcher: Yes ma'am. How many engines would you estimate will be required?
citizen: How the fuck do I know? I’m not a goddamn fireman!
dispatcher: We’ll just say two to be on the safe side. That’ll be two thousand for the first engine, one for each additional, for a total of three thousand.
citizen: …Dollars?
dispatcher: We’re a business, ma'am, not a charity. I hope you aren’t one of those flakes who think the government should fund these kinds of services with taxes. It’s hardly fair to saddle all the people whose homes aren’t on fire with the burden of extinguishing of yours. I mean, what is this, the Soviet Union?
citizen: Whatever, just send them before my fucking house burns down.
dispatcher: Of course. It will be two-fifty per hour per engine once they arrive. Not counting the surcharge. Would you like them to take the fastest route?
citizen: Fastest…why wouldn’t I?
dispatcher: My computer is showing that the most expedient route will incur one hundred seventeen dollars in tolls. I can save you up to fifty-two dollars by sending them via a more economical route, but that will add approximately twenty-one minutes of travel time.
citizen: AAAAGGGHHH!!!
dispatcher: Now, now, ma'am, you can’t just expect the owners of those roads to let us use them for free.

Shinigami Spin-Off Idea: The Beginning

I’ve been writing about a reaper spin off where William and Grell travel to distant dispatch offices to provide help. This bit of a story with that idea came to me today. I know it’s unpopular to write in first person, but I really felt William’s voice strong with this. If nothing else, I may turn this into a full story at some point.

I stood quietly near the station and glanced at my watch. The train was late, which only added to my feelings of uneasiness. I found this entire idea foolish and had tried to explain my position to Personnel, although they had said their order had come from higher up. The issues with the contracted demon had brought the reapers under my supervision and myself some notoriety, but I was not comfortable with that. I preferred to do my job with quietly without any emotional attachment. Personnel claimed this to be false modesty. I found it to be insulting.


I heard the whistle of the train and turned to see its approach. As I did so, I heard a familiar voice rising just loud to be audible over all the noise.

“Will! Will, I’m coming, darling!”

Glancing over my shoulder I saw the figure draped all in red running towards me, but I said nothing as I turned back around. I had been assigned to travel to other Dispatch offices to help them get their affairs in order as they dealt with their own issues.

And I wasn’t traveling alone.