a bit of work in progress

A white sedan blazoned with the Department of Public Safety logo on its hood sat in the driveway next to the pizzeria’s colorful van. The light above the garage door revealed the shadowy forms of four men inside the vehicle. Grace’s fingers clenched the textured curtain material so tight that it pricked into her skin.

She always knew this day would come. But couldn’t it wait until tomorrow? Never in her worst nightmares had she imagined this. Please, God. Not now, not with the girls here. When the Department of Public Safety came calling in the middle of the night, people died. 

In general, the DPS operated like most government agencies; they dealt with people blessed or cursed with incredible powers, but the work took place in offices, conference rooms, cubicles and call centers. They assigned permits, issued directives, levied fines, and sent subpoenas. Even the rollover compliance teams worked regular business hours. The DPS issued its warnings to everyone destined to change from middle-aged human to dangerous Other—everyone who would roll over, as the officialese called it—and good citizens surrendered like placid sheep to be sheared. Most DPS internments were peaceful arrangements laced up in red tape. 

Most, but not all.

Emergency containment teams worked 24/7 to bring in the non-compliant. Those four men in Grace’s driveway were trained soldiers with the legal right to imprison any citizen in the country and the weaponry to enforce that authority in the face of super-powered resistance. They captured monsters for a living, and their presence here meant they were hunting one now.

And Grace was their most likely target.

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