It was 2 in the afternoon and rain splashed onto the pavements like gunshots into the Miami night. Some of the old folks Mish encountered in her work said that Miami used to feel less like a jungle back before global warming, and others equally admitted that the place had always been a swamp. Mish sort of wished she were back in her old patrol unit, keeping an eye out for the safety of elderly retirees, as she ducked under an awning to catch a small breather and even smaller respite from the downpour.

Mish adjusted her holster again for the millionth time that day. A tough couple of weeks under the new PT regimen seemed to have lost Mish a few choice centimeters around the waist and her regulation holster buckled to its normal well worn groove kept slipping down her hip. Not enough that she felt like tightening the belt, but just enough that it became irritating every so many meters she spent on her feet. She tickled her holstered pistol with her nails, sighed and straightened up, preparing to start running again. Her phone rang and she caught the somewhat distressed face of her superior on the backs of her eyelids. "Sergeant Sullivan, why have you broken pursuit?" was all he said before breaking contact, her retinas needing a bit more time than usual to dispel the leftover aura of the Everglades Militia's bright pink flamingo--emblazoned crest.

"I'm not a robot, you bastard", Mish swore at the rain and the hover traffic that she was crossing and the Lieutenant worried about his damn monthly Bag Quota. A brief flick of her fingernail toward her phone stabbed the tag's trails back into focus and she tried once more to anticipate her target's next move and get there before him.

Mish had been in the Militia, colloquially --- given the regulation female uniform wasn't far removed from your standard bikini --- called the 'Kini Commandos, for a few years, and was proud of the bright pink Sergeant chevrons on her vest sleeve. Some of the old folks made fun of the regulation uniform, but it was on such a hot, entirely wet afternoon like this one when she was especially happy with the skimpy warm weather uniform. To her it was better to wear her nearly skin tight pink "camo" khackis and bikini top, topped with an NCO vest that was mere affectation of modesty afforded by rank, than to suffer a summer heat stroke or exhaustion.

The tight, light-weight fabrics left her pretty agile and gave her a fairly big advantage when trailing most targets. On her best days she could easily outrun on foot a hover car stuck in Miami's 24-hour traffic jam: that heaping three dimensional tableau of bad driving and worse manners. It particularly helped, though, that most of the Gatormen she tracked refused transportation of any kind and all had an extra special aversion to projectile weapons.

Many of the old folks certainly believed that the Gatormen were some sort of genetic experiment, although none could quite explain what the experiments may have been about. All Mish knew was that Seminole Bioengineering paid ridiculous sums directly to her bank account when she helped catch one of the lizard people, and she knew that was but a small share of the total paid to the Militia. Seminole Bioengineering certainly seemed like the sort of shady business that might let its own experiments escape to haunt old retirees. Especially after the Dismantler Coup in DC, it seems suspicious for such a company to bother escaping what little federal regulation there is left by basing operations under Native American control.

But Mish didn't really care if Seminole Bioengineering was paying her to be a bounty hunter for its explorations of the depths of scientific madness. Mish didn't even really care if they were just vacationing space aliens heading towards universe-famous Disney World by way of scenic Miami. Of course, Mish had heard several variations on that theory from an old patrol partner of hers. That guy, nicknamed Rooney, bless his paranoid heart, had a conspiracy theory for every day of the week, waffling between his own beliefs in them during bouts with manic-depression and flirtations with OCD. Most of his theories revolved around the Gatormen being space aliens and a small, crazy cult with a big headquarters up in the panhandle. Some days he thought that we were working hard to keep the cult from realizing that their evil space gods had arrived and were terrorizing the Miami elderly. Other days he figured Seminole Bioengineering and the Everglades Militia were just part of the vast assets owned by those very cultists and that the Gatormen were being captured to study their "god essence" or some other bullshit like that.

Old Man Murphy, at one of the six places named "Palm Tree Estates" that Mish had patrolled, used to be endlessly fascinated by Rooney's theory that the Gatormen were the real cause of global warming and wanted a planet that was just one perpetually bad worldwide typhoon. There was something special in the bond between a delusional loser and senile old man that almost brought a tear to Mish's eye as she broke through a bush and over a fence toward what seemed like a perfect spot to catch her current tail. It was a very small park, not much more than a palm tree and a bench, kindly located just a few meters forward of the tail's heading.


Re-found this on my hard drive from late 2008. I don't entirely remember where I was going from here with this, but I realize that I'm unlikely to "finish" it at this point. It amused me enough that I thought I might as well go ahead and post it. My notes here do point out that the terrible, pulpy prompt for this was this Hot Pink cop on io9.