Simon ambled down the road, his lips were parched as he neared a police checkpoint. A lot of the larger cities on many of the planets had found it was best to maintain order in cities containing tens of millions of people to have a police presence that created an infuriating bottleneck on every other street with their cruel pavement checkpoints. The cruelness came mostly from the indifference of the police. The indifference was commonly found in public servants throughout the galaxy as they were constantly hammered at by the endless pressing of various inhabitants through their monotonous daily lives. Studies throughout the galaxy had shown that by the time government employees retired their brain chemistry had been altered to something quite different from that of the ordinary person who was compelled to action through competitive giant corporations. The giant corporations in their turn patiently tried to endure the cancerous government filled with people having their brain chemistry dulled down until their consciousness closely resembled hard round objects only found on some of the less advanced planets in an abundance which officer McBrian would only have been able to see on the wall monitor in his home, one on of those haughty nature programs where the person narrating would consistently try to drum home the nobility of the savage barbaric worlds. If you had to ask McBrian probably couldn't tell you that government employees had mental processes as dull as those of a rock. McBrian truly believed in his duty to protect the citizens, mostly from themselves. Usually his job involved phoning the relatives of young drunken company employees who hadn't learnt their limits. He'd only been thrown up on twice though. Although the republic had managed to reform the situation of late so that people could simply pass the pavement checkpoints with access cards if they were a nearby resident. For Glasnosia, the planet Simon happened to be walking on, the checkpoints had first appeared 30 cycles ago and due to the slow bureaucratic pace at which change unfolded within the republic when it came to policies that spanned many planets, it had taken 27 cycles since the checkpoint implementation to implement the access cards. This had created an odd city layout that literally had most people living within at most a few blocks of their place of employment. Suddenly property prices were in complete disarray. Lev lines were packed with people. Those who owned cars found they could now automatically pass through checkpoints nearer their residents with greater ease which had lead to an increased traffic accident rate. All Simon wanted was a glass of water. He staggered. Simon didn't look drunk in any conventional sense to McBrian. McBrian was wondering if it was the afternoon heat that could be affecting Simon. He'd noticed the young man taking slow uneven steps towards the checkpoint from quite a way off. He was hoping he wouldn't have to phone Simon's relatives. McBrian also couldn't quite figure out why Simon was walking with an IV needle stuck in his arm, transparent piping leading up to a bag of liquid and what McBrian could only describe in a dull fashion as a hat stand with wheels. Inside the tiny building that housed McBrian as he withered away his days was a police console on which he could call for backup from a nearby police station only a hundred yards away. McBrian wasn't sure on the police policy regarding people with portable hat stands and IV needles. He was relatively new on the force with only 200 earth days of time under his belt. Which would probably have adequately explained his generally upbeat attitude.