No one thought arresting Jason Timmons would be a problem. He’d been arrested plenty of times before, why would this be any different? Considering our city’s many problems, the warrant squad is actually pretty effective. Surprising, I know. They work nights, late, when they know you’re home sleeping. The building was owned and operated by City Housing, so they didn’t need to get buzzed in, they already had a key. According to the report, they knocked on his door at 3:34 am. That’s when the shooting started.
We’re a violent city, that’s for sure. But full-scale shootouts are actually pretty fucking rare, so I hopped to it. I was on the job, already suited up, so I made my way to the nearest roof and signaled for the glider. The leap of faith is the best part of my job. I run for the ledge and throw myself off. I always have that small nagging thought, “This is the time the glider won’t catch you, idiot.” But it always does.
It wasn’t far to the scene of the crime; I got there before it was over. I leapt from the glider, smashing through a nearby window. I never run in to the fray. That’s how the last man who wore my cloak died. I always set up a defensible position and send the rollers for recon. Ask the professor about the rollers, he’ll tell you at great length that they’re his finest invention. The size of marbles, they move of their own accord, and a small handful of them create a fly’s eye image of the project hallway that’s turned into a warzone. They coordinate their many pictures with the mainframe back at base, giving me a 3D image of what’s happening.
The officers had fallen back around the corner from the apartment door. A man inside had set up a metal barrier in the doorway he was taking cover behind. His eyes were wild. Any hope of a peaceful ending was out the window. Jason Timmons is black, 35, shaved head. No scars. Endless tattoos, cheaply done, barely visible on his dark skin. A roller made its way down towards the officers, and I understood the calamity. I knew two of them. Alvarez, McKenna, and the new female whose name I haven’t learned yet.
Alvarez and McKenna are brutal, even by our standards. They work warrants, so they have a ready-made excuse to boom your door and rifle through your possessions. More often than not, what they find isn’t turned in to property. That they also fuck people up should probably go without saying. I know of two different dealers confined to wheelchairs because of them. The female officer was new, but probably not the most solid of citizens if she was paired up with those two. God, I’m getting cynical.
Alvarez is key player in the hidden web of corruption that plagues my city. McKenna is his lapdog. They’ve gone too far this time, causing a shootout in a project hallway. If there aren’t at least two dead neighbors behind this bullshit, I’ll be fucking shocked. They’ve got to go. The woman… maybe she gets a pass this time.
Let me be clear: I’m not a killer. That said, if there’s a guy already willing to do the deed I need done… why not help the man? I make my way to the busted window that was my entrance. Gas mask on; the cloak flutters in the wind. The officers have taken up a position two windows down from my location, but that’s easily reached. I can see them now, crouching behind the corner, waiting for a clear shot. They probably don’t have real permission to be here. They were planning on hitting the door, and writing it up after. They’re figuring out how to murder Mr. Timmons before the rest of the department gets on scene, and they know they’re running out of time.
I activate the device that radiates blackness from my clothes… tendrils of blackest nothing unfurl from my every seam. They’re all deaf from the gunshots, there’s little need to be sneaky. I smash out a window panel and throw two gas charges towards them, and instantly they’re filled with a feeling of overwhelming dread. They never remember seeing a canister; their brain just registers a cloud of smoke. That’s when I burst through the window. Terror on the faces of evil man… I’m not ashamed to say it gets me hard. It makes giving up the drugs that sustained me for years easy.
The city has had rumors of a man in a gas mask for years… but it never stops scaring them shitless. Only a fucking lunatic would attack unarmed, gas his only friend. What does he want? What would a man like that do if he caught you? What… what’s he going to do to us?
“Come with me, my children, join the infinite, become the night!!”
I just shout weird disturbing shit at people, that’s my thing. It enhances the whole “lunatic in a gas mask” gimmick. I discreetly fire a small sedative dart at the female officer, and she collapses instantly.
“Alvarez, McKenna… you will join the infinite black… you will live in my soul forever!”
McKenna’s eyes go so wide, I’m worried they’ll break the tensile strength of his lids and pop right out. I dial up the generator, and the hallway falls into darkness. It’s a scene from a fucking horror movie, the monster walks in a cloud of smoke and dark, and the only natural human response is to run. Of course, they’re only human after all. They turn the corner, and I return the lights to normal. They’re perfectly framed in the gunman’s sights. Officers Alvarez and McKenna are no more. Someone else’s problem.
“Timmons! You will join me next! You will be my servant in the infinite dark!”
I know telling a black man he’s going to be your servant is a little unseemly. It’s supposed to be. He runs at me full force, his eyes wild, having given himself over to the power of the gun. Before he can lay a hand on me, I’ve smashed the median and ulnar joints in his arm. He won’t be using that arm for 6 months easily. I’m about to tear his throat out when Operations calls in to my earpiece.
“We can find a use for a cold blooded killer… There are bad men in this city Michael. Subdue and transport. Quickly, backup is reaching the front door now.”
Timmons is screaming in pain. Even after some surgery, his arm is always going to be a little damaged. Sedative dart to his neck quiets him down. I pick up my two gas canisters and put them back in the holster. I remove the sedative dart from the female officer’s neck.
Besides a busted window and a vague recollection from the rookie, no one will know I was ever here. The disappearance of Jason Timmons will soon be another city legend. Hopefully his future work for our company will be as well… but a better sort of legend.
Hours pass. Timmons wakes up in darkness. He’s strapped to a table, but it’s too dark for him to see his restraints. All he knows is, he can’t move.
“Mr. Timmons… welcome to the night. We have a lot of work to do.”