“Come out with your hands up,” came the call from the bull horn. Officers Jackson and Turner, Sergeant Swanson and Captain Quigley had not expected their day to end like this.
Work had started as it normally did. Morning muster with the captain, new BOLOs and wanted persons to be aware of. Easy day. When the Food Co-op in neighboring Evergreen was taken hostage by a super powered freelance group known as the Threesome, it was supposed to give them a chance to sneak away to their ‘other job’. Once the task was done, they’d go to ground until the Threesome were done with their distraction and wait for orders from the superiors. Except that never happened. Instead an e-mail was sent to them that revealed their guilt. Then everything went to shit.
“We know your game, freak. We know all you Masks’ games!” Jackson yelled back.
“Don’t antagonize him!” Turner hissed.
“God damn him. He’s just one guy. Just one fucking guy,” said Jackson.
“He’s not alone. There’s no way he’s doing this alone,” said Turner.
“Of course he could if he has powers,” said Quigley.
“Then why hasn’t he used any yet?” asked Turner.
“Don’t you get it? He’s toying with us. He’s making sure we know this is his game and these are his rules. He wants us to know how in control he is,” said Quigley.
“You have twenty seconds to comply before you’re all arrested,” said the voice on the bull horn.
“Oh fuck this,” Swanson furiously snapped, jumping the overturned table they were using for cover and sprinting toward the doors.
“Swanson! No!” Quigley yelled.
Swanson burst through the front of the abandoned shop and screamed, firing his service pistol three times before he fell, clutching his face.
“Dumbass motherfucker,” Jackson said. Turner stood, but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder from Quigley.
“We gotta go get him,” said Turner.
“We gotta get the fuck out of here,” said Jackson.
“No. We for wait for backup,” said Quigley.
“What backup? There’s no backup! You saw the e-mail list. You heard the radio call. Unless you want to explain to the precinct what we’re doing with two bodies, a hundred grand and two keys of heroin, there’s no one in a hundred miles who can help us. We’re on our own. The Order’s abandoned us,” said Turner.
“We never abandon our own kind,” said Quigley.
“Tell that to Dear Leader Peterson and his toady Cook. They’re in the wind and we’re getting hunted down by a maniac in a mask.”
“He’s right,” said Jackson.
“I’m in charge here. We can’t leave all this stuff behind so I say we wait for the Order to send back up,” said Quigley.
“And I say watch our six, cause we’re fucking moving,” said Jackson.
“Assume the prone position,” said the voice on the bull horn, “because otherwise this is going to hurt.”
“Fuck you, Nobody bastard!” Jackson yelled, shooting out the front of the shop.
“You’ll hit Swanson!” Turner shouted.
“He’s probably dead already,” said Jackson.
“You don’t know that, so stop shooting!” Turner screamed back.
“Of fuck. Oh fuck he’s coming,” said Jackson.
Quigley ran for the back. She got two steps out the door before a trap sprung and caught her.
“Oh the Order doesn’t abandon their own, huh? Lying bitch,” Turner said.
“Move!” Jackson yelled.
Swanson came flying through the boarded up windows. Turner went for the back, hoping whatever caught Quigley wouldn’t catch him. Jackson turned and shot twice more before something hit his face and he fell. Turner saw the back door. He was almost free. Almost.
Something tangled around his ankles and tripped him. Then it tightened and started pulling him back. His gun was gone. His team was down. It was over.
“Okay, okay. I’m a cop. Don’t do nothing you’ll regret,” said Turner.
Nobody towered over him. He seemed to take up the whole space of the back hall, though he wasn’t much bigger than Turner was. It was like he were a cloud of pure darkness in human form. Black from head to toe. Except for his eyes. His eyes pierced right through him, right into his soul.
“Wish I could say the same to you. But you’ve already done plenty, haven’t you?” Nobody pulled the ski mask off of Turner. “Turner, right?”
“I’ll tell you whatever you want, just please let me go. I don’t wanna die.”
Nobody unsheathed a curved blade from the small of his back. Turner’s eyes went saucer shaped.
“Oh I have lots of questions for you. Let’s start with something simple.” He produced a spent rifle case from his pocket. “This is from the cartridge that sent a bullet right through the left eye of 17 year old Rene Santos. I want to know what was going through your mind while that bullet was going through his.”
“How do you know it was me? I wasn’t the only one there yesterday,” said Turner.
“Recent college graduate, volunteer softball coach, former Marine sniper, and antique ceramic horse collector. One of these describes you and the other three describe your teammates,” said Nobody.
“Would you like to see the ceramic horse collection I got at home?” Turner asked nervously. Nobody punched him and pulled him close, holding the blade to his face.
“You’re a member of the Order for one reason. The others had connections, but Jet City’s resident death squad chose you because you kill without hesitation. You looked down the scope at a kid and still pulled the trigger,” Nobody said, sounding very angry.
“He was a gangbanger. If it wasn’t this it would have been a drive by or an overdose. He would have died eventually.” Turner regretted the words as soon as he said them. Nobody flicked the blade and cut through Turner’s ear.
“I read something interesting last night. My fortune cookie. It read, ‘the death of a thousand cuts must begin with a single slice.’ I think I understand it better now.”
“Oh god, please! Please don’t!” Turner screamed.
Story continues here