Tipping Point

    Baker Pool Shark
    Baker Pool Shark

    Posts : 23
    Join date : 2010-07-19

    Tipping Point

    Post  Morden on Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:26 pm

    There's something to be said for the Waterfront after midnight. The city's just settling comfortably into sleep, the fog pulled over its streets like a blanket. Everything except the occasional streetlight is shrouded in the thick mist, and it gives the whole place an otherworldly, timeless feeling. Like if you turn the next street corner, you might see someone riding a horse drawn carriage. Somewhere behind me I can still hear the music from a nightclub, blaring some generic processed beat which I've heard before but can't quite name. My mind instinctively begins to try and identify the song, but with some willpower I bring my focus back to moving forward, towards the piers.

    They throw her against the wall, faces twisted by snarling rage. "This is for Tyler you fucking crim whore." The bald one has a revolver out, and the girl tries to lunge towards him. The shot rings out and instead she just crumples into a heap. The bald one turns towards me and suddenly I feel all the heat go out of my body. I try to form words but my tongue doesn't move. I just picked her up in a club, I want to scream. I don't even know her name. I want to fall to my knees and plead for my life, but I can't even do that. I'm frozen.

    Times like this I can almost imagine the city as a peaceful place. No CSAs in sight, no 'Crims' spraying the nearby walls. Just the occasional pedestrian drifting by in the fog, glancing at me once before turning their head back down towards the pavement and continuing on with their life. Faces lost in the fog in a matter of seconds. I can feel the blood starting to drip down my legs now.

    My head is ringing so loudly from fear and shock and panic that I don't even hear the gunshot. I just feel my body falling like so much dead weight. Some warm liquid is pooling under me and I'm vaguely aware of the two of them walking off. For some reason I don't recall feeling any pain. Just numbness, slowly creeping up my limbs.

    I see a bench facing the water and for a moment, my body almost convinces my mind to walk towards it. It'd be nice to lie down now. Close my eyes. I deserve the rest. But I consciously stop my legs from stepping forward, and turn myself instead towards the long dock which extends out over the water. One step. Another. My chest doesn't hurt anymore. I must have gone into shock by now. One step. Another. I reach one hand underneath my jacket, finding solace in the cold metal that touches my fingers. Odd how much comfort such a wicked thing can offer. I leave my hand there, feeling for the hole that now mars my otherwise pristine shirt. Each rise and fall of my feet draws another wave of dark crimson from the wound, sliding down my side and leaving a red wake in the white fabric as it does. I can see the end of the pier, two men facing out towards the ocean. They're laughing. I can't hear them, or see their faces, but their bodies are rumbling the way that only comes with a good hearty laugh. I draw the gun and take a bead on the one on the right, the one with the bald head.

    I realize that she's still moving on the ground, reaching into her bag to pull out a pistol. Her movements are jerking, spastic, and she barely manages to lift the weapon before gurgling one final time and letting her hand drop. I don't know if she died then, or sometime later. All I remember is grabbing at the gun and pulling myself up to my feet. I could hear the sirens fading back in the direction of the ocean.

    It feels heavy in my hand, but despite everything I somehow manage to hold it steady, steadier than I've ever managed to keep my hand before. My hands are usually so shaky and unsure, but tonight there's no hint of that remaining in my body. It must have bled out of me in that alley. Now I can make out faint snatches of conversation. A foghorn sounds from somewhere out in front of us.

    "...mean, he looked pretty fucking scared. You sure he was the same guy from the firefight at the wharf earlier?"

    "Doesn't fucking matter. Last I checked a crim is a crim. He chose his life, you chose yours. Welcome to the force."

    "How did you even tell he was a crim?"

    "We know the chick was a fucking Blood Rose, and they were both outside a fucking Blood Rose club. Chances are he was one too."

    There's a long silence, and I concentrate on keeping my body moving. Keeping my heart beating. My father's voice resonates in my head. Slow your breathing to steady your aim. When the shot is lined up, squeeze the trigger slowly. Don't jerk it. Always go for the clean kill. He'd been teaching me how to shoot a hunting rifle so that he could bring me on his next hunting trip. For some reason, that world with its hunting trips and country houses seems like a different lifetime. As if I'm experiencing someone else's memory.

    The bald head lines up with the sights. I squeeze the trigger. It's much louder than I expected, and the recoil is tremendous, but the sickening thud of a body slumping down tells me the bullet flew true. I turn to the man next to him, who's already spun around to face me. He throws both his hands forward, as if somehow that will stop the bullet. "Holy shit man, please-".

    The shot rings out again, cutting off his sentence with more finality than any punctuation mark could ever show. His body slumps down as well. I don't make the same mistakes they did. Two more shots into each of the bodies.

    An unnatural stillness fills the air as my shock-addled mind slowly begins to comprehend what has occurred. I'd killed two enforcers. In cold blood. There was no going back from this. My life was changed forever. And slowly, very slowly, I uncover an idea that might have been buried in my head even before I pulled the trigger tonight. Who were they to terrorize us citizens in the name of 'safety'? Who were they to act like they controlled this city, my city just because someone had shoved a badge in their hands. They were every bit as dangerous as the criminals they sought to stop, but their self righteous sense of duty... that thing that enabled them to turn off all pity and remorse, that made them even worse.

    I felt myself sitting back, leaning against the guardrails. The gun slipped from my hand and into the waves. The sound of sirens reached my ears, growing louder.

    I was done watching them conduct personal crusades, done letting them step all over me. Done living in fear. If they thought I was a Blood Rose, then maybe... just maybe...

    I saw an EMT sprinting down the dock. I managed to open my mouth, force a few words out.

    "Shot... me... ran away... help."

    When I woke up in the hospital bed, I knew my old life was over.

    Growling Mongrel
    Growling Mongrel

    Posts : 121
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    Re: Tipping Point

    Post  Ecks on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:02 pm

    (Especially prophetic, the introductory description - suggestive of the timelessness of both the city itself as well as the age-old conflict between departure from a culturally created law of morality and enforcement thereof.

    Looking forward to what future it may have in store for this particular resident; its inception from the rest of a hospital bed and reflection - perhaps provided by an especially clear puddle of rain).
    Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
    Bad Liver and a Broken Heart

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    Re: Tipping Point

    Post  Eleutherophobia on Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:29 pm

    (Even before reading your post, I was wooed by the Heller quote in your APB boards signature. After reading, you did not disappoint. Welcome to the Rain Dogs!)

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    Re: Tipping Point

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