Cillian Hynes

Action Crime


Cillian Hynes

Action Crime

Extra Hardbolied

Extra Hardbolied

8 mins

We got the call about 9.10pm. Armed burglary: two assailants, 2 victims. We got there in 5 minutes flat.

It's a nice place. Huge. Plenty of opportunities for would-be crooks. We park on the beach of a driveway. No lights. We approach the front door. Locked. Nothing out of the ordinary so far.

We knock "Police, responding to a call for help. Open up." I motion to my partner to go round the side, see if there's anything suspicious. As he tiptoes off I call again "If anyone's in there, open up or we break it down!". Still nothing. I back up, begin to stretch. Its been a while, and if you hit the door at a wrong angle it can really do a number on you... I stretch again. "Ok Frank," I told myself, "you know the drill."

I'm about to kick the door in when my partner calls me. Backdoors open he says. I make my way around, surveying the property. It's in the hills, affluent part of town. Mostly your Hollywood stars, high flying bankers and tech gurus live around here. Always told Martha we'd end up in a place like this. I'd get promoted through the ranks, she'd have a few best sellers, and we'd retire early to our big house in the hills.. still a work in progress I guess.

I get around the house where my partners waiting. No sign of a break-in, but doors open and lights are off. We enter, as silently as we can. We enter into a kitchen, a massive, open planned space where you could fit my whole downstairs into. No signs of any struggle or disturbance. We move through the ground floor. All clear.

We come to the bottom of a staircase, a big expansive thing that you could drive an 18 wheeler down. "What do you think?" Asks my partner. Solid guy, been watching my back for 5 years. We keep it strictly professional. I'm a keen believer in keeping work and personal life in different orbits. "I think... we better stay frosty, something happened here."

I lead, treading as quietly as I can. No danger of creaking steps here: whole things made from solid black marble. A damn cold descent in the morning. A shiver runs through me at the thought. We clear the rooms on the second floor. All 7 of them - and make our way to the top floor. "What kina pricks need 7 bedrooms huh?" Tony, says what he thinks.

We reach the top of the stairs and hit a wall of stench. "Jesus Christ frank, you ever smell anything like that?" "Shut the hell up will ya, the perp could still be here." We approach the first door on our left. It's slightly ajar. I motion to Tony to stop. I hear voices, grunts. It sounds like a struggle. I push open the door, silently, and we sneak into what looks like the master bedroom. There's a massive bed in front of us. Two lifeless, bloodied bodies lie next to one another. "Shhh... you hear that?" There's light coming from the crack at the bottom of a door. "In there," I mouth, wordlessly. I hold up my fingers.1... 2... 3!! We rush the door, its the en suite bathroom, and right before is a twisted contorted naked body. "HhhhyaaaaAAGGHH" PLOOPPPP. Some drops of toilet water hit my face. "Ahhh officers - UGHH - following your - HUUGGHHHH ahhhhh - noses I see."

So there we are, face to face with Captain Hero Man, who looks and sounds like he's going a few rounds with a hero-sized dump. Source of smell: located. "Jesus Christ kid, where the hells your costume??" He looks puzzled, his head tilted slightly, like a bemused puppy. "I have to poop naked," he says as if offended I even asked, "I thought you knew this about me Officer Knockhart." Tony shoots me a look like I'm the one who just crapped my pants. "I dunno the first thing about you, kid. and judging by this cozy little picture, I'm not sure I wanna."

To be clear, this bozo's a junior. A rookie. This town has seen more Extras than most, but it ain't seen any as stupid as this guy. Extras, that's what we call em - "Those born with something more." Something extra. We call em 'Extras' cuz the thing they're born with is extra fuckin ego. Most of 'em ain't heard of the word humility, so they think they're better than the rest of us. Naturally, we don't take too kindly to that.

The last guy, he was as close to level-headed as they get, and even he campaigned for a huge-ass statue of himself in Cedar Park. He got his wish, but he wasn't around to see it. See, the Chinese finally blew their tops, and he fried when he diverted their mega-nuke into space. He died a global hero and icon. Posthumous Nobel peace prize; Ticker tape parade; national holiday; countless Ivywood movies. He got what he wanted - legendary status. We got lumped with this nutty piece squirrel turd.

"What the hell you doing here kid?" I get straight to the point. We got the call 15 minutes ago, how the hell did he hear about it so quick?? My suspicions are raised. "I was invited here, officer Knockhart." I raise an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? By who?" "Mr. Tapz. He and I have been working on a new Super AI. We finished the first stage of testing last week, and he invited me here for dinner with his wife to celebrate its success." Gordon Tapz was one of those tech gurus I mentioned. The media frequently called him a genius. All the public knew was he got filthy rich during the eco-boom of the 30s. Made his fortune and disappeared. Could this kid be telling the truth?

He ain't too street smart, this Extra. Frequently taken advantage of by low-level scum. But he's got book smarts. "Bull. Shit." Good old Tony. "C' mon Frank! We got this freak with his hand in the cookie jar!" Tony's right. This doesn't look good, Extra or not. "OK, Captain Hero Man. Why don't we talk more downtown?"

We drive down to the station in silence. The Extra was confused about why we were placing him under arrest, but he didn’t put up too much of a struggle. My partner, Tony, he’s upfront with me, and he just can’t keep his mouth shut about cuffin’ an Extra.

“Oh man Frank, they’re gonna promote us for this! Taking down a freakin’ Extra?? They’ll give us a statue!” He was probably right. The whole world always held its breath, waiting for an Extra to make a mistake.

People said it was to “Bring those bastards down a peg or two.” Really, it was to show that, despite all their strength, speed, intelligence, super-strength breath – whatever! – they were just as human as the rest of us.

“I don’t think they’re gonna give us anything for bringing down this flying heap-a shit. This guy ain’t exactly Jughead”. Where there are heroes, there are villains, right? Well, Jughead was one of those villains. He was the villain for a time. The guy was a big as a truck, with about as much finesse as one. Used to just run head first through bank vault walls. The guy wasn’t just big, he was mean. And nasty. And incredibly hard to take down. He’d been known to take out whole PDs (police departments) while he roamed from state to state. Y’know how they sound alarms when there’s a twister or hurricane coming, those big noisy sirens, so everyone can lock themselves indoors and take shelter? Jughead head had his own warning siren, and when you heard it, you bet your ass you stopped whatever you were doing and headed for the nearest bunker. A force of nature, he liked to call himself. Boy, did he meet a gory end…

The Precinct was in Downtown. If the city was a bowl, then it was the basin where the crumbs and leftovers settled. It only took us about 7-8 minutes to drive from IvyHills to the rim of Downtown. From the rim, it usually takes nearly one hour to drive a couple of blocks. The Precinct was 24 blocks away, right bang in the middle of downtown. With the traffic, it took nearly an hour to travel 10 blocks. They said things would get better after the eco-boom, that we wouldn't waste months of our lives stuck in traffic, sucking in those fumes. Lemme tell you, the fumes had gone, but cuz these new cars were so cheap AND they drove themselves, every knucklehead from here to Verizon bought one. More cars, more traffic (even if it was mostly silent and smog-free).

Crime ravaged the area like a disease, so you needed a really good reason to go there. A good reason, or a bad idea. Thankfully, it was night, so the traffic – and with the junkies, robbers and gangbangers – was light.

"I can understand how it must have looked back there officers, but I assure I had nothing to do with Mr. and Mrs. Tapz's death." This was the part of the ride where the bad guy usually tried to bargain, or plead innocence. I'd seen it so often, I could usually tell the exact street it would begin. "This guy's starting early, huh Frank. I don't blame him!" Tony's loving this. He turns to the Extra "Red-handed my friend. They'll give you the Potion for sure!" These extras were hard to kill. It was literally in their DNA. It was discovered that, like any normal person, certain chemicals reacted with the body in catastrophic ways. Poison, basically. After this, they concocted a formula that knocked them out first, then stopped the heart. Permanently. Any Extra-turned-bad guy whose crimes were heinous enough to warrant the death penalty got a syringe full of this formula. They called it 'The Potion'.

"I assure you my protest is not one of self-preservation. Mr. Tapz, Gordon... was my friend." The guy looked sad, but that could very easily be because he got caught. "Oh yeah? So why'da kill 'im?" Tony again. "I did not cause the death of Gordon Tapz, nor his wife, officer..?" "Officer will do just fine, creep."

Finally, we reached the station.

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