I wake up with the front door getting kicked in.
The police barge into my apartment, open the blinds, and stand right over me. They chat among themselves as if it was a perfectly ordinary morning. The light pours into my face and the exhaustion of last night sweeps right back into my brain.
I, of course, am… on my couch for some reason, rather than my bed.
There’s a half-empty beer can on the coffee table, and the “Glasses, Glasses, Glasses” magazine sits precariously on my face.
I don’t remember falling asleep, but I guess that’s what happens when you get home at three in the morning after spending the entire day on ridiculous sleuthing and fighting.
My boxers are still on, thank the Lord. That’s the only positive thing about this scenario, because I now have about five police officers staring down at me, looking mildly disappointed in the most aggravating of ways.
“Morgan Harding,” one of them says, “we need you to come with us. It’s urgent.”
“Couldn’t you have just knocked…?”
“We knocked for over six minutes.”
“Oh… Wait, don’t you need a warrant for—“ I cut myself off when I see these dudes clearly aren’t giving me any sort of empathy. For a kid whose home you just broke into…
It’s one of those “the law is a loose guideline” days for the police, which probably means I’m about to be dragged into something very much against my will.
I finish off the warm half-beer on my coffee table, put on some pants, and grumble my way out of the house.
“Chief Baranowsky, hi,” I say.
We’re not in a questioning room, and I’m actually not being detained, which is a really rare occurrence for my usual encounters with law enforcement. We’re actually outside, where the police are gathering up supplies, organizing for something like a small military raid. I’m in the middle of this frenzy, but the reasons are still unknown.
Chief Baranowsky, far from my favorite person in the world, looks at me with significantly less scorn than usual. I’m kind of scared.
He immediately launches into a whole thing. Not even a hello or a how are you. “Due to the Blade Runners being, erm, predisposed, we are short on specialists at the moment. With that in mind, and your extensive history of vigilantism that has to this point gone fully unprosecuted, we have no choice but to…”
He trails off before finishing the sentence.
My eyes light up with the realization of what he’s talking about. “Oh, wow. Y’all need me. Y’all actually need little old me.”
“We are requesting your assistance on our mission today, as an insurance policy in case things don’t go as planned.”
“Which they never do,” I say.
“Shut up,” he says. “We need to win this today, and you better not mess it up.”
“So what is it we’re supposed to win today?” I ask. I look around at the prepping going on, still unsure if we’re going on a road trip or if we’re about to fight a dragon or something.
“We’ve set a trap for Mighty Slammer,” he says. “We’re going to catch her today if it’s the last thing I do.”
“Oh, Mighty Slammer! You know where she is?”
“No, but we’ve created a honeypot far too appealing for her to ignore. Based on past encounters, she… Well, it doesn’t matter. You’re just here for support, so follow my orders and don’t get yourself hurt.”
“Do I get anything out of this?” I ask.
“Oh, so I’m being enslaved to help.”
“Your criminal actions are being actively overlooked because of your help to the city, and this is another one of your very helpful moments.”
“I’m only a vigilante because you make me one,” I say. “Me helping today shows exactly why I’d be a lot better off if I wasn’t treated like—“
“Enough,” Chief Baranowsky interrupts. “I’m not doing a philosophical debate with a punk. You have your orders, and so follow them. I need this win, and you’re going to give it to me.”
“You sound like a politician or something.”
He grumbles unintelligibly at me, and then leaves without much further instruction. I guess I’ll just figure out the plan as I go, and hope that this whole thing doesn’t turn into an inevitable disaster even though it obviously will be one?
I might could have told him about Ohata King and the Japanese mob’s involvement with Mighty Slammer, but you know what? I’m not really in the mood for that when everyone is being so very rude.
I’m a superpowered specialist, and they all sort of understand that. But they’re also treating me like a nuisance. Like, seriously. I don’t even get to sit in the SWAT truck or anything; I have to sit in the back of a police car. Nothing but a game of I spy with my little eye to entertain me for the whole ride over.
I really do want to catch Mighty Slammer. Hopefully we’ll actually manage to pull it off somehow. I don’t exactly have much faith in the force here, but at least they’ll provide me some cover for my next chase. She ain’t getting away if I get my hands on her.
As the police convoy sets off, I put on my game face and get ready to fight.
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