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That isn’t a skyline. It’s Babel’s legacy. These people got so big they don’t know right from wrong anymore. Bernie Madoff and Oswald Cobblepot. Global Warming and Mr. Freeze. Rome’s burning and they don’t think it’s their fault.
He’s the worst of it. He’s not a registered bounty hunter, and if he was he’d have lost that registration years ago. Go down his file. Uncounted cases of breaking and entering. Possession of weapons-grade technology. Assault and battery. His car doesn’t even have license plates.
He savaged his suspects. Broken ribs. Shattered femurs. Dozens of mobsters leaching workman’s comp and state services. His first week he tossed someone off a building for not talking soon enough. Those tactics don’t work, and even if they did, do you really think it isn’t a crime just because he catches them before they hit the concrete?
The funniest thing about it was the hypocrisy. He’s just a man, and just one man. He can only be one place. When some masked jackass is threatening to gas a billionaire’s party uptown, he couldn’t and didn’t appear as two dozen sailors were held at gunpoint by Kahndaqi terrorists at the harbor. Shows you his interests.
I was the second man into the warehouse. Security cameras caught our charge. Flashbangs and suppressing fire, all high efficiency behavior. No hostage fatalities, and we took two terrorists alive. I collared both of them.
That night we were the second story from the top, beneath a vigilante's rescue of a bunch of rich socialites.
The next day, though? I was the top story.
“UNNECESSARY VIOLENCE BY G.C.P.D.?”
Had I tackled one of them too hard? Was the taser necessary? Kicked the poor mercenary too many times? They went from “terrorists” to “victims.” Suddenly the fact that a guy with an AK-47 had been seventeen under his ski mask mattered to this city.
They wouldn’t even cover my handcuffs as they led me outside. Mayor wanted a public example. My arraignment was the same day that he busted the other sleeper cell. Beat all three of the Islamists into unconsciousness and earned an op-ed about his effectiveness. He was, according to our city’s paper of record, the hero we deserved. We shared one copy in lock-up after the guard was done with it.
Even buried under his cape and press, there was no lenience for us brutal officers. The D.A. refused to meet me. I was probably helping his career, a prime example of how he rooted out evil in the department.
You want to know where I got these scars? You have the department disown me and the D.A. toss me into general population. My first week in Black Gate, I had three visits to the infirmary. I took seven of them with me, so no hard feelings. We laughed it off eventually. I vowed not to take any of this too seriously. This city certainly wasn’t. We’ll all laugh it off - you, me, this whole city – at his funeral.