On a Destructive Path

From the Story Arc: Trench Warfare

Previous Story in the Arc: My Father's Son: Part Two by Agn Stratonik (Friday, July 22, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: My Baby Shot Me Down: Part One by Agn Stratonik (Monday, September 19, 2005)

(posted Sunday, July 31, 2005)

“In other news today, a group of eight heroes halted a biological bomb that was placed secretly within a factory in Atlas Park and was set to go off within 10 minutes of the heroes’ arrival. It appears the agents of the Devouring Earth were behind the attack and the Security Chief of Atlas Park stated that a thorough investigation…”

I click off the television. I want to hear this pig squeal and I don’t need anything drowning out the sound. I’m inside an office building, in the main lobby area. I received a lead from a contact in Brickstown attempting to find a missing friend of the contact. I cleared the whole place out within minutes, leaving only one Nemesis soldier, a Sergeant Major, conscious to give me information. Once I dispatched his subordinates, I take him to the stairwell and toss him down five flights of stairs, barely hoping that he survives the fall as I take the elevator down to the first floor. I find him on the first floor, attempting to low crawl about a fast as a turtle across the floor and out of the front door of the building.

“Is not going to happen, comrade.”

I put a foot into his right side, pressing down hard on what feels like broken ribs. Then I drag him to a sofa in a far corner near the television and sit him on it as to be civil and possibly get some answers.

“Where is the girl,” I ask with little room for non-reply. I look upon this would-be soldier, a symbol of a time of relics and a representation of the worst villains ever born now long dead…or thought to be dead. He spits out blood onto the floor, moaning quietly and breathing heavily as he clutches his sides.

“Where is the girl?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I walk slowly toward him, fear growing in his eyes as I approach ever closer. I lean into his face and gaze directly into his eyes…then I take his right hand and crush all of his fingers in the palm of my hand. I cover his mouth to silence the screams…the sweet sound of screaming…this is familiar to me. I place his now limp hand in his lap and look into his eyes deeper.

“Where is the girl? This is your last chance.”

“I won’t speak a word to you, Soviet scum. You are a hero and you can’t hurt me. Your job is merely to arrest my kind. You can break all the digits and limbs you want, but you can’t do anything more. So, just turn me in to the authorities and stop your redundant questioning.”

I stand back, completely upright and looking into his eyes, attempting to peer into his soul. He is right. I am a supposed hero of Paragon City. My duty is not only to protect the weak, but to exact justice on those that threaten the weak and not go above the law in my endeavors. Yet, I digress...I walk away, my back now facing him and stop after a few steps.

“Comrade…I am soldier, just like you. I am Colonel in Chinese military and have been in military since I was young boy. Is all I know, so I empathize with you. You do not speak information because it is your duty…the duty of soldier to be loyal and value integrity.”

I hear him sigh in relief and begin breathing normally, realizing that I have come to sanity. Or have I? I turn around and face him once again.

“Except, comrade, you are villain. True soldiers do not pick on weaker people…they do not torture and bring suffering to civilians…you are merely terrorist and because you are a terrorist, you must be dealt with accordingly. Real soldiers, real men and women of honour do not resort to such villainy…and in being a soldier, is where you and your kind have failed.”

I walk over to a gun lying on the ground and reach down to pick it up. As I look upon it in my hands, I recognize the make of the gun. It is a M1 rifle, religiously used by soldiers of the American military during World War II, except this weapon is heavily modified and heavier than the average weight of an M1, which is 9-10lbs. The weapon was deadly accurate in its time and judging by the sniping abilities of the Nemesis soldiers, it is even more so with these modifications. If is the perfect weapon and in the hands of a good enough shooter it could mean instant death.

I hear his breathing quickening again, the fear rising from him so strongly I feel the hairs of the back of my neck stand up.

“She’s in an abandoned warehouse in Crey’s Folly!”

Just what I wanted to hear. Out of all the games the world has to offer, mind games are the best. I approach him once again, weapon in hand and look him over. He hands me a crumpled sheet of paper with the coordinates of the warehouse scribbled on it.

“The authorities will be arriving soon,” I mutter as I make my way to the front entrance.

The Sgt. Major sighs in relief and slouches into the cushions of the sofa to relieve his wounds until the authorities arrive and haul his ass to jail…where he’ll receive three squares a day, plenty of workout time, free television and whatever else he requires until he is let loose back onto the streets again to wreak havoc on the citizens of Paragon City once again. It’s a real shame…a muffled shot rings out and a bullet races to the head of the Sgt. Major, spraying the insides of his cranium onto the wall behind him.

I bring the gun down from the sight of my eye and look upon him with no remorse from the front entrance door. The shot was precise, ripping through the frontal lobe of his skull and causing his head to bust open like a ballpark frank left in the microwave too long. His blood runs down the sofa, pooling near his body on the black leather. I drop the gun down on the floor near the entrance and leave. It’s a shame it has to be this way, but someone has to take the law into their hands when the law fails…and I fear for the villains of Paragon that I’ve decided it should be me.