Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Infernal Affairs, Chapter 2

After a shoot out happens in the church of a police officer, the only logical thing to happen next is, well, the clean up.

Here, I just wanted to hint at things to come.

Chapter 3 is when the fun really starts....

Yes, I know I just said that after I had a shootout in a church and on the street with three armed gunmen. What's your point?

Anyway, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Everybody Knows Your Name
When my partner, Alex Packard, arrived, the party was already in full swing. The entire church had been sealed off, as had the surrounding block. This was especially fun when you consider that the road to one side of the church was the southbound service road for the Cross Island Expressway.
Alex strode in the front door of the church, and up the stairs into the vestibule, now called the gathering space for reasons that surpassed all understanding. My family and I were on a bench in the corner and he came right for us. He sat on the bench going at right angles to ours, leaned back, and smiled.
Alex was a slender, older man. He had an odd pot-belly in the middle of all of that skinny. It was probably from years of booze, but I wasn’t going to inquire too closely. I had never seen him take a drink. I only knew about his former drinking problem from a demon, who had been psyching him out at the time. His suit was gray and rumpled, just like he was. He was balding on top, with a graying mustache that Tom Selleck would have approved of. He carried a large paper bag.
Really?” Alex asked. “Your wife is pregnant. You’re with your kid—hey, Jeremy—and you’re in church. Church, Tommy. Can’t you take even one day off?
With my arm around Mariel’s shoulders, I gave him a half-shrug. “They find me. They always find me.”
Alex smirked. He shook his head. “No kidding.”
I’m really not.” I explained the last words from the first gunman.
Alex winced. “No surprise.”
Yeah!” Jeremy exclaimed excitedly. His voice dropped to a whisper that only mommy, daddy, and Uncle Alex could hear. “Because Daddy’s a superhero! They’re always going to find him.”
Isn’t that an encouraging thought? I pondered.
Alex merely smiled at Jeremy. “Kinda, Jerry.” He looked back to me. “I ran into Sarge on the way in. She handed me a nice little starter package for you.”
Alex raised the paper bag. He reached in and pulled out individual items, explaining each as he went along. Everything was in clear evidence bags, sealed with the red tape of the NYPD Crime Scene Unit.
They went through the shooter’s pockets. We had these.” The first item was a large evidence bag that could have held the contents of Mariel’s purse. “Anti-psychotics by the truckload. I’m actually surprised he had the ability to walk upright.”
Alex placed it down on the bench next to him, and grabbed the next bag. This one looked like the contents of his wallet. “Membership cards. He was a registered Demoncrat, as though we couldn’t tell from the Che T-shirt and that he was trying to shoot up a church.”
I smiled despite myself. Alex had taken to referring to anyone on the Left as a ‘Demoncrat’ ever since a demon-possessed serial killer who worked for the Women’s Health Corps tried to kill us—and after we discovered that the WHC itself was, in reality, a front for a Moloch-worshipping Death Cult. After a while, it did seem that evil had a particular political affiliation.
I had little problem with him saying it because he had genuine cause for a grudge. As most of New York City either voted Democrat or just didn’t vote, I was a touch more reluctant to brand all of them with the same demonic brush.
Then again, discussing much of the fallout from the WHC incident was another conversation.
And,” Alex continued, “here’s the fun part.” He pulled out a smaller bag. This one clearly showed a large newspaper clipping. It was one photo—me, from nearly a year ago, during the incident with said demon. I didn’t know which headline it was under. It may have been the one who framed my arrest of the perp as Saint versus psycho or the one that claimed I framed an innocent abortionist because I was a Catholic.
He really was there for you,” Alex explained. “Just you. We don’t have anything speaking to why.”
Mariel scoffed at that. “Maybe he was employed by LaBitch?” she asked, referring to the former head of the Women’s Health Corps that Mariel had personally pushed into a fire pit. “Or the Mayor? Or maybe he’s a dirty commie and just doesn’t like high-profile Catholics like Tommy?”
I frowned. I opened my mouth to dispute that … and gave up before I started. While I had spent most of my life trying to keep my head down and out of the public eye, the last year had been filled with enough various high-profile incidents that if I had caught the eye of some nut cases online, they would have had little trouble tracking my career.
Lucky for me,” I said, “I moved after that article was published.” There were two reasons for that. One, the property damage caused the local village committee to drive us out of the private neighborhood. Two, the newspaper article that picture had been taken from had come complete with my home address. The newspaper had issued a non-apology, but the damage had been done, and we moved a little over eight months ago.
Unfortunately, someone already knew my home address and had had sent zombies to my house shortly thereafter.
“‘Lucky’ isn’t the term I’d use,” Alex said. He shrugged. “But that’s not my problem. My problem is they may hit me by accident.” He slid away the evidence back into the bag. “For the record, the first shooter, the one in the church, is connected to very little, unless we think the entire Communist community is out to get Nolan.”
I chuckled. “In that case, time to arrest Columbia University.”
Alex rolled his eyes. “Funny.”
I frowned. “No. Not really. Especially considering the number of people they murdered last century.”
Alex laughed. “Columbia or Communists?”
Mariel nudged me with the crown of her head. “Is there a difference?”
I looked to Alex. “When you say Communist …?”
I mean that he’s a card-carrying commie. He has cards in his wallet for the party, for Anti-Fa.”
I winced. I had never had a personal encounter with them, but I had read enough to know I didn’t like them very much. For a group claiming to be “anti-fascist,” they were amazingly, well, fascist. Their tactics ranged from violence against people they disagreed with (which was anyone to the right of Mao and Stalin) to … even more violence against property. They had operated in Europe, beginning as anarchist Communists … because orderly Communism was bad, surely chaotic Communism would be even better? If you can’t take over a government-- or in the case of Russia keep one maybe destroying it all would be progress? The European version of the moment hated Catholics … Quel surprise.
We know that it wasn’t an actual Antifa attack,” I said. “They tend to swarm. We would have had a few dozen raiding the church just to rip me apart. It might have even worked.”
Alex frowned. He was probably considering the various and sundry abilities I possess, running the odds of which would be the best option for going up against a riot. After putting down an entire prison riot by myself the previous year, surely a bunch of local thugs wouldn’t be a problem for me.
I wasn’t going to explain, yet again, that I wasn’t a superhero. While I exhibited some of the miraculous abilities usually discussed about saints, they weren’t something that I could take for granted- or even explain why they were given me. The powers came from God, not from me. I wasn’t a comic book superhero, no matter what Alex or Jeremy insisted. Jeremy had a good excuse. He was ten.
At least Jeremy knew better.
Dad couldn’t do anything!” he exclaimed. “Too many witnesses. Do you want to bust his secret identity?”
Mariel and I smiled while Alex shifted uncomfortably. “Yeah. Well, it would be hard to fit into a DD5 report. But that’s why I write them up when that happens.”
I said nothing, but said a silent thank you prayer to God that I hadn’t needed any of the fancier abilities that He had graced me with. While I still smelled out evil on a day-to-day basis, there had been no need to be in two places at once, levitate, drink poison, or heal deadly wounds. Considering the circumstances I was in, I would be perfectly happy if I never needed those abilities. Though to be honest, I was a little surprised that it had taken this long for a situation to arise again. I had gotten into so many firefights, I had a reputation. The calm between storms had been so long, I hadn’t been called “Wyatt Earp” in nearly a week.
So much for that going away.
I’m told that the Bishop’s not too happy with the whole thing.”
I winced. That was something I didn’t want to deal with: Church politics. “Of course he’s not. He’s going to have to reconsecrate the church.” I sighed. “Can we leave now? Didn’t eat breakfast before we came.”
Alex shrugged. “I hear you. At least there’s one good thing: you won’t be investigating what’s left. With any luck, this will be an isolated incident. The first shooter was just another in a long line of Demoncrat shooters.”
My brows arched. The secondary shooters had had M4 automatic weapons, ready to take out cops and a full church to get to me.

Alex sighed. “Yeah. I know. I don’t believe it either.”

Continue to read the story here.

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