Footsteps echoed through the rain swept alley. A few frightened rats squealed and scampered down into the darker end. They cowered underneath a dumpster, elevated by rusted wheels. Officer Janie Morgan ran a hand through her short blonde hair. It stuck to her fingers, soaked through with sweat. She slunk slowly to the ground, sitting softly on the wet pavement. Her heart beat heavily in her chest. The smooth rhythm of blood coursing through her system created a relaxing tempo in the night.

The rain continued, adding black polka dots to her gray sweatpants. She had meant to go jogging this morning, to take advantage of the cool Los Angeles dawn. Her chest continued to heave, being highlighted in the moonlight each time she inhaled. A creeping cold slowly climbed up her legs, her pants now completely black with rain. Janie stared at her blood- soaked tennis shoes, wondering why the near acidic rain refused to wash them clean. A low sob escaped from her chest, echoing out of the alley and getting lost in the busy street just meters away. The muffled crying continued as she scrubbed mercilessly at her sneakers, turning her fingers red and numb in the process. The shoes had become a dull pink by the time she stood, ready to head into the building. Using the back of her arm, she wiped her face clear of tears, dirt, blood, and rain. It took just one deep breath to calm her before she entered the abandoned hotel.

The cop's squeaky shoes echoed loudly, sending a piercing squeal throughout the lobby.

"Hello?" she called; reaching for the .45 caliber pistol tucked snugly in the waistband of her wet jogging pants.

There was a similar squeak of wet rubber soles on cheap, early-seventies tiling. Janie spun quickly, her gun pointed into the shadows. "Show yourself, you bastard!"

The man's face was illuminated by the faint moonlight that shined through smog-stained skylights. "Here I am." He lifted his hands and dropped his gun. Janie heard it clamor loudly to the floor.

"Is that what you wanted, Janie? I assumed so." He took another step closer. "Or is it something else?"

The moon, which had just begun to peek out from behind the rain clouds, ducked back into its hiding spot. The lobby went dark. She backed up a few steps, but tripped over something heavy. It gave way as she landed on top of it. A gold and silver LAPD badge laid on top of the body, soaked in the officer's blood. She could feel the name engraved on the badge. Jenkins.

Janie scrambled to her feet, holding her gun in front of her with a steady hand. She could hear his footsteps coming closer. "Don't think I won't do it."

His emotions were evident in his voice. "Are you sure?" The anticipation of his next move sent a chill through her already shivering body.

A warm, dry hand stroked the side of Janie's face. It was almost comforting. The hands were callused from years of hard work and sacrifice. They reminded her of her father's hands, the ones that were so compassionate in her younger years. Her breathing slowed and her eyes closed as she lowered her weapon.

"That's a good girl," the man said, bringing his hand down over her gun. He gripped tightly, forcing the weapon lower and trying to coax her hand to drop it. Janie strained against the force of the grip, but found herself powerless. However, oh, he was exactly where she wanted him.

With one swift jerk, Janie brought her hand up over her head, pressing her assailant close to her body. She lifted her knee quickly into his groin, causing him to double over in pain. He tried to stand fast enough, but her knee came up again and made contact with his forehead. The blow was only strong enough to stand him upright, but her foot raised and kicked hard at his chest, sending him backwards and onto the floor.

Janie regained the grip on her gun and stepped over the body of the dead officer. Her chest heaved with anticipation. As the moon came out again, she could see his face. He was cringing with pain and reaching for the gun at his side.

"Please, Janie. You don't want to do this. Maybe you could get your job back." His look was almost sincere.

"Maybe you should have been an actor, Coleman." She was so close that her toes touched the soles of his shoes.

"Are you ever going to stop?"

She grinned one more time and saw her reflection for a moment in Coleman's shiny new badge, ignoring the fact that he had just wrapped his hand around the revolver next to him. He had finally realized that it was not a game. "If I do, it won't be with you." His expression was nearly identical to how Jenkins' had been. Fear, anticipation, loathing.

A single gunshot rang out in the darkness, scaring only the birds atop the abandoned building. Then, in the dark of the Los Angeles evening, a distant siren wailed.