City of Lost Angels
CLAPD HQ

"But it just doesn't make sense!" All the officers present looked toward homicide detective Del Smith. He had only been promoted to the rank of detective three weeks ago, but he had an impressive track-record and everyone in the force would admit that he was both respectable and capable enough for the Chief position in the immediate future. But right now...

"What doesn't make sense Del?" asked the Chief, still pointing a stick at the diagram on the wall. It was about the Killer of course, almost the entire force has been pulled for this briefing. Considering how serious the situation was, it was the appropriate response. The Chief continued talking. "Look Del, the Killer is obviously either a Visionary or a Mission-Oriented type serial killer. His targets are apparently random, but he may be preparing for something big. The killings he committed on his way to Lost Angels were probably out of necessarily but what kind of psycho-killer would push himself to murder one person per day? Obviously one who has "deity-mandated" or "cleanse the world" type of motives. You should know this Smith."

"I do," replied Smith, "but with all-due respect, it occurs to me that the Killer is a Comfort type."

Everyone froze in place at these words.

"Comfort/Profit type?" asked another detective. "You mean he's doing this for money?"

"More accurately," said Del, "he's killing for survival, like his life depends on it; no, like he does it for a living."

"Please, explain," said the Chief. Del crossed his arms and looked at the diagram.

"He always manages at least one murder per day. Each murder he does is apparently random but he manages to pull each one of perfectly. He uses either a gun or a knife to achieve these murders and he is always quick and decisive. He doesn't find much joy in pain and torture, or if he does then he is smart enough to realize that conducting either/or would simply be too time-consuming. And apart from those notes he sent to the news and to us, he hasn't once made an attempt to send a message. Also, in cases where he obviously DID have time to spare, he siphoned dollar bills from the wallets of his victims. Putting these facts together, I suspect that the Killer is either killing to fulfill a need of some sort, or he's being forced to kill somehow."

"Hmph..." the in-his-early-sixties police Chief paused in thought. "I suppose it is a possibility, though I think its a slim chance. I'm giving you free-reign on this one Del. You can conduct your own investigation on the Killer separate from everyone else, but you will still have access to information presented to this task force right here. If you can't prove beyond a doubt that your theory is correct within the duration of thirty days, then you will be reinstated to the regular task force. Is that understood."

"Yes sir," replied Del, feeling flattered.


"Hey check it out super-star, you're on your way to the top of justice system now!" Del laughed as Christopher "Ego-Mouth" Carter clapped him on the back on their way out of work. Chris always had a loud mouth and a kick-ass-or-die-laughing additude and almost always tried to get his last word in. Always the joking, hot-shot police detective who specialized in blowing up at least one car across the interstate in order to catch a chubby bomb seller who shot at two patrol cops while showing off a few pounds of C4 and Semtex in the trunk of his car.

"Yeah," Del replied, "now all that I have to do is catch Jack the Ripper before parent/teacher conferences." Chris chuckled before actually putting on a serious face.

"How is Dane by the way?" Del gave a shrug.

"I have no idea. His grades are all consistent As and Bs but during the last P/T conference his teachers and class counselor said he didn't appear to have any friends. He's always quietly writing stuff down in his journal whenever he isn't working."

"Maybe he's aspiring to be an author?"

"I don't know, kind of wish he could open up to me a little more like Terrell and Opal."

"How about Cindy?"

"Man, my wife has more stuff to worry about without Dane." Chris laughed.

"You got that right."


Little Denver
Colorado

A black sedan pulled into the parking lot of Continental High School. Vodka and his companion, code named: Rebel, got out of the car and dawned their gear; black trench coats and a specialized harness for each of the two. Rebel placed a baseball cap on backwards and placed a backpack by the driver side door. Vodka placed a pair of sunglasses on his head and grabbed a duffel bag from the trunk of the car.

"Are you really gonna use that thing?" Vodka asked, gesturing to something else in the trunk. Rebel shrugged.

"Probably, why not?"

"Because we don't even know if everyone will come out this way. Why don't you use the Carbine?"

"Should I? Didn't do shit last time."

"Just go single shot and snipe the wankers as their heads pop up. You're best with the Hi-Point anyway."

"Alright, alright; slow and boring but conservationist. Not a bad way to go." Vodka smiled then raised a fist.

"Survival of the fittest-" the two of them fist-pounded and Rebel finished with: "-and death to tyrants."


City of Lost Angels

Dane Smith sat at a computer screen in the library. His brown eyes almost blending in with his dark skin and black hair. He wore jeans, a t-shirt promoting Coca-cola, sneakers, and a heavy jacket with a hood. He was looking at some article about some basket ball player on the internet.

At least, that's what the teachers and school librarians thought.

Dane couldn't care less about sports, his real attention was focused on a second window in the bottom right-hand corner of the computer screen. The title bar was labeled "SOCIAL PROXY" and what was displayed was a chat-box. Dane was signed on as JackFrost and was conversing with EV, KingSI, LoMaANarc, and TyrantsAW/FM.

JackFrost: sup
EV: hi there Jack
LoMaANarc: whatup
TyrantsAW/MF: hi
KingSI: your l8t
JackFrost: kept after class
JackFrost: stupid teach asks me if anythings troubling me
TyrantsAW/MF: the teacher, right?
LoMaANarc: teachers r so stupid
EV: what you say?
JackFrost: what COULD I say. "nothin"
LoMaANarc: and he bought it?
JackFrost: course
TyrantsAW/MF: i-dEE-ots!
KingSI: lol
EV: as if authority knows whats good 4 us
KingSI: they dont, but we r all indoctrinated to think they do
LoMaANarc: 2 tru
EV: my older brother came back from college today. thnk god dad was on a trip
TyrantsAW/MF: y? did he spiel some commie crap?
EV: how'd you know?
TyrantsAW/MF: college
JackFrost: what he say?
EV: a bunch of stuff
EV: he even said the Rosenburgs werent spies
LoMaANarc: who?
KingSI: the Rosenburgs were Americans who sold nuclear secrets to the Soviets
LoMaANarc: were they?
JackFrost: of course they were
KingSI: the evidence was overwhelming
TyranntsAW/MF: and Kruschev even admitted it
EV: really?
JackFrost: really
KingSI: reelly?
TyranntsAW/MF: yea

The school bell rang for third period and Dane quickly signed off with an apology.


Little Denver
Colorado

The bell for lunch just rang at 11:35. But by 11:36 lunch was the last thing on the minds of the students and faculty.

It actually started in one of the male restrooms. Vodka was in the stall farthest from the door, eyeing his watch. The plan was to wait ten minutes after the lunch bell rang, in order to have the cafeteria fill to full capacity. But then something happened that completely changed the plan.

He heard the door open and a bunch of voices, one of them female.

"Let me go!"

"We thought we told you to stay clear of that wimp."

"Why should I? He's got no one else to talk to-"

"Because the little turd can only keep up with one thing, his grades! Who the hell cares about grades anyhow? The weirdo has completely lost sense of reality." Two other male voices chuckled. There was a thud and the girl cried out, she was most likely forced up against the wall.

"Ju-just...let me go...before someone comes in-"

"Who cares if they see this? NO ONE! You're the one that decided to drop to the bottom of the food chai-"

"Bastard..." Vodka muttered aloud, placing earplugs in his ears. Screw the timing, this kind of crap just makes him sick to his stomach.

"Huh? Hey! Who's th-"

BANG - BANG

Two blasts from Vodka's double-baralled shotgun blew holes in the stall door and caused the three jocks to crumple to the floor. Vodka pushed the stall door open and saw that one of them was still visibly alive. The jerk was standing against the bathroom wall, knees quivering and mouth trembling.

"Who...are...you?"

"I'm the shotgun from Doom," Vodka said, swinging his left hand forward to plunge a knife into the kid's torso. When the guy slumped over, he removed the knife and wiped the blade on the inside of his coat. He removed his earplugs and then looked to the girl. It was obvious that the girl had wet herself, but V decided to ignore that simply because he knew all too well how the girl probably felt. "You okay?" The girl quickly nodded repeatedly and stuttering severely.

"Who-oo-ah-ah-are-r-r-ya-ya-ya-you-oo...?"

"I'm one of the Mafia, the Trench Coat Mafia."

[Down with the Sickness (Disturbed) - PLAY]

He then looked toward the bathroom door and sighed, replacing the used shotgun shells. "Listen well, alright? Some real shit's going down right now. It would be in your best interest to stay in the school, understand?" The girl nodded again. "Alright, time to make some noise." He pulled out a TEC-9 from beneath his coat and calmly strode out of the restroom.


[Down with the Sickness - 0:21]

Rebel stood by the trunk of the car and checked his watch. Any moment now, he thought.

[Down with the Sickness - 0:30]

The front doors of the school burst open and students poured out. Running in fear of their lives. All were terrified as scared sheep beyond hope of change, but Rebel could easily pick out the jocks and the spoiled brats who were either ran ahead of the others or were nicely huddled within little groups of students, using them as shields. He took a stance and pulled his rifle from beneath his coat, taking aim at the group of jocks who saw him an stumbled to a sudden stop.

"Sure wish you were in algebra huh?" Rebel taunted, finger on the trigger. "Son of a gun is back."

BANG

[Down with the Sickness - END whenever you like]


City of Lost Angels
half an hour later

Jenny Dahlia opened the front door and entered the apartment.

"I'm back early," she said stoically, dropping her backpack on the sofa on her way to the kitchen. Jason noticed her and nodded.

"So they did send all the kids home."

"Huh? What do you mean? What happened? They didn't tell us anything at school."

"Did they tell you about Continental High School?"

"Yeah...but that can't be it. Just two nuts with guns, not that big of a deal."

"It is a big deal Jenny," Jason said, his voice solemn. "It was a massacre. The initial estimates for the casualties is 50 dead and 80 or so wounded. The two responsible are heavily armed and have escaped the scene of the crime without a trace."

Fifty dead? Fifty dead and maybe more? What is going on here? What is wrong with the world?


City of Lost Angels
elsewhere

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN? 'TAKE A BREAK' MY BUTT! YOU KNOW I CAN'T DO THAT!" A young man on the roof of an office building shouted into a cell phone of unusual make. The voice on the other end was electronic and devoid of emotion.

"I thought you would be happy. I know you hate death to your very core, especially if you have to do it yourself."

"I was about to reach my qota for the day and then I notice that my watch isn't working properly. In addition, when I called you, I'm advised to take a freaking break! What the hell is going on!"

"Something else has happened that has stirred my interest. You can continue with the 'harvesting' if you want. But two rogues just made about a full year's worth of souls. Talk to you later."

"Dammit!" the kid snarled as he stowed away the phone. "I hate to kill, but I won't fall for your words, trick or not."

Five minutes later, the police were called to the building on the other side of the street.

The Killer's total numbered 18.