Officer Savage



††††††††††† Officer Mitch Savage of the Blue Haven Police Force loaded his service piece, holding it pointed skyward as he took its safety off and drew back the slide. The weapon followed its mechanical routine of lethal clicking as he pulled the trigger, causing the slide to snap back in place and a round to enter the weaponís chamber.He knew that bad guys were hiding in the abandoned building in front of him.His training failed to quell the fear that pulsated in his abdomen.He let that fear sharpen him and make him alert, since he knew there was a nest of well-armed perpetrators inside.He saw one in the window.The man was little more than a silhouette, wearing a black ski mask and aiming a submachine gun.Acting on reflex, he leveled his piece and shot.The sound and recoil of the weapon jarred him as it spat fire.The bullet impacted on the window frame, kicking up a small cloud of dust.The masked manís weapon flared to life, singing a popping drum beat of automatic small-arm fire.Officer Savage heard the bullets whine as they bounced off of the concrete sidewalk beside him.He fired a second time and hit what he was aiming at.The masked man dropped and the decaying building was eerily silent.

††††††††††† Movement drew Officer Savageís attention to the front entrance.The battered metal door eased open, revealing another armed man.Officer Savage dropped him with a single shot and the door slammed shut with a frustrated clank.The officer sent another round through an upstairs window and glass broke with a jingle as the bullet crashed through and into another masked man.Then the firefight got hairy.The masked men began to attack two, sometimes three at a time.Officer Savage felt the blows as lead hit his bulletproof vest.He fired as quickly as he could with sufficient accuracy, aiming briefly before pulling his trigger.He reloaded his weapon and holstered it.

††††††††††† Officer savage retrieved a submachine gun.The weapon, which had been used against him by a masked man, felt heavy and strong in his hands.He waited, aiming and ready.When he caught sight of a shadow in a ground floor window, he fired a quick, controlled burst, dropping yet another masked man.He saw movement again.A young girl looked at him from a second story window.He nearly shot her on reflex, but managed to turn the gun away just before he fired, sending four rounds into the wall.Not wanting to take the time to wonder what she was doing in the middle of a firefight, he concentrated on watching for enemies.A muzzle flash winked at him from the rooftop and he felt a shock of pain in his shoulder.Ignoring the wound, he returned fire.A masked man fell from the roof and landed on the sidewalk.Officer Savage looked at the dead criminal, knowing something was wrong.No blood, he realized.The man did not even look wounded and his posture was that of someone standing with his arms at his sides, not that of a man who had fallen off of a roof.Officer Savage saw movement directly in front of him and the realization interrupted his thoughts.The front door was swinging open.

††††††††††† He panicked, expecting an attack at close range.As an unarmed woman in a white tress ran into the street, Officer Savage fired.The bullets knocked her down and she lay in the doorway.His mind boiled as he swore at himself.The woman had surprised him and he had fired without looking.She lay on her back, her hands at her sides, in the same posture as the masked man.Officer Savage did not have time to find out more, as another masked man appeared in the doorway, firing.Bullets impacted his vest, knocking him backward as he emptied his submachine gun into his attacker.He reloaded the weapon hastily.

††††††††††† Officer Savage watched the front of the building, waiting for the next masked man to attack.In the tense stillness of the moment, fear made him feel heavy.Not the fear of an attack, but the fear that another civilian might come running into the middle of the firefight.He had to wonder what had motivated the woman to come running out, why there were so many gunmen and why he had no backup.He tried to remember and noticed that he had a blind spot in his mind.A panic driven by the fear of an unknown threat squeezed at the back of his throat.He could not remember how he got there, on the sidewalk in front of a building full of perpetrators.He struggled to remember any aspect of his life before the firefight.

††††††††††† A shotgun sounded from inside the building.Officer Savage felt the impact of pellets and a hot streak of pain bit into his scalp.He had caught only a glimpse of the shirtless man in the ground floor window as he sidestepped out of view.The man was pale and unnaturally large, with a shaved head and sunglasses.He had almost seemed to glow as he had filled the window, firing the bulky, double-barrel shotgun.The big man appeared again and Officer Savage fired. He clearly saw the impact of bullets on flesh, but the shotgun-wielding bruiser ignored it as he leveled the weapon. The hit did seem to throw off his aim and he completely missed as he fired the second barrel.Officer Savage fire again, but missed as the bruiser moved out of sight once more.The submachine gun was out of ammo and Officer Savage drew his sidearm.The big man appeared in a different window and fired both barrels of his shotgun.Officer Savageís vest protected him, but the force of the hit made his knees buckle. The man was gone before he could fire again.

††††††††††† Suddenly, Officer Savage realized that he could not move.He panicked and struggled, but his muscles simply would not respond.He expected the giant gunman to appear and blow him away at any second, but nothing happened.He wandered if the people inside the building were just as paralyzed as he was.Again, he tried to remember his own past, searching his memory for anything that could have caused the problem.He wondered if there was a pill he had forgotten to take.He could remember nothing.Then he noticed the dust.When he had fired last, a bullet from his submachine gun had kicked up a small cloud of dust near a window frame.The dust was still, hanging in the air as though the whole world were frozen. He wondered what higher power could do this.He wanted to start praying, but he could not even remember his own religion.

††††††††††† Billy got up to use the bathroom.He had paused the video game he was playing.He was just about to take Officer Savage, his character in the game, into the next level.To do it, he had to defeat the last enemy, a giant gang leader with a shotgun who could take a lot of damage before going down.He had ignored the urge given to him by the soft drink he had polished off moments ago until he was bouncing in his seat.The game was paused, giving him a still close-up of the copís handgun sights as he waited for the gangster to re-appear.



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