Lurid Detective Stories: “The Price of Blood” – Part 4

The girls use a public phone booth around the corner from the store to teleport themselves into the lobby of the Area 51 police super station [Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department, North Patrol Division – Precincts Seven, Eight, and Nine] where Jenny’s mom is captain. With this being summer solstice, the place is more of a madhouse than usual. Expectedly, most every Behr and Mohr in the city is raising havoc and doing so jocularly like festival rowdies or Branch Davidians on a spree.

Needless to say, the city is under martial law until dawn, just like it would be on Halloween, Fat Tuesday, or a First.

Jenny, with Connie in tow, switches up to the front desk, ignoring a line of people [and the boos of those people].

“My friend needs to be licensed with the Guild.”

“Get in the back of da line where youse ‘long,” the desk sergeant bellows, not bothering to look up from her papers.

“Oh really, Megan.”

The Elf looks up and flashes her jagged pearly-whites. She never stoops to the pretense of blunting her teeth. Of course, jagged for an Elf, like for all faerie, is long, crooked, flesh-rending needle teeth! Her blood-drinking fangs, the ones that all faerie have, are also bared!

“Sorry, Jen girl. Didn’t ‘cognize you. Mistook you for human. Been one of those nights.”

“One of those nights and late in the shift, huh?”

“You got d’at right.”

One steely stare from the sergeant and the line quiets down immediately.

“Oh, and I’m glad to see you’ve dumped that stupid-ass locket, Miss Smith. Finally decided to come Out, huh?”

“No, sergeant. I’m just slumming. I thought it would be such a kick to be a monster tonight. Keeps me from having to go to the trouble of picking out a costume for the party I’m attending later. It’s a monster mash.”

“Good one, couz.”

Megan O’Hare breaks out into a laugh that no one waiting in line dares to join in on.

“That’s the best one I’ve had pulled on me this month, Miss Smith. When you want to, you can really tease like you were born Saved.”

“I was being sarcastic, Sergeant O’Hare.”

“That was still a superb tease, Miss Smith.”

“Oh, I give up. Can we go up and see her mother now, sergeant?”

“Only if you call me Megan and ask proper. Polite questions get polite answers. Rude ones do not.”

“Okay, Megan. May we audience with my aunt, please?”

“Go right up. You know where The General’s office is.”

The two girls bound up two flights of stairs to Captain Miller’s office. After the appropriate greeting between a police captain and two citizens needing assistance, the girls are seated in the overstuffed chairs in front of the captain’s mahogany desk.

“Mom. Connie needs a PI license in the name of Miss Mondo Constance Anna-Kane.”

“Good choice. I’ve always liked the name Mondo.”

Connie hates the name. It sounds like a man’s name to her. But out of deference to her aunt, she keeps her mouth shut. Captain Miller slams a standard contract on the desk in front of Connie. It’s for a franchise with the police force and it’s already been filled out.

“Your choice. Settle for being just a private investigator or make your auntie proud by choosing to be so much more as a Grimm; as you well know, a Grimm is a Category 1 Peace Officer, and a C1PO has full police powers. No one is gonna twist your arm. But, if you do put your John Hancock on these per-tees, the next training class starts tomorrow and runs every Sunday night for the next three months.”

Without uttering a word, Connie signs the contract, in triplicate, in blood. The police captain’s mood lightens. Captain Miller gives Connie the pink copy, as well as a solid slap on the back.

“Welcome to law enforcement, Connie, I mean Mondo. And it’s good to see you without that damn locket on. I expect you won’t need that thing anymore.”

“I haven’t decided, yet.”

“I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.”

Captain Miller barks some commands into her speaker phone. Minutes later, a gold shield [detective] drops a Wahl-30 into Connie’s lap. He leaves as quickly as he came in.

The black gun belt is all Fastex closures, Nylonex webbing, and twin plasticine clamshells which have been extensively swisscheesed. It more resembles an orthopedic device than it does a street-ready carry. And, as such, it violates every carry reg in the IDPA rule book. In fact, it’s more radical that the game rigs used in IPSC unlimited events!

Nestled in its body-hugging race holsters are twin [matched and fully-balanced]Browning A10MPs, infamous Warthogs; although it’s a modern square-cut automatic and not a revolver, a Hog is nevertheless the “inspiration” for the blaster used by Rick Dickard, the replicant-hunter in the Blade Runner movie. A Hog is more than just an Infinite-Ammunition handgun that spawned a prop in a cult classic. To its fanatical adherents, it’s beyond being even the IAM handgun. It’s an Offensive Handgun Weapon System consisting of a grenade launcher and a machine pistol which are slaved off of the same electronic sight for integrated fire control and the tightest target-to-shooter link possible. GL and MP are fed by their own dedicated speed-loader as if they were stand-alone units instead of lethal halves of one deadly whole. To holster a pair of Lady Deaths in anything less than a W-30 would be sheer blasphemy, pure and simple.

Even the legendary Smith & Wesson C10SP Police Special doesn’t come from the factory as a full-auto with an under barrel XM20 [20mm] mini grenade launcher. But an A10MP does. Both C10SPs and A10MPs employ Scan sights, 10mm-short caseless ammo, infinite ammunition clips, and parallel port compensation systems. And that’s where the similarities end. The semi-auto C10SP fires Anti-Personnel. The jam-proof, auto-only Hog spews implosive-tipped anti-armor, the “munition of choice” for those who like to dish it out with ultra extreme prejudice, at the racegun rate of 2000 rounds in just under a minute; in essence, it’s a hand-held minigun. And, the Hog’s XM20 fires High Explosive Dual purpose (HEDP) plasma grenades: anti-personnel rounds which have some anti-armor capability!

Connie straps on the Wahl underneath her jacket, directing its harness webbing to adjust for a snug fit. This choice shoulder holster system is so trick that she doesn’t have to remove her Heartbreaker to strap it on!

And, Smith doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the whole day has been a setup, and no one is bothering to pretend that it’s been anything else.

“You’re licensed and bonded, now. This takes care of your Guild obligations. You’re a good Catholic girl, who attended a Convent School, you were on your school’s TAZ team, unlike her cousin Jennifer, and you’re a Texan. So I know you know how to shoot a pistol.”

“We come out of the womb knowing how to shoot down there.”

“So I’ve heard from every Texan I’ve ever met. Now. Girl-to-girl. What black powder revolver did you get for your sweet sixteen?”

“A pair of matching Colts.”

“Dragoon, Army, or Navy?”

“Navy.”

“Did they come with laser sights and muzzle brakes just like the originals?”

“Yes. In fact, I still have my replicas, along with the black powder starter kit and gun belt that came with them. There’s something electric, I guess you could say, about firing Finite-Ammunition No-Scan guns. The only thing that comes close is a modern limited-gun.”

“I know what you mean. Nothing like it in the world. Like you, I was on the Tactical Shooting team of my Parochial School. Those were the days; grueling, seemingly endless drills in the school’s Tac-House, sandwiched between inter-school Combat Town meets which were always a hoot compared to those practice drills. Train hard, fight easy.”

“That’s how it was for me too.”

“Either you train best or …”

“You’ll get your ass handed to you.”

“Hoo. Yah.”

“You know how fanatical nuns are about training. They required us to be proficient with any gun that conformed to the same restrictions that were applicable at a TAZ meet. Couldn’t be caseless. Couldn’t be fed by an extended capacity magazine (CAM). Couldn’t be fed by an inexhaustible magazine (IAM). And couldn’t utilize an active holo (holographic) sight, like Scan, for example.”

“FAM only. NOS please.”

“Black powder and cased and most especially …”

“The guardian of our chastity and virtue, the shotgun …”

“Need only apply.”

“Once TAZ, always TAZ.”

“Only a fool says …”

“Ladies can’t shoot and girls can’t kill.”

“Now that old pep squad cheer does bring back the memories.”

“Yes it does.”

Agnus B and Connie high-five. Then, they self hi-five.

“Nice female bonding, girls. But I still think I was right about not being on my school TAZ.”

“Your loss, Jenn. But then, you did kind of make up for it by joining the Corps.”

Smiling, Jen gives Connie the bird. Captain Miller notices her watch.

“Shit chickens! I’d better not keep you girls any longer. You know I can talk gun all night long.”

“Thanks again for all the help, mom.”

“Yes, Captain Miller. Thanks again for all of your assistance. It was greatly appreciated.”

“There’s no need to be rude, Connie. Like I’ve told you before, call me auntie. After all, you are my niece. In fact, you’re my favorite niece.”

“Auntie, I’m your only niece.”

Captain Miller smiles at the girl’s jab.

Nice to see the girl is finally starting to come ‘round in spite of herself. She’s really beginning to shape up. She had us all worried for a while. Things were really touch-and-go at first. I thought we were going to have to destroy her. That would have been a waste indeed. Of course, she still might have be done away with if her emotional growth doesn’t continue to progress at an acceptable rate. Can’t afford to ever let an Embraced live who might turn.

“By the way, be careful out there, girls. It’s solstice and anything is possible. Oh. Almost forget. You’d better try the Scan out now.”

Connie crossdraws the Hogs. Their Scan kicks in. The guns become an extension of her. She sees what they see. They do what she wants. They will fire 10mm caseless or 20mm grenades, or fire both munitions at the same time with the pull of a single trigger. The scalloped Hogue Handell rubber grips of these matched and blueprinted offensive handguns fit her hands like they were made for ‘em; additionally, each translucent amber polymer grip is fitted with a special finger relief butt plate. Tacticals cease when she packs her fancy heaters away; gats with black, hulkish profiles [think: Glocks].

“Everything seems okay, auntie.”

“Good luck and good hunting.” With those last words of advice, Captain Miller ushers them out of her office.

“Let’s get drunk celebrating your new shamus status, squirt.”

Tonight, one of those windows of opportunity is opened up by the solstice. Connie’s Darkness exploits this opportunity to the fullest, seizing the moment without the least bit of hesitation. The human needs and wishes of Constance Ann Smith are forced to take a backseat to the inhuman ones of Mondo Constance Anna-Kane. Jenny is caught completely off guard as Connie shoves her into an elevator. Smith hits the “Close Door” and the “Emergency Stop” buttons simultaneously.

“I’ve got a much better idea, Jen. Let’s hump pelvises like a couple of rabbits, couz. All. Night. Long.”

It’s a harbinger of things to come.

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