A lone police car drives down the freeway, north bound. It is midday and the air inside the car is stuffy, but the officer doesn’t mind; the cool December air makes his bones ache. Officer Owens had pale white skin, with greying hair. He had an aged face, but looked fairly clean. The officer sighed and shifted in his seat, his stomach growled. He looked up at his rearview mirror and saw the young man he had in his car. “You know, I could go for some hot dogs right now.” The young man looked up at Owens and their eyes met for a brief moment before Owens shifted his attention back to the road. No response. Owens looked back at the rearview mirror. The young man was looking out the window, his eyes were deep and sullen and his shoulders sagged. He looked as though he was in his mid-twenties, an Asian man, his hair was black and he was wearing a suit. The man’s tie was missing and his top button was undone. The bags under his eyes looked like shadows and his hands were slightly shaking. “I figure you didn’t do it then.”
The young man looked up at Owens, surprised, “What?”
“I said, ‘I figure you didn’t do it.’” Owens’ attention moved between the road and the young man, “I’ve been doin’ this for a while now, babysittin’ criminals, I mean. I’d like to think that I can tell the difference now.” The young man looked down at his feet and back out the window. “Like, there was this one fella,” Owens continued, “he was probably one of the biggest, meanest kind of folk you’d expect to go to jail but he was kickin’ and screamin’ the whole way to the courthouse!” Owen chuckled, “He was cryin’ ‘I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it!’” Owens imitated the man reciting the words through fake tears.
There was a pause. “So, did he do it?” the young man asked,
“Did he do it? They caught him red handed stickin’ the knife into his wife!” Owens cried, “Poor bastard… got what he deserved though.”
“They put him to death?”
“Naw, but to spend the rest of your life in prison, might as well be, eh?” The young man sighed and there was another moment silence. “You from around here?”
“Look, would it be alright if we didn’t talk? I have a lot on my mind.”
Owens scoffed, “My car, my rules.” he looked back in his rearview mirror, “I’m missin’ dinner with the wife cause of you.” The young man sighed, he looked up at Owens who was staring at him through the rearview mirror, but his attention shifted towards the man, slowly shuffling across the freeway. “So you have a name?–”
Owens looked back down at the road, but it was too late. In a flash, a thick mixture of black, red, and gray sprayed onto the windshield as the officer slammed on the breaks. The wheel violently spun to the left as Owens slowly began to lose control of the car. In a panic, Owens uses all his strength to turn the wheel right to gain stability, but shortly after the sound of metal crashing from the passenger side – a force slammed into the police vehicle, flipping it into the air. The police vehicle landed on its side then slowly tipped over as it went back onto all four wheels. The black, red, and gray mixture slowly corroded through the window as the police officer groaned from being tossed around in the car.
The young man had a scared look on his face as he looked outside, trying to see who was there. Looking through the smudged windows, he could only see a few different silhouettes.
“Give me the keys!”
Officer Owens held onto his forehead trying to regain his awareness. He didn’t understand the request.
“There are things that you don’t understand that will happen. The only way you’re going to live is by trusting me. Now, GIVE ME THE KEYS!”
Officer Owens unhooked his seat belt as the windshield completely corroded off the car. The seeping liquid began to burn through the dashboard.
“What is this stuff?”
“It’s called Red Tar. It is a biological secretion.”
Officer Owens retrieved his shotgun from the center divider and smashed the driver side window open. He crawled through the window and looked around. There was absolutely no one in sight, and strangely, no cars, either, on the freeway.
“I don’t see anyone…”
“It’s not something I can explain in a minute. You’re going to have to release me if you want to have any chance of surviving!” The young man yelled from inside the car.
“I’m not releasing you until you explain everything – not after what you might have done.”
“You said it yourself – you didn’t think I did it – and that’s the truth. The ones that did it are here, right now.”
Officer Owens tried the door, but it was jammed. He smacked the window a couple of times with the butt of his shotgun and it smashed open. He dragged the young man out of the window and on the floor, with one knee on his back.
“You make one move that I think is going to even mess up my hair — you’ll be seeing the ground permanently.”
Before the keys made its way out of his pocket, a figure appeared behind the police car, with an elaborate handgun drawn. Officer Owens pivoted on his position toward the man and pumped his shotgun.
“HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! DROP YOUR WEAPON! NOW!”
Officer Owens stood his ground on top of the young man, but without even a word or slowing down the man lifted his handgun and shot Officer Owens in the arm, forcing him to drop the shotgun. In two more strides, the man kicked Officer Owens in the shoulder, and launched him ten feet away from the police car. Officer Owens’s shotgun flew off to the side as he launched into the air.
“Hello, Cassidy. Did you think you’d get away so easily?”
“Jack, don’t do this.” The young man said.
“Do what? I’m not going to do anything. As long as you cooperate… Like you should have earlier today.”
“You know there’s a reason I don’t want to have anything to do with you and your ilk,” Cassidy rebutted.
“And what would that be, little Cassidy?” Jack pulled in closer towards the handcuffed Cassidy on the floor.
“You have no sense of style!” Cassidy flipped on the floor, turning his body around and slammed his foot into Jack’s face. Cassidy’s leather dress shoes left an imprint in Jack’s face as he fell backwards in astonishment. Cassidy used his momentum to upright himself and run towards Officer Owens to retrieve the keys that fell out of his pocket on the impact to try to unhook the handcuffs tying him.
“CASSIDY!” Jack yelled in anger as he spat “blood” on the floor. But it was Red Tar, not blood – it slowly corroded the ground beneath Jack.
Jack stood up and brushed his long hair back quickly before he got ready to begin shooting with his customized handgun weapon. It was gold, with sharp edges and three short, retractable blades attached to the barrel. The ammunition chamber was customized to spin at a high rate between each shot to charge energy.
Cassidy quickly unhooked only one of the handcuffs before he was forced to begin dodging the flying charged shots from Jack Smack’s H2SID Inertia Gun. He pulled Officer Owens and rolled him behind the police car quickly after a couple of shots tore up the asphalt around them.
Jack ran up to the police car and threw the car into the air past Cassidy and Owens.
“What’s the matter, Cassidy? Are you too scared to let your new friend get hurt?”
“He has no quarrel in this.”
“That’s for you to decide, not me.”
Jack clicked a switch on his inertia gun, and the three retractable blades came out of their sheaths. The handle on the gun straightened out to allow the gun to have a longer and more flush feel with the intended use of the gun’s mode – to stab and twist.
Jack took two quick steps forward and raised his gun to slash across at Cassidy. Cassidy maneuvered forward, dodging the slash and slammed his shoulder into Jack’s chest. Jack stumbled back and Cassidy took a left hook into Jack’s face. Jack turned around from the force of the punch and Cassidy threw a kick straight into his back, in turn, making Jack fly forward and onto the floor again.
At this moment, it was Crellit Kard that made his entrance — standing on top of the flipped-over police car, slowly clapping the accomplishment of Cassidy.
“Most impressive. I always enjoy seeing Jack getting outclassed… and outgunned.” Crellit snickered to himself.
Jack picked himself off the floor and took a few steps away from Cassidy, and wiped away some dirt on his leather jacket.
“It’s not like any of this should be surprising to you, Crellit.” Cassidy said as he kept Jack in his sights.
“SHAZAM!!” Crellit disappeared and reappeared above Cassidy, smacking him in the face with his elbow.
“HUAH!” Cassidy let out a surprised yell as he smacked onto the ground. Crellit landed on the ground after him and picked up Cassidy’s leg. He threw Cassidy into the air and teleported again to knee Cassidy in the face, flipping him in the air and slamming him on the ground again.
Officer Owens began slowly crawling towards the police car to find cover, his left shoulder obviously not working due to being shot. “I really need some hot dogs right now…” Owens said coyly as he scraped his uniform across the ground and onto the side of the freeway.
As Crellit kept smashing his knee into Cassidy’s face, Jack walked over to the Officer. “Excuse me, officer. I have a crime to report…” Officer Owens, knowing his life was suddenly in jeopardy tried to get up on one leg. “….MURDER….!” Jack said as he took out the H2SID and pointed it towards Officer Owens’ head.
At that moment, no one saved Officer Owens. You would expect that someone would have come and saved him, but no one did. Officer Owens died, hungry and alone. His brains splattered across the freeway in front of the police car he had served thousands of hours in. Jack licked his lips as he scooped up Officer Owens’ brains and began eating them vociferously.
Crellit picked up some dirt and threw it in Cassidy’s smashed face. “I told you that the cable bill was to be paid by the 15th. Now look at what you made me and Jack do. We were your roommates Cassidy. All I wanted to do was watch MSNBC, but no you had to grandstand and say that Netflix was good enough. You can’t get news coverage on Netflix, Cassidy! How many times do I have to tell you I need to be politically informed?!”
Cassidy groaned, but no legible response could be heard from him. “JACK! Get over here!” Crellit yelled at Jack. “Tell him what missing out on current events has done to you. I don’t think Cassidy understands yet.”
“Umm… Cassidy, it is very important because news is like my porn. Whenever I hear about some new scandal going on I like to go into my room and think about how relevant it is for my jerking off purposes.”
Crellit begrudgingly agrees with his cohort. “My purpose is much more academic, but I can’t disagree that there is some sexiness involved with this.”
Cassidy rolls his eyes. “This is not the way I expected this story to end.”