Gettem city was beautiful at night. Unless you were upside down and seeing it from above. Then it was terrifying, and gently sprinkled with urine.
“Oh my god don’t drop me!” screamed the inverted man, flailing at a ledge just out of reach.
The fist clenching his ankle tightened. He would have sworn he wouldn’t have thought that was a bad thing before the pain hit.
“YOU FUNNEL TEXCORP ARMS TO THE BLACK MARKET!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking abaaaaaaaa”
The shadowy figure watched the speck plummet into the empty ornamental pond below. What kind of idiot argues from that position? Apart from a short-lived one.
Wuss Brayne scandalized Gettem society by arriving at the Charity Balls for Testicular Cancer with an actress and a fashion model on each arm, making a total of four. It was the perfect cover story: they’d be well paid to swear that he’d spent the entire night with them. Because he was absolutely going to spend the entire night with them, going to all sorts of places and using all kinds of fancy equipment. Screw crime, there were better options. Being rich was awesome! They’d be paid by selling steamy tell-all features in gossip magazines, or as Wuss thought of it, “free advertising.”
He didn’t even notice the armed thugs bursting into the room, getting as far as demanding “All your jewelr-” before dropping, cut down by expert Brayne non-lethal taze-snipers. It turns out that homeless thugs don’t outperform expertly trained and equipped troops. Not even when they’re led by an unstable madman!
Master keys get you anywhere, but announce that a master was in the building. Far better to use a temp janitor’s card. Security cameras flickered and rewound as he shadowed past to the executive boardroom. Professional adjustments to the media console. A cooling system fails, another overheats, the lamp explodes, and nobody wastes Brayne Industries time with another PowerPoint ever again.
Commissioner Cordon rounded on The-Man.
“I’m sick of commissioning cordons! I’m just a giant police-tape dispenser to you, keeping my cops out until you’ve finished your work. But you only reveal corruption in competing corporations. You only save Brayne Industries facilities. And I’m a goddamn detective! I know who you are, and from now on you’ll help on my terms or the press learns everything.”
“Oh no!” cried The-Man, the combination of growly-bass-rumble and fake-high-pitched combining to make him sound like a sarcastically buried coal miner.
“If people suspect that an unstoppable vigilante protects Brayne Industries while crippling the competition, whatever will happen to their stock? If workers knew that corruption or laxity was punished by beatings instead of performance reviews, what would happen to their work ethic? If these facts were kept in the public eye for years by an endless court case defended by my army of lawyers? Whatever you do, please don’t spread the word from the highest levels of law enforcement. And receive a large donation towards the police retirement fund. By this time tomorrow.”
With that, The-Man vaulted out of the window into the back of The-Car, an anonymous black business sedan loaded with armor-plating, alcohol, and an autodrive system. The sunroof whispered shut as he reclined on the luxury leather seats, pouring a bourbon as The-Car sped for home. He rested his feet on the autodrive system, wondering what kind of moron would spend a million dollars on a car and still have to drive the thing.
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