The boys from the Bureau didn't take long to find me. I'd barely recovered enough to get out of bed unaided, when two sharp suited goons with well-manicured hair pushed their way into my hospital room.
The first one held out a hand and gave mine a firm shake, before slouching easily in the nearby chair. "How's it going Shannon, I hear you're quite the hero!" While the seated man was all smiles and started commenting on the flowers and décor, his partner remained standing and looked across the room and out the window, a look of bored indifference on his face.
I shrugged my shoulders, "I just did my job, Mister-?"
"Agent Grant." The big smile was accompanied by the moving hologram of an ID badge, Special Investigations Bureau. "This is my partner, Agent Collins."
Collins's face expressed a flicker of acknowledgement before resuming its emotionless façade. I didn't know which one of them to be wary of most; one way or another, Special Investigations meant I was on somebody's radar.
Grant pointed to one side of me and hollered; "Yo, Shannon, what kind of piece is that? I think I saw one of those in an old movie!"
"Delany 48 Special," I growled. "I've got a licence for it and the special ammunition. Check my wallet. It'll stop more of those crazed dust zombies than those peashooters you kids are using these days-"
"-except you didn't use it when it mattered," said Collins with a snarl. "You had the intruder at the police station in your sights, but she got away."
Collins and I fixed stares with each other, but Grant broke the exchange with an easy chuckle. "What my partner is saying is your account mentions this woman, and you say that she tore up the place single handed; you could have shot her but you didn't; was it too dark, did she get the drop on you?" Grant waved his hands with a shrug, "You didn't shoot her because…?"
I sighed; there was no point trying to fool the SIB. "…because she was a frakking Lazloi."
Grant smiled, "because she was a frakking Lazloi." His hands imitated an explosion. "Whoosh… a frakking Lazloi. Collins, you owe me twenty credits."
"You never mentioned that on your report," said Collins quietly.
Grant leaned forward, his smile taking on an ominous edge. "That's because Mr Shannon wanted to investigate her himself. He knew that if he told the police, they'd take over the case and hand it over to the military; but Mr Shannon is a smart guy and is going to let us take it over instead."
They made ready to go. "You're a lucky guy, Shannon. Ten dead in that station, could have been eleven."
My thoughts seethed after they had gone, but I was already one step ahead of them. My contact in the Shallows said a woman in white and a guy matching Joshua Isuza's description had been seen in an alley where two dead dealers were discovered. Seems like people regard them as vigilantes, and are praising them for cleaning up the streets.
Collins was right; maybe I should have fired after all. Next time, I won't hesitate.
-- Elliot Shannon, Private Investigator, formerly of the Candor City Police.
Source images created in Cinema 4D R11.5 using Sketch and Toon with models created using Poser.
Final image and text elements created in Photoshop CS2