By Joseph "Maniac" Cirillo III
Alex and I have been staked out of the local drug racketeer's warehouse for the last five hours. What is a drug dealer in New York City? There seems to be more every day, each one with the same ulterior motives, get rich, get people hooked, ruin lives, stay out of the can, all of them. It didn't matter.
I took another sip of my coffee, it was cold as the devil's heart and bitter like divorce. Sitting in the car for five hours isn't the best way to keep a cup of coffee but it didn't matter, I needed this to keep my thoughts in focus.
I shamed myself as I lit my cigarette. I knew I would hear it from Michelle when I got back home tonight. She's been wanting me to quit since she found out she was pregnant. I've been trying but it's a bad habit that I can't shake out of my soul. I took a long drag from the cigarette and got my thoughts into focus.
I looked at the warehouse, it was as dark as it had been ten minutes ago, and ten minutes ago it was as dark as it had been five hours ago. We were getting nowhere fast.
I looked at Alex. I didn't need to say anything, he saw it in my face. Maybe the informant, Turk, was wrong. He said this warehouse was the largest dope producer in all of Hell's Kitchen. It seemed strange to me that the Turk would come running into North Precinct with what appeared to be the fear of God in him. Something had spooked the Turk all right but the what was none of my business. All I knew was that if Alex and I wanted to make a dent for DEA/NYPD collaboration it had to be here and now, there's no way my captain would let a waste of taxpayer's dollars like this happen again without some results.
Maybe it was the coffee, maybe it was the cigarettes but suddenly the hair on the back of my head stood on edge as I saw Alex jump in his seat. Alex pointed at the far window in the warehouse visible from the bridge we were on, the light was on dimly. Something was happening and it wasn't the Avon lady calling.
Alex and I drew our pistols and headed into the warehouse. We found more cobwebs than in most senator's skulls. The place was run down, looked like it had been unused for centuries. After the tip Alex and I found out that this building was owned by a small unknown company called Aser. The company seemed to be legit and that raised the question why would the Turk call this place?
"Alex," I said, quietly as possible, "go around the other side of the building, we'll close 'em in from both sides and draw our weapons. If we have them covered from both points they won't try anything." Alex nodded his agreement to me and we split up. I moved upstairs when I heard the sound of movement. It couldn't have been Alex, and then I knew we weren't alone.
I took one last drag from my cigarette and stomped it on the old floor. My pistol was drawn when I saw a crack of light coming out from one of the doors. Hoping Alex wasn't too far behind I went straight for the door and held position. I aimed my pistol ready, counted three breaths and knocked the door down.
"NYPD FREEZE!" I shouted to the guilty parties. The Turk was right, there was enough dope here to get a small country hooked. Alex busted in through the other door and held his pistol up.
"You are all under arrest! You have the right to remain silent…"
Before Alex could finish the first line the men drew their weapons quick as lightning. At that second I knew that not all of us was going to come out of this alive. I fired at the chest of the closest man before he could get his shot off. The man fell, but my split second view of the man fall was enough time for his friend to take aim and start firing.
I had never been shot at before in this job, I used to work a desk position before Alex told me where the real fun was. But now I had lead coming straight for me and it didn't look like it would go well with my flesh.
As the man fired suddenly my heart started beating a little louder. He pulled the trigger in slow motion and I could literally see the bullet escape the nozzle as the gun flashed. My head started pounding like a drum and Alex slowly cringed after being shot in the arm by another gunman. Without thinking I flung myself out of the way of the weapon, shooting at the assailant as I fell to the floor. I hit the ground before he did but when I did suddenly reality stepped back into normal, my head pounded no more and my heart was okay.
Alex shot down the last gunman, ending the shootout. He cradled his shot arm and limped over to me.
"Max what the hell just happened?" he asked.
Unable to believe it myself I just replied, "I…I don't know."
He started to heave, short of breath but alive. "Max you were a blur, you were able to move out of that bullet's way. That's almost inhuman."
"Sure Alex. I'm sure that's just the bad coffee mixed with the lead poisoning talking."
"Max I saw it with my own eyes. How did you do that?"
I thought to myself. With my head going a mile a minute I suddenly found my answer. My father was a cop too, he was the best on the force back when those walls had ears. I remember once he told me that there was no bullet that would ever be able to touch him. Before he died he promised that soon I would know what he meant. I could never understood that then but now I do. He gave me this ability to protect myself.
"Alex…could we keep this a secret between us?"
"Get me some doctors so you can save my life and I'll consider it."
"You got it."
I called in for backup and Alex was rushed to the hospital. The unlucky suspects however were sent straight to the city morgue. Alex healed and we were then put in the firing line of the press. For the next week we had headlines like "The Hero Cops" and photos of us showing off, waving our guns around like macho assholes. It made me feel better about what I had discovered.
So now here I am, outside the hospital having a smoke trying to make sense out of what had just occurred. I stamped it out on the sidewalk and took a final look back. Alex and I had done good, my Captain was proud. The two of us would be working together for a long time from now on.
I checked my watch, almost six o'clock. I told Michelle I'd be home by about now. I headed off into the sunset, knowing full well that this wouldn't be the last time I used this ability.