Ten Minutes

Disclaimer: I do not own the Spirit and hope that I can make a translation somewhere between Eisner's vision and Frank Miller's Spirit. If not than I do apologize. Also this is taking into account that the Spirit resides somewhere in the DC universe.

Sometimes at night having a blizzard is blessing in this city, it keeps all the innocent bystanders tightly snug in their beds, oblivious to the shootout that was going on outside. Then again it's sometimes a curse because if the blizzard didn't create a roaring noise that masked the gunfire, little Sally Donerfield wouldn't have gotten out of bed in the middle of the night for a glass of water. The stray bullet that pierced through the walls of her house wouldn't have struck in the chest and maybe her family wouldn't have woken up to find her corpse in the living room. But you can't take things back and the night before, the blizzard had been a curse to two people. The first was little Sally because she was in the morgue and the second was Salvatorre Sinestro, one of the few mobsters in Central City. Most would have moved up North or to some other place like Gotham, but there were about two who decided to stay here.

My city has enough crime to keep it busy to have the Mafia here and when the girl died I had had it up to hear with Salvatorre. Luckily, Salvatorre was making things easy for me by getting involved in a weapons smuggling ring that was providing high powered weaponry to the average hood. All I had to do was find one of the many gangs that had bought weapons from him. I found three. They were gathered together in a rundown bar in one of the slums of the city, like some kind of convention for badguys. The Turks, the Rangers, and the Crazy 7, three of the dirtiest gangs to ever walk the city streets, all gathered together. And I was watching them all with my eyes, floors don't creak on me now.

"You hear about what happened in the papers," asked one of the nameless thugs dressed in a leather jacket with a red seven on it. "One of Salvatorre's men got into some police trouble and wound up shooting down three police and some little girl who was out of bed for some reason in the house behind the police. This has got to be top level shit we're carrying now!"

"Hey don't go mouthing off things or else we'll get some unwanted attention," hissed a Turk as he looked around to see if anyone was listening. The Turks were always the more cautious crew and probably the smartest crew because they were always cautious around police officers and bars.

"Screw you, pansy, we've got enough guns and balls to run this city," spat the Crazy 7, probably one of the higher members of the group coming to negotiate something. "And you all can run something with us as well, that is if you're willing to play ball with us."

"You know, it's funny I thought the 'Crazy' was only an aesthetic choice," said the person in charge of the Ranger crew, a silent set that kept things quiet in their part, but were without the numbers that the Crazy 7 had. "This city has about a hundred other gangs, three mob families, and a criminal mastermind lurking underneath the rocks. Plus being loud these days has found harsh opposition."

"Oh you're talking about that Spirit bastard," laughed the Crazy 7 who was probably not as drunk as he sounded, but he was still probably drunk enough to be easily taken. "I'm just saying look at the guns we're running, that's enough for us to take down any opposition that we meet, including that Spirit. As soon as he shows his red tie wearing face he's gonna be as dead as Star Trek!"

"Man I gotta take a piss," shouted one of the Crazy 7 unceremoniously, one of the big dumb models that was probably so drunk that he couldn't punch the side of a barn house from one foot away.

"Hey shut the hell up while I'm talking, Jax," snapped the leader as he shot a glare to his subordinate.

"Jesus, sorry Axle," said the cowed gang member as he walked into the bathroom of the rundown bar. It was amazing how the place was staying up when everything looked like it might fall into ruin at any given second with few tattered chairs that were probably there since 1920.

Most of the furnishings on the walls were either torn or layered with a greenish-blue mold that was actually an improvement to the fading remnants. Most of the beer or booze was tapped into a stolen keg and instead of coming from the pipe, came straight from the keg because the pipes were rusted. The air reeked of urine, blood, and smokes, more so than usual. I told myself that when I was done there I would have to send his clothes to the dry cleaners or perhaps have them burned and just buy new ones.

I followed the gang member named Jax to the disgusting bathroom that had grime and rust covering nearly everything in the room while water spouting from a broken faucet that had a wrench in place of the handle. Jax took his time in picking between one of the two acceptably clean, using the loosest term of either 'acceptably' and 'clean,' and so I waited with his back to the door. By the time the gangbanger was washing his hands I had already slipping into the room like a shadow and before the man realized it, I had him in a chokehold.

"Where's Sal dealing his guns," I asked in a quiet but menacing tone that only helped in the build up before I really started to get rough.

"Like hell I'm telling you," spat the gang banger as he thrashed around and I could see that he was reaching for the gun he kept in his side arm. I grabbed the arm and twisted it. "You're makin' a big mistake trying to push somethin' on us!"

"You already made a mistake," I say as I tighten my grip. "You didn't flush."

The thrashing before seemed to be like a baby's movement as Jax started thrashing under me trying to breathe through the urine water that was in the filthy toilet he forgot to flush. He was probably going to be mad as hell when I let him up so I made sure to hold him under until it started to become life threatening to him. My new friend tried to flush the toilet to drain the water but I easily pushed it aside. Finally he came up.

"Now listen carefully, if you try to shout I'll keep you under there long enough to make you come up, understand," I barked. It was louder than it should have been, but luckily the music in the bar was loud enough to mask my voice. Probably wouldn't have mattered if Jax had shouted, but then that'd only allow him to calm himself down and I didn't want him clam just yet. "You can either tell me what I want to hear or you can try and see what disease you get from swallowing a mouthful of that piss water. You're choice."

"He keeps his weapons in a van in the bottom of the Rhenada Hotel, but it's always heavily guarded," said Jax, taking his time to throw up some of his own piss.

"A word of advice Jax, this game is too tough for you to handle," are the last words I said to him before walking out of the bathroom and right into the bar to make the police's job easier. Jax is smart enough to leave the party through the bathroom window and if he's smart enough, I'd never see him again.