The sun was setting over the field as I ran back toward the dirt road. I left Mills and John Doe behind, making the mistake of thinking Mills could handle an unarmed murder suspect. Once I reached the path, I removed my sidearm and fired a single warning shot into the air. The strange van that had been approaching us promptly stopped in place, and its driver got out and quickly surrendered. He was holding a cardboard package in his feeble arms. His first choice of words put me at unease.
"Take it easy, man! I'm just here to deliver a box! This guy paid me to deliver it to a..."
He scrambled to read the address label.
"...Detective David Mills."
I did my best to hide my bad gut feeling, took the package from the driver's hands, and instructed him to exit the way he came on foot. I then adjusted the microphone on my vest and informed the other officers where to secure this man for questioning. After he was out of the scene, I placed the box on the ground and grabbed my pocket knife. With the box appearing at this specific place and time, it didn't take much to realize this was another one of John Doe's brilliant machinations. When I opened the first two flaps, I spoke into the microphone again.
"There's electrical cables."
It couldn't have been a bomb. It was too messy for that. Somewhere deep down, however, I already knew a bomb would have been better than the thing I was about to unveil.
When I opened the remaining two flaps, all I could feel was horror. I couldn't believe what John Doe had put in this thing. It was a terrible sight, enough to make any sane man mad with a single glance. I struggled to speak to the chopper crew above me again.
"California, tell your people to stay away! Don't come down here! John Doe has the upper hand!"
I ran back to Mills, screaming at him to throw his gun away. If only I had never left him alone.
"I'm glad we have some time to talk, detective. I want to tell you how much I admire you."
John Doe spoke in a monotonous manner as he knelt on the ground. Mills, being his usual impatient self, only sighed in annoyance as he shrugged the suspect off.
John Doe didn't seem fazed by this attitude in the slightest.
"But you were so amazing when you got that triple kill in Halo 3 the other day."
This noticeably broke Mills's disinterest and caused him to twist his head in surprise.
"What'd you fucking say?"
The vigilante answered his question in typical manner.
"It's disturbing how easily a civilian can monitor the Xbox Live gaming habits of the city's police personnel. You impressed me so much, I wanted to play against you online some time."
John Doe blinked before continuing.
"That's why I went to the store today to buy a 360 of my own."
His voice now became colder.
"It didn't work out."
It was clear he was just mocking Mills at this point, leading the young cop into the next phase of his master plan.
"When I found out their stock was sold out, I spent my money on another product."
After a prolonged pause, his character became noticeably more eerie.
"I bought a PS3."
Mills immediately drew his pistol in a fit of rage. He began fighting against his baser instincts as John Doe, now held at gunpoint, remained frighteningly calm.
When I reached the spot where I left Mills and John Doe, I saw it was already too late. Mills turned his gun away from the suspect only to wave his hand toward the location where I stopped the van.
"What's happening, Somerset? What's going on over there?"
I was out of breath and struggling with the reality of the situation myself when I replied.
"Put the gun down, David. Just give it to me."
John Doe, seemingly oblivious to the argument between Mills and myself, narrated his thoughts out loud.
"Because I envied you for owning a system made by a company that actually respects its costumers and doesn't rely on enhanced ports and lawsuits to make a profit, it seems Envy is my sin."
Mills now became more frantic toward me.
"Come on, what's in the box? Tell me what's in the box!"
Shocked, horrified, and unsure of everything around me, I could only repeat my previous words to Mills. I knew his mind couldn't take if I gave him the honest answer.
"I'll tell you after you put the gun down."
John Doe now began to goad directly to Mills. He knew he was in complete control of the situation.
"Think of all the things I did with that PS3, detective. I got to see Final Fantasy XIII with slightly better textures. I downloaded all the extra costumes in Tales of Vesperia. I played Metal Gear Solid 4."
Mills now turned back to John Doe and pressed the barrel of the gun to his temple, showing even more instability in his emotions.
"You lie! You're a liar!"
A smile crossed the suspect's lips. His voice became hopeful as he embraced this threat as part of his grand destiny.
"Do it, detective. Become vengeance. Become... Wrath."
All of my worst fears came to life. This was it. This was John Doe's greatest work. I doubted I could save Mills now, but I had to try. I struggled to plead with him the best I could.
"If you murder a suspect, you... you'll be throwing everything away!"
As Mills wallowed through denial and despair, I was able to collect a few more pieces of myself. I then explained the gravity of this scenario to my partner in a calmer way.
"David, if you kill him, he will win."
Mills's gun hand began to shake. There was no question his emotions were at war with each other, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he had vomited on the spot. His words were few.
His face contorted in a storm of confusion and rage. There were many times I thought he was about to begin sobbing. He knew this was his career, and possibly his own freedom, at stake. However, the horrible atrocity John Doe had committed required retribution. I can't say for sure what I would have done in Mills's shoes.
Now he was losing it. Sensing sweet death to be near, John Doe closed his eyes and entered a meditative state. Seconds later, Mills knocked him down with a single bullet to the head. He then unloaded another half dozen or so rounds into the bloodied corpse, just to seal the deal.
John Doe, serial killer and Sony enthusiast, lie dead in the field. The poor rookie who did him in would require months of therapy before he could even be considered a shell of the man he once was. I watched when they loaded Mills into the back of a squad car, his eyes staring straight forward and his face frozen in an expression of lost emptiness. I didn't know what to say.
Someone on a video game message board once said "Sony makes good consoles, and has a lot of third party support." I agree with the second part.