There are two of them -- ECPD Paracrime Unit cops in black tactical armor -- perched on the roof of the Hunan Hotel. The troopers are backlit by the neon glare of Chinatown, so I don't even have to zoom in with my goggle optics to see that they're on dragnet duty - they've created a mini-bunker bristling with antennae and rifles and spotting scopes. They look like post-apocalypse deer hunters waiting up in a blind for something big to wander by.
I'm about two blocks away on another roof, hiding behind some HVAC units. I had been bopping along on patrol, listening to... You know, it's not important what I was listening to. I was minding my own business, keeping the city safe, etc., when I spotted the surveillance post, so I ducked under cover, and here I am. They haven't seen me. I scan the surrounding area until I'm satisfied that there is only one post, then sit down and consider the situation. I start chewing on a Power Bar from the utility belt.
I gotta call Margo, I told her I would. Well, Connor told her I would. You know what I mean. I flip open the transat phone.
Her phone rings and rings.
Crap! The voice changer spray! Why is it so hard to remember the fucking thing? Am I self-sabotaging or what?
Her voice mail picks up. "Hi, it's Margo. I can't take your call right now --"
I tear the voice changer from my belt - it's like an asthma spray - and take a deep hit.
"--but if you leave a message at the beep, I'll get back to you. Probably."
"Good evening Ms. Thompson, it's the uh, Velvet Marauder," I say in my altered Robert Goulet voice. "I wanted to thank you for you help. I've uh, concluded my investigation and will be taking action. Soon. So, uh, thank you. I'm also very sorry about your car -- about your car getting destroyed like that. That's all. I'll touch base with you once this is all over. Uhh, have a good one."
I snap shut the phone with a groan at my own stupidity.
"Have a good one?" I say to no one in particular. "Have a good one? What the hell is wrong with me?"
God, you would think that I would have thought about what I was going to say. I'm so uncool. It's probably better that she wasn't there, I would have just made a bigger ass of myself in person. What hero says "have a good one?" Gas Station Attendant Man?
Pissed at myself, I pop to my feet and check on the Paracrime deer hunters. Still there. I devour the rest of my Power Bar and consider how I can childishly lash out at these cops to salvage some self-respect. I wish I could eavesdrop on the Paracrime Unit's radio frequency, but they changed it months ago and I haven't been able to find it again.
You know what? Let's just keep this simple. I look around the roof for something appropriate. There are a bunch of empty beer bottles in a corner. Some kids must have come up here to drink. They're perfect.
The first bottle falls short and torpedoes through one of the Hunan Hotel's windows.
The troopers hear the bottle hit, and start looking around frantically. That woke them up.
I throw another beer bottle. Direct hit. The bottle explodes against the deer blind with a brittle splash of glass. The Paracrime troopers leap to their feet, wildly swinging their guns around, screaming into their radios. They're not hurt, their armor protects them, but they're a little rattled. It makes me laugh. I'm a dick like that.
"Hey!" I yell in my chemically altered voice. "Officers! Over here!"
They start looking around. I jump up and down, waving my arms. "Officers! Hey!"
The cops spot me. One of them looks at me through a pair of binoculars while the other calls in my position to Paracrime. I wave to them.
Then I hop around and smack my butt in the universal sign for "kiss my ass." Seriously, everyone in the universe knows what that means. Dolphins know what that means.
"You guys SUCK!" I yell, then leap off the rooftop.
By the time I hit Queen's Row I can hear the Sherriff's Department helicopter overhead, looking for me. I drop down into an alley way and walk the last 100 yards to my parked car. Then I slip into the Friday night traffic and drive home, smirking the entire time.
I've had my fun. Tommorrow night I hit QuantumWorks.
Fuck it, I might die tommorrow: I was listening to the Pretty in Pink soundtrack on patrol tonight. Okay? Everybody happy?
Again, not gay.