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Man made monster

 
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:10 am    Post subject: Man made monster Reply with quote

Gray came into the old man's office. The old man was watching the rain in darkness; his jacket hung from the back of a wooden chair. His badge was on the table.

“You wanted to see me, Captain?” Gray closed the door.

“I'm retiring, Gray.”

Gray stilled, the old man had always been there, it didn't seem real. “Sorry to hear that, sir.”

“I've been thinking about what I'll leave behind. And it occurs to me I haven't changed a thing. When I came onto the job years ago people killed each other over petty deeds, hurt each other. The world is not a better place than it was then. We need morality, even in criminals.” The old man didn't turn.

Gray shifted uncomfortably, there was a note of empty madness in the old man's voice. A sort of dreadful calm looking out where other people kept their passions.

“Kind of a contradiction in terms isn't it, sir?”

“Depends whether you think criminals necessarily sin against the survival of society or against the survival of a particular privileged group.”

“I guess. Doesn't that mean the law's just a way of keeping people down though?”

“Just because it's not all right doesn't mean it's all wrong. There are shades of grey.”

Gray looked at the badge. “Are you alright, sir? The world would be worse had you not been in it. Are you ashamed of what you've done?”

“I'm ashamed of what I haven't done. But I feel happy leaving my legacy in your hands.”

“Thank you.”

“Don't thank me yet. You're about to become a criminal and I wanted to give you some idea why I was doing this since you might kill me in the next few minutes.”

The beast stirred in the back of Gray's head. Being set up, getting ready to fight. He looked for the opening.

“I don't believe I am.”

“You're a murderer, son.”

He felt the echo of it, to draw his gun and empty the old man's face of everything behind it. To reveal the empty hole in a broken down old doll. He pushed the beast snarling back down. “Deep down maybe that's true. But I haven't killed anyone. I'm sorry you feel this way but I'm leaving.”

“I murdered someone last week, Gray. A college girl if you were wondering. I walked into her dorm and shot her with your spare gun. I've killed a number of people since then, leaving your forensics all over the place of course. It's just a matter of time until they find you.”

Gray shrugged and his gun was in his hand. It was a workman's movement, mating the muzzle of the gun to his sight.

“You're crazy. I'm taking you in.”

“Don't be foolish now.” The old man turned, looked Gray in the eye. “Do you hate me? I imagine you will when it hits you. Stay with that hate, stay with this moment. You've got to keep thinking, son. Stop thinking and you'll never get it back. You're alive. Shooting me won't help you, arresting me won't help you. It's too late for any of that.”

“Maybe I decide to try it anyway. Maybe I need to be sure.”

“Maybe you do. But you won't, because if you do ten officers will be through that door before you're out the window. You'll let me live; you'll keep looking for that chance to turn the tables on fate, to get another roll of the dice.”

“Why do it? Why me?” Child like, high pitched and panicked. The room was closing in, officers only half imagined waiting outside in the rest of the station.

“Because I respect you. Because we need that morality, because you have vices that can keep you controlled. I used to believe we could change the system from within. Get a few good men together, create a doctrine that made sense, push it through. But there was never any profit in solving the underlying problems, only in treating the symptoms.

“We're directed by the political will of a people whose idea of violence is a montage on CNN with the appropriate track running in the background. Who see crimes and equate the behaviour with a need to stop it. The occasional relatively harmless criminal is effectively morally neutral but he lacks the drive, the moral courage to act outside the constraints of his own hedonism. And frankly someone like myself would simply go crazy out there, we lack the ties to keep us above the level of the criminal. The sort of mentality that comes up with this plan can never be the one to execute it. We're too prone to rationalising away moral feelings. It had to be you.”

“Coward.” Gray spat. The world was spinning, vertigo grappled with his limbs. He holstered his gun with numb hands and stumbled out of the office.

“Hey, you going out there without a coat?... Sarge?”

The abyssal parking lot opened before him, rain poured into its vanishing depths and chiselled his anger into an icy core. But it was smooth now, fitting his mind like a key in lock; he could use it.

“I'm fine,” he drove it out. “Just a bit of a headache. Got some aspirin in the car. Tell David I want his report on the Faulkner incident on my desk when I get back in.”

----

Been knocking around at the back of my head for a while.
_________________
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
- Issa
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