Glass shattering, police sirens, and theft alarms of all kinds: these sounds could be found all throughout the city. It started shortly after the heist at the Millennial Ball, after the city's finest detectives had already been assembled at the isolated mansion on the hill. First it was the federal reserve bank, as well as several other banks across the city. Then it was the jewelry stores and other shops with high value items. Then, finally, all chaos broke loose.
The blaring noises only stirred the looters into action, which provided cover for rioters, which in turn, brought out the city’s tactical forces. Still, even with all their preparations, the police were severely outmatched. There were simply too many fires to put out at once, some figurative and others quite literal.
New Years Eve always carried a stigma for violence, especially the turning of a century. But the turning of a century, they should have known; they should have been ready for something like this. Sure, it didn’t happen often, but this wouldn’t be the first time in history that the turning of a millennium brought about a new age of destruction.
Now, you were either a criminal letting your vices run wild, an officer of the law in the fight of your life, or a “normal” person praying for the night to end…
Relka Tir Lohig sat upon a simple leather chair, engrossed in another book with the peaceful city skyline dotting through her large bay window. She took a small sip of her tea and rested the cup peacefully back down on the small end table. Before the woman could turn another page, the only seeable technology in the large library-like room blared to life, causing an annoyed sigh to escape from her mouth. Relka stood and placed her book on the table next to her tea.
As she walked over to the massive computer, the screen flared to life. A report was coming in from one of her cops inside the station on the higher end of the city. He spoke in hushed tones, so that the other officers couldn’t hear who he was talking to.
“Freeze Frame,” he said, using the code name she gave to keep her identity hidden. “There was a massive heist at the millennial ball tonight. Most of the city's forces have been dispatched to the area to help the investigation.”
“Has anyone been taken into custody yet? Can you give me a name?” She asked inquisitively.
“No, at this time we have no clue who committed the crime, although the only clue we have to go on is, the thief or thieves left behind a single fingerprint. We are running now, but witnesses from out of the city said that this won’t tie in to anyone in any system. As well as that riots and looting have begun to spread throughout the city shortly afterwards.”
“So what you are telling me, is not only did someone rob the millennial ball without my knowing, but the city is now embattled in civil unrest? How did I not know about this chain of events?” Her angry breath came out in clouds as she spoke. “What do I even pay you for? Get me substantial information.”
“Miss, would you like us to send some forces to your area, to help quell anything that may happen?” The cop asked, with a slight twinge of nervousness.
“Boy, my territory will face no looting or riots. Nobody is fool enough to try anything here. Hell, even your elected officials sleep here in peace, knowing that the only crimes committed here are the ones I allow. No no, get someone to take your men out of here to help quell the city. My men won’t need sleep tonight.”
“I understand Freeze Frame. Officer Diggs out.” The man hurriedly hung up the phone allowing Relka to make another call. The voice on the other end was gruff and deep.
“Ma’am?” He answered respectfully.
“Something is happening in the city, give it five minutes and the police will have left the area. I want you and your men out tonight making sure nothing happens here.”
“Anything else ma’am?”
“Yes, one more thing Goose. The millennial ball was hit, as well as a rash of other robberies around town, the timing is no coincidence. Get me names.” She said hanging up the phone. The world of literature would have to wait tonight. Relka needed information first.
No more than ten minutes later, a mob of protesters entered Relka’s neighborhood. They carried torches and banged on drums. They chanted their displeasures, knowing that the majority of the city’s politicians called this district home. They vandalized the sides of buildings and attempted to break as much property as possible. At least in a neighborhood as high profile as this one, most windows and doors were supremely secure, built out of sturdy material and protected by advanced magical wards. So while the protests were loud and unsightly, this area would still be the safest place in the city.
Vincent Feathers made sure that his people were watching the streets, it wasn’t so long ago that he owned this part of the city. Everyone here feared him as an unforgiving boss, drugs, extortion, prostitution. You name it, he ran it. But a few years ago Freeze Frame appeared.
When she came to him he had half a mind to turn her towards the streets, thinking she could walk into his business and start making demands like she owned the place.
But the more she talked, the worst things got. Somehow this ice queen knew where all the bodies, literal and figurative, were buried. He had no clue how she did it, but when she demanded the gang from him, he demanded she be killed immediately. Before anyone was able to react though, the room’s temperature dropped twenty degrees in seconds. The woman with that cold emotionless smile told him that if he killed her, his and all his gang members' dirty secrets would be released.
“Not to the police, no, I am sure you are semi-intelligent enough to own a few cops. I have it set to go to your biggest rivals. You know the ones that have been just screaming for a way to take your turf. They will know where your hideouts and stashes are, where you make your drugs. They will have the names and pictures of the biggest players in your organization to target. Now, I understand if you don’t believe me, that is why in the next twenty four hours your second-in-command will die. If he doesn’t then you have full permission to kill me, here is my address, I am sure you will have your… ruffians follow me home anyways. But once your man dies, I expect a visit from you personally within the hour after that, telling me that I will assume control of your organization.” She turned her back and walked out of the room, taking the cold with her.
Vincent might not have been the most powerful man in the underground, but he didn’t take overtly unnecessary risks. Despite every fiber of his being screaming out to kill this woman, he had to make sure she was lying. Twenty one hours later, he was standing outside the tallest building in his district. Five minutes later he was telling the woman that he was giving her his gang. That emotionless smile was once again on her face seemingly mocking him.
“What now… boss.” He had to force the words out of his mouth, he would find out how she did it, then kill the bitch and gain control back.
“Now you will tell your men that your current business ventures stop. Men like you are a plague upon this city. Sapping the life force from those around you. No more drugs, no more hookers, no more senseless killing. We are going to rebrand this section of the city. But don’t worry, Vincent, I will be counting on you and your men to keep the place safe. We are going to build an empire. We will own the police, the underground, the politicians, everyone. I will make you and your men filthy rich, in a way you could only dream of with your old ways.”
“What’s in it for you?” He asked, curiosity now getting the better of him.
“The knowledge, I want it all. I care not for money, sure I have plenty of it, but just enough to get what I want. See, when picking which territory I wanted to reform, it reminded me of a children's game I saw others play. They would sit in a circle while one kid walked around patting heads saying duck, eventually they would pat one child's head and scream goose. They would then be chased around by said child who needed to tag them before they made it back to the empty spot in the circle. You just happened to be the goose this time, and I made it back to that empty spot. Your territory is as good a spot as any to put my plan into motion, we will change the world my little Goose.”
That was a few decades ago, and she was right. His old territory was the safest in the city, everyone prospered here. There was virtually little crime, aside from what she allowed. Drugs and prostitution where a thing of the past. The only other place making more money then here was the business district. Politicians, police, even celebrities choose to live in the area. The only murders that took place here were those that broke Freeze Frames rules. The only extortion that was allowed, was information. Everyone was expected to bring any tidbit of knowledge to one of her boys and they were often rewarded with money.
Which is why Goose and his men were now trying to organize the protesters. Damage to this territory would upset the boss, who now had his undying loyalty. She would overlook the graffiti, and small damages. But Goose knew if anyone was killed, or any businesses or homes looted, it would hurt her reputation. So while his best guys were off guarding the politicians and celebrities. Others were trying to calm down the crowd, with scattered success. A lot of people knew who Freeze Frame was, and didn’t want to cross her.
Freeze Frame could see out her window to the streets below. The mobs were becoming less hostile by the minute. The very mention of her name was cooling them down. They didn’t stop their marching or shouting, but they kept it to that, a loud but peaceful protest.
That’s when her computer came to life once again, pulling her away from the window. It was Captain Mullins from the police department. He was calling from the Millennial Ball, and from the sound of his voice, she could tell that he needed her help.