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My whole life was set before me when I was born. My eyes of the darkest green set my fate. I had no choice. I have no free will. I must live my life by the book, if there is one for my life. And if I had the choice, I wouldn't change a thing.
My name is Post Mortem. I know, my parents must have had some sense of humor. I would have asked them about it, if I had ever met them. When I was 3 months old, they were killed by what would come to be known as a Marauder, A shadow with a mind of its own. The more powerful the creature the shadow came from, the more powerful the Marauder. It so happens that this particular Marauder came from an ex-CIA agent who had lived down the street. No one knows why the Marauder chose my parents house to attack, or why it left me alone. All we know is that I was found by the P.C.S.I.C. two days later half starved with my dead mom’s arms still wrapped around me, and the Marauder patrolling, as if on guard, around the house.
After they ran some tests and uncovered some of my “Natural Talents” I was sent to Arcbalm’s Training Academy for the Intellectually Gifted. I was 3. When I was 12, I graduated from Arcbalm’s with a full college degree. It wasn’t an earned degree though. I was pushed through a crash-course of the fundamentals and most of my school years were spent on the Study of the Supernatural.
At age 17, I was officially employed by the Government as a CIA operative. But in reality, I had been working for the P.C.S.I.C., or Paranormal Crime Scene Investigators and Containers, for five years. I was still in training. At age twenty, I was assigned a task force. We were Squad 403. There were 12 active Squads, Squads 127, 638, 545, 253, 332, 443, 404, 12, 67, 403, 221, and 394. After a Squad was completely wiped out, it was not reformed, but a new one was formed. When I joined Squad 403, there were 8 members. Dan Marshall was the Captain, John Forner the Field Supervisor, Victoria (or Vicky) Tracker field agent one, Gary was, and still is, the Gear Man, or as you might call him, the Computer Guy. Luke was field agent two, Markus Field agent four, and Daniela and I were the trainees, coming in to take the place of Field agent three and Lab tech.
Daniela was 19, a year younger then me, but much better off then me. She had the talent, the patience, and the looks for the job. I, on the other hand, excelled in combat, tracking, undercover work, and everything to do with the field. But I had no patience. It was soon clear that it would be a long time before I was ready for the field.
At age 23, I assumed the position of field agent two. Vicky had died of Radiation poisoning and Luke took her place. We took on a new trainee named Rudolf Thatcher. He quickly took the position of field agent four, and we had a full team once more. In May of that year were the Discount Murders.
I awoke from a dreamless slumber at two a.m. For a minute a just laid there, staring at the cold metal bars that held Gary’s mattress above my head. It moved slowly with the sound of his breathing, a slow, almost motionless movement. My eyes slowly drifted to the light fixture above the bunk. It was a florescent light, currently turned off. There was an odd crack along one of the sides which aloud only part of the light to brighten. I turned my head almost subconsciously to the far wall. It was a dull grey color, barren except for a small picture frame. The frame was empty, there for no apparent reason, but we kept it there as a reminder that we could have no lives outside of P.C.S.I.C. It was a symbol of the life we didn’t have, and didn’t have a reason to want. My eyes eventually turned to the night stand, on which stood a small digital alarm clock and a curved knife with a flat black leather handle. The words Forever Yours were inscribed on the silver blade. It shone dully in the nonexistent light in the room. My eyes flicked to the door a second before I heard the heavy breathing on the other side. The knife was in my hand before I had time to think and I slid my feet to the floor noiselessly. I stood soundlessly, now aware that Gary was watching me with a p228 in his hand. I glided toward the door, not seeming to touch the ground. I could see a sliver if light beneath the door, and a shadow moving on the other side. The handle turned quickly and quietly and I flung myself all in one motion through the door. The blade went up, and was withdrawn just as fast as I recognized Daniela standing, almost unfazed, in the dankly lit hallway. I slide the knife into the pocket of my cloth sweatpants and took a step back. “Well, hello to you too,” said Daniela, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “Morning.” I grunted, annoyed at her cheery attitude. Why was she always so gdamn happy? She had no right to be happy when there was no reason to be. Daniela looked gleefully at me, her long, dark hair cutting off around her shoulders. Her light grey eyes seemed to dig into my thought like a knife though butter. Soon all I could think about was her. After a slight pause, I inquired as to why she was there. “We have a new case. Dan wants us in the Tactics room at 0900 sharp.” She said, her smile unwavering. She was unbelievably beautiful. I tried to push the thought of her away, to concentrate on what she had said, but my mind wouldn’t let me. “Ok, we’ll be there.” I said, and smiled awkwardly. She smiled her beautiful smile and turned to leave. I shut the door quickly, returning to my right mind. 0900. Seven hours. Good. I went the dresser at the foot of the bed. Gary jumped lightly down from the top bunk. He, same as me, wore soft grey sweats. I opened the top drawer and retrieved two light grey tank tops from the inside. I threw one at Gary. Gary was 26, muscular, blonde, blue eyes, and small compared to the others of our squad. He slipped it over his head, as did I, and we exited the room, barefoot against the painted concrete floor. We preceded to the men’s restroom at the end of the hall. Luke, Mark, and Rudolf, a.k.a. Ron, were already there. Ron had half a thin layer of shaving cream on his chin, and the others were following his example. Once we were all finished, we went as a group to the training room. Daniela was waiting for us. We preceded wit our morning routine, then, at 0730, went to the showers in the private restrooms. At least this decency we were rewarded. After my shower, I stared at my reflection. My dark brown hair, deep green eyes, and the white scar under my left ear were my most prudent features. I closed my eyes, mentally preparing myself for today’s task, and left the room. I walked down the dark corridors back to the room Gary and I shared. I opened the bottom drawer off the dresser and retrieved a plain dark grey shirk, jet black jeans, and a black leather jacket. I put them on, and then went over to the night stand. I opened the drawer of the night stand and grabbed a pair of black sunglasses with green lenses. I flipped them open and slid them over my eyes. I started to leave when I remembered my knife, in the pocket of my sweats. I retrieved the knife and slip it into an inner pocket of the jacket. Now I was ready. For anything.
I was in the Tactics Room at 0750 and wasn’t alone. Dan and John were already seated at the head of the oval table. Manila folders and documents littered the table. This was not unusual, but today we had a case. These folders had a purpose. Inside one, or maybe two, or three even, was something unheard of, something that few people would dare to believe, and it was our job to find out what it was and stop it. Excitement filled my head. This was the reason I was here, on earth, to discover things new and old, lost and forgotten or never seen before.
I walked over to Dan who was at the head of the table, John to his right, and Luke would be on his left. The room had fallen silent when I walked in. they had cut the conversation short as to not give me too many questions. John took a sealed manila folder and handed it to me. It had a large 2 on the front. I sat in my chair (next to Luke’s) and spilled the contents into the relatively empty space in front of me. Before I had a chance to examine it, a waitress came from the double doors at the end of the room.
“What would you like for breakfast this morning, Sir?” she inquired, handing me a one page menu. I selected the two egg platter with sausage and hash browns. Also a cup of coffee.
After she left, I examined the top sheet of paper. It was a picture taken from a security camera at a local convenience store. It was being robbed by a group of men, obviously gang members from their assortment of tattoos and the flashy handguns. All of the men wore hoods with scarves over their faces. It would have looked like a normal robbery, if the men hadn’t been completely engulfed in flames. One of the men was using the flames as a weapon, throwing balls of fire across the room. The picture underneath the first was of the men burning the customers and the clerk alive, making no attempt to take any money or valuables. The third picture was of the building after they had left a black, smoldering heap of cement and metal. There were an apparent fourteen other cases like the first, ranging from gas stations to casinos. The final two pieces of paper were a death count consisting of over seventy names and a gang sign. It wasn’t a street gang like you might have first guessed, but a classier, mafia like gang. The sign was a T over an F with a snake winding between the two. The meaning was clear. Freddy Torchilos. He was the leader of L.A.’s biggest mafia family. This case wasn’t going to be an easy one.