The scrying pool at the Tenth Precinct shimmered, and then a ban sidhe, in full horror, appeared above the troubled water, and wailed. Johannes Patrickson, as he was known in this universe, one of the untold trillions of the Multiverse, bolted from his closet sized office with a look of fear on his gaunt face.
“Where?” He cried out as he passed the empty, paper-strewn desks of the main room which should have been filled with police at this hour, according to regulations as it was shift change. The banshee ignored him, its spectral mouth gaped even wider, and its wail shattered wine glasses in the detectives’ desks in their rooms around the central space. Its eyes were mad, huge orbs, flickering with lightning. Never had Det. Patrickson, aka Joe Patricks The Lawnmower Guy back on Earth, seen the alarm so agitated, so out of control. He grabbed a wand of control from the nearest desk, knowing that the wands would not be in their appropriate stands because the cops were just too lazy to walk five feet to put them up. With an effort of will, he forced the wand to accept his control, which damaged it, but there just was not time as the banshee opened its mouth to scream a third, potentially fatal time.
“Where?” He demanded, and his will was backed up by esoteric forces just out of the realm of vision, forces that made one want to look at the corners of one’s eyes for someone, for something, sneaking about. The banshee calmed, forced to do so, and divulged its fear.
“At the corner of Seventeen and Fourteen. The end.”
“Hunh? The end? Is that the name of a store, or cafe’ or…” But the ban sidhe’s work was down, and it began to evaporate back Underhill. Puzzled, the detective looked about, scrubbed his face with his hand, and tossed the wand back on the desk it had come from. No doubt the officer would give him a hard time about it, but then he, Patrickson was not a ‘real’ detective. He had earned his office, the smallest they had, due to saving a dozen people’s life, and the mayor asking him on public TV what he’d like for a reward. He’d blurted out that he had always wanted to be a police detective, and so here he was, hated and scorned not because he knew less, although he did have less police experience on the streets (although not much as he had learned a lot mowing folks lawns throughout the metropolis of New Amsterdam back on Earth.), but because he did not take bribes. That was where everyone else was right now, off taking their monthly bribe and dinner from “Big Mac” Johnson, a local crime lord.
A grunt from the back of the room, and he looked up and saw Officer Stoverson looking wide eyed at him, even as the man was pulling out his revolver to check for bullets. No, he was taking out the official bullets, made of lead, and putting in something else. Getting closer, Det. Patrickson was appalled to see they were Nukeburners, which mixed technology and magic, plutonium, and probability altering magics so that a single bullet could by its neutrons being magically guided precisely to other plutonium atoms in that bit of dust in the midst of the lead bullet, could go critical, and generate a .2 kiloton explosion. They were highly illegal, and if Stoverson had not been one of the good ones, Patrickson would have slammed him into the wall, and arrested him right then and there.
“Put those away.” He hissed. Stoverson ignored the command, and stood with his feet braced, and without his shoulders slumped, and Patrickson suddenly realized that the other man was bigger than he was. Stoverson looked up.
“You heard it, sir.”
“I heard something. I’m not sure what it means.”
“Isn’t it obvious, sir.” Stoverson was now talking to him as an equal. His eyes were not angry, and his manner was patient, as if with a small child.
“I….no, that’s nonsense.”
“If you say so, sir. Me, I’m going home, getting my family and heading out to the cabin in the woods. You, you sir are welcome to come. You’re not like the rest of these….” Stoverson looked like he wanted to spit. “Police officers.”
Patrickson looked at the officer closely for the first time, and noticed much which had been hidden.
“You’re a good man, but I’m going to try to stop it.”
“Go with God, then, sir, and take the Seventeenth.” Stoverson bowed slightly, and then slipped out, another gun held loosely by his side while his backup of nuclear firepower was tucked in to his hip holster. He walked quickly down the hallway, and Patrickson blinked, and then nodded. He himself ran the other way, out to the front door, past the bewildered receptionist who was read ‘Mansluts’ a local magazine, and painting her nails with dark glyphs. Outside, he took the horses, because while guns worked here, there was not enough natural gas from a Noahic flood to power an internal combustion economy, and everyone thought that nuclear power plants would open the Gates to Hell inside their fission reactors. Using a cantrip, Patrickson cajoled the sergeant’s horse to like him, and they both bolted down the street to the Rusty Revolver, home bar of the Seventeenth SWAT Squad. It was the Seventeenth not because the City of Hospiru had seventeen, but because the national government paid for the SWAT, and gave them to the locals, and this was the Seventeenth the nationals had been billed for in the large nation of Prozolania.
Leaping from the beast, he strode inside and skidded to a halt as he face half a dozen loaded guns, rifles, revolvers, and even a knife thrower aimed his way from the corner of the bar where the Seventeenth held court.
“Don’t be coming up on a man drunk that fast.” The grizzled leader warned, and his finger twitched on the heavy revolver in his hand so that Patrickson who even though he was an immortal verser, hated dying, and thus nearly wet his pants. But reminding himself of that immortality, his mission, and that he was a Servant of the Most High, he glared back.
“Major problems. End of the world, maybe. Get your lazy buts up, and hit the sober pills you worthless piles of snot.” He had not intended to go all the way there, but once he got started it just came out. The leader and the others stared at him for a moment, and then the leader’s gun vanished.
“You heard the man, Hela take the hindmost, Get moving boys!” The team lurched to their feet, downed tabs of InstantSober which was another mix of tech and magic, and bared their teeth as they put up their guns. Tactical vests were donned, and swords tested in a trice, and then the still staring Patrickson heard their leader growl out.
“Where too, boy?”
“Seventeenth and Fourteenth.” And he spun about. “And its detective.”
“Follow the detective.” Came the cry, and Patrickson ran for the front door mostly out of a desire not to be trampled by the huge men he was supposedly leading. Outside, it was horses and boots, and ‘yee-ha’. Within minutes they ran to the edge of Wastegarden Park, which had been Wintergarden back in the days of several decades ago, and the leader had one of his men toss down a spiderbridge in front of the gate. And here his men went in, and faded from ordinary sight. Not wishing to seem a coward, Patrickson urged his skittish hors to follow and leapt into a realm of gray fog, and spider webs hanging upon nothing visible. His horse seemed to find it easy to leap from strand to strand above an infinite drop, and no spiders made their appearance as he followed the SWAT. In this manner, they crossed the fifty acres of Wastegarden in three seconds, and came out the other side. Such magics would not work in developed streets, so it was saved for the rural cops and the great parks.
On the other side, back in the normal world, he bent down and whispered a cantrip and on leapt the sergeant’s horse chasing after the last of the SWAT to the left, and then up a carriage wide alley, and out onto a main way, and down one block. By the time he got there, he was dead even with the second to last man in the herd. And the others nodded to him with something approaching respect.