Major Feeding - A Piper & Payne Supernatural Thriller
The Netherworld Paranormal Police Department (PPD) was still recovering from the riots brought on by the fae, but we were down so many officers at this point that it’d take months to get back to one hundred percent.
Reaper was a few minutes late getting to his desk. Not that there was really a specific timeframe we had to work our shifts, but he was a creature of habit. Precision was his modus operandi.
“You’re late,” I chirped, doing my best to antagonize him. It rarely worked. “Going to get written up if you’re not careful.”
“Seriously?” he asked, his glowing eyes somehow registering concern.
“No,” I laughed in response. “You’re too easy, Reap.”
He sat down and took off his hat, revealing that he had a nice head of thick dark hair underneath. I had never quite understood why he wore the hat, but I had to admit that it did give him a “detective” look when he did. Without it, he had more of a Sears catalog underwear model thing going on…if they had glowing red eyes, anyway.
“I was dropping Agnes off with Pecker,” he said, flipping on his computer. “She asked to visit and Pecker has been talking about working with her on a few projects.”
It was an odd pairing, Agnes being a red-eared slider turtle and Pecker being a goblin, but the two had hit it off pretty well. They were both problem solvers who were into technology. How a turtle could be into technology was beyond me. Regardless, she seemed pretty damn good at it, or at least good with brainstorming ideas. Pecker was our resident tech guy. Almost every piece of technology we used was either invented by him or had been modified by him.
“I shudder to think what they could be developing,” I said.
Reaper grinned slightly before turning back to his screen.
“I wasn’t told. I’m just pleased Agnes has another friend.” He tapped on his keyboard for a moment. “It always saddens me to leave her alone in her aquarium. This way she gets to have time out and about.”
“Right,” I replied, rolling my eyes at the back of his head. “Anyway, I’ve been scanning the feeds and had a quick chat with the chief. Seems like we’re going to be shorthanded for a while.”
“Yes,” Reaper sighed. “It will be a challenging few months.”
“Let’s just hope that nothing happens until we get our—”
Have you ever had a situation where you opened your mouth to say something only to find that you should have kept your mouth shut? I wasn’t a superstitious person or anything, but it was almost uncanny that whenever I was in the middle of bringing up a worst-case scenario situation, that damn scenario fired off.
What had stopped me mid-sentence was the sound of gunfire.
“What was that?” Reaper asked, as bodies began standing up at their cubicles.
“I’d say gunshots,” I replied.
Next to us sat our two newest partners, Brazen and Kix. Technically, they were more junior Retrievers, who were assigned to me, but I did my best to treat them like I would any partner I had: poorly.
“We’ve got a shooter in the building,” Brazen announced.
Brazen was a werebear. Big, strong, disheveled, and quite an asshole. He was also a damn fine officer who was willing to take a bullet in order to save lives. So, while I found that he rubbed me the wrong way, I couldn’t argue the fact that he was an asset to my team.
Kix was housed in the cubicle in front of Reaper. He was a djinn. Tattoos ran up and down all exposed parts of his person. While he wasn’t a bad cop, he also wasn’t the toughest guy around. Oh, he’d fight, sure, but he was better at working the sleuthing side of things.
As a case in point, Kix was busily crawling under his desk.
“What are you doing?” I asked as I pulled out my gun and checked to make sure I had a full pack of Death Nails loaded.
“They say the best place to hide from an office shooter is under your desk,” Kix replied.
“You’re a cop, Kix,” I stated, frowning at him.
“Yeah, pal,” Brazen agreed with me, which didn’t happen often. “Get your ass out of there and load up.”
“It may just have been an accident,” Reaper chimed in. He pointed at his screen. “I’m not seeing anything from the internal feeds.”
More gunfire ensued.
Reaper stood up, not bothering to finish his sentence.
“Everyone, listen up,” Chief Carter commanded through our connectors, a little device implanted in our brains to allow us to communicate with each other, “we’re being invaded. They’re on the lower level and working their way up. We’re going to need all personnel down on level two in order to hold them off until we have more officers come in from the field.”
“Who is it, Chief?” asked a voice I didn’t recognize.
“After everything that’s been happening over the last couple of months, kid,” the chief replied, “I’d bet a fist full of gold coins that we’re dealing with Keller’s big push.”
For Keller, that is.
He’d been working on breaking down our ranks for a while now. Killing Retrievers, starting riots, and just generally being a pain in the ass. It was essentially a case of history repeating itself.
Keller, a dickhead of a mage who’d gone on a crime spree in the late eighties, killed a lot of people and did his best to take over the Netherworld PPD as well.
He had failed, obviously, but not before doing a shitload of damage.
One thing he had succeeded at during his reign of terror was to kill my parents.
He’d nearly gotten me as well, but something went wacky and I ended up becoming an immortal instead.
The reason Keller had targeted my parents and me was because we had the ability to see supernaturals. This was not a common trait among normals, but there were a few of us around. Now, when I say we could “see” them, I mean see who they really are. Any normal could spot and converse with a werewolf who was in human form; they’d just assume it was a human. But my family was able to look at the person and see beyond, recognizing their true nature.
Unfortunately, my parents were witnesses to crimes committed by Keller, so on the night he had escaped, he targeted us.
They died and I was taken to the Netherworld, healed, and then raised there. With my parents being killed by an evil mage and me surviving the attack, I got the joy of being called names like “Harry Piper” and “Piper Potter.”
So, I had a very strong desire to kill Keller, should the opportunity arise.
It seemed that my time had come.