New York Knights 2.0
Special… gifted… empowered… hero… villain… I’ve heard a lot of words used to describe them. I just call them a pain in the ass. Don’t agree? Do my job for six and a half years and then let’s see what you call them.
The majority of these “special” people just want to be left alone. For the most part, I’m happy to do that. It cuts down on the overtime. Some of them feel some urge to do some good with their gifts. Let me be the first to remind you that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Most of the times these jokers make things worse, not better. And then guess who has to clean up the mess?
Don’t even get me started on the bad ones. Some of the shit I’ve seen I’ll take with me to my grave. These are the guys who make it hard for me to sleep at night, sometimes even after we’ve put them away. And we don’t catch them all. Think about that the next time you turn out the light. I do.
Don’t get me wrong, this job has its moments. I mean, it’s not all bad. The pay is decent, the health care is amazing, and I can park pretty much anywhere I want. And it’s a plain-clothes gig, so no more uniform, thank God.
I met one of them who could trace patterns of colored light in the air that were so beautiful and poetic it made you want to cry. He and I sometimes go for beers. You know, in between the cases with the jerks who steal all your shit or set you on fire just to watch you burn.
But hey, I’m jaded, you know? Sometimes I think I’ve been doing this too long and it’s time to retire. But then I get another call and I get sucked right back in. I don’t know, maybe I like it. Maybe I’m stupid. Maybe I don’t trust anyone else to do it.
Maybe I need another drink.
My name is Benjamin Franklin - that’s Detective Benjamin Franklin of the NYPD to you. Don’t get me started on the name because I’ve heard it all. Let’s just say that I have parent issues and leave it at that.
I represent the New York Police Department Official Task Force on Abnormal Human Phenomena. Actually, I’m the whole task force. Just me – that’s it. My job is part detective, part babysitter, part research monkey. I get the enviable task of responding to calls and working cases involving them – the super humans, meta humans, “special” people, sparks, mutants, boils-on-the-ass-of-society-that-conspire-to-keep-me-from-ever-getting-a-God-Damned-regular-night’s-sleep – whatever your label of choice.
Most of the time I show up at a crime scene, take a look around, listen to the witnesses, and decide if it’s in my wheelhouse or not. If it isn’t, I go home happy. If it is, well, then I own it.
I managed to solve a few cases, do some good. But on the whole I’m finding myself woefully unequipped to handle some of these perps. Sometimes the good ones will help me out finding or taking down a bad one, but even then there’s been times when I wonder who to put the cuffs on at the end.
There was this guy once, called himself Doctor Manhattan, smartest guy you’d ever want to meet. He’d spend a lot of time worrying about my cases, strange as that may sound. You see, back then, the task force didn’t exist. It was kind of like the Wild West with these types back then, you see? But I digress.
This guy Manhattan decides he’s going to grab the other ones who think like him, the codenamed crazies who enjoy spending their nights dressed up in gear straight out of Ru Paul’s fashion show (no pun intended) fighting crime (read: acting like vigilante fuckheads), and form a team. Now the goal of this team was to police their own kind, at least that was the working theory.
The problem was, none of these guys had the first clue about little things like due process, police procedure, criminal rights, or the rules of evidence. So they’d stop a crime in progress, beat the crap out of the bad guy, and deliver the bad guy to us, the police. And then we’d promptly release said bad guy who was now likely unable to be righteously prosecuted by a real cop as whatever evidence had been obtained was compromised, as was his arrest.
It made us real cops miserable. It made my job impossible. The few times I could actually catch up with one of these New York Knights (Do you believe that shit? I can’t even watch The Natural anymore because of these assholes.) and try to reason a little with them I’d get the whole “greater good” speech. Or I’d get drunk if I happened to run into Mustang Sally and then there was a fifty-fifty chance we’d end up in the sack and that never ended well. (Don’t ask.)
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending) the Knights fell apart. The eventual happened and somebody who didn’t have it coming got killed which led to arrest warrants being issued. After that it just became impossible for them, trying to fight both the bad guys and the cops. I did what I could, what I thought I could get away with and still keep my badge and my integrity.
The Doc left for parts unknown after a big whoop-de-doo speech he broadcast on everything electronic in the city. We’re still trying to figure out how he pulled that one off. Sally is still around, too stubborn to let something like an arrest warrant keep her from doing what she feels she has to do. The rest of them – Mantis, Nomad, and Gauntlet – just disappeared.
That was six years ago, and after Doc’s closing monologue the NYPD decided they wanted someone to keep an eye on things. It gave them some legal CYA and made the suits in City Hall feel good about themselves, like they were actually doing something. Given I was the guy on the force with the most experience with these people my selection was a no-brainer.
So that’s where we are, people. It’s just me, the Big Apple, and nine million fellow citizens, some of whom who are working very hard to keep me awake. And single. And… *sigh*