=   F.U.C.K. - Fucked Up College Kids - Born Jan. 24th, 1993 - F.U.C.K.   =

                            Jake Bastard

        Complete shit.  Daily life had hit an all time low as far as the
standard of living.. and everything else for that matter.  The turn
of the century did not bring radical changes for the better like
the president had promised.  In fact, things had become much worse,
and much quicker than ever before.

        It was over a year ago that Congress passed laws making provisions
for private individuals to become certified law enforcement officers.
It was only two weeks later before those individuals became half
mercenary, half bounty hunters. Not exactly the "private police" the
government had intended.
        Senators that had drafted the bill envisioned law-abiding
citizens taking certification classes that resembled police training.
With that certification, these people would patrol bad neighborhoods
as regular police, but only respond to calls they wanted to.. ie:
get paid for.  The promise of police-like soldiers sounded good to
the violent streets, so people pushed for it to pass.

        Jake was not exactly a clean cut guy.  "Low life", "scum",
and "bastard" were the usual colorful adjectives used to describe
him by the street cretin, his clients, and everyone else.  The petty
insults didn't affect him though, rather the condition of society
did. Crime was on a drastic spiral downward with no end in site.
        He couldn't complain too much about business though, the
need for police service was always present. Fortunate for him, victims
of crime weren't always lucky to get state funded officers, and
had to rely on the 'private' police. Dispatch for all of the officers
was done through a central service with 'real' officers getting
routed whenever possible. Once that buffer of 'real' police had been
crossed, people like Jake stepped up to do the job, and get paid for
his services.

        He looked at his watch and sighed out loud. He had promised
himself to complete each shift even though he set his own hours. About
the only thing keeping him motivated was thinking about later. He had
planned on renting some flesh and kicking back with a few beers. His
Big Gulp came to an end too quickly and concluded his break once again.
Settling back into the front seat of the hummer he turned the radio
back on to monitor police traffic, waiting for the next call. It was
only a matter of minutes before it came through.

        "One Eight two.. please respond.. Four Eleven in Progress"

        A quick response to acknowledge the call and he was off.
The tires squeeled as the big vehicle slid onto Colfax. This was the
only road he patrolled, and for good reason. Recent reports indicated
that 30% of the crime in Denver revolved around the long and dirty
street. Some chalked that number up to the fact it was the longest
continous road in the country, others because of the inhabitants
of the area. Either way, it was very profitable for the 'private'
cops that braved it's dangers.
        The call told him there was an armed robbery in progress but
hostages were involved. Not his favorite job, but typically very
rewarding financially. Using his knee to keep the wheel steady,
he barrelled down Colfax checking his two guns for ammo. As usual,
both were loaded and ready to go. The white flashing lights on the
top of the hummer was more than enough to clear the road for him.

        The hummer screeched to a stop about fifty feet from the
front of the building. All of the lights were off inside, but the
hundreds of bullet holes on the front facade told him he was in the
right place. Jake looked over to the two 'real' officers that had
arrived and guessed that dispatch couldn't scrape together any
backup. He didn't like that.. the 'real' police hated the 'private'
police more than anyone.
        Both of the uniformed officers had their guns out and were
trying to keep their eyes on the front of the building. Neither could
help a quick glance to see who had come to help them. The look
in their eyes told Jake that they didn't approve of the blue jeans and
flannel appearance he preferred. Under the flannel was a D1 rated
bullet proof vest that had stopped over a dozen bullets in the past.
Jake pulled out his two Sig .45s and moved over to the police car
to talk with the officers.

        Not ones for chat, the officers roughly clued him in to the
situation of five well armed individuals inside, all trigger happy.
With no light around, and the few street lights shot out, Jake
pulled out his glasses and switched them on. It took a few seconds
for him to adjust to the night vision, but it was something that
had saved his life almost as much as his vest.
        Now his real dilemna. If he moved in now, the officers would
not back him up since there was no other backup. If he waited with them,
he didn't get paid. Not a hard choice really, but he always gave it a
chance. The glasses switched over to infrared giving him a look inside
the building. Looked like four dead figures, two hostages, and only
three armed individuals. Typical, the cops had lied to him in hopes
of keeping him out of the way.

        Jake ran to the very corner of the building and looked around.
There were several cases in the past where a sniper lurked from nearby
buildings to take out any police that tried to interfere with a robbery.
Considering this was a high risk robbery, a sniper was not out of the
question. He panned around looking at windows, balconies, and roof tops
trying to ascertain just how many people were involved in this hit.

        "There he is.."

        He didn't speak very loud, but was happy to notice the extra
person. The figure on the rooftop had what appeared to be a high powered
rifle aimed at one of the officer's backs. It was kind of ironic that
the person didn't consider him a threat, but was willing to take out
a few cops to help his friends out. He brought both of the sigs up
to take aim, and unleashed. Two rounds from each gun shot out and across
the street. The glasses he wore allowed him to zoom in and watch as all
four rounds struck the sniper in the face.
        The two officers snapped around to see what he shot at and
immediately realized how vulnerable they had been, and how lucky
they were for Jake. Both nodded to Jake and looked back at the
front of the building. He knew that was the most he would ever get
out of them, but it only costed him two bucks for the ammo. Back to
the task.

        With his back to the wall, he slid down the south side of the
building heading for a back door. He hoped the back door was the entry
point for the robbers, and that it would also offer him that same
service. As he moved farther from the street, he began to thank his
glasses again as they offered him near perfect vision.
        Taking position at the back door, he peered around the corner
hoping to get a better look inside. The infrared told him how many
people were in there, but robbed him of the depth perception of other
forms of vision. He kneeled down at the back door and scanned the
interior. The back room of the building contained boxes and shelves
lined with electronics gear. It was then that Jake realized he hadn't
noticed what kind of store this was.
        Pawn shops always brought around the worst robbers. Not only
were they well armed, they were stupid. Even if they went in with
minimal firepower, once in they had access to anything the store
was trying to sell off. That almost always included some nice guns.
Robbing pawn shops was something that amateurs did as most stores
were equipped with timed safes, remote video monitoring, and other
security devices. Beyond that, they rarely brought in cash.
        Between all of that, the sniper, and some gut feeling, something
seemed out of place. Maybe he was about to shoot three really ignorant
people, or maybe there was something else he was missing. Either way,
should be easy money for him.

        Both guns lead the way, one at chest level, one at waist level.
Jake approached the wall that seperated them to determine what it was
made of. He silently cursed at the reinforced alloy wall knowing he
couldn't shoot through it. Jake also took comfort in knowing the
robbers couldn't shoot him either.
        This was it, time for his move. He took a split second to close
his eyes and pray to nothing in paticular before this went down. Moving
toward the door he readied himself for the firefight to come. The
door between him and the next room was held open with a small radio.
One kick and the door flew open exposing him to the occupants within.
        His two guns blazed in front of him firing in rapid succesion.
It was obvious he caught the robbers off guard as he shot the first two
in the back, delivering at least five rounds into each. The third robber
was quick enough to dive behind a display case in hopes of avoiding
the fate his friends had just received. Jake scanned the room quickly
and made sure the two employees were still alive. He had to get paid
by someone.

        The proverbial standoff again. Jake kneeled down behind one
display case while his opponent stayed behind his. The fact that he
was able to take out the first two so easily was indication that
they were amateurs. The firepower they carried suggested they were
some of the better mercenaries you could hire. Either way, the third
guy should be pretty spooked right now, and not expecting..
        Jake broke into a run across the small store and dove over
the opposing counter. As he sprung from the ground his Sigs let
out their fury until he rolled to a stop just inches away from the wall.
The fact that he didn't get shot in the back as he stopped told him
he was successful. He turned around to see several wounds in the
chest of the robber. Apparently, he was lying on his back waiting
for Jake to make the move. Obviously, he wasn't expecting that move.

        Cycling through all the forms of vision on his glasses, he
verified that no one of danger was left. Holstering his guns, he moved
toward the two forms huddled in the corner. After the glasses came off,
he assured the two people they were out of danger, and explained who
he was. Along with that information came the typical routine of moving
them to the front window where they could see the 'real' police
out front.. doing nothing to help them.
        That was usually all it took to get the money. As the police
entered the building and began to fill out the report, he started
bargaining with the two people there, which turned out to be the
owners of the store. Jake was done negotiating his price long before
the police finsihed their reports.

        Another Big Gulp, and another two hours before shift was over.
He had made his money for the night, but kept his promise to stay out
there the whole shift. He was number 182 out of just over 700 'private'
police roaming the city. Not exactly the best guy, but one of the best
for the job. This was his life, his claim to big money and some kind
of future. A kind of future he wasn't sure about, but one that he
had to keep his faith in. It was the only way to make it day to day.


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