The helicopter’s lights probed the 23rd floor of the downtown skyscraper. Piercing through the office blinds and cutting across the deserted workspace, hoping to catch a shadow, some flicker of life from those that had been captured.
“Get me in there!” Johnny screamed over the howl of the copter’s blades as the pilot screwed his face and tried to hover them round as close as they could get.
“You’ll never make it, man!” The pilot shouted back as the copter pulsed and shook with the winds from the city below, bellowing from beneath them fuelled by the explosions hammering the troops trying to get into the building.
“Do or die!” Johnny screamed at the pilot. “Get me as close as you can or I’ll fly this thing in there myself.” The pilot swung the copter around one more time, Johnny clipping himself onto the winch, pulling out his pistol, letting a few rounds fly and jumping just as the momentum of the copter reached its terminal jolt and flung him forward.
230 feet in the air, floating for a moment in time, the glass particles of the office window shattering in what seemed like slow motion. The neon hue of the city behind and below reflecting through a million little pieces as he flew towards them. The barrel of his gun firing as he desperately tried to clear the glass. Arms coming up to protect his face, teeth gritted, heart hammering his chest and then a moment of silence as he penetrated the building, crashing straight into a desk.
“God damn, what a day!” he pulled off his aviators and unclipped the winch from his belt as the helicopter swung away and left him in silence other than the muffled explosions from the ground below.
He took a step toward the edge and looked out over the city, 7 million people getting on with their lives. Side-by-side, some hate, some love. Some that fear, some that make the fear. He looked and breathed and thought for a moment what was behind him. Those that make the fear. Those that latch onto it and use it to their own gain.
And then there’s him. Johnny Lock. Ready to face that fear, ready to face that fight, the one where others dear to tread. Everyone’s got their own battle to face, Johnny just got lucky that his is on the outside, rather than on the inside.
Screams from below pierced the night air as he gripped the rough texture of his gun and the adrenaline flickered into life, pulling a grin across his face. Time to face that battle. Time to do good.