It wasn’t meant to turn out this way.
I’d always wanted to be a cop. Ever since I was a kid. I dunno what it was, maybe I wanted to serve and protect people from bastards like my deadbeat dad, or maybe I just liked the idea of taking out my frustrations on the scum of New York City. All I know is I graduated top of the academy.
And at first, everything was good. I enjoyed the job. With my partner Alex, we cleaned the streets. Got our mugs in the newspapers a couple of times. I even saved a pretty woman from being attacked in the street. She was Michelle, and she was the only woman I ever really loved.
I’d never thought I’d get married. It didn’t bother me, seeing my father beat on my mother and drive her into an early grave put me off the whole idea. Plus, I just never felt anything. But then I met Michelle, and everything changed. We got married six months after I saved her from those thugs who’d chased her down an alley. Some might say it was a little fast. Hell, part of me wondered if things were moving too quickly. Now, I wish we’d gotten married sooner. She died a little over a year after our marriage. Her, and little Rosemary.
I said before I’d never thought I’d get married. You could also say the same about becoming a dad. I never thought it would happen, I was too scared of turning out like my old man. But standing in that hospital room, holding my daughter in my arms – I wouldn’t change that for the world. It was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced.
Unfortunately, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that my own personal American Dream didn’t last long. I play the events of that night over and over in my head, and I think if I’d just gotten home a little sooner, if there’d been one less red light driving home, if I’d not stopped to talk to Alex, or had that last stupid smoke, I could have stopped it. However, it would seem that the fates decreed that my family die that day riddled with bullets fired by psychopathic junkies hopped up on some failed super serum. Like if Captain America were a spree killer.
Arriving home, I quickly realised all was not well. I heard the baby crying, and Michelle screaming. Then I heard something that would haunt my nightmares even now.
Gunfire, then the baby falling silent. An inhuman howl of terror and despair. I ran through, but the door flew open. One of the junkies, rabidly muttering how death was coming. I put him down, then ran into Rose’s room.
The cradle was overturned, with a bundle of bed clothes turning red. I stared, refusing to comprehend what I was seeing.
“No. No no, please God no!”
It dawned on me that there were more of them in our bedroom. As I ran up the stairs, I heard one of them shout “THE FLESH OF FALLEN ANGELS!” That phrase would haunt my dreams.
I kicked open the bedroom door. One of the junkies was knocked over, and I shot him before he could get back up. In slow motion, I saw the other one aim his gun at me. But I was too fast for him, nailing him with a headshot that sprayed his brains over the wall. I turned, and saw my wife, lying on the bed.
I was too late.
After that, I slowly went off the rails. Alex was the only one keeping me even relatively sane, and he died three years later when we were trying to get to the bottom of where this serum, this Valkyr came from.
After that, I lost it. Went berserk. Must have killed a good several hundred goons just to get to the people who killed my family. And I succeeded. Dropped a weather vane on her. But in the process, I lost myself. If not for Alfred Woden, I’d have been locked away for life. It’s what I deserved. Even now, I wonder if I should just go shoot up the nearest mafia den, get myself thrown away.
But I was viewed a hero, thanks to his influence. Even got to stay a cop. Me, with my temperament. My tendency to leave behind so many corpses it’s a wonder they don’t run out of space at the morgue. Yeah. I’m such a hero.
The other cops are wary of me. No doubt worried I’ll snap, and take out the whole bullpen. They aren’t the only ones.
Like I said, it wasn’t meant to turn out this way.