In the Warehouse District, just outside a building labeled 'Warden's Office', Officer Rick Jameson stepped out of the squad car. He spoke into his radio.
"This is Jameson, north entrance is secure. Nobody, man or wolf, is getting past us...yeah it’s a full moon out tonight, just hurry then." After signing off, he rested against the car hood. His partner, Roman Darrius, peeked over.
"I’d be more alert..." he muttered, keeping his Glock pistol and a pair of binoculars close to him.
"A werewolf crime fighter? That's your biggest worry? I can believe these Mexican’s believe in this bullshit, but you? Internal Affairs is on our asses and we’re worrying about a werewolf in a karate suit?"
"I don't underestimate people. Politician’s are dangerous, but they don’t leave a trail of corpses. A vigilante with a claws and a hair problem is not someone I want getting the drop on us".
"Hmm...the big fish said this ain't your first rodeo with the wolf. I thought he was bullshitting."
“Thought or hoped?” Darrius snarked when their radio chatter came through. The meeting place was under attack, and gunshots overtook the radio feed before it went dead. Darrius pulled Jameson into the squad car before motioning to the shotgun.
“If you see him, blast him in the chest. Then the head!” he called over to Jameson who was taken aback by Darrius’ sudden determination. The drive was short, but they were too late to get a glimpse of the wolf; instead, they saw the meeting room covered in cocaine and blood.
Connor Jackson kept his guard up as he eyed his targets. He saw three of them, all waiting for opening move; in the time it took for one of them to finish exhaling, Connor roundhouse kicked the first wooden board out of his student's hand, and a follow up punch broke another board held by an Orange Belt to the left of him. In a quick twist, Connor puts some spin on his heel and shatters the final with a tornado kick. The viewing crowd clapped at the showcase and Connor bowed to the students, then the rest of the audience, not once losing what those who train with him would call permanent grin.
"You’re sure make the CKC(California Karate Championship series) qualifier with moves like that CJ” a yellow-belt students call out.
“I do believe I will….now then, get to training you guys before Master Boyd comes back and sees you guys slacking off,” Connor teased. He watched the students pair off with interest. Their sensei had trained them well, he liked teaching as much as he did showing off, but before he could start micro-managing one of the aids walks over to him.
“Uh, Mr. Connor sir. There are cops at the front door” he said, worried at what could be wrong. Connor quickly shook his head, taking the comment in stride.
“Alright Jimmy take over.” He answered the door with a wide smile.
“Officer Darrius...how nice."
"Mr Jackson, still hate cops?" the cop fired back.
"I don't hate cops...incompetence on any level annoys me. Do come in though".
"I suppose it's pointless to ask if you've been keeping up with the incidents involving the…” Jackson stopped and sighed before continuing. “The Karate Cub?" Connor couldn’t help but chuckle.
"Really stupid name for a serial killer. Press came up with the Cartel Mauler, go with that," he suggested.
"This one is a Vigilante, Mr. Jackson, and why give him any good press? A cool name would just encourage him," Darrius countered. Connor concedes to the point.
"Well this is the third visit inside of two months, so be surprised that I'm curious what this spree is all about."
"Fair enough. So, any updates since you're up to speed?"
"Don’t need updates. Novel idea, checking martial arts dojos I mean. This guy's a killer though. He might have a base in karate, but we teach people how to fight defensively, for tournament...even for their life if need be, but no student I’ve ever trained could participate in a round of Mortal Kombat. I’d have thought attacks under the full moon would be something to look into...given tonight’s the last one I imagine you’re on a deadline."
"I have my suspicions," Darrius responded coldly, not enthusiastic about Connor’s opinion.
"Nobody I've ever trained could do this much damage...".
"That doesn’t bother me, because I’m looking at you, Mr. No Alibi," Darrius smugly responded. Connor...just sort of stared at the cop.
"I'd hoped you would have come up with a better suspect than a karate black belt in a high profile vigilante crusade...I have a class to attend to. Sir.”
“Don’t keep them waiting,” Darrius responded before leaving for his car.
“Arseface...” Connor growled.
The rest of the class went uninterrupted, though Connor only exited the Dojo long after classes were dismissed. He mused on how well his qualifier would go the following week as he rounded the corner. He got partway down the street when there seems to be one too few parked cars for midday in this part of town.
“Strange,” he muttered; just outside of ‘Rapid Fire Kenpo Karate’ tended to have a lot of cars parked outside so they could go to the bar across the street. He clutched his gym bag tightly as he headed for a bus stop, trying to play things off. As he passes by an alleyway, Connor took in a whiff of strong scented tobacco. He turned his head in time to see a hooded man rush him and batted him away with a push kick, smashing his foot into the man's abdomen. The assailant hit the floor with a thud, but Connor was already looking around for a second attacker. He found several jump out of a van with guns. Connor ducked into the alley behind a dumpster, but he realized he was outgunned.
“Don’t move!” one of them shouts, Connor quickly recognized the tone.
“I suppose this is what you’re using instead of a warrant, Mr. Darrius?” Connor shouted out, only to get the sound of a shotgun chambering a round.
“Get in the van, Mr. black belt.” Connor could tell the man was desperate, and being the smartest guy in the room, he decided to not test his luck. Connor raised his arms and got in the van. The drive was short, but uncomfortable. The car stopped and Connor was tossed to the floor.
“Tell us how you do it,” Darrius demanded. Two musclebound men punctuated the demand by striking Connor in the stomach.
"Ugh....you realize how crazy you sound right? This isn't exactly extracting a confession," Connor growled out. He was tied to a chair and he'd lost track how long the cop had been at this. As he’s beaten down, it occurred to Connor that the two ‘helpers’ resembled cartel enforcers more than deputies.
“I’m onto you, the evidence points to that dojo of yours CJ and I’ll be damned if you don’t fit the profile.’”
“It’s not actually mine...and I’m not really furry with claws and teeth. Also, only friends get to call me CJ...” Connor pointed out and in response Darrius lifted a shotgun and rifle butted him in the chest
"Let’s try out Karate Cub then.”
“No really, who came up with that one?” Connor moaned out, defiant in the face of a shotgun.
“Cartel guys, I think that’s what they were calling you in Spanish. It’s meant to be insulting.”
“You’re really making a big assumption with that. Must have failed your psyche evaluation, am I right?”
“I'm desperate, not crazy. For three months you've been on my ass, playing vigilante. The cartel guys want results or else. Now then...I'm gonna beat you about until your ribs shatter, then you're gonna admit you-"
"Admit that when the moon is full I become a man beast of legend?" Connor shouted out, getting hysterical. “Admit that cartel guys really rub me the wrong way? That I enjoy putting the fear of god into them as they run back across the border? That I'm really fine and that nothing short of a silver bullet will keep me down so breaking my ribs means jack shit?"
Darrius and his enforcers were speechless at Connor’s outburst. "I think he cracked," one of the men calls out.
"Gotta help me here Darrius, is that what you're hoping I'll admit?" Connor asked with a toothy grin, his eyes start to turn a shade of gold. The cop reached for a shotgun nearby and one of the big thugs tried to grab Connor in a chokehold. He locked it in, but took a hard elbow to his gut. Connor powered out of the ropes with ease, giving a roar as he clawed at the man. A hard punch knocks out the second man before he could do anything. He snatched away the shotgun with ease.
"Well ya got your facts mixed up a bit. Not sure where you got your research, but you're close. Not completely right though…and is that a problem for you,” Connor growled, rubbing his ribcage.
"What the hell are you?" Darrius stammered.
"I'm Irish...a good person who likes to help others. Werewolf of the Ossory flavor. Probably. Good an answer as I’ve ever gotten. Far from the homeland, but a protector’s job is never done. As a cop you should understand.”
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me…” Darrius grunted, confronted with the truth wasn’t going to do much for his ego.
“Think all you want, but you’re taking me to your middleman,” the werewolf-ed Connor grinned, showing off sharp teeth.