No More Heroes – Book Excerpt
Under cover of night, a lone Vigilante ran through the streets of the City, keeping to the shadows of the buildings and avoiding the glow of the streetlamps above. He was soundless and stealthy, drawing no attention to himself as he carried on through the city centre. He was swathed in shades of greys and navies, a scarf covering his nose and mouth and obscuring his identity. Had anyone noticed him, they would have been in awe at the style with which he carried himself – he cut through the night fog with long, fast strides, strong and steady, and his footfalls were soft and silent.
The way he moved through the City and navigated the obstacles it presented to him in its designs could only have been described as flow, a fluent and seemingly effortless grace that carried him around sharp corners, over walls and down flights of steps, as easy as if he were only the night air circulating through the channels between buildings.
He ran out of the suburbs, through the sleeping central business district and into the more nocturnal domains of the City only just awoken, going unnoticed by those who were now flocking to the thumping rhythm of clubs and bars, brightly lit to signal the unfolding of a night just begun. These three areas were usually the most common for trouble (and thus, perfect areas for the enacting of Vigilante action), but he was not interested in what the City’s nightlife had to offer this evening, be it music or dancing or even petty crime. He had a destination in mind.
His run carried him to the derelict industrial sector of the city and he finally slowed down and came to a halt. There it was – the abandoned warehouse, burned half down in a massive fire only two nights ago. Lines of yellow caution tape declaring ‘DANGER’ and ‘KEEP OUT’ cordoned off the building, which was charred black as coal. Parts of the roof were collapsed and shards of broken glass still littered the concrete around the outside.
The Vigilante took this all in with a searching eye and walked towards the wreckage. Ducking under the tape he approached the building, making a short run up to a wall and pulling himself up and into the inside through a space where a window used to be.
Two nights ago this place had been a roaring inferno, but now it was eerily quiet. Ash and debris covered the floor and he could see the twinkling constellations in the sky above through the gaping holes in the ceiling. He wasn’t here to stargaze though – he was here for a much more important purpose.
He cased the interior of the warehouse, slowly, methodically. There wasn’t much to be found, but he did notice some things. On some of the walls still standing were marks that looked like gouges from a bladed weapon, and several of the concrete pillars that were left bore signs of having had small chunks taken out them. A door near the back of one of the rooms in the back seemed as if it had been caved in with something bearing the force of a sledgehammer.
He paused in his search to survey the area at large, deep in contemplation. All these marks could be nothing, left over from a time long before the fire even began. Or they could be something. Signs of a fight that had ended in arson and attempted murder.
He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice the sound of creaking that had begun to emanate from the ceiling above him. A screech of buckling metal broke him from his deliberations and he looked up in alarm, too late to move – a discordant crash and the rest of the concrete and steel framing of the broken roofing above came down upon him, sending a thick grey cloud of dust and ash into the air.