Victoria was about to open the door when she had an idea. There were four confirmed enemies on the other side, five if the chief was counted. Why not throw in a Flashbang first? Victoria prepared the cylindrical explosive in her free hand, then used her shield hand to open the door slightly before rolling it in.
"HOLY SHI-!" Someone shouted before the brunette slammed the door shut. The sound of swearing was cut off by the door being slammed. Five seconds later she forced open the door and went to work on the blinded officers. She immediately slammed her shield into one's face, knocking him out.
Another officer drew his service weapon and began firing wildly in her general direction. She knocked it out of his hand with a shield bash, then thrust the shield into his face with all her might. He was knocked down and slumped into a corner, his head going limp as he lost consciousness. The third was flailing wildly with his baton, hoping to hit her. He was recovering his vision, so Victoria slammed into him with the shield, propelling him backwards and making his head slam into the wall.
The last officer had recovered her vision and was rushing at her with a baton. The female officer's baton made contact with Victoria's shield and repeatedly brought the weapon down in a frenzy. The first strike had made a small crack, but each subsequent blow was making the shield crack more and more until it finally shattered on the eleventh hit. Victoria punched her in the face with the handle, then dropped the handle and used a Hand Cannon shot to the stomach to knock her down before delivering a kick to the face for the knockout.
"Damn." The chief said in consternation and amazement. He raised his hands in surrender. On his desk were three empty bottles of Backwoods Thunder whiskey and a name holder. The name read "CHIEF B. VERNON"
"Are you the Anlecotti cleaner? If you are, just kill me. I won't fight you. I'm tired of fighting." Chief Vernon said wearily. He was a portly man wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with a gray vest and blue dress pants. Worn brown dress shoes were on his feet. The man's face was sweaty and showed clear signs of defeat and fatigue.
"I'm here about the Anlecottis." Victoria said.
"Oh? You're not their cleaner?" He asked.
"No. I want to know where their headquarters is." She answered. He laughed.
"Is that... is that all? Heh. They're in Lavanitir City." He answered matter-of-factly as if disappointed in her motive.
"That was easy." Victoria remarked before making a mental note of the name. She expected him to pull a hidden service weapon and shoot at her. He sensed her wariness.
"I told you, kid. I'm tired of fighting. Fighting's cost me my family, my home, and my friends." He wearily remarked. He did pull something from his desk, but it was only a bottle of Backwoods Thunder whiskey and a shotglass emblazoned with the HPD emblem. He opened it and took a long chug.
"When I first started fifteen years ago, I was a new cop looking to clean up the city. I was right out of the academy and full of enthusiasm. I climbed the ranks and eventually made chief... I was really gonna clean the streets then. But a month ago the Anlecottis came in and bought most of the department out from under me. When I refused to be bought, they bombed my house and killed my family." He explained while reaching for the whiskey. He took another shot from a shotglass he brought out. Then he continued.
"After they killed my family, I didn't have much to live for, so I fell in line. I decided to play ball. I took their dirty Jewels. I wish I could take it all back, but it's too late. Most of my friends are dead." He bitterly lamented.
"Karlisle. Barfoot. Harlon. Bahrbraydee. They're all dead." He repeated. They must have been some of the honest cops that the crooked ones had purged from the department. Victoria recognized the name Barfoot, so that had to be the case. He opened another desk drawer and pulled out a manila envelope that he handed to her.
"Here's all the evidence. Every last thing to do with the Anlecottis, the name of every cop on the take. I hid it from the other officers. They thought they had destroyed all the proof, but I saved copies. It's my little insurance policy... if I go down, they go with me." He explained. Victoria took the envelope. She hoped that it was not fake.
"It's all real. I'm tired of it all. I don't have a family. I don't have friends. I don't even have a future." He muttered before throwing the shotglass against a wall. He downed the rest of the whiskey and slammed the bottle onto his wooden desk.
"I know you think that I'm just singing a sad song to get your sympathy. I don't care what you think. I'm gonna be dead before the week's out. So hear my last request!" He demanded with unexpected vigor.
"I'm listening." Victoria answered warily.
"Make those Anlecottis pay. And tell 'em Chief Vernon's saving seats just for them. I'm saving 'em seats in Hell!" He shouted before slumping back into his seat. He looked defeated and ready to die. He then lifted a finger towards the door.
"What are ya waiting for? You have what you need! Get outta here!" He instructed. Victoria took one last look at him, then obliged. She shut the door behind her. Officers Hardee and Kurtz were waiting for her, as was Officer Crusoe.
"The Anlecottis are holed up in Lavanitir City." Victoria reported.
"And the chief?" Crusoe asked.
"He's still alive. He's drunk off his ass, though." She answered.
"Is that the evidence?" Officer Hardee asked her.
"He says it is. He might have given me fake documents, though. You guys will have to see." She replied before handing it to him.
"You've done more than enough, kid. Get outta here. We'll handle the rest." Officer Kurtz assured her. Victoria wordlessly complied and left the chief's office. She had just walked into the lobby when a sizable force of Rune Knights entered the building without sparing her a glance. They must have been the cleanup crew. She would leave them to it.
Victoria exited the building and began the long trip back to Rose Garden. She would have to deal with the Anlecottis on their home turf, but that could come later. She had broken their control over Hargeon Town, and that was good enough for tonight.
[Word Count: 1,125]
[Total Word Count: 3,757/2,500]