A Piercing Shadow


The building was far from spectacular. The dull gray slabs from the brutalist design add to the skyline’s concrete jungle. But deep below the surface, a sinister plot was in motion. Pierce entered the elevator. Rather than pressing any of floor buttons, he swiped a keycard on the card scanner. The elevator makes its way down into the secret abyss.

Going down

The elevator door opens as Pierce enters a large conference room. He is greeted with a massive LED screen and round table; he was expected. The screen immediately turns on as he takes a seat. “Welcome back Pierce. Let me get you caught up,” a voice said. The voice was a highly evolved artificial intelligence software in the computer system.

A series of videos, news clips and data begin to pop open on the screen; the computer system begins briefing Pierce on his assignment. “Recently there have been a string of incidents where black males have been killed by white police officers in the United States,” the AI said. “Racial tensions are high and close to the breaking point. Your mission is to setup a high-profile incident involving a white police officer and black victim. We believe the next publicized event will trigger civil unrest in the country. You will be provided with the necessary resources to carry out your mission. Good luck,” and with that, the computer shut down.

I am your master

Upon landing at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Pierce made his way to the parking garage where his personal vehicle was waiting. He enters his car and opens the glove compartment; a Glock 17 and mobile phone was provided.

Pierce sat inside the car as he read the mission briefing, code name: Icarus. His target was 19-year old Lamarcus Williams who according to police records, had a lengthy rap sheet— multiple counts of armed robbery, drug trafficking and aggravated assault. He was chosen at random from a long list of felons. The mission architect chose Baton Rouge for the job since it was ripe for civil unrest; the legacy of the Louisiana Purchase very much alive and the wounds from Hurricane Katrina still felt throughout the state.

It was finally time. After staking out Lamarcus’ house throughout the day, Pierce had followed him to the nearby mini-mart unnoticed. As Lamarcus exits the store, Pierce calls 911. “There’s a possible robbery taking place near North Acadian and Adams. Suspect is escaping on foot,” Pierce said. “We’ll send an officer immediately,” the dispatcher replied.

The execution was short and swift. Stalking Lamarcus from behind, Pierce ambushes and shoots him ten times. Pierce quickly hides and waits for the officer to arrive on scene. When the officer finally arrived, he saw Lamarcus’ cold, dead corpse lying in the middle of the road. He calls for backup before investigating the scene.

“To serve and protect”

While exiting his cruiser, Pierce snuck-up from behind and slammed the officer’s head against the door, knocking him unconscious. He then removed the officer’s pistol from his holster; he plants the murder weapon next to him and vanishes into the night.

Pierce arrived back at headquarters the next day. The LED screen activates and shows a news broadcast on CNN, “In an act of self-defense, police officer Dwight Anderson shot and killed unarmed black teen Lamarcus Williams late last night.” As the news feed continues to play, the AI tells Pierce, “Mission accomplished. Well done.”

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