Axel pushed on the weakened right door of the main entrance to the Manitoba Towers. He winced, grunting and clutching a fresh stab wound at his left flank. Glass shards of pain fired through his body.
Behind him, Adam reached out, but Axel shook his head. Jennifer "Blaze" Rose merely stood by and waited. She and Axel had been partners long before their personal vendetta consumed the city.
As Axel pushed on the door, the cracked glass finally gave and shattered, leaving the door frame open.
Axel pushed open the door anyway, and stepped out into the new dawn. Adam and Blaze followed, and Axel allowed the door to swing closed behind them.
To the right, the sun was beginning to peek over Angier Bay and the business park beyond. Sirens cried out, drawing near their position. Blaze looked up as a helicopter flew past, beelining for the Towers. She smiled at the insignia of the Angier Bay Police Department emblazoned on the side of the chopper.
The police were back on duty.
In the distance, beyond the business district, there was an explosion. None of them jumped. The many combustible items stored in that part of the city were finally giving.
Side by side and without a word, the three ex-officers walked down the wide staircase of the Manitoba towers and passed through the open atrium as sirens wailed about, the police no longer afraid to be heard.
Beaten, bloodied, and battered from almost three days of hard fighting, the three walked in silence, reflecting on the madness that had brought them to that point. Each of them had taken the same pledge. They'd stayed true to that pledge even as the corruption worsened, and the Syndicate's hold on Angier City tightened. Their jobs had become more difficult as the payoffs became greater.
But when three people were murdered in broad daylight and the prosecutor refused to charge, the three had made their dissatisfaction known at the cost of their jobs, livelihoods, and pensions.
They'd gathered at O'Malley's shortly thereafter, and an inebriated Axel had stumbled (literally) upon an idea.
If we can't fight them on our level, why not fight them on theirs?
The three were angry. They wanted justice--any kind of justice they could get at that point.
So they'd started in the residential districts, where the murders had taken place. In broad daylight, they'd simply walked up to a group of the Syndicate's henchmen and beaten them to within an inch of their lives. Of course, other Syndicate henchmen had tried to step in to aid and gotten the beating of a lifetime.
What started out as an act of vengeance quickly became of movement as Axel, Blaze, and Adam cut a swath through Angier City, beating down the Syndicate no matter what came their way. Rumors of the injuries they'd struggled through were legendary; baseball bats, knives, cleavers, even flamethrowers. Yet, they would not be stopped. And when their situation appeared lost, one of their braver companions would step forth with artillery fire. They were not alone in their quest to liberate the city.
When the head of the Syndicate realized that the three could not be bought off or threatened, he chose to take them on himself. He figured it would be an easy win; the three were already half-dead from the beating they'd taken, and he was packing heat. And there would be no artillery strikes at the top of the tower.
But the combined, concerted effort of three wronged police officers proved to be too much for one man with one gun. Though they'd likely spend months recovering from their injuries, the three had been triumphant.
Now, Axel, Adam, and Blaze were heading to the same pub where it had all started, to enjoy a brief celebration of what they'd accomplished before tending to their injuries and meeting with the mayor, who was suddenly all too eager to talk to them.
There were already rumors swirling about what to call the unprecedented series of beatings that had consumed a city. Angier City; the angriest city on Earth.
But Adam had coined a different name, one they could all agree with.
For three brief days, Angier City had been home to the Streets of Rage.
Streets of Rage is the copy-written property of Sega. I made up this story based on that game and the characters within.
Born and raised in Northern California to two parents who did the best they could, and really screwed up anyway. After sampling juvenile delinquency and teen parenthood I graduated to homeless nomad, trekking through the United States for eleven years and having many, many grand adventures. Following a brush with death and adulthood, I settled in the midwest and accepted a sentence at a day job where I learned how to sell myself and telecommunications. Following a disastrous marriage, I relocated to Eastern Washington, and for now, that's where I am.
I turned to writing in 2008 and I've been making a go of it ever since. Still learning by screwing up, I started to find success in 2016.