Why So Grim: A not to commercial Christmas Special
In a couple of minutes, James Swan, a human was going to be a dead man. More dead than he could possibly imagine. He sat there, in his fine leather chair and looked down at his company's board, felling smug and joyous. There couldn't have been anything better in the world to put a smile on his face better than singing a deal with a militaries general that he'll supply the weapons for Iraq. Oh what a day, it was going to be a beautiful day.
The thought of an early retirement, made his skin sizzle and his head swim. He just couldn't help smile.
"Well I presume everything is in order" he said to the old, bald, prune look alike general.
In fact, his smile was so big and cheesy that when the window shattered in a hail of bullets and Grim burst through the door with his apprentice, well, blood went everywhere.
"Sniper!" yelled the general and took out a rifle.
"The Grim Reaper!" a board member yelped.
"What about me, Jason Edwards, his apprentice?" Grim's small, bony robe wearing apprentice said.
"Your not that famous, get in a book and we'll talk" another board member exclaimed.
"I'm in this story; you can even ask the writer!" Jason added.
"I meant a history book" the same board member said.
"I am!" Jason added as the board members flocked out in a panic.
"Index doesn't count or acknowledgements!" a flocking board member yelled.
Jason bowed his head in shame and watched as the carpet was soon drenched in blood. Then within a flash, there were sirens in the distance and screams from the snipers tower.
M.I.A Detective Mark Smith stared down at the body lying on the table at the body and tuned to his partner, Detective David Day.
"Shall we begin?"
Mark began to take pictures of the body while David on the other hand took blood swabs from the awkward places.
"So he was standing up and bang, he was dead?" Mark explained, "While he was signing a document stating that he'll give weapons to the U.S military?"
"Add in terrorism and rival companies" Mark explained and summoned their doctor, Autumn Summers, over.
"Autumn can you try and give me a cause of death, I'm clueless without it" Mark asked.
"Sure!" she said and started probing the body.
"Well, there are exit wounds and all holes are near to the heart which means it was probably deliberate. I can't say anymore until I have a complete autopsy done" Autumn explained.
David, who was busy with another forensics officer taking the victims finger prints, looked up and saw the victim's wallet.
"Found his wallet!" David exclaimed and held it up as it was a giant trophy, then started probing it, "There's absolutely nothing in it"
"What angle the sniper was at and which building?" asked Mark.
"I'll come back later with a replica of little… James!" David explained as he noticed a hand print on the table.
Inquisitively, David looked at the bloody handprint and started taking photos of it. Suddenly the scenario all became clear to David, James was standing here, shot, and blood went on the table, put his hand in it and died.
Then David knew that this wasn't a case for M.I.A, this was a case for Moonshine.
Later, down in M.I.A's morgue, David stood at one side of James while Autumn stood on the other.
"Well… the first bullets nicked his Aorta then his Vena Cava, then was the finishing blow to the head. Easy as pie!" Autumn exclaimed.
"What about the victim, what could you get on him?"
"Well, he had a company that sold weapons the military, he was shot making a major deal with a U.S general about some weapons, never married, and no criminal record" Autumn explained, "But what found unusual, was the strange cryogenic crystals in it instead of bullets"
Mark paused and ran through a rough list of suspects in his head, and ended up with two. People who wanted to steal the weapons in the dock and people who wanted peace.
"But those only come from snow men or put scientifically, Cryogenic people"
"I'll send a unit out later to retrieve the weapons in the dock and pop back down to the crime scene with David and Grant to find the angle of the shooter, which will provide us with more evidence" Mark explained.
"Apart from that we'll have to rely on plan B" Mark replied, "Autumn, ring up the Grim Reaper, and ask can he do another favor for me" Mark asked.
"What about his apprentice?" Autumn replied, picking the phone.
"He has an apprentice?"
David opened the contained and in the vast white room he was in, the stuff almost made the room seem dirty.
"Bio-freeze tanks?" David said to Detective Mark Daily, "Why would an American General need them in Iraq?"
"Beats the hell out of me, and how many are in there?" Mary replied.
"Why would he need just one?"
Later that day as the Christmas lights glistened under the falling snow, David steadied the dummy. He was amazed at how life like it was to the lake Mr. Swan.
"Right" David mumbled as he shined a light through a small hole in the dummy's head resulting in him scanning the facing building, "The room between the boarded up apartment and the overly decorated Christmassy apartment"
Officer Grant Moore, who had the unlucky job of consulting the small, glasses wearing, bald receptionist in the facing building.
"Right… Ms. Cowen!" Grant exclaimed as he cheerfully explained the vivid description of the apartments to the receptionist.
"Room two hundred" she replied as if trying to rush Grant away.
"Who lives there?" asked Grant, trying to cheer up the conversation.
"Well… who used to live there was a Dorian White, a snowman!" sarcastically Ms. Cowen replied.
"Yes, he moved out just after the shooting" Ms. Cowen replied.
"Is it currently vacant?" Grant asked.
"Yes, now go"
"Am I boring you or distracting you?" asked Grant.
"I don't like you" Grant exclaimed and grabbed his gun, "If you don't mind I have to investigate an empty room"
Now was one of those moments that Grant hated the most, not like he hated nervousness, but more, CRAP! THE DOOR COULD BE BOOBY TRAPPED! Still, as sure as he had long black hair over his ears and a hatred for the government, this case wasn't this straight forward. Not even if someone ran over to him saying he killed that guy and showed the body, it was still that complicated. But with it being early December, well quite frankly, this case has brought a sleigh full of twists*.
*This is not an advertisement. Read On!
The elevator stopped in a small, cramped corridor littered with clothed and well, unsanitary items and in the very centre was the dreaded, clean oak door, room two hundred.
In a fit of nervousness he scampered over to the door and gently leaded up against the side of it, weapon at the ready. He pulled back the latch on the gun and pressed his ear against the door.
Slowly, and surely, Grant counted backwards in his head, resulting in him twisting the door's knob. With a light creak, the door opened into a tall figure in a dark blue ice and two, fiery blue eyes.
The receptionist was wrong, he wasn't a snowman, this was a Bio-creature.
It stepped aside revealing the room covered in ice a sniper rifle strewn on the dead centre of the room. Basically, it your average, un-average crime scene.
Grant stood back, paralyzed in fear, considering opening fire. Then, came the most unexpected from Grant's cold opponent, he paused and stared at Grant deeply. So deep, it caused a ball of fury to erupt inside him.
"I AM KILLSHOT!" the creature screamed and grabbed Grant.
Suddenly before Grant could even address his big scary opponent, a big white flash erupted beside them and Killshot dropped Grant.
"NO!" yelled Killshot as a big long, scythe swung, out of nowhere, and thus Grim and Jason appeared before them.
"Time is Splintering" Grim yelled, "Come"
With that, Grant and Frostbite walked into the light.
And across Eldem, time stopped and splintered.
Moonshine stared at Grant, who stared at Mark, who stared at Jason and in return stared at Killshot. It had only seemed like yesterday that Mark and David where measuring a dummy when there was a white flash and they found themselves here.
"Gentlemen" said a shadowy figure at the table through the tinsel, "Today I call an alliance of us, the people who will soon be in the history books"
"Yeah!!" Jason yelped.
"No, not you Jason"
Jason bowed his head in shame.
"Does the "us" stand for something?" asked Grant, deliberating the atmosphere.
"No" Grim replied, "Recently there has been the murder of arms manufacture James Swan. But what came to my attention was why he was killed. My time travel skills brought me to or friend, Killshot. After a profile of your past, I found out you where hired. So who hired you?" Grim explained, after talking a seat.
Killshot hesitated for a brief second and pondered for a lie, but all he could get was the truth.
"That general" Killshot said, "General Homer Armstrong"
"But why?" asked Grim, "To find this out we must capture him and interrogate him, but people will notice his absence. Mark, we need you to rig the case to get an interrogation with him"
"I could pretend to arrest Killshot and he'll spill the beans" Mark replied and sipped his tea.
"Or I could intervene" Moonshine bellowed who was remaining unusually quite during this meeting.
"So where faced with two choices, Moonshine, or Mark. Legal and well… quite frankly, the Israeli way" Grim Replied.
"I could say Killshot returned to the scene of the crime, which he did, and we caught him" Mark explained and gazed at the grey Christmas tree in the corner.
"Let's place a vote" Grim replied, "All for Mark…"
Everyone bar Moonshine raised their hand, then Moonshine who gave into the embarrassment of being a loner, raised his hand.
"It's agreed, Killshot you have the…" and thus the battle had begun.
The following morning as the sun gently rose over Eldem, Mark walked into the interrogation room with Killshot now in a suite and now in a human form. After the brief introduction, Mark settled down and faced the bald man.
"So your record says you're an assassin?" Mark said, "So who hired you?"
"I'm not going to tell, you have no proof it was me" Killshot yelled.
"We walked into the room that the sniper was in, you have a sniper rifle that matched the victim, your finger prints on it and well, and a written confession from you" Mark explained.
"Fine, it was that general, you know Homer" Bellowed Killshot.
The magician nodded from behind Mark that he was telling the truth, and thus a warrant went out.
Eldem's square was probably one of the most beautiful buildings in Eldem. With it being a shopping centre, it was shaped like a dome to increase tourism and with hi holding nearly a hundred shops, well, there wasn't any competition.
People flocked there in the hundreds to see the unusual architecture and to see the troll's designs. So with it being a early December, well, there wasn't any breathing space.
"What would you like for Christmas young child?" asked Santa to a young blond haired child.
The little girl hesitated and did the annoying humming she did when she was in deep thought, then looked deep into the Santa's eyes and said in a soft, adorable voice, "A pony"
The crowed that where aligned by the great chair let out a forced, "AWW!" and the mother began to take pleasant little pictures that would divide the two of them one day.
"Come on Susan" the mother said ushering away the girl to her older sister who looked sourer faced than ever.
"Jane stop!" the mother barked at her eldest daughter.
Jane sighed , blowing her brown hair out of her face and looked up at the giant Santa sleigh. There she noticed a little clock.
"Come, we still have to find your brother and father!"
There was one of those brief uncomfortable moments when Jane found herself in deep thought, pondering Santa's unusual clock. Being in a sour mood, she turned and looked at the clock shop where she saw the same clock, this time in putty (more putty like than the last one).
Jane thought about telling here mom, but she'll probably say, "Your watching too much television!". Which we all know, you can't watch to much television.
It was at that moment, within a blink of an eye, each of the putty like substances, detonated, creating a wave of terror and anarchy. Thus, the dome caved in.
"Sir?" said one M.I.A officer over the intercom as he scanned the General's apartment, "It's empty"
"Stephen… search the apartment for anything that might give away his location" Mark replied.
M.I.A officer Stephen Parker was confident. This was his tenth raid like this and by now he was a professional. Dressed in his armored helmet, goggles, and bullet proof gear, he raised his weapon and slowly walked into the darkened room.
This time, the room had a desk in one corner and a bed, that's it, which sort of surprised Stephen.
He and his team slowly walked towards the desk, each officer shining his light in a different direction. There could be an attack from anywhere, even from the side windows.
"Bedroom clear" Stephen said, deliberately breaking the silence.
"So check the desk" Mark replied resulting in Stephen peering over to the old, oak desk.
"All that's here are maps of the North Pole and plans for a training exercise" Stephen read out from two documents.
"What type of training exercise?" asked Mark who began to see the jigsaw parts.
"Some sort of siege exercise, to take some house?" Stephen replied.
"What's the project called?" asked Mark.
With that, Mark grabbed his coat and realized this wasn't a small once off murder, this was becoming a war.
Act two: Christmas Week
Mark sat there, the warm glow of the television set sparkling against his wondrous reflection. It would have been freaky if he wasn't accompanied by the Grim Reaper… and the news of Santa's disappearance on the television.
"And we are gathered here by Harry a worker for Santa to give a full report on the situation" the news caster read and the camera focused on a small green clothed man, or gnome as he would refer to himself.
"There was conveys shooting, missiles firing and us frantically running around looking for Santa!" the so called gnome shouted.
"Did you see your attackers?" asked the newscaster.
"All… all I saw was two helicopters with an American flag on it firing! And the rest!"
But before he could finish the sentence Mark turned off the television and faced Grim. They both knew what had to be done; well they both knew who had to do it and how he was going to do this. It was either call Moonshine or let the diplomatic crisis go ahead and let there be a war.
"So who's in favor of stopping the crisis between a kidnapped ambassador icon and a stopping baffling case?" Grim explained and they all raised their hands.
Mark picked up the phone and rang the input number Grim had recently put in, which oddly was very similar to David's.
"I already saw the news and well, I'm all ready there" Moonshine rather formally yelled.
"Where?" asked a baffled Mark.
"Turn on your T.V" Moonshine replied.
"WHY?" Mark asked.
All he got was a grunt and that was enough to have the telly on and a new bag of crisps. There, on the television screen was well, anarchy. What had been a happy jolly man, who was the Ambassador of the North Pole, was well, bound to a chair in a darkened room surrounded in armed guards.
"This is a message brought to you by the delightful people of America's finest" said the small fat, prune like general who stood out from the beaten Santa. Mark stood there amazed and lunged for his laptop which was now in Jason's incapable hands.
"Give me that!" exclaimed Mark and hauled it away from him, eyes still on the television screen.
"…And we have Santa Claus. Any attempt to secure this building will be met with well, an eye for an eye tactics. You try and take back our site, well detonate twelve explosives hidden throughout the city" The General, well what was now a blue skeleton and then turned into a frozen skeleton, "And if you think I'm joking, well…"
Grim and Mark flinched as the American soldiers where shot by the once General Homer Armstrong and the figure then said, "Oh, and I'm Frostbite!"
Mark swore which sort of timed the transmission quite well as the screen erupted static and Grim fond himself looking out at the barely visibly Eldem.
"Blizzards getting worse" Grim said as if the broadcast didn't happen.
"Are you in any way paranoid about the explosions and a kidnapped figure?" Mark asked as he scrolled through the list of broadcast signals from Eldem on his laptop.
"How did you get that up?" asked Grim and looked at possible candidates.
"Easy, we have this programmed to help with investigations" Mark explained as one area bounced off the list, "That's odd? One is pointing to the dome that blew up at the start of the month, you know the one where one girl was found disfigured?"
"Yes?" Grim asked.
"Well it was transmitting from there!" a worried Mark exclaimed and grabbed his overcoat.
"Come, were going out to play" Mark shouted and grabbed his rifle, "Let's beat Moonshine to them"
But little did they know that in the mist of it being Christmas Eve, Eve, that one small convey drove through the crazy Christmas traffic. Some drivers blamed the fact that they couldn't see in front of there wind shields, while the convoy's driver knew, that Moonshine had spotted them.
In the back was an unconscious Santa, Frostbite and the ever popular his armed men that he didn't kill. "He's over there!" Yelled Frostbite and out of his fist came a long blue frost beam.
Moonshine, who wasn't even near the convey and was in fact standing on a lorry that was bound to over take the convey, stared mercifully. Yes, it was a waiting game now and a war game… and game of luck… and well all of that damn child's play.
The speed of the lorry began to increase as more and more families fled home from the soon paranoid Eldem. At last the firing ceased and at the very end of the bend, a strangely familiar black sedan roared around the corner.
"NO!" swore Moonshine who's brown overcoat was fluttered like a cape in the wind, "He's going to get himself killed!"
He had to make a move or his best friend would be killed so turning his skin fully transparent, he lunged into the air and broke into a cloud of dust… only to reform in the drivers side of the convey.
"What the…" yelled the bald, prune like man and swerved the convey into a diagonal between the lines of traffic.
Moonshine yelled as he dived onto the bewildered gang member causing the car to go back into control. Behind them, Frostbite lunged himself onto the battle of the drivers putting the car in the ever fortunate, skid.
The accident was so fast afterwards that neither Frostbite nor Moonshine could stop it. First the convey flipped and then bounced off the pavestones dodging through the traffic and ending up in the river with a loud splash.
He couldn't breathe! It was like being in a giant fish tank, now he knew what it felt like to be a fish. Except what about the others?
There was bound to be Santa Clause because being a constant member of Tubby Chasers Monthly, he couldn't fit in that tiny whole made from the gunfire and…
Focus was perfection, that was what his father had said when he was younger, so being focused on his surroundings was well his only salvation.
Moonshine looked around in the pitch black interior of the River Pyronia and he soon sound himself in a mist of terror and gunfire. He didn't know where it was coming from, but someone was shooting down, luckily they were bound to run out of ammunition at some stage.
Suddenly there was a nagging of something on his overcoat which worked it's way up, hauling the two of them down into the Convoy's weapons storage with the camera and the weapons.
Moonshine grabbed his opponent and took one last deep breath, then searched around for something to make their escape more… well alternative than going through the tiny holes in the roof. First he began to fell around for a gun but they wouldn't go off with the pressure, but maybe there were explosives?
Suddenly as if it wasn't bleak enough, the entire area came alight and either with the hell hat fowled, they had an escape route. Or whatever you call the violent turbulence of the convoy being shot into turmoil and then nothing. Absolutely, nothing. But above them, well was a different equation. The more Moonshine struggled, the closer the surface came, and soon came breaking point.
One hell into another hell.
What had been the bridge was now, well, two sides of the bridge and a chunk in the middle gone. All that was there was cars hanging off the sides and burning cars floating around in the water.
Above, Mark aimed his rifle down.
He didn't himself, Moonshine could give him that. What had once had been the twenty year old brown haired detective, was now battered and bruised. What really topped it off was the appearance was the Grim Reaper and Jason, that strange stalker kid to stalked Grim.
"You did this" Mark said as behind him there were the sounds of sirens, "Chased a corrupt general shapshifter who murdered a weapons dealer for an unknown reason and kidnapped Santa Clause, and ended up destroying half of Pyronian bridge!"
"Why?" Mark added and steadied his aim.
"This wasn't me! Honest! Frostbite is a shapshifter who killed the real general in a corrupt army ring and killed all the un-corrupt soldiers! He did everything the past few days! The bombings, the shootings, he's bloody insane!" Moonshine yelled as he struggled to keep him and Saint Nick afloat.
"How can I trust you?" asked Mark who had then snapped.
"Mark, Eldem is on the brink of a breakdown. I'm to here in crime since, well Halloween and just put the gun down, we'll catch the suspects and it'll be all over! I promise!"
In a moment of hesitation, Mark lowered the rifle as both ends of the bridge where swarmed with firemen and other M.I.A officers. Mark looked back down and noticed Santa was just floating there, looking exhausted.
"This isn't over" he murmured as he felt the shivers of winter.
Grant, who was busy with a bombing case of a shopping centre, faced the evidence on his desk. Only one dead. This had to be a vendetta, but why risk so much? Those where the questions, and there was only one jigsaw piece missing.
"There were twelve traces of C4 around the shopping centre, all in places the victim, a thirteen year old girl, would go" he mumbled, "Now this?"
He walked into the interrogation room and sat across from the iced skeleton or Frostbite, his stage name.
"You confessed to everything, Santa's kidnapping, the bombings, and the shootings!"
"Indeed, there is indeed a need for justice in this modern world" Frostbite said, "And I brought it"
"What?" an inquisitive Grant said.
"Where did all the riots go? They can't go anywhere if they never left" Frostbite explained, "The corrupt officers, the sudden up rise in shootings, the gang violence, it's all lead to this!"
"Let me speak. Why did you hire Killshot to kill James Swan a weapons manufacture?" Grant asked.
"Easy pie, he was selling the weapon to the general who in return was going to sell it behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. But I couldn't have shot him during the meeting because it'd look suspicious so I killed the General Shapshifted into him and thus, balance was restored." Frostbite explained.
"Where's the general's body?" Grant asked.
"Why kidnap Santa Clause?"
Grant focused on his opponent and in a moment of hesitation, got up and looked down on his opponent. Then with all of his strength, hauled Frostbite against the wall. Outside Mark lunged for the door, but somehow it was locked.
"To lead us to the girl!" Frostbite replied.
"The Messiah" Frostbite replied as if he had done something wrong, "The Savior"
Grant felt anger explode inside him like a ball of rage and hate when it all fitted together like a jigsaw. He did this all, the bombings, that girl's killing, Santa, everything.
"There is only one God Frostbite! Why is the girl known as the Messiah?"
"You tell me"
Grant felt anger explode inside him like a ball of rage and hate when it all fitted together like a jigsaw. He did this all, the bombings, that girl's killing, Santa, everything. That sick, sadistic person did all this. All for the sake of one child, that girl.
"Eldem is on the brink of civil war. On Halloween night, The Vampire was killed plunging Eldem into warfare. Some want his title, others preventing the gangs from getting the position. Since this horrible state has been founded on a constitution of false allegations and tension, this state is perfect for crime. I killed the general because he was going to sell the weapon, the weapons manufacture because he was guilty as the G