Our hero arrives in all his spectacular glory and promptly gets shot in the face. One of the problems in dealing with crazy is you kinda lose what one reader cleverly termed the “WTF advantage.” In his current state Hayes probably sees more startling things before breakfast.


And more below!


A Sudden Intrusion


It’s not like it really matters for the purposes of the comic; we have a story we’re telling here, and various things will be revealed in due time. But in light of the commentary discussion, I did go pester Mark (the retired-LAPD-sergeant-next-door) about how often the LAPD actually have to deal with hostage situations. He said they were “more common than you’d think; maybe one or two a month” but that they didn’t always involve SWAT. Many times it’ll be someone trying to escape the police by grabbing a hostage, or trying to hide in someone’s occupied house. In those cases, it is still considered a “hostage situation” although the police generally handle it on the spot.

More often the police are dealing with a “barricaded suspect;” someone who is armed and has managed to take cover in a defensible area but does not actually have any hostages. These are all serious police matters and have to be dealt with, but they’re not really a situation where Countdown would get involved. As for how the Strike Team finds situations; police communications are encrypted but that wouldn’t stop Marissa. A few search algorithms, some judicious monitoring… oh, and for this particular story, Madison wanting to do some distance testing. So here we are. Oh, and Max did draw a cast on Countdown’s left ankle there, but it kinda got hidden by the flame effects.

I was intrigued by another commenter’s suggestion of two different situations happening at once; I’ll have to give that some pondering for the future. Given Countdown’s innate time constraints, that would certainly make for a pretty busy fifteen minutes or so.

All this does remind me, however, of a story I heard from a former neighbor. He and his wife had a small house in Anaheim and some relatives from out of state had come to visit Disneyland. Naturally, despite the fact that they didn’t know each other very well, family obligations sort of required they at least get together for dinner. So everyone had gathered at the house, and people were trying to remember each other’s names and who was related to who and the conversation was getting pretty awkward…

When suddenly two men armed with pistols smashed through the front door, sprinted through the house, crashed out the back door, and vanished into the night. Seconds later a police chopper roared overhead and cruisers screamed past in the street, culminating in much commotion several blocks away. The neighbor never did find out what happened, but he said it was almost worth having to get the front door repaired with a new (and better) lock, because after that the conversation just flowed.

You never know what’s going to be the icebreaker.

–Bob out