Well, here it goes. Chapter 1 of Justice. It's not as dark as the prologue but still a doozy. Have fun kids :D
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Ferb sat quietly at the end of yet another Sherlock Holmes episode. This was becoming an obsession, the enjoyment Phineas took out of detective and crime shows. It had started simply with an episode of CSI here or NCIS there, but soon, Phineas was buying box sets and watching them constantly. All different series’ of CSI, All seasons of NCIS, Life on Mars, 21 Jump Street, Cold Case, Criminal Minds; if it was a cop show, Phineas was all over it. His current obsessions were the old Sherlock Holmes episodes and The Mentalist.
Phineas, on the other hand, was practically vibrating with excitement. “Oh man, Ferb! Holmes is so cool! He’s just like, genius! I so want to be like him, smart like that.” He flopped onto the couch and sighed. Ferb privately thought that Phineas would make a great detective, but today’s crime scene was more twisted than London a hundred and twenty years ago. Today it was more like CSI; shooting, drugs, gruesome murders… He shuddered. Not something Phineas would go for.
But Phineas frowned. “I mean, I read the news, I know it’s worse these days than the sorts of simple crimes that went on back then. Maybe I’ll be smart like Grissom! Or Mulder! Without the paranoia,” he added with a breathy laugh. “You kind of have to be a cop now-a-days to do any sort of crime solving on the field. Well, unless you’re Jane.” Ferb blinked. He knew who all the characters were, but he could not, for once, see his brother’s train of thought.
“I can’t imagine shooting a gun at someone, though. Injuring them? Or ending their life? Just like that, one second, bam. I mean,” he added thoughtfully, “I guess some people might deserve it, and I suppose you’d get used to it…” Phineas’ eyes lit up in a familiar way, and for once, Ferb was slightly nervous about what was going to be said next. “Ferb! That would be so much fun! I know what we’re going to do this weekend!”
Ferb raised an eyebrow. “Kill people?”
Ferb let out a small sigh of relief. He wouldn’t be able to stand it if Phineas killed someone, never mind getting caught and never seeing Phineas again… “A bit tame for our usual weekend activities,” he pointed out, trying to steer Phineas’ mind in a different direction. A shooting range was definitely a safer bet than going out and getting guns, but it was still a dangerous activity.
“Well, that’s OK!” said Phineas, grinning. He grabbed Ferb’s upper arm and tugged gently. “Let’s go see if Dad will take us!”
Ferb let himself be dragged behind Phineas and ignored the tingle he felt where they touched. It was a long learned practice, this ignoring, for it had been a few years since Ferb had realized his feelings for his little brother. At first, he’d even been ignorant enough to believe he had a very long and random flu, a swoop in his stomach, his pulse speeding, his palms sweating, his face growing warm. The further Ferb investigated, though, he’d noticed that every reaction occurred when he was either with Phineas or thinking about him. When he focused on the past, he could even compare those feelings to the ones he felt for Vanessa, though magnified thousands of times.
As Phineas excitedly explained to their father what they wanted to do on the weekend, Ferb couldn’t help feeling uneasy, but he ignored that. Ignoring, it was a skill.
“Alright, boys, seven shots each, then you pull the target to you to see how you did, kapeish?” Phineas nodded excitedly to the Range Master, Ferb’s head moving slower but with no less understanding. “Now, take a few shots, but be careful. Until you’re used to it, the backlash packs a wallop.” Phineas grinned and turned to look at Ferb, who had to hold back a giggle. Phineas looked ridiculous with his goggles and noise mufflers around his neck. Neither boy wasted any time raising the mufflers and picking up their gun. No, Ferb didn’t really want to do this at first, but seriously. A gun? Shooting at things? Yes please.
They aimed carefully and shot at nearly the same time. Of course, they both stumbled backwards at the same time too, and when Phineas recovered, he looked over at Ferb, his grin bigger than ever. It had been a rush, the point, click, boom, an exhilaration, and Ferb decided that this was going to be one of the more fun activities they’d done since their sixteenth birthday party a few months ago. And skydiving was no easy feat to beat for thrills.
Six shots later, the boys pulled the paper targets toward themselves and compared results. Phineas’ target had seven bullet holes scattered around the rings in varying distances from the center. “Check it out, Ferb! I even got a bulls-eye!” Phineas kept the smile on his face as he looked over to Ferb’s paper, the grin drooping slightly when he saw the paper. There was only one hole in the center and no other marks on the paper. “Well,” he said shrugging “At least the shot that hit hit the middle.” Ferb nodded. He was completely alright with Phineas being better at this than he. Only… He squinted and looked at the target closer. The one bullet hole looked slightly bigger than any of Phineas’ holes, and with a closer look, Ferb discovered the shape. Several dents surrounded it, making the hole look more like a six petaled flower than a circle. Phineas leaned over to look closer as well, then whooped and punched Ferb lightly in the arm. “Look at that, Ferb! Seven bulls-eyes! Dad! Look at that!”
Lawrence moved forward from his observing distance to peer at Ferb’s target. “Well, would you look at that! Dave, my boy here got seven shots in the same place!”
The Range Master came over as well and, once he’d examined the paper, clapped Ferb on the back and congratulated him on the best shooting he’d seen in years, if not ever. He presented Ferb with a form to fill out in order to enter tournaments. Ferb was unsure as he looked at the page before him, but filled it out with Phineas’ and Lawrence’s encouragement. As he was entering information, he overheard his father and Range Master Dave talking about the tournaments. “He could win thousands with an arm like that, he’d never need a job again!” Ferb smiled lightly. He hated his current retail job. Customers were always annoying, never listened to his fashion advice and always tried to confuse his cashing abilities. It never worked, but they continuously tried. If he could make enough money shooting a gun at a target, then he’d never work part time, minimum wage again.
The rest of their Saturday was filled with shooting guns and then going out for pizza on the way home. Ferb was already signed up for next weekend’s tournament, Phineas had a blast and their father was proud of him. He considered the day a success.
After Ferb had won his first competition, he lived to compete and win. Eventually, when he’d turned eighteen, he was allowed to compete with professionals and win seriously big money. His grades never suffered, nor did his friendships, but Phineas had approached him on their eighteenth birthday party about his increasing indifference to most of his surroundings. Ferb had disagreed, pointed out that nothing had changed between them, internally feeling stronger for Phineas than ever before. But Phineas insisted; he’d been hired at the police station doing odd jobs just after the first time they went to the shooting range. Some of the officers had taken a shining to him and had started teaching some investigative techniques like facial expressions and vocal tones. Phineas had apparently been watching Ferb grow more and more distant from everything.
They hadn’t spoken for two days after that. The second day was Ferb’s first big competition and though frustrated with his brother, Ferb completely annihilated the shooters that had been practicing for years longer than he had.
That was when everything changed.
There was a man in a suit watching the competition and once Ferb had been presented with the cheque and stepped out of the lime light, he was cornered getting into his car.
Ferb leaned calmly against his car while he stared at the man in front of him. A suit and a fedora, sunglasses, they just stared at eachother. Finally the man became impatient enough to speak. “My name is Shawn. I am part of a special branch of the government dedicated to keeping crime off the streets in a different and better way than the metropolitan police do. We would like to recruit you into our ranks. You would be well payed and all of your work kept hidden. Officially you would be working for the government. Are you interested?”
Ferb raised an eyebrow. “What would I be doing?”
Shawn sighed slightly. “A job that never gets easier. The last man we had for the job killed himself because of the pressure twenty-five years ago and we have been looking for a new man ever since. You would be finding criminals that have escaped justice and ridding the streets of them. Crime bosses, rapists, killers that went on parole. These are the types of people that can afford bail, there is no evidence to back them up, or even those that have never been caught. It would be up to you to clean society of them. Will you do it?”
Ferb rested more against his car. What sort of a decition was that? Killing people for the government? Why would he ever-
“I guess some people might deserve it, and I suppose you’d get used to it…” That was what this man was saying. Not innocent people that the government wanted dead but people who deserved to die. He blinked a few times before looking back up at Shawn and brushing his hair from his face.
Well? What do you think? If you want to stay on, then ok, onwards and upwards. It only gets worse from here on in.
PS: anyone want to check my gun laws for me? I placed them in Danville New York and checked the laws saying that kids as young as 14 can shoot at a shooting range but if you’re from that state and correct me, I’d be most appreciatedInterlude - 1