Great news! My grandparents have finally answered their phone, and I got to spend some time with them! I’ve also got bad news: I don’t want to spend anymore time with them because they are pretty creepy looking. Also, spending time with people doesn’t really do a heck of a lot for my stress levels. Eating and sleeping fills my two meters all the way back up, but hanging out with the people I know, just like showering, barely nudges my stress meter. If I could hang out with everyone I know, all at once, in the shower, that might fill my meter halfway. It would also be disgusting.
I’m also getting concerned about something else: money. I earn a paycheck after each shift, but I have to spend some of it on gas for the police car, and I also need to get the cruiser repaired every other day because I keep damaging it in minor crashes. I’m not driving around all crazy GTA-style, it’s just that the driving controls are pretty terrible. Thanks to my other expenses, like food and television sets I can’t watch, I have less than $200 hundred dollars left. That’s not enough to fix the cruiser, which has begun to leak smoke from the hood.
I’m still disappointed I can’t take the drugs I confiscate from dealers and sell it on the side. This game won’t let me be a crooked cop, just a terrible one.
The day starts off well enough. In fact, it’s a major victory for Jack Action. I’ve finally found an illegally parked car way the hell out in the countryside, and I wrote it a real ticket. It feels good, knowing several dozen innocent people were ticketed in order to catch a single criminal harmlessly parking on a patch of grass in the country. It feels like justice.
Things go downhill from there, however. Dispatch calls to inform me someone has been spotted downtown selling drugs. This is the same mission I’ve half-completed twice already. I decide to ignore it because the last two times I responded, I wound up getting shot. While I’m turning a blind eye to drug traffic in my own private version of Hamsterdam, I get another call: a murderer is on the loose, possibly hiding in the woods outside of town. A murder investigation! My first red ball.
I drive out to the woods and start looking around. I don’t see a murderer anywhere, but I do find a clue that he’s nearby. There’s a bullet. It’s entering my body at several hundred miles per hour and thus can’t be dusted for fingerprints, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion as I fall to the ground that it was fired by my suspect. Or the drug dealers I neglected to apprehend. Maybe the enraged owner of the car I ticketed. Hard to say because I’m dead.
I’m not on a call, I don’t have a mission, and I’m not looking for trouble. But trouble finds me, in what becomes the biggest case of my career.
I’m driving along carefully in my smoldering cruiser when I spot a serious traffic jam. Several trucks, a couple cars, and a taxi cab are all tied up at an intersection. It appears one of the trucks was trying to turn and got its front wheels jammed against a lamppost. The driver is trying to pull out of it, but he either won’t or can’t cut his wheel in the other direction. What’s more, pedestrians have been caught up in it as well, walking in circles behind the vehicles while talking on their phones. It’s time to put every bit of my police experience to use.
I try the basics first. Using my traffic control skill, I wave to the drivers in a “come on, come this way” fashion. It doesn’t seem to have any effect, no matter where I stand and no matter how helpfully I beckon. I try another strategy, demanding the driver of the truck step out of his vehicle. If he’s drunk or has some other violation, I can arrest him and have his truck towed, which would allow the other cars and trapped pedestrians to move through the intersection. No luck: he’s clean. He climbs back in and immediately begins steering back into the pole like a jackass.
Fine. I’ll take more drastic measures. I get into my squad car and try gently nudging the truck out of the way. Then I try backing up and ramming it. The truck moves, but backwards, further into the jam instead of scraping its way to freedom. This has two effects: the cab is able to squeeze by and ram into me, and the other truck is able to ram the cab, tipping it on its side.
Okay. Okay. I’ve still got some other police skills I can use, such as pulling out my assault rifle and firing into the air over everyone’s heads. This definitely gets the pedestrians’ attention, and instead of walking in slow circles while talking into their phones they begin running in fast circles while screaming in terror.
Don’t worry, I’ve still got an ace up my sleeve, one final idea I haven’t tried. I’ll ram them with my car. And yes, I did try ramming them a minute ago, but this time I’ll really ram them. I back up a considerable distance, by which I mean the entire length of the city, then step on the gas, speed for six blocks, and crash into everyone. My cruiser is damaged to the point it can no longer be driven and the repair bill is about $600, which I don’t have. Most importantly, it has absolutely no effect on the traffic jam.
I stare at the mess a moment longer, then walk over to the police station and use my computer terminal to resign. I’m turning in my badge and gun, Chief. And my other gun, my taser, my traffic cones, my uniform, this weird picture of my grandparents, and my car, though you’ll have to go collect it from the pile of other cars down the street. When it comes to police, crime, and action, it turns out one man can’t make a difference.