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Fall of the Leopard

A Tri-City Story

Lavonte Johnson was in his mansion, sitting in his big blue armchair, watching the news, and sipping a bottle of beer. He’d been trying to get some sort of relief from his current depression, but nothing was helping. Lavonte had been feeling a bit like hell for the past few months, but losing things most precious to you tends to do that. All it took was a phone call and everything he ever loved in his life was gone.

Lavonte used to be a linebacker for his city's pro football team the Fallwork's Fireflies. He was the best thing to ever happen to the team really, considering how he broke the record for most sacks of any linebacker in a west coast football team. He and his best friend and fellow linebacker Carl Hughes came to be known as T.N.T., because the song "T.N.T." by AC/DC would play whenever they got a sack. For 10 years he helped his defense become a force to be reckoned with, but being Fallwork’s best linebacker didn’t prepare him for unfortunate events coming over the horizon. One day at practice Lavonte broke one of his ribs and had to go to the doctor. A day later Lavonte got a phone call from his doctor saying that while he was inspecting one of Lavontes’ x-rays of his ribs, cancer was found in his liver. Devastated, he called his coach and told him about the cancer. His coach told him that it was in his best interests to quit playing football and try to at least keep his cancer at bay. Lavonte thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it was about to go from bad to worse to horrible. After telling his wife about his cancer and having to quit the football team, his wife Ashley decided to get a divorce. Turns out the only reason she married him was because of his money and because he was a famous football star. She got full custody of his son and daughter and half of his stuff. It was a messy divorce and a televised divorce, but at least most people were on his side. After Lavonte’s divorce debacle, Lavonte thought it couldn’t get any worse. Being a devout christian, he prayed to God to make sure no other bad things would happen to him. God just wasn’t listening to Lavonte, and decided the best way to answer Lavonte’s prayers was to kill his best friend. Lavonte’s best friend Carl Hughes died of a heroin overdose two days after Lavonte and wife finalized their divorce. The news of his death was just popping up on the news while Lavonte was sitting on his big blue armchair and sipping his beer. The news caused Lavonte to spill his beer on his robe. Lavonte then put his half empty bottle of beer in his fridge and filled up a glass half full with Hennessy. “I never knew he had a drug problem” said Lavonte as he put the bottle of Hennessy away. Lavonte walked back over to his big blue armchair and continued to watch the news. “Two more carjackings happened today, which makes 12 for this month alone” said the female news anchor. “Fallwork’s police chief AJ Tuttle has dubbed 1997 the year of the theft,” continued the new anchor “1997 is also the worst year for crime based on statistics from all over the tri-city area.” All of this crime news, coupled with the events of the following months made Lavonte angry, causing him to throw his glass at his TV. Desperate for something to quell the pain Lavonte decided that the next thing he will do on this earth will be his last, and he knew just what to do.

The city of Fallworks is one of the three most populated and industrious cities in the state of Los Puertos. Fallworks and the two other big cities, Las Detras and Garland are all next to each other. Fallworks is where you go live if you want to become a steelworker or work for an oil company, Las Detras is where you go if you want to get into the automotive industry and Garland is where you go if want to make it big in show business. Together the three cities make, as it’s called by the city's residents, Tri-City. Crime in Tri-City has been getting worse over the last five years, but the amount of people fighting back has been rising too. After the Garland riots of 1992, cases of vigilantes dispensing justice have been popping up over the last five years. Most of the vigilantes don’t last more than a day, but there are few who are still active even after a few years. Lavonte is one of the few. Lavonte’s vigilante identity "The Leopard" is classified as a "Five Year-er," since he’s been fighting crime since 1992.

After cleaning up the mess he made, Lavonte went up into his attic and proceeded to change into some jeans, black boots, and his football jersey. He then put a leopard skin bandanna on his face, a black football helmet with the word “Leopard” in orange on it, wrapped black boxing hand wraps on his hands, and put a black leather jacket on over his jersey. After grabbing his silver spiked knuckles, Lavonte called his maid Martina to see if she knew who sold Carl the heroin. Lavonte got into his green 1991 Lamborghini Diablo and drove to the dealer’s house as fast as he could, not even caring about the speed limit. Once he got to the dealers house, Lavonte pulled out three pipe bombs, taped them together, and threw them into the dealer’s house. The explosion was a loud and powerful one, breaking most of the windows and blowing down a wall. Lavonte ran inside of the house, beating up one of the dealer’s thugs as he turned a corner. Lavonte picked up a baseball bat and beat up another thug. A thug with a Colt revolver started shooting at Lavonte, grazing Lavonte’s left shoulder. Lavonte retreated so the gunman would have to come to him. His plan worked, allowing him to elbow the gunman in the face, disarming him. Lavonte put the gun in his back pocket and went upstairs to the dealer’s office. After kicking the door to the office down, Lavonte found the dealer sitting at his desk. “Your days of dealing heroin are over” said Lavonte as he pulled out the Colt revolver from his back pocket. The dealer sat silently, looking Lavonte dead in the eye. The dealer then picked up a picture on his desk. “This woman is my favorite woman on this planet,” said the dealer as he turned the picture around, "she'd be very sad if I were to be killed." 

He didn’t expect his ex-wife to be in the picture sitting on the drug dealer’s desk, but considering the way she treated him when he needed her the most he didn’t really care that she was banging the dude he was about to kill. “You wouldn’t want to rid this poor woman of the man she loves, would you?” asked the drug dealer as he pulled out an AMT Backup and pointed it at Lavonte. “Listen dude, that bitch only wants the wads of green” said Lavonte as he cocked the gun. “I am not no dude, I am Cheng Lopez,” said the drug dealer. “I don’t care man,” said Lavonte as he pointed the Colt at Cheng Lopez’s head. Cheng then unloaded his gun into Lavonte, causing him to fall onto the floor. Cheng walked over to Lavonte and reloaded his gun. “Why do you do what you do?” asked Cheng as he looked down onto Lavonte. “Because I am an angry and desperate man. When it comes to desperation and anger, they can be seen as two of the greatest decision making factors. These two feelings have destroyed empires, but have also helped them. It’s all about how the anger and the desperation are used that shows how the person who is feeling desperate and angry deal with their present situation. The person’s actions though, whether good or bad, will always have repercussions that will affect people close to them. It’s like a chain reaction, with rage as its fuel” said Lavonte with all the air he could muster. “Well Fallworks thanks you for your anger and desperation” said Cheng as he aim his gun at Lavonte. Lavonte died from his wounds as a S.W.A.T. team gunned down Cheng, finally at peace with himself. Police Chief AJ Tuttle looked at Lavonte’s body and shook his head. “It’s always sad when a Five Year-er goes down for the count” said Tuttle as he closed Lavonte’s eyes. “Send his body to the crematorium and put his helmet on display in the station’s case with the other masks and helmets.”

That night Chief Tuttle sat down and began to write a book about the vigilante’s he had encountered over the years, while Tri-City slept soundly as the other vigilantes got to work.

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