April 27th 2015
Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
Incident Report filed by Special Deputy Jameson Arkeley, 10/4/83 (Continued):
“Don’t fucking move!” one of the cross-covered SWATs shouted. The other three dropped to one knee and raised their MP5s to their shoulders.
Lares rolled forward from the waist, scooping his arms through the air like he could reach over and grab them from a distance. It was an aggressive movement. It was meant to be aggressive. The SWATs did what they’d been trained to do. They opened fire. Their weapons spat fire at the rain and bullets tore through the dark air, narrowly missing our unmarked car. Webster shoved his door open and stepped out into a big puddle. I was right behind him. If we could catch the bastard in a crossfire maybe we could do more damage than he could heal.
“The heart!” I shouted. “You have to destroy the heart!”
The SWATs were professionals. They caught their target center mass more than they missed him. Lares’ big body spun around in the wet. The helicopter came roaring overhead and lit him up with the spotlight so we could see better what we were shooting at. I fired three rounds into his back, one after the other. Webster emptied his clip.
Lares pitched forward like a tree falling down, right in the gutter. He put his hands down to try to stop his fall but they slid out from under him. He lay there unmoving, not even breathing, his hands clutching at handfuls of the tiny yellow locust leaves that clogged up the sewer grate.
The SWATs traded hand signals. One of them moved in, weapon always pointed right at the back of Lares’ neck, ready to take a brainstem shot, a traditional kill shot. He was aiming at the wrong place but I didn’t think it mattered at that point. There were no visible bullet holes in the subject—they must have healed instantly—but he wasn’t moving. The SWAT stepped closer and kicked at one overly muscular leg.
Lares spun around on his side without any warning at all, far faster than a human being could move. He got one knee under him and grabbed at the SWAT’s arm to pull himself up. He had no trouble whatsoever getting a grip on all those crosses. The SWAT started to react, bringing his MP5 up, ducking down in a firing crouch. Lares grabbed his helmet in two hands and twisted it right off. The policeman’s head came with it.
For a second the decapitated SWAT stood there in a perfect firing crouch. Blood arced up from his gaping neck like a water fountain. Lares leaned forward and lapped at it, getting blood all over his face and chest. He was mocking us. He was goddamned making fun of us.
The SWAT leader started shouting “Man down, man down!” into his radio but Lares was already up and coming for him. He plowed through the rest of the SWATs in a single motion, his fingers tearing at their armor, his mouth fastening around the leader’s neck. Those shark-like teeth bit right through the SWAT leader’s padded collar. They bit right through a wooden cross and snapped it in pieces. I made a mental note: the cross thing was a myth.
The SWATs died one after the other and all I could do was watch. All I could do was stare. I brought up my weapon as Lares turned and jumped right at us. I would have fired except I was afraid I would hit Webster. Lares was that fast. He went low, diving to grasp Webster around the waist. My partner was still trying to reload his weapon.
Lares tore Webster’s leg off at the thigh. He used his mouth. Blood was everywhere and Lares drank as much of it as he could get down his throat. Webster didn’t start screaming for a long, horrible second or two. He had time to look at me, his face registering nothing but surprise.
When Lares had finished feeding he rose to a standing posture and smiled at me. His half-naked body was caked with gore. His eyes were bloodshot and his cheeks were glowing pink and healthy. He leaned toward me. He was a good seven feet tall and he towered over me. He reached down and put his hands on my shoulders. His eyes stared into me and I couldn’t look away. The hand holding my weapon lost all strength and dangled at my side. He was weakening me, softening me up somehow. I could feel my brain itch—he was hypnotizing me, something, I didn’t know. He could kill me any time he wanted. Why was he wasting time with my brain?
Over our heads the helicopter chewed angrily at the air. The spotlight lit up Lares’ back and made his hair glow. His eyes narrowed as if the light hurt him a little. He grabbed me around the waist and hauled me up to dangle over his shoulder. I could barely move. I tried to kick and hit and fight but Lares just squeezed me harder until I felt my ribs popping like a string of fireworks. After that it was all I could do to breathe.
He didn’t kill me. He had such strength in his arms it would have been easy to kill me, to squeeze me so hard my guts shot out of my mouth. He kept me alive, though. I assumed he meant to keep me as a hostage.
He started to run. My body bounced and flopped on his shoulder. I could only see what was behind us. He was running toward the Strip District, toward the river. When I was planning this takedown I had convinced Pittsburgh Traffic to shut down a big patch of city, to keep the streets empty. I wanted a safe environment in which to pull off my showdown. Lares must have sensed the unusual quiet of the streets. He ran right out into traffic, cars slaloming all around us, steam from the pouring rain rising from their hot lights like the breath of angry bulls. Horns shrieked all around us and I panicked and called out for God—if one of those cars hit us it might not damage Lares at all but I would surely be crushed, broken, impaled.
I could barely see for pain and wet eyes and the stabbing blare of headlights. I was barely cognizant of the fact that Lares had run out onto the 16th Street bridge. I could feel the helicopter above me, following me, its rotor blades pulsing in the dark. I felt Lares bend and flex his legs and then—freefall. The asshole had jumped right off the bridge.
We hit the freezing waters of the Allegheny River so hard and so fast I must have broken half a dozen bones. The cold surged through me like I was being stabbed with icicles all over my body. My heart lurched in my chest and I felt my entire circulatory system seizing up. Lares pulled me down, down into the darkness. I could barely see his white face framed by floating black hair like dead seaweed. Breath surged out of me and I started swallowing water.
We must have been under only a few seconds. I couldn’t have survived any longer than that. Yet I remember him kicking, his legs snapping through the water. I remember the helicopter’s searchlight slanting down through the murk, now this way, now that way, now too far away. Then I couldn’t see anything. Air hit my face like a mask of ice had been nailed onto my skull but at least I could breathe. I sucked a great lungful of cold, cold air down inside of me until my body burned. Lares dragged me up over the fiberglass gunwale of a boat, a boat that bobbed and tilted alarmingly under our combined weight. He dragged me, only half alive, below decks.