Ray Vargas
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And I quote...

"RAY VARGAS is the kind of private dick that the Black City cops loved to hate. He'd actually been on the force once, twelve years ago. For exactly 17 minutes. He came out of the Academy with flying colors. Some say he was cocky. Cadets chosen to join the elite Special Forces Unit were expected to have big cojones. But the men who ran The Unit were old-timers, and to them, Ray Vargas was too cocky. Didn't show enough respect. Didn't want to know how the game was played. Didn't want to go along with the program.

Now in Black City, the Policia was a "good job." Sure there was some danger, but if you learned the system, you and your family could do alright. Not that a policeman could support a family, mind you. But there was the special bonus pool-"La Lotería." Every cop knew where that bonus money came from, but nobody would ever say a word. Go along with the system and you could make 3 or 4 times your official paycheck. You could provide for your family. Help out Mami and Papi when they get old. Pay for a fancy wedding for your daughters and send them off with a nice little dowry. A policeman could do okay in Black City.

Graduation day at the Academy is supposed to be a grand celebration. Big, proud cop families watching another son join the ranks. Third generation of policia here, fourth generation there. Cadets go out with there families, have a fiesta and get a little borracho.

But not Ray Vargas. No family came to his graduation. They say that his parents died in an accident a few year's back. Some thought he had a sister in Ciudad Ducal, but she was married and couldn't make the two day journey, what with the kids at home and all. Ray was a loner. A newcomer with no family on the force. Black City cops don't trust a loner.

So on that hot August day when they pinned Ray's new badge on his jet black Special Forces uniform, he didn't go out to celebrate. He walked straight down to his new precinct house and into the locker room to change for his first night of patrol work. To this day, no one is exactly sure what, or rather whom, Ray saw in the locker room. Certainly, they couldn't have expected anyone else to be there. After all, it was Graduation Day. But whatever he saw was enough to change Ray's life. He walked right on down to the Front Desk Sergeant, handed in his badge and gun and quit on the spot.

Ray's career as a Black City cop had lasted exactly seventeen minutes."

To be continued... or at least that's what we hoped. As far as I know, Black City, a proposed interactive, on-line noir B-flick full of mystery, adventure and romance never got much beyond introducing itself way back in 1997.

Too bad.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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