Warren Murphy: Created, The Destroyer

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    Created, The Destroyer
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Created, The Destroyer: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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When ex-New Jersey cop Remo Williams is electrocuted for the murder of a dope-dealing goon, CURE, a super-secret government agency that doesn't really exist, schemes to resurrect Remo as the ultimate killing machine that will carry out most of its dirty plans. Under the direction of expert assassin Master Chiun, Remo is transformed into the Destroyer and launches a series of secret plots to dissolve the underworld.

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* Title : #001 : CREATED, THE DESTROYER *

* Series : The Destroyer *

* Author(s) : Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir *

* Location : Gillian Archives *



Everyone knew why Remo Williams was going to die. The chief of the Newark Police Department told his close friends Williams was a sacrifice to the civil rights groups.

"Who ever heard of a cop going to the chair... and for killing a dope-pusher? Maybe a suspension... maybe even dismissal... but the chair? If that punk had been white, Williams wouldn't get the chair."

To the press, the chief said: "It is a tragic incident. Williams always had a good record as a policeman."

But the reporters weren't fooled. They knew why Williams had to die. "He was crazy. Christ, you couldn't let that lunatic out in the streets again. How did he ever get on the force in the first place? Beats a man to a pulp, leaves him to die in an alley, drops his badge for evidence, then expects to get away with it by hollering 'frame-up.' Damn fool."

The defense attorney knew why his client lost. "That damned badge. We couldn't get around that evidence. Why wouldn't he admit he beat up that bum? Even so, the judge never should have given him the chair."

The judge was quite certain why he sentenced Williams to die. It was very simple. He was told to.

Not that he knew why he was told to. In certain circles, you don't ask questions about verdicts.

Only one man had no conception of why the sentence was so severe and so swift. And his wondering would stop at 11:35 o'clock that night. It wouldn't make any difference after that.

Remo Williams sat on the cot hi his cell chainsmoking cigarettes. His light brown hair was shaved close at the temples where the guards would place the electrodes.

The gray trousers issued to all inmates at the State Prison already had been slit nearly to the knees. The white socks were fresh and clean with the exception of gray spots from ashes he dropped. He had stopped using the ash tray the day before.

He simply threw the finished cigarette on the gray painted floor each time and watched its life burn out. It wouldn't even leave a mark, just burn out slowly, hardly noticeable.

The guards would eventually open the cell door and have an inmate clean up the butts. They would wait outside the cell, Remo between them, while the inmate swept.

And when Remo was returned, there would be no trace that he had ever smoked in there or that a cigarette had died on the floor.

He could leave nothing in the death cell that would remain. The cot was steel and had no paint in which to even scratch his initials. The mattress would be replaced if he ripped it.

He had no laces to tie anything anywhere. He couldn't even break the one light bulb above his head. It was protected by a steel-enmeshed glass plate.

He could break the ashtray. That he could do, if he wanted. He could scratch something in the white enameled sink with no stopper and one faucet.

But what would he inscribe? Advice? A note? To whom? For what? What would he tell them?

That you do your job, you're promoted, and one dark night they find a dead dope-pusher in an alley on your beat, and he's got your badge in his hand, and they don't give you a medal, they fall for the frame-up, and you get the chair.

It's you who winds up in the death house—the place you wanted to send so many men to, so many hoods, punks, killers, the liars, the pushers, the scum that preyed on society. And then the people, the right and the good you sweated for and risked your neck for, rise in their majesty and turn on you.

What do you do? All of a sudden, they're sending people to the chair—the judges who won't give death to the predators, but give it to the protectors.

You can't write that in a sink. So you light another cigarette and throw the burning butt on the floor and watch it burn. The smoke curls up and disappears before rising three feet. And then the butt goes out. But by that time, you have another one ready to light and another one ready to throw.

Remo Williams took the mentholated cigarette from his mouth, held it before his face where he could see the red ember feeding on that hint of mint, then tossed it on the floor.

He took a fresh cigarette from one of two packs at his side on the brown, scratchy-wool blanket. He looked up at the two guards whose backs were to him. He hadn't spoken to them since he entered Death Row two days ago.

They had never walked the morning hours on a beat looking at windows and waiting to be made detective. They had never been framed in an alley with a pusher, who as a corpse, didn't have the stuff on him.

They went home at night and they left the prison and the law behind them. They waited for their pensions and the winterized cottage in their fifth year. They were the clerks of law enforcement.

The law.

Williams looked at the freshly-lit cigarette in his hand and suddenly hated the mentholated taste that was like eating Vicks. He tore the filter off and tossed it on the floor. Then he put the ragged end of the cigarette between his lips and drew deeply.

He inhaled on the cigarette and lay back on the cot, blowing the smoke toward the seamless plaster ceiling that was as gray as the floor and the walls and the prospects of those guards out in the corridor.

He had strong, sharp, features and deepset brown eyes that crinkled at the edges, but not from laughter. Remo rarely laughed.

His body was hard, his chest deep, his hips perhaps a bit too wide for a man, but not too large for his powerful shoulders.

He had been the brick of the line in high school and murder on defense. And all of it hadn't been worth the shower water that carried the sweat down the drain.

So somebody scored.

Suddenly, Remo's facial muscles tightened and he sat up again. His eyes, focussed at no particular range, suddenly detected every line in the floor. He saw the sink and for the first time really saw the solid gray metal of the bars. He crushed out the cigarette with his toe.

Well, damn it, they didn't score... not through his slot. They never went through the middle of the line. And if he left only that, he left something.

Slowly, he leaned forward and reached for the burned-out butts on the floor.

One of the guards spoke. He was a tall man and his uniform was too tight around the shoulders. Remo vaguely remembered his name as Mike.

"It'll be cleaned," Mike said.

"No, I'll do it," Remo said. The words were slow in coming out. How long had it been since he had spoken?

"Do you want something to eat...?" the guard's voice trailed off. He paused and looked down the corridor. "It's late, but we could get you something."

Remo shook his head. "I'll just finish cleaning up. How much time do I have?"

"About a half hour."

Remo did not answer. He wiped the ashes together with his big, square hands. If he had a mop, it would go better.

"Is there anything we can get you?" Mike asked.

Remo shook his head. "No thanks." He decided he liked the guard. "Want a cigarette?"

"No. I can't smoke here."

"Oh. Well, would you like the pack? I've got two packs."

"Couldn't take it, but thanks anyway."

"It must be a tough job you have," Remo lied.

The guard shrugged. "It's a job. You know. Not like pounding a beat. But we have to watch it anyhow."

"Yeah," Remo said and smiled. "A job's a job."

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