So Bad They Call Me Shitstorm


An LAPD black and white unit chases a black sports car east along the 10 freeway at 10:24 PM. The pursuit is picked up on live television by the KTLA news helicopter.

I’m a bad person. A criminal. I’m not ashamed of that because of my glorious line of predecessors throughout history. All those model citizens making speeches and giving sermons were beneficiaries and victims of luck. My people get it done.

A police chopper is already on scene shining a spotlight on the fleeing vehicle. In minutes eleven police units are following the runaway, looking from the air like a red and blue flashing Christmas tree.

A bad person like me has just as deep and rich an emotional palette as all you saints out there. It’s just that we bad people are doing harm honestly. You know when a bad guy has screwed you. And the bad guy admits he’s doing it for purely selfish reasons. It’s all about him and whatever he considers family.

Word goes out that the police are in pursuit of armed jewelry thieves who have smash-and-grabbed three million in goods. Another news helicopter appears.

Watch out for those “good guys.” They’re the ones that fuck you before you wake up and all the while have you dreaming altruistic bullshit. In the end game they have you marching off to war to preserve the aristocracy. You die in the mud for a paycheck, a promise and and a posthumous declaration of heroism – you hope.

Not me. When I go down it’ll be for me and my family. If I go down.

As the TV audience grows the underground betting starts. All of my bookies get the calls. How long will the pursuit last?  Place your bets. Are the perps black, white, Asian or Hispanic?  How much on female?

And then the unprecedented happens…

I’ve got the police chopper in my sights. I squeeze the trigger.

The spotlight from the sky suddenly goes out on the sports car.

The driver swerves into the parking lot of a mall, heading for the west end of the structure with all police units following. With every cop behind him in the parking lot the driver speeds to the delivery drive in the rear of the mall.

Before police can follow three previously parked cars suddenly come alive and move to block the entrance to the drive, causing cop cars to jam up at the driveway. As some cops jump out of their vehicles drawing guns to confront the drivers of those interfering cars it’s realized that there are no drivers.

At that moment five other apparently random parked vehicles speed at the bunched-up police cars, increasing velocity until ramming the police from all sides and exploding.

Five blocks away the floundering police helicopter crashes into a home. The house flares into flames and billowing black smoke.

The KTLA chopper notices me, and as my family watches from home on TV the news reports an unidentified black helicopter with no lights sharing the sky with them.

“Mounted on the door is an automatic weapon,” the shaken reporter riding in the news chopper nervously realizes. A hazy camera shot reveals me – AKA a “hooded pilot” – looking down on the fiery crash site.

I receive word by radio from home that I’m on TV and spot the offender at nine o’clock just above me about twelve blocks away. I rotate, lean back, get it in my sights and squeeze.

“The black helicopter fired upon the KTLA airship sending it into a fatal fall,” reports the other news craft as it flees. But pictures are clear enough from the second  news chopper to reveal raised writing on our black helicopter that says “Hell-Copter 1.”

I vanish into the night sky. When it’s over three officers are dead and five wounded. The perpetrators have escaped.

Nothing like this has ever interfered with a CHP/LAPD high-speed chase before. It is so shocking as a crime that it earned me a very straightforward code name.

The cops call me Shitstorm.

Investigations uncover rumors of a new getaway service being offered to high-profile criminals in need of backup. If only they knew.

I fly low and under the radar into the far reaches of the Inland Empire until buildings are sparse and dark is everywhere. The telltale light patterns at the edge of our property finally show up and I take her down.

The operation is well-hidden in the depths of an everyday junkyard where scrap metal is harvested and there’s no one around to hear a helicopter come and go.

The cops and the Feds might track me down eventually, but not in time to stop my plan. I’ll be very careful about the jobs I’ll take on, and when. Let them waste resources for awhile anticipating my return.

My cut will always be 50% and nothing less, even if by some miracle the client gets away with no pursuit and Hell-Copter 1 merely stands guard without being used.

“Besides operating a fleet of ordinary-looking driverless cars,” the media reports, “Shitstorm has the perfect counterpoint to police airships. Now the bad guys have an airship.”

Yeah. If only they knew…

For someone who grew up  without a criminal record and not liking to hurt people, this is a role I never expected to play.  But the way I’ve adapted, I’m starting to think that I’m accessing the host brains more quickly than before.

If I think about it too much, I’ll remember that I don’t know how to fly a helicopter.