15 Minutes

Crackdown in Columbia

Hughes: Aftermath

Crackdown in Columbia

Columbia has seen an unprecedented rise in Knight Errant activity after a night of bloodshed and destruction in the district. An official statement has pointed the blame for the violence at an ‘unchecked gang culture’ in the city.
Columbia, a predominantly residential area, saw a night of what is being reported as gang warfare, leaving at least 7 dead and thousands of nuyen in damage to property. Among the victims were Marcus Hughes, a prominent member of the Dunning-Kruger Corporation board of directors, as well as two Docwagon rapid response agents who were first on the scene after Hughes’ injury. It is believed that the three men were tragically caught in the middle of a battle between rival criminal groups, as several other bodies found nearby have been linked to an as yet unnamed bike gang.
The Knight Errant Group released a statement this morning:
“The culture of unchecked gang activity in this city will be tolerated no longer. The citizens of this peaceful city have endured for too long under the threat of random violence from these low-life thugs, and the Knight Errant Group intend to put a stop to it. Starting immediately the district of Columbia will see a doubling of patrols, and we are introducing a zero tolerance policy on gang activity in the area. Anyone found wearing known gang colours will be arrested pending further investigation, and officers have had response sanctions upgraded to maximum.
Knight Errant wants to reassure the good citizens of Seattle that they have nothing to fear.”

However, some Columbia residents are sceptical over the security forces commitment to their word and reasons for the upgrade. Marlon Davers, head of the Citizens Action group for the district, said “It might come as a surprise to some of your readers but we see this kind of violence all the time around here. There are days when living in this town is like being in a war zone, but we’ve got along just fine without Knight Errant until now. Hell, some folks around here see them as just another gang to worry about. They never gave a damn about these streets before today, and we’ve seen far bigger shootouts than this in the past, what’s so special about this time?”

Davers’ scepticism isn’t unfounded. According to official records there have been over thirty multiple shootings in the last 6 months, with most being reported as being ‘gang related’. Critics have pointed the unusual response at the potentially high profile nature of the victims: Marcus Hughes’ wife, tennis star Jenna Halton, is known as a campaigner for stricter government regulations on private security forces. The deaths of the two paramedics gains prominence in the light of an ongoing lawsuit brought against Knight Errant by a conglomerate of private health response firms, DocWagon amongst them.

With the true reason for Knight Errant’s response to the situation up in the air, all that remains to be seen is whether their newfound zeal for cleaning up gang violence sticks or whether it turns out to be just empty promises.

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PurpleSteve

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