The Ballard of Marion Cobretti.

The coming morning of all mornings always starts with a disruption like any other. But for people like lieutenant Cobretti, it's the normal routine. Many of the onlookers and workers alike don't know the whole story about this man and his motives... they just know he gets the job done and will not let it go unfinished. 

The year is 1982 out in the outskirts of Chicagoland where a city is undersieged by many criminal elements hidden in the shadows, waiting to make their move to infiltrate towns and cities; they've met their demands to snatch a few, even Calumet Metro, where this story takes place. 

Out on the edge of town of Calumet Metro lies an apartment complex... well, mainly a motel that was rundown years ago due to loss of political powers in the city; slightly abandoned, a few parked cars indicates several people living in a secluded hive and the lonely solitary figure looking through various monitors in the dark room at the very top of the floor. 

Marion is hired as a security guard for the building from various specific time; stays on guard for three hours, four times a day. Mostly, he runs the town finding various criminals and take them to his superior of mob police bosses who secretly run the Chicago streets. The pay depended on the type of criminal element they belong to. This was his third run, overlooking the unforgiving ruin of the poisoned city. 

Cobretti used to work for the police department out in Michigan City from 1977 until last year. He decided to leave the force due to unforeseen circumstances; he never explained perfectly clear to his colleagues as to why, so he moved away to live in a town that he might be of good use. 

The lone officer took a swig of his coffee as he reclined on his office chair, listening to old Chicago Blues records. His office/home was full of records with nothing but blues and a bit of rock n roll that set the tone to his day to day basis. Posters with a few abstract art and pinups of models that dated back from about a few years accompany him in the dark room as well as a few degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology. A few bookshelves could be seen next to the door towards the hallway; they are mostly filled with psychology, anatomy, medical science, history of the Cold War, the French Revolution, various handguns, catalogs filled with electronic gadgets and guns. Out of all the monitors that reflected the various places from the outside looking in, an old Motorola black and white television set was next to the record player that overlooked the living room towards the small, cramped kitchen with only a small fridge that had stacks upon stacks of empty beer boxes on top of it.

Cobretti yawned and got up from his seat. He still had his eyes locked into a few screens, making sure that he didn't miss anything. He'd only been on patrol for only a couple hours, just one more hour to go and he'll be outside on patrol into the horrible streets. 
The record stopped playing and left a crackle that filled out the room. Cobretti took the vinyl off the needle and put it back on the sleeve. He looked back at the multiple monitors... still nothing. He sighed and filled his mug with more coffee.Then, the door knocked softly and he walked up to open it. It was a little girl of about seven with a light complexion and freckles scattered across her face between her brown eyes, and had golden brown short hair. 
"Beth.", Cobretti said, "What are ya doing out here? You know I'm busy."
Beth looked down with a frown, "Sorry."
Cobretti took a sigh and noticed she had something behind her. 
"What's that behind you?"
Beth blushed with embarrassment, she turned her head away and handed him a tray that's covered with a blue napkin.
Cobretti couldn't help but smile. She brought him some snacks again and it's usually baked pastries. He sort of forgotten it was that time of week when Beth and her family gave him some food in exchanged for his never-ending day to day, night to night patrol.
He lifted the blue napkin off and took out a muffin that's covered with colorful sprinkles and took a bite.
"Is it good? I... I made it myself this time." Beth still blushing.
He nodded and still had his mouth stuffed asked, "Is this'h all for meh?"
She giggled and nodded.
He patted her on the head, "Thanks. I really needed that. You should head on back to your folks, alright?"
Beth's face brightened and ran towards the hallway to the corner of the door where she resided. Cobretti shook his head with a grin and closed his door. His grin turned quickly into sadness; many people including families with children had to evacuate their homes to find a safe refuge due to not having any reasonable income to move right out of this hellhole. Luckily, some of the reasonable figures that had little to no political power offered a safe haven out in the apartment until the families were ready and had enough money to leave the city. Cobretti originally lived on the top floor and kept in contact with the city council, arranging for him to patrol the building as part of the job and making sure the inhabitants are safe and secured from the outside world of dangerous criminals. This however, went on since last year when he left the precinct. Perfect timing to say the least.
Cobretti placed the muffins next to his coffee mug and continued to look through the monitors. "Only forty minutes left... c'mon, gimme somethin' already." he pleaded under his breath. The more troublemakers he find, the better chances this city would survive another day.


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