Having impaled the body of the lead NBA copyright enforcer, I have no time for celebration. I must find where Dawk Ins is being detained.
I dial his number, not bothering to find another phone. The NBA already knows about me. Just as I had hoped, the call is answered, and a gruff voice gloats, “You’ve reached Dawk Ins’ phone. Dawk Ins is not available at the moment. Leave a message and he will never, ever get back to you, because his sentence is for life!”
Without a word, I hang up. Using the metadata from the phone call, I triangulate Dawk Ins’ location to a warehouse-turned-compound near the NBA headquarters in New York City.
It is too risky to fly there via a major airline. I am doubtlessly on every no-fly list in the country, and security would tackle me before I even stepped out of the taxi. Hurriedly contacting a number of personal friends, I arrange a flight on a private Cessna plane. Knowing my predicament, my pilot will not inform anybody of this flight, and with luck, I will reach New York City with nobody from the NBA being any the wiser.
I run down the crowded New York streets, pushing slow-moving pedestrians out of my way as I get closer to the address I have calculated. Underneath my bulky jacket is an arsenal that would make even the most ardent NRA member blush. My weaponry jangles like Christmas bells, but my actions are typical of a New Yorker, and I am not stopped.
A police offer sees me and whispers something into his walkie-talkie. He notices my gaze and immediately gives chase. Sprinting now, I turn into an alley, then again into a doorway. The officer’s footsteps approach, and I ready my pocket knife. When he appears in front of me, he is surprised, and this surprise is his downfall: gripping him tightly, I cover his mouth and execute him silently.
That obstacle taken care of, I am more cautious, and navigate through back alleys until I reach my destination: an abandoned warehouse with only a faded sign indicating that it once was used by a paint company. On the fourth floor, I can see a yellow light escaping through the shattered windows. A faint voice drifts down, clearly thinking that nobody outside will hear: “Tell us where he is, Dawk Ins, and your life may not yet be over.”
The sole guard by the entrance is distracted by some game on his phone. Using my silenced pistol, I dispatch him easily and without disturbance. Entering the facility, I locate the stairwell and ascend the stairs with quietness that would make a church mouse envious. Reaching the fourth floor, I peek around the corner and see my brother in highlights tied to a chair, his face and arms bloody.
“I swear, I don’t know where he is! He didn’t tell me anything!” Dawk Ins whimpers. “You already took my channel, what more could you bastards possibly want?”
Readying my shuriken, I take calm aim at the ropes which bind my friend. Knowing that all hell is soon to break loose, I breathe deeply, then throw.
Dawk Ins sees the ninja star approaching, but doesn’t wince. When his ropes are cut clean away by the deadly-sharp disc, he swiftly drops to the floor, narrowly avoiding the bullet that was aimed at his head. At the same time, I rip off my jacket and equip an AK-47 in each hand. The man who fired at Dawk Ins is my first target; he is mangled and torn by a sudden barrage of bullets.
Dawk Ins grabs the fallen enforcer’s gun as the rest of the captors turn their attentions towards me. Seeing how heavily they’re armed, I duck back into the stairwell, and they give chase. This is their downfall, however, as four of them are gunned down by the elite highlight compiler who, until recently, had been at their mercy.
Three more are killed as they round the corner trying to reach me. I smirk as their expressions of anger morph into surprise, then fear. They die with those pathetic expressions permanently affixed to their faces, at least in the case of the two whose faces I left intact.
Dawk Ins comes to my side as we look together at Adam Silver, wounded by a stray bullet. Tears run down from underneath his blood-flecked glasses to pool on his cheeks. “I just wanted to protect the NBA’s copyright interests,” he wails.
“Highlights can not be stopped. Highlights are eternal,” Dawk Ins says, echoing the exact words I was planning to say. He looks at me. “Shall I?”
A second later, Silver is dead. Dropping my guns, I clasp hands with Dawk Ins. “It’s over, man. It’s over. We won,” I say.
“But did we?” Dawk Ins asks, looking at the slain bodies all around us.
“You just said it. Highlights are eternal. This was the only way.”
Dawk Ins sighs. “Perhaps. It’s a shame I can never go back to my old channel.”
“You know, man?” I blurt, suddenly overcome by emotions. “We’re doing alright, you know?”
Dawk Ins doesn’t answer. He doesn’t need to. Together, we watch the sun set over the city, knowing that it will soon rise again in vibrant glory.