The name’s Jim Sardic. I’m a private investigator in New York, one of the few real ones left. Most others skipped town or have gotten real choosy about what cases they take up ever since the Puncture. That was the event that created the big blue beam shooting out into the sky in Manhattan. I was only ten years old when it happened, but I still remember seeing it on the news like it was yesterday. Countless helicopters surrounded this huge column of light that had just tore a whole through New York. People were running around, looting, trying to get out of dodge. Everyone thought it was the apocalypse.
The scientists responsible showed up in interviews saying they had pierced a hole in the bubble that was our universe. They were trying to observe other universes. Well they got what they wanted, the puncture wound just came out bigger than they thought it would. Much bigger. That was over 20 years ago now. Over time, beings from other realities showed up, usually here in New York near the Puncture. Sometimes they seemed just like regular people, sometimes they were more…alien. For the first few years, the media would make a big fuss over each appearance. They would try to interview the outsiders, with little success. Most of the ones wandering around didn’t even speak a recognizable language. The news gradually stopped caring about the outsiders; this city has so many homeless already, they almost blended right in. And since the news stopped caring, so did the public. I’m sure governments have picked up plenty of outsiders to question or experiment on them, but you never hear about that stuff.
So life more or less went back to normal for the world. The only big difference was the Puncture jutting out of New York, and how it messed with electronics in the city. No more internet in the Big Apple; most computers were fried within a week anyway. Newer cars, cell phones, and TVs all died out. I didn’t mind it so much; I guess I like it old school. Anyway, despite the appearance of things returning to normal, crime has been steadily rising in the city ever since the Puncture appeared. Between the occasional violent outsiders, and the ordinary folk who think they’re going to take advantage of a technologically crippled New York, the police have had their hands busy.
I’ve always wanted to help people, but the way in which I wanted to, the police just weren’t interested in doing. They’re just too busy these days. Most people don’t know it, especially those who live outside of the city, but since the Puncture, people have been disappearing. There’s a lot of outsiders out there that take people. There’s no one reason; they all seem to have different motives. And that’s my job; when someone comes into my office saying brother or son or friend has up and vanished without a trace, I make it my business to find them. It’s dangerous work; many who look into this sort of stuff end up disappearing too, which is why most PIs won’t even touch a case that has anything to do with an outsider. I’ve been working Puncture cases for 15 years, and I’m the best the city’s got.
So that’s me, probably the craziest PI in town. Jim Sardic: Missing Persons, Outsider Investigations, and Puncture Expert. Bills by the day, two day minimum.