City Councilor Jim Splaine was spotted running through Downtown streets pursued by multiple masked assassins in the early morning hours on Tuesday, sources say.

Splaine was supposed to be meeting a double agent who had infiltrated THE HELMSMEN, the secret cabal of oligarchs responsible for all meaningful political and economic happenings in the greater Seacoast area, and perhaps the world, lead by the elusive figure JANUS.

Splaine felt he was getting close. However, when Splaine arrived the double agent was assassinated by a hidden sniper and black SUVs began to move into position to surround the City Councilor. Splaine managed to avoid assassination himself using the high resolution on his newly installed robotic eyeball.

Splaine had drawn fire recently for revealing the details of a non-meeting of the city council, during which he claimed that city officials discussed a settlement offer for the ongoing Goodwin-Webber litigation, a move which must have earned him the ire of THE HELMSMEN. This morning he drew fire from several high powered assault weapons as he sought cover in the parking garage and reached for his City Council service weapon.

Splaine quickly worked his way to the top of the parking garage and disabled the pilot of a the HELMSMAN red helicopter after leaping aboard and punching through the cockpit window, sending it crashing into the steeple of the North Church. Splaine easily jumped to safety at the last second, landing cooly in Market Square as the steeple crashed to the ground behind him.

“Looks like it’s time for some urban renewal,” he remarked, reloading the Glock 97 that every city councilor is issued upon their inauguration.

Assailants followed Jim Splaine into Portsmouth Provisions where gunfire was exchanged between the parties. The cashier with the long hair aided Splaine, buying him time to slip out the back door while holding off the assailants with the shotgun behind the counter. He was found later with a broken, bloody wine bottle in one hand and a dented expired can of peas in the other.

“You are a true Portsmouth profile in courage,” Splaine allegedly remarked. 

After going out the back door, witnesses say, Splaine climbed a fire escape, dispatching two HELMSMEN henchmen with his shurikens and triggering frantic chase along the rooftops that ended with Splaine cornered at Portwalk Place.

According to footage from Splaine’s robotic eye, one of the masked assailants approached him and took off her mask, revealing her to be Nancy Carmer, Economic Development Program Manager for the City of Portsmouth in such a way that would seem like a twist if this were not a news publication.

“Don’t tell me JANUS got to you too,” said Splaine in the recording.

“JANUS gets to everyone. For some it’s with money. For some it’s with power. For some it’s with secrets. For you, it’s bullets. It’s over Jim. Time to stop running.”

“I’ll keep running as long as the people of the great city of Portsmouth keep needing me. You can’t silence the truth.”

“Then you’re a fool. You were a fool to refuse JANUS’ offer and you’re a fool now. Now you’ll be a dead fool, fool. Because I’m going to kill you with the bullets I mentioned. Any last words?”

“Yeah, the Portsmouth economy relies too heavily on tourism, and this brick looks like shit.”

Splaine sent his powerful fist into a weak section of the fake brick facade, knocking down the entire wall and showering the HELMSMEN agents in blinding brick dust, giving him time to escape, for now.

He will not get far, sources report. JANUS has eyes everywhere, Jim.

Even here at The Tug.

Keep running while you can. We will be there when you slow down.