MISSION 2 - START!!
John put his hand up, "If anything comes up over here, We'll radio you."
Mum and Dad wandered inside the old building.
"I remember this old place like yesterday," Dad said as all of the old things coalesced in his minds eye, "The armoury, the kitchen, bunks, planning room..." He sighed slightly as memory overcame him.
"Yes. I remember having to patch you up in your bunk time to time." Mum referred to the past jokingly.
"Those were the days!"
They both laughed as they remembered the good times.
Luca hopped on his Motorcycle, turned the key and slipped it into gear. "Jimmy, hop on and hold tight."
Jim made a running leap and used Luca as the pivot point as he leaped onto the motorcycle. He had the flechette gun over his shoulder via a strap and had the flak jacket on and the mags for his weapons in the pockets. He was ready to make sure that the evil doctor was going to die. "Luca, hit it!" Jim yelled.
Before Luca took off, he motioned for Mitch and Hitori to come over.
"Mitch. Do you have any communications devices?"
"Of course." He responded while patting his pocket, which contained his communicator.
"Take it down and write down the co-ordinates for the pub here." Luca took his out, flipped it open and showed it to Mitch, who promptly mashed the right keys and put it into his.
"Thanks. Good luck." Mitch responded as he and Hitori began to head off out of the base and through the slums to their location, which was a about 15 minutes walk away.
"You too!" Luca said with a wink. With that, he revved the engine, and took off with Jimmy behind him.
After a short run through some slums, interrupting a few people along the way and eventually getting on the main road, Luca found a highway onramp.
"This'll be quicker." He told Jimmy as he proceeded up the ramp. As he was making his way up, a sign on the left said in splattered red paint: 'ABANDON ALL HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER
Cranebeinn watched as they departed, waving as they sped off. Turning back to the building, he said, "I hope they make it back fine." He bagan rummaging through some of his things and continued, "I guess I don't see why they shouldn't, though. Anyone hungry?" he asked with a smile, pulling out his cooking things.
Dad looked over to Crane. "While that would be appreciated, we don't exactly have a kitchen."
He lead Crane into the old building and to where the kitchen was supposed to be.
There was an old fridge with both of the doors torn off and the power cable severed, the main counter was missing the Kitchen Sink, the Tap, and cupboards to hold plates and cups, if any. The stove looked like it had been attacked by an explosive tin of baked beans, the gas wouldn't turn on anyway.
"A shame really." Mum commented briskly as she folded her arms.
John nodded in agreement.
Mitch and Hitori were advancing through some of the slums. Everything around them could be described as ramshackle. Maybe everything that was stolen could be found here, if you wanted to look hard enough.
Mitch remained quiet as he and his compatriot were walking through.
Suddenly, they encountered a small crowd with a hell of a racket in the middle of the 'street'. They were blocking most of the main way while fighting, some people tried to break it up, but without any luck.
"We'll go around," Mitch suggested as he shook his head at the crowd.
As they sped past, Jim read the sign and laughed. He expected as much from Funky City, with its gangs and rampant violence. Abandon all hope? No way in hell,
he thought. Jimmy was optimistic about this mission. While it was one in which they would have to kill someone, he was confident that they would get it done without a hitch. He gave Luca a thumbs-up and a smile.
Luca liked Jimmy's response as he drove on. He eventually got onto the highway. Strangely enough, it wasn't packed. In fact, it was empty... It only looked packed because you could see what looked like cars back to back on the road.
Truth was, they were abandoned on the sides of the highway, smashed, looted and the victims probably captured or killed.
Something seemed fishy as Luca looked at the barren cars as he still advanced down the highway at about 82 KM/H. He then heard the roar of other engines approaching and wild gunshots being fired, as well as what sounded like a bunch of hyenas being strangled with barbed wire coming closer towards him.
Luca turned his head around to see just what was behind him..."SHIT!"
Was his one word response as he saw a legion of bikers making their steady way towards him. Dressed in black with red on black motorcycles. Most of them had chains, planks, handguns and a variety of motorcycles with them. Luca counted about 24 bikers chasing him.
24 VS. 1? He liked those odds, and smiled.
"It's showtime, Jimmy." He said promptly as he accelerated.--DURING THE MEANWHILST!!--
Hitori nodded to Mitch's suggestion and they advanced through some back streets, and around the riot. However, just as they were about to get back on the main road, two bulky, cybernetic men stood in the way brandishing knives.
"Dat's far enough, missy!" One growled, "Hand over da girl, an no one gits hoyt."
Mitch responded in kind, ramming his massive fist into his chest. The guy on the receiving end reeled back a bit. He dropped his knife and began to grapple with Mitch, kneeing him in the chest.
The other guy ran over to Hitori and grabbed her by the neck with his knife in his other hand. Hitori promptly used a self defence manoeuvre known as the 'Groin Attack' and fell over with a breathless scream while still keeping a firm grip on her neck. He'd dropped his knife because of the attack.
Mitch took the knee in his tensed stomach with little more than a laugh, a laugh that began fierce and mocking as he lunged forward with a headbutt, grabbing onto his opponents limbs and setting his huge muscles to work - even against metal he would not bow down to a challenge. Slowly the enormous strength of his arms was brought to bear as his manically smiling face was held centimetres from the fool who had challenged him, his feet planted as firm as trees in the ground.
Jim turned, Luca was right. There were more bikes than Luca had ever seen in one place bearing down on them. An idea came to him as he wondered how best to position himself. As the bike sped on, Jimmy yelled to Luca, "Don't make any sudden turns!" as he climbed into a backwards-facing position. He took his gauss flechette gun from his shoulder, slapped a magazine into the slot, chambered the first round, and lined up his first shot. He would wait until the enemy shot at him, that way they would be the attackers, and his conscience would feel that much better. There was the fact that they would be closer, making them easier targets as well.
"Feelin' lucky, punk?" Jim said in a low voice only Luca could hear.
"Not Lucky," Luca replied to Jimmy while observing the masses catch up to him, "Because the stunts you see in the movies just got real!"
Eventually one guy managed to catch up to Luca, he was riding right alongside him. Half of his face appeared to be cybernetic with a thick coat of beard where any organic skin was supposed to be. He was wearing heavy leather clothing, the sort that'd protect you from a crash, mostly. He had a bat in his hands, he put it over his head and pelted Luca in the shoulder, laughing.
As he reeled back and swung again, Luca caught his weapon, pulled the assailant towards him and shouted: "That hurt!"
Promptly, he gave him a huge kick in the face. He promptly fell over onto the asphalt and gave it a 6-foot long kiss. His bike toppled out of control and smashed into one of the ruined cars on the side of the road and exploded in an orange blast. One guy who was riding next to him was hit in the process and met a similar fate.
2 down, 22 to go...
Then the sounds of bullet shots zipping past could be heard, going wild and missing most of the time, but still flying about.
These guys were now beyond pissed off.
"Jim, We're in for one wild ride." Luca commented as he rubbed his shoulder and put on the speed, "Now fire that thing!"--DURING THE MEANWHILST!!--
Mitch was pushing him forward while trying to pull his arms away with pure, brute force. Eventually, a loud POP could be heard as the attacker's right arm was dislocated.
"Dat hurt, asshole!" He yelled out as he frantically began kicking him, panicking and realising that he chose the wrong man to mess with, and that he was fighting a losing battle with someone much more powerful than he was. He tried to let go and run for it, but Mitch kept a tight grip.
Hitori was unable to throw off her attacker, she tried to reach one of the knives but it was to no avail. She was starting to lose consciousness and gasped for air as she was throttled on the dirt.
Mitch's laughter only became louder and crueller as his opponents body began to come apart and simply to show that he could be continued to head butt his opponent in the face again and again and again - yes it would hurt but the effect would be certainly worth it.He's too tough!
The guy on the receiving end of Mitch's onslaught thought. He was battered, bruised, had the crap smashed out of him and one his arms almost ripped out of his sockets. He began giving up and falling limp and unconscious because of the pain.
Grinning savagely Mitch let go before hitting his supposed opponent with a heavy right hook in order to finish that phase of the fight. Quickly he whirled around to look for the next opponent he could fight.
Hitori was still on the ground being choked by the other assailant. He looked up at Mitch, and tried to hurry up what he was doing.
"Damn it, damn it, damn it." He mumbled to himself anxiously.
Mitch quietly put his hands in his pockets and slipped on his knuckle-dusters - he didn't have the time to do this au natural. With them firmly attached to his fists he lashed out wish a series of brutal jabs to the kidneys and lower back of the miscreant.
The man who was trying to strangle Hitori wasn't now. He let go, looked away from Hitori and spat out a bloody glob. He tried to scramble away from Mitch and Hitori frantically as possible, believing that his back had been broken.
Having no intention of allowing him to walk away, Mitch ran after him with savage glee and aiming a kick designed to send him to the floor.
The miscreant ate dirt and glass on the ground. He didn't seem to have any intention of getting back up afterwards.
"Now you're going to survive this experience," Mitch said pleasantly as he knelled on the man's spine, "At least you have a fairly good probability, but just so you know - if I even see your face at the end of the road (and I have good eyesight) I will stab you to death with a scalpel."
The man just stared at Mitch in awe and fear. "Yessir. You won't see me again." With that, he began trying to crawl away and hauled himself into the nearest dumpster, and closed the lid.
Mitch grinned broadly after him for a few moments before beginning a haunting little tune with his lips (whistling) and returning to Hitori and offering him a hand, "I'm sure you could have taken him." He said in a comparatively friendly fashion.
Hitori dusted herself off and grunted, "Couldn't reach my knives. If I could..." Her words began to trail off with shame. She looked away from Mitch. She drew one of her knives and hid it in her sleeve.
"Could have happened to anyone. Let's find someone else so that you can get some shanking done." Mitch smiled and looked around for someone to inflict more violence upon.
Hitori smiled to Mitch and concealed her other dagger the same way.
Jim let his weapon do what it was meant to. Taking aim in the general direction of the nearest attacker, Jim pulled the trigger. The gun leaped in his hands, more forcefully than he thought it would, but the needles that sprang from the tip of the gun split into many needles and sped towards the enemy. Jim only hoped the hoodlums would be alive to tell the others in the gang about their encounter.
The needled assault that Jimmy had launched was quite deadly, doing damage to the riders, the tyres and the bodywork of the bikes. About 8 people had taken the worst of the worst in the hit and toppled over on their bikes, eating the pavement and having their motorcycles blown up in the process.
A few others around them had taken some damage, but were still able to ride after the two, and they were extremely pissed off.
Two more came up alongside the two armed with chains. They swung them around their heads and flogged Luca and Jimmy in the head/shoulder area, causing some pretty nasty bruises and a few cuts, but nothing serious.
Luca gave one of the assailants an elbow to the face and a kick to the chassis of his bike, sending him away and smashing into a ruined car.
"CAN'T WE JUST DO A BOUNTY HUNT IN PEACE?!" Luca roared to the other hoodlum as he began repeatedly mashing at his face with his left fist, like a machine gun. He dismissed him with a swift elbow.
12 down, 12 to go...BACK AT BASE!!
John sighed slightly as he sat down on the floor and leaned against the crumbling wall with his communicator, fiddling about with it, "I wonder what's on news?" John said as he flicked open his communicator and selected the news channel, "Time to get informed..."Channel 3 News
"Thanks, I'm live over the infamous Highway of Death, where the Red Rumble gang have claimed as home. They have been attacking anyone who comes onto this highway without remorse, until now."
"Sounds like tabloid stuff." John said to himself dismissively as he kept watching.
"Two men on a single motorcycle have allegedly fought back, and appear to be winning against the gang." Pictures of the chase on the highway with Luca and Jimmy on their motorcycle from overhead came up on screen, with a scene of Jimmy taking a good portion of the bikers all at once with his needles.
John adjusted his glasses and gaped, "Guys! Look at this!"
Dad, Mum and Crane rushed over to a look at what was going on in that tiny monitor.
The scene moved over a little and a bald man in a business suit could be seen, "Thank you Tom. This appears to be something out of an action movie, isn't it?"
"It seems that way, Dan!" The other reporter replied, "These guys seem to be indestructible against all odds!"
"I knew he had it in him..." Dad said to himself.
"Well, what do you know about that?" Crane said, watching the news intently. "It looks like they're having some fun." He looked on with all the others as the story progressed, both exited and a little worried, but not, he assumed, as much as the others who had known them longer.
Still listening to the news, he began to pace around the room, apparently thinking, before he said, "I don't really know what extra weapons you guys have on you, but with all these gangs, we would probably do well with some defense." He stopped pacing and wrinkled his brow. "I'm kind of hungry, too. I think we should get about refurbishing the kitchen, not to mention the rest of the place." He looked around to the others and his eyes settled on Luca's dad. To him he asked, "you built this place, what do you think we should do?"
Meanwhile, on the abandoned road, the gang was chasing Jimmy and Luca with a fury Jim had never seen before. And rightly so, as they had taken out half of their gang, probably killed most. Jim, as a general rule was against killing, but as he pulled the trigger of the gun once more after ejecting a mag and replacing it with one from his pockets, he did not think once of remorse. Again, a burst of splitting needles sprayed out from the tip of his gun, and raced towards the incoming enemies.
-ON THE HIGHWAY...
Jimmy's spray of needles managed to down more of those biotic bikers. That time, however it only took down 6 of them.
20 down, 4 to go...
The last four seemed to pose trouble, they seemed to be the leaders of the camaraderie, due to their difference in attire, which was entirely black, with helmets. Their bikes were hoverbikes too. They also seemed to know when to dodge the needles.
"Those little pins won't work on us!" One of them taunted.
"Because..." Another said.
"WE ARE THE FOUR HORSEMEN.
" They all yelled out in tandem.
Then they began riding quite close together and their bikes seemed to attach together, forming a platform and a sort of 'rolling/flying fortress'. They began setting up something on the platform between the bikes, which would hold a stand that held... a pretty big machinegun. Two of the bikers on the front were doing the driving, the other two on the back were keeping the gun in check and firing it.
Luca turned around. His mouth gaped a little, but he was already having too much fun just to realise just how screwed he is. He promptly pulled out his 10mm, turned around and fired a few shots. Two hit the vehicle, leaving holes. Another one hit the helmet of one of the horsemen, and bounced off with a bit of a scratch on the glass. Another hit one of the riders in the back in the chest, with no visible effect. No doubling over, no reaction, no nothing.
"Bulletproof gear?" Luca said in amazement, "Bugger!"
He looked over to Jimmy as he holstered his pistol, "How are we gonna face off against these guys?"AT BASE...
"Well," Dad started to Crane, "Seems like we should build it again, eh?"
John looked over to Dad, "Yeah... We could do with bunks, a couch, a Kitchen for Cranelegs, a table and TV or something."
Dad flicked his old communicator open, "I know just who to call for all of this..." He began punching in a number which he knew from memory as some of the best furnishers and builders in the business.
"Nina? Yes, is that you? ... It's old Big Bad Wolf here ... Yeah it's been a decade or two, nothing big. ... Yeah, I need some furnishing and renovation at the old base, bring everyone with you... Thanks, bye." He promptly close the phone.
"Who's Nina?" Mum asked curiously.
"She's someone I rescued out on the field. She went on to do construction and furnishing. She's in my debt since." He looked about the place before continuing on, "She and her team of builders and furnishers be over in several hours, probably after everyone gets back."
Mum looked at her husband with a scornful look.
"...What? I didn't do anything else to her!"IN THE SLUMS...
Mitch and Hitori continued their seemingly relentless pursuit of that Doctor. They seemed impervious to the distractions, whether they were street riots or bandits. Eventually they were out of the slums, the buildings got taller and less ramshackle. The people were also beginning to look marginally more civilised.
The bar which could hold the doctor was only a few more minutes down the main road, and probably between a building, according to the coordinates...
Mitch continued his path with unswerving dedication to the cause of transport - sure getting involved in a small riot would be fun, but he did actually have a job to do. As such he walked as fast as he thought his comrade could walk, keeping an eye on the surrounding and on the co-ordinates - relying amongst other things on his sixth sense for centres of alcohol.
Hitori seemed to come out of Mitch's shadow and asked him in a rather devilish tone: "Will it be long till we find our quarry?"
"Ah, I can't say - but we grow closer with every step." Mitch replied, enthusiastic about the possibility of killing the psycopath, but also knowing from previous experiance that things were rarely as easy as they seemed on the surface.
"Good," She replied with a giggle, "I can't wait... It's been ages since I've properly used these knives."
She seemed to fade back into Mitch's shadow with that last word, 'Knives'.
"Luca and I have a deal - when it comes to it he's my kill." Mitch commented, "I promise you it won't be fast" According to his calculations (or more importantly eyes) he was approaching.
Mitch and Hitori were peering down a dank alleyway. Lined with graffiti, rubbish, dumpsters and rats. Light didn't seem to shine in this area. To Mitch's left, there was a concrete staircase heading down into the ground and a green neon sign on the wall which read: "Ostrich and Wheelbarrow - 24 HOUR PUB" over the main entrance to the drinking den.
A burly man stood outside the door with his arms folded and a toothpick in his mouth. He looked about for troublemakers. He seemed to take little notice of the two.
The pub did seem rather appealing to Mich, what with it being 24 hours and seedy, and he did hope he wouldn't have to use his special entrance technique. Walking leisurely up to the door he made to go in.
"Ah ah ah." The Bouncer told Mitch as he put his hand on the doorknob as he approached, "Is you two gonna be troublemaking?" He quickly looked over at Mitch's backpack, "An' don' worry about weapons. E'eryone gots 'em. Jus' don't pull 'em out."
He sounded as though he'd seen way too many people with weapons come in, so he just allowed it anyway.
"I got no intention to make no trouble, nor pull out no weapons." Mich said casually, adopting the mans accent seamlessly, "Jus' goin' in fir a drink."
He nodded, "Foine." He looked over to the Hitori, "Pretty girly y' gots there."
Hitori looked at him contemptuously and pulled a wry smile in response.
"Aye, sh' does foine." Mich said in a friendly fashion before making to get into the pub again.
The bouncer opened the door for him and let the two in.
"'Ave fon, you two."
The bar seemed to be quite crowded, as most pubs around Nepleslia are. Men ranging from big to little and young to older were sitting down at tables on barstools and just about everywhere else, drinking the good 'ol malten liqour.
A thin haze of cigar(ette) smell seemed to line the place as Mich and Hitori walked in.
Meanwhile, on the highway, Jim had an idea. He had no idea whether or not it would work, but in these circumstances, he was willing to try anything. Still facing backwards in the seat, back to back with Luca, Jim tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "On my signal, stop as fast as you can and go to the left. My left, sorry."
Jim noticed that the four horsemen, or whatever they were called, were done setting up the large machine gun and were no doubt intent upon riddling their bodies with holes. Then he jumped off the motorcycle and into thin air.
He would reach the platform the four horsemen had made with their bikes in less than a second. Slightly adjusting his course with his gravity manipulators, Jim landed on the middle horseman on the left side, jammed the gauss flechette launcher into his neck with one hand and pulled the trigger. He knew that even if he had fired at the chest, the un-scattered flechette needle would have pierced his body armor like a knife through butter. He had no doubts about the fatal power of the force he used on this enemy. He braced himself to jump off of the platform and hoped that Luca would be there when he landed. Before he jumped, he ripped the 10mm pistol from his holster and fired three shots at another horseman's exposed neck. Not knowing nor caring if the man lived or died, Jim jumped from the platform speeding along the highway and braced himself for the fall he hoped he would not have to endure.
Luca couldn't quite hear what Jimmy was saying quite clearly. "Brake? Left?"
When Jim managed to pull off his stunt quite well. One thing didn't quite go to plan. When he fired his flechette rifle into the neck of one of the riders, there wasn't any blood, gore or guts. Underneath his wound was machinery, lots and lots of it.
That wasn't a person... and neither seemed the others. Luca seemed quite shocked at the fact that he was being chased by not just cyborgs, but full-blown robots.
"Fool!" One of the riders questioned Jimmy as he jumped off.
In his firing manoeuvre, Jim did manage to hit the the helmet twice, and the neck once, reacting similarly.
Luca saw Jim jump back and promptly swerved left, hit the brakes and Jim landed on the same place he'd leapt from with only a bit of a wobble to the motorcycle.
"THOSE GUYS AREN'T HUMAN!!" Luca observed the obvious after seeing a bloody huge spike go through someone's neck without any obvious effect, which was somewhat unsettling, "We need to destroy the whole thing!"
Then the machine gun mounted on the flying fortress gave a little 'click' noise that could be heard above all of the rubber hitting the road.
Then the sounds of .45's could be heard whistling past and hitting the road.
"GOD DAMN IT!!" Luca swerved left and right to avoid the shots, wobbling precariously. His usual habit of remaining calm under pressure was being tested here. He could also hear the bodywork of his motorcycle being punctured from time to time, which was quite annoying.
A shot or two was also absorbed by Jimmy's flak vest. The ones that did hit him stunned him momentarily from the piercing force.
He saw something up ahead which might be able to turn the tide of this rolling rampage. A makeshift ramp could be seen further up the road, probably for jumping off.
"I have a plan." Said the rogue with a grin as he looked over to Jimmy while swerving, "We can't dent it on top, so the underbelly must be the vulnerable bit!"
Jim was very thankful that Luca was able to keep him from eating the pavement, but he was now a little pissed that his dangerous stunt hadn't killed any of them. He had one last idea that might help Luca's. Reaching into his last pocket, he pulled out three vials, one containing a liquid, two containing fine powders. Knowing that Luca couldn't hear his reply even if he gave one, he shoved a thumbs-up into the side of his vision. Then he showed Luca the vials and mimed an explosion.
"A bomb?" Luca looked over to the three vials in Jim's hands, "Perfect."
The ramp was coming towards Luca awful fast.
"Use 'em when we jump!"
Jim braced himself for the inevitable jump, which would be upon them any second now. Suddenly, they were in thin air, far above the street. Still facing backwards on the bike, Jim was subject to a feeling of helplessness as he was borne upwards into the air. The horsemen's platform sped after them and took the ramp as Luca and Jim had, flying up into the air. Bullets whizzed around the two as they arced downwards. However, even though the situation was dire, Jim remained in control of his senses and, as if in slow motion, he threw the three vials at the horsemen's platform, which was directly above them and more than thirty feet higher than they were at that point. Jim could see exactly what happened, despite the distance. The vials shattered on impact with the platform, causing the three substances to mix.
The resulting explosion rocked Luca and Jim's eardrums and a shockwave knocked Jim off the motorcycle. As he fell, Jim activated his gravity manipulators, but at the distance, he was only able to cushion the impact, not negate it. He winced with pain and lay there as flaming debris rained down.
The bike went sailing through the air majestically.
Luca let out a healthy: "YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAWWWW!!"
When the makeshift bomb made impacted with the bottom of the platform and the blast resulted. The platform snapped in half through the middle and the two halves sailed in opposite directions off the highway, eventually landing down in the slums with a bigger blast.
Luca landed on the ground just fine with his motorcycle, but felt saw Jimmy fall off.
"JIM!!" He screamed as he braked and turned around. He stopped alongside him and jumped off his motorcycle. He rushed over to him and knelt down.
He tried to raid the medical pack hanging off him, pulled out a bandage and wrapped it around one of his wounds on his right arm.
"Damn it man," Luca started as he got a clothespin to fasten the bandage, "Those bombs are pretty useful. Oh And try not to get killed next time!"
He paused for a moment and looked up while hoisting Jim over his shoulder, "Also, I feel as though I should say something witty upon the 'death' of my assailants."
Jim hauled himself to his feet with Luca supporting him, "Yeah, I'll try not to get killed next time." He grinned. Raising his non-bandaged arm in a salute and said to the place where his enemies died, "Ex pulvum, ad pulvum redite." He turned to Luca, disentangled his arm and stood there. "From dust to dust return. And speaking of returning, I think we have somewhere to be. Don't worry, I can walk on my own, my arm is the only major thing wrong, and it should heal soon enough."
"That we do, Jim!" Luca replied to Jimmy's observation of timeliness with a smile, seeing that Jim was okay.
He took a look at his communicator. "Next exit and just down the road will yield this madman's hideout."
He jumped back onto his motorcycle with Jimmy on the passenger seat, and headed down the road at a leisurely pace. He took the next exit to the left and headed down an offramp. Some people were eyeing Luca as he came down because of the defeat of the Red Rumble Gang and the apparent liberation of the 'Highway of Death'. Some of them were giving the two a clap as they sped past. Others seemed to have mixed reactions.
They kept on going down and made a swerve left into one of the main streets. The buildings were quite tall and the people were more civilised than usual in this certain area.
"Now. Apparently, this place should be just..." Luca checked his communicator and looked to his right, then put it away, "This hospital."
The tall, glassy structure stretched about half a kilometre or so into the firmament.
"Oh for bloody -" Luca growled upon looking upwards and seeing the sheer magnitude of how much he'd have to plough through to find this madman.
He decided to ring Anonymous.
"Hey, Anon?" He started, "Do you have a name for the guy I'm hunting anyway?"
"Yes I do. Dr. Hermann D. Mort. Does that help you?"
"Yes it does, a lot. Thankyou." He flicked it shut and looked at Jimmy, hatching another plan.
"We can ride right into that hospital, and admit you as an urgent patient. I'll be your guardian/caretaker/friend." He started while envisioning it in his head, "We might be able to find the doctor much easier in there. Hell, he might come to us!"
Jim smiled, it was perfect! And with that realization, Jim started to take off the bandage and examine his injury. A large cut extended for about an inch vertically in his bicep. It was moderately deep and oozed blood slowly, but steadily. Jim said, "I could take care of this myself, but I suppose that mad doctor will have to start on me. Unless of course we take him on sight." Jim grinned. "Let's play our parts well."
-BACK AT THE BAR...
Mich immediately headed for the bar - he considered this the prime place to start in any search within a pub, and had the added bonus of having alcohol in it, "Give me whatever I can by for a fiver." He told the barkeep, placing the corresponding amount of money onto the bar surface.
The barman took a quick look at Mitch, then at the fiver he'd put down on the table. He had a cig hanging out of his mouth and was going a little bit bald with grey hair and a red cybernetic left eye.
"Foine." He got a pint glass and filled it up with some good 'ol fashioined Liquid Bread, "Here 'yare." He put it in front of Mitch as he resumed wiping glasses down.
"Thakee," Mitch replied, turning to Hitori, "So how do you think we should start then?" He asked, downing the pint.MEANWHILE...
Just before Luca put his plan into action, he decided to call Mitch via communicator to get that new information across.
"Hey, Michio!" Luca started, "I've new some information for ya."
Mich picked up his communicator, "Alright, what do you have?"
"A name." Luca replied, "Try looking for a fellow named Dr. Hermann D. Mort. I'm in front of the hospital now and I'll call you if I find him there, 'kay?"
"Alright, see you later." Mich put the communicator down.BACK AT THE BAR, AGAIN...
He turned to Hitori, "Our marks called 'Hermann D. Mort'." He said quietly.
"Mort, eh?" Hitori smirked quietly, "That's an easy name to remember." She looked about the pub, looking for anyone who might look like how they're named, or anyone wearing doctor's gear. "Try asking the barman where he is," She whispered, "Or if he dropped in anytime."
Mich nodded and turned back to the barman, "Do you know if there's a Dr. Hermann Mort around here?" He asked amicably, placing a fifty on the bar, "Oh and a pint, keep the change."
Oh, him?" The barman responded casually as he took the money and filled up two pints for him, "Methinks I saw 'im yesterday. He's yet to pop in t'day though. You friends of 'im er sometin?"
"Not quite, but we're keen to make 'is acquaintance." Mich grinned, taking the pints, "He's got something of a reputation as a real miracle worker."
"Aye. Dat's wot I've heard." The barman replied, "I heard he doesn't loike the ladies though. Maybe 'e bends the other way." He chuckled lightly at the thought.
"Ah, with the population being the way it is I wouldn't blame him," Mich said with a shrug and a sip, "What does our doctor look like?"
"Oh..." He tried to recall him, "Bit bald, whoite hair, bit of a beard goin'. Usually wears white 'er grey suit 'n a labcoat. A bit on tha pale side too. Needs tae eat his veggies 'er somethin'."
"Physician heal thyself." Mich grinned, "Thanks fir the information." He turned to Hitori, handing her the other pint, "Is that what you had in mind?"
Hitori looked left and right, blushing a little, "Possibly. Maybe except for the paleness and beard." She seemed a bit disrespondent.
"Something the matter?" Mich asked casually, looking around the pub while downing his pint (a rather complex but awesome manoeuvre). It wasn't quite as rowdy as he'd have liked, but then again he didn't particularly want to start a brawl here at the present point in time.
"I - ah... Oh nevermind." She swallowed a lump in her throat, "Just getting giddy, that's all... I'm losing focus."
"Aye, beer can either be a blessing of a curse in that situation." He paused silent for a moment, "My best advice is to try and enjoy the moment - thinking about things too much when they're not needed is a great way of getting yourself depressed."
"Pint taken." She took the second pint and took a sip, then a gulp. She was beginning to loosen up a little, a rare thing. "I've heard that thinking too much can bring on some pretty nasty things..." She smiled a little. A rarer thing.
"Aye, leave the thinking to the scientists who develop the weapons and the politicians that develop the wars. Here and now think enough to get you by and not enough to get you into an existential crisis." Mich was speaking with some degree of honesty and even some emotion in his voice - which wasn't exactly common.
Hitori nodded as she took another big gulp of the beer. Now the beer was beginning to warm up her brain. The pleasure centres were activated, but she still had some control of what she was doing.
"Yesh." She shrugged as she finished the pint, "Now, let's scour this place for that doctor."
"Lead the way," Mich said, "I'll leave the thinking to you for a bit." He grinned savagely, and enjoyed a very mild internal glow - it needed more than four units to get much out of him.
Hitori tried to hatch a plan, she came up with this: "How about I'll stay outside in case he comes by, and I'll try and charm him in if he comes?"
She then considered that Luca and Jimmy were after him too... "And if our friends Jimmy and Luca find him, then there's nothing lost, right?"
"Fair enough, you want me to keep watch inside here?" Mich asked, not particularly minding being left beside a bar.
"If he enters a different way, certainly."
"Fine. We'll do that then. Keep in touch." Mich said, settling down on a bar stool while considering its combat applications.
Hitori opened the door leading out, giving a nod to the bouncer.
"Hiyuh girlie." He commented sheepishly.
"Hi." She replied as she made her way up the steps, made a turn around to the alley and hid between a dumpster and a few cans of trash, keeping surveillance on the area for that doctor.
-BACK AT BASE...
The news was just finishing as the reporter said: "It looks like that's the last we'll be seeing of the Red Rumble Gang and the Four Horsemen. The Highway of Death is clear once more."
Faint clapping could be heard in the background as Luca's motorcycle sped off the highway into town. Cranebeinn turned off the news as it changed to a city plumbing update - the prospects didn't look good since the massive rodent invasion. He doubted that any of the nasty little buggers would be worth cooking seeing as they crawled up into plumbing pipes.
Moving on into the next room, Crane said causually, "They made it," to Luca's parents, but over their continued discussion about Nina, they paid little attention. It seemed that everyone expected Luca and Jim to make it out fine, though they were all glad to hear the final affirmation.
"I knew he had it in him!" Dad replied upon seeing that Luca and Jim had made it through relatively unscathed.
"We didn't used to call him 'Our Little Aether Generator' for nothing!" Mum added with a grating laugh.BACK IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL...
Luca nudged Jimmy, who was on the back of his motorcycle, "Try and look all limp and fainted when I ride in, so it looks more convincing, okay?"
Jim nodded and promptly shifted his weight onto Luca like a sack of potatoes, feigning fainting.
Luca quickly rode right through the door of the hospital, screaming: "MY FRIEND'S BEEN HURT!!"
The doctor at the front desk may have seen something like this before, but judging by her reaction, not for a while.
"Okay okay, calm down. What happened?" He asked as he looked for the relevant sheets to give to Luca.
Luca stopped the motorcycle in front of the desk. "He fell off a roof he was fixing and cut his right arm open a little."
"All right. Sign this so we can admit him." He passed a clipboard and pen to Luca with the relevant records, "You can sign for him. He looks unconscious."
Luca signed 'L.Pavone!'
at the relevant spot, and also filled out what he'd just said as injury details go. He passed it back to the doctor.
"Okay, we'll take your friend and put him on Floor 14, Ward B, Room 8. We'll assign a free doctor to him in a moment."
"Thankyou doc." Luca replied with a grateful nod.
A pair of doctor's assistants got a stretcher for Jimmy, hauled him from the motorcycle and placed him on it and took him to the aformentioned place.
The doctor took another look at Luca, who'd come in on his motorcycle.
"By the way, there's secure parking downstairs for that thing you're on."
"Righto." Luca pottered along to an elevator, pressed the button and went down to B1, where the carpark was. He parked his bike in a locked off area for emergency patients, just to be secure.
Then he made his way by Elevator up to Floor 14, wandered over to Ward B and eventually located Room 8. Where Jim was sitting in a large bed.
Luca looked around to make sure nobody was nearby, then looked at Jimmy and smiled, "I think they bought it."
Jim grinned, his arm still hurt and he was unsure if he was able to shut down the pain receptors in his arm, but he was too happy that the ploy worked to care. "Think he'll come?" Jim asked. The nurses had not stripped him of his weapons yet, and Luca had Jim's large flechette gun across his back. Just then, he heard a shuffling of feet; there was someone coming. He hoped it was only a nurse. Jim reached for his 10mm and flicked the safety off just in case something bad went down.
"Possibly." Luca replied, "But if he doesn't come for us, I'll go looking for him."
The he heard the footsteps of someone coming through the halls, towards the room.
Luca immediately sat down. The door opened and a dark skinned man with black hair, glasses, a white coat and a clipboard entered.
"Hello Mr. Trakk, I am Doctor Benson. I'll just be inspecting that wound of yours." He walked over to Jimmy and began inspecting his arm, applying a bit of disinfectant before probing it. He took a glance at Luca. He asked Jim: "Is he a friend of yours?"
"Yeah," Jim winced when his wound was poked at by the doctor, "he brought me here after I fell off that roof." Jim kept the hand that was resting on his gun under the sheets of the bed, as not to be seen at all. Doctor Benson was a kind doctor, it seemed to Jimmy. Nevertheless, he kept his eyes open and wary.
"I see." He said as he inspected the wound, "It appears to be regenerating itself slowly. You must be Yamataian. What brings you to Nepleslia anyway?"
"I finished my time in the army, but when I was finished, I wanted to relax for a while and hang out with some friends of mine. This guy here was a good friend of mine, and I decided that he would be good company for the time being." Jim responded.
"Yeah, those were the days!" Luca played along with what Jim was saying. He then thought of another way to find the evil doctor."Hey, Jim."
Luca telepathically told Jim, "I'll try and sneak through the hospital to find his office. Communicate to me if he enters your room."
Luca then voiced: "I need to use the toilet, I'll be back in a few minutes."
He promptly walked into the hall of the hospital, and took a quick look around at his surroundings.
The hospital was relatively well furnished and kept in good order. There were a few interns and doctors wandering about. The carpet in the halls where people were allowed were a blue/green colour, and red where patients and visitors weren't allowed to go.Chances are his office is somewhere on a different floor...
He shuffled over to the front of an Elevator, checked the floor guide. Floor 15 yielded all of Doctor's offices. However, to get there, you needed a keycard.
Jim watched Luca leave and hoped he wouldn't get in over his head. Of course, he reasoned, that was exactly what he was most likely going to do. He turned back to the doctor and asked, "How long have you been working here?"
He would try to find the man himself. Hey, if he did find the location of the man, he would pass along the information. This evil doctor was dangerous; they would need teamwork to pull this one off.
Doctor Benson was cleaning Jim's wound when he heard his question. "Oh, 'bout 2 years. There's never a shortage of doctors here with all the fightin' going on out there." He chuckled, "Every day I see people bashed, battered and bruised by riots, bags of money from the sky and much more. What'd you and your buddy see in the army?"
"There must be another way up..." Luca thought to himself as he looked left and right, he flicked open his communicator and rung John, who was back at base.
"Hey, John. It's Luca here." He started, "I need to find a way of getting up a floor or two inside a hospital."
John's face came up on screen, "Luca, Dad says that there might be a service elevator in the kitchen for transporting food around the hospital and to other kitchens. Try using that. Over!"
"Tell dad I say thanks... Oh, and why'd you add 'Over'?"
"Dunno..." John said absently, "Sounds stylish."
"Fine... Over!" Luca quickly cut the line and looked around for signs pointing to the Kitchen. He found the doors to the kitchen... and leading to it, red carpeted hallway. There were a few trolleys, gurneys and other such things scattered about Luca could hide behind.
He took a few steps forward towards a trolley, and he heard some people talking around the corner. He ducked down and watched two doctors stroll by, talking as they walked past the kitchen doors.
When they'd walked by, Luca reappeared took a few more steps forward and hid behind another trolley. Someone came out of the kitchen with a large trolley and walked out of sight.
He then stood up and ran into the kitchen. Fortunately the coast was clear.
Once he was in, he crouched down near a counter and began shuffling towards the service elevator at the end of the kitchen. He was almost there, then he heard someone in front of him, he then walked forward, turned his head to Luca...
Luca immediately stood up, it was one of the chefs. He had a rolling pin in his hands, an apron and a cybernetic right arm. He swung it at Luca, hitting him in the upper-torso with quite a lot of force, knocking him back a pace. Luca responded with a knee to his gut and a hammer-fist to the back of the head while he doubled over. He then made tracks to the elevator door, narrowly avoiding some thrown, pointy cutlery from other chefs.
He began mashing the button to call the elevator whilst dodging a butcher's knife and a meat fork. Just as the door opened and Luca walked on, a fork flew out and hit Luca in the back of the right arm. He got the door closed and took the elevator to the 15th floor.
"Bloody--" He cursed pulled the fork out of his arm and dropped it on the floor, "--Hell." He knew he'd had worse before.
The elevator got off at Floor 15 and opened. Luca was smack-in-the centre of the offices of the doctors, all with red carpeting. He could hear footsteps of some doctors walking around to certain rooms, so he had to make sure he kept quiet, and wouldn't be seen or he'd probably have an injection pulled on him.
He tiptoed down the corridor and looked at the first office: "Dr. Marv" read a plaque on the front.
Nope, that wasn't it. He kept on heading down the hallway, encountering the offices of "Dr. Goletom", "Dr. Nikolai" and "Dr. Lars." However, he also found something on the wall: a cabinet labeled "Emergency Tranquilliser". Luca pulled it open and found a two dartguns and two magazines loaded with tranquilliser darts. He nabbed both, stowed one in his pockets, loaded the other and peeked around the corner.
A lone doctor was walking down the hall to his office. He did look sort of suspicious. A little bit bald, pale with white hair and bit of a beard going. He was wearing a grey suit with a labcoat with ID.
Luca quickly reeled back and hid himself from sight and sound and flicked open his Communicator and rang Mitch.
"Hey, Mitch." He asked quietly, "Can you provide me with any visual information on this guy?"BACK AT THE PUB
Hitori was still remaining vigilant on hiding. It'd been a few minutes, then she saw what looked like her quarry making a sharp right into the alley and down the steps of the bar.Bingo,
she thought as he opened the bouncer greeted him casually and let him into the pub. She quickly got out of hiding and followed him, getting past the bouncer's sheepish charm and the door.
Jim was still in the hospital bed and the doctor had left his side. He felt his wound, it had nearly healed. It still pained him, but it was a dull one and the bleeding had completely stopped. He rotated the arm and found that he could move it with very little difficulty. sent Luca a message telepathically, Luca, how's the chase going? Found anything so far? I'm well enough to bust outta here. They know I'm Yamataian so they most likely won't send another doctor to examine me. Do you want me to come help?
Mitch probably wasn't picking up his communicator to deliver the good news. He waited for a moment, but the screen came up with: "NO RESPONSE"Hmmh.
Luca thought to himself, He must be busy...
He kept on hiding as the doctor walked past. Luca had a gut feeling that this guy might be the one to ambush, simply because of how creepy he looked.
Plus that red stain on his shirt left a bit to be desired.
He then got Jim's message as he stalked down the hall a good 20 metres away with the dartgun in hand."Hmm."
He replied via telepathy to Jim, "There's a way to Floor 15 (where I am) via a service elevator in the Kitchen. Try and look for that, and don't be seen, or the chefs will throw pointies at you. I got a fork in my arm, but I'm fine. Come up as quickly as you can."
The doctor made a left turn and opened the door to an office. When he'd closed the door behind him, Luca quickened his pace and looked at the door: 'Dr. Mort'
"Bingo." Luca thought as he stood by the doorframe and waited for Jim to arrive.
Mich would forever blame his not picking up his communicator on a technical error, and as such he didn't technically do anything wrong - and in any case he resolved the situation within a few ten-seconds, quickly springing the device to his head,
"Our good doctor is," he scoured his mind looking for perfect recall which he knew he did not possess on a regular basis, "a bit bald, white hair, something of a beard, pale skin, malnourished and prone to wearing white or gray suits with a labcoat. And ... he's here now. Bye."
Mich quickly switched off the communicator as someone looking convincingly like the doctor entered the bar. In his conventional and rather direct style he approached the man with a large smile, "Doctor! Please, let me get you a drink!"
The doctor was a bit busy minding his own business. That afternoon he just wanted a scotch on the rocks and a few other drinks. He came here, to drink, after all. The act of Mich offering him a drink came as a small surprise.
"Certainly." His voice seemed quite clear and fluent, "Scotch on the rocks, 'ol chap."
"But of course," Mich replied with a wider smile yet, "Anything for someone of your stature." He quickly approached the bar, "Bar-keep a scotch on the rocks if you please." As always his accent changed for the person he was working on.
"Aye." The barman said as he began getting the ingredients together.
The Doctor sat down at a stool next to Mitch, "Let me guess, your wife or friend told you about me or what?"
"A friend - word of mouth is a powerful thing." Mitch smiled, subtly taking a small pill from his sleeve using the sleight of hand which he had mastered in his semi-criminal career and taking the drink from the barkeep dropped it in.
The doctor took the drink and had a light sip.
"So. You're Mr. Gorske?" He said as he took another, savouring the flavour.
"That I am, and you're going to help?" Mich said, rolling with the new development, subtly watching him drinking the now loaded liquid.
“Yes, I remember, your friend had a few problems in his digestive system..." He was now having some problems keeping steady on his stool as he kept on drinking, "I've been running some tests - on his - blood." His voice was beginning to sound quite drowsy.
"That's really good of you Doctor," Mich smiled gratefully, "This is the least I can do."
The doctor smiled weakly, or, at least tried to, "No... worries." He fell facefirst into the bar, still clutching his drink. He was out cold.
The barman took a look at him: "Cheap drunk..."
Hitori sat down next to Mitch after watching him from afar in case things got nasty. "Good work." She whispered into his ear.
Mitch nodded and whispered back, "Thanks" before turning to the barkeep, "Ah that's a shame - I'll take him back to his house, I know where he lives." He followed this with placing a 20 credit note on the counter.
Luca picked up his communicator and kept the volume down, "Thanks Mitch. I've already seen him go by. I'm right in front of his office, he's inside."
Picking up the doctor over his shoulder and his communicator in his other hand he heard what Luca had to say with some surprise, "That's kind of hard - I've got him slung over my shoulder."
Luca found this a little hard to believe: "What...?" He was slightly puzzled, "I saw him walk into his office with my own two eyes!"
"Yeah, well having someone over you shoulder trumps seeing someone. We're either dealing with an imposter or a clone. Mine is clearly the real one." Mich headed for the door at this point with the rather light doctor.
Luca was no longer puzzled, but now angered that he'd lost the bet, "Mich, I think you've got the fetch. If this guy's been murdering people," He was remembering things from some of the action movies he'd been watching a couple of years ago, "It'd be safe to assume that he'd have a patsy instead of going out on a limb by himself. Trust me I saw it in a movie!"
"Aye, want me to take this guy somewhere more private?" Mich asked, walking out of the bar.
"Who's stopping you?" Luca said with a smile, "After all, the more the merrier to pin this guy, right?"
"Alright, I've got an apartment around this area. Or at least I have a key and it's not being used." Mich grinned, heading towards the said place, and gave the address.
"Thanks, Jim and I will head there afterwards... Over and out." He flicked his communicator shut and kept waiting for Jimmy to come along.
Jim pulled the IV from his arm and checked himself over. He was in pretty good shape as far as he could tell. And he still had his weapons, although Luca had his flechette gun. He hoped that he wasn't killing people with it. Of course, there had been no alarm yet, so they should be fine so far. He peeked around the side of the room's door, sighting down the hallway, looking for anyone watching him. No one was. There were about five or six nurses walking up and down the hall, but none were able to see him at the present.
He stepped purposefully out of the doorway, looking as if he was supposed to be there. Jim passed about three nurses before one of them stopped him, "Why are you here, are you a patient?"
"No," Jim replied, "I was here to see one of my friends, but he seemed to be okay, so I was just leaving."
"What was his name?" The nurse asked.
Jim responded, "Jimothi Trakk." And before she could say anything more, he stepped past her and walked towards where Luca had indicated he should go. Jim came to the doorway that led to the elevator, but as he neared it, a cook yelled, "ANOTHER ONE?!" and threw a ladle at him. Jim ducked just in time, thanks to the heads-up that Luca gave him earlier. He messaged Luca as he entered the elevator and made his way up to the 15th floor. Luca, you were right, they do like to throw things.
The doors opened and he cautiously made his way out and into the doctor's hallway. Luca was some way along and against a wall with a weird looking contraption in his hands. Jim walked quietly with help from his gravity manipulators and gave the contraption in Luca's hands a questing glance. "What's that?"
Luca saw Jim come out of the elevator. He turned to him with a smile, "Glad you're here, Jim!" Then he heard his question: "A Dartgun. I think it's got tranquillisers loaded inside."
Jim responded, "How silent is it?"
"Not sure," Luca aimed it at a section in the wall and fired. A little "Fsh" could be heard as the dart was propelled into the wall. He looked at the gun and noticed that it was a manual reload. So he pulled it back and loaded another dart into the chamber for firing, probably resetting the firing mechanism.
"There you go."
Jim smiled, "Perfect. I have half a mind to tell you to use it on that cook, but what's the situation so far?"
Luca smiled at Jim, stalked over to the door of Dr. Mort's office and pointed at the plaque.
"This is the guy's office."
Jim looked. "Is he in there right now?"
Luca just nodded with a grin.
Jim clicked the safety of his 10mm off, held it vertically and sent a message to Luca, okay, lets do this without killing him, alright? You go for him with that dartgun you have there and if he tries to pull anything, then I'll go for his shoulders.
"We'll just break the door down and jog our merry way in," Luca said in a low tone of voice as he took a few steps away from the door then braced himself, "Surprise can work wonders."
Jim positioned himself in the door-breaching position he was taught in training. He readied himself for the break-in and gave Luca a nod and a grin.
"3..." Luca said as he got ready to unleash a flying kick. "2..."
He began a mad dash, "1!!" He jumped up with his left foot in the air and the dartgun in his hands. When his foot made contact with the door, it seemed to fly off its hinges.
The inside of the office was windowed on the back wall, had a plain desk with a computer, a potted plant and a couch. However, something was missing.
"Where is he?"
Luca took a look around, and noticed that one of the windows were open with wind streaming in. "Oh, for bloody --"
As the door was unhinged, Jim had leapt around the corner and pointed his gun at where the doctor should have been. "He must have heard us outside his door. Now worries though!" As Jim said this, he ran for the window and hung from it. He let go and let his gravity manipulators take over and he started to float down.
"Okay, search for him around there!" Luca poked his head out the window and looked left and right, "I'll see if he's up here somewhere..."
He made a sharp turn around, Lo and behold was the vile doctor. He was hiding behind the door.
"Coming to take me in, are you?!" He roared, "You little runt! Come and GET ME!"
He pulled out a small knife stained in blood from his jacket and threw it at Luca. He barely evaded it, just nicking the skin on his right arm, but the wound felt much more severe.
"Ach!" Luca grunted has he clutched his stricken arm, "No wonder you're wanted, you cheap bastard!"
Luca aimed his dartgun at him and fired, twice. However, it was deflected by a pair of knives, with surgeon's precision.
Jim heard the commotion coming from the room he had just left and reversed the gravity manipulators, sending him slowly back up towards the room, which luckily wasn't far away. As he came into sight, he saw Luca fire his dartgun and have the shots deflected. He raised his gun and fired three times at the doctor's shoulder and shouted, "Physician heal thyself!!"
The shots that Jim had fired at him were deflected, this time with a larger, wider blade, which gave off a faint hum.
"Oh for fucks--" Luca groaned as he pulled out his 10mm and fired at his head, with a deflection, "-- sake.""Jim, I'll try and engage him in Close-Quarters. I can disarm this guy, maybe."
He sent to Jim as he put away his guns and assumed a combat stance.
Jim propelled himself through the window once more. And landed on the other side of the room farthest from the other two. All of his weapons were useless against this man! He snarled at the bastard, and leveled his pistol at him. "okay, Luca. Do what you want. I'll try as best as I can to back you up."
Luca tossed Jim the dartgun, "Use this."FIGHT - COMMENCE!!
Luca swung his left foot into the hand that was clutching the doctors blade. He wasn't able to avoid it and was promptly knocked out of his hands. It landed on the floor.
The doctor retaliated with an elbow to the jaw, knocking Luca's head back, then forwards.
Luca then grabbed onto his jacket by the scruff and pulled him over his head, smashing him against the desk, smashing it in half.
Jim then took a pot shot at the doctor, but hit the desk. He muttered to himself and reloaded.
The doctor got up and began attempting to Punch Luca in the face. Alas, Luca's head and neck bent away from his fists. He grabbed one of his fists, pulled it towards him and put his other arms elbow over his arm.
"This will hurt." Luca told him as he jumped up, pulled the doctor's arm up against his and slammed it against the floor with a sickening crack, dislocating his arm.
The doctor didn't seem to react to this as he pulled his flawed arm away.
"No, it doesn't." He began shaking his other arm, and with the same cracking noise, he'd disjointed it.
Luca was naturally unnerved by this, but kept his cool. "No wonder." He commented on his act, "You've made people shit themselves to death with that!"
Jim had a slightly different reaction, frowning slightly.
The doctor was annoyed by the lack of reaction and swung one of his limp arms at Luca. Luca guarded it, however, the rest of it swung around and hit Luca in the back with quite a lot of force.
"Dying is a problem for you, isn't it?" Luca asked him as he prepared to unleash a good portion of his rage on him. First, one punch flew at him and hit him in the face, then another to the gut, another to the teeth, another in on the shoulder...
This would repeat almost indefinitely. The speed of the punches began to increase too, eventually the impacts made began sounding like machine gun fire.
A wide grin came across Luca's face as he kept on bruising this doctor. He stopped for a moment and the doctor took a few paces backwards in stupor. He had a black eye, huge bruises on his upper body and a few missing teeth, as well as some amazement as to what'd just happened to him.
Jim found an opportunity to fire a dart at him, which nailed him right in the head.
Luca's final punch sent him flying into the wall. Upon impact, the wall began to crack a little from the force.
"Ouch." Were the doctors last words before he peeled off the wall and fell down.
"Good job, Jimbo." Luca said as he gave him a high five, "I'll lift him."
Luca hauled the bruised doctor over his shoulder and out of the office. He also picked up the vibro blade on the floor, still buzzing and turned it off, stowing it away, "This can go in the weapon rack at base. We're going to bring this guy to Mitch's old apartment."
Now, the question was, how would they get down with a catatonic doctor over their arms?
Jim contemplated and then said with a smile, "Let's do what I almost did in search of that guy, lets go out through the window carrying him between us. When I was floating downwards, I'm sure I saw an alleyway where we could hide while you go get your motorcycle. I'm sure we can manage him if we work together."
Luca took the limp body of the doctor and put it over his shoulders, "I think that service elevator goes down to the basement."
He and Jimmy carried him out into the empty hallways and retraced their steps to the elevator. Luca pressed a button to call it, and given time, it came.
They took the elevator down to the basement. Halfway down, Luca openly wondered: "Jim, I don't think there'd be a kitchen in the basement, would there? It'd be just screwy if there was."
"Yeah, that would be really weird." Jim responded, "Why would anyone have their kitchens in their basement, especially a hospital." Jim looked around as the doors started to open. Jim let Luca take the lead into the next room.
Luca took back his Dartgun from Jim and jumped through the door of the elevator. Then the smell of what could be compared to a 3 month dead cow on fire hit him.
"UGH." He said clutching his nose as he looked around, where he was appeared to be a sort of garbage dump for the place, probably cleaned out every day or so. Medical waste was in a separate pile, thank god, or else the whole heap would come to life or something.
"There's gotta be a way out of here." He said as he began stepping through the rubbish with the doctor over his shoulders. He found a door which was labelled: "B1 CARPARK" and next to it, a garage door for the truck to come in.
Luca tried to open the door, but it was locked. He put the doctor down on a patch of clear floor and motioned for Jim to come over.
Then the doctor got up in a daze, "What just happened?" He said. Luca heard him and fired a tranquilliser dart at him. He sighed and kept on motioning for Jim to come over with his other hand over his nose.
Jim hoisted the doctor over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and said to Luca, "So, how are we going to get through that door. I still have a couple chemical bombs. We could use one instead of the three we used on the four horsemen. If you are a good enough shot I think you could probably hit them with a bullet to make them go boom. What do you say we do?"
"Well, we could break the door down, but I want to make sure nobody knows we were here." He thought for a moment, "Healthcare on Nepleslia isn't free, is it?"
"Ah," Jim said. "Stealth would be the better path indeed. Lets see what we can do about taking it apart. There might be some tools around here somewhere..."
Luca took a look at the door. "The hinges are on their side. Maybe we could get rid of the hinges and just push the door down and put it back up when we leave?"
"Fair enough. Lets do it then." Jim responded
"You take the top hinge." Luca said as he knelt down and took a look at the hinge. It was of simple construction, held together by a single pin which could be slid out.
Jim examined the top hinge as he held the doctor over his shoulder. He then gripped the hinge and wrenched it off, ripping it out completely.
"That was easier than I thought," Jim said, "Must have been rusty or something."
Luca stood up and motioned for Jim to stand back. He cracked his knuckles and put his arms lengthwise over the door. He gave one tug, another and the third one was the charm as Luca had a door in his hands.
He put it against the wall and motioned for Jim to drag the doctor out.
Jim still had the doctor over his shoulder and walked out through the opening Luca had made for them. "Neatly done Luca." He waited for Luca to follow him through the doorway.
Luca winked at Jim and placed the door back in its frame on the way out. However, next time someone tries to open that door, it'll fall down either on them or into the garbage.
The two quickly searched the carpark for Luca's motorcycle, "Stay here while I pay for the hospital, okay?" Luca said as he rushed up the stairs and to the reception. He paid about 50 KS (100 DA) for Jim's hospital charges and came back down, jumping on the motorcycle: "Let's go."
Jim climbed on the back and held onto the doctor as best he could. "Try not to make me drop him. We wouldn't want to give Mr. Anonymous a scuffed up bounty, now would we?"
"'Course not, Jim!" Luca replied with a nod, "Actually, Anonymous only informed me of the job, plenty of other guys want him dead too and they told Anon, who told me." Luca slipped the cycle into gear and drove out.
"Alright, lets ride!" Jim exclaimed.
Luca flicked open his communicator to get direction's to Mitch's apartment as he drove his motorcycle out of the car park and onto the street, making a sharp right. The doctor was sandwiched between Luca and Jim, to make sure he didn't fall off. Once he got to the 3rd intersection, he made a left, then halfway down the street he turned right and sped through an alley.
"So, Jim." Luca asked as the rode between dumpsters, trashcans and people, "How do you think we did?"
"I'd have to say that was pulled off nicely, if not perfectly cleanly. We did perfect, until that guy ambushed us."
Then he saw the place right in front of him and quite literally drove right in. Thankfully the doors were automatic and opened just in time for the motorcycle.
"Ah yes. But you can't make an omelette without breaking an egg, right?" Luca replied.
"True enough. So what are we going to do about this guy?" Jim replied, "Are we going to beat him up, just hand him over, what?"
The motorcycle rolled to a gentle stop in front of the elevator, its rider leant over and pushed the button for the floor where Mitch and Hitori were supposed to be.
"Naw. Mitch has found the doctor as well," Said Luca as he waited for the elevator, "We're going to see who's the real one first,"
"A fake one you say? That could prove troublesome. Whichever one is actually him is not going to be happy we found his double as well."
When it opened, he pushed the motorcycle in by foot and the door was able to close behind him and they went to the floor. When it opened at the right, they reversed out and headed for Mitch's room.
The inside of the apartment was fairly well maintained. Not a the usual slum-on-a-skyscraper, just a nice place to go to at the end of the day when you're beat. There was the occasional piece of graffiti on the wall, but that was only natural.
Luca knocked on the door to Mitch's apartment and revved the engine on his motorcycle. "It's us." He said over the noise.
"We got the doctor!" Jim added.
"You could really do with shutting that thing up," Mich shouted coming out of the door, "I've got mine up here, prepped for my interrogation."
"Right right." Luca said as he turned off the engine and made his way in with Jim and the Doctor, "I just can't leave it out in the streets, it'll be stolen."
Mich sighed, "Alright, bring it in. I doubt it can ruin the 'decor'." He walked back into his department, picking up a glass of whisky which he had already poured and drinking from it. The other doctor was strapped into a dentists chair in his underwear, "Picked the chair up retail."
Luca rested his motorcycle against the wall near the door and took a look at the other doctor, "I think I found your, uh, patsy." He said as he hauled up his body-double and pointed to him, "Know anything about him?"
The doctor shook his head, "Who the hell is that?"
"You're really not in a position to ask questions." Mich replied smoothly, taking a scalpel from his pocket and running the blunt edge over the doctors forearm, "But I advise you talk."
"I found him in your office. He tried to kill Jim and I." Luca added, "He's also able to do this!" Luca bent his forearm forward, then backward, the whole way, "I don't think a normal doctor would do that, would they? Also..." Luca searched his backpack and pulled out the wide-bladed Vibro-Blade used in the fight, “They don’t carry THIS sort of kit around.”
"Alright, so we have one martial artist posing as a doctor, and an idiotic doctor. We need them both conscious." Mich sighed and slapped the 'fake' doctor repeatedly round the face.
The Body Double was awoken by the slapping. "What the--?" He still had a lukewarm recollection of the fight beforehand, "Bugger." He chuckled to himself, "I'm caught, eh?"
Luca tightened his grip on the double's coat with a frown, he looked at Mitch and sent him a telepathic message, "This place has a balcony, right?"
"Yes." Mich replied, not having telepathic abilities, "And yes, you got caught - now tell us what you got caught doing or I'll make use of your supposed flexibility." He said, leaning over the prone form of the fake with a particularly intimidating look on his face. Someone like Mich could really look intimidating if he put his mind to it. It was all in the eyes.
"Hah heh heh." The double said, "This little tyke here caught me being a body double in that doctor's office. Nobody can be in two places at once."
Luca didn't think this was a straight answer, he was a little annoyed. "What?" He walked over through the halls, dragging him along then slid the window to the balcony open and then hauled him over the edge by his collar. It was a long way down, "Now give me a reason not to drop you..."
Mich cursed himself, since he hadn't dibbed the Body Double, only the original. With the situation up in the air it was possible he wasn't going to get to kill anyone, "I have a reason - dropping's too easy."
"Oh, I am -ever- so scared," The double replied jovially, "Please don't drop me, tyke!" He heaved a yawn, "Can I go now?"
Luca still wasn't satisfied, "You are lucky--" He hauled him up over his head, "That I'm a nice guy," And smashed him facefirst against the balcony, "You jerk!"
The doctor strapped to the chair decided to fess up. He'd had enough of watching these two, "We're partners in crime, okay?"
"Explain." Mich said, grabbing the body double and placing him in a Chinese strangle-hold, looping his left arm around the mans neck, holding it in place using his right as fulcrum and putting his right hand behind the mans neck - capable of creating incredible pressure at a moments notice, the unbreakable variety "You've got around two minutes before he dies."
The doctor did have some feelings for his double, "We kill together, sometimes we even do our serious work together." He pointed (or at least tried) to the double, "Give his face a tug."
Mich nodded to Luca, "If you would." Then talking to the doctor, "So you're both involved? Good. Luca, I'll take the Doctor like we agreed."
Luca thought for a moment, "Probably not. I'm too much of a gentleman to kill someone helpless." He smiled and shrugged, he sent the next message to Mitch telepathically, "Maybe we can tie 'em up and hand them in to the nearest police station? They've probably been looking for these guys anyway and will give us some rewards too!"
"They deserve worse." Mich replied, his eyes hard - he had no problem killing but hated scum like this, "You going to tug this guys face?"
Luca took a look at the double, then gave his face a good pull by the cheeks. He was wearing a mask. His real face was a bit darker skinned and clean shaven.
"Surprise surprise." The guy said shaking his head.
Luca sighed at Mitch, "I'm sure the Police will do the same thing as we are. Thing is, they've been looking for this guy so they hired help, we're part of that help, I guess." He thought for a moment, and smiled, "We might get some press coverage too."
Mich sighed, "Your choice. Although I insist we break something first."
"Good point," Luca said as he walked over to the doctor, "I feel a bit destructive anyway. Hold the double still, please?" He took a few steps back with a small grin on his face.
"Don't worry. He won't move," Mich tightened his really quite large biceps to close the doubles windpipe, "Or he'll die, won't you?"
The way Luca had positioned himself had made a line which had two things in the way. The double and the Doctor. He broke into a dash towards the double.
"Oh sh--" Was all he could mutter before Luca's boot was planted firmly into his forehead while his other leg was behind him, evading Mitch. He used the momentum to launch into the air over Mitch and land on the other doctor in a bodyslam.
"OOOFF!" Quoth the doctor as Luca stood up and loomed over him.
"Your turn!" Luca hollered to Mitch, "Let's make 'em nice and unconscious!"
Mich laughed, "Nice move." He quickly rendered the double unconscious, and standing up took his leg in his hands and flexing his arms snapped it into a compound fracture. This, of course, woke the man up - but he couldn't stop Mich doing the same with the other leg. Mich finished off by ploughing the mans head into the wall, "What's this ones name anyway?" He asked the doctor in a friendly fashion.
"Dick," Replied the doctor as he wheezed for breath, "Dick Johnson."
"Nice to know. I think Hitori wanted to do something to that one." Mich said, standing up and straightening his spine, "I'm sated."
The double went limp, He'd had enough for one day. His last words before lulling off were: "I'm all tired and punched out..."
The doctor decided: "Just hit me with a tranquiliser dart."
"Sure." Luca said as he pulled out his dartgun, then remembered that he had one for Hitori, passing it to her.
"Thankyou..." She said (she was oddly silent through the whole ordeal) as she hid the gun in her pocket, "This'll be useful."
"No worries." Luca replied as he pulled the trigger and a little black dart could be seen on the doctor's forehead.
Jim stood by watching the episode with passive eyes, taking in the situation and digitally recording ever detail, so they could give a flawless story to the police. After they were knocked unconscious, Jim dragged the doctor to his feet and slung him over his shoulder once again in a firemen's carry. He smiled and said, "We going to the police station or what?"
"Well." Luca said, "I'm not sure where the nearest police station is. And this motorcycle only fits 2 people comfortably." Then he considered how Mitch carried Jim back at Ralt, "4 if Mitch is on the bike. Maybe I should get an attachable sidecar for this thing."
Hitori smirked, "Maybe you should later on. It'd be easier for everyone then!"
Luca walked over to his motorcycle, straightened it up and sat down, "C'mon! Who's with me?"
Jim approached Luca with the doctor over his shoulder and said, "So, who's coming along with you on the bike?" Then he had an idea. "You know what we could do, we could have John pick us up in the shuttle. It would fit everyone and probably the bike too."
"Point taken. I was considering buying Sidecars for this thing." Luca pointed to Jim and commented as he flicked his communicator open and rung John.
"Yo." John's face came up on screen as expected.
"John, can you fly your shuttle to the following address?" Luca proceeded to give John the details of where they were, "...on the 16th Floor. I'll be taking our quarry to the Police and I'll catch up eventually."
"Certainly." John nodded, "I'll be over in a minute or two." His face disappeared from screen. He was on his way.
Luca turned to Mitch, Hitori and Jim. "I'll handle taking these guys in. You guys will be picked up by John via shuttle. Now..."BACK AT BASE...
John made tracks from the ad-hoc Library on the second floor, leaving a stray copy of 'Ass Weekly' behind. He ran to the shuttle, entered, strapped in and got cleared to launch into the city area. He had to take his time though...
"Well, this certainly is interesting." John mumbled to himself as he flew up and towards the city at a leisurely pace, "Looks like I'm doing a Balcony-based retrieval."AT THE APARTMENT...
Luca pointed to Mitch: "Tie up these two," Luca pointed to the unconscious doctor and his double, "And load 'em onto my cycle. I'll deliver the miscreants and I'll see you all later."
Hitori casually waved to Luca as she leant against the wall, "Fine fine, Hero. Do what you need to do."
Luca smiled at the 'Hero' compliment, not understanding the sarcasm behind it, "Thanks!"
"But o'course o' glorious leader." Mich said sarcastically, dusting himself off for no reason other than it seeming to be a good idea, walking over to a cupboard in his apartment and taking out two lengths of rope through them over his shoulder before taking a lengthy swig from one of the whiskey bottles which were placed strategically around the room. Crossing first to the 'genuine' doctor Mich broke his nose by grabbing his face and pushing with his thumb before unbinding him from the chair and then hogtying him - giving him a kick in the side for good measure. Crossing to the 'fake' doctor Mich hog-tied him in such a way as to put maximum pressure on the broken limbs and kicked him in the arse. At this point he used excess rope to bind the two together with a rope and then placed that rope over the bike so they were suspended either side of it, "I hope you have a fun ride." He said, grinning evilly.
Hitori shook her head slowly at Luca's utter obliviousness. She watched everything carefully, never missing a detail. A beep from her communicator startled her slightly. Who could that be from?
She thought suspiciously. No one knows of my location... or so I thought...
Her slender hand reached into a hidden pocket of her cape and pulled out her communicator. Someone had left a message.
Hello, Agent Hitori.
The organization misses you. Yes, we finally discovered where you have been hiding. Don't worry. We will not interfere in your personal agenda... yet. We know that you will not reply to this message, but don't try to get a new communicator. We already have another agent watching you. Your new friends are... odd, to say the least. We won't kill them... yet. Just be sure that you will be hearing from us... very soon. Good day, my dear.
Hitori shivered slightly. МАЙКЛ. It had been a long time since she had seen or even heard Michael's name in the old Russian tongue. She had hoped to never have seen it again. An audible sigh left her lips, I guess that you can never escape your past.
She quickly purged the message and put the communicator back into her secret pocket.
Luca noticed Hitori sighing, "Bad news?" He asked nonchalantly as he put the hog-tied doctor and double onto the passenger seat of his motorcycle.
Then he could hear a familiar sound outside. The group looked over to the balcony and they could see a the airlock of a familiar shuttle hovering just outside. The airlock opened up and John could could be seen in the passenger area, "Hurry up, everybody on, quickly!" He jumped back into the pilot's compartment and strapped himself in.
"And that's your escort!" Luca said as he jumped onto his motorcycle, "See you all soon!" He opened the door out of the apartment and took the elevator down to the ground floor and out of the apartment with his quarry strapped to his motorcycle.
He asked the nearest guy on the street where the police station was and he pointed him in the general direction. The guy pretended not to notice the two who were tied up and strapped to the motorcycle.
Mich shrugged, picked up a few bottles of whiskey and moved to inside the shuttle, sat down, crossed his legs and began drinking. Whatever was next to come it would probably be dealt with best if he was firmly drunk.
Hitori just brushed off Luca's question with a quick shrug. She quietly and quickly headed over to the airlock to get onto the shuttle. She slipped by John without a word. She seemed a bit more... silent then usual.
Jim also noticed Hitori's sudden change in mood, but pretended he didn't; he knew that all would be revealed in time, and anyways, this was the wrong place and the wrong time to ask. Jim stretched and walked towards the shuttle that was waiting for them. "All right, guys. We did good, now lets get on home, get us a filling meal, and a good drink."
-IN THE SHUTTLE...
John poked his head out of the Pilot's Compartment and looked at everyone, "Luca said he wasn't coming, was he?" He asked casually as he summed up everyone and got back to getting to base.
His shuttle was at a leisurely pace and about a mile or two over the city as it headed towards the Base.IN THE STREETS...
After a few minutes of heading down the road, Luca had rode his motorcycle into the Police station, albeit at a slower pace and less smoke and burning rubber.
The cop at the reception looked like he'd had his fill, for over a year or so, "Mmmhh, fuck. Whaddaya want?" He seemed irritated. His uniform was unbuttoned, a bit sweaty, he had two cigs in his mouth and the bags under his eyes were quite noticeable. He had a cybernetic right arm too.
"Got a delivery. Two guys," Luca said as he got off his motorcycle and hoisted the Doctor and his Double (tied together) onto his desk.
"Well I'll be buggered." The cop said as he examined the two. A hint of zeal returned to his voice, "We've been looking for that Doctor, kid. Who's the other guy?"
"Body double." Luca said, nodding, "I found him in the doctor's office." He jumped back onto his motorcycle, "I'll leave you to it to bring these two to trial by shotgun or something fitting. Bye bye."
"Yeah yeah, 'ave a good one, kiddo." He replied as he a couple of cops appeared to haul the two away, probably to the jail cell. One of the policemen walked over to Luca.
"Whut's your name, son?"
"Call me Wolf."
The cop looked at him funny, then accepted it as it came. A lot of mercs, guns for hire and bounty hunters used names like that anyway, "Nom de Guerre, eh?"
"Yeah, you could say." Luca replied, nodding as he assumed his father's old title, "Anyway, I gotta run."
Luca advanced slowly out of the Police Officer's station and began heading back towards base, which would take about half an hour's worth of travel by motorcycle.
Hitori softly padded her way to a back part of the ship. She kept telling herself that she wasn't hiding, but it sure felt like it. The female Geshrin curled up into a dark corner. Her breathing soon softened as she fell asleep. Today had been a long day...
As the group flew back towards base, Jim's communicator lit up with Cranebeinn's face. "Glad to see you're all okay," he said. "We all want to hear about it. Normally this would call for a special meal and a few pyrotechnics- but as we have no kitchen nor any food, maybe just a few exlosions for fun. I'll see you all back here in a bit."
Jim jumped then smiled at the sudden presence of the crazy chef's face. It would be good to get a hearty meal, Jim was hungry after their recent escapades. They would have to do it in a very improvised way, no doubt, but they would figure it out, undoubtedly with lots of things getting wrecked, burned, or in other ways destroyed. He started to hum to himself as they neared the base.
In the absence of a pleasant killing, and certainly the slow torture and slaughter of two pieces of miscreant scum as the Deadly Duo would have been nigh on sublime, Mich had to sate himself some other way. Rather predictably the route that he chose to do this was to get through a bottle of whisky rather quickly and, once his emotional barriers had dropped a little, break into a rendition of an ancient opera:
"How was the Scene forlorn, and how despised
When Tymon, without Musick, moralize'd?
Shakespears sublime in vain entic'd the Throng,
Without the charm of Purcels' Syren Song."