“And what about dear old dad, you ask?” Director Lehrer said with his arms spread wide open and looking at Michael. “Oh, he put on a show. Too bad no one witnessed it, well, one person did but let’s just say he wasn’t in the mood to report anything. Even that annoying partner of his missed the grand finale.”
* * *
A cloud of dust appeared near the bank and obscured the path ahead. Javier started to slow down the car when the Enhanced giant appeared running out of it.
“Look out!” shouted Thomas as the cruiser slammed into Iron Curtain. The front end of the police vehicle wrapped around the Enhanced as the airbags deployed and the two officers jerked forward against their seat belts. Thomas could only hear the ringing in his ears as he gathered his senses.
Iron Curtain looked down at the dazed officers as they tried to unbuckle themselves. Here was his two chances to get revenge on the LAPD and Atomic Power for Blowtorch. He punched the front windshield, pulling the entire piece out by the aluminum frame and tossed it to the side.
Thomas grabbed his rifle as Iron Curtain reached in and grabbed him by the Kevlar vest. He suddenly found himself outside the car face-to-face with the angry Romanian.
“You will die, pig!” he snarled. As Iron Curtain cocked his fist back, Javier fired the shotgun from atop of the steering wheel. The blast could not penetrate the tank’s flesh but it knocked him off-balance. As Javier as he stepped out of the cruiser, the smaller officer racked the 12-gauge with the speed of an expert gunfighter and fired again, the buckshot striking the Enhanced in the leg. This time, Iron Curtain did not move.
“So, you want to be first,” Iron Curtain concluded as he tossed Thomas to the side like a piece of trash. As the LAPD sniper landed, he immediately rolled and popped up in kneeling position and aimed the sniper rifle.
Iron Curtain grabbed Javier and hoisted him in the air. The tank slammed the SWAT spotter on the hood of the car, the department-issued pistol popping out of the holster and the shotgun flying out of his grip. Javier went head first over the passenger side of the hood and landed on his back, his arms and legs bleeding from multiple wounds.
Thomas pulled the trigger. The bullet struck just outside Iron Curtain’s ear hole, the copper jacket fragments entered inside the ear canal and Iron Curtain roared in pain.
Iron Curtain turned to face his attack. “You!” he yelled while pointing at Thomas. “You’re the one that shot me in the face!”
As he tried the open the bolt and chamber another round, Iron Curtain grabbed the barrel of the rifle and pulled it, throwing Thomas in the air several feet. As he landed on the hood of the police cruiser, he lost his grip on the rifle . Iron Curtain grabbed both ends of the weapon and snapped it across his knee. The long barrel bent from the superhuman strength as the metal receiver and synthetic stock shattered into pieces.
Thomas crawled backwards on the hood as Iron Curtain approached with a grin showing crooked teeth. He reached for Javier’s sidearm laying on top of the dashboard.
“Stupid pig, that won’t hurt me. I’m invincible! You are going to die just like the rest of them,” Iron Curtain said with murder in his eyes. He was going to tear this cop apart piece-by-piece and cherish every singly bloodcurdling scream.
“I don’t think so,” replied Thomas as he looked at the .45. “Everyone has a weakness.”
Iron Curtain did not feel when the portal slightly wider than the 1911 barrel appeared just above his tongue. He did feel when the 220 grain jacketed hollow point .45 slammed into the roof of his mouth and continued into his brain. As the bullet struck his skull, it shattered, sending the hot copper jacket and lead bullet in various directions, ripping through more parts of the brain tissue. Thomas kept pulling the trigger of the 1911 until the magazine was empty and the slide locked back.
Iron Curtain screamed once before he fell over, blood pooling out of his mouth and ears.
Thomas dissipated the portal in front of barrel of the pistol before anyone saw it and jumped off the car, his Enhanced body already repaired. He scrambled to the side of the cruiser as an obvious injured Javier crawled to cover.
“Don’t move, amigo.” Thomas ordered. He leaned in the wrecked cruiser and called the dispatcher for his partner.
* * *
“Agent Lehrer,” called the sniffer, an Enhanced with the ability to detect powers. “Sir, I’ve discovered something unusual.”
“What is it?” Daniel asked. After several hours of news conferences, reports, investigations, Daniel was ready to go home and sleep.
“Sir, I’m detecting a second set of powers here,” said the sniffer as he examined the wrecked police cruiser that Javier and Thomas were driving. Javier was at the hospital with a broken arm and dislocated vertebrae. Thomas was likely home with his pregnant wife, Sue.
“Not possible,” Daniel replied. “Atomic Power and Blowtorch were in front of the bank. Iron Curtain was back here with SWAT.”
“I’m sure of it, sir. It’s very faint and very unusual. If I had to guess, I would say the second Enhanced used a form of teleportation.” Daniel noticed the sniffer had a huge smile at his success.
“Good work,” Daniel complimented. “Fill out the paperwork and drop it off at my office.”
“Yes, sir.” As the sniffer walked away, Daniel pulled out his phone.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Daniel said. “It looks like project Evolution wasn’t a failure after all. Collins is an Enhanced.”
* * *
Author’s note: This story is based on the real North Hollywood bank shootout on February 28, 1997.
See you in October for Paradox!