“Sound familiar?” Daniel asked the unmoving Michael as he counted the ammunition for the cannon. He only had 23 rounds but if that was not enough to stop Vengeance, not much else short of a thermonuclear bomb would.
“Yes, it was that infamous bank robbery in Hollywood where the cops got their asses kicked by a couple of local dirt bags,” he continued. “You read about it during your training. I wrote those chapter myself. But, of course, I left out a few things.”
* * *
Javier pushed the squad car over 100 MPH on the Hollywood Freeway after dispatch relayed another officer down call. Thomas quickly scanned the signs looking for their exit.
“One mile,” Thomas announced.”Turn right at the end of the off ramp. The bank is on the north side of the street about a quarter-mile down.”
“Highway Patrol en route to shut down all exits,” squawked the radio.
Thomas looked around the car to see what they had available. They borrowed whatever had wheels at the Academy, in their case, a Metro Division cruiser. The vehicle was stocked with the standard equipment including a shotgun. Thomas used the key to disengage the lock and pulled the 12-gauge from the rack. The bank robbery was progressing from a simple grab and dash to an all-out war, and the police were losing.
Javier slammed on the brakes of the car as a red sedan hit the street in front of him. Several wrecked vehicles were crumpled in the area and others were burning, cutting off direct access to the bank. Javier and Thomas jumped from their vehicle, Javier with the shotgun and Thomas with the Remington rifle and took cover behind a brick wall where other uniformed officers, detectives, and civilians were hiding.
“About time you got to the party, SWAT,” mocked one of the officers. “Even the Feds beat you here.” The officer nodded his head to a Federal agent with his suit jacket missing and holding a Beretta.
Agent Lehrer glanced over when one of the LAPD officers he had taken cover with mentioned SWAT was here. He frowned. It was just his luck that it was the one officer he did not want to see.
Thomas and Javier crawled over to the agent’s position. Since this was an Enhanced crime, the FBI usually had jurisdiction. They also had the most up-to-date files on individuals with Enhanced powers.
“What do the Especs have, Daniel?” Thomas asked. Thomas was not sure why but after their initial meeting, Agent Lehrer was very cold to him. He knew that the agent ran a background check on him, talked to his former neighbors, and Marine commanders in San Diego. Since then, Thomas felt like Daniel blamed him for something. But now, they had work to do.
“The hot head is Blowtorch,” Lehrer rattled off, “an evil sonofabitch that likes to watch things burn. I just hope your rifle will take him down. Pistols aren’t doing shit against him.”
Automatic fire erupted again. Several chunks of bricks blew apart above the officers as Daniel, Thomas, and Javier ducked down. Bullets fired wildly whizzed over their heads.
“Jesus, that was close,” proclaimed Javier.
When the shooting stopped, Thomas popped up and dropped the bipod on what was left of the top of the wall. He positioned the rifle between two shrubs so he had partial concealment. He quickly looked through the scope and fired a round. The blast echoed between the buildings.
The round hit Iron Curtain in the cheek as he fired at officers hiding in the strip mall parking lot across the street but the copper bullet shattered on impact. The large Enhanced became enraged and grabbed a nearby abandoned car and tossed it like a sack of rice at the officer with the bigger gun.
As Iron Curtain released the car, Thomas grabbed his rifle and ducked. Several large concrete chunks dislodged from the wall and the car windshield shattered on impact, slashing Daniel and Javier across the face. Thomas was the only officer unscathed.
“Dammit, Collins!” shouted Lehrer. “That’s Iron Curtain. We don’t have anything that can hurt him.”
“I’ll just have to get him to open wide,” Thomas remarked. Whatever stick Lehrer had up his butt, he wanted no part of it.
“Where the hell are the Enhanced, Lehrer?” Javier demanded. “Atomic Power is supposed to be helping us against these guys!”
“He’s up north looking for Epicenter. We called him but it will take time!”
Javier and Thomas looked at each other worriedly. The threat of Atomic Power was enough for most Enhanced to behave in Los Angeles. No other Enhanced was even close to his power. With him unavailable, the B-teams would not get here in time and even then, they might not be able to take down Blowtorch and Iron Curtain.
Thomas leaned over Javier to Daniel who was wiping the blood off his face. “What’s the plan?”
“We’ve got to separate them,” Daniel decided. “Blowtorch is taking cover near their car and he’s not stupid. Now that he knows you are here, he’ll try to keep you from getting a clean shot.”
Thomas nodded his head in agreement. Although the tank was stronger, he lacked any ranged weapons except for the rifles. The elementalist was the most dangerous and needed to be eliminated first. He could burn down the entire neighborhood along with every cop and civilian in it.
Javier leaned forward. “That big bastard is not going to just invite us over for tea.”
Daniel peeked out from the side of the wall. Iron Curtain was spraying bullets at officers in various directions. He would begin to move forward but always come back to the parking lot of the bank. Blowtorch must know that he is vulnerable if his tank leaves.
“Take your cruiser and drive around to the other side of the bank. There’s a side street or alley to the north. Get in range and put a big hole in Blowtorch’s skull. Once you do, run like hell. If we’re lucky Iron Curtain will go after you and we can retrieve some of the wounded.”
“Jeez, thanks asshole,” Javier quipped as he grabbed his shotgun and moved towards the car. Several new bullets holes decorated the windshield from Iron Curtain’s wild shooting. Javier hoped the radiator did not get hit or this would be a quick trip. The car started and he back up behind the wall before Iron Curtain noticed the movement..
“Thomas, your date is over. Get in,” Javier said as he rolled down the windows and waved.
Thomas looked at Daniel before moving. “You owe us big time, Daniel,” he said. Daniel nodded his head in agreement as the SWAT team zoomed away in the cruiser.
The FBI agent smiled. If they succeeded, he would be lauded as a hero, probably promoted. If they failed, then perhaps Elizabeth would stop comparing him against the great Thomas Collins.
Author’s note: If you have been following us at PenandCapeSociety.com, you know about the Super Choice Adventure going on now. I’m on the Chapter 6 poll but I only get to write the next chapter if I get the votes. Let’s bring Willow to the world of the Enhanced!