Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.58

Blacksheep looked at the Predator gun drones hovering above the two heroes. She then looked at her – and she used this term loosely – partner, Lady Lash. Blacksheep thought that she was going to have a fair fight between them and the heroes below but obviously Kaja and her employer had other plans. Natalia did not like her one bit; you can blame it on Chechnya, but that wasn’t the reason. Natalia hated her because she knew how to push her buttons. “What’s the matter darling,” Lady Lash said watching the two heroes dodge for cover as the drones stalked them, “upset your precious Волк** isn’t here?” She watched with detached interest, as if viewing a tennis match.

“That does not concern you Kaja,” Blacksheep said her eyes never leaving the drones and their quarry, “what should concern you is that,” as the words left her mouth, one of Sleepwalker’s billy clubs crashed through the body of one of the Predator’s sending it crashing to the floor.

“That is nothing to worry about Natalia,” the Predators regrouped and renewed their attack against the two heroes, “they are performing their functions exactly as required. Unlike your overpriced and under trained hirelings. If they were not enough to take these two, imagine how disappointed he would have been if your darling wolf had been here?”

Blacksheep crossed her arms, gritted her teeth, and watched the fight below.

“Boy I’m glad they have nothing better to do then snipe at each other while their robots do all the dirty work,” The Starlight Sleuth yelled over to Sleepwalker as he slipped into the cover of a nearby shadow, just barely ahead of a chaingun blast from one of the drones.

“Tell me about it, these things weren’t fun the first time, now they’re getting repetitive.” The drones seemed to perform better in the confined spaces of the warehouse. Everyone had less room to maneuver and they were not too selective about the collateral damage.

“So you got another brilliant idea on how to get out of this?”

“Hey I came up with the last plan, it’s your turn.”

“Okay I got a little something I like to call, the direct approach,” The Mid-Night Man once again disappeared into a dark shadow. Two seconds later, he appeared from a shadow just in front of the remaining Predators, “Hey tin cans, over here!” Just as the machine guns on the drones opened fire, he disappeared back into the shadow that he came out of.

“Smart plan doc,” Sleepwalker thought to himself as he watched the Mid-Night Man hope in and out of the shadows to keep the drones off balanced. “Now for the ladies.” He smiled under the gasmask. “Sometimes it’s good to be king…”

Blacksheep seethed after that last comment “How dare she talk to me like that,” ran through her mind as her teeth ground together. She dwelled on the insults a few seconds longer until the guns of the Predator drones started to fire. Her eyes latched onto the scene as she watched the man in the dark suit, as he moved from shadow to shadow, “It appears Kaja,” she said with an acidicly sweet voice, “that your pets are having a bit of an issue.”

“Don’t worry about them my little lamb,” Lady Lash retorted without even looking at her, “they will have things in hand soon enough,” no sooner had she said this, then the Mid-Night Man walked out of a shadow right in between two drones. Just as they opened fire he moved quickly back into the shadow. The hail of bullets crossed where he should have been and right into the drones themselves, and sent them crashing to the floor in a smoldering heap.

“Oh yes darling, they have things well in hand.”

Lady Lash wheeled around to look Blacksheep dead in the eye, “Do you think you could have done better?”

“Ladies, ladies, ladies,” Sleepwalker said as he jumped from the floor twenty feet straight up to the top of the boxes in one smooth motion, “What’s all the squabbling about. Can’t we all just get along? Maybe settle our differences in with some hot oil wrestling?”

“I think that the two of us can put aside our differences,” she unfurled her whip and let it lash around like a lazy cat’s tail beside her. “Some of us are professionals.” With a flick of her wrist, the whip sprang to life, and flew toward the Sleepwalker. With barely a second to spare, Sleepwalker side stepped the whip, and caught the edge of it on his billy club, and then with a sharp tug he yanked the whip out of Lady Lash’s hand. The ease of the disarmament unbalanced him for a moment.

“Professional? Let me handle this Kaja. Unlike you I don’t use a weapon that can be taken so easily,” with that Blacksheep launched herself into Sleepwalker with a fury strikes from her staff. Still half tangled in the lash, Sleepwalker barely deflected the blows with his nightsticks.

Corin watched the two drones as they tore into each other and fell to the ground. He then turned his attention to the third and final predator drone. He pulled out the collapsible metal shock staff that he “liberated” from the psycho in the alley a few weeks ago. He pressed the small stud on the side of the staff and it sparked to life. The Starlight Sleuth looked back up from the shadows to eye the area where the final drone patrolled. He could see it followed a certain pattern around the bullet-riddled trucks he and Sleepwalker originally hid behind. Corin moved from shadow to shadow trying to get the best vantage point, he only had one shot at the drone, “Better make this count.” He took a deep breath and threw the shock staff at the drone. The electricity sparked through the air as the staff hit it’s target dead center, and caused a chain reaction in the drone sending it crashing to the concrete floor.

“Yes,” Corin pumped his fist slightly as he watched the drone crash to Earth, “Okay now to help Sleepy.”

Sleepwalker and Blacksheep continued their dance around the crates of the warehouse. Each punch was expertly blocked by a forearm, each swing of a billy club or staff blocked by the other combatant’s weapon. The whip fell to the ground in a heap as they fought. Lady Lash bent over and picked up her weapon once more. Her eyes trained on the battle.

“Predictable as ever,” she thought to herself as an acidic smile crossed her face. She readied her whip and kept her eyes on Blacksheep. As she prepared to strike she felt a tap on her shoulder. Lady Lash turned and struck behind her with the whip. Nothing. Then the shadows parted and a gloved fist crashed into her goggles. The shadows surrounded her.

“I hate hitting women,” the Mid-Night Man said to his unconscious opponent, as he rubbed the knuckles of his right hand, “but if you weren’t wearing so much damn armor.” He trained his shadow-covered eyes to the fight between Blacksheep and Sleepwalker. He trained his tranq gun at Blacksheep he couldn’t really get a clean shot at her without the possibility of hitting Sleepy as well.

“Hey Little Bo Peep,” he yelled at her. Blacksheep swung high at Sleepwalker, which forced him to dodge a certain way breaking off their dance. She quickly spun around so that she could have both the Mid-Night Man and Sleepwalker in her sight. She looked down at the unconscious body of Lady Lash for a split second and then back to the two heroes.

“I have no true quarrel with either of you.”

“You’re trying to turn our city into Somalia two-point-oh. You have a quarrel with us,” Sleepwalker said twirling one of his clubs between his fingers.

“You have the weapons you came for, and,” she looked down at Lady Lash with a smile of satisfaction on her face, “someone to hold accountable. Tell the Wolf that I shall see him soon,”before either hero could react, she leapt from the boxes and was gone.

Sleepwalker paused and looked around. “Ok, that was too easy.” Through the shadows, the Mid-Night Man gave him a glare. He didn’t consider fighting a horde of thugs, three gun drones and these two an easy task.

“You are right. It was too easy.” The lash rose from the floor like a snake and curled itself around the arm of its mistress. She rose, shaking her head. “That was a very good punch.” The starlight sleuth whipped around, tranq gun facing the formerly unconscious Lady Lash. In her other hand she held a small cylindrical device. “Love Amazon-dot-com. Have great digital recorders. Losing shipment may help my superior force her superiors to change their business methods; but her abandoning shipment for me is perfect.”

“That recording’s going nowhere.” Sleepwalker pulled a ball bearing from his pocket, ready to be launched.

“This?” She raised the cylinder. “This not recorder. Recorder is here” She tapped her breastplate, right where her cleavage would be. “This is way out.” Everyone acted at once. Mid-Night Man fired his dart. Sleepwalker rocketed his ball bearing towards Lash’s breastplate. Smoke erupted everywhere as she hit the trigger. When the fog cleared, she was gone. All that remained were shattered pieces of armor.

“No dart. Think it hit her?” Mid-Night Man crouched by armor fragments. “Because it looks like your bearing sure did.” Sleepwalker responded by punching a dent into a catwalk support. “Can you track her?”

The Sleepwalker shook his head. “No. She’s too good for that.” He kicked the strut. “She used me! She used me to get at a professional rival. It’s just so –”

“Catty?” offered the Mid-Night man.

“Yes. Catty.” The Sleepwalker holstered his nightsticks as sirens appeared in the distance. “You’d think she’d at least try and seduce me first.” The Starlight Sleuth laughed.

“Well, let’s hope that little recording causes a lot of in-fighting between their bosses. And the guns aren’t going anywhere but a lockup where you can keep an eye on them.” He patted Sleepwalker on the shoulder. “Cheer up. Maybe next time they’ll try and seduce us.”

The Sleepwalker’s laughter filled the room, only to be drowned out by sirens. Darkness surrounded the starlight sleuth and his companion. As it cleared, nothing remained.

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