Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.59

The rain roared as it drove into the roof of warehouse number 05-39. It was as if the great spirits knew there would be bloodshed this night and had turned loose a deluge to wash it away before it had a chance to stain the earth. Or, in less philosophical terms, it was raining it’s ass off and Bluewolf was happy that he wasn’t out in it. His thoughts strayed to the rest of his teammates, wondering how they were faring. They’d agreed to a communication blackout to keep the risk of alerting the ‘other side’ to a minimum, though direct links between each pair of team members was still essential.

The sodium lights cast a dim yellow glow over the warehouse floor, keeping the rafters where he and Tigris waited for Rant and Rave to show. Somewhere above him, there was a leak in the roof that, at a regular interval, would send a large cold drop of rain to fall square in the middle of his shoulder blades and slide down his back. He’d have moved were it not for the fact that he was in perfect position to ‘drop’ in on Rant and Rave. Eddy and Capin had given him a pretty solid run-down on the duo’s abilities. He’d made a number of modifications to his visor in hopes that he’d be able to withstand their audible and light attacks long enough to put them down without drawing Kaye into the fray.

There was a soft click, and then Tigris’ voice purred in his ear, No movement here, how about you?

Bluewolf glanced over to her position. She’d shifted into the melanistic variant of leopard, most commonly referred to as the ‘black panther,’ her anthropomorphic form blending so well with the shadows that only the golden glow of her eyes marked her location. “Nothing yet, but it’s still early,”he whispered.

Maybe they’ve been tipped and won’t show?

“It’s possible,” Bluewolf considered, “But I doubt it. I’ll whisk you down for dinner at Nola if I’m wrong.”

If you’re wrong there’s a very good chance that we’ll be attending several funerals, least of which our own, Tigris replied sarcastically.

They hadn’t gone much longer when the large rolling doors split open, allowing cool, damp air to flow into the building. Along with the night air, also came a medium sized panel truck being directed by two guards dressed in black fatigues. Two more guards, the ones that had pushed the doors open, ducked in and proceeded to push the heavy doors closed once the nose of the truck had cleared.

I spy four so far. Tigris’ voice popped in Bluewolf’s ear.

The truck squeaked to a stop as one of the guards unlatched and rolled up the rear door as another pulled an electric forklift into the light. The last two took up stationary positions just at the light’s edge keeping a wary eye on the shadows and fingering the triggers of their HK MP-10 submachine guns. The front doors of the truck popped open. From the passenger side slipped a slight figure. From the driver’s side, a larger figure emerged. Stepping into the light Bluewolf and Tigris could see that the woman, clad mostly in red, with green streaks in her blonde hair, and wore sunglasses even in the dim light. Her companion, a hulking man in green leather had a red streak dyed in his dark blonde mane. They scanned the dim warehouse intently before firing off rapid-fire orders in Portuguese to the two cronies’ not standing watch.

Colorful aren’t they?

“From what Kard says, they take loud and obnoxious to new heights.” Bluewolf surveyed the area.”I’m going to have to move closer to get a good drop on them,” he said quietly as he wormed his way through the rafters. “Can you take the two with the guns?”

Already moving, Tigris replied. She slipped into the shadows above the guard closest to her, and then dropped silently to the floor. Rant and Rave were largely unconcerned with what was going on behind them, giving Tigris ample opportunity. The first man was down in seconds, and she was on top of the second before he could get off any kind of warning. Things were going well so far. You’re clear. I’m moving on to the other targets.

Bluewolf didn’t reply, the plan was for Tigris to stay out of sight unless absolutely necessary. He dropped from the rafters landing solidly on the roof of the truck. Rant and Rave whirled, and for an instant, froze. They had been expecting Kardiac, not Bluewolf, and it was that split-second of confusion that he was counting on to give him the edge he needed. Rant recovered faster, sending a blast of pure sound into the air that Bluewolf had previously occupied as he launched himself from the truck, diving toward Rave before she could bring her ‘gifts’ to bear. Rant’s attack wasn’t even direct, and yet it was still enough sound to send the audible dampeners in Bluewolf’s visor into overdrive. If the dampeners failed, things would quickly go from well to rolling on the ground and bleeding from the ear.

Bluewolf struck Rave bodily and felt, as well as heard, the air rush from her lungs. Rant may have provided more of a threat to his enhanced senses, but Rave was decidedly more deadly. That, and Capin had clued him in to the fact that if Rave was down and out, Rant would lose focus and become reckless. It was a gamble, but it was the only hand they had to play. The slammed into the floor and Wolf quickly rolled away. Rave made no move to recover; she’d been knocked unconscious from the impact. Or she was playing possum…

“Morela!” Rant bellowed.

Therein lay the tactical problem. As long as Bluewolf hovered over Morela – Rave – Rant would have to stifle his powers. But, that left them at a standoff and he refused to bring Kaye in unless it was absolutely necessary. He was fast, but Wolf knew he couldn’t reach Ramiro before getting hit with a blast of solid sound. And then Rant did something Bluewolf had not anticipated.

He whistled.

It started out as any normal commonplace whistle, but the pitch kept climbing and climbing. That is, at least, to a human. Dogs and cats in the vicinity yowled and scampered off out of range. Bluewolf did not have the luxury of tucking tail. He was about half way to Rant when his newly enhanced sound dampening filter fizzled, crackled, and failed. He caught the faint whiff of smoke-checked circuitry before his head exploded in a wave white hot sound. His vision blurred as he dropped to the ground, trying in vain to muffle the piercing sound, clasping his hands over his ears. All the while, Rant stood over Bluewolf, his lips puckered in a small ‘O.’

The agonizing noise abated for a moment, long enough for Bluewolf to notice a blurred shape rise from the floor. The shadow was soon wiped out by an intense glow. Rave had recovered. He could neither see her mouth move, nor hear the words she spoke. He was sure that whatever she said, it wasn’t very flattering and probably had the vague theme of meddling in their plans for the last time, blah, blah, blah. He also couldn’t hear Rave’s huge intake of breath – preparation for round two turning his brains into mush and forcing them to leak out his ears. He lay on the floor, ears ringing and eyes unfocused, expecting the blast of sound or light that would be the end of him. It never came.

He couldn’t hear the whistling of the pry-bar as it cut through the air, catching Rant across the shoulders and head. He couldn’t hear, but he could see the massive form crumple to the warehouse floor in a heap. Bluewolf’s vision began to clear enough to watch Rave move past him, beams of light blasting from her hands. He struggled to rise, and managed to crawl over to Rant’s unconscious form. He bound the Vega enforcer’s hands and, pulling a small tube from one of his pouches, dribbled the contents over Rant’s slack lips. He pressed them together, careful to not get any of the substance on his gloves. The adhesive was similar to super glue, though formulated for medical emergencies – sutures and the like. Doctors would be able to apply a solvent, or cut Rant’s lips apart, either way he was in for an uncomfortable time. Bluewolf was okay with that.

Tigris and Rave were at full tilt against one another and there was very little he could do to help. His vision was still fuzzy around the edges, and if he moved too quickly, vertigo would assert its grip. Not that it appeared that Kaye was in any need of assistance. She was managing to evade Rave’s blasts and get a few licks in when she charged up – something that seemed to be taking longer the more they fought. Between one blast and the next, Kaye had shifted into her preferred tiger form and was on top of Morela before she could act. The fight was over in an instant as Tigris slammed Rave into a stack of crates. Bluewolf noted the singes in Tigris’ fur – a testament that she did not come out of the ordeal unscathed – as he secured Rave in a similar manner to her boyfriend, bonding her hands together behind her back, while Kaye placed the ‘anonymous’ tip the GCPD.

He had largely recovered, but he still couldn’t hear Kaye’s words, “Let’s go home,” and that troubled him.

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