The museum stood tall in the darkness, a giant mausoleum holding all its dead history. No lights, just dead windows. Even the flags hung lifeless on the poles. Capin dropped to the ground and crept forward. It was still easier to keep to the shadows as the slivers of light from wherever cast barely touched the ground. Across the street he tucked himself beside a large SUV and surveyed the layout around the Museum. Large black dog heads paced the perimeter in packs. True to anyone with a god complex, Fet may not have been advertising his location, but he wasn’t afraid of company.
“We’ve never had to break into a museum before. You ready to do this?” When they weren’t moving Capin could feel Enry’s weight more and more and his spark less and less.
“Ready as I’ll ever be.”
Unaccustomed to being crept up upon, the Dapper Detective spun round, his guard standing up like the hair on the back of a cat. The man’s green eyes went wide as he jumped back a step, holding his palms up and shaking them. “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” In less then a second, it was almost as if Capin could feel pins and needles sweep from the front of his brain to the back of his skull. Enry bristled with irritation as it passed. From a thoroughly confused look a smile broke under the dark purple mask that staged his face. “Capin, right? It’s okay. Jenna sent me.” He held out his hand.”Mentat.”
“Right. The head guy.” Capin shook the hand. “No fair peeking, Chum,” he said, tapping his noggin.”We’re kinda sore about those types of visits.”
Mentat nodded. “Right, sorry. I just. I thought you were- and then you obviously weren’t and so-“Capin stared back at him blankly. “Never mind.”
“Exactly.” Capin sized him up. “I didn’t know you Strategoi boys wore pajamas.”
“They’re not regulation.” Mentat looked over beyond Capin’s shoulder to their destination. “So what’s the plan?”
“Well…” Capin turned and looked again. “The original plan was to sneak in…
“Well, truth be told, I get the feeling me and my fists aren’t going to be as much use in there as you and your brain.” Capin tapped his temple again. “And we’re running too short on time for Mid-Night.”
“So the new plan is…”
“I’ll take care of the pack of jackals and we’ll get you inside.”
“How do we plan on getting in?”
Capin pointed. “That door. I’ll get it open. Fet’s in the basement. You get to him ASAP and I’ll keep the puppies from following you in and causing a disturbance.” Mentat nodded. “Alright then. No time like the present.”
The pair moved to the car and paused, taking one last look before sprinting across the street. Ak-Fet Sur’s dogs were on them in before they hit the grass. Capin kept one eye on that door. “Stick close.” Enry laid three of them down, and two more poured into their place. Capin grabbed one of them by the mask and knocked him over the other.
“Don’t worry about me. I can hold my own.” Mentat smacked his knuckles across the jackal’s jaw, knocking him to the ground.
“I wasn’t worried, Mister Mental. I just want to keep the number of sides I’m keeping track of to a minimum.”
Ak-Fet Sur seemed to give an endless supply of minions as the thick of the fight seemed to grow thicker. What was six became ten with six more moving in and no doubt four more behind that. Still, Capin and Enry were able to steer closer to the door and keep as many of them from circling around towards Mentat as possible.
“Okay,” Capin pulled the pole axe from the arms of an assailant, kicking him backwards, “duck.”Mentat dropped low as Capin spun, letting the long staff slip out to its full length, clearing out their closet attackers. Pulling the handle back, he let it go hard against the two men in front still standing.”Door!” On cue, Mentat bolted for the door without a word. Enry shredded the nearest able jackal’s weapon into pieces and the Detective punched him across the muzzle. Still moving forward, Capin grabbed him by his belt and neck and hefted him into the air. The limp body sang through the air over the green and purple clad telepath and crashed through the door.
Capin watched as Mentat stepped over the body and disappeared into the darkened halls of the museum. “Okay,” he panting as he turned to face the outnumbering odds. He’d placed “Where were we?”
Capin wasn’t sure which one said it, but they all responded to it. “One at a time?” None of them listened as he was overrun by sheer volume. Knocked to the ground, Enry worked between them pushing them off. Capin could feel his friend struggling. “Get-” he pushed himself to his feet, “offame!” He knocked some back. He was getting sloppy. But tired and sloppy didn’t mean giving up.
As the fight continued his com chirped. Freeing one hand he tapped the piece in his ear and Kaye’s voice came through. “Capin you there, where are you guys?”
One of Fet’s jackal’s landed a kick to his abdomen. “Little busy at the moment, Tigris.” Capin held the ankle, turning it and snapping down. “What’s up? ”
“Jamie’s missing. Somehow the door to the safe room was opened.”
“I’m up at the museum of natural history, we found Aky and…” There was an explosion overhead. Almost as shocking as the noise was the flare of light that streaked into the sky. The spark of the glittering contrail stopped in mid arc and Capin’s eyes trained in on it. “I think I just found her…”
Ak-Fet Sur’s dogs of war reacted faster to the disturbance. Capin heard the static fizzle as the blow to his ear shorted his comlink. “Ahh!” Catching the follow up, he countered with a tan tui kick. “I swear…” Another rolled the jackal across the ground, “Stay down, will ya?” As Enry struggled to bat the others back, Capin took the bait of a feint attack. It cost him as his arm was caught and pinned, his leg twisted and locked down. “Crap.” The hits rained down and Capin sank further and further to the ground, unable to keep air in his lungs, let alone keep up.
Barely seconds from backing out, he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand upright. The sound of surging electricity sparked all over them. When it passed all the weight of the pack fell limp on top of him. Unable to hold, the mass of bodies slumped all the way to the ground.
Even under all that weight, Capin could feel Enry hanging there over his shoulders, no more lively than a led x-ray cape. “It’s okay…” he muttered, with his first half a lung full of air. “It’s ok. I’ve got it.”Slowly the cape fed back in through the weave of the battered black tuxedo. Capin felt the movement of the pile and the lessening of the burden, as bodies were pulled from the top.
Capin rolled to his side and stared up. Yellow locks hung down over the tinted goggles on the face that stared back. Capin choked up a smile. “What the hell took you so long?”
“I was all the way across town.” Kardiac crouched down and dug one arm under the Dapper Detective’s back, slowly helping him up. “My bike’s still totaled from the other night. And,” he said, and as he spoke Capin noticed that his eyes were glowing, crackling really, behind his goggles. “I had to stop for a recharge…”