Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.55

Waking up was hard to do. It took Eddy a moment to realize where he was, after which the memories of the previous night came back like a flood. He looked over to her side of the bed. She wasn’t in it. Instinctively, his eyes drifted to the foot of the bed, in case she was standing there with her gun leveled with his head. She wasn’t there, either.

That was when he smelled the bacon. She was cooking him breakfast; an unusual thing for someone with as many servants as she no doubt employed. She was playing house, trying to make him feel like old times… trying to make him comfortable. Undoubtedly, her ultimate agenda required him to complete immerse himself in the illusion.

Still… he was never one to refuse fresh-cooked bacon...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.54

Bluewolf was nearly home when his com-link chirped. He checked, noting it was a voice message from Kardiac: Rant and Rave. He had more than enough background on the duo to know that the evening wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. Still, he would have backup in Kaye. They wouldn’t be expecting him, and definitely wouldn’t be expecting her.

He was about five blocks from his brownstone when he slipped into one of his secluded spots and changed into street clothes. More accurately, he slipped into a jogging suit and tossed the extras of his costume into a small backpack. Back on the streets, he was simply returning from an early morning jog. As he neared his home, Aaron caught a familiar scent in the air. He couldn’t quite recall why it was familiar, and that bothered him...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.53

“You are not happy to see me, Natalia. Yes?”

Natalia “Blacksheep” Zbruevaia scowled. The shadow beside her set her skin itching. Little Tokyo’s thick air was made thicker by the distinct scent of stainless steel wetted with machine oil. She shook her head.

“You are an unnecessary complication. A distraction.” A receiver, tucked into the curl of her ear, whispered to her in Japanese. The Yakuza lookouts were signaling when the vans passed their checkpoints. Remote surveillance and motion sensors helped cover the rooftops. Too many of the city’s heroes preferred acting like second-storey men. Her men stayed within the warehouse, or hid upon the rooftops. Casual surveillance would reveal a Yakuza presence, not unusual in this area. Not a Russian contingent.

“You are angry about Chechnya...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.52

Darfur, Sudan: just outside the Aro Sharow refugee village.

A small African girl trudged across a flat featureless plane. She appeared to be about 13 or 14 but the rampant starvation and desperate, deprived conditions could have very well meant she was actually older. She carried a water pail and nervously looked about as she made for a tiny water hole.

Women rarely traveled like this anymore in Darfur. The government-supported militia known as the Janjaweed had turned the majority of the villages in this area into mass graves. The systematic slaughter of the African blacks at the hand of the Arabic militias was a clear case of genocide. Thousands of the girl’s people had been driven into neighboring Chad. The girl knew better than to be out alone, but her father was ill...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.51

“Lucy, I’m home,” Corin said in his best Desi Arnaz impression as he stepped out of the shadow made by his bedroom closet door, “and boy have I had one hell of a night. I just wanna get some serious rest,” Without changing Corin flopped face first on the bed his fedora flying off his head onto the floor below. Jamie walked into the room with a wry smile on her face.

“Wake up hero boy,” she said while she picked up her foot and lightly kicked Corin in the seat of the pants.

“Don’t wanna wake up, almost got shot and blown up tonight too tired. Go night-night now,” Corin said, his voice muffled by the pillow.

“We gotta head in to work.”

“Wha, why?” Corin turned his head away from the pillow.

“Due to some trouble at the docks,” her voice dripped with sarcasm, “they need extra support ...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.50

All around the A&T Diner was a din of loud conversations and silverware running against cheap china. Every few minutes one of the men in a paper hat’s voice would cut through it all with a simple “Order up” and another plate would smack against the metal counter. One by one the waitresses, all of them past their golden years, would file behind the coffee bar filled with faces they no doubt saw every day to check the ticket pinned down by the plate of two eggs sunny-side up with hash browns. Rosaline freed the chit and gave it a once over as the man in the paper hat slid a second plate with French toast and bacon in front of her. “Frank, I need a side of sausage...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.49

“You’re going to make tomorrow night difficult, aren’t you?” Silhouette’s question was entirely rhetorical. She knew that Kardiac didn’t like being chaperoned, and she was certain that was how he was going to approach their mission. He was the one person on the squad who never really wanted to be part of a “team”, and probably the one who needed it the most.

“It wasn’t in the plan,” he replied, his voice crackling with the static undertone that he added while on the job. “Just don’t get in the way.”

She stepped up her pace, got in front of Kardiac, and wheeled to face him. “Why do you do that?”she asked, this time not expecting or waiting for an answer. “I don’t even want to be out there. This isn’t the life I chose. All I wanted was to help you guys coordinate your efforts...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.48

Capin leaned his back against the cool cement of the Sandland Steel shipping warehouse. He winced as the weight of his body settled against at least one cracked rib, and he slipped his hand inside his coat. Not so far off the bedlam of sirens and news helicopters echoed an odd syncopation with his throbbing skull. It hurt to sigh, but he did it anyway.

“Are you alright?” As a medical doctor, Corin was rather versed in looking past a tough exterior that pretended it didn’t hurt. “I can take a look if-”

The Dapper Detective felt Enry tense up, tightening his support on Capin’s wounds. As the endorphins kicked in the adrenaline started pumping a little more. Enry was ready to hit somebody.”You have got to be joking.”

“What?” he replied, a bit taken aback...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.47

Kardiac was a loner. It wasn’t something he necessarily liked, it was just his nature. He enjoyed having friends to back him up, even often-annoying, paternal friends who dressed in blue, but friends brought problems of their own. You had to watch their backs, and you had to accept responsibility for failing them. It was that very responsibility that had driven him to separate himself from them tonight.

Sometimes, it was a pain in the ass to have friends. Tonight was undoubtedly going to be one of those nights. Even now, as he electromagnetically clung to the outer steel wall of the Lexington Towers fourteen stories above the very-solid ground, he could think of little more than the danger his friends were in, danger he put them in.

He continued climbing, and finally stopped upon reaching...

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Hard Boiled – Episode Two: The Roof is on Fire 1.46

Corin took a deep breath, I can’t believe that actually worked, he thought to himself. He picked himself up off the deck of the yacht, “Boy I hope whoever this is that Wolf needed to rescue is worth it.” Corin started to look around at his present situation. Each passing moment, the yacht they were on was sinking further and further into the harbor.

His first instincts told him that he should look for people who could be trapped on board. His legs were still rubber, as the Mid-Night Man walked the deck of the yacht. Suddenly the boat jerked violently as more of the yacht sank beneath the surface of the harbor, the shake of the boat caused the Starlight Sleuth’s tenuous grip on his balance to completely falter, sending him back to one knee.

As he was attempting to gather himself, two ...

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