Welcome back for the third and final installment in our Revenger Mission One series! Last time, our heroes Atrum Auditor, Erotica Girl and Styka arrived on scene at the city docks to witness a meeting taking place between Councilman Jeff Harlan and crime syndicate boss Joe “The Stare” Keithly. It was meant to be a simple surveillance and capture operation, but it soon went south.
First, Keithly showed up with some hired muscle, ex-military men who had been enhanced to give them telekinetic powers! Then, the team noticed a psychic presence in the area, which appeared to be coming from someone other than the men under surveillance. Something was seriously wrong…
And then, Captain Smackdown and Panacea, fresh from another mission, arrived on the scene hoping to break the tension with a little distraction ploy. Panacea was ready to fly, and the Captain ready to lay a smackdown with his heavy artillery. Everything seemed to be ready to go, until another unexpected surprise happened…
* * *
“Ready?” Smackdown said. Panacea opened her door and looked at the ground, speeding precariously fast. “Go!”
Without hesitation, she stepped from the cabin and took to the air. Her arms outstretched, her legs trailing behind her, her body picked up flight and she soared to within fifteen meters of the ground. The entire docks became visible to her as she ascended above the roofs of every warehouse in the area, spotting all the commotion which was taking place around them.
And that’s when she noticed another vehicle coming in from their flank. A hardtop roadster with a lot of pickup, and filled with several armed men from the look of it.
“Captain!” she said into her link. “We’ve got company!”
“More?” he cried. “Where are they coming from?”
“From the north. They look like they’re moving to intercept you.”
The GT slowed and began to arc right on the gravely surface. Small stones were kicked up and the wheels began sliding sideways. The other car was drawing nearer, but was a good few hundred meters away from intercepting Smackdown. She spotted a junction where she could intercept them herself.
“Captain, you keep going for the docks. I’ll take care of these men.”
“You sure?” he said back, but already he was straightening his wheels and proceeding on course to the rallying point.
“Trust me,” she said, echoing his earlier statement. “They won’t know what hit them.”
The Captain hit the gas and the GT flew off. Panacea aimed herself towards the warehouse junction and added a little speed of her own. The cold, wet air whooshed by her ears, and in no time, she was directly above her landing zone. The car was speeding along towards her, the drivers unaware of the person floating above.
She plummeted downward and nailed the three point landing. She had just enough time to see the look on the driver’s face as the headlights reflected off the blue and gold of her uniform. Everyone in the car yelled, but their screams came to an abrupt halt when Panacea’s hands landed on their hood and stopped their car dead in its tracks.
She gave them a few seconds to recover, the driver shoving the airbag out of his face and seeing that she was still there, her hands now fixed under the bumper of the car. The passenger was quicker to respond, stabbing the air bag with a switchblade and bringing his submachinegun forward.
“You boys play nice!” She said, tossing the car up and down a few times to get their attention. They hollered as one, the ones in the back bouncing up and down in their seats. The driver began to scream for her to put them down; but unfortunately for him, the passenger still hadn’t learnt his lesson.
“I’ll kill you bitch!” he yelled, taking aim with his HK. Panacea frowned and tossed the entire car over. Their screams pitched as the car went up, paused in midair as the rear bumper landed on the ground, and then came crashing down, roof first. Glass exploded and flew in all directions, the screams subsiding and becoming a dull moan.
She was sure to check on them before carrying on.
“You boys okay?” she said, looking in the driver’s side window. All were hanging from their seat belts, the concussive force having knocked all air and sense out of them. But they were alive, and unbroken…
“Good! Now if you’ll excuse me, we still have your friends to deal with.” She put her finger to her link and signaled the Captain. “All clear, Captain. See you at the docks.”
The GT’s lights picked up the two cars parked in the distance. He was less than fifty meters from them now, and the locals weren’t taking too well to the disturbance. Kiethly and ran to the other side of the vehicle while his men took up positions around him, the Council doing the same with his car. None of them seemed willing to attack until they knew who they were dealing with though…
Slamming on the brakes and bringing the vehicle in for a tight turn, Smackdown exited the vehicle and placed his weapon on the roof. He aimed for the first of Keithly’s men. They had lost the element of surprise, and they couldn’t hope to take “The Stare” down seperately, but they still had one card to play…
“Evening gents! Sorry to interrupt, but the Councilor wasn’t counting on you showing up heavy.”
From behind the car he was using as a shield, Keithly stood and looked at Smackdown incredulously. He then sent that same look over to the Councilman.
“Who the hell is this, Councilor?”
Harlan looked just as confused as Keithly, though in place of anger, his face carried a sudden sense of fear.
“I don’t know… Who the hell are you?”
“It’s alright, Harlan, we don’t need to pretend anymore. We’ve got this goon and his men surrounded. Just let us take them down and be done with it.”
“What? You didn’t think the honorable Harlan was going to cowtow to your interests forever, did you?”
Smackdown smiled at Harlan and gave him a wink. The Councilor’s face began to go white just as Keithly’s face turned a bright shade of red.
So far, so good, Smackdown thought. He had them right there he needed them to be, which was turning on each other rather than working together against a common threat.
“Harlaaaan! What the hell are you trying to pull?!” yelled Keithly.
The Councilman began stuttering a long string of denials and incomprehensible babble. He looked very much like a deer caught in the headlights, suddenly frozen and very much afraid for his life. A shootout looked about ready to happen, but Smackdown had other plans in mind…
He placed his finger to his ear and issued the go order.
Keithly’s thugs all reached for their temples and began to scream at the same time. Between Auditor, Erotica and Styka, they had been hit with a psionic wave powerful enough to stun a an army of ex-military goons. Smackdown used the time to put some bullets in their direction.
The first fell as the bullet struck him clean in the forehead, breaking the skin but leaving his skull and brain matter unharmed. He took aim for the next, but the goon quickly recovered. The bullet had left its chamber but stopped in midair, the man at the other end smiling devilishly.
“Captain!” Auditor yelled through the link. “We’ve lost control. That other mind we sensed, he’s still here and he’s jamming us!”
“Shit!” Smackdown cried. “Okay, we do this the old fashioned way! Atrum, Styka, Erotica Girl, take out those two goons!”
A series of boots hit the ground on the other side of Keithly’s car. He spotted the three superheroes arrayed in front of him and shoved his goons in their direction. The men drew combat knives and assumed an ready stance, knives at the ready and their minds poised to stop anything our heroes threw.
Erotica, Styka and Atrum all looked at each and smiled. The men charged with their knives, and hit nothing but air.
“What the-?” said the one, and then was caught by a boot to the side of the head. The second began to back off, but was hit from the other side an elbow to the jaw. Both fell to the ground and looked up to see two women standing above them. The one was dressed in her usual smockery of a vest and tank, and placed her thick-soled boot into the man’s face.
The other looked up and spotted a woman dressed in some sensual leather. For a moment, he thought he might be dreaming, and smiled to reveal his bloody teeth.
“Keep dreaming,” Erotica girl said, and lept onto his chest to deliver a boot smack to his skull.
Seeing all this unfold, Keithly broke and tried to make a run for it. He made it to the edge of the nearest warehouse before Auditor, the only one who had yet to reappear, did so in front of him.
“Going somewhere, Mr. Stare?”
Keithly cried out and tried to dash in a different direction, only to be stopped in his steps yet again. He doubled back and dashed again, but found the same face standing in front of him once more. Again and again, he tried to run in a different direction, only to be stopped short by the man dark hat with the shit-eating grin.
“You can’t run, you can’t hide. Give yourself up.”
Keithly didn’t listen and continued to dash around in panic. Auditor sighed and continued to block his path, again and again, until finally he threw his fist up and close-lined the mob boss, sending him to the ground. Stunned, he looked up in time to see Auditor stare down into his eyes to issue some final words…
“You’re secret is out, Stare. And now the world will know all about you…”
Keithly’s eyes drifted shut and his head fell sideways.
Looking up from his spot behind the car door, Smackdown surveyed the scene and nodded approvingly. All hostiles were down. Except the Councilman…
He looked to Harlan’s car and saw no trace of him. He cursed as he realized the SOB had slipped away in the confusion. His finger quickly went to the link in his ear.
“Panacea! Are your airborne. I need you to get eyes on the Councilman and take him down. Bring him back, Panacea! You hear me?”
“Already here!” she announced, though not through the comlink. Landing just meters away, she held the Councilman in her hands. The man looked especially disheveled, having been plucked from the ground while running and carried through the air. His hair a mess and his eyes as big and white as dinner plates, he looked very much prepared to listen to reason…
“Ah, good job,” he said to Panacea. She smiled and nodded in return, and let go of Harlan. His knees buckled and he fell to the ground, though he remained very much conscious.
Auditor, Erotica and Styka joined them next to the Councilman’s huddled body. Smackdown turned to them, casting a quick look in the distance.
“Any sign of that mind you made contact with?”
Auditor closed his eyes and reached out. He shook his head. “No. Whoever it was, he or she is gone now.”
“How about you?” he asked the girls. Both did similar sweeps with their minds and found nothing. “Damn. I guess our friends here brought in more muscle than we could see.”
“They can’t have gone far,” said Styka. “I’m sure we could find them.”
Smackdown looked to Harlan and shook his head. “Nah, they’ll be another time. Right now, we still need to get Mr. Right Honorable to start talking. And I think I know just the way…”
Stepping up next to him, Smackdown kneeled to address him as the others took up positions around him. On one side, Erotica girl and Styka stood over him, their ensembles and bloody boots quickly drawing his eye and producing mixed emotions. He was used to beautiful women standing over him, but not like this.
The sight of Panacea and Auditor on the other side was equally confusing, awe and fear mixing in the same instant. And to make matters worse, Smackdown was now mere inches from his face, his gun smoking in front of him.
“Now, Mr. Councilman… what shall we talk about? Shall we start with your history of working with the mob, or shall we skip ahead to all that’s gone down here tonight?” Harlan frowned and tried to summon up a response, but couldn’t find the words or the clarity of mind to do so. Smackdown continued…
“On the one hand, Keithly and his goons here are out cold. But on the other, we can expect his lawyers to have him out of jail while he awaits trial, where he will surely try to even the score with you. Thanks to me, he thinks you arranged this whole thing, and nothing you could say would convince him otherwise.”
Harlan began to pant heavily and closed his eyes. Tears began to form there, followed by low moans and sobs. Smackdown cleared his throat and looked away. The sight of a grown man crying, in public no less, was not something he was comfortable with.
“So… really, you’ve got only one choice. You announce that your stepping down for health reasons, you go into witness protection, and you tell the DA, the FBI, and anyone else who wants a piece of Kiethly everything you know about him. You take a deal, you spend the rest of your life in another state, another country; wherever. I think you’ll agree, it’s better than the alternative…”
Harlan looked up at Smackdown in time to catch the hangman’s gesture he was doing. Everyone knew Keithly’s favorite way of punishing snitches was to leave them hanging from a meat hook, usually in the vicinity of the docks. Harlan quickly nodded and dropped his head again. In the distance, the sirens began to get closer…
“Ah good, that’d be the cleanup crew waiting to come get you,” Smackdown said, standing. “You be sure to tell them exactly what I told you. Because trust me, even if you could find a way to protect yourself from Keithly, there’s no way you could stay clear of us.”
Smackdown turned to leave, the rest of the squad doing the same. Harlan finally found his voice and issued in their direction.
“Who are you?”
They stopped. Smackdown and the rest turned as one.
“We’re the Revengers,” he said. “Tell your friends about us.”