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"Showdown" - Part One

The BCPD beat cop was bound by his arms and legs with duct tape to a metal chair and gagged.
   
I said, "My name is Kat and I have a message."
   
Then I turned to the cop, raised a pistol to his face, and shot him between the eyes.
   
Then the image vanished and was replaced by a blond woman in a light gray suit sitting behind a newsanchor's desk. A graphic floating to one side identified her as: "KARI SAWYER NEWS 12"
   
"A spokesperson for BCPD," Sawyer said, grim-faced, "has just issued the following statement: 'We will not allow this heinous crime against the brave men and women of the BCPD to stand. As of now, all available resources are engaged to find and bring this perpetrator to justice.' "
   
The TV in the Red Dog's back office clicked off and I felt the bile rise in my throat.
   
"Fucking Hiller," said Mouse. She looked at me and jabbed a finger at the now blank screen. "That was fucking Hiller. I'm gonna fucking stab her in the head."
   
"It's Sikes," I said. "They've started."
   
"Hiller. Sikes. Same thing. They're all getting stabbed. What the hell are we supposed to do now? We can't go outside. One scan from a sky-eye and MaxTac'll be on our ass in a flash."
   
"Safe house," said Revell, his brow furrowed, thick arms folded across his barrel chest. "Until we can plan counter attack."
   
I shook my head. "Too far."   
   
"What?" said Mouse.
   
"Too--" I started to say.
   
My phone chirped.
   
Steele.
   
He said: "SWAT. Enroute, five minutes. Bounce."
   
Shit.
   
"Kat," said Mouse, seeing the look on my face.
   
"SWAT," I said, hanging up my phone.
   
"Go," said Revell.


*   *   *

   
At a minute thirty, Mouse and I had grabbed our go-bags from our flat and were exiting onto the roof of the Red Dog into the cool morning air.
   
Movement to our left.
   
Pivoted, Bonnie leaping into my hand, tracking.
   
Wang.
   
Wang was in the middle of his restaurant's roof dressed in dark blue sweats and a gray sweatshirt, his arms extended oddly in front of him. He was moving slowly in a kata-like--
   
Recognized it.
   
Tai chi.
   
I let out a breath and holstered Bonnie.
   
"Dammit, Wang," said Mouse.
   
Wang pivoted in our direction, and gave a small start when he saw us.
   
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a group of flashing blue lights speeding down Garner at least three and a half klicks to the north, the accompanying distant wail of sirens reaching umy ear seconds later.
   
Three minutes until contact.
   
I bolted across our roof and leaped the concrete parapet onto Wang's rooftop.
   
Wang's face creased into a frown.
   
"Trouble?" he said.
   
I nodded. "SWAT. We need to hide."
   
He nodded and gestured to the roof access door standing ajar. "Second floor. Storage room far end of the hallway."
   
"Thanks, Wang," I said.
   
"I owe you," he said with a wink.


*   *   *

   
At the landing below the roof access door, I stopped, one hand touching the second floor door lever, and cocked my head toward the roof.
   
Mouse stopped next to me. "What're you doing?" she said, voice pitched low.
   
I tapped my ear and pointed back toward the roof. "Keeping tabs."
   
"What about the storage room?"
   
"If they figure out we went here, I don't want to get cornered."
   
"We're already cornered. They'll close down the whole damn block. I saw them coming, too."
   
"But here we can still move. We're not stuck in one room."
   
She frowned, then nodded and turned her attention toward the roof.
   
Street sounds floated in through the still half-opened door above. The brief wail of sirens followed by squelch of tires. Lots of vehicle doors opening and closing. Voices raised, words indistinct but calling out commands.
   
Then the deeper growl of a bigger engine approaching and coming to a stop.
   
Mouse met my eyes.
   
"SWAT," we said at the same time.
   
A moment later, a distant whine coming from above.
   
Aerodyne.
   
At least one. Maybe two. And they'd be sporting 20mm nose guns and a four-man team.
   
Quick math.
   
Two against a dozen. Maybe sixteen.
   
Crap odds.
   
And if it was MaxTac instead of SWAT?
   
Crappier odds.
   
Collateral damage for sure.
   
Fuckity fuck.
   
I drew the Twins and kept an eye on the door above, feeling my gut clench.
   
Heard Mouse draw her wakizashis, the blades singing out from her back scabbards.
   
Minutes crawled by and I felt perspiration on my palms as I held onto the Twins.
   
No movement so far at or near the roof access door. Just the same rectangle of light.
   
I strained my ears to hear the noise from outside.
   
The whine was still there, still distant, the aerodyne moving in a slow circle around the entire block.
   
No rush of boots on the restaurant's rooftop.
   
No crash of doors from below.
   
No outcry from Wang.
   
And still no movement at the door.
   
I chanced a look at my optic clock.
   
07:22:47
   
How long had it been?
   
I quickly thought back.
   
Revell had been at our flat door at 07:05. Mouse and I got to the Red Dog's back office within 5 minutes. Thankfully we were still in our work clothes and only had to pull on boots.
   
It would've been 07:15 when we'd turned off the TV after seeing the newsflash.
   
Steele had called less than two minutes after.
   
And his estimation was dead on.
   
Five minutes before SWAT arrived.
   
I turned my attention back to the roof access door and remembered to breathe.

(to be continued...)


"Showdown"
Part 2

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