"Showdown" - Part Two

I heard several muffled shouts from the street and the crash of vehicle doors closing. Engines revved to life and tires squealed as cars peeled away, sirens yowling and receeding.

The whine from above dopplered.

The big engine rumbled, then began to fade.

What the hell--?

Saw Mouse's face mirroring my own confusion.

Popped my clock.

07:38:12

Fifteen minutes.

I holstered Clyde, reached for the door lever, turned it and pulled the door open.

"Where--?" said Mouse.

"Find a window," I said and stepped into the second floor hallway.

Directly ahead, a hallway stretched away and ended at a wall with a window looking out toward the street. Ten meters at least. To my left stairs went down to the ground floor. To my right, two doors, one door two meters away, the second near the end of the hall.

I holstered Bonnie and jogged to the window.

Perfect view.

I looked down on Garner.

Two BCPD cruisers and an unmarked car sat at the curb across the street from Wang's place and a police van sat crosswise partway down the block toward 48th Street, their lightbars still flashing. A trio of uniforms were loading crowd control barriers into the van. From the direction the trio were coming from, it looked like the barricades had been set up at both ends of Garner between 47th and 48th.

Footsteps behind me.

Turned.

Mouse.

"Wang's at the steps," she said and gestured.

I followed.

Wang was waiting at the base of the roof access stairs. He nodded as we stepped through the door from the second floor hallway.

"You missed the fun," he said with a wry grin.

"That was the plan," I said. "SWAT?"

He nodded. "And then some."

"Aerodyne."

He nodded again. "Showed up while I was watching the street. Cops had both ends blocked off as the SWAT guys showed up. Then the aerodyne came in. Made me back away from the edge of the roof."

"And then?" I said.

"And then," said Wang, "they left."

"The fuck?" said Mouse, looking at me.

I shook my head.

My phone chirped.

Val.

"You are going to fucking love me," she said. "Get back to the Red Dog. I'll call again."


* * *

When we got back to the Red Dog, Steele was waiting for us just outside the door to the stairs, a grin plastered on his face.

"This is great," he said.

"Val?" I said.

"Just wait," said Steele and beckoned us to follow.

We went into the back office. Revell looked up from behind the desk and gestured to the phone sitting on the desk top. "We are all here," he said.

"Like I was saying," said Val, her voice tinny from the phone's speaker, "you're all gonna love me."

"Spill it already, Val," said Mouse.

"After Steele warned you off," Val said, "he called me to get a handle on the call to the blue boys. Found the 911 call that gave you away. Burner phone but here's the fun part. I called in to complain that my kid brother was goofing around and being a dick. Did you know Kid Tachyon can imitate people?"

"I got skills!" another voice chimed in.

"Tachyon?" I said.

"In the flesh, Warrior Queen," Kid Tachyon said.

A surprised snort left my lips and I felt a grin crack my face.

"Kid repeated the call to the 911 dispatcher," Val said, coming back on, "and told them he was bored waiting for his ride to school when he saw the news. Claimed he randomly picked an address to send them to. He apologized. I beat him up just for effect."

"Kicked my ass black and blue," said Kid Tachyon and he cackled.

"Thanks, Val," I said feeling my shoulders relax. "We owe you big."

"Anything we can do to help take Hiller down, you let us know."

"Find out how News 12 got their hands on that video," I said.

Val chuckled. "Already working on it."

"Good. And then we need to figure out where the hell Hiller and her friends are."

"Oh, and just so you know, your covers are still clean. Ran a check when the shit hit the fan."

"Thanks Val," I said. "Stand by. We'll be in touch."

"Copy that."

Revell hung up.

Mouse let out a relieved sigh. "Thank god for our covers. That could've been bad."

I nodded. "That could."

"What now?" said Mouse.

"So why not safe house?" said Revell. "Why too far?"

"Yeah," said Mouse. "About that."

"Hiller and her friends are somewhere in the city," I said. "The safe house is at least forty-five minutes out. Too far for us to do any good."

"Besides," said Steele, "they've got roadblocks on all roads leading out of the city."

I quirked an eyebrow at him.

"Police scanner in the Rover," he said.

"So what the hell?" said Mouse.

"I have a place," he said. "One of my safe houses. East End. I can take you there."

"Sky-eyes," said Mouse.

"Tinted back windows," said Steele with a grin. "Hide your hair under a watchcap and wear sunglasses. In case they get an angle through the front windshield. But I doubt the operators get that sophisticated."

"Give us ten, twenty minutes," I said to Steele then turned to Mouse. "Let's grab better gear than the bugouts."

As Mouse and I headed out of the back office and toward our flat I popped my optic clock.

08:01:12

Helluva way to start a Monday morning.

(to be continued...)


"Showdown"
Part 1 | Part 3

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