"Payback" - Part Eight

I took the pistol and slipped her back in my shoulder rig. "Thanks," I said. "Now--those guys you saw. Do you remember what they looked like?"

Duncan thought for a moment. "Two pairs. Short guy and tall guy. They were setting up the charges along Jacques."

"Bald short guy? Gray suit?" I said.

Duncan nodded. "Yeah. Other guy looked like a cowboy?"

"That's them."

"The other two were an Asian guy in all black. Japanese, I think. And a short redhead."

"Both men?"

"Redhead was a woman. Nice figure. Petite." He inclined his head at Mouse. "About her height."

Mouse and I exchanged looks.

We hadn't seen the redhead.

"Thanks, Duncan," I said.

"Sure thing."

* * *

I dialed Specs.

"Yo, Kat," he said.

"Any luck on those shooters?"

"I ain't found shit," he said.

"We got descriptions," I said.

"How the hell did you do that?"

I told him what we'd found out.

"Holy fuck!" he said when I finished. "Those were the Marshall Brothers."

"Who? Duster and Baldy?"

"Yeah. Castor and Pollux Marshall. Castor has this cowboy thing. Likes to suit up in the whole shebang. His brother, not so much. Both of 'em are big with the pistols, though."

"Top talent?"

He barked a laugh. "Up until they ran into you two."

"What about the others? The Asian guy with the blades and the redhead."

"Don't know about them. I can ask."

"Do that."

"What about that run at 15:00? You two good for it?"


Specs gave us the details then hung up.

Two distant explosions, one after the other.

Duncan, sitting on the edge of a nearby desk, a cellphone to his ear, grinned and turned to me. "Almost there."

Mouse turned to me. "So?"

I repeated what Specs said about Duster, Baldy, Mask, and the redhead.

She nodded. "Redhead's the last one."


"How did we want to do this?"

"If she's supposed to be top talent, she'll want to make sure we're dead. She'll probably want to check the rubble. And if she sees the Shelby getting moved, she'll know something's up."

"Think she'll take us down on the move?"

I shook my head. "She'll wait for a better moment."

"Like when?"

"Not sure. Which tells me she'll try to track us."

Mouse frowned. "Isn't that bad for us?"

"Well, she'll at least try."

Mouse quirked an eyebrow. "What're you planning?"

"Get hold of the dogboys," I said. "We need a screen."

* * *

Twenty minutes later we had said goodbye to the Slammers and were back in the Shelby rolling northeast on Gibson Street toward the tunnel.

I'd been keeping my eye on the rearview as we drove along and when we crossed Harbor Boulevard, I spotted the dark blue ChrysFord SUV.

"Got her," I said.

Mouse said, "Two car lengths back? Dark blue Bison?"


"Good tail."

"So far," I said. "Call 'em."

Mouse pulled out her cellphone and dialed, then put the phone on the dashboard holder.

"Yeah," said the voice on the other end.

"It's us," Mouse said.

"We're standing by. 50th and Cameron."

"Dark blue ChrysFord Bison," I said. "You good?"

"We're good."

The line clicked off.

"Wonder what they're planning," Mouse said.

"We'll find out soon," I said and we headed into the warm yellow glow of the Gibson Street Tunnel.

* * *

We crossed the intersection at 50th and Cameron heading north.

A dark brown sedan in the southbound lane lurched forward with a squeal of tires and rocketed past us.

Heard tires squeal. Then the crunch of metal

Quick glimpse in the rearview. The Bison fishtailed with the brown sedan's front end jammed against the SUV's side and both vehicles did a half-spin.

Automatic weapons chattered close by.

Saw the Bison's front and side windows blow out under the hail of bullets.

I mashed the accelerator and we roared north on Cameron.

* * *

Back at our shared flat above the Red Dog, I sat on the battered rust-orange couch reloading magazines for the Twins while talking to Tinker about the Shelby. Then I called Specs for a loaner.

"Gimme half an hour," he said. "Where you at?"

"Red Dog."

"See you there."

I hung up and turned to Mouse.

She was sitting on her bed talking on the phone. When she finished, she looked at me. "We're seeing Doc in the morning. He said we should be fine 'til then. Long as we don't get shot in the same place."

A knock on the door.

"Yeah?" I said.

The door swung open and Revell stood in the doorway. "Shelby does not look very good."

"You should see the other guys," said Mouse.

"Is finished, da?"

"Nyet," I said.

Revel arched an eyebrow.

"One more left," I said. "She's tracking us."

"Trying to," said Mouse.

"Does she know you are here?"

"She might," I said. "If she's any good."

Revell nodded. "I will keep eye out."

"Short redhead," I said. "Woman."

"Nye strashno," he said. "No problem. Now, there is lunch downstairs."

"Thanks, Rev."

Revell turned and headed back down the hallway.

"That takes care of Redhead," said Mouse. "Sort of."

"Sort of."

"What about Daniela?"

"We need to find her," I said.


I checked my optic clock.


"Eat first," I said.

My stomach rumbled in agreement.

"I heard that," said Mouse.

(to be continued...)


Anonymous said...

broken part 9 link

Ace said...

Thank you. Should be fixed now.