Crescent City Creeps #8

 

 

Hello Hooray

Winston Cross dropped the peregrine into a padded briefcase and snapped it shut. He threw the briefcase into the back seat of his car and opened the driver’s side. Sturgis took three shots at Cross with a revolver. Cross looked like he was in a movie that was getting tangled in the projector and the bullets sailed through him.

Cross frowned at Sturgis and shook his head with more pathos than anger. Like he was confronting a brother who can’t handle his hootch. Sturgis stared frozen and his face fell into involuntary penitence, “I won’t hold that against you, Verne. I can see why you would be so angry. And terrified.” Cross slid into the driver’s seat and tore off.

 

“We have to go after him,” Toli said yanking on Delareux’s jacket.

“Not tonight,” Delareux murmured, watching Cross’s car shrink as it departed.

“What about that guy has you rattled? We’ve seen things walk through walls.”

“It’s like I said, be either corporeal or incorporeal. Not both.”

“What difference does it make?”

“I’m not locking horns with anything that can walk through a wall and put a slug in my gut.”

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Ray #8

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

 

Hugh brought Ray, Abby, Bart, and Cletus to Father Victor’s audience chamber. Despite the high flown designation, the audience chamber was just another dreary, masonry-walled affair. Much like any other room in the cold, stone catacombs where Father Victor and his zealots took up residence save for that fact that it was much larger and was split in half by a round, black pool of still water. Even the copious torches lining room could reveal nothing beneath the surface. A wooden walkway extended the diameter, connecting the two sides of the room. Father Victor sat in a wooden chair that was set upon a raised dias. A line of white robed priests stood below him. More priests were lined along the walls.

Bart was the first to enter, leading the bound Hugh by the neck. Ray followed. His features looked sharp in the glaring torchlight. The reflected fire made his black, saucer-shaped eyes look as if they had flames roaring inside and his claws like burning embers. Even the staunchest Pollyanna would be hard pressed not to take him for a demon. The smirky scowl didn’t help. Abby followed next, making Ray’s scowl look like a delighted child. Cletus shuffled in behind.

Father Victor looked at them askance, then broke his silence, “Hey, that’s my dagger.”

“Where is my boy?” Bart growled. He kicked Hugh on the back of his legs, forcing him to his knees and poked the dagger toward Hugh’s eye.

“Your boy?”

“You heard me.”

“About that tall?” Victor held his hand out, “Brown hair, can’t get him to shut up?

Bart grunted and jostled Hugh.

“Yeah, we have one of those,” Victor snapped and a priest snapped into a jog out the side of the room.

The priest returned a moment later leading Pietro.

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Psamurai #7.5

 

 

Hunter Goes to School

 

This hadn’t gone so well. Nothing since Tabula Rasa had. Hunter and the others had followed Cheryl around for months as she fixated on this ridiculous Go Fish gang and their bank heists only to be humiliated every time. Humiliated by people in fish masks. Hunter sat on the curb of their latest defeat, staring down at his flip-flops as he wiggled his toes. He had started doing this a lot. After the others had scrambled, he just sat on the curb, looking at his feet.

“You’re going to lose those if you don’t get better footwear,” he said aloud to himself.

He failed to notice the press forming around him like a growth, jabbing recording devices at his head. He leaned back and his head lolled as his eyes stared at them, hidden behind his mirrored aviators. He gave a delayed flinch in recognition.

“Psamurai,” one reported shouted, “How do you…”

“Mr. Psamurai,” another barked, “Would you like to….”

“Psamurai? Sir?,” another chirped, “Could we get a…”

“No questions today,” Hunter growled with a cigarette clinched in his teeth.

“Mr. Psamurai,” the one barked again, “Would you like…”

“Nothing. I’d like nothing,” Hunter teetered to his feet and smoothed out his flannel robe, “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” he swayed between the reporters and trotted down the sidewalk.

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The Joneses #7

 

 

We Have All Been Here Before

 

“Tycho Hall,” Yalda gave a cheery shout as Tycho, Wolf and Luna entered the office splattered with miner bits. “When did you take up with these reprobates?”

Tycho raised his claw in greeting.

“Alice, Martin,” Yalda nodded. “So sorry, Luna and Wolfram, you guys are big time bounty hunters now. How’s the little one?”

Luna struck him in the mouth.

“I’m not interested in your daughter,” he said wiping his blood from his lip with his thumb, “Or the two of you for that matter. You really haven’t been much of a factor up to this point.”

“What? How dare you? We bagged you on Antares Gamma,” Wolf objected.

“Wolf, c’mon,” Yalda shook his head. “You caught me because I wanted to be caught. I had some people at Intelligence I needed to talk to and getting arrested seemed like the way to do it without blowing their cover. Particularly Abaddon and Raziel,” he leaned toward Wolf. “I saw the security feed. You looked like you were enjoying yourself, Wolf. My empire could use people like you.”

“Empire? Whatever nonsense you have planned we’re not going make it easy for you,” Luna said.

“Oh, why do you two care, anyway?” Yalda whined. “Nothing will change for you. We’ll still need bounty hunters in the new order. There will be plenty of lucrative work for experienced Seraphim hunters, such as yourselves. You’ve had plenty of practice on one of the best.”

“I suppose that’s you?” Luna groaned.

“Sure, why not?” Yalda replied.

“Because you’re an idiot, small time thug,” Wolf answered.

“You think I am, Wolf,” Yalda began. “And that’s worked great for me, so far. But let’s drop the games. Adapt, Joneses. Adapt to the new order or perish. Because it will happen. In fact, barring any more unforeseen complications, it will have already happened. About three centuries ago. Get on the winning team, Joneses.”

“I should have killed you when I had the chance,” Wolf glared.

“But you didn’t and, for that, I will be eternally grateful. In fact, I’m promising you three front row seats to my big day. Your daughter is also invited, of course.”

“Pass,” Luna said.

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Psamurai #7

 

 

We Can’t Dance

 

Ian and Hunter sat on the sidewalk leaning against a car. A hail of gunfire whizzed overhead from across the street. One bullet broke through the car’s windows, raining glass on them. The bullet continued through a glass storefront, taking the head off a mannequin. A store patron who had taken cover behind the mannequin display poked her head up and saw Hunter and Ian. She gave them an irked frown. Hunter shrugged and Ian shook his head.

“She has a point,” Ian said. “What the hell are we doing?”

“Foiling a bank heist, I think.” Hunter replied, shaking the glass out of his hair.  

“That’s how it started. That’s how it always starts. Why are we involving ourselves in bank heists? Simon Vyx says everything is forgiven and we forget about it? We’ve spent the last few months turning bank robberies into warzones. Why aren’t we focusing on Vyx instead of chasing around this imbecilic gang?”

“Cheryl seems to think we need to practice our teamwork.”

“Practice? Like a garage band? This isn’t practice. Practice shouldn’t shut down city blocks,” Ian slouched further against the car. “Practice would also imply eventual improvement. And doesn’t it seem a bit odd that we’re getting away with it?”

“I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth,” Hunter said leaping to his feet to swat back a smoke bomb with his katana. The bomb sailed back across the street and plinked off the glass of the lobby and hit the sidewalk, smoking.

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