Trip Hazard in "They Die By MoonLight : Part 1 - The Beginning"
As I heard the shot ring out and felt the bullet thud into the wall by my face I breathed a sigh of relief. I remembered the words of good old Sergeant Murphy �You never hear the one that hits you� I recalled him saying on that first day of training. What a guy. With his ready smile and endless supply of ammunition he was just the man to tell us the truth about life on the dangerous streets. �The streets are dangerous� he once told us. How true that was.
If he hadn�t been killed on the junction of 53rd and 7th by that falling piano he would be dispensing his mix of street smarts and heavy artillery even now. But that was all in the past. Before I discovered the meaning of true love and then lost everything, my badge, my career, my hopes, my dreams, and also a rather nice cashmere sweater that I got for my birthday.
I shook those unhappy memories from my head and concentrated on the job in hand. From the sound of the shot and the angle the brick particles made as they spattered into my face from the impact I made a rough guess that the sniper was 125.7 meters away at an angle of 46 degrees north and an elevation of 27 degrees. I turned in that direction, bringing my gun out and up in a single smooth, well practiced, motion. Nothing.
I silently cursed myself for failing to allow for the local wind speed and turned further to the left. Just above the empty bookstore, across from the abandoned warehouse above the vacant lot I caught a movement in a broken window. The streetlights glinted off the barrel of the gun as it swung round to aim. Now was the time to move�
I started running towards the entrance in the building in front of me spraying fire up towards the window as bullets kicked up clouds of dust all around me. �There must be half a dozen men up there with a gun each� I thought to myself as I hurtled across the concrete. �Or three men with two guns�. I was just pondering the possibility of a single man with six guns strapped to him as I made it to the opening.
As I paused to catch my breath I used the time to wonder who might be so keen to see me dead. After all, it was two hours to the ransom drop, the drug bust wasn�t until Tuesday, and I didn�t have any library books overdue at the moment. Whoever it was, they were going to pay for this, in blood if necessary. Although I also take most major credit cards.
This building had definitely seen better times. Water ran down the walls and the stench of rotting garbage was overpowering. A rusty stairway led up to a dingy landing and above me I could hear feet moving as the gunmen changed position to prepare for my ascent. From the sounds I counted seven men, one with a club foot and another with a nasty ingrowing tonail. �He really ought to get that treated� I thought to myself as I shoved another clip of bullets into my Schnieder and Beefcake 45 and prepared once again to fight for my life.
Then I heard a familiar voice, which sent shivers down my spine.
�Good afternoon Trip� said Archibald Nemisis.
�You sound pretty lively, for a dead man� I replied, trying to sound as casual as possible.
�Ah yes, my so called death� he responded smoothly. �It turns out that being shot through the head, electrocuted and dropped into a pool of sharks isn�t always fatal�
Of course not, how could I have been so stupid. The bullet could have snagged on the side of specially designed titanium spectacle frames, hidden carbon fibres in his suit could have redirected the electric current and the sharks could have been specially bred vegetarians.
�You see� he continued �my spectacles were actually��
�Yeah, yeah, I figured� I interrupted, trying to get the right amount of boredom into my voice. �What do you want?�
�I want you Trip� came the reply. �More specifically, I just want you to do a few little jobs for me. Then kill a bunch of people�.
I heard a clang as something dropped down at my feet. A gas canister with a note wrapped around it. Through the gathering smoke I managed to read �Kill Mayor, then pick up laundry�
�What makes you think I�ll do your dirty work?� I spluttered, feeling in my pockets for a handkerchief to put over my mouth.
�Oh, you�ll do it all right. Otherwise I�ll have to kill someone myself�.
Then I heard a sound that chilled me to the very core.
�Trip� she called. It was Beverley.
�Trip, I�m so sorry, he took me by surprise. He�s promised not to hurt me, as long as you do what he asks�
Beverley. The love of my life. Someone I would gladly die or kill for. As the choking fumes swirled around me I vowed that I would rescue her if it was the last thing I did. Preferably it wouldn�t be, but at least I would die happy. Then Archibald spoke again.
�And just to show how serious I am, here�s a little token of my esteem�
Something small and damp fell at my feet, I looked at it, blinking tears away from my burning eyes. It looked like it had once been a cashmere sweater. And it seemed horrifyingly familiar. My head began to swim as the gas started to really get to me.
�I�ve taken good care of it� he rasped �In fact I�ve just boil washed it�
�Nooooooooooooooo� I howled. And with that, the darkness closed around me and I slumped to the floor.