The black Trans Am rolled onto the deserted pier slowly and deliberately. It eased to a halt one hundred yards away from the warehouse at the end of the pier. The two passengers inside the car awaited until the overhead door slid open as languidly as the vehicle had arrived. The pier was deathly still until, at last, a female figure emerged from the warehouse. The woman walked out ten feet and waited until the car door opened. A figure dressed in a baseball cap and an overcoat came out from the passenger side. The two persons began walking in each other’s direction until they assumed each other’s starting point.
“Get that little faggot,” Castor snarled at his soldiers as the overcoat moved forth tentatively with a walking stick. “Drag him in here.”
“You gonna let those two bitches drive outta here?” his brother Pollux demanded.
“That’s the deal. That’s the word from the man upstairs. Those two bitches are targets too big to hit. We whack them, we’ll have the FBI and Homeland Security trying to find a home up our asses. They just don’t drive off until we give the signal. That’s the deal.”
“You gonna pat the faggot down first?”
“That’s the deal.”
The brothers and their six gunmen watched as the man made his way to the threshold. At once two of the gangsters rushed forth, confiscating his white cane and dragging him by the arms into the warehouse.
“Rat bastard,” Castor snarled. “After he shits his pants I’m gonna make him eat it. Then I’m gonna open his skull like in that movie Hannibal and make him eat his own fuggin’ brain.”
“Hope he brought his appetite,” Pollux chuckled eagerly.
The two thugs dragged the man to the far wall and threw him against it as their four cohorts closed in behind them. Castor and Pollux watched, waiting for the others to work the captive over before they moved in to finish him off.
Only when they pulled off the man’s sunglasses, they saw a pair of black-painted eye sockets staring back at them. At once the figure dropped into a martial arts horse stance, using its sturdy balance center as a fulcrum. The captive fired lightning blows into the men’s faces, shattering their jaws with titanium-crested gloved fists.
“Holy shit!” one of the gunmen yelled. “It’s the Crawler! It’s the fuggin’ Nightcrawler!”
“Kill the son of a bitch!”
The gangsters pulled their weapons and opened fire. Only the figure grabbed the two men by their lapels and slammed them together, using them as a shield. They absorbed over a dozen shots before wilting, causing their cohorts to cease fire. It gave the shape enough time to toss a small concussion grenade into their midst. When it exploded, it emitted a thick smoke screen that Castor and Pollux were unable to see through.
“Shoot the bastard!” Castor pulled an Uzi from a utility belt beneath his suit jacket.
“Our boys are in there!” Pollux protested.
“That’s the Nightcrawler! Kill the motherfugga!”
“You do it!” Pollux fell back. “I need to signal our guys to grease those bitches!”
Pollux rushed to a door alongside the overhead pulldown, yanking a laser light from his pocket and clicking it three times. At once, a pair of gunmen on each side of the Pontiac rushed from the shadows and sprayed the vehicle with automatic fire. They emptied their clips until they saw blood spurting across the windows of both sides of the car.
“Payback’s a bitch!” Pollux came back into the warehouse, waving his fist triumphantly.
“You got that right.”
Pollux found himself on all fours, trying to regain his senses as he sought to regain his feet. Only the Nightcrawler’s blow had cracked both of his eye sockets and fractured his nose so that he could barely see or breathe. He dazedly rolled toward the open door and saw unmarked cruisers flooding the area outside, ordering his gunmen to their knees. He heard the sound of helicopters as they illuminated the area from above.
“Cas!” he croaked. “It’s the Feds! They’re everywhere! The bitches set a trap!”
“Aggghhh…” he heard his brother gurgling. He peered into the shadowy chamber and saw Castor lying on his back, a pool of blood forming around his head. Inside the pool glistened small fragments of his front teeth.
Inside the Firebird, Carissa Fermanagh was curled up in a fetal position beneath the steering wheel, sobbing brokenly. Alongside her was Rita Hunt, trying to cradle her head while stroking her face with a trembling hand.
“It’s okay, baby, it’s okay,” Rita murmured into her ear. “Don’t cry, it’s over. We’ll be okay, those bad guys are toast.”
“I can’t do this anymore,” Carissa wept bitterly. “I can’t, I can’t.”
“You don’t have to, honey. It’s over.”
The women cringed as they heard the doors being tested from outside. At once they were pulled open as flashlight beamed down upon the two.
“Homeland Security. Are you okay?”
“We are okay. Give us a hand, please.”
The agents gathered around the car as two figures strode from the cordon of vehicles toward the Trans Am. They gave way as Kelly Stone and his second in command walked up to the women.
“Rita, darling,” he came forth and took her into his arms. “Are you okay?”
“I’m just fine, thanks to you,” she managed to give him a smile that turned his insides to jelly. “You’re my knight in shining armor, aren’t you?”
“I love you, Rita,” he cupped her face in his hands. “I’ll go in there and waste those bastards.”
“Now, see here, Mr. Stone,” she softly pulled back, “is that any way to talk to a lady?”
“Those guys almost killed you two, and…” he was taken aback.
“Hands where we can see them.”
Kelly looked up and saw Sabrina Brooks approaching from a black Ford Explorer. She was dressed in a black workout suit, the overhead spotlights from the choppers making her titian tresses and ivory skin appear iridescent. The HS riflemen waved their rifles toward her though looking to Kelly for instructions.
“I can take them from here,” she called to Kelly.
“Honey, I know you saved our lives. And I’ll never forget it,” Rita put her hand on his cheek, gazing into his eyes.
“You know I can’t kiss you here,” he narrowed his eyes.
“I was counting on it,” she smiled playfully before heading off with Sabrina and Carissa.
At once a realization dawned on him, and he was struck as by lightning when his subordinate came to him.
“What’s up, Kelly?”
“What? What is it?”
“Sabrina Brooks. She’s the Nightcrawler.”
“Great. Let’s take her.”
“Damn, I just forgot,” Vince shook his head. “It came out on CNN about an hour ago. Trump confessed to being the Nightcrawler.”
“Well, hell’s bells,” Kelly grumbled. “We'd have needed to bring Hoyt Wexford in for questioning. We'd have needed to find out how the Crawler was able to pull those big hooters on and off.”