As always, if you want to start the story from the beginning, click on the Sketch in My Notebook tab. You’ll find it there.
The Return of Dr. Necropolis
Chapter 11: Safehouse (Part 3)
“Easy buddy,” Frank said. “Nobody wants any trouble. Why don’t you come back another time, yeah?”
“Shut up, old man,” the lead gunman cried. “I’ll bust a cap in yo’ ass faster than you can say—”
His words were cut off by AK, who let off another long burst and then started screaming wordlessly. The blonde behind the counter sobbed at Frank’s back, and Frank felt his patience starting to fray.
“Christ, kid. You know you’re losing it here, right?” Frank tried to keep his voice mild.
The leader shoved his gun in Frank’s face. “I told you to shut up, asshole. You wanna eat a bullet?” He shoved past Frank and stuck his gun sideways in the air, barrel pointed down and vaguely in the direction of the blonde behind the counter. “Bitch, I better start seein’ some money, or you goin’ be layin’ beside this fool’s dead ass.”
I should let this go, Frank thought. These stupid fuckers are not my concern. They might even draw off the police and give me a head start out of the City. I just need to figure out how to get a little money out of the deal, and I’ll be good-to-go. Nobody’ll even know I was here… Frank looked back, saw that the blonde behind the counter was shaking, that tears were rolling down her face. Her mascara had run, and it made her look like a scared teenager. She was slowly drawing stacks of money out of the register, but her hands were shaking so badly that she kept dropping them, and the kid with the pistol was getting impatient.
“Godammit, bitch, hurry up! I’m’a fuck you up, believe that.” Behind him, AK yelled again, but when he pulled the trigger, it just clicked and went silent.
The idiot had already shot through his entire magazine.
Frank sighed. There would never be a better time.
“Hey!” the leader cried, “What’re you—”
Frank shook out his right arm, and Kid Zulu’s telescoping metal baton dropped into his hand. He hit the release and flicked his wrist. The baton extended, and he swung, catching the leader square in the face. The kid staggered, and Frank brought the baton around, smacking the kid’s wrist until his pistol fell to the floor. The kid turned, sunglasses askew, eyes wide behind his ski mask. Frank kneed him in the balls and then kicked him hard in the gut when he went down. He kicked the kid’s pistol off to one side.
“Anybody else wanna get beat,” Frank asked, “or are you two geniuses ready to call it a night?”
AK screamed and pointed his rifle at Frank, but this time it didn’t even click. Frank wondered if the weapon had somehow jammed instead of hitting an empty magazine, but AK-47s were notoriously reliable. For the weapon to jam, it would have to be filthy. Behind AK, the third ski mask leveled his weapon, a shiny six-shooter pistol. At fifteen feet, Frank figured the kid had maybe a ten percent chance of actually hitting anything, but there was no reason to take chances. He triggered the zero-point energy shield. The kid squeezed the trigger, and his pistol barked. The shield flared, and Frank heard the shot ricochet, but he didn’t see it.
The kid with the pistol kept pointing it, shaking it around, but he didn’t seem to realize that he needed to re-cock it. He started shaking. AK pulled his own trigger again and then stared at the weapon in amazement. Frank backhanded AK with the baton and then dropped it. He reached into a pocket and came out with one of Kid Zulu’s throwing stars. Finally the other kid remembered to cock the pistol, but Frank threw the throwing star first, trying to take the kid in the hand. Kid Zulu used to do it like that in the old days, disarming guys without seriously injuring them. But the throwing star struck the kid right in the throat, and he staggered, both hands going to straight up to the wound.
Fuck me, Frank thought. The kid gurgled, and blood started running down the front of his shirt. In a moment he was on his knees. Damn it, they’re gonna be after me for that one. Poor, stupid fucker.
AK stirred, and Frank kicked him in the head once and then again for good measure. After that, he was still. Frank turned. The blonde behind the counter was staring at him.
“Easy. It’s gonna be okay.”
“But-but-but… You saved my life! You saved us all!”
“But I don’t—” the blonde began. Then: “Who are you?”
Frank smiled. “They used to call me Dr. Necropolis. But I’m just Frank. And I’m sorry, my dear, but I’m here to rob you, too.”
“Calmly,” Frank said. “Keep gathering all that money and putting it in the bag. I’m not gonna hurt you, but I do need you to cooperate.” He turned and looked back towards the street. The other people in the back were staring at him. Sirens sounded in the distance. After a moment, Frank realized that the sirens were getting closer. He looked back at the blonde and winced. “I’m afraid I’m gonna have to take you hostage, too. Sorry about that.”
“But why would you—?”