Story Title: The Radical Beginning
Pen Name: Bill Hiers
Warnings: Violence, death and harrowing situations.
Disclaimer: The SWAT Kats and all related characters are copyright Hanna-Barbera.
Summary: The Megakat City Enforcers have recently been created to deal with increasingly more dangerous crime. Junior Enforcer officers Chance and Jake are eager to bust heads and put bad guys behind bars… so why is it that Commander Ashland won’t let them?
Author Comments/Notes: This is an ongoing adaptation of the fan script of the same name, covering Chance and Jake’s early days in the fledgling Enforcers.
In the dead of night in midtown Megakat City, in what was generally considered the scuzzy warehouse district all cities seemed to have, Chance Furlong held the floor in a deserted children’s playground. He was on the tall side and somewhat burly.
His shirt seemed too tightly stretched over his broad, muscular chest, his tie perpetually loosened, and when he bothered to wear his officer’s cap, he always kept it cocked back at an angle, giving him a somewhat aloof, arrogant appearance, one at odds with the relatively wide, handsome face which existed beneath the cap’s black brim. But, he was hatless tonight, his headfur blowing gently in the light night time breeze, which also caused his tie to flap about like a flag on a windy day.
He was in his early twenties, a fresh enough graduate from the academy, and a bit on the heavy side, with a very thick midsection that seemed eternally battling his pectorals for which part of him could be bigger. He kept the sleeves of his shirt rolled up past his elbows, showing off his meaty striped forearms as he bent over the hood of the Enforcer cruiser where he’d spread a large map of midtown.
A red pen had circled the Enforcers’ location on the playground, and he now he held a green pen in his right hand, which like his left was covered by non-regulation fingerless leather gloves. His round-cheeked but good-looking face was usually kind, but when Chance knitted his brows, he could look quite fearsome if he wanted to. And then, there was his nearly infamous temper, which had earned him as many reprimands as compliments from his superiors.
“All right, guys, the situation is this,” Chance was saying to a group of Enforcer commandos in visored helmets and riot gear, all of whom were crowded around him and his longtime friend and partner, Jake Clawson. Chance noisily chewed some gum of a nondescript, vaguely fruity flavor as he continued, “According to intel, Reno and his gang are holed up inside that warehouse.”
Reno was a semi-notorious carjacker who ran a chopshop out of a fairly nondescript warehouse, one Chance now circled on the map using the green pen. Chance had been itching to take him and his gang down for some time, and now that they finally had some details on the location of his hideout, he was ready to mount a full scale assault on the joint to bust him. He smirked and glanced at Jake.
Jake Clawson was younger than him by a year, and shorter and slimmer, too, and a little bit brainier and more cautious. In fact, the two had almost nothing in common outside of a shared interest in bringing criminals to justice. Thinking back to when they’d met in training at the academy, Chance often wondered how two so different kats could’ve become such close friends as quickly as they had.
He turned back to the assembled commandos. “Now since we’re dealin’ with a buncha punks who jack cars from old ladies for a livin’, I’d say we shouldn’t have too much to worry about.”
There was a smattering of laughter.
Jake, lean of body and more even of temperment, whose uniform was always kept close to regulation, neatly starched, tie done up tight, cap always close to hand, bent forwards from where he stood framed between the biceps of two of the larger commandos and said, “Just the same, we proceed with extreme caution. Got that?”
The assembled commandos nodded.
Chance rolled his eyes. As much as he liked and respected Jake, his buddy could come off less like an Enforcer officer and more like a perpetually worried nanny on a field trip. He’d jokingly been named Team Mom by a few of their subordinates because of his overly cautious, occasionally finger-wagging ways, sometimes literally wagging his finger at offending Enforcers, whereas Chance favored throwing caution to the wind and going in guns blazing, or otherwise without much resembling a plan beyond “getting it done,” which hadn’t endeared him to Lieutenant Feral much.
Chance’s personal motto was “Heroes don’t need plans!” Jake never failed to remind him that people who rushed in without much in the way of plans tended to get killed, and quickly, and Feral was even less kind: “Only morons don’t have plans!” the Lieutenant would snarl.
One of Chance’s other rather annoying habits, which he was well aware of but often powerless to quit, due to how fast his mind worked when on the job and in the heat of the action, was the fact any advice that didn’t quite gel with his personal philosophies, many and varied as they were, went in one ear and out the other. So, he just tuned such talk out. As far as he was concerned, there was no time to stop and think when your life was on the line, and when it came to the Chance Furlong way of doing things, his long arrest record spoke for itself.
“Okay, guys,” Chance said, slipping the red and green pens into his shirt pocket, “let’s lock and load!”
He was in the middle of rolling the map up when he turned to watch another Enforcer cruiser drive up. Its headlights flicking off, it slid to a noisy halt beside them. The gull-wing door flew up and from within emerged the towering hulk Chance and Jake had as a superior, Lieutenant Ulysses Feral. He slammed his door and walked over. A helmet like the ones the commandos wore was tucked under one beefy arm, a padded blue tactical vest worn over his torso, gray dress pants terminating abruptly into knee-high shining black jackboots which crunched on the playground’s gravel with each wide step Feral took.
He was even bigger than Chance. In fact, Chance knew of few other kats capable of matching Ulysses Feral in size and strength, except perhaps Deputy Mayor Balcus. Ulysses Feral with his severe flat top crewcut, his perpetual scowling mouth and knitted brows, a face of chiseled features, waxed whiskers resembling a mustache and the single biggest jawline Chance had ever seen jutting forth and terminating in a chin almost as large as Feral’s entire head. Proportionally, he seemed almost an utter parody of masculinity, with broader than broad shoulders and a massive chest that then tapered down to a narrow waist and almost stick-thin legs, a build that, coupled with the monstrous chin that he had, served to make Feral perhaps the single most top-heavy tom kat living in Megakat City.
Chance didn’t like him, and the feeling was mutual, but he obliged to show his superior at least some respect, and so as Feral approached, he joined Jake in a sincere salute, but made a point of noisily smacking his gum.
“Lieutenant,” Jake addressed him curtly.
Chance just kept on chewing.
Feral ignored it.
“Men, I’ve just received orders from the Lieutenant Commander that we are to stand down in this operation,” Feral said without bothering to salute them in return.
Chance and Jake looked at each other as the commandos murmured amongst themselves.
Despite Chance normally being the more insubordinate of the pair, it was Jake who piped up, angrily demanding an explanation. “Why?” he cried. “We’ve got Reno and his boys cold!”
“Yeah!” said Chance. “Those guys Jablonsky and Lyman nabbed earlier spilled everything!”
Jablonsky and Lyman were two extremely ambitious officers who often found themselves at odds with Chance and Jake, Lyman moreso than Jablonsky. Chance didn’t think it was possible to be more annoyed with anyone on a daily basis than he was with Lyman, who never missed a chance to needle Chance over, well, pretty much anything at any time, as, for reasons Chance had yet to quite figure out, Lyman saw him as being something of a personal arch-enemy. Chance himself didn’t care about him and wished he’d just go away, though.
Feral sighed. “Orders are orders. You stand down until further notice. Understood?”
“Yeah, yeah…” Chance mumbled angrily, kicking at the gravel with his shoe.
“What was that?” Feral asked, stepping up to put his full height to good use as he towered over Chance.
Although he was slightly intimidated, Chance did his best to hide it. Nonetheless he stood straighter, arms pressed firmly to his sides, and snapped, “I said yes sir, Lieutenant,” like a good little soldier.
“That’s what I thought,” said Feral with a smirk.
Chance was still burning with resentment that Jablonsky and Lyman had captured Reno’s henchmen and not him and Jake – which made this direct order from Steel to stand down all the more agonizing.
If he could bust Reno’s carjacking ring, he’d show up Lyman once and for all! And, then he could finally make him shut up and go away. He wondered if that was why Steel had sent the order; Chance knew Jablonsky and Lyman were old friends with the Lieutenant Commander after all. Chance despised such naked nepotism… not that he quite knew that was what it was called. If asked, Chance would probably think nepotism was when you were in love with your mother.
In any event, the Enforcer high command was rife with it and it was something that was difficult to ignore. Chance wouldn’t put it past Steel to try and advance his toadies in the ranks by sabotaging their rivals – even if the “rival” part only existed in Lyman’s head.
Kicking the gravel another time, Chance turned and stomped over to lean against the monkey bars, scowling, spitting his gum out in annoyance.
Across the street in the innocuous-looking warehouse, crime boss Reno was supervising the work of a small army of mechanics who were stripping down stolen cars for parts. He’d given himself the nickname “The Blade,” although no one was quite sure why; he wasn’t a knifeman as far as anyone knew. He was thirtysomething, babyfaced and just beginning to become overweight, wearing denim overalls and a button-up shirt for work in the chopshop, giving him the appearance of your average blue collar worker, but his true nature was betrayed by the obvious shoulder holster he wore, in which nestled a laser pistol with carved ivory grips.
Beside him was his right-hand man, Taddeo, a kat whose weight gain was even further along than his boss. He was wearing a leather jacket and baggy jeans. Whereas Reno’s hair was close-cropped, Taddeo had a long, scraggly mane that looked like it hadn’t been washed in several days. He had haunted, nervous eyes and kept looking at his timepiece – an antique silver pocketwatch he’d stolen from one of the gang’s numerous affluent carjacking victims. An equally showy sidearm was holstered on his belt.
“When are they gettin’ here?” he wanted to know.
Distractedly, Reno replied, “They’ll get here when they get here. Relax.”
The source of Taddeo’s worry was one of the only vehicles, besides Reno’s large black luxury sedan, that was left untouched by the mechanics. A parked armored car that said “Megakat Mint” on the side. The gang had stolen it the previous evening. It made Taddeo nervous because of what was inside of it.
The carjackers usually only stole civilian vehicles, but occasionally Reno took what he called “special orders” from criminals further up the food chain. These requests ranged from specific models of luxury cars said criminals wished to own, or sometimes vehicles carrying certain shipments, but stealing an armored car belonging to the Megakat Mint?
Taddeo was beginning to wonder if the hoped for money was worth the heat that its theft, which had necessitated the killing of all of the guards inside of it, was sure to bring down upon their heads from the Enforcers. Megakat City’s new breed of cop hadn’t been policing the streets very long, but they were already proving themselves to be tougher on crooks of every stripe than the old police force had been by far. They were more like soldiers than cops.
A horn suddenly honked outside. Taddeo, bundle of nerves that he was, jumped and his hand went to the butt of his gun, but Reno calmly went and peered through the slitlike window in the far wall that looked out onto the street.
“Relax,” he urged his edgy second in command, “it’s them.”
He pressed a button on the wall, causing the big double doors used to get cars in and out of the shop to slide open. A silver four-door SUV of high-end manufacture and toughness pulled in. It stopped in the middle of the garage, and Reno closed the door again. He and Taddeo then went over to greet their clients. The mechanics went about their business. In their world it didn’t pay to ask questions.
The doors of the SUV opened, and three kats got out. Their leader, whose name Reno remembered was Todfeld, was skinny with yellow fur and tousled black hair, and wore a black greatcoat over a black suit with a dark red tie. There were black leather gloves on his hands.
His two companions were a tall kat all dressed in gray with a striped tie, and a slightly shorter kat with swept back blonde hair who peered out at the world through the impenetrably black lenses of a pair of stylish sunglasses. He wore a blue suit, and both he and the taller fellow wore black gloves like Todfeld, and also carried a briefcase each. Reno didn’t remember their names. Instead, he eyed the briefcases, which, he assumed, contained his money, and smirked, hooking his thumbs in the shoulder straps of his overalls.
Todfeld ignored him at first, glancing over at the armored car. Finally, he turned to Reno and said conversationally, “How did it go?”
“Piece of cake,” Reno assured him proudly.
“The truck was right where you said it’d be,” added Taddeo, sweating nervously.
Something about Todfeld made him uneasy. Was it that the angular tom kat dressed in black with that long black coat draped around his skinny frame like a cultist’s robe? Or was it his unnaturally bright, wide eyes, which seemed to twinkle with some sort of barely-contained sadistic humor? Or perhaps the tiny smile he had that made the corners of his mouth twitch? Having worked a brief stint at a mental home as an orderly, Taddeo knew just plain crazy when he saw it.
Todfeld’s next question puzzled them. “Anyone get hurt?”
Reno and Taddeo looked at each other. Were they not supposed to have killed the guards? Or did he mean their guys? Reno decided to play it safe, answering, flatly, “No.”
“Excellent!” Todfeld said, rubbing his gloved hands together, the leather creaking. “I don’t like seeing people unnecessarily injured.”
So saying, he stepped towards the armored car, but they moved to block his path.
“Ain’t your truck, man, ’till we get our money,” Reno reminded him bluntly.
Todfeld looked wounded, gesturing apologetically. “I just want to look in the back. Surely that is free of charge.”
Again, the two exchanged looks, and then finally Reno decided this was a good point and turned and opened the back of the armored car, revealing several crates labeled “Property of Megakat Mint.”
Todfeld could barely contain his excitement, making fists with his hands. “Yes!” he said happily.
Reno slammed the back doors shut on purpose to remind him of their deal: no money, no truck.
“Awrighty, you seen the cargo. How’s about we get our money now?”
Todfeld turned and smiled to his companions. “Pay them, would you, gentlemen?”
Sunglasses and Striped Tie grinned and carried their briefcases to a nearby workbench where they plunked them down. Reno and Taddeo walked over, then recoiled as the briefcases were opened and a pair of laser rifles with foregrips, folded wire stocks and large battery cels resembling the drum magazines of old gangster tommyguns were removed.
The two carjackers stepped back and went for their own weapons, only for Striped Tie, working quickly, to work the charging handle with a clicking noise, followed by a low hum, and aim the weapon at them with the stock still folded. He had them covered. Sunglasses was a little slower, mostly because he took the time to unfolded his gun’s stock, but soon the pair had two heavy duty laser-tommyguns, as they were nicknamed on the streets, aimed squarely at their bellies.
“Your weapons!” growled Striped Tie.
“Hey, now, wait a second…!!!” whined Taddeo.
“Yeah!” said Reno.
“Now!” the gunman snapped.
At this, they complied, tossing their laser pistols to the floor. Todfeld walked out from behind them and pulled a gun of his own, a laser pistol with an extended barrel and a scope on top, from somewhere inside of his overcoat.
“You said–” Reno began, in what amounted to a pitiful plea.
“I said ‘unnecessarily,’” was Todfeld’s response, cutting Reno off. “Unfortunately for you, it is entirely necessary.”
He aimed his gun at Taddeo and fired, putting a searing laser bolt through his fat torso. With a yell, the overweight criminal staggered backwards before collapsing into a lifeless heap. The mechanics stopped what they were doing and looked up, startled. Reno took a step forward, meaning to grab his discarded gun, then thought better of it, turned and made a mad dash for a side door, but Sunglasses fired after him, hitting him square in the back, and he pitched forwards and fell flat on his face and didn’t get up.
After that, the rest of the gang were easy pickings. Confused and afraid, they were made to get up, put their hands on their heads, and line up against the far wall. At a nod from Todfeld, Striped Tie stepped forward and promptly opened fire, swinging his weapon in a long arc across the line of mechanics who all did a jittering, flailing death-dance, grunting and yelling, before collapsing onto the floor. Their killer smirked cruelly, admiring his handiwork.
“Okay, guys, let’s hustle,” Todfeld said casually, “someone may have heard all that.”
Back at the playground, Chance, Jake and the commandos heard what was unmistakably the sound of muffled laser fire – first one blast, then a second, more powerful-sounding one and finally a series of sustained ones as someone fired their high-powered laser weapon multiple times in rapid succession, each blast coming one on top of the other. Full auto, it sounded like.
Feral, already getting back into his car, stopped short and turned, surprised. “Gunshots!” he cried.
“They came from the warehouse!” Chance said, drawing his Enforcer-issue sidearm from the holster that dangled off of his gunbelt and charging off.
“Furlong, wait!” Feral yelled after him.
Chance ignored him and vaulted over a low hedge separating the playground from the street. Jake took off after him while Feral simply palmed his face.
On the other side of the hedge, Chance landed deftly on both feet in a crouching position. He found himself on a sidewalk running along a crummy-looking street, the single story warehouse looming somewhat ominously before him. A moment later, he was joined by Jake, who landed in a similar position, gun drawn as well. They both hurried across the street and huddled against the wall by the doors.
“So, what’s the plan, genius?” Jake asked, not for the first time wondering if his buddy was gonna get them both killed.
“No idea,” replied Chance. “I’m makin’ this up as I go along. I figure, we see bad guys with guns, we shoot ’em.”
“Brilliant!” Jake said with a sigh.
Chance paused and listened. “No more shots. Whatever happened in there is over.” He turned and grinned at Jake. “Whaddaya say we knock on the door and say hi?”
“Chance…” Jake warned.
“Relax, buddy,” his friend reassured him. “If anything goes wrong, the Lieutenant’s right across the street.”
So saying, he went to the side door and knocked insistently, making a point of hiding his gun behind his back.
Inside, Todfeld and his companions finished loading the final crate in the back of the SUV, having transferred them from the stolen armored car to their own vehicle. They filled the backseat and the rear cargo area. Hearing the knock, they bristled, and Todfeld turned towards his two subordinates. Their names, which the recently departed Reno had forgotten, were actually Leonard and Albert.
Addressing Leonard, the tall kat in the striped tie, Todfeld said, “Whoever it is, get rid of ‘im!” To Albert, the kat in the sunglasses, he said, “Come on,” and the two of them went to their vehicle.
Leonard, hiding his weapon behind his back, walked over to the door while Albert shut the SUV’s liftgate. Arriving at the door to ever more insistent knocking, Leonard opened the door just a crack and frowned as he was greeted by a heavyset tom kat in an Enforcer uniform. He glanced back at his accomplices, then, making sure his tall frame concealed the warehouse interior for their unwelcome visitor, looked back at Chance.
“Whaddaya want?” he demanded.
Chance was a little taken aback to be greeted by such a well-dressed kat as this, but he recovered quickly. “Hi!” he said cheerfully, waving with the hand not currently concealing his pistol behind his back. “Is this the illegal chopshop?”
Leonard raised an eyebrow, surprised by the Enforcer’s bluntness. “…yes?” he said slowly.
“Great!” Chance said with a wide grin and a posture and attitude he hoped translated to “easygoing” and not “nervous.” “‘Cause I got my girlfriend’s convertible parked outside, and I was hopin’ you guys could strip it down for me ’cause she ain’t been actin’ right.”
“Leave it out front, and we’ll get to it as soon as we can,” Leonard replied flatly, impatiently fidgeting.
“I got a better idea,” Chance said. “How ’bout I ask what a guy dressed up as nice as you is doin’ in a scuzzy place like this in the middle of the night? You’re not a mechanic, are ya?”
“Do I look like a mechanic, jerkface?” Leonard growled. “Get lost and take your stinkin’ girlfriend’s car with you!”
Deciding that the conversation was over, Chance frowned and kicked the door in, hitting Leonard in the face. He staggered back, whipping his laser rifle out from behind his back. Reacting, Chance swung out the hand containing his own weapon and both of them fired at the same time, but Leonard’s staggering movements resulted in neither of them hitting anything. Dizzy from being struck in the face, Leonard’s single burst of laser fire from his tommygun went into the air, out the open door, flying high and wild into the night sky, and, right as Chance fired, Leonard collapsed to the floor, the shot intended for him instead passing over his prone form to strike a partially dismantled convertible.
Chance and Jake leaped in, guns up.
“Freeze!” Jake yelled. “You’re all under arr…” he trailed off as he realized they were staring right down the barrels of Todfeld and Albert’s guns. “Aahhh!”
The two Enforcers ducked back outside as the laser fire ripped up the door frame.
Rushing over as soon as they were outside, Todfeld kicked the door shut and locked it. He nudged Leonard with his foot. “Get up!” he shouted.
Leonard groggily scrambled to his feet, gun in hand.
Nearby, Todfeld watched in helpless annoyance as Albert stood rigidly and made a sound that vaguely approximated to “Unh!” and leaned his head back, promptly collapsing lifelessly to the floor. “Not again!” Todfeld growled and ran to the unconscious gunman’s side, which he proceeded to kick repeatedly. “Wake up!” he yelled. “Get up! Get up, you idiot!”
After a moment, Albert sat bolt upright with a start, blinking behind his shades. “Aah!” he cried. “What happened?”
Todfeld grabbed his arm and helped him to his feet. “Come on, let’s get outta here! I’ll drive!”
Back at the playground, Feral, having witnessed the shots fired wildly into the air, growled in annoyance.
“Blast those two!” he said, then whirled to the commandos. “All right, move in!”
Outside the warehouse, Chance and Jake huddled alongside the door, panting, still clutching their sidearms.
“Okay,” said Chance, “so the bad guys are a little better armed than we are.”
Jake felt his even temper beginning to boil a bit. Chance was one of the very few kats in Megakat City that tested his patience, and often. “Not a problem?” he parroted angrily. “And, how do you suggest we overcome this obstacle, oh fearless leader?” he snarked.
Chance turned and glared at him and started to say something when the front of the building exploded outward as the silver SUV belonging to the gunmen plowed through the wall. The two Enforcer officers flinched as the building shuddered from the impact and dust and chunks of plaster and wood rained down around them, then, recovering, watched as the vehicle swerved right and headed down the street. Chance grinned, always eager to look for the silver lining in any situation, even when it was only a silver lining to him.
Standing up, he said, “Well, on the bright side, it just turned into a car chase!”
Suddenly, Feral and the commandos came charging through the bushes, guns up. Choosing to ignore his two insubordinate subordinates for the time being, Feral motioned for three commandos to head inside through the enormous hole left by the SUV. A moment later, one of them emerged, looking a little grim. He’d seen the bodies that littered the floor of the chopshop inside. He said something to Feral that Chance and Jake didn’t hear, and then Lieutenant Feral then stomped over to them where they sat on the sidewalk.
“Which way did they go?” he asked solemnly, a hint of anger in his voice.
Jake pointed off down the street. “That way. At full speed.”
“Looks like even you two got here a little later,” Feral said. “There’s thirteen bodies in there. And, one very empty armored car belonging to the Megakat Mint. I think we’ve stumbled onto something a little bigger than just plain old carjacking.”
“Thirteen?!” cried Jake, leaping up in a sudden fury. “They… they…”
“We have positive IDs on Reno and almost his entire gang,” replied the Lieutenant. “It was execution style. They lined them up against the wall.”
Jake clenched his fists in fury. He’d killed people in the line of duty. He’d seen his fellow Enforcers fall and innocent bystanders as well as criminals get killed. But, never in such a massive amount. The thought of even those scuzzball carjackers being made to get up against the wall and then gunned down execution style without mercy was making him see red. It was a level of murder he couldn’t abide.
Chance stood also and gave his shoulder a calming stroke.
“I wanna bust these guys, Chance… really bad…”
“Aren’t you the one always preachin’ about not runnin’ off into the wild blue yonder without a plan?” asked Chance, glad to see his friend all fired up with righteous indignation, but a little worried all the same. Jake could sometimes be scary the few times he got really, really angry.
“That was before thirteen people went and got slaughtered like cattle,” Jake pointed out. “Come on!”
As if summoned by his command, three Enforcer cruisers rounded the corner up the street, tires squealing. One skidded sideways and stopped on the curb. From out of the car got Jablonsky and Lyman, their guns out. Chance grinned and watched as the two charged headlong into the warehouse to do… whatever it is they thought they could do to help. Turning, he grabbed Jake’s sleeve.
“Come on!” yelled Chance. “I got us a ride!”
The other two cruisers continued driving, whizzing past them as Chance ran to Jablonsky and Lyman’s car, which sat with the doors open. Jake ran after him.
“Furlong, get back here!” yelled Feral.
“What are you doing, Chance?” yelled Jake.
Chance got into the driver’s seat and shut the door to discover Jablonsky had left the keys in the ignition. “You said you wanted to bust those guys, right?” Chance asked him as he turned the key and started the motor. “Well, no crook gets away from Chance Furlong! So, come on, Jake! Let’s go get those guys!”
Steeling himself up, Jake slid into the passenger’s seat. “Gladly!”
Stepping on the gas, Chance peeled off, Jake yelping and shutting the door as the cruiser fishtailed and roared off down the street. Emerging from inside the warehouse and looking a little visibly sickened at the carnage they’d found within, Jablonsky and Lyman noticed Chance “borrowing” their car.
“Hey…!!!” cried Lyman. He ran off after the departing vehicle, but, unable to catch up, he was reduced to just jogging pitifully after it. With a snarl, he took off his cap and flung it impotently after them before stopping and yelling after them, one finger pointing. “I’ll get you for this, Furlong!”
The SUV roared down Main Street, passing city workers busy hanging a banner between two lamp posts that read “Megakat City 400th Anniv. Celebration.” The workers watched the vehicle go speeding recklessly past them, but then resumed their work. High-speed chases weren’t exactly uncommon these days.
Todfeld was at the wheel, disobeying seemingly every traffic law ever, refusing to heed stop signs and running red lights like crazy, causing numerous fender benders. He had a time table to keep to, and his master, although occasionally the understanding sort, didn’t suffer tardiness lightly.
Leonard rode shotgun, his laser-tommygun in his lap, and Albert was in the backseat, cramped with the crates they’d been unable to fit in the rear cargo space. He was very unhappy at being stuck back there but kept his mouth shut. He could tell Todfeld wasn’t in the mood to listen to his complaints.
Hearing sirens, Leonard glanced to his right at the passenger sideview mirror and saw a pair of Enforcer cruisers suddenly gaining on them, lights flashing. “We got a tail!” he announced.
Todfeld checked his own mirror, then said casually, “Wax those clowns!”
Lifting his weapon out of his lap, Leonard rolled down the window, leaning out and shooting at the pursuing Enforcers. His laser fire shattered the windshield of the first one, spraying the commandos inside with glass. Shielding their faces, they promptly merged into another lane, out of Leonard’s line of fire, while a commando in the second vehicle leaned out and returned fire.
Jablonsky and Lyman’s purloined cruiser rapidly gained on the pursuit. Steering with his right hand, Chance whipped out his laser pistol in his left and leaned out the window, firing at the SUV and shattering the rear window, making Albert yelp and finally begin voicing his misgivings.
“Can’t ya go any faster?!” he cried.
“I’m flooring it now!” Todfeld said back over his shoulder, glancing at the speedometer. The SUV, while speedy, was somewhat slower than the Enforcer squad cars, even without all the heavy crates weighing it down more than usual.
Followed closely by the three Enforcer cruisers, he turned and took an exit that brought them onto a highway heading toward Old Megakat Bridge in the distance, grateful for the sparse nighttime traffic. In fact, the only vehicle of note was a large tanker truck. Seeing the decorative flames sweeping back along the truck’s silver tank trailer, Leonard, still leaning out the window, got an idea. Turning, he shot out the truck’s back tires. Leonard ducked back inside as the SUV flew past the suddenly out of control tanker, which began veering to the left and finally overturned and blew up. The first two Enforcer cruisers screeched to a halt to avoid hitting the flaming wreckage.
Leaning back inside, he floored it.
Jake, despite his eagerness to catch the murderers, looked a trifle nervous.
“Chance…?” he asked, watching as the wall of fire drew ever nearer through the windshield. “What are you–CHAAAAAAAANCE!!!” He covered his eyes.
The other Enforcers, out of their cars, watched in disbelief as Chance barrelled past them, shooting right through the gargantuan wall of flame. Emerging from the fire on the opposite side, the car was a bit singed and the wheels were aflame, but it was otherwise undamaged.
Slowly, Jake uncovered his eyes, blinking. They’d made it! His relief turned to anger as he glared at Chance and promptly hit him.
“Warn me next time!” Jake growled.
Todfeld stared in shock at his rearview mirror. “I don’t believe it!” he said.
“Look, we can lose ’em at the bridge!” Leonard said and pointed.
In particular, he pointed out a large ship getting ready to pass underneath the bridge, which was already starting to raise. Todfeld nodded and swerved towards the exit, Chance’s cruiser right behind him.
The SUV barrelled towards the raising bridge. It ramped up the incline and shot into space. Todfeld, Leonard and Albert were wide-eyed with fear as their vehicle seemed to hang in midair for a few seconds, but luckily for them, the SUV made the jump, slamming onto the opposite side before it had raised too high. They sped wildly down to the bottom, hit it in a burst of sparks that more or less annihilated their rear bumper, and continued on unmolested.
Chance and Jake weren’t so lucky. Chance tried to climb the incline like Todfeld did, but by now it’d tilted too far. The front-wheel drive cruiser’s wheels skidded uselessly on the pavement, and the car slid back down, its bumper smacking into the bottom and crumping the back end. Chance and Jake were jostled from the impact, but recovered easily enough.
“Well, that could’ve gone better…” moaned Jake, palming his face.
Chance, still gripping the steering wheel, sighed, “The Lieutenant’s gonna kill us.”
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