A few minutes earlier …
“You sure this is the right thing to do?”
“Of course it is. By eliminating big-shots in another gang, I’m showing initiative and you’ll get recognition too for helping me.”
This was the mindset of one girl dressed from head to toe in black biker clothes. Dressed in a studded jacket, leather jeans, and ankle length boots, she would not look out of place in a generic action movie. As the sun set below the peaks of the towers in Stryker City, it cast rays of light on her olive face, revealing brown eyes sharpened with ambition, a smirk brazen with confidence, and raven black hair cut down to neck length with bangs. At that moment, she drew a hand through her hair, thankful for the fact that she liked to keep her hair relatively short, before slipping on a ski mask.
The girl was known as Chloe Lassiter, and one of her main goals was to move up the ranks of this superpowered clubhouse, as efficiently as possible. Being one of the new hopefuls for the Stryker City branch of the Diesels, she had no doubt in her ability to be recruited. She had a natural talent for destruction, thanks to the nature of her power. It was to the extent that she once made a building collapse in one breath. Causing an “accident” in a junkyard would be a piece of cake.
“Alright, give me the details again. We only have a couple minutes here.”
Her partner, whose face was already obscured under the mask of a Luchador, closed her eyes as she focused. Chloe knew her only as “Phoebe”, and she was the only one Chloe knew that she could trust to carry out this plan with her. Although she was already a part of the gang, her role in it was never as prominent as the other heavyweights. She was always given supportive roles, such as being the lookout, or the one to orientate new recruits, which were all tasks made easy due to the nature of her ability. In fact, it was that same ability that allowed them to find their targets.
Chloe could tell that Phoebe too was unsatisfied. Although she acted grateful for not being on the front lines, Chloe could still hear the disappointment in Phoebe’s voice when she talked about her role in the Diesels. She wanted more, and Chloe was sure she could use this to persuade Phoebe to be on her side. In fact, with Phoebe’s ability, Chloe’s hope of achieving her goals was not only possible, it could be easy.
“It’s the two we saw earlier. Janitors. At least, one of them is. The one wearing the scarf, he’s tall, skinny, I would say around six feet, dark black. The other’s shorter, about five foot five, slim, also dark.”
“What are they doing?”
“They appear to be arguing. The short one’s agitated, the tall one’s just irritated. He’s also a bit disappointed, but calm. Now he’s had enough. He’s showing Shorty something, as a threat, but he doesn’t really mean it. He just wants to scare him with it a little, and prove a point … my guess is it’s a gun. But it’s weird … Shorty’s aiming something at the tall one … it feels like …”
“It doesn’t feel like a gun. It’s something he wants to be seen as unexpected, mundane … elastic … maybe a rubber band?”
“… you’re kidding.”
“I’m not sure … I just know it’s something people wouldn’t normally think is dangerous.”
“So where are they now?” Chloe inquired.
“About two hundred metres north, right behind that pile of cars.”
“Perfect, let’s get this over with,” Chloe replied. God must want these guys dead, she thought to herself as she took a deep breath, she could not have been given a more perfect shot.
“Uh… Chloe?” Phoebe asked nervously, “what you were suggesting earlier … it sounds possible, but I’ve never don-”
“Don’t worry too much about it,” Chloe said reassuringly, “I have faith in you. Besides, we might not even have to go that far.” But Chloe could not help but hope a little that they might. The sooner she validated her theories on what Phoebe could do, the better off she would be on accomplishing her plans.
“Kid, you really need to understand what kind of life you’re trying to be a part of. We don’t care about what’s -,” and then Tyson felt it. The ground beneath his feet was vibrating. So were the cars next to them. It was as if he was at a concert standing right next to the bass speakers. They were not alone. Taking out his gun, he was about to warn Jeff when it happened.
With a loud blast the stack of cars were catapulted off their hinges, a rhapsody of corroded chassis, dusty frames and rusted metal threatened to overwhelm the duo. Jeff’s face had only now started to register that something was wrong, but Tyson was ready. As the adrenaline rushed through his body, the obstructions became slower and slower to him, until their presence was a mere inconvenience, floating towards his location like balloons trying to find the ground.
He ducked under the one closest to him and sprinted, wading through the cars and debris until he found Jeff, who had now turned around to see a vintage Buick exactly an inch away from reshaping his face. The signs of danger were starting to show on his face, and his eyes appeared utterly horror-struck, to Tyson’s amusement. He paused for a microsecond to determine a safe area to land, and then tackled Jeff into safety, the Buick’s taillights brushing against the soles of his shoes before they both slammed into the cardboard pile Jeff had intended to use as target practice.
Jeff was the first to recover. His last memory being what would have been his death, he was quite surprised to find himself very alive and stuck in a pile of packing peanuts. Needless to say, he was not sure how to react.
“What the f-”
“Ssh!” Tyson whispered as he covered Jeff’s mouth. He looked around, focusing on the point where the stack of cars was. He caught a glimpse of two figures in the distance, clouded by dust and smoke.
“Kid, I want you to stay here,” Tyson said quietly. Jeff was having none of that, as he ripped Tyson’s hand off his mouth.
“What is going on?”
“We’re under attack. Possibly a gang. Not sure. I spotted two figures a good distance south. Now I want you to stay here.”
“You can’t go over there alone!” Jeff said, secretly more concerned with his well-being than Tyson’s.
“You saw what I can do. Stay. Here.”
But the ground started vibrating once again. Tyson did not waste any time with warnings, he simply grabbed Jeff, threw him over his shoulder and started running for cover before Jeff could protest. He was not a moment too soon, as half of a Dodge Ram, determined to live up to its name, introduced itself to the cardboard pile they deserted.
As Tyson ran, his mind also kept itself busy with thoughts. Whoever their assailants were, they had a lot of nerve to go for him on hostile turf. Or perhaps they were after Jeff, as unlikely as that may be. He already discounted running away as an option: it would not help him figure out what these people’s motives were, nor would it go down well on the streets for certain people to know that he ran away from two unknowns. No, he had to take care of them, as quickly as possible.
Tyson dropped Jeff beside a stack of station wagons. He had taken the long way around the duo, bobbing and weaving around piles until he managed to get to one that was only a couple metres at their rear. There were two more attempts on their lives while he ran, both falling short of keeping up with his pace. Risking a glance from their pile, Tyson could see that their backs were still turned to him, which meant they had not seen him move.
Seeing the opportunity presented before him, Tyson turned to Jeff, who was still on the ground on his hands and knees, his face a bit green from the trip. He tapped Jeff on the shoulder to get his attention, and then he pointed to himself, then to the duo, then again at Jeff, before putting a finger to his lips. Jeff, still dazed at the recent series of events, just nodded. Tyson’s message was clear: stay here, be quiet. And that was exactly what he did while Tyson bolted off again.