Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Brown Tarantula: Part 5

The Brown Tarantula

Copyright Robert F. Sacco

Part 2 is Below on this very page

Part 5: The Unexpected
Brent felt exalted as he vaulted the empty space between rooftops in the pouring rain. He knew that he had jumped from the previous rooftop with more than enough force to clear the alley and land on the next, but he had never done this before tonight and it was more exciting than he would have imagined. He was still amazed that this big, bulky metal armor landed completely silently. He wished he were a scientist so that he could try and figure out how the armor and the car worked. Though, maybe that wouldn't have mattered. His father was convinced that the armor wasn't some kind of super science, but was in fact some sort of magical artifact. Brent didn't have an opinion, all he knew was that he needed to focus because he was headed into a trap.

He had deliberately cut a swath of destruction through the center of the Dunnbrick neighborhood on a straight line for what was probably the largest meth lab in the state. Meth labs are highly explosive so its violent destruction would be spectacular. It was part of a small brownfield that had at one time been called "The Dunnbrick Industrial park" which was a small courtyard surrounded by four large, decaying, brick buildings that had once been a tool factory complex. It would be possible for Charon to fill the, mostly empty, buildings with soldiers at windows, on roofs and on fire escapes. The Tarantula had spent the better part of two nights driving into alleys, springing from his car and attacking thugs. Charon's ambush would be working on the assumption that he would attack the meth lab that way, so, almost all eyes and guns would be pointed towards the central ally's road that the car would have to enter on. However, the car was capable of acting remotely and the Tarantula was capable of traveling roof to roof. This was a chance not only to take down the largest meth lab in the state, but probably a third of Charon's soldiers. It would prove to law enforcement, the community and to organized crime that Charon was over.

 As he landed on the roof of the easternmost building in the complex he didn't even pause to take a deep breath or get his bearings. He just "knew" that there were three men on the other side of the roof facing the court yard and he immediately made another leap which landed him on top of the one in the middle. Three of the armor's mechanical arms immediately lashed out, instantly killing the two on either side of him and thrusting down to kill the one he had landed on. Now he stopped and looked around. "There must be close to a hundred of them" He thought to himself. Four of them just below him on a fire escape. He was sure that the rusted fire escape wouldn't be able to handle the armor's weight and momentum if he just dropped to it, so, from a standing position he allowed himself to fall head first off the edge of the roof, guiding his momentum so that he should crash face first into the side of the building before falling, but, he didn’t fall. Spikes punched out of all six arms and thrust silently into the brick wall. He began to crawl down the side of the wall towards the fire escape like a spider.

He dispatched the thugs on the fire escape as easily as all the others he had killed over the last two nights but this time there was a complication. One of the dying thugs had almost fallen off the fire escape which would have made noise and alerted all the others who were even know straining for the sounds of the car's arrival. He managed to grab the falling Spinoli by the nape of his neck and drag him back onto the fire escape. This had produced a metal on metal noise as the thug's belt buckle scraped the fire escape. Brent froze for twenty seconds to give the army of mobsters the chance to look around and trusted the black and brown of the armor to blend into the darkness.

Once he was sure that he was unobserved he ducked through the window that this fire escape serviced and made his way into the dark, abandoned building.  Over the next five minutes, with a speed that defied description, he slaughtered twenty men. Some, just lurking in the building guarding the thugs' escape route, others at windows waiting for the car, still more on fire escapes. He ended where he had started, on the roof. He looked out across the courtyard and saw that the plan was going well. The car would be pulling in any second now. As the Spinoli's opened fire on it and presumably him, he would leap to the building across the courtyard and duplicate what he had done here, but, even faster as, with all the gunfire, he would no longer need to be concerned about noise. Then, he'd order the car to smash through the meth lab, causing it to explode, taking out most of the men in it and in the building adjacent to it. That would be it, a day's work done and home to work out tomorrow's plan.

On schedule the car rocketed into the courtyard and stopped on a dime as if in defiance of the laws of momentum. The thugs opened fire, sounding to the entire neighborhood like the D-Day Invasion. And then, the unexpected reared its ugly head. Pulling in slightly behind and to the side of the car was a small red Honda Civic. A young woman, drowning in an oversized trench coat and fedora leapt from the car brandishing a revolver that she obviously didn't know how to use and fired wildly in all directions while screaming something mostly unheard over the gunfire but Brent made out "with you" and "Tarantula".

The fact that she wore some sort of domino mask filled him with fear. "Did I inspire this? Is this girl going to die because of the example that I set?" were the thoughts running through his mind as his plan fell apart. He had no choice but to abandon it in order to rescue her. His armor not being bullet proof, only speed could save them. He dived from the building directly at her. He was unafraid, to allow any sort of emotional response would interrupt the concentration needed to do what came next. He maintained the precisely calculated angle of descent, hit the ground near her, rolled in such a way as to scoop her into his arms while simultaneously communicating mentally with the car and getting it to snap off the head lights in order to give them some cover in darkness. During this maneuver bullets whizzed around him, a slug blasted off one of the pincers on the spider faced helmet. It served no purpose, as far as he knew, other than to make it look fierce and frightening but it came awfully close to putting a hole in his head. He pushed himself to move even faster as he rolled himself and the girl out in front of the car. A bullet penetrated the armor and scratched his shoulder, another blew through the girls hat. Again he mentally spoke with the car. With tires still on the ground the car rose up like a monster truck leaving more space between its body and the ground and then rolled over the armored vigilante and girl, providing them with a bulletproof shield. What happened next Brent would never have thought could work but the intuition provided by the armor had so far proven infallible, so, he ordered the car to create an opening at its bottom and scoop him and the girl inside, which, it did much to both of their amazement. Before the girl or the thugs could fully comprehend what was going on, Bent ordered the car to follow through with the last stage of the plan, so the car took off at an impossible speed and plunged straight into the building that housed the meth lab, causing the predicted explosion.

The world seemed to be in slow motion as Brent and Delia, seated safely in the car, rolled through the exploding building. Flame and debris buffeted the vehicle like water and brushes in a mechanical car wash. Brent said, in his best acted, deep, spooky, voice "Who the hell are you?" To which Delia responded " Delia Clarette." Startled, he forgot to maintain the voice and drifted back to his normal tone "As in Rocky Clarette, my grandfather's driver before he found the car?" "My great grandfather." She said. "And he preferred 'sidekick'."  Brent realized that this was trouble.

The Tarantula, and Delia, and the Spinolis had all failed to notice Detective Tom Slovino lurking in the shadows. He had gotten some good pictures of the Tarantula during the leap from the building. He had gotten some very good close ups of Delia. His pride and joy was a picture of the license plate on Delia's Honda.

This Story Has Fifteen Parts. I'll Post Links To Then Next Chapters Here As They Are Published

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