Prospects were starting to look positive. Felicia and Dr. Morse’s introduction had gone smoothly and the two had begun training the very next day. Bobbi had agreed with Carol that martial arts training would teach Felicia the clarity of mind and focus needed to gain fine control over her powers. The hope was that Felicia would eventually become a hero in her own right.
Curves ahead brought Carol back from her musing and she pushed her powerful sports car hard into the turns. The hands-free system rang and Carol quickly glanced at the caller ID on the console. It read, “The Snitch.” Bear Cattoni was his actual name. He’d once been a stunt man and had fallen in with some shady characters as his opportunities had dried up. He’d broken down in tears when Carol busted the operation he’d been a part of, begging her to help him get out. In spite of the previous ambush at Hunters Warehouse, she agreed to give him a chance. To his credit, he’d proven himself to be a valuable source of inside information.
She thumbed the button to answer the call, “Hello Bear, how’s my favourite narc?”
“Oh, you’re hilarious,” came Bear’s gravel-voiced reply, “I got what ya wanted.”
“Hang on Bear. I need to pull over.”
The call couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. There was a rest stop exit coming up immediately and Carol swung the Lamborghini off the highway to park. Had the call come a minute later, she would have been deep inside a tunnel. She retrieved her tablet, telling Bear to continue.
“He’s at the Eureka Tower on the 90th floor, Suite 9008. Dial 5155 on the access panel.”
“Seriously? The one with the gold-plated windows? Figures…” Carol rolled her eyes as she typed, “How credible is this intel?”
“I was there last night. It’s his place all right. Had a bunch of girls come by to entertain us too, if you know what I mean. Look, if you get in there, you can’t pin it on me, ok? I helped you out like I promised. I want out of that life. I want to be around for my daughter.”
“Don’t worry Bear. I won’t say any more than I have to.” Carol ended the call and pulled the car back out onto the highway. She mashed the accelerator hard, smoking her tires and heading back towards the city. “Looks like I’ve got a date tonight after all,” she grinned.
Hours later, a lone figure sashayed up to the Eureka Tower and entered the secured foyer. She punched in a code on the security panel and a moment later Hammerhead’s gruesome face appeared on the display.
“What?” he spat, clearly annoyed by the interruption.
“Hi, it’s Stacey from last night. Remember me? I was kinda hoping that maybe you might want to see me again.”
“Stacey… yeah, sure. I remember you. Leave ya coat and bag wit da door guy. I can’t remember his &%@$# name. You know da apartment, right?”
“Yes, 9008. I can’t wait!”
The display went blank as Hammerhead buzzed her in. Carol almost laughed, it was so easy. “Appeal to his ego and he’ll do whatever I want,” she thought to herself as she headed straight to the elevator and up to the 90th floor.
A knock at the door to 9008 was answered quickly by Hammerhead himself. “Come on in, toots.”
With a coy smile, she cocked her head to one side, “Is it just you and me tonight?”
He nodded smugly, opened the door and stood aside to let her in.
As she passed, Carol wound up and punched him hard in the side before he could react. She felt the bone crunch with the impact and Hammerhead dropped to the ground, groaning. She’d almost yelled out, “Right to the Getsuei,” and had to stifle a laugh.
“My ribs,” he gasped, clutching his side, “What the #&@%, you broke my #&@%ing ribs!”
Carol made a mental note to thank Mockingbird and closed the door behind her.
“Who else is here?”
A string of curses was the only response. Apparently he intended to impregnate Carol’s mother..? She caught him reaching feebly into the blazer he wore and mercilessly put her knee into his chest. He gasped in pain as she grabbed the pistol he was trying to retrieve.
“Nice Sig,” she remarked, a comment on his Sig Sauer P227. She took a moment to admire the heft of it in her palm. It was nicely weighted, and fit her grasp comfortably. She cleared the chamber and popped out the magazine to reveal .45 calibre hollow points. Satisfied, she clapped the magazine back into place and reloaded the chamber. She looked down at the incapacitated gangster with a scowl.
“What… are ya… gonna do? Shoot me?” he wheezed.
Ignoring him, she checked the safety and shoved the Sig in the back of her waistband. Carol then roughly flipped him over, eliciting another agonized gasp. With a knee in the small of his back, she drew out a pair of handcuffs and wrenched his arms behind his back. He cried out in pain and Carol looked to ensure there was no one coming to his aid.
“Unreal. A pretty girl comes on to you and you let her up here. You, all alone with no backup. I have no idea how you got this far in life, you’re so #&@%ing dumb. But you’re through. Hammerhead, you’re under arrest.”
Carol dragged him to his feet and marched him out the door and off to meet his fate before the courts.
Not so far away from the action, another scenario was coming to a conclusion. In a well-appointed office, a large wall-mounted TV displayed Hammerhead’s downfall live. A single click on the red ‘X’ terminated the video feed from a well-positioned drone. A very large man stood up and waved at two well-dressed men across from him, who had their guns trained on a third.
“You’ve done well, Bear. You’re free to go,” he nodded to the guards and they holstered their weapons.
Bear fairly leapt to his feet, “And that’s it? You aren’t going to come after me, right?”
“You have my word. You’ve done me a great service today. While I wouldn’t quite say that I’m in your debt, I’ll allow that you’ve earned your discharge. This woman has removed my only real opposition. Perhaps I should send her some flowers! Are you certain you don’t want to share her name?”
Bear’s panicked expression was answer enough.
“A shame,” the big man sighed, “My erstwhile rival will find to his chagrin, that our justice system will offer no leniency to a man of his ‘numerous transgressions’. Quite unfortunate that any request for bail will be similarly rejected,” He shook his head in mock sympathy, continuing, “and once Don Rigoletto ‘retires,’ Wilson Fisk will be the head of the Maggia. The Kingpin, if you will.” Fisk paused a moment, “Yes, I like that.”
Bear turned and fled the office, wondering helplessly if playing both sides had been such a clever ploy after all. The only response was laughter behind him.
To be continued...
@korver Thanks! I really appreciate your support!
@Ln X I've been talking up this mosaic for ages. The highway image is the one you've inspired and I thank you so much for the examples you've provided.