The Tourniquet Serials 2 (of 5)
By Christopher Michael Carter
Transferred from the original comic book scripts
The city’s quiet…but not all mischief and mayhem is done through that of loud violence and explosive actions. A lone man, a politician, sits behind his desk in an office high above in a skyscraper. With his glass of scotch now empty, he sets it down on the desk with a groan and rolling eyes at his current conversation. The man’s rather irritated whilst on the phone.
“Yeah, the president wants to end the war and he’s an idiot. It won’t happen. This war ends and we lose money.” He explains.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to this man, Neorn and Romus watch this conversation from above the slightly lifted ceiling tile; their faces lit by the light from the crack.
“This man knows nothing of war.” Romus says lowly.
“Seen some war, old timer?” Neorn asks without averting his eyes from their target.
“Many, many moons ago…” The image of the suit on his phone fades in the eyes of the feline as Romus’ mind flashes back to another time… He otherslike him; lion like warriors in what would appear to be roman soldiers’ gear running into battle with feral roars. Romus leads the pack as his brethren fight beside him with daggers and spears.
“I’m not losin’ coin because of complaints from dead soldiers’ parents.” The politician says into the phone. Silently, the monster pair have dropped down, now standing behind this suit and tie. “Well, tough luck; their kids shouldn’t have signed up.” The man continues his stance on war.
“This guy’s a real prince.” Neorn scoffs to Romus.
Romus STABS his blade into the desk phone as the plastic crunches and minor sparks fly. The politician whips around in shock and awe.
Romus grabs him by his suit, pulling him in close, “You send people to their death and profit off it proudly.” The man trembles, so close he can practically feel the monster’s whiskers against his clean shaven face.
Neorn watches with crossed arms as Romus reaches into the man’s pocket and pulls out a thick roll of cash. He holds it up, “How much will others make from your death?” Romus backs off pulling his dagger out of the phone and walking around him. Still terrified, the man looks up at the masked winged man wearing a wicked grin. The politician, one of many profiting from death, looks around with shifty eyes and stilted breathing. Neorn observes the usual panic that disgusting men like this usually feel when on the opposite side of chaos.
“Help!” The panicking politician barely gets it out before trying again, louder, “HEL-” And he’s interrupted by Romus’ dagger being plunged through his head and out of his mouth. In seconds, the man is dead and the mouth he usually used to order violence is full of a blade that has felt its fair share.
However…security’s at the door. The knob turns. The Tourniquet two turn sharply as a security crew barges in.
The wingspan extends, flapping open, as Neorn draws his guns quicker than any gunfighter of the old west. “Time to fly the coop, old boy.” The security guards fire their standard issued pistols as Neorn fires his sub-machine guns. Bullets fly and shells hit the floor. Neorn laughs as his triggers are squeezed and his guns are waved. This building’s security is no match for military grade weaponry.
Holstering his guns, he turns and jumps out of the window, SMASHING through the glass. Romus jumps out of the window with his arms out as Neorn catches him. Holding each other by their forearms, Neorn flies them off leaving the office full of dead bodies and scattered cash. Blood money soaked in its namesake.
Meanwhile at headquarters…
Decimate’s just woken up. She’s still a bit groggy but with it. After a stretch, she sits up at the edge of her bed as her large friend enters through the doorway, ducking his head on the way in.
“How ya feelin’, kid?” Cyprus asks upon entering.
“I’m making it.” She says holding her head of unkempt hair. “And don’t call me kid; I’m older than all of you.” Deci playfully sticks her tongue out at the giant.
“I don’t know, Romus is pretty old.” He shrugs and sits down beside her.
She scoffs, “Please, I probably gave him a saucer of milk when he was still playin’ with yarn.”
“Where are those two anyway?” Deci asks looking up at her much larger counterpart.
“Out on the job.” He motions out with his big thumb. “Should be back soon.”
“We’re back.” Neorn’s heard from outside the room.
“Nice timing.” Deci nudges Cy with a smile.
Neorn and Romus enter and sit down next to their partners, still dressed for work.
“Well, Deci, good as new?” The winged man asks her.
“Tip top?” Romus adds.
“Never had three men in my bed before so, yeah, I guess I’m doing fine.” She jokes looking back and forth between the three. They share a chuckle and smile. She’s okay.
Brick steps into the doorway, “Guys, you still have to meet with the president.”
“Never a dull moment.” Decimate sighs.
The White House stands tall overlooking the enormous lawn while a ship, stealthy in its visibility and its sound, arrives. Inside…
A room holds the President without secret service as per usual in such appointments. But he’s not alone; a man is sitting down behind him and to the side. While the Prez is dressed in his usual suited attire for such meetings, the timid man in the seat is in more relaxed, less formal wear of khakis and a polo shirt. The Tourniquet crew enter; humanoid creatures of varied sizes whose appearance usually strikes terror and not that of a warm welcome.
“I’m glad to see you all.” The Prez greets the monstrous four.
“Who’s this?” With a raised eyebrow, Neorn motions to the man in the chair as their meeting usually consist of the POTUS and themselves.
“This is Jeff Weinstein, the journalist you rescued.” The President presents the mild mannered man.
Still slightly fidgety, he stands. “Guys, I can’t thank you enough. You gave me and my family another chance.”
“We’re very happy to help.” Romus states albeit dryly whilst stroking the fur of his chin.
“It’s what we do.” Cyprus smiles a big toothy grin.
The President points to Jeff’s arm with an apparent wound, “Jeff managed to smuggle some information that will help us.”
“I had nowhere to put it so I jammed it in my arm.” He explains, showing the stitched up scar on his arm.
“We retrieved it the moment of his return.” The President holds up a small glass canister with the microchip in it. He sets it down on the desk and picks up a large envelope from beside it, holding it up to the others.
“What’s this now?” Romus voices his curiosity.
A disc is pulled from the package. “We were sent this less than forty-eight hours ago.”
The disc is entered into the desk’s computer as the black screen starts off snowy, squiggly with static. The four powerful beings in the room look at each other before redirecting their attention to the monitor. It clears up revealing a man of dark complexion, tall and thin, and bearded. He looks dangerous with dark bloodshot eyes not unlike the leader of the faction who was about to kill the journalist before being torn apart.
He looks into the camera. “American swine. You got your little piggy back but the next blood that will be shed will be yours, I assure you. We’ll have what is rightfully ours. And when we’re through we’ll have your heads!” While most would be unnerved, scared even, by such threats, these four aren’t impressed.
“How many of these guys do we have to kill?” Cyprus sighs.
“This guy’s annoying. How many do we get to kill?” Neorn scoffs.
“What’s on the chip?” Romus asks in his almost-always serious tone.
“What is on the chip is top secret, even to you all.” The President states. The video of the next terrorist leader is paused. “I don’t know how many more of them will need to be disposed of. Once you kill one leader, another takes over.”
“Well that settles it — we’ll kill ‘em all.” Cyprus gives a large thumb up.
The four turn to leave when Neorn speaks for them, “For now, we have stateside fires to snuff.”
“I understand and appreciate you work. We’ll be in touch soon.” The monster hit squad is leaving but the Prez has one more note, “By the way, I noticed that a wrinkle I had in my cabinet has been ironed out. Thank you.”
Romus looks back smiling, “It’s like Cyprus said, it’s what we do.”
The engines of their shuttle, the Runner, fire up with everyone strapped in.
Neorn looks over at Cyprus, “You okay, big guy?”
Cyprus shrugs, “Eh, I’d rather just kill the bad guys and not deal with the suit and business crap.”
“I hear ya.” Decimate nods.
“A necessary evil.” Romus adds.
A radar flashes with pulsating dots along with “ALERT” as the team looks over at the coordinates.
“Alright, guys, looks like we have a gang war in progress.” Neorn says looking over the radar.
The Runner flies through the clouds, shoving the white pillows of air aside.
“Y’know the day the stealth mode shuts down on this thing, civilians are gonna crap their pants!” Cyprus jokes with a hearty laugh as the shuttle continues through the skies.
A little boy plays outside in a not-so-well off neighborhood. It’s not a ghetto but it won’t be too many more years before it takes on such a title.
His mom calls from inside the house, “Baby, don’t stray too far now!”
“I won’t, mama!”
A man walks down the sidewalk on his phone. He casually strolls during the conversation when he’s soon to pass the front of the boy’s house.
A car full of delinquents, thugs creeps down the street. The eyes in such a car scan the neighborhood side to side.
“Yo, son, that’s Kasey!” The man in the passenger seat exclaims smacking the driver’s arm.
The man on his phone, Kasey, turns, hearing and seeing them. “Oh, sh-!”
Everyone in the car rushes to squeeze out of the windows and hangs out of them with guns blazing. They spray messily without distinct direction. The man on his phone is torn to SHREDS by bullets as well as anything around him. The young boy out to play also lies dead, as torn apart as the man in his front yard. The car speeds off.
“My baby!!” The young mother rushes outside. Kasey, a man whom she’s never seen before, lies dead out on the now bloodied sidewalk while the car’s well moved on. No shooter in sight. She holds her boy with an unbreakable grip and babbles incoherently.
“Finally got that bitch!” One of the young men in the car yells in excitement.
“Yeah. Ain’t runnin’ out on us anymore, kid.” Another adds. None of which with a care in the world of taking lives or innocent bystanders.
In another house in another neighborhood not too far from the shooting, a young ‘hoodrat’, Darren, sits having a drink. His phone rings.
“Hello?” His expression changes sharply and quickly, “What!? What do you mean he’s DEAD!?”
A young woman, Tay, with the phone up to her ear, “They got Kasey. They shot him down on Reed Street.”
“Call Nick. I’m gonna round up the boys.” Darren says on the other end.
“Okay.” Tay responds before hanging up. She’s shaken, scared with tears in her eyes and takes a deep breath before making the call.
Meanwhile Darren and his boys are loading up their arsenal of surely unregistered weapons.
In another house, however, the rival gang is sitting around drinking.
A gun is cocked.
Kasey’s shooters still relax without remorse.
One stands up, “I’m a go grab some grub.”
The hungry thug opens the door only to be BLOWN AWAY. The others panic and grab their guns as their brethren is riddled with bullets.
The shots came from the car outside. Payback in action. Those inside the house open fire in return. Bullets fly. The sound is sharp, jarring.
In a house on the same block, a woman and a little girl are terrified upon hearing the blasts…
“Baby, get down!”
And in another house, an older couple…
The old man is covering the old woman, “It’s okay, honey. It’s okay.”
A man steps outside his house in his robe, “Damn it, this is a family neighborhood!”
BLAM! That very man is shot in the head. Another innocent bystander.
Neorn and Romus look down from the Runner, though the ship is still invisible to anyone outside of it.
“This must be the party.” Neorn says eyeing the location.
“It’s sad that there are neighborhoods the police just…give up on.” Romus expresses.
The Runner approaches just over the block which has become a street war of both rival gangs unloading on each other, neither of which caring about the collateral damage of human life.
“You said you’ve seen some wars. Been around awhile. Is there anything that surprises you anymore?” Neorn asks his feline-esque cohort.
Romus thinks on it before looking over at him, “The amount of bigotry still around after centuries is boggling.”
“Let’s roll!” Cyprus is ready and determined.
The ship hovers, parked in mid air. The giant beast jumps out and lands on his feet as the street cracks beneath him. His muscles throb and his skin is spiky, ruffled. Cyprus looks angry and ready to crack some skulls.
The thugs in the streets freak out but still fight; forever the soldiers on the battlefield.
The gang in the house look out of the picture window of the front room with similar looks across their faces. One moment, the beast is seen in the street and the next, a fully morphed and vamped out Decimate is in the window with fangs and talons out, sharp and ready. The self-thought tough guys shriek like little girls. Decimate reaches in, grabbing one of them, and takes a large bite out of his neck and shoulder. Their blood spills and sprays across the already violent room.
With his wingspan extended, Neorn glides, flying down while firing his guns, giving the gangs a taste of their own medicine.
As Decimate has left an opening in her carnage, Romus pounces through the window at the gang with his signature dagger out. His loud ROAR along with the sight of him causes urination in the pants of the gang.
Out in the street, Cyprus grabs a hold of two thugs, picking them up as they kick their legs in terror.
“You boys seem to enjoy violence…” Big Cy says looking back and forth at the two of them trembling in fear.
Neorn swoops over the urban street terrorists with a cackle and guns blazing.
Inside the house, a bloodied Decimate looks one of the gang members in the eyes as he grows more scared, more terrified. His black hair begins to streak with white before her eyes.
Romus plunges his dagger into one hood while picking another up by the shirt.
With the hands of his wings, Neorn throws a man into another barely standing.
Deci’s head cocks back letting out a horrible screech while blood runs down her pale skin.
Cyprus crushes the two previously held up members into each other as he’s sprayed with their blood; the sound, a combination of a crunch and a splat.
“Cy, they got some backup!” Neorn informs him with a stern face while narrowly dodging a bullet.
Cyprus looks out with one eyebrow cocked up at the oncoming car. The giant picks up a parked vehicle to his side and SMASHES it on top of one of the gang’s backup car. Screams are heard from within as blood SPLATTERS out of the sides. SMASH! SQUISH! SPLAT!
The battle in the house has spills out in the street. More and more goons from each grouping arrive to aid their respective crews.
“Neorn! Turn off the stealth!” Romus calls out.
A button is pressed on a remote locked into Neorn’s holsters.
Assorted neighbors crowd their windows with stunning stares.
The Runner is now visible for all in its shiny chrome glory. Remaining thugs on both sides are as shocked as any of the other neighbors, looking up. Cyprus and Decimate stand out on the street, a sharp physical contrast to one another. Neorn takes to the sky and flies around above them reloading his guns now that he’s found an opening.
Romus stands on a car, captivating the attention of all with his booming voice, “You are all fools. You live to kill yourselves. Instead of evolving, you regress. You are a danger to those around you as well as yourselves. Your neighbors and fellow man are nothing to you but collateral damage. Your kind is a sickness. When will you learn?”
Everyone’s speechless. The monsters are far from physically tired and are ready for if nobody listens to their teammate’s words. Nobody makes a move. The violence halts; however, surely temporary.
Romus looks back to his crew, “Let’s go.”
Neorn flies up to the ship. Cyprus picks up Deci, jumping up inside and joining their winged friend. Romus sets to pounce upward when…
“Excuse me.” Romus turns back to find a woman holding her baby. Other neighbors have gathered behind her. “Thank you.” She says through a lump in her throat.
“Yes, thank you!” The other neighbors chime in. Everyone wears a mask of streamed tears; some still from the fear and chaos but most from the relief they’ve been given. Romus nods.
All four are now in the ship, all strapped in.
Romus smiles, “Two words we don’t often hear…”