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The Tourniquet Serials 3 (of 5)
By Christopher Michael Carter
Adapted from the original comic book scripts
In a room deep within headquarters, Brick sits in front of a large screen with another human colleague, Tony. The wall sized screen shows the Earth as the planet’s image is covered by a grid with various lights. Behind the two men stands Neorn, leaning against the wall.
“I still don’t understand any of this stuff.” Neorn shrugs. “All I know is an alarm sounds and we go take care of it.”
Tony wheels his office chair around, “We have satellite surveillance around the globe and they’re all interlinked, sending the signals here. Each kind of crime is bracketed off and given separate alarms. You know how when you look up sex offenders online and there’s red dots everywhere? It’s like that, only ALL crime.” He’s very matter-of-fact in his tone.
The winged man rubs his chin, processing the information, “I see…” He moves over to a blueprint of their ship, the Runner, projected beside the Earth. “And this?”
“The same system is set up in the Runner.” Tony tells him. “Everything we do here is done on the ship as well. It’s auto piloted from the same satellite system. It goes to where the signal comes from. It can read temperature, brainwaves, and heart rate levels of its passengers.”
Neorn nods, “Huh… So we’re being escorted around by a self-driving polygraph that’s magnetically attracted to vile beings?”
Tony scratches his head having not thought about it like that prior, “Uhhh yeah, pretty much.”
“Heh. All this time I thought it was run by witchcraft or some alien entity.” Neorn shrugs and leaves the room.
Brick and Tony watch him leave before looking at each other with a hint of worry in their eyes.
“You think he bought it?”
While Neorn acts on his curiosity, Cyprus, Decimate, and Romus sit at their round table pondering.
“I wonder if we should have a training room put in.” Romus thinks aloud.
“We do what we do, multiple times a day; what’s to train for?” Deci states with a shrug.
But Cyprus has something else on his mind, “What do you guys think is on that chip the Prez has?”
“I’m more curious as to why we’re being informed on it.” Deci adds.
“I’ve no doubt it’s all for a future mission.” Romus believes firmly.
Deci rolls her eyes, “As if we don’t have enough to do inside the country.”
“Well, guys, we can sit around and contemplate the universe or we can get to work.” The three turn to see Neorn standing in the doorway. Not even a minute after his arrival, an alarm sounds with loud rings as they all jump up to get ready like clockwork.
The water’s calm below the dock where a couple of guys stand awaiting a shipment. One of the men, wearing a stocking cap and a jacket, is on the phone.
“Yeah, I don’t know where he is.” The man says into the phone. “Mr. Tadson, I know it’s the big one we’ve been waiting for; you don’t have to tell me that.”
“This is the biggest shipment of my carer and if you screw this up you will be a road bump. Got it?” The hoarse voice says from the phone.
“Yeah, I got it.” The call ends.
“Hey, here he is.” The other man says with a smack to his arm as a large truck pulls up.
The truck driver stops and parks.
The man just reprimanded over the phone is looking up at him with a sigh, “You’re late.”
“Hey, traffic. Sue me.” The truck driver scoffs.
“Is this all of it?” The second man asks motioning to the back of the truck.
The driver sighs in annoyance and shrugs, “How the hell would I know? Buddy, I just drive the truck.”
The two roll their eyes and huff on their way to the back.
“Alright, let’s get this done.” The first man says to his colleague.
A large, loud SMASH is heard as the truck shakes and the heads of the two men whip over sharply.
“What the-!?” The driver reacts. The man, frustrated and confused, opens the door and kicks it open the rest of the way.
“Wait, where ya headed?”
The driver looks back to see Decimate sitting in the passenger seat calmly, “I…uh…”
The two men in the back don’t hear anything further and shrug it off. One walks forward to open the truck as Romus grabs the second man, pulling him back in silence.
The door slides up and the man’s eyes peer up slowly in shock and awe as he sees the hulking beast that is Cyprus and the large hole above him from whence he came.
“I’m sure you know what you’re doing is wrong, yes?” The giant says calmly while the man, tiny in comparison, continues his wide-eyed stare now complete with trembling lips. Neorn swoops down onto the dock and hovers, guns poised as always. “Neorn?” The man’s head whips over at the winged gunman.
A look of near panic comes over Neorn before gunning the man down as he usually does in his day-to-day. He lands beside Cyprus with his guns still smoking.
“Why did he know your name?” A curious Cyprus asks stepping out of the truck. It squeaks rising back up from the mass of muscle stepping off.
“Doesn’t matter. Let’s move.”
Romus approaches, holding the second man’s dead body by his leg, “He had no information.”
Decimate hops down out of the truck’s cab, bloodied, “Got his routes and destinations.” She wipes her bloody mouth and chin, slinging the excess to the ground. The four monsters stand around the body littered with bullet holes. “What next?” Deci looks up to her taller cohorts.
“Destroy these drugs…” Cyprus answers first.
And then Neorn, “…Destroy this business.”
Romus thinks, squinting his eyes before suggesting, “Check his phone.”
The phone’s screen says simply ‘Tadson’. Neorn picks up the phone and dials just that number.
“Is it done?” Mr. Tadson asks upon answering.
Neorn’s lip curls in a snarl, “Oh yeah.” He ends the call and looks around at his friends.
The four monstrous heroes stand back watching the truck of narcotics ablaze. The reflection of the flames flicker in the eyes of Neorn’s mask.
The Runner soars through the skies. They’re all strapped in while Neorn holds up the phone.
“What are you doing?” Romus wonders aloud.
“Juuuuuust sending a text.” The winged man answers without missing a beat. The text, “In need. Got some?” His gloved thumb hits ‘send’ and the text is sent to all contacts. Neorn smiles, “Now we wait.”
“This is gonna be a long day.” Romus sighs with a stretch.
“Glad I didn’t have anything planned.” Deci giggles.
A drug dealer, thuggish in appearance, waits on the street corner while a small bit of wooded area rests behind him. In an instant, he’s gone. Leaves rustle in his place. Romus holds the man with a furry hand over the dealer’s mouth. The dealer’s scared eyes see Neorn pointing his guns at him point blank. Cyprus stands behind him to his left while Deci stands down to the right winking. A far worse sight than that of the police or even a rival dealer.
“What’s your poison?” Neorn asks, cocking his guns. The young man who’s clearly chosen the wrong career gulps in fear as his space is encompassed by monstrous beings, the likes of which this human monster has never seen.
“Has quite a bit on him.” Romus says cleaning off his blade after they’ve dispatched this death dealer, a tumor of the community.
“I told them to bring what they had.” Neorn responds looking through copious bags of crack, coke, meth, and assorted pills.
Two more dealers stand beside a dumpster behind a gas station. One of them is holding a green bag zipped up.
“This is risky, man.” The first dealer expresses.
“Dude better have plenty of dough, I know that.” The other adds.
Decimate POPS out of the dumpster already set to go and completely vamped out. The heads of the two men whip around to see the demonic horror who grabs one of them taking a large bite out of one of their heads. The skull crunches like a bite out of a crisp, fresh apple and blood runs down his screaming face. The other man shakes and turns to run when his head is CRUSHED in the giant hand of Cyprus.
The four of them stand around the two headless, bloody bodies. Neorn holsters his guns while Romus puts away his dagger, both weapons go unused in the mission. Deci changes, morphing back into her sweet self while Cyprus’ skin smooths out.
“Alright, let’s see what we got.” Neorn says kneeling down to see the stash of the deceased.
Romus’ eyebrows furrow, “You seem to be enjoying this excursion more than the usual.”
“You have no idea.” He replies opening the green bag revealing their score.
Decimate looks down in shock, “Wow, that’s a lot of drugs.”
“Remember to collect their phones.” Neorn reminds them as Cyprus grabs both of them, tiny in his big mitts.
They take to the air again in their ship as they work their way down the list.
A house, kind of dingy looking, stands in a rundown neighborhood. Inside the house are more dealers with a cornucopia of assorted drugs. A group of guys sit at a table bagging up the mounds of narcotics. A loud commotion too quick to react to as Neorn crashes down onto the table with his wings wrapped around him for protection and aerodynamics. The dealers panic seeing this…thing standing on their table almost resembling that of a cocoon. The wingspan spreads, flapping open as Neorn stands tall with guns blazing. He’s opened fire without a moment to respond.
The purveyors of substances have drawn their guns but it’s no use, they’re already being shot by the winged man. The gunshots pop upon impact like mini explosions bursting with blood which sprays all over the next man. One of the unlucky bastards runs to the front door, slings it open, and stops dead finding a smiling Cyprus.
Cyprus, Romus, and Decimate flood into the house. Cyprus clobbers one of the many creeps with the force of a sledgehammer. Romus pounces on another with a mighty roar setting his claws into him. Decimate’s vamped up, lunging at one with a massive amount of sharp fangs.
Back on the Runner, the team cleans blood off of themselves as they’re about to strap in.
“Well this has been productive.” Deci says wiping off of her chin with a small towel.
“How many more stops?” Romus asks Neorn who’s spearheading this mission.
“We won’t be able to hit them all today.” He sighs. A container holds all the cell phones collected. “But we’re getting all our ducks in a row.”
“And what are we doing with all the drugs we confiscate?” Cyprus asks motioning to the stash in the back with his big thumb.
“Just like the shipment,” Neorn answers, “We’ll incinerate it all.”
Now clean, they’re all strapped in.
“So, are we throwing darts at a board here?” Deci shrugs.
“There are quite a bit to choose from to hit.” Romus adds with a nod.
“Don’t worry. I know exactly where we’re going.” Neorn tells them with sharp focus.
The Runner hovers above a large office building. A sign outside this complex says “Tadson Corporation”. The four teammates huddle up and look down at the building.
“What is this place?” Decimate’s face scrunches in confusion.
Neorn looks over the others, “One big hit.”
The monsters land and vacate the cloaked ship at ground level in front of the building, still unseen, moving quickly and stealthily.
“Okay, I have to hit the top floor. We’ll meet up. There’s going to be security; heavily armed.” Neorn informs the crew before taking flight, leaving his crew on the ground.
“I hope he knows what he’s doing.” Romus says watching their friend and colleague fly through the sky.
His large wings flap as he flies up the side of the tall corporate building. He takes a sharp right turning around to the other side of the structure.
In an office high above the lower level employees sits the aforementioned Mr. Tadson on the office phone.
“No, I never got the shipment. And I haven’t heard from my men. What in the hell is going on here!?” The irritation is evident in his tone. Feather’s are ruffled. The gruesome four must be doing something right.
The question is poised as the large window behind him shatters as Neorn BURSTS into the office. Mr. Tadson drops the phone and ducks in reaction.
“What the hell!?” The man shouts. He looks up surprised and pointing, “YOU!” Neorn stands tall and proud. Wingspan spread. Statuesque. He inhales a breath of justice he’s long sought out. “It was you, wasn’t it? The shipment. My drugs.” The scared man says pointing his shaking finger at the masked creature. He lunges over pressing the intercom, “SECURITY!”
“They’re a little busy.” Neorn says with an eerie calm.
Downstairs it’s on and poppin’: The building’s lobby is a battlefield with Tadson’s security team fires their guns at their monstrous intruders. Romus is feral, throwing guards across the lobby before pulling his weapons. He throws his spear with one hand, pinning one of Tadson’s men to the wall, while wielding his dagger with the other. Decimate’s just jumped on one of their backs with her talon like fingers dug into the man’s shoulders. He screams, spinning around, trying to sling the powerful little woman off of him. A good size bite is taken out of the back of his neck as the screaming stops and his head falls in front of him. Deci leaps from the dearly departed’s back to another whose bullets do no good in protection. Cyprus punches a not-so-secure security guard in the chest, sending him across the room where he lands on Romus’ spear still nailing a corpse to the wall. The weight of the two bodies pulls the monster’s weapon from the wall. The feeling of annoying insects catches the giant’s attention amidst this brawl. Big Cy turns, angered as a man unloads the rest of his pistol at the beast. The bullet’s reflect off of his skin. His horrid mouth snarls as the now empty gun falls from the trembling hands of the little man. The gigantic hand punctures the man’s skin as Cyprus grabs a hold of the rib cage pulling the bloody skeletal structure out of the security uniform. The more armed guards that arrive, the more the team dispatches.
Upstairs, Mr. Tadson’s more than a little upset pointing his finger at the winged, masked, and armed man before him. “You fool! You could’ve been rich! You could’ve been like me!”
“I run with a new crowd now.” He says reaching for his guns. Footage shown on the monitors in the security room reveal Neorn’s compatriots in the hallway. Neorn and Mr. Tadson stand opposite each other with about a person’s length between them in this nice deluxe office. “You have no idea how much I’m enjoying tearing down your drug empire.” He tells him with conviction.
“You MORON. You don’t get it. If you kill me, there’s going to be more just like me. It’s supply and demand. There’s always going to be drugs and those they get them from.” The man’s confidence rises as he puffs out his chest. Whether or not it’s false bravado is of no concern to the freak of nature who spends his days cleansing the world one kill at a time.
The double doors to the room open as Cyprus walks in with booming steps and to either side of him, Romus and Decimate; both well pumped and warmed up from the condensed war below. Neorn’s as calm and at peace as he could be as his brethren enter while Mr. Tadson FREAKS out at the sight.
“What the hell is this!?” Bravado deflated. Fear instilled. A man used to being in charge is now even smaller among such beasts.
“Told you I run with a new crowd.” Neorn grins with a slight shrug.
“You don’t know who you’re dealing with!” Tadson yells, pointing at the monster hit squad.
Cyprus leans down to Deci with a smirk, “How often do we hear that one?”
The boss man’s fired up, “You show up here after all these years with your freak pals and think you’re going to threaten ME!? I’m Tom Tadson!” The man steps to the side where an assortment of alcohol and glasses await his thirst. He pours himself a brandy, “And, by the way, whatever happened to ‘I’m leaving and I’m never coming back’?” He speaks with a sly condescension while swirling the liquor around his glass.
Neorn’s trigger fingers are itching. “You always wanted me to clean up after myself.”
Romus, Cyprus, and Decimate look at each other with silent questions, curious of what this mission really means. A small pause, seemingly a lifetime to Mr. Tadson currently under the gun(s), so quiet that the sweat dripping from the man are nearly audible to the curious beasts. After a long held breath, he exhales and Neorn’s fingers clench shut. The gunman’s uncharacteristically without his war laugh as a strong sternness takes its place. Tadson’s drenched in his own blood, far from recognizable as he lies on the floor a pulpy mass.
The guns are empty and steaming from the barrels with heat but Neorn still squeezes the triggers aggressively with intense focus. CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK are the only sounds heard as the last shell has long hit the floor. Cyprus’ hand rests on Neorn’s shoulder.
“It’s alright.” Decimate puts her hand on top of the weapons.
Neorn holsters his guns and exhales. “Get all of his files. We can get all his contacts and suppliers.”
“Way ahead of you.” Romus says at Tadson’s laptop.
The Runner has taken to the sky again and the team is strapped in with an uncomfortable silence. Moments pass.
“Eh, he was right,” Neorn begins, “There’s always going to be more out there.”
“Yeah, and they all gotta deal with us.” Romus punches Neorn in the arm.
“That’s RIGHT!” Decimate and Cyprus chime in together.
The team heads back home in their cloaked ship as the Runner flies through the skies dodging birds and airships along the way.
Back at HQ, the four walk in tired, exhausted from a day of cleaning the streets.
“We’ve put quite a dent in it today.” Cyprus says rubbing the back of his neck.
Brick enters with a large envelope in hand, “Guys, this just came from the President. It’s important.”
“We’ve had a long day.” Neorn says with little emotion as he throws the package on a table. “The President can wait.”
“I second that. It’s bedtime.” Decimate agrees dead tired.
Brick shrugs and leaves the area as the envelope containing important information lies on the table for another time. For now? Rest…
There's more where that came from!