The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Part 10
by Shane Migliavacca
The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Chapter 10 Night Visitor
Kitty had enjoyed leading their mysterious stalker on a merry chase around town. Doing a little shopping and going to the museum. Misa on the other hand hadn’t enjoyed it all that much. Wishing to lure the man into an alley and interrogate him. Kitty on the other hand wanted to string the guy along. He had patience, she gave him that. Which made her doubt he was a gangster. No, he was more likely a cop or a private investigator. Who he was didn’t trouble her as much as why he was following her.
If he was a cop, did they now have something on her? Evidence that pointed to her being the Crimson Scorpion. And if he was a P.I., who’d hired him? And for what reason?
Kitty was meditating on this as she rode home from the Opal. Misa had slipped out the other side of the cab. Doing a little stalking of her own. Kitty gave express orders only to scare the man. Not kill him. If it worked, he’d leave them alone. Too frightened to be much trouble anymore. If he persisted, they’d have to find a more drastic way of throwing him off their trail.
By the time she got to the penthouse it was late. Her mother was up reading by dim light when Kitty slipped in. Her mother looked up from her book.
“Your home.” She said, her voice rang with an accusing tone.
“Went to see Fiona perform.”
“Oh.” Her tone changed with this revelation. She actually seemed pleased by the news. “Where’s your little friend…Mica?”
“Misa.” She hadn’t planned on her mother still being up. Kitty had to think of a reason quick. “She’s visiting some relatives in Little Tokyo.”
“She’s got family here? Did you know?” Her mother asked.
“No. She didn’t either until the other day. Just happned into them.”
That would work. Kitty thought. Fringing tiredness she kissed her mother goodnight and went to bed. If only it were the truth. She had work to do tonight. Tracking down that boy from the warehouse. He was the only one of those men she’d seen without a mask. The only one she’d heard named. Kitty would have to find a way to slip out. It would have been far easier going to the apartment. She’d felt the need to keep up appearances for her family. After spending two days bed ridden with her parents having no idea of where she was. She’d play along for now.
Waiting. Kitty took the time to meditate. Becoming the Crimson Scorpion wasn’t as simple as putting on the makeup and clothes. She had to bring certain buried aspects of herself to the surface.
With her mother finally gone to bed, it was a simple matter for Kitty to sneak out of the penthouse. Heading to the apartment to meet Misa and find out how her little task went.
She’d always fancied herself a night person. The city wasmore alive then. Brimming with dark possibly. Misa was waiting for Kitty when she arrived. As she slipped into her Crimson Scorpion gear, her friend had done as planned. Threatening the man following them. Only time would tell if it had worked.
Staring at her disguised face in the mirror, Kitty grinned. The Scorpion would be hunting young Mr. Rocky Burke tonight.
Fifteen men patrolled the mist covered lawn of the late Diamond Bill’s mansion on the outskirts of the city. Shotguns clasped tight in their hands. Some walked across the wide lawn. Others stuck close to the house and it’s shadows. They watched the night around them. Fearful. Ready, looking for an attack from all avenues.
The Crimson Scorpion spied them from the shadows. Studying their movements their patterns. The men were hold-outs from Bill’s gang. After his death most of the surviving members fled town or were swallowed up by the other smaller gangs. Save for Vic Hally. One of Bill’s top lieutenants. In the wake of his boss’s death he’d snatched up some territory and the mansion for himself. As well as Diamond Bill’s mistress. After the late Mac Frazier, Hally was the next highest ranking man in the gang. It made sense he’d try to hold onto what they’d had.
He’d holed up here with some loyal guys and the mistress. Turning it into a fortress. Hally might be safe from other mobsters, he wasn’t safe from the Crimson Scorpion. Kitty pulled her black coat tight to her body. She was just another bit of darkness in the night.
She smiled. Her eyes followed another shadow. Small and athletic. It moved with a deadly purpose across the mansions perimeter. Misa. These armed men were watching for rival gangsters. If only they knew of the hunters in their midst, how would they react? Would they flee their posts? Would they blast away with their shotguns?
The smile lingered on the Crimson Scorpion’s lips. The mansion was alive with lights blazing in every window. Pushing away the night. The summer air was still tonight. A coolness had crept in. Crickets chirped in the darkness. The men made their rounds furtively. Weapons ready to deal violence at moments notice.
The Crimson Scorpion was here to have an audience with their employer. Rocky Burke had been one of them before selling them out. That fact might help in getting information about Burke from Hally. He couldn’t be very happy with that betrayal.
A owl hoot escaped the Scorpion’s lips. Answered in kind from near the mansion. Lethal Misa was ready.
Standing, the Crimson Scorpion wrapped her coat tight to her body. Crouching once more she moved forward. Leaving the cover of the high stone wall she’d scaled to get in.
Staying low, she moved across the lawn. Using the low mist to hide her body. Keeping her eyes upon one of the patrolling men. He would be her key inside the mobster’s fortress.
Taking a coiled length of red rope from her belt, a metal dart attached to it’s end. The weapon was her scorpion sting. The newspaper had misidentified it as a whip. It was actually a shéng biāo. The rope dart. Ying Sun had taught her the fine art of it’s use with vines and sharp rocks found on their island home. She remembered the blisters on her fingers from countless hours of practice. The bruises on her arms and back when the old man would smack her with a stick every time she failed.
Stalking the sentry. The Crimson Scorpion let the dart sing out. Flying through the air it wrapped around the man’s throat. Pulling it back, the man was yanked off his feet. Landing on the lawn hard, the air was knocked from his lungs. It would have been easy to kill the man, but she needed his hat and coat. The dart would have made too much of a mess. The sentry looked up at her. Panic in his eyes as he gasped for air.
Using the same strike she’d used on the motorcycle cop, the Crimson Scorpion rendered the man unconscious. He’d be out for an hour or two. By which time she planned to be far from here.
Misa circled around to the rear of the mansion. Tasked with disrupting the power. With her disguise, the Crimson Scorpion would slip into the mansion during the ensuing confusion of the blackout.
She needed an audience with Hally. If anybody knew where she could find Burke it would be him. For that information he’d get a temporary reprieve from her wrath.
She stashed her coat and hat for Misa to retrieve later. Dragging the man behind some large shrubs to conceal his body. Donning his hat and coat, she took the shotgun resting on his chest.
Sneaking in like this was the best course of action. A frontal assault would be too loud, too risky. As would trying to scale the side of the mansion. With all the lights on, she’s stand out. An easy target to pick off. Besides the men out here the mansion concealed an unknown amount within.
Taking up his route, the Crimson Scorpion walked to the rear of the house. Hoping the dark misty night would aid in the deception.
At the rear two men stood guard. Each cradling a shotgun. They chatted oblivious. Misa had slipped by them unnoticed. They glanced at the Scorpion as she walked around the corner. Keeping her distance, she nodded to them before turning to head back up front. The two continued talking. Not showing any suspicion.
“Criminy.” The first man yawed. “I need a drink.”
“You and me both pal.” The second chuckled.
A smile crept across the Crimson Scorpion’s lips. They had no clue who was in their ranks. She counted her steps has she walked towards the front of the mansion. She and Misa had timed the sentry’s route. How many steps he took. When to cut the power.
Three men stood watch at the large double oak doors. Like the men at the rear they talked about inconsequential matters. Discussing the day’s baseball game.
As one of the men imitated the swing of a bat with his shotgun, the lights went out. Darkness descending on the mansion. Panic gripped the men. When no attack came from the outside, the rushed in the front door. Hurrying to check on their boss.
The Scorpion among them.
If fate was on her side tonight, Hally would give her Burke. One of the men called out. He was in turn answered from someone upstairs. None knew what had happened, but all appeared well. Hally was in his office safe and secure.
The Scorpion slipped away from the men. Hiding in the shadows of an adjacent room. Listening to the chatter of the men. Their breath heavy as they waited for an attack. A few minutes passed, nothing happened. Finally they sent someone to check the power box, the rest going back to their posts. The patrols outside would start again. The power, for now would remain off. Misa waiting in the darkness for whomever tried to restore it.
Slipping down a hallway, the Crimson Scorpion found the large kitchen of the house. Empty at this time of night. As she’d hoped there was a back staircase for the staff leading up to the other floors. There were three hours till the sun rose. More then enough time to chat with Hally.
On the second floor a guard kept watch at the end of a large hallway. Pacing back and forth with a shotgun. A newly lit candle burned on a small table next to a closed door. This had to be where the master of the house was. Why else would a man keep a post in front of it?
Taking the rope dart once more from her belt, the Scorpion with precision tossed the rope. The man dropped his shotgun as he clutched at the cord around his throat. His fingers savagely crawling at the rope. Yet it was too late.
In an instant the Scorpion struck. Rendering the man unconscious with a well placed strike. As his body dropped a furor came from within the room behind the door. As she’d hoped the door popped open. Another armed man came out, almost tripping over the prone form of his comrade.
The Crimson Scorpion lashed out. Bringing her knee up into the man’s stomach. Knocking the wind from him, her fist connected with his jaw. With a grunt, the man joined the other on the floor.
Leaping into the room, the Scorpion slammed the door shut behind her. Setting behind a candle lit desk sat a man in a robe. A blonde woman in a tight slip cowered behind him.
“Mr. Hally, I presume…I’d like a word with you.”
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