The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Part 16
by Shane Migliavacca
The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Chapter 16 Out Running Death
They were pinned down behind a blue sedan. Jupiter’s men closing in. Kitty had hope to attempt an escape in one of the cars parked behind the club. To her dismay Jupiter had sent some of his men back there. Perhaps foreseeing her trying that very thing. Now they were trapped between them and their pursuers from the club.
She could try to start the car, exposing herself to their guns. Or weaponless with a wounded Misa in tow, staying and fighting. Which was a death sentence. The car was a risk she’d have to take.
“Stay here.” She whispered to Misa.
The girl nodded in response.
Inching forward, her back to the sedan. Kitty reached the driver’s-side door. Slowly pulling the door open. Holding her breath.
“Their trying for a car.” One of the men called out.
“Where?” Another called out in response.
“The blue one.”
Halfway into the car a gun cracked, smashing through the door’s window above her. Leaving a spider web crack in the glass. Her eyes scanned the car’s steering wheel. There was a starter button and a slot for a key. Which meant a key had to be turned before pressing the starter. Kitty swore under her breath. Without the key there was no way to start the blasted thing. She’d heard it was possible to bypass the key by tinkering with the car’s wiring. Her knowledge of cars was sadly lacking and she didn’t have time try and puzzle it out.
Another bullet tinged off the hood of the sedan. Making her mind up for her. Sliding back out of the car she saw the men advancing. Taking their time. There were two more cars she could try, but they were out of time.
Crawling back to Misa near the boot of the car, Kitty tried to make peace with going down here.
“We’re out of options.” Kitty said, gently to her friend. “I want you to hide. Get away while I distract them.”
Misa shook her head. “No. I swore a oath. To die for you. If anybody should sacrifice themselves it should be me. You must continue your mission.”
Taking a deep breath Kitty looked into the eyes of her companion. Neither of them would willingly leave the other. There was no other choice. Stand and fight.
Another bullet struck the car. They were just toying with their trapped prey now.
“Come out. Come out” One of them taunted.
Kitty opened the trunk. Save for a tire iron it was bare. Taking the iron, she hefted it. Solid. Cracking a skull or two would be no problem. Most likely that was all she’d be able to get before the others gunned her and Misa down.
Stepping out from behind their cover, Kitty prepared for their end. Misa as always by her side. What would come after? After they were dead. Would they buried in a nameless grave? Or would they be sunk to the bottom of Blackwater River? Missing without a trace. Her parents would never know what had happened to their daughter. Assuming she’d run off yet again.
One last battle as the Crimson Scorpion then. Kitty raised the tire iron. Misa at her back. The men encircled them. Guns at the ready-
Tires squealed down the street as something approached at top speed. A black sedan barreled around the corner of the Jaguar Club. Men ran, hoping to avoid the driver’s recklessness. Kitty grabbed Misa, pulling her back towards the cover of the parked cars.
The black sedan skidded to a stop a few feet from their hiding place. A man, his face tired, stubble covering his chin, motioned to them.
“C’mon! Get in!” He waved at them with frantic energy.
Kitty recognized the face. She’d seen it briefly the other night at the Opal. The man that had been following them.
As Jupiter’s men regrouped, the driver drew a pistol. Firing a couple shots over their heads.
“I’m here to help!” His voice full of frustration. “Get in the blasted car!” Pulling Misa along behind her, Kitty ran to the sedan. Pushing Misa in the backseat, before clambering in after her. As some of the men opened fire. Bullets bouncing off the boot of the car.
More of Jupiter’s men started firing. A bullet slamming into the rear door of the car as the driver hit the gas. Nearly hitting some of the men trying to block off the parking lot exit. They fired as the car peeled out down the street. Bullets ricocheting off the sedan’s metal hide.
Kitty forced Misa down, covering the girl with her own body as the rear windshield cracked and then exploded as bullets torn through it. Raining broken glass down on them.
“Hold on!” The driver hollered over the chaos.
The car took a sharp turn. Kitty and Misa involuntary pushed to one side. Tires screeching as the car fought to balance itself once more.
“We’ve got company!” The driver shouted. “That was fast.”
Kitty peered over the rear seat out through the smashed window. Two of the cars from the parking lot were in hot pursuit.
A pistol dropped on the seat next to Kitty.
“Take my gun. Make ‘em think twice about chasing us.” He said. Staying hunched down as he drove.
Kitty picked up the gun. It was a nickel-plated Star Model B. A fine gun. It felt good to have a weapon in her hand once more.
“You know how to use a gun?” The driver asked, looking over his shoulder.
Kitty answered with the Crimson Scorpion’s voice. “Of course.”
She took aim, firing two shoots square at one of the pursuing car’s engine blocks. The car, jostling around threw off her aim. The shots meant for the engine struck the fender, the other smashing the left headlight.
“Keep us steady!” The Crimson Scorpion ordered.
The driver shouted back. “I’m doing the best I can buddy!”
Taking aim again, Kitty relaxed. She hadn’t had as much training with firearms as she had with other weapons. She was fair at best. There hadn’t been any on the island. She’d got a few of the sailors on the merchant ship to train her after being rescued.
Squeezing the trigger twice, in rapid succession. Taking into account the movement of the car, the shots struck true. This time she’d chosen a better target. The pursuing car’s windshield cracked from the first shot. The driver jerked backward before slumping over the steering wheel, from the second shot.
The man next to him, realized too late what had happened. By the time he made for the steering wheel the car was doomed. Crashing headfirst into a streetlight. The man in the passenger seat, violently exiting the car through the windshield.
The crash of their comrades did nothing to dissuade the second car’s pursuit. Quickly taking up the first car’s position.
“Nice shot!” Their rescuer said as he pulled the car down a side street. “One down. One to go.”
There was a loud, drumming thud as the boot of the car erupted in sparks. A trail of bullet holes left in their wake. They had a machine gun in the second car! Kitty slide down in the seat taking cover. If they got close enough with that weapon, the car would be cut to pieces. The three of them along with it.
Kitty felt the driver take a sharp turn. As bullets sailed by, missing the sedan. She took a chance. Peering over the seat. The car was rapidly gaining on them. She saw fire spit out of the car’s passenger-side window. Then the man with machine gun, leaning out the window slipped back into the car. Checking with his weapon.
“Their closing in!” He hollered back to her.
“Slow down!” She instructed him. “Let them!”
The man balked. “Are you nuts buddy?”
“Just do it!” She said firmly.
The driver cursing loudly, did as he was told. Their pursuer, pulled up along side. A hungry shark closing in on it prey.
Kitty sprang up in the seat. Centering in on the man with the machine gun, who was hastily trying to slide a new clip into place. She’d been right! Smiling with satisfaction she emptied the rest of the gun’s charge into the gunner and the driver.
The men jerked about briefly as the rounds hit home. Tearing through cloth, flesh and bone. A chaotic dance of death, before the car hit the curb and turned over onto it’s side.
The driver whistled. “Some shooting there Tex.”
Kitty looked down at her friend lying on the seat. The girl was barely conscious.
“We need to get her to a hospital.” Kitty said.
“Whoa. Whoa. They’re going to ask too many questions.” He said, taking the car down another side street. “I know a doc in Mid-City, runs a clinic there. He owns me a few favors and he’s not the type to ask questions.”
Kitty agreed without hesitating. Misa needed help now. She’d have to trust their mysterious savior for the time being. The man appeared trustworthy. Nevertheless Kitty made sure to hang onto his Star Model B.
The beat up sedan pulled behind a shabby looking two story building. Kitty propped up Misa, who was a little more coherent as they followed the driver of the sedan into the rear of the clinic.
“Where are we?” Misa asked, keeping her voice low.
“Getting you some help.” Kitty answered. “Our ‘friend’ here is taking us to a doctor.”
“Phil Jenkins is the name.” The man chimed in. “You two hang back. Let me talk to Doc Roberts.”
Kitty waited with Misa in small storeroom. Sitting on a wooden crate as Jenkins went to talk with his doctor friend. She kept one hand on the pistol in her coat pocket. It was out of rounds, but Jenkins didn’t know that.
There were boxes marked as medical supplies, a stack of well read medical journals sat on a card table. The place looked legitimate enough.
Kitty could hear the muffled voices of Jenkins and another man in an adjacent room. After a couple minutes they stopped talking. Jenkins entered with a kindly looking older man behind him. Large spectacles sat on his bulbous nose. A busy white beard covered the lower half of his face.
“Let me have a look at you dear.” He said, smiling at Misa.
With Jenkins help they brought Misa into the examination room. As Doc Roberts looked her over, Jenkins took Kitty aside.
His voice low, he asked. “Your him aren’t you? The big bogeyman. The Crimson Scorpion. I thought you’d be taller.”
back to Thriller