The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Part 24
by Shane Migliavacca
The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Chapter 24 Slaughter At Sea
“You set us up!” A man stepped from the encircled mobsters. One Kitty had met in person. Vic Hally. “Dirty rat!”
Jupiter put his gloved hands on the railing in front of him. Looking down on the gathered criminals much like his namesake standing on Mt. Olympus looking down at the helpless mortals of his creation.
“I went through a great amount of trouble to arrange this meeting. Getting out to the ship ahead of you. Getting you and your friends here. Quite an undertaking.”
Kitty and Misa watched from their hiding place. Cloaked in shadows. Kitty felt her body tense. Any moment now chaos would descend. Unholstering her automatics, she was ready to unleash her own justice on the gathered villains.
“Now Mr. Hally, I give you and your friends a choice. Jump overboard. Or face my White Knights.”
A gun spat lead death. Kitty wasn’t sure where the shot had come from. Yet it’s effect was visible. As one of Jupiter’s White Knights clutched his chest before falling to the deck.
A spark that lit the powder keg.
Both sides opened fire. Men screamed like banshees as bullets torn through flesh and bone. The White Knights unleashed a hail of Thompson machine gun fire into a group of gangsters. Shredding the men in a spray of lead.
Hally led a group of men in retreat. Forcing their way through the surrounding enemy. Running towards a large crane that sat on the aft deck.
Kitty shared a brief glance with Misa, who now wore her own domino mask, before they made their presence felt. Her automatics sang as she broke from cover. Cutting down gangsters and White Knights alike. Misa’s blade cut through men. Leaving bloody damage in their wake.
“The Crimson Scorpion!” One of the gangsters hollered above the chaos.
Ignoring the battle. Kitty’s focus was on Jupiter. Fighting the others would be a waste. She had a chance again, to bring him down. She couldn’t let the man slip through her grasp. The others would slaughter one-another.
Rocky Burke opened fire on some fleeing mobsters from one of the catwalks near the bridge. Screaming curses over the rat-a-tat-tat of his machine gun. Dropping men as he blanketed the deck with lead.
Kitty bounded up the metal stairway leading to the catwalk. Misa close behind. Rocky saw them coming, turning his fury on them. The two women ducking into an open doorway along the catwalk. Bullets ricocheted off the metal.
Kitty fired a couple blind shots in the young man’s direction. He had them pinned down for the moment.
Rocky returned fire. “I’m glad your here Crimson Scorpion! I owe you a bad death!”
Kitty fired off a couple more rounds. Wishing she could plug the young thug’s mouth.
“He’s getting on my nerves.” Kitty grumbled.
“He owes me pain.” Misa stated.
Kitty thought about her friend’s statement. “He’ll have to reload. When he does.”
“He’s mine.” Misa smiled. Death in her eyes.
“Agreed.” Kitty said. “Jupiter is mine.”
“Yes.” Misa said in agreement.
“After you finish with Burke.” Kitty said. “Plant your bomb and get off the ship. We’ll meet up at the apartment.”
Firing off another few rounds at Rocky, caused the young hot-head to use the rest of his clip. Madly spraying the catwalk. Until there was a empty click.
With that Misa sprung out onto the catwalk, charging at frenzied young thug. Her short sword targeting Rocky’s chest. He managed to block the blow with his empty machine gun. Quickly following up the deflecting blow with a jab to Misa’s ribs with the gunstock. With that distraction, He ducked into an open doorway. Misa recovering quickly gave chase.
Watching this, Kitty had to restrain herself from helping her friend. She had no doubt Misa could handle Rocky Burke on her own. Jupiter couldn’t be allowed to escape the ship.
Jupiter stood on the bridge of the Acadia watching the battle on the deck below. Oblivious that Kitty had entered. One shot and she could end it. Jupiter’s group would be in disarray. Hally and South Side’s crews were being slaughtered at the moment. Organized crime in Starlight would be in a shambles for some time to come.
She pulled back the hammer of one of the automatics. Sighting the back of Jupiter’s head.
“Crimson Scorpion.” Jupiter said. “I’m glad your here. I can finish it all tonight. This little party was more then I’d hoped for.”
“Your very full of yourself.” Kitty answered. “I get give you credit though. You are very clever.”
This made Jupiter laugh. “As are you my dear Crimson Scorpion. Who would have guessed.”
Jupiter spun around. Kitty barely having time to register the pistol in his hand. She ducked behind the navigation station. Bullets shredding a stack of maps on the counter. Smashing gauges on the console.
He fled towards a door on the other side of the bridge, firing at her as he ran. Kitty chased after him. Weaving in and out of the consoles.
Sliding down an adjacent staircase, Jupiter yanked open a metal hatch in the deck. Kitty fired at him. The rounds harmlessly hitting the hatch.
Approaching the hatch, one pistol at the ready, Kitty slowly pulled open the hatch with her free hand. Dropping down into a narrow passageway below deck. Several doors on either side of it. Jupiter could be hiding behind any one of them. Waiting to blindside her.
Both automatics at the ready, she crept down the passage. The rooms were crew quarters, all of which appeared lived in but empty. The passageway ended in another that sloped downward into the belly of the Acadia. Following it down lead Kitty to a large storage area. Large metal drums lined the room on racks. Islands of similar drums stood on wood pallets scattered throughout the area. Strapped down to keep them from sliding during turbulent seas.
A flash of white to her left caught Kitty’s eye. She turned in time to see Jupiter lunge at her from behind a pallet of metal drums. Holding a crowbar.
He swung, catching Kitty in the arm, a sharp pain screamed through her shoulder and arm. She fell backwards, hitting one of the drums. The pistols clattering to the deck.
The crowbar came down, just missing Kitty’s head as she pushed off the drum. Ducking under Jupiter swing. Weaponless, her eyes looked for something to even the odds. Resting on one of the drums was a large wrench used for taking off drum lids.
Cartwheeling, Kitty made it to the wrench. Snatching it up, she spun around to see Jupiter was charging her. There was something about him that was different. Something about the way he carried himself. The calm controlled man she’d met before was gone.
She blocked his assault with the wrench. The crowbar clanging off it. Shacking both combatants. Recovering quicker then her opponent, Kitty lashed out with a kick. Hitting Jupiter in the chest. Sending him backwards. Crashing to the deck a few feet away. She pressed her advantage. Running at him full steam. Like a mad bull.
Jupiter jumped up, beating a hasty retreat. He ran to one of the large racks of drums, clobbering one of the rack’s metal supports with the crowbar. Over and over. There was a loud, pained groan as the metal support, weakened, gave way. Crumpling it, sending the drums it held tumbling across the deck towards Kitty.
She jumped out of the way of the one drum, only to face another one. Leaping over it, her feet lightly touching the drum’s metal surface as she jumped from one barrel to the next. Remembering the balance training the old man made her endure on the island. She cleared the onslaught of crushing metal death. Some of the drums popped open upon impact. Oil spilling out onto the deck.
Frustrated, Jupiter threw the crowbar at her before fleeing the room through an open hatchway. His footfalls clattering on the metal deck as he ran down another passageway.
Jupiter’s escape was short lived as Kitty threw the wrench, hitting him squarely in the back. Knocking him to the ground. He hit the ground, letting out a pained groan. The wind knocked out of him.
“Where’s your bravado now crime-lord.” Kitty said, approaching the fallen man.
Face-down, Jupiter pushed himself up. Rolling over, he pulled a stiletto from his sleeve. Taking a swipe at Kitty.
Instinctively she threw herself back. The blade nicking the palm of her right hand, she’d put up defensively. Drawing a line of blood across her gloved hand.
Off balance and burdened by the bomb in her coat, Kitty lost her footing. Falling back, she hit the ground. Kitty only had seconds to react before Jupiter would be on top of her.
Advancing with the fury of a mad dog, Jupiter plunged the stiletto at Kitty’s chest. Knowing she’d never get to her feet in time, nor would she have time to roll out of the way of the descending blade.
Using an open palmed strike, Kitty hit him square in the face. Pain lanced her hand and arm from hitting the metal mask, not to mention the effects of the crowbar attack earlier. Kitty let out a howl of anguish and demonic rage.
The strike momentarily stunned Jupiter. Using her anger, Kitty brought her knees to bare. Shoving Jupiter off to the side, she sprang to her feet. Narrowly missing another deadly slash. This time inches from her face.
Trying to put some distance between herself and Jupiter, Kitty backed up towards the storage room of metal drums. Anger boiling in her blood. Anger at herself for being caught by his little surprise attack. She hoped Misa was having better luck with her quarry.
Jupiter kept up his attack. Surging towards her. Not giving an inch. He feigned another attack with the blade. When Kitty instinctively dodged, Jupiter struck her with a punch to the side of her head with his other hand.
Her face slammed into the bulkhead. The salty taste of blood on Kitty’s lips. Her eyes white with stars. She felt Jupiter close in. Sending her elbow back full force, connecting with his rips. Sending Jupiter stumbling back momentarily.
A berserk fury overtook Jupiter. He rushed at Kitty. Growling through his dented mask. His blade angled for a quick kill. He was hellbent on ending the battle quick.
Kitty dropped low. Striking him in the stomach with a hard kick. Knocking the wind from his lungs. Doubling over the masked gangster. The stiletto clattering to the deck. Where Kitty scooped it up.
A well placed sweep of his legs brought Jupiter crashing down. Landing with a hard thud on the deck.
“Enough.” He rasped through ragged breaths.
“Indeed.” Kitty answered. “It’s over. Who are you?”
Jupiter knelt, gasping as he tried to recover. “I had no choice.” He coughed. Holding his stomach.
Kitty reached for his mask. Finally she’d see her enemy face to face. Feeling the cold metal through her gloved fingers.
A thunderous crack echoed through the passageway. Jupiter’s body convulsed violently before pitching forward. The mask coming off in Kitty’s hand. A bloody wound in the man’s back. An expanding scarlet stain marring his perfect white suit.
Rocky Burke stood further down the passageway. A pistol smoking in his hand.
“I won’t let you take him in.” Rocky said. Anger in his voice. “And I won’t let you off this ship!”
The young thug aimed. Sighting the Crimson Scorpion’s head. There was nothing she could do now. He could fire before she could reach a weapon. And there was no place to seek cover in the passageway. Before Rocky could pull the trigger a blade erupted from his chest. Before disappearing back through the wound it had caused.
Falling to his knees. A look of shock forever etched on his face, Rocky’s lifeless body joined Jupiter’s on the deck.
Misa stood over the fallen young man’s body. Wiping the blood from her blade.
“I’d lost him.” Misa stated. Sheathing her blade.
“I’d say you found him.” Kitty said. “And just in time.”
She knelt down over Jupiter’s body, turning him over. Kitty looked at the face of her enemy.
Shock in her voice, she said. “He’s nobody.”
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