Valhalla Can Wait #1
Cross of Grace Church, El Paso, Texas
Father Robbins was well aware of the situation outside, that the death of the crime lord Bochanegra just a few days earlier had plunged El Paso into hell. And while he truly admired the efforts of the police and the National Guard to take control of the city there was only one cure for the madness, and that was to penitently kneel before the lord. Some already knew this and had fled to the church looking for sanctuary but he had turned them away. Salvation was one thing but Robbins remembered the last time lawlessness had clutched the city, that and the constant reminder from the rifle round that still rattled around his hip. As such the sudden knocking wasn’t a surprise to him and he ignored the sound and went back to his prayers. All of a sudden the sound of an engine replaced the knocking and an up-armoured Ford 550 came barrelling through the doors before slamming into Robbins.
“Set up, if we’re lucky that Saint Chick will show up and help us out.” The passenger in the front seat stated as he slid out and walked over to Robbins, his silhouette dark against the backdrop of a city on fire behind him. Dressed in a grey boiler suit covered with a bandolier of grenades and a gas mask over his face the man bent down and touched the priest’s cheek. “Forgive me for this Father.” He lamented before removing one of the grenades and stuffing it down the man’s throat.
“Laurence, Morris, Norbert I don’t want that tin plated b***h getting in here you understand!!” He bellowed to the men dressed almost identically to him save for their lack of bandoliers. “Shoot on sight, do you underst….” The rest of his words were lost in a hail of automatic fire as the three gang members opened fire at the hole created by the Ford’s forced entry into the church. One standing to the left of the Ford was taken down as their target returned fire, a pistol round slashing into his leg and sending him toppling to the floor.
“Pete what should we do?” One of the thugs asked as he slipped behind one of the Ford’s open doors.
“It’s Willy Peters not Pete!!” The leader boomed as he removed another pair of grenades. “Now let’s see how she deals these!!” He yelled before pitching both of the grenades over the vehicle, their casings cracking open and releasing a smokescreen of thick white fog. “Now get back out there Morris or I’ll shove one of these up you’re a**!!” He ordered whilst giving ‘Morris’ a swift kick in the rear. Seconds late a trio of pistol shots could be heard and Morris came barrelling past, his gun dropped and his arm bleeding from two well placed bullets.
“Okay missy you want to come after me, fine but you’re going to find out there are going to be consequences.” Pete snorted as he removed a detonator from his pocket and held it up for his attacker to see. “Take your shot but if you do the priest gets sent to hell aflame! Now drop your weapons and come out with your hands up.” His answer came moments later as a pistol came skidding across the floor towards his feet followed by a pair of stylised throwing axes.
“She’s…she’s giving up…” Morris gasped from where he lay bleeding out.
“Oh shut it you maggot!” Pete snapped back at him as he peered into the fog. “Now come out Missy or the priest gets it.” He ordered before seeing something glint in the fog. Before he could even depress the tiger something red hot lanced through his hands right down to the bone before they dropped to the floor, trigger still held tightly be the severed limb.
“By the way,” A female voice announced as a blonde haired woman dressed in red and gold ballistic armour, a respirator clamped over her mouth connected to a small canister on her back, “the name is Danni not ‘Missy’ but you can call me Valkyrie just like all the rest of your kind.” She added before retracting the length of nano fibre cable back into her gauntlet. "That stings I know, a certain saint used it to burn the muscle on my legs, took me a year to heal but I have the feeling it may take you a bit longer."
“I’m gonna kill you missy, I swear me and my boys are going to rip your head off and stuff enough high grade explosives down your neck hole that…”
“That what?” Danni asked as she pulled the grenade out of Father Robbins mouth. “You are armless, and very soon you’ll be in jail.” She added before removing four sets of handcuffs and chaining Pete’s thugs to the door of their vehicle. Pausing she shot Pete a smile before slamming him head first into the bonnet of the Ford. “Call 911 and tell them you have a Class C Felon contained here.” Danni instructed Robbins before walking back towards the hole in the wall.
“Wait thank you, and may God bless you miss.” Robbins called after her. Turning he looked at Pete and shook his head before heading for the phone in the back. Once the police had removed these criminals he vowed never to turn anyone away again, he owed his angelic saviour that much at least.”
‘The Abby’, Floor 11 Texas Tower, El Paso
The former apartment in the Texas Tower was loaded with computer equipment and thick cables that snaked across the floor to every available outlet not to mention a portable generator sitting in the bathroom. Flopping down onto the bed Danni pulled off her breastplate and inspected the myriad of bullet slashes that had scarred the titanium plate.
“Rough night?” A voice came from the balcony as a dark skinned man dressed in jeans and a t-shirt overlaid with a bullet-proof vest asked.
“No more then usual Vance.” Danni replied as he sat down next to her and inspected the breastplate. “Still I took down William Peters AKA Private Phosphorus tonight.”
“I know Officer West sent me a text saying they picked him up a few minutes ago. She did want to know why you felt you had to go as far as to cut off his hands.” Vance asked as one of the computers beeped twice.
“It was the only way to take him down before he killed the hostage.” Danni explained as she removed one of her throwing axes from her belt and threw it into the air before expertly catching it head first. “And to be honest he deserved a lot worse with what he’s done in the last week alone. Speaking of worse, how is May, have you heard from her since…”
“Since she went psycho and kicked us out of our operation’s centre forcing us to move from safehouse to safehouse? No, I haven’t and there has been no sightings in the past twenty four hours.” Vance announced as he checked the alert the computer had sent him. “It seems Siwang’s last kill is going to be herself though, I can feel it in my marrow.”
“Can you blame her; she lost everything in the space of forty minutes. Her brother, her lover, her mission, her integrity and her sister were all taken away from her the day Bochanegra was assassinated.” Danni answered as she reached into the bedside cabinet and pulled out a bottle of water. “But that aside it looks like we have something.”
“You remember Smithy Weston?” Vance asked before brining up a mug shot. “Calls himself the Gun Smith, well looks like he’s holding a private auction in city hall.”
“Wait didn’t I kill him?” Danni asked a confused look spreading across her face. “No fair why can’t dead guys just stay dead.”
“Well his resurrection aside the auction is for something called the XC-280 ‘Chisel’, a project so secret that I can’t find a lick of information on it. That said we don’t want it out on the streets whatever it is, hence why we, and by that I mean you, will be visiting them tomorrow evening.” Vance explained before turning to Danni. “That’s if you feel that you’re up for it?”
“Well the Valkyrie armour needs some retooling to keep it combat ready but it should handle it alright.” Danni answered before running a gauntlet finger over the opposite hand.
“Oh you won’t need it.” Vance stated with a smirk.
“And why’s that?”
“It’s black tie only.” Vance answered. “You’re going to have to be civil and charming for once in your life.”
“Pft I am very charming and very civil.” Danni replied with a smirk.
“Yeah right.” Vance deadpanned. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”