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Twins in Death: Chapter One – Part Nine

Twins in Death
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay


Chapter One: The Ballad of Captain Scourge


March 15th, 2002
4:49 p.m.

 The Weirdo and Max were walking along a street together, and The Weirdo was feeling edgy, there was a crime about. Max had found that the most disconcerting thing about being The Weirdo’s apprentice, certainly not a sidekick, was the difficulty faced in working with extra sensory gifted heroes. Tommy and The Weirdo could read each others minds and The Weirdo had a sense of what was going to happen in the future. They all did really, The Weirdo, Tommy, Jack. Even Max sometimes had the feeling they described, more than he’d like to admit really. It was something like a voice, but so far in the back of your head that by the time it came to the front of your mind it was like your idea, but you knew it wasn’t. They had a name for this tiny voice or gift or what ever it was. They called it Grandma, and it was never wrong.

 They hadn’t learned to trust Grandma, it had just simply never occurred to them not to trust the voice. Grandma gave you advice and you followed it, and Grandma was right. If Grandma didn’t always state a reason for things, it was still right. Usually though, a reason was given. Whatever Grandma was, it wanted you to make your own decisions. The reasons were given to the person receiving the message, but usually they just told the others that Grandma said.

 Grandma said was a good enough reason to do anything, even shoot a team member. If Grandma had told Max to shoot The Weirdo, he would have done it, trusting that Grandma knew that the hell it was on about. Grandma had never suggested anything of the kind though, so it wasn’t an issue.

 “Come on.” The Weirdo said running down the street towards a large bank branch.

 “The bank is being robbed.” Max whispered.

 He always found himself whispering whatever Grandma’s message was. It was something he did that made the message real for him. It also allowed him the feeling that his thought processes were not being influenced by outside forces, which was something that clearly bothered him. He wanted to be his own man, even if he was taking direction for unknown forces.

 The bank was a large one, probably the head office of this particular bank. It wasn’t of the classic design with a lot of marble floors and stonewalls, with a lot of reflected noise and no light. It was of a more modern design, bright with huge windows and carpeted floors. Not real carpet of course but that cheap sort of short pile that is used in offices only because leaving the exposed concrete floor would cause too much noise.

 There were eight of them, in hockey masks and suits, waving large automatic weapons about. The Weirdo reached into his coat and pulled out the Thompson sub machine gun, which is a pretty good trick. It was a good trick because there was no way in hell one could conceal a Thompson sub machine gun under a trench coat, particularly one that flapped in the breeze like his did. He looked at the men and slipped the machine gun away again, electing to take the Colt model nineteen eleven forty-five out instead. He checked it and returned it to whatever he used for a holster, which must have been a hole in time because if you looked you wouldn’t find a gun.

 “You stay a step back.” The Weirdo said. “If it starts, go right.”

 “Okay.” Max said, thinking that he should just leap forward if it starts and shoot everyone.

 The Weirdo’s eyes moved constantly, recording the distance between the desks and the counters where people could sign their checks and fill out deposit slips. The way the men were spread out. It was a fairly good spread for covering a crowd and for watching the police. Two of the men were calmly talking to a person who was presumably the bank manager, a woman of about fifty. She looked terrified and prepared to give them whatever they wanted.

 “The money is insured by the federal government you know.” The Weirdo said as they stood at the cusp of the stairs.

 “Not the point.” Max said. “Principal of the thing.”

 “Should we be risking so many lives?”

 “We can do this without any wet works.” Max said.

 He had heard the phrase in a movie the other night and thought he would try it out. Unfortunately The Weirdo wasn’t all that impressed with the phrase and gave Max the sort of look one gives a pot of yogurt that has begun to speak. That is to say a rather disgusted look because The Weirdo was not a big fan of yogurt, even if it had strawberries at the bottom of the cup.

 “By that do you mean we can do it without killing anyone?”

 “Yeah.”

 “Well I wish you’d just say that. You sound like you’re trying to read lines from a really bad action movie script.”

 They walked up the stairs and right through the front doors, which was an unusual move and the bank robbers hadn’t prepared for it. The Weirdo entered with his usual grace and apparent lack of understanding of the situation. Two of the men turned and aimed their weapons at him. They were the ones standing on the desks, to more easily cover the cowering crowd. The manager looked to him with horror and then slumped to the ground.

 Max could see that she hadn’t fainted, but she was trying to appear as thought she had. He wondered if The Weirdo had an actual plan or was he just screwing around and would say he had a plan the whole time. You could never tell when he had a plan and when he was making it up on the fly. If he told you the plan then you’d know, but most of the time he would just take your reaction into account and not tell you about the plan because it was easier for him that way. The Weirdo didn’t seem to have a plan this time though.

 There was a moment where no one moved or spoke. Essentially it was the sort of moment that The Weirdo loved. It was like the last moments before beginning a passionate encounter, when you still weren’t sure if you were going to get lucky or not. It was that lingering just before the kiss that would lead to foreplay and then the event. The Weirdo enjoyed these moments because he was comfortable with both women and violence, and he knew how things were going to turn out. He was smart enough that he could always work out what was going to happen and thus was never surprised, thus was the curse of genius.

 This it can be argued is like having a plan, but it’s not really, its just working things out as you go along. Which is what The Weirdo was doing, working it out as he went along. The action was planned out for him a full three seconds ahead of time, which is a long time for some people.
 
 “Um, hi.” He said waving at everyone.  “I want to open a savings account for my young friend here.”

 “Oh sure, drag me into your delusions.” Max said,

 “Can I speak to a teller please? If I am to open the savings account for my friend’s college fund, I’ll need to speak to a teller of some variety.” The Weirdo said walking into the center of the lobby, between the two men who were aiming their rifles at him. With any luck they’d shoot each other instead of him.

 They were all watching him now, which meant they weren’t watching Max. Max could have done the turkey trot at that moment and no one would have seen him do it. This was because they were all watching The Weirdo, which was bad. Watching The Weirdo was as good as watching a smoke cloud, you’d never get hand on him and a simple gust of air could send him in any direction. Also, if it turned out to be a poison gas cloud, by the time it was on top of you, you were already dead.

 One of they men in the black suit and hockey mask walked up to him and pointed his pistol at The Weirdo’s head. He stopped about three inches away, which should be close enough to scare someone but far enough not to accidentally bump them. One must really admire The Weirdo’s guts. He didn’t blink when the barrel touched his forehead. He didn’t break either a sweat or this guy’s neck showing a great amount of self-restraint. He looked right into the guy’s eyes and began to stare him down through the mask.

 He turned his head and looked at one of the men who had been aiming a rifle at him, he was now covering Max. That was the attention of one of them lost, but he felt he could get it back if he was outrageous enough. These fellows had planned things, but you can’t plan for someone like The Weirdo. He was like a force of nature, and thus went under the insurance heading “Act of God” as far as planning went.

 He turned his attention back to the man holding the gun at his head. His dark eyes watching with amazing calm the dark green eyes that stared out at him. Then looked down at the suit and up at the mask, the suit was bulging ever so slightly at the chest, as if he were wearing a thin titanium and Kevlar vest. He noted how stupid the whole ensemble was, how dumb they were being. This was not Tokyo they would be discovered in these black suits with white shirts.

 “You were going for Reservoir Dogs but ended up at Heat.” The Weirdo said, his voice so deadpan that he could have been asking about the weather to a man on the street.

 “Lets not fuck around here.” The guy said. “Just get down on your knees and you won’t get hurt.”

 “Is that the whole offer?” The Weirdo asked.

 “Don’t be a smart ass with me pal.” The man in the mask said.

 The Weirdo knew exactly were Max was, but also knew that unless he diverted attention, there was nothing Max could do without being shot. He looked into the man’s eyes and then looked at one of the other men in the room. His eyes also noticed a bank customer, who had a fantastic pair of legs on display from her hiked up skirt.

 “Is there someone else I could talk to then?” The Weirdo asked. “Someone who I could be a smartass with? Only it’s hard for me not to be one, because it’s fundamental to my nature.”

 The guy didn’t blink or get confused or anything, The Weirdo admired his restraint. Most people would have said ‘Huh?’ by now and been on the ground. He was dealing with professionals here and would have to use the one thing that could work on a true professional. He would use the method described by Eddie Izzard in order to get into the new que.

 “Look!” He shouted pointing. “There’s a badger with a gun can you see?”

 He didn’t turn away, this guy was too good for that, but his mind was caught off guard for one brief but crucial second. He blinked, which was a perfect signal. The Weirdo’s head moved out of the path of the gun, his hands came up and he twisted the gunman to the ground and punched him in the side of his chest where he was fairly certain he didn’t have any body armor. He was gratified to hear a wet snap of bone when his fist connected with a rib. And then the first second was over.

 Then it all started.

 Max did indeed run to the right, sliding across the floor and behind a large table where patrons could write out their deposit slips or suicide notes depending on their temperament and account balance. Once there he reached behind his back and pulled out the two guns he kept at the small of his back in their holsters. The Glock and Beretta were both nine-millimeter weapons, a fact that will become important later. Two shots tore through the table and sent splinters spiraling around him.

 The Weirdo stood, tossing the man’s gun into his left hand and drawing out his forty-five with his right. He stood up and fired a shot towards the center of the chest of the man standing on a table and firing at Max. The forty-five slug struck him directly in the chest and sent him off the desk. The man fell on the ground and got a nasty knock about the head, which knocked him out if the impact of the bullet against his body armor hadn’t.

 Max stood up and fired both guns at the second man on the table, catching him one shot in the chest and a second in his left arm. The man stumbled off the desk and hit the ground. Max ran towards him and kicked at his head as hard as he could, sending the helmet flying from the man’s head from the force of his strike. This had two results, one the man fell unconscious to the floor, and two Max hurt his leg on the stupid mask.

 The Weirdo realized soon after firing the first shot from his colt that he was not going to be the sort of person who ran around with a pistol in each hand and decided to toss the other one away. Two gun antics might be all well and good for the younger generation but he had standards to keep up. He fired at another one of the men and the shock of his shot into the right part of the body armor was enough to knock him down.

 Max, meanwhile, was in full swing. He ran up to a desk and jumped on it, then leapt from the desk, leaping over one of the men shooting him in the left foot and missing him with the other shot. When he landed on the ground and spun around he caught the man’s right arm and chest, which at least took care of the rifle he was carrying. The Weirdo actually stopped what he was doing to watch as Max did other truly silly things with his two guns. He had only fired two shots so far and had to actually stop in mid aim to watch his young protégé in his balletic antics.

 “Maximilian!” The Weirdo shouted.

 Max landed on the ground and looked at The Weirdo, suddenly embarrassed.

 “Sir?”

 “We are not in the matrix. I can guarantee you this is the real world and not a computer simulation.”

 “Sorry.”

 “We are also not in Hong Kong.” The Weirdo said. “One gun should be sufficient.”

 Max looked at the two guns in his hands and then held the weapons up defensively. This was not the first time they had gone through this argument and at this point Max could only use one defense. It wasn’t a really good one, but it would do.

 “I like two guns.” Max said defiantly.

 The last man wasn’t going to wait to be gunned down like his partners. He looked at the door and then at the two men allied against him. He stood suddenly and began to run, shooting through the glass of the door as he hit it. The safety glass spun through the air, landing like small pebbles on the ground around the door. He kept running down the street, his gun in hand, which cleared the way for him.

 “Well?” The Weirdo said pointing. “Go get him.”

 The man ran down the sidewalk and threw his mask off letting it clatter to the street behind him. Max and The Weirdo were in better shape than the young man who ran from them and as The Weirdo was falling back on purpose, it was Max who caught him. He didn’t tackle the black suited Reservoir Dog reject, because his left arm wouldn’t go up that high yet. He still could only raise his left arm level to a position parallel with the ground, after that he could go no higher. Instead Max shoved the man’s shoulder blades and swept one foot out to trip him. This had the effect of overbalancing the man and sending him into the pavement, while leaving Max standing, knees unscuffed. The man fell face first, and then tumbled and rolled on the ground. A patch of his forehead was scrapped away from the fall, but he was other wise unhurt.

 The man in the black suit tried to scramble away, but Max kicked him in his side as hard as he could. He fell over and another kick landed across his hip. The man lay on his back and looked up at Max, panting heavily. He looked at his gun, which was only a few inches from his hand, and then up at Max. Max was aiming the Glock at the man’s head and looked inclined to use it. The Weirdo caught up to them as they sat in the stalemate for a few seconds, until Max caught his breath well enough to speak again that was. He looked at the gun and then looked the man in the eyes.

 “Now I know what you’re thinking.” Max said. “You’re thinking did he fire six shots or only five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But seeing as this is a Glock nine millimeter and carries fifteen rounds I’ve got nine or ten shots I could pretty much get most you’re head off with. It’d be messy though. So you’ve got ask yourself one question. Did I put on clean underwear this morning? Well did ya? Punk?”

 The Weirdo knelt down and picked the man’s gun up from the ground and then looked from Max to him. He was smiling in the sort of way that sometimes made people think that he’d had one too many of whatever it was he had on a night out. He gave the man the smile again and when he spoke, it was in a stage whisper.

 “Someone got him the Dirty Harry movies for Christmas, just play along like you’re impressed with his ad-lib.”

 “Wha?” The man said.

 “I think we’re going to start monitoring his sugar intake as well.” The Weirdo said glancing at Max over his shoulder and then standing.


March 15th, 2002

5:21 p.m.

 

            The police had come and gone and there were many comments about whether these guys trying to dress up like the guys in Heat or Reservoir Dogs. It wasn’t that funny a joke, but they said it anyway, because it annoyed the robbers. Many comments were made about the fact that The Weirdo had foiled a bank robbery and no one had died. One of the paramedics offered to take his temperature if he wanted. They also offered to take him to the hospital to run other tests. The Weirdo’s ability to put up with these jokes was wearing thin so he and Max left early.

 

            “Why does everyone assume that I have to kill people?” The Weirdo asked as they began to drive away from the scene in the midnight blue sedan.

 

            “I don’t wanna say.” Max said.

 

            “Why not?”

 

            “You’ll use Duck to hit me.” Max said looking at the stuff yellow plush duck in the back seat.

 

            “Nonsense.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “You kill a lot of people.  I mean a lot, as in a lot.”

 

            The Weirdo looked at the road, and nodded. He then reached into the back seat where a stuffed duck sat in its hat that kept it from rolling around the back seat. He pulled Duck from his top hat and did indeed whack Max upside the head with it. He then returned the duck to its top hat and situated himself in the seat again.

 

            “Turns out you were right.” The Weirdo said. “I didn’t kill anyone today. Okay some of those guys will have extended rest periods at the local hospital before going up the river, but they all lived.”

 

            “Yes.” Max said, and then added. “Why are you worried about this all the sudden?”

 

            “You ever think about evil?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “After being around you for a sufficient amount of time,” Max said, “I find that there are few subjects I haven’t had to think about for at least a little while. You rather force the issue of thought.”

 

            “I don’t want to be evil.” The Weirdo said. “I don’t want to be some sort of dark force of terror.”

 

            “So don’t.” Max said “Go with the path of light and fuck ‘em if they think it’s funny. You’ve never cared what anyone thinks about you anyway.”

 

            “Good answer.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “We just gotta do what we do.” Max said. “Or something, I dunno.”

 

            “Oh good.” The Weirdo said. “I’m riding with a sage who want me to be peaceful and one with my world, or some junk.”

 

            “Works for me.” Max said, and put his feet up on the dashboard and tilting the back of the seat down.

 

            “You are exceptionally young.” The Weirdo said.

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

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May 9, 2012 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

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