Saturday, September 24, 2011

Black Gazelle, Part 3

“You’re crazy, aren’t you?” Black Gazelle asked, as he stared at the man in the bowler hat with blood dripping down his face.

“Insanity, it’s my calling card!” Finch, the man in the bowler hat, said, raising his cane in the air, as if making an emphatic speech.

“C’mon, we’ve gotta get out,” Sting said, pulling on Finch’s sleeve.

“You’re no fun when you’re not on acid,” Finch said, taking off his hat and throwing it at Black Gazelle. Gazelle jumped in the air, landing behind Finch and Sting. The hat, missing its mark, scraped the bank’s wall.

“That would have been impressive if I hadn’t seen it in

“Kids have no respect for history,” Sting said, shaking his head, “Maybe she’ll understand this.” Raising his gun, he shot at the Gazelle, who moved quickly enough to avoid getting hit.

“Dodging bullets, that would have been impressive, if I hadn’t seen it in The Matrix,” Finch said, “But at least it proves you deserve the title Black Gazelle.”

“All you deserve is death,” Gazelle said, leaping towards Finch. As she got close enough, Finch grabbed her by the hook of his cane. Pressing a button, the cane’s hook extended, closing around Gazelle’s neck, leaving her with nothing to do but jostle.

Finch laughed, “This worked on the old Black Gazelle, too. Don’t feel bad. You’ll get used to the failure. Trust me, you’ll get some more chances to beat me.”

“And I will beat you!” Black Gazelle yelled.

“Good, an archenemy,” Finch said, “I’ve been needing one for a while now. This might hurt a bit.” With that, Finch swung Black Gazelle’s head against the bank’s wall several times, until he felt confident she was out for the count. Once again pressing the button, Finch smiled as the cane released Gazelle, who crumpled to the floor. “Now we can get out of here,” Finch said.

The two criminals fled the bank in their car.

Alex Gryzlov sat in his chair, chomping on his cigar, as he looked out the window of his office. It was a bad time for him. Danner Enterprises was taking over his market share. In another situation, the solution would have been easy. Gryzlov would have changed into The Hunter and killed the CEO. However, the CEO of the company was an immortal, the infamous Gil Danner.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the granddaughter of his old enemy, Black Gazelle had developed super powers. He congratulated himself: hiring the super hero to work at one of his banks had been a good idea. But how long would it take before she discovered her boss’s true identity?

Then there was the fact that the Black Gazelle bank had been robbed. It wasn’t a terrible concern, as he knew he’d simply have the robbers killed and the money returned, but it was still an annoyance he didn’t need.

That’s when he heard the fighting outside his door. He spun around to face his desk. Opening one of the drawers, he took out a shotgun. He aimed it at the door.

Finch kicked the door open, with two bags full of cash in his hands. He laughed, as Sting shot the last remaining guards on the floor.

“Gryzlov! Fancy meeting you here!” Indicating the shotgun in Gryzlov’s hands, he giggled, “You always were a man with a plan. Well, don’t worry. We just came here for a quick hello.”

Gryzlov wasn’t entirely sure whether he should laugh or get angry, “Finch. Did you just shoot assault my entire security team?”

“Don’t worry, all’s good. We made sure every one of ‘em died,” Finch said, setting the money bags on Gryzlov’s desk.

“How is that good?” Gryzlov said, looking at his old friend with confusion.

“Dead people don’t have vendettas!” Finch said, “Gee, Gryzlov, this business thing has changed you. What happened to your bloodthirst?”

“I’m 87, Finch,” Gryzlov said, speaking to Finch in a quiet tone, “I’ve calmed down. You should, too.”

“Nonsense!” Finch said, “I’ve had more fun today than I’ve had in decades! Did you realize that Black Gazelle had a grandkid?”

“Yes, that’s why I hired her,” Gryzlov said, “Now, who’s your partner?” Gryzlov asked, indicating the man in the Richard Nixon mask.

“Ya don’t remember your good old buddy, Sting?” Sting asked, taking off his mask.

For the first time in the meeting, Gryzlov smiled, “So we’re having a reunion.”

“Yeah. Y’know, we should put the old gang back together,” Finch said, excited, “This has been a great time.”

Gryzlov shook his head, “I’m a new man, Finch. But if you two wanted to continue with this, I might have some uses for you.”

“Sounds great, Hunter!” Finch yelled, to Gryzlov’s chagrin, “But first, I’ve got one more errand to do. Hope to see you,” with that, Finch turned to exit the door. Then, he said, “Oh, I almost forgot.” He took out a wad of cash and slammed it on Gryzlov’s desk, “Now it’s all there. Count it.” With that, Finch turned and left the room. Sting, after replacing his Nixon mask, followed.

Gryzlov looked at the wad of cash, confused. The way Finch had insisted he count the cash was troubling. So he began flipping through the cash. Three or four bills in, he noticed a slip of paper. Taking it out of the wad, he read it. He ripped it in half and then cast it aside. Slamming the desk, he whispered, “Bastard.”

Finch and Sting abandoned their car in front of Gryzlov’s office building, understanding cops must be looking for them all over the city, at this point. So instead, they dove through the alleys for a while, looking to stay as hidden as possible. Sting abandoned the Nixon mask, then suggested he and Finch go to his safe-house.

As the two got close, Finch stopped for a moment. He took out his cigarette pack. Opening it, he tapped one of the cigarettes out. He closed the cigarette pack and put it back in his pocket.

“C’mon, man. We’ve gotta get to my safe-house. What are you doing?”

Finch took out his cigarette lighter and lit the cigarette. Putting the lighter back in his pocket, he took a deep breath of the cigarette. The smoke mixed around in his lungs. Only when he had to, he let it go.

Finch whipped out the Stingray gun, “I know you set me up.”

“What are you--”

“Cut the shit,” Finch said, his countenance turned grim, “You’re working for Project Redemption. I know you’ve been ever since you told me about giving away Grizlov’s identity.”

“But I never--”

“You might as well have. I could see it in your face. I warned Gryzlov in a note I slipped in the wad of cash,” Finch said, “You’re sending me to be captured by them. And y’know what? I’ll go. In fact, I’ll find them. It’ll give me something to do. But I’ve just got to ask you a question, Sting. I’m a sadist with a vendetta against you, holding a gun. Why shouldn’t I kill you?”

“We were friends, Finch. Remember that? Remember the good times? We were friends.”

The poison dart pierced Sting’s neck. He would die in less than a minute. Finch, looking at the near-corpse, said simply, “Were.”

He looked in the direction they’d been going, where Project Redemption seemed most likely to set up an ambush. Heading in that direction, he threw his cigarette behind him and it landed on Sting’s face. The cigarette was quickly turning to ash. Finch envied it.

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