The Battle for New Millennium
Chapter 6: The Black Plague
Alex “Wrench-Head” Jenkins watched as his men unloaded the boxes from the storage container. His signature wrench protruded from his belt on his left side. He had run-ins with the police when he was just nineteen years old, and got away after bashing a cop’s head with a plumber’s wrench that he picked up from a tool box in an alley. Ever since then, he was respectfully called Wrench-Head and kept the wrench on him. He used it to get his men to toe the line on occasion, but for the most part it was all decorum.
His men didn’t ask questions. Why would they? All they knew is that they had a guaranteed payment for moving the boxes. Wrench-Head always paid what he promised. He asked for twelve men, and he got twelve men. They assumed they were either moving drugs or weapons. They wouldn’t have shown up if they knew what they were really moving into New Millennium.
“What’s the shipment?” Wrench-Head asked Damien Geist. Geist was a big time businessman. Wrench-Head had no idea what his business was, and he didn’t ask. Per his agreement with Geist from years before, though, Wrench-Head didn’t move anything unless he knew what it was. Most people in Wrench-Head’s business wouldn’t have asked this question, but Wrench-Head would rather be prepared for whatever organization would come snooping around. This time he wasn’t so glad that he asked.
“Blood,” Geist said with a sick smile, answering Wrench-Head.
“Blood?” Wrench-Head asked. “Whose blood?”
“Demon’s blood,” Geist said, his smile widening.
A chill went down Wrench-Head’s spine. So the rumors on the street were true. The Dark Times were indeed coming again. He heard about the thing that killed all those people on 42nd street and about the demon that attacked the airport. “What’s the blood for?” Wrench-Head asked, his mouth becoming increasingly dryer.
“Demonic blood is poisonous to humans,” Geist said, answering even though Wrench-Head was sure he would refuse to do so. “But if it is diluted and taken in small doses, it can increase one’s strength and ability, but at the cost of one’s soul. All you would have to do is introduce it willingly into your own blood. The essence of the demon the blood came from shall do the rest. Those who have tasted it call it Sin.”
Wrench-Head stopped asking questions.
There wasn’t much of the product. Twelve small boxes in all. One man could carry it in his arm. This could have been done with one or two men, but Geist had requested that each box get its own guardian to move it. He paid well, so Wrench-Head got twelve men. He also got two more for his own protection, and Geist sent a watcher of his own. The man who introduced himself as Taiki Abe made his presence clear upon the start of the job, but Wrench-Head hadn’t seen him since he first showed up, though he was sure he saw a shadow or two move.
Jackson Girard hid in the shadows by the docks. He had decided to go after some big game after fighting off a few muggers and a would-be rapist over the last few nights. The events that unfolded over the last week had him unnerved. It seemed that the world was falling apart, starting with New Millennium.
His sensei had warned him before his death. He had said that it was only a matter of time before evil would show itself once more. “When they decide to come out of the shadows, you shall know it,” he told Jackson as they finished up their meditations. “Then it will be time for The Post and its allies to fight.”
Coincidently, Jackson came across someone with a bit of information that unnerved him further. It seemed there was a new drug being brought into the streets of his city. It was extremely rare and extremely expensive. The street name was Sin. It was rumored to be demon blood diluted with O-Positive blood. It was a normally absurd rumor; but with all that had happened lately , Jackson didn’t want to risk that it was a false rumor.
Through some persuasion, Jackson was able to find out where a shipment of twelve cases was being unloaded.
Jackson watched from the shadows while the shipment was unloaded. One box was taken out of the back of the shipping container at a time. One man per one box. Whoever planned this shipment didn’t want a case of Sin being unattended to.
Jackson knew the man supervising by reputation. He found out a lot of information about the man they called Wrench-Head before staking out his little activity. He was one of the bigger pushers in New Millennium, and most of the dealers Jackson pushed knew he was not to be trifled with. There was rarely a shipment of drugs or weapons that came into the city that Wrench-Head wasn’t involved with. This time, Jackson assumed Wrench-Head was in over his head.
The time had come at last. Jackson got ready to pounce and put an end to the shipment. His self-imposted mission was a simple one: Attack Wrench-Head’s two bodyguards and then Wrench-Head. Force the others to scatter, leaving their boxes on the ground. Alert the NMPD as soon as it was over so they could clean up the mess and begin the Interrogation and investigation.
A fraction of a second before Jackson erupted from his hiding place, bright lights and noise flooded the dark area. Red and blue lights flashed. The police were already aware of the shipment, and had arrived in force to make sure it didn’t get to the streets. Jackson backed up once more so he would not be seen in the light. From where he stood in the shadows he could see Wrench-Head and his bodyguards skulking away.
“It’s now or never, Girard,” Jackson said to himself. He steeled his nerve, and rushed passed the lights and gangsters plotting to shoot it out with police. He ran low and quickly, and went virtually unnoticed. He entered the warehouse in pursuit of the fleeing Wrench-Head.
Taiki Abe watched from his own shadow as Jackson Girard scurried across the ground and after the three men that cowardly fled rather than fight. The hidden blades under his sleeves itched to be used. Abe could sense the the power of the fleeing man draped in black, and fought the urge to go after him as well. It was almost too bad that Abe’s mission was to guard the product and only the product. Wrench-Head and his goons would be on their own. The man called The Black Plague never reneged on a mission.
“Drop what you’re holding and put your hands on your head!” some police officer shouted into a megaphone. The men holding the cases of Sin put the boxes down gently and pulled their guns out instead. They were aware of how valuable the product was and how had ordered them to deliver. They weren’t as cowardly as their boss.
“Move in!” The officer yelled at his troops. The uniformed policemen began walking forward with their guns raised. They evidently weren’t going to give their opposition a second chance. They must have also known what was at stake.
Abe moved quickly. He tossed throwing knives into the lights, and each one hit its intended target. Soon, the area was in darkness once more.
There was a muttering among Wrench-Head’s men, but the police still moved forward. They began to split into groups and take different routes to where the shipment was being taken in from the docks. Abe counted sixteen men not including the officer that had shouted the orders.
The Black Plague smiled.
Jackson ran through the warehouse after Wrench-Head and his two men. They ran fast, but clumsily in the dark. They weren’t trained in the darkness and did not have the footing that Jackson Girard had. He was able to side-step and hop over obstacles in his path as if he had ran through this warehouse a thousand times.
Wrench-Head and his two associates only became aware of Jackson when he was nearly on top of them. Wrench-Head turned suddenly an noticed Jackson out of the corner of his eye. “We have company,” he said. “You hit him high, Chico. You make sure he doesn’t get up, Scala.”
Chico and Scala both nodded as Wrench-Head continued his flight out of the warehouse. They turned around as Jackson approached. He still wore the leather mask that covered his eyes and nose, but his black hood was thrown back. He panted and caught his breath as he reached the pair of goons.
“What’s the matter?” Jackson asked. “Your boss doesn’t want to talk?”
“You need to talk with us first,” Chico said approaching. He was a dark-skinned thug who was nearly six feet talk and build like brick building. He cracked his knuckles as he approached Jackson.
“Maybe he’ll send flowers to yer funeral,” Scala said. He was significantly shorter than Chico, had pale white skin, and a short red goatee around his face. What he lacked in height he more than made up for in muscle. He and Chico finished off plenty of mooks like this fool in the mask.
Jackson didn’t waste a moment. His foot was in the air before the pair could take their positions, and he tagged Scala across his face. He was the smaller one, so he wanted him out of the way before he took on the big one. To his surprise, Scala turned his head back as quickly as it snapped after Jackson’s kick and he was on the attack.
Scala was fast. His fists flailed into Jackson’s body before he knew what was happening. He felt the big fists of Scala. Scala pushed back on Jackson’s ribcage, and Jackson stumbled a bit. He was hit in the forehead by the huge fist of Chico, and he fell backwards.
Once on the ground, the barrage of kicks didn’t let up. Jackson fought hard to get up, but to no avail. Finally, he saw the face of his sensei, and pushed past the pain to mount some kind of offense.
Jackson scrapped his earlier idea that Scala was to be taken out first. He lashed out between the pair, and landed an uppercut into the jaw of the bigger man. Chico stumbled backwards as Jackson did previously. It seemed that the big man had a glass jaw.
Jackson let loose with a pump kick to Scala’s midsection next. It felt like kicking a cinder block, but Scala finally moved back a step with the wind knocked out of him. Jackson followed up with another kick to the side of Scala’s knee. The short man went down to one knee, and Jackson took advantage by nailing Scala in the side of his head with a speeding shin. He went down on his side.
Chico got back up and rushed Jackson (as if feeling left out from the fight). He threw another large first towards Jackson’s head, but he dodged easily. He was still a little dazed from the beating he was taking, but Chico was much slower than his partner. Jackson landed a punch hard on Chico’s elbow and heard a snap before Chio let out a loud scream. Jackson spun his hips, and hit Chico in his chin and mouth with the sole of his boot. The big man went down once again, and this time stayed down.
The pain in Jackson’s shin where he kicked Scala screamed for him to sit down and rest, not to mention his rib cage. He felt as if he were hit by a car and not some muscle-bound shadow boxer. He remembered Wrench-Head and ran in his direction, ignoring the screaming agony of his body.
Jackson Girard left the warehouse, and ventured back into the cool air of the night.
The police stalked around large containers of god-knows-what towards the source of the deal. They knew the mission was dangerous. Their sergeant told them that whatever was coming into New Millennium had to be kept off of the streets no matter what cost. There would be small parcels, and more than likely guarded by one man per box. If anyone refused surrender they were to open fire. Judging by the way the lights were taken out, they all expected to be firing soon.
A blur shot through the air. Two cops were cut open at the throats as the blur landed in front of them. When the blur arose, two cops noticed it was in the shape of a man. They started firing at the man, but his arm shot out, and a throwing knife was lodged in each of their windpipes.
Twelve remain, Taiki thought.
Taiki jumped back to the top of the boxes and moved towards the next pair of cops. They turned towards the direction their partners fired. Taiki leapt back down, extended the two blades under each of his sleeves, and cut both men’s throat with a spin.
Four more cops stood in a row. Each one was looking for someone to fire at. They were sure their partners had fired into the men who were bringing in the goods, but hadn’t spotted a target yet. To their shock, they were all cut from behind. The cuts were swift and efficient. They fell to the ground one by one where they all quickly bled out.
The six policemen that were still alive found their way to the black van. The men who moved the boxes of Sin had left them on the ground and were now firing into the group of cops. They took cover behind boxes and other objects and began firing back. Not one of them knew they they had already lost ten of their partners.
The Black Plague took advantage of all the noise and moved in the open, not masking his footsteps as he normally would. He was able to move quicker this way. He bobbed up and down through the flying bullets cutting and slashing as he went. Each slash marked the death of another police officer. With his sixth and final upwards slash across the back of the final, standing cop, Taiki once again left to the top of the metal containers, and melted back into the darkness.
It took Wrench-Head’s men an entire half-minute to realize the cops were dead.
Sergeant Malloy stood behind the opened door of his cruiser and held his megaphone in a shaking hand. The firefight had stopped as abruptly as it began. He sent sixteen of his best in there to stop the shipment of Sin, and none were responding in any way. He pulled his own gun from his holster and contemplated moving in himself.
Malloy reached into his cruiser and pulled out the radio. He put the mic near his lips and spoke to the dispatcher that was awaiting word on what had happened. “Get The Wolves out here,” he said. “ASAP!”
He put the mic back in the cruiser and aimed his gun back towards the docks. If someone emerged that wasn’t a uniformed officer, he had every intent to put a bullet in them. Malloy heard one step behind him splash in a puddle. When he turned, he saw nothing but ripples in the water. When he turned back to where he had just sent sixteen men his head tumbled from his body. There was just enough time to realize that he should have called for The NMW before they even left the station, despite what the mayor currently thought of them.
Taiki Abe, often called The Black Plague, stood behind him, watching the head roll. He smiled a toothy grin as the blade slid back into his sleeve and into its hidden sheath.
Jackson Girard thought he had a lot of ground to make before caught up with Wrench-Head and fight him as well. His ribs, head, and leg still ached after fighting Wrench-Head’s two associates were tough, and he was hoping Wrench-Head wouldn’t put up as much of a fight. His body cried out for rest instead of another battle.
To his surprise, Jackson found himself laying on the pavement taking a blow across his chest. He realized he had been clotheslined as he ran across the road soon after exiting the warehouse. He had a new pain across his chest and in the back of this head as he looked up into the sky. His body somehow felt relieved that it could finally rest, but his mind was now screaming for him to get up.
He felt a large foot pushing his chest down. He could barely breath. He turned his head and saw the face of Tzu Lee staring down at him and smiling. He was wearing a black tee shirt and a leather jacket.
“That’s him,” the voice of Wrench-Head said from miles away. “That’s the guy that tried jumping me in the warehouse. He must have shaken off Chico and Scala!”
Jackson’s mask was now gone, and he was staring directly into the face of Tzu Son, Lee’s brother.
“Mr. Girard,” Son said. “So good to see you again. I take it that you no longer wish to be a pretend hero in the movies.”
Jackson tried to take a breath, but was finding it extremely difficult with Lee’s pressure on his chest.
“Take him,” Son said.
“Kill him!” Wrench-Head shouted. “He saw everything!”
“I need to know what he knows and who he may have told,” Son said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I need to know who you told as well. I do not think Mr. Girard here came upon you by accident. Do not forget that it is not you I answer to, but Mr. Geist.”
There was a large amount of protesting from Wrench-Head as Lee picked up Jackson and bound his hands behind his back. He was tossed into the back of a van and was soon joined by Wrench-Head who was bound as well. The van began to move, and Jackson’s body finally fell to sleep.