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Eight: Payment

Getting back to the orphanage turned out to be easy. The rebels departed before the cops made it to the studio, all because the commissioner had ordered all those idle and nearby to storm the area by the time the recording of the message ended and the screen went blue. By then, they were too late. The two pale-blue cars without license plates had already sped out and there seemed to be a fire inside the studio. The sprinklers were disabled, so the young rebels could throw bottles of wine around and light matches, which they did. That was a precaution, to deter the reconstruction. Smoke was seeping out by the time three police cars pulled up, already noting that someone broke in to the booth and that the front gate was left open.

As a celebration of their first victory, the best stealer of the group, Thibault, lifted a few quality items that could be a part of it. That celebration was a dinner like a feast. Even though they used a little more than they took, that was no bother, for everyone was happy to have a normal dinner like any family would. Compared to all the meals that were already tepid when served and rather bland, this was fine dining. It was praiseworthy that steaks and produce were lifted for this, and the meat and vegetables came out just fine. This pleased Thibault more than it did any of the others, given his old habit that he hadn’t kicked. Knowing of what made teens on-edge, Primrose was thankful that he didn’t flirt with her when she’d recruited him. How surprised she was when he’d informed her that he could steal a police officer’s gun and bullets. Just like that, he’d been named quartermaster of the syndicate, and in a matter of days, had made up a weapons cache.
Each young rebel enjoyed each other’s company as well as the food, even Hallam, who was certain of his loyalty to Primrose. He savoured the contents of the plate in front of him as he paid compliments to the others. The main people of the syndicate were so caught up in that moment that none of them wondered why both Primrose and Vasco were so quiet.

There was no boasting about a victory. The studio of Channel One News was crippled, and there would be no more focus. It was something to make the front page of the local newspaper Source One, and the day after that was printed—two days after storming the studio—Kenshin informed Primrose that he’d spotted via the connection to traffic cams, the chief editor of Source One was at a payphone with a bruised face and a shoulder hem of his jacket torn.
“Curious”, Primrose stated.
Filomena, standing in a corner with her arms folded, sighed, “Fool.”
The brunette spoke, “Social media’s uncensored, but TV isn’t. We can track only so many people: we could’ve monitored the offices of the news journalists and printers, but we don’t have enough spies. We’ve people in many places as our informants and equipment handlers. Focusing on only one form of media, how were we supposed to know if the Source One chief editor was abusive or had some kind of problems or addictions?”
Filomena muttered, “Fool.”
Primrose snapped, “I get the point! Don’t rub it in!” She wasn’t the first to snap like that. Thibault could take it. Vasco had once been in a mood so bad in the syndicate’s early days that he’d shouted, “Shuttup!” during their meeting. Egon had once taken his irritation out on her from the many times she said her favourite word, but she’d blocked his first punch and then spin-kicked his shoulder. The leader of the group snapping prompted Hallam and Kenshin to look at each other, as did Egon and Thibault.
The young brunette sighed before speaking, “Look, we need to keep our eyes open. We may have retaliated by spiting the mayor and the commissioner, but that was only the first step. We need to consider our next one, and hopefully make the police look bad to those that still fall for lies.”
Egon was the one to inquire: “How can we plan for that without Vasco?”
“Believe me, each of you is as important as Vasco is, but he’s been distant over these past two days. He and I have both been thinking, but not talking.”
That filled Hallam with dread. The two points that Primrose made sounded like bad news. The young blond man knew Primrose to be strong, but at the moment, she sounded like she and her partner were strongest when they were together. The fact that Vasco had taken the time to collaborate the plan to infiltrate the news studio meant that what Hallam had told him before was the right choice.

Another two days went by with only practicing, exercise, and monitoring. Over that duration, Vasco had been absent from meetings, and when he was seen, he wasn’t speaking. He remained distant from Primrose and the others. Whatever reason he had for the favours that he’d been asking of their informants, he chose not to tell them. The others had been wondering if being the one to kill the anchorman had caused him to close himself off.

Primrose was the first one to stop worrying about her partner, seeing him enter the former headmaster’s office without knocking on the door. He strode toward the desk, his shirt halfway open and without the tie. He dropped a copy of the paper toward the young woman and said, “Page four: that’s what I’ve been up to.”
The brunette brushed her bangs before reluctantly putting her hand on the newspaper of that day, and dragged it to her. She turned to the page labelled the number four, and read aloud the headline: “Underground Fight Club Knocked Out Forever.” She read through the article taking up the page, which was of a building known to have been a front for illegal gambling, which was burned to the ground. The basement and ground floor had been set ablaze, and the walls had been broken, which had resulted in the entire building losing support, and gravity did the rest. Along with that one construct, it claimed the life of a felon that had already died before smoke inhalation, burns, or the collapse could.
She then looked up, seeing Vasco still standing there, with his arms crossed. She asked casually, “You did all that?”
“That’s why I asked favours of our informants. Got them to track down my father. He apparently got arrested for rear-ending a cop’s car and got charged for drunk driving, too. My father is dead now… It’s how the police know that he’s connected to felons. So, I tracked those men and found what I was looking for, which still stood. That’s why I also gathered as much wine and gasoline that I could. I decorated the floors with ‘em and lit a match…”
The brunette had nothing to say to that, except, after a while: “What about the dead man among the rubble?”
“I broke his skull before he could open the place for the night.”
Primrose then stood up, to approach her partner, holding out her hands. Having caught on, Vasco gave her his hands. She moved her thumbs around and pressed them to his hands, looking at his face, and he didn’t seem to flinch at all. That prompted the young man to state, “Brass knuckles have been my weapons of choice for years; I became able to use them without breaking my own fingers after a few fights.”
“But are you mentally okay?”
He looked down, saying lowly, “I’m so used to beating people that… I am one to think before killing someone. Dixon was my first kill, and I looked him in the eye before pulling the trigger on him. I took his lie about Embla’s death personally.” He looked directly to Primrose, continuing, “I think that’s why I need you: to keep me from doing something I’d regret.”
“Thank you”, she answered lowly. She then stepped back, to pause for a beat. “We have our priorities in fighting the corrupt and the crooks”, the brunette spoke up. “Which do you think we should have our most focus?”
To that, Vasco smiled contently.

Many headlines to list said the same thing. The mayor considered the threat made on his life a pointless joke. The police commissioner just shrugged it off. The choice of who to pursue had become a conundrum. What the Resurrection Battlefront had been keeping about Katona didn’t sound like enough, but both Primrose and Vasco wanted to derail the gangster’s affairs permanently. Something that the police hadn’t been told to do. There had been no stings by inspectors and there had been no raids on the mob bars. Now Katona was sure to have figured out how supplies had been significantly short. Knowing that the bar where Lady’s Ghostly Beats would perform before Embla’s demise was still open and thriving on people still wanting to go out at night meant that the gun fight resulting in the deaths of several other mob men didn’t discourage the mob boss from doing whatever it was that he did.
The other choice, which made it a conundrum, was the dubbed Angel of Death. Primrose wanted the one that she’d been tracking. Even though she had slipped past, Primrose wasn’t discouraged to keep tracking the girl. The only leads seemed to be where the girl would regularly go.

Two more days passed with the biggest members of the syndicate trying to step up their game while the leaders kept tabs on their targets. All wireless signal connections had been reset in hopes of shutting out anyone trying to trace their hacking. Keeping a low profile while lifting whatever the young rebels could from grocery stores was made a little more difficult, since a few officers were competent enough to follow whoever they saw in a black suit with red tie. The fact that cults were made illegal had led to riots outside of a police station and the city hall—riots that were still being held in the day.
With everyone in their usual chairs for the meeting, Primrose was standing, to the surprise of the others. The brunette orated, “The grand scheme is to be built and performed without foreplay. Our tracking and our sting is to be concluded. The operations composed by Corpus Katona will cease, permanently. We will assault, we will destroy, we will humiliate, and they will weep like children being scolded.” Vasco and Egon already were getting excited. The others were listening very intently.

The chairs all turned with the wall having the projection of a computer screen. Primrose orated, “A few police stations have been harassed over these past couple days. Journalists have managed to scoop up drug deals by men recognized as those working for Katona. Knowing of such intricate detail filling up almost an entire section of the local paper, the journalists have been investigating for a few years. So, the riots have been held for all the more reason. What we need now is to draw Katona out.” She looked to Vasco, continuing, “One idea for that: we find what other places he owns… and bring explosives.” Thibault was the one most shocked at that. He could lift whatever the others wanted and needed for every-day life, being a kleptomaniac. He questioned himself whether he could meet the young woman’s expectations.
With the city map on the side wall, the focused area being the nightclub that they would plunder, Primrose went on, “To go to his nightclub that we know now would mean suicide for us. We need ask news investigators if they can find what other places he owns. That’s how we start. And if we find any… illegal materials hidden… we’ll lift as much of those as we can, and destroy them.”

True to the young woman’s word, those who wrote the articles from the day before the meeting were approached and inquired of how such sensitive information was found. Those journalists each basically had the same answer: “I held my stings in a storage yard where items were bought by Katona’s men. They seem to like that area most.” That made the syndicate’s own investigation sound like a dead end… until the last journalist to ask stated, “I know a restaurant Katona’s dealer distributes drugs to his customers. I followed him there once.”

That was where they would strike. The restaurant was average, having copies of ridiculous antiques for decorations on the walls covered by wooden boards. Hallam, being the first to see that interior, found it insufferable to look at. There were only tables and no booths, and the servers had creasy shirts and somewhat-matted hair. To his irritation, there was some peculiar odour in the air. It had to be of so many foods, plus the sweat of the few overwhelmed servers. Looking around, he saw two men from different tables looking angrily and raising fingers at each other. And no one chose to intervene.
This was to be difficult, stealing from this place. Thibault was in the kitchen, in disguise and looking around to know where supplies were kept, while pocketing a few fruits and pastries. It was after he filled his pockets when he remembered to get back to the task that was given to him. There was nothing of interest in the walk-in refrigerator or the freezer. So, Thibault looked around, finding nothing on the shelves where the fruits and dry items were kept. He had to be careful when he did, since the cooks were very busy. How outraged he was to see that much of the meat was really tofu. All the beef, fish, poultry, and ham were fake. He had even lifted meats from stores long enough to tell the difference by looking at them. The red-haired young man deliberately pounded on the counters and threw items on the floor. He ignored the one cook that called, “What’s wrong?” Not even a middle-class restaurant served something real? Thibault forgot that it was a criminal running the place, which was why he didn’t consider that a shifty man was influencing others to rip normal people off.
It was when he was about to deliberately break glass containers of spices that made clashing odours, he spotted something curious. So, he moved several other containers to find a sandwich container of some kind of white powder, labelled with marker on masking tape, “DO NOT MIX IN FOODS”. Curious, Thibault opened it and took a short whiff to find that it had a grotesque chemical odour. He put it back, so he would get back to doing dishes, before he found more. There were bags of it crammed in a square jar, with the same message on a label, that was supposed to be for tea bags.

That was the report. It was no time to be reckless, but Vasco insisted against waiting to make their enemy angry. Curiously, the restaurant was one of many closed at curfew, even though a few had already been prompted to break that rule.
Primrose bluntly announced, “It’s settled, then. We’ll break in to that place after it closes for the night. It’ll save us the trouble of threatening others in order to make them leave. We still need to make sure that no security measures will get in our way and we still need much of combustible and flammable materials. Expect traps or anyone who might already know we’re coming.”

Taking the chances seriously, the young rebels in the pale-blue cars pulled up to the restaurant, seeing that it had been five minutes since the place closed. So, someone had surely locked up. That was no challenge, as Filomena was the one to get the door open, using lock picks. In but a matter of seconds, the door was opened, and the young rebels dashed inside.
Every one of them, armed with a gun pointing straight ahead, paused at the unlit atmosphere that was the restaurant of empty tables. This only made Primrose and Vasco feel less easy than they were. Thibault was the one to lead Vasco and Egon to the kitchen, to do their part. Primrose, Hallam, and Kenshin got to work with laying down containers after one light switch was turned on, so they could see better, while Filomena kept watch of the restaurant floor for anyone else. It was intended that they make sure that all damage to the place was irreparable. It was to be nothing salvageable.
While the leader, the genius, and the newcomer decorated the floor with wine, the co-leader, the quartermaster, and the enforcer pillaged and sabotaged the kitchen. Thibault was busy pocketing fruits and pastries again, having already told the others the exact spots where he’d found the drugs. Egon was the one to search for a gas line that he could break, but he was left with disappointment that the ovens and stoves were electric. So, he announced, “We have a problem: no gas.”
Vasco spoke with concern on his headset, “Primrose, we have to rely on what explosives we have.”
Primrose passed that on to the others within earshot of her, prompting Filomena to sigh, “How unwise.”
Primrose remarked, “We have flammable substance, but it may not be enough.”
Hallam spoke, “Well, there’s no sense in giving up after getting this far.”
The brunette raised a finger, answering, “He’s right. We came here not just to steal. So, let’s see what we can do.” Kenshin kept up with laying what plastic explosive he could, wanting to not see a mission aborted. However, his concern grew quickly, seeing that he was running out of wire. There seemed to be no other options for preparation.
In the kitchen, Egon stated, “Got the drugs.”
Vasco announced, “Then let’s lift some wine from here and soaked the floor.” Egon and Thibault hesitated at that. So, the dark-haired young man added, “That’s an order.” Thibault was the one to grab a wine bottle for each of them, and then left one for each of the ones in the restaurant. He then announced it on the headset, which proved to be some help. Primrose managed to conceal her relief for that. The three young men in the kitchen started decorating the tiled floor with the wine that they robbed from the shelves, and took their time doing so, as they didn’t want whatever splashed on their shoes.
As the three young men reached the backdoor of the kitchen, Primrose and the other minds were backing to the front door and making sure that the entire area of the restaurant was soaked. With the front door open and the lights off again, Primrose spoke on her headset, “Now we’re ready. Hope we didn’t make you wait too long.”
At the backdoor of the kitchen, Thibault lit a match. At the same time, Hallam lit one as well. Primrose spoke on the headset, “Now”, and then both matches were dropped to the floor, lighting the sudden fire, which spread quickly.
In the pale-blue car where Kenshin was riding, he pressed the button on a remote, and there was a row of explosions to add to the damage. There was no time to see how long the fire would go on. The building didn’t have sprinklers, which was poor thinking on someone’s part.

Word of the damage wasn’t received until morning, when it became known on social media of how much damage the fires did. The fires hadn’t been what destroyed the restaurant, but there seemed to not even be a competent fire marshal active that night. A firetruck hadn’t arrived until they were too late. Smoke clouds flowed out the windows, which were melted by the heat. Thanks to the holes broken into the walls by the explosives, the building had lost its support, resulting in half of the roof breaking.
It was known whose name was on the building’s ownership, which reporters assumed was the reason for someone to do such a thing. Nothing illegal was found among the rubble—nothing that Katona was known to sell. This was also something new for papers to pester the police about. It also seemed that the local newspaper was getting more truth out than social media had been before.
“They are still out there, I know it! Understand what I’m paying you idiots for! This cult wants us to think they have a grudge, but it won’t work! All other places of mine need guards! Send them out now! And find those shithead brats!”
That was a recording from the bug that had still been in the office of the nightclub, the words from none other than Katona, and the rebels were right about the destruction upon his restaurant making him angrier. They were listening to this in the headmaster’s office of the former orphanage.
Vasco remarked, “Does he even care that we turned his crack into vapour? There were several pounds of it in our pockets when we got out.”
Egon added, “By the way, we disposed of that in a can fire on our way back.”
Hallam inquired, “We can’t afford to let any of the possible bounces find us here. So, what else can we do?”
Primrose said bluntly, “Kenshin, show them.”
The narrow-eyed young man quietly did his thing and brought up a window on his laptop, which showed a road map. The young woman went on, “That is where we’re going next. We’re taking them by surprise, whether they already increased security or not.”
“But what is the place?” Hallam asked, looking at the highlighted outline of a townhouse.
With bluntness and disgust, Vasco was the one to answer: “A whorehouse.”

The place was objectionable as it should have been. Upon entrance of the ordinary-looking townhouse, overlapping voices and electronic music threatened to deafen the young rebels. The smoke of drugs threatened to blind them Various perfumes made them want to burst. The voices in their ears was the need for their determination to press on and continue with the short mission.
Primrose waited on the top floor, where all the women kept at the place against their wishes were to be presented for an auction held on this night.
(Pacing, Vasco orated, “I know the feeling of being used by someone. I know the feeling of working and getting to keep none of the money. The men behind this are among the assholes thinking they can do whatever the hell they want with people, as if those people are property, which they’re not. You can marry someone and you can give birth to a child if that’s what you want, but you can’t own a person. I don’t care who owns that house, but I regularly heard of women being forced to stay anywhere but their own houses as if it’s a prison. We will make these assholes suffer and we will burn that place to the ground.” Deep down, there was a mountainous fire of hate, which ignited like spontaneous combustion and spread like a forest fire.)
The brute of among the rebels spoke, “Eyes on targets.” He was on the ground floor, looking to what could have been a dining room, seeing the grown men in business suits, whom he recognized. “Three weasels, idle.”
On the second floor, where there was more of a social gathering, Hallam waited alongside Vasco and Filomena. Vasco stated, “Potential buyers here. Too many are dressed too casually to look for a good deal.” He grit his teeth, that fire inside him still scorching and stared at the duffel bag that he’d brought along.
Filomena whispered into her headset, “We have a problem: golden girl in white.” The two young men spotted the urgent subject, too. In a corner stood a blonde girl in a white blazer, white pants, and a white shirt.
Vasco whispered back, “Stay out of her sight. We can’t let her compromise the mission.”
With panic, Hallam hissed, “How can we? She knows how we dress!”
Primrose interjected on the headset, “No time to argue. The auction’s starting soon.”
When the time was right, the young rebels walked with others toward the stairs, to blend in, and made sure to be inside the crowd until reaching the top floor where, everyone was hushed. The women there, each of them now dressed in only a bra and panties, looked around with fear. Each young rebel staying against a wall looked around with determination.
By the time the music began and the announcer had the audience’s attention, the action began. The announcer was interrupted by a sudden thundering explosion, and people started running toward the stairs in a frenzy. There was a second explosion, to cause all the more panic. The brunette with the purple stripes was the one to go up to the half-naked women, yelling, “GET OUTTA HERE! RUN! RUN!” As they did so, Primrose pulled out her two pistols and started shooting, joining her friends in opening fire on the guards and the managers.
The sound of every shot from the handguns were now what threatened to deafen others, but the rebels and the mob men were much used to such sounds. Still, that eased none of them of the tension. With nothing to use as cover, they all ran sideways, until the five young rebels stood in closely together, their shoulders almost meeting. Egon took pleasure in once again firing an old-fashioned submachine gun; Vasco was careless with his firing from his handgun and had been holding off using the grenade launcher that he’d brought along; Filomena acted her insistence on staying a moving target as she took her time aiming from her black pistol with a grey muzzle; Hallam looked intense as he aimed using both hands.
It was fast and messy, but the rebels all stood and managed to down every armed thug in their sights. Still, they didn’t go without their wounds. Egon was the one to take a bullet in his upper arm and a narrow scrape on the far side of his abdomen. He kept himself stiff, trying to avoid showing weakness. As for Vasco, he took a bullet to his arm, but it had passed through only flesh and didn’t break a bone. It seemed only a matter of time before one of the fighters would fall next.
The dark-haired young man spoke, “This can’t be all of them, but let’s not wait to start our fire.” The others scrambled with their guns at the ready, expecting other mob men to still be in the house. Before heading for the stairs, Vasco alone tossed diesel fuel over the floor, handling it carefully and making sure that it didn’t get on him. He coughed just from inhaling its fumes as he panted, since the container was heavy. How thankful he was to reach the stairs, so he could finally light a match and toss it in the distance. As swiftly as the fire became a series of tongues, Vasco turned away and headed to the level where there had been another short gun fight a few minutes earlier.
He could tell from the site of blood that was still moist. Primrose spoke on the headset, “We’re on the ground floor now. We still have company, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.” Vasco noted the smell of alcohol and that the floor was moist as well. He still hauled his duffel bag with the grenade launcher and ammunition, along with the fuel container. In the open area of the ground floor, which also had bodies, Vasco hurled the container and what was left of the diesel fuel inside. As the dark-haired young man lifted the grenade launcher from over his shoulder, he heard shouting, threats of killing someone if another someone didn’t stand down. He then hoped to give his allies the edge, as he aimed, and a grenade went flying. As the young man expected, the container exploded and was to become shrapnel from the fire instantly expanding. Over the crackling of the flames, Vasco heard gunshots.

What a relief to him that it was the brunette and the others to meet him at the back door, to the side of which he fired another grenade to break the supports of the house. He took the lead, to get the others away from the house that was already in an inferno. There would be time to talk later. There was no doubt that people were already fighting about whether to get someone to control the chaos. Who knew what was wanted of a house looking ordinary on the outside?

Primrose announced in the office to the members of the syndicate, “The time has come. We are to storm Katona’s forces. We will do what should have been done years ago: a sting. We have crippled his trafficking operations. Now, let’s end it—permanently.” The Resurrection Battlefront had sought out and destroyed the other known houses where women and children were held against their will, and burned to the ground, leaving charred rubble. It had been five days since the destruction of the town house. Through further eavesdropping, they had established when they could conduct a sting.
The projection of the city map was brought up. Primrose announced, “Based on messages, the trade became an urgent matter. Katona pressed on having a cartel ship back so soon, since his merchandise literally went up in smoke. Now, we have a chance. Katona and, no doubt, his best men will be at the airport in the northern area, to instantly buy whatever amount he can carry. We lack the information, but we may never have another chance like this again. Kenshin, see if you can’t get a connection to the airport’s surveillance cameras. Thibault, gather the big weapons. We want these people out of our lives. If we try to take them alive, they could make bail fast, which may lead to casualties among people who don’t have badges. To kill them is the only way.” She had desperation in that last statement.
Egon stood up, scowling, and spoke, “I will aid you even if it kills me.” That only caused unease in Primrose, having seen him bleed from a bullet, and his wound was still fresh. The enforcer could have claimed what pain he had taken in the past, and no one could have told if he was joking. He continued, “Knives? Bullets? Makes no difference to me. I still have strength that you want and need, which hasn’t failed us.”
“Fool”, Filomena scoffed.
Vasco declared, “We’ll have time to express arrogance later. The sooner we set out, the sooner we can plan.”
Primrose said to him, “On that, we can agree.” Then addressing the rest of the group, she announced, “Initiate mission.”

The young rebels scrambled throughout the airport. Hallam accompanied Primrose at the entrance lobby, and they each carried a full paper cup and a paper bag of a sandwich and fries. Thibault and Filomena, who weren’t even looking at each other, sat a table in the food court, having ordered something from the health-trend brand. Vasco and Egon had slipped past security to survey where people were waiting to board. Kenshin had followed, still working to get a connection to surveillance. The young musicians of the syndicate were there, too, to leave flyers on looking for a singer. They had been trying for while, and had no luck finding a voice that they liked.
As they were idling, Hallam spoke, “There are only twelve of us.” He was also referring to their so-called cultists, who had known for a while to handle a firearm. “I had my doubts of making it this far. This time…” He was lost with how to continue.
Primrose replied, “I had my doubts, too, you know. I had moments of doubting my leadership, but just seeing each of you check back to headquarters reminds me that you all have something to fight for.”
Hallam looked down at that. Primrose had been open with him over a moment of weakness, and he hadn’t repaid her. He had been working with her for a while, and didn’t say enough to be called her friend. The blond then spoke, “I once had dreams like you did… Never found the opportunity to bring it to fruition…”
“Like college?”
Hallam only nodded.
“There are people that I blame for stealing my dreams and my opportunities, and there are people I blame for making this city, hell.” She scowled as she looked around, waiting for some suspicious men. Her scowl, even as she gulped her coffee, followed someone staring right back at her and Hallam. A man with stubble and wearing a suit but without a tie and carrying a briefcase walked by, expecting some kind of standoff, but he didn’t break his stride. Instead, he went on toward someplace. Even when he couldn’t turn his head any further and looked ahead instead and was hard to find, Primrose could see the man touching his ear. So, Primrose advised Hallam, “We may need to move soon.” She then said to her headset, “Man carrying a brown leather briefcase and wearing a blue jacket is en route. Need eyes on him.”
Kenshin was the one to answer on their radio, “Standby.” There was a pause that took too long. Hallam had grown so nervous that he gobbled up the half of his sandwich that remained and as he chewed up the last bite, swept the crumbs off of his jacket.
After those few minutes, Filomena said on the radio, “I see him; he’s just passing by the food court. In a hurry, of course.”
Kenshin interjected just a second later, “I have visual—wait… Something’s wrong with the next camera… It can’t be a coincidence that it’s down. The monitors of the rest are clear.”
Filomena replied to that, “Bribery.”
Primrose gulped her coffee, not wanting to waste it, before responding, “Very likely, but there’s no time to think on that. Kenshin, keep your eye on our man and guide us.” She then dropped the paper cup to tell Hallam, “Let’s go.” She started striding and Hallam quickly followed, dropping his paper bag and paper cup as he did so.
Following directions as they strode, Primrose said on her headset, “We can’t rule out that the camera monitors have alerted security or the police, since the ‘cult’ is here. Keep your eyes open. Engage guards if necessary, but it’s an order that you kill none of them. Our priority and only targets are Katona’s men. They’re the ones that don’t deserve to leave here alive.”
Vasco replied, “Agreed.”
Egon added, “As you wish.” As much as he liked fighting alongside Vasco and talking to Vasco, he regretted that he didn’t get to talk to Filomena. He tried not to think about that as he paced around, keeping his eye on who would head Kenshin’s way. The genius was as important as he himself felt to Primrose.
Vasco hissed on his headset, “I see him! He must have come alone to avoid suspicion.” Egon looked Vasco’s way. The dark-haired young man continued, “That’s Katona’s right-hand man!” The young men watched the one with the briefcase greet a few other men in suits who were waiting. “I should’a known”, Vasco commented at that. He watched them head to a back door, prompting him to state, “We must follow him.”
Primrose replied, “Go ahead. We’ll catch up. Everyone else: engage.”

That was when the young rebels carelessly made a scene, themselves, as they all just sprung into action, jogging or sprinting toward the idle chamber, which wouldn’t have people idling for long. Primrose, Hallam, and Filomena were the first ones to reach there, and paused to look around. That moment was short as Primrose strode again, the other two following her. Before long, several teens each in a black suit with red tie caught up, then followed by Thibault, who was panting. He couldn’t remember the previous time he needed to run such a distance, that reason being an urgent issue or not. As he panted and picked up the pace again, he started wheezing, and he was certain of something bad happening, just like with the fires that they’d started. He rummaged in a pocket and picked up an inhaler that he would rarely use. The young man spotted the back door, which he saw the recruits use, and followed.
The downfall was overlooking a part of the sting: hearing what the targets would say. Hallam had brought along a pair of binoculars that he had kept, while Kenshin looked through a pair as well. The narrow-eyed genius was the one to speak, “Those certainly are Katona’s cars; I know the license plates.”
Primrose was getting nervous; she was putting her friends’ lives on the line, along with her own, just to bust supposedly dangerous men. She was made more so upon hearing Hallam state, “They see a plane just pulling up, and maybe very low already.” They quietly watched as the plane reached the ground, but was leaving skids on the pavement just a second later. The side had a label to tell that it was of a commercial line. That plane trying its product placement pulled up just metres away from where Katona and his trusted men stood.
As the mob men idled, but watched in anticipation, Kenshin stated, “I count fifteen men, Katona aside. We can expect three to handle two guns… No uniforms; only suits.” He looked at Primrose to conclude, showing worry, “Top men.”
Hallam interjected grimly, “News on the other side fares no better. Auto rifles watching the box carriers. Five of ‘em. Those boxes are heavy, and labelled… ‘Flock-ay’.”
Filomena interrupted, “Well, I can’t determine the millisecond when they all have their guard down.”
Primrose hesitated before she ordered lowly, “Ready your guns.” All except Hallam and Kenshin did so. From the duffel bag brought along, Vasco pulled out a grenade launcher and Egon pulled out his old-fashioned submachine gun. When all were armed and finally Hallam had his handgun out and Kenshin holding his rifle, Primrose said plainly, “Let’s go.”
Vasco said as they strode, “My first shot will be the signal for all to open fire.”

It seemed easy enough, but they were sure to not let their guard down. When the men from the cartel were just handed their money, the first grenade carried by Vasco went flying, and impacted near the criminals, the force strong enough to make them fall to the side. That was when Primrose sent bullets flying from her two handguns and all pistols pressed fire. It seemed that the biggest problem was the men with the automatic rifles, which was to give the criminals the edge. However, Vasco sent a grenade toward them and the explosion was strong enough to take out two of those gunmen. Filomena was the one to break from formation, firing at the others on that side.
That influenced the others to break the formation, to only worry Primrose, and then Vasco, even more. Their situation quickly became dire, even with the gunmen from the cartel taken out and one of those rifles picked up. As fast as the rebels had made their reflexes from their custom drills, it didn’t seem like enough to ensure their victory in the gun fight, which had finally alerted airport security hoping to end the fight before it would get worse. The rebels seemed pinned down, using a car and a box as covers… until a few armed guards ran toward the small area where everything was at risk. One guard shouted, “Drop your guns!”
The young rebels managed to hear that, and saw that as a distraction for the mobsters opening fire the other way to use to their own advantage, which paid off, as the bullets flew while many of the criminals’ backs were turned as they left themselves exposed. It also meant less of a chance of detaining the so-called cult.
As the mobsters were distracted, Vasco launched two grenades at the cars used as cover, which made them each explode after the use of ideal force to weaken their chassis. That was when Vasco dropped that gun, and started making his own stride toward the cars, his own pistol at the ready after fitting his fingers through a set of brass knuckles. It was a plan that Vasco had insisted upon, skeptic as Primrose was. True to his prediction, Vasco out in the open drew the fire, but the others used the moment to open their fire, Primrose being the one to use Vasco’s grenade launcher on another car and fired the last explosive into the distance, to deter the criminals.
In the midst of the chaos that the crossfire was, the dark-haired young man approached the crime brain, who was tall with a clean-shaven rock-like face and shaved head, wearing a beige double-breasted suit over a white shirt and striped blue and silver tie. Vasco had his pistol in his left hand, and still managed to shoot the crime brain in both the kneecaps, and then the elbow after Katona stumbled to the side. He then knelt, looking down on the long-time mob boss—only to take a bullet in his shoulder, much to his fury, expressed through a mimic of a bear’s roar. Vasco expressed that further by smacking Katona’s face with his pistol like a club. Thankfully, the one having shot him got what was deserved.

Keeping Katona pinned was easier said than done, for he shoved Vasco aside. He wasn’t going down easy. The young man kicked him, only for his leg to be grabbed. He aimed out his gun, only for his arm to be pushed away, but that was when the weakness was exploited. It was Katona’s left arm that didn’t have a bullet wound. So, Vasco used his brass knuckles to punch Katona’s face, which disoriented him. Vasco kept up with that, punching his enemy repeatedly in the side of the jaw, then the nose, then the eye.
That was it. Katona was shoved on his back, bleeding and bruising. Vasco bellowed, “Look at me, asshole!” The mob boss reluctantly did so, the young man once again looking down at him, and one last bang echoed.
A very long chapter, having characters focus on one thing. That's one sub-plot to resolve. Sounds sort of overpowered, though, having teens fight a mob. Children have the wildest imagination, but who's to say that they do nothing they think about doing?
Please tell me what you like about this. I don't mind negative criticism. 
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Submitted on
March 17
Mature Content