No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Thanks to a tip called in on the anonymous tip line, two of the state's finest Texas rangers ran out of the rangers' headquarters in order to apprehend three dangerous criminals, whom they had been hunting since the men and woman had viciously killed three bystanders during a bank heist that had gone terribly wrong. That had been over two weeks ago and finally the rangers' pleas for any information had paid off.
Once they had arrived at the local bar where the tip had led them, Walker and Trivette cautiously walked inside, ready for a fight they knew would be inevitable, but as they did so, the rangers found a number of men groaning on the ground in pain, all looking like they had just been in a fight and lost.
Trivette was the first to speak up as he quizzically looked at his partner, then over at the bartender as he asked, "What on earth happened here? Who did this?"
Before the man behind the bar could answer, a familiar voice sounded from across the room saying, "We did and let me tell you, these guys did not go down easy."
"Carlos, we should have known," Walker responded with a smile as Carols Sandoval, the former detective, now turned private investigator, and his partner, Trent Malloy walked forward and shook Walker's and Trivette's hands in a friendly greeting.
"This certainly looks like your handiwork," Trivette replied sarcastically.
Carlos stared at his friend and asked, "Exactly what are you implying?"
Trivette answered, "Nothing. It's just that usually when we get into a fight, our guys go down and remain unconscious. You two tend to leave them to groan and wallow in their pain."
"Sorry to get in the middle of your take down, Walker, but these men and the woman riding with them were about to leave and there was nothing we could do, but fight them," Trent said before Carlos could retort to Trivette's jibes. "We heard about them from the news and your inquiries for information, so when we happened to see them walk into this place on our way to visit with a client, we knew we needed to do something to help you. We didn't plan to fight them, but when we tried to stall them, they figured we were cops and so they started it."
"How did you know to come here by the way?" Carols asked. "We didn't get the chance to call you guys before they attacked us."
Walker responded, "An anonymous call. Someone else recognized our suspects too. Thanks for the help. These men and woman are wanted for the deaths of three people and the robberies of at least four different banks and jewelry shops throughout this city alone."
Trivette nodded and then added, "There are most likely more criminal acts that we'll discover they've committed later on."
"Let us know if there' anything more we can do to help," Trent replied as he turned to look at his partner and best friend since they were kids. "We should get going. I told Nikki we'd be there over a half hour ago and by now she's probably cursing us for convincing her to help us out."
"Who's Nikki?" Trivette asked curiously. "Is she another one of your soon to be failed pursuits, Carlos?"
Carlos scoffed as he answered, "Hardly. No, she's this unbelievably spoiled rich girl, whose father hired us to protect from a stalker until the man's put in prison for the rest of his life. It took a lot for us to convince her to testify against him. I wouldn't date this girl even if I was paid a million bucks."
Trent laughed and retorted, "Yes you would. When it comes to money and a pretty woman, you'd do just about anything."
"Yeah, you're probably right," Carlos said. "Besides, she really is hot, but that doesn't change how I feel about her. I still hate her."
"Let's go," Trent spoke as the two investigators walked out, leaving Walker and Trivette behind to finish dealing with the men on the ground.
Trivette began to finish cuffing those whom Trent and Carlos hadn't after their fight, as he spoke up saying, "We should have sent Sydney and Gage here instead."
Walker smiled as he asked, "Are you feeling cheated because Carlos and Trent got here first and took these guys down for us? I thought that just the other day you were complaining that you were getting tired of going home at night with a sore hand or a headache due to all the fighting we do?"
"I take it back," the younger ranger responded. "What can I say, if it wasn't for all of our fights we get into day after day, our jobs would be boring."
"I think you're right," Walker replied. "Let's get them back to the station. The sooner we finish with them, the sooner we can get our paperwork done and then we can get home to the women in our lives."
Later, in the middle of the night…
Trent finally pulled into the parking area outside the Thunder Karate dojo where he taught karate and self defense classes, which was also where he lived, in a small apartment just above the dojo. He and Carlos had finished checking in with Nikki, then just as they were leaving, they were forced into another brawl, as Nikki's stalker had hired a group of thugs to attack them and kidnap her. The men were easily taken down, but it took several hours for the two private investigators to calm the woman and her father, who was angry that Trent and Carlos had allowed the criminals to get so close.
When they finally finished, Trent tried to invite Carlos over for another lesson, as Trent was working to teach his friend the martial arts after having been targeted by a psychopath and nearly killed. The experience was enough to get Carlos to want to learn how to better defend himself without always the use of his gun. However, Carlos declined Trent's offer that night as he told Trent that he had a date lined up, despite the lateness of the hour.
Later, when he walked inside alone, Trent caught the overwhelming smell of gasoline from within the building and it wasn't long before flames suddenly erupted within the main room where he taught his classes. Trent ran deeper inside and saw shadows of the men he knew had started this, but began to attempt to snuff out the fire, as the flames weren't yet too large, rather than go after them. However, as he was concentrating on doing so, a shot suddenly sounded and a deep pain welled up within him, causing him to collapse hard to the ground, blood beginning to pool out between his fingers from a wound in his chest. Trent tried to get a look at the person who had shot him, but could only make out a shadow, just as he had seen of the others.
The shooter didn't stick around to watch his victim suffer, as he ran past the younger man before he too would be trapped inside with the flames growing larger and larger. Trent could barely move as the pain was near unbearable and the smoke had begun to overwhelm his senses, but knew that if he didn't fight through it, he was going to die and so he mustered up what little strength he had left, struggled to pull himself out until he was far enough away from his dojo, then collapsed down again onto the pavement. As his consciousness slowly slipped away, Trent watched helplessly as the dojo his father had built and left to him burned. Unconsciousness claimed him before help finally arrived.