“Are you coming down from there, or not?”
There was a long pause, as if his prey was contemplating their response, and then: “Nope!”
Detective John Mahrone groaned. He didn’t feel like playing games tonight. “I mean it, Pink Punch. If you come quietly I won’t let you get hurt.” He winced. Yeah right. There was no way he could’ve hurt her. The only weapon he had on him was a hand gun.
Pink Punch didn’t laugh at him. Maybe she didn’t want to play games either. Instead, the thump of powered boots on the tops of the shipping containers reached John’s ears.
John readied his gun and cautiously followed after the sound. He wound his way between the metal walls made by the stacked containers. Brownsville’s port was a notoriously bad neighbourhood, and though Pink Punch would do him no harm, it wasn’t her he worried about. She must be here for some reason. Stupid vigilantes and their agendas! There had to be some ‘villain’ here she was destined to meet.
John drew to a halt and pressed his back against one of the containers. The thump of boots overhead had gone quiet. Where had she gone? He cautiously moved to the corner ahead and peered around. Coast clear.
Something slimy grabbed him from behind and whipped him round. John grunted as his head slammed into the metal wall behind him. Something cold and wet wound its way around his throat. “I don’ts like cops sneaking about,” the tentacle’s owner hissed.
He was staring into red eyes, a face concealed beneath a hooded cloak. Something under the hood and beneath the eyes glistened. Fangs dripping venom.
The weight of his assailant was snatched off him in a pink blur. There was a rapid thump thump thump as thickly armoured fists pounded the hooded creature’s face, forcing the creature back.
“Sorry, Snake. No snacks for you tonight.”
Pink Punch held out her right hand, clenched in a loose fist. From that fist a mallet appeared. Or rather, built itself. From the armoured woman’s fist up, first the handle, than the thick weighted end. Like a million tiny pink lego blocks rapidly constructing the weapon as if they had a mind of their own.
“Wait…” Snake held up a hand. Or what passed for his hand.
Pink Punch swung the weapon down, hitting the man in the side of the face.
Snake slumped down, the hood falling back. His scaled head sagged to the side, forked tongue lolling out.
John pushed himself back to his feet, wincing.
“You alright?” Pink Punch turned to him. The mallet was already gone. Gone back into her armour, or whatever god damned tech hole she’d pulled it from.
“Yeah.” John ignored the hand she offered him and rubbed at his throat instead. Slimy, but no serious damage. He pulled his hand away and flicked off the remaining goop with a scowl.
“You should be more careful,” she continued.
John ignored her, shouldering past her and kneeling down beside Snake. He pushed two fingers to the man’s throat, grimacing again as he touched the skin. There was a pulse.
Pink Punch let out a sigh. “Relax, John. He’s fine. When he wakes up you can ask him all the questions you want. Ask him who paid him to cause all that ruckus down town last week.”
“He’s a vigilante. That’s why he caused a ruckus.”John stood back to his feet. He turned to face Pink Punch. “And since when are we on a first name basis? Fair’s fair - what’s yours?”
Pink Punch scowled at him. At least, John figured she was scowling. All he could see were her lips. The rest of her face was covered by the pink helmet and visor she always wore.
“He’s a villain. Working for another villain. Get him to talk, Detective Mahrone, I’m sure you’ll learn…”
“Alright, will you cut the crap?” John squeezed the bridge of his nose and let out a sigh. “You cause just as much trouble as these guys. More even. Don’t get me wrong - it’s fun to be able to have a conversation with you without having to worry about you shooting my head off - but you’re not helping!”
Pink Punch folded her arms and cocked her head to one side. “There’s things you can’t do, am I right? Like smash villains in the head with mallets.”
“Yeah, well I’m sorry, but I don’t have some super suit, do I? The Police Service has this thing called a budget…”
“It’s nanite enhanced body armour…”
“And we’ve got rules! I can’t go and bust into someone’s house just ’cause I’m suspicious of them. Or break into TechCorps offices and claim its justice, or the right thing, or hide behind some crazy conspiracy theory…”
“Why do you hate superheroes so much?”
“Superheroes is not a thing. Or villains. I hate vigilantes. All of you. Sorry,” he shrugged. “But it’s in the job description.”
“Come on, John. Don’t hide behind that ‘I’m a cop’ crap.”
“Says the lady in the super suit.”
The wail of sirens filled the air. A blue and red glow softly lit the metal walls around them.
“Ah, clever. I didn’t even know you’d called for back up this time,” Pink Punch smiled at him faintly.
“Not that’ll do me any good.”
She waved at him. Actually waved at him. Like they were two friends who’d met in the shopping centre and she had other things to do. Then with a whir of actuators she leapt into the air, disappearing over the top of one of the shipping containers. There was one single thump as she landed but no further sound. She’d made enough bloody noise before. Had she actually wanted him to follow her? John scowled.
Beside him, Snake stirred. “No… want to ssssleeep.”
“Okay, buddy,” John aimed a kick at the side of the man’s head. Snake slumped back into unconsciousness. The last thing he needed was him waking up. He squared his shoulders and huffed. “Yeah, that’s what you get if you try and bite me.”