Chapter 17:

Striking Back


We headed over to an old park on the outskirts of downtown as it started to rain. The slight downpour made the park smell of grass and old wood as we stepped on the soaked dirt. I found a bench with an umbrella on top, so we sat there as the rain worsened. Gisei offered me a cigarette. I accepted it as we smoked and began our conversation. 

"Been a while since I sat down like this," he started.

"Really? What makes you so tired?"

He shook his head and looks at me. "Elin."

I nod. "Then...why keep working like this? You clearly aren't a fan of killing people."

"Yeah, but I ain't a fan of homelessness either. I tried, Kunshu. I tried to find a job and avoid all this shit. You ever...think about it?"

I move in closer. "Think about what?"

"The bodies. Every bullet you fired. Every time you see a lifeless corpse knowing you're the cause." His voice quivers a bit. "I'm sorry I let you kill those people. I should've done something."

"Nah..." I put my hand up. "You know how many lives I ruined already? My dad was a very successful dealer. I helped a ton. You just think that they aren't you, so you keep moving. All you have is yourself in this world."

"That sounds pretty lonely."

"Better alone and alive than dead with a lover."

He stayed silent for a minute. "I'd rather die than be without Elin." 

I looked at Gisei. He was stone-faced. He blew the smoke as the lighting and thunder made their cameo. 

Our sitdown got interrupted by the sound of feet hitting the mud. We turn and move out the way of an incoming lead pipe to the head. Gisei was the first to react, punching the guy in the face to knock him down. I finish him with a stomp to the head. I grab the pipe and look around to see more of the guys rush down. 

"Triads," I say as the rain came down even harder, it was turning into a storm. 

Gisei tapped my shoulder. "So we shoot them and run."

"No dice. I rather not wait a few weeks for more ammo. You know how Buki is. We're doing this the old-fashioned way."

My old friend cracked his knuckles, smiling. "Great. I was missing the up close and personal shit anyways." 

We ran across the park, punching any adversary that wanted to stop us from getting to our car. I had the pipe, so I was laying into them from afar while Gisei used his strength to overpower and push over the triads. Turns out there were a lot of them hiding, waiting to strike. We got near the entrance of the park when we saw Lee, with Gory waiting there. She was bandaged from tonight's action, looking more pissed than usual. Lee had his arms crossed, hiding his amputated left limb. "You really think we'd just take that loss lying down?" 

Gisei smirked. "Pretty much, you only have a hand to stand on."

I laugh. "Hey, asshole. Need a hand?" 

Gisei playfully hits my shoulder, tears welling from laughter. "Look, look. Who am I?" He proceeded to an arm behind his back. We both busted out laughing. 

"ENOUGH!" Lee yells. We wipe the tears and rain from our eyes and looked at him, smiling. Our smiles turn to shock as he reveals a crudely robotic arm. It was like a metal skeleton, with wires and pieces poking out. It was a marvel and an eyesore at the same time. "It's a prototype, but it'll do the trick ripping your hearts out." 

He starts the fight, rushing forward and attempting to hit me with that freaky arm. I block with the metal pipe, with him punching right through it. I knew I wasn't going to win this brawl, so I duck under the man and run as Gisei pushed Gory out the way to follow me. I slide across the car and get in as Gisei does the same, starting the car. Lee was in hot pursuit, striking through the glass to choke Gisei. As glass hit us, and I saw Gisei was in a bad way, I figured this was a good time to use my pistol. I whipped it out and shot twice, one at his arm and one towards his head. His arm was hit, but he moved out the way in time to avoid getting domed. Gisei hit the gas, and we drove away as Lee checked his malfunctioning prototype. 

"We dealing with cyborgs now?' I say as Gisei speeded off. 

He coughed and spit a bit. "We gotta tell-" He coughed again. "Tell Gota!" 

"Yeah. Step on it!"