Chapter 84:

Guerrilla Marketing


“Do we fight or run?!” Katie shouted at her sister in the few moments they had.

“I dunno how we’re supposed to do either.” Frankie admitted blankly, watching the coming heroes approaching with still eyes. “I guess we fight. Can you fight?”

“I can do anything.”

Ducked behind the counter, Frankie picked up a long iron pole from the debris. A good bit heavier than the last one, she hated being reminded of her last use of a simmilar object. Still, she couldn’t deny it’d saved her life once. She prayed it would again, just one more time.

Katie lifted some bricks. It certainly appeared that the time had come to defend her dream.

“Everyone, fire at will!” Wheel called, needlessly prompting the already-aimed gunners to start their barrage. The girls ducked behind the counter, one tossing bricks at the gang as they tried penetrating the thick wooden desk.

“I’m going in close!” Lee dashed ahead as he brandished his baton, jumping over the counter to see the jumpsuit-wearing terrorist ready with a pipe that she flung straight towards his family jewels. He had only just begun to keel over in pain when the next melee fighter appeared from over the counter.

Oda had a staff like the neck of a tree and was miles more experienced with it than Frankie and her pathetic iron tubes. The strike should’ve been perfect, clanging against Frankie’s head in a swift motion- but she hadn’t expected the tenacity of the brick-thrower, who grabbed her from under the shoulders and suddenly cried out to her half-conscious comrade like her life depended on it.


Waking from a momentary dream of the ocean, Frankie shot to action, slamming down her pipe on the woman’s forehead. As she dropped out of her sister’s hands, Frankie felt guilt sting her.

“It’s… okay!” Katie panted, comforting her. “She’s fine. It was our only choice. We gotta fight, right?!”

“Eye for an eye…” Frankie held her head, wobbling as she nodded, looking at the tall shadow on the ground leering over her. Katie gasped.


She turned to cross swords with the wounded fighter’s edgeless katana, the glint in his angry eyes posing far sharper an impression. Katsuhiko forced the full thing down with all his might, soon easily overpowering the tourist in a meaningless struggle.

“All out of ammo, are we…?”

He swept his leg under her bruised feet, letting her collapse as he swung again towards her fallen body. In less than a moment he would’ve struck her, but Katie’s last brick cracked against his skull perfectly. The pieces fell on Frankie, and as she stood, taking the dull sword in her hand, she saw the tied-up shopkeeper still looking at her and her sister. She was at last becoming afraid now, her shop destroyed and being forced to witness this violence firsthand.

“More on the way!” She ordered, snapping Katie out of her haze as she lifted the knocked-out geek’s baton.

“Gotcha now, ya stinkin’ biddie bastards!” Wilton swung around the corner, kicking over the entire counter to reveal the culprits to his entire armed squad as he himself aimed his shortened shotgun square at Frankie’s stomach.

“No!” Katie screamed, making one last attempt to pull her sister away before her belly was lit up with burning, gnawing rubber that tore through her clothes and sent both of them flying back right at the feet of the shopkeeper, who couldn’t decide whether or not to kick their sorry heads for bringing this destruction upon her store or if she ought to leave them as the only ones fighting against the fools who were doing most of the damage.

“Ick… ah… Ah… oh, ugh…” Frankie kept groaning, reaching a new threshold of pain as her bruises seared endlessly in unthinkable agony. Katie tried to shake her to her feet, but it was becoming less and less realistic that they could possibly defeat the twelve members now staring them down, weapons raised.

“End a’ da line.” The shotgunner sparked, laughing to his compatriots. The girl’s teamwork had served them well, but his taunts were all but accurate at the moment. The two of them alone didn’t have a single trick left to draw from.

“Any last words?” Denny joked, now wielding a broken tube light for the ceiling in absence of his stolen rifle. Licking his wounds, he looked straight at Frankie and fantasized his revenge.

He was then picked up by a golden tarantula arm and flung across the room.

“Spider!” Katie cheered.

“Thomas!” Frankie sprung.

Before the squad could fire on the girls, the remaining legionaries all attacked, flinging everything they had or that was easily in reach in the direction of the marketing team. They found themselves pelted with gadgets, broken traps, empty guns, and plenty of discarded bats and other weapons as the horde then grouped together to charge the twelve fighters, tackling and wrestling them to the ground as the two forces fought with their very hands and feet, clinging to their hopes of victory.

Frankie thought they could win.

“Hey, what’re you doing? Let’s go!” She shouted at her sister, and picked Katsuhiko’s sword back off the ground to join the fray.

Katie swallowed her fear, finding her stolen baton again and running behind her sister.

The rebels beat on them like drums, doing whatever they could to restrain the remaining fighters. When the dust finally cleared, the fifteen weakened warriors laid out on the ground, shadows of their former spirits.

“Serves you right.” Spider scoffed, looking down on them. Frankie agreed.

“We’re even, Spider.”

“Shit, I still gotta make up for getting us in this mess in the first place.”

“You can do that when Bozo gets back.”

Meanwhile, Kyrie was slowly, cautiously counting something, like she was in grade school.

“What’s the matter?” Katie asked, looking at her and then over the fifteen of them. “We won, right?”

“Intel said… sixteen. Sixteen members.”

Suddenly, a dark shade leapt down from the hole in the ceiling.

Steward McOy