5.4 First Impressions

by Matt P.

Scotty Ravotti, known as ‘The Body’ and self-proclaimed World-Class Hottie, didn’t hesitate. He reached out and grabbed the attacker, who was two inches shorter and probably twenty pounds lighter than him. With the training of years of backyard wrestling for a surprisingly (perhaps disturbingly) popular Youtube channel, he pulled the man in to the air and arched back, driving his foe rough in to the concrete and the unexpected embrace of unconsciousness. Scotty straightened up triumphantly, while the other man breathed and bled on to the ground.

But the triumph was short lived, as one final man came up behind Siobhan and placed the barrel of a rifle against the back of her head.

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Officer Julian Shaw did not wake up that morning for his evening shift in a particularly heroic mood. He did not put on particularly courageous underwear, and his eggs were not more valorous than normal. But when the moment came, Officer Shaw chose heroism.

He had heard the first gunshot while he was a bit over a block away. It almost could have been a backfiring car, but he started moving. By the time he heard the second shot he knew what it was, and wished that he hadn’t been just coming¬†off shift. He was off-duty, barely, and still had his cell phone; he had the department’s emergency line dialed before he even realized he was doing it, and drew out his service firearm.

“Shots fired, old market. Coming from the psychic shop. Officer Shaw responding. Send backup.” He left the phone connected but put it in his shirt pocket as he carefully walked forward.

He came on the scene just in time to see a teenage boy flawlessly slam a man in a bullet proof vest in to the concrete, his M4 Carbine sliding away. Shaw chose heroism when he saw the other man raising his own weapon at the darkly dressed girl.

“Hey!” He called out sharply. The man started to turn his gun, but before he could act the dark haired girl did.

**** ****

Siobhan heard the call and felt the barrel shift fractionally, and she responded instantly. While Antigone took to music and dancing at 5 like a natural, Siobhan had always needed a more aggressive outlet. As a consequence she had studied martial arts for the previous decade, and her response was pure instinct.

She whipped around and grabbed the rifle’s stock, shoving the barrel in the air and away from anyone on the ground. Next her heavy booted foot lashed out in a vicious kick to the inside of the man’s thigh, impacting his femoral artery and dropping him to his knees with a cry of pain and shock. Her knee next came out to play, striking the man’s face and breaking his nose in a bloody crunch and spray that robbed the man of consciousness, the tension leaving his body in an unexpected rush.

She was about to do a little victory dance, or maybe spit on the unconscious and bleeding man–Or more likely throw up and pass out too, she thought–when she heard a gunshot and turned back in shock.

**** ****

Officer Shaw watched in a moment of shock as the girl, 5’2″ in her boots and maybe a buck ten soaking wet, mauled the attacker so thoroughly. But the other short girl–a sister, he realized–grabbed his attention with a cry of fear.

“One more, by the glass balls!” The sister shouted, grabbing her friends and getting clear out of the way. Shaw moved his firearm to the window, sighted with the quick movements of long instinct, and fired.

Border P.D. issued Springfield Armory .45 ¬†caliber handguns…for some reason, as all the nearby departments issued 9 millimeters. His barked loudly, and in the dark the burning powder was visible as a brief gout of flame that illuminated the street in its glow. The window shattered like a discordant symphony, shrieking and tinkling and then silent as no return fire came and the normal sounds of night returned. Silence punctuated only by the chirping of far off cicadas.

“Evening.” Julian Shaw offered to the high school kids, his own hands shaking a little bit as he holstered his firearm.