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Tires screeched as a large black SUV came barreling around a corner, the gunner on the car’s roof moved with an odd rhythm as he fired at the small Mexican teen in the alleyway. The bullets missed him, but he stood still while the car stopped and a tall black man got out and walked towards the boy.
“You have nowhere to run, boy.” He stated with calm certainty interlaced with contempt.
“Then kill me. You can’t touch what little I have left and you’ve taken almost everyone I care about.” The boy retorted with a confidence unbefitting of his age. A look of mixed confusion, rage, and disbelief flashed across the tall black man’s face like waves over sand, each overtaking the other.
“Almost?” The man repeated, “Who have we failed to capture?”
The Mexican did not reply. A red light appeared on the man’s forehead distracting the Mexican enough for him to forget the question. He swore and moved back a few paces, just as the sniper fired, knocking the man off his feet and on to the ground. The men in the SUV yelled in astonishment and began firing in the general direction from which they thought the shot had originated. Before any of them could refine their aim, however, 5 black-clad men stood on the roofs around them, aimed their respective weapons, and the car and all its occupants exploded. The Mexican looked around frantically but the five men had disappeared. He turned around in a full circle until he saw a solitary black-clad figure rise on the roof directly behind where the black man had stood. They held up their sniper rifle, strapped it to their back, and walked to the edge of the roof. The gunman slid down a downspout and dusted off their black clothes.
“You’re welcome.” The gunman said as they walked past the Mexican, patting him on his head, and knelt beside the fallen body.
The Mexican teen was not pleased. His eyes widened and he began shouting; “What the hell do you think you’re doing here? I told you to leave, to get out of here, to forget me! How could you kill that man? Why the hell are you here in the first place?” He seemed prepared to continue in this manner for quite a while, so the gunman held up a finger to stop his tirade short.
“First of all; I didn’t kill him, he’s knocked out by the superball I shot at him. Secondly, I did leave. Then I came back. You were in danger so I got the boys together and followed you here. You’ve done some very stupid stuff by the way.” The gunman, who turned out to be a girl if you paid attention, finished examining her victim, put the superball she had indeed used as ammo back in a pouch on her belt, and stood expectantly in front of the Mexican. All during her explanation black-dressed men had been creeping out of the shadows to stand behind her. When they stopped coming there were a good 20 men standing with her staring at the Mexican.
The boy was not swayed however. “Look,” he said “I appreciate the help, I do! But you know why I can’t have you here. I have to save my family and I don’t want you guys to get hurt.”
“You don’t have a choice.” The girl replied. “We’re here and we’re helping. You can’t get rid of us. I can protect myself; you have more important issues to worry about.”
Before the boy could reply the girl motioned for her men to tie up the fallen black man and to follow her. The Mexican had no choice but to go along. They walked down the alley to where a dusty old school bus was parked. The men tossed their hostage into the bus first, then climbed onboard themselves until only the Mexican teen and the female snipe were left outside.
“Get in.” The girl motioned to the bus with her gun. It was only now that they were so close that she realized the Mexican was taller than her. The Mexican didn’t move to get on the bus; instead he stood there looking at the gunwoman in disbelief.
“Tri… Don’t make me do this.”
“Talk later. Now we move.” The girl pushed the boy onto the bus and started its old rusted engine with a kick and a smooth turn of the key. She skillfully maneuvered the behemoth through the gears until it rumbled down the alleyway and out onto the city streets.
The Mexican stumbled to the back of the bus and fell into a seat next to a large burly man in black jeans and a black dusty sweater. The boy looked at him and asked in halting tones why they were driving such a noticeable vehicle if they so clearly didn’t want to be noticed. The man looked down at the small teenage boy and said in a surprisingly baritone voice:
“Boy, have you ever heard of a gang traveling in a school bus? I haven’t, because to me and most of the world school busses are transportation for the small, the weak, children. If you ever see one you can’t picture anything being bad about a school bus except if the children are in danger from hijacking or some other nonsense. I never wanted to travel in a school bus for that very reason until your friend got me to join her. Now there’s no other way I’d rather travel.”
“But how did she get you to join? She’s just a small young girl, how could she convince all these people to help her? Why are you here?” The Mexican asked slightly more urgently than he’d intended.
“Oh that is a story worth telling” he replied with a reminiscent gleam in his eye. “I was in New York making a drug deal when I realized I wasn’t cut out for this. Don’t get me wrong, I love the shooting and the thrill of going around undetected but the reason I was shooting and sneaking around didn’t make sense to me. Then she came. I don’t know how she found me, but suddenly my life was better with her. She got me out of that hell-hole and we recruited together. Then we followed you. I gotta say you made a big mistake letting that girl go.”
“Thanks” mumbled the Mexican. He sat back and closed his eyes, thinking. Words and pictures swirled through his mind. “One big mistake letting her go…” “I came back” “Go! Just go! Save yourself, I’ll be fine. Forget me…” Images of the tall black man, the girl patting his head, a park from before flashed while people yelled and children cried. A single tear slid down his cheek.
“I’m Robert by the way.” The man next to the Mexican interjected uncomfortably. “I’m sort of the 2nd in command after the Boss. That’s what we call your girl, the Boss. No real name for her, she won’t tell. So don’t use her name.”
“She’s not my girl.” Was all the Mexican said in reply.