T-Minus 3 Minutes
The City of St. Canard: The Muddletech Building
The sound echoed violently through the tiny room and out into the quiet, marble-floored hall – punishing the ears as it did so. DW pulled back the stock on his shotgun – the so-very-familiar sound a follow-up to the previous shot.
Launchpad slouched lazily against a nearby stone pillar as the taste of cinnamon danced across his tongue – the result of casually chewing on the stick in his mouth.
Reaching up with one hand Launchpad jabbed a finger in his ear, and wiggled it around as if it would restore his hearing.
DW however stood silently. Adjusting his aim slightly from Alham's liver to Alham's lung he continued staring at the crocodile – his expression filled with scorn.
Ears ringing so loudly as to drown out that oh-so-familiar sound the crocodile now watched in horror as DW calmly pulled back the stock, and took aim at the other lung.
Alham moved weakly, gasping desperately for breath as his eyes pleaded noiselessly for life.
Darkwarrior watched – quietly relishing in the sense of satisfaction he felt as the Crocodile's body lurched violently yet again under the force of DW's double-barreled-buckshot.
It was then that Darkwarrior – taking a deep breath – took a moment to admire the precision crafting of his instrument. Its perfect symmetry, its flawless function, and the power belying its clean, beautiful lines.
Lightly stroking the barrel he felt the heat built up from shot friction, and the rapid expansion of hot gasses. He glanced down at the spent brass – still smoking.
Then – inhaling deeply – he took in the rich smell of cordite and experienced a brief, euphoric high as he did so.
Smiling now, DW took aim at the Alham's head.
DW watched as the gator's body lurched a final time, and then stopped moving entirely.
Tossing the gun to the ground DW watched as it bounced lightly – the barrel resting on the motionless animal's chest.
"Have a nice dream."
T-minus 72 Hours
The City of St. Canard
Quiverwing fnished bagging a hair she picked up from the carpet, carefully tagging the bag with the location of the hair in the room.
"Go ahead, Dewey."
"I've been running the current case files against current events. Mr. Shon Mueske isn't alone. He's the third scientist assassinated in just as many days."
"Four taps, Quiverwing. One to the liver, one to each lung, and a final bullet to the forehead. What does that sound like to you?"
Quiverwing moved on to the next section, carefully examining the carpeting – her pen-light grasped gently between her teeth.
"I realize that no-one may have made the connection yet, but all three scientists had a few things in common."
"Nanotechnology. And … well …"
"Shpit it out Dewey."
"Each of the scientists were contracted through various dummy corporations – each of which leading to ..."
Quiverwing interrupted – her pen-light still bouncing lightly between her lips as she spoke. "Do I haf to guesh?"
Dewey took a deep breath. "No."
T-Minus 60 Hours
The City of St. Canard
It was the sound of the Thunderquack's engines that alerted Morganna, prompting her to greet DW, and Launchpad in the attached hanger. She hurried on her way.
"Morganna!" Launchpad's voice was urgent … panicked. Morganna's eyes widened.
Launchpad continued. "DW took two gunshot wounds. One to the shoulder, and another in his left lower abdomen. Both .45 caliber."
Darkwarrior lumbered clumsily out of the Thunderquack – Launchpad helping him on his way as Morganna ran to DW's side.
"He's lost a lot of blood! Get him to the infirmary, LP and set up an IV. I'll grab a few units of blood and be right there."
"Gotcha. C'mon DW. Hold on a just a little while longer."
"Need help, Launchpad?"
Launchpad looked down from the cockpit of the Thunderquack to see Gosalyn's pretty green eyes looking up at him. "Actually I'm just finishing the clean-up."
Launchpad hopped down. "Find anything?"