The Sandman's coming in his train of cars
With Moonlit windows and wheels of Stars
So hush little ones and have no fear,
The man in the Moon, he is the Engineer…
It was a starry night, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The village almost seemed dead, like an eerie horror movie waiting to begin.
Then, loud wheels churned on the dark tracks. It was the village train carrying goods delivered and traded from the South. Entrepreneurs and slave dealers economically trade with the North to receive not only their own required gifts, but also to receive the latest technology. The North was known for their use of imagination and machinery, so every other continent wanted to trade with them.
Unfortunately, the officer forgot to check their cargo this morning. Two street thugs from the South had boarded the train and are finding their way to the north to finish an unsettled deal. The man who paid them had high requests and if the men didn't do their jobs right, they'll have their heads served on plates, well, metaphorically.
"Wait until ol' Banny get a look of this. It nearly cost my own arse." The thug looked down at the large sack they carried on their shoulders.
"Are you sure that's the one he wanted?" The short, fat thug asked, flossing his teeth with a stick.
"Of course it is. He was very clear on what it was. I reckon you weren't even paying attention!" The first thug slapped the fat thug on the back, teasing him.
"Ow, that hurt! Ah well, I reckon he'll like what he'll get. You know, I have to say he doesn't treat you nicely, Radcliffe." The fat thug laughed, his belly rolling up and down.
"No one does, Charlie." The thug pulled out a cigarette. As soon as he lit it, the train went under a tunnel, causing his match to illuminate the room.
"We're in a cargo car. There must be a lot of valuables in those boxes." Charlie turned his head to view stacked boxes.
"Forget it, the mission's top priority." The thug huffed, blowing on his cigarette.
"Oh come on, Radcliffe, what can happen? There's no one 'ere." Charlie was about to open a box when something jumped at him, muffling his cry of surprise and hidden him in the shadows of the dimly lit room.
"Who's there?!" Radcliffe pulled out a pistol, pointing it where Charlie originally was. However, after staring at the same place for far too long without any result, Radcliffe reverted his attention back to his comrade. The train had come out of the tunnel, and he tensed, watching as the moonlight illuminated the train car's interior.
"Charlie?" Radcliffe called out, but there was no answer. Where has that blasted brute gone to this time? Charlie was known to put Radcliffe into dangerous situations. One time, the fat man wandered off in Paris, France because he smelled croissants across the street. However, he didn't look at the traffic light, which was telling the side walkers to stop. Radcliffe had to put his own body in danger to push Charlie off the street before a car ran over him. No one was hurt, actually; only scrape wounds due to the pavement.
Radcliffe tensed. Charlie wouldn't play hide and seek in a moment like this. Someone must've incapacitated him. The man walked towards his sack and guarded it. He knew he wasn't alone.
Then something hit him in the head, alerting Radcliffe's senses. He knew the opponent tried to knock him out but Radcliffe was used to the old "knockout" trick. He grabbed the attacker and flipped them over.
"Who are you?!" Radcliffe pointed the gun at his opponent, but it was a dead Charlie, gaping at him with a bullet mark on his forehead. Charlie gasped and backed away, dropping the body. He tensed, trying to find whoever killed his comrade, but nothing else in the room seemed suspicious, at least, not to his knowledge.
Radcliffe turned to his spot, but he found out that the sack with the parts were missing. Panicking, Radcliffe searched the whole car for the parts but he couldn't find them anywhere. Frustrated, the thug pulled out his gun and shot every cargo box in the entire room. Nothing other than shattered glass and destroyed contents were heard.
"Bannister is going to kill me." Radcliffe shook his head, knowing his fate. Then, out of nowhere, a bullet whizzed past his ear, barely missing him by an inch. Pinpointing the exact location of where the bullet was shot, Radcliffe advanced towards the left corner of the front face of the car. A long, lean shadow was seen running away with a sack. Quickly, Radcliffe ran after the thief, his match lighting the way.
Lyla was from the Canadian Organization Without a Cool Acronym, or COWCA for short. She joined when she was 11, seeking justice and vigilance. She got what she wanted; however her skills were limited due to the policy of not killing her opponents. Lyla believed a person convicted of crime deserved a death penalty. They've had their chance at living for the greater good, but instead they abused that power. Now, they're on the hunt by the Police and other investigative classes of people.
The thug was right on her tail. Lyla threw open a car's door and ran for her life, attracting eyes of people dining in the bar. The agent knew she was in public territory, and she hoped to slow down the villain's chase, or at least, lose him in the crowd. Lyla jumped over a train intersection, finding herself in another room. This time, it was the passenger car. She had to find a way off the train, or hide until the next train stop. Both choices didn't really have good alternatives, but Lyla chose the first one.
"Hey conductor! Er, mister, when's the next stop, eh?" Lyla waved to a man with blue uniform that was in the corner.
"Grosero." The man muttered to himself.
"Hello?!" Lyla waved. The man shook his head, pitying her informal behavior.
The back doors were thrown open. A dark figure stomped by, covered in wine and injury marks. He didn't look happy.
"Give me back my sack, you thieving puta." The man pointed his long finger at the agent, the skin red and beaten. He must've not had a good time in the bar.
"Well this ain't of little value, Mister, and I know you work for Bannister. I'm off, eh!" Lyla pushed past the conductor, who uttered "Grosero!" in surprise.
The agent had to think quickly. If she led the man towards the conductor control room, the man would have access to the controls and Lyla would believe that the thug could potentially derail the train. If she climbed the ladder in front of her, she'd be subjected to immediate danger not only on top of the train, but having nowhere to go, she'd be killed off by the robber. Both solutions didn't have good outcomes.
Lyla hesitantly climbed up the ladder, praying that the train wasn't going to travel underneath tunnels. She stuck her head up on the roof and her body followed. However, as soon as she regained her footing, the thug was waiting for her, gun and knife armed and ready.
"Oh give me a break, eh?" Lyla rolled her eyes. She tried to run towards the ladder but lost her footing and face-planted on the roof. An artist was recreating a painting inside the car Lyla was on top of and when Lyla hit her face, the artist was so scared that he dropped paint all over his artwork.
"Hijo de puta!" The old man threw his hands in the air.
Lyla regained her footing and raised her fists. The man came at her with ferocious speed and Lyla tried to catch up. Their punches didn't meet their targets, but the thug had the upper hand. Lyla blocked his blows, trying to dodge the man's razor knife that was stabbing the air. Then the knife grazed Lyla's left arm, and she gasped in pain. The thug kicked her in the stomach and pointed his gun at her. Lyla regained her footing and resumed the fight, delivering more faster punches and kicks. She managed to disarm the man of his pistol, but the man's firm grip on the knife had her struggling. Lyla was growing tired, but she kept trying. The man only stalled, blocking and not trying to attack. Lyla lost her balance again and nearly did a full split to the capacity of her flexibility. As soon as she did that, however, she delivered a firm kick straight into the thug's jaw, throwing the man off balance as well.
"Gotcha, thief." She sneered, grinning that she had the upper hand.
Radcliffe fixed his jaw and stared at the lady who towered above him. She was good, for her age, and was well trained. She must've been part of the justice group Bannister was talking about. If she wasn't, well, Radcliffe would have to find out.
"You work for Bannister, eh?" The girl planted a gun in his forehead. Radcliffe tensed, then relaxed. She killed off Radcliffe's partner, after all, so she must've been either an enemy of Bannister, or a simple vigilante out for justice.
"You won't kill me. Justice doesn't demand for death, it must be sought with pure vigilance." Radcliffe sneered. The woman kept a firm grip on the trigger and a straight face, but she relaxed.
"You're right. Killing you wouldn't do anything. But I can stop you." The woman warned, picking up the sack.
"Oh, that won't be necessary." Radcliffe saw his opportunity and punched the woman in the face. Knocking her unconscious, Radcliffe stared at his knuckle. For once in his life he punched a girl. Radcliffe picked up his sack and pulled out a cell-phone.
"Bannister, pick up, ol' buddy. I've got your parts. Straight from Peru. I need a ride." Radcliffe stared at the unconscious agent. "Oh, and I got a girl."
The man sighed. Bannister never picks up. Shutting off his phone and clutching his sack against his chest, Radcliffe stared back at his decapitated agent, but she was gone.
"Guess I know how it feels when they disappear." Radcliffe sighed, and saw a hovering ship flying in the face of the white moon. It was Bannister.