A sleek sedan stopped at the curb with a squeak; a trail of smog slowly dissipating behind it. The doors swung open, lopsided. Two sets of feet shuffled out of the car and onto the asphalt.
The dark-blue avian reached into his vest and brought forth a cigarette. A feathered hand flipped the lighter and lit his cig.
Click. He blew out a stream of smoke. The pink-dyed feline across the car held her paw out. He handed her his cig.
"So, you really think this is worth it?"
Falco grabbed a new cigarette. "Not sure . . . but who cares."
"I do!" Katt snapped, "One million isn't easy to come by."
He shrugged. "Hey, if the boss wants to give us a small share of the profits then why not take it?"
"I know but-
"Besides, after this we can finally get away from all this shit and start anew."
Katt rubbed her arm. "It just doesn't feel right."
Falco sucked the life out of his cigarette and flicked the butt, watching it sore through the air. It hit the pavement and he blew out smoke. "Has anything we've done felt right?" Katt frowned and turned the other way.
He patted his vest and then opened the trunk of the car, pulling out a small package. He hefted it up and down and frowned. "A bit light for something tech fancy, hm?" He tossed it to Katt.
"You're right. Maybe it's made from new alloy that's light?" She didn't sound convinced.
"Just open i-
"Hey, lookie here! It's our good friends from the East side."
A jackal walked out of a nearby alley smoking a cigar, followed by four others brandishing pipes. They quickly surrounded Falco and Katt against the car.
Falco put up his feathers. "Hey, we ain't here to fight. We just delivering, dig?"
"Really? Well, we weren't here to fight either. We're just giving you guys a warm welcome. Isn't that right boys?" They patted their pipes against their palms.
Falco slowly inched his paw toward his back.
The jackal puffed on his cigar twice before extending his paw. "So, what's in that box?"
Katt shook the box. "Nothing really." She looked to Falco who blinked twice.
"But if you really want to find out then . . . why don't you take it."
She threw it into the air and Falco pulled out his pistol as everyone looked to the package. He squeezed two rounds at the nearest two while Katt jumped the jackal.
She was surprised at how tough the smaller jackal was. He scored an elbow to her face but she managed to knee him in the groin. Katt stumbled backwards from a head butt and was immediately tackled to the ground. He brought Katt up, holding a switchblade to her neck.
Falco finished off the other two and aimed his sights at the jackal.
"Put the fucking gun down or I'ma bleed this bitch out." Falco dropped the gun. "Now slide it over." He hesitated but followed through after Katt nodded.
"After I kill you I'm gonna to rape this pink bitch!" He stooped down to retrieve the gun. That's when Katt acted. She back elbowed him in the groin again and the jackal dropped his knife. He tried to grab her but she rolled away. Falco picked up a fallen pipe as the jackal scrambled for the gun. He swung it down on his head.
Falco stood over the crippled corpse of a jackal, one of the rival gang members. In his feathered fingers, he held a bloodied pipe. The stench of burning fur permeated the alley. Around him were five other bodies. Four of them marked with laser burns. The unmarked one stood up, stretched her back, and said, "Falco. What are we going to do now?"
He jolted at the sound of her voice. The pipe clattered to the asphalt with several hollow clangs.
"I . . . I don't know. I forgot to turn the dial to stun. I didn't mean to kill them." Falco shook his head and balled his feathers up.
Katt shuffled closer to Falco, still aching from her fall and roll. "It's okay, they were trying to kill us anyways. It was self defense."
"I killed them Katt! I bashed that bastard's head in!" Falco tried to prop himself against the car and ended up slumping towards the ground.
In the distance the wailing sirens of the police were closing in, its looped shriek ricocheting off of the walls.
Falco's head snapped up, his eyes glazed. "They're coming after me. I murdered four people. They're going to –
"Grab a hold of yourself!" Katt slapped him in the face.
Falco shook his head and rubbed the bruised spot, all the while never taking his eyes off of the ground. Katt lifted her paw again, prepared to slap him again.
"Let's . . . go." Falco picked himself up and adjusted his vest before stepping into the car.
Now it was Katt's turn to look dumbfounded. She blinked twice and then slid across the hood, slipping into the passenger seat. "Ah, what the hell."
Falco backed out, turned the stick to drive, and floored it out of there, the car rattling as it drove over one of the bodies. Katt turned and said, "You forgot the package."
"Frank must've known about our plans. He set this shit up and wanted us dead. There was no package. No money. No nothing."
Katt rubbed her neck. "Ya really think he would set us up like this?"
There was a turn up ahead. Falco swerved the car and crossed most of the sidewalk. The sirens were getting closer.
"Did you forget who Frank is or sumthin?"
She could only shake her head. "You're fuckin right."
Up ahead a police patrol car rolled up and watched them pass by. Maybe if Falco hadn't been going ninety, the policeman wouldn't have suspected anything.
The siren was now following right behind them; no doubt more police cars were on the way with a good description of the sedan.
"Fuck it!" Falco made a wild turn into an alley and hit a couple trashcans in the process, moving toward a more traffic-populated area. The bent cans flew over the top of the car, crashing into the windshield of the police car behind them. The sirens slowly drifted away behind them.
The car rocked several times and spun wildly in place before regaining its grip on the asphalt, shooting past astonished drivers.
"Falco, you're going to get us both killed. Slow down."
He shook his head and continued driving recklessly. "We can't stay in this city with Frank. We have to get away now."
By now, the meshed sound of several sirens blared from all directions. Sweat poured down Falco's face, his eyes twitching with every wail.
Up ahead, the light turned red but Falco had no intention of slowing down.
"Falco, stop. We're not going to make it!" Katt grabbed Falco's arm and shook him.
"Shut up! We're going to make it." He shook her off.
The sedan shot past several incoming cars and the blare of horns came at them from both sides. "Shut up! Shut up! Shut the fuck up!" Falco yelled out the window. In the rear view mirror the police cars continued through the intersection. A civilian car rammed into the side of one and the rest of the cars behind it crashed, creating a larger barrier than before. Falco turned to Katt grinning. "What did I say? I told you that we-
Black. But Falco refused to open his eyes . . . his could still hear so that meant something. The sound of sirens, different than the police, but sirens nonetheless. He tried to move. Pain crackled up his right leg. Probably a torn ligament or a broken bone. Wait What happened?What about Katt? Is she still alive? He couldn't take it and opened his eyes to check the damage himself.
He was spread out on the ground, an ambulance to his right. In front of him was the remains of the sedan. The front looked great and the back was intact but the middle was all fucked up. Bent in, twisted metal, shattered glass, and all. Falco couldn't believe that he had survived that - but what about Katt? He tried to turn his head but something was keeping it in place. A neck brace.
A pair of paramedics made their way over to him. Falco tried to tell them that his leg was broken but he couldn't get any words to come out. They reached for something under him and he was rising towards the sky, soon to be riding in the back of the ambulance. He had been strapped to a stretcher already. As they loaded him into the back he could see out of the corner of his eye the red glare from concentrated laser cutters that firefighters used to free victims from their car cages. Victims? Now that Falco thought about it, most of those victims ended up crippled for life because if they needed to use something as powerful as laser cutters to free someone then . . .
Falco didn't want to think about greeting Katt in a wheelchair or unconscious in some bed with hollow tubes sticking out of her body. He wasn't able to see much more because the paramedics shut the doors on him. It was the last thing he remembered because he blacked out . . . again.
When Falco came to again, he was in a slightly less than comfortable hospitable bed and surrounded by white walls. A small TV mounted on the wall in front of him. He tried to get out of bed but he realized that he was cuffed to the bed. His throat was parched as hell.
"Hey! Can I get a glass of water?" Falco mashed the button marked for the nurse. The button was malfunctioning or something because a minute later a feline wearing the uniform of a chief walked. At least he had a glass of water.
"Finally awake are we?"
Falco stared him down.
The chief sat down on the edge of the bed. "Listen, you caused quite a stir today and I really don't want to go through a shit ton of paper work so why don't you just rat out your partner. Y'know, that pink beauty?"
Falco felt relieved to know that Katt was alive. He held out his feathered hand. "Drink."
The chief held it just far away enough. "Not until you let Katt out of the bag."
"Fuck this shit. I ain't tellin on Katt. You can go fuck yourself."
He set the glass on the countertop next to the bed and Falco grabbed it, gulping it all down.
"You'll both go prison for life if you don't tell me something."
Falco almost choked. "Both of us? Leave Katt out of this, you slimy two-faced shit."
He shrugged. "That's just the way it is. She was with you. She was your accomplice."
Falco threw the glass against the wall. "Bullshit!"
"Face it. If you don't give us something then you're both going to jail. However, I'm willing to offer you a deal. Katt didn't want to go through with it so we decided to let you have at it."
Falco folded his arms. "So what's it?"
"You tell us the location of Frank's base of operations and you'll get off easy with only five years."
Falco's beak hung open. "Five years? What the fuck?"
He shrugged again. "Sorry kid, but that's the lowest we could get it to. You might be able to get out early for good behavior and put on parole."
Falco shook his head, staring out the window off to his left. "You sure it's five years?"
In a speak-easy setting underneath a building, Frank and his affiliates were counting close to five million credits.
A dark-furred rat off to the side chomped down on a cigar before blowing it out. "So, took car dem boys, di ye?"
Frank, the orange tab, nodded.
A colorful bird sitting on the couch across from Frank laughed. "You so sure that they was ded? Birds are tricky like foxes."
The rat sneered. "My boys ded thar job. Saw da ambulance, tha I did."
Frank cracked his neck. "Now, now. Let's settle down ladies. Even if they did survive, I doubt they would do anything. Everyone around here knows that you don't get away from Franki-
Upstairs a loud explosion cut off Frank. The shout of SWAT teams filled the air along with the crack of a rifle. Frank scrambled for his bag and began stuffing the credits into it.
"Quick, get the cash!" Frank followed the rat into the back. He opened a hatch and they both stepped into a tunnel. "I'm gonna skin those two alive when we get outa here."
Running down the tunnel led them to a ladder that led up to a deserted alley. Frank climbed up the ladder first and then reached down for the bags of money. "Hurry up and give me the bags. you're not gonna fit through the hole with those on your back."
The rat nodded and tossed the bags up. He then began to climb the ladder when Frank kicked him down.
Frank smiled and pulled out his gun. "See ya." He shot him in the face.
He failed to see the police cars parked to the right and left of the alley until he walked out.
"Drop your weapon and put your hands in the air!"
Frank was shocked. He stood still, his body illuminated by the police headlights.
"I repeat. Drop your weapon and put your hands in the air!"
Frank snapped out of his dazed state. "Fuck this!" He brought his pistol up and several shots rang out.
Frank's body fell to the asphalt.
Nine years later . . .
Falco was in the locker room of the Great Fox suiting up for a flight outside. He stared into the mirror at his own reflection. I know you can't forgive me. I know that you're afraid for me. But I'll find you Katt. I'll show you that I've changed.
His comlink sitting the bench vibrated and beeped. Falco stared at it for a second before reaching over.
"I've found something that might interest you. Someone said that he saw a pink feline at a local bar in Kew. We should get to Kew by five at the very least."
"Thanks." Falco hung up his comlink and checked the time: 4:34.
He looked back at the mirror. The scar running from the side of his head reminding him of that fateful day.
You have nothing to worry about Katt. I coming back for you.
I still love you.