Spring: six months after leaving the Monastery, half a world away.
Sunar plugged his phone into the Bar’s recording equipment, made a quick copy of the files he needed, and then slipped out the back door. Dumping the thug on the ground of the alley he leapt into the air, grabbed a handy fire-escape, and scrambled up the ladder to the roof. Too bad the buildings are too close together for me to fly up. I need to stretch my wings.
He settled in to wait. A few minutes later, the thug slowly rose to his feet, glanced around, shook his head, then spotted the duffle bag. He opened it, gave the contents a cursory glance, closed it, and gave a furtive look around.
He seems more concerned about the bag being discovered than its actual contents. Something non-lethal then, perhaps?
The man turned slowly around, then hoisted the bag over his shoulder and slunk deeper into the alley, his head swinging side to side, and occasionally glancing back over his shoulder.
Sunar rose and followed, staying to the roof tops and out of sight – an inky black shape against the dark night sky.
Keeping up with him proved to be no challenge as his woeful attempts at stealth caused him to move at a snail’s pace. After some minutes of skulking through alleys, he reached a busy street and slipped into the pedestrian traffic, shuffling off with his head down.
High above, Sunar took to the sky as opportunity presented itself. The duffle bag made it impossible to lose his target despite the thug’s laughable attempts to get lost in the crowd.
The man took a winding route through much of the ‘bad’ part of town, staying on streets with heavy traffic and frequently looking over his shoulder. He never once bothered to look up. But then, he would have been hard pressed to make his pursuer out, even if he had. After nearly an hour, the man ducked into an alley, and then into the back entrance of a building.
Sunar landed on the roof of a nearby apartment complex and squatted down on the edge. The building the thug had entered looked to be slightly better maintained than the ones around it, but only in that the upper windows were kept clean. He jumped into the sky once more and – on a hunch – landed on the corner of the roof above the wrap-around windows.
A careful look over the ledge found that the windows belonged to a large, well-appointed, even gaudy, office. He pulled out his phone and flipped a special switch on the bottom, changing the microphone from standard conversation levels to high-gain, and waited.
The thug with the bag entered the office in short order, hunched over and looking defensive, escorted by two large men.
Sunar activated the record function and positioned himself at the top of the window, hoping that anyone who decided to take in the view would look down instead of up. He listened with interest as the thug rambled about what had happened at the bar. He shifted position, intending to fly to the police station, but the gang leader’s next words brought him up short.
“Youse guys,” the boss snarled, stabbing a finger at one of the guards. “Get some firebombs. And get the car. We’re gonna go down there and show everyone what happens when ya don’t respect Bobby Finkle!” He smacked his hand on his chest. “No one gets away wid not doin’ what I tells ‘em!”
So much for doing this the easy way: a lot of people could get killed if I let him do this. Sunar shut the device off, shoved it in a pocket, and quickly found the maintenance door to the roof.
The door pried open easily enough. It only took one flight of stairs and three turns to find the right hallway, judging by the suddenly plush carpet covering the floor and the two toughs flanking the door at the end of the hall. He pulled his phone and walked casually towards the door while staring at the floor and pretending to be chatting on it.
He almost made it.
As he neared the end of the hall, a hand grabbed his shoulder. Close enough. He dropped the phone, grabbed the man’s hand, spun, and sent him sailing six feet down the hall. The guard crashed head-long into the door, and his partner, and they went down in a tangle of arms and legs.
Sunar scooped up his phone and cleared the space between them before they even hit the floor. Two well-placed jabs, and both men fell unconscious.
The door flew open and another tough barreled through, gun in hand. An open palm to the side of his head and he crumpled to the floor.
Sunar pushed the door open and stepped into the room.
Bobby Finkle, two body guards, and the thug from the bar aimed their guns at him and glared daggers in his direction.
Finkle spoke with a sneer. “Who do ya think you are, barging into my place like this? You think your ‘noble’ dragon blood will somehow protect you, half-breed?”
“Boss,” the thug from the bar tried. “That’s the guy what…”
Oh, no you don’t. Sunar let out a wide-cone sonic-weapon roar.
One shot went wide, the other failed, and both Bobby and the bar thug grabbed their heads and collapsed.
Sunar leapt toward the shooter, angling slightly as he closed.
The man ducked, spun to the side and threw a punch. It was a perfectly executed maneuver and landed right where he intended.
But Sunar wasn’t there.
Moving almost faster than the eye could follow, the half-dragon ducked under it, swept the man’s feet, then descending nose met rising knee with a crunch of cartilage. The thug hit the ground and rolled over to look up in fury, so Sunar brought his foot down and broke a couple of ribs for the guy, then delivered a ki-powered fist to the other goon’s belly.
The man hit the ground like a sack of potatoes.
Sunar collected the groaning Bobby Finkle, hefted him over his shoulder, and fled back to the roof.
I could climb down the fire escapes with this guy, he doesn’t weigh all that much, but his hired thugs are going to come after him. Need to put some distance between me and this place fast. This guy is too heavy for me to really fly with, but I should be able to maintain a glide for a while. At least the police station is only a few dozen blocks away.
He leapt from the building and snapped his wings out wide. The strain immediately put an ache in his wings, and he found himself losing altitude faster than he hoped. I can’t decide if I wish the building had been taller or not. More height would have let me glide farther, but I’m not sure I could have taken the strain.
Three blocks later, he decided the building had been tall enough. The strain had started to cause a serious ache in his wings, back, and tail. Going to have to spend more time flying, and some meditation work on strength: I’m seriously out of shape. this shouldn’t have been that much of a strain.
Some people stared at him as he stumbled to a landing, others shook their fists or cursed as they jumped out of the way. He took off at a run, but didn’t get three steps before the crowded sidewalk caused issues. He ducked into the nearest alley and kept going.
Some minutes later, as he prepared to cross a busy street, flashing lights careened around a corner and skided to a halt a few feet away. Two policemen erupted out of the car, hands on weapons.
Sunar set Bobby Finkle on his feet, grasped him by one arm and nodded to the officers. “Thank you for stopping for me officers. I am mi’Lord Sunar Dawnsflight, and I have taken this man into custody to prevent immediate Loss of Life. I was escorting him to your precinct house to remand him to proper authority. However, as you are uniformed officers of the law, I will happily turn him over to you, along with evidence that he conspired to gas a busy night club, and was in the process of trying to set fire to the same location.”
The two officers exchanged a look that Sunar did not like, then nodded to one another. One of them ducked back into the car, the other approached him. The officer took one look at Bobby, who had turned pale and was muttering about falling, and whistled through his teeth.
“John!” he called over his shoulder without turning around. “Get off that radio and help me get these two into the car! The Captain is going to want to deal with this herself, and isn’t going to want it on the radio.”