Author's Note: I wanted to do something a little more adventurous and ridiculous. Not here to change the world just to entertain for an hour. It might come off as "episodic" to start but there's a plot. I just plopped us into the middle of something to start. Open to feedback, of course.

Bullet Catchers

It was way too damn dark out for him to see where the hell he was going. Shit, he didn't even know where he was. For whatever reason, not a single streetlight was working. The moon was just bright enough that he was able to dodge parked cars before he barreled into them at full speed. Quaint buildings towered over him and the stone street was quite a delight. He would have admired it if he wasn't in such a hurry. What the hell was he running for, anyway?

Nonstop vicious barking from a rabid canine behind him meant it was time to kick it into overdrive. Things were starting to come back to him now. The god-awful pounding headache he had was probably connected with the streams of blood running down his face. Something had happened; somehow, he was compromised. Based on the dress shoes he was wearing, he was certainly not prepared to be cracked in the skull hard enough to make him goofy. These were not the best shoes to be running for his life in.

It was time to get off the main street. A nicely placed car acted as a stepping stone for him to scale a rather tall retaining wall and he plopped into an alleyway. The sensation of dropping from such a height sent his head rattling. A few precious seconds were lost as he stopped to regain control of his mind. Harshly he shook away the ache and was back to moving at full speed. Down the alley he went. The sound of the dog barking seemed to fad a tad as it reached the wall he'd climbed. Still, he couldn't afford to let up, not even a little.

Swiftly he took an abrupt turn, excepting to find himself back on another main road. Instead, he found himself running forehead first into an object he'd rather not see. The exact imprint of a gun's muzzle was stamped just above his right brow, his own blood acting as ink. Metal always made him shiver, but there was something special about gun metal that made that shiver run deep. He nearly fainted.

"Jesus, Pluto, the fuck did you do?"

Ah, that voice. A relieved sigh escaped him. There was no way his blurred vision was going to adjust in this pitch black night. Yet the harsh yap that greeted him was certainly that of his ally, Tank. Unable to hide that his heart had regained its composure, he placed a hand on his chest. "I've never been so happy to hear your nagging voice in my life. Where are we?"

The girl he was talking to was getting ready to lower her gun to answer when she suddenly swung it just near his ear and let out several loud bangs. It was a good thing he didn't need to pee. He couldn't stop himself from letting out a scared yelp as he attempted to cover his ears. Now, there was no way he could even hear her answer. There went his heart rate – sky high again.

"What the hell?!" he screamed. His own voice sounded so distant compared to the ringing that echoed in his ears. "Don't kill people so quickly!"

"Well if you're dumbass hadn't fucked up I wouldn't have to," she said casually.

"Where are we, anyway?" he asked. The way his eyes were roaming in every direction, she knew his head injury was a bit worse than it appeared.

"Malta," she said.

"Malta! What the hell?!"

It was typical of the man they called "Pluto" to shout the same question of "What the hell?!" over and over again when he was frustrated. Next he would pull angrily at his collar or tie if he had one. Which, of course, he promptly did. Blood from his wound had soaked his shirt and the knot of his tie, but he yanked on both regardless. Even if it appeared as though he was so irritated he had given up, the truth was his mind was working quickly to assess the best course of action.

Her mind, on the other hand, was nowhere near worried. Instead, she focused on picking up the discarded weapon of the man she'd shot. First, she checked to see if it was in good working order. Then, she checked to make sure there was a decent amount of ammunition. Lastly, she pilfered whatever seemed useful off of the dead guy's body. Extra ammo, a knife, cigarettes, and some cash. Why not?

The automatic rifle was handed over to Pluto, which he took without thought. With the weight of the gun in his hands, he seemed to snap to attention. "They aren't looking for us very hard," he observed.

"Because it'd be difficult to explain why a diplomat hired a group of thugs to kidnap his own daughter?" she said in the form of a question. The bitchy tone she used added to the effect.

Suddenly, it came back to him. The last thing he remembered was getting conked in the head by a rather overprotective younger cousin of the girl they were after. Every time they had missions like this, they would send Pluto in to get close. Man or woman, it didn't matter, Pluto could woo and seduce any living breathing human. Whatever it took to get their guard down, he'd do it. There was always a way. However, it was rather rare for him to get so caught up in his own act that he'd fail to notice another person enter. Especially a ten year old child.

He let out a loud, exasperated groan of annoyance. "Fuck. Now what do we do?"


Pluto felt what seemed like the force of a car hit his ribs as Tank tackled him. It was just in time. The crack and echo of a gun being fired reached their ears just as a bullet embedded itself into the stone wall behind them. Time to run again. Pluto scrambled back to his feet and sprinted full force wherever his body would take him. Tank, on the other hand, had her eyes trained on the amateur sniper that had just tried to take them out. It only took one burst of her gun to send the coward into hiding.

Back onto the main street Pluto stumbled. He found himself within kicking distance of hound dog, its slobbery but sharp teeth bared and ready to bite. Startled, he spun around and flew back into alley. "Dog! Dog! Dog!" he shouted at Tank, hoping to warn her.

Unafraid, she raised her rifle, took aim, and lightly feathered the trigger.

All Pluto saw was her point her weapon in his general direction. Every body function he had aside from running seemed to stop at the sight. Heart beat stilled, breathing failed, and eyes slammed shut, he felt every muscle tense when the sound of her gun being fired once more sent his ears ringing. Of course, she was aiming at the dog, not him, but that didn't stop him from being scared to death. Her aim was perfect.

Still, he didn't praise her. As he passed her and ran further into the alley he shouted, "What the hell?! I could've died!"

"Fuck off!" was her response. The gun she'd handed him would've come in handy if he hadn't panicked. That was criticism she'd give him later, though. In the meantime, she needed to keep up with him and try to keep him from getting himself killed.

As she reached his pace and they were practically running side by side, he asked, "What's the best way to get communication out?"

"Fuck isn't that your job? I'm just artillery," she said.

"Useless bitch!" he spat.

She rolled her eyes. Pluto was the useless one. His specialty was supposed to be not getting caught, yet he managed to fuck up bad enough that they were being shot at, no questions asked. To send him alone with only her as a backup was probably a mistake, considering they didn't exactly play nice together. With shit on the line, they had to figure out how to make their rather useless combination of skills work.

The sound of Pluto ensuring a bullet was loaded into the chamber of his gun seemed to rise above their heavy footsteps and labored breaths. "Well we're fucked anyway!" he exclaimed before letting out the closest thing his body could muster to a battle cry.

Barreling into the main road once more he let loose with a barrage of bullets it what appeared to be a random direction. Despite the unintelligent appearance of his move, it was the correct one. Many bullets missed, yet enough hit their targets that it could've been considered effective. Exposed in the middle of the road, Pluto was quick to duck behind a parked car as the counterattack was launched. Countless bullets ripped into the car and threw the air.

"Holy shit," he whispered to himself. No matter how many times he'd found himself in a situation similar to this, he never got used to it. Where was the numbness everyone talked about? Each time a gun was fired he felt his entire body tense at the fear that it might hit him. Every crack of gunfire had him prepare for a dreadful burning pain that could very well kill him.

A lull in the enemy attack gave him an opening. He pointed the rifle around the car and held the trigger down. He had no idea where he was aiming; he wasn't even looking. Tank saw the majority of his bullets going several meters above everyone's heads. With only one hand holding the gun, the light recoil and it shaking horrendously. She shouted, "Stop wasting ammo, fucker!"

"Do something, then!" he demanded. Another wave of enemy fire shut him up.

She certainly did. One peak around the corner and she had her sights lined up. There were three plain clothes police officers with assault rifles and two regular officers with pistols. She poked her gun out. Each pull of the trigger was precise. Not a single ounce of effort and not a single bullet went to waste. Even if it didn't kill them, it at least incapacitated them. This gave Pluto the opening he needed.

Hurriedly in scrambled to the closest downed enemy and reached for his radio. The man was still alive; his bloodied hand reached up and snatched Pluto's wrist. Pluto froze. A heavy intake of air by the dying man came before a shaking, "He-hel –"

There was no time. Pluto wasted his last few rounds by plugging the man's skull with them. Hey, he was pretty much dead anyway, right? Finally, he had a radio in his hand. A few clicks changed the frequency just enough.

Certainly, the fact that he had just sprinted a marathon and had been in a shootout was clear in his shaking voice when he clicked talk and said, "The seas are quiet tonight."

Agonizing seconds ticked by without a response. Wrong frequency? Were they compromised that badly? It would be their luck, wouldn't it? Then, a crackle followed by, "Only for the lost Captain."

Success! He heaved a sigh and allowed his body to function. After all, it seemed as though he would get to see tomorrow. "The weather looks mighty rough. Probably a storm," he said.

"Fuck, man. I dunno what the fuck that means," was the immediate response.

"It means we're fucking stranded and we need to abort! Get me the fuck out of here!"

The moment the last words left his lips a fresh hailstorm of lead was raining down on him. The radio was discarded as was his gun as he dashed back to his feet. About two steps into his daring escape and he stumbled. Dizziness gripped his senses and his legs refused to work. Nausea hit him without remorse and he was suddenly hucking up that rather expensive seafood dinner he'd ordered a few hours ago.

"Now's not the time be a pussy!" Tank yelled as she picked him up by the back of his shirt. If that was supposed to help, it certainly didn't. She gave a small amount of cover fire as she dragged his delirious ass across the street. By the time she looked back to check on him, he was out cold.

A long string of curse words were exclaimed inwardly. Their little mercenary group had a pretty damn good track record leading up to this bizarre failure of a mission. Screwing up one of this high of a caliber was going to mean finding work anytime soon would be a bitch. Good thing they had all that heroin in storage.

Those were her thoughts as she reloaded and retook aim at the annoying, shitty shot cops that blocked their escape. Never once did she think about what the hell she was doing. Taking people's lives was always a sin wherever they went, yet she never had trouble with it. Growing up in a dog-eat-dog world made her realize that life really isn't that. Shit, wasn't overpopulation an issue? She was just helping the planet and her paycheck, that's all.

The unmistakable blade slap of a helicopter above meant they were in trouble. With the enemy having eyes in the sky, there was no escape. She wasn't about to go down without a fight, however. Within seconds her gun was pointed to the sky, ready to fire. Yet before she could pull the trigger, the relentless drumming of the helicopter's minigun ripped through the air.

At first, she thought to duck. There was no time to truly react and there was no need. The gun was directed at their attackers. Within seconds their bodies were torn to bits and the care were ripped to shreds. Well, now everyone definitely knew they were in town.

The helicopter remained hovering just above the rooftops. There wasn't enough space for it to maneuver safely down. Instead, a man rappelled down. The moment his feet touched pavement, he let down long enough for her to climb up a few feet above him. The newcomer grabbed the still unconscious Pluto and reattached himself. Something was said into his headset and the helicopter was rising and moving out.

"Looks like you guys had fun," this newcomer said. His voice was barely heard above the helicopter.

Someone was trying to pull the three up when Tank responded, "He did. I was bored. Can we go against something other than pigs next time?"

To this, the newcomer just laughed. Oh yeah, after screwing up bad enough for a rescue, they were going to be fighting a lot more than cops once the word got out.