Chapter Twelve: A Cunning Plan And A Sticky End.
It had been a few weeks since Sapphire had joined the fight against crime. Unfortunately due to his obstinacy and old age, his involvement in any battle usually ended up with one or more of our heroes getting hurt.
“This is insane. Surely he can see that he's just getting us in trouble.” Belle grumbled one day as she sat with Charlie in the tree.
“He says it wouldn't be an issue if we'd just him sort out the criminals his way.” Charlie sighed. “I can't let him become a criminal himself.”
Belle reached out and grabbed her best friends hand. “I'm sorry you're caught in the middle of this. It's not fair on you. You shouldn't have to choose between your family.”
“Grandpa is the one who's making me choose though.” Charlie looked away. “He's never been like this before. He's always been so encouraging and supportive of the Code and the Clause.”
“Maybe it's because he feels now that he's retired that he's not useful any more.” Belle had a sudden thought. “Maybe if you involve him more in your non-crime-fighting life, he might feel more valued and useful and lay off trying to get himself killed.”
Charlie perked up. “Did you REALLY just have a good idea before I had it?!” He looked stunned.
“What's that screaming noise?” Thomas asked Peter, who was helping him paint the front fence.
“I think that's my daughter killing your son.” Peter replied.
“Hey Grandpa.” Charlie walked into the retirement home later that day.
“Hey Charlie. You're walking a bit gingerly aren't you?” Charles noticed Charlie wincing slightly as he walked.
“Fell out of the tree.” Charlie brushed him off. “I was wondering if you could help me.”
“Of course! Nothing's too good for my grand-son!” Charles closed the door behind them and went to get some tea while Charlie sat down.
“Now, what can I do for you?” Charles asked after they'd settled down and were enjoying the tea and shortbread.
“I was wondering…I really like the Arm Scythes. It's just…I wanted to know if you'd train me in how to use them?” Charlie asked. Both he and Belle agreed that it was important for Charles to feel like he was still involved with protecting the city, even if it was via proxy.
“Well, I…sure!” Charles agreed, pleased that his grand-son was taking an interest. “Want to start now?”
“Of course!” Charlie couldn't believe it had worked! The pair went out into the secluded back yard, where due to the over abundance of shrubbery, it was impossible for anyone to see in. Outside was a small outdoor gym which Charles used every day.
Charlie groaned inwardly. This was going to be PAINFUL.
And it only got worse.
“Move it!” Master Revolver ushered his men through the big bank doors and into the large black van that served as a getaway.
The first night of Dingbat's shift as Warden of the prison, Master Revolver had walked out of the door. Literally. Dingbat had foolishly walked past his cell with the keys hanging out of his back pocket and Master Revolver had simply walked out of there and straight back to the Death Valley Gang.
“Hmph. Too easy.” Master Revolver got into the back of the van as it drove away. He was relishing his freedom, and the robbery was merely in celebration of his escape.
Suddenly, the van lurched, throwing everyone in the back of the van into the wall.
“Let me guess. Giggles has shot out the tyres with MY gun.” Master Revolver groaned, pulling himself off the wall.
“YUP! Only it's MY gun.” Giggles poked her head in one of the broken back windows. “Hi hi! You've not finished your gaol term!”
“No. I haven't.” Master Revolver grimaced. “Where's the truck?!”
“Truck?” Giggles asked.
“BEHIND YOU!” Sir Hyper screamed. Giggles flew up just in time to avoid getting crushed as a large truck rear-ended the crashed van. Master Revolver and his crew quickly exited the side doors of the van and rushed towards the truck. The Knights and Giggles soon surrounded them, but they were outnumbered by the Death Valley Gang members. Most of them made it easily to the truck.
“GO!” Master Revolver commanded. “Leave the others!”
Giggles groaned. The tyres on the truck had huge metal plates covering them – no way could she shoot the tyres out.
She instead landed on top of the truck and held on for dear life as it sped through the streets of Pleasantville.
“Where's Chuckles when you need him?!” Giggles tried to keep grip, but it was hard, and the Backpack could only help so much. She'd pressed the button on her watch, hoping someone would be able to follow, but the Knights were too busy taking care of the remaining DVG goons to be of any help.
“She'll fall off eventually. DAMN them! At least that Chuckles kid isn't around as…” Master Revolver exhaled sharply. Chuckles was standing on the pavement, the truck speeding towards him. But this Chuckles was different.
The truck was almost on top of him – suddenly he ran towards it, the Lions Claw Blade aimed below the tyre shields. The truck skidded and smashed into Lake Pleasant, leaving Master Revolver fuming.
Giggles landed beside her best friend. “Took your time.” She grumbled.
“Training with Grandpa again. Like my new decorations?” Chuckles grinned, showing off the Arm Scythes.
“You…filthy…little…BEAST!” Master Revolver rushed at Chuckles with a metal pipe. Instinct lead Chuckles to put up his arm to defend himself, where the pipe met its match in one of the Scythes.
“Seriously?” Master Revolver looked at the metal pipe, disappointed.
Chuckles grinned. Giggles laughed. Master Revolver fumed, until he saw a helicopter in the distance.
A helicopter belonging to the Mobsters of Misneach.
Chuckles and Giggles tensed up. What were the Mobsters up to now? A chain ladder was dropped behind Master Revolver.
“HURRY UP!” One of the Mobsters yelled at him.
Master Revolver glanced back at the two heroes before grabbing the ladder, which took off.
“Come back here!” Giggles yelled. She tried to take off, but the Backpack was out of charge. “Botheration.”
“I wonder why the Mob is suddenly helping Revolver?” Chuckles mused.
“Can't be anything good.” Giggles replied. “Still, it looks like Sapphire is out of the way now.”
“Yeah, this past few weeks he's been really good. He's been more than happy to train me up.” Chuckles said as the pair headed back to the tip. “It helps too that most of the crime has been petty stuff. Demon must have gone underground.”
“I hope he never comes back.” Giggles commented. “He scared me.”
Sitting in his lounge room, Charles was furious. He was watching the report which clearly showed Chuckles and Giggles letting Master Revolver AND the Mobsters of Misneach get away AGAIN.
Ooooh, wasn't he going to have a word with his grand-son when he next came over! Using the little “training” excuse to keep his grand-father out of the action!
“I bet that little Masters weasel had something to do with it too, the interfering little beast! Why can't they do these things properly?!” He stormed into the kitchen, grabbing the counter while catching his breath. He went to the fridge and grabbed a drink of water.
He sat down, his chest feeling tight. Why was he feeling so light-headed for?
He jumped as the glass fell from his hand to the floor, clattering loudly and spilling water everywhere. He went to reach for it, but his shoulders were burning and his neck felt tight too. The urge to vomit gripped him as breathing became harder.
He slumped to the floor. Not now. Not now.
Not a heart attack.
“You're very lucky to be alive Mr. Howzat.” The nurse said, taking the old mans pulse.
“Tell me about it. Why didn't you call for help straight away?!” Betty was beside herself. She'd already lost her mother, she wasn't ready to lose her father yet too.
Charles wasn't listening. He was too busy glaring at Charlie.
“How could you?” He growled at the young man.
“I did what I had to. To keep YOU safe, and to keep the Knights safe.” Charlie said.
“What happened?!” Betty asked.
“Your son lied to me.” Charles answered.
“I did not! I asked you to train me and I attended training faithfully.” Charlie felt insulted.
“You used your “training” excuse to keep me busy while YOU let the DVG and the Mob escape!” Charles yelled.
“Mr. Howzat calm down right now!” The nurse barked angrily.
“You and your little friend conspired against me.” Charles ignored her. “Your own grand-father.”
“It was for your own good. Look where you are now!” Charlie replied.
“Charlie, let's go.” Thomas reached out to take his son home.
“And YOU are going to sleep!” The nurse jabbed Charles with a needle.
The last thing Charles remembered before drifting off to sleep was being angry.
“I'm sorry Mum, Dad.” Charlie apologised as the family headed out to the car.
“It's okay son.” Thomas sighed. Betty glared at him.
“OKAY? He manipulated his grand-father and you think it's OKAY?!” She yelped as they got into the car.
“Dearest, please. He had good intentions.” Thomas started the car and they drove off.
“Yeah, look where the good intentions got him.” Izzy snapped.
“Didn't stop Grandpa from getting sick.” Lizzy added.
“Would you prefer to have him murdered?” Thomas snapped at his two daughters, who silenced. They knew not to mess with their father when he was REALLY angry. “At least if he has a heart attack at home he has a chance of being saved. If he's killed in the streets, he has no hope.”
“He's too old to be fighting. You guys should realise that.” Charlie added.
“You shouldn't be fighting either young man.” Betty scowled.
“Someone has to.” Charlie replied.
“Don't get smart with me young man. You're a hypocrite, just like your father and your little friends the Masters.” Betty folded her arms. “This discussion is over.”
“ENOUGH.” Thomas warned.
The car trip home was deathly silent.