by Martin Maenza
Less than a half-hour later, a pair of men quickly uncovered the sky-cycle that had been kept hidden in the brush. “Gotta hand it to you, Giz,” Trident said as he hopped on the back of the vehicle. “These image-makers of yours really saved our butts back there.”
“Indeed,” the dwarf replied, starting the engine. The vehicle lifted off the ground, speeding the two villains as far away from Hazard’s base as they could get without being seen. “You should never underestimate the importance of good planning.”
“Not me,” Trident said. “Not ever again.” He leaned in so the dwarf could hear him over the hum of the engine. “Hey, thanks for saving my bacon back there.”
Gizmo smiled. “That what friends are for,” he replied.
“Friends. I like that. Much better than business partners. They’ll stab you in the back when you ain’t lookin’!”
Gizmo nodded in agreement. “Say, did I ever tell you about the time I was working with the Fearsome Five?” And with that, the dwarf launched into a tale. They had the time on the flight back up to San Francisco and the Sinister Citadel.
Hazard was returning to the interrogation room, his face showing extreme displeasure in the search procedures. For someone so small, the dwarf was very slippery. He didn’t like being made a fool of.
One of the squad leaders approached hurriedly. “Hazard, sir!” he said with a stiff bow.
“The quarry continues to remain on the loose, sir.”
“Order a full lockdown of the facilities! He can’t have gotten far. You will find him!”
The leader bowed again and rushed off to implement the orders.
Hazard squeezed his fists in silent anger. He’d come too far to have any slip-ups now. He entered the interrogation room, only to find it empty. “Damn!” The shackles that had held the other villain were empty. He slammed his fist down hard on the counter, cleaving it in two.
At least I still have the Hawkes technology safely tucked away, Hazard thought. One thing went our way tonight. Still, the short one and his partner are loose. If they have escaped, I will hunt them down and kill them myself!
And with that, the criminal mastermind stomped out of the room to see how the search was progressing. His night would end when his forces came up empty-handed.