[size=18]"Ladies And Gentlemen"[/size]
The lessons had ended, not because there wasn?t more to do, but with the crowd building out front Kruger had to start considering exactly what he was going to do. It began with quick phone calls to the patrons who were supposed to come in to pick up their orders. He told them that they should stay out of the marketplace if at all possible. Most of them were already aware, the protests were being caught on news camera?s from the street as well as above in helicopters. A noise from the back of the shop had him turning. It was feint, but he knew his shop as any other keeper does. The back door had just been opened and closed.
Kruger turned to Nikolai, knelt down and stared him straight in the eye. ?Go upstairs, don?t come down until I say so.? The boy seemed oblivious to the danger, to him it was like a giant parade where the participants were dressed just like those watching. Niko nodded that he would, and promptly scrambled from the forge. Kruger?s hands fell to the first weapons within reach, a pair of wickedly curved Talwars.
?If you?re here for trouble, then walking into a weapons shop is certainly the place you?ll find it.? He strode towards the back entrance slowly, doing his best to assess the situation. A form moved through the doorway, a familiar saunter that Kruger hadn?t seen for a while. ?Damien, what are you doing here? You see what?s going on out there? You?re not with them are you??
?Came to try and warn you, but I got here too late. I ain?t with them, but gettin? around em has been tough. Back?s pretty clear though, you can get out.? Damien Richards was every bit a street kid, from the red bandana on his head to the scuffed up sneakers that looked like they were a size too big. He looked at Kruger, at the weapons he was holding. The gaze had Kruger putting them aside.
?You scared the life out of us.? Kruger watched Damien look around. ?My boy?s upstairs. You probably shouldn?t have come, but since you did? I?m going to need a favor. You up for it?? The teen shook his head in response, he wasn?t a kid to talk much. A nod for him was as much as a soliloquy for Shakespeare. ?Be sure, kid. This is important.?
?I?m up for it.? Four words from Damien, that could be an entire play.
?Niko! Come on down!? Kruger looked towards the door leading up, there hadn?t been enough time for Niko to descend the stairs. It was obvious to Kruger that he?d just gone part way to the apartment.
?Niko, this is Damien. He?s not as mean as he looks, and he has a really good heart. He?s going to take you to see Aunt Raven, and maybe even Addie.? Niko?s eyes went wide at Kruger?s words. He was definitely interested in seeing Addie again.
?Why come you?re not goin? too?? Leave it to the mind of a four year old to cut right to the chase.
?Those people outside, they might wanna do bad things. Right now, it?s just them. I can?t let them come in here where all the sharp things are. Then things would go very bad. Terribly bad, do you understand?? Kruger didn?t look away from Nikolai, he could see the boy trying to put it together. He didn?t really understand, but he grinned and nodded like he did. ?Good, I?ll tell Aunt Raven to expect you. Go get some extra clothes, maybe you can spend the night.? That had Niko rushing from the room, stomping up all the steps and thumping his way to the bedroom.
It also gave Kruger a chance to look back to Damien. ?I?m giving you my very life? Try to stay away from them, but? grab a few extra blades. No charge, just get him there. You might take to the roofs in New Haven. Might be safer.?
Niko must have been very excited to go, he was back in a flash. ?You packed underwear, and socks? pajamas, extra pants and a shirt? did you put your toothbrush in?? Nikolai must have been expecting this last question because he held up a Tigger toothbrush and then shoved it into the front of a backpack that had Captain America emblazoned across it.
Damien had been moving through the shop, picking up things testing their weight. ?You need more? What you?re taking with you, I?d give it all for.?
Damien secreted away what had to be the tenth throwing knife into that thick leather jacket of his. ?Don?t get me wrong or nothin?. You got some great stuff, but if it?s the roofs. That?s just gonna get in the way.?
Nikolai and Damien had barely stepped through the back door when Kruger?s phone went off with the text
from Claire. He quickly fired off one in return, then a second to Raven. There would be more before he was done. He called up a familiar name in his phonebook. To most Jorje was just a faceless name, but to Kruger he was a person to depend on.
?Hey? yeah I?m okay, for now. I need a couple of things from you though... ? Kruger was heading up the steps to the apartment above. He would need to change into something more appropriate, of that he was sure. He pulled free some of his old faithful ring gear. The black spandex with the team logo on them, a t-shirt that he knew was too small but it would stretch just fine. It too had the team?s logo on it, but it also had a huge anvil on the chest.
?I know.. I know? Look brother? Niko?s out there, and Claire with her kids, and who knows how many others. It?s just two things.? He stripped as he talked, time was not something he thought he had a lot of. ?Maybe three. If Annabeth?s upstairs, tell her to stay out of the marketplace?? He paused, putting the phone on speaker as he got dressed.
?I knew that one would be easy. Second, go to the arena, and tell Raye, that Kruger needs her to watch the news.? Boots, which ones were best? It was always the hardest part of the outfit to get the best match for the boots. He settled on a pair that he hadn?t worn for a while, the rest of the outfit was Rock Hard, the boots should be too right?
?So, third thing? can you bring it online from there? I?m really going to need it.? He cinched the strings down tight, and strode from his room, deviating his course from the doorway down to move towards the kitchen instead. He opened the refrigerator lifted one of the panels in the door and pulled free a syringe and several vials containing a blue liquid, placing them on the table. He took the syringe and inserted it into one of the vials, pulling back on the plunger and loading it up.
?So you can? Okay, one more thing then. Someone needs to let the Governor know about an improvised display.? Kruger flicked the needle with his middle finger, depressed the plunger until all the air was gone. Then he took a band, and tightened it around his bicep, checking the veins before injecting himself with the blue liquid.
?It?s not important.? He pulled the tubing from his arm as he slid the needle free. ?Me? I?m going to do what I do.? Kruger laughed at the jibe that came from Jorje. He looked at the five remaining vials, then reluctantly grabbed a second. ?Gotta go Jorje, be careful out there.?
Four vials went back into the hidden panel, the needle tip of the syringe would go directly into the forge fires. As he headed down the steps he sent one text to Annabeth, begging her to listen to Jorje and where he?d sent Niko as well as why. No sooner had he disposed of the needle than he began one final text
. This one was more difficult, not just because it was longer. It went out to someone that he?d once called friend, and now had no idea what they were anymore.
Kruger hit send on the phone, then closed out the text messenger and pressed an app simply called Anvil. A numbers began to countdown from thirty, he slid a blue tooth attachment over his ear, pushed through the front door to the shop, turned and set the magnetic lock. He looked left and right at the people who were in a rising state of agitation over his appearance. He said nothing, but the grin that he gave them promised much. He strode forward to the street, traffic was stopped, protesters were blocking the street, pulling anyone from their cars that looked like a non-human.
Kruger bypassed it all moving to the center of the road and walking the double yellow line towards the Owl. He looked at his phone as it scrolled slowly downwards from ten to one. He was standing beneath a pair of street lamps, one on each side of the street when the countdown hit zero and all hell broke loose.
Pyrotechnics went off in huge bangs, above Kruger a shimmering waterfall of light cascaded its way downward over him. Speakers that hadn?t been used since he?d put on the carnival in the marketplace blared to life.SHE WANT ME!Want
by disturbed filled the air. Shock filled faces that had turned towards the loud blasts, now looked around as the song began and The Anvil stepped out of the blaze walking slowly down the street between the cars. He climbed onto the back of a flatbed semi trailer and walked along the empty expanse of the bed. Almost everything had stopped as people tried to figure out if they were being attacked, or the watch was coming. The Anvil leaped from the flatbed to the top of the tractor, he looked up at the sky, grinned once at the camera crew that was above and airborne and gave them his signature pose. He turned his attention back to what was left of the disturbance at The Sassy Owl.
?Ladies and Gentlemen!? He shoved the phone into an inside pocket of his pants. His voice carried from the mic on his earpiece to the speakers above. He really did love to hear himself talk.
[size=10]Ladies and gentlemen please
Would you bring your attention to me?
For a feast for your eyes to see
An explosion of catastrophe[/size]