Bishop #1 - "now you see it.."
By Michael Murray
Bishop looked around the Warehouse for his "meet". He saw nothing, and it worried him. Eric had never been this late before, and was probably one of the only reliable people he would go to for information.
He looked for any signs of a trap. All he could see was the broken window, and the pipe in the corner, sticking out like a sore thumb.
"Just big enough for a bomb", he mused to himself, before a shuffling noise to his left startled him.. Turning round, he saw a rat, sniffing the floor for food. Something told Bishop that the rat was on to something, and he followed it out the back door, stopping by the Dumpster on his right. Suddenly, a hobo clutching a 12-gauge Shotgun burst out of the top of the Dumpster.
"So, fat Eric was right. Some freakoid cop *IS* Harassing him for info. Well, sorry buddy, but your number’s....."
The Hobo didn’t get a chance to finish. Bishop spun round, and, not wanting to use his weapons on the man kicked him smartly on the jaw. The man dropped the shotgun on the floor, and it went off, blowing the unfortunate rat into something resembling a run-over tomato. The hobo collapsed back into the Dumpster, but before he could do anything, he was grabbed by the scruff of the neck by Bishop, who pulled him up to his face, and stared him in the eye with an angry look.
"Who are you, and where the hell is Eric?!" Bishop demanded, angry upon seeing the strange calmness in the hobo’s face.
"Look at me! Where is Eric?"
"Right here Bishop."
Bishop spun round to see where the voice had come from. He saw Eric standing there, apparently unarmed, and as scruffy as always.
"Eric. What’s all this about? Why have Elmer Fudd over here try and shoot me?"
Eric drew himself up in a dramatic pose.
"Look Bish. The city is full of people. Homeless people. Jobless people. . _My_ people. With the money you gave me, I’ve found myself a place in the world. I’m not just some stool pigeon giving titbits of info to anyone who asks. I’m somebody."
Bishop wondered what Eric meant by somebody. He looked at Eric and saw the way his arm was reaching. Saw the handle of the weapon. Dived aside.
"You like this huh?" he said, looking lovingly at his new Photon Blaster.
"Got it special, off a friend you could say...."
Eric fired again. Bishop was hit by the blast, and roared with pain. He fell, but instead of falling unconscious as Eric had hoped from the stun setting, he reached out his arm and blasted the energy back at Eric.
He picked up the barely conscious Eric from the floor and looked around. The hobo had run off, but left his shotgun. Bishop picked it up, and held it under Eric’s chin. The Cold steel quickly brought back the man’s attention to the present.
"H-hh-h-hey man, I didn’t wanna kill you or anything! It was on stun, h-h-h-hh-honest!"
‘This looks more like it’s from my time than anything I’ve seen here’,
"Where did you get it?" he demanded.
"I ain’t gonna tell you that! I wanna wake up with my skin still coverin’ the rest of me!"
"You’re not going to wake up again if I don’t get told what I want. NOW TALK!"
The anger in Bishop’s voice, coupled with the shotgun in his hand convinced Eric to speak.
"Downshift! He’s been selling these shootas to everyone with the money! C’mon man, don’t kill me! I’ll tell you where to find him! I’ll tell everything! Just get the gun away from my head!"
Bishop complied, and Eric began to speak again.
"The guy’s in L.A! I got this by one of his 'associates' It's Somewhere near the........."
Bishop rolled along the floor to avoid another blast from the plasma rifle. It was hot enough being next to Eric when he was vaporised, and Bishop didn’t want to find out how hot Eric had got.
Looking up, he saw a shadowy figure in one of the nearby alleys, but he was already involved in a fight with a young woman. Bishop decided that stopping him was less important than finding the gunman who had blown Eric away, but remembered to sort them out in a minute. He unholstered one of his guns and looked to the roof of a nearby apartment block. There was the marksman all right. Bishop took aim, and fired a shot at the arms and gun of the man. It was dead on target, and the plasma rifle was destroyed, and the man screamed in horror as his arms were burned. He staggered around on top of the roof, but lost his balance and fell onto the platform of the nearby fire exit.
Bishop then turned his attention to the pusher and the woman. He fired a shot at a nearby pipe, and it exploded all over the man’s expensive looking suit, dousing it in something brown and insalubrious looking. Satisfied, Bishop turned his attention to the man on the damaged fire exit stairs.
"This is a job for Spider-man", he muttered bitterly, jumping to catch the closest undamaged rail on the ladder. He climbed up to the man and once again hoisted him up by the neck.
"Hey! Get offa me, before I call the cops to bust your ass for shooting me!"
"As I recall, you fired on me and Eric first."
"I got you? Hhh-h-hey, sorry bud, didn’t mean it!"
"Why did you kill Eric?"
"Hey man, no-one likes a stool pigeon! Least of all the Shifters...."
"Shifters? You mean as in Downshift?"
"Aw heck man, I can’t tell you nuffin’! If they hear about this they’ll have my guts!"
"I don’t care! Eric was killed over this and I want to know what it was he died over!"
"Awww man!" He looked round for any other snipers nearby. Thinking this to be a distraction, Bishop pulled one of his guns under the man’s chin. A reply was quick in coming.
"Alright man, I give in! The Shifters, they’re a gang from L.A. They’ve started to move further afield though, and they paid me to make sure no one grassed! Anyway, Eric’s just a small time leader, he ain’t got no links, he just felt big, you know?"
"Then Why Kill him? A guy on the small time isn’t worth killing without a reason."
"Alright, he knew enough. Too much. They don’t want no loose ends or nuffin. They offered me the job, so I took it."
"Where can I find Downshift?"
"Man, I dunno. Maybe you go to LA huh? Ask someone there?"
"Indeed. You on the other hand, are under arrest."
"Arrest! Aw heck man, I ain’t gonna spend no time with the cops! I’m deadmeat ‘fore you say ‘shotgun’!"
"Shut up and get away from here."
"You’re letting me go?"
"You could say that.."
"Huh? What the.." His sentence is cut short as he is thrown into the Dumpster.
Bishop pondered for a minute. If this Downshift guy were from his time, It’d figure. If not, he wondered what the hell was going on.
"I’ve got to get me to LA" He muttered.