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Old August 26th, 2012 (01:19 AM).
Elite Overlord LeSabre™'s Avatar
Elite Overlord LeSabre™ Elite Overlord LeSabre™ is offline
I AM VERY DISGUSTED WITH THE TRASHY MAN.
Gold Tier
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 9840 Pineville-Matthews Road
Age: 89
Nature: Quirky
Posts: 9,569
Notes: Hey, guys, sorry for the delay, but Chapter 4 is ready! And it's my 9,000th post too! And yes, I did totally have this planned out xD

Thanks to Haruka of Hoenn for proofreading the chapter!

This installment is rated PG-13 for language, violence, and automotive destruction and mayhem.

Enjoy

Chapter 4

Bartles Estate, May 31, 5:41 AM

At a time when they would normally be sleeping, the father and son team were awake, along with their assistants Tripp and Mercer. “I’m sorry, sir,” Tripp said nervously. “I just got off the phone with all of our men, and none of them reported seeing those agents or their car at any of the town’s hotels.”

Tobias Bartles smiled. “Oh, well, you tried your best. Nothing we can do now except try again.” Without warning, he grabbed Tripp’s head and snapped it back violently. Red, meanwhile, began punching the man in the stomach.

Tobias put his face right in front of his assistant’s, grinding his teeth and snarling like a vicious dog. “And if you don’t get me results this time, I can guarantee you that your death will be very slow and very, VERY painful. You had better make sure that those agents do not make it to Celadon, as if your life depended on it. Because it does.” With that, the elder Bartles released his grip, shoving the man’s head forward. Red delivered one more punch to Tripp’s belly, knocking him to the floor.

“No, I’m not done with you yet,” came Red’s mechanical droning. “It’s about time you learn that failure is no longer an option. We’ve given you several chances, and so far you haven’t proven to be worth shit to us.” The young man grabbed his father’s revolver. Tripp began looking on and trembling in fear. Red pistol-whipped him a dozen more times. During this beating, Tobias continued to yell at him.

“Do you know why I hired you? It wasn’t for your dashing good looks, and it sure as hell wasn’t for your secretarial skills. No, I pay you six goddamn figures a year for you to solve problems for me. So, since you seem completely unable to solve this problem, why the hell should I continue to employ you?”

With one final whack to the side of the head, Red finished his brutal, bloody assault. After a few minutes of coughing up blood, Tripp had finally regained his composure. Red had crossed his arms across his chest, but with his hand still on his father’s gun. Glaring at Tripp, he asked, “So, what’s your plan? Go on, don’t just sit there like a dumbass. Tell us now!”

Still short of breath, he said to his partner, “Mercer, get on the phone with Tom McCollum.”

“And who might that be?” asked Red, his glare still unwavering.

“Ex-military. Leads a group of mercenaries. I called him in yesterday just in case something like this happened. He and his group are waiting on Route 7 ready to take those agents and Turner down. They’ve got guns and a fleet of big SUVs. There’s no way they’re gonna fail.”

“You better be right about that,” growled Tobias. He turned his attention to the other man, who was still on the phone. “Mercer! Tell Mr. McCollum that there’s a ten million dollar bounty on their heads, but it’s only payable if all seven of them are dead.”

Saffron City, 6:47 AM

Waking up before Sabrina, the four agents had hit the early morning streets of Saffron. This time, Alexis and Shannon were seated in the car’s fold-out third row seats, which faced the rear of the station wagon. They had planned their route out of town using the internet to avoid passing by any hotels. Unfortunately, as they were driving, they spotted two hotels that weren’t on their map… an AmericInn and a Sleep Inn, directly across from each other.

Lisa frowned. “Damn, I guess these two hotels were too new to have been included on Google Maps… looks we’ll have to grin and bear it.”

Sure enough, as they drove past the hotels, two men in a red Nissan Altima made a call. “Mr. Tripp, this is Kane. Me and Robinson just spotted that wagon drive past the AmericInn. I didn’t see anyone in the middle row seats, though.”

“What are you waiting for, you idiots? Go after them! Turner and his family are probably just lying down and sleeping so you can’t see them, but that’s definitely the car! Now get your asses in gear! Go! Bartles will have my ass if you morons fail!”

The Nissan peeled out of the hotel parking lot and began chasing after the Buick. It wasn’t long before Lisa spotted the car coming up fast in her rear view mirror. “Yep, looks like they spotted us… I’ve gotta lead these guys out of town before innocent civilians get caught up in the crossfire.”

Lisa activated her car’s dashboard-mounted siren and light unit, emitting loud wailing and rapidly-flashing blue lights. Pressing her black dress shoe against the accelerator, the Buick began to gain speed as the speedometer started creeping upward past seventy miles per hour. At the next traffic light, Lisa made a hard right onto the main road out of town. The red car followed, but the rear end swung out as it made the turn, causing the vehicle to fishtail. The few seconds it took for the men to straighten out gave Lisa and her partners some breathing room. But the thugs used the straight stretch of six-lane boulevard to close the distance, as both cars whizzed past shopping plazas and car dealerships in a blur.

“Here they come again!” yelled out Leaf as she watched the Nissan quickly approach in the mirror.

Grabbing a revolver, the passenger of the Nissan stuck his head out the window and began firing shots at the back of the girls’ station wagon. The bullets passed through the rear glass, but struck a transparent shield behind the front seats, falling harmlessly into the unoccupied second row passenger area. Lisa flipped a switch and the rear window of the Buick rolled down into the tailgate.

“All right, girls, you know what to do!” the driver called back to her rear seat passengers from behind the bullet-resistant glass.

“Right, we’ll try to hold these guys off!” Alexis and Shannon quickly grabbed their .40 pistols from the holsters built into their skirts and began returning fire, ducking below the window whenever shots were incoming.

Lisa told her passenger, “One more thing I like about this car… the back seats face the rear, so people in the back can get clear shots at any pursuers.” Leaf simply nodded at this comment. The two parties continued to exchange bullets, but neither side was able to get a clean, debilitating hit on the other’s vehicle.

As the chase continued toward the city limits, Lisa began seeing what she didn’t want to see – innocent civilian commuters on the road, possibly in the line of fire. Though dodging between the few cars wasn’t a problem yet, it wouldn’t be long before the city streets would be packed with traffic.

Behind the wheel, Lisa frowned. “Damn, I need to end this quickly… or at least get us out of the city!” An idea suddenly came to her. She called out, “Shannon, push that red button on the side panel!”

The girl ceased fire to do as instructed. A thunk could be heard beneath the girls’ feet as they saw a black object fall to the roadway behind the car. It began unrolling outward in both directions until it spread across three lanes. The Nissan rolled over the black strip, causing the tires to burst in an explosion of black rubber and smoke. The car began swerving and slowing down as more chunks of the tires flew off the vehicle.

Lisa got on her police radio. “This is a League Special Agent currently being pursued by armed gunmen. I am requesting assistance. I am in an unmarked blue Buick Roadmaster wagon; the suspects are in a red Nissan Altima. I also need someone to retrieve a spike strip I dropped to puncture the suspects’ tires.”

“Ten-four, backup units are en route.”

Despite sparks and smoke emanating from both front wheels, the assailants continued their pursuit, the driver jerking the steering wheel in an attempt to keep their crippled car moving in a straight line. Shannon had resumed firing on the car alongside Alexis. “Damn, don’t these guys know when to quit?”

Up front, Lisa continued to weave from side to side, throwing the suspects’ aim off. A voice came in through her police radio. “Ten-four, special agent, this is a Highway Patrol officer, I have the suspect vehicle in sight now, preparing to execute a PIT.”

Lisa picked up the microphone and answered, “Ten-four, proceed to PIT the vehicle.”

With the gunmen focused entirely on their target in front of them, they failed to notice the trooper’s Crown Vic pull up onto their flank until the officer’s bumper had already made contact with their fender. The precise hit sent them spinning into the ditch in a cloud of smoke, right at the edge of the Saffron City limits. The officer screeched to a stop at the scene of the crash.

“Special Agent, we have the suspect vehicle stopped. Do you need any more backup?”

“Please send a couple more units – I have a feeling that the guys who sent them have more of their men waiting for me.”

“Roger, sending additional units to Route 7 heading west from Saffron.”

Leaf turned to Lisa and sulked. “Figures they wouldn’t make this easy for us.”

Lisa shrugged. “They rarely do. Keep on your toes, girls; I don’t think that’s the last of them.”

Sure enough, not a minute later, a black Lexus RX300 appeared in the rear view mirror, approaching fast.

“Looks like they’re gonna try to ram us! Brace for impact!” warned Lisa. She pressed her foot down harder on the accelerator, but the vehicle behind her still closed the distance.

The midsize luxury SUV slammed directly into the rear of the Buick, but its reinforced bumper stayed intact despite the impact. The force did, however, shake up the occupants in the station wagon, and Lisa had to jerk the wheel back and forth to corral her car’s fishtailing. The Lexus continued to ride Lisa’s back bumper, trying to cause the big car to lose control. The plastic cover on the SUV’s bumper began to crack and splinter as pieces were sent flying, but the vehicle continued to relentlessly ram the station wagon directly in front of it.

“We gotta get these guys off our rear!” Leaf shouted. Then she looked in the rear view mirror and saw the passenger reach under his seat. “Watch it, I think they’re gonna pull a gun on us!”

Alexis and Shannon ducked as the passenger began firing shots into the open rear window of the Buick. The bullets once again struck the protective shield behind the front seats, whizzing over Alexis and Shannon and being stopped in midair before reaching Leaf and Lisa.

The driver of the Buick turned back to face her partners. Through the transparent barrier, she yelled, “Alexis, there’s an AR-15 stowed in that compartment on the side panel. Grab it and show these guys who they’re dealing with! They want to try to run us off the road and shoot us, I think that’s justification enough to bring out the big guns!”

The blonde-haired special agent quickly opened the compartment and pulled out a big, long assault rifle. Lisa sped up to put some distance between her and her pursuer. Now with some breathing room, Alexis waited for an opening. When she saw the passenger stop shooting to reload, she opened fire on the front grille of the SUV. Multiple bullets ripped through the radiator, causing the engine compartment to explode in a fiery burst of flames and smoke. Still with plenty of momentum, the flaming Lexus sailed toward the right side of the road, hit the embankment, and flipped over several times in a spectacular crash. Glass, metal, plastic, and even a tire flew from the fiery wreckage across the width of the roadway.

Alexis smirked. “That’s for blowing up our Crown Vic yesterday!”

Up front, Leaf turned around to see the carnage. “Whoo, that thing blowed up real good!”

Meanwhile, Lisa made another request on her police radio. “Any Highway Patrol units involved in the Route 7 chase, one of the suspect vehicles has wrecked. Look for a black Lexus RX, overturned and on fire, and bring fire and rescue.”

As Alexis went to stow away the AR-15 and take back out her service pistol, Lisa noticed another vehicle coming toward her from the opposite direction. As this one approached, she could see this was an even bigger threat – a black Cadillac Escalade racing toward her. Every time she swerved out of the way, the imposing SUV just mirrored the lane change in a deadly game of chicken on the narrow country road. As the Cadillac approached, Lisa slowed her car down little by little.

Lisa scowled. “Damn, looks like these guys ain’t gonna give up!”

Leaf looked on, horrified. “Now what are we gonna do? They’re fixing to kamikaze us, head on!”

“Not on my watch! Hang on, girls!” At the last second, Lisa violently jerked the steering wheel to the right. The large blue Buick plowed into the ditch and hit the embankment at a ninety degree angle, going airborne as the big Escalade rushed past. But instead of flipping over, the station wagon landed on all four wheels, bouncing violently several times. The four ladies inside were shaken up and thrown around a bit, but were otherwise fine - as was the car itself.

“Whoa, talk about getting shaken and stirred!” yelled out Leaf. “These guys mean business!”

“Well, if they want to play for keeps, then count me in! I’m game!” Throwing up a cloud of dirt and sand, Lisa cut a path through the grassy fields and got her car back on the road. But in her rear view mirror, she could see the Cadillac had already turned around and was coming back for a second strike, approaching fast from behind.

“Here they come again!” Leaf warned. “Let’s try to shoot out the engine like those other guys!”

Alexis and Shannon unloaded their guns at the front of the SUV, but the vehicle was unfazed by their bullets. Alexis went for the more powerful AR-15 assault rifle, but before she could retrieve it, the Escalade had moved to the car’s left flank. Slightly nudging the left rear fender, the thugs sent Lisa and her partners into a harrowing spin.

As Leaf and the two girls in the back screamed, Lisa told them, “Okay, girls! Hold on, I’m gonna try to get us out of this!”

The big wagon did a complete 360 spin as the friction of the tires kicked up a lot of smoke. Lisa quickly jerked the steering wheel back and forth to match the momentum of the spinout. She managed to keep all four wheels of the Buick on the pavement as she straightened out the car. After the recovery, Lisa put the hammer down and continued the pursuit. The agents breathed sighs of relief. Lisa said, “See that? All that training wasn’t for nothing! Come on, let’s stop these guys!”

Now the girls were behind the SUV, with several Highway Patrol units not far behind them. Seeing that their target was still mobile, one of the men busted out the rear window of the Cadillac with the barrel of his gun, then began shooting. As she began shifting from lane to lane, Lisa flipped a switch on her dashboard, and a black shield moved into place, covering the headlights and grille of the Buick. Instead of blowing up the engine compartment, the assailant’s bullets deflected harmlessly off the protective shield.

“Sorry, guys, but you aren’t getting rid of us that easily!” Lisa said as she smirked.

Shannon sulked. “Now why didn’t we have one of those on our car?”

Lisa yelled back to her, “Your standard-issue car does, actually. Those shields were installed on all of our regular vehicles last month. That one you drove today was just a transport car so it didn’t have the device. Next time you drive your own car, look for a green switch under the dash.”

“I didn’t know that! Thanks!”

“No problem! Now, time to get serious. These guys want to try and PIT me, let me show them how a REAL PIT Maneuver goes!”

Pedal to the floor, Lisa approached the right rear of her target. The men had switched to firing at the windshield. Their shots splintered the glass, but failed to break through to the occupants inside. The Buick pulled the same move that the thugs had tried only moments earlier. She gave the hulking Escalade a slight nudge in the fender, causing the truck to spin out.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Lisa shouted as she high-fived Leaf.

The men in the SUV couldn’t recover from the strike, as their vehicle sailed off into the ditch. Upon hitting the embankment, two of its wheels left the ground, but it somehow avoided rolling over. The truck instead landed back on all four wheels, bouncing and shaking violently as it came to a halt. Lisa slammed on the brakes and backed up to where the Escalade had wiped out.

“That thing didn’t flip, so they’re probably still fixing to fight,” Lisa said. “We better provide backup.”

Sure enough, the men were now holed up in their vehicle as officers pulled up to the scene of the crash.

“Turn the truck off and step out of the vehicle! Let me see both hands!” one officer yelled as he and his partners trained their service pistols on the wrecked Escalade.

The two men stepped out of the truck on the side opposite the police units and immediately began shooting upon the officers, who quickly returned fire. Both officers and assailants had taken cover behind their vehicles, with most of their gunshots riddling the cars with bullet holes and shattering their windows.

From the rear view mirror of her Buick, Lisa watched the gunfight unfold. “Alright, here’s the plan. Alexis and Shannon, can the two of you shoot their guns out of their hands?”

Alexis answered, “I think so. Looks like we’re close enough.”

“Okay then, Leaf, you and I will rush in as soon as those guns are out of their hands and the officers have ceased firing. Let’s get into position.” The other girl nodded. Lisa and Leaf got out of the station wagon and crept toward the back, hugging the right side of the car. From here it would be a straight dash directly to the suspects.

In the back seat, the two agents took careful aim, squinting one eye. Once they had their target – the assailant’s guns – in sight, they squeezed their triggers. A pair of bullets flew out of the barrels, each one striking the side of the gunmen’s weapons. Their hands recoiled as the precise strike sent their firearms flying.

“Hold your fire!” shouted an officer.

“Now!” Lisa and Leaf sprinted at the still dazed suspects, tackling them to the ground and positioning themselves between the men and where their guns lay on the side of the road. Both men quickly stood back up and assumed fighting stances.

“Just give up now… do you really want to do things the hard way?” asked Lisa.

As the men yelled out and rushed at the girls, Leaf said, “Yup, guess they do.”

Leaf ducked under an incoming punch, then delivered a hit to the groin with her foot. Lisa blocked a punch with one hand and delivered a right hook with the other. The men got back up and tried landing punches on the girls again. This time both girls crouched under the attack and did leg sweeps, knocking the assailants down. As they struggled to their feet, both girls punched them in the head, sending them down once again.

“Give up yet?” asked Leaf.

Her answer came in the form or enraged snarls as the men rose to their feet and came at the agents once again, fists ready to pummel the girls. Lisa and Leaf stepped to the side to dodge the blows. As the men turned around to charge in again, the girls delivered simultaneous roundhouse kicks directly to the heads of their attackers, sending them reeling and kissing pavement. This time they weren’t so quick to their feet. The girls stood over the still writhing men.

“Should’ve done things the easy way,” Leaf told the thugs as she smiled at him.

“Okay, officers, you can take these guys in now!” Lisa shouted to the officers, their guns still drawn.

“Roger that. Okay, move in and apprehend them!” The backup officers quickly rushed in and handcuffed both men.

As they were being led into one of the Highway Patrol units, one thug yelled back, “Better watch out, bitces! The boss will take care of you!”

“Hear that?” Lisa asked another trooper. “It means there’s at least one more group of these guys out there. We’ll still need backup.”

“Roger that, we’ll stay behind you as backup. Good luck, agents.”

As the girls got back into the Buick, Alexis asked them, “So, any updates?”

Leaf answered, “One of those guys yelled something about their boss, so I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.”

“Oh, well. A bit more fun for us, I guess.”

Lisa continued down the road heading west. A few miles of uneventful countryside passed, but then the girls came across a black Mercedes ML430 SUV parked across the width of the road. As Lisa brought her car to a stop, Leaf commented, “Okay, I know these guys are evil and all, but you’d think they could be a bit more creative and not use black SUVs all of the time.”

Lisa shrugged. “It’s just the way it goes, I guess…”

The four girls stepped out of the Buick to meet the four men who had exited the SUV. One held a bullhorn.

“Ah, Agent Lisa Northwood! Never thought I’d have to see your face again!”

“Well, if it isn’t my old friend, Tom McCollum. And I see Blake, Foster, and Muncie still work with you. You might have escaped when I took down your old bosses, but not this time!”

“Silence! Order out the witnesses you have in your car!”

“What witnesses?” Leaf asked as she opened the side doors of the station wagon to reveal that the car was completely empty. “Cause I sure as heck don’t see anyone in here.”

“But… they said you had three witnesses with you! What happened to them?”

Alexis smirked. “We had them whisked away by helicopter to our headquarters. We just continued on our way to throw you guys off track.”

Shannon said, “Turner’s probably with our supervisor right now, telling her everything. Looks like you wasted your time chasing us.”

“How so?” sneered McCollum. “I see here a perfect opportunity to take out four League Special Agents. Even if we don’t collect the bounty, we still gain a lot of respect.”

“Okay then,” said Lisa. “Try us.”

“You die here, today!” McCollum and his men pulled out handguns and began firing upon the girls, who took cover behind their car. A patrol car screeched to a halt, interjecting itself between the men and the station wagon. The girls had already took out their pistols and begun to return fire; the officer scrambled out of his Crown Vic and joined in with his .357. Needing cover, the thugs retreated behind their truck before resuming the gunfight.

“Put down your weapons and get your hands in the air!” shouted the officer. His request was ignored by McCollum and his men, who continued their assault. As both the police cruiser and Mercedes were riddled with bullets, more backup units arrived on the scene, and the troopers in those cars also joined in the gun battle.

“Damn, this is getting us nowhere!” Lisa ran back to the Buick and opened the glove compartment. Grabbing a red and white sphere, she returned to the fray and heaved the Pokeball-like device at the men as she yelled to her allies, “Cover your eyes! Incoming!”

“Hold your fire!” an officer shouted as the ball flew toward the mercenaries and their luxury SUV. Lisa, her partners and police backup shielded their eyes as the device landed in front of the men. But instead of unleashing a Pokémon, the device released a blinding light and a cloud of smoke. Gunfire from both parties ceased as the men and their truck were now completely blanketed by the thick gray smoke.

“Let’s go, now!” As the officers stayed put, the four girls rushed to the Mercedes where the smoke was just beginning to lift. The men were still dazed; the agents took the opportunity to disarm the thugs before they could resume shooting. But even with no guns, the mercenaries were unwilling to give up. A bald-headed one took a swing at Leaf, who dodged right to avoid the hit, then countered with a punch that knocked him to the asphalt. Alexis and Shannon were facing down two more that they recognized.

“Man, we’re hurt. You guys don’t look too happy to see us again. Why is that, Foster?” asked Shannon.

Alexis taunted, “We beat you guys before, Blake; we’ll be happy to give a repeat performance!”

Faces twisting into angry scowls, the men raced toward the girls, fists raised. Shannon deftly crouched to avoid the attack and delivered a leg sweep. Alexis performed a quick sidestep to avoid her attacker before nailing him in the gut. Both men staggered a bit before falling down.

The more muscular McCollum was proving to be a more worthy adversary, as he blocked a punch from Lisa with his fist, then delivered one of his own to Lisa’s head. The girl spun around, fell, and hit pavement, but quickly got back to her feet.

“Not bad, Tom, not bad. But check this out!” Not missing a beat, Lisa charged back in toward McCollum. He landed a hit to her cheek, but Lisa delivered a more debilitating blow – jabbing her black dress shoe directly into the man’s groin. He howled in agony as he took a step backward, clutching the area in question and wincing in pain.

Leaf and Muncie continued to trade blows, with the girl using the concealed steel brim of her hat to block an incoming punch. The man went low and attempted to trip his opponent, but Leaf jumped over his leg sweep and had a mean right hook waiting for him when he rose back up to strike again. This final blow sent Muncie down for the count, as the man busted open his bald head upon hitting the pavement, a pool of red blood forming on the hot blacktop.

Alexis and Shannon were gaining the upper hand against Blake and Foster; the men were unsteady on their feet and their punches and kicks were slow and easily dodged by the girls. But the persistent mercenaries still charged in for more, attempting to slug the girls in the face. Instead of sidestepping the attacks, the pair blocked the incoming fists with their hands, then kicked the thugs in the chest, sending them reeling backward. Before they could recover their wits, the girls went on the offensive, giving the men spinning kicks to the head that knocked them unconscious as they slumped to the ground.

Meanwhile, Lisa and the ringleader were still locked in battle. McCollum had gotten a kick to Lisa’s midsection; the girl staggered backward but remained on her feet. McCollum’s next attempt to punch Lisa was blocked, and the girl countered with an elbow to the right temple of the man’s head. He stumbled backward a few steps, but recovered and glared at Lisa.

“Can’t I ever have a job where you don’t interfere?”

“Try getting something legal.”

McCollum rushed toward Lisa. He landed another hit, though this time it was only a glancing blow to the girl’s shoulder. But his momentum carried him right into the door of his own SUV, its outside mirror delivering the knockout. His head began bleeding as he toppled onto the roadway.

Lisa shook her head. “My, my, my, getting taken out by your own truck. You’ve hit a new low, McCollum.” She turned to the officers. “Alright, it’s all clear here. Please take these, um, gentlemen into custody.”

As the quartet returned to their car, Lisa’s phone was ringing on the front seat of the car.

Lorelei’s voice came on. “00479, where were you?”

“Sorry, we had some business to take care of here on Route 7. Business by the name of Tom McCollum, who apparently was working for Bartles.”

“I see. Well, we’ve been after him and his thugs for a long time. Good work 00479. Anyway, back to what I called about. Dirk Turner just made a signed statement to us. We have warrants ready for Tobias and Red. All you need to do is stop by headquarters and pick them up. Then you can head straight to Bartles’ estate and execute the arrest.”

Lisa glanced to the west and saw skyscrapers off on the horizon. “Excellent. I can see Celadon off in the distance; we’ll be there in twenty, maybe thirty minutes at the most.”

“I will be awaiting your arrival.” Lorelei then hung up her phone.

Lisa shut her phone. “Okay girls, ready for one more takedown? Lorelei has the warrants ready, so we can bust the leaders of this whole thing.”

Leaf smiled. “Let’s do this. I’ve been waiting four long years for this moment!”

Alexis and Shannon nodded and gave Lisa a thumbs-up.

Lisa quickly surveyed the damage to the Buick. There were shattered windows, a few bullet holes, and some scrapes, but nothing major. And all four tires were still intact. “She’s taken a beating, but she’ll still last us long enough to get this whole thing wrapped up. Though prepare for a battle – I know Tobias at least looks like he’ll be a big, tough guy to subdue.” With those words of caution, Lisa and her three partners got back in the blue station wagon and proceeded toward Celadon City.

Bartles Estate, Route 16, 8:26 AM

Tobias Bartles paced back and forth in his lavish office, with his son Red seated in a leather chair and two well-dressed men standing in the corner. One of them wore numerous scars and bruises, and a large bandage on his forehead.

“Tripp! Have you heard back from your men yet?”

“No, sir, not a word from McCollum yet…”

“Dammit… it shouldn’t take your agents this long to intercept those girls. Something must have gone wrong. There’s no time to lose! We need to get out of here immediately!”

Only pausing long enough to open a safe and stuff as much money as possible into a briefcase, Tobias led the way from the office to the garage, his son and assistants following close behind through the mansion’s ornately-decorated labyrinth of hallways. Arriving at their destination, a fleet of over a dozen exotic sports and luxury cars stood before the men.

“Tripp! Mercer! Take the Benz; we’ll be in the Lambo! And call in the airstrip, make sure our jet is ready to take off as soon as we get there! And arrange to move my money into my other, hidden bank account!”

“Right, sir!” Tripp whipped out his cell phone and dialed frantically as he opened the driver’s door of a black car with his free hand and Mercer got into the passenger seat . Meanwhile, Tobias and Red jumped into a red sports car.

The huge garage had multiple doors; one set of them opened. Two vehicles drove out, a black Mercedes sedan followed by a red Lamborghini roadster. Inside the sports car, Tobias turned toward Red.

“Don’t worry, son, it looks like we’re home free. We’ll set up base in another region, and before you know it, you’ll be champion once again.”

“And if anyone tries to interfere this time, I will murder them,” came the mechanical droning of Red’s electronic voice box.

“As soon as we get into the air, I’ll put out calls to every mercenary, terrorist cell, drug gang, and mob organization in the region. This time, the bounty on the heads of those agents is going to be fifteen million dollars! We might not be around here anymore, but rest assured someone will murder them for us!”

“Excellent!” Red replied. “We will have our revenge, one way or another! Make sure they kill them in the ugliest and most painful way imaginable!”
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