Out on the road, but driving aimlessly, Ryan and Sawyer needed a plan. It had been a week since they had watched one of General Evil’s robots blow up their house, but were no closer to finding him. Ryan decided to call Phil to see if he could help somehow.
“Phil, do you think you could check online for something for me?” asked Ryan
“Sure. What is it?” said Phil
“Anything having to do with flying robots, robots armies, evil general controlling robots... Things like that.” Said Ryan
Phil checked the internet, but couldn’t find any reports of UFO’s or strange robot armies anywhere on the web.
“You think it’s General Evil then?” asked Phil
“Pretty sure. If not, I want to question, then kill him anyways, so why not check into it?” said Ryan
“The last time you saw him was in Detroit, right?” asked Phil
“Yeah, Central Station.” Said Ryan
“Well, maybe he left behind some sort of clue. It’s worth checking out.” Said Phil
Ryan agreed and thanked Phil for the suggestion, then hung up the phone. He and Sawyer drove to Detroit and parked outside the old, abandoned Detroit Central Station. There were cops patrolling the area, so Ryan couldn’t get in, but a stray dog probably could. Once the sun went down, Sawyer snuck in through a hole in the fence and made his way inside. There he turned on a flashlight and walked upright trying to find clues. He had some bad memories of the place and the dark hallways didn’t make the search any more pleasant. He got to the room where Ryan had fought the Mecha-Sawyer and freed him from the mind control that General Evil had on him. A quick scan with his flashlight revealed a rusting pile of metal in the center of the room. He could hardly believe his eyes. It had been almost a year since that fight, but still in the middle of the room were the rusting remains of the Mecha-Sawyer. Sawyer approached them solemnly, remembering the chaos of the fight and how close Ryan had come to being killed. Sawyer searched the destroyed robot for clues, and found one. On the back of the robot’s head, Sawyer found writing. It wasn’t in English and he couldn’t read it, so he took a picture with his phone. After further examination and no more clues, Sawyer turned to leave. He was startled by the sound of something falling nearby, so he swung his light in that direction. There he found a small dog cowering in the corner of the room. He appeared hungry, cold and definitely afraid of Sawyer. Sawyer took off his backpack and took out the cheeseburger he had been saving for later and placed it on the ground.
“Good luck, friend.” Said Sawyer in his own language.
The small dog hesitated, and then made his move towards the cheeseburger as Sawyer continued on his way.
Sawyer jumped in the car where Ryan was waiting and explained what he saw as they drove away. After spending the night in the car, they headed to a nearby café to analyze the information and make a decision on their next step.
“It’s Russian.” Said Ryan
“I don’t think so.” Said Sawyer
“Well, it’s not English, it’s not Arabic, it’s not anything I can read.” Said Ryan. “It just looks Russian to me.”
“Pretty sure it’s Ukrainian.” Said Sawyer.
“How can you tell?” asked Ryan.
“This website has a chart that compares the English alphabet to the Ukrainian alphabet. It’s the same.” Said Sawyer. “And I think I can tell what it says using google translator.”
Sawyer went back and forth between the two pages and the picture he had taken for a minute, then hit ‘enter’ on his computer.
“Yup. Ukraine.” Said Sawyer. “Part of this robot was assembled there.”
“Any idea where?” asked Ryan
“Nope, but it’s a start.” Said Sawyer.
Sawyer closed his laptop and looked up just in time to make eye contact with a familiar face. Sawyer growled as Ryan quickly turned his attention to where Sawyer was looking. There he saw Brant sitting at a nearby table with a computer of his own. Brant moved like he was about to stand, then winced in pain as he grabbed his right shoulder and slowly sat back down. Ryan walked over to him with a hand inside his hoodie, pretending to have a gun at the ready.
“Well, well, well.” Said Ryan. “If it isn’t my favorite battered woman.”
Ryan sat down across from Brant as Sawyer moved in next to him.
“What do you two want from me?” asked Brant, fighting back tears.
“Why are you not in prison and where’s your boss?” asked Ryan
“I was released. Good behavior. Besides, I wasn’t really guilty of anything.” Said Brant.
“And Elementis?” asked Ryan
“My Dearest… she abandoned me!” Brant sobbed uncontrollably.
“Do you know where she is?” asked Ryan. “She’s dangerous and needs to be brought to justice.”
“I can’t betray my Dearest…” Brant’s voice trailed off.
“So you do know.” Said Ryan. “Look, the cops may not have been able to get you to talk, but I promise you, he and I will make you spill your guts- one way or another.”
Brant looked down at Sawyer who was snarling back at him.
“She’s… in Chicago.” Said Brant. “I’m sure of it. Her hideout was on top of the Sears Tower. She had always dreamed of putting a weather machine up there. It would freeze the entire country.
Ryan and Sawyer knew now that Ukraine was officially going to have to wait. They brought Brant with them to their car as they drove five hours to Chicago and parked a few miles from the Sears Tower. Ryan and Sawyer took their usual weapons and hid them. Ryan also snuck a revolver inside the waist of his pants.
“Brant, when we get up there, I want you to go in first and do your best to convince her to surrender to the police, but don’t tell her we’re here.” Said Ryan
“Okay, no problem.” Said Brant, clearly bothered by the thought of deceiving his Dearest.
“Remember, she screwed you over without hesitation. Now’s your chance to grow a pair.” Said Ryan, sensing his hesitation.
“You think he’ll do it?” asked Sawyer under his breath.
“Nope.” Said Ryan, bluntly. “Not a chance.”
After a long climb, all three reached the top of the Sears Tour. Brant stepped outside and closed the door behind him.
“Dearest? Are you here, Dearest?” called Brant
“How did you know to look for me here?” came a familiar voice.
“Dearest! I forgive you!” proclaimed Brant
“Shut up, I did nothing to you that you didn’t deserve.” Said Elementis.
Ryan and Sawyer waited inside, but could hear everything.
“Come on, Brant. Stand up for yourself!” Ryan thought out loud.
Sawyer just shook his head.
“But my Dearest, I was shot for you…” said Brant.
“I was shot, too, fool. Where were you on that one?” Elementis shot back, pointing at her thigh.
“I’m so sorry.” said Brant. “Never again. I will never fail you again.”
“What a pussy!” said Sawyer
Brant stood there, cold, heartbroken, and desperate to win back his mistress. Then he thought of a plan.
“Hold me, Dearest.” Said Brant
“No, you fool! Can’t you see I’m busy trying to finish this weather machine?” snapped Elementis
“But Dearest, I need you to be close to me.” Said Brant
Sawyer buried his face in one paw.
“I think he’s going to blow our cover.” Said Ryan, preparing his shotgun.
Brant hugged Elementis, who did not hug him back, then whispered in her ear.
“That jerk that shot us and his dog are behind that door.” Said Brant.
Elementis shot her gaze towards the door. She pulled out one of her weather pistols and fired a bolt of lightning at it. The bolt struck Ryan and Sawyer, knocking them unconscious. Brant tied them up, then splashed water in Ryan’s face.
“I will never betray my Dearest.” Said Brant. “You should have known that.”
“I’ll keep that in mind next time.” Said Ryan
Sawyer woke up after he too was splashed with water. Elementis ordered both of them to the edge of the building. Ryan stepped up to the ledge, then felt his revolver on his waste.
“Stupid skank didn’t even frisk me.” He thought
“Get a paw free.” Ryan whispered to Sawyer
Sawyer was already working on doing just that. Once he had one free, he nodded to Ryan.
“You’re a disgrace, Brant. Your woman owns you. She walks all over you. She uses you. She doesn’t even love you. In fact, I think she hates you and you don’t see it.” Said Ryan
“We are in love!” Brant shot back.
Elementis rolled her eyes.
“Are those your last words?” said Elementis, impatiently.
Ryan turned to face the edge of the Sears Tower. It was a long drop from the top and he was terrified of heights. He and Sawyer would likely only get off one shot, if that.
“On three.” Said Ryan, under his breath.
Sawyer, unsure of what the plan even was, flexed his free paw in preparation for whatever it was he had to do.
“One, two... three!” said Ryan, under his breath. He turned his back to Sawyer and lifted the back of his shirt. There Sawyer could see the grip of Ryan’s revolver. He lunged for it, cocked the hammer back and swung it towards Elementis.
“Dearest! No!” cried Brant as he dove in front of Elementis.
Sawyer fired. The bullet struck Brant in the chest as he fell.
“My Dearest…” said Brant as he died. “I saved you…”
“No you didn’t, you idiot.” Said Elementis as she fell on Brant’s body.
The bullet had traveled through both of them.
“.357, for the win.” Said Ryan as Sawyer handed him the revolver.
“Elementis is still alive!” said Sawyer
Sure enough, Elementis was wounded badly, but still alive. Sawyer rushed to her aid. He put a paw on her wound and pressed tightly. Elementis coughed up blood and breathed deeply as she struggled to hold onto life.
“You’re going to pay for all that you’ve done.” Said Sawyer as he tried to stop the bleeding.
“She can’t understand you.” Said Ryan
“Help me!” said Sawyer. “She has to face justice.”
“Justice?” said Ryan. “Here’s her justice.” Ryan pulled the hammer back on his revolver and fired a bullet into her forehead, her eyes wide with shock.
“What the hell is wrong with you!” cried Sawyer as he shoved Ryan with bloody paws. “You just murdered her!”
“She killed plenty of people on her own. That’s what she deserves.” Ryan shot back.
“You’re not the law!” said Sawyer.
“The law keeps letting these idiots free. The law tried to lock me up for a murder that may or may not have happened. The law is sitting around eating donuts while Annie is who knows where. Shut up about the law, Sawyer!” said Ryan
Ryan and Sawyer silently made their way back to their car and drove off.
“Please don’t do that again.” Said Sawyer. “You know it’s wrong. You’re better than that.”
“Sawyer, I’m going to do what I have to do to end this. All of this, once and for all. Even if that means killing the bad guys.” Said Ryan
Sawyer just shook his head. He had come to grips with the fact that Annie could be gone forever. Now he wondered if he was losing Ryan too.
“Ukraine?” said Ryan, trying to change the subject.
Sawyer looked back with sadness in his eyes. “Ukraine.”