Bull Mayday and his new partner in crime Myers are trapped in a storm drain, deep in the tunnels below the city of Jaidour. A mysterious man by the name of Gaunt is directing police officers through the underground, hoping to catch Bull and Myers and the two sacks of goldquartz they have just heisted from an airship. Will Mayday and Myers escape? Or have they already run their course?
Nice of Myers to get us into this situation and then run out of ideas. If she knew the underground so well, why didn't she know where we could hide? To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure she could to be trusted, but I didn't have anyone else in the world. And she was just so good-looking. I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
"So you have no idea where we are?" I asked Myers. "So how did you know we'd hit sand when we jumped offa that ledge?"
"I didn't," Myers answered. "But, lucky coincidence eh? Here," she said, sparking up a lightbox so we could see in the darkness.
Looking back through the wastewater tube the two of us were crouched in, I could see that it kept going for some time. And I could still hear the activity of the policemen above us, they were probably going to be at our level soon. "Let's head back up the pipe," I said.
"You realize we're at the 'out' end, don't you? Myers asked me. "This is a sewage drain."
"I do," I said. "You realize that those coppers are gonna be down here any second, don't you? I thought you said I was in charge, anyways."
"Well alright! Take it away, captain," Myers said.
"That's more like it," I said. Crouched down low, I shuffled along through the pipe, with Myers close behind. The sewer smelled terrible. Like something Marv might have puked up. I wondered how he was, the little three-legged guy. Hopefully not too hungry. First thing back, I was gonna buy him the biggest steak he'd ever seen. Introduce him to Myers. He'd probably be jealous at first, but he's a good dog when you give him a chance. He'd learn to like her.
We came near a shaft of light, pouring down from the streets above into the sewer system through a vertical tube with a rusty ladder along the side of it. "Let's get up and out of here!" I said to Myers. At the other end of the drain pipe, where we had come from, I could see the beams of the officers' flashlights swinging around through the blackness. They'd check the drain out, sooner or later. Time was tight.
I started to climb up the ladder, which creaked and groaned as I went. "Wait until I'm up, I don't think it'll hold us both," I called back to Myers. I was sure we'd be popping up in an alleyway, but when my head cleared the tube I realized we must have been much further underground than I had thought. "Get up here, quick!" I said to Myers as she started her climb.
She popped her head up from the pipe and was as surprised as I to see that we were in one of the cities old transportation hubs. The glass walls, still mostly solvent, were covered in mold and years of decay, but you could still how nice the place had once been: brilliant mosaics along the walls, ornate wood and iron accents flourishing below the peeling greenish-blue paint.
"It's one of the old hubs!" Myers said. "We had one by our house growing up. When I was a little girl, my mother used to tell us that vampires lived in it, just to keep us away. But as a teenager, I got up to plenty of trouble in there."
"I believe it," I said.
"What, are you trying to be fresh?" Myers asked.
"Listen," I said, "I'm just saying that if a girl is the type to jump out the window of her job to follow a criminal like me, she's probably also the type who got into trouble as a girl."
"Well," Myers said, flashing a naughty smile, "just because I had my fun doesn't mean I ever got into trouble."
"Oh?" I asked.
"A girl has her ways," she said, tossing her long hair over a shoulder.
"Would that clever girl happen to have any ways to get out of here?" I asked.
"First," Myers said, dragging an old mattress that had been used for who-knows-what over the hole we had accessed the abandoned station through, "we cover this up so that the coppers don't think to follow us. At least for a while."
"Good thinking," I said. "And then what?"
"We oughta try and find a way up outta here," she said. As Myers searched around the place for a trap door or something, I couldn't stop staring at her. Not only was she incredibly attractive, she was just so smart, so quick. So unlike the other girls I had dated. Oh, who am I kidding? The other girls who had turned me away is more like it.
"You just gonna stand there, or you gonna help me?" she asked. I must have been staring at her for a good five minutes.
"Just...eh... watching how you work, that's all," I said.
"Oh? You like it?" she asked, turning just so much as to flash me a seductive look. Or at least I thought it was a seductive look. I mean, it was dark, so I might have been mistaken. Still though, I was pretty sure I knew what she meant.
"I...," I stammered. What was I going to say? I almost forgot where I was. That I had two sacks of stolen goldquartz at my feet. That the coppers were just twenty feet away.
"Here you go!" Myers said. At first my addled brain thought she was offering something to me, and my heart started to race, but then my senses came back and I remembered what we were up to.
"What'd you find?" I asked, shaking off my dirty thoughts.
"Here's the old roof access," she said, scrapping her finger at a rusty old screw. "But we'll need to get these screws out. I can... just barely... get it with my fingers...Ah! Oh, it hurts!"
"We'll take turns," I said. "You get one, then I'll get one."
"Sounds...ow! Good...," Myers said, trailing off as she went about her work.
I watched her backside for a while and then realized what a creep I was being. But how nice it would have been, I thought, to spend all my time with Myers. To watch her work. To maybe have some little Bulls of our own. I was never so sentimental about dames. I must have been caught up in the moment.
So far, our location was still secure. We hadn't heard anything from Gaunt or anyone else for about fifteen minutes. So I thought to take a peek in my bags, to see just what exactly I had stolen from that airship. There were mainly large goldquartz bills inside, separated into stacks. Most of the stacks were in five-thousand goldquartz denominations. It looked like I had about two hundred or so of those stacks: you do the math. That's right! I was rich, filthy rich. But how was I going to stay that way, to get away from the other thugs who were in on the deal? They'd be looking for me soon, real soon, if they weren't already.
"Your turn!" Myers said, coming down from the old bench she was standing on.
"Right," I said, and then hopped up to take her place. Golly, the screws really dug into your fingers. Hurt like hell. But I managed to get two of them out before I couldn't take anymore. I looked back at Myers to tell her it was her turn, and saw her turn away. I think she was checking me out.
"Like what you see?" I asked jokingly. I didn't want it to sound too jokey, though. Didn't want her to think I wasn't interested.
"I like that you got two screws out," Myers said.
"I've got time for one more," I said. Her reaction told me that she either didn't get my joke or just didn't like it. Just then, we heard a commotion coming from below, from the access tube we had used to locate the old station.
"Looks like our time here is up!" Myers said. She threw all her weight at the rusty ceiling panel. It broke and swung down and open, dumping years of rotting leaves and other detritus onto her.
"Gah, that smells horrible," I said as I climbed up on the bench next to Myers.
"What a gentleman. You still like what you see?" she asked sarcastically.
"See, sure. Smell? not really," I said as I pulled myself up through the hatch into a utility shed. I could hear the traffic outside, it seemed as if we were back on street level. "You ready?" I asked, offering my hand down through the hole for Myers.
"As ready as I'll ever be," Myers said, ignoring my helping hand. Once she was up out of the old station of her own accord, I kicked open the locked doors of the public utility shed to reveal the street outside. But there was no easy escape there waiting for us, despite my wishes: I could barely see from all the police lights blaring. Cop cars, dozens of them. And all called out on account of me. It looked like we had opened the door right into the dragon's den.
NEXT TIME: THE JIG IS UP or TWICE TO SEE YOU