Johnny, Chico, and Red wandered the streets to their training area. On their way, they took notice that they were being followed by a black cat and a burly man. They trio picked up their pace and tried to cut through various alleyways.
“They’re still on us like white on rice,” Chico said.
“Should we try splitting up?” asked Johnny.
“Aye, we could, but then we’d run the risk of bein’ captured,” said Red.
“Think they’re from the Agency?” Johnny asked, nonchalantly looking over his shoulder as the three crossed the street.
“Most likely. It seems they’ve caught on to your powers activating,” said Chico.
The three rounded the sidewalk and came to a corner with the main drag. Johnny and the others looked behind and didn’t see the man and cat.
“Lost ‘em? Seems too easy,” said Johnny under his breath.
The boy and his beast companions quickly walked to the next alleyway.
“I recommend you three stop where you are. Now,” demanded a low voice.
The trio turned around and saw the man and cat. The cat wore an eye patch over its right eye, while the man was a hulking mass that as armed to the teeth; poised with a net launcher, aimed at them.
“Who are you and what do you want?” asked Johnny.
“Quiet, criminal! You are to be taken into custody and returned to the Agency as per standard protocol,” said the cat.
“We won’t let you take him!” cried Chico as he charged the feline.
Red whistled sharply, calling for any nearby squirrels to come to his aid.
“Get ‘em, lads!”
The man stood still while the cat took care of the attackers. First, it disabled Chico by doing precise incapacitating blows, then Red, then the squirrels. Johnny readied himself for a fight against the feisty feline.
“I don’t think that would be wise, Handler. You saw how quickly I disabled your comrades, what makes you think you could do better?” said the cat, its tail twitching in various directions. “Bring the others in. Let’s clean this mess up and get back to base.”
The man pressed a button on his watch and within a moment, several other men garbed in black appeared in the area from the shadows.
Johnny gritted his teeth. I have to do something. I can’t just give up and let them take us all.
The group of men began firing nets at the squirrels, Red, and Chico, rounding them up. Johnny dodged the nets and fought back the best he could. Eventually, though, he was no match for the far more combat experienced cat and man duo. He was soon sent crashing to the ground with a hulking fist to his gut. He stared up at his assailants.
“You’re on the wrong side,” Johnny said.
“I don’t deal with criminals,” said the cat.
Confusion sat in for the group of men and cat as an alley cat showed up.
“Scram!” said the cat to the wandering feline.
It retreated, but then more, and more, and more appeared, surrounding them completely. On top of the roof, there came a smooth French voice.
“Excusez-moi, monsieur…” the voice jumped from window ledge to window ledge, until it landed in front of Johnny; a black and gray cat with bright blue eyes. “but may I suggest you and your men take your leave.”
“You have no part in this, Pierre. It would be wise of you to call back your numbers and leave unless you’re looking for a fight,” said the eye-patched black cat.
“Ah, I forget your name, what was it again?” Pierre said, licking his front paw. “You’re all so beneath me; it’s hard to keep track of low ranked names.”
“It’s ‘Snake,’” said the black cat as it hopped up on the man’s shoulder.
“Snake? But you are no snake; you are a cat. Why name yourself after a reptilian? Why not ‘ninja’ or something more mystical, enchanting, elegant?” asked Pierre.
“Enough! Leave or be dragged back like the rest of these criminals,” said Snake.
Pierre stared hard, his voice stern. “How about this? You leave the ‘criminals’ here, with me, and you leave to your precious Agency.”
“I can’t let that happen, and you know it,” said Snake.
“Leave in peace or be blown to pieces. I will not hesitate to blow this alleyway up to kingdom come, even with the ‘criminals’ in it,” Pierre demanded.
“You were granted clemency from the Agency, Pierre, now you would dare throw it all away for some criminal?” asked Snake.
“I would. I would, indeed. Now, are you going to leave?” Pierre asked.
Snake tapped the man’s shoulder where he perched upon. “I will return for them, and for you. Your arrogance shall be your downfall, Pierre.” The group of men and cat left, leaving behind Johnny and the others.
“Thanks,” said Johnny.
“Do not thank me just yet,” said Pierre.
“Would you have really blown this alleyway up?” asked Johnny.
“Lad, that’s Pierre, the French Terrorist. He would have done it easily,’ said Red as he struggled to get the net off himself.
Pierre bowed, “Ah, guilty as charged.” He looked up to Johnny, “However, I believe we have some things to discuss. Let us go to a more discreet location, hmm?”