"FUUUUUUUCK ME????" Fortuna stared wild eyed at Limply, his nostrils flaring rhythmically. "FUCK ME?! Faccia di stronzo! I'm gonna fucking open your skull up with my fingers and squeeze that name out of your rotten brain!"
Fortuna started to get up - would have lunged to his feet if it weren't for his potbelly - but Paul was waiting to pull him back by the shoulders.
"Ease back buddy," Paul said as he dragged Fortuna towards the door.
"Get that fat motherfucker out of my apartment before I fuck him up," Limply screeched, waving a finger towards Fortuna.
"We'll be back in a few minutes, we just need to discuss some things."
Paul slammed the door behind them but still held onto Fortuna with one hand as the man strained halfheartedly to go back inside and murder Limply.
"Can you believe this shit Douglas?" Fortuna seethed, pounding the fist holding the sap into the meaty palm of his left hand.
"Look, that guy is living in another world. One where he is the big shot. You and me both have seen that sort of son of a bitch before, and you know threatening to beat his face isn't going to get us anywhere. Let me go back in there and smoo-"
"Fuck that, let me kill that faggot!"
"Let me go back in there and smooth things over. Appeal to his exaggerated ego."
Fortuna was about to reply when loud footfalls sounded on the stairs to the walkup apartment. The two agents turned and waited for the sources of the footsteps to manifest themselves around the final twist of the staircase.
A tall and thin-limbed man in a black trench coat, stained khaki shorts, and a wifebeater appeared first. His head was shaved unevenly and he had dark circles under his eyes that spoke volumes about his lack of sleep and poor diet. Strangely the man wore thin black leather gloves over both hands. Following behind him was another man. Though not as tall, the second man was a hulking brute. He had a heavy browed, puffy face and a nose that stuck out prominently from his face like a train's cowcatcher. He too wore a trench coat and leather gloves, although his eyes were hidden behind cheap gas station sunglasses.
When the bird man's head was at roughly waist height on the staircase from Paul's perspective Fortuna cleared his throat and the pair looked up from their feet. The two men gazed up at the CIA agents for several seconds and then both began to move their hands extremely slowly towards the inside of their coats.
"Keep your hands where we can see them boys, no need to go for ID." The men were moving so slowly that they could not possibly be trying to draw weapons, but all the same Paul placed his hand on the grip of his 9mm.
The duo did not stop. They both reached into their jackets and began to withdraw large Eastern European pistols. Paul could hardly believe what he was seeing. These guys were drawing their weapons so slow that it was almost comical. He whipped up his sidearm and Fortuna did the same with his big Colt .45.
"Drop 'em! Put those things on the ground and keep your hands where we can see them!" Fortuna shouted.
The two men continued to draw.
"We don't want to have to shoot you! Drop those weapons!" Paul added.
The larger man in the back got his gun completely out of his jacket and was lifting it to aim over his companion's shoulder with all the speed of a tree reaching for the sun.
"This is your final warning." Shouted Fortuna, a bit of confusion slipping into his voice.
"Drop them!" Paul chimed in a few seconds later.
One of them clicked off the safety on his weapon and it was enough to start the shooting. Paul put a tight pair of shots through the bird man's right knee, dropping him onto the stairs face first. With the other man exposed Fortuna put a single .45 slug through the meat of the man's gun arm. His arm jerked back but the man's face showed no reaction.
"They're like fucking zombies!" Paul shouted, as the bird man began to rise to his good knee and the fat one started to shift his gun to his other hand.
"Addicts!" Roared Fortuna, firing three more shots into the big man's chest and sending him thumping back down the steps to the previous landing.
Paul reached for his cuffs but the bird man was anxious to fire, cracking off a pair of shots much too high that hit the ceiling several feet behind Fortuna. Paul forgot about the handcuffs and fired a single shot, almost point blank, into the man's head. The guy jerked, adjusted his aim in the wrong direction, and fired two more shots before toppling back and landing on his companion.
Fortuna and Paul exchanged confused glances and then headed down the steps cautiously, their side arms still at the ready. Fortuna toed the bird man with his scuffed shoe, rolling him fully onto his back.
"Looks dead to me." Fortuna said with fake good-humor.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
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