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Sweltering heat and strength draining humidity swamped the latest crime scene foiled by the mysterious vigilantes. It had rained all morning but that hadn't put a kink in the would be bank robbers well planned and executed caper, indeed they had seen it as a plus. But as had happened with growing frequency over the past six weeks things didn't go as planned past a certain point for the crooks. They got their ill gotten gains in their greedy hands and as they made their getaway something happened and by the time the police arrived all four had been subdued and they had another incredible story to relay to the police about things no one else saw and couldn't have happened if they had.


Terrence Jackson, Chanel 16 Action News was trying to interview Detective Calvin Cooper who was doing his best to ignore him.

Detective Cooper, has there been any communication with the Key...”

Vigilantes.” Cooper spun cutting off Jackson in mid sentence and causing the younger man to flinch back. “They are vigilantes, not crime-fighter, not super-heroes, vigilantes and that makes them just as much criminals as the perps they have been assaulting. And we don't know if they are 'Keys' or what. So Mr. Jackson you need to get back behind that tape.” He pointed and Jackson followed the finger and sort of sheepishly made his way back to behind the police tape his camera man following.

Did you get that?” While Brian, the camera man wound the video back to show the reporter. Jackson had notice something on the ground. He crouched down and looked at the red staining on the pavement a few drops that looked like blood and a few steps away a couple of more drops. Drops of blood which led away from the where the bank robbers were bound and packaged for the cops. The trail led around the side of the bank into an ally bordering the strip mall next door. Jackson looked around and didn't see any cops checking out that area or even any of the little yellow placards denoting evidence. They hadn't seen the blood trail yet.

He knew he should call one of the officers, knew it was his duty,b ut this could be a scoop and he wasn't letting that get by.


Maria had tied the strip of clothe torn from the bottom of her shirt, around her arm where the blood still oozed from the front and back holes made by the bullet which had unluckily found her. The pain was horrible and her eyes were wet with tears and she was dizzy. It was stupid she hadn't been hurt any of the other times and she had gotten cocky, careless and now she had a gunshot wound and she didn't know what to do. A wave of nausea at the thought , Oh my God I have been shot. She gulped the air and fought the urge to vomit when she heard the foot steps at the end of the ally. She looked up and say a good looking African American man slowly entering the ally he was well dressed and looking at the ground another man was following but she couldn't see his face, it was behind a video camera.

How long had she been there in the ally her arm throbbed and her head spun The cops, this guy must be a reporter.

Suddenly movement beside and behind where she sat swung her head around. A men stepped into the ally and walked right by her he looked like a homeless person, disheveled old worn clothes and unkempt white beard and a filthy Dolphins ball cap. He was carrying a plastic bag that stunk and was dripping blood onto the ground. The reporter and his camera man stopped at the sight of him Maria could see the disgust on their faces at the sight of the homeless guy.

Have you seen my cat? Want to buy a rat? We been hunting them all morning but the ruckus at he bank scared her off” He held the dripping bag containing the rats, up where the reporter could see it plainly and the two men shook their heads and retreated from the ally. “Dammit, its just a crazy homeless guy lets get back to the bank."

After they had gone the mane stoop there still holding the bag up for about a minute then he tossed the bag into a wood crate next to a pile of empty boxes and he turned around and Maria got a good look at his face. He was old and his eyes were odd staring blankly as if he were blind. With a couple of shuffling steps he moved back the way he had come, which led him back toward Maria. She held her breath. The old man stopped right beside where she hid but never turned to face her, then he spoke.

Well little cat, you better come with me and let me see about that hole in your arm.”

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Maria's eyes blinked and went wide in surprise as the old, homeless man seemed to speak to her. 

'Huh?! He can SEE me?!?!' she thought and then noted his eyes. 'Well.. maybe not "SEE" exactly, but WTF?!?' the line of thought continued.

She was invisible and utterly silent... like, to a level that would give Batman a hard-on. She'd even walked by dogs in the past to test how well she hid her scent, sometimes even holding treats which she would extend her and was entirely un-noticed. Nobody had ever spotted her and now this guy did?

Maria grimaced and clutched her arm, the pain drawing her out of her thoughts. She looked down at her arm and slowly growing crimson stain, biting her bottom lip, trying to to cry from the pain as she thought about her predicament. She could not exactly go walking into a hospital with a gunshot wound. They would have to ask questions and make a report and stuff. Yeah, she could give them a fake name and would not show up on a camera, and they probably would not remember what she looked like, so she considered just ditching this guy, and then she remembered that the hospital would have her blood.


She was not sure who this guy was, but he sure didn't look like a cop or some government guy, making his offer sound better and better.

She focused as best she could, blinking hard in a futile attempt to hold back her tears, and allowed herself to be heard.

"Thanks. Lead the way, abuelo." she managed to say more or less clearly.

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