Fredericksburg, VA.'s first crime fighters tests their skills on the streets!
(Prologue - The Dance Begins)
"I….I can’t believe I’m still alive! You’re never going to believe what just happened." Joey said as he came scrambling back into the crowded, noisy bar on downtown Caroline Street. His hair was soaked with sweat and a small group of friends were staring at him in amazement. They were all caught off guard by his excited and disheveled demeanor. This young urban professional, they all knew, was rarely found in such a state of emotional extremity. He was the coolest customer of his post collegian crowd.
"I was.....I was going out to the car for some smokes, ya know....and.....and this big dude....some thug from outta nowhere just up and grabbed me! He jacked me up against the wall." He stared off into space as he searched his mind for the correct words to describe what he was watching replay in his mind’s eye.
"I couldn’t…….I couldn’t even talk, I was so scared. I was look’n around for somebody to help me and I realized I was in an unlit alley all alone. Nobody was within miles of the place. I knew I had made a big mistake stepping into the shadows to get to the car. My heart was pound’n and I thought to myself, this is it, I’m dead." He stopped for a moment and made eye contact with his buddies. His eyes were filled with unfallen tears, but his face was the picture of calm, as if he had just had a deep and significant spiritual experience. He started to stammer a little, but caught himself.
"The guy had a knife....." he gulped, finding it very hard to mouth words as strong emotions flooded his senses. His friends were speechless. They couldn’t believe he was standing in front of them admitting these things. One of them, Mason, finally broke free from the horror that had held them all in a viselike grip. He grabbed Joey by the shoulder, turning him to check for injury.
"JOE! ...are you hurt? PETE! …hurry, call 911, and tell them...", Mason started to order the bartender, while he pulled frantically at Joey’s clothing looking for blood.
"NO! ...no, I’m alright...that’s the thing. This guy.....this guy and then this woman dropped right outta the sky! I’m not kidding - RIGHT OUTTA THE SKY! You guys gotta believe me." Joe looked from face to face, checking for signs of incredulity. He found none, because these guys knew him and they knew there wasn’t an ounce of falsehood in him. He continued.
"I couldn’t see their faces. It was dark and the guy wore a hat with the brim down low over one eye. The chick.....at least, I think it was a chick by the shape, ya know, she was wearing this very tight body suit, all black." He stared off again as he strained in concentration to grasp the details of the experience. "...she caught this guy in the side of the head with her heel. Her body didn’t even move. It came up like some kind of switch blade, very fast. This guy was so surprised at the blood that gushed outta the side of his face, he actually said, ‘Hey, what?’...and then he realized she had kicked him."
Joey started laughing and it grew into a wave that his body started to release as relief suddenly overtook him. He relaxed as the knowledge that he was finally safe dawned on him. The trauma passed and he slumped into a bar stool. Laughing to himself he continued.
"…right after the thought hit him, the impact followed and man, he crumpled like a building demolition - in slow motion. He had to have been unconscious by the time he hit the pavement." He paused looking at the bartender. Pete read his mind and quickly started to draw a cold, tall glass of dark draft for him. "I didn’t wait around, I was running back here, forget the smokes…" He let out a long breath as Pete slid the glistening mug over to him. Mason lit a cigarette, took it from his mouth and put it in Joey’s.
"Who were they, Joe?" Mason asked.
"How do I know, but thank God they were there. I think I’ll report this to the police. This was a close call and I’m thinking maybe that guy is still lying out there." He reached in his pocket fumbling for his smart phone, Mason handed him his. Joseph Scartolo pecked out 911, held it up to his ear and waited. His friends looked on, huddling closer, protectively closing ranks around him, glad he was alright and back among them.
Grand Master Kea Suk Kang sat quietly, eyes closed looking deeply within. He was trying to come to a decision. His protégé sat in front of him, waiting patiently. Finally, he opened his mouth and gasped. It startled the man.
“Adrian, I was thinking what an excellent idea it was to team you with Danielle, last night."
"She’s not stable GM. She spiked a guy in the side of the head. It could’ve killed him. I don’t like that kind of fighting."
"But it didn’t, did it?! In fact, he probably slowly slumped to his knees already unconscious - am I right?"
"Yes, you are." What else could you say to the man who had years ago, in a former life, trained the entire Korean Army in every martial arts discipline for 35 years.
"It is her cleanest move, her body doesn’t even twitch. And as for precision; she hits her mark exactly and it is supposed to illicit the exact result that it did. It is surgical and efficient, just like I taught her." He opened his eyes and fixed them on his protégé.
"She is as fast as you are intuitive. She is as precise as you are gifted in the Spirit. Even King Solomon had his Benaniah, don’t forget that Adrian."
"I won’t GM." Kea understood Adrian’s commitment to the Lord would never allow him to call another man ‘Master’, after all Adrian Xavier Endtyme was an Elder in the body of Christ, a General in spiritual realms and a warrior at heart. It was the only allowance a Grand Master could afford his best pupil, any other type would be his downfall.
“Boy, my ears are ITCH’N!” the paper and wood room divider slid across its track to slam into the wall with a loud SWACK. An extremely slender black female daintily stepped into the room, like a cat testing the ground underneath its pads for surety. Her footfalls did not make a sound. She was as black as her leather body suit, a color so deep that under the florescent lamps her skin had dark blue highlights. Which was exactly why she was known as ‘Blue’ to her close friends, of which, there were few. A hint as to why that might be, covered her left eye. The patch was the same texture as her body suit and held there without the aid of a strap. Centered on the patch was a small red hourglass, from which Danielle Steele got her other name, ‘The Black Widow’ and was why she had so few friends. She exuded an aura of danger, powerful and inexplicably threatening. Alarms went off in the heads of any opponent she got near. It was an innate ability that disarmed her adversaries immediately and sent them into confusion. It gave her the upper hand at the onset of every fight.
“Look, AXE, I don’t mind the critiques, but when are we gonna get past this, so I can just do my job, man!”
“I’m sorry Dan, I just keep tripping over my seminary training.” Adrian jibbed facetiously.
“Just so’s ya know, I ain’t get’n killed over it - BROTHER!” the last she spit toward him.
“Enough talk,” Kea pitched in. “let's do some training. Danielle, you attack, Adrian, you defend, GO!”
The dance began. A fluid cotillion, of man and woman ebbing and flowing back and forth. They were perfect counterparts. For hours it went on, thrust and parry, strike and block – over and over. Master Kea watched for weaknesses where the two might make adjustments, but alas, they had reached their goal. A sadness entered his heart and he knew what his decision must finally be. It was time.