The Drunken Bull immediately leapt out the window after me, but he failed to land on top of the crate I was on and crashed to the ground. Glancing to my right, I could see a square gap between my crate and some of the ones nearby, just small enough to where I could fit in, but my enemy could not. I managed to slip into this hole by the time he managed to get up.
"Grrr! Jasper! Where are you?!" he roared as he stomped around the loading dock, his slurred, throaty voice having lowered quite a few decibels. "Coward! Come out now!"
"Just great. A giant monster just had to show up right before we can finish this excursion," I heard Tequila speaking through my earpiece. I could see she and Xavier standing above me in the window I'd been knocked through. "Yo, Jasper. You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. But it seems The Drunken Bull took some sort of steroid to beef himself up, and it seems to be frying his brain as well," I replied. "Is there even a steroid in existence that works that quickly, though?"
"Well it is 2043. Anyway, I'm scanning it now," Xavier chimed in, examining the syringe in his hand. "Hmm, the chemical structure of this substance is like no steroid I've ever seen before. ...Wait a minute, this is some sort of commonly-consumed alcohol. And a really strong one at that-"
"Ya' don't have to say it," Tequila replied flatly.
"Well I'll be damned. I guess he must be so reliant on alcohol that drinking actually improves his strength, and I guess this could be considered an overdose," I figured. "But the question is, how do we stop this guy?"
"Well I'm noticing a stationary crane right by your current location, and it seems to possess a control panel on its side," Xavier commented. "If I can hack into it remotely, I can use that crane to safely knock him out, but I'll need you to distract him and lure him into just the right spot."
As he spoke, I looked around until I noticed the aforementioned crane behind me.
"Okay, that looks like it'll work," I replied.
"Tequila, you go down there and help him out while I start hacking," Xavier ordered.
"Roger that," Tequila replied, switching to glide mode and swooping onto the ground, breaking her fall by somersaulting.
"Hmm?" The Drunken Bull looked back and spotted her. "Ha! Found you!"
With that, he charged at her with his elbow extended, but she managed to dodge his attack. He continued to chase her until he had her cornered.
"Now I kill resistance!" The Drunken Bull spoke in an almost primitive tone.
Before he could even lay a finger on my wife, I climbed on top of the crate I was hiding behind, before I leapt off and swooped in, latching onto his shoulders.
"Rraagghh! Get the fuck off me!" he yelled, immediately distracted by me. "I will grind you into blood-sausage!"
Taking advantage of my much smaller and lighter frame, I proceeded to climb all over his body and evade his punches, each one colliding with his own body instead. I eventually found myself clinging to his chest, just inches away from his face. Before he could try to hit me again, I leapt off, but not before switching my boots to skate mode and slashing his cheek. He recoiled in agony as he held his cheek, before letting the blood quickly trickle out of his wound.
"I've got an idea! Try and cut him whenever you get the chance," I explained. "Given how much alcohol is in his system, his blood must be super thin by now. Maybe we can weaken him that way."
"Okay, but let's also be sure to get him into position," Tequila replied.
With that, we continued to let The Drunken Bull chase us around the loading dock, making use of his typical running charges and occasionally throwing a punch or tossing a large metal crate at us, which we effortlessly flipped over before counterattacking. For every hit we landed on him, we both made sure that we used our feet and skates, allowing us to draw more blood as the fight wore on. Eventually, our opponent had taken so many cuts to his exposed face and arms that he was now almost entirely red with his own blood, weakly standing at the edge of the docks with no way to replenish his strength.
"Alright, guys! Now!" Xavier called out, prompting Tequila and I to quickly drop to the ground, making sure to lie as flat as possible.
As soon as we did so, he activated the crane, which still had one of the large nearby crates attached to its hook. It made for an effective wrecking ball, knocking The Drunken Bull into the depths of the water, alongside the crate itself, which was sure to pin him down and ensure he'd been defeated for good. Tequila and I stopped to catch our breath, neither of us having taken more than a few hits during the showdown.
"Okay, enough fooling around. We've got a scumbag to pursue," Tequila said after a bit.
That being said, Xavier made use of the crane once again and lifted us back into the window, where we immediately hurried in the direction that Garbanzo had last run off in. We managed to catch up with him, near the top of a spiraling staircase in the east wing of the building, which ended in an unremarkable room with nothing of note except for a large window that oddly didn't have bars on it.
Making her way ahead of Xavier and I, Tequila pulled out her handgun and fired a blank right at him. This was enough to make Garbanzo turn around, but by the time he did so, he found himself on the receiving end of an uppercut to the chin, followed by a roundhouse kick to the chest with her boots in cleat mode, knocking him into the wall.
"Oh, uh, guys! Heh, what a surprise!" he grinned nervously. "You've become such a big-shot these last seven years, but apparently you're not so famous you can't stop by to beat up an old rival, eh?"
"Stop with the fucking theatrics and give me one good reason why I shouldn't skin you alive right here and now!" Tequila threatened him, making Xavier and I look at each other all wide-eyed.
"Gee, do you talk to your daddy that way? O-ho wait, he's dead!" Garbanzo snarked.
"Shut your damn mouth!" Tequila snapped, quickly losing patience. "I dunno about you, but I've had it up to here with your shenanigans! You verbally harassed me from the day we first met in Kindergarten, and sexually harassed me in high school! You willingly sided with the man who murdered my mother-in-law and screwed over the lives of people who were dear to me, and even murdered one of my best friends! And now you're trying to kill me?!"
Garbanzo said nothing as he was slowly cornered, but then adopted a cocky smirk as he pulled out a jack-knife, flipping the blade open as he attempted a downward slash at his lifelong nemesis. Tequila was quick to grab his wrist before he could cut her, countering with a couple of punches to the stomach, before she switched her gloves to electric mode and gave him a titty-twister, effectively stunning him.
"You know, GG, I can't help but ask: why do you keep trying to mess with me?" Tequila asked.
She then capitalized on her opportunity by switching her gloves to heat mode and decking him with a flurry of punches to his face and torso.
"After all, you've always lost every single time!"
She then switched to a capoeira combo, nailing him with a rapid series of kicks from a variety of different angles, all the while her boots were in skate mode.
"It's been this way all our lives! You show up doing more of your disgusting antics, and I shoot you down! You retreat, but then come back out swinging without having learned your lesson!"
She grabbed him while he was stunned, lifting him up and bending over backwards to slam him back down hard, pinning him onto the ground in an intense chokehold. She briefly held his limbs in place so he couldn't fight back.
"Every! Single! Time! Seriously, why don't you just give the hell up, already?!"
She stood back up and kept whaling on him at high speed for what felt like a good seven minutes, before switching her boots to cleat mode and ending her combo with a side-kick to the gut from each foot, knocking him into the wall before he clumsily flopped onto the floor, utterly beaten and ravaged.
By the time Garbanzo was able to stand up again, he had cuts and burn marks all over his skin and clothes, some of them already blistering. He hoarsely coughed a few times, spurting blood onto the floor in the process, and even regurgitating some of it as well. As I watched him suffer, I saw a spotlight out the corner of my eye, no thanks to a helicopter that had arrived just outside the window. A few thugs opened the door on the side with rifles at the ready.
"Tequila! Look out!" I screamed, prompting her to back into the same wall as her enemy.
On cue, the thugs proceeded to fire a flurry of bullets at the glass, breaking the window through.
"Well as much as I hate the idea of leaving so soon, I must be off!" Garbanzo chuckled sinisterly as he leapt out of the window and into the chopper. "Adios, cabrónes!"
With that, the chopper started to fly away, hovering over the nearby river.
"Ohhh no, you're not getting away this time, pendejo!" Tequila shouted, attempting to run after him.
"Oh yes I am, chica loca!" Garbanzo grinned, pulling out a grenade and yanking the pin out with his teeth. "Yes, I am."
"Quick, guys! Take cover!" Xavier called out as we started to flee the scene.
But much to our surprise, Garbanzo didn't try to throw the grenade at us. Instead, he lifted the trigger and blew up the helicopter he was in, alongside every last one of its occupants. The flaming, smoking wreckage dropped into the rapids, which immediately began to turn red with the criminals' blood. The three of us looked on as our enemy was finally defeated for good. He must've known he had nothing more to live for, after his ultimate plan had failed and it was made clear that he could never win.
After watching the helicopter wreckage for a spell, we made our way back to the car and began the long drive back to Carmen's house. The first several minutes were in complete silence.
"Phew, glad we got all that over with," Xavier broke the ice.
"And good thing, too. The less I have to wear this damn armor, the better," Tequila replied.
"I wouldn't jinx it, if I were you," I joked. "But seriously, I'm glad we're done with these assassins. It'll feel really good to be able to sleep at night for once."
"First you got rid of the most corrupt president in America's history, and now you've saved the people from potentially getting hurt by a group of dangerous rogues," Carmen chimed in.
"Well, most of them were rogue," Xavier chuckled. "Same can't be said about Pygmy Hippo, at least not with a straight face."
"But honestly, after all you three have done for this country by now, you deserve much more than a mere statue," Carmen continued.
"Yeah, like maybe build us a museum or something," Tequila mustered up a small smile, after having been stoic and taciturn for most of the ride so far. "Maybe we could put these armor suits in their own special glass case, 36C breastplate and all."
"Not before I mass-produce them and add them to our military's arsenal, that is," Xavier replied.
"Say, uh, Tequila. Are you feeling okay?" I asked in a more concerned tone.
"Hmm? Oh, uh, yeah. Yeah, I feel pretty good. Kinda' guilty, but also kinda' satisfied, honestly," Tequila sighed. "I take it this is how you felt after we took out Gonzalez?"
"Why yes, actually," I replied. "And I can't say I'd ever felt that way up until that day."
"Ah, I'll never get tired of hearing how you guys triumphed over that pendejo," Carmen mused. "Say, since we still have about an hour until we get home, what say you tell us the story again, Jasper?"
All I did was sigh and roll my eyes.
"If you do, I'll whip up some more of those empanadas you love!" Carmen bribed in a sing-song voice.
"Oh, alright," I chuckled. "But seriously, I really need to get that story written in paperback form, so that way I don't have to tell it out loud anymore."
~ ~ ~ The End ~ ~ ~