Front Door Tactics
By Leia Fee


Here we go again.  Somehow no matter how Hannibal's plans start out, we always seem to end up here.  'Through the front door'.  Which usually ends up as 'through the window', 'through the porch' or 'over the balcony'.  Or there was that one time it ended up in the kitchen.

Today it's some scumball tycoon's villa and I got point.  Hannibal's off to the left, Face away to the right and Murdock's up on the roof somewhere.  Least I hope that's where he is.  It's where he'd better be.  Better be paying attention too--fool's probably up there chattering to someone who don't exist.

Right.  Time to get on with it then.  Least this big expensive garden's got plenty of cover. 

One guard on the porch.  Armed.  M16. 

I edge closer, bellying through the bushes along the edge of the lawn.  If I could just take him without drawing attention this might even go smooth for once. 

Suddenly I spot a couple more guards round the side of the house.  They're yakking at each other 'stead of watching but they're too close for me to take out the porch guard without them seeing.  Guess this isn't going to be a quiet one after all.

I hear a cuckoo call and look up.  Murdock is crouched at the edge of the roof above the guard.  He points down at him then taps his own chest.  He could take him, but could he do it quietly enough?  I wave back and signal 'wait'.

I whistle low and see the other two turn.  Face is closest to the two house guards.  Between us we could bring them down.  Hannibal is almost on top on the porch guard already.  He could deal with him, which still leaves Murdock as a lookout.  Or the backup I hope we won’t need.


I sign the plan to Face, who nods, and Hannibal, who waves the go-ahead.  I look back up at Murdock and signal for him to stay put.

Without warning, Hannibal vaults over the low porch rail and onto the guard, who drops like a stone but not before he lets out a yell.

I bite back a curse mama wouldn't be proud of.  Too soon.  Too loud.  I wanted to get closer first. 

I run towards the building and see Face also sprinting towards the house guards who have grabbed up their weapons and spun to see what just happened. 

We reach them almost on top of each other and then it's all fists and feet and yelling.  I hear both rifles clatter to the floor then out the corner of my eye I see Hannibal putting the boot into the door.  It flies open at the second kick and he disappears through it.  I swallow another curse.

"Face!"  I jab a finger at the front door Hannibal has just charged through with no backup.  Face turns, swears and we both run towards it.  Murdock has disappeared again.  I just hope he's watching our escape route.  I have a nasty feeling we're gonna need it soon.

Me an' Face bang through the door on Hannibal's tail and freeze as we enter the hall.  Guess this answers why there were so few guards outside.  Didn't need it with all the firepower in here. 


Hannibal's right in the middle of the hall, standing, with his hands in the air but a smoking cigar still in his mouth.  Our tycoon scumbag Mr. Rosterro waves at me an' Face with a pistol and a nasty smile.  We both drop our weapons.

"Nice entrance," Hannibal says.  "Pity about the welcoming committee though."
"Yeah."  I don't know how he can stay so calm. 

Rosterro smiles and starts to speak but is interrupted by an almighty shriek and the crash and scatter of broken glass from overhead.  We're probably about as surprised as the bad guys but maybe we're more used to it because in that one mad second we all grab our weapons back and train them on Rosterro's goons. 

Rosterro looks even more dazed than his lackies and is sort of swaying on the spot.  Don't know if he even realises that's Murdock's gun tucked under his chin. 

Murdock, of course, is still grinning in spite of the fact the glass he dived through cut him up pretty good and he looks like he's been dragged through a bramble bush backwards.  He's limping too and I glance up at the bust skylight.  Gotta be a good twenty feet, it's a wonder he didn't break his fool neck, never mind twist an ankle.

Hannibal is calmly telling Rosterro what he thinks of him, just as though this was all part of the plan, and Face is dabbing half-heartedly at his latest black eye. 

Just another day on the job.

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