Soldiers of the Damned
Author: Garrett R. Kirby

Chapter 3
Bar fight

Chapter 3:

It wasn't long before we had reached Tank's house. Personally, I hated calling him Tank outside of the base, but Little Jimmy was a bit much. Why couldn't he just let me call him Jim, or something along those lines, like a normal person.
"Home sweet home." He smiled as we pulled into the driveway. He lived in a pretty big house, bigger then anything I could have afforded anyways. He had a wife and a daughter, so every time he got to come home he was happy he could be with them for  little bit.
"How do you do it?" I asked.
"Huh? Do what?" He replied, looking at me with an odd expression.
"How do you deal with having a family, and always having to leave them behind when it's time to go back to work?"
He stared at me for a moment, then looked out the window as he took a minute to think.
"Well, I guess when you put it like that it's pretty black and white sounding kid." He sighed, then looked back at me. "But that's the glass half empty way of viewing things. I tend to view it the other way. See, the way I see it, even though I don't get to see my little girl and my beautiful wife a whole lot, when I do get the chance to see them, it makes life a whole lot better. Just that little window of time with them... it's something magic kid, and I ain't one for feelings like that most of the time. What does that tell you?"
I nodded, taking in his words. "I suppose that makes sense." I said.
He smiled, then looked out the windshield at the house.
"Let's go Randy." He said, getting out and walking around the back to get our bags. He got everything except one of my little bags, which I carried up. I opened the door and let him step inside before I followed after and closed the door behind us.
"Anybody home?" His voice boomed. The only reply was a faint echoing through the halls.
"I'll take that as a no." I said, walking up to the guest bedroom to set my bags down.
When I walked back downstairs I found Tank laying on the couch, watching the news. He looked back at me and smiled.
"Take a seat brother." He said. I smiled back and took a seat in one of the armchairs across from him.
Tank's TV was huge. It was bigger then even me, and almost as big as him.

"And in other news," The news woman said in a cheery voice, which I thought was pretty fake sounding. "The new 'miracal cure' vaccine will be out on June fifth! People have been eagerly awaiting it's arrival and-"
"That's just two more weeks." I said over the voice of the news lady.
"Yeah, they produce that stuff pretty fast these days huh?" Tank yawned as he stretched.
"Welcome to the future." I replied with a small smirk.

Tank sighed and sat up. He looked at me then at the TV. "Wanna do something?" He asked.
"Well that depends on your definition of something, because if you body slam me I would most likely die a horrible, painful death." I replied. Tank chuckled, taking that as a joke... I hoped he knew I wasn't kidding.
"I meant video games or something." He said.
"I'm not very good at games." I frowned.
"All the more reason you let me teach you how to be a good player." He argued with a small smirk.
"I would rather you just called Jerry already. We need to be in that meeting." I sighed, thinking about the horrid idea of SSP kicking us out.
Tank frowned and nodded. He stood and walked over to the small table next to my seat, where his phone was laying.
He picked up the phone, dialed Jerry's number, then waited.
"I'll put him on speaker." Tank said, hitting the speaker button.
After two rings Jerry picked up.
"Hello?" Jerry's voice asked from the small phone.
"Jerry, it's Tank and Randy. We need to talk to you." Tank said, his voice now deep and serious instead of joking and playful. Tank could change emotions in a snap. Not in a bi-polar way, but in a way where if he wanted to act tough, he could, and if he wanted to act like a clown, he could do that too.
"Oh? Well Neal  and I were just going to get a few drinks with Jack, do you want to talk over a beer?" Jerry asked, his voice now somewhat lighter and happy.
"Sure, what bar?" Tank asked.
"Lacy's." Jerry replied.
"We got a bar named Lacy's?" I heard Neal ask in the background.
"Yeah, it just opened up." Jerry said, his voice quieter. I assumed he was holding the phone away from his mouth for a moment.
"We'll meet you there." Tank said. "I think it's a good thing we will all be present."
There was a small beep when Jerry hung up the phone. Tank turned towards me and gave me a odd look. I wasn't sure, but I guess I had a weird expression.
"What?" Tank asked.
"You know I don't drink. At all." I replied with a frown.
"Get a Coke then." Tank shrugged. "Go get ready."

-1 Hour Later, Lacy's Bar and Restaurant-

Tank and I stood at the bar, looking for either Jerry or the others.
"I think I see Neal." Tank said, then stumbled forward as some drunk guy pushed through the crowd to get to the front of the bar.
The bar was overly crowded, and frankly, it was making me claustrophobic. I was trying to look through the crowd to see Neal, or at least the person who Tank thought was Neal.
"Wait, never mind." Tank frowned. "False alarm. He had a cowboy hat."
"I thought nobody else had those things anymore." I said.
"I did too." Tank replied, then smiled when he looked back at the door. I looked over and saw Jack walking in, his face covered in a old skull mask that went around his head. This was one of the only things he had outside of his armor. Jack was wearing a black t-shirt and black jean shorts. On his arms and legs we very visible scars and burns.
"Hey Jack!" I yelled. "Over here."
Jack looked over at us and his eyes lit up under his mask. I could tell he was smiling by that twinkle in his eyes.
"Hey man." I said when he got in what I thought was a good enough range to hear.
"Hello." He said, his voice rough. "Where are the others?"
"I don't think the others are here yet." I replied, looking around.
"But it's still hard to tell." Tank finished for me.

Just then I felt a hand grab my shoulder, making me jump. When I turned around I saw it was only Neal. He was wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. It had the Confederate flag across the front.
"Hey, we're over on the other end of the building." Neal said, his southern accent still strong, even over the crowd.
I nodded and gave Tank a small bump. When he turned to look at me I simply gestured for him to follow us.
Jack and Tank followed behind Neal and I until we reached Jerry. I really didn't even recognize him at first.
Jerry's head had been completely shaved. No hair at all.
"Jerry? Aw dog what did you do to your hair?" Tank asked.
"I realized I didn't look all that tough with hair." He shrugged. "And whenever I went out in my armor I came back with helmet hair."
Tank shook his head and frowned. I took a seat at the end of the table. Jack sat next to me, and the other three sat on the other side.
"Ok, now we need to talk." Tank said, looking over at Jerry.
"Right." Jerry nodded. "What is it?"
"I heard about this whole thing that's going down. Randy and I want in there when it happens, you need us." Tank replied.
"I don't need you. I am the leader of this team. Now, that said, I want you there, and you can come." Jerry said, making the first part quick so he could skip right to the 'I want you there' part.
Neal and Jack looked across the table at each other. I saw Jack shrug out of the corner of my eye, and Neal frown.
"I guess I need to tell the two of you now..." Jerry said.
That was all it took for me to pull out my MP3 and zone out.

It wasn't until I saw the waitress coming with my drink, a coke that Jack kindly ordered for me, that I snapped out of it. I paused my MP3 player to see if Jerry had stopped explaining.
"I'm just saying I don't like Country, it's just not my thing." Jack was explaining to Neal. I assumed they were in another fight about the Banjo, which happened quite often.
"Country is true art, not that screaming..." He paused, eyeing me. He knew I would correct him just as soon as he cussed. "Crap that you and Randy listen to."
"It's not crap." I frowned. "And it's not all screaming."
The waitress finally pushed her way past the lake of people and gave us all our drinks. I wasn't even sure what Neal and Tank had, but it didn't look legal in my eyes, and I was starting to worry about Tank driving home. Jerry just got a beer, and Jack got a Diet Coke. Like me, Jack didn't drink.

I sat for a moment and listened to Jerry and Tank talk about the meeting. Again, I zoned out. I sat and thought about what could happen if they made us these... super-cops that they want. It couldn't work, we just were not made for that.
It wasn't long before a sudden ear-piercing noise came from the bar area. It was a loud "boom". Now, me being around these kinds of noises on the field, it really didn't affect me.

The room was suddenly dead silent, you could hear a pen drop. I couldn't see anything past the crowd of people, but I could hear somebody yelling pretty loud.
"Give me... the money." The male voice yelled. I could tell by the somewhat stupid way he spoke he was just drunk out of his mind at the moment.
I looked over at Tank as he stood and tried to see what was going on. Seeing that he was the tallest one here, he could see over the crowd. Everybody was backing away slowly, and Tank started walking through them towards the man. It had gotten to the point to which I could actually see the man. He was shorter, about my height maybe, he had red hair that was long in the back, but short in the front. He looked like he could be in his late twenties, early thirties.
"Tank? What are you doing?" Neal asked. I saw Tank frown as he walked closer to the man.
"I'm gonna do something about this." He replied.
I watched as Tank walked right up to the man. The man turned as Tank poked his shoulder. The little red-haired man looked so helpless when he looked up at Tank. I could tell just by the look on his face he knew he would lose, but then again, the man was drunk, so who knew what he was thinking?
"S-stay back man!" He yelled, holding his gun up towards Tank.
Tank simply smirked in return and backed away. He had the "I know what I'm doing" look on his face, which meant he was planning something.
"I am gonna wipe that smile off your face!" The man yelled, shooting his gun again.

I closed my eyes. I was not in the mood for seeing the walls painted with Tank's blood. After a few seconds I worked up the courage to open my eyes, and found myself stunned at the fact that the bullet had completely missed him. Instead of hitting Tank, the bullet had gone past him, and out the window. At first I didn't see how the man could have missed him point-blank. I mean, Tank was huge, and he wasn't even trying to dodge.
The man fired off his gun again and the room was filled with ear-piercing shrieks. Again, the man missed. Tank just stood there smiling while the man backed away. A clicking noise came from the gun when he tried to shoot again. Tank smiled wider and walked after him.
"Oh man, I'm so screwed!" The guy yelped. He kept backing up until finally he ran into the bar. Tank pulled back his fist and slammed it into the guys face, which sent him flying back over the bar.
"Broken nose, two teeth missing, you wanna try again?" Tank asked.
The man just stayed down, blood gushing from his mouth and nose. Tank looked around at all of the scared faces and then walked back to the table.
"Dang..." Neal said. "You still got quite a arm."
"Yeah... he won't be getting up any time soon." Tank smirked.
Jack sighed and flipped up the bottom part of his mask to take another drink. He was very good at keeping any of us from seeing him.
"Well..." I frowned. "I'm ready to go."
Jerry laughed. "Ah, your probably just worked up about the meeting, eh? Well, you don't need to worry about a thing. None of you do. If they got rid of us they would be sorry."
Neal nodded. "Yeah, they ain't gonna do nothin'."
I forced a smile at them. "I guess so." I said, trying to make my voice sound happy.
The thing was, bigger problems were coming. Problems the whole world would soon have to face along with New York. All because of the little "miracle cure" that we thought would save lives.


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