Click here for previous "Royce."
"We need backup, now! Officer's down! I repeat: officer's down! Multiple victims! I don't care! Get more people here now!" a policeman shouted. He fired his weapon at Royce but kept missing because he was shaking so badly. Royce kept firing his weapon at the patrol cars.
"Why won't this son of a bitch go down?!" another officer asked. "Has he even run out of shots yet?"
"I don't think so!" the policeman replied. He looked around and saw many of the officers either on the ground dead, bleeding, or hiding behind their vehicles. He had never seen a weapon like the one Royce was using. It appeared to glow at the end of the barrel.
A news helicopter flew too low and drew Royce's attention. Royce aimed at it cutting right through its tail end sending it spiraling to the ground.
"Everyone move out!" an officer screamed as the helicopter crashed to the ground taking out six police cruisers. A huge fireball exploded in the sky. Royce never stopped firing his weapon.
Back at Anne's place she and Lady watched as Royce shot at the news helicopter and the image went black. Anne slapped the arm of the chair she was sitting in. Lady jumped up dropping her popcorn.
"That nigga is crazy!" Lady screamed.
"No, he is reckless" Anne replied. "I can't believe he had it this whole time."
"Had what?" Lady asked.
"The 'Streetsweeper.' He had it this whole time and he never let me know" Anne said.
"That's the fuckin' 'Streetsweeper'?!" Lady gasped. "I didn' know that shit was real!"
"No one did really. But apparently Royce did" Anne said. "We need to go help him."
"'We' meaning 'me', right?" Lady asked. "You see how many cops is there?"
"I am sure you can handle it" Anne said. "Take your bike."
"I'm gon' need something special for this" Lady said.
"Fine. Take the 'Rhino'" Anne sighed.
"Yes!" Lady screamed as she kissed Anne on the cheek. "I'll see ya later, mama" Lady said as she grabbed her bike helmet and ran out the door.
Royce walked closer to the blazing helicopter. The police fired more shots. Three hit him in the chest making him stumble back a couple of feet. He almost dropped the "Streetsweeper" but quickly composed himself. Another news helicopter arrived and zoomed in on Royce. Back at Albany's mansion he, Djinn, and Oberon were watching the breaking news report. Albany was glued to the television.
"This silly bastard" Albany said. "What is he thinking?"
"Nigga got the 'Streetsweeper'!" Oberon shouted. "What I tell you, nigga?" he said to Djinn. "I tol' you that shit was real! Look at that! I want that shit!"
"No one will get it once the L.A.P.D confiscate it" Djinn said. "If any of us want that weapon we have to go there and get it." Oberon looked at Djinn and smiled.
"Nigga. My nigga. Are you thinkin' what I'm thnkin'?" Oberon asked.
"Both of you are insane" Albany said. "But correct. Get that for me."
"Yes, sir" Djinn said.
"Take 'The Beast' with you. I want all bases covered" Albany said.
"Shit, you mean business, huh?" Oberon asked. "But I don't like that fuckin' thing."
"I will handle it" Djinn said.
They both ran to the garage and found "The Beast." It was a street modified T-282-B. Albany purchased it illegally and had it built for Oberon as a gift. It cost over $3,000,000 but was worth it for the look on his face when he saw it. That look quickly faded when he found out it was a stick, not an automatic. It has only been driven once. Djinn started the engine and it sounded like a bomb went off. Oberon flinched.
"I hate this fuckin' thing" he said.
"I do not understand why. It's yours" Djinn said as he exploded out of the driveway heading towards Royce.
Meanwhile Lady was just arriving at the scene. She counted over thirty police cruisers and seventeen SWAT vans. She clipped on an attachment to her metal stump. It looked like a shiny metal hand with only three fingers. Anne got it for her a while back after seeing her struggle with a gun and a knife at once. She figured two guns would be better for Lady.
"Ain't this some baby back bullshit?" Lady muttered to herself and she revved up her engine and headed into the fray. Anne could see her from the wide-angle shot from the news copter. Thankfully Royce had not decided to shoot this one out of the sky. Anne saw the police notice Lady as they began firing on her. She slid Anne's bike, "The Rhino", and pressed a button on her helmet that caused a kickstand to plant the bike in a standing position. Lady rolled behind it and started firing at the SWAT vans.
Anne quickly ran to her closet and began throwing boxes on the floor. She opened a cleverly hidden doorway and pulled a box out. It was very heavy and made a loud crash when it hit the floor, almost landing on her foot. She dragged it downstairs to her car and started the engine.
Since Anne was in the closet she missed Oberon and Djinn arriving. Guns blazing and Oberon hanging out the passenger window firing wildly at the officers. "The Beast" rolled over cars like they were watermelons.
"Man, this is gon' be easy as shit!" Oberon cheered. Suddenly they were bombarded with gunfire. Oberon ducked inside while Djinn tried to avoid the fallen helicopter. Royce had his gun aimed directly at "The Beast" and was not checking to see who was inside. Lady saw Royce and shouted at him. He could not hear her over "The Streetsweeper."
"This muthafucka gon' get all us killed in a minute" she thought to herself as a bullet slammed into the back of her helmet.
"How can you do this to us, brother?" Anne-Marie asked Albany. "What are we supposed to do?"
"That is no longer my concern. I have taken care of the two of you long enough" he replied. Royce just looked at Albany and sighed. "This is my chance to have a better life. Can you just be happy for me?" he asked.
"Yes, brother. I will be quite happy for you as your baby brother and I scrounge for food in the streets" Anne-Marie said. "As we dine on garbage and water from drainage ditches we will sleep comfortably knowing that you are warm, fed, and happy to be free of the burden of family!" Anne-Marie took Royce by the hand and led him outside.
Albany was now 16, Anne-Marie 14, and Royce was 7. Their father had never returned for them. No one knows of what happened to Castor Danish. Albany went to find some of his associates and found only a few. The rest had vanished as well. Albany wanted to ask them for money but was too ashamed. A few even tried to force money into his hands but stubborn pride kept him from accepting.
The State discovered that the children had no guardian when after a brutal fight in which Royce cut a child's index finger off because he pointed at him. There was no attempt by a parent to meet with the school principal.
A nice, wealthy family was interested in adopting Albany and he quickly accepted their offer. They did not want Anne-Marie feeling that she was too pretty and would cast a large shadow over their own homely daughter. And Royce was deemed too "anti-social" for them.
"I can not believe that Albany would split us up like this" Anne-Marie said to Royce as they walked down the street holding hands. They neared a construction site where one of the workers tapped his co-worker on the shoulder and motioned towards Anne-Marie.
"Hey, pretty lady!" he said. The other whistled at her.
"I am only 14, sir" Anne-Marie said.
"Hell, 'old enough to bleed old enough for me', as my dad used to say!" he replied as he climbed down from his scaffold and headed towards her. "Don't be so cold."
"Sir, please just let me and my brother pass" Anne-Marie said. "We do not want any trouble."
"Sweetie, there is no trouble here" he said. Three more of his co-workers were now surrounding Anne-Marie and Royce. "How about a kiss?" His co-workers laughed.
"Sir..." Anne-Marie began before being slapped across the face.
"What's with all this 'sir' shit?" he spat. "I see. You're one of those uppity rich kids, aren't ya?"
"Sir, I suggest you stop right now before I get upset" Anne-Marie said. She released Royce's hand and wiped her mouth. That slap had drawn blood. Anne-Marie shook her shoulders and put her fists up.
"Uh-oh!" one of the workers said. "I think we got a little Rocky Marciano on our hands!" he laughed.
"I tried to warn you" Anne-Marie said before jabbing at the mans head. He laughed and began to bounce left and right, slowly jabbing at Anne-Marie while laughing at her. His co-workers laughed as well until Anne-Marie threw an uppercut that dropped the man immediately. His knees shook and he landed hard on his back.
"Let's go, Royce" Anne-Marie said while stepping over the unconscious man.
"Hey, ya little whore!" one of the other men shouted. "Get back here!" he said as he ran towards Anne-Marie. Just as he was about to kick her in the back Royce grabbed a shard of glass from the ground and stuck it in the workers inner thigh and broke it at the end. The man went down screaming. When he fell on the ground trying to pull the glass out Royce sat on his chest and began choking him.
"Get off of him!" another worker said as he ran over and kicked Royce in the head. Royce did not release his grip on the mans neck. The other worker joined in as the two of them kicked Royce repeatedly in the head and back. Anne-Marie grabbed one of them and kneed him in the groin. As he bent over, the air flying out of his lungs so fast he whistled like a teakettle, she elbowed him in the nose. He fell backwards, blood gushing out of his nose.
The last one standing threw a wild right at Anne-Marie. She dodged it easily and punched him in the stomach. As he bent over she brought her elbow down on the back of his neck. Royce released his grip on the now unconscious man and began choking the other two at once.
From around a pile of bricks Albany watched this entire exchange. He had no idea his sister Anne-Marie could fight. He knew she could talk a very good deal but he had never actually seen her in action. As for his baby brother, he knew he could fight. But he did not know that Royce had the capacity to fight as a team player. The wheels began turning.
One of the problems his father had was a lack of trust. Since his mother had died he saw the downward spiral his father was on. His vanishing act did not surprise him at all. He knew his father could not trust him to continue his job. He always felt Albany was too soft and beautiful for the dirty "work" that was required. But now Albany saw two people that he knew could do it.
And do it well.
"Great job!" Albany shouted to Anne-Marie and Royce as Anne-Marie pulled Royce off the other men who were now out cold. "Where did you learn to fight like that?" he asked Anne-Marie.
"I don't know" she replied. "Well, I used to sneak down to the gym and watch father every other weekend. He never knew I followed him. Was I really good?" she asked, a smile covering her entire face.
"You were more than really good!" Albany said. "And you" he said placing his hand on Royce's shoulder. "You protected our sister here very well!"
"Speaking of which, brother. Why did you not help?" Anne-Marie asked.
"You did not look like you needed help" Albany said. "That's besides the point" Albany said. "Let's get Royce cleaned off. I think his head is bleeding."
"That's not his blood" Anne-Marie said.
"I have an idea" Albany said. "One that will keep us together for years if we do it well."
"Really?" Anne-Marie exclaimed. "Does this mean you will not be leaving us?"
"Not for a while" Albany replied. "I see a long prosperous future for the three of us."
"I as well" Anne-Marie said. "We will never part. We love each other too much. I love you, Albany" she said. "And you, too, Royce" she said as she smoothed his hair back.
Royce just walked ahead of Albany and Anne-Marie. He looked at the blood on his hands. The dirt under his nails. He felt the steady beat of his heart in his chest. He sighed and scratched his neck.
"We're going to be known throughout the world someday" Albany said. "The world! We will be infamous!"
"You mean 'famous', do you not?" Anne-Marie asked.
"Right" Albany said.