The mayor watched as his guardian stood protectively over him. DICO pulled off the two new nipples that had grown in place of the ones he had already thrown. He quickly hurled them at Jefferey, forcing the gunman back. Using the time he had just bought, DICO grabbed Mayor Poopenmeyer under the arms and dragged him back into the closest room. Just as they made it out of sight, two more gunshots rang out. One of the bullets struck the doorframe at the height of the mayor’s head.
DICO ran back to the door and blindly tossed out two more of his metallic nipples. Jumping across the opening, he managed to slam the door closed just as another bullet bit into it. Jefferey would soon be through the door, so the superhero tried to think of a way out of the room. A wet cough tore him away from his contemplations a second later.
Blood now dripped from between the mayor’s lips, along with the bullet wounds in his side and shoulder. His skin was pale and his breathing was ragged. If he didn’t get to a doctor soon, he would die. DICO tore strips of fabric from the mayor’s shirt and used them to try to stop the bleeding. “You never answered my question,” Mayor Poopenmeyer said as the hero worked on him.
“What took you so long to get here?”
The shop owner hated closing this early, but he didn’t have a choice. He had to get to his daughter’s wedding and both of his other employees had quit after a couple of The Boss’ thugs had tried to kill him. Not that he blamed them. This job wasn’t exactly worth dying for. And while the physical damage to the store had been, for the most part, fixed, it would be a long time before he felt safe in his store again.
A thread from that night brought him back to the present. Looking out the window, he saw a man sitting on the sidewalk a little further up the street. The man appeared to be homeless. His clothes were worn and had holes in them. His hair was unkempt and he needed a shave. The shop owner knew better than to judge him based on his appearance, though, for that man was DICO; the superhero who was responsible for the arrests of the men who had tried to kill him.
The shop owner thought about running a cup of coffee out to DICO, but saw on his watch that he was running late. Instead, he vowed to do so tomorrow if the superhero was still there. He stepped outside and closed the door. As he was turning the key to lock it, he heard a car horn going off. A man had almost been hit trying to cross the street. Despite almost being run over, the man never looked at the car. He just stared hard at the shop owner with evil intent in his eyes. The shop owner knew that this was another man The Boss had sent to kill him.
“DICO,” he screamed as the man drew a gun.
By the time the shop owner yelled, DICO was already in motion. He had jumped up as soon as he heard the car horn blaring. It was only a matter of time before they sent someone to finish the job that DICO had interrupted before, and he promised himself he would be there when it did. That’s why he had been sitting out in front of the store the past few days.
DICO didn’t have a clear view of the man because the car was somewhat blocking him. From his vantage point, though, it looked as if the man was reaching for something. Still twenty feet away, DICO knew that hewouldn’t do much damage from here, but he hoped that his nipples would be distracting enough that the man would leave the shop owner alone. He reached inside his shirt, grabbed a nipple, twisted it off, and let it fly.
It flew straight at first, veering slightly towards the end, and hit the man in the neck. Unfortunately, by that time, he had already pulled his gun out. The slap of the nipple against his skin startled the gunman and he pulled the trigger in response. With the gunshot echoing off the nearby buildings, the shop owner fell to the ground.
“No,” DICO cried as he put his effort into getting to the gunman as quickly as possible.
The driver of the car, after hearing the gunshot, no longer cared that there was a person in front of their car and floored the gas pedal. While the car didn’t have much room to build momentum, it still hit the gunman with enough force to sent him at least five feet away from where he started. It should have been something that he could easily get up from, but he landed awkwardly, hitting his head on the pavement.
By the time DICO got to him, the gunman wasn’t unconscious, but he did have a glazed over look in his eyes. DICO punched him in the face two times in rapid succession to ensure that the gunman stayed down. After almost forgetting about it, he also grabbed the gun out of the man’s hand. With that done, DICO went to check on the shop owner.
DICO didn’t see any blood, but the shop owner’s eyes were closed and he wasn’t moving. All he could do was hope he wasn’t too late.