Hospital Fighter Ch. 7 Night Showdown
10:55 PM, I am moving in. That hospital haunted me till this time – especially after hearing about the criminal underworld’s hands in Soviet medicine. Using trigger-happy thugs as proxies to expand the reach of this weird new drug; I figure there would be errand boys present after hours to collect the new shipment so, instead of digging through files and not discovering anything new; I’d go straight for those who aren’t meant to be there.
Although this hospital was only 20 minutes away, I had to take many detours considering a police patrol is out there looking for me, especially after my daring escape. This meant dark alleys and other people’s gardens; yes there were old village-style houses nearby – a fairly common sight in Soviet cities. I hope they don’t have dogs. Starting from the derelict factory I camped in, I dove straight into a dark alley at a full sprint as my left eye caught sight of 4 shadows walking single-file; obviously a police patrol.
Back-to-wall, I listened to the air expecting to hear at least a cough but hopefully, an APB or what is happening at their precinct. However, after 5 minutes, I decided to make a move so I darted deeper into the alley; no one there. Suddenly, fragments of a conversation sparkled in the night air.
“He cut me…..”
“Wait here, I think I can catch up to him, won’t go too far with a shot knee!”
Could that be that angry old guy I heard about? Those could be either cops or thugs with guns; I won’t risk finding out to avoid getting myself shot; curiosity killed the cat after all. What seems like minutes later, I was hiding behind a broken washing machine in someone’s garden with the hospital being an arm’s distance away. Late night always makes the human mind paranoid, every sound from the wind to bugs hitting the window; it all sounds like footsteps and incomprehensible voices saying something not really friendly. My ears conjured “I know where you are hiding!” and “Come out!” As a bonus, some commotion started inside the village-style house.
“Again with this?!” a female voice stammered, “You are acting like a kid, Viktor!”
As if it was kicked in, the front door of the house swung open sending a loud bang into the air; competing with other hostile sounds like a rookie wrestler in a royal rumble. Lowering my profile and peeking around the corner of the washing machine, I saw an emaciated, bald middle-aged man in a wife-beater shirt and heavily worn trousers.
“I should have had committed you long ago!” the woman continued ranting as she emerged next to him while Viktor began reaching to his right. As she tried to continue her rant, she stopped short as the man produced a double barrel shotgun.
“What is THAT for?!” the woman demanded, desperately searching for something.
Viktor, hanging a shell bandolier to his shoulder and loading a volley into the gun replied, “He is back and this time, I will finish him off!”
“I should have divorced you the minute you mentioned this so-called night guest”!” the woman tearfully finished and stormed inside. Viktor, gripping the gun tightly stepped forth and scanned the immediate area as if he was a cowboy in Apache territory; a second of delay could cost him life. Obviously, I was going to avoid him since it wasn’t my fight – it could have been a feral cat he confused for a monster during a drunken stupor for all I know. Waiting till he had his back to me, I sprinted across the yard and by pure faith; I jumped over the fence, hoping against hope not to feel pellets.
“I heard you!” Viktor’s voice rang behind me, “You tore up my chickens pretty badly and now you regret it; as always when a tougher foe steps up!” My reflexes took me to a large bush; it was pitch black so I have to stay still; if I move now I’d get shot instantly. So far, I faced crazed junkies, corrupt cops and possessed people; did the new decade do this to him? Push him so far over the edge to a point of shooting the first thing to make noise at night? That and also can’t forget the unhinged knife-wielding vagrant who stabs cops who could be nearby.
Viktor was over his fence now; he walked around while aiming his gun at every dark spot on the street; it was still too early to run so I remained still.
“Excuse me, have you seen my cat?” a raspy voice poked the night air; it came from a tall figure who materialized behind Viktor.
“I got your cat right here!” the defender sneered as he replied with his shotgun stock; getting enough distance, he squeezed the trigger; waking up every ghost of this street while scaring what was alive. Viktor, for his frail appearance, reloaded the gun with skill and speed – as if he was on speed-loading drills all this time. However, the figure was still standing; he missed his shot and now the figure wanted his blood. It pushed Viktor to the ground and unleashing an axe, it started swinging at him – then and there I flew out of the bushes and drop-kicked it away; the figure fell, dropping its axe.
Punching it a few times, I grabbed it by the throat and looked it in the face; it looked like it saw many hardships – the kind of face you expect to see on concentration camp residents. It was an old man who had angry red eyes and un-kept black facial hair – looking at me with intense rage, he threw me off. Definitely too strong for his appearance, I thought as he produced an ugly-looking knife; it looked more like a sharpened tractor wrench; heavily rusted with blood.
“Militia, freeze!” another contender joined the battle royale. “Release him!”
The figure suddenly took his attention away from me and jumping to Viktor’s body; he pulled out his axe and flung it in the direction of the only law on this street. The cop had every reason to open fire, as he did; moving towards us, he fired at the figure several times. Unfortunately, it didn’t faze him and as I went for the figure, his ugly knife was deep inside the cop’s chest. The old guy was angry and this anger gave him immunity to bullets – his will to kill overpowered pain. Pulling out his knife, he charged at me.
Possessed by my reflexes, I stopped the attacker with a sharp roundhouse kick below the ear – that put him down instantly. The street fell completely silent – not even a dog barking in the distance could be heard. My street fighting experience saved me yet again as it was a total circus of not only the desperate but the insane, drugged up, criminal and psychotic; this meant not only fists but drug-induced bravery, mental disorders, dire life situations, and weapons were an option. I had to keep moving so I didn’t dare approach the unconscious vagrant as he can spring back to life and stab me with something else – who knew? Turning towards the hospital, I sprinted away from the place; a dead police officer, civilian and an unconscious crazed vagrant is not something you want to get caught with.
A sprint worthy of a military physical evaluation candidate later, I was at the hospital – its maintenance entry where clean mattresses and medical shipments get unloaded. However, there were no trucks there, instead, there was a black BMW 528i sedan with an open boot and what I thought was the driver standing outside as if he was keeping a lookout or waiting for someone. The driver paced around the car, revealing more details as he passed the car’s headlights – he definitely looked like he wasn’t meant to be here – he’d fit better at the airport waiting for a flight to a Western country; he sure looked like he could afford it; his leather trench coat costs more than what a normal Soviet citizen makes.
“You don’t look like a doctor!” I yelled, approaching the BMW.
“What is it to….” The driver shot back as I cut him off with a jumping 360-degree kick to the gut – sending him flying towards the driver’s door. As his limp body slid down, I wasted no time and grabbing his head along with the ajar car door; I began his examination like a math teacher with an agenda.
“You Baryga’s errand boy?!” I demanded.
“I’m your sister’s pusher!” the driver replied.
“Wrong answer!” I retorted slamming the car door into his face; breaking many blood vessels and giving his seat a crimson streak.
“I am already a wanted man so don’t test me!” I punctuated my grip on his hair, “Make this easier for yourself – you’d just be another two-bit thug in my body count!”
“Three more guys are inside with the hospital’s lead doctor” the driver answered defeated, spitting blood onto the ground, he continued, “they are going to test the new drug on the patients now – lead doctor was in full favor of this; even gave us trouble for being late!”
“How do I get to Baryga?!” I asked holding his face up to maintain eye contact.
“You won’t, there are many trigger-happies on his payroll; including the ever-growing pool of disillusioned militia officers!” he sneered, probably visualizing me getting shot execution style, “My advice to you is to start gathering enough for a plane ticket outta here!”
“I’m already past that point.” I retorted, “Just tell me so we can end this in a win-win, besides, I won’t survive anyway so what have you got to lose?!”
“Baryga is almost never in town, you’d have to draw him out – you already know how since you are interested in hospitals and nightly deliveries to them.” The driver replied. “Do that enough and he’d sic the city’s worst on you – consider your future buried.” Letting him finish, I opened the driver’s head with a heel kick – like I said, more to the body count. I was a wanted man now so it won’t matter how I send the city’s worst to Hell so having frisked my victim; I scored a TT-33 handgun, a World War 2 era Soviet sidearm whose stopping power was known by the Wehrmacht, militia and rivaling gangs alike.
I’ve been around many hospitals and knew enough to conjure the fastest route to where I needed to go but this time; I wasn’t late due to oversleeping. The building was dead and dimly lit, not even patrolling nurses keeping an eye on the patients.
“Tell Adilbekov to check on the BMW outside” I heard down the hall, “He has to get up and do his job sometimes!”
I gripped the handgun and trained it at the source of the sound and by reflex; I squeezed the trigger on-sight of a shadow turning a corner. That shot acted like a starting pistol since I rapidly closed the gap between myself and the voice, my mind switched off as my eyes saw the hospital staff and three men in leather jackets – could be with the driver. They all fell as I opened fire, not giving them any space to react. At this point, everyone became hostile, it’s a safe bet that the whole city is colluding with each other to spread this horrible drug and corrupt our medicine. I gunned them all down so fast that for a minute, I began to ponder becoming an actor in Westerns if I live long enough to travel.
“Call 02!” (Police phone number in Russia and USSR) a horrified voice graded my trigger skill; it was a middle-aged man who was clearly stunned by what he saw.
“No, you don’t!” I called to him and with a shoulder tackle, torpedoed him into the nearest wall, “You got criminals here pushing drugs with your approval, that would look good, comrade head doctor!” The man wasn’t a fighter; he looked like he could faint any moment. I knew what I needed so his input was not required however; this hospital has to burn since its knee deep in corruption and on Baryga’s leash. If this Adilbekov guy is still around, he can be helpful in making every room a fire hazard.
Leaving the head-doctor to his panic stupor, I began seeking out anything that contained paper and sequentially, knocking it over; even going to the basement and flinging the incinerator door wide open. Last part of this would be petrol can which most cars have – the BMW can help me here. Suddenly, a shadow flew from above and my head felt like it can crack into 3 parts. That hurt more than it had any right to, may have broken one of the many stitches in my head.
“Kotak-pas!” (Kazakh curse word) I heard my attacker grunt.
However, this guy didn’t count on a counter attack so I caught him by surprise; shot straight for his legs and getting him off balance. We fell and overpowering my pain, I began choking him out.
© 2019 Jake Clawson