THE FIRST CRIME
Jimmy and Jerry James considered themselves to be the best criminals in all of Century City. Their approach was flawless, the execution seamless, and the getaway perfected. This was their calling in life: to be the greatest convenient store robbers to have ever graced Century City and beyond. They had even taken their gang's name, and their own pseudonyms, after the world famous James Gang. At least in part.
The James Gang would arrive on the scene no later than two in the morning, but never before twelve-fifteen, run into the convenience store, brandish their weapons (Jimmy preferred a fully automatic G18, while Jerry leaned towards the handcannon with his Desert Eagle), frighten the people inside, empty the register, and then make their getaway. They wore old west styled clothing complete with boots, spurs, and cowboy hats, and hid their faces and identities with the fake names and handkerchiefs. The getaway was almost always made on foot as they dashed and darted through the City's intricate vascular system of alleyways, dead ends, and less-traveled streets.
Tonight was no different. The act had gone award winningly spectacular, and their getaway was in the middle of its progression when the lighting-fast flash of blue, red and gold stopped them dead in their tracks.
"What the hell was that?" Jimmy asked.
"I don't know," Jerry replied. "We should keep moving."
They took a few steps towards an open mouth of one alley that led into another, their boots splashing in the fresh puddles that had pooled up from the rain earlier in the evening. Jerry didn't know what it was that had hit Jimmy, but life had become a prisoner of time as it slowed down to almost nothing. He saw the flash of colors in a great speed then, as everything went into a slow-motion mockery of real life, he saw his partner (his brother) swept off of his feet, land on the back of his neck, and toppled over himself.
As he drew his pistol and turned to face whatever it was that had taken his brother and turned him into a broken heap of human mess he was met with a vicious kick to the stomach. All the wind he had inside his lungs went from them and he gasp as he doubled over and clutched at his abdomen. He felt another set of arms, muscular, strong arms, wrap around his midsection over his own before he felt the ground disappear from his feet. He was in the air before he knew it, and back on the ground even quicker. In slow motion, once again, he felt each of the individual vertebrae in his back separate from one another in a sickening series of cracks as he was slammed down onto the ground, flat on his back. He coughed, wished for air and for the pain to go away and watched as the costumed individual shook a small can up and down, bent over the limp frame of his brother and depressed a button. The sound of fwooshing air came from it and the acrid smell of paint filled his nose. He then watched, unable to move, unable to do anything, as the costumed individual who had destroyed the careers of the James Gang, grab their award winning loot and disappear back into the night where it had come.