The driving beat of the music seeped through Liam as he slunk through the shadows of the Hi-N-R-Gee night club. His head bobbed with the beat of the music. He jerked his hand to his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Touching the button, he saw the single text. Midnight in five.
“Yeah, yeah,” he muttered and dismissed the message. Scanning the crowd, both sitting and dancing, he smiled to himself. “Good crowd. College kids with rich parents. Easy pickings with just a bouncer at the door.”
Toby looked at his phone and saw the time change to 11:59 pm. With deft fingers, he tapped out his next message Everyone in place? In seconds the three other people responded with yes. “Going like clock work,” he muttered to himself.
Turning his head, he locked eyes with Paul. Toby raised an eyebrow, then nodded once. Paul responded and stepped towards the dance floor.
Paul stood next to the dance floor with his legs spread. He breathed in and let it out slowly. His eyes took on an eerie purple hue as smoke poured out of his hands and wafted through the narrow spaces between people. It was the people closest to him that coughed first. As the screen spread more people shifted and coughed.
Aaron’s eyes darted to the vibrating phone. Initiate. With a tap of the side button, he dismissed the message and stowed his phone. Both his hands clamped over his mouth. Breathing out his nose, he forced his voice to travel. The feedback screaming over the speakers told him he had control.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said over the amplifiers. “You are now the victims of a robbery. So, if you wouldn’t mind, pull out your valuables. No, we don’t want your phones. Zip?” Like Toby had planned.
Liam nodded and bolted from his standing position. Shuffling through the crowd, his hands darted to hands, pockets, and tables. In a matter of seconds, he held a stuffed bag. Dashing across the room, he deposited his sack next to Aaron, who held his hand over his mouth. Snaking another sack, Liam went back to work.
At a table with three purses, he spotted a knot of snakes hissing at him. Two raised up and opened their mouth, exposing needle-like fangs. “SHIT!” He pulled his hand back and froze in place. “Fucking snakes.” Spinning around, he looked for his partners. Not finding them, he looked back at the snakes. They were gone, leaving only the purses. “What the fu—”
A red light pulsated in his face. Both of his hands went to shield his eyes. They weren’t fast enough. His arms twitched and his knees buckled. Sitting down hard on the floor, Liam stared around at the walls, tables and other people.
A young woman approached. She had multi-colored hair, fingerless gloves, and aviator goggles covering her eyes. Her white shirt and black leather vest contrasted with the rest of the club goers. “You should sleep,” she said and waved a hand in front of his eyes.
Liam tracked her hand. The slow pulsating dull hues of light weighed heavy on his eyelids and he slumped over, not moving except for the slow steady breathing.
Paul saw a shadow move through the smoke. “Someone’s coming,” he said turning his head towards Toby.
“Choke him out,” Toby said, looking at his cell phone. “Where is Zip?”
Bringing his hands up and pointing his palms towards the approaching shadow, Paul willed the smoke to change from dingy white to green. Three people nearby gagged and flopped to the floor, clutching at their necks.
“You might want to stop that,” the shadow said.
“Not a chance,” Paul shouted. “I’m immune.”
“To pain?” The shadow pointed a finger at Paul, holding a finger pistol.
Paul laughed. “Is that thing loaded?”
The shadow solidified and Paul saw the woman with different colors in her hair. “Oh yeah,” she said. “It’s loaded.” She pointed the tip of her finger at Paul’s foot then laid her thumb alongside her finger and said, “Pew.” The bright yellow beam exiting her finger penetrated the thick leather boot, and foot, of Paul.
“Enghaaaaaaaaa!” Paul’s hands stopped emitting smoke and he clutched his lower leg. Continuing his motion, he rolled on the floor.
Toby shifted. He moved several steps to the side. “Aaron put this broad on the floor.”
The speakers screeched and howled. Patrons of the club clutched ears and opened their mouths in silent screams of agony. Several went to the floor, writhing in place.
The goggle-wearing woman raised a finger and tapped on the rounded, heavy-plastic earphones over her head. A corner of her mouth twitched and she shook her head as she extended her hand towards Aaron. Several small gray dots floated towards Aaron.
With eyes the size of saucers, Aaron stepped backward from the dots as they floated. His face turned to Toby, who was running away from the woman, struggling with the sack of items Liam had collected. The scream into his hands was conveyed to the speakers.
In an instant, the gray dots exploded with wide in front of Aaron’s eyes. Both of his hands released his mouth and covered his eyes. His screams of pain fell from his mouth, leaving the speakers and amplifiers empty. Two hefty club goers tackled Aaron and held him on the ground.
Toby careened for the exit. The goggle-wearing woman flung both her hands in the same direction Toby was running. A deep red light appeared between Toby and the door. “It’s just light,” he said and bent forward. He didn’t expect the resistance he felt when he collided with the light construct. After the hollow thump, Toby staggered back and fell to the floor. A shadowy figure leaned over him.
Taking her headphones off she squatted close to Toby’s face. “Don’t come back to my club. I don’t take kindly to people interrupting my shows.”