|A beast that resembled a malevolent gargoyle backed
into the darkest part of the alley before the other members of the gang
could see what it was.
"What'd he do to Irwin?” shouted one of the men standing behind the leader of the gang.
"Kung fu. " grumbled the leader of the gang. “But I got no problem with that martial arts shit.” He pulled out an automatic pistol and started to aim that pistol at the dark shape standing in the shadows.
Keeper transferred the device in his left hand to his right, and an instant before the gang leader could pull the trigger, Keeper pushed a button on the device.
The gang leader standing in the middle of the alley, aiming a pistol at Keeper disappeared.
Keeper groaned. He had not set his weapon correctly, had not calibrated its powers properly. He’d only meant to bounce the man off a nearby wall, not hurl him into a different dimension. Swearing to himself, Keeper recalibrated the device and pushed another button.
The leader of the gang magically reappeared in the alley, his arms located where his legs should have been, his legs emerging from where his arms should have been. The man was naked, covered with frost and Keeper swore again, then pushed another button.
The gang leader disappeared again.
"Now that was interesting," said one of the gang members.
Keeper pushed another button. The gang leader instantly materialized in the alley. He was still naked, still covered with frost, but this time his arms were where they were supposed to be and so were his legs.
"I say we forget this whole thing," said the leader of the gang, staring down at his own body. "Don't know where ah went, but ah appreciate being back. Also appreciate being all whole again."
"My pleasure," said a voice coming from the shadows. "Now, you going to make a problem for me or you going to walk away?"
"Going to walk away," said the leader. He was stark naked, still covered with frost, but he didn't seem to know it. All he really knew was his arms and legs were where they were supposed to be and he could talk and walk and that was a lot better than being where he had just been… which was no place he ever wanted to go to again. "I think we be off now," he said, raising his eyes and looking at the shape standing in the shadows. "That be okay with you?"
"Yes," said Keeper.
It finally dawned on the leader that he was naked. "Any chance you can bring back muh clothing with that beam-me-up-Scotty machine?"
The dark shape with the yellow eyes shook its head.
"Ah got no problem with that. No problem whatsoever.” The leader glanced back at the man standing behind him. "Jamal, gimme yo' jacket.” The man standing behind the leader jerked off his jacket. As he handed the jacket to the leader, Keeper's eyes took in the gang's logo painted on the back of the jacket. A large black spider was clinging to white web. Directly below the spider and web were the words: The Black Widows.
The leader of the gang took the jacket and wrapped
it around his waist like a kitchen apron, then risked one final glance
at the shape with the yellow eyes. "Ah just want to thank you one
more time for bringing me back… with everything intact.”