Army of Devils, стр. 5

"Detective Towers," a voice answered.

"Hey, Bill. It's a crazy Federal you know."

"You hotshots don't waste any time. Who called you?"

"No one. Remember the demonstration? At the academy..."

"Oh, yeah. Sorry. Forgot all about it. This shit, you know."

"Yeah, I know. I bought a newspaper. Shit is right. Very bad shit. What's the story?"

"This an official call or what? If it isn't, the policy is that I can't talk to you."

"I'm officially calling as a concerned citizen. From the pay phone outside the front door."

"I'm sorry, but the department cannot comment on this case to any civilians or outside law-enforcement agency. If you are patient, I'm sure the newspapers will carry every detail of the investigation, arrest and eventual acquittal of all the low-life scum punks involved. Three minutes, okay?"

"I thought you could fill me in."

"Absolutely not, sir. Goodbye."

Lyons waited at the steps until Bill Towers walked from the building. Without greeting his friend, Lyons rushed to the street. Lyons motioned with his right hand as he watched the traffic for the rental car. Flor turned the corner. Lyons looked to his right. Towers hurried away.

"You talk to your friend?" Flor asked as Lyons got in.

"Don't take off just yet. Let him make some distance."

"He's up there?"

"In the checkered sports coat."

Flor laughed. "That coat! Where do cops get their clothes?"

"He's got kids in college. He thinks they're more important than how he looks. Go. He'll be waiting around the corner."

Accelerating into traffic, Flor braked at a crosswalk. City workers crossed the street. Several read newspapers with headlines that screamed:




A group of professionals argued among themselves, the voices of the well-dressed and immaculately groomed managers and attorneys loud even in the noise of the cars and trucks.

"This will unleash the worst police repression since the sixties..."

"The department will just dress the Triple K in blue and send them out to kill everything that isn't white..."

Music blasted away the traffic noise. Three teenagers in sneakers and torn jeans and identical black nylon jackets — despite the midmorning heat — wove into the crowd. One of the punks carried an expensive "ghetto blaster." The professionals looked up to see the ghetto punks.

The argument stopped. The professionals quietly scattered. The punks looked around at the fearful people and laughed. The light changed to green. Ignoring the crosswalk's signal, the punks strolled in front of the waiting cars. When cars attempted to proceed, one punk pointed a pistol-finger at the drivers. The cars stopped. The punks bebopped in front of Flor and Lyons.

One punk saw Flor. He stared at the beautiful young Hispanic woman sitting with the Anglo man. He grinned, showing all his yellow and broken teeth. Stroking the crotch of his filthy blue jeans, he swaggered up to Flor's window. "Hey, baby. Wanna get high with a cool brother..."

Flor jammed the muzzle of her Detonics .45 into the punk's mouth.

Spitting teeth and blood, the punk staggered backward into slow-moving traffic. A truck's fender hit him, bounced him into the car waiting behind Flor and Lyons. The truck did not stop.

Accelerating away, Flor laughed. Lyons returned his Colt Python to his shoulder holster and looked back.

The punk crawled on the asphalt, screaming and cursing, blood spraying from his lips. No one stopped to help him. His friends stood on the curb while traffic swerved around him without slowing.

Turning right, Flor stopped in front of Detective Towers. The middle-aged policeman with twenty years of worry lining his face glanced around at the people on the sidewalk before swinging open the back door. In a second, they merged with traffic again.

When he saw Flor, Towers blinked. He studied her for a moment before asking Lyons, "Who is your assistant?"

"My name is Flor. Carl, wipe this off." She passed the Detonics to Lyons. He turned and grinned to his old friend.

"Should have seen what just happened!" Lyons used a rental-company brochure to wipe saliva from the muzzle of the autopistol. "This punk thought he'd abuse the pretty lady. Turned out he got a forty-five in the mouth."

"You shot someone? On the street there?" Towers looked back.

"No shooting." Lyons used his thumbnail to scrape a bit of flesh out of the hairline space between the Detonics's slide and the frame. "Just low-velocity steel."

Towers laughed. He ran his hand through his thinning hair and reached inside his coat for his cigarettes. He tapped one out of the pack. He counted the cigarettes remaining and then put the cigarette back.

"Glad you showed up, hardman. This man needs some laughs. You read the newspapers?"

"Can't be true."

"It's worse." The detective stared out at the parking lots and shop fronts. The heat and mid-morning smog created a gray day without colors or horizons. The boulevards faded into the near distance, the buildings and cars becoming only shadows within the gray.

"Much worse. I thought Manson was the ultimate. But these punks, these gangs made Charlie and his little girls look like Bo Peep and the sheep. You two work together?"

"Flor's coming in as… what did you call it?"

"We can talk?" Flor questioned Lyons before she answered.

"Bill was in on the Hydra op," Lyons said. "He knows enough to be a superstar at any congressional hearing. But only about Los Angeles."

"I'll be an interface between the DEA and his group," she said. "The terrorists seem to be funding their forces with dope money. Follow the dope, find the terrorists. Follow the terrorists, find the dope. It is natural that I work with Carl."

"There's drugs in this. The punks were up on some crazy drug."

"Was it PCP?" Lyons asked.

"Back where the gang went up against the old man with the shotgun, one of our men found some drug. And you know, he gave it the sniff test. Instant freak-out. His partners had to knock him down and tie his arms and legs. He's in the psycho ward right now."

"What was it?"

"Isn't Angel Dust. It's something else. Soon as you drop me off, I'm getting on the phone to the chief. I'm requesting very special federal assistance. Then maybe you two can come on as liaison.

"Because we're going to need you. This stuff the gangs got, what those gangs did to those college girls, what they did to that Mexican family, human beings can't do that. I think it's the drug. Doctors don't know what it is. Chemists don't know.

"And all I know is what it does. That dope… It's got to be something straight out of hell."


When Lyons called Stony Man from a scrambler-fitted pay phone in Philippe's French Dip Sandwich Cafe, April Rose switched him directly to Hal Brognola.

"Finally, you called in," the cigar-smoking big Fed said. "We got a job for you out there in Los Angeles."

"The crazy dope?"


"The gangs that have gone berserk on some kind of super-PCP out here. I want in on the action."

"If you'll listen, I'll give you your assignment. It's related. There was a weapon found on one of the punks who got killed. A Colt Automatic Rifle, one of those abbreviated M-16s..."