"Show yourself!" Gutzenheimer screamed, and Burger stepped further from the shadows. The monster wore a mask, but it wasn't the mask that first grabbed everyone's attention.
It was the woman with whom the monster protected himself from the angry masses.
Mags Davidson had become a human shield.
Kitty lunged forward, but Stockwell grabbed her before she could risk life and limb to rescue her friend. He grabbed with his left hand.
His right had four broken fingers, which he clutched to his chest. His thoughts raced. He shuddered at the thought of Mags being in harm's way. His breath caught when he considered that Kitty might be killed trying to intervene.
He wondered if he could open a Snickers with one hand.
He thought of his own mortality and he sighed. He didn't want to die tonight. He had a fresh Mountain Dew chilling in the break room.
Gutz raised the bayonet. "I will kill you if you harm her," Gutz said in perfect English and amazing calm.
"You'll never get the chance," Burger said, his voice disguised.
"What do you want?" Slick Mitchell asked Burger, as he stepped forward to stand aside Gutz.
"What is rightly mine," Burger replied.
"And that is what?" Mitchell asked, raising his gun and pointing it at the masked monster.
"Everything you have," Burger whispered. The voice was still disguised. It was eerie and disturbing, and Mitchell paled as his hand trembled slightly.
"You're not leaving here with anything," Mitchell hissed, and Mags whimpered, as Burger pressed the gun to her temple.
"You rotten little son of a bitch," Wonder Woman said, shaking off Bernice and breaking free from the pack on wobbling legs. She pulled something from her purse and held it in front of her.
"What the hell is that?" Kitty asked.
Grandma Wonder Woman hit a button and a plastic probe shot from the device. Electricity shot from the probe as it made contact with Stockwell, who fell to the ground like a sack of shit.
"Wonder Woman used a boomerang," Bernice hollered, and Grandma turned to stare at her.
"Do you think you can save anyone with a stupid boomerang?" Grandma asked, as the pile of Stockwell continued to twitch.
"You've killed him," Kitty whined, kneeling beside Stockwell who had become disturbingly still.
"Nah, he'll be all right," Grandma assured.
"Hello? Anyone remember me? The woman with a gun to her head?" Mags yelled, and everyone returned their attention to her. The recovering Stockwell was momentarily forgotten.
"Me for the girl," Mitchell said, laying his gun at his feet. "I'm unarmed. I'll go with you, give you whatever you want, but I'm not going to stand here and let you harm one of my employees."
"Look at you, little Peter, being all noble," Burger hissed, as he practically threw Mags to the floor. She fell hard, but got up quickly, and ran to Kitty, who threw her arms around her. Both women began to sob.
"I have no idea who you are," Mitchell admitted. "I have no idea why you think you're entitled to what I have, and I'm pretty sure it's not what you think. I know these people think I am some wimp who does nothing, but I manage this entire place. I work my ass off, trying to keep Mags from getting killed, and Kitty from losing an ear by catching her enormous earrings on a J hook. I somehow keep Stockwell from going into Diabetic shock, and Miles away from the track, and then there's Wilton, who I have to manage with Wikipedia, because I never know what the hell he's talking about. You want this mess, Burger? You want my life and everything that goes along with it? DO YOU? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT, YOU WORTHLESS PRICK WHO ISN'T EVEN BRAVE ENOUGH TO UNMASK HIMSELF IN FRONT OF THE PEOPLE HE'S TORTURED FOR WEEKS. YOU WANT MY LIFE?
Mitchell put his arms out to his side, like a modern-day Jesus. "Take it," he whispered, as Burger raised the gun.
Bernice screamed. Kitty hugged Mags as a mother would comfort a child, covering her face and shielding her from what was about to happen.
Burger cocked the gun and Mitchell closed his eyes and prepared to die.
Before Burger could fire, Astro flew from the ruined racks and plucked the almost-lifelike toupee from Burger's round head. Flustered, Burger momentarily lost control of his weapon. It fired into the air, and Astro screeched and went silent.
"You did NOT just kill my bird!" Daisy wailed, emerging from the shadows and wielding a large tool.
"Whatcha gonna do, you crazy bat? You gonna drill me to death?" Burger asked, as hatred dripped from his tongue.
"It isn't a drill," Daisy said, as a single tear slid down her face for the winged friend she'd lost. "You killed my bird, you bastard."
"So. I'm going to kill you all before the night ends," Burger hissed.
Daisy raised the tool and fired a single nail into Burger's neck. He screamed like a school girl, grabbed for his throat, and fell to the ground in a heap.
"They don't call me the Tool Queen for nothin'," Daisy said.