This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any actual resemblance to persons or historical persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The Greatest American Hero and Dukes of Hazzard characters, settings, ect. are owned by other entities who have not endorsed this fic nor have they given permission for their use. Author makes no claims to these characters and is not making any profit off their use.

© Copyright: ­2010. Lisa Philbrick


The Greatest American Hero/The Dukes of Hazzard
Southern Cross Series:


By: Lisa Philbrick



Los Angeles, California

At the wrought iron gate of Noah Vincent’s estate, Bernie Taggart’s Cadillac Deville sedan was waved through. A stocky built man with black curly hair and sideburns, Bernie looked like a truck driver dressed for a funeral in his dark grey suit. Truthfully, he was a truck driver, but he wasn’t dressed for a funeral.

He parked his Cadillac behind a white Mercedes and stepped on the stone path that led to the back of the main house. Bernie paid little mind to the manicured lawn, perfectly arranged flowers and the lush orange trees that made up the landscaping. This visit was not for luxury. It was business.

Noah Vincent was waiting. He didn’t look like a truck driver, dressed with elegant casualness in light khaki’s and a white open collared shirt. A man for whom California living agreed with, he was tanned and fit for his near 60 years and his snow white sculpted hair was never out of place.  No, Noah Vincent didn’t look like a truck driver, but he had been at one time and now ran a trucking and transportation business that covered nearly every road from southern California through the southern United States. An empire, for the most part, that began running bootleg whiskey out of Texas back in the ’30s. During WWII, Noah served as a driver in a transportation unit in the Army and took what he learned of logistics to build his own trucking company. The bootlegger in him, however, pushed for a challenge and a thrill and before too long Vincent’s legitimate trucking venture was supplemented by the occasional hire out for hauling contraband.

By the early 70’s, Vincent’s reputation, and that of his drivers, had come to the attention of Johnny Diamante who was expanding his dope trade into Southern California. Johnny needed somebody who could meet the shipments in Mexico and bring them north. Without fail, Noah Vincent delivered the goods.

But then Johnny ended up in jail, busted by the Feds. After only a minor interruption the dope trade continued to flourish in California as other pushers moved in.  Paco Castillo seemed to be winning more territory, while Vincent found and connected with another distributor, somebody who was more than happy to take Johnny’s place. With control of Johnny’s old shipping lanes, most importantly the Mexico connection, Vincent himself now wielded more power but it made for frequent clashes between Castillo’s men and Vincent’s since Castillo also had connections in Mexico.

The first test of how far that power could reach, however, had not gone so well. The botched hit in Chattanooga and the loss of the Hit Car had left Noah Vincent fuming.

Under the shade of the patio umbrella, Noah looked up as Bernie approached. He placed the newspaper he was reading aside and pointed to the other patio chair for Bernie to take a seat.

“What did you find out?” Noah asked.

“Most of what’s been in the newspapers for the past week is correct,” Bernie replied. “Jay and his boys were caught and arrested by the Feds and the Hit Car was impounded.”

“Who spoiled it?”

“Maxwell. With some help from some hillbilly deputies.”

“Maxwell? That sonofa…” Noah growled.  “Of all the places in the country he could have been transferred to, he had to be transferred to Atlanta!”

Bernie nodded. “According to what Theo found out, Maxwell spotted the car as soon as it arrived in Atlanta and tracked it from there on out.”

“Any indication that Jay or any of his boys have talked?”


Noah nodded. “I can’t afford to have them talk either.  And I’m irritated we lost the car on the first run.”

“You gonna call Piper? Send a cleaning crew to Atlanta?”

Noah nodded. “I have no choice. I can’t afford for Jay to reveal who financed his operation or who got him the Hit Car. I also want the Hit Car back and I want Maxwell to be taken care of once and for all. He may be in Atlanta now, but I have a feeling he can still cause a hell of a lot of problems here in LA.” Noah looked at Bernie. “Got any other happy news for me?”

Bernie shook his head. “That was it.”

“Then go on. I got a phone call to make.” Noah stood up from the patio table and headed for the house, leaving Bernie to see himself out.

**** **** ****

Atlanta, Georgia. Two days later…

Three Ford Crown Victoria sedans moved along the interstate highway flowing with mid-morning traffic. The caravan was carrying the four men who had attempted to kill seven governors at an economic conference just a couple of weeks earlier in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  On this morning, they had a court date for a preliminary hearing at 10am.  Jay and Ronnie were in the first sedan that led the parade, with Agents Ainsworth and Davis. In the second vehicle were Carl and David with Agent Kenny Hygate driving and Agent Bill Maxwell riding shotgun.

“Did you watch the football game last night?” Kenny asked.

“That was a football game?” Bill replied with a chuckle. “Sorry, Kenny, but your Falcons stink. I’m sticking to my Rams, thankyouverymuch.”

“They weren’t that bad!”

“They were terrible! I can think of a high school football team back in LA that can play better than what I saw last night.”

Trailing behind the third Federal sedan was a white Chevy Suburban with dark tinted windows. It was not officially part of the caravan but had been following since the Feds picked up Jay and his men from the Fulton County Jail.

“Well, we’re only just in the preseason,” Kenny was saying. “They got some new blood and they just gotta find their rhythm that’s all. I really think they’re gonna do well this year!”

“I know hope springs eternal, Kenny, but what the Falcons had three or four seasons ago I don’t think you’re going to see again for a while. Not this year and certainly not after what I saw last night. Preseason or not.”

The banter about the football game was suddenly interrupted by the sound of squealing tires behind them. Bill looked at his outside mirror in time to see the Crown Vic behind him go headlong into the guardrail, the front end squishing like an accordion before the entire car spun around wildly.

“What the—?” Bill turned in his seat to look out the back window. The white Chevy Suburban was coming up on them fast and Bill saw the gun barrels sticking out the windows. “Kenny stand on it! We’re under attack!”

“What?” Kenny glanced at his side mirror. He hadn’t heard any gunshots. As an afterthought, Bill hadn’t either just before the other sedan was taken out but the gun barrels poking from the Suburban were now aimed directly at his and Kenny’s car.

“GO!! Hit it! I don’t know what these guys are up to!”

The Suburban roared up along driver side the Crown Vic and fell back only for a moment as Kenny hit the gas. It caught up again and the gun barrels suddenly spit a barrage of silent bullets into the back hide of the Crown Vic. Bill had his .45 in hand but could do nothing at the awful sound of shattering glass and bullets meeting their targets in David and Carl.


Kenny swerved away from the Suburban but the move was fruitless. The gunfire just kept coming, through the broken window and ripping across the backseat of the Crown Vic. Bill flinched and turned away from the massacre.

Kenny pushed to try to get ahead of the Suburban but there was no breaking away. In desperation to get away from the attackers, he did the only thing he could and slammed the brakes.

The Crown Vic slowed and the Suburban zoomed past, still spitting its terrifying onslaught of bullets. Kenny’s window shattered and sudden pain pierced his arm and chest.  He jerked suddenly, tipping the steering wheel enough to start sending the Crown Vic out of control. Bill looked at Kenny in horror as a swath of gunfire cut across the front windshield of the Crown Vic from the now fleeing Chevy. Bill ducked below the dashboard to shield himself from the spraying glass, and flying bullets that otherwise would have nailed him in the head.

The Suburban sped away. Despite having hit the brake, the Crown Vic was still moving at a good clip. Kenny, severely wounded behind the wheel, could do nothing as the car lurched to its left where the Suburban had just been and went straight into the Jersey barrier in the middle of the highway.  The rear of the car left the ground and the sedan flipped over along the barrier crashing hard on its roof and sliding a few feet before finally coming to a rest.

The sudden silence of the highway was pressing. Bill, feeling every limb and joint ache from being tossed around inside the car as it flipped, paused only long enough to realize he was still conscious. He was lying on the ceiling of the car, glass shards cutting into his hands and poking through his clothes. He ignored the pain and wounds, focused only on getting out of the car.

C’mon, Maxwell, keep it moving. You gotta get out of here… Luckily, he was facing the side window, which had busted out when the car flipped over. He moved painfully and crawled out of the Crown Vic.

Outside the car, he pushed himself up to sit on the hot asphalt. He turned his bloodied palms up and could feel something warm running down the side of his face.

Forget that! Kenny! Where’s Kenny?!

“Kenny…” Bill gulped back his queasiness and turned around to the Crown Vic. He got to his knees and looked inside the car.

Carl and David were contorted and slumped at the back of the Crown Vic, each mortally wounded. Kenny was sprawled on the driver’s side, on his back, with a leg still caught under the steering wheel.  “Kenny! God…”

Bill staggered to his feet and stumbled around the back of the Crown Vic to get to the driver’s side. He could smell gasoline and he saw something on the bottom side of the engine of the Crown Vic was on fire.

“Kenny!” Bill kneeled down and grabbed at his fellow agent. “Kenny, can you hear me? You gotta move, brother, you gotta get out of this car!”


“C’mon now…” Bill reached up and tugged on Kenny’s leg that was hung up on the steering wheel, freeing it and then grabbed two handfuls of the shoulders of Kenny’s suit jacket and pulled him. Kenny grimaced in pain but pushed himself out through the window of the car.

There was no time to rest. Bill wrapped his left arm around Kenny’s unwounded right and hefted the agent upward to stand. “Up now…on your feet soldier, we gotta move…”

Kenny stood, cried out in pain and leaned against Bill.

“Easy…” Bill said. “Can you walk?”

Kenny nodded and spoke with a labored breath. “Yeah…”

The two injured agents walked away from the Crown Vic and along the Jersey barrier. Bill glanced up and saw the southbound lane of I-75 looked like a war zone. There was a trail of debris all over the highway and the first Federal sedan hit was sitting several hundred feet back, in the middle of the road. Southbound traffic was at a standstill behind the wrecked sedan.

Northbound traffic was also reacting to the chaos of the southbound lanes. Traffic slowed, pulled to the far right of the highway and several people pulled over and stopped.

Just as Bill and Kenny got far enough away from their wrecked car, the Crown Vic exploded. Both agents flinched and stopped, Bill looking back at the burning car for only a moment before turning his attention back to Kenny. Bill had little concern for his own injuries as he noticed the gunshot sounds Kenny had suffered. He looked at his old friend with concern as he let Kenny lean against the Jersey barrier. “Kenny?”

“Let me down…will ya, Bill?”

Kenny’s legs were weak beneath him and he nearly collapsed to the asphalt. Bill held on to Kenny’s arm and eased him down then kneeled beside him.

“Easy, Kenny, you’re going to be all right…” Bill turned open Kenny’s suit jacket and started to unbutton the vest.

Kenny looked up at Bill and saw the trail of red down the side of Bill’s face. “Damn, Bill…yer…hit…”

“Bah, just a cut. I’ll be all right. You will too, you hear me? Stay with me now, help’s coming…” Bill looked up and around as he spoke. A few bystanders were climbing over the Jersey barrier in hopes to help. Bill thought he could hear sirens way in the distance. He hoped he was right about help coming, medical help.


**** **** ****

A couple hours later, the emergency room at Atlanta Memorial Hospital was practically taken over by the FBI. Bill sat on the end of one of the emergency room beds, his hands cleaned and treated. An attractive black female nurse finished cleaning up the cut on his head, applied a bandage and wiped the dried blood from the side of his face.

“There now,” she drawled, “that looks much better.”

“I wish I felt better just as easily.”

The nurse gave a sympathetic nod as a couple of agents arrived at Bill’s portal. Commander Frank Mayson, head of the Atlanta FBI, stood looking grim. “At least you’re alive, Maxwell.”

“I know, sir.” Bill looked at the nurse just as she was to excuse herself to leave. “Thank you,” he said to her.

She nodded to him and left.  Bill turned his attention to Commander Mayson. “How’s Kenny? Is he going to be okay?”

“He’s in surgery now. The Doc is cautiously optimistic.”

“And the others?”

“Ainsworth and Daugherty are being patched up.” Mayson paused. “Davis and Phelps weren’t so lucky…”

Bill sighed. “Davis…was just a kid.”

“I know. Young agent with a young wife and child. Guess where I have to go after this?”

Bill closed his eyes briefly. He had barely gotten to know the two young agents but they had seemed like good stock.  He looked at Mayson again. “What about Jay and Ronnie? They dead too?”

“Yeah. Either somebody wanted to see Jay a martyr or they wanted to shut him up.”

“My guess would be to shut him up,” Bill said. “Whoever financed Jay’s excursion to Chattanooga doesn’t want anyone to see the signature on the check.”

“But who?”

Dunno, we never got that much information out of Jay. But whoever it is has access to professional killers and isn’t afraid to utilize them.”

“Whoever it is picked the wrong FBI field office to screw with,” Mayson said. “I don’t take too kindly to somebody laying my agents to waste in the middle of a highway.”

“We’ll find out who’s behind it all, sir,” Bill said.

“You’re damn right we will.”

**** **** ****

The next morning’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a screaming bold headline:

Horrific attack closes portion of I-75 for hours

Thomas Piper, a grey haired modest looking man, stood near a newspaper box on Peachtree Street put his change into the slot and lifted the glass to retrieve a copy. He stood for a moment, admiring the typeset of the headline, glanced over the photograph of the massive traffic back up on I-75 the day before and then read through the article. The news story confirmed that the four men suspected of having plotted an assassination attempt of several state governors at the recent economic conference were, in fact, dead. Along with two FBI agents.

Piper looked up, folded his paper and tucked it under his arm. The first job was complete. There was no smirk of victory, however. He and his men still had obligations to meet. He walked with purpose to his car and drove away down Peachtree Street.

He drove back to the cheap motel located in a questionable section of Atlanta. The area may have been questionable, but the advantage was no questions would be asked of his presence or that of his “cleaning crew.”

The crew, consisting of three additional men, was capable of any and all tasks required to finish their jobs. They were professional and they worked together like a well trained military unit. There was Nicky Peterson, the thin, shaggy blond lead hit man of the group and weapons expert. Hugh Dunnells, the dark haired handsome ace mechanic and wheelman. And Murphy “Moose” Jones, a six foot tall muscular brute of a man who preferred to deliver death with his bare hands instead of a gun. The three were waiting in the room when Piper returned.

Moose crushed his beer can in his hand when Piper walked in.

“Christ, Moose,” Nicky complained. “Will you stop doing that? Crushing an aluminum can doesn’t prove anything.” The sniper picked up another empty can and demonstrated his own strength of hand by crushing the can.

Moose just gave a toothy grin.  “Keeps the fingers limber.”

Nicky rolled his eyes. He looked at Piper as the leader handed him the newspaper. “The first job is complete,” Piper announced.

Nicky held up the newspaper, as if to admire a portrait. “God lookit that friggin’ beautiful mess, will ya?” he grinned. “And that headline! That’s the best one we’ve had yet!” He turned the paper around to show his comrades.

Hugh stuck a cigarette in his mouth and walked over to the paper, taking hold of it. “Oooh, I like how they call it a horrific attack.” He skimmed the article.  “Nailed two Feds in the process too, not bad.”

“Too bad it’s not the Fed on our list,” Nicky said.

“His time will be due,” Piper said. “Our next job is getting the Hit Car back.” He looked at Hugh. “You and Nicky cased the place last night?”

Hugh nodded and turned to the nightstand next to the bed, picking up a piece of paper with a crudely drawn representation of the impound yard. “Southern Feds must be poor, they got the Hit Car stashed away in a local towing and repair place. She’s sitting there, just waiting to be rescued by her prince charming.” Hugh smiled, referring to himself.  He put the drawing down on the bed and the men gathered around. “Chain link fence surrounds three sides of the yard, the front is the building and a stockade type gate here at the entrance. Got woods on either side and in back. Over here is a residential neighborhood. Nothing’s parked in front of her so breaking her out will be a cinch…”

“Any kind of theft alarms or cameras or anything?” Piper asked.

“Not that we saw. There are floodlights over the yard and barbwire at the top of the fence, but no hard wiring of the gate. Just a padlock and chain. Really not anything to distract us from getting in there. Or getting out.”

“Even if there is any kind of alarm system, by the time the thing is tripped and the cops respond, we’ll be out of there,” Nicky said.

“Exactly,” Hugh concurred. 

Piper nodded. “All right. We break the car out tonight and stash it at that closed up auto garage on the west side.”

Hugh sighed. “I wish you’d let us use the car, Piper, that thing is built for what we do.”

“It’ll be too hot, Hugh, you know that. Our job is to get that car out and keep it under cover to be picked up later.”

“Yeah but I’ve heard too much about this Hit Car to not want to try it for myself.”

Piper smiled. “I’m not saying you won’t ever have a chance to try it, it just won’t be on this job.”

“That’s a damn shame.”

**** **** ****

“Figured I’d better call you,” Bill was saying to Ralph on the phone later that evening, “since that blitzkrieg attack here in Atlanta made the national news.”

“Blitzkrieg is a good word for it,” Ralph said. “You weren’t mixed up in that were you?”

Bill drew a breath and rolled a shoulder. “No,” he lied, not wanting Ralph to worry about him and lose focus on what he needed to be doing with trying to resolve things in LA so Bill could go home. “No, I wasn’t. Uh, but it was a mess. Everybody at the bureau here is really upset about it. That’s why I called, incase you’d seen it and I didn’t want you to think it had been me.”

“I’m glad you did call, because Pam and I wondered.”

“Yeah. So, anyway. I’m okay. The trick now is to track down these killers and find out who hired them.”

“You think Noah Vincent had anything to do with it?”

“I don’t know. It seems a bit of a stretch for Vincent, but I guess it’s possible he provided more than just the Hit Car. Have you found out any more with the suit?”

“Not for a few days, no.”

“Well, try to keep at it, kid. I know the school year’s starting and all but…I need your help.”

“I will, Bill. I promise. I’ll find out what I can and let you know.”

**** **** ****

The impound yard, located on Oakdale Drive, was nestled in the middle of a residential area. Later that night, Piper and his men parked a couple of blocks away from the yard and walked on foot on the crumbling sidewalk toward it.  The neighborhood was still.

Dressed in black, they blended with the night. Hugh and Nicky disappeared into the wooded lot next to the yard, while Piper and Moose walked across the front parking area and up to the building. Moose hefted an axe over his shoulder and he and Piper stayed in the shadows of the outside lights as they walked the length of the building to the wooden gate. There they waited.

At the chain link fence, Hugh placed a small black rubberized mat over his shoulder and climbed up the fence. At the top, he placed the mat over the barbed wire and scaled over it. He dropped down to the ground and landed easily on his feet. He then looked to Nicky, who tossed a small duffle bag over the top of the fence and Hugh caught it.

Nicky then scaled the fence and joined Hugh inside the yard. A quick look around confirmed they were the only things moving about. They walked to where the Hit Car was parked, waiting.

Hugh traced his hand along the sloped back of the car. “Hello darlin’…”

“Oh please,” Nicky complained. “Make love to the car after we get it out of here, eh?”

Hugh snorted. With familiar ease, he opened the driver door and settled into the seat. The dome light shown over the black interior of the car, black seats, black carpeting and black dashboard. The windshield ahead of him was also black. He allowed himself a brief moment, feeling the contour of the seat, touching his hands to the steering wheel and the gearshift. He had heard so much about this car that in that moment he had no doubt the stories were true. The machine was capable of anything. Unfortunately, it had never found the right driver.

Until now.

“Hugh…” Nicky grumbled.  “Will you c’mon…”

Hugh just grinned and gave a sideways glance at Nicky before opening up the duffle bag. He found the tool he wanted and flashlight and slid out of the car, kneeling down in the open doorway and positioning himself to reach under the dashboard. While Hugh worked to hot wire the car Nicky stood guard and looked around the yard at the hulking wrecks and disembodied car parts that had seen better days. After a few moments, Hugh muttered a curse.

“What?” Nicky asked.

“It didn’t catch…” Hugh slid out from under the dashboard and pulled the hood latch. He stood up and walked to the front of the car, lifting the hood. He shined his flashlight over the high-end engine and saw no immediate reason for the failure to start. No parts missing. Fuel lines were all connected. He leaned over the engine block and poked and checked things.

Nicky watched without comment. Auto mechanics was never his thing. He could disassemble and reassemble any gun, rifle or weapon known to man. But cars? Forget it. He was lucky he knew where to put the key. But Hugh, he knew, knew his stuff, although Nicky hated the way Hugh could sometimes be a little too intimate with cars.

After another moment, Hugh was back under the dashboard again.  This time the car sputtered and hacked but wouldn’t turn over.

“Aw you bitch…”

At the front gate, Piper looked at his watch. “What the hell’s taking them so long?”

Moose could only shrug. He didn’t know much about cars either.

Back in the yard, the frustration was mounting.

“If you don’t get this piece of crap started we’re screwed,” Nicky said.

“Thank you Mr. Obvious,” Hugh replied. He stepped back to the engine again. “Damn battery’s probably bad from sitting or the fuel tank’s empty. Something stupid. Either way, we’re not getting this thing out of here tonight. Not on her own power anyway.” He slammed the hood down.

Nicky sighed and looked around the yard. Parked near the entrance/exit gate was a flatbed car carrier. “What if we load it up on that truck?”

Hugh looked over. “Worth a shot. Go tell Piper what we got going on, I’ll grab my bag.”

Nicky jogged over to the entrance gate while Hugh hurried to the car carrier. The door was unlocked and Hugh climbed into the cab.

While Nicky was telling Piper and Moose what was going on through the closed gate, the car carrier came to life. Hugh maneuvered the truck within the yard, backing it up to the black Dodge Charger.  Leaving the truck running, he jumped out of the cab and worked the controls for the flatbed, extending it out and down to the Hit Car.

Nicky returned and Hugh quickly instructed him on how to hook up the chains. The two men worked swiftly and secured the chains to the underside of the car.

At the gate, Piper directed Moose to go ahead and smash the locks. Moose stood back, raised the axe, and cracked it through the wood with swift and brute force. It took only a few hits before the hinges of the lock gave way with the splintered wood. The wooden doors were now free to open wide.

Inside the yard, the Hit Car was inclined on the flatbed. Hugh worked the controls and the flatbed shifted and slowly began to straighten. They were nearly there.

Moose stayed in the driveway while Piper walked into the yard to see how Hugh and Nicky were doing. The big thug hefted the axe over his shoulder again and turned around to keep watch of the street. He grinned to himself. This job was too easy!

Whups. Wait a minute. Red lights. Cops!

Two cruisers came from opposite ends of the street. Moose swung the axe off his shoulder, turned and ran into the yard, yelling “COPS!”

Piper spun around at the muscle man and then saw the red lights flickering in the trees. He yelled for everyone to get into the truck cab. They had only one way out of the yard.

Once they were all squeezed into the cab of the truck, Hugh put it in gear and hit the gas. The truck rumbled forward toward the gate just as two cops on foot were coming down the driveway. The officers dove out of the way of the fleeing truck and at the last second, Hugh saw one of the cruisers was blocking the exit completely. The flatbed truck smashed directly into the cruiser, pushing the grey sedan out of the way.

The truck broke free and hit the street.

“We’re clear! We’re clear!” Nicky said.

“Get us back to my car, Hugh then we’ll get this thing to the garage,” Piper said.

Hugh turned the corner after a couple of blocks and slowed where they had left their car. Piper, Nicky and Moose unloaded from the truck and hurried to the sedan. Hugh continued on down the road in the flatbed soon followed by Piper.

The surviving Atlanta police cruiser from the impound yard, however, was coming up in pursuit and the two cops were calling for back up.

The disadvantage for Hugh at the moment was being an expert wheelman in a two ton truck, which wasn’t built for speed. Behind him, Piper drove evasively to keep the cop car away from the flatbed truck, but the effort couldn’t be kept up indefinitely. And all four men knew that additional cops would soon be joining the pursuit.

The police car behind Piper swung around him finally and passed the sedan. It took little time for the cruiser to past the tow truck and cut in front of it, forcing Hugh to hit the brakes.

Maybe they would lose the Hit Car tonight but Piper wasn’t about to lose any of his men. When the police car had passed them, he ordered Nicky to pick up his gun and prepare to give Hugh some cover. Nicky had immediately obliged and turned to Moose in the back seat, waving for one of the rifles on the floor. Moose handed the weapon over and Nicky rolled his window down.

Now, as the two cops were standing protectively behind their patrol car, which faced broadside to the truck, they ordered Hugh to get out of the vehicle. Hugh hesitated, giving enough time for Piper to come up alongside the truck with Nicky facing the cops and their patrol car. Nicky opened fire, tracing bullets across the side of the cruiser smashing glass, gumballs and sending the two cops down to the asphalt to avoid the gunfire.

Moose opened up the backdoor of the sedan and Hugh jumped down from the truck. He dove into the car and while Nicky was still shooting, Piper threw the car into reverse. The gunfire ceased, the sedan squealed away and disappeared down a side street, and the two cops were left with a bullet riddled police car and an idling tow truck.

Chapter 2