‘An action hero with a liking for justice rather than law – Mike Dalmas
is my kind of guy.’ Zoë Sharp, author of the Charlie Fox novels
Mike Dalmas returns doing the cop’s dirty work. This ex-Special Forces vigilante is a father and a husband who is blackmailed by the Bay City cops to do the stuff their badge prevents them from doing. This Mike Dalmas story appeared in Kindle some time ago with Trestle Press. It’s out of print right now, but Mike Dalmas will return with a short story collection soon. To remind you about the character here’s…
THE COLOR OF BLOOD – A MIKE DALMAS SHORT STORY
Mike Dalmas was alarmed by the presence of a Crown Vic parked in front of his home. He was driving into his street with his SUV, his daughter, Margie sitting beside him. They’d just went to soccer practice. Dalmas was very pleased with his daughter, she’d scored two times.
Dalmas felt the Crown Vic didn’t belong on his driveway and neither did the man leaning against it. Dressed in his trademark cheap suit, smoking a cigarette, was Homicide Detective Carver. Dalmas had a special deal with Carver. The cop would keep the fact Dalmas, former Special Forces, killed the man that molested Margie under wraps and in return Dalmas would take care of the dirty work the badge didn’t allow Carver to take care of. Dalmas didn’t appreciate Carver’s visit to his home. He liked to keep that secret life as separate from his family life as possible.
Dalmas parked and left his car. He opened the door for Margie. She walked over to Carver.
“Hello sir, are you waiting for daddy?”
Carver smiled. “As a matter of fact, I am, kiddo.”
Dalmas, carrying Margie’s duffelbag filled with her soccer outfit, joined his daughter. The bag seemed to way nothing to him.
Dalmas, lowered his massive body until he was at her height and gave her a little peck on the cheek. “Sweetheart, go inside, okay? I will be along shortly.”
“Okay, dad!” she said and sped off inside.
When she was out of eyesight Dalmas got very close to Carver’s face and hissed, “Never visit me at my home again.”
Carver held up his hands in surrender, “Take it easy, Dalmas. I didn’t know that would piss you off this much.”
“Now you know. Remember it.”
“I will, I will. I just need to talk to you for a sec.”
“I need your skills again for a very special mission. Word on the street is that a few of the Bay City gangs are banding together. Imagine how tough they will be when they unite. We’ll have an even harder time keeping them in check.”
“So, what do you need me to do?”
“I want you to break up that cooperation. And I’ve got a great idea to do that. You kill one of the gangleaders dressed in the colors of another gang. That will break up their little supergroup nicely.”
“Won’t there be retaliations? A gang war?”
“Can’t be as terrible as these guys working together.”
Dalmas thought about the possible innocent bystanders that could get killed in a full-fledged gang war. He also thought about one united gang and how quickly they would become a power the police might not be prepared for. He’d done missions like this before, in the Middle-East. He had little moral problems assassinating a note gang leader. He came to a conclusion. “E-mail me the details.”
Carver shook his hand. “Great, I’ll get them to you asap. By the way, great to see your kid looking happy like that after everything that’s happened to her. You’re a great dad.”
Compliments from people other than his wife meant little to Dalmas. He was just too self-confident for them to do a lot. “Thanks. Now leave.”
“Sure,” Carver said and got in his Crown Vic. Dalmas watched him leave the street before he went inside to join his family for lunch.
Carver’s intel was pretty extensive. Pictures of the gang leaders, the places they visited, the colors they wore. Dalmas knew colors were important with gangs, they served to identify which gang you were with. That’s why he visited some clothing stores. He also made a pretty unique purchase at one of the stores.
An old Chevy that was traded in for a brand new Lexus at the car dealer where Dalams worked was left off the books by him. He dirtied up the license plate with some mud and put his stuff inside.
He drove the car to the place where Iron Dave, the leader of the Street Lords, the biggest gang in Bay City, used to frequent at this time of day. Iron Dave fancied himself a big rap-superstar and was trying to tape a record. That was why he went to the Phono City Studio daily, together with a few of his men.
Dalmas sat in his parked Chevy and waited. He was wearing a black ball cap with a red bandana wrapped around it and a black oversized Adidas sweater. It identified him as one of the Bay Kings gang. He had a baklava covered around his face and was wearing shades to keep his identity concealed.
Iron Dave left the building. He was dressed in a white wifebeater, his neck was filled with gold chains and on his head he wore a black bandana. Two gangbangers, dressed in similar clothing but less jewelry, flanked him. Dalmas noticed the handguns stuck in their waistbands.
Dalmas opened the window of his Chevy and yelled, “Bay Kings rule, assholes!”
Making sure the gangbangers got a good look at his cap he waited a few seconds before firing a silenced 9mm Beretta. Iron Dave was hit in the chest three times, killing him before his body hit the pavement.
His bodyguards drew their guns, Dalmas gunned the engine. The Chevy almost flew around the corner, gunshots shattering the back window.
The Street Lords ran around the corner, guns ready. The Chevy was standing still just around the corner. Without hesitation the gangbangers opened fire on it, perforating the figure behind the wheel with their bullets.
When they were confident their target couldn’t be breathing anymore the came closer, pointing their guns through the Chevy’s window. What they saw made them curse.
Sitting behind the wheel of the Chevy was store mannequin doll, clad in Bay Kings colors.
The gangbangers slammed the car with their guns’ butts, swearing they’d get the man who killed their leader.
Dalmas heard it all from under the manhole cover that the Chevy covered. He almost smiled.
Dalmas had just put the kids in bed and sat down on the living room couch with his wife, Donna. She snuggled up to him, glad to have him at home in the evening. So often these days he went on these covert missions he didn’t want to talk about.
They were watching the local news and what Dalmas saw disturbed him. His body tensed, his teeth gritted.
Donna gave him a worried look. “Terrible, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Terrible. Let’s watch Family Guy or something.”
The news that had disturbed him was about how two innocent bystanders got wounded when a couple of Street Lords had killed a Bay King member in a drive-by shooting. The bystanders were still alive but badly wounded, that relieved Dalmas somewhat, but not enough. The assassination of Iron Dave might have set off something he wouldn’t be able to live with.
He’d call Carver and find a way to deal with this.
Dalmas was driving over to work when he gave Carver a call.
“So you heard about it, huh?” Carver said.
“I did. I was afraid this would happen.”
“I know, I know. I was aware of the risks as well. You have to look at the bigger picture here, though. Like I told you, these gangs banding together is even worse.”
“I want this war to stop. How can we achieve that?”
Carver laughed. “You could kill them all?”
“Not an option. I haven’t got the time or firepower. And, contrary to what you seem to believe I am not a mass murderer.”
“I was just kidding, Mike. Word on the street is the Street Lords will keep killing off random Bay Kings until they hand over the man who killed their leader. That might be a problem of course. Unless you want to turn yourself in to them?”
Dalmas was silent.
“Mike?” Carver said.
Dalmas was still silent.
“Are you still there?” Carver asked.
Dalmas spoke, “I’m going to give them what they want.”
Tyrone Banks left his girlfriend’s house at 2300 hours. He was still buttoning his fly when he got into his car. He sat down behind the wheel and chuckle. “That Diana, what a fine, fine piece of ass.”
An arm, strong a steel, wrapped around his neck. There was someone behind him in the backseat.
“Sleep tight,” Dalmas said and started to apply enough pressure to Tyrone’s windpipe to make him pass out.
Dalmas got out of the car, slid Tyrone over to the passenger seat and took the wheel.
A buddy of Carver working at the Gang Unit had served up the intel on Tyrone. Dalmas had asked for the name of the most heinous member of the Bay Kings. Tyrone’s name had come up immediately. He was suspected of robbing and killing two elderly women, dealing drugs and raping a sixteen year old girl. The Gang Unit had been keeping an eye on him for some time, knowing exactly when Tyrone went on a booty call, visiting Diana, his girlfriend. Being married she could only receive Tyrone when her husband was working late. That made it easy for Dalmas to know where to find him when.
Tyrone was lying tied up in the trunk of his own car while Dalmas drove over to the place he’d agreed to meet the current leader of the Street Lords, Cold Francis. Carver’s Gang Unit friend had managed to set up a meeting, using an undercover cop.
Dalmas arrived at the abandoned warehouse where the meeting would take place. An El Camino was already parked there.
Wearing the same Bay King outfit he did when he assassinated Iron Dave he got out of the car. He went over to the trunk and opened it. He hauled Tyrone out of it. Tyrone’s arms were bound behind him and he was gagged. He struggled a bit at first, but the 9mm Beretta Dalmas put against his ribs forced his calm.
The warehouse’s dock door opened. Standing in the door opening were Cold Francis, a big guy wearing army pants and a .45 handgun and two bodyguards, armed with Uzi’s.
“That the guy you holding there?” Francis asked.
Dalmas nodded. He knew Francis had gotten his nickname because he was known to kill someone in cold blood, not even blinking.
“Hand him over,” Francis said.
Dalmas gave Tyrone a push. He lost his balance and fell to his knees in front of Francis.
“This is payback, bitch!” Francis said and let his .45 do the rest of the talking. He shot Tyrone right between the eyes.
Tyrone fell down. Francis kicked him in the ribs, calling him a few bad names.
“Now what do we do with you?” Francis asked and pointed his gun at Dalmas.
Dalmas had his 9mm up in a split-second. Both gunmen stared at each other for a few seconds that seemed to last an eternity.
Francis started to laugh. “Don’t worry, man. I appreciate you bringing this asshole in. I appreciate the show of good faith, you know. Maybe we can end this little war.”
Dalmas nodded and lowered the gun. Francis lowered his.
Slowly Dalmas backed up to his car. He went in and drove off.
Dalmas ditched Tyrone’s car and drove home in his SUV. When he got out of the SUV he could see there was a light on in their bedroom. Good, Donna was still awake.
He entered his home and walked up the stairs. Donna was in bed, reading a Tess Gerritsen thriller. She lowered her book and gave him a funny look.
He was still wearing the Bay Kings outfit. He smiled apologetically.
“Mid-life crisis already?” Donna asked. He admired her good sense of humor.
“Work outfit,” Dalmas said.
“Take it off quickly and get to work over here,” Donna said and patted the bed.
Dalmas did. He knew afterwards he’d have no trouble sleeping. Yes, he got a man shot over a crime he didn’t commit, but that man deserved it. Not only that, that death would save many other lives. The only thing Dalmas regretted was that his life had been in danger for a few seconds when the .45 was pointing at him. He knew Donna and the kids would be devastated if he ever got killed.
In the bedroom that night he would make sure he made the most of his time among the living.