Of all the times for Team Sleuth to fall through, this has got to be the kicker. You've been working on this case for days, and when you finally break through and figure out it was the Felt all along (really, you probably didn't need days for that, there's only three gangs in the city), Pickle Inspector is visiting his grandma and Ace Dick refuses to pick up. You bet he's in his office and just ignoring you, the asshole.
Well, so you're on your own for this one. It's not like you need those two to combat the Felt. All of the Felt. All fifteen-plus-Cueball of the Felt. You can do it alone.
Yep, you're going to die out there.
= = =
You can't go back to the hideout. They'll just be waiting. You keep your gun in hand and check through the window- no sign. The Felt aren't subtle; you'll know if they've found your backup hole. You slide in, bolt the door, check the back door, then strip out of your torn, bloodstained clothes.
It was so close. You could have got to him. But Clover, over in the corner- it's impossible to account for Clover. You don't like luck. This is why you hate Slick's plans. Too much relying on luck. Too many opportunities for the Felt to screw you over.
You bandage yourself up. Most of the shallow scrapes from diving for cover just need to be cleaned out; the slice under your arm needs stitches. You judge time. No, there'll be enough. You grit your teeth together and narrow your eyes and clean it out well ahead of time, leaving long watery red trails in your backup sink. You've only got so long before Trace or Fin tracks you back (or forward) here. But you're not soaking another shirt in your own blood- at least, not one you intend on wearing again.
This does not get easier. Being the only steady hand and clever mind in the Midnight Crew does not make you a doctor. But you're the doctor all the same. Just like you're the sniper, and a hundred other duties nobody else has the patience for. Your stitches are not easy, and they'll scar badly. You're in a hurry. But they'll hold, and nobody else could do this well under this amount of pressure.
You don't even pass out. When you finish, you take a long but shallow breath so as not to pull at them and wash a painkiller down with water. You can't afford more than one. You can't be any less on your game tonight, because you've got to get the others back from the Felt.
Just you, against the fifteen-plus-the brain of the Felt. You can't do this alone. But you don't have much choice.
You grit your teeth and pull a new tie out of the brawlsoleum, tossing the old one in the trash. You've only got so many left. You only have so much left. Oh, you're going to die out there.