Two hours ago...
At eight feet tall, fourteen feet long, and over three thousand pounds centaur-like Tanx stood out in a crowd; with a rhino shaped head with elephant tusks topped with a Herg sized Stroud City Police Department conflict helmet, he stood out even more. Police officers stepped out of the way as he passed. Each of them greeting him with a “hey,” “morning,” or “ready for the day.” After ten-years on the force, Tanx was well known and well liked.
Squeezing through the patrol room doorway, Tanx searched for Ali, his newest partner. He felt tapping on his hindquarters, looking over his shoulders Tanx found tiny Ali waving at him from his rear leg. Grinning she walked the length of his quadruped body to his torso running her hand over his thick hide the entire way.
“Morning Sir,” she said just a hair too loud. Ali thought she had to yell.
“Morning Ali. Ready for the morning meeting?”
“Yes Sir, I am,” she grinned knowing how informal Tanx was.
Ali leaned against the back wall next to Tanx. Being an illietheril, Ali stood three tall, weighed next to nothing, and no amount of fitting could make any uniform not look oversized on her; her large pointed ears and long hair stuck out from her helmet and her standard issue sidearm looked like it was going to pants her at any moment.
“Need a boost?” Tanx asked.
“If you don’t mind,” Ali replied.
“Hop on up,” Tanx said while gesturing to his back.
Illietheril were known for their athletic prowess, Ali was no different; a single leap off the back wall and she perched herself on Tanx’s back looking around his shoulder to see the presentation at the front of the room.
“Not hurting you, am I?” She whispered into Tanx’s ear.
“Not at all.”
For the next hour, they listened to the day’s big activity, a sweep of the Eastern Corner of Tumbledown. The Staff Officer and Special Tactics Officer explained the usual reasons behind this raid, proliferation of drugs, isstas, weapons, keeping the people safe and so on. From Tanx’s perspective, the reasons never mattered, what mattered was keeping his partner safe and doing his job.
Ten minutes ago...
“Stick close to me,” Tanx said into the helmet mic. “Tumbledown is a mess and I don’t want you getting separated.”
“Anything else?” Ali replied her already big eyes bigger with adrenaline.
“Keep your mind on the job and remember your training.”
Ali and Tanx checked their gear while the combat bus, the only department vehicle big enough for Tanx settled to the ground outside of Tumbledown. The roar of the thrusters landing drowned out all other noises, Ali jumped out as soon as the doors started to open. Tanx had to wait until the doors were fully open.
Tumbledown, aptly named he thought; an entire city block collapsed into a giant pile of rubble. Despite that, people lived in and on the rubble and despite the best efforts of the SCPD and other agencies more people lived there now than any other time. From his street level view, he could see construction by the residents turning rubble into places to live and adding on. The combat bus lifted off, gusts of wind from the thrusters pushing against his back and almost knocking an unprepared Ali down; she covered her almost fall well he thought with a smile.
“Ready to go Ali?” Tanx asked as he keyed up his helmet’s heads up display. Milliseconds later his visor filled with information; locations of other officers, support, and suspected locations of gangs.
“Just checking my display,” she replied. “Our first target is down this…”
“We call them tunnels. No clue what that space used to be. Tumbledown is full of tunnels, hideouts, and more.”
As expected, Tanx shouldered and muscled his way down the tunnel, pushing rubble and garbage out of the way or trampling it flat. Gang tags, wall art, and other signs of life covered every available surface not covered in garbage, filth, or rubble. Signs of life everywhere and signs that the residents tapped into Stroud power, not his problem though.
Barely fitting in the hallway, standing in front of the gang tagged door, parts of the hallway ceiling hanging off his shoulder, Tanx looked around the hallway terminated in a pile of rubble, the walls, floor, and what remained of the ceiling covered in graffiti and garbage of all sorts. Glancing at his head’s up display, the area map showed a hallway, several more rooms, and a whole lot more than what he currently could see.
Whispering into the microphone, “You seeing the same things I am Ali?”
“Yeah,” she responded sounding disappointed while adjusting the strap on her combat helmet around her large pointed ears, “Is this the place?”
“Let’s knock and find out.”
Balling his huge fist, Tanx banged on the door three times, “SCPD!”
Ali and Tanx heard weapons ratcheted and people moving around. “Put down your weapons and come out with your hands up!” Tanx bellowed at the door.
“What are the odds?” Ali whispered into her microphone.
“Come in and get them!” Someone shouted from behind the door.
Ali winked at Tanx, while crouched next to the door waiting for action. There was no way of knowing what was on the other side of the door. He was hoping for a single room with one or two gunmen. Checking his head’s up display again, Tanx made another decision.
“Make a fly by on our position,” Tanx requested while taking a step to the left of the door.
The sound of the combat bus flying overhead was deafening. Tanx silently counted down from four and with a thunderous kick of his front legs and using his size, he knocked a hole in the wall. Stepping into the room, four Eastside gangers wearing Eastside colors had their backs to him watching the combat bus fly overhead.
Despite the noise of the bus, the gangers heard Tanx, turning they raised their weapons and began to move away from the window. Tanx shot the one closest to him in the chest. Ali slid into the room to his left, placing his bulk between the gangers and her. She rolled into view, shot a ganger through the knee and chest as the ganger collapsed to the ground.
As sections of the wall slide off Tanx’s shoulders one ganger began firing at him, the other at Ali who had rolled behind a chair. The small rounds from the gangers sub-machine-guns impacted Tanx body armor, a minor irritation. The ganger trying to shoot Ali in spray-and-pray mode, firing in a semi-circle as he tried to track her movement behind the chair. Some of his rounds struck Tanx in the arms and shotgun, knocking the gun from his hands. Out of the corner of his eyes, Tanx saw a ganger enter the room carrying a Maxwell Arms Roomsweeper, the distinctive barrel of the auto-shotgun well known in the department.
Popping out from behind the bullet-holed chair, Ali shot spray-and-pray in the chest four times. The top and middle of the chair exploded into bits of chair and stuffing flying everywhere before spray-and-pray hit the ground; the distinctive whine of the auto-shotgun chewing through rounds and scenery filled the room. Pulling his over-the-shoulder combat knife charging the ganger shooting at him, over a dozen rounds peppered Tanx; the force of his charge drove the knife through the ganger into a wall behind them.
Silence for a second while the auto-shotgun ganger reloaded. Ali started shooting again, the ganger groaned when several of her shots hit him. Ali leaned out from behind the remains of the chair and gave a little wave, “Room secured.”