Presenting a brief excerpt from

Pulp Heroes titleblock    Viktoriana titleblock

....... Darting across the open street, Doc ducked into the alleyway next to the old hotel. Grasping the ledge of a window sill, he effortlessly pulled himself up with one powerful arm. Like a human fly he clung to the side of the building, finding finger holds and toeholds in the brick joints and the minor projections on the outside face of the building. He quickly traversed this way until he reached the ninth floor. Hanging outside of a window he listened, searching for signs of movement or the sound of voices. Pushing upward, he managed to open the window, as it emitted only a slight groan of protest. The corroded window latch shattered and tumbled onto the filthy floor.
....... He swung inside and landed on the tiled floor with the grace of a stealthy feline. Watching each step to avoid weak spots in the creaking floor, he made his way across the room to the partially open door. He peered into the next room, which was dimly lit by a dirty, old light bulb. Doc strained his senses to their utmost, seeking any signs of life in the adjoining room. So keen was his sense of hearing, he should have detected the sounds of the men breathing, but the room was completely silent. Cautiously, he entered, glancing about for signs of a trap. Except for a filthy old sink and a claw-footed, cast-iron tub, the only other inhabitant of the room was a wooden chair with a missing leg. Teppleman and Gross had completely vanished!
....... Only Docís training and experience saved his life. First, he noticed the board resting on the sill of a window was moving slightly, slowly being pulled from the room. Obviously, the two men had used this makeshift bridge to cross over into a window of the adjoining building. He took one step forward, into the dim light, just as the board slid off of the window sill and plunged into the alleyway below. Suddenly, spotlights on either side of the building were switched on, catching him in the bright illumination.
....... The rooftops on either side of the hotel were one story taller than the floor Doc was on and allowed the men, armed with Thompson machine guns, a perfect view of the bronzed man. He had only one second to react to the threat and he used the time wisely. Grasping the rim of the iron tub, he gave a mighty heave and tore the fastenings that held it to the dilapidated floor. It had taken four strong men to bring this tub, weighing several hundred pounds, into the building when it was installed. As though it weighed nothing, Doc flipped the heavy bath upside-down on top of his prone form, as he fell flat on his back.
....... Hundreds of bullets struck the sides of the ancient iron tub and it rang like a large bell. Doc covered his ears to drown out the sound, until he was able to fit them with earplugs. Despite its size and thickness, Doc knew it would only take a few seconds for the guns to crack the forged metal, leaving him exposed to the violent, steel hornets searching for him. In the confined space under the tub, he could only pull his fist back six inches, but when he struck the floor, it cracked. A small hole appeared. Using his powerful fingers, the opening widened, until he was able to squeeze his large frame through and drop down onto the floor below. At the same instant his feet touched down noiselessly onto the floor, the rusty iron tub broke in several places. Bullets bounced off of the inner surface of the bathtub and rained down around Doc. He moved quickly to the far side of the room to avoid the deadly ricochets.
....... While he was formulating a plan of escape, Doc heard a noise over the steady stream of machine gun fire. Thoom. Thoom. Thoom. It was the undeniable sound of a large bore automatic, .45 caliber in size, judging by the sound. Doc heard the sound of a man running across the roof of the old hotel building, as maniacal laughter echoed into the valleys and canyons of the old, abandoned buildings. Doc could hear the yells and panic of the gunmen in the neighboring structures. For each bullet fired by the automatic handguns, there was one less machine gun firing its lethal projectiles. And one less gangster, as well.
....... After several seconds of gunfire, the city block became silent again. The only sound was the receding laughter of the scourge of the underworld of crime, the Darkness. Even though he must certainly have known Doc was in the decrepit hotel building, Darkness had not even slowed his progress through the barrage of gunfire. And now he was gone. Stopping only long enough to battle the killers, Darkness was obviously on another, more urgent, mission.
....... Doc looked out of the windows facing north and was witness to a dozen slain men at the roofs edge. The southern windows provided the same type of view. To his surprise, from the rooftop fire escape, a man stepped forward, holding a tube several inches in diameter and about four feet long. Doc recognized the man as one of the occupants of the car he had followed. It was Teppleman. Doc recognized the face but he still didnít know the manís name. And the tube was Ö a rocket launcher!
....... Without hesitation, Doc ran for the stairwell located in the center of the building. He grasped the rail with one hand as he leapt over. The old stairwell was a winding rectangle, with a large unobstructed area in the center, open all the way down to the ground floor. The musty air whistled in Docís ears as he plunged downward through layers of dusty cobwebs. He struck the floor at the bottom and continued moving without hesitation. Even though he had plummeted nearly one hundred feet straight down, he made it appear as easy as jumping from a step stool. His powerful leg muscles had absorbed the impact without any injury.
....... The rocket exploded in the center of the old building and a plume of scorching fire and heat extended out and downward. The blast weakened the few supporting members that had kept the structure upright and seconds later the entire tower of brick and wood collapsed. Smoke and dust billowed out and covered the surrounding area for a long minute. Nothing could have survived such total destruction. The lifeless body of Doc Titan was buried under tons of debris. Teppleman, still holding the rocket launcher in the crook of his arm, stared down at the smoldering pile of rubble, searching for any signs of movement or life. Finally, after several minutes, he was satisfied that Doc must be dead.

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