Nicky dove as the first timed explosion rocked the pier. Splinters of wood drove into him and the shockwave knocked him off his feet into the water, he dove further to escape the heavy machine guns erupting from the dockside bunkers. Tearing away at the splinters he could reach, some as thick as a dart, he pulled himself deeper. Even underwater he heard the clumsy whup whup whup of an assault helicopter getting closer.
Nicky had to act fast. Pulling a 10 minute microlung from its velco safety sleeve at his shoulder he bit down on the rubber nipple and forced his lungs to breathe slowly. Ogladam Puma, a television fanatic, and Gram Puma, a video game addict, would not give up until they killed him.
With swift underwater strokes he quickly left the burning pier behind and reached his cache of scuba gear, just a rebreather and long fins.
Silent and invisible, he swam down deeper and headed for open water.
On the burning pier, Ogladam and Gram hoped it had been worth it. This elaborate ruse.
Nicky had it coming. The virus he unwittingly carried away from this attack, from a dart fired at the moment of the explosion, would deal with him.
It would deal with his whole operation in South America. The Outfit was finished.
Their most hated enemy, now their avenger.
The Puma brothers didn't smile. Had they been what they were not, they would have.