Chapter 108: The Battle of the Warehouse
At the first sounds of crackling gunshots from inside the warehouse, Yao Tianyu immediately ordered all police officers and People’s Armed Police soldiers to charge in. As for the masked man who had earlier been negotiating with Sui Zhongyi, he was stunned when he saw some stranger come out of nowhere to whisk away A-Jiao and shoot dead the drug tester. However, he quickly regained his composure and ordered his men to assault Sui Zhongyi’s forces as well.
At that moment, the situation in the warehouse could only be described as sheer chaos, as a cacophony of gunfire rang out in all directions. “What’s going on outside?” yelled the masked man as he dove for cover behind the grain pile across from the guard shack. He pulled off his black ski mask to reveal the face of Jiang Zhengkai.
“I don’t know, Inspector Jiang!” Lu Xiaoqiang yelled back from inside the guard shack. “The person that knocked your beloved to the ground earlier seemed to be part of the group that came in second!”
“Okay, got it!” acknowledged Jiang Zhengkai as he continued to direct law enforcement personnel. “Get to cover! And fire at will!” As soon as he finished, a nearby SWAT officer tossed him a compact submachine gun. The warehouse was now crawling with SWAT officers and PAP soldiers fully decked out in kevlar body armor and helmets and armed with the compact submachine guns specifically designed for close-quarters combat.
Meanwhile, the brothers Sui Zhongyi and Sui Zhongli were taking fire from three sides. Their situation was dire, to say the least. Even though they were well-armed for gangsters, their handguns were simply no match for what the police had brought to the fight: body armor, automatic weapons, and tear gas grenades. True, they did have one weapon of mass destruction in their arsenal: the two suitcases full of heroin. Unfortunately, the suitcases were right in the middle of no-man’s land, out of their reach. Besides, even if they could get their hands on the heroin, did they really want to waste tens of millions of yuan worth of drugs by weaponizing it?
“Hold your ground, brothers!” Sui Zhongyi exhorted his men while Sui Zhongli lay down a covering fire. Even though the police weren’t able to tie him directly to any murder, that didn’t mean Sui Zhongyi was a gentle man or that he didn’t know how to operate firearms. From the episode where he ate that detached ear, one could tell that he had in fact a very violent disposition. Deep down inside, he wasn’t all that different from his younger brother. It was just that unlike his brother, Sui Zhongyi normally hid his violent temperament beneath a veneer of civility.
The last side in this three-way battle was A-Tao’s crew. Compared to the other two sides, his men had the least amount of equipment. They had several dozen men, but only seven or eight guns to go around. The rest had to make do with meat cleavers and metal pipes. That was hardly surprising, however, as A-Tao’s criminal operations were considerably smaller than Sui Zhongyi’s, and magnitudes smaller than that of his former boss, Xue Wanchun.
However, what A-Tao lacked in firepower, he more than made up for in training. Even the heavily-armed SWAT and PAP personnel in the warehouse didn’t have the level of firearms proficiency that A-Tao and his ex-special forces henchmen had. As such, they were not at all outmatched in this chaotic three-way battle.
“It’s me, Jiao! Don’t be scared!” A-Tao whispered in A-Jiao’s ear as he continued to shield her body with his. “I swear I’m going to get you out of here today or die trying!”
“Brother Tao?” Upon hearing A-Tao’s voice, A-Jiao was both surprised and worried. Tears soon welled up in her eyes. “Are you crazy? What are you doing here?”
“Be quiet!” A-Tao glanced down at A-Jiao before he pressed her even more firmly onto the ground. “Motherfuck! This place is a mess! You, stay down!” As he spoke, he fired his gun again, and another of Sui Zhongyi’s henchmen fell to the ground.
“Deploy tear gas!” Outside the warehouse, Yao Tianyu ordered his forces to completely seal off the main entrance. He then directed the police officers and soldiers under his command to fire dozens of tear gas canisters in unison into the warehouse. Soon, a cloud of acrid smoke arose from the ground as the warehouse was filled with the sound of men coughing and cursing.
“We are the police! All of you inside the warehouse, drop your weapons NOW!” the police negotiator said through a loudspeaker outside the warehouse as he took cover behind police barricades. Actually, he and the other police officers knew that this was all for show. There was no way the criminals inside would give up while they still had bullets in their guns.
CLANG! A bullet ricocheted off of the police barricade. “Open fire!” Yao Tianyu didn’t hesitate for a second before giving the order to fire. Negotiating with hardened criminals is something that only happens in TV shows and movies. In real life, real bullets deal real damage, so there’s no use in bullshitting with criminals.
BANG BANG BANG BANG! A veritable firestorm erupted inside the warehouse. The myriad tear gas grenades that had been launched clouded the warehouse interior with a thick layer of pungent yellow fog, while bright red mists periodically blossomed amidst the fog. Unfortunately, each spray of the bright red mist meant that another person had been wounded or killed in this chaotic gun battle.
In the innermost part of the warehouse, Jiang Zhengkai and his fellow officers had all of the necessary equipment that rendered them immune to the effects of tear gas. Other than the fact that the gas cloud lowered their visibility, they were otherwise completely unhindered.
“Goddamn those motherfucking cops!” cursed A-Tao as he lay prone on the ground while tightly hugging A-Jiao to his chest. He let A-Jiao use his jacket to cover her nostrils in an attempt to shield her from the effects of the tear gas, even though it didn’t help much. Still, it made A-Tao feel better. He knew that A-Jiao was an asthmatic and wouldn’t last long with tear gas all around her. Meanwhile, A-Tao briefly lifted himself up and mercilessly gunned down two police officers who had taken firing positions on top of a grain stack. Two bullets were all A-Tao needed to land the two headshots.
A-Tao saw the body of a police officer roll down from the grain stack. He then grabbed A-Jiao tightly and rolled up next to the officer’s body. POP POP POP! A string of bullets struck the ground where A-Tao and A-Jiao had been a split second before and narrowly missed them. Once he settled into his new cover, he fired off two more shots. CRACK CRACK! sounded his pistol as two more police officers fell to the ground.
“Inspector Jiang, we have officers down!” Inside the guard shack, Lu Xiaoqiang was able to clearly view the entire battle raging outside of him by using the warehouse’s eight security cameras. He yelled out, “All four of the officers deployed to the right side of the warehouse have been hit!”
“Fuck! Who shot them?” Jiang Zhengkai shouted back as his compact submachine gun continued firing bursts of lead at the gangsters in front of him.
“I can’t really tell!” Lu Xiaoqiang replied. “I think it was the one who grabbed Miss Ren!”
“It’s the Bald Wolf, that son of a bitch!” Jiang Zhengkai roared in fury as he fired his submachine gun on full auto. RAT-TA-TA-TAT! He was now certain the person who’d carried off A-Jiao moments ago was the Bald Wolf. Jiang Zhengkai knew there were no other gangsters in this world, or at the very least this city, who had such superior physical stamina and excellent marksmanship.
A-Tao and A-Jiao rolled over next to the deceased police officer. A-Tao yanked the gas mask off the officer’s head and placed it over A-Jiao’s face. At the same time, he pried the compact submachine gun from the officer’s cold dead fingers and told A-Jiao, “You stay right here!” Then A-Tao stood up and sprayed a hail of bullets from his submachine gun at everyone in front of him.
“Brother, watch out!” Sui Zhongyi and Sui Zhongli spotted a gap in the police firing lines and had decided to make a break for it with their henchmen in this direction. They never would’ve imagined that A-Tao would suddenly leap up from the ground and cut off their escape route. In a split second, A-Tao had cut down six or seven of Sui Zhongyi’s henchmen with his commandeered submachine gun. Sui Zhongli had much quicker reflexes than his minions, but instead of using his lightning reflexes to take cover, he jumped in front of his elder brother Sui Zhongyi. A-Tao showed no mercy as he riddled Sui Zhongli’s chest with bullets.
“Little brother!” Sui Zhongyi cried out in hopeless agony as he held his dying brother. Unfortunately, A-Tao was not about to give this grieving man the opportunity to seek revenge. As Sui Zhongyi raised his head from Sui Zhongli’s body, another burst of bullets darted out from A-Tao’s submachine gun, and Sui Zhongyi’s body thumped onto the ground next to his brother.
After Sui Zhongyi’s death, the sound of gunfire in the warehouse seemed to slacken off. Most of Sui Zhongyi’s henchmen had already been killed by the police or A-Tao’s gang. As for the few remaining survivors, the sight of their boss and his lieutenant being cut down immediately destroyed their will to resist further. Criminals were human, too, and humans seldom want to waste their lives for a lost cause.
The firefight in the warehouse was now between just two parties: the police and A-Tao’s gang.