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Chapter One

Striker pressed her back against the stone wall of the alley, breathing silently and becoming a part of the shadows cast by the large wheelie bins.  After what felt like an hour, she finally heard what she had been waiting for, the sound of high heels on the flagstones in the irregular rhythm of intoxication.  She unconsciously held her breath as the sound grew louder nearing the corner of the wall.

The girl in high heels rounded the corner and staggered a little as she did, leaning briefly against the corner of the wall as a pivot swinging her around the corner.  The girl walked down the alley with one hand on the wall to steady her.  Her handbag was hanging temptingly off her wrist, swinging around as the girl made her way unsteadily down the alley.  This girl was exactly what Striker had been hoping to come wandering along.

The girl stumbled past Striker oblivious to her presence and the danger she was in.  As she reached the mid point of the alley, Striker knew it was time and she started to move into action.  She stepped silently out from the shadows behind the drunken girl at the same moment a large figure stepped in front of the girl.  He was tall and well built, dressed in black and already wearing a confident smile.

He grabbed the drunken girl around the throat, stifling her squeak of surprise, and grabbed the handbag with his other hand.  Just before he was able to deliver the knockout punch to the girl that Striker knew was coming, she moved from behind the girl like lightning and in one swift kick, she took the man's legs out from under him.  Striker had hoped he'd drop his grip on the girl's throat when she did this but before she knew it the girl was being dragged down on top of her and the three of them were lying in a heap on the ground.

Striker's legs were underneath the bulky mugger and the drunken girl was lying right across her chest.  This wasn't how she expected things to go.
'Who're you?' grunted the man and he struggled to right himself.
'What?' replied the girl groggily.  Striker knew the man was talking to her but she didn't respond.  Her face was covered with a balaclava and as long as she didn't speak, she knew there would be nothing to identify her by.

She had just managed to free herself from underneath the drunken girl whilst trying not to distress her further, when she saw the blow coming.  The fist looked more like a hammer as she saw it coming toward her face in what felt like slow motion.  She turned her head the way the fist was going to land and managed to just take a glancing blow instead of the full force of it.  Carrying the motion through, she span around and delivered a high kick with her heavy black boot into the side of the mugger's face.

He wasn't ready for it and staggered sideways from the force of it.  Striker took her chance and put him back down on the ground with a fast follow-up punch.  She pulled the handcuffs out that she had stowed on her belt and got them around one of the mugger's wrists.  Before she could grab the other one though, the hand she had cuffed grabbed her around the wrist and he pulled her over the top of him and she landed hard on her back on the stone floor, knocking the wind out of her and he got to his feet and stood over her.  That's when he noticed what she had sewn onto her black polo-necked sweater.
'Striker.' he read with a chuckle.  'What the hell is a Striker?'

She answered in the best way she could, she struck him.  She span around on her back and landed a kick right on his knee.  He cried out in pain and crippled over clutching his knee.  She grabbed his uncuffed wrist, pulled him back to the wall with more strength than she knew he was expecting.  In a couple of seconds, the mugger was handcuffed to some pipes down the side of the alley and still roaring in pain from the kick he took to his knee.

Striker stood back and admired her work; the mugger she had been lying in wait for was now slumped on the ground, handcuffed to a pipe and the drunken girl was lying on the ground with her eyes closed and her handbag lying next to her.  Not exactly how she pictured it when she set out to catch this mugger but good enough.

She gently woke the drunken girl and helped her to her feet, scooping up the handbag and handing it to her.
'Oh, thanks.' said the girl, who seemed to have forgotten what had just happened to her, or maybe she thought she had dreamt it all; she barely spared a glance for Striker before she then carried on her gentle stagger home.  Striker followed her at a distance, watching a few more stumbles, until she saw the girl had managed to get into her house safely.

She walked back on herself until she found a public phone box she had passed on the way to the girl's house.  She hid her face as much as she could before she pushed up her balaclava just enough to be able to use the handset and she phoned the police.
'The mugger you've been looking for is chained up in the alley just off Hawthorn Avenue.' she said to the lady who answered, in a bad fake scouse accent and a high, squeaky voice.  She then hung up the phone and replaced her balaclava quickly before anyone could see her or before she was asked any questions.

She ran the two miles back to her flat and when she collapsed on her sofa and pulled off her balaclava, she burst out laughing; she couldn't believe she'd actually done it.  The laughing woke up her cocker spaniel dog who was sleeping soundly in her bedroom.  He trotted into the lounge and sat next to the sofa looking up at her.
'I did it Alfie!' she said as she rubbed his floppy ears 'I caught a mugger!'