I managed to survive the blast somehow. Maybe it was my psychi that saved me creating a protective force field around me. I don’t know how to fully control my powers yet but I’ve come this far. I stood in the scorched remains of the school. Fire fighters were here to put out the flames. Ambulances were here to help the wounded, but not many survived. I just hope and pray that Koruka wasn’t anywhere here. Drake managed to survive the blast too. Maybe some of them protected themselves in the lockers when the bomb went off and that’s what saved them. Not many were so lucky though and it makes me feel like I could’ve done more. I could’ve saved them all but I was stupid and hit the wrong key defusing that damn bomb. It’s all my fault.
“Hey Michael.” Drake said to me as he approached. He placed his hand on my shoulder and smiled.
“We made a pretty great team today. Yeah we couldn’t save everyone but we did our best.”
“But our best wasn’t good enough.” I replied.
“Not everyone can be saved. You should know better then I. You’re P.C.P.D. and I’m just a teenage boy. You’re the toughest son of a bitch I know.” I looked at him and let off a smile.
“Where’s Koruka, did she make it?” I asked concerned.
“Ms. Tenchi left early to go to your place. I assumed she was with you.” I was both relieved and worried. While I was busy defusing the bomb, Silver Skull could’ve found out where my house was and kidnaped her. And then my radio went off. I pulled it out of my pocket and it was him on the other end. Speak of the devil.
“Looks like you have failed my third test detective just like I predicted you would. All those poor souls. Your hands are stained now with their blood.” He laughed.
“YOU SON OF A BITCH!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
“When I get my hands on you, I’ll...”
“....Do what? Rip my throat out? Cut my eyes out? Petty threats detective. Go home and think about this.” And then he hung up. I put the radio back in my pocket.
“I’ve got to go Drake.” I dashed toward my car. Luckily my car was undamaged from the blast radius. I got in and stepped on the gas. I had my suspicions about my neighbor B. Carpenter and now I’m sure of it. He must be working with Silver Skull. And also the assassin that we’ve been chasing after for years. He’s ‘The Shadow’. My very own neighbor who I’ve known for months, and it was right in front of my nose. As soon as I pulled up, I got out of the car and burst through the door to my house.
“KORUKA!” I yelled.
“Koruka?” But no answer. I walked into the kitchen but nobody was there. No signs of blood or even a struggle either. The radio went off in my pocket again and I answered.
“Where is she!?” I demanded. He laughed.
“Don’t worry detective. She’s safe for now. If you wish to see her again however, I’ll leave you with one final clue. Our little game has come to an end.”
“WHERE IS SHE!?!” I screamed again.
“Come to the town where it all began.” He hung up. I was so enraged and sick of Silver Skull playing these damn games with me that I pounded the radio onto the table and broke the damn thing. I was shaking from all of the anger I was feeling. I dashed out of the door fast and into my car. B. Carpenter’s car wasn’t in his driveway. My guess is that he took Koruka up to Pinesberry where Silver Skull was waiting for our last game. I promised myself that I would never again go back to that encursed town but now I had no choice. I have to rescue Koruka no matter the cost.
Night had fallen as I made it to the tunnel that connects Pinesberry to Paradise City. I stopped my car in front of the tunnel but only for a moment. All the nightmares I’ve experienced in that town still haunts me to this day. But since the curse had been lifted it shouldn’t be so bad now right? I don’t know, but something tells me that new nightmares await me if I go back in. But then again, Koruka needs me. She depended on me to protect her and I have a job to do..... Fuck it. I swallowed up my fear and stepped on the gas pedal. I drove into the tunnel, but who knows if I was ever going to come back out. Hold tight Koruka, I’m coming.
It was a long stretch of road but I made it to the other side of the tunnel. I was now in the town itself. Feels strange to be back here again. Dilapidated houses and other buildings lay in ruin covered in fog and mist. But now that I am in town, where do I go next? I cruised down the empty streets until I came across a familiar place. The Deerwood Lodge. I pulled up to the lodge and got out of the car to scope the place out. I walked in with my flashlight and gun in hand. This time I had plenty of ammo. I made sure to pick some up before coming into town.
It was pitch dark inside the lodge. It looked as if ‘he’ abandoned this place, left it to rot. I’ve crept up the stairs, but no one was there. All of the rooms upstairs were empty. And then I heard a door creek. Someone was coming out of the room downstairs. Thinking it was ‘him’, I took cover behind the wall. I cocked my gun and pointed it straight of them. It wasn’t ‘him’ like I thought it was but someone I haven’t seen in such a long time. Glasses, long blonde hair and wearing a black overcoat.
“Amber?” It was my cousin, Amber Woodland. I haven’t seen her in ages ever since I left for Pinesberry for the first time. She too was a detective. She always enjoyed watching these horror and crime shows. Amber then took after me to become a detective.
“Michael!” I ran downstairs excited to see my baby cousin again. We embraced one another. She shed tears as if overjoyed to see me again.
“You’re alive! It’s such a relief to see you again.”
“My god Amber. What are you doing all the way out here?”
“I came to find you. Ever since you left for Pinesberry. You’ve been gone for so long, I was worried so I came to find you.”
“But, that was like years ago.”
“Only three months.” I shook my head. Poor girl, she’s been stuck in this town for so long looking for me when I have already left.
“It’s not 1995 anymore Amber.” She looked at me confused.
“I left this town a long time ago.”
“I don’t understand. What do you mean it’s not 1995 anymore?” She had been trapped in this town like I have all those years ago. But since the curse had been lifted, the time paradox doesn’t affect this town anymore.
“It’s complicated. Come on, I’ll explain on the way.” Just then, I could hear the sound of a church bell in the distance. Amber and I ran outside and saw the cathedral in the distance.
“Well, I guess I found out where he’s hiding.”
“I’ll explain on the way. Get in.” Amber and I got into my car and drove off. Saint Richard’s Cathedral. That’s where ‘The Order of the Red Moth’ were opporating from, their secret sanctuary. I remember those guys all too well. I think I finally figured out who Silver Skull really is. I explained to Amber the situation, how Silver Skull kidnaped my girlfriend and most likely has her in a trap. I pulled up to the cathedral. I got out as Amber went to sneak around back. The cathedral looked as if it was in bad shape. Dilapidated and broken down. The once beautiful stained glass windows shattered and broken. Parts of the roof collasped in on itself. I entered as I could see Koruka on the other end tied down to some torture device. The same device that ‘The Order’ used to split my mom opened so long ago.
“Michael!” She shouted, overjoyed to see me. I ran over to her.
“No Michael, it’s a trap!” And then I heard the cock of a gun from behind me.
“Turn around slowly!” He commanded. I threw my hands up into the air as I turned to face Silver Skull himself.
“There’s no use hiding behind a mask anymore, I know who you are. Reveal yourself Eric Graves.” He chuckled as if he was impressed. He kept his gun on me as he used his free hand to remove his mask.
“Nothing gets by you does it? You really are the modern Sherlock Holmes. Which makes me your Professor Moriarty.” Balding black hair, a scrawny face and brownish eyes.
“Well revenge for one. You destroyed ‘The Order’, killed our leader, sealed away the Red Goddess and killed our demi God! Taking away my chances of leading ‘The Order’! And above all else, you left me in this town to die! So why do you think I would do this hm? You didn’t even bother looking for me after the catastrophe!”
“A catastrophe that ‘The Order’ caused!” I added. We circled around each other, forcing me away from Koruka.
“Koruka and I, we’ve been getting to know each other so well waiting for you to arrive! And now that the guest of honor has arrived, the party can now begin! I’ve waited so long for this moment, planning out the perfect revenge by breaking you! Just like how you broke me. Poetic, isn’t it?” He laughed again.
“They were my brothers! And you slaughtered them like sheep! I was enraged detective! So I devised a plan to get back at you for what you did to me! I’ve spent months planning the perfect game. Pigs for the slaughter! And now I have you right where I want you. Or better yet, right where he wants you.” And like a flash of lightning, a bullet flew at incredible speed and hit me right in the chest. Koruka screamed as she wept. My dying eyes saw the shooter, and it was ‘The Shadow’ hiding in the darkness of the rafters with a sniper rifle. He snipped me right through the heart.
“Heh, got cha neighbor.” He said smiling. I should’ve died right then and there..... But something unexpected happened. Red tendrils came out from the hole in my chest and rushed themselves toward the shooter.
“Oh shit!” He said just before the red tendrils pierced through him and took out his heart. He fell from the rafters as his cold lifeless body crashed into the floor below. The red tendrils retracted back inside of me as I began to breathe in new life. I gasped as I sat up. I stood back up.
“Well, I didn’t see that coming.” Eric said.
“It would seem that you still have some of the Red Moth’s power within you. Simply incredible.” I looked at myself as I couldn’t believe that I have been brought back to life. It was as if before Red Moth left my body, he left me a part of his power. Eric stepped on a trick stone as a pendulum dropped right above Koruka as the blade started swaying left and right.
“Looks like you have one final choice to make detective. Let me go and save your girlfriends life. Or you can arrest me now and let her die. The clocks ticking.” I saw that Amber had made it into the cathedral safely.
“Amber, untie her quickly!” Eric turned and saw her. A scowl came across his face.
“NO! This is Michael’s game!” Before Eric could get to her, I rushed up and punched him in the face. Eric gave me his full attention as he punched and kicked me back. He then pulled out his gun as he starts shooting at me. I dove and hid behind one of the remaining columns. As soon as his gun was jammed, I took aim and shot the gun right out of his hand. I tackled him as he and I wrestled for a bit. He took a hidden blade and stabbed me in the side which caused me to get off of him. He then stood up and stabbed me again in the stomach. He balled up his fists and pounded me in the back to keep me down. I struggled to get up but he kicked me away. He towered over me and laughed.
“The game is over Wycock!” Just as he was about to stomp my face in, I grabbed a hold of his foot. I fought through the pain and threw him off. I picked myself up.
“You’re right, this game is over Graves!” I could feel Red Moth’s power within me. My wounds healed up quickly like nothing even happened. The red tendrils came out from my hand and wrapped around Eric’s scrawny neck. I lifted him high in the air as he struggles to break free. Amber had finished untying Koruka as she leaped off the machine and dashed toward me. She embraced me from behind. Her warm embrace calmed my nerves as I put Eric down. The red tendrils retracted back into my hand as Eric fell on all fours trying to catch his breath. I walked up to him as I pointed my gun straight at his face. He looked up at me and groaned.
“Do it! Finish me!”
“No.” I replied.
“I’ve got enough blood on my hands.” I lowered my gun.
“You’re under arrest Graves. Anything you say will be used against you in the court of law.” Amber slapped the cuffs on him as I walked away from him.
“This isn’t over yet detective! Do you hear me!” Koruka walked up to him and roundhouse kicked him in the face to shut him up. He was knocked out cold. We got Eric back into my car as we all went home. Once we got back to Paradise City, I threw Eric into his cell at P.C.P.D. and locked it. Well, the backup P.C.P.D. building anyway. He turns to me and chuckles.
“You really think these bars can hold me forever?”
“Go ahead, touch them. I dare you.” He pauses for a moment and then realizes.
“They’re electrified aren’t they?”
“Yep.” I replied.
“Curtesy of Energizer himself. Looks like you won’t be going anywhere for a while.”
“Hmph. Electrified or not, I will get out of here. And when I do, I’ll hunt you down!”
“That would be the day.” I replied as I walked away.
“This isn’t the end detective! You will see me again, mark my words!” He sounded pissed but I didn’t care. I’m just glad that all of this is finally over. There’s just one more stop I needed to make.