One Immortal To Another
William Shawcross: You cannot do justice to the dead. When we talk about doing justice to the dead we are talking about retribution for the harm done to them. But retribution and justice are two different things.
"As you wish...Henry." The man driving the yellow taxi replied, with a taunting cold voice.
Henry gulped, pushing a lump of bile down his esophagus. He knew that voice, and would never forget it either. He did not want the same events to play out the first time he shared a cab with this Roman.
"Adam." He hissed. "Here to kill me?" The young immortal added, breaking the ice.
"No, no, no Henry. Why would I kill you? The pain is so much less...agonizing." Adam responded, a chuckle exiting his mouth.
"So, it seems you're going to torture me then." Henry stated, trying not to let his voice tremble.
"Henry, why would I ever torture you? I want you to feel much more excruciating pain than that." The two-thousand year old man modulated, anger seeping out. He then added an utterance that made Henry's blood go cold and boil simultaneously. "I heard Detective Martinez knows our secret. Tsk, tsk, tsk Henry. That wasn't a good move." Adam turned around from the driver's seat, to look Henry in the eyes as the car was halted at a traffic light.
"DON'T...don't you dare lay a finger on Jo! Or you will be sorry." Henry provoked, outraged.
"I won't." Adam didn't even flinch, he only looked amused. "And out of curiosity…or is it pity...how will you make me sorry? Hmm? By trying to paralyse me again? That didn't work out the first time. Didn't even have to kill myself to get out of that situation, Henry."
"You murderer!" Henry was having trouble keeping calm.
"No Henry. I'm not a murderer...just a friend. Look, I brought you to your destination, and you don't even need to pay the fee."
"I will get you." The Englishman whispered close enough for Adam to hear him, getting out the car. Deep down, he wanted punch Adam hard in the face, but it would not make any difference.
"What? No going to try and capture me." A smirk landed on the driver's face.
"Even if I do call the police, you'll just kill yourself and get away." The Doctor countered, closing the car door, fists clutched together and teeth gritted shut.
"Right you are. Goodbye Henry, be seeing you soon." The car fled the scene, and Henry watched it until he could see it no more. The medical examiner didn't know what to think. He knew Adam had something up his sleeve, but he was one person Henry couldn't read. Adam's face showed little emotion, almost non-apparent. It scared him to think that in a millennia, he might turn out the same. He folded the idea, knowing that Adam was a murderer, and The Doctor Henry Morgan was far from that. He was a seeker of justice, not retribution and vengeance.
He did not know how long he had been idly standing on the curb in front of the hospital, but extensively enough for Jo to sneak up behind him, trying to knock him out of his highly perturbed disorientated position.
"Henry...Henry. You ok? I came here as quickly as possible." Jo said, a little out of breath.
After the detective called his name the second time, he turned around, converting back to his normal bizarre self. "Martinez, thank God you're here." He exhaled. "Let's go inside, I'll explain everything. Heads up, we are dealing with a two-thousand year old immortal." He said fastening his pace, going inside the building.
"Wait...what?" Jo could only say, being interrupted from Henry's hollers.
"Come on detective, keep the pace."
At the reception desk, the nurse who called Henry led them to Adam's now empty hospital room. After the nurse left them alone, Jo did some inquiries involving a two-thousand year old immortal she only just got informed about.
"Just to make things clear Henry...but...back there, did you say another immortal exists...that is not you?" She sounded bewildered and utterly baffled at the thought of another immortal roaming around the streets of The Big Apple. The Latina couldn't digest the idea that there could be hundreds of immortals worldwide, hiding their secrets from the mortal race.
"You heard correctly. For months now I have been, in a certain way, stalked by a man who calls himself Adam, and he has much much more experience about my curse than I. That ancient dagger was what started his curse, and for me it was a gun."
"That's how you became immortal? By a projectile? I thought─"
"That I was born with this unexplainable power? Very good hypothesis, but no. My first death was by bullet to the chest. Quite painful, but minor in comparison to drowning. When you drown, and are going deeper and deeper into the water, your body goes into a state of hypoxia, losing all the oxygen in your limbs. Then your lungs start to burn and soon you try to breath, but only water fills them. You eventually lose consciousness and die. Not the most painful way to die, but still in the top ten, and I'm telling you this out of experience." He simply stated like it was the most common thing to say out loud.
Jo simply nodded her head, but deep down she was thinking how crazy this conversation was, and how her life had turned insanely inconceivable. "Ok, since this weird conversation is over. Tell me more about this Adam guy."
"For starters, he's dangerous." He declared, studying Jo's face, trying to figure out what she was thinking. "I'm serious Jo, he's a cold-blooded murderer. Doesn't even think or regret it when he takes a life. For him, it's like eating; second nature. Worst of all, he never needs a reason. Only desire."
"Aren't you exaggerating a little bit? It's like you were right next to him when he killed someone." Jo laughed sarcastically.
Henry's first instinct was to lie, to make some intelligent comeback with a history lesson following, but he stopped himself, remembering he didn't need to lie anymore to her. The doctor wanted to keep his promise to her at all times; and how refreshing it was to keep it. All his life, he needed to lie and hide who he really was from almost everyone. It pained him every time, noticing how the person actually believed his excuses of a lie. Pushing the past in the past, he told her the complete truth.
"I was there when he killed someone...me. I was also in the house when you shot and killed the Jack the Ripper and the Dahlia impersonator, along with Adam. I got attacked and was surely going to die soon. Adam said he was helping me when he slit my throat like he was slicing a piece of tender meat. Saying that he was worried, and that you seeing me die was no good for anyone, so he killed me. He also wants to keep his curse a secret." The medical examiner spoke, illuminating Jo on what she needed to know.
"You went alone? Even after I told you not to?! You got murdered Henry!" She yelled, visibly upset.
"Don't worry, dying is something I cannot do." Henry said reassuringly, calming his partner down.
"Ok, why are we in a hospital?" Jo asked, going into detective mode.
"Yesterday, I had a face-off with Adam. He killed me again, but before I disappeared I got a chance to stick a needle in him and paralyse him since killing him was not an option. I am not a murderer. He was then sent here, but escaped. When I called you, I didn't know he would confront me in the cab." Henry mumbled the last sentence, knowing he wasn't helping Jo's nerves to settle down.
"Your life is messed up Henry..." She breathed out slowly retrieving some of her composure back. "Because this is way out of my expertise, what do you want to do about this old psychopathic immortal? Killing him isn't an option, and finding him seems impossible."
Henry flew his hands up in defeat. "Right now, the answer has left me rather at a bad time. I called you for help, because you're the only one I trust, including Abe of course, but he isn't you...or a detective with a badge." The Englishman confessed.
"I cannot pinpoint why I am putting up with you so much. I could lose my job. Doing these private investigations for you and not being able to tell anyone why." She told him, looking like she was about to gain a migraine."
"I understand and I am utterly thankful."
Their complicated dilemma (finding Adam) was put on hold when Jo's phone began to ring its usual ringtone. She took it out of her pocket, glancing at the screen, looking at who it was. It was not even remotely surprising that it was Abraham. Henry was hard to contact when not at work nor at home.
"Hello Abe. Do you want to speak with Henry?" She asked
"I need to speak with both of you!" He sounded frantic.
"Whoa, calm down. I'll put the call on speakerphone." She pressed a button on her phone. "Ok, explain."
"Henry, it's gone." He said with anxiety.
"Abe...what's gone?" Henry asked, knowing what was coming next.
"The gun. I put it in the safe straight away after you got it back yesterday. I'm sorry dad, who could have done this? Adam is paralysed." There was a long silence. "Dad?"
Jo cut in because the man standing next to her seemed too distraught to say anything else. She did not know about any gun, but she did now know about Adam. "Abe, he escaped earlier today. Now why has this gun made both of you so agitated?" She asked. She knew guns were not to be played with, but how both Abe and Henry sounded and looked, this particular gun had something different about it.
"I think Henry should go into the details. Come quickly."
"I'm coming Abe, we'll be there soon." Henry finally responded, rushing out the room with Jo following him.
"Will this day ever go back to its normal pace?" Jo muttered to herself, shaking her head.
"Where did you park your car detective?" He asked, still in a rush.
"The back parking lot, in a disabled spot." Henry looked at her with shame. "What? It was the closest and it seemed you were in trouble."
Henry chuckled. "Indeed I was, sort of."
"Come on get in...We have a thief to catch." Jo said, starting the engine and heading to Abe's Antiques.
After Henry left for work, Abraham went out to go to an open house that his sources said had many rare antiques for sale. Not wanting to skip the chances of finding something beautiful for his shop, he closed up shop for a couple of hours. His sources were right, and he came back with a few pieces of gold and diamond jewellery consisting mostly of earrings. When he came home, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. A robbery was not on Abe's mind.
Knowing how valuable his purchase was, he made the logical decision of putting them in the safe. That's when he figured it out. Someone had taken his father's cursed gun. A feeling of nervousness washed over him as he fled to the phone. He needed to get hold of Henry. He tried his office number, but Henry's assistant picked up, saying he left in a hurry, gloating how he got to do two autopsies by himself. Hanging up, he knew who his father was probably with: Detective Martinez.
The call ended abruptly, whilst he waited for them to come. The anxiety hadn't left his body, Adam was back and he knew something was bound to happen...and soon.