The Shadow Knight Begins: Part 1 of 3

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Chapter 4: A Night For Murder

I was still thinking about what I had said to dad when Mariko and Rachel came to remind me of my promise to go with them for Mariko's big night.

Mariko was submitting her finally finished play to the lunar theater group to take a look at, to see if she would have a shot in the playwright academy. Rachel and I were coming along for moral support.

Yeah right…some moral support I turned out to be after when we drove home from the theatre, the night…the night that I witnessed evil's ugly, vicious, and forever hauntingly mortifying face!

We told mom where we were going, said we would be back in two hours, outside was a cop car with a trusted cop vouched for by Jeremy and the commissioner of lunar city that he was an honest cop, he would escort us safely to Mariko's play critique and back.

Mom wished us best and then went back inside the house to pack.

Two hours later…

Mom had just finished packing her clothes when her cell phone rang.

"Hello?" she asked.

"Hello, Mrs. Kishi is it?" asked a friendly female voice.

"Yes it is May I ask who is calling?" my mother asked.

"This is Justine ever hart of the scouts of the Writers guild of America's Playwright academy's 2010 judges, I'm calling in regards to you daughter Mariko" Mrs. Everheart explained who she was.

"Oh…" my mother said realizing who she was, "I don't know if it's safe to ask but did my daughter give you her play to read?"

"She gave me the draft copy two months ago, I liked it but she said she was close to the end of her finalised work, so I said come back in that weeks' time and I'll see how much you've improved, and I was sure that she had talent and could make it into our academy"

"I could have told you that" my mother joked proudly.

"Yes I bet you could have…but you see I'm calling out of concern as to where she is" Mrs. Everheart said.

My mother paused, "what do you mean?"

"Well she said she would be here in ten minutes Mrs. Kishi" Mrs. Everheart explained.

"And…?" my mother pressed.

"That was two hours ago" Mrs. Everheart explained with concern.

Before my mother could respond, my mother's "call waiting" sound on her cell phone began to chirp.

"Hold on…I have to put you on hold" my mother put Miss Everheart on hold and then answered the call that was waiting, it was my cousin Jeremy.

"Auntie Kishi…" he began, but my mother didn't like the tone of his voice, it was broken, sad…mournful.

"what?" my mother was almost too afraid to ask, but she knew the answer before Jeremy could say it "you have to go to the….to the hospital….lunar general…its…it's not good…just…..JUST COME!" he said sobbing, before he hung up my mother thought she heard the words "WHY, WHY THEM?!"


It was foggy that night, and it was also raining hard and lighting was flashing.

We had followed the cop car until Mariko's Chevy ran out of gas suddenly, and mysteriously.

We had wondered why the cop was escorting us down this way, maybe he thought it was a shortcut…or maybe he was just brain dead…because fog, or dark stormy night it was…all three of us knew where in the city we had just become stranded in.

"The far side!" Rachel chastised, "It just had to be the far side!"

"I don't understand…the tank was full!" Mariko said looking at her Chevy, not understanding why her car which was running before was now gas free!

"I don't like this place" I said, looking around at the slums of the far side, in the darkness and the pouring rain it looked like something out of a nightmare.

I could have sworn I saw shadowy monsters lurking in the darkness of the slums…and trust me, now I have to say…I might have been right.

"Where'd the cop go?" asked Mariko.

Rachel and I realized Mariko was right…the cop car that had lead had vanished.

No sign, no lights…no sirens either.

I didn't like this.

Prepare yourself brave reader…this is the part that must be told…but it might be too much.

Turn back now…or go forward and see the evil of the world, and see how my hatred of all evil began.

"well if we hurry, we can make it towards the off ramp and get out of this Gomorrah and call dad to pick us up…although we might as well call a tow service to pick up your car Rachel before someone vandalizes it…if we can find a tow company that can go in without a police escort that is… your probably better off getting a new car." Rachel joked.

"Very funny" Mariko said to her sister, she then grabbed me by the shoulders, squeezing the comfortingly, "don't worry…little brothers got our backs. He won't let anything bad happen to us, right Kagae?"

She looked into my eyes as I looked up at her, my face pleading with her not to tell or ask me to use my abilities…they were too dangerous.

I hate myself for being so naïve and cowardly back then.

I still remember Mariko, the look in her eyes, her face…she was so full of happiness and peace... and trust, and she had complete trust in me…her little brother.

Why…I ask myself everyday…why did I let my fear conquer me?

Rachel, oblivious to Mariko and my own little secret rolled her eyes, but smiled at me back "yeah he is a real knight in shining armour whose here to save us…come on, let's get out of here!"

We ran as fast as we could towards the off-ramp, the way out of here!

The off ramp, no matter how many times I remember it… it still in my memory of that night seemed to be a lot farther than it usually was.

We followed the overhanging highway, the only sure way to find the off-ramp in the lightless shadow land of nightmares that the far side was known to become at night.

The skyway commuter highway road was our arrow pointing to salvation.

But as we followed the overhead highways, we soon saw the underside of the two off and on ramps.

Seeing our way out we ran faster.

We were running down an alleyway, which emptied out into a kind of abandoned sand lot.

It had begun to rain harder.

But even with the rain, and the limited light from the elevated highway above… my sisters must have seen him…because they stopped in their running, and starred with concern at the one man in a seemingly empty lot who was walking slowly towards us.

I stopped running when they stopped, and when I saw their faces in the darkness of the night illuminated by the neon signs of the fashion district on the one side of the river mixed with the now thundering lightning bolts in the sky; I followed their fearful stares right to the source.

That despicable man's evil looks are forever burned in my memory… as well as what he did soon after.

He was a slender man, maybe in his early 30's; he was wearing a tattered leather overcoat, and a pair of ratty old "old navy" blue jeans. He had around his left shoulder a biker's metal chain.

His face, it was like in the darkness…a twisted demon. His face was cut up and pierced…and his teeth on his crooked grin were yellow and twisted.

I then realized he was looking at all of us, Mariko, Rachel, and me.

I barely can remember how it began, it happened so fast.

The whip of the man's left hand, the flash, the bang…and Mariko falling backwards onto the ground, blood flowing from the bullet hole in her stomach.

"MARIKO, MY GOD! MARIKO!" Rachel screamed.

"SHUT UP!" the murderer yelled at Rachel, then he froze… contemplating "wait, what I am saying? No one can hear you! No one cares…this is lunar city. No one's coming to your rescue. No cops, no concerned citizens…no one. You see the boss wants to send a message to your father that the brain of crime doesn't like it when some two bit philanthropist decides to actually speak out against crime in this city…and win, not well for business. So now the boss needs the black alley cat murderer…and if you've heard the news baby…you're going to wish I had killed you the way I did your blonde sister over there!" his voice was like poison.

Rachel froze; realizing who the thug was…the black alley cat serial killer!

"But first…say goodbye to your little brother!" he said setting his sights on me.

"RUN KAGAE!" Rachel screamed.

I was so terrified, I almost didn't run…but I did and when I began, I heard the shot…and the pain in my back.

And I fell face fist on the dirt, right beside Mariko's still form.

I couldn't see, but I heard Rachel's scream and the black alley cat murderer's voice changed from sinister to struggling…I realized my sister Rachel was fighting the murderer.

I could feel my blood flowing from my back, the bullet in my spine…it must have splintered my spine, but didn't kill me…because now I could no longer move my legs!

Stunned, I was barely able to reach my pocket and pull out my cell phone.

I could barely speak as the pain and blood loss began to take affect…so I decided to change my plan to call the one police member who wouldn't hesitate to come here and who would be close by to stop what was happening.

Instead of talking on the cell phone, I began texting a message to my cop cousin Jeremy.

I typed it under urgent.

I only managed to get out "HELP, MURDER…FAR SIDE!" before suddenly a steel toe boot came down, crushing my fingers…but despite the pain, I managed to send out the message.

The murderer picked up my cell phone, looked at what it said…and looked at me again, laughing as he did.

"nice try kid…but even if there was a cop in this city that wasn't on my boss's payroll…no one will get here to save you all in time…now, time to collect my bonus…but first…I'll have some fun first…I always hatted rich people…especially their kids!"

He pulled out some kind of iron bar, a black jack.

Before I knew it, I received blow…after blow across my body from the blackjack in his hand.

My head was the biggest target.

The pain….it was terrible, my skin was broken I several places and I swear I had a concussion.

I screamed at the murderer to stop…but he just laughed and laughed.

I begged again, and this time he talked "why would I stop now when I'm having so much fun?"

He turned me around and grabbed me by my white hair until I was eye length to his own evil gaze.

I saw the flash as he pulled out his knife.

He then pulled out his knife and then stabbed me through the chest, the stomach and then the left lung.

Blood sprang from my mouth this time…the only other time that had happened was the accident…but maybe that was just the chemical and not blood back then…but this time I knew, it was blood.

In that instance I knew…no one was coming.

Salvation would never come to us…we had fallen into hell…and the angels wouldn't get here in time.

And the devil was enjoying cutting my soul to pieces.

I tried to hold back at the pain, but every time he stabbed me I screamed in pain.

My screams echoed throughout the far side.

I could see his face when he cut me, not like I ha d a choice, he used his fingers to force my eyelids open… he was enjoying seeing my terror, my helplessness…as he caused me pain after pain.

He was laughing the whole time, as if this was some sick game to him.

He then brandished his gun and shot me in the stomach.

I was so dazed I hardly felt the impact.

I was barely holding onto my life as he dragged me over to where Rachel was.

I saw Rachel.

Rachel as I soon to my everlasting horror found out had lost her fight…and now was chained up to the mesh fence of the vacant lot.

Her hands were pinned above her, and her legs were pinned in a way that her most sacred of places was now vulnerable for this demon from hell to have his way with her.

He propped me up in front of this scene beside an old oil drum, as if getting me ready to witness some show.

I was bleeding so badly I had no energy to scream, or move…barely to keep my eyes open.

But I tried…desperately I tried to get up to stop him.

But I couldn't.

Rachel had been gagged by the murderer, but I could still hear he screams.

I couldn't do a thing as the murderer tied my hands to the oil drum I was propped against, and then he stuck duct tape to my eyes forcing them open, then he leaned down and whispered in my ear…the smell of alcohol blaring from his breath, "Now watch the show sonny! Because you're never going to grow up to do this to a woman! And your dear black haired sister will never waste her life to marry and grow old…so you should thank me that I'm ending her beauty with grace before she loses it to someone else and time" he sneered.

"You…crazy, evil" I managed to mutter.

"Understatement of the year" the murderer said before he punched me in the cheek…I lost five teeth to that punch.

God…I pray every day, that I can just forget what I saw next on that awful night.

But if I didn't see it, would it have changed what I soon after became as a result?

The murderer turned his attention to Rachel…and then he began to rape her.

He began to rape her right in front of my eyes.

My parents and my religion told me that THAT kind of intimacy between a man and a woman was a sacred thing, which has to be shared by two people, a man and a woman, who both have shared emotions towards each other and who have been married before god in the church.

This wasn't like that at all!

This was horrible, and I was being force to watch.

He cut her when she screamed, or bet her.

He licked her.

He thrust her.

He stabbed her in the sides with his knife once.

God…I can still hear Rachel's screams.

It was then I decided to do it, use my powers.

I had too.

I concentrated…but no powers came.

No shadow walking, no shadow blast…nothing, but I did notice when I tried to use my powers, my blood… my blood which was seeping from me fatally, which was spilling all over the ground was flashing bright purple whenever I tried using my powers.

It was then I realised why my powers weren't working, that chemical had mutated my blood, and so since I was bleeding profusely onto the ground from my wounds…my powers were bleeding with me.

I could already feel the feeling of anemia, it was then I realized…no one was coming, I was going to die, and so was Rachel…we were going to follow Mariko.

My vision began to blur as I began to die, the black alley cat killer had finished his dirty deed, and now was standing above Rachel's broken form.

Lightning flashed again and in the brief flash of light I saw the black alley cat murderer pull out a small derringer type pistol.

I then realized to my dying horror, I was going to see another sister killed in front of my eyes.

But before he pulled the trigger, I heard a cellphone call coming from the black alley cat killers coat pocket.

"Yeah what…" he answered his phone call with anger, which dissipated when he realized who had called him, "oh…brain…I mean boss. Yeah I did the job. Oh don't worry, I think this will definitely send you message…yeah I'm on my way back now"

He hanged up his cellphone, and looked down at me and smiled deviously "now that was fun, that jerk young adult better pay up for the added pleasure I added to this job… see you in the morgues Kishi's"

He took of laughing.

My vision blurred again, I could barely hold myself up.

I heard Rachel weakly say my name before she passed out due to her injuries.

As I struggled to keep awake and alive, I tried to break free from my bonds…but I couldn't.

As I struggled to keep awaked, and my vision deteriorated… I then heard a secondary voice… a familiar voice, "I told you I would get even kid, now I get to bang your sister…in death"

I collapsed in blackness, then I was conscious again and this time I not only heard another familiar voice, I saw him.

Standing over me, cutting me loose, with cop car sirens and lights behind him, Jeremy, my cop's cousin.

He looked at me in horror, and before I finally fell to the darkness, I heard him say "oh my god…what have I done!"

I wish I could say it ended there, but today I realize just like my "death" at the hands of the chemical, this was another rebirth.

I wasn't dead, although I will explain why and how I managed to survive that in due time.

But what you must know brave reader is that while it may have seemed I was dead I was really in a coma, while my body repaired itself…yes you read correctly, while it repaired itself.

New powers emerged during that moment of stress, like some kind of emergency system went off when I was close to death that caused my mutated blood to evolve, upgrade.

That's what saved me in the end.

One of the new powers my body unlocked or activated to be prepared for any ordeal like what I had gone through again.

It was like an advanced version of inoculation; only these anti-viruses don't die or stop working.

The images of that night played over and over again before finally I woke up from my coma screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

After recovering from my sudden awakening, panting for breath I looked around and found to my relief I was safe in my bed at home in the mansion.

Outside the sun was shining, I could hear the song birds that had made their nest in the oak tree that was outside my window.

I breathed a sigh in relief; it was all just a nightmare.

I looked at the clock beside me on the bed, 12:00 pm?

I really overslept; man…mother was going to give me hell.

I got up, not noticing a detaching feeling when I left, or noticing the machines beside my bed either.

I exited my room, and walked down in my night robe heading for the kitchen, but then I heard crying coming from the living room, from a woman who wasn't my mother and my mother was crying too.

Out of curiosity I changed my direction and then entered the living room.

I was right, my mother was in there with a woman who was crying in some kind of pain, and my mother was comforting her, crying too…in fact, it looked like they were comforting each other.

Mrs. Darby, Darcy and Marty, Dad, Jeremy, but no Mariko or Rachel, I figured they were at school…but I couldn't help but wonder why my mother would not get me out of my bed for school.

I also wondered why they were all wearing black.

It was the door, it was what gave me away…it's been squeaking since I was eight, so when I entered the squeaky door alerted everyone in the room.

They all looked at me like they had just seen a ghost.

"Uh…hi?" I asked.

"Oh my god…KAGAE!" my mother suddenly let go of the crying woman who was looking at me in total shock, she practically almost crushed me with her hugging, my mother's sobs started to worry me.

My dad stood up as well, "Kagae, you're all right!"

"Alright?" I asked him confused; my mother stopped hugging me and then began checking my head then my pulse, "mom…?" I asked pushing her off gently, "what's wrong? What's with you all I just overslept"?

"We thought you were dead Kagae!" Darcy blurted, tears flowing down her face.

"Darcy…" Marty comforted, but shook his head…not wanting me to know what they all obviously knew.

I stood there froze by what Darcy said.

I looked at my mother, then around at everyone in the room.

"What…what are you talking about?" I finally asked.

My father sighed in despair, "I'm sorry Kagae, I'm so sorry… you were right"

"What's going on!?" I demanded getting worried now.

Everyone looked at me, in silence for what to me felt like an eternity.

My mother was the first to speak, "Kagae…two weeks ago, you and your sisters were attacked in a vacant lot in the far side."

My nightmare, they were talking about my nightmare?

"It was a hit set up by the brain, the brain of crime. He wanted my crusade stopped so he did this" my father sighed, in disgust at himself, "you were right Kagae, it was exactly how you said it would happen. He got to me through my loved ones"

"What…what…" I asked in disbelief, "no…no…it was just a nightmare. It didn't happen!"

"we drove you to the hospital, you were in a coma for two weeks son" mother assured, "we didn't think you were ever going to recover, we thought….we thought we were going to lose you and Rachel too"

"What?!" I asked askance.

"If it wasn't for Jeremy defying orders from the chief of police and going to the far side after he received that text message you sent, you and Rachel probably wouldn't be with us right now, he left during a riot to save you and Rachel."

Suddenly the terrible reality was setting in.

"I had to pull half the force away from the far side to deal with the riots… there was no way we would have known what was happening if you didn't send out that text message to me Kagae. I found you…with the tape recorder holding a message from the brain attached to your hand telling uncle martin to "stop…or more of your family will suffer! I'm a man of my word, this proves it!" but it was masked, we couldn't trace the voice of the recorder…and police are still searching for the suspects… or so they say they are." Jeremy added solemnly.

"Where is Mariko…where's Rachel?" I demanded, still not wanting to believe what I had heard…but was starting too.

"Rachel's fine but, she's in the hospital, Sister Lucy's on the east side of the city and…" my mother answered me, "she's hurt, she's hurt really bad…"

"Where is Mariko, WHERE IS SHE?!" I yelled, causing everyone in the room to jump.

"Kagae…" Marty stood up, concerned for me, "I realize you don't believe us but as your friend I will be the one to tell you this. Only you and Rachel were lucky enough to have survived that…Mariko…"

"I appreciate you concern for my son Marty, but I think his mother and I should tell him" my father interrupted.

"She's…" I couldn't believe the words were coming out of my mouth, "she's dead?"

"Yes…" my father chocked back a sob, "my little girl… how could I have been so blind"

"No…no….YOUR LYING, YOUR ALL LYING!" I accused in defiance, and then I tore for the door.

Not listening to my father or my mother calling me back to the house.

Tears flowing from my eyes, I just couldn't believe it…not Mariko.

I headed for the one place that would prove to me that they were lying to me…the cemetery, where all past Kishi's had been buried.

It was family tradition to be buried there, where else would Mariko have been buried if she was killed?

It wasn't far from home, so it didn't take long for me to get the Moonlight view cemetery.

I searched the headstones and the crypts furiously, desperately.

Trying to find Mariko's grave or at least I not find Mariko's grave to prove to me that I was the victim of a most cruel joke.

I must have searched for two hours, in the last hour I heard my friends Darcy and Marty as well as my family calling out to me trying to find me.

I ignored and kept searching until I froze in my tracks.

I had found it.

It was a marble headstone, with roses in a holder beside it… Mariko's favorite flowers.

A mortuary picture of a smiling Mariko was on the headstone.

Words in gold letters written said, "in memory of Mariko Antoinette Kishi, beloved daughter: born 1999, Died 2031"

"No….NO!" I shouted in disbelief, foolishly wishing that by doing so I'll wake up and find this was all just a bad dream, but I didn't, because it wasn't….it was real.

My sister Mariko was dead.

And the other one….oh my god, Rachel.

I heard my father calling behind me, he had found me…but I ignored and took off running towards the southern bridge leading into the east side of the city…not caring that I was running to the hospital Rachel was supposedly in in my night clothes.

"Where's he going now?" asked my mother as she watched me run out of the graveyard worried about me.

"He's going to Rachel" my father guessed correctly.

I kept running, not caring about the stares I was receiving from people who were in my way on the sidewalk to where Rachel was… at Sister Lucy's hospital.

I burst into the hospital; I asked the front desk where Rachel was… when I found out, I ran to where Rachel was.

I entered her room, and that sight has remained burned everlastingly in my memory.

Over the sounds of the E.K.G, there was Rachel in her hospital bed. Bruised, cut, bandaged, hooked up to I.V's, breathing slowly, I couldn't tell if she was sleeping or in a coma.

"No…no…no" I whispered in disbelief, I couldn't believe it. My nightmare actually happened.

I slowly approached Rachel's still form, slowly taking in the reality.

I looked down at my hands, at the powers I held…powers I didn't use, that night in the vacant lot. I sensed the black alley cat murderer, blackie whatever his name was, I sensed him before we all entered the lot…it was my dark sense.

I knew it was my dark sense, but I refused to acknowledge it out of my fear of my powers and the attention they would bring.

I sensed him….and I did nothing.

My god…I did this, I let this happen!

I fell down on my knees and began sobbing into my hands on Rachel's bedside, "it's my fault…it's my fault"

Suddenly a soft hand brushed my cheek, and I heard Rachel's voice "Kagae? Is that you?"

I looked up to see my sister opening her eyes, and when she saw me…her eyes widened in shock, and then she reached forward and embraced me in a death grip kind of hug.

"Kagae it is you. I thought you were…" but she was so overcome with happiness to see me alive she didn't finish her sentence.

The rest of the family came in soon after this moment after chasing me here after all.

But as Rachel hugged me, crying tears of joy, grateful that her brother who had been tied, stabbed and shot and forced to watch her rape was alive, I was crying not out of shared emotion but of guilt.

I wondered if she would be so glad to see me if she knew that I had superpowers…and I didn't use them, because I was scarred to use them again for this reason…and that had cost all three of us a lot.

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