The Shadow Knight Begins: Part 1 of 3

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Chapter 7: The Shadow Knight Strikes!

JOURNAL ENTRY# 2

It must be likely four or five days since I last wrote in this journal.

Summer has just begun, and I am writing the next entry in my journal in what I believe may be the first of a bunch of chronicles on my exploits as the shadow knight.

I'm writing so who ever may find this journal someday will know one thing, I survived. But the next entry at the end of this will probably be years later because some important things have occurred that have required me to place my operations somewhere besides lunar temporarily, and have shown me…I have much to learn, particularly in myself and the path I must take to make sure in never go down the path of darkness that my powers originator, the liquid miasmic mutagen does to those with a weak mind, heart, soul…or a vengeful mind like mine on evil.

I'll explain why in this entry, it started when I was training out in the caretaker of the graveyard holding my sisters graves Storehouse.

I was working up a sweat, the images of the grinning Brain of crime: Dorian finch, my supposedly traitorous cousin, the night skulls, the red death Gang…and most of all Blackie Nelson, accelerating my adrenaline allowing me to push myself forward, getting stronger.

My anger and hatred at their evil, and my want for justice for my sister's murder…and everything else they had done burning in my mind.

Currently I was using my powers to attack some concrete pillars I had made in my spare time.

I had recently found that my enhanced strength had doubled and now I could lift 100 times my weight and my punch…was enough to shatter concrete now.

I had also managed to use my powers to alter my voice to an unrecognizable demonic like voice, perfect for scarring criminals, if my glow in the dark eyes weren't enough.

I stopped my training, my inner turmoil over what had happened in the past month and a half had never gone away like miss Darby thought, in fact with her death, added with the other tragedies it had gotten worse and the brains threats on my family didn't help. My mother whenever she went into town always looked over her shoulder to make she that she wasn't going to be jumped. Rachel was still recuperating in the hospital but as you know, some parts of her would never recover.

My father was under the brains thumb the worse, being forced to make under the table checks to his criminal empire under threats to his family if he didn't.

I wondered if Jeremy knew about that, and if he was part of that too!

I sliced the concrete block with my fist yelling in frustrated anger.

I had been sparred, while the rest of my family suffered for it.

Maybe it was survivors guilt, I don't know…but whatever the case I had nightmares, horrible nightmares. Like the one had wrote about earlier. They never went away; my mind had been damaged by the trauma of the attack, so I would forever have these nightmares and emotional pain.

Whether or not you, the reader think it was my fault that those deaths happened or not is irreverent because I believe that it was my fault.

I was weak.

I couldn't be weak when I fight the criminals of this city.

But besides my pain, I had an intense anger and two sets of hatred in my heart. One poised against evil itself and the other against the corrupt council and the brain of crime…and my traitorous cousin…he out of all of them would have a lot to answer for.

On this day I asked myself the question…was Mariko's death, and Rachel's rape and the other events afterward really my fault?

Finished with my training, I thought this question and looked at my calendar to see if I was right or wrong.

I walked across the room of the caretakers hut and grabbed my training calendar.

I looked at my calendar; I had been marking it down lately for my training.

I marked the days of improvement with X's and the days I gained a new power with stars.

Currently there were only five stars, no new abilities had appeared.

I figured that that was because I either had no more, or I hadn't become strong enough for them.

The word hit me hard… strong enough?

I had found out earlier when I started training my powers I got stronger in might and will. I found that as I trained my abilities got stronger, like when an athlete trains to perfect his muscles to the peak of perfection, or a brilliant student trains to become master of his or her mind to become one of the world big thinkers.

I then became curious with the question of what if?

I then returned to the day I got my powers, then to four days later when I revealed them to dear Mariko, and then I shunned my abilities in fear of them.

I then began adding the data of when I trained and the days I got my powers.

I gasped in shock at the revelation that the data showed me.

It was my fault!

If I hadn't shunned my powers in fear, I would have learned shadow strike, shadow blast, shadow charge, shadow clone and shadow phase before the night in the alley, by about two days before!

If I had accepted my abilities, I would have been able to save both Mariko and Rachel!

I dropped the calendar stunned at this revelation.

I walked out of the abandoned shed to the edge of the graveyard where Mariko's tombstone stood.

I felt unworthy to stand looking at my dear sisters grave, because I now knew it wasn't the criminals who really killed her… it was me.

It really was my fault.

That whole night was my fault, if I had accepted who I was as I did now…. None of it would have happened.

I dropped to my knees, collapsing on the area Mariko was buried, crying.

I was sure my tears soaked through the ground to her corpse bellow me.

As much as I believed in a happy aftermath for the good people of the world, I couldn't believe that someone so good could be taken away without any repercussions.

Why was it she died, Rachel was made barren, and I survived?

Why would god spare me?

What purpose could I possibly have when it was my inaction that killed an angel?

I cried for what felt like two hours.

I then placed my hand on the tombstone and spoke these words, the self-anger and rage curdling into a want for something more… vengeance, no… a cry for justice.

"Mariko. I pray you will forgive me. It's my entire fault you were killed, If I hadn't been sacred of these abilities I have, I could have saved you and Rachel. That's a burden I will have to live with for the rest of my nights, I will have nightmares and attacks of Greif for the rest of my life. I know I will, I have been having them for the past year. I've been damaged by the darkness taking you away, and by it causing so much pain to all in its way. But on your gravestone I make this vow "no matter how dark it gets, I will not give up until I have destroyed the evil that did this to our family, which still threatens our family still. The brain of crime, the city council's inner circle, the monster who took you away from us and made Rachel barren… they will receive their comeuppance. The time will come, when evil will fear the night they use to hide their pathetic selves in, they will fear anti-darkness alive. They will fear… the shadow knight!"


June 22, 2013

It was a dark night that other fateful night, the night that I was truly born into being what I had to be, and it was raining just like that night in the alley.

Not that I could really care at the time, I was busy visiting my sister Rachel who was still in the hospital.

The doctors weren't sure if she would ever recover, but I knew she was going to make it… I mean she had too.

I couldn't lose another sister.

Not again.

I grasped my fast asleep older sister's hand and stroked it; if she awoke again after sleeping for the night, dreaming of better times, she would still find herself still without ability to walk, and she also would be barren, never to have children and with who knows what kind of brain damage if any?

Doctors had been working on a way to make people like her walk again, a new kind of treatment had been made but it was so new it was still almost prototypical, a kind of a trial by error thing. If it worked, she could walk again, but like I said the process was new, it might not work at all… and her womb, no medical practice or new discovery had been discovered that could rebuild a damage organs such as that…her dreams of having a son and daughter…destroyed by a madman's assault and his employers bloodlust ultimatum.

I sat beside her, holding her hand in mine, watching her sleep.

Outside I was calm, but inside I was impatient.

I had been ready for about two months, and I was getting tired of waiting for the right opportunity to strike darkness with anti-darkness, to finally give the evil scum of the city something to be afraid of… heh, heh, heh, the dark!

The T.V was on, and it was on the next news clip that my first mission was outlined before me.

"The pro-update law enforcement" movement remains strong but not as strong as it was before its founder Martin Kishi, Billionaire businessman and political runner up left due to the tragic murder and rape of his two daughters. The one funding the movement now is none other than The D.A Salvador Hardy spokesman for the group said, "We will not stop until those buffoons on parliament tower listen to us and lean towards no crime ruling the streets anymore"

In other news….

"Recently released on the streets again due to a legal technicality, Local nomad Blackie nelson was released from prison today on account of no evidence against him during his arrest in 2008, once thought to be the infamous black alley cat murderer; blackie is now cleared of any accusation of him being the black alley cat murderer. His lawyer commented…."

I eyed the video showing the lawyer of the Pshyco who did this to my sister; it was one of the brains lawyers on his payroll. I know, because I used my shadow powers to spy on my enemy's during the week… in order to learn the brains men's weakness's in order to get around to taking him down.

But blackie, I had something else planned for him.

Suddenly….. "we interrupt this program to put out an amber alert, one black haired girl of seventeen named Clarice Hardy, daughter of the D.A has been reported missing, she was last seen outside Lunar high…."

"FINALLY!" I grinned sinisterly, "Not this time Blackie, your evil has hurt people for the last time! It's time to see if you're afraid of the dark!"

I began to depart but then I stopped and turned to look at my sister.

Her face still bore the stitches inflicted on her by the black alley cat murderer I knew to be blackie, hired by the brain of crime to do this to her to send a message to dad to quit his successful lobby against crime and the inadequate police forces armaments.

Inside her, there was damage I already knew about… she would never have children. Her mind would probably have some damage too.

Rachel was victim number 22, but she was lucky, for despite what had been done to her… she was alive, same couldn't be said for Blackie other victims…to Mariko.

I had read up on them, met their families who had gathered on Mariko's funeral to voice their mutual condolences, I learned about the pain the murdered girls families were going through, how they longed for justice to be delivered by the law.

What good were law and justice in a city that used the police as a front?

There were good cops sure, but it wasn't a good cop who betrayed my family…. His family, my cousin was going to have a lot to answer for!

If doing what I plan to do in order to free my family from this nightmare requires I take the law into my own hands to catch criminals that operate above the law and own half of the city, and who work with corrupt political bureaucrats who do own the city… so be it!

I may be branded an outlaw, be hunted down… for taking the law into my own hands.

If the law isn't being followed, enforce it, that's what the police and the council should be doing here in lunar city, instead they twist it for their own needs.

So I may be taking the law into my own hands, but I am going to be using the law to catch these criminals, I am going to use the law that has been ravaged and twisted here in this city and use what the law and order is supposed to be and bring what the law is supposed to bring…. Justice!

I will use the law that isn't being used in lunar city, how can I be taking it in my own hands when the ones who should enforce it twist it and disassemble it?

Most political minded people like my father would probably object to my mission because of the same reason that I fear to start.

My family, the repercussions that might happen if I fail or succeed and my secrets are discovered.

A smart man would say to sit back and not do anything and let the police handle it.

A smart man didn't see what I have seen.

They would also say that nothing can stop people like the scum of the world and that it will never be enough for the criminals to be fought against for their actions and win and that there is nothing one man can do about it… because the smart man is afraid.

I used to be concerned about my family's pain getting worse due to the murder and my actions might make it all come crashing down, but that changed after attending family council with various families whose children were victims of blackie's serial killer spree.

Seeing all those families, hurting like me…like my family, it hurt…it hurt me badly.

I became adamant on healing their pain by delivering them the man who killed their children. I know it would never bring their loved ones back or mine…but I knew it would make everyone feel a bit better knowing that the monster that did this has been caught and punished.

And with D.A hardy and a new judge, Alice cooper who can't be bought in the city courthouse of law, all I had to do was play my part.

But was I really ready?

The families of blackie's victims enter my thoughts again.

I can still see them… the families, with my links to the shadow realm I can see visions, echoes of the family's mourning.

The mother of kylie Monroe, a girl who wanted to grow up to become a doctor, black hair… her mother's joy, her father's dream… gone, and now her mother's echo in my shadow vision cries holding a picture of her murdered daughter whose body was never recovered, save a finger with the ring that her parents gave her for Christmas.

Her husband holds her, crying with her.

Them and others, I can hear their mournful cries.

When I do, all sense of worry ends and is replaced with rage and reassurance that what I planned to do was not legally right, but it was morally right!

The papers, the news, the council… they list their names like they didn't matter, just another victim of crime and darkness…one death is never enough.

Those girls where someone's baby, someone's daughter, someone's sister! It is more than enough!

These people fear evils power because they have no way of fighting back…. But I do have a way, and I'll be dammed if one more family was going to be crying over another murdered daughter!

Not when I hold the power to save her!

No more pain, sorrow, no more corruption, no more senseless deaths… the line was drawn two years ago.

The world has changed, superpowers are possible…and I have the power to end suffering and fight crime one on one!

And I will make them pay for what they have done!

I walked towards my sisters bed, leaned down and kissed her cheek… then fists clenched I walked into the shadows of the hospital wall in the dark room and reappeared in my room back at the mansion.

Outside the mansion a storm was blazing….just like the one from that awful night.

I could hear restful breathing above me in my parent's room, I could smell the salty smell of human seline, and I deduced mom must have been crying.

Well after tonight, you won't have to cry as much anymore… after tonight mother, you won't have to look over your shoulder in fear whenever you go out into lunar city.

Thunder and lightning pounded outside the mansion as the storm grew.

My heart pounded as I reached under my bed and pulled out what was going to be what I would have to become to fight the darkness and evil I hated so.

I pulled out the black trench coat and put it on.

Then I buckled the belt holding the katana and my unloaded gun.

I tied up the boots, vintage 2011 steel toe styled boots.

Then the gloves, gauntlet like but fit better on the fingers than gauntlets did.

I pulled out Mariko's mask she made for drama class, metal, sleek, primal, its eyes in a frown and its mouth in a chiselled growl.

She said it was to reflect the appearance of the character of a dark warrior who had lost the woman he loved and embarked on a quest to avenge her death by the villainous samurai who had murdered her out of spite for choosing the dark warrior instead of the samurai for a husband.

I wish I had read it earlier; wished Mariko had let me skim it before her audition…maybe I wouldn't have had to go through hell before I reached heaven, but maybe not.

I cursed myself for that.

You see, after her death…I biter sweetly got the chance to finally read her un-produced play…one that may never be produced.

I recalled the tale; it was about a quest of vengeance…. That ended in death.

You see in the tale, the dark warrior in his quest for revenge couldn't ignore those in need of help and endured many adventures which earned him many titles and recognition throughout the land , he searched for his vengeance for most of his life before he met a woman he fell in love with and married her preparing to abandon his mission until the samurai returned to kill the woman he now loved just like he did again wanting the dark warrior to suffer twice for if only to please his contempt for the samurai for "forcing" him to kill the dark warriors first love to undo her dishonor of marring the dark warrior instead of him, believing that the second loss would kill the warrior whom he was jealous of because he now had everything and the samurai had nothing again. The two met in a grand battle and the dark warrior and the samurai killed each other in their duel. But the dark warrior died happy for even though his quest started in vengeance it ended with a happy ending because he had found love again and left his mark on the world in all of his great accomplishments. His wife buried him and being with child before his death bore his child which was his mark on the world. She named the boy after his father, a man who sought vengeance but found peace instead… until the end of his days.

She named the boy Kagae.

The same as my name, Kagae means "shadow" in Japanese.

How fitting that my powers are shadow based.

No.

I don't think I'm the warrior in the tale, I just remember it because like my story, mine is a quest for vengeance and I pray that I will not be consumed by it… like others who try the path of a hero with vengeance and end up becoming what they hate.

I place the mask on my head, and then the hat.

I remember the story because Mariko told it to me when I was young, it was my favorite bedtime story.

She had made it up, but for her play she had added more to it…I believed that she would have been a great screenwriter for Broadway if she was still alive.

Her play was great.

Maybe it influenced a bit of my plan, and maybe there are similarities.

But tonight, unlike the warrior I will not die after getting my poetic justice… pardon the corniness.

I plan to live as long as I can until the day I truly die; I plan on dying a grandfather.

But as life keeps rubbing the fact in my face, plans mean squat, reality can change things cruelly in your world.

I open my eyes looking through the mask.

No turning back Kagae, this is your life once you take this path.

I scorn myself, indecision is what caused all of this… its time I embraced the role I was born to be.

Tonight I will conquer my demons, both outer and inner… I will show the world that one lives among the scared that will fight fire with fire against criminals, Pshyco's, terrorists and other forms of evil wherever they strike.

Tonight I will prove that I am doing what's right.

Tonight I will become anti darkness alive, hater of all darkness.

Tonight I will learn the differences between vigilante and hero!

I look into the mirror of my dark bedroom at my transformed self.

Red eyes glowing through the mask and my masks growl covering my smile.

"Just as that dark warrior myth, my mission is this. To fight criminals and free innocents from their clutches, end their sorrow and fear.

To really write a new and better tomorrow, my training is complete, the players are set. The moment is at hand! The knight will overcome the pawns, the rooks and the kings and stand triumphant as justice takes over after the battle is won.

My family's salvation was now born!

"This is going to be quite a show!" I chuckled with my new dark voice, echoing as I shadow walked away.


THE FAR SIDE

Figures that blackie would choose his favorite murder place again, but this time he seems to have changed his M.O.

Instead of raping and murdering black haired girls for kicks in alleyways, he's doing it by the docks!

From the shadows I can hear the van approaching the docks.

Ford truck, probably stolen.

I can hear the girl inside the truck straining, crying in fear.

I don't have to see to know she's tied and gaged.

The gag probably won't last long; she's in the far side…. Only the homeless and destitute live in the far side slums.

If anyone noticed, cared, or was sober enough to run for help… it would be too late.

I watch blackie emerge from his truck, his knife in hand and the chains.

The rage inside boiling, telling me to take him down now!

But the rational side of me tells me to wait, and gather evidence and when he makes his move…. CRUSH HIM!

I look down to see if the tape recorders I placed around the room in perfect hiding places, also in good places to record everything are recording.

Recording.

Now I waited.

The poor girl was dragged to the wooden pole of the closest dock and then she was bound with chains and then the gag was removed.

"Please… let me go I didn't do anything" Clarice hardy cried.

"Oh yes you did darling" blackie snickered, brandishing his knife in her face, "you were born, born to that pig D.A who put a few of my friends and my boss's boys behind bars. For a few weeks sure, but do you have any idea how boring prison can be? I do… its bleeding boring. Locked up in a metal cage with nothing but your mind to carry out your fantasies in. oh, I had fun with that Kishi girl but I never got to finish playing with her, you on the other hand. The boss, the brain… wants the job done. He didn't let me finish because he wanted to send a message to your father, the Kishi girl's father and the rest of you pro-law enforcement re-tooling protesters. I kill you and the message is given fully… don't cross the boss, and your children live!"

"They'll know it was you…. They'll know you're the black alley cat murderer!" Clarice screamed, with hot tears of fear streaming down her face.

"Look around sweetheart, this is no alley… it's a dock" he grinned, "and over there, my two buddies? One of them is a cop. They're here to watch the show. And my cop friend he's here to be my alibi of finding the first victim of a new killer while the other, will go to hall of records and provide me a fake writ showing I've been out of town in Technogopolis for months and two…." He put on rubber gloves, "the only prints they'll find are… no ones, it will be my new name "unknown" something that will strike fear into pretties like you… because like black alley cat no one will know… because I don't leave a trace. Well here we go my dear…"

"You're insane" Clarice said frozen.

"Oh and I thought I was legal age… here we go!" he said again reaching for her pants.

"Nooooooo!" Clarice screamed.

"Yeah, cut the witch up good blackie… I spent five months in internal affairs and the slammer due to that witches father!" the corrupt cop laughed sadistically.

Suddenly…

Laughter, dark, mockingly evil ghost type laughter flooded the screams of terror and pleas of help as blackie began to make his move but before he had begun undressing the poor girl…. A new laughter erupted.

This laughter came from everywhere, from all around, and from nowhere.

This laughter was dark, sinister, frightening, haunting…. The laughter was mine.

"What the heck was that?!" the corrupt cop asked in shock at the invisible laugh.

"Who's there?!" blackie yelled, getting his knife ready to fight.

The laughter again, I enjoyed watching these scum squirm in fear… trying to find the source of the ghostly laughter they heard.

"Show yourself!" blackie ordered, now brandishing a gun as well.

"You've murdered 12 innocent girls and maimed and raped one other, blackie, stooge of the brain of crime" I said in my dark voice.

"Hey how does this guy know who the boss is?" the gangster asked.

"He must have been here the whole time when blackie was yapping that's how" the corrupt cop bet, "but I want to know if it was that bleeding heart of a cop back at the station who told this yahoo, wherever he's hiding, where we were!"

"Your evil acts are so vile, and your stench is so putrid a simple blood hound could have found any of you. You planned to murder this woman because her father is one who puts away scum like you for hurting innocents for money and fun… or in your case blackie… both!"

"Your voice is coming from behind the crate!" blackie screamed, shooting his gun at the crate.

The crate exploded under the machine gun fire, but to blackies surprise there was nothing behind it… not even a bloody bullet reveled corpse of the mystery speaker.

"Did you think you would get away with it? Did you think that your evil would go on forever without consequences? Did you think it wouldn't have brought you all to this moment of doom? DID YA THINK I WOULDN'T BE HERE?"

I laughed again.

My victims walked around trying to find the voice, guns ready and terrified enough to shot even the unfortunate warehouse rat that scurried past them.

Poor thing.

Killed by its own kind.

He he he

I decided I would warm up before I got blackie, but first… the leading lady in this play needed to be protected from playing her final part.

I concentrated and soon the shadows around Clarice, cast from her own shadow came to life and wrapped her in a cocoon of dark energy and then warped her away to safety to the top of the crates in the darkness of the back of the warehouse.

She saw nothing in the dark, save my glowing red eyes.

Gagged, she screamed a muffled scream.

I place my gloved index finger to her mouth and spoke "keep silent and you won't be harmed, and be safe from them… I'll be back"

I was sure she though that my saying being back meant something sinister, but I didn't care… she would find out soon enough that I meant no harm.

First, I'll pick out the corrupt cop… make him sorry he ever abused his power!

From my point of view I leap forward and grab the corrupt cop's gun in my left hand disarming him with ease and then I grabbed him by the face with my DE gloved hand and activated my shadow sense.

I saw everything, all the evil this man had ever done recently in the past month… my weapon ready.

From blackie and the hired guns point of view a mass of shadows erupted from the shadows of the warehouse and enveloped the corrupt cop who vanished in a blink, but not before the saw a silhouette of a trench coated figure.

They then heard screams and looked up to the cranes to find where it was coming from but couldn't see anything.

But I could, I could see the terror on the corrupt cop who was willing to sit back and watch an innocent girl get murdered and raped, who was now being held by his pant sleeve upside down by me over a steep drop atop the cargo crane.

"Please no! Oh my…." He began to pray.

"DON'T TALK TO GOD!" I bellowed, "He can't help you now, and I wouldn't understand if he would for any reason. Not with all the people you've beat up for fun, the takes you've taken, the various blind eyes to justice you've shown and the murder you were willing to let happen… because she's the daughter of a man who has zero tolerance for men like you!"

"What do you want?" the cop asked.

"A messenger boy, Derek Lensher, that's what I want. I want you to send a message to the brain of crime" I answered.

"Who? Wait… how do you know my" Derek began.

"I KNOW EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER DONE IN THE PAST TWO MONTHS!" I bellowed, "I hate scum like you, I hate all criminals like you. So tell your boss that I'm coming for him next! I also advise you this, don't come back here… and don't pull a stunt like this again because if you do… I'll be there, in every empty room, in every safe house… as inevitable as your own dark fate! The shadow knight swears!"

I dropped him, but not to his death… no I shadow walked him to safety to an alley away from here.

I can see him run off scared, running to deliver the news of what had happened to the brain of crime.

I laugh, I know he won't re-form that easily but I don't care… I got what I wanted.

I hold his badge in my hand, I crush it to pieces.

Men like him had no business carrying around a badge.

I then turn my attention to the hired gun.

I pull out the shadow gun.

At this far a distance, and with my training… all I needed was one shot.

Dark energy flowed down my hand and into the gun.

I pulled the trigger.

A glowing energy bullet fired out and struck the hired gun.

The moment the bullet struck the hired gin was encased up to the head in a crystalline sludge, unable to move... save for his head.

I called that little beauty, shadow bind, harder than any diamond and would last a good 10 hours before it began to disintegrate freeing the captive.

My shot gave away my position and I shadow warped away before blackie could shoot me.

Now he was scarred.

He screamed all around him, backing towards a wall.

"WHERE ARE YOU?" he hollered.

"Riiiight behind you!" I answered, laughing.

Blackie turned and fire at the wall.

But to his surprise he only saw a brick wall, bullet holes and his own shadow.

But then he noticed something odd about his shadow… he was never that small.

Suddenly his shadow grew red eyes on its head.

Eyes that was glaring at him with vengeance.

Before blackie could react, the shadow pulled him inside of itself.

He landed on something hard, metallic.

Recovering he looked around and found himself in the open air somewhere.

He then saw he was not alone.

That someone was on the roof with him.

It was a person who was wearing a strange mask, a black trenchcoat, carrying a piece, and a sword… with glowing red eyes.

Smiling smugly, realising this yahoo was the trouble maker he regained his courage, "nice outfit" he lunged at me, knife slashing "Freak!"

It was not hard to doge his blade, nor was it hard to grab him by his lapels and hang blackie over certain death as he realized that he was now thirty seven stories high on the top of the Gateway bridge with the river below him!

His knife tumbled all the way down to the murky waters bellow.

It was then that blackie realised what I intended to do.


"Oh no… don't kill me man!" blackie begged.

"You killed 12 innocent girls, you deserve death!" I growled.

I loosened my grip a bit letting blackie slip a little.

"Please don't!" the scum begged again.

"Not so tough without a criminal mastermind, a corrupt city and a knife to protect you huh blackie?" I sneered in contempt.

"What…what are you talking about?" the criminal psycho asked confused… or just faking ignorance out of fear.

"You didn't kill and attack the Kishi kids out of fun, someone hired you…. I want the name! You will tell me who the brain of crime really is!" I ordered.

"I can't tell you that, he'll kill me!" blackie objected.

"Oh… so it's a he?" I said I mock surprise, "what makes you think I'm playing nice here? You're a dead man if you don't tell me!"

I dropped him a bit again, I had to admit after hearing this man's evil laughter while he raped and maimed Rachel and chuckled when he shot my older sister Mariko… his screams were satisfying.

"Alright, alright… I'll tell you just don't kill me! It's Dorian Finch, the Arms dealer! He uses his weapons shipping company as a front to ship in guns and ammo and anything he can get his hands on in the city. But when one of his shipments screwed up and injured the Kishi boy he had to take matters into his hands to make sure there would be no improvements to crime fighting or an inquest into his shipping records, he's probably burned the evidence by now!" blackie spilled his guts.

"The purple colored chemical that injured the Kishi boy? Why would he want that?" I asked.

"He's up to something, something big…. Something about usurping power from his business partners and something about a massive blood bath" blackie explained.

The city council perhaps was what he was referring to, since I saw the memory of the grand council man signing the check for Dorian finch.

I figured Dorian was getting the check for the brain, but now I knew he was the brain!

If the council was his business partners, then he planned on taking over their jobs somehow… and the city as well, but why and how… it didn't make sense for him to end such a wealthy and illegal business for a man as evil as him!

"When does he plan on doing this usurps?" I asked.

"Three days from now" blackie answered.

"How?" I demanded.

"I don't know, that's everything I can tell you!" blackie stammered.

"Everything?" I asked in disbelief.

Blackie sighed in defeat, "I wet the bed till I was twelve".

I looked at blackie with contempt, the rage boiling inside.

This was it, the moment of truth.

The moment to decide the path I wanted to take with dealing with this scum and scum like him.

I think of all the pain this man and his kind have caused to so many people… to me, to my family.

I think of ending this man who kills black haired girls for a sick pleasure.

Just to let him fall to his doom.

Just end it here.

So quick and easy… like the shots that took Mariko, the cuts that cut Rachel.

Mariko.

Her face comes into my vision, giving me that look of sisterly concern.

I am taken aback for a second, but right there that moment there… at least I didn't realize so at first I had forever chose my path.

Even though it would have its moral bumps and cliffs along the way as I would find out.

I look at blackie again, "every bone in my body tells me to let you die right here by my hand…."

Instead of dropping blackie I throw him back into the shadow portal sending him back to the pier.

Alone I finish my sentence, "but that would make me like you, and I refuse to ever be like you… no matter what, killing is evil… no matter the reason. I know… for I have touched death." I look to the moon, smiling, for the first time in two years.

"It's not what you would have wanted me to become" I said in reverence.

"Thank you… Mariko"

Blackie landed outside the portal back into the docks.

Only when he got off of the ground he started to run, but then he saw the sight of Clarice Hardy wriggling away still wrapped in chains and gagged.

His sinister smile returning.

She should have stayed where I left here, I did say I was coming back to free her…. Didn't I?

Doesn't matter… because when blackie began to run to leap on her to start raping her, a shot was fired and soon he fell to the concrete immobilized by a shadow bind.

He looked behind to see me blowing the smoke from my shadow gun.

Walking towards my defeated foe, I said in annoyance "did you really think I would make it THAT easy?"

"What are you?" blackie asked in fear.

"I'm the shadow knight" I answered, before decking blackie with a well-placed punch rendering him out cold.

I then walked towards Clarice who stared at me with wide terrified eyes.

I kneeled down to undo her bonds.

She squealed behind her gag as I reached for the binds on her chest, but she calmed down when I removed the chains and gag.

"Tha…thank you" Clairice thanked.

"You can thank me Miss Hardy by providing these tapes to your father, the district attorney" I pulled the two tapes of the recording devices from all around and placed them in my hands, then warped the recording devices back to my hideout back home.

"Okay, but let me call the police, I want these freaks behind bars… heck that one can burn for all I care. He was going to…" she began.

"I know what he was going to do miss hardy" I said quickly, giving her enough incentive to not continue with subject.

"Wait… how did you know where I was here, how do you know my name?" she asked me in question.

"Would you believe I heard it on the news?" I asked.

"Is that a joke?" Clarice asked askance.

"I have a dark sense, I can sense evil and its trail of destruction" I answered truthfully.

"We'll the police will be here to pick me up in an hour…." Clarice said to me finishing her call.

"Sorry my dear, but I can't let the police find you yet" I answered.

"What?!" Claire said before I shadow walked her away to a safe house.

My plan was simple.

I couldn't let her go back to her father with cops who might be on the brain of crimes payroll and have her delivered to her death, no… I sent her somewhere safe and now I was going to call the D.A and tell him to meet at 12 elder wood crescents in the fashion district.

The police would be here to pick up the scum, once I was done with the D.A these men would get the justice they deserved.

I began to shadow walk away when much to my surprise, a black sedan came speeding down into the area.

I shadow walked away to the roof of the warehouse and watched something I will never forget happen before my eyes.

The sedan stopped where blackie was and out jumped… it was Jeremy!

My traitorous corrupt cousin who was on the brains take!

He had a gun in his hand, and he was looking at the scene of blackie imprisoned in a supernatural prison like sludge, taken aback for a moment he pressed the gun to blackie's head.

He knew blackie was unconscious.

"I don't know why you're like this blackie, but quite frankly I don't care. I've been looking forward to this moment when you murdered my cousin and raped and maimed my other one! It's my entire fault she was killed. I don't care how desperate a man I was, I should never have taken the take and turned a blind eye… or be bullied by the brain and other corrupt cops to let what happened happen. When I found out what he wanted you to do I tried to stop you, once and for all, end my hypocrisy! But when the brain threatened to kill my family, I was forced to turn a blind eye… thought he wanted to hurt someone else, but when I found out he hurt my family anyway and tricked me into letting it happen… I vowed never again… but now I'm here blackie, and it looks like someone beat me to it" Jeremy snickered, "look at you, the black alley cat murderer whose going to burn for all those deaths. Who did this blackie, whom do I have to thank?"

I don't know why, but at that moment Jeremy looked behind and up at the warehouse roof and saw my silhouette.

He stood there stunned at the sight of this shadowy figure with glowing red eyes.

I was so stunned at what I had seen I didn't care that he had seen me.

My cousin… whom I blamed for all of this, as much as I blamed myself… was here, full of guilt… trying to end our families suffering…just like me.

I…misjudged him.

I then shadow walked away, I had work to do… but when I was done, I was going to find Jeremy and try and convince him to let me handle this… I didn't want to lose any more family.

Lest of all a cousin I had just gotten respect back for now… he could never atone for his crime, but he could be forgiven for it.

Forgiveness, something father, mother, Rachel and…Mariko had tried to teach me. I guess there are some things I still need to learn.


MCU (major crimes Unit) two minutes later…

The District attorney paced back and forth in his temporary office, waiting for the commissioner or anybody for that matter to come through with news about the whereabouts of his daughter.

If any showed up, he prayed it would be bearing good news.

After what had happened to Martins daughters and son, he was hoping that his continuing the crusade against the council's ineptitude and the crime wave holding the city in its grasp wouldn't have cost him the same, a lost daughter.

He jumped when his cell phone rang.

"Hello…" he answered.

"District attorney Salvador Hardy…" a dark voice spoke back from the other side of the phone, "I believe you're looking for you daughter Clarice?"

"What have you done with her?" Salvador Hardy demanded, in fear that his hunch was correct that I had kidnapped his daughter.

"Saved her, from the black alley cat killer your dear friends the city council and paid off judge and jury let lose into the city… do me a favor and look out your office door" I responded.

Salvador opened the door and looked out to see a strange sight.

Blackie nelson and another man he knew to be one of the mystery gang Kingpin, the brain of crimes, hit men.

Then he saw another one, a corrupt cop come in, blabbing something about "some kind of demon did this" much to the amusement of the entire precinct.

Salvador went back in his office and shut the door, his cell still to his ear.

"Like my handy work… bout time someone started doing the jobs the police seem to not want to do now a days" I chuckled.

"Where's my daughter, if you've harmed her" Salvador threatened.

"Obviously not one to take a hint at the first sight are you now? Doubting Thomas, she's safe… she's at number twelve Elder wood Crescents… I'll see you there… oh and use the fire escape, I wouldn't trust this information with any of the cops in there…. Don't know yet how many or who are on the Brain of crimes payroll"

I hanged up.

I watched from the roof tops The D.A open his office window and climb down the fire escape to his car and drive to where his daughter was.

Phase one: complete.


ELDER WOOD CRESENTS

Salvador Hardy broke down the door of the apartment room that he had been told by me held his daughter.

Gun in hand he entered the dark room.

"Dad!" he heard the sound of his daughter's voice, and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his daughter emerge from the darkness of the room.

He embraced her, glad she was alive.

"Oh I've been worried sick, I've had half the city out looking for you… who brought you here?"

"I brought her here" I said from the shadows.

"Who are you?" The D.A said bringing out his gun again… searching for the source.

"He's some kind of ghost!" Clarice said.

"There's no such thing as ghosts honey" he assured his daughter.

I stepped out.

Out of reaction of course he shot at me, but in my shadow form the bullets said through me and struck the wall behind me.

"What… who are you?" Salvador asked me astounded at what he had seen.

"He saved me from that maniac with a knife and two others, one of them was a cop daddy, but then he sent me here so I don't know if he's credibly a hero" Claire said scowling at me.

"I sent you here for your own good, factor that in miss smarty" I shot.

"You saved her?" Salvador asked.

"yes I did, but that's not why I wanted you here right now… the men I captured tonight will walk… unless you use what I have given you daughter in her backpack" I said.

I turned to leave, the D.A told me to stop… I expected him to try and arrest me, being a vigilante and all and probably a dangerous one…anyway… but no, he didn't.

"Thank you, for saving my daughter" he said, "I'm sorry, I don't know your name"

"The time for names isn't now D.A" I said acknowledging his thanks, "maybe someday, but not now… I've got work to do"

At that I shadow walked away leaving those two behind, stunned at what they saw.

"Told you so!" I heard Clarice tell her father.

ACROSS TOWN, at the home of my cousin Jeremy, he had just returned home from work. While his wife slept in the bed with him, he wasn't asleep.

He couldn't help but wonder about the mystery vigilante he saw when blackie captured and incapacitated in some kind of sludge, he also couldn't help but wonder if he was friend or foe, and if foe… was he on his hit list as well?


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