It was finally over. I had found Brandon's killer and brought a lot of criminals down. Nightmare had made a statement and everyone knew it then. Nightmare was back and the town was his. All that was left was to tie up some loose ends.
“You're a son of a bitch, you know that Marquez?” Oliver said over the phone. “I can't even begin to believe you got this all from an interview of some bodyguard.” The excuse I used to get the story published that I had said Tate leaked the plan that Tomassi was going to use to take over the city. I then said I had followed all to the meeting where Tomassi met with all the crime bosses in town and and took everything went crazy when Nightmare showed up.
“I gave you a simple assignment and you break a story worthy of a Pulitzer.”
“I wouldn't go that far chief.” I said as I held a cup of coffee a few inches from my face before I took a sip, “But I did get that office for a reason didn't I?”
“I'm glad you didn't make me regret making you the point man on this Marquez.”
“Glad to be of help sir.”
“Help which you will continue correct?” He asked, “I mean you are coming back?”
“Soon boss.” I said, “Just need to rest up this case took a lot more out of me than you could think.” I said with a chuckle. “I'll still be sending in work of course, but for right now I need some time to rest.”
“Good, good. Lis-.”
“Sorry chief I gotta go.” I said, “Have a nice day.”
I walked into the living room, with assistance from a cane, where the TV played the morning edition of the news. “The arrest of Police Commissioner Roland Tomassi and several other officers as well as a body guard for the mayor and warden of Silver Heights penitentiary came as a surprise today for citizens of Stonehurst,” A woman said, “they are being detained for accusations of racketeering as well as several other illicit activities they had been linked to, as well as the murder of former Stonehurst's Chief of Detectives son Brandon Marquez. Putting the blame on a young man and having him be held within the prison for over three years.” I walked over to the couch and placed my hands on the back of the couch bracing and keeping myself held up. “The evidence made it's way to Channel 12 today as disks holding audio files of several men in question, confessing to the crimes and the men on said tapes are being held by federal officials.
“The court has been turned over to the federal courts in hopes that the danger of corruption in the case will be minimal. In other news-.” Charlene lowered the volume to the TV,
“Wow,” Charlene said as she looked up and back at me with a smile, “when you start something you go all out don't you love?”
“I like to do a thorough job.” I said with a smirk. She got up and walked over to my side, placing her hand on mine and rubbed lightly.
“What about the other cops you dealt with?” She asked, “Tomassi is bad enough but what makes you think none off the others are going to come after you?”
“One of them is still afraid I'll release his nightlife, one openly gave me the info and the other one is still afraid of his own shadow knowing that he's been outed as part of something like that. They'll all go down and if they want to take me with them I'll be ready.”
“How you feelin'?”
“Better than I was.” I told her. “How about you?”
“Just glad this craziness is finally over.” She replied.
“Almost.” I said,
“Almost?” I nodded,
“I have one last thing I need to do and...” I told her,
“And what?” She asked,
“I am going to need your help.” I said,
“Why?” She looked confused,
“Someone needs to drive.” I replied with a smirk with which she breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a cool morning as I stood underneath the tree, leaning against the cane in front of Brandon's grave. “Hey Brandon.” I said, “Got some good news little brother.” I told the entire story, even admitting that I was Nightmare to him. Charlene stood behind me as I spoke.
I sighed once I finished and placed a hand on my brothers grave. I felt Charlene's hand on my shoulder. “You feel better Chase?” I nodded, “I'm glad, he should be at peace now.”
“That's where we'll have to disagree Ms. Witteson.” I said as I pushed her hand off my shoulder,
“What are you talking about Chase?”
“What?” I asked, “Don't you like being called by your real last name?” I turned to face her, “I mean I've been calling you by your adoptive parents last name for how long? Since we met I would imagine. I always found it odd, why would you take the name of your uncle unless you wanted to hide the last name. Seeing what the name entailed I'd imagine it made things easier.”
“Oh please don't.” I said, “I've already looked into it I know who you are...who your real father really is.”
“Chase, you met my father.” She said defensively, “Remember at-?”
“I met your adoptive father that day remember? Well guess Uncle fits better right? Samuel Deacon. Nice man, good handshake, terrible egg nog though, but you look nothing like him and usually there are some similarities of both parents that are in the children. Ears, nose, that sort of thing.” I told her as I placed both hands on my cane. “There were some similarities between you and your “mother”, though she could be your real mother but my money's on aunt, at least going by the birth records I had gotten, your real mom is dead somewhere else right?” She said nothing just stared at me, “I noticed that you never called her mom either so that gives weight to that theory as far as I was concerned.” I added, “ I looked at your father's, Michael Witteson, record. he was a former officer who was arrested on a drug trafficking charge...From the Little Saigon-Chinatown case...which I was at and lost my mask for a moment. The file I had Houston get for me proved that much to me.”
“Oh and this bit is probably my favorite.” I said as I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone and looked for a file that was needed. I looked at her coldly and held out my phone as voices came from it.
“You seem to be doing well for a guy with a busted up face.” The first voice was Houston, he had another favor and cashed it in,
“Up yours.” Charlene's eyes widened at the realization that the one talking was the guy who “mugged” us at Sifu's mother's restaurant.
“That's no way to talk to an officer buddy.” Houston said, “Especially when what you say could possibly help you out.”
“You for real?” The man asked almost hopefully,
“Definitely can't get any worse for ya can it?.” Houston asked. The man let out a low grunt in thought,
“Alright.” He said finally, “What do you want to know.”
“The night of your attempted assault.” Houston said, “You said 'She told me it wouldn't be like this.'” There was a pause for a second, “Who were you talking about, and why did you think it wouldn't be like that?”
“It was the woman the guy was with.” He answered, “She came out and told me she'd pay me some cash to beat up her boyfriend. Said the guy cheated and needed to be taught a lesson.”
“And you bought that?” Houston asked,
“Money's money, officer.” The guy replied.
“Good to know.” Houston said, I practically heard his smirk as the recording stopped and I looked back to Brandon's grave while I pocketed my phone.
“Your father saw my face, but didn't say anything at the time, probably couldn't, probably didn't know what he could do with the knowledge of what I looked like, but he remembered what I looked like. When you were taken in by your family and took their last name, you never missed a chance to visit your father didn't you?” She gave no reply, “You visited and he described to you what I looked like and after delving into reports you went to go see the one person who could help you use the information you had collected. Steven.
“Steven gave you the tools you needed and your father gave you a gun in the form of Tomassi. Your father's name was enough weight for him to join and eventually you just allowed him to take over after Brandon was killed.” I glanced back at Brandon's grave before I looked back at her, “The rest is as follows isn't it Charlene?”
“Don't start that crap with me, once you found out I had started becoming like this again you began to move forward to make sure I didn't follow the bread crumbs. Even so much as to attack me with Tate and who I guessed was Graham, the leg injury he sustained makes him the top guess for that much.” Her eyes shot open,
“I can hear a regular mans footsteps but not the person who attacked me from behind, and using the voice modulator was you trying to hide the fact that you were the one attacking me. I originally thought it was Houston but he has a different kind of punch than you do, so he was out. On top of that...I felt the ring when you hit me with a left.” I looked at her hand, she still wore her engagement ring. “It must feel so natural to you that you must not have even noticed you had it on when you punched me.” I turned back from her. “Then the apartment was broken into. I don't know who you thought I was going to blame it on but for the daughter of a dirty cop you should've known a better way to cover up a fake B&E. Of course you did take something didn't you Charlene?” I asked,
“What are you-?”
“You took the photo of you and me when I proposed to you.” I said, “Very sentimental, very bad if you wanted to cover your tracks though.”
“You tried to kill me, you tried to frame people in the murder of my brother, you even had someone kill my brother and you ended up with me...I find that odd and the one thing I can't seem to wrap my head around it.” I said, “Why Charlene?”
“Because I love you Chase.” I scoffed,
“You're serious?” Without missing a beat she answered,
“It's true Chase.”
“Yes!” She exclaimed, “You took away my father, and I hated you for that,” I saw fire in her eyes and I couldn't blame her, “He wasn't a great man but he took care of my mother and I for as long as he could, even after my mother died we had help but we never needed it for long because of what he did. You took him away I wanted you dead, not your brother but you. They thought you were finished after they killed him but it wasn't enough for me, I wanted you dead and got my chance when that punk tried to rob me, and when I saw you that night I wasn't worried about your safety, far from it. I wanted to kill you myself and could have easily.”
“Why didn't you?” I asked when she stopped for a moment,
“It was that look of yours.” She said, “That condemning look of yours that you tried to scare me with. I saw something past that. I saw the pain behind your eyes and I knew I was the reason.” She explained.
I turned and saw that tears stained her cheeks and her makeup had begun to run. “You didn't fall in love with me Charlene, you fell in love with a shadow of someone who couldn't do what I am doing and now you deal with the real me because I know what you did to me, to my family...To my brother.” I said, she looked to the side. “Leave.”
“What?” She looked back at me, her eyes wide with confusion
“I have no concrete evidence and until you are called as a suspect in the case I have nothing to do with you. Leave and stay gone.” I said again.
“I told you to leave once, and now I'm telling you again. This time you better stay gone, because if I see you again I'll bring you down.” I turned back to face her and she wrapped her arms around me and kissed me deeply. I returned the kiss and once it was finished we both looked at each other. Her gaze was sad; she wanted that kiss to change my mind. I let her know immediately that I was not that guy she fell in love with.
She let me go and prepared to leave. “I'll miss you Chase Marquez.” She told me. I said nothing as she took off and I turned to my brothers grave and looked down at it.
“I'll see you around little brother.”
Weeks passed and once again I stood on top of the roof of a building. I was healed and in costume again, smirking as I looked out at the city I called mine. I heard a scream and quickly made my way to the source and again like riding a bike it felt like the first time I had put the costume back on. I smiled at the cliché group of idiots and the couple being assaulted. These vermin were attracted to my city like moths to a flame.
I dropped down from the roof and landed in front of the group. Their reactions were my favorite part of this job. A few went bug-eyed, one ran off, a couple tensed and one called me a demon. That one was new and I liked the way it sounded.
A couple of them tried to rush me at once. They tried to attack me and I laughed at how easy they were to handle. It was actually a little cute how one tried to kick my head and landed on his ass after I just lifted his leg which caused him to fall back. I seriously went to work when a couple pulled out weapons and as a result two had gotten concussions, one a broken collar-bone and the final one was still on the ground, sound asleep when the cops came to pick him up. I hoped they wouldn't mind the puddle when they came however.
I turned and the couple made their way cautiously to my side and ran away. I did whatever it took to make sure the moths didn't escape when the fire burned them. This city is mine, I am it's knight and I am these morons Nightmare.