The upper middle class neighborhood of Coyote Village didn’t look the kind of neighborhood where a superhero would live. But that is exactly where one lived, Dr. Richard Thomas aka Dr. Indestructible.
Richard Thomas had been a noted bio-engineer who worked for Nash Industries when he was shot by a man he experimented on, he gave the man his sight and the man tried to take his life. Richard and my father were best friends and Gerald Nash gave him a new body, the real Six Million Dollar Man, more like six billion, but who is counting. Dr. Indestructible sat behind his kitchen table with his wife Mary and his two daughters. I sat across from him. Munching on carrots sauteed in brown butter we glared at each other. Something told me that if he had answered the door and not Mary I would still be out in the sedan with Eli munching on celery sticks. He didn’t speak, he only glared. After we finished our awkward dinner and Mary took the kids upstairs to get them ready for the evening, Richard showed me to his office. I had been here many times. Richard had been the one to take me under his wing when…when it happened.
“How could you?” I demanded.
“Do what Simon?”
“You know what. You killed my uncle.”
“I assure you I did no such thing.”
“You might as well have. Your little proteges did.” He rushed me placing his large had over my mouth and pushing me back hard against his study wall. His black eyes stared into mine, they blinked with lights inside them. I knew that Richard was in there somewhere but I really couldn’t be sure how much of him was real and how much of him was android.
“You will not speak of my life inside my home, you know the rules Simon and just because your uncle died doesn’t give you the right to break that sacred bound we had.”
He released me but I knew he would be on me in a second if I mentioned it again. But I had to. “I’m sorry, know that, but I have to know why they would want Uncle Ed dead.”
“It wasn’t them, I can promise you that.”
“I saw her knife, the one they are calling The Blur. Who are they Richard, tell me.”
“I will not, It is our bond, just as I will never tell your secret.” He sat down behind his desk.
“Do you remember why I came to you?”
“And what did I tell you?” He asked.
“That you would die before you gave my secret.”
“That’s not the only time I’ve made that promise. You will never get it from me. Think about why you came to me, think about how we have ended up here. You will figure it all out. Trust me when I tell you that your origins are closer than you realize. You can show yourself out.” He said as he pointed to his study door.
Leaving Richards home and driving back to mine I couldn’t help but think of Russell.
We left The White House at two a.m. one summer night. After a few drinks I was feeling bulletproof. “When are we going back up? I cannot wait to jump again.” I said.
“Dude it’s your building, you tell me when,” he was along for the ride.
Being the best friend of a Billionaire surely had its perks but the truth was that I wouldn’t have had any other friend and Russell never wanted anything from me. I guess that always made me want to offer it more.
“There is something about the feeling of falling. The feeling just before you pull the cord that I can’t explain. When you going to jump with me?”
“Man that is your thing, I will continue to pick you up when you jump, but I’m not jumping from a building.” We laughed and hugged each other. He rubbed my head like I was his little brother and I had just done something to make him proud.
Screams suddenly filled the night air as we made our way through Sherman Park. We knew it was dangerous to walk through the park at night with the upsurge of violence lately, but it was one more thing for me to get an adrenaline rush from. Besides my father had paid extra police force lately to patrol the area. That however didn’t explain the scream.
High pitched shrills grew louder as we crossed a small creek and got to the heart of the park. Suddenly a rustle of leaves caught my attention to the right.
“Man I told you we shouldn’t have come this way.” He said.
“Oh don’t be a pansy.” I teased.
Screams echoed throughout the park and I bolted into the woods. I could hear the heavy foot of my friend running behind me then suddenly I heard nothing and saw nothing.
When I woke up I could feel a wet warm and sticky substance on my face. I pulled my hand across it lifted it to my face, crimson blood filled my fingertips.
“Russell,” I tried but I didn’t hear myself, the words were quietly falling out of my mouth. All I could hear was a piercing ringing in my ears. I must have been blindsided with a something. Someone must of hit me in the head.
“Russell, where are you?” I stood up and staggered around, searching the woods and the path where we had been but found nothing. I reached into my pocket for my phone to call the police but found only an empty pocket. Searching all my pockets revealed the same thing, I had been mugged.
After I crossed the small creek again it grew so dark that I couldn’t see. I stumbled over something, my foot dragging across something soft. I bent down to get a closer look and found myself staring right into the eyes of Russell, his dead blue eyes.
….yet another jewelery heist has led to the death of a Rosu Security Officer near the Boneyards in New Haven…CLICK…Rosu Security Officer stabbed in heist is only the latest death in the crime spree…CLICK….this marks the seventh Rosu Security Officer to be attacked in a crime spree officials are calling the worst the city has seen since Gerald Nash introduced his bill….CLICK…”they are going down, we will catch these criminals. And that is exactly what they are, just because Mr. Rosu has ran some less than ethical businesses in the past there is no evidence that this business is anything other than a legal up standing business.” That was Detective Henry Parker, the head of the new ‘Anti-vigilante task force set up by Mayor Natalie Blume…CLICK…
I find it disconcerting that everyone thinks that The Romanian has turned over a new leaf, this business is far from legal, it has to be a front for his extortion scheme, the one that most likely cost my uncle his life. He had nothing to do with Rosu other than he was just one more victim of his greed.
The funeral appears to be over,” Eli said as the few people that had came dispersed. I stepped out of the car and walked slowly through the falling leaves to the hole that held the box that held my uncle. My father hadn’t even came back for the funeral. He said he had too many things to finish up at the ranch.
I bent down and picked up a hand full of dirt and tossed it into the open grave.
“He was very proud of you.”
Her voice was sweet. I turned to see Katrina standing a few feet away leaning against a tree. Her blond hair blew in the autumn breeze and her short black skirt showed her firm legs. I had forgotten until now that Ed had told me that she used to be a gymnast in college. She was beautiful and her Eastern European genes showed on her small frame. She certainly was stunning.
“I know, I only wish I could have helped him.”
“You did your best Simon. He would have never blamed you for anything.”
I thanked her and was on my way. I was headed back to my car when I realized she would be without a job. What an odd thing to think. I couldn’t let that happen, he loved her like a daughter. I turned to her, I dug the keys out of my pocket and tossed them to her.
“What is this?” She asked.
“The White House.” I said.
“What about it?”
“He left it to me. I don’t want to work it, it’s yours, I don’t think I could step foot in there again.”
She tossed them back. “Me either, thank you though.”
“Will you be okay, money I mean?”
“I’ll make it.” She said.
I walked back to her and handed her my card. “My cell is on there, call me sometime, I mean if you ever find yourself needing a job.” She wrapped her long slender arms around my neck. Then a small framed woman walked up beside her.
“Simon, this is Allison Berry, my roommate.”
“And girlfriend,” Allison added casually.
“Oh, I had, I mean…” I stammered.
“It’s okay, really,” Katrina said.
We all parted ways and I went to my estate across The Coyote in the Hills.
Staring out my window onto the city I found it difficult to concentrate as my mind flowed from Ed to Russell to the vigilante’s and to Dr. Indestructible. What had he meant about our origins? How could I be remotely close to these women, these murderers, these thieves? I had to have answers and I had only one idea on how to get them. I had to ask them. The buttons beeped as I dialed the number from the card I held in my hand.
“Hello, I have reconsidered your offer.”
“Oh, well I’m glad you have come to your senses Mr. Nash, I will swing by your office tomorrow to work out the details. I’m sure this will be a fantastic working relationship.” His voice was like nails on a chalk board as I thought about sleeping with the enemy. But partnering with The Romanian seemed the only way to draw The Calico Cat and The Blur to me.