The Insurgency: S3 #24 Dark Deception (FB) . Here is part 24 in Season 3 of my Insurgency series! A freebuild for the Marauders. Please comment, rate and enjoy! . Corresponding text underneath each picture.
25th March 2097: Present Day
Governor Boan: "People of the Galactic Imperium, citizens of planet Qoter. Recently, our world was ravaged and our system threatened by the ancient robotic being known as 'One.' Together, we faced a very dark time. But we stood our ground, stared down the abyss and came out victorious.”
Governor Boan: “This is down to the fact that in our darkest moments, we came together. We joined forces, and hand in hand became a better unit, a better 'one' than he who sought to bring about our downfall. Together, human and Collective, the brave men and women of our Special Forces units along with Archmage Arathon and the Vindicators, defeated One and rid our system of a very grave threat."
Governor Boan's address was being televised live and shown across the system. More than a month after One had been defeated, the Governor of the planet most badly affected planet was finally speaking out on the matter, having not been seen in public in all the time since.
His usual, carefree smile was gone. Replaced by a stony expression that failed to match the victory tone of his speech. The scar on his face, now sown shut and as healed as it would ever get, thanks to the best medical care the Galactic Imperium could offer, still stood out prominently across Judas's left eye, stretching from his brow to his cheek.
Governor Boan: "However, victory, as always, came at a price. But for once, the price was not dealt out to you, the people. Instead, it was a personal blow." Here, he paused momentarily, as if summoning the courage to continue. "A Collective drone managed to sneak past senate security and…” he paused again, mid-lie. “The attempt on my life, has left me scarred and deformed. It has taken, and still is taking, some time for me to come to terms with my new appearance. This is why I have shied away from the public eye for the past month. At first I was ashamed and then afraid of what others would say and think. It took me quite some time to get my head around this fact. However, I did not do it alone. I would not be standing here today if it were not for one man who knows all too well the struggles of deformity and visual imperfections. One man to whom I have done a great many wrongs; wrongs I now fully intend to make up for. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, my brother, Manerre Boan.”
Judas stepped back and smiled off camera. Moments later, a figure appeared. Hunched over a walking cane that he heavily replied upon, his long black hair looking like it had only recently been washed for the first time in possibly ever. Judas put his arm around the man’s shoulders and turned him to face the camera, revealing a hideously disfigured face. The left side looked perfectly normal, but the right was twisted and warped. He looked thoroughly uncomfortable being on camera, but Judas’s arm, still around his shoulders, appeared to offer a small amount of reassurance – just enough to keep him there.
Governor Boan: “I have appointed Manerre to be my personal aide. From this day forth, where I go, so he shall too. Thank you, brother.” He nodded to the disabled man smiled curtly, very briefly, back, before limping off camera again and allowing the Governor to resume his central position.
Governor Boan: “The past month has been a trying one. Both for the planet, but also for myself. It appears that one way or another, my fate is linked to that of the planet I serve. But I assure you, that despite my recent setback, my drive, my resolve to better this planet has never been stronger!”
Governor Boan: “I would also like to thank Commander Ferris of Knightborn, who stepped up and spoke to you all after One’s downfall last month, and helped to arrange the clean-up operation, whilst I was unavailable. For that, he will be commended. Moving forwards, I will continue to fight, tooth and nail, those who seek to oppose our way of life. This was proven last month with One – who’s body parts, along with those of his minion robots, have been disposed of by Archmage Arathon. This is what will happen to our enemies. To terrorists like Aurelia and gangs like the Red Hand. My message to them is simple. We will stop you and you will no longer be a threat to this planet I love so dearly. And my message to the rest of you – the peace-seeking, everyday citizens of Qoter; Stay strong. We have been through thick and thin together and one can assume we will continue to do so. However, together, we will always come out standing on top.” He smiled, finally, I hint of his old, charming self shining through.
Governor Boan: “Long live the Galactic Imperium.” He concluded.
The Governor’s speech ended and the TV changed to some advertisements.
I sighed and shook my head slightly at the TV screen. What on Earth had come over Judas? What the heck had possessed him to force himself on Cat?
Cat: "I don't understand." Cat piped up from where she sat on the sofa behind me. "Ever since I attacked him, I've expected the police to break down the door and haul me away, but... nothing. And now..."
Tank: "And now he's publicly lied about where he got that scar from." I finished, just as confused as Cat was. It was the first time I'd seen Judas since that day and so the first time I'd actually seen the scar that Cat had dealt him. But why he'd lied and not had Cat arrested baffled the pair of us.
After Judas had attacked her, Cat had moved in with me. Without Tracks, my apartment was far too big for one person, so I was glad for the company. I was currently sat on the floor of my living room, surrounded by piles of scrap metal. I'd spent the past month trying to re-create Tracks, trying to build him again just as I had done back I the cave on Iapra the first time around. But no matter how hard I tried, so far, nothing seemed to work. It was almost as if fate didn't want him to be rebuilt and if I was honest, I was starting to get upset by it. No matter what I tried, the parts just wouldn't fit, wouldn't work together. I'd spent over a month working non-stop on it and still had nothing to show for my efforts.
Suddenly Cat gasped and I spun around to face her, thinking something was wrong.
Tank: "What's up?"
Cat: "I've got them!" She grinned, looking at me over the screen of my laptop, which she had been working on.
Tank: "Got what?"
Cat: "The schematics for my Dad's mansion!"
Pretty soon after I'd found out about Riley being an assassin under her dad, The Boss's, thumb, we had attempted to confront him, however, when the pair of us, along with Tracks had arrived at his house, we discovered that the security had been heavily beefed up. We couldn't even get passed the security gate into the grounds. Cat had wanted to go in all guns blazing, but I convinced her that we should back off and find another way. So ever since then, Cat had been spending time trying to locate the schematics for the building and surrounding area. We knew that getting into the grounds was the hard bit. Once inside, it shouldn't be too difficult to get to her dad.
I joined Cat on the sofa and visually scanned the comprehensive blueprints.
Tank: "Perfect." I muttered with a smile.
Cat: "We can finally confront my dad."
That made me nervous. I still wasn't completely used to the idea of Riley being a trained murderer and her initial reaction when we'd first discussed talking to her dad was that she wanted to kill him.
Tank: "Will you be okay?" I checked.
Cat: "Yeah, I'll be fine." She responded.
Tank: "Sure?" I double checked.
Cat: "Yeah. We're just going to talk." She replied without taking her eyes off the screen.
I was concerned but didn't want to press the matter.
Cat: "Let's do it today."
Cat: "Yeah. Why leave it? The longer we wait, the longer he has to prepare." Finally, she looked at me.
Tank: "Okay. Let's do it."
It was business as usual at the Police station on Brockhurst Street, Central Regentis. Police Precinct 22015 was the main base of operations for police in Regentis and as such was always busy. Today was no exception. Just your usual midday routine. Cops filing paperwork, cops talking to witnesses, cops on cleaning duty.
In reception, there were a couple of relatives sitting on chairs looking concerned while the receptionists typed away at their keyboards, busy as always.
And then the front door opened, bringing with it a stiff breeze and everybody stopped dead in their tracks.
Darkblade, in full armour, complete with his pitch-black helmet and wielding his long, dark sword let the door click shut again behind him.
There was a second of hesitation, of uncertainty and then every offer in the room drew their firearm and aimed at mercenary.
Cop #1: "Freeze!"
Cop #2: "Get down on the ground!"
Darkblade looked around at everybody and flexed his muscles threateningly.
Cop #2: "DO IT!"
Darkblade raised his sword...
And let it clatter to the tiled floor.
The officers looked at each other, exchanging confused expressions.
Darkblade: "I surrender." He said, smirking under his mask.
The station's chief, head of all the police in Regentis, second only to the Commissioner, marched into the room, pistol at the ready. He took one look at the masked man and said,
Chief: "’Cuff him!” Two officers dashed over and as they did, the Chief continued, “Someone contact Colonel Ramson."
Another officer rushed off to complete the task.
Chief: "And contact the Governor too!"
The Governor’s Office
Manerre: "Judas." The Governor's new Aide spoke to get his brother's attention.
Manerre had a deep voice that was just as smooth and oily as his hair, but every few words, it would catch slightly and become gravelly. He spoke softly, having grown up being made to, and that combined with his deep voice could make him hard to hear at times. However, this, along with his appearance, meant that he commanded attention in every room - something he had begun to notice since beginning to work with his brother. If he spoke, people listened. If he moved, people watched.
After a lifetime of solitude, it made him uncomfortable.
Judas looked up from his computer screen, the light of the monitor illuminating the deep trench on his previously perfect face.
Judas: "What is it Manerre?"
Manerre: "Police Precinct 22015 is reporting that they have the criminal known as 'Darkblade' in custody."
Judas’s face showed his surprise.
Judas: "I see. Excellent. Thank you Manerre."
Manerre nodded curtly before turning on his cane and limping from the room, his lips pursed.
Judas, now alone, sat back in his chair and pondered on the surprising development. He hadn't been expecting Darkbkade to get caught. He was far too good for that. Unless... unless this is what the masked man had meant by having a 'plan'. Yes, that was the most logical explanation. The quickest way to find your target is to get them to come to you. Judas thought back to when Tank had asked him if he'd heard of Darkblade and he had lied. So Tank was searching for Darkblade...
Judas’s lip twitched as an amused smile passed over his face and Darkblade's plan clicked in his mind...
We were suited up and just about ready to go. Cat in her stealthy, and if I admitted it, sexy, catsuit and I'd grabbed my pistols.
We were just about to leave when my comlink bleeped. I pulled it out of my belt pouch and activated it. To my great surprise, Judas appeared.
For a good few seconds there was silence as we stared at each other. Finally, The Governor broke the quiet.
Tank: "Judas." I responded and for the first time it crossed my mind how appropriate his name was after this betrayal.
Judas: "I thought you might be interested to know that the man you've been looking for, 'Darkblade', is currently in police custody."
I frowned slightly, shocked, firstly that he'd been caught and second that Judas had told me. Judas must have known by now that Cat had told me the truth about what he tried to do and yet he still had the guts to contact me and give me a tip - off for the man I'd only heard rumours of.
Judas: "He's being held at precinct 22015."
Tank: "Okay." I acknowledged, not wanting to thank the man who'd forced himself on my girlfriend. Judas looked at me for another second or two before simply ending the link.
A short time later, I walked into the Central Regentis police precinct. Cat and I had agreed to put our plans for her father on hold so that I could go and speak to this mysterious man. Cat had reminded me that this was the man her father had been working... with? For? Neither of us was entirely sure. But just by association, it meant that he was powerful and likely dangerous. Why he'd hired The Boss to look into my family's fortune, well... that was a question I was going to put to the man himself. We had also agreed that it was probably best for Cat to remain in my apartment and not see Judas again so soon after what had happened. Although, I wasn't sure who it was that needed the protection from the other!
I looked around, unsure, and then informed the receptionist that I was here at the Governor's request. After a minute of waiting, a door opened and the Governor's brother, his new Aide I'd seen him introduce on TV, limped towards me, relying heavily on his cane. In person the man's face was even more warped than it had appeared on screen.
Manerre: "Mr. Rockwell, I presume?" He smiled a thin smile.
Manerre: "This way please." He replied as he turned and started to limp away again.
I was guided along a couple of corridors, until we rounded a corner and ahead, the Governor himself stood waiting for me. His expression was stony as he glared across the room at me.
Every fibre of my being wanted to run and punch him in the face for what he had pulled. Another part of me wanted to ask why. Why had he done it? I mean, I knew that Cat and I had kept our dating a secret from him, but still!
However, I did neither of those things and instead just walked calmly towards him, never breaking eye contact. As the Aide and I stopped close to him, I noticed that the doors we were surrounded by were all labelled 'Interrogation Room.'
Judas: "Ten minutes. No touching, no threatening. Knock when you want to leave." He instructed, his hand on a door handle. I nodded in acceptance of the terms and then The Governor opened the door.
I stepped through and into a small room that I assumed looked very much like a standard interrogation room. One wall featured a long mirror, which I assumed was in fact one-way glass and that behind it was a viewing room. Apart from that, it was bare, except for a security camera high in one corner, a black desk in the centre of the room and a chair on either side of that.
The chair closest to the door was empty, but on the other sat a figure in black body armour. With a matching black helmet, he was an imposing sight. This could only have been the mysterious 'Darkblade'. A small part of me was scared. A bigger part was nervous, but the fact that his gloved hands were cuffed to the table in front of him helped to quell those fears.
As the door was closed behind me, the air was filled with a tense silence. Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. We just looked at each other. After several heart-pounding seconds, I stepped forwards, pulled back the empty chair and sat opposite the man in black.
I had so many questions that I didn't even know where to begin! One thing that was bugging me though was his appearance.
Tank: "Why haven't they taken your helmet off?" There was a brief pause and then he replied in a voice deepened by his mask,
Darkblade: "Why don't you give it a try?"
I knew he was daring me, so I didn't even consider giving it a go.
Darkblade: "The last person who tried had five thousand volts pass through them." He continued.
I wasn't sure if he was bluffing or not, but didn't want to risk my life by giving it a try. Besides, it did explain why he was still in his getup and not a prisoner's uniform.
Tank: "Why were you working for The Boss?" I asked, getting down to business. "I know you worked with him and had him looking into my family's finances."
Darkblade: "You're well informed." He confirmed. "But also misinformed."
Darkblade: "I have not been working with anybody. The Boss was working for me. I hired him."
Tank: "Okay, why?" I queried, trying to get somewhere in the limited time I had with him.
Darkblade: "Oh, he was already investigating your parents, Frank, I just gave him some extra tools to get the job done."
Tank: "In return for what?"
Darkblade: "In return for telling me about whatever he discovered."
I took that in for a moment.
Tank: "You seem sure that he'll find something."
Darkblade: "He already has."
I remembered the news report that had said that the unveiling of the statue in New York, dedicated to my parents, had been postponed while they were investigated for criminal activities.
Tank: "He told the cops..." I realised aloud, concluding that that's what the 'new evidence' the news report had mentioned was.
Darkblade: "Oh, no." He replied, confusing me. "I told the cops. You see that's the point; I hired him to do the work and report back to me. I then gave the police an anonymous tip off, alerting them to your saintly parent's activities."
I took a deep breath to calm myself.
Tank: "What did he find? What did my parents do?"
The masked man didn't reply.
Tank: “Damnit, I need to know!”
Darkblade: “No you don’t. You have no right to assume you’re owed anything. That’s your problem, isn’t it Frank. Just because your Mommy and Daddy got shot, you think the world, now the galaxy, owes you somethin’. Well, reality check, kid – it don’t. So you’d better start believin’ that.”
Tank: “You seem to know a hell of a lot about my parents. About me, even.”
Darkblade remained silent again.
Cat spent the entire time Tank was out wondering if it had been the right decision for her to stay behind. Maybe it was exactly what Judas wanted. Maybe it was all a trap. No, she couldn't see how. Why would the Governor be working with the same mercenary her dad had been?
But still, Darkblade was a partner of her Father's and that made him dangerous.
Unable to stand it any longer, she pulled out her comlink and dialled. She'd never had a proper conversation with the person she was calling before, but she knew that they would do virtually anything for Tank.
Finally, they answered.
Cat: "I think Tank is in trouble."
Tank: “Tell me; why do you have it in for my parents? I thought you were just another of The Boss’s pawns, but now it sounds more like you’re the one calling the shots. Why are you so hell bent on having him dig up dirt on my parents? Why are you so intent on bringing up the past?”
Darkblade: “The past is all I have left!” he snapped, his voice rising.
Tank: “But what did my parents ever do to you? What have I ever done?”
Darkblade: “Your parents did nothing! You on the other hand…” he paused momentarily before continuing. “This is all about you.”
Tank: “Why? What the hell have I ever done to you? I don’t even know who you are!”
Darkblade: “EVERYTHING!” he bellowed. “I had already lost so much and then you took the little that was left!”
I jumped slightly when he suddenly shouted, but managed to remain calm and stay seated, although I really wanted to get out of there! I had no idea what he was talking about, but he wasn’t done talking yet.
Darkblade: “This isn’t about your parents.” He growled. “I’m simply taking away what you have, piece by piece. Your parent’s legacy. Their money. And soon, I’ll take more than that. I’d start to say your goodbyes now, if I were you.” He threatened and I was genuinely scared. "Mark my words, one day soon, you will lose everything. I have already started by taking your legacy and soon, everything else you hold dear will fall by my blade."
Suddenly my mind flashed back to the conversation I'd had with Dustin about his time in the core and what he'd told me about Zeth Stripe, the man who'd killed my parents.
About how he'd been skilled in hand to hand combat and in particular, the use of blades.
My mouth literally dropped open as realisation dawned.
Tank: "Oh my God..." I breathed. "You're Zeth Stripe!"
Darkblade was silent. Presumably because he hadn't expected me to figure out his identity!
Tank: "You killed my parents!" I accused. "Why?"
Darkblade: "The universe is a... complicated place... He replied cryptically. "It works in mysterious ways."
Tank: "Bullscrim!" I shouted. "Why, Stripe? What had my parents ever done to you? Why did two, loving, people deserve to die?"
Darkblade: "God, you're still so self-righteous." He muttered, infuriating me, before he continued. "Has it ever occurred to you that it was nothing personal? That your parents were simply a job? Because that's all they were! They were another job on a long list. I was hired to do it..."
Tank: "You're lying." I stated, pointing an accusational finger at him, refusing to believe there wasn't a reason that my parents had had to die.
Darkblade: "Someone wanted them dead and hired me..."
Darkblade: "Yes, you little shit! Your parents died because someone didn't like them - end of. It was never anything personal against them. You on the other hand... well let's just say that it's been a long time coming.”
Tank: “I still don’t understand what I’ve done to you. We’ve never met before!”
Darkblade: “It doesn’t matter.” He responded, quieter now, and not really answering my question. “You’re here now. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. Dreamt of it. Longed for it.”
Tank: “What do you mean?” I asked, slightly worried again.
Darkblade: “This little meeting…” he began and I started to get the horrible feeling that Darkblade was only here because he wanted to be.
Darkblade: “This meeting is just the tip of the iceberg. Just a little taster of what is to come. I’m not going to kill you…” he continued and I’d had enough. I stood up, turning my back on him and walking to the door. I wasn’t going to sit there and continue letting him threaten me.
I knocked to be let out.
But there was no answer.
I tried to the handle and found the door locked from the other side.
Panic rising in my chest, I turned back to the desk…
And found Darkblade, no longer chained to the desk, stood directly behind me.
With a slam that knocked the wind out of my lungs, he picked me up and rammed me back against the wall.
Darkblade: “I’m not going to kill you. Not now, not yet. Just show you what you have to look forward to more of.” He explained, but I was in too much pain to really hear.
He tossed me away like a rag doll and I hit the wall in the corner of the room. I reached for my pistols but remembered that I’d left my weapons with Cat, not wanting to carry them into a police station with me! So I was weapon-less and locked in a room with an armoured man I’d been warned was a highly skilled assassin.
Darkblade marched across the room towards me and I frantically tried to scrabble to my feet, but I was still winded and before I could get up, I felt gloved hands grasp the back of my jacket and lift me into the air. I was thrown and again sailed a good few meters before I crashed onto the hard floor.
I grunted in pain, but this time managed to react slightly faster and unsteadily got to my feet.
Darkblade: "Come on, Tank. Where's the fight in you?" He goaded as he approached. I took a swing at him, but with ease he knocked the punch aside and landed a single blow of his own in my chest, sending me sprawling.
Just meters away, on the other side of the door, police guards rushed to get into the room and break up the fight, but as they got there;
Guard #1: "It's locked!" He shouted after trying the handle. Another guard stepped in to try.
Guard #2: "It's sealed!" He confirmed to the Police Chief.
Judas: "Who the hell sealed it?" Governor Boan demanded, as he marched towards them from the viewing room, Manerre slowly limping along behind.
Judas: "Go and get some cutters. NOW!" He ordered.
Guard #1: "Yes sir!" Together, the guards all dashed away to go and find the tools required to unseal the door.
Judas turned away and, a neutral expression on his face, walked past Manerre without making eye contact and headed back into the viewing room.
Manerre watched him go. Watched The Governor's carefully composed face as he walked past and as a thought, a possibility, formed in Manerre's mind, a thin, lopsided smirk appeared on his face. As he watched his brother's back disappear through the viewing room door, Manerre began to wonder if this whole thing had been a set up.
Was Judas working with this 'Darkblade'? He knew that his brother held a grudge against Rockwell, but didn't realise to what extent! Had he arranged for the mercenary to get captured just to get him locked in a room with Tank?
'Clever. Very clever.' Manerre thought to himself with a smile as he started to limp after his brother.
Darkblade: "Pathetic." He growled as he grabbed me by the collar with one hand and began pummelling me in the face with the other. I felt my nose crack and my vision blurred as blood gushed from my nostrils. Another blow connected with my jaw and my teeth clamped onto my tongue, drawing even more blood.
I frantically did my best to push the armoured man away, but it was useless. He didn't even try to stop me from pushing him off. I just physically couldn't.
Darkblade: "And here I was hoping for more of a fight." He growled as he landed punch after punch. He dropped my collar and limply my head hit the cold, tiled floor, before my whole body rocked as he dropped a massive two - handed hit on my chest.
Something cracked and I cried out in pain. Again he grabbed me by the collar, but this time he hoisted me into the air and carried me, my feet dragging along the floor. Using all my remaining strength, I rammed the outside of my elbows into the inside of his, and succeeded in making him drop me.
I fell to my knees, but before I had time to react, the back of a black - clad hand backhanded me across the face and I spun aside, my head colliding with the corner of the table in the centre of the room.
Stunned, I hit the floor, my eyes barely staying open, one completely puffed up. I think I was crying, but I couldn't really tell. I vaguely heard deep laughter before I was forcefully lifted off of the ground and slammed onto the table top.
I groaned, in more pain than I'd ever been in before. I briefly registered a pair of handcuffs, broken clean in two, beside me, before I was shoved across the table and flew off the other end. I cried out of instinct as I hit the ground hard.
Darkblade: "Are you hurting, Tank? Are you in pain?" I heard Darkblade taunt as I dragged myself across the floor. "Imagine the pain I felt." He snarled as he advanced towards me. "I told you, I'm not going to kill you. Not now. Not yet. But you're going to wish that I did. When I'm finished you're going to be pleading for me to end you... and then I won't. I'll leave you. A broken wreck on the floor."
I was still hauling myself towards the wall, hoping to use it to help pull myself to my feet, but then,
Darkblade: "LOOK AT ME!" Darkblade bellowed and suddenly a boot stamped on the side of my leg.
I screamed. My leg stuck out at an unnatural angle. Darkblade kicked me in the stomach and my head hit the wall.
As my vision went black, from outside the room came a series of dull thuds.
Darkblade: "It sounds like someone is trying to come and save you. Well they won't be able to. No help is coming. If anyone manages to get through that door, I'll kill them, then carry on beating you." He boasted before his boot connected with my stomach again.
The corridor outside was filled with police officers, all attempting to break down the door. The cutters hadn't worked, so now they were resorting to brute force. They had a battering ram and together were attempting to smash it down.
Judas and Manerre stood silently, watching on as the officers and police captain did their best. But try as they might, the door remained standing.
Then, a stern female voice, advancing up the corridor demanded;
I had thrown up. Vomited on myself and the floor as Darkblade repeatedly kicked me. My body screamed in pain and I cried in agony with every blow. The masked man grunted with every kick, letting out all his pent-up anger and frustration.
I was going to die. I knew it. This was the end. A small part of my mind had now accepted that.
And then I heard an explosion and was aware of a huge flash. I managed to look up in time to see Eris, Cat and a small army of police surge into the room.
Darkblade: "NO!" He bellowed and drew a pistol which he fired at the intruders, killing a cop. The police fired back but the bullets bounced off his armour. "This isn't over!" He promised me and then, as he pressed a button on his wrist, the lights in the room went out.
In the moment of darkened confusion, a small explosion destroyed the back wall of the interrogation room, revealing the world outside and with that, Darkblade was gone.
As I lay, bleeding and in excruciating pain, on the floor, my leg broken and my vision blurred, I felt someone lift my head and rest it on their knees. A hand combed through my hair and I heard Cat urgently using words of comfort.
But moments later, I was gone...
As the mercenary blew out the back wall and escaped, Manerre stood in the room's doorway, watching him go. A small, lopsided smile on his distorted face, Darkblade had secretly impressed him. A mysterious figure, he had proven himself to be a formidable opponent, not just to Tank, he suspected, but against anyone unfortunate enough to cross him. Yes... Most impressive.
Cat: "YOU!" The woman's scream came. Manerre looked to the leather - clad woman kneeling with Tank, who now lay unmoving. "You could have stopped this!" She yelled at the Governor, standing beside his brother.
Judas: "We were locked out! You saw. What the hell did you expect?!"
Cat: "He was your friend!"
There was a small pause before Judas replied quietly,
Manerre: "And I am but a mere cripple. I could have done nothing against such a foul beast." He added, leaning on his cane with the faintest trace of a smirk on his lips.
The Archmage crouched beside her beaten friend, placed a hand on his chest and a few moments later announced;
Eris: "He will live."
And Cat began to sob as the police chief ushered the Governor, his Aide and the police officers out of the room.
The Governor’s Office
Judas: "... and yet, he still lives!" The Governor shouted, mid-argument with a hologram on his desk. Judas was pacing the room, furious. "You had ONE job! Kill Tank Rockwell!"
Darkblade: "And I will." The hologram replied calmly, quietly.
Judas: "I served him up to you on a platter! You had him!" He bellowed. "He was right there and you let him live!"
Darkblade: "In case you hadn't noticed, the Archmage turned up. I'm good, but even I'm not that good. I only just got away."
Judas: "I want him dead, mercenary! He took everything from me! The one person I've ever loved!"
Darkblade: "I promise you - he's taken more from me."
Judas: "Then why didn't you end him?!"
Darkblade: "He will die. Tank will die, I assure you. I will get it done."
Judas: "You'd better." He growled, calming slightly at Darkblade's reassurance that he would do the job he was hired for.
Darkblade: "And might I add how clever it was of you to publicly reveal your brother. Very smart." He commented.
Judas: "Now you have nothing to blackmail me with." He confirmed. "So you'd better live up to your end of the bargain."
Darkblade: "Oh I will. I will."
Little did Judas know, but as he paced, arguing with the hologram of Darkblade, just outside his office door, a figure stood, listening intently to every word.
As Darkblade made his promise, Manerre smiled to himself, the argument confirming what he had already begun to suspect…
8th April 2097: Present Day
I winced with every step I took as I walked along the cool, white hospital corridor. Using crutches to help support my weight, I had Cat by my side every slow step of the way. I was slow. But slow was progression from not moving at all, which is what I'd been limited to recently.
Cat: "That's it." She encouraged. "Nearly there."
It turns out that somebody, I assumed it was Mr. Grey and The Brain, had arranged for me to be transported to the New York City hospital where I'd received treatment once before. The hospital named after my mother.
As much as my mom had loved it here, it turns out that none of that had rubbed off on me! I hated laying in bed with nothing to do all day but listen to the coughing, wheezing and moaning of patients in other rooms nearby!
I decided I needed a rest and so Cat and I took a seat on a waiting bench.
Cat: "You're doing well. That was a lot further than yesterday." She praised with a smile.
I made a non-committal noise and winced slightly as I took the weight off broken leg.
Tank: "Is there any news on Darkblade?"
Cat shook her head.
Cat: "He's vanished. For now." She added and I sighed, annoyed.
Tank: "Anything from Judas?"
Now it was my turn to shake my head.
Tank: "I know he planned this." I muttered. Having had plenty of time to think about it while I'd been bed-ridden in hospital, I'd concluded that it must have been a set up.
Cat: "We don't know that." She countered. "There's no proof at all."
Tank: "He must have. It must have been a trap, just to get back at me."
Cat had no reply. I knew she suspected the same as I did, but she was right. We really didn't have any proof of anything.
Tank: "Judas is dangerous. He had access to... well... anything! He's the Governor. But not only that, he knows my real identity as well. He could easily have me arrested or worse."
Cat: "I know, bit think about it. He kept it from the public about who disfigured him. He lied and protected me. Why, I don't know. But something held him back from telling the truth. He could easily have sent men after me too, but he hasn't done. Not yet, at least."
I sighed, acknowledging that she had a point.
Cat: "If Judas wanted you dead, he'd have found a way by now."
The set for the entrance to the police precinct.
The police precinct reception (most of which was never actually seen in the episode!).
The interrogation rom set. Unusually for me, I actually made all four walls at once!
The hospital corridor set.
As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.