Posts Tagged ‘The Mystery’

The Mystery Part 8

July 16, 2016

The Mystery

Detective Zaria walked up to Scott where he was struggling, pressed against the wall by a growing Frank. Frank was now twenty feet tall and his palm covered Scott’s chest making it harder to breathe and nearly impossible to move. Scott’s right hand was near one of his extendable batons but there was no way he had room to swing it. Besides, the Detective was close and would alert Frank before Scott could get anything done. Hell, even though her gun was holstered, Zaria could still shoot Scott for trespassing or really for whatever reason she chose. At his current size, Frank was stuck in the doorway he had thrust his arm through. If Scott somehow got out of his grasp and got that arm between himself and the Detective he would be home free. However, that was not the only play.

“Listen, I honestly did not come here to start any trouble. I came here for advice or help but I was obviously missing information. I can just leave and I won’t bother you again.” Scott said, doing his best to disguise his voice. He had not remembered to do so back in the alleyway but better safe than sorry. There really should be a manual for superheroes but Scott would just have to make do.

“Nice fake voice, Mystery,” Frank said, from the doorway. Scott was relieved that he had never told Frank his real name. “You really stepped in it this time.”

“I didn’t know you were dating a police detective. Also, I guess I should have called ahead.” Scott said.

“We’re not dating, you idiot. He works for me. If I wanted, I could have him crush you and bury you out back.” Detective Zaria said. Her stance suddenly looked a lot more relaxed and she looked tired.

“That does not sound legal,” Scott said. It was the first thing he thought of and it sounded dumb as soon as it came out of his mouth.

“Technically, neither does what you do. Focus up, Mystery.” The detective said. “The officer you saved is stable in the hospital right now. If that was not true, I would be handcuffing you right now.”

“I’m glad to hear it. The guy who shot him did it because of me, I think. I could not stop him and I felt terrible.” Scott said. It was the truth, obviously, he had nearly hung up his costume forever. He felt a weight lift when he heard that the officer was still alive and in good hands.

“Then we need to take him down. If he’s fixated on you then you need to work with us to take care of this.” The detective said.

“Work together?” Scott asked.

“Not like Frank,” Zaria said.

“Hey, being a cop in training isn’t so bad. I’m a little hard to miss so they were gonna catch me eventually. You’re a little more sneaky. Still, it took one bonehead move for you to finally get caught.” Frank said with a laugh.

“A bonehead move that came from a very real emotion. I can respect that and set it aside. The truth is, I think I can use you. Some of the higher ups do not trust your kind but I think you can be useful.” Detective Zaria said.

“Thank you,” Scott said. “I will try my best to help you out in any way I can.”

“Yeah you will,” Frank said. “Nobody says no to Zaria.”

“That’s Detective Zaria. I need you to write out a complete statement of what happened in the alleyway. I also need to stay in contact with you.” She walked back into the living room and then returned holding a small canvas pouch. “This is an orientation packet, of sorts. It has a flash drive with files on known costumed characters both powered and unpowered. It has contact information for me and it has a disposable cell phone. Let him go, Frank.”

“Aww. You never let me have any fun,” Frank said. He released his grip and started to shrink to human size. He stepped out of his bedroom. He looked different from the last time Scott had seen him. When he and Scott had worked together briefly, Frank had long hair and was scruffy looking. He had been big and buff like a cross between a surfer and a biker. Now, he was clean cut and sported a crew cut and looked even more cut. Scott could only guess that police work agreed with him. Scott looked away at Zaria and reached out and took the little package.

“There is also a GPS tracker in that bag but it is push button activated. If you run into trouble, you need to alert us. I do not want to be picking up any more bodies in alleys,” Detective Zaria said.

“Agreed. Neither do I. I will get that statement to you before morning. Is there anything else now that I have been thoroughly embarrassed?” Scott asked.

“No, do the statement. Keep me updated on your activity and I won’t have to arrest you.” She replied.

“Noted,” Scott said, “I will contact you soon. Frank, maybe you and I can talk sometime.”

“Count on it. Next time, don’t break into my place in the middle of the night.” Frank said.

“Also noted. See you later,” Scott said as he headed back into the bathroom and slipped out the back window before anybody could change their mind or pull any pistols. This was actually better than Scott could have hoped. He had been doing this basically alone and now he actually had a solid ally and maybe even back up. Now, it was time to start hunting that maniac out there on the streets. With no leads, it would be a lot of patrols and very little sleep. That suited Scott just fine.

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The Mystery Part 7

April 15, 2016

The Mystery

If Scott was going to continue being the Mystery and keep up the superhero thing, he was going to need help. Having Heather’s support was great but things had gone really bad in the alleyway and he was unsure how to proceed. Basically, Heather had been like therapy but when you had a problem on the job it was useful to talk to a peer. Besides, he had a contact he wanted to try and get in touch with. It had been a long time since Scott had looked Frank up. He only knew where Frank lived because they had once used his apartment to recover from a really bad night on North Broadway. In the aftermath, Scott had noted the Pigtown address before slipping away.

He stopped and adjusted his mask outside of the apartment complex. If it was askew, it might expose his secret identity and he and Frank had not shared that information when they worked together. Besides, it would ruin the whole effect of the sudden appearance of The Mystery. He slipped past the gate and then carefully opened the back window the correct apartment. Shimmying inside was easy even though the window was small. Scott had actually been worried he would be caught in a Winnie-the-Pooh-type situation. This would be embarrassing in a normal situation but here it would have been incredibly more awkward. Most of the time it was alright but it was times like this where Scott realize that having an alter ego was incredibly stressful. In fact, he realized he had a shift to get to the next day and he was in no condition for it.

He carefully lowered himself to the tile of the bathroom and barely made a sound. He gave silent thanks that nobody was in the bathroom at present. That would be almost as embarrassing as getting stuck in the window. So far good, though. Scott checked his equipment and opened the door to head into the hallway. The carpeting was nice and plush and hid his footfalls as he walked down the hallway. As he turned the corner at the end of the hallway, he heard something move in the dim light from the front windows. Scott stepped into the room without fear in his heart.

“Hey Frank,” he said with a smile. “Sorry to burst in on you unannounced. I have a crisis.”

Scott was not prepared for the gun in his face as somebody rose from the couch and took a firm stance, two hands on their gun. Too late he noticed that the person who had been on the couch was too small to be Frank.

“Freeze! Hands behind your head!” She shouted. As Scott’s eyes adjusted he realized that the figure was Detective Azaria from earlier. The detective from the alley. He tensed in nervousness at the memory. She was wearing a tank top and jeans but she was barefoot. Either he had made the craziest mistake of his life or she was making herself at home at Frank’s place. The gun was cocked and ready to go but Scott could see her eyes widen in recognition. This could be either good or bad for his situation. “You! What are you doing here?” She asked.

“I didn’t come here to hurt anyone. I just came to talk to a guy I know. This might even be the wrong place.” Scott said. He started to back up slowly down the hall.

“Put. Your. Hands. On. Your. Head.” the detective said in response. There was a fierceness in her eyes and she enunciated each and every word and it was too aggressive. Scott started to worry that she might actually pull that trigger. He stopped moving. He started to slowly put his hands behind his head. She didn’t look fully awake, all adrenaline and instinct.

“I’m just looking for Frank,” I said as calmly as I could.

It was at this point that something burst through the door to Scott’s right and shoved him against the wall. He was pinned against the wall and, as door pieces fell away from the thing, Scott realized that it was a giant-sized hand the size of a medium-sized dog. Detective Azaria grimaced for a moment with what Scott thought and hoped was sympathy. She holstered here weapon just a few moments before a massive head poked through the door. The guy must have been over twelve feet tall and was immensely strong.

“Oh, look it’s Frank.” Scott managed to wheeze out.

The Mystery Part 6

November 23, 2015

The Mystery

Scott was sitting in a corner of the back room when Heather opened the door and walked in. The lights flickered on. It felt like a parody of their usual ritual. He barely looked up before casting his eyes back down at the floor. He wasn’t there at the veterinary office. He was in the alley, trying to help that cop hold onto life. There was blood everywhere.

“Is that your blood?” Heather asked, kneeling down in front of him. Scott supposed this was one of those situations where you skipped ‘hello’ and other pleasantries. Although, as he thought about it, they never really did pleasantries.

“What?” He looked at her like he hadn’t heard the question. She gripped his wrists in return and looked into his eyes.

“Is this your blood on your hands. Are you injured?”

“No it’s not my blood.” Scott said and wrenched his arms out of her grip which was easy to do with the blood still being a little slick.

There was a long silence and she stood up and stepped away from him. “Whose blood is it then?”

“You don’t want to know. I don’t even want to know.”

“Why?” She asked, her voice stern. She was pushing him into answering her questions whether he wanted to or not.

“Because the answer is a bad one. I caused something horrible to happen.” He answered, softly.

She shook her head. “Look, I know who you are. You’re the Mystery. You’re the hero I’ve patched up over a dozen times so far.”

He looked up at her through the beginning of tears. “I’m not a hero. This is who I am.” Scott said and peeled his mask off and tossed it on the floor in front of him. He looked up from that spot and into her eyes. There was another moment of silence.

“If you were expecting shock, I hate to disappoint you. I don’t recognize you. Not at all.” She said. “Just tell me what happened.”

He sighed. There was no use fighting it, he had to talk to somebody. “I was just about to take down Trixshot but this guy in impressive gear took her down instead. Then he tried to recruit me I think. I’m not entirely sure but the answer was no. Then he shot a cop and I barely got away.” It felt good pouring all of that out onto the floor between them. There was no risk as the police already knew all of that.

“He sounds crazy. I mean, as long as we’ve had our arrangement you’ve helped a lot of people. I study you. I know you’re a good man.” Heather said. She pulled up a chair and sat facing him, her expression had softened a little.

“You studied me?” He asked, he looked up at her. He knew what the answer and the explanation must be but he wanted to hear it.

“I’m not going to donate medical supplies to just any crazy guy off the streets. I made sure you were helping people. I kept news clipping and asked anybody I could on the street for information. I found that you were honest in your intentions and that you really do want to help people. If it was any different, I would have called the police on you a long time ago.” Heather said. She grabbed a notebook off the back shelf and paged through it for him. It was full of newspaper clipping and scribbled notes.

“It doesn’t matter. I couldn’t save that cop. He’s probably dead now.” Scott said. Those words were the hardest of his life. He wanted to believe the man was still alive but a gunshot at that range was unlikely to leave a survivor. If Azaria and Parker had saved him it would have been a miracle.

“Maybe.” Heather said and her eyes went down, knowing just saying that hurt both of them. “But you’ve saved other people before. You’re also not responsible for this psycho’s actions. One way or another, he’ll face justice.”

He looked up at her and pushed himself to his feet. “Now there’s something I want to be involved with. I don’t know how to deal with him yet but I won’t let him kill again if I can help it.”

Heather smiled. “That’s the Mystery that I know.” She took the mask off the ground and pushed it into place over his eyes. “I recognize you again.” She grinned.

He smiled in return. Everything wasn’t sunshine again but there was at least a single ray of it. “I have to go.”

“Alright, where to?” She asked. “Or should I not know?”

“I’m not sure but I’ve got the start of a plan. And Heather?”

“Yes?”

“Thank you for always being there.” He said. She had always been there since the night he had first stumbled into her clinic.

She looked down and blushed slightly. “You’re welcome. I kind of like being your sidekick.” But when she looked up, he was already gone.

The Mystery Part 5

August 25, 2015

The Mystery

Scott kept pressure on the wound and didn’t raise his hands. The two cops were staring him down, guns drawn but he would not let this man die. Maybe it wasn’t a decision he would have made with a cool head but this was an emergency. It looked like the bullet had missed the heart and hopefully the damage would be minimal. He stripped a piece of his costume off and used it to continue to apply pressure. He had studied enough of medicine at the library to know that.

He realized that the police were still yelling at him but he had been too hyperfocused on what he was doing. The yelling sounded like it was underwater a mile away. He looked up. “Call an ambulence.” He said and when that didn’t work he yelled it. The cops stopped yelling, a little stunned before one of them spoke into their radio.

“What happened?” The female one asked. She was in plain clothes but a badge hang openly on her belt.

“Some psycho shot him. I think they missed the heart and the bleeding’s not so heavy. I think he can make it.”

“Was it Tricia Selhorst?” She asked, pointing down at Trixshot. As a convicted felon, her identity was well known.

“No. The guy hit her with some sort of stungun. She seems to be breathing fine but she might wake up soon.”

“I’m Detective Azaria. The ambulence is on the way, if we can save Officer Fuentes we will.” The officer said. “This is Officer Parker. He is going to frisk you. If you move I will be obliged to shoot you. Are we clear?”

“Very clear.” Scott said. He could see Officer Fuentes breathing below him and he was relieved. Maybe this would all work out after all. Things had never been this bad before. His own strange healing abilities had allowed him to absorb punishment while he disarmed and incapacitated thugs. There had never been bystanders before. The cops had always been one step behind. Now everything had come tumbling down in one instant.

Officer Parker was checking Trixshot’s vitals. Satisfied, he gently rolled her into a sitting position. He handcuffed her wrists behind her back and leaned her against the brick wall of the alleyway. When she woke up she would find it a lot harder to get to her feet and flee. He tossed her quiver and bow to the detective’s feet. He moved to frisk Scott and Scott stayed absolutely still so the officer could do his job.

“No gun.” Officer Parker said with a grunt.

Azaria breathed easy a little. “Good. Officer Parker, you take over putting pressure on that wound. The Mystery was never here and can’t be here when the ambulence arrives.” She said, holstering her weapon.

Scott looked up sharply at her. “What?! Are you serious?” Scott nearly yelled before realizing that would be a bad choice. Parker looked equally surprised but kept his mouth shut, something he seemed an expert at so far.

“We respect you on the force. I respect you. You being here complicates this and makes you the focus while we try to figure this out. I’m going out on a limb because my gut says you’re telling the truth. If I’m wrong, I’ll take you down myself. You got that?” She stared hard at him. He wouldn’t have gone against those iron eyes for all the world.

“Yes, Detective Azaria.” Scott said and moved so that Officer Parker could take over with holding the wound together. He stood up and made sure his staff was clipped to his belt and started to head toward the motorcycle.

Detective Azaria coughed behind him, causing him to turn. “One more thing, Mystery.” She said. “I imagine you won’t be keeping your nose out of this one. I would ask but I have a feeling that even if you wanted to, you won’t. I have a request.”

“Yes, Detective?”

“Keep me in the loop. Find me or call me at the station if you get any leads. If they ask who you are, say you’re my cousin Louis.” She said, the ambulence was getting very close now.

“Of course, Detective.” He said and he ran for his motorcycle. He didn’t know if he deserved this reprieve but he trusted the police. He started the ride back home, thinking hard. Azaria seemed like an honest person and he would trust her until she proved otherwise. He feared for Oficer Fuentes and he hoped Officer Parker would stay quiet. He felt too many emotions and he knew exactly where he had to go to deal with things.

The Mystery Part 4

June 6, 2015

The Mystery

Scott stood and turned toward the newcomer and made sure to keep his staff at the ready just in case. Whoever it was stepped from the shadows using slow, deliberate steps. They wore a hard plastic mask that was divided down the middle. One half was black and the other half was white. Their hair was long and impossibly straight and was dyed black and white to match the mask. The rest of their body was covered in what looked like black swat gear so that absolutely no skin was showing. They stood practically motionless with a very unnatural stillness.

“Who are you?” Scott asked, pointing at the stranger with his staff. If truth were told he was a little disappointed he hadn’t been the one to deliver Trixshot to the authorities. It shortened his temper a little bit.

“Such a paradox. Asking a man with a mask who he is.” They answered. Their voice was distorted by a voice changer which made it hard to tell who they were. It also made it hard to read emotion in their voice.

“What?” Scott asked, wrinkling his brow with a frown so much that he was almost afraid his domino mask would slip off. He silently thanked whatever forces that had invented strong special effects glue.

“A private joke. Sorry.” They chuckled. The sound was absolutely mirthless coming through the voice changer and more than a little creepy. “I am the Shadowtaker and I’ve been following you for quite some time.”

“Following me?” Scott asked and immediately kicked himself for not using the obvious “shadowing” pun. “Why are you following me?”

“Many people have donned costumes to either fight crime or commit crime. Some of those have incredible abilities and I have observed your healing powers from afar. Pretty soon those with special powers and abilities will outnumber the normal people in costumes. We need to prepare and preserve the balance.”

“I was an English Lit major and even I couldn’t say what any of that really meant. Yeah, I know there are people with powers. It’s kind of scary but I’m doing my best out here. If you want to help then great but A) you’re being over-dramatic and B) you’re being vague.”

“I apologize. I’m looking for people who can maintain the balance. This world needs order and a lot of force is required to bring about that order.”

“I know it’s kind of hypocritical but that sounds like taking the law into your hands a little too much. I might be breaking the law somewhat but I respect it and I’m happy to be a sheepdog, not a bloodhound. I don’t go looking for trouble.”

“That is unfortunate.” Shadowtaker replied, remaining stock still but somehow their stare became more penetrating. Scott tensed, ready for the fight.

“Police! Freeze!” The cop said as he turned the corner into the alley and drew his service pistol. Neither Scott nor the cop had time to react when Shadowtaker took a gun from somewhere and shot two rounds into the cop’s stomach.

“Asshole!” Scott yelled as he ran to kneel next to the cop. He tried to see what he could do. Thank God the library offered regular CPR and first aid classes. There was blood everywhere and it was all Scott could do to keep the cop from moving around. He brushed the cop’s gun away so nobody else got shot.

“I told you. It’s all about keeping the balance. One from one column,” He pointed to Trixshot “and one from the other.” He pointed to the cop. “The mission is of paramount importance. You will see that before the end comes. We will have order.”

“Shut up and call 911, you psycho.” Scott growled. The cop was beginning to go into shock so Scott ran to his bike and grabbed an emergency blanket and reached for one of the burner cell phones. He turned to go back to the cop and Shadowtaker was gone. Another psycho to look out for later. This one was creepy. Scott was back leaning over the cop when a woman rounded the corner and drew her own gun.

“Stay right where you are. You’re under arrest.”

The Mystery Part 3

April 15, 2015

The Mystery

Naps are overrated. Scott always felt even more out of commission when he eventually woke up. Still, he stumbled to his feet and somehow got into the shower. As the water cascaded down his back, he tried to plan his routes across the city to try and find Trixshot. Scott felt like it was his responsibility to bring her down. She was too good at evading the cops and she could injure someone with those arrows even as accurate as she was. He wished her accountant career had gone better so that he didn’t have to deal with this. He hated thoughts like that.

He headed outside and walked five blocks to the motorcycle he used as the Mystery. For what it’s worth, that wasn’t a name that he had chosen for himself. The press had branded Scott as the Mystery after he had been spotted fighting the Ace in the Hole gang. WIYY had called him a “Mystery Man on the scene” but by the next day had shortened it to just The Mystery. The Beacon had picked it up and once it was on the air and in print it was practically written in stone. It would require a public announcement to change it now but that wasn’t something Scott was interested in risking.

Scott was actually pretty astonished that the police weren’t hunting him down like the similarly costumed villains. He actually had no idea whether they were hunting him or not but he hadn’t actually been chased yet. He put a big stylized M on all of his stuff just in case he needed some goodwill with the authorities in a tense spot. His legend was kind of growing from further glimpses and cell phone videos featuring that logo. He respected the police though and he swore he was only stepping in because they’re stretched so thin. Besides, he mostly only track the deranged wackadoos these days anyway.

He was in luck, the police scanner on the Mystery Bike gave him a Trixshot sighting almost right away. Scott gunned the bike to life and put on my mask and helmet. She had been seen in Charles District which was a pretty swanky area of town. There was no doubt the targets there were ripe and fruitful if you could get past tougher security. He had faith that Trixshot would have no problems with security systems.

He pulled off Main Street and into a back alley. He hung his helmet on the handlebars and climbed off the bike. Almost as if on cue a familiar shape vaulted down from the roof and swung to street’s level from a fire escape with the practice of a professional gymnast. Her blonde hair was spiky and unkempt from hair gel. Her makeup was thick around her little domino mask. Her clothing was all colorful spandex and black leather accents. She was a far cry from the accountant she had been in a past life. She was now more suited for a comic booked-themed rave.

“Fancy meeting you here, Mystery. I thought you’d get the point last night. Thought you’d stay away from me.” She said, grinning under the street lamps.

“Wow, did you take all day to write that line? Drop the loot and I’ll go easy on you. Behave and the cops should get you to central booking without any bruises.”

“That doesn’t sound like any fun. Instead, how about I pin you down again and this time I get a peek at your real face. Maybe I’ll even give it a kiss. ” She said as she drew an arrow from her quiver.

Scott grabbed his retractable bo staff from his belt and quickly extended it to its full length of three feet. He had taken Savate since he was little but recently I had started taking bojitsu and eskrima lessons as well. He was getting pretty good but he was facing an opponent who had the superior reach of a bow and arrow. He should have bought that stun gun but he had chosen the alleyway for its close quarters and dim lighting. He hoped it would challenged Trixshot.

She drew and fired, a twisted little smirk on her painted lips. Scott had already been running toward her so he had to juke right to barely avoid being skewered again. He swung his staff and it felt like she was still miles away but he still swung for the fences anyway. The very tip of the staff connected with her forearm. It caused her to drop a second arrow somewhere behind her.

Her eye was drawn to the clatter for a moment, looking for the fallen arrow. Scott swung again and she barely blocked the blow with her bow. She was on the defensive now as Scott swung again and again from slightly different angles. She tried to say something but he cut off her flirty, sarcastic remark by swinging again and again. Finally he swung low and knocked her into the brick wall of the back of a french bakery. Before she could rally again he pushed her up against the wall with the bo and pinned her there.

“Come on, take it easy.” She coughed out.

“You kind of shot me last night. I’m not in the mood.” Scott responded and grabbed the arrows in her quiver and tossed them aside. He knocked her bow aside and sent it bouncing down the cobblestone until it noisily came to a stop. He still held her against the wall with one arm and the bo while he reached for the taser on his belt. It seemed like the most humane way to take her down.

He never had a chance as some sort of disk landed on Trixshot’s temple and he had to jerk back as he felt electricity surge through her body. Some of it arced to his arm and he felt his arm go numb. It stopped after a moment and he bent down to check her pulse. Still breathing, heart still beating.

“She is merely incapacitated. I would not have anyone interfere in our little talk.” A voice said from the shadows.

The Mystery 2

February 23, 2015

The Mystery

Two more hours of searching for Trixshot turned up not a single clue and eventually the throbbing pain in his shoulder was enough to send Scott home. The Mystery wasn’t doing anymore good and Scott had stupidly agreed to cover an early shift at the library. He sat at the reference desk and hoped that his bandages would not show through his shirt somehow. He silently declared coffee to be his lord and master if it could get him through the day and to an afternoon nap. Right now it didn’t look promising as his eyes already felt pretty heavy and full of sand. Still, a paycheck is a paycheck and the bills had to be paid relatively on time.

The phone rang at seven thirty and Scott thought about just letting it ring but Tambers would probably skin him alive. Bosses were hard to please sometimes, especially dark goth creatures like Emma Tambers. Tambers was pretty much a mix between your standard goth and that sexy librarian that guys always talked about. Of course. she was nice to customers and bitter to the rest of us but deep down I bet she had a soul. This was when Scott realized he had been thinking of Tambers so much that he almost missed the phone call. He picked it up.

“Westcott Library, how can I help you?” Scott said with almost robotic precision that came from saying the same phrase over and over.

“Good morning, Scott. How are you feeling?” It was Heather. Nothing like an over the phone doctor’s visit early in the morning. At least she had good bedside manner.

“I hate the world but how is that different from other times I was conscious at this hour?”

“How’s your shoulder?” She asked while laughing.

“It hurts but probably a lot less than if you hadn’t helped. Thanks, Heather.”

“Oh, you were right. The tox screen was clear so you don’t have to worry about being drugged.”

“Color me relieved. Though she still could have drugged me and you could be an auditory hallucination.”

“Wow. You really do need more sleep, don’t you? Listen, no more breaking into my office. I have other employees and I can cover up missing supplies a lot easier than you can. OK?”

“Sure. I was just trying to give you a little plausible deniability.”

She laughed again. “Don’t do me any favors. I forgave you after the first time and decided then that I want to help you.”

“Heather… really …thanks.”

“You should probably get some rest before you get anymore delirious. I could have sworn you just thanked me.”

“Bye Heather.” Scott said with an roll of his tired eyes.

“Bye Scott.” And she hung up on him.

He sat and let that thought settle in. Usually he was the one who left her, not the other way around. It didn’t feel all that good but he really was trying to distance himself from her. He didn’t want her to get too involved and then get hurt. He was the one who had decided to take on crime and he had intended it to be a solo mission. Three of his neighbors had been killed by The Butcher and he had first suited up to make sure he was not number four. The police had ended up catching The Butcher but by then Scott had caught three muggers and had developed a taste for crimefighting. He had also discovered strange superhuman abilities he hadn’t been aware of before.

Scott healed faster than normal people, he knew which was how he took so much punishment from the people he apprehended. Still, he much preferred the body armor to take that punishment. Trixshot had found a weakpoint in that body armor and that meant she was a much better archer than he had thought. The fact that she hadn’t pressed her advantage by dosing him might mean that she wanted to play. She certainly acted playful as she shot him and she had purposefully missed before that. There was a distinct possibility that she had snapped mentally but then they were both running around in costumes so maybe she wasn’t alone.

A couple hours later and Lisa came and relieved him from duty and he fought the urge to bound out of the library to avoid a run in with Tambers. She was a frightening person for somebody 5 foot 2 inches. Besides, Scott’s shoulder felt a lot better and he couldn’t wait to get home so he could tear off the bandage and get to work finding Trixshot. She was probably out there rolling in a pile of money after fencing her goods but it was worth a shot. She tended to work in sprees as if she couldn’t help herself once she had gotten started. He had tried to figure that out using the psychology books in the reference section but it was too complicated and there were too many assumptions that he would have to make.

He got home and immediately took off his shirt and tossed it on the back of the sofa where it hung on for a moment before tumbling to the floor. He grabbed one edge of the bandage and pulled hard and winced as it peeled away. He gave himself bonus points for not screaming. The wound actually looked ok and he was thankfull to Heather that there was no infection. He didn’t know the full extent of his healing power when it came to disease or infection and he was not in the mood to test it out. He was satisfied enough with the wound and the range of motion in his shoulder. He could go out afterall.

An insistant meowing came from the kitchen which meant that Timma was hungry and he decided to feed her before she got on his nerves. Of course, this was a major part of their relationship. He filled her bowl and then leaned down to stroke her back as she started to eat which earned him a momentary scowl. He never knew exactly what the cat wanted but it was a cat so that was probably normal. An ex-girlfriend had left Timma when she moved across the country. Timma was Scott’s problem and he was just fine with that. It was nice to have company that wasn’t too upset at the hours he kept.

He grabbed his shirt and tossed it and the rest of his clothes into an already overflowing hamper. There was a washer and drier in the basement of the complex but it always seemed so far away. He slid a trunk from under his bed and carefully put in the combination on the very touchy lock. If he didn’t do it perfectly, it would not open and he would have to try again which was a pain in the ass. He managed to pull of the lock perfectly the first time and mused on the fact that the identity of The Mystery might remain secret because of a faulty lock someday.

He pulled out his costume and armor and started to get dressed. He dressed mostly in blacks and grays mostly because they were stealthy and that was the only color the seller had for the body armor. Thankfully it hadn’t been pink. That would be silly. He clipped his tazer, collapsable bo staff and stun baton onto his belt. He checked the supplies of smoke pellets and pyrotechnics he had gotten from a theatrical supplier and slipped some into a pouch on his belt. Finally, he flipped on the police scanner and sat in his armchair to wait a bit and adjust to the costume.

Any minute now he would be on the streets and hunting his prey.

The Mystery

January 1, 2015

The Mystery

It had been less than a year since Scott Sullivan had become The Mystery, one of Drake City’s  newest masked crime fighters.  In the short time he had been active, The Mystery had already amassed quite a rogues gallery who tended to get in the way of all of the crime fighting.  After the first time she was arrested, Scott had found out that Trixie Selhorst was a failed accountant and a former champion with the bow and arrow.  She had taken to robbing her employers after making some bad personal investments.  Now she was known as Trixshot and the pun was actually as painful as the arrow wound.  She was a bad accountant but a talented thief and Scott could feel how accurate she was with every painful throb of her shoulder.  He just hoped he wasn’t hurt too bad to track her down.  As soon as he was patched up he would be back on her trail.

He pulled his motorcycle behind the vet’s office and rolled to a stop behind some cardboard boxes.  He climbed down and had to grit his teeth to keep from screaming at the sudden jolt of pain.  He picked the lock and slipped through the back door and into the darkened back room.  Unfortunately, breaking into places was a side effect of being a vigilante.  Besides, it was hardly breaking in if somebody would have let you inside anyway.  He fumbled around for some medical supplies and instead knocked over a trashcan.  He cursed in the darkness.

“You know,” A familiar voice came from the darkness, “you could just flip the lights on.  That usually helps me.”

With that, the overhead florescent lights switched on and Scott was left blinking in the suddenly bright storage room.  Heather Reed was leaning near the switch with a smug smile on her lips.  She looked like she had come from a date and Scott instantly felt both jealous and guilty.

“Haven’t you ever heard of stealth, Heather?” Scott said as he reached down and put the trashcan right again.

“Real stealthy, Mystery Man.  So what’s the problem?”

“You didn’t have to come down here, Heather.  Were you in a date or something?”

“Please, Scott, I’m practically your sidekick.  Let’s get you patched up. Ok?”

“It’s really nothing.  Some more gauze, some anti septic…”

Heather stepped closer and gasped.  “Scott, I can see the blood from here.  Strip to the waist or I’m calling an ambulance.”

“Ok ok. Relax.” Scott said as he slipped one arm and then gingerly slipped the injured arm out of his sleeves and pulled down his costume.  He thought he saw a little blush on Heather’s face when he had gotten his shirt off.

“So what happened?  There was nothing on the news.”  She said as she washed her hands.

“Trixshot put an arrow through my shoulder.  It hurts like crazy but I think it was just a normal arrow.”

“You hope it was just a normal arrow.  That woman is not in the least bit stable and I wouldn’t put it past her to dope her arrows with something.”

“I just don’t think so, shooting me seemed almost like flirting with me.”

Heather frowned. “This is going to hurt.”

“What’s going to – AAAAH!” Scott screamed out as Heather swabbed the wound with a cotton swab.

“I’ll see if I can get this tested.  Better safe than sorry.  It will take a while, it’s not like we have a crime lab here.”

“Thanks.” Scott said without any warmth, still tense from the sudden pain but he shook it off. “Since you’re here, can you help patch me up?”

Heather frowned, that familiar concerned look on her face.  “Yes.  I said I would.  You never get the stitches anywhere near straight anyway.”  She said with a smirk, side-stepping the difficult conversation and pulling out everything for stitches.  “And I do it quicker and I know you have to get back out there to bring her down.  It’s not like the police have ever been able to deal with her.”  She set to work cleaning and sewing his wound shut.

“Well, like you said, she’s a special kind of crazy.”  Scott said, trying not to show the pain on his face or in his voice.  He was already trying to think where Trixie could have gone and how to get the drop on her.  He was pissed at the shoulder wound which would be hard to hide and hell to deal with for weeks.

“All done.” Heather said, popping everything left over into a bag. “I’ll incinerate the evidence as usual.”

“You’re the best, Heather.  Watch the news to see that whacko locked up, huh?”

“I always do.  Be safe out there.”

“I always am.  Thanks.”

Heather turned around and he was gone again.  She remembered a time early on when he hadn’t been so stealthy.   She was proud of him but at the same time she missed him saying goodbye.  She turned off the lights and headed out the back door.  She tossed the evidence in an old coffee can and dutifully lit it on fire.  She hoped he would be safe out there.  She said a little prayer and sent it out into the world before heading home.


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