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“The door landed in my face with a thud, the sounds of my failure echoing against the walls of passageways. Anyone could have heard that conversation, heard as I begged and plead.”

“As I failed to convince Pegg of my intentions.”

“But as I looked upon his face and at the papers in his home, I couldn’t bring myself to be angry. Any other man would be furious… But with every wince of pain in his eyes, with the mass of bandages still decorating his chest?”

“I just feel like he’s right.”

“It feels like everything I’ve done in these past few months has lead me to nothing but more lost causes, more broken hearts. He’s in agony because of me, forced to live his life with broken skin and bloody bandages that I put there.”

“Just like the victims of Jasper Redgrave who found an early grave due to my inability to save them.”

“The very thought of what I’ve done, who I’ve left to die and rot, it feels like a thousand needles piercing my skin, an unyielding embrace of pain and shame drilling into my mind until I can barely think.”

“All of my failures, my missteps immortalized as painful scars and fresh dug graves.”

“But, despite it all? These failures that plague me? They don’t discourage me.”

“They drive me.”

“I know you turned Pegg against me, Harold. You went into his room and poisoned his mind against me and made him truly believe I meant him harm. You know that with the right motivation, the right words, you could make him another point of failure in my life.”

“You just hoped that this would be the one that broke me, didn’t you?”

“That once he sent in his complaint, that once they pried this badge from my chest, that I would simply give up and accept my fate as a former cop.”

“But I’ve gotten all to used to the taste of loss as it washes over me over and over again.”

“Because I’ve realized something as I walk away from Simon’s home. Sure, I may lose my badge, I may be stripped of my authority.”

“But I’ll never stop fighting to get my brother back, Harold.”

“No matter how many times I fail, how many times I fall on the way there, I’ll never give up.”

“I’d do anything to save my brother.”

“Give up my badge, my freedom, my life so long as it means he’s safe.”

“The fear of loss doesn’t scare me, blood doesn’t faze me, Attano.”

“And once we’re in that ring I’m going to do whatever I need to pry that information out of you. Badge or not, life or death, I’m going to keep pursuing you, keep fighting until I finally succeed in the one thing that matters most.”

“Get ready.”

“Because if I’m going down?”

“You’re going down with me.”

“And without a badge?”

“It doesn’t even have to be by the book.”

Jackson Cade