“What the hell happened here?!”
A voice yells out in the darkness of the night as a man dressed in a dark trench coat walks towards the burning ruins of a prison. A police officer looks up to see who the voice belonged to, to see what business they had here.
“Sorry, sir. This is an ongoing investigation. I can’t tell you anything.”
The man in the black trench coat nods in understanding. He pulls out his wallet and presents a license to the officer. The officer takes it and looks at it.
“Sorry, Mr. Kirby. You may be a private investigator, but I still can’t say anything about the case.”
Bill Kirby looks stoically at the burning prison.
“I’m not just here as a PI, officer. My brother-in-law worked here. I was wondering if you’d be able to at least tell me how many died here?”
The officer thinks for a moment, he looks at the ruined structure as another body is pulled out of the rubble.
“Wait… You’re related to Major Ben Kane?”
“We haven’t finished digging through the ruins here, yet. But so far, we haven’t seen his body.”
Kirby nods again while pulling out a business card and hands it over to the officer.
“If you find his body, give me a call.”
“Sure thing, Mr. Kirby. By the way, may name is Gordon.”
Bill Kirby nods as he walks away. He looks over the rest of the compound before tapping his ear.
“You get anything?”
A voice comes over the ear piece in Kirby’s ear.
“Not yet, sir. Nothing concrete, but it seems Kane may have been out of town when this all happened, so he may just be safe.”
Kirby thinks for a moment before looking back over his shoulder.
“And what about the special guest we dropped off?”
“Again, noth…. Hold on a moment.”
Kirby raises an eyebrow as he listens to his butler gasp.
“He… He isn’t entered in the system. So far, all convicts are accounted for. Whether dead or alive, but everyone who is currently on the register has been found.”
A scowl crosses over Kirby’s face.
“Get me a list of all guards who was aware of his presence in the prison. I want to have a word.”
“You think they would talk to some private detective who is asking questions about an active case? They’ll know not to say anything.”
A smirk comes across Bill Kirby’s face.
“I need the suit. It won’t be Bill Kirby paying them a visit.
High up on a gargoyle, overlooking the city. The lights of the city glowing far beneath the figures on top of the gargoyle. One is clad in black combat armour and cowl, a cape flowing behind him. The other is being held by his ankle, a cloth over his head, hiding him from the truth he currently faces.
“What the hell, man? I-I can’t see.”
The man’s voice shakes with fear, not knowing what is happening to him.
“I know. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not knowing the answers. So, maybe you can enlighten me.”
Redwing reaches for the cloth as a whimper comes from the other man.
“You’re James Snyder. A guard at Florence PDX. You knew that Corvus was there. You were one of the receiving guards. Why is he not on the register? Where is he?”
“What the hell are you talking about? I don’t know no Corvus. You got the wrong guy!”
Redwing releases his hold, and Snyder drops like a sack of potatoes towards the ground. Screams are just barely drowned out by the noise of the city. He stops suddenly, as a rope goes taught and suddenly retracts. The hood over his head goes flying as he is met with the snarling glare of Redwing.
“REMEMBER NOW?!” Redwing growls.
“Y-y-yes. I-I-I-I was paid to not put his information into the system! I don’t know where the money came from! I don’t know why! But my dad was in the hospital, and I needed the money!”
Redwing reaches down and grabs the guard by the collar, lifting him up and slamming him down on the roof top, before hogtying him.
“Hope it was worth it. You let a killer loose to harm others. A remorseless monster left to kill other families. But at least your family is intact.”
Redwing growls as he leaves evidence behind of the guard’s guilt. Redwing taps his ear, activating his ear piece.
“He doesn’t know who is behind it. But now we know why.”
“Yes, I see. I see the payments here. Off shore, but shouldn’t be too hard to track. Snyder wasn’t too good at covering his tracks.”
Redwing slinks off into the darkness to continue his hunt.
** ** **
An ominous voice comes out of the darkness. Ben Kane steps into the only source of light in the room, a single light from above.
“Redwing has returned onto the scene. You promised he would never learn of this.”
Kane smirks at this, amused by the ego of the voice.
“Well, you let him out. You put him back into play. You should have known he’d be keeping an eye on his wife’s murderer.”
The voice booms over loud enough that Kane ducks like he is missing a punch.
“You must keep him away from Corvus, and from us. You know what happens should you fail.”
Kane nods his head, and walks into the darkness himself.
“JUSTICE IS COMING”
Another night on the hunt, the sounds of a brawl taking place inside of a bar ring out into the dark night. Suddenly a body goes flying out of a window and slams hard onto the ground. Redwing appears as an imposing shadow in the now shattered window. He stalks towards the man who he just sent flying out the window.
The voice of Andrew comes over Redwing’s earpiece.
“I’m busy. What is it?”
“Well, it’s a matter of importance. Ben Kane just arrived. He’s here, at the Tower.”
Redwing groans for a moment, coming up with a strategy.
“Keep him occupied. I’ll be there shortly.”
Redwing finally finds his prey, slamming him back first into a wall.
“You’re an explosives expert. One of the best in the city. The explosion at Florence ADX has all your trademarks. I want to know who paid you.”
The man laughs for a moment.
“And why would I tell you anything? You know what they’ll do to me?”
Redwing slams his fist hard into the wall, just beside the man’s head.
“You think you scare me? We know your scheme. You won’t kill me.”
The Caped Crusader grins for a moment as he thinks.
“I don’t need to kill you. By now, I’m sure someone connected to you has seen us here. I’m sure a few well placed words that you spoke to me, a few of your associates suddenly being jailed for crimes long thought buried. Ones only you knew about, or so they thought. How long do you think you’ll last?”
The look of fear on the man’s face as he realizes what Redwing is threatening.
“Tell me what I want to know!”
“THE MAJOR! That’s all I know. We talked online. He said he worked at Florence, had connections. He needed to get someone out, and wanted to hide who. I didn’t ask. The job was exciting, a challenge. So, I took it, no more questions asked!”
Redwing slams his forearm into the neck of the man who collapses to the ground in an uncomfortable heap.
At the former Nygma towers, Redwing finally arrives and begins removing his gear is met by Andrew.
“Master Kane is upstairs, waiting. Something seems off.”
“He does know who I am.”
“That’s not what I meant. You’ll understand when you see him.”
Ben Kane stands to his feet as Bill enters the room, extending his hand.
“It’s good to see you.”
Bill grins as he hugs his brother-in-law.
“Been a while.”
Andrew returns down to the Cave as the computer is seen tracing the finances from the previous night. He plugs in the name “The Major”.
Back with Kane, both men take a seat.
“Surprised by what happened at Florence. I went on vacation just in time.”
“Yeah. How could things go so badly so quickly? You leave for vacation, and explosives arrive shortly after that detonate.”
An eyebrow is raised by Ben.
“Well, you know how these people think. This was likely planned for months. Years, even.”
Back on the computer, it finishes it’s work and flashes a name and picture. Andrew looks up at it and his jaw hits the ground.
“It can’t be… Sir!”
Andrew hits a button on the computer that calls the earpiece Kirby keeps with him.
“I need you down here quick.”
Bill nods along as Ben continues talking.
“I’ll be looking into it. But I wanted to stop by here first. I heard you came asking about me, wanted to let you know I was safe before I began my investigation.”
“I’m glad you did. I’ll see you around.”
Bill sees Ben out the door before turning towards the entrance to the Cave.
“What is it, Andrew?”
“The trace on the payments finally completed. It’s… It’s Ben, sir. Ben Kane paid the officer to help facilitate the explosion.”
The sound of Redwing’s voice booms from the upper levels of Nygma Towers. Ben Kane stops in his tracks as he looks up. The form of Redwing comes crashing down onto his car, collapsing the hood. Redwing grapnel gun draws the cord back in as the Caped Crusader looks his brother-in-law in the eyes, vengeance filling them.
“Listen, Bill. This goes far deeper than you think.”
Redwing doesn’t listen as Ben backs away, hands up but a focused look in his eyes.
“You must understand, the people I work for…”
Redwing unleashes a brutal punch that sends Ben to the floor.
“My wife! Your SISTER! Killed by that man. I fought him, to bring him in. To bring justice to her death. To bring rest to the memory of my SON!”
Another punch rocks Ben Kane, who is growing frustrated at the assault.
“I worked hard to bring him in. Fought through adversity, through some of my darkest hours and you let him go?!”
Redwing throws another punch, but this time it’s stopped by Kane, who catches it in his fist. The Major stands to his feet, now seemingly towering over Crimson Justice.
“Enough! You don’t know the world you stepped into when you brought Corvus in. This is beyond what your petty little costume play is all about!”
Kane grabs Redwing by the throat, and throws him into his now destroyed car. Redwing tries to gather himself, but is met by a Spartan Kick that sends both him and the car sliding.
“You nearly destroyed me by bringing him in. All the work I did to try and keep your pathetic ass safe from those monsters. Do you know what they wanted to do to you when they learned you and him were both in OSW?!”
Redwing goes for another kick, but The Major catches it, tossing Redwing into the foundation of Nygma Tower.
“You and your sanctimonious ass was nearly killed! You were on their hitlist when they killed Sarah and Jason. You weren’t home! Your investigation is what killed them, not me!”
This triggers something in Redwing who stands to his feet. He unleashes a barrage of Redblades that stick deep into the skin, one puncturing Ben Kane’s eye.
“You don’t get to say their names. You don’t get to invoke their deaths. You worked for them? You let them kill your nephew and sister? You never pursued justice?!”
Redwing returns the spartan kick, driving a redblade deeper into the arm of Ben.
“You bring them death and free their killer? You deserve to die!”
Redwing goes for what seems to be a killing blow.
Familiar voices cut deep. Redwing looks up and sees the spirits of Sarah and Jason.
“We don’t want this. We don’t want him dead. But you deserve to finally rest, finally.”
Sarah says. Redwing just nods, delivering a heavy fist to the jaw of Ben Kane.
“Andrew. Call the police to pick this trash up. Make sure they throw the book at him and bury him so deep they forget the hole they put him in.”
“As you wish, Master Kirby. Right away.”
Sirens blare as Redwing stands atop Nygma Towers as Ben is placed into the back of a police car and taken off. Redwing takes the cowl off and places it back into it’s space in the cave.
“It’s over. It’s finally over.”