By VT Comics and Chris Bunton
“Can I help you with anything?”
Darrel Robinson looked up at the Librarian.
“No thank you. I’ve got everything I need.” He said.
He thought that might send her on her way, so he could get back to work. But, no. She was still here, looking down at him.
“Are you writing a book?” She asked, in that Nashville southern drawl. “You’ve been here for several days and I just thought I could help.”
“Well yes. You can help me research facts about how your people enslaved and murdered my people.” Was what he wanted to say to her.
But he smiled and explained himself to her even though it was none of her business.
“I do genealogy work. I study and research family lines for people. I’m currently working on finding the ancestors of a family of former slaves.”
“Ok, well if you need anything, just ask. The Nashville Library has an extensive slave database of people who came through Nashville.” She said.
“Maybe you have the names of the slaves who built this beautiful building?” He started to say, but stopped himself. “Thank you, I am working for a government group who is researching businesses and families in preparation for future reparations. We wanna make sure we get it right.” He said.
“Ok…Yes..Yes we do.” She said, walking away to find someone else she could help.
Darrell opened back up his laptop, which he had closed when the librarian approached. Then, he went back to looking for the location of The James Corporation’ office in Nashville.
Bingo! It’s right on the river, an easy location for transporting goods, including slaves, back in the day.
The James Corp. is a Mega-Corp. with connections globally, and a history that goes back to England before the American Revolution, and perhaps further. After the revolution, the company never really broke apart. They just made some adjustments and went forward with their global work.
The Nashville office was a very small location.
Darrell walked down to Nashville’s Music Row from his hotel at Union Station. It was Saturday night and the honky tonks and bars were poppin. He weaved in and out of crowds on the sidewalk, as music poured out onto the street from the bars. It was a hodgepodge of country music sound.
Darrell loved music, but he was not here to party. He was headed to the river, and a left turn, then down the road a ways, to where he would find the local offices of the James Corp. attached to a warehouse.
The lights of music row dimmed as he reached the end of the street and turned left into a cool breeze. He walked a few blocks to the James Corp.’s warehouse. He looked at the lights from the Tennessee Titan’s stadium twinkling on the river as he walked.
He found an alley and quickly stepped inside, where he removed his cheap brown jacket. He tossed it into a nearby dumpster and put a balaclava mask on his head, covering his face, like a ninja. He was now wearing a black battle suit, with webbing, mask and gloves.
He stepped out of the alley and moved oddly fast to the back door of the James Corp.’s office. He grabbed the door knob with his gloved hand and put his shoulder into a shove against the steel door.
It gave away with ease under his strength, shattering the frame where the deadbolt was located. He quickly entered and moved through the warehouse freakishly fast as an alarm started to sound.
He entered an office at the back of the warehouse, where he pulled out a flash drive attached to some other kind of device.
He sat down in the chair in the managers back office and plugged the flash drive into the computer and watched as the device took over every aspect of the task of hacking the computer. Despite his skills, Darrell was not a computer expert, and had no desire to be.
“Hey! Who’s there?” a voice boomed.
Darrell looked out of the manager’s office and into the outer office, where a security guard stood, with a long black Maglight, and a .38 revolver.
Darrell did not hesitate. He moved with the same blinding speed as before and was quickly before the guard.
He grabbed the gun and at the same time touched the guard’s hand. The guard suddenly let go of the gun and dropped the flashlight.
He doubled over, grabbing his stomach in pain. He stumbled backwards out of the office, projectile vomiting on the warehouse floor. He dropped to his knees and lay on the ground puking and groaning in agony.
Darrell heard guards on radios and yelling at each other, as they approached from other parts of the warehouse. He quickly went back into the manager’s office and checked the device. It was not finished hacking the computer. Darrell needed this information to ruin James Corp. if that was even really possible. He had to buy more time.
So, he rushed out into the warehouse and attacked the approaching guards. They were armed with .38’s and flashlights. But, Darrell moved too fast, and punched the first guard in the face; his enhanced strength sending the guard flying backwards, while his disease aura caused the guard to writhe on the ground puking.
The other four guards drew their pistols, while a 6 foot long titanium staff appeared to telescope from nowhere in Darrel’s hand.
He struck a guard’s arm with the staff disarming him, then he spun and launched a ceramic ‘O” shaped disc at a second guard. The disc hit his gun and exploded like glass sending shards into the guards face. The guard immediately dropped to his knees puking in agony.
Darrell spun back and swung the staff knocking the first guard out, then threw the staff at another hitting him in the chest and sending him flying backwards.
The fourth guard moved forward and fired a round at Darrell. It struck his arm and immediately a ghostly giant form rose up from Darrell’s head. The being had red eyes and a gaping maw full of dagger like teeth.
The form seemed to act of its own accord, and instantly swallowed the guard whole. There was not a trace left. The guard was just gone, and the entity likewise disappeared.
Darrell went and retrieved his staff which lay beside the unconscious guard. It retracted in his hand and disappeared into a pocket. He ran back into the manager’s office. This had gone badly.
He checked the device. It was done downloading. Darrell, unplugged the device, put it into a case, and stored it in a pocket in his uniform.
He left the office and saw flashing police lights through the windows from outside.
“Police!, Police! Show your hands!” He heard them yelling as they came through the warehouse in tactical formation with guns drawn.
Darrell ran to a metal ladder mounted to the warehouse wall and climbed it. He quickly reached the metal girders 2 stories above, which supported the roof. He went through a hatch that gave access to the roof outside.
He had been totally undetected by the police who had arrived. He ran across the rooftop to the edge nearest the river. Using his enhanced speed and strength he dove out into the air, over the road with the cars full of flashing lights, out into the river, where he landed and was swallowed up by the black waters with hardly a splash..
Darrell swam back to shore about a mile upriver. Then, he worked his way through alleys to the railroad tracks, till he got back to his hotel at Union Station. He quickly climbed into his van which was parked in the lot between the hotel and the Frist Art Museum.
He pulled the curtain, and turned on the light in the back of the van. It was an office/camper style set up. He sat in a chair that swiveled in front of a wall mounted screen.
He opened a bag and brought out the same clothes he was wearing before, with the cheap brown jacket over the black outfit. He hung up his wet uniform and changed into the clean dry clothes.
He looked at the wound on his left arm. It was not deep. The uniform had protected him, but there was a massive bruise which was quite painful.
He pulled out the case from the wet uniform and removed the device with flash drive. The case had protected it from the water. He plugged the device into his computer in the van and watched the wall mounted screen as the device started downloading the information it had stolen.
He left the van and walked back into the hotel, looking the same as he had when he left. He rode on the elevator and returned to his room.
He went into the bathroom and removed his shirt. He opened a bag and removed several primitive looking vials which he consumed, and then placed his hand on the damaged spot on his left arm, and it began to heal as he watched it in the mirror.
He left the bathroom and walked into the bedroom, where he opened his suitcase and removed a black basalt idol of an arm less man with big teeth squatting.
He placed the idol of the Sakarabru, the African god of Justice, Disease, Medicine, and Retribution on the table, in the corner of the room.
Then, he got on his knees and bowed down before it.
The eyes of the idol glowed red with life.
(Bio: Chris Bunton is a Writer, Editor, Blogger and Poet from Southern Illinois.
Violent Tendency Comics (VT) is a subsidiary of The Yard: Crime Blog.)