What I've written is an adaptation of the T.V. show – not based on the radio, movie serials or the NOW comic book series – where I've touched / updated many elements familiar to us all or changed them outright, as if I were writing a movie treatment for today's audience. Or as they say in Hollywood 're-imagined' (since 'remake' seems now to be politically incorrect).
The Green Hornet TV show was generous on action – thanks in no small part to the late Bruce Lee (Kato) – but due to it's limiting thirty minute format, very skimpy on plots and deeper character background. To my mind its only flaw.
Dye in the wool Green Hornet fans will certainly recognize the Black Beauty / trailer / platform scene from the TV show and this is an example of my 'fleshing' things out by showing how exactly could the Hornet achieve this version of the "Trojan Horse".
Like many other fan fictioners (my name for we who dare toil in the world of fan fiction) rather than ignore, I've also chosen to include the Lone Ranger legacy and my spin on it and my story will also include my spin on the Green Hornet's and Kato's origin. Chronologically speaking this adventure occurs during the early years of the Green Hornet's career.
Also note: I will be adding to this story every 60 to 90 days, due to other commitments, it is all I can promise for now.
The Green Hornet
"The Color of Hate"
by R. Cruz
The following is an original story by this author employing characters
created and copyrighted by George W. Trendle.
Based in part on the T.V. show
The Green Hornet 1966 Ó 20th Century Fox Television – Greenway Productions
Another challenge for the Green Hornet, his aide Kato and their rolling arsenal the Black Beauty! On police records a wanted criminal, the Green Hornet is really Britt Reid, owner publisher of the Daily Sentinel, his dual identity known only to his secretary and the District Attorney.
And now to protect the right and lives of decent citizens --- rides the Green Hornet!
And now to protect the right and lives of decent citizens --- rides the Green Hornet!
"It's a date."
Casey couldn't help it.
Although she tried to keep her mind on her filing, every once in a while she would steal a glance and then her brown eyes would stay fixated at the large closed oak doors of her boss' office, wondering what was going on in there. They've been in there for twenty minutes, she suffered silently.
"They" were Britt Reid owner, publisher of the Daily Sentinel and one of his most senior and trusted investigative reporters. Casey could easily picture in her mind the "fifty something" reporter pacing nervously about withhis hands energetically waving back and foward,wearing that faded brown sport's jacket that had seen way too many trips to the dry cleaners.
She could also mentally see her boss sitting passively as the verbal storm called Mike Axford attempted to get his way with him. Casey smiled. She almost took pity on her boss. Almost!
"Look. You know me," Mike stalked with his arms outstretched, "I'm usually never one to ask a favor but I'm in a real bind here. She's been in the city close to a three months and I found that out two months after she arrived. She's a workaholic just like you and I know for a fact that she hasn't gone out on a date since she got here."
The young man behind the desk kept silent. His hands were clasped stoically in front of him and only his blue eyes showed a hint of amusement.
"It's nothing really. Take her out for a nice dinner, a show, maybe a dance hall – then home."
"If she needs a night on the town why can't Casey show her around?" Britt finally offered.
"Casey … ahem … Ms. Case," he corrected himself, "She's a good girl. I have nothing against her but she's … well … too serious. I want my goddaughter to loosen up a bit, have a good time, let her hair down, not get wound up even tighter."
"Mike, I dunno," Britt shook his head, "I'm very busy."
"Now, hold it right there!" Axford with hands braced against Britt's desk leaned over, " I don't like to bring this up but it seems I have to remind you that I've known you since you were knee high to a grasshopper. Your parents, God rest their souls, were my dearest, closest friends. Would I be coming here with my hat in my hands if I didn't want the best for Dinah? I know I can trust her with you. Only you."
This is serious, Britt admitted silently.
When Mike rushed into the office to speak with him judging by the look on his face and Mike's long and justly earned reputation for getting his nose into trouble – he had thought it had something to do with an explosive investigative expose he was working on. This favor caught Britt totally off guard.
Then it was, after all, Dinah Morrison. A name he hadn't heard since college.
"Alright Mike," he capitulated. Mike Axford's response was an ear to ear grin.
"It's a date. But you owe me big old man. And it's going to have to be Saturday night. I have very urgent business on Friday."
"Can you hear me now?"
It was a cool night close to 2 AM on Friday and waiting on a deserted loading bay in front of an enormous warehouse, stood a large man dressed in a tailored three thousand-dollar suit, casually lighting a cigar to keep warm.
He gave a quick nod to one of his sentries, who patrolled the platform and hefted an M-16 like he was born attached to it. The truck he was waiting for was just a bit late but well within the time frame he had accounted for. A true leader has to remain calm and collected in situations like this. It was not only a leadership trait it was just good business sense.
Anthony Manzanetti allowed himself a small grin. It had been a while since he arrived at the city and even longer since he'd ever seen such a wide-open market. Competition was virtually nonexistent! Of course, that still didn't mean that the risks were to be ignored but this city had a need for an illicit drug market and he was only glad to provide it.
True, when the prospect had been approached before the other "Families" shunned their distribution --- they simply shook their collective heads and mumbled 'the Pact' or something, their reasoning always vague --- but that made the profit sharing more exclusive and suited him just fine. What else gave such high rate of return for such a small investment in such a quick amount of time?
A few C notes and the state police would turn a blind eye during a certain trailer crossing state lines, an unmarked envelope with a few C notes more and the city's finest would conveniently patrol another area during the shipment's arrival. Even more C notes secured his choice of protection.
Ha! When it was all tabulated, mere chump change compared to what he was going to take home. Before taxes, of course.
Finally, announcing itself with a few honks of its horn, the truck arrived. He smiled as the familiar words, "Van Williams' Trucks" and the slogan, "Need it moved? Ask Van!" appeared boldly on the trailer.
Nothing better than owning a phony trucking company, Manzanetti mused.
"Alright! Listen up!" Anthony shouted waving his cigar at the dock hands, "As soon as Nicky parks this baby I want the doors opened and the 'washing machines' unloaded and placed into those other boxes -- double time!"
The fact that Nicky hadn't immediately emerged from the cabin as soon as the truck was parked should have given Anthony reason to suspect something was wrong. But, then again Nicky, a Gulf War Vet, was prone to occasional bouts of unsociable moods. It was just his way. Right now, all Anthony had in his mind was the cargo that would make him enough money in one night that, otherwise, would take a good two years.
What Manzanetti did not know was that Nicky's leg had a steel ankle bracelet connected by a thick wire to an enormous battery under his seat. A battery he was warned would discharge a lethal amount of electricity, enough to fry him to a crisp, if he made even the subtlest hint of warning. The small camera lens prominently installed on the dashboard reminded him that he was being watched constantly.
Suddenly, the trailer doors flew open and an enormous black limousine roared onto the cargo platform scattering his men.
Oh no! NOT HIM! Anthony's eyes bulged as he recognized the sedan's make.
To their credit, Manzanetti's guards immediately fired their automatic weapons without prompting on the vehicle but for all the damage they were doing to the Black Beauty they could have been using snowballs instead of bullets.
Inside the Black Beauty, the Asian chauffeur named Kato, smoothly opened a compartment beside him. With practiced ease he flipped toggles that retracted the vehicle's front grill, releasing a rapidly expanding gray gas that caused instant stinging and convulsions to Manzanetti's men.
A small flat monitor mounted on the backseat illuminated the green mask that covered half the face of the man who originated the Trojan Horse inspired attack. "Sensors indicate that we have six down, two staggering and one on the move," the Green Hornet informed from the seat behind Kato. "Get your nose filters ready. I'll go after the runner --- you do clean up."
"I'm a chauffeur, not a maid," Kato joked. The Green Hornet grinned at their easy banter before they swiftly emerged from the Black Beauty with nose filters on, and rushed to their tasks.
Anthony Manzanetti desperately ran for his dear life, at times falling flat on his face and tearing his expensive suit on the debris left on the warehouse floor. He had to get away! One thing that had been made clear to him by the Families was that if he took any initiative to import drugs he would do so alone.
Now he knew the true reason behind their reluctance to get involved! Anthony was just a few yards away from the exit door and trying to catch his breath when, from the shadows behind him, he heard a low him.
"Tony, Tony," above the hum the Hornet's voice carried over dripping with false sympathy, "Give up. There's no where else to go."
" YOU!" Anthony roared as he pulled his nickel plated .45 from its holster and fired back. The hum continued unabated and even rose in pitch, while a buzzing sound could now be made out.
"Maybe you didn't hear me," the Green Hornet continued. "The Families won't take you back. They gave up on you the moment you decided to pollute my city with this filth."
Anthony fired again the weapon's spent cartridge pinging on the floor.
Now the buzz became a whine and the .45 in Anthony's hand began to shake violently. The wannabe drug trafficker could no longer fire it, much less hold it --- the vibration became so intense that he was left with no choice but to let the weapon drop. As it hit the floor, the pistol shattered into tiny pieces and then the whining stopped.
Manzanetti began to run towards the exit door but now found a tall masked man in a dark green trench coat and matching fedora blocking his path.
"We're not finished yet," he said evenly.
With the rage of a cornered beast, Manzanetti lunged with his large hands in front of him hoping to squeeze the Hornet's windpipe. His desperate leap was met by the Green Hornet's Stinger which, when retracted and not in use to demolish guns or topple doors, could be employed as a steel reinforced billy club. The Hornet ducked under Anthony's arms then smacked the gangster repeatedly with a series of swift blows aimed particularly at pressure points, replacing the wannabe drug dealer's raw anger with searing pain.
The Green Hornet then held Manzanetti in a chokehold against the coarse side of a wooden crate with the stinger across his neck.
"Can you hear me now?" Manzanetti nodded as the Hornet continued, "Good! I really hate repeating myself. I don't want drugs in my city. Understand? Neither do the other 'Bosses'. In fact, it's one of the FEW things we see eye to eye on. Those that try to break our pact answer exclusively to me. You got that? You'll be left to my TENDER care."
A "G – G" was the only sound that Manzanetti could make.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'", the Hornet released his grip on the gangster just enough to reach inside his pocket and hit a button on a tiny transmitter.
A few miles away, inside the passenger seat of a black and white patrol car, the city's District Attorney, F.P Scanlon heard a familiar buzzing sound emanating from a tiny earphone device and he casually adjusted his glasses. His finger brushed against a small button on the frame, relaying the signal had been received.
"Let's move in," he ordered over the police radio.
The wailing of the police sirens echoed inside the thick walls of the warehouse, approaching ever so quickly. Frank's going to cut this one really close, thought the Green Hornet.
"You're in luck Tony. The police have really been after me since that stunt I pulled back at the banking district, so I'm going to have to leave you with them. Your luck is going to run out someday and when you fall --- I'll be there waiting to catch you. And next time instead of using my Stinger on your gun … I'll pick a more delicate target."
While the gangster fell blissfully into an unconscious heap, the Green Hornet turned and ran back to the Black Beauty.
He arrived just in time to witness Kato execute a flawless and swift spinning kick which instantly floored one of the platform guards. Possibly the guard had been strong enough to fight the effects of the gas. Judging by the awkward positions on the dirty warehouse floor, it was evident to the Hornet that the rest had not been so sturdy.
"Let's roll, Kato!"
The black uniformed chauffeur leaped, slid across the Black Beauty's hood, smoothly closing the door behind him as he ignited the vehicle's engine, which seemed to roar with anticipation.
"What took you so long?" the Hornet teased from the backseat.
"Actually, I got so bored waiting I woke one of them up and stretched out the fight waiting for you," replied Kato. Under his expert driving, the Black Beauty flew across the platform and down a ramp, seconds before the first squad car arrived.
"Let them go," Scanlon radioed. "We'll get them soon enough." The D.A. adjusted his glasses, his hand covering a tiny grin.
"Yeah right," he whispered softly.
Britt's idea of a fancy dinner was Gabriella's on the Wharf.
Gabriella's was THE finest restaurant in the city. But its fame did not come from just fine cuisine. Most of the famous and even some of the infamous dined there. On any given night a patron could see superstar athletes mingled with music idols or movie stars chatting with equally famous lawyers or politicians.
As the owner-publisher of the Daily Sentinel, Britt Reid was a regular visitor enough to secure a reserved table with just a phone call. While he personally preferred a more quiet and intimate atmosphere, it gave the paper a degree of sophistication to allow himself to be seen at places like this. Also Britt sincerely believed that Dinah would get a thrill out of seeing so many celebrities under one roof.
This particular Saturday night was no different. The place was swarming with customers!
Across the table from him, Britt again remarked how fabulous Dinah looked in her red strapless evening gown, her raven hair loose and touching her slim shoulders. He wore a formal black dinner jacket and tie. Frankly, they looked great together prompting the occasional glance from other patrons with their curious expressions asking, "Who is she?"
"Thanks for inviting me here Britt," Dinah flashed a gorgeous smile, "This place is a dream …and this food …heavenly. The delicate care the chef put into its presentation just says, 'Eat me'."
"Yes, Chef Noel had been creating culinary miracles here for years now," Britt replied as he sat down his fork next to his half-eaten salmon. "I'm glad you were able to pry yourself away from your job at your designing studio to accompany me. Mike says ---"
"My godfather," she interrupted, "is a dear and I love him. But he tends to exaggerate."
"Oh, what do you mean?" Britt feigned ignorance.
Dinah chuckled sweetly, "You know better than I that he's can be so old school, at times. Even in this day and age, he can't accept that a woman can be as career minded and driven as a man. Like my parents, he wants me married with children before I'm thirty-five."
"Well, in his defense, I think he's right."
"Oh, how so?" Dinah raised an eyebrow.
"No one, male or female should be so consumed by one goal that life's simple pleasures passes them by. That's a path that usually leads towards loneliness."
"Britt Reid," Dinah replied seriously, "You've come a long way from that angry and lost young man I knew back in college."
A shade of pain darkened Britt's face momentarily as he recalled that particular chapter in his life. It was a harsh period that led up to the death of his mother and his personal war of words with his father. But before Dinah could take notice of any difference in his demeanor he recovered quickly with a smile.
"I guess you could say I found my way," he replied with a tinge of sadness.
Dinah placed her hand next to his and squeezed gently, "Looks like my godfather was right. We BOTH needed to spend a night out, huh?"
Britt nodded then joked, "That's why I still keep him around."
It was half past three in the morning when Dinah was finally able to take off her high heels. Her feet were tired and a little sore from all the dancing they had done after dinner at Gabriella's. Still, she was too wired to sleep so she walked to the balcony of her flat and looked out at the rainbow of lit buildings and streets outside.
Such a gentleman, she thought. Britt accompanied her to the lobby of her apartment building, gave her a quick peck on the cheek and without asking for a nightcap, got into his Porsche, waved goodbye and promised to call.
Dinah smiled confidently to herself, He will too.
A yawn of exhaustion suddenly escaped her, which she took as a clear sign to finally lie down. She was headed toward her bedroom when her eyes fell on a large manila envelope that was on the floor.
That's funny. I don't remember seeing that before.
Curious, Dinah quickly opened it expecting a surprise form Britt but once she saw what was inside, the envelope fell from her hands as she put one of them over her mouth to stifle a scream.
TO BE CONTINUED…