The 'Green Hornet Gang' has been wiped out and both they and the Five Family leaders have been arrested by the police. Now Britt Reid (alias the Green Hornet) goes to Brogan's office building to face him.
The Green Hornet
"The Color of Hate"
by R. CruzThe 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 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!
"A little B and E at Brogan's Tower"
With more and more of the City's criminals using legitimate businesses as fronts and owning offices in modern high rises, it became obvious to Britt that in case he needed to bypass building security he would have to, through several layers of dummy companies, buy or rent office space. By being a silent partner or invisible investor in legitimate ventures, he could be his own 'insider' and he would have knowledge of the inner workings of his targets (or potential targets) and also access to reserved parking structures at all hours. Brogan's tower was no exception and by using a copy of the access key from the law offices of Weakley, Clark and Fox, he would be able to engage in a little B and E at Brogan's Tower without raising any major alarms.
Throughout the ride into the city Britt found himself reviewing his plans. The key to the raids accomplished tonight had been their blitzkrieg like speed, and Britt was gambling that Brogan himself would not expect a visit from the Hornet so soon. Still, something was gnawing at his thoughts. Kato smoothly parked Beauty in a solitary space within the tower's underground parking garage and noticed the look on his friend's face, "What wrong?"
Britt replied, "I'm missing something."
"What do you mean?" Kato asked, "Do you want to call off this part of the assault?"
"No," he shook his head, "the entire operation's preparation and execution has occurred as expected but --- I had a nagging suspicion about this entire thing with Brogan being off. I attributed it to my bias towards him but it's something more, I just can't pinpoint what."
"Then, how do you want to proceed?"
"Remember what John McVitte said at the University of Tokyo back in August of 1981?"
Kato grinned and recited, "In the West you say: My cup is half-full, let's fill it. In the East we say: the cup is half-empty, let's empty it." They each gave the other a curt nod, no further words needed to be said; both now knew how to continue.
Kerby had just finished his coffee, expertly made by the fast fryer cook Marilyn at the RedZorin Diner and going over the Excel worksheets for assigned duties when he realized that his partner, "Topper" (as the young man insisted he be called) hadn't come back from his rounds. The middle aged, portly night watchman called into his radio, "Topper? What's your twenty?" Damn, he muttered under his breath. Why can't that kid ever listen to reason?
Kerby had warned his younger partner (also studying to be a paralegal) that if he was thinking of taking a quick nap he had to notify him in advance so the senior guard could cover for him. Kerby was fond of this easy job of watching monitors at the tower and didn't want anything to spoil it. He was just about to rise from his station and head for the locker room when he felt a needle-like stab on his neck. Before he could question what it was, he felt as if his body had been doused by a bucket of icy waters and then the entire room spun and he fainted.
Kato, crouched in the shadows near the door frame, returned the slender straw-like blow dart deliverer to his pocket and nodded silently to the Green Hornet. Topper was indeed napping but it had been brought on by exposure to a quick whiff of gas from the Hornet Gun.
Britt then pointed the Hornet Sting at several strategically placed "Luger 7"surveillance cameras, facing the lobby's elevators. Using a low sonic range setting on the Sting he disabled them easily. As they boarded the elevator car, Kato grinned and nodded as he turned the private floor access key taken from Kerby's belt in the assigned slot and the bulb went from a little red head to green. Now they would be able to reach the penthouse level.
"Tonight," the Hornet declared, "we end this."
A Tale of Fathers and Sons
It was a modest, mostly leafless tree, on a small hill over looking the Reid ranch, and compared to the rest of the spread you could not be faulting for finding nothing particularly special about it. But Dan Reid knew otherwise. It was a sacred spot because it was the site, during their courtship, where he finally asked Britt's mother to become his wife. For the briefest of moments Dan Reid was his old self again, not the frail and sickly man he was becoming. The memory of that day even brought a tiny smile to his lips, one that didn't escape his son's notice.
"I wish mom were here," Britt offered.
"I do too, son."
"She told me about this spot," Britt said as they both looked towards the east at the first signs of the coming dawn. "Mom wanted me to bring my special some one here, if I ever got serious."
"Someone like Casey?" the elder Reid said with a twinkle in his eye.
"Dad!" Britt chastised as they both laughed softly.
It had been several years since his wayward son had come back from traveling abroad. In that time, after that brief near death incident on the streets of Hong Kong, Britt had returned as a new man. He had taken the reins of the Daily Sentinel and the television station with such purpose and energy that he had succeeded in ways that only made Dan proud. "I like what you've done with the paper and the station," the old man admitted, "You found a perfect way to balance serious news and issues with the puff pieces on celebrity and fame that people and advertisers crave. I couldn't have done that."
"Thanks dad," the younger Reid nodded, "that means a lot."
Dan briefly glanced around at the Jeep that Britt had drove both to the hill, he was too weak to ride on Black Beauty, the horse his late wife had given him. "Where's your assistant, Kato? He's usually close behind."
"Getting certified in some advanced security courses and other studies," Britt replied, "It is part of an agreement we made when we met in Hong Kong."
"Kato…I always wondered. It's an unusual Chinese name."
"Not Chinese, actually; he told me he was named after the Roman senator Cato by his father who is an enthusiast of ancient cultures, languages and history. That Cato was Marcus Porcius Priscus but, due to his abilities as a skillful orator, he became known as Marcus Porcius Cato. The Romans called experienced or skillful men Catus. The Latin word catus means sharp intellect."
"I'll admit, I was a bit bothered by his constant hovering in the beginning and the whole life debt thing but he won me over," Dan added. "You have the brother your mother and I never could give you."
An electronic chirping begged attention and Britt retrieved it and for a few moments he curtly answered. He then clipped it back and holstered it without a second thought.
"I know they are a necessity in today's modern world, but I always hated those things," the elder Reid said. "Are you going back to the city?"
"No," Britt shook his head, "things have quieted down since the Brogan trial. Besides, I'm not leaving until ---" Britt caught himself.
Changing the subject the elder Reid began, "I've been hearing good things about that new DA, Frank Scanlon; the city's going to need more men like him and people to watch his back" Placing a hand on the shoulder where Britt was wounded, he added, "You were right son; things weren't as simple as I thought. I failed to realize that a new type of criminal element had risen. A more educated, more sophisticated kind that expertly exploits the law and is the driving force behind other corrupt business men and politicians using court orders, injunctions and special blue ribbon panel investigative committees instead of bullets. Meanwhile, the average citizen just surrenders to their own apathy, as innocents lives are caught in the crossfire between the struggles for power and avarice."
Britt faced his father and said, "No, dad. You were right. I used to accuse you of living too much in the past but I've come to realize that there's no difference between facing down a gang of violent rustlers on a dusty drag back in the old west, than facing a group of corrupt business men and criminals in a board room. Ignoring a problem won't make it go away. The only thing that has to change is the method they are approached."
"So," the elder Reid grinned, "I take it you're finally ready to tell me why you're the Green Hornet?"
Velta IO and Harry 2
The feed from the 24 hour cable news network played out the entire tumultuous scene of police arresting the Green Hornet gang on Brogan's wall TV screen; it was a state of the art Velta IO. "We don't know for sure what went down here," the attractive, brunette on-site reporter stated, "But we're getting a sense that the Green Hornet has clean up house. Back to you at the studio --"
Brogan felt a pang of sadness as he recognized Pete being hauled away. "Too bad his time out of prison was short. Loyal and competent men are hard to find," he murmured to himself. Not unlike his two bulky security guards that stood outside his office, the twin ex-NFL linemen whom he chose to call Harry 1 and Harry 2.
"What I did to that gang is nothing compared to what I have in store for you!"
The back of Brogan's chair was towards the door, Tommy Gun's eyes widened momentarily as he recognized the voice, and then he regained his composure. As he swiveled around, his right toe pressed a button on the rug, while his left hand grabbed the TV remote and muted the sound. "The Green Hornet… my, my you've been a busy man tonight – finally, we meet."
Britt was a picture of tense calm, the Hornet Stinger uncharacteristically pointing to the floor by his side, although underneath he was seething with anger, "It's going to be a short one. I'm not wasting time with you."
Tommy Gun rose slowly from his chair, his arms outstretched as he addressed both of his intruders, "Look Hornet, I know there's been some bad blood between us but we're not that different. We're both business men at heart. I'll admit I made a mistake when I rebuffed your offer at the beginning of my campaign to take the city – but could you blame me? You came out of nowhere, wearing a mask, without any street creds. It was hard to take you serious back then, who knew?
"If you had been me, you would have done the same. You've cost me time, men and money. I've never had a worthier opponent. But that is all in the past, I'm here, you're here – now – and I'm asking you to form an alliance with me. We can own this entire city in a matter of months."
An alliance? What is going on here? Britt thought -- he's stalling for time! In that instant six men, of similar muscular build to the twin guards they overcame, burst through side doors and formed a semi-circle. All of them armed with guns.
"Work with me or for me or die. I need an answer Hornet --- now."
"Look behind you Brogan," the Hornet coolly replied. "That's my answer. I already own you and the city."
The reaction of shock painted on the face of one of his summoned guards made Brogan turn around and look at the enormous TV screen, almost unconsciously he reached for the remote and reactivated the sound.
"-that's right," the female anchor reported, "This is breaking news: We just got this aerial footage, we haven't confirmed the source. We don't know if it's from a police helicopter – there's no audio - but it clearly shows a meeting occurring between the Green Hornet and Thomas Brogan, a controversial figure in the business world with reputed ties to organized crime. Aside from his stint in federal lockup on a weapons violation, no serious charge has ever been proved. Although this scene will certainly have the police calling him in for questioning and it's a sure bet he can kiss that early release from prison good-bye."
Brogan turned and screamed, "Kill them!"
Suddenly, the lights went off, thanks to a short EMP burst supplied by the Black Beauty and aimed at the buildings electrical systems. Two shots rang out and one of the guards screamed, "Don't shoot you idiot -- you might hit one of us!"
The Green Hornet and Kato went to work. Britt swung the end of his Hornet Sting into the side of his nearest attacker, the force of the blow taking the wind out of his opponent's lungs. As the man bent over, the Hornet smashed his nose with his knee, sending him sprawling backwards. Kato taking advantage of the lenses that allowed them both to see in the near darkness, flung two darts that found their targets in the soft flesh of the back of the hands, as they roared with pain, the master of Kung Fu leaped into the air and swung two kicks that struck below their ears and two more fell onto Brogan's floor. The remaining men, panicked and disorganized, became easy fodder for the Green Hornet and Kato's systemized attack.
The Hornet had just dispatched the last of his opponents with a well executed judo toss when Kato caught a fleeting glimpse of Brogan dashing towards what was obviously a hidden Fire Exit. Black Beauty's chauffer chased after him. This was a risky venture, both he and the Green Hornet extensively trained to always keep each other within eyesight but he also acknowledged that stopping Brogan's escape and capturing the wily criminal would also end the entire ordeal.
Years of intensive training allowed for the exceptional martial artist to catch, with the corner of his left eye, a sudden movement from the shadows of Brogan's adjacent office and reflexes honed to razor sharpness blocked a kick that would have easily cracked his jaw. Kato, however, found himself suddenly under attack by an equally black garbed individual with a full hood hiding his features, and in the unaccustomed position of being on the defensive. A flurry of blows by the ambusher attempted to break through and strike a crippling blow unto his opponent's torso but the Hornet's partner responded by deftly deflecting them all. Still, the force of the attack had made Kato retreat slightly and accidentally trip over some broken furniture, loose his balance and fall backwards. The mysterious martial artist, surprisingly, did not press his advantage. He simply spun and ran in the same direction Brogan had.
There were mixed feelings as Frank, Britt and Kato reflected on the prior incidents while sipping tea at Britt's apartment. "Got to admit using the Flying Eye to transmit that image of you meeting Brogan to Casey back at the studio took him by surprise. Not pointing the Stinger at him made it look like you both are in collusion," Frank recounted, "The Green Hornet gang has been dismantled…the leaders of the Five Families are busy shelling money on their expensive legal defense and you've become a greater legend to the underworld, even the 'untouchable' Brogan has been discredited and is on the run."
"That would seem to be the appearance he's giving," Kato stated. "We did empty 'the cup'." Britt's confidante wasn't buying Brogan's reaction. He also was bothered by the ambush of the skilled and mysterious martial artist and trying not to let it show.
Britt agreed, "You saw him Kato; he wasn't expecting us but he wasn't bothered by our sudden arrival either. No, Brogan's been manipulating this game from the beginning. He played to both my strengths and weaknesses on purpose and we know he had time to study my methods while in prison. But what was his true motive? A grab for power is a given but he always has another side agenda and I can't just simply believe it was to offer me an alliance." Britt's eyes landed on the forgotten photo of Dinah and Brogan and he snapped his fingers. "Of course!"
"What is it?" asked Frank.
"Brogan's always has a trap door prepared ahead of time, Britt said grimly, "The only way to catch him is to anticipate where he will head towards and meet him there. And I think I finally know what his escape plan is now."
TO BE CONTINUED…
Final Author's notes:
B and E is, of course, breaking and entering and I thought Britt buying 'office space' was the only way I could explain him getting into modern high rises without doing any 'bat' spelunking like Adam West and Burt Ward did. Hey, Britt's got money, so it doesn't seem too far fetched.
Now, one Kato scene that I will NEVER forget from the TV show was when he got ambushed by Mako in the "Preying Mantis" episode. He was even unceremoniously placed inside a trash can. My jaw just hit the floor! Somebody got the best of him?! So in honor of that scene I set up that little surprise during the chase to catch Brogan.
And speaking of Kato… we fans of this series are familiar with the history that comes with the name (the ever changing nationality) and how now, thanks to Bruce Lee's ancestry and ties to the character the Kato name, it doesn't 'seem' to fit a person with a Chinese background and writers have been dancing around it.
Ian Nathaniel Cohen, the author of the excellent fan fiction Sting of the Green Hornet, added Jun Fan to it, giving an excellent reason why. Since my early notes already added various background elements of Bruce Lee's life to my fictional version of Kato, after I read Sting, I thought it inappropriate for me to also add Jun Fan.
My inspiration for the name Kato came from an Asian comic (whose name I can't recall) and his routine where he mentioned how it bothered him that people would see him – do the "Wachaaa!" and wave their arms at him – as if he knew Kung Fu.
What a typical stereotype! Chinese culture is so rich and their history so full of 'firsts' and their medical discoveries and inventions were occurring long before Europe began colonizing. So, for me, Kato being named after a Roman Senator (I think) adds a layer of sophistication not only to Kato but to Kato's father for choosing it as well. I hope that came across in the Britt and Dan Reid conversation.
I also chose an actual horse being a gift from Britt's mother to Dan Reid to give the Black Beauty (that already formidable) car a sentimental value.
Since all this fan fiction writing is for fun I've added as many names of the followers of the story into the text of this chapter as possible. It is my way of thanking you all for your patience and replies. I hope the placements didn't offend anybody.