Rorschach belongs to Alan Moore.
My reason for writing this is simple; Rorschach must live on, and the youth of this alternate reality must not be scared.
It was that time of night again, the time when I put on my costume and patrolled the streets. I'm a defender; or what the government called a "masked vigilante". But what's the problem? What's the harm in putting on a mask and going out to help people?
Rorschach does it. He's not as nice.. But he does his job well, and I am following in his footsteps, no matter when the government says. After all, I'm a hero, not a tool.
[One year earlier]
"You need to go home. The party is over."
I could barely see straight. I couldn't speak without slurring my words badly. I remember drinking an entire bottle of vodka myself.
"I don' think I can geddurp.."
My friend pulled me up off the couch and started pulling me to the door of her apartment.
"Listen, Adonieux, any other day I'd let you stay, but my parents are coming home in a few hours and I'm supposed to be grounded, plus you're drunk and I've got no coffee. I'm sure you can make it home. Its only seven blocks."
I was outside the door as I sluggishly turned to protest, but she'd shut the door as soon as I was out. I was tripping over my feet as I tried to make it down the stairs, and I'm surprised I didn't die on the last flight. I stumbled through the glass double doors of my friend's building and onto the sidewalk with the shoulder strap of my purse held tightly in my sweaty palm. It was all I could do to stand up straight, and after walking a block and a half or so, I couldn't even do that.
I collapsed on the curb about six blocks away from my apartment, and decided to just sit until my vision was clear… which, in all actuality, was a bad idea at three O'clock in the morning on a New York City street. I was pulled into an alley by a man I didn't know, and helpless to do anything but try to push him away when he crushed me against the cold brick wall. He cut my shirt to shreds with an army knife, free hand covering my mouth.
The man started to unzip my jeans, but was pulled away by a figure in a tattered brown fedora, which was pulled mostly over his face, and a jacket in nearly the same condition, finished with purple pin-striped pants and a stained white scarf around his neck. He appeared homeless, as far as I could tell.
I heard my near-rapist's head crack against the opposite wall of the alleyway and cringed; the man in the fedora turned to face me. He walked over, pulled me up from the garbage covered cement, and gave me a small piece of his mind.
"No drinking. Go home."
I couldn't help but stare at his face; or rather, his lack of one. I could release but one word, utter one name.
The black splotches on his face moved impatiently, the face underneath the mask apparently shifting into a different expression. He took his hands off my shoulders and I nearly fell again, though managed to regain my little balance. Every time I look back on my first encounter with him, I feel so frustrated. I must have seemed so pathetic… Nothing but an inebriated teenager.
I was able to stay on my feet. Rorschach's monotone voice spiked with some impatience; surprising.
"Not repeating again; go home."
He turned and started walking away, but I couldn't let him go… I had to thank him.
He interrupted me.
"Walk now. Will be watching. You are safe."
"You are safe."
Those are the last words I heard from that masked mouth of his. Ever since, I've been cultivating my own alias… My known name. "Liberty" is what the media called me, and Liberty is who I am. This is very strange, of course, seeing as I idolize the person society calls a cold blooded murderer, a crazy person. They have warrants out for his arrest. Such unappreciative people… Rorschach has done more for this city than the rent-a-cops they call the NYPD ever could.
I snuck out my window onto the fire escape, clad in my Statue of Liberty green tank top and miniskirt, with my black boots on and a black mask over my eyes. It resembled a mask of Mardi Gras, minus the string. I'd taken Hollis Mason's advice from his book Under The Hood and stuck the mask to my face with glue putty so it would stay there. I kept criminals and civilians alike away from my mask at all costs.
I climbed the fire escape steps to the roof of my apartment building, where I could peer down into all of the alleyways surrounding it. This was the start of my nightly patrol. No one seemed to move in the darkness below me, but I could hear rustling..
I ran silently down the fire escape steps, somewhat graceful due to the gymnastics and martial arts classes I'd taken over the last year. I suspected that the noise of rustling garbage bags was nothing more than a homeless person making themselves comfortable, thought one could never be sure. I jumped down ten feet from the last level of fire escape, landing like a cat on the pavement of the alley. I stood… and nearly gasped. I saw him; Rorschach, my savior, the person who inspired my alias. He'd just pulled his mask over his head and now turned to face me, having heard the slight sound of my boot scraping the pavement. He could faintly see my shocked expression in the incredibly weak lighting of the alleyway lamp which was on the wall between us. I hated the dead light of the alley to be the first place I'd see Rorschach again.
The blotches on his face formed nervous symmetrical shapes as his facial expression changed, a moment of electric tension between the two of us; there hadn't been another decent hero in the city since the Keene Act had been placed in '77. He seemed surprised that, in the entire city, I'd found him here.
I started to come to my senses as he was walking away. I couldn't let him leave again, not without a proper "thank you for saving my life". So I ran after him.
"Work alone. Don't need help."
"No, that's not what I'm here for! I didn't even know you were there, Rorsch—"
I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him and he grabbed my wrist, throwing me over his head. I landed neatly on my feet about five feet in front of him, holding up a hesitant hand.
The blotches on his mask seemed to move… almost hesitantly.
"Yes, but only because of you."
My hero thought my reasoning was stupid? That honoring him and helping keep the city pure was stupid? It made me angry. I went to shove him, and he grabbed my hand, bending it to a painful angle, but not something I couldn't twist out of. I could risk a broken pinkie.
I pretended to struggle, to be in excruciating pain.
"Wh-who do you think you are? I wanted to thank you for saving my life… And my innocence."
I twisted sharply out of Rorschach's grasp, hearing my pinkie finger and wrist crack, but not break. I used my other hand to slap him across the face. Hard. The slap knocked his fedora off his head, and he just stood, the ink blotches shaped to where my hand had been.
I didn't hear him move, even after I'd disappeared into the darkness to finish my patrol in angry disappointment. My hero was nothing but a cruel, over glorified stranger. The fact that he didn't hit me back after I slapped him was vexing; he wasn't known for taking disrespect. Either he was shocked that I, a teenager at most as he must have seen, was able to hit him at all [as was I]. Or possibly, he felt bad for treating a fan the way he did. I figured it was more likely the first one, and the possibility that he wasn't used to being touched at all. After all, why would Rorschach care what I thought? The newspapers always reported him as a sociopath.
Rorschach the sociopath.
I should have guessed.
Rorschach's Journal, July 21st, 1983—
Met Liberty; listened to her excuse for heroics. Made her angry… Took an unexpected slap to the face. She left. Wonder why she got so angry? Remember to investigate Liberty's identity. Happy to have new heroes on the streets.