The Green Hornet #1
"The Case of the X Marks the Spot"
by Jayson Morisseau-Lussier
Created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker
Content based off "The Green Hornet" radio show (1936 - 1952)
He hunts the biggest of all game ... public enemies that even the G-Men cannot reach. With his faithful valet Kato, Britt Reid, daring young publisher, matches wits with the Underworld, risking his life so that criminal and racketeers within the law may feel its weight by the sting of the Green Hornet! Ride with Britt Reid as he races toward another thrilling adventure! The Green Hornet strikes again!
"Saints' alive." Michael Axford was grumbling as he slammed The Daily Sentinel down on the desk. "Why can't we ever get serious about getting that guy?"
Leonore Case came in as she was putting away her things and saw Axford waiting to speak to the young publisher. "What's wrong, Michael?"
"The Green Harnet. Why can't we get him? I mean the police get'em?" Axford's thick Irish accent blew out like a trumpet.
"I am not sure, Michael, but I think the police are doing all they can especially against The Green Hornet." Case lifted an eyebrow as she tried to keep her composure, because Axford's exuberance could get to her at times.
"Well I will be telling them to get that devil!" Axford stomped out of Case's office as she saw Britt Reid send her a text message telling her he was running late. Leonore Case pushed back a lock of auburn hair as she replied that Axford had already asked when he was showing up. His response was a mere. 'LOL, Tell Axford I'll be there soon.'
Casey as she was known to her friends replied she would be waiting on him. Ed Lowery was loitering around the water cooler as he seemed to be waiting for the big scoop all of the time. Mike Axford and Lowery were rivals for the precious by-lines that Reid awarded his reporters with a bonus. Reid felt that you earned a by-line if you were good enough for it. Competition kept things in order at the Daily Sentinel. It was an incentive to make the reporters of his staff to go and get the story and make sure it was accurate. Britt Reid showed up finally as he had a newspaper underneath one arm and a smile on his face with his coat in the other arm. "Any calls for me, Ms. Case?"
"Just Police Comissioner Higgins, sir. And well you know Axford is looking for you as well." She smiled at her boss. She admired him because of his enthusiasm as well as his dashing good looks.
"O.K., fine, Ms. Case." He nodded and smiled as he went to his office and put his coat on the coat hook that was on his office door. "Tell Axford I'm ready to see him when he gets back, Ms. Case." He called to her and he sat down as he looked at his emails. There was a rap on his door as he looked up and saw Ed Lowery lurking at his door.
"What's up, Lowery?" Reid stood up and extended his arm to motion for him to sit.
"Just wondering about the story I did on the mob boss profiles?" Lowery was fishing for news he knew Reid well enough to know that Reid would probably green light a project if he had put the research behind it.
"There's a lot of holes to fill in, Lowery."
"Yeah, I know, Boss, but I think I can really get the scoop on Petruzzi."
Reid put a hand to his chin as he considered Lowery's request and nodded his head. "Fine, Lowery, but don't get yourself in over your head."
"You know me, Boss."
"Yeah I do." Reid nodded his head with a smirk. "Be careful."
"I will and thanks, Boss! So long."
"Bye Lowery." Reid was reading his email again when Mike Axford came stomping in and slammed a copy of the Clarion, a rival newspaper, on Reid's desk.
"Suffering Snakes, Reid, they got the gumption of a..."
"Axford, you really need to learn to knock."
"Never mind that Reid! Did you see the headline?" Axford grumbled outwardly.
Reid picked up the Clarion and started to read the headlines. "Vicious racketeer brought to justice by Green Hornet. With full exclusives..." Reid shook his head. "What am I supposed to be worried about, Axford?"
"The Green Harnet is talking to the Clarion, Reid!" Axford continued. "He's been responsible for a lot of crimes in this city and you're sitting back there like he's done nothing wrong!"
"No, I am not." Reid was about to continue when he got a call on his office phone. "Excuse me for a moment." Axford nodded as Reid picked up the phone. "Yes, this is Britt Reid." It was the voice of James Higgins the Police Commissioner.
"Hello, Britt, I wanted to tip you off about a murder down by the piers." Higgins started. "It was a murder."
"Murder? Murder of who?" Reid raised an eyebrow.
"We think it was the work of the Green Hornet, Britt."
"I see, well, I'll go down there myself I'd like to take a look around." Reid looked up and saw Axford about to blow his top. "I'll bring Axford with me also."
"Fine, Fine, Britt. Do what you need to do." Higgins hung up his end.
"Hmm, he's seems irritated today." Reid put the receiver down and watched Axford's face go back from Red to pink. His complexion was an easy barometer of what he was thinking.
"Well to my way of thinking, Higgins knows the Daily Sentinel will handle the story well enough."
"You might be right, Axford." He got up and took his coat and saw Leonore Case have a look of concern. "I am going to head to the pier, Ms. Case. If Kato comes in please let him know?"
"Sure, Mr. Reid."
"We're off to see what that devil, Green Harnet, has done, Casey!" Axford announced it loud enough that the newspaper staff all heard him. "See ya later, Casey. So long!"
She stopped herself from saying anything as she merely nodded. "Will you need me to do anything while you're gone Mr. Reid?"
"No, Ms. Case, if Higgins calls again give him my cell phone number."
"Of course, Mr. Reid." She smiled as Reid walked out and closed the door to her office. Mike Axford had already left the office and was waiting for Reid in his convertible.
The crowd gathered around the scene of murder. The police cleared and quartered off the murder scene. The cops had their hands full, but a series of murders had unleashed a panic in the city that a serial killer was on the loose. Forensics had proved that the murders had been committed by one person. Lindsey Butler stood over the body of the dead woman's body. Her throat had been cut and she was lying in the street with pools of blood near the body. She was one of the few on the force that didn't seem overwhelmed by the prospects of a murderer hunting prostitutes. "Lindsey over here!"
One of the young beat cops called over to her. She walked over and saw the forensics geeks hovered over their evidence as scant as it was she was determined not to get caught up in any of it. "What is it?" She looked at the young man. He looked like a fish out of water and the first murder scene he had scene.
"This person is very sick." It was a voice of a man behind her. She looked up.
"I'll give you props for the understatement of the week, Mister?" Butler was known as a cop with good sense, but she didn't like guys with attitudes and agendas.
"This person also targets women because his hatred of them." He looked at her.
"I do, in fact it's my job to get inside of the criminal mind."
"Aha, you're a forensics psychologist?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Street shrink, as I've heard you call me." He looked her in the eyes. "Our killer has one thing in mind, Lieutenant Butler and his..."
She coughed to interrupt him. "What makes you think it's a guy?"
"Look at the patterns here?" He pointed to the body. "She's cut open from the throat to the abdomen and..."
"That doesn't prove anything."
"Men cut out the hearts of the women."
Butler nodded as the psychology made a bit of sense. "So what now?"
"Well, it's my recommendation that our killer knows he's being hunted and enjoys the hunt."
"I would say that's probably right. The case has been in the news for a few weeks." Butler looked over as she saw Britt Reid talking to cops and she grumbled under her breath. "We need to wrap it up here."
"My name is Steven O'Connell." He offered his hand to her. Reluctantly she shook it and shook it.
"Good to meet you Dr. O'Connell." She saw Reid and Axford making their way over to them and she stiffened herself because she knew Reid and his reporters were no nonsense.
"We can go back to my office, and I can show you a time line."
"I have to deal with these reporters, first." She smiled as Reid walked up. "I didn't know Publishers got out on the beat with their reporters."
"We try to mix things up and make it interesting, Lidsey." He grinned. Axford had wandered over to O'Connell as he get the scoop from the psychologist.
"Britt, I wish you wouldn't put our investigation in the news..." She had soft spot in her heart for Britt Reid because he was debonair and was genuinely interested in getting the news right.
"I couldn't sell many papers if I didn't print what was happening, besides, Lindsey Butler is becoming a household name in this town."
"Exactly why I want to stay out of the papers." She looked at him. "We still think The Green Hornet is behind all these killings."
"Because of the seals left at the murders?"
"Not only that, there are tire tracks that forensics can't identify and the meticulous detail that this killer puts into his jobs."
"Well we already knew much of that, Lindsey."
"True, but my doctor friend over there was mentioning a pattern."
"Now that's interesting, you think this killer wants to get caught?"
She shook her head. "I think he wants to stay in the news because it makes him a celebrity."
"So we're sure it's a guy?"
"Yeah that's what O'Connell says."
"Hmm." Reid put his hand to his chin. "I guess you've got things covered here."
"How come you never called me back?" Butler finally decided to let her feelings out in the open.
"I ahh. I didn't know you were interested." Reid looked at her intently.
"Call me." Butler walked away from Reid as she overheard Axford talking to O'Connell.
"Well, to my way of thinking, he's out to make a point with ya Lindsey."
"The force isn't that much different, Mike." Butler pushed back a lock of black hair as she saw Reid watching her and O'Connell was grateful for the break from Axford.
"Yeah, well, you cops don't know what'yer missing, Lindsey." Axford shrugged as he saw Reid motioning for him. "Well, I'll be seeing ya Lindsey, So long!" Butler shook her head as she smiled.
"Was he really on the force?" O'Connell looked at Reid and then her. "You have a history with Reid?"
"No, but sometimes I wish I did." She chuckled.
"Oh. Well, that's good?"
"Never mind." She rolled her eyes as she knelt down at the body and stood back up as she tried to think out loud. "Maybe we can use the media to our advantage."
O'Connell raised an eyebrow. "That's dangerous to do, Lieutenant."
"Maybe we need to take some changes to bring the killer or killers out, Doctor."
"Well, it's a dangerous game, Lieutenant." He took some pictures of the crime scene and walked away himself as he looked back and saw Lieutenant Lindsey Butler deep in thought.
Reid came back to his apartment where he saw his partner Kato working with some training dummies. "Welcome back, Mr. Reid."
"Thanks Kato." He picked up a newspaper. "Any word from Oliver Perry?"
"None, but shall we get started?" Kato looked at Reid as he suited up to spar with Kato, his Japanese valet and the only living man to know his secret identity as The Green Hornet.
"I don't think, Perry can..." Before Britt could finish his sentence there was a foot coming to his face that he was barely able to avoid. Reid back off and was prepared to take another attack when he heard the voice of Oliver Perry from behind.
"Don't think I can do what?" Perry looked at Reid as Reid backed off from Kato and he walked over to him.
"I don't think you can ever crash a party without people knowing you're there." Reid offered his hand to shake which Perry did shake it.
"If I didn't know you better, Britt, I would say you're trying to say something?" Perry lifted an eyebrow as he merely waited for Britt to explain himself.
"I am a newspaperman, Oliver, I am always saying something."
Perry chuckled. "You have a point." He pointed to Kato and then to him. "I didn't know you were into training?"
"I like to be fit and ready." Reid shook his head as he extended his hand for Perry to sit down on the couch that faced the workout room.
"Well, I suppose I can agree with that." Perry nodded. "What are you going to do about the Anthony Jordan investigation?"
"You mean the conspiracy charges?" Reid looked at Perry directly into the eyes.
"Yes, I mean that."
"Well I know Tony pretty well, Oliver and I don't think he would do anything like that."
"Well other people around him he's as crook as they come."
"I couldn't say anything about him like that, Oliver." Reid dabbed the back of his neck with a towel. "What do you have on him?"
"Nothing, Britt, if I did I am sure you'd be the first to know."
"Master Britt, there's a call for you." Kato interrupted the two men's banter.
"Thank you, Kato. If you'll excuse me for a few minutes, Oliver."
"Certainly." Perry stepped outside of the training room as he waited. He knew that Reid was well connected and certainly knew who was into what around town. He was also sure that if he kept pressing the right buttons he could discover that Reid was actually the Green Hornet as he suspected. Reid talked in a hushed tone so Oliver Perry couldn't hear any details, but he could lip read and from what he was hearing it appeared he was talking to his reporter Ed Lowery.
Reid appeared in the door way. "I'm afraid I'll have to cut short our lunch, Oliver, something hot has come up at the Sentinel."
"Oh that's alright, Britt, business is business. Perhaps another time?"
"I am sure that'd be possible."
"Fair enough. I hope that you have a good then, Britt." Perry put back on his hat as he passed by Kato he nodded. "Kato."
"Have a good day, Mr. Perry." When the door closed as Perry left it was apparent that Britt had gone into detective mode as he had sat down in his chair that faced the city.
"Lowery discovered a note left by the killer at the last murder."
"Did he notify the police?" Kato came to him.
"No, but I told him to head down to Police Headquarters and let them know what he found out."
"Case starting to get interesting, Master Britt."
"Yes, but the thing is that I am puzzled by is that the police don't seem to have the usual suspects in on this case this time, Kato."
"Maybe Green Hornet help them?"
"Maybe, but we need to gather more evidence." Britt looked at his watch. "I need to head back to the office, but if you wouldn't mind making a couple calls for me. We're going to need to call a couple favours tonight."
"Douglas Shonnen, he's a proprietor in the Rive District but has a lot of influence in the New Market Union Square deal that's been stalled in city council."
"I know he has a party tonight."
"Right. See if you can get a couple tickets." Britt paused. "Make it four, Kato... bring your girl and I'll make a call to see if I can get that detective girl to join us."
"Sure thing, Master Britt." Kato nodded as Reid put on his hat and headed out and back to the Daily Sentinel. Reid knew that if more murders did occur that people would start to get more scared than they already were. Reid passed by the newspaper stand where he saw The Clarion running more sensational news that the Green Hornet was mixed up in some sort of racket that would blow the lid off the municipal government scandal that seemed to be brewing. Britt wondered in the back of his mind as he nodded to the doorman if the two events were somehow connected. He had no evidence of that right now, but he was sure the mystery may intertwine the two at some point. When Reid reached the newsroom he saw Maxwell Gunnigan giving commanding orders to the city room staff. Mike Axford was arguing with Gunningan about something as usual. Everything seemed like it was normal. Ed Lowery came in and saw Reid about to go into his office as he strolled over to him.
"Hey, Boss, did you get my last story?"
"Yeah, Gunnigan phoned me about just a little while ago."
"Yeah it's pretty hot stuff, Britt." He turned around as he saw Lenore Case as he stifled a whistle. "Speaking of hot stuff."
"Ed..." Casey looked at Lowery with a waneful look of warning.
"Sorry, Casey." Lowery saw Reid motion for Casey and Lowery to join him into his office.
"We're probably going to need someone to look into the city hall scandals." Reid looked at Lowery.
"Already on it, Boss." Lowery started to interrupt him.
"I know, you're on it, Lowery, but I want you and Casey to do some digging. There's more to this story than meets the eye."
Lowery nodded as he looked at Casey who's eyes had widened at Reid's insistence she join Lowery on an investigation. "Mr. Reid, I..."
"I know you two can make it work, Miss Case, besides if you can't I am sure it means Lowery can't focus on his work."
"Huh, oh right, Boss." Lowery got his attention back to Reid when he learned of his Publisher's plans.
"What are we looking for specifically, Mr. Reid?" Casey finally was able to compose herself.
"Anything that's out of the ordinary. Anything that doesn't fit." Reid took out a DVD that kept his documents and private investigations that never published. "There is a dossier of all the city officials here, I want you to comb through all the evidence you can and see where this story leads."
"What if we get back to the beginning again?"
"Then we start over again." Reid raised an eyebrow.
"Okay, let's go Casey."
"Yeah sure, right Lowery. I'll be right with you." She waited until Lowery was out of earshot when she looked at Britt Reid. "I don't really want to be on this assignment, Mr. Reid."
"I know, Miss Case, but I need someone that will keep an eye on Lowery for me and I need you to do that for me."
"But why, Mr. Reid? Don't you trust him?"
"I do trust him, Miss Case, but I want to make sure that all the details come in are sound and Lowery has a way to sensationalize details, and I don't want to be compared to The Clarion."
Lenore Case sighed. "Fine, Mr. Reid, I just don't like the way he ogles me."
"I'll talk to him about that Miss Case." Reid responded.
"Thank you, Mr. Reid." She looked down. "Besides I like someone else."
"Yes I know."
"Okay, I'll get to work then." Casey turned around and looked at Reid for a moment and he returned her glance but she left his office soon after.
Charlie Bannen was one of the few people that knew the underworld bosses almost by tone of voice, but the one he was dealing with lately didn't have a name except one. Bannen picked up the phone when it was ringing. "This is Charlie."
"Mr. Bannen, this is Mr. X."
"Yeah, Boss, I was expecting your call a bit earlier."
"I know, so listen; The job I wanted you to pull is going to be put on ice."
"Yeah? What's going down then?"
"The Police haven't been able to detect our jobs until the appearance of this [i]Green Hornet[/i] character."
"Yeah he sorta came out of no where. What do you want done?"
"I want this Hornet person killed. Let me explain how we're going to set the trap for him..." Bannen listened as Mr. X described what was going to go down to try and trap the mysterious Green Hornet.
Britt Reid had returned home that evening and saw his assistant and friend Ikano Kato who had just finished his self defence classes. "Are you done?"
"Yes, Mista Britt." Kato nodded. "What's going on?"
"Just got into an interesting conversation with Lieutenant Butler."
"The one that is flirting with you?" Kato kidded him.
"Yeah that's the one." Reid chuckled. "She's convinced we're dealing with a serial killer."
"I saw that in the Sentinel."
"What wasn't printed in the Sentinel, was that the killer has no sign of blood or finger prints. No signs of DNA what-so-ever."
"I heard they are calling the killer, Mr. X."
"Yes." Reid wondered. "The fact the police are putting those clues out there means they don't know what they are dealing with."
"You want to go out as The Green Hornet?"
"Right. The weapon and mask?"
"Ready." Kato nodded.
"Let's go then."
Stepping through a secret panel in the rear of the closet in his bedroom, Britt Reid and Kato went along a narrow passageway built within the walls of the apartment itself. This passage led to an adjoining building which fronted on a dark side street. Though supposedly abandoned, this building served as the hiding place for the sleek, super-powered "Black Beauty", streamlined car of The Green Hornet. Britt Reid pressed a button. The great car roared into life. A section of the wall in front raised automatically, then closed as the gleaming "Black Beauty" sped into the darkness.
The Black Beauty roared the streets at night as The Green Hornet was at the wheel of the car. He looked at Kato. "Rig for silent running."
Kato pressed a control on the dash and the Black Beauty went silent as it's super-powered engine could not be heard what so ever. The Hornet nodded. "We are now silent, Mista Britt."
"Good. I want to try and get to the docks without being detected. I have a hunch that I want to follow up on."
"What do you think you will find?"
"Kato, I think the police might be overlooking some clues that are going to allow us get some insight to know who this killer is."
"Maybe, but I still want to see the scene for myself." The Black Beauty finally reached the docks when she came to a full stop. Reid and Kato got out of the car and they headed to a major dock where the most recent murder had been investigated. Reid took out a mini flashlight as he looked around for a moment. "Kato come look over here!"
"What is it?" Kato walked over as he looked at The Green Hornet with curiosity.
"Gun shells." Reid looked at Kato. "Someone's been here recently."
"Indeed, Green Hornet." There was a mysterious voice from the shadows. "I wondered when we would finally meet."
"Who are are you?"
"Don't you know?"
"No, are you the killer?"
"No, but I know who it is."
"Why don't you come out where I can see you!" The Green Hornet called out to the darkness. Suddenly there was sound of an automatic gun clicking.
"Get back to the Black Beauty!" The Hornet called over to Kato. There were a couple bullets that whizzed past Reid's head. "Let's move!" Suddenly a bullet struck Reid in the shoulder as he let out grunt. "Uhhh..."
"Mista Britt!" Kato called as he pulled Reid into the Black Beauty. "Mista Britt are you OK?" There was no response from the Hornet as Kato saw blood coming from Reid's shoulder. "I get you back to! Hold on!"
TO BE CONTINUED!