Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Fall Guy

By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: The characters aren't mine and this short piece is. The idea started developing while watching certain episodes of the series, particularly The Zombie and The Vampire. When you think about it, Kolchak certainly gets off easy most of the time. It's curious as to why (aside from the fact that it has to be that way to move the plot along). It is being written for the theme Harsh revelation; Denial at 30 Losses on LiveJournal.

To the casual observer, Carl Kolchak was just another reporter among many—always at the scene of a crime or at a press conference, wanting answers and stories just like all the rest. Sometimes his conclusions about the identities of the murderers, however, were wild and outrageous, ranging from vampires to zombies to rakshasas and beyond. That definitely set him apart from any other reporter that did not work for a tabloid.

To someone who knew him better, he was a reporter who sometimes bent the law to further this desire. He had no qualms about mild impersonations and lying about his name to gain some level of information. Occasionally he had even taken small items, such as a key from a man's personal effects in the morgue. He claimed that engaging in such antics was often the only way to get to the solutions of the mysteries, since the police were not doing what they should be.

Sometimes he had been charged with more major crimes, such as arson or murder. At other times the charges ranged into the outright bizarre, such as digging up graves. Of course, he again insisted that he was only doing whatever was necessary to stop the supernatural menaces that the law was not stopping. He was not a murderer; the great majority of the time the only way to defeat the paranormal creatures was to kill them.

And yet no matter what it was, the police always let him go eventually. Sometimes on bail, sometimes without explanation.

To a careful observer, it was a puzzle. Why did such a nosy, annoying, intruding, and probably insane, reporter have such seeming immunity? His long-suffering editor's influence could only go so far.

The police were always meticulous in covering their tracks. Outwardly they scorned, ridiculed, and made fun of both Kolchak and his ideas concerning the supernatural. Secretly they followed Kolchak's advice more than once, such as when they reburied Francois Edmonds—the man whom Kolchak had insisted had been reanimated as a zombie—for the third time.

The last thing they wanted to get out was that in almost every case, something happened that corroborated Kolchak's wild stories. The truth was that, deep down, the majority of their number now believed him—although there were also still some stubborn fools who refused to accept the truth right in front of them.

He always seemed to identify any case that had supernatural origins and knew what to do to stop the culprits. Since the ratio of supernatural cases to regular crimes was low, and since the police did not want to start a nation-wide panic or be scorned and fired by investigating such angles themselves, some of those in higher-ranked positions had decided to let Kolchak do the work for them. Unbeknownst to him, he was both their scapegoat and one of their greatest assets.

And so time and again they let him go.