Re: Osez Marchez avec l’obscurité (Dare to Walk with Darkness)

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The Atomic Punk

Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 4
Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

At the moment Audere was “introducing” himself to Libreville, Bertrand Fournier unlocked a warehouse door in Le Quartier-Fleurs. Inside the bay was a grey sedan, a gun safe, a chair, an old television, and nothing more. He stuffed his duffle bag in the gun safe then got into the car. He drove out the warehouse and headed home. Taking a taxi to one of his drop-offs was standard procedure to cover his tracks.

Bertrand thought that Ténèbre should stay low for a few days. Besides, he wanted to catch up on the latest rumors. For the next two days, Bertrand spent most of his time shadowing Don Fournier and hanging out in the clubs.

He awoke the third morning to his cousin Jean-Michel pounding on his bedroom door. Bertrand could not stand the loudmouth punk. Jean-Michel was the reason that he had turned against his father. Don Fournier told Bertrand that he was not ready to take over the “family business,” so the Don chose his cousin. The son thought it his birthright.

“Bertie! Allons! The Don wants to talk to us. You overslept again, connard!”

Bertrand dressed himself casually. When he opened the bedroom door, he saw Jean-Michel standing there in his black suit and favorite matching bowtie. He snorted at Bertrand’s choice of t-shirt, jeans, and sandals. The two walked into the Don’s office.

Don Fournier was sitting at his desk but facing the television on the west wall. He kept clicking the remote between local newscasts. He turned to the cousins standing before his desk. He was visibly angry. The Don poured himself a snoot of scotch, a rather expensive “gift” from the mayor of Libreville. He was not much of a drinker, but he needed to calm his nerves.

“It looks like our ami ‘Ténèbre’ made quick work of those two salopes,” he said pointing to the television. The Channel 4 News was running a story on the double homicide and gruesome message that Ténèbre had left for the Don.

“N’importe pas, oncle,” said Jean-Michel. “He’s one man. He’ll slip one of these times. There are plenty more gang bangers that we can throw at him.”

Don Fournier glowered at his second-in-command, “You think that he’s slowing down? Here, read the headline.”

He tossed a newspaper at Jean-Michel. The lead story read: “Masked Vigilante Saves Woman in Le Quartier-Sauterelle.” Jean-Michel scanned the article. He seemed doubtful.

Jean-Michel wadded the page and threw it in the trash. “This was not Ténèbre. Broad daylight? The mugger is still alive? Besides, Le Quartier-Sauterelle, that’s the Maldoni family’s turf. Maybe some ‘concerned citizen’ has taken it on himself to eliminate Maldoni.”

This intrigued Bertrand. Was this a copycat? Maybe a new player? Or was the Don trying to lay a trap for Ténèbre?

“Mon père, s’il vous plaît, I would like to handle this nuisance personally,” Bertrand offered.

The Don sighed. He had always considered his only son to be a lazy, spoiled punk. However, it did give Bertrand something to do other than hang out in the clubs all night. Jean-Michel felt that Bertrand had disrespected him and questioned his ability to do the job. Bertrand studied his father’s face. It was expressionless. Blank and remorseless as only a who had done unspeakable and ungodly things. The Don could not hide his thoughts from his son.

“You hear about these masked vigilantes,” the Don said without breaking eye contact with Bertrand. “These costumed clowns who want to ‘clean up the city.’ These losers all meet the same fate. They are unorganized. They are no match for sheer numbers and muscle. They can’t stop bullets. Jean-Michel is right, it’s just a matter of time.”

The Don rose from his chair, casually swinging the glass of scotch in the air. He continued to lecture, “Garçons, if you want respect, you need people to control. People who will work for you out of fear. Le spectacle de la peur! No, Bertrand, your cousin and his crew will handle both of these pests.”

Bertrand thanked his father for the lesson. That night Ténèbre went directly to the crime scene to search for clues about this new “hero.”

Ténèbre (Bertrand Fournier)