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

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The Atomic Punk

Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 6
Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

Ténèbre cursed himself. He had been caught off-guard. This “Audere” was not some hitman sent by his enemies. Ténèbre reasoned that the costumed newcomer wanted in the “hero” business. Audere was fit, agile, and resourceful. Ténèbre smiled under his mask.

“Dis-moi, Audere,” Ténèbre said, rising to his feet. “How eager are you to bring justice to Libreville?”

Audere remained in his coiled position, ready to strike if Ténèbre was merely offering a ruse. The native vigilante dusted himself with an eerie calm. Audere wondered if Ténèbre was crazy. This made Audere apprehensive.

“Mon ami, I believe there is room for all who seek justice,” Audere replied finding himself to also relax his stance.

“Bien, I believe that together, we have an opportunity to drive a dagger into the criminal heart. Meet me on the roof of Club Nicco in three days.”

Before Audere could ask, Ténèbre pulled a cable that hung against the alley wall. The cable reeled and pulled him over the building’s ledge.

Three days… thought Audere. When he returned to the hotel, he called Marie to apprise her of recent developments. Marie agreed to an extended leave. For the next two days and nights, François cased Club Nicco. He studied the surrounding area. He looked for lamp posts that he could use for leverage, park benches from which to launch, walls for cover.

Inside Club Nicco, François found a den of decadence. Bouncers letting in clearly underage girls. Waiters slipping drugs to customers. Above the main floor was a rather busy office with all manner of client entering and exiting. François observed several regular actors. He separated who was a bodyguard and who was a player. He came to the conclusion that Ténèbre wanted to meet at the club to ambush the crooks. Something Audere had done himself. A parking lot is an obstacle course that can be used for surprise and defense.

On the third night, Ténèbre waited in the park across from Club Nicco. He looked to the roof for Audere. It seemed that the new hero had cold feet. He stepped from behind a tree and was startled to see Audere standing there.

Audere smiled, “I thought we were to meet on the roof.”

Ténèbre pulled himself back, “Oui, I was just going.” He was startled yet relieved. No one had ever gotten the jump on him. If Audere was working for Don Fournier or the Maldoni Family, he would have killed him.

Ténèbre continued, “I assume that you have done surveillance the past few days.”

“Of course,” Audere replied. His energy was high. He wanted to impress on Ténèbre that he was a force. Also, Audere wanted to have a few “words” with the scumbags selling drugs to kids.

“Very well, mon frère,” replied Ténèbre, “the boss leaves at..”

“He leaves Club Nicco every morning at two o’clock. He sends two bodyguards to fetch his car. They pull up to the front door and he gets in the backseat with a third bodyguard. The car doesn’t take the same route twice, but its destination is a mansion on the other side of Libreville by 2:30 am. The car enters the four-car garage but no one ever leaves it until the garage door closes.”

“You are very observant,” said Ténèbre with a somewhat condescending tone. “My plan is to take out all four. What do you propose?”

“We take out the parking lot lights, knock out the first two guards, and put on their coats. It should be dark enough to obscure our identities. When we see the boss and the other bodyguard step out the front door, we bail and wail.”

Ténèbre was in disbelief. Audere sounded like he wrote for a bad television show. However, it was crazy and unpredictable enough to work. Jean-Michel would not expect Ténèbre to be so brazen or working with a partner. Beside, if the plan failed, Audere would make a good bullet-catcher.

He had originally planned to use the grenade to blow up Jean-Michel’s office, but Ténèbre decided to use it to detonate the power transformer. The explosion would give the impression that there was an electrical outage.

Precisely at two o’clock, the first two bodyguards emerged from Club Nicco. With Audere in position to take advantage, Ténèbre set off the charge. The lights went out in the parking lot and most of the block. The guards jumped and reached for their guns. Before they could, Audere was already upon them.

He leapt over the hood of a nearby car, using it was leverage to swing kick one of the guards in the face. The force knocked the big man into another car on which he hit his head, knocking him unconscious. The second turned to Audere with his gun but was quickly disarmed by a swing of Audere’s retractable staff. A second swing broke the bodyguard’s jaw. The blow also knocked him out cold.

“Parfait!” Ténèbre congratulated his partner. He picked up one of the guns and aimed it at one of Jean-Michel’s henchmen. Ténèbre’s own bloodlust nearly de-railed the mission. A gunshot would have alerted Jean-Michel to danger. However, he was determined to kill his cousin.

Audere watched and waited nervously. How far was he going to let Ténèbre go? He could not just stand their while the Libreville vigilante murdered someone in cold blood.

“Eh, bien, let’s grab their jackets,” Ténèbre said to Audere’s relief.

They put on the suit coats then drove the car toward Club Nicco’s entrance. As Audere had predicted, the bodyguard opened the door and was the first to step outside. Then Jean-Michel stepped outside. When he did, Ténèbre opened the passenger door and rolled out of the car. Audere followed quickly.

With fierce precision, Ténèbre threw a dagger right at Jean-Michel’s heart. He knew full well that Jean-Michel wore body armor. However, he needed only to stun his enemy. Bertrand wanted to look Jean-Michel in the eye when he killed him.

Audere was able to subdue the bodyguard with relative ease. The brute was focused on Ténèbre. He did not expect a third party to be working in concert. Audere did not have time to enjoy his hat trick. Ténèbre already had Jean-Michel pinned to the ground. He held his trademark blade to his cousin’s face.

“Please, no! Somebody help! I’ll give you whatever you want!” the mobster pleaded past sniffles and tears. He was so terrified that he soiled his tailor-made suit pants.

“Disgusting, but not unexpected from a coward like you. Tu vas mourir, Jenny!” Ténèbre shouted as he lifted the blade over his head.

“Ténèbre, we don’t have time for this,” Audere said with an air of disgust as he grabbed the murderer’s arm.

“You dare!” Ténèbre exclaimed.

“Yes, I do,” Audere stated, his eyes glaring in disapproval.

The tense moment was broken by the sound of police sirens. Ténèbre also saw a couple of Don Fournier’s sedans pulling up to the scene. Jean-Michel must have called for back-up after the lights went out. Instead of stabbing his cousin, Bertrand landed a hard punch which broke Jean-Michel’s nose and right eye socket. Ténèbre rose to his feet then turned to Audere.

“You must not be from Libreville. This is an unforgiving city. If you don’t have what it takes, we should reconsider our partnership. Meet me au Quartier-Sauterelle in two days.”

With that, Ténèbre jumped into the car which had rolled to a stop against a lamp post. He drove into the night. Audere made his own egress. He ran through every side alley and leapt from rooftop to rooftop to avoid the police.

Doubts entered his mind about Ténèbre’s true nature. It was almost as if Ténèbre himself was the true assassin. And why did he refer to the club owner as “Jenny?” Ténèbre’s war seemed personal. Audere decided another call to Marie was necessary.