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

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    Story and Characters By DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    François had to twist and dodge his way through Libreville’s bustling terminal to claim his bags. Waiting for his turn around the carousel, he spied a fit brunette in yoga pants bending at the hips to reach her backpack. As she turned around, she caught François’ devious grin. The woman glared and slapped the cad without hesitation. The strike was so loud that bystanders took notice.
    “Next time peek, don’t ogle,” François thought to himself as he rubbed the sting. “Pardonnez-moi, mademoiselle.”
    “Non, monsieur! Bonne journée,” replied the exercise instructor. She smiled to herself as she walked away, quietly thanking the handsome young man for the compliment.
    François turned his head for one last “peek” then grabbed his luggage. He chuckled. At least there was no jealous boyfriend involved like last time. He didn’t want to dislocate someone else’s shoulder upon landing in Libreville.
    He stepped up to the curbside taxi stand. As the cabbies attended to other businessmen and tourists, François observed the city beyond the airport.
    He grimaced, “What a dirty town. I’ve never seen a city with abandoned skyscrapers before. It’s 10 o’clock at night and half the streets are pitch black. I must thank Marie for sending me here when I return from ‘vacation’.”

    Francois looked out the window at the near pitch black city as building after building passed him and the driver by. The driver insisted on playing music that Francois had seldom heard outside one of the Bollywood films his mother loved. The music and the smell of vomit and cigarettes in the cab made a simple journey into an uncomfortable urge for fresh air. The driver himself was not of Indian descent yet he dressed as if he was.The driver finally broke his silence that he had held since their departure from the airport.
    “So, are you here for business or Pleasure?” The driver asked as he stopped at the red lights.
    “I’m on Vacation.” Francois said staring at the dark streets and broken street lamps.
    “Why the hell did you want to come to this hell hole?” The driver asked sounding shocked at the mere idea of someone voluntarily coming here. And who could blame him? This city was the epitome of a dump.
    “A friend of mine arranged it for me.” Francois answered as the driver burst out in laughter.
    “Some friend ya got there!I wouldn’t wish this city on my worst enemy!” He shouted as he continued laughing.
    Francois did not like being mocked and especially did not like it coming from a fat balding man that desperately needed a shave. Francois sighed as they pulled up to a crowded area that was surrounded by police tape. The police had gathered around one of the old lamp posts and were looking up at what seemed like…
    “Oh mon Dieu!”Francois said as he saw the two men hanging from chains.
    Their lifeless bodies hanging from their necks by chains were stabbed repeatedly and blood trailed down them. This was someone sending a message to someone else. It was a horrifying sight to behold,but nothing that Francois had not seen back home. Granted it was not this exact situation, but situations that were very similar. Francois wondered who could have done this? The Taxi backed up and turned around driving back down the street.
    “This city is going to hell.” the driver said as they approached the Hotel.
    “Who did that?” Francois asked remembering the hanging bodies.
    “In this city? Could either be one of the local crime families or…” He paused as he stopped the car.
    “…Tenebre” He continued while tallying up what Francois had owed him.
    “Whose that?” Francois asked the driver.
    “Some vigilante. Showed up a year ago and started picking off some members of the crime families. Don’t know what to make of him… $19.50…” He said looking at Francois.
    “Oh right..” Francois said reaching into his pocket to pull out his wallet.
    “On the one hand he’s a murderer on the other he’s only killing people associated with the mob.” The driver said as Francois handed him the twenty dollar bill.
    “Keep the change” Francois said as he got out of the cab.
    “Hey thanks Buddy!” the driver said as he opened the booth for Francois to retrieve his bags.

    Francois entered his hotel room while carrying his bags. He saw that despite the city itself, Marie had at least put him up in a nice room. The walls were painted a kind of cream colour and decorated as if it was part of a mall display. There was velvet curtains, a balcony, a rather pricey looking bathroom,and a double bed. The whole room reminded Francois of Scarface and was expecting Tony Montana to burst through the door ready to fill Francois full of holes. He began to unpack his bags and put away his clothes. He then picked up the most important of all the cases he brought with him.The Black case. He looked around the room to see if there was anything planted in the bedroom. In this city, it would not surprise Francois if people planted recorders or something to blackmail people at a later stage. This seemed like the type of city where politicians and other members of the high life came to do disgusting or illegal actions. Opening the bag he saw what anyone else would see should they open it. An empty bag. However, there was a small compartment under the bottom of the case that only Francois knew about. This was due to the fact that the case was used by some drug smugglers Francois ran into in his early days on the job. He opened it up and pressed the signal jammer he had installed for just such an occasion. In this case, was the True Francois Inderes. In this case held Audere.
    Francois smiled as he looked over the items he brought with him. He couldn’t think why he had decided to pack all this stuff ,but it felt right. Besides it was Auderes Vacation too. He smiled at the idea of Audere lounging at the pool but knew he could never do that, besides this city had a vigilante. Granted he was a violent one but they had one all the same. Francois looked out into the city and its condition. It was completely divided in terms of light. Some districts appeared bright and flourishing with life while others were in complete darkness. It was a perfectly disturbing picture of thought out there. A city where some were born into the light and others were thrown into the shadows. Francois chuckled as remnants of his fathers work must have rubbed off on him. Closing his case, he carried it over to the wardrobe and put it away. Francois then walked over to the bed and laid down on it. He had been looking forward to this since the plane had taken off. He kicked off his shoes and just laid there. Tomorrow he would look around the town, see if there was any routes he could take while free running. There it was again. Even in his down time he thought about work. That was his curse he supposed.


    The Atomic Punk

    Osez Marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 2
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    A few blocks from the hotel, a pedestrian climbed into a taxi. He ignored the foul smell of cigarettes and vomit. Nor did he particularly care for the foreign music.

    “Où voulez-vous aller, m’sieur?” the driver asked.

    “Au Quartier-Fleurs, tout de suite,” replied his new passenger.

    The bald cabbie looked into his rearview mirror nervously. The downtown Flower District was once an open-air market and tourist destination near the river. These days, it was where criminals and junkies met to do all sorts of “business.” The cabbie regretted his choice to collect a random fare outside of the airport. He had been rolled more than once venturing into the dark neighborhoods.

    “Very well,” the cabbie said while casing the rider. “So, what’s in the duffle bag? Heading to the gym?”

    “Just drive,” replied the passenger in a sharp tone.

    The driver clammed immediately. He gripped the wheel, kept his eyes forward, and silently prayed that he would leave Le Quartier-Fleurs alive. The passenger put his left leg up to stretch on the backseat. He smiled to himself.

    Shutting up the cab driver was not as easy as dispatching the two hitmen whom he had strung to a streetlight an hour ago. What was Don Fournier thinking? Sending a couple of junkies to assassinate Ténèbre. Most likely, the Don wanted to see where the thorn in his side would show. Any place, any time… that’s where.

    Though he had to admit, the Don seemed to have an endless supply of foot soldiers. Ténèbre had considered recruiting his own. Of course, this is Libreville. The only guarantee is a stab in the back at the first opportunity. He had to find a way to penetrate this wall of punks that shielded Don Fournier.

    The taxi pulled in front of the once grand marquee that welcomed visitors to Le Quartier-Fleurs. It sprawled over the street like a dead oak tree limb. The driver refused to go into the unlit marketplace. Already, he could see street people and gang members staring at his cab from smashed windows and behind alleyways. It was an apocalyptic scene complete with zombies.

    The passenger exited the cab. He tossed the duffle bag over his shoulder and smirked. No one was going to even dare. Indeed, some of the peepers disappeared into the shadows.

    The cab driver yelled out, “M’sieur, that will be 22,50.”

    Ténèbre tossed a wallet on the passenger seat: “Here, keep it.”

    The driver looked in the wallet to find a 100 dollar bill and a baggie with two crack rocks inside. He stared at his fare who was already walking into the district. The cabbie had a sinking feeling that the wallet did not belong to the passenger.



    Osez Marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 3
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    Francois sat in the park watching the world walk by him, sipping coffee and enjoying perhaps the only peaceful place in this entire city.The park had everything from a small pond to feed the ducks to young couples enjoying picnics. It was a showcase of tranquility that Francois enjoyed immensely. This feeling was short lived as thoughts of the Hanging men returned. The scene last night had stirred some uncomfortable memories from his first year as Audere. To Francois the violence that this, Tenebre, exhibited was a cry out for guidance. A misguided vigilante that needed to realise that murder and intimidation does not win over the people they are trying to save. Francois started to sound like his father. Francois watched the families as they passed him by, causing him to remember his family once again. He wondered what his mother and father were doing right now? He wanted some excitement tonight. He watched as a single mother walked by him swaying her hips, knowing he was looking she looked back and smiled at him. He would have to come back here tomorrow and get her number. Tonight though he would have some fun around town.He got up from the park bench and started walking back to his hotel.

    Up in his room, Francois picked up his black case and looked through the contents. Francois realised that he couldn’t leave his work at home and relax. Activating the jammer again, he began taking off his clothes. Nobody likes to be watched by a peeping tom.Then a thought came to him as he stripped down and began putting on Audere’s suit. What if the drive to put on this suit wasn’t Francois’ masochism, but rather his moral duty to point this Tenebre in the right direction? But was it really his place to guide someone when he himself was more impulsive than a five year old child. He pulled his long coat around his outfit and shoved his mask into his coat pocket then left the hotel as fast as he entered.

    The moral dilemma continued to thrash about his mind as he leapt from building to building. Does Audere attempt to make contact with Tenebre and take him under his wing? Or does he leave the man(or woman) and their city to themselves? Audere was pulled out of his deep thought by a scream down an alleyway.
    “Que quelqu’un m’aide! Somebody Help me!” she screamed in panic.
    Francois’ supposed that answered his question. He pulled on his mask and dropped down to the alley’s dark passage. He came face to face with a young woman being held at knife point by a thug.
    “Bonjour monsieur! Pouvez-vous me au poste de police le plus proche diriger?” Francois asked as he cracked his knuckles.
    The silence that followed him made the crack of each bone echo in the alleyway. He hoped this message was loud enough for Tenebre.


    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)



    Osez Marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 5
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    Francois leapt from one building to the next at great speed. His momentum carrying him through the air and gravity pulling him back to the stone roofs below him. The cold crisp night air brushing against his face made him feel at ease and alive. He recalled his childhood and when he had started free running. How afraid he was of taking that first leap from one small shipping crate from another. Now look at him. Flipping through the air and landing safely on the buildings across streets with such grace people often speculated that Audere could fly. Of course it was hard work and training that gave Audere this skill and not some super power.
    Audere was returning to the scene of the crime from the last night. He hoped that his actions had left some sort of impression on that of Tenebre and it would grant them a meeting tonight. He leapt over the last gap separating him from the building just above the crime scene. As he landed on the roof he rolled so to come to a halt in his tracks. Audere approached the edge of the building and looked down to see a man in the shadows looking around suspiciously. Standing on the fire escape, Audere decided to get the man’s attention.

    “Bonjour monsieur.” Audere called down to the man getting his attention.
    “I wonder if you..” Before Audere could finish the man threw a knife at Audere.
    Dodging the knife, Audere grabbed the railing of the fire escape and swung down to the next level. The man began to run out of the alleyway, but it wasnt out of fear he ran. It was as if he was trying to lead Audere somewhere.
    “Arrêter” Audere shouted as he leapt down to the ground almost botching his landing.
    A slight pain ran up his leg as he looked towards the running man who was now motioning him to follow in a mocking tone.Realising that this man may not speak French Audere decided to use english for the remainder of this cat and mouse game.
    “Stop” Audere shouted as he ran towards the man who dashed from the alleyway across the street.
    Audere ran with great speed after the assailant or whoever this man might be. The cold air of the night was no longer welcoming to Audere as it felt as if it was trying to knock each breath out of him with each breath he took.The man had knocked over some crates in an attempt to stall Audere, but to no avail. Audere had simply leapt and flipped over the crates while maintaining his momentum. The alleys grew darker and darker as the chase continued. This man knew the alleyways far better than Francois did and therefore had the advantage, but what he didn’t realise was that nothing got Francois more excited than a good chase. He was going to enjoy this night.
    Just as Audere had believed he had lost the man he spotted him in a distance waiting for Audere. Audere saw that by the man’s stance he was not running anymore. Audere didnt want to take anymore chances with this opponent and walked slowly towards him, lessening the distance between them with each step he took. It was then that man spoke.
    “Are you the man responsible for last nights “Heroic” feat?” The man asked saying heroic in a rather condescending manner.
    “Oui. Yes I am, if you are refering to the two thugs now in Hospital.” Audere said smiling walking slowly towards the man.
    “And are you working for anyone? The Maldoni Family perhaps? Or perhaps the Don?” The man questioned as a knife almost hit Audere’s foot.
    “Answer before you take another step.” He demanded as he watched Audere.
    “I know not of who you speak of. I am here to meet your local vigilante…” Audere confessed as he now noticed he had been brought into a trap.
    When he assumed he had the upper hand once he had backed this man into a corner he was wrong. This masked man had a good aim and was missing on purpose and with Audere almost out of breath he was not sure if he could dodge many more of this mans knives. He walked closer to the man. There was still hope that Audere could gain the upper hand here ,but he needed to take a few more steps forward. He needed to do what he did best. Talk.
    “What is your name?” He said as Audere took another step forward.
    “That is a rather redundant question. Do you not agree?” Audere said as he took a small step forward.
    “Excuse me?” The man asked confused at this response.
    “Well you are asking a masked man who he is..” He said as he took another step foward.
    “…When clearly he wears a mask so as not to reveal who he is.” Audere said as he got into position for his next move.
    “I would rather you not talk to me as if I was a child” The man said as he lifted another knife from his pocket.
    “Very well…” Audere launched a cable towards the masked man which he dodged as it hit a cardboard box.
    Looking back towards Audere he prepared to throw his knife that would surely hit Audere.
    “Audere..” Audere said smiling as he pressed the retract button pulling the cable back towards him and smashing the box against the mans back.
    A rather dangerous and unpredictable move Audere would agree, but he was backed into a corner and did not want to be taken out of the game this early.
    He approached the man who rose back to his feet.
    “And you are?” Audere asked gripping his bo staff.
    “Tenebre” The man responded to Audere.



    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.



    Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 7
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk
    Bertrand’s rage filled him as he paced around his room. He had not slept since the events only eight hours prior. He was so close to taking one of his fathers closest’s men and one of the major players in the family. But he didn’t. He hesitated. Why?
    “Why did I hesitate!” Bertrand asked the reflection in the mirror as it stared back almost mocking him.
    He didn’t break eye contact with the man staring back as he grew silent.
    “STOP MOCKING ME!” Bertrand shouted as his fist connected with the mirror.
    Glass fell into the sink as well did blood, but Bertrand just stared. His rage quickly lessoned as pain came over his hand. Pulling it away from the mirror he examined his hand. That was so stupid. Punching a mirror just because he was worried was something an idiot would do. Someone like that monkey Audere.
    “Yes…Yes its his fault..” Bertrand realised as he bandaged his hand.
    “No..I could still use him. But then. When he has exhausted his uses…” Bertrand said smiling to himself as he finished the bandaging.
    He would have to fight through the pain if he was hoping to continue using his knives. His thoughts were interrupted by a pounding at the door.
    “Qu’est-ce que tu veux!” Bertrand shouted in impulse.
    Slamming the bathroom door to avoid any questions about his broken mirror he approached the bedroom door.
    “Bertrand…” A quiet recognisable voice came from behind the door.
    Walking towards the door cautiously, he slowly opened it up to see Jean Michelle looking distressed.
    “Cousin?” Bertrand said as he looked at his cousin who was wearing bandaged over his damaged eye.
    The look of terror and shame on Jenny’s face was a picture worth remembering.It was as if Jean-Michelle had a long lost twin that shared none of his useful qualities.
    “I need to talk to someone Bertie.” Jean-Michelle whimpered as he stepped into Bertrand’s room.
    “So talk to Papa” Bertrand snapped not wanting to see the face that he was suppose to have killed earlier.
    Hiding his hand behind his back Bertrand leaned against the wall so to avoid suspicion.
    “I cant…Listen..its about…” Jean Michelle said as he looked at his feet.
    Bertrand reached into the back-pocket of his trouser’s and ran his finger along his pocket knife.
    “What are you here about cousin? Speak up.” Bertrand asked impatiently.
    “I almost died tonight. I saw…Tenebre.” He said as he pulled out a cigarette with a shaking hands.
    “He had another man with him…An acrobat of some kind. I don’t know who he is but he made Alex and Charles look like weaklings.” He took a deep drag of his smoke.
    This was even better than killing Jean. Bertrand realised that he had broken Jean-Michelle. Now a shell of his former self, he will fall from Don Fournier’s good books. This was much better than having to sit through Jean’s Funeral.
    He smiled at the Jean-Michelle as he smoked and explained what Tenebre had done to him.
    “How did you survive?” Bertrand asked as if he didn’t resent the answer.
    “His partner stopped him for some reason.” Jean Michelle said as he began to calm down.
    “It was just so fast….I don’t know how it happened.” Jean Michelle explained as he pulled out another cigarette.
    “He say anything to you?” Bertrand asked as he rubbed his blade.
    “I don’t know…”He stood up looking serious.
    “Are you sure?” Bertrand asked.
    “It will come back to me. Just not yet.” Jean Michelle said as he paced around the room.
    This would be the perfect time to slit Jeanny’s throat, but then he would have to explain why he did so. For now he would bide his time and wait.The look of terror and shame on Jenny’s bruised and swollen face was a picture worth remembering.

    Francois walked down the street having only slept a few hours. He was now sitting in the park with his coffee watching the world go by once again.The warm sun shined down on Francois and the beauty of his surroundings, causing a scene of tranquility to Francois. So few people ever stopped to smell the rose’s these days and that was a shame for so many reasons. Then he spotted someone under a tree just across the path from him. It was the woman from the first night he was Audere. He got up and walked over to her. She was much prettier than he had recalled but he was sure it was her.
    “Hello” he said as she raised her head from a book looking up nervous at her Francois.
    “He…Hello” She responded timidly holding her book to her chest and looking at him from behind her reading glasses.
    ” Are you okay?” He asked her wondering how she was able to leave the house after the night she had.
    “I am fine…Do I know you?” She said quietly.
    Francois didn’t feel right leaving this girl alone. He decided to kill two birds with one stone and ask her out.
    “Um..Maybe you can get to know me? Over dinner?” He asked as calmly as he could to settle her nerves.
    “Oh…wow…Really?” She asked looking into her feet.
    “Yeah..sure.” He said putting on a fake smile.
    “Um…Is tonight good for you?” She asked blushing.
    “Yes it is.” He smiled as she gave him her number.
    “Andrea Swan. Beautiful name” He smiled as he walked away.



    I could be wrong but something tells me that Andrea’s gonna be a big part of the plot.


    The Atomic Punk

    @Booziken said:

    I could be wrong but something tells me that Andrea’s gonna be a big part of the plot.

    Stay tuned. Wink





    The Atomic Punk

    Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 8
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    Jean-Michel tossed the second spent cigarette into Bertrand’s coffee cup then rose to his feet. For that alone, Bertrand wanted to slice his neck from ear to ear. Jean-Michel put his hand on Bertrand’s shoulder and smiled through the stitches on his lip.

    “Bertie, I need you to do me a favor,” Jean-Michel said as if he and his cousin were old friends. “You have always been the clean, quiet one of the family. You’ve never got your hands dirty. That makes you perfect. You have no enemies and you don’t have a history with les gendarmes.”

    Bertrand eyed his cousin suspiciously. Though Jean-Michel was right. Bertrand had never been arrested. He had several connections with the other crime families and corrupt officials. In fact, there had been a few times that he mediated peace and brokered deals. Unlike the Don and Jean-Michel, Bertrand was no thug. He did not wear tailor-made suits like Jean-Michel. However, Bertrand had a style and business-like demeanor that earned him trust.

    Jean-Michel continued, “Bertrand, I need to find Ténèbre. We’ve tried to flush him out before with goons and foot soldiers. Now, I need to find out who he really is. This has become personal. We need to hit him at home.”

    Bertrand put his good hand on Jean-Michel’s. His eyes glowed. The prospect of leading Jenny into a trap was too good to pass.

    “D’accord, mon frère,” Bertrand said with a smile. “We’ll get the bastard. I’ll start with our reporter friend, Ms. Swan.”

    Jean-Michel showed himself out the door. Bertrand waved but kept his bloody hand hidden behind his back. Bertrand returned to the bathroom to mend his hand. He lost himself and began laughing like an evil genius. Parfait!

    He regained his composure and dialed Andrea Swan’s cell number. Andrea said that she could not meet with Bertrand because of a prior engagement. Bertrand knew that Andrea liked to dine at Chez Rothschild. Poor sucker, Bertrand thought. He will wind up buying a hundred dollar bottle of wine and be lucky to get a second date.

    At the hotel across town, François was getting ready for a pleasant evening with a charming young lady. His upcoming rendezvous with Ténèbre in theQuartier-Sauterelle was the furthest thing from his mind.

    The Romeo’s phone buzzed with a text from Marie: Mob alert, Maldonis are hiring outside muscle. François realized that he had spent so much time chasing Ténèbre that he had forgot to get word on the street about the local players. Vacation… François chuckled. Marie had sent him on an assignment.

    Maybe he asked the reporter on a date because subconsciously he knew that he would be put to work. Then again, François always enjoyed the company of soft green eyes and long blonde tressels. What better way to investigate and at the same time make pleasant conversation.



    Called it. Cool



    Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 9
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    Francois approached the Chez Rothschild with his date walking beside him. He had to admit that it was ironic how the shy spectacled girl from hours earlier in the park Ms Swan, had transformed into the beauty that was now accompanying him. He was dressed in a black silk suit, a white shirt and a red tie which he rented from the hotel. Say what he wanted about the city itself, it clearly had a style about it. The suit costed him about 75 dollars to rent, which was a great price for a suit of this magnitude. Of course if anything happened to the suit it would cost him about 5 times that amount, so he had to make sure he didn’t run off spill anything on it. Andrea on the other hand had went all out in her appearance. She had come in a white dress that made her look like something out of a Hollywood magazine.
    “She truly is a swan” Francois thought to himself as they walked towards the maître d.
    “Bonjour monsieur et Madame. Comment puis-je vous aider? How can I help you?” the maître d repeated as he looked over both Francois and Andrea’s appearance.
    “We have a reservation.” Francois said as he smiled at the judging maître d.
    “Under?” The maître d asked as he looked at the couple before him.
    “Mr Francois Indere’s and Ms Andrea Swan.” Francois responded smiling at his date.
    “Oh oui. Right this way sir” the maître d said smiling as he lead the two to their table.
    Francois never liked this kind of restaurant as it stank of corruption and expensive food. He sighed a little in despair at the thought of the prices, but was quickly brought back when he saw the smiling face of his date. He sat across from her as she read the menu. He glanced at it and saw what he would want almost instantly. He smiled and leaned back as the waiter came to them.
    “Might I offer Madame and Monsieur some wine?” He offered as Andrea put the menu down.
    “Um…I don’t know. Is there any recommendations?” Francois asked as smiled at his date.
    Francois believed he looked like an idiot at this point doing nothing but smiling all the time at the lovely Andrea and he green emerald eyes.
    “Just bring us a good bottle my dear sir” Francois said as he looked back towards his date.
    “L’oeil du diable it is sir” The waiter said as he walked away.
    Andrea began to giggle to herself in a very cute way. Her laughter reminded him of a kitten in a way. So cute and harmless.
    “What is it?” Francois said smiling wanting to be involved in the joke.
    “Something in my hair?..” He asked combing his hand through his hair.
    “No..You just ordered a 200 dollar bottle of wine” she said smiling back at Francois.
    Francois was shocked at this and felt that he was going to paying a lot for this date. Yet he saw the humour in this and began to laugh.
    “Oh wow. I guess I should have been paying more attention huh? Imbécile” Francois said as he slapped his own forehead.
    His laughter came to a slow halt as he felt a warm hand on his own. He looked down and saw the smiling Andreas hand caressing his knuckle.
    “Thank you Francois. I have not laughed like that in a while” She said with a smile that made Francois feel and blush like a young boy again.
    “You’re most welcome Andrea.” He said blushing back at her.

    “That was delicious” Andrea said as her plate was taken from her by the waiter.
    “Oui it was.” Francois said smiling across the table at Andrea.
    “So what is it…Francois Indere’s does for a living?” She asked smiling back at him.
    Francois paused as images of criminals and Audere sprang to mind at the thought of that question. Leaping from one building to another as the crooks escaped and always leaving before the cops arrived. He could not tell her this.
    “Oh I am an Architect professionally, but I keep myself busy with other activities.” Francois answered truthfully as best he could.
    “My that is interesting. You can afford a meal like this on an Architects salary?” She asked jokingly in a confident manner.
    “Oh and what does Ms Andrea Swan do for a living?” Francois asked rubbing Andrea’s hand and leaning in a little to kiss her.
    Her lips were soft against his as they shared each other’s breath. He slowly pulled away smiling at Andrea trying to think of something cleaver to say to her.
    “Don’t change the subject” He said smiling causing her to giggle.
    “She’s a reporter” An approaching voice answered that ruined the moment for both Andrea and Francois. He was dressed in a buttoned t-shirt and a pair of jeans.
    “Bertrand?” Andrea said in a rather confused voice.
    “What are the chances of us meeting at this restaurant?” Bertrand asked in a rather sly way.
    “Oh I hope I’m not interrupting Libreville’s most celebrated reporter’s date am I?” He asked rather calmly as he pulled up a chair.
    “Bertrand. Please we were in the middle of something.” Andrea pleaded as Bertrand sat down.
    “Oh come now. Just one or two questions and I’ll be gone.” Bertrand responded.

    “Excuse me… Andrea who is this man?” François asked looking at the intruder with a mix of discomfort, disdain and slight Deja-vu.
    “Francois Inderes meet Bertrand Fournier” Andrea introduced the men as all her confidence seemed to disappear.
    “Of the Fourneir family?” Francois asked shaking Bertrand’s hand.
    “So you have heard of my father’s organisation.” Bertrand answered realising that this man was no more a threat to him than that of an insect.
    “OH? Who has not heard of your family?” Francois said lying to the now intrigued Bertrand.
    Francois smiled as he realised that this man was a member of the Family he and Tenebre were trying to take down. Francois realised that having this man as a friend could be useful in taking down the Fourneir family and perhaps the Maldoni family as well.
    Bertrand on the other hand passed his attention to something besides the dolt she had reduced herself to.
    “So Andrea what do you know of the events of Club Nico over the last two/three nights?” Bertrand asked to make the sound like he was trying to cover up something more convincing.
    “Um…Nothing yet why?” Andrea said as she began to get nervous.
    “Oh nothing. Just you know avoid it if you know what’s good for you…” Bertrand said as he looked at her with the dead eyes that he knew caused people to feel uncomfortable or even frightened. This was one of the many tactics he used to get what he wanted at any time. A quick threat and the dead stare always did the trick.
    “Um…Okay Bertrand” Andrea said as she leaned away from Bertrand.
    “And what about the men that attacked you…that was you was it not?” Bertrand continued twisting the metaphorical knife in Andrea’s wound.
    “Bertrand please.” Andrea pleaded once again trying to salvage what was left of the night.
    “Excuse me sir! You shouldn’t talk to Ms Swan like that.” Francois interfered starting to get angry at this man harassing Andrea.
    “Would be a shame if that happened again wouldn’t it?” Bertrand continued as he smiled sadistically believing he was fully in control of the situation.
    “What happened? You poke your nose into someone else business…” Bertrand was cut off as Francois sprang from his seat.
    “Andrea. I think it’s time to leave.” Francois announced.
    Andrea got up from her seat and hurried over to Francois’ side.
    “It was an experience meeting you Mr Fourneir, but we must be going.” Francois said as he left his threw money down on the table and stormed off.

    Outside in the parking Francois waited for a taxi for him and Andrea as they both stood in silence. Suddenly Andrea began to cry into her hands causing Francois to hold her close to him.
    “Quoi de mal Mon Cher?” Francois asked knowing full well it was that man from inside.
    “I’m sorry Francois…I ruined such a great night” She said through her tears.
    There were two things Francois hated in this world. One was of course criminals taking advantage of the weak, the other was seeing a woman cry. It always inspired great amounts of anger in his body to see a woman break down and cry. Footsteps echoed towards the two as they waited for a Taxi.
    “Andrea! I have some more questions for you.” Bertrand Fourneir approached smiling at the two.
    “The young lady does not wish to converse any longer with you Mon ami.” Francois said not making eye contact with him.
    “Listen ‘Mon Ami’…I am not trying to talk to you. I am just asking the lovely Ms. Swan some questions.” Bertrand said sounding impatient and rather irritated at the fact this dolt thought they were on the same level.
    “Mr Fournier I am warning you to leave us be right now” Francois warned as he tightened his fist.
    “Andrea. Your taste in men has clearly dropped since…” Before he could finish his sentence Francois’ fist connected with Bertrand’s face sending the man back a few steps.
    “Qu’est-ce que l’enfer!” Bertrand shouted as he held his face with his bandaged hand.
    “I warned you Mon ami” Francois said Parting his legs to get into a fighting position.
    Bertrand threw a punch at Francois in an attempt to hit him. Missing, Bertrand was once again struck by the man’s fist sending him back a few more steps. He felt something roll around in his mouth and spat it out into his hand. A tooth. Not only had Bertrand injured his hand earlier today but now some moronic troglodyte had knocked out one of his teeth.
    “You dare!” Bertrand erupted as he threw the tooth aside.
    “I do” Francois said as both men stopped in their tracks.
    This scene seemed very familiar to them and caused them both to back away from each other slightly.
    “Have we met? I am referring to events prior to this of course.” Bertrand asked examining Francois.
    A taxi pulled up to the now scared Andrea who had been watching the fight the whole time. Francois felt awful having subject Andrea to conflict. Francois opened the door of the cab for Andrea as Bertrand repeated himself.
    “Have we met Mr Inderes?” He repeated watching Francois.
    “I sincerely hope not sir.” Francois answered getting into the taxi.
    “Jusqu’à ce que nous nous reverrons.” Bertrand shouted smiling at them.


    The Atomic Punk

    Osez marcher avec l’obscurité: Episode 10
    Story and Characters by DC-Lover & The Atomic Punk

    François entered the cab. He did not look back as they drove from the restaurant. Andrea’s make-up streamed down her cheeks, washed away by her tears. François gently placed his hand on her shoulder. Andrea took his hand and held it in hers.

    “You have no idea who that was,” Andrea said in a quivered hush. “Bertrand is a very dangerous man. I don’t know why I ever saw him.”

    “N’importe pas, mon chou,” replied François. “I am sure he will get over it.”

    From then until they reached the hotel, they sat in silence. François asked that Andrea stay at the hotel. Going home would be dangerous. Andrea agreed. When she reached for her credit card, François insisted that he pay for her room. Though he had wished that they spent the evening together, his sense of decency would not allow him to take advantage of a distraught woman.

    “Merci, M’sieur Idere,” Andrea said with a vulnerable smile.

    François’ adrenaline was still very high. He spent most of the night in the hotel gym trying to burn fuel. While he was running on the treadmill, he analyzed everything that Andrea had told him about Libreville and the crime families. Especially knowing that Bertrand Fournier was Ténèbre, the murderous vigilante and apparent woman-beater. François promised himself that their upcoming rendez-vous would be their last.

    The next morning, he greeted his new lady friend in the hotel lobby. François invited Andrea for breakfast, maybe just coffee. She declined politely saying that she had to get to work. Somewhat apprehensive, the beau walked with her and opened the taxi door for her. François returned to his room and laptop to research the Fournier family some more.

    Before leaving for the Quartier-Saturnelle that evening, François called Andrea to assure himself that she was fine. She said that her day went well and thanked François for his concern. François slipped on his mask. Audere stepped into action.

    The night air was unusually chilly for the season. Audere stood on a rooftop overlooking the park. His stance was open and defiant. Où est-tu, mon ami? Across the way, the hero noticed a figure atop another building. The tension made Audere’s heart race. He was not afraid. He was steeling himself for a fight.

    With precision, he leapt and flipped down the face of the six-story building, using ledges and cornerstones for balance. The figure watched and waited for Audere to alight before disappearing. Audere heard footsteps approach behind him. With a sharp flick of his wrist, his staff extended. He spun to face his foe.

    “Zut alors!” screamed Andrea Swan. “M’sieur, please, I just have some questions. I also want to thank you for saving me the other night.”

    Audere was almost in shock. Andrea had put herself in terrible danger. If Ténèbre were to show, who knew what would happen. Audere quickly scanned the surroundings for a strategic spot where Andrea would be safe. Unfortunately, it was a rather open area.

    “Mademoiselle, il faut quitter,”Audere said in a husky disguised voice. “This is no place for an interview.”

    “You’re right. It’s not,” said a voice nearby. “But, it is a good place to die.”

    Standing by the park’s entrance was a man in a white suit. Three more men emerged from the park. They wore the same style outfits and helmets, but each was a solid red, blue, or yellow. Audere recognized their gear as being combat armor similar to his own. However, he had no idea who the four aggressors were.

    “César Maldoni!” shouted Andrea. “What’s going on? Is this some turf war?”

    The young capo laughed, “No, this is me putting an end to this ‘Ténèbre’ with my own dramatic flair. You know how much I love a good show, Ms. Swan.”

    Audere stepped between Maldoni and Andrea. He did not care that they thought he was Ténèbre. The woman’s safety was first. The other three men separated. The blue man stood in the middle, in front of César. The yellow went to Audere’s right; the red to his left.

    César smiled as he stroked his Clark Gable moustache. “Meet ‘The Primaries.’ No, that’s not their true identity. Just something I made up. I thought it would be entertaining to have my own costumed assassins. Add a few more colors to the palette.”

    Blue drew a katana. Yellow wielded two sais. Red produced a tetsubo. Audere was not sure of their skill. However, that did not matter. He needed to make a quick escape with Andrea before she was hurt. In the meantime, Andrea was dialing 911 on her cell phone.

    The Primaries moved slowly yet deliberately. The stepped forward then a bit of a retreat. As one neared, the other two would withdraw. Audere recognized this pattern. They were setting up a strike, gauging the best angle for attack. The way they twirled and balanced their weapons seemed a little more than just flair.

    “Merde!” Audere thought to himself. With any luck, the police would arrive soon. Then again, this was Libreville.

    A knife flew from behind Audere and struck Yellow in the thigh. The blow barely pierced the body armor. It was still enough to stick in his leg causing Yellow to fall. A second knife hit Red, but bounced harmlessly off of his chest plate.

    Ténèbre ran up and stood next to Audere. He cursed himself silently. If he had not injured his hand, his daggers would have been accurate and lethal. Yellow rose to his feet. He grunted but was still able to fight.

    César Maldoni laughed with delight, “Two Ténèbres? Now it makes sense. No one man could have inflicted so much damage throughout the city.”

    Ténèbre was insulted but saw an advantage in the illusion. “Just a small part of the deception, Maldoni. Like you, we wanted to put on a good show.”

    Audere was about to take the opportunity to get Andrea to safety. Just the same to let the five thugs take out each other. He turned but Andrea was gone.

    “Don’t worry, mon ami. The girl is in good hands.” César said. He pulled a gun from his coat and shot Audere. The bullet glanced off his right shoulder causing Audere’s body armor to tear.




    Looks like trouble for the unlikely duo Surprised

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