Hard Boiled – Episode One: A New Day 1.120

capvatarThe four man-mountains began moving in close around him, boxing Capin in. His hands closed into tight fists held out from his body. Enry floated off the ground, ready to take the two men behind him to the ground. Behind them, Mistress Psyche’s laughter ran chills down his spine. Capin looked over the two men nearer to his front. They’re expressions were blank. Not dead, but calm. “Ok, boys, I don’t suppose it would do me any good to mention ‘the easy way’.” Nothing.

The bulk to his left started drawing back his arm. “Right.” A soon as his wrist moved, the Dapper Detective was three steps ahead of him. The thick fist cut through the air and Capin was under it. He felt it whip by the back of his head by mere inches. Simultaneously he planted his elbow into the back of Crisis’ thick neck and his knee into his chest. As Crisis’ massive frame doubled over, his more agile assailant rolled over his back, which put Capin back on the outside. He kicked Crisis’ behind, tumbling the man to the ground, but the other three were around him easily, closing in on Capin. He stepped back but the space between them kept closing. He was letting himself get cornered.

Bad idea, Capin. He pulled his usual demeanor back out. “Alright guys. You can look, but don’t touch.”

“Don’t wear yourself out too much, my dear.” Capin didn’t look at her. He knew what he would see. That mask contorting around her face. He rushed forward, jumping off the wall and landing right against Ego’s chest. Capin’s fist cracked across his jaw as the two men tumbled to the ground. Behind him, a restrained Enry, took Id’s knees out , careful not to rend the man in two.

Elsewhere in the asylum, Bluewolf was busy checking through some of the ‘confidential’ patient records. You’d think the docs in this joint would keep a lock on their filing cabinets… Capin had given him the run-down on the recent rash of kidnappings. If the hospital were the base of operations for the kidnappers, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for the “kidnappies” to be here as patients.

Wolf ran through the list of names in his head, and obviously none of them were listed in the patient records. All the victims so far had been young girls, so Bluewolf began going over the records for any Jane Does admitted over the last year. He began to notice a trend.

The named patients that had been transferred all listed the facility copies of the records should have been forwarded. The Jane Doe records all noted transfers, but didn’t list the facility they were transferred to. Then he came across a record that had no transfer order. He checked the room number and was off.

Crisis’ arms wrapped around Capin’s chest pinning his arms in. Capin was much stronger than the average bear, a side effect from his symbiotic bond with Enry. But Crisis was even stronger. Capin’s teeth ground together as he felt his ribs closing in on his lungs. A cool sensation fell over him, as his blood began pumping quickly. Crisis’ screamed in pain and let him go. Capin dropped to the ground and rolled back, closer to the door. Crisis was clutching at his arms as dark red streams of blood flowed from under his fingers. He felt the trail of blood dripping from the edges of his cape. “I told you.” His trademark grin creeping through his lips. “I said ‘Don’t touch’. Now I’m going to have to send you my Dry Cleaning bill.”

A pained grimace came across Crisis’ face. It was the first sign of emotion that he’d seen out of these hulking thugs. They took hits like a bag of flower but they did bleed. And Enry’s cuts went deep. Before he knew it though, Trauma was on top of him and swinging. The large man had speed, and his broken arm didn’t seem to slow him in the slightest. Capin dodged left and blocked the man’s cast with his forearm. The plaster splintered around them in a chalky white cloud. Capin stepped back but Trauma’s right hook caught him hard in the jaw. Psyche’s laughter echoed about the room as he felt his lip cutting across his own teeth.

“I’m sorry, Capin. I shouldn’t laugh. I just expected a bit more from you.”

For a mental institution, night security was lax at best. Even the maximum-security ward proved to be an easy mark. Bluewolf might not have been as well versed as the Fox as foiling security measures, but he could hold his own. He clung to the shadows as much as possible, bypassing nurse’s stations were necessary, and giving the security cameras an eye full of static as he passed. Finally he came to room number 435A. The door was constructed of heavy gauge steel, no doubt with acoustic filler to absorb sounds from within. Carefully sliding open the viewing panel, he glanced in.

The sight nearly broke his heart. The room was lit by a single high-wattage bulb, strung from the ceiling, but well out of reach for the room’s occupant. Cream colored padding lined the walls and floor, and in the far corner of the room sat huddled a girl of no more than twelve or thirteen. She was rocking ever so slightly, and Bluewolf saw several areas around the room where she had torn away the buttons that held the padding, or simply shredded patches of the walls. Brownish streaks attested to the damage the girl had done to herself, and the weak efforts of the hospital staff to beach the evidence away. This had gone too far.

Capin felt his teeth rattle as a second meaty fist came straight down against the top of his skull. The force took his balance and his knees smacked into the tile, cracking it under his weight. The blood from his lip filling in around his teeth. Gonna need stitches. He dropped to the ground, letting Trauma’s latest swing take only air. He rolled onto his back and caught the man’s fist, and twisted it’s wrist. Through his fingers, he could feel the bones crack slightly.

It was all he could do not to rip the door from its hinges, but action like that wouldn’t do well with the poor soul caged inside. Trying to remain as calm as he could, Bluewolf scanned the door for any access control alarms, finding none he simply wrenched the door handle. The popping sounds of the door’s latch did not go unnoticed by the young girl. Her head snapped up, eyes wide with fright. Before easing the door open, Bluewolf pulled off his mask, hoping that would be enough to keep the girl relatively calm. He was sure that masks were a thing of horror for her now. He slowly pulled the door open and stepped into the room. Cell was more appropriate, really.

If Abigail Burton could have melted into the corner, she would have. Fear raced through her as her eyes darted about like a deer cornered by a… pack wolves. The sounds of the screams not silenced by the doors, the screams of the girls as they were dragged away, tore at her. Her mouth dropped open, chin quivering, ready to cut loose the last wail of her young life. Her mind, or what was left of it, struggled.

This person wasn’t dressed like the others, the ones that brought her here. He moved slowly, but deliberately in her direction, his gloved hands held low with palms out. It was too much, too much confusion, too much fear. Her flight instinct kicked in and she darted towards the door. As fast as she tried to move, he was even faster.

Trauma’s free hand wasn’t quick enough to grab the masked vigilante. He caught that one too and held them tight, pushing himself between his trunk-like legs. Capin’s body curled over its self, rolling onto his knees. As he forced himself up, still holding Trauma’s arms tightly, the big man was pulled down through his own legs. With Trauma belly up on the ground, Capin twisted his arms and dropped down against his chest, knocking the wind out of him. His eyes rolled back, and Capin rolled off, watching Id and Ego closely.

The two men attacked from each side of him. Behind him the cape spun about, digging the ground out from Id’s feet. In return, Id made the mistake of trying to pull Capin back by it. The cape felt almost cool and metallic in his fingers for only a moment. Suddenly it burned as it wrapped its self around his wrist. Id’s shoulder popped. On his side, Capin wrapped his arm around Ego’s and pulled up. As if one, the two of them pulled, sending each massive frame across the room.

Rage reddened Ego’s face as he dusted himself off. For his part, Capin’s head was buzzing like a four alarm fire. Ego charged, catching Capin by both shoulders and slammed him into the wall.

The man enveloped her in his arms, clamping a hand over her mouth to stifle a banshee scream.

“Shhhhhhh, shhhhhh… it’s okay… it’s alright. You’re safe now.” Bluewolf said, trying to soothe the girl.

Safe was something she hadn’t known for weeks. Safe was home with her mother and father. Safe was anywhere but right here, right now. But there was something. Some little bit of Abigail that had tucked itself away, began to push itself to the surface. This person wasn’t like the others. And even though he held her tight, she could see in his eyes that he wasn’t going to hurt her. He was saying something too her, but it took her a moment to calm enough to actually hear…

“Oh Capin, my Capin.” Psyche tsked. The drywall fell around him as Ego pushed him hard into the wall, making a crater. He held him there in place, letting his Mistress speak. “I am glad we had the chance to get to know each other.” She was pacing slightly from her corner of the room but Capin didn’t look at her. And he could tell the disrespect was getting on Ego’s nerves. “My boys haven’t had a workout like this in, well, ever. It’s good for them to have challenges. How else will they learn?”

Capin looked deep into Ego’s eyes, his white teeth showing through.

“…your name? What’s your name sweetheart? Do you remember your name?”

“A-a-a…” She started. “A-a-abigail. Abigail B-bu-burton.”

Wolf smiled, “Well, Abigail, I’m going to get you back to your parents, but I need you to stay here just a little while longer.”

Abigail began to shake her head, “N-n-no! No!”

“Abby. Abby, it’s alright. I’ll be back to get you. I promise.” Abigail’s eyes searched Aaron’s and she began to calm, if only slightly. “I promise.” He brushed the hair back away from her eyes, then reached into one of the pouches at his waist. He placed a small silver stylized wolf head badge into her hand.

“Here. If you get scared, or if anyone comes to get you besides me, just press the center of that, and I’ll be here quicker than you can blink.”

His eyes stung and he could feel a cut opening from his along his eyebrow. As the blood leaked down into his eye he fought off the wince. “You’re sick, Psyche.” He pushed hard against Ego’s weight. Id was dusting himself off the ground. “And your boys? They already don’t seem to learn.”

Capin’s mysterious cape pressed hard against Ego’s hands, not cutting him, but lifting him off. Once free, Capin took Ego through the series of pressure points. In moments, the big mountain of a man was paralyzed.

That seemed to do the trick as Abigail clutched the badge tightly in her hand. Bluewolf set her down gently, and then stood. “I’m going to have to close the door again, okay?” She nodded. “Okay. Remember, anyone but me, and you press that badge.” She nodded again, then jumped up and wrapped her arms around his waist, crushing her face to his stomach. He ran a hand through her hair, and then gently pushed her away. Without another word, Bluewolf backed out of the room and closed the door. He set the handle back into place as best he could and slipped his mask back on. Getting a fix on Capin’s position, he sprinted back down the hall. Inside the room, Abigail flipped the badge over and over in her hands, smiling for the first time in a long time.

Capin felt a leap of energy as he met Id halfway across the room. He slid around behind him, before he had a chance to react. He planted his feet into the back of Id’s knee which brought him halfway down and helped Capin the rest of the way up. His arm wrapped around the thick neck. He looked Psyche in her blank lenses. Her three big bodyguards lay down around them. The fourth there in Capin’s grip.

“A man I met in Ontario called this the ‘Vulcan Death’ pinch.” He smirked, pressing two fingers into Id’s neck. Id dropped to the ground. Capin’s chest slowly raised and lowered. One eye stayed half closed as the blood ran down his dirty cheek. Psyche’s grin had disappeared from behind her mask, leaving the leather flat and expressionless. Capin looked from her to the girl with the glasses and back. “Well, we all make mistakes. How else will you learn?”

Psyche’s mouth began to move beneath her mask, but before she could volley her retort, the left exit door blew inward, its crumpled mass sailing across the room. All eyes turned towards Bluewolf as he entered. He took in the sight before him, eyes narrowing as he studied the object of his anger, Mistress Psyche.

Through a clenched jaw he spat, “You are one sick bitch!”

Capin slowly started to close on Psyche and Super Ego. “You have no idea… and what took you so long anyway?”

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