Rachael, alias "Maurice" alias "The Phantom of Broadway" alias "Gun Street Girl" hereafter referred to as Rachael, was to meet her adversary in Newark, New Jersey in a building near the Port Authority but still within jurisdiction.
The meeting was being brokered by Barry alias "The Masque of Red Death" alias "The Black Cat". The goal was a meeting between Rachael and Daniel Clark, aka Capo, head of a major Crime Syndicate to end a war between her, a splinter member, the Syndicate, and several rival gangs.
Rachael was left to wait, guarded by two unidentified gunmen of the Syndicate. Our sources indicate she was searched thoroughly, and that a handgun was found and confiscated.
In time, she was escorted by the gunmen into a conference room with a view of the water.
Capo smiled at Rachael and spread his arms wide, as if to embrace her, or to show his lack of fear. "My dear Rachael to see you again is such a pleasure! You've caused me quite some trouble."
Rachael stared sullenly at Capo. "Is Brian safe?"
"Safe as any lunatic in this city."
"That is not what I meant."
"Ah, but that is all you are getting."
"You think this will stop when I'm dead? That I won't be the last one to turn on you? That there won't be others?"
He laughed. "The problem became so simple once you spilled your guts all over the blog. It was clear why you were so different. You were never one of us. Do you know how few of us turn back from our path? Do you know how few proxies ever switch sides? None, for long. And never successfully. When you know what the Boss is like, you...stop. Stop whatever it is you were doing. You are an anomaly, an accident. A sideshow freak. Coal amongst the diamonds."
Rachael listened impassively, her face showing nothing.
"Goodbye, Rachael." he raised a gun lowered it at her face. Walking towards her. "Get on your knees, or I'll order his death."
She got down to her knees. He walked up to her, starting to breathe heavily.
"Look up at me." He aimed the gun at her face. She looked up impassively
and stabbed him in the wrist with a fountain pen.
He screeched, and quickly she wrested the gun out of his hands, bit him in the....
She bit him in the reproductive organs, through his khakis, pushed him over, and shot him in the face.
She executed both guards who ran into the room, one shot after another. Her face blank, she smashed his phone with her heel and to walked out of the room.
Barry was waiting for her. He held his gun in shaking hands aimed at her chest. The two squared off. Barry shaking.
"Rachael don't come any closer, I-I-I'll shoot!"
"Barry, its okay, its okay...I don't want to hurt you. Run away. Hurry, more are coming soon. You don't deserve this."
"Barry, for the love of God, Go! Get out of here!"
Barry looked torn, but lowered his gun and fled.
The entrance was blocked by two dark cars, men waiting for her.
She headed for the roof, planning to take the fire escape.
But waiting for her there
was me, with a gun.
Her face grew pale, and she stared at me. Like she'd seen a ghost
or an monster, perhaps.
Rachael faced down Van Helsing on the rooftop of the man she killed.
I had my gun aimed square at her heart. She gaped at me like a fish dumped onto a hatchery floor.
"Brian why are you"
"My names not Brian. I'm Van Helsing. I'm a Fighter."
I had been told about everything she'd done. She killed both of her lovers, Brian and Maurice. Poor girl thought I was Brian, that I was her dead lover. Her action had lead to the destruction of a cell of rational Agents waging a covert war on the "fanatics" of the city proper. She'd stopped that and had began killing people and causing the youth of the area to wage wars on each other. When she was dead this whole thing would be over.
And now the stage was empty. Just me and her. The way it had started. The way it should have always been. I was too weak to act before now, too hesitant.
But now I am a Fighter.
She drew her own gun and we faced each other off, the city in the distance.
"Brian, remember me, please...Brian..."
"Stop that. Show's over, Gun Street Girl."
"I've been reading your blog. Following your movements. For months. And now its time, girlie."
"Brian, you have to remember me" she started crying, crocodile tears "Brian I love you I always loved you we can make it together please Brian, don't make me do this--"
"Do what? Kill me? Like Maurice? Like Brian? Like all these city kids?"
"Brian---" a sob.
I cocked my gun. I'd forgotten.
She smiled at me "I know you can't Brian. You have to remember me, somewhere in there. You have to know. Remember the night by the river?"
She took a step towards me.
"The night when you cried in my arms...you were so scared, so nervous but you were so brave and so beautiful...do you remember the day we went to the fair, and you were too scared to ride the loop de loop, but you won me a stuffed tiger at the Strong Man contest?"
I took a step backwards but she kept moving towards me, telling me all the tales of Brian's life, his story, her tale she had built around me, all these lies, all this showmanship. I almost wanted to be him, to be this Brian she had created for me, this part she wanted me to fill.
We were face to face, finally. our guns were lowered. Ten steps apart, maybe.
She smiled at me. She...Rachael is beautiful. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders, sometimes. She looks like a woman close to death, most of the time. But when she smiles...
I could have lived a lie for her, almost. I could have believed any tale she told me.
The sky began to darken, as if the world was reacting to this encounter by bathing us in twilight.
She reached out, to touch me. Her hand was empty. I reached out to touch her...
her face froze into a look of horror, revulsion, dread. She shrieked.
"He's here! He's Real!"
Her eyes went out of focus, almost as if she was looking behind me.
She raised her gun arm and I reacted by instinct
and blew a hole in her chest straight through her heart.
She never looked at me, while she collapsed, while she gasped for breath. She was always looking just past me.
There was nothing there.
Another, just another set of Lies and Vaudville.
She gapsed for shallow breaths for a few more moments. I...I apologized to her. She focused, seeming to tear away from whatever was drawing her. She reached out her hand and I took it in mine.
"Br...brian...please...forget about this. I'm sorry...." a cough.
"Fuck...I guess he is real..." she gurgled, almost laughter. Her voice changed, subtly when she spoke again. "Man, I don't even have...any theater puns...for this...fuck..."
and then she was dead.
I closed her eyes, picked up the casing, left her gun and took her phone.
She left a goodbye post, but I deleted it. You people don't need any more lies.
And that's it. Another dreamer killed by this city. Another senseless death in a war bigger than all of us. Another Piece off the board.
Just another show that closed the curtains, turned out the lights, packed up, and locked the theater.
Heh, Rach, see? I did one for you.
You won't be hearing from me again.