The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Part 19
by Shane Migliavacca
The Crimson Scorpion Strikes! Chapter 19 Back To The Wall
Kitty sat in her bedroom with Misa. Outside the sky was growing hazy as the day faded. Emerson the butler had just informed them no more then a few minutes ago that diner would be in another hour when a commotion arouse in the parlor. Joan Allenby’s voice could be heard arguing with a authoritative male voice.
Kitty slowly opened her bedroom door just a crack, enough to hear their words clearly.
“You have no right!” Joan said. Using the same tone that always sent shivers down Kitty’s spine. It usually meant Kitty had done something bad enough to make her mother angry. A difficult feat.
“The warrant says otherwise I’m afraid.” The man answered. “We have to search the place.”
Nameless dread filled Kitty’s stomach. A search warrant. Did they know?
She closed the door. Quickly turning to Misa, she said. “The police are here.”
Motioning to Misa to keep watch at the door, Kitty pulled open the closet. If they were here for the Crimson Scorpion they couldn’t find the bag with her gear and disguises. Pulling back a corner of the closet’s carpet, Kitty pried part of the tiled floor underneath up. Revealing a hidden compartment under the floor. She’d used it to hide bottles of alcohol and cigarettes here years ago. Now it would serve to hide something more important.
“Hurry.” Misa said from her vigil at the door. “Their voices grow closer.”
Stuffing the bag the best she could into the hole, Kitty quickly replaced the tile. Rushing to pull the carpet back into place. Closing the closet as the voice of the man could be heard in the hall.
There was a gentle knock at the door. “Kitty dear,” Her mother said. “can you open the door?”
Kitty shared a worried look with Misa before opening her bedroom door. In the hall stood her mother. Behind the humbled woman stood a balding man with a pencil thin mustache and two uniformed police officers.
Kitty feigned ignorance. “What going on mom?”
“Commissioner Rutherford is here to search the penthouse.” She paused before adding. “Our home.”
Kitty looked at the police commissioner, she’d heard stories about him. He was in the pocket of Diamond Bill. At least he had been. With Diamond Bill gone, who did he serve now?
“Why?” Kitty asked.
Joan put a hand on her daughter’s shoulder. “They’ve taken your father into custody.”
Kitty felt her legs nearly give out. She steadied herself against her mother. Unable to muster words, she stared blankly at the older woman.
“They found…Evidence that your father is this Crimson Scorpion character.”
Kitty felt the weight of the words sink in. There was no question what this evidence was, her guns, hat and mask that Jupiter had confiscated from her excursion to the Jaguar Club. Now her family was paying for her mistake.
“You must be joking!” Kitty said. “My father?”
“The evidence was found in his office.” Rutherford answered. “We received a tip from an source that wished to remain unnamed. Now stand aside and let these men do their job miss.”
They watched as the two uniformed officers went through Kitty’s bedroom. Emptying her dressers, turning over her mattress and rifling through the closet. Kitty’s heart beat faster and faster. If one of them got lucky and found her hiding spot.
“This is preposterous.” Joan said. “My daughter has nothing to do with this.”
“Ma’am, your husband might have hidden some of his…Implements here. To throw us off.” Rutherford stated.
Kitty stepped forward. “How long are you going to hold him?”
“For the time being.” He answered.
“What makes you think my husband would do this?” Joan asked.
“And why wouldn’t he? Crusading newspaper owner, who lost his daughter to the very corruption he rails against?” Rutherford smiled smugly. “I can think of no better motive for the man.”
Kitty breathed a sigh of relief when the police finally left. Their search turning up nothing incriminating. Whoever had framed her father hadn’t hidden anything at the penthouse. There was no doubt it was Jupiter or one of his agents. Where White and Jupiter one and the same? Or was White just a unwitting pawn in Jupiter’s frame job?
As Kitty remade her bed she pondered her next course of action. There was White, he bore checking into. The Jaguar Club as well. What was the club’s role in this? Or there was another more drastic course. She could turn herself in. Tell the police she was the Crimson Scorpion. Would they believe her or think it the act of a daughter trying to protect her father?
Kitty stood back, looking at the perfectly made bed. Misa busy putting the contents of the dresser drawers back.
“Perhaps I should…” Kitty asked out loud.
“No.” Misa answered. “You should not.”
Kitty turned to her friend. “How do you know what I was even going to ask?”
“I can tell what you are thinking. You wish to clear your father’s name.” Misa said. “Turning yourself in will free him, no doubt. Yet you would put both your father and mother in harm’s way. Your enemies could strike at them as revenge.”
Kitty helped Misa straighten the dresser drawers. “Your right. I would be putting them in danger.” Kitty lamented. “I just feel helpless.”
“Yet you are not helpless. And you are not alone.”
Kitty started thinking. Her back to the wall. It wasn’t the first time she’d felt helpless. She’d faced life stranded on the island. Faced the rigorous training of her master on that same island. And she’d endured it. Nearly five grueling years. There was no reason she couldn’t bare this burden as well. She could find a way to clear her father, free him.
Master Ying Sun’s training had nearly broken Kitty. She remembered landing hard on her back countless times during her martial arts training. One particular day it had been too much. It seemed like she’d never get the hang of it. Kitty broke down in tears. Telling Ying Sun she quit. That she was a failure and could never learn how to fight.
He’d given her that stern, emotionless look he always used when she got emotional.
The old man had said. “I’ve trained great warriors. Taught them new ways to fight and kill. Many would call me a great teacher. Yet there is one better then me, failure.”
Yes, failure could teach her much. Her failure had been underestimating Jupiter. They’d barely escaped with their lives. Jupiter used her stolen gear to his advantage. Bringing a bounty down on the Crimson Scorpion. And framing her father in the process. Why him? Surly he couldn’t know she was actuality the Scorpion. Misa hadn’t cracked when they’d interrogated her. None of them could know who Misa was, could they?
Jupiter was a cunning enemy who now had an advantage on her. Kitty needed to take that away from him. She needed to be as cunning as her enemy. A plan started form in her mind. One that would require Misa’s help and trusting Jenkins.
There was a soft knock at the bedroom door. Opening the door, her mother stood there. Her eyes red.
“Mom?” Kitty said softly.
“I can’t stand this anymore, I’m going to see your father.” Joan replied. “Regardless of if they let me see him or not. I’ll force them to.”
“I’ll come with you if you’d like.” Kitty offered.
Joan Allenby hugged her daughter. “Of course.”
By the time they returned from visiting her father a few hours later, the plan was fully formed in her mind. How she’d clear his name.
Seeing her father behind bars like that, her mother’s tearful reaction, was all the motivation Kitty needed to pursue her next course of action.
Misa had stayed behind, helping Emerson clean up the mess left by the police search. Taking her aside, they went to Kitty’s bedroom.
“You are sure about this?” Misa asked after hearing Kitty’s plan laid out.
“I am. You can do this.” Kitty reassured her friend. “I have every faith in you.”
“And we can trust this man?”
“I hope so. I’ll go to him tonight. His knowledge will be invaluable.” Kitty answered.
Yes, Phil Jenkins was an important component of the plan. She’d have to sway him to their cause. Something Kitty hoped wouldn’t be too difficult.
Phil Jenkins woke with a start. Had he dreamed that loud noise? He looked around the darkened office. Probably the cat knocking something over again, one of his empty bottles. The sounds of the city at night, drifted through an open window. He didn’t remember leaving the window open.
He heard the car purring somewhere in the darkness.
“You knock over something furball?” Jenkins asked.
“That was me.” A man answered.
Startled, Jenkins nearly fell of the couch. Grabbing his pistol from the stand next to the couch.
“Don’t move!” Jenkins ordered.
“Going to shot the dark?” The man asked. “Here. Let me help you?”
The lamp on Jenkins’ desk clicked on. Sitting behind the desk was a familiar scared face. This time wearing a domino mask and petting the cat.
Jenkins lowered his pistol. “Aren’t you in jail? I heard they arrested you.”
“As you can see, they arrested the wrong man.” The Crimson Scorpion stroked the cat’s back. “That’s why I’m here.”
Jenkins sat back down on the couch. Setting the pistol down beside him. “Well, the office hours are on the door. I suggest you come back then.” He said smoothing his messed up hair.
“I can’t wait till then.” The Scorpion said. “And I’m not the type of person you want being seen coming in here.”
Jenkins sat on the couch after the Scorpion left. Not believing he’d agreed to go along with this half baked plan the Crimson Scorpion had cooked up. If it wasn’t for the fact that the man they were holding was innocent. Jenkins would never agree to such a cockamamie scheme.
He’d have to utilize the last few ties he had with his former employers, Starlight City’s police force. If the plan went bad, he’d be sitting in a cell next to the Crimson Scorpion.
What the hell had he got himself into?
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