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7. Building a Legacy

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It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself – something with longevity. The new project also took my mind off of the murder of my parents, and any concerns about my own safety. Every so often I was concerned, but Irish kept kids following me without telling me. I had lost track of Deacon in the fray of getting the business going. There was a major scene at the bar though, huge fight. Wes and Mason beat the hell out of Dusk. Then Lucius beat the hell out of Brie. It was a whole mess of trouble. I heard about this from second and third parties as things fell apart. I urged Shirley and Moe to get the place going faster. This neighborhood needed a change, and fast. All the legal paperwork had been fast-tracked, thanks to acquaintances of my parents. It was all set.

“What do we call it?” Shirley’s tone was that of a child, her eyebrow raised. Snow has started to fall as the holiday season approached. Halloween snuck past without a blink. The place was finished, furnished, the staff hired and ready to open. Moe stood next to her, an arm around her tight. They’d both quit smoking. Her – for the baby. Him – for her. It was very touching. I smiled every time I looked at them.

“Fatali.”

“What does that mean?” Moe’s voice was soft, almost a purr. I smiled wider.

“It’s Latin. It means ‘deadly’. Suitable?”

They smiled back, nodding slowly. “Fatali it is. To the rest of us, it’s still the Dragon.”

And it was settled. The place was completely supplied – a living, breathing operation. As we were standing there two police officers appeared out of nowhere, walking over to us slowly.

“Mr. Dorrance?” The male started. I nodded.

“Officer…Morrow. And Officer…Morrow?” My brow furrowed with confusion.

“We’re siblings.” The man gestured to the female officer at his side. “I’m Jerome if you’re confused. Anyways, we’re here to congratulate you on your business venture.”

“And…?” I continued.

“To ask you to come down to the station, to help us figure out your parents’ files. We can’t determine which patients were more hazardous. Their notes were very thorough, but very cryptic, perhaps you’d understand?”

I nodded back at them. I knew what they meant. My parents prepared for a situation like this. All their records were in a language that they understood, and I as well. They taught me just in case anything should happen to them. They liked to believe that people shouldn’t be treated any differently because of their mental condition. This was part of what got them killed. I bid my farewells to the two kids, who would get up and paint the new title on for me. I ducked into the squad car with the Morrow offspring, wondering what kind of upbringing that they had come from, leading them into the same line of work. Upon closer inspection, I was willing to bet that they were fraternal twins. The car ride was in silence.

We got to the station and made a line for one of the interrogation rooms in the back. The officers who brought me in stood on opposite sides of the door, waiting patiently, arms folded. After a few minutes had passed, Sergeant Bishop came in, sitting himself down across from me. The room was plain, as expected. I stared at the mirror found in all rooms of this type, wondering who would be watching this from the other side. I heard the sound of papers being dropped on the table in a pile, turning my head to see them being rifled through.

“These are some of your parents’ files. We’d like you to go through them and make a list of the patients that they considered high priority. And then list the other patients along with their status as well. Is that okay with you?”

“Yeah, sure.”

He slid the folder over to me and I went to work, taking up the pencil and paper left next to me. Bishop watched me for a few minutes, then got up and excused himself. After an hour, Jerome Morrow excused himself as well. I looked up from time to time as the female Morrow blinked sleepily back at me, obviously bored. I kept working, writing furiously. I divided the list as best I could, separating the dangerous from the harmless. Brie was on the high priority list, but on the soft side. She posed little to no threat to my parents. Deacon was on the list somewhere – she’d visited my folks before. The most notorious name on that list that ranked the highest in terms of being a hazard was Miss Dacien Ransom.

To summarize, being I don’t know her personally – Dacien Ransom is the current street leader. Meaning, she leads the gangs. All things go through her, what she says, goes. She’s got power everywhere, her hand into everything. I’d seen her here and there, in passing and such. I kept away from her as best as I could. She was ruthless in her methods, having no compassion. She had taken over after her brother was killed a long ago by Deacon. The stories run rampant along the streets. She had gone to my parents for counseling on many occasions, but according to the records, she made very little progress. She was prone to acting out instead, trying her best to shock my parents. They kept her on a constant stream of medications to keep her calm, but nothing worked. She was the primary suspect in my mind. But I was wiser than to approach her myself. Dacien could shoot me in the head point blank without feeling the least bit sorry about it. And she could get away with it. She was just that good.

I wrote the list out as neatly as I could. It took me three hours to decipher my parents’ records, figuring out who was who, which disorders suited which person. It was like a puzzle, a jigsaw without jigs. Looking up at the remaining Morrow, I found her sleeping standing up. I got up from the table as quietly as I could, packing all the paperwork back how I found it. I crept over to her slowly, tapping her on the shoulder. And she reeled back and punched me square across the jaw. I wheeled around, an arm out to keep her away.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry, you startled me, I didn’t…” she started, the fear in her eyes. I could sue, she could get in trouble, lose her job. The nervous nature proved her as a rookie. I rubbed my jaw, my back to the door as it opened. She shut up abruptly and I stood up quickly to face Sergeant Bishop. I had to bend down to pick up the papers, which I tried to do casually so I could hand them over quickly. He quirked a brow.

“You okay?”

I shook my head, trying to keep my red jaw out of his line of vision. “Yeah, slipped, that’s all.”

His gaze moved from me to the young girl in the corner, trying to look official, then to her brother who snuck in behind him. He shrugged eventually, nodding all around. He took the papers and walked off without a trace. The two officers looked at one another and stepped aside so I could pass first, then walked out behind me. The precinct was busy, as all city precincts are, so I opted to let myself out. I kept going until I got out to the street, realizing that the Morrow siblings were still in step behind me. I turned around once I got outside.

“Some of those files are for some dangerous people,” Jerome started. “Sarge says we should keep an eye on you.”

“I’ll be okay.”

“Just the same, we’re ordered not to let anything happen to you. Don’t worry, we’ll keep out of sight.” Jerome’s arms were folded across his chest while he spoke, authority laced in his voice. I was willing to bet he was the light elder of the pair. I nodded and walked away, in no mood to fight with them. They had a job to do. Do did I. I had a business to attend to.

I decided to head back to the bar, see how things were with Irish. The kids would take care of the tattoo parlor, our grand opening slotted for tomorrow. I’d be there all day, Irish too – it was to be a major affair. There would be food, the boys would play, the whole nine. There was a show tonight too, and I was looking forward to the change of pace.

It was scheduled to be a big turnout; all the kids that were coming to tomorrow’s opening were coming here tonight. Dusk had pulled strings and gotten a huge crowd together. He’d made amends with the boys and all was well. Asking around, I found out all the information I needed. Dacien had been seen hanging around lately. She had it out for Deacon. Deacon had been shot, threatened; a whole mess of trouble had gone on while I was away. Her brother was here tonight – I could see his badge through the crowd. Dusk’s band and ours were all friends again – everything was worked out. And Irish was ready with a firearm behind the bar in case of trouble. She was always prepared. It was a good thing to be.

Set up the scene. The boys are up on stage, setting up equipment, sorting out wires and sound checking. Dusk is at the bar, drinking slowly, as his eye moves over the crowd. Riley’s behind the bar serving drinks, trying not to catch Dusk’s eye too much. Roger’s attention follows his two sisters, focusing more on Deacon as she helps the boys set up, staying closer to Jekt. Brie talks and flirts with a few of the guys hanging around, much to Lucius’ dismay, which he sees with eyes fixed on her. I think she does this to spite him sometimes. Roger’s in a corner, arms folded – across the room from him are the Morrow twins. And somewhere, moving amongst the fray, is a figure I’ve heard about so many times that her face exists in my mind by idea alone. Dacien Ransom herself has turned out for the show. She eyes the crowd, lingering on Deacon. She turns her gaze to pinpoint the positions of the cops in the room. Shirley’s behind the bar helping people, Moe’s on stage helping the boys with sound. It’s a packed house, barely enough room to breathe. And I’m in the middle of it, watching aimlessly, behind the bar as more people pack in.

All this – the set up, the players waiting to take their places. This was just the beginning. The beginning of an event that would be forever burned into the minds of all who were there. Forever. And forever is a hell of a long time these days.

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