Authors: Dustin Brubaker
Dent’s car showed up at Gordon’s house before he even got a chance to catch the bus to work. Tony knew something bad had to be going on if he was picking up at home first. He kissed his wife good bye and still had a half eaten slice of toast with peanut butter on it in his mouth when he stepped into the car. Dent peeled off and didn’t say a word until about a minute after they were on the road, which made the situation much more awkward.
“He struck again.” Dent finally said to him.
“What?” Tony finally replied when he swallowed his bite. “How do we know it’s the same guy?”
“Two people dead, husband and wife.” Dent answered, “Both with a knife and two playing cards were left at the scene; one on each body.”
“Oh my gaud.” Tony said as he couldn’t hide his dread. “Are we dealing with a serial killer here?”
“Looks that way.” Dent said as he took a sharp turn. “Didn’t even wait for them to get home, killed them at their shop this time.”
“What shop?” Tony asked.
“Jewelry Store.” Dent answered, “We’re going there now.”
Tony sat there and thought about it. “He left the king and queen of diamonds at the scene, didn’t he?”
“Damn, Gordon!” Dent said as he was impressed. “That’s exactly the cards he left there. What are you thinking?”
“The cards are symbolic.” Tony continued, “They have meaning.”
“How does that help us?” Dent asked.
“If we can find out the connection.” Tony answered, “We can figure out who the other two kings are, find out who’s next.”
“That’s a long shot but I like how you think.” Dent said as he kept his eyes on the road. “Are you sure you want to be a district attorney? I’m sure Mossan could use a smart cookie like you in homicide.”
“No, that’s not for me.” Tony replied, “I wouldn’t be able to handle the violence. I’m not fit to serve that way. I’ll do the paperwork and let them do the heavy lifting.”
“Fair enough.” Dent said as he wouldn’t bring it up again. “I’m kind of glad you said that, warriors in our field are few and far between, especially when representing the people. Usually most lawyers to private where all the money is and it pisses me off. Those greedy bastards would represent Satan himself if it would help them land a new caddie.”
“Let them.” Tony said, “When we kick their asses, they’ll have one less appeal to use since they can’t claim their million dollar lawyer was incompetent.”
“Good point.” Dent said as he finally pulled up to the area in Gotham where the cops were stations, with lights going. “We’re here.”
As Tony stepped out of the car he realized there was a huge crowd on hand that the police was doing their best to hold back. There was also a slew of reporters, many trying to take pictures of those investigating as well as trying to scream questions to anyone of importance who might answer them. As Dent and Tony walked into the jewelry shop, the two detectives there already had a sour look on their face.
“Don’t you have a court room to be in?” Loeb called out.
“Funny guy.” Dent said as he moseyed around the crime scene. “We just want to see this with our own eyes, get a feel this case.”
“We also want to provide support.” Tony said sarcastically. “Stroke the ego in the hopes you’ll be able to get through the day.”
‘Ha ha.” Dix said as he joined in with his partner. “Seriously though, we have enough people here. You guys are just going to get in the way.”
“We won’t be here long.” Dent assured him, “You guys are doing great and I do honestly appreciate your hard work.”
Loeb looked at Dent with a stern eye, checking to see if he really meant it. “Just stay out of our way.”
“No problem.” Tony said as he started to look around. “Where did you find the cards?”
“They were laid down on the victim’s torsos.” Dix answered, “We bagged them so no one else would see them. We’re trying to keep this detail away from the media.”
“Too late.” A voice called out from the other side of the store’s floor. Mossan was he walked up to his detectives. “The Gazzette got a letter from our perpetrator. They contacted us the moment they realized there was a connection.”
“What kind of connection?” Tony asked.
“Dead security guard.” Mossan said as he walked up to Dent. “They found this on him in the lobby.” In his hand was a playing card; Jack of Spades.”
“Oh my.” Dent said as he looked at the card. “How does the Gazzette know anything about it?”
“Our killer entered the building, dropped off a package on the desk of one of their star reporters. There are details of everything and even a hand written message from our man, claiming responsibility for killing their guard, the two people here as well as the Grisham family.”
“We’ve been called out.” Dix said as he cussed a few harsh words after that. It certainly explained the mass appearance of reporters at the scene. They got word and came down to cover the newest killing.
“He even gave himself a name.” Mossan continued, “Our killer is referring to himself as the Kingslayer.”
“Lovely.” Loeb said as he sighed. “A killer with an ego, which tells us this is far from over.”
Mossan turned to Dent and Gordon, signaling them to follow him. “You guys come back to the station with me. You can look at the package the reporter got while these two finish up here. As for you two, get back to the shop as soon as you can.”
“Yes, Captain.” Dix said as he went back to work.
“Let’s get out of here and let these men get back to work.” Mossan said as he opened the door and waited for Dent and Gordon to go, walking out after then when they did. Tony didn’t argue with Mossan because he was eager to get his hands on the letter. He wanted to get inside of the mind of his killer, into the thoughts of the Kingslayer.
As the three men walked out to their cars outside, there was a man watching standing behind the door that they all exited, meaning he had heard every word that was spoken in the jewelry story, about the killings and especially about the Kingslayer and the package he left with the Gazette. Not like it mattered; the press had it and it would all be going public very soon. The man walked across the street after the two cars pulled away and calmly walked up to a payphone. After tossing in a quarter, he slowly punched the number in and waited for someone to answer.
“Hello?” The other side answered.
“It’s Falcone.” The man on the phone replied.
“What’s up?” The voice asked.
“Put the old man on the phone. Falcone answered. “I’ve got the information he was looking for.”
There was a pause before the old man picked up the phone. “What do you have for me Falcone?”
“Well, it’s a case of good news and bad news.” Falcone started.
“All right, hit me with the good news.” Sabatino ordered.
“The good news is the killings are not linked to organized crime. So we don’t have to worry about someone trying to muscle in on our territory.” Falcone informed the boss. “This is the work of a loonie who also killed some rich people on the other side of town a few days ago.”
“So I take it that’s the bad news?” Sabatino assumed, “There’s a lone person out there killing people that might have ties to us?”
“Yes, Sir.” Falcone confirmed. “He seems quite looney.”
“How looney are we talking?” the old man asked.
“Complete loon.” Falcone answered, “He’s calling himself the Kingslayer. He seems like some kind of violent vigilante, which means our other interests in town could be potential targets.”
“Jesus.” The old man cussed as he didn’t like this. “I don’t like loons. They’re unpredictable. You can’t negotiate with them and they can turn on anyone at any given time. We need to get ahead of this before any more of our assets are hit.”
“I’ll put some men on guard duty.” The old man replied, “Make sure that our other interests are protected.”
“Look for people who are in charge, like a leader in their business.” Falcone said as he thought about what he overheard. “It looks like this guy prefers to attack who he considers kings. He’s not interested in pawns.”
“Is there anything else?” Sabatino finally asked.
Falcone paused for a moment and then finally spit it out. “Based on a conversation I overheard, this Kingslayer is targeting people who he thinks have sinned in his eyes. People who he perceives have done bad things. Our partners at the jewelry store were very under the radar so it would be in our best interests to find out what this guy knows about them and how he came into that kind of information.”
There was a pause on the other side and Falcone waited patiently as it was apparent to him that the old man was thinking about his next move. He was thinking very hard about it. “See if you can speak with one of the detectives, or someone working the case. Ask them if there is anything we can do that might be able to help them catch this freak. Reach out on my behalf and offer them an olive branch.”
Falcone was stunned to even hear the suggestion but after thinking about it for a moment, it made perfect sense. Stopping this nut bar from attacking anymore people that might work for Sabatino was in his best interests so he’d be willing to offer help if it would bring an end to the killing. Not just for his business but also for the people of Gotham.
“No problem boss,” Falcone said into the receiver. “I’ll take care of it.”
Falcone hung up the receiver and departed the phone booth, walking towards and alley and out of everyone’s sight. Contrary to a lot of people who worked for the mob, Falcone was the kind of guy who wanted to be heard but seldom seen. He wasn’t keen on showing his face unless there was a good reason to do it and preferred to stay in the shadows, especially around strong police presences at crime scenes. As he walked down the street he recapped that conversation in the jewelry store. Based on that he knew exactly where everyone was at that given moment. Falcone would use that to his advantage and attempt to assist the police and the DA’s office to close this case as soon as possible. It was in both their interests if this man was waken carefully an while he was unsure which paranoid he’s This something big and he was going to take care of it for Don Sabatino, even it was the last thing he did for the old man.
When Tony returned home, he was coming back from what was an exhausting day at the station. He and Dent spent the better part of a few hours looking over the letter that the Kingslayer had sent to the Gotham Gazette. He poured over every detail, took notes and looked for clues. He had even brought his notes home, hoping that his wife could help him. Tony was confident that Samantha might be able to spot something that he and Dent missed. A long shot but it never hurt to get help from a fresh pair of eyes that he trusted more than anyone else in the city. Yet as he walked into the house, something was different. His wife quietly walked into the hallway without making a sound, which usually told him there was someone else in the house. Usually she was only this reserved when there was company present.
“Tony.” She said as she walked into the hallway. “There’s a man here to see you.”
“Who is it?” Tony asked.
“I’m not entirely sure.” His wife answered.
“Then why did you let him into the house?” Tony asked, upset that his pregnant wife let a total stranger into their home.
“He’s here about the case.” She answered, “He wants to offer you some information that might help with the case you and Dent are working on. Based one what he does, I thought you might want to sit down with him and hear what he has to say.”
“What do you mean by that?” Tony said as he strolled into the living room. When he got in there the answer was quite obvious. The man sitting on his couch was wearing a suit, a fine Italian one that you usually saw on one of two people; bankers and mobsters. He didn’t look like a banker.
“Who are you?” Tony asked as he walked into the living room.
“My name is Carmine Falcone.” The big man said as he set down his tea and stood up to shake his hand. “I’m here on orders to assist you.”
Tony walked up and shook his hand. “Anthony Gordon.”
“Yes, with the district attorney’s office.” Falcone said as he sat back down and resumed drinking his tea.
Tony walked over and sat on one of the chairs on the other side of the coffee table, trying to get a read on the man in his office. “Who sent you here to assist me?”
“I’m here on behalf of Johnny Sabatino.” Falcone answered.
“Sabatino?” Tony said as his eyes opened up. “as in Don Sabatino; one of the biggest heads of organized crime in Gotham?”
“The very same.” Falcone confirmed.
Tony controlled his temper as he didn’t like the idea of a thug being in his house and with his wife waiting for him to come home. “Why did you come to my home?”
“Because you and I talking could make thing tricky.” Falcone said as he then gestured to his wife. “So I thought it would be polite and courteous to get permission from your boss before consulting you. If she wasn’t comfortable with it, I would have approached someone else.”
“Why are you approaching me?” Tony asked.
“I’m privy to information that might help your investigation.” Falcone said as he put the tea cup back down on the table. “I am authorized to assist you in any way I can. If you need someone shaked down for information, I’ll do it for you. I am also allowed to divulge information that you and the DA might not be aware of if it will help bring this sick bastard in.”
“Why?” Tony asked. It was a fair question.
“Mr. Sabatino is just as upset by the killings as any other concerned citizen of Gotham is.” Falcone replied, “We’re just as disturbed by the killings, especially of women and children. We want this man off the streets just as much as you do and want to offer our assistance.”
“And what do you want in return?” Tony asked. Another fair question.
“All we want is that you do not use any information or evidence we provide against us in future prosecutions.” Falcone answered, “We think you’ll accept this because you’re more interested in taking out a serial killer than a mobster who at least has limits. We don’t kill children.”
“You just sell drugs to them.” Tony shot back.
Falcone’s face twitched a bit as his anger was evident. “We do not sell drugs to children. If you have any information that disproves that, provide it to me and I guarantee that person will be dealt with within twenty four hours.”
“I believe you.” Tony said as he didn’t want to push things further. “All right; if your information and participation leads to the arrest of the Kingslayer, we will not use it to prosecute you.”
“That’s all I needed.” Falcone said as his demeanor changed. “Tell me what you know about this sick puppy and I’ll do my best to fill in the holes for you and give you a better picture to look at.”
“All right.” Tony said as he sat up in his chair. “As I said before, this man refers to himself as the Kingslayer. He honestly believes he’s doing the city a favor and killing people he thinks has sinned against Gotham. There’s no proof that these men did anything wrong, we have no idea why they were targeted.”
“They did sin against the city, just not as bad as you think.” Falcone said as he flipped through a few of Tony’s notes. “Both Grisham and the Jeweler had ties to organized crime.”
This comment caused both Samantha and Tony to look back at Falcone with shocked faces.
“How were they tied to organized crime?” tony asked.
“Grisham wasn’t with us, but we knew he was using his heart charity to funnel mob money into the city.” Falcone answered. “The jeweler was working for us. We used his shop to not only launder money but we got a cut of the action because we supplied him with illegal stones from the Congo. We have no idea how the Kingslayer knew about any of this, but I’m certain that whoever he plans to strike next will have similar ties or sins.”
“We have two kings left.” Tony said.
“I know.” Falone said as he stood up and paced around. “The spade and the club; we need to find out who would represent each symbol.”
“How do you mean?” Tony asked.
“Well we know the Grishams were given the heart because of their connection to the heart charity.” Falcone started, “And the diamond card was obvious as well because our guy was a jeweler. So whatever card is used next, the victim’s card will represent their sins to our Kingslayer.”
“I get it.” Samantha said as she seemed excited. “What if the next person will be a club owner?”
“That’s pretty good.” Tony said as he liked where this was going. “But the Kingslayer would want to take out the person who represents the king of clubs. So who owns the most clubs in all of Gotham?”
At that exact moment, the blood rushed from Falcone’s face. He started to go pale as he had a thought that sent a chill right up his spine. He immediately got to his feet. “I’ve got to go.”
Tony ran after Falcone who had bolted out the door like a bat out of hell. He ran after the mobster and stopped him halfway to his car. “You know something! What is it?”
“I know who the king of clubs is.” Falcone confessed.
“Who?” Tony asked. “Who owns the most clubs in this city?”
“That would be Johnny Sabatino. So if you’ll excuse me.” Falcone slapped Tony’s arm away and continued to run to his car. Tony watched in absolute shock as Falcone peeled out of the driveway and tore down the road, running a stop sign and speeding out of sight.