Eric Carlysle answered the door. He cringed everytime he had in the last three days. It wasn’t because of the fear someone would try and kill him. He had gotten used to that, but ever since the bank surveillance footage was released on the news, he was nervous. Someone else would eventually show up at his door, the young man that he had saved years ago.
He knew that he wouldn’t recognize him, the doctors had given him a new face. Henry would have seen to that, Henry and Carla would take care of him. what he dreaded was the questions, those answers that he had, now didn’t seem good enough. Although, they had fueled him for years, keeping him from those he loved. He had to stay away, he had to take down these murderers some way.
“Hello Judge.” Carlysle had been wrong, he did recognize him. The face was different, but the jawline was the same, strong and young. “They did a good job. Do you still like doughnuts?” Aaron grinned, “I haven’t had one since the hospital, trying to stay in shape. I will take some water though.” The two walked to the kitchen, sat down with two glasses of water, and stared at each other.
Finally, the Judge spoke first. “I didn’t abandon everyone, it was the fire. I knew if they had gotten close enough to almost destroy everyone that opposed them, it was too dangerous.” Aaron shook his head. “So, you faked your death, and let us all think that the one person that could stop them had died, and took our hopes with you.”
The Judge steeled himself as he answered. “Yes, yes, I did. You see, I knew that you would all fight to the death with me, so if I were gone, you’re safety was guaranteed. They thought everyone died in that fire, I let you think that only I did. It may have broke your spirit temporarily, but eventually we would still win. I didn’t count on everyone fighting on without me. I underestimated you all, I regret that. At the same time, I’m so proud of you for doing.”
Aaron wasn’t happy, but he understood. He knew, more than anyone else, what it meant to protect those you love. That your crusade is important, but there must be safeguards. “What have you been doing these last few years?” The Judge smiled. “I’ve been a prison guard. I was on the surveillance squad that watched Reilly Coogan. He doesn’t know it, I was careful to only work the monitors and the late shifts. I know when a man fakes his death, I’ve had experience. I can tell you this, Reilly Coogan is very much alive.”
“I know, he’s the one calling himself High Society. He wants everyone to think he’s dead, and then sweep in and run everything in cognito. His movements give him away, his face is different, but not his movements. I studied all the footage of his I could get a hold of. He’s got more than one tell that gives him away. So do you Judge, shaving your head and growing a beard, even one so red, doesn’t hide who you are.”
The Judge laughed. “It hid enough to tell me this. Coogan isn’t going to have it easy in this little plan of his. He didn’t know it, but he was already losing his grip. There is a new guy systematically swallowing up Coogan’s old organization. He’s more deadly than Reilly or Oliver was.” “Who is he?” “No one knows his name, he’s got a nickname, The Organizer. It’s not very catchy, but he likes it apparently.”