Ian’s body throbbed with pain. Why couldn’t they have killed me? I want to die!
Jalzabel shouted via Ian’s lips, “Take care of this body, Markum. It’s got a bullet wound and other miscellaneous problems.”
Markum said, “I’ll take a look at it.”
“I enjoy the pain, but unfortunately I need this worm bait strong. Be sure, as you take care of it, to inflict as much pain as possible.”
“It will be my pleasure.”
Jason Justice jogged through the park. He passed a young guy on a bicycle.
“Hey, old man,” shouted the bicyclist. “What the heck?”
If he knew how old I really am he’d be floored.
1996. A packed Yankee Stadium filled to the brim before Game 1 of the 1996 World Series.
The Mayor stood on the mound. “It is my duty as mayor to welcome for the last time as New York’s champion and defender, Captain Justice.”
A car drove by Jason and stopped at the light. The radio blared. “Nationwide riots continue in the worldwide Supervillain crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped to 4500 on news the entire South Eastern United States has been blacked out by the Southern Terror.”
Captain Justice ran out onto the field and shook hands with players from the Yankees as well as their National League rivals. Joe Torre slapped him on the shoulder. “Thanks, Cap.”
Captain Justice grabbed the microphone from the Mayor.
The crowd roared. “Captain! Captain!”
The Captain raised his hand. “I’m honored that the Mayor and the Yankees have seen fit to honor me as I step aside. Fellas, thank you. Beginning thirty-three years ago, along with the Admiral, we’ve been doing our best to help keep New York safe. It’s a job that will never end, and to be honest, we have a lot less to do with that than the NYPD. Give our people in blue a hand.”
The audience applauded.
“My father, Admiral Justice, died defending our city from the attack of a mad man twenty-five years ago. His work was left unfinished, as is mine. The work of Justice goes from one generation to the next. I ask that everyone rise and stand to welcome to Yankee Stadium, my son, who will carry on our family work, Commander Justice.”
Justin jogged past the well-manicured lawn of his neighbor, a retired principal. A twenty-foot flag flew above the neighbor’s home. A Great Dane dozed lazily on his neighbor’s porch.
Justin jogged up to his white picket fence, through the gate, the front door, and up the stairs into the attic. He pulled an old cedar chest off the top shelf. He opened the chest, and from pulled out the white uniform he’d worn for so many years. He ran his hand across the red, white, and blue stripes across the shoulders.
A flood of memories overwhelmed him. Grateful faces, and the enemies. The villains who day in and day out tried to send him to his death, but failed.
He put the uniform to his chest. Would it still fit after all these years?
Jason put the uniform away. It wasn’t as simple as just putting it back on.
He walked over to his room and grabbed his cell phone out of his night stand. He called his wife. “Honey, come home as soon as you can. We need to talk.”
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