Band of Outlaws Central City Newspaper

After the video of the Wizard’s appearance at the bridge went viral, the reports of these gifted beings have continued to attract the attention of Central City and beyond. My editor has insisted we find these people and get to the truth about what’s going on in Central City. His motivations for doing so were clear – give the readers what they want.  These reports, these stories they took me back to a time when my parents would thrill me with the tales of Captain Justice and the guardians of Central City. I have to find them and it has nothing to do with our reader subscriptions.

I began by visiting each area that had a reported sighting. I followed every lead, every rumor. One by one I crossed them off my list: Central City Park, the main overpass, the Central City terminal. I even canvassed the mega center that is Downtown Central City. I encountered many people who swore they saw or had a friend that saw one of these costumed characters. After nearly two weeks of avid searching and coming up empty handed, it occurred to me. I wasn’t going to find them by visiting places they’ve been. I would need them to find me.

So if these special beings were anything like the guardians that I remembered from my parent’s bedtime stories, there was one place I was sure to find them. If they were true heroes they would be drawn to battle the corrupt and no place in Central City was as corrupt as Beggars Row.

If my peers thought my trip to the carnival grounds was foolish, I can’t image what they would think of this. Beggars Row has long been controlled by the Falsetto crime family, not even the CCPD go there, unless in great numbers.  Eventually one of these heroes would have to make an appearance there.

I setup my stakeout in front of one of Falsetto’s warehouses at the heart of Beggars Row. I watched day after day as trucks drove into the warehouse, armed men jumped out of the back and unloaded the crates that were inside. Whatever cargo those trucks carried, it couldn’t be anything good.

On the fourth day a truck pulled in and parked outside of the warehouse per the usual. I waited for a group of men to emerge from the back of the truck but none did. After several minutes of waiting, a couple men stepped out of the warehouse and approached the truck. Each of the men wore a trench coat and each cradled a rifle in their arms.

The lead man made a hand signal towards the rear of the truck. The other two gangsters took position on opposite sides of the doors. They removed the bolt and pulled both doors open wide.  Nothing. The inside of the truck was bare.

And then I saw him. The tall man looked as if he stepped out of the wild west, with his worn duster and long brimmed hat. His boots stepped lightly across the top of the truck, unnoticed by the mobsters on the ground. I aimed my camera and snapped a shot off in the cowboy’s direction. Unfortunately the light from the flash caught the attention of not only the cowboy, but the trio of gangsters as well.

“Up there!” the lead mobsters pointed at me. The other two goons swung their rifles in my direction. Before they opened fire, the man on truck leapt down and landed on top of them. The leader turned back around and found himself staring at the cowboy, standing above the unconscious bodies of his partners.

For a moment the two just stared at each other. It was as if I was watching a standoff in the old west.

The gangster raised his gun and was about to open a barrage of fire, when the man with the big hat flicked his wrist and sent a spinning objects hurling towards the thug. With expert aim, the twirling object struck the mobster’s weapon hard enough that it flew from his hands and clattered on the pavement.

The object continued to spin as it made its way back into the cowboy’s grasp. It was a boomerang.

I ran down the stairs as quickly as possible. By the time I reached the bottom, the lead gangster was already lying on the ground beside his associates, unconscious. The man in the hat stood above him, he stared at me through piercing eyes.

“That was amazing.” When no response came, I continued.  “Where do you come from?”

“Here.” Came the brief reply.

“Why are you doing this?”

“City’s fallin’ apart. We’re gonna keep it together.”

“You and the others? Like the Knight? I met him a couple weeks ago.”

“I’m aware.”

“I have so many questions.”

“You’ll get your chance. But not here.”

The last thing I felt was the small prick in my arm, before the world around me went black. Just before darkness overtook me, I realized this Outlaw wasn’t here for the gangsters, he had come for me.

 

Stacy Summers

Central City Times