This is a cooperative fan fiction story of ShadowFanFic
He was leaning against the wall of a building when he saw the limousine pull up to the curb. Henry Bellow stepped out of the door opened by the chauffeur. He seemed to be very well to do as he was in a nicely tailored suit and shined shoes. Mr. Bellow looked up and down the street then gave his driver instructions. Jim Edwards was watching intently at the whole scene. His eye caught site of an expensive pocket watch as it was pulled out of Mr. Bellow's pocket and then placed back.
Jackpot! Thought Jim.
Jim started to leave his spot against the wall and walking towards Mr. Bellow. His heart beat was steady. Jim had done this sort of thing many times before. He casually went for where the pocket watch was clipped then pulled out the watch itself all in a blink of an eye. He didn't stop walking. He didn't quicken his pace either so as to bring any attention to himself.
Mr. Bellow noticed though that his watch was missing and was aware of what took place. This however was only because he knew it was coming.
"Excuse me there! Boy! You stole my watch!" Henry Bellow yelled down the street at Jim.
Jim was surprised. He had never been caught before. He tried to keep calm and keep his pace. At this time however Henry Bellow was running down the sidewalk right toward Jim! And he was gaining speed and closing in on him.
Jim Edwards took off running down a near by alley way. Mr. Bellow was right behind him. Jim ran up to the chain link fence which blocked off the joining alleyway from the other block. He jumped on top of a near by garbage can and over the fence. As he landed Jim noticed that the limo Mr. Bellow had been riding in came up the alleyway in front of him and had the engine roaring. Also, Henry Bellow was just about over the fence. It was no use to run anymore.
Jim took the watch from his own pocket and knelt down on the ground with his hands in the air. The limousine came to a stop a few feet away from him and Henry Bellow was landing on the ground from climbing over the fence.
"I figured you wouldn't give up so easily." Said Mr. Bellow. "But then again, you are a pick pocket who returns what he steals to the police station. That part I don't understand."
"I'm a pick pocket, not a thief," Jim explained. "This is the first time I've ever been caught though I'd have you know. And I would have been a lot more difficult to capture if I wanted to be."
"Why did you give yourself up? Why not fight me?"
Jim handed Mr. Bellow's pocket watch back to him. "I'm not a common thug, that's why. I would have turned in the watch like everything else I take."
Mr. Bellow's chauffeur stepped out of the limo. "Should we take him with us?"
"I think that would be a wise decision at this point," Said Henry Bellow. "Step into the car please."
Jim was confused. "Why do you want me to go with you?"
Henry put a hand on Jim's shoulder. "Because you have some talent that we can use. We've been watching you for quite some time, Jim. Please, step into the car and all will be explained in a minute."
Jim Edwards hesitated for a bit before complying with the request. However, his curiosity got the better of him and he accepted the invitation. The driver took off from the alleyway they had been standing in.
The car ride had been silent. No one spoke to the other even though Jim's head was full of questions. Suddenly it seemed that they had reached their destination. They were pulling behind a building. Jim looked up at the sign that read 'Shrevnitz Cab Company'...
The limousine rode up into the garage and Jim was ushered out. They walked over to a large platform Jim figured was used to raise the cars up with to remove the tires and work underneath the cars that were in service there. He was half right. Instead of going up into the air, the platform was lowered beneath the ground.
The room opened up into a large basement area with screens dividing the room in places. Jim caught a look inside one where he could see a young girl in front of several computer monitors. Jim only got a glance before Mr. Bellow pushed him in a different direction.
Behind Jim was a desk. At the desk sat an older gentleman, who when he saw Jim stood up. "Hello, Mr. Edwards. Or should I call you Jim?"
Jim raised an eyebrow at the man. "Jim will do fine. How long have you been watching me?"
The older man let out a slight chuckle. "Our intel said you were very observant Jim. They are rarely ever wrong. Let me introduce myself," He held out a hand to Jim. "I am Moe Shrevnitz."
Jim took the hand and shook it. "May I ask why I am here?"
"I'll tell you Jim. It's true we have been watching you. We've noticed you have a talent that we can use I'm sure. Is the reason you never keep anything you take, because you are only in it for the thrill of taking?"
Jim looked him in the eyes and saw a man very sure of himself. "Sorry to burst your bubble there Moe, I'm in it for the skill. No real thrill in taking something that doesn't belong to you. That is only for people who like the thrill of possibility of getting caught. I never get caught."
"What do you think you're doing here then?"
Jim looked up at the ceiling a minute. He looked back at Mr. Shrevnitz and smirked. "Good point there."
"However I must admit, discovering you was quite a challenge for us. You do have a skill for pick pocketing that's for sure," Mr. Shrevnitz smiled at Jim. "You obviously have some good morals and principles Mr. Edwards. You never steal and so far you have never taken any of the invitations offered by the various gangs that plague our city. How would you like to put your talent to good use and then some? How would you like to work with us?"
Jim thought about the proposal. "You must be a large organization. What if I refuse? I know where your headquarters are. You are taking a very big risk in bringing me here. If I say no, I'm sure there are others who would love to know where you are. Are you going to kill me if I don't comply?"
"No Jim, we will not kill you," said Mr. Bellow who had remained silent up until this time. "That's not how we recruit people. It is a choice for everyone to join our organization or not."
"So you would let me walk out if I say no? That's stupid. I might just tell someone about your location."
"Jim," Moe Shrevnitz leaned across the desk towards Jim Edwards. "We have ways to make ones forget..."
Jim stared at Moe Shrevnitz. He couldn't believe of anything that he could do to have him forget something so detailed in his mind. For some reason, however, he could see in Mr. Shrevnitz's face that he wasn't bluffing. Jim was pretty good at detecting whenever someone was saying something as a threat and that they couldn't carry it out. This was different.
Jim decided to speak. "I don't even know who you are or what it is exactly you do."
"Let me explain," said Moe. "We are an organization who, along time ago, was brought together under the direction of a man. He was more than an ordinary man of course. His purpose was to keep our city safe from evil. However even being more than an ordinary man, he was a man none the less. He needed help in this feat. That's why he chose from all different forms of society people who he could trust to be loyal to him and his cause."
"And who would this none ordinary man be?" inquired Jim.
Moe Shrevnitz again leaned over the desk close to Jim. His voice was a low whisper and was slightly eerie when he announced, "The Shadow."
Jim's eyes got wide and he blinked. "The Shadow? I have heard of an old urban legend about The Shadow. I figured he was just some myth some crazed superstitious criminal made up."
"Oh he is quite real," said Moe. "Sadly we haven't been in contact with him as often as we were in the past. It's been thought that he is even dead. However, with his loyal agents he is still very much alive. Old and young alike. There aren't very many of the original agents left today. I am one of them and this is my place of business if you haven't noticed. Also, it serves as a headquarters for his agents."
Jim thought a moment. "So you want me to become one of these agents? An agent of The Shadow?"
"We have reliable information suggesting that you are in danger. Perhaps even your life will be lost if you continue to ignore some of the invitations you have been given from the more prominent gangs in the city. I can't tell you who."
Jim gave him a smirk, "You think I can't handle myself? I've dealt with life threatening situations before. As well as with whole gangs trying to recruit me and my skills. What makes this any different?"
"This is different because this certain group is also knowing that we are trying to contact you. They perhaps already know we have you. They will stop at nothing to kill you off now."
Jim thought this over. "You know what? I don't really care. If my life is in danger I think I would like to handle it myself. I'm not into the whole group function. I work alone. I thank you for your warning, but you said I was free to go. I am going to take you up on that."
Moe looked at Jim with disappointment. "You are free to go." He looked over at the man who was driving the limousine, "Please give Jim a ride back to wear we picked him up. And leave him there."
Mr. Bellow looked surprised at this order. "Moe, are you sure that is a wise choice? They will try to kill him. Or perhaps even try to get information about our wear abouts from him. Do we want him to leave?"
Moe Shrevnitz just looked at Henry Bellow, not replying to his question. He then looked back at the chauffeur, "Do as I said please."
Moe Shrevnitz sat down behind his desk and began to work on something and did not say another word. Jim walked back over to the lift and waited to be joined by his ride home. They rode up to the surface once again and both got back into the vehicle in which they arrived in. They then left the taxi garage and headed back to the place which Jim Edwards was taken from...
JIM found himself left in the middle of the streets as suddenly as he had been taken. He watched the limousine speed away, he felt a slight pain in his heart as he pondered whether he had made the right decision in turning down the supposed "agents" of the Shadow. He could not put his finger on it, but he felt a certain aura of virtue among them in the dark depths of their hideout. Jim was a bit of a kleptomaniac, but he had a very strong conscience and could not shake the feeling that he was somehow prevailing to evil by rejecting the offers of Moe Shrevnitz.
Jim shook off these feelings and began to walk the streets which had become his domain. The Shrevnitz Cab Company, he must remember that name, maybe he will run into them again. He remembered what Moe had said about the gangs that would be hunting him down. It made sense, a person like him, doing the things he does, would be most likely be affiliated with a gang, but he wasn't. Most gangs would be suspicious of him if he were seen walking through their neighborhoods. As he thought this he became aware of his surroundings. Dusk was setting in with full force, the skies were tuning red. The neighborhood was as it always was when Jim walked through, but, for the first time, he realized that everyone was watching him very closely. A routine stroll had suddenly become very tense. He noticed that he was getting special attention from a group on the street corner which he had identified as a local gang. A large built, serious looking man sat in the corner of the group and nodded his head to Jim. Jim returned the greeting as was their tradition, he once felt it a friendly gesture, but now realized it's grim implications.
Jim came here often and the locals never gave him any trouble and there was no reason for them to do so now. Jim, becoming more and more nervous, began to sweat and tried to avoid people's eyes, but this caused him to gather even more suspicion from the locals. Suddenly he broke into a sprint. The gang on the corner took up the chase.
Jim uttered a curse under his breath. Up until this day he had been clever enough to avoid this type of trouble.
"Hey! Get back here!" yelled out an angry loud voice from behin.
Glancing back, Jim cursed again. His pursuers were gaining ground fast. He pushed himself forward. He did not know how long he could hold out at this speed and, if they did catch up to him, whether he could manage to get out alive. He had to use his head -and fast!
Up ahead was a narrow alleyway between two buildings, it was blocked off by a chain linked fence about two yards into it. Jim ran towards it, his momentum brought him half way up the height of the fence, he pulled himself over the rest of the way. This particular city block was composed of four different buildings, each with a similar alleyway between them creating an uneven intersection between them. Out of the corner of his eye, Jim saw a couple of the group run around the side of the building to cut off his path. Landing among a group of startled homeless people, Jim quickly took up the pace while the gang behind him struggled to clamor up the chain linked fence. He jumped on top of an obtrusive, overfilled trash canister and vainly attempted to catch onto a fire escape and continued his run.
Approaching the intersection a gangster jumped out from the side. Jim violently pushed him against the wall as re ran by. He was almost across the alley and to the other side of the block. He could see a taxi drive by and he yelled out to it, the driver saw him and pulled up to the edge of the sidewalk, this was his chance. The gangster he had stunned had now fully recovered and was yelling curses as he closed the gap between him and Jim, closely followed by the rest of the gang.
Jim was mere feet from reaching the end of the alleyway and his freedom, but the angry gangster was mere feet away from him. He reached out to grab Jim, but with an extra exertion of strength, Jim pushed himself inches out of range of the gangsters wrathful grasp and he stumbled headlong into the ground. Just when Jim thought he was free, another gangster jumped into his path, but he was prepared for it. He backfisted the gangster in the face and sent him sprawling. Suddenly he heard a loud thwack as he found him self sliding across the cement sidewalk, yet another powerful looking gangster had come from the other side and bashed him. The other gangsters came from the alley.
"What?! What?!! You wanna make something about it. Get outa here. Yeah, yeah that's right! Get out!" One angry gangster yells at the fearful cab driver with the enthusiastic support of the rest of the gang.
The gang pulled Jim back into the alley and pinned him against the wall violently.
"What you doing.....this ain't your neighborhood.....you with west side....why you running" With every word spoken, Jim was hit against the wall harder and harder. He tried to articulate an explanation, but only dislocated syllables could be expelled from his breathless and shaken lungs.
Jim thought he would die there when the sound of sirens was heard. The gang scattered, but the police was already upon them. Jim slumped back down the wall, breathing heavily, relieved.
JIM, cuffed, was helped into a police car, seated next to a gruff looking gangster who sneered as he mumbled bitter words under his breath. The police had not bothered to ask questions at the scene and decided to bring everyone in to get things sorted out appropriately. Jim had not planned to be arrested, but at least he knew he was in good hands now.
Two police officers simultaneously entered the car. Jim watched as some of the other cars drove away as his soon did also. The two officers began to talk among themselves about various things, not minding the two supposed criminals in the back. Jim looked at the gangster sitting next to him and finally recognized him as the one he hit while trying to escape to the taxi. He was an average sized, muscular black man. He wore a pair of baggy jeans, a black sleeveless A-shirt, a black headband, and a platinum chain hanging from his neck, the picture of an average gangster. He looked out the window, avoiding contact with Jim and occasionally muttering a colloquial diatribe about Jim, the 'man', or white people.
The ride continued on like this until they came to a clearing. The sun had just dipped beneath the Western horizon, remnants dazzling orange and red light emanated from it, a beautiful swan song of the dying sun. The car stopped.
"Okay boys, this is our stop," the driver nodded his head to the gangster next to Jim, "Out!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the black clad gangster was apparently used to this routine, though he seemed irritated by the entire situation.
An officer helped the gangster out, but left Jim in the car, bewildered.
"Okay, now turn around now," said the officer.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the gangster turned around routinely. The officer undid his cuffs and kicked him down the hill with a laugh which the driver in the car shared. Jim watched in awe, these were not real cops.
They drove off. Jim questioned with frantic yells only to be silenced with a gun backed "Shut up!" The docks were ahead. Jim began his frantic questions again.
"I said SHUT UP!!!" The imposter's yell ended with the blast of a handgun aimed mere feet from Jim's position.
- - - - -
The gangster crawled back up the hill, brushed himself off, examined a painful looking cut on his arm, and otherwise recomposed himself. He pulled a cell phone from his pocket and placed a call. A woman's voice answered the call.
Jamal Druke stood in the middle of some empty roadway on the outskirts of the metropolis that is New York City. The sun had set and now it there was pitch black darkness which his primarily black outfit seemed to blend into. Jamal was not a street gangster as he had pretended to be, though many gangs had been well acquainted with him and his brother, Marcus. He checked the cut on his arm again and was pleased to see that it was no longer bleeding. He sighed a bit. It was at times when he was alone like this that his thoughts wandered to his grandfather, Jericho Druke. Jamal and Marcus' true father refused to care for them and their mother, Jericho's daughter, had become addicted to crack cocaine. Jericho could not bear to watch his pure and newly born grandchildren suffer and took them into his own care. It was not until his death that they knew of their grandfather's dedicated service to the creature which had been known only as The Shadow.
Jamal saw a taxi cab moving in from a distance and he could barely make out the two familiar riders. As he prepared to leave fancied he saw a strange blackness moving in the shadows behind him.
"Huh," he commented to the strange site. He has seen it before and, as he noticed, seems to be seeing it more and more often. "Well, I'll see you later then."
The taxi, bearing the title 'Shrevnitz Cab Company', pulled up as he finished his address to the bushes behind him. He turned around and called out to the driver.
"What up bro?!"
The driver was his brother, Marcus Druke. Of the two brothers, Marcus resembled their grandfather the most. He was huge, of a large muscular build and extremely tall, almost eight feet high. Also like his grandfather, he was very soft spoken, in fact he rarely spoke at all.
Marcus greeted his brother with a slight nod which was understood between the two brothers. Jamal entered the cab. In the passengers side of the cab sat a shadowy looking Asian man whose long and silvery flocks of hair veiled his aging face in the darkness.
"Lee Chun Han, it's good to see you again," spoke Jamal with a smile. When he was not among the gangs of the streets, he spoke with a more formal English, it was one of the things his grandfather had made sure to instill into him and his brother. Lee Chun Han lifted his head and returned Jamal's smile.
"It is also good to see you," Spoke Han, "what do you think of the new recruit?"
Jamal chuckled a little.
"He's perfect. The guy has skills, he almost outran all of us. I tried not to talk to him too much, but from what I could tell he was a good guy."
"Apparently he's a bit of a kleptomaniac..."
"Yeah, but at least he has the good conscience to return everything."
"It is rare that we come across anyone with any sort of conscience," Han nodded as he spoke, "let alone anyone who acts on it."
There was a silence for a time as their minds concentrated on the mission ahead.
The police car slowed to a stop at the end of a pier. One 'officer' helped Jim out of the car to face a group of ten people wearing formal suits. One of these men approached Jim with a devious smile. Jim's eyes narrowed with resentment in his face.
The man walked over to Jim and leaned in close to him. "Please step in to my office," he said with a hideous smirk on his face.
Jim wanted to hit him with his fist but he was surrounded from all sides. He had to oblige with the request. No, it was more of an order. Jim followed the men into the little shack at the end of the pier. He was sat down in a chair facing a desk of which the man was leaning against. Two guards were standing on either side of Jim.
"I told you we would be watching you didn't I?" The man's name was Rio Kelly. He was about in his mid twenties and in a high position in a successful organization.
"Didn't I tell you that I wasn't going to join you or anyone else in this line of work?" Jim knew him from a previous meeting a year ago. Rio had invited him to join the organization he worked for. "I told you before I want nothing to do with this Cosa Nostra or Salvatore." Jim was happy to see irritation as well as surprise from Rio.
"Who's Salvatore?" Rio tried to hide his surprise the best he could but he needs to work on his poker face.
"Word gets around. You know as well as I do Rio, people talk and are in the know with who is behind the organization. I told you before, I won't be working for your boss," Jim was getting agitated.
"Well, no matter," Rio knew that word gets around. He doesn't need to hide it. No one could even touch Dominic Salvatore. "Our offer still stands. We let you go the first time you didn't accept it. We won't make that mistake again. We also know that you have been in contact with the other organization. Now our offer has increased for you. Tell us all you know of these 'Agents' and we will allow you a high place in our organization."
"I don't even know what you are talking about," Jim's poker face was much better. If Rio hadn't known for sure that Jim Edwards was contacted by The Agents of The Shadow he would have believed him.
"Alright we are withdrawing the offer. However, I will have to get the information of the location of these 'Agents' from you one way or another," Rio got a wide smile on his face. He seemed to be enjoying his job.
The two guards on either side of Jim put their hands on his shoulder to brace him in his chair. Jim could figure what was going to happen next. He steadied himself and prepared for some abuse.
Just then the lights went out and everything was dark! Taking this opportunity Jim jumped up and socked the guard on his right in the face, knocking him backwards and to the floor. Jim then turned to his left and threw the other thug into the desk. Both of his guards were out cold, he then lunged for Rio, taking him by the collar. There was a commotion in the room that Jim could hear, he thought it was the other four goons coming for him in the dark.
There was an eerie laugh that chilled Jim's bones. There was a rush of wind in the shack and suddenly the lights turned on. All of Rio's men were on the floor unconscious. The two that Jim dispatched himself and the other four who were look out for the door and the windows in the room. Jim had no idea who took care of them for him, but he played like he did. He still had Rio by the collar.
"As you can tell I'm not one to be messed with Rio," Jim gave a convincing performance as to him being the one who took out all of his men single handedly. Rio had a terrified look and the color was gone from his face. "I told you I do not want any part of your organization. And I don't like you threatening me."
With that being said Jim simply walked out of the shack onto the pier outside, leaving a shaken Rio behind. Jim was also a little uneasy. He had no idea who it was that rescued him from what would seem to have been an unpleasant beating. And that laugh was still in his head. Almost haunting him.
In view of this eventful day, however, Jim decided that he better get away from the pier and to safety. He knew Rio's men might still be watching. Jim didn't want to walk all the way home. Instead, when he got to the main street, he put out his hand and haled a taxi cab...