BK – Chapter 4

Kenzington filled the screen with at least a dozen portraits with a flick of a hand, the pictures floated at the center of the dark office nearly the size of a small auditorium. He ordered them male, female, oldest to youngest and left the room to fix Solmon some tea. The advanced panoramic screen filled the room with the gastly images leaving the portraits looking like ghosts floating in the dark. Solomon plopped down into the ergonomic chair and adjusted accordingly to get maximum comfort. He pulled himself up to his console as Kenzington approached his side with his choice of tea and just a few drops of milk and a few drops of nutritional supplements. Solomon picked up the tea studying the images that floated across the screen.
“Good work Kenzington…” Solomon spoke softly as he sipped his tea.
“Analyzing the trespasser’s DNA was a bit difficult but once I had a good match, ran a query on the social security database – I didn’t have to dig far sir. The information was there so plainly in sight.” Kenzington picked up the left over tea and exited the room as Solomon continued to survey the images and digest the profile information slowly scrolling below. Solomon could feel rejuvenated as the specially blended formula worked quickly through his body. He felt like he could pull an all nighter to strategize and research, then go clean up some crime in Megapolis’s streets… but he knew better than to waste his energy. Besides, the formula’s potency doubly increased with a few restful hours of sleep. Focus was key in getting things done and what happened last night was a direct attack on Richards Conglomerate, and he was going to prepare for a counter strike, he was not happy.
He motioned at each of the cards and each flipped over with a more detailed information of each employee. Kenzington spoke, but not breaking his maintenance activities around Solomon. “All trespassers were former employees of Genentech and upon further research into Genetech’s HR department each was terminated around the same time after working on similar projects in the Gene Therapy department. All personnel information was wiped off the servers but there was some dirty laundry overdue to be unexpurgated, which was how I found the details.”
“Kenzington your getting real good at this computer stuff” Solomon stated nodding his head in approval.
“Yes sir, its pretty amazing how many things you can learn on Youtube”
Solomon snickered, “Right… HERA bring up a map of the employees residencies.”
The computer screen blinked an image or HERA’s rose pink renaissance logo, which was the console’s operating AI and had a map of Megapolis highlighting the Genetech campus, in particular the scientist Dorm buildings. Solomon sighed and shook his head. He motioned with two hands to grab the map and brought the map onto the floor console raising it up to his waist creating an image that Kenzington was waddling through the room cleaning up and monitoring some computer progresses, looking like giants in the middle of Megapolis.
“Man, I love this new feature”, with his hand on top of the Genentech building bringing up a few articles floating above the building. He opened his hand and opened up multiple articles that headlined Genetech’s attempt to buy into Solomons Conglomerates. He highlighted a few articles and threw the articles into his hand held console to read later. Nothing looked out of place at first glance, many companies try to buy into his conglomerate stocks as they were on the stock exchange. He scrolled through a second level of articles to see anything out of place. He didn’t see anything as…
“Bingo” Solomon read out loud, “Six Company Coupe fails as stocks for Richards Conglomerate soars despite ruined annual ball. Just released thirty minutes ago… why was I not notified about this stock buyout?!”
Almost on cue his hand held console blinked a green light notifying him of a message. He leapt over to see the new message alerting him regarding the stock buyout.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?” Solomon smashed the console on the ground and quickly scanned the article still floating in the air. Kenzington without hesitation, placed a new hand held console on the dock and sweeped up the busted mess that sprawled from main street to fourth.
“Sir, you must keep yourself tempered or..”
Solomon interrupted in a bitter voice, “Kenzington, please see to it that the message servers are functioning correctly and I would like a full assessment of the companies that tried to buy us out… and yes, I apologize for my behavior…” Solomon looked up at Kenzington after scanning the article, “See, I am trying to be nice, but you can’t expect me to be nice when something like this happens.”
Kenzington smirked a bit and shook his head. “Your father had a saying.” In almost synchronized harmony he recited one of his father’s ten commandments.
The two hummed, “A level head in a time of crises could mean the difference between victory and defeat.”
“I swear, I can put money on it. I have more of my mother’s gene’s than my fathers.”
A few hours later the antagonists faces were painted across the panoramic screen with the CEO’s below each company.
The leader of the the financial company, “X” Benjamin which so leads us to his younger brother a fat chubby fellow. Of course there is the visionary extravagant of the new future releasing product not yet used by all, but striving to do so. Greg Gohmi. Biotech is one of the weaker of the bunch, but still one to be rekoned with in size. Media is a ghost, with so much turnaround at leadership but there are whispers of a real leader there. But, finally Genentech. Out of all of these a middle of the pack company that sent over these uninvited guests.
“What a dastardly bunch… Boring isn’t quite the word for them. Bring up the feed from a few nights ago. I believe I visited one of these companies…”
“Bingo, was his name – o. Check this drug connection from HERA’s data logs.”
“Do you believe they found you out sir?”
“That is the obvious response, but my intuition states that they have no idea.” Kendrick sneered.
“Irritating, annoying to say the least. I’m going to bring the hammer down on their illegal activities. I’ll burn them down with all their drugs and money so fast…”
“Sir, a level head…”
“Right… burning that much narcotics would just make the whole city intoxicated and addicted to drugs. To the drawing board Kenzington! We’re at war…”
“Amassing documents and articles Jackie worked unceasingly in the school office. It was amazing what the library had on file with maps and journals. Research material that no
Kendrick wasn’t happy with all these things happening starting from the day they ran into that stupid CEO. He was pompous, arrogant, and wasn’t as smart as he looked. Only cause of his good looks were the only reason people liked him. There were rumors everywhere the kid didn’t do anything but play video games all day as board members ran his company. What’s up with the CEO moniker they gave the kid when he wasn’t doing anything.
He looked across the table to his girlfriend, another day, same research material. She had scoured every public record available and still had not found enough “information”. All this for a school paper he thought. She’s in line to make a name for herself but Kendrick didn’t think she needed to exert herself this much for the small fries that would read this in the school newspaper.
“Jackie”, Kendrick tried to get her attention. “Jacqueline…” He tore a corner of a piece of his notes and threw it across to her. She swatted it away reflexively. “Yo…” Jacqueline slowly looked up from a few articles she had opened up from older newspapers of twenty some odd years ago.
Finally getting her attention Kendrick asked, “Want to get something to eat?”
“No, no… I have a lot of research to do…” She shook her head ever so minutely. She knew he wasn’t happy at her response. They hadn’t done anything in such a long time. Kendrick obviously knew what the priorities were.
“Seriously…” He had brought her breakfast, brought her lunch, but he had to draw the line at dinner and Jackie knew.
“You don’t have to bring me anything and I’m probably not going to leave here any time soon so don’t wait up. The weekends are really the only times I have enough time to research.”
“You got to be kidding me, you research every DAY…” He stood up and gathered his belongings. “Alright Jackie, I’m outta here.”
Jackie didn’t say goodbye further infuriating Kendrick. He just shook his head and walked away. As he walked towards the sunset he heard a loud growl from his stomach. Great, he thought. What shall I eat today? Maybe some more ramen. Ramen was indeed his favorite food. All types of ramen, but any of the spicy variety would do for today. Jacqueline and Kendrick hadn’t spoken legitimately in a few weeks now and Kendrick wasn’t sure when they would speak. They lived in apartments just across from each other, traveled to school together, traveled back, which might have been the most conversation they struck… but with summer coming quickly that only meant finals in a few weeks. What could he do? He thought. Bummer… Wonder what his gamer friends he hadn’t spoken with in a long time were doing tonight. Maybe he’d eat with them, but first he’d have to swing by his apartment to lay down his belongings where he saw a familiar, slightly terrifying sight.
Long, silvery, white hair fluttered in the wind in conjunction to a grey – silver coat pressed in perfect condition. The man’s face had long features with a distinct slight scowl to his thin silvery grey eyebrows letting you know he always meant business.
“M-m-mister Jennings! I-I-… Surprised to meet you here!”
Mr. Jennings gave a slight smile and walked over to give Kendrick a strong pat on the back nearly sending  his body flying into the concrete ground. He let out a nervous laughter.
“How’s my man doing?! Everything is going well with Jackie I presume!”
“Y-y-es sir! Ha hah ha…” Kendrick was always nervous around Jackie’s father. He was a well disciplined man and a strongly religious one at that.
“Don’t be nervous, after all these years and my future son in law still gets the jitters around me! Ha ha ha!” Mr. Jennings gave another strong pat on the back. That one would leave a mark on Kendrick’s back as he tried to rub it down with more nervous laughter.
“What brings you here today?”
“Business, and I thought I’d stop by! Its not everyday I can swing by to check up on you two.”
“Jacqueline is in the library, she’s been working on a project for the past few weeks. She’s on to something big.”
The look of pride emerged from Mr. Jennings’ face, but no smile this time. “I wonder what it could be? Well, I guess I’ll see you around Kenny!”
“Y-yes sir!”
Mr. Jennings walked down the stairs of the apartment complex, his long hair fluttering in the breeze with his coat swaying behind him. Kendrick let out a sigh of relief as Mr. Jennings was a safe distance away before opening his door and walking in closing the door behind.
The sun had set on this day and Solomon had yet to leave his temple. He brought up X Company and found a thin trace to when his father had been the president of Richards Conglomerates. Something he wanted to look, if the past were only able to speak to him a bit more clearly. Kenzington had been working on the messaging servers and dropped by his work space with news that there had been a hitch in the system that had been resolved.
“Hey, Kenzington… Do you remember when my parents died… What did Company X have to deal with it?”
“Well, sir…. before these companies were all dissolved and broken apart into pieces they were all one just one company.” With a few taps and swipes Kenzington opened up a breakdown of Company X and its history with Richards Conglomerates. “Wow, so while Richards Conglomerates had been pulled together by my father, Company X managed to fall apart and break apart.”
“Well, from these press releases”, Kenzington pulled up simultaneous documents and threw them into the air. “it seems they weren’t to fall apart but intentionally broken apart. Weather in disputes and arguments or to minimize risk in finance.”
“Interesting, its obvious there is a lot of drama amongst the Brady Bunch.” Solomon sneered.
Kenzington continued his usual maintenance activities and interjected with a comment, “While I was doing some digging sir I did find some rumors to our drug imports from a few days back that just surfaced and you may want to pay a visit to one of our trading partners.”
“Are you kidding me? One of our partners? Unacceptable, cut them off now and let me build a case.”
“You may not want to cut them off from Richards Conglomerates as they are our largest East Asia trading partner… and I believe you will want to pay a visit to this one before doing anything.”
Kenzington flicked up a few images replacing the social diagram with some shipments marked Richard Conglomerates.
“They are using our name to ship the drugs in Asia, but we only have pictures of boxes that were released on the Internet on some forums.”
“…and so we need to verify the results, the best thing to do is to go in and hand check them ourselves… Well I guess I’ll have to choose to pursue our Sinister Six or our drug lead.”
“No you will not have to do sir.” Kenzington flicked up a last image onto the screen.
“This is the right hand man of Hillary Hamas, Genentech’s CEO and Owner. He was spotted in China around our shipments that marked each port from where the drug shipments were traced back from.”
“Great work, where did you manage to find this lead Kenzington?”
“Sir, you keep forgetting I worked for British Intelligence prior to becoming your family’s caretaker. I had max clearance to intelligence around the world. Something like this is low level material. Please don’t continue to undervalue my worth here sir. Your operation would never stay afloat without my cunning prowess and experience.”
Solomon grinned largely as he ran over to Kenzington and gave him a bear hug lifting his small frame from the ground causing his usually kept garb to crinkle before Solomon had dropped him to the floor and ran out the door shouting things to his automated home system to ready his personal jet with enough fuel to China and back.

BK Chapter 1 – A Mix Up

The night was cold, and the air smelled of salt. Solomon stared out from the ledge of the tallest building overlooking the Bay City. The sparkling lights slowly started to disappear as the fog rolled in to strengthen the scent of salt in the ocean air. From where he stood the city lied in a serene lull. To the eyes, Megapolis slept, so deceiving from the evil that thrived under the cover of darkness.

Honestly, Solomon knew that he was strange odd sight, standing at the ledge of a hundred-story building, scanning the city in an odd Batman-like suit wasn’t something everyone normally does. It had only been two weeks since he’d donned the powered suit his father had left him. A billionaire from a young age, his parents had left him with all the family had owned when they had died. With so much money, and no family or friends, except a servant, to share it with, life had been difficult, as he had grown up. He had never gotten over his families death, the sole survivor of what was thought to be some cataclysmic accident.

A swift breeze whipped across the top of the building signaling that the wind would soon pick up. Standing at the top of the tallest building of the city had its perks. Standing on the top of the tallest building that belonged to you, even better. When his family died, whatever belonged to his family went straight to Solomon Richards. Solomon became the sole owner of Richards Conglomerate and all of its branches. Bruce Wayne, had Wayne Enterprise, Solomon practically held the world in his hands.

Solomon heard a buzz as the radio uplink clicked to hear the familiar voice of his servant, “Sir, our sensors are indicating the storm will reach shore within the hour. I will upload the data to your suit.”

“I can see it from here Kenzington. I’ll probably be returning earlier than usual. Intelligence is harder to come up with when it rains”

“As you say, I’ll have fresh clothes and refreshments prepared.”

“Thanks Kenzington, you the best.”

As the radio connection clicked off, Solomon’s visor swooped into place covering/ protecting his face. He couldn’t get enough of it. The process of thought controlled most of the suit, and not even the latest technology could keep up with some of the things the suit could do. Best of all, it was a perfect fit, light as a feather, and he always had a hell of a fun time running around in it.

A message beeped and projected itself to his visor. With how advanced the suit’s technology was, it was relatively easy to configure and compatible with nearly anything he’d try to streamline with it. He cracked a smile as images and video of the location of Yamamoto, Jin. Solomon’s newest addition to his suit’s functionality was the ability to stream into the local camera network of Megapolis. Since every camera was on a different network, it had been a tedious process to hack into the various network camera feeds, and from there had run the feeds through the government’s face recognition database. All the sleepless nights had paid off with this lead. It was time to meet this thug.

Solomon stepped forward to the edge of the ledge. He spread out his arms and took one last deep breath and jumped. Falling from one hundred stories wasn’t something he had gotten used to yet, but he couldn’t get enough as his adrenaline pumped stronger as his barometer counted down his decent to earth.

For two weeks Solomon had been running around Megapolis at night fighting the creepy bad guys, looking for someone to beat up. Masquerading as some kind of superhero. It must have been an amusing sight as he’d caught a few petty thieves in action, a few robberies here and there, even running into a burning building saving a child. Solomon had just one policy for himself. He would always stay out of sight from the public, never stepping out of the shadows. Publicity wouldn’t mix well with his plans.

Contrary to his actions or policy Solomon wasn’t a crime fighter. He was no super hero. It was a true masquerade, it would be a lie to call him a protector of the weak, the hand of justice. Perhaps the closest thing to him may have been Batman. Solomon’s reason for picking up the suit was full of ulterior motives, perhaps not ultimately for revenge, but rather to find out the truth. Stemming from the death of his family, he knew as a kid the deaths of his family members just didn’t add up. He had obsessed over their deaths, he had nearly driven himself to obsession as the loneliness picked at him, prodded into his soul. Sadly enough, for Solomon, this became the meaning of his existence.

Solomon, the man in a suit of armor continued to streak down to earth. Ten stories from the ground the jets in his boots automatically operated, cushioning his fall. He leveraged his fall to churn the movement into a run and sped through the city at inhuman speeds. Leaping from roof to roof, cutting from alley to alley, Solomon put free runners to shame powering through the city at sixty miles per hour. He could see bits and pieces of the dock through the fog as he grew closer and closer to his destination.

For two weeks he had tested the suits abilities in real life situations; with the armed robberies, combat with the thieves, and the fire, all too easy. Everything was too easy with the suit on, and every test surpassed his expectations. He had projected a month to get fully used to the suits functions, but with such great results and ease of control Solomon decided to set his plans into motions a bit earlier than planned.

Solomon turned into the last alley, which lead to a dead end. He sped up and jumped, scaling a third of the wall. He ran up the rest of the building with ease nearing the edge of his journey. He glided across expanse of the roof and launched himself from the top of the roof just as an enormous cargo boat entered the interior dock. Solomon, hoping to land on the large cargo boat, or even grab the tail end misjudged the power of his step in excitement. He let out a gasp as he realized that he was heading straight into the dark waters of the bay. He flailed his feet forward reactivating his jets, but only activating it for just a split second due to the time lag between boosts. In mid tumble he managed to grab a railing over the side of the ship successfully avoiding an extremely wet situation. Solomon pulled himself on deck as he stowed away among the huge cargo boxes on deck.

It was dark inside the building and he could hear orders being barked and feet shuffling around moving away from the boat. He turned on his infrared on his visor, which gave him a clear view of the inside of the docks. He could see around five to six men moving boxes from the boat off the docks. Something was up, a boat moving in through the cover of darkness and fog. Something was fishy, and fishy was exactly what he was looking for. Fishy would lead him to Yamamoto, who should still be at the docks, and Yamamoto had his fingers in anything relatively fishy. Solomon couldn’t get a good view of the docks from the boxes he was hiding behind and decided to prop himself on top of the boxes to get a better view.

Bingo. From the opposite end of the docks he spotted Yamamoto in his trench coat and fedora. He zoomed up the image to make sure, and it was crystal clear. Oddly enough, out of place, he spotted a young women tied to a chair.

“Was she kidnapped by Yamamoto?” Solomon tried to think.

He zoomed up to her face trying to figure out if it was someone famous or important that he might know of the top of his head, but she was blindfolded obstructing the view of much of her face. His mind raced, the sole reason of being here was for intelligence, and intelligence meant figure out information on Yamamoto. Yamamoto ran the streets with gambling, drugs, and whatever shady dealings made money, his hands would be on it. However, being one of the heads on the streets didn’t mean that Yamamoto was at the top. He had to have a boss, even someone like Yamamoto reported to somebody, and through complicated reasoning, and Yamamoto being Solomon’s only lead, he was stuck in a predicament. Save a random girl, or go through with simply gathering intelligence. Yet, Solomon played with the idea of possibly doing both.

He stood at the top of the boxes thinking, enjoying the wonderful view of the shady dealings of the criminals in progress. His mind began to race trying to calculate a plan to combine gathering intelligence, and saving the girl in the process. Both had their perks, gut instinct was to go save the girl. However, that would ultimately blow his cover as there was no way to smuggle the girl out of the dock without the dirt bags knowing she was gone. On the other hand, if he just gathered intelligence, he wouldn’t be noticed, he could be able to formulate a plan, and possibly figure out who Yamamoto’s boss was and go from there. Save the girl another day? Solomon was unsure.

As he tried to figure out a plan he continued to watch from the top of the boxes. Solomon thought it was so stupid how these creepy criminals always loved to make deals with the lights off, using darkness of night as cover. Perhaps doing bad things in the dark made these criminals feel better, or gave them some reassurance that no one was watching. Solomon laughed inside, knowing he was watching. Bad guys are so stupid, he thought.

In that instant something peculiar happened that startled Solomon knocking himself off the boxes creating a huge ruckus as boxes tumbled over. His visor went completely white then dark. He couldn’t figure out what happened exactly until he popped his visor open, which nearly blinded his true sight. Someone had turned on the lights, and the evil bad guys knew that he had been on top of the boxes… WATCHING!

Shaking his head and recovering from the initial shock of losing his vision he fumbled around. His adrenaline started to pump as he realized he was in danger. There were foot steps clamoring up toward the ship signaling that the creepy bad men would be where Solomon was very quickly, if he didn’t figure a new place to hide.

“How ironic.” Solomon popped his visor back on and turned off the infrared view returning his vision back to normal. I guess that means I’m not gathering intel today…”

He measured the distance between the girl and where he stood and jumped off the cargo boat activating his jets, which sent him flying toward the girl. Shocked by a fully armored man hurtling towards them at high speeds, the evil baddies didn’t even get a chance to take out their guns. Solomon had swooped the girl out of the chair and was halfway toward the nearest exit when he heard bullets whiz by as he dashed faster and faster toward the nearest door. As he neared it, he jumped up and slammed into the door feet first, which smacked one of Yamamoto’s henchmen in the back.

Flying through the air, Solomon held the girl tightly, riding the door, and simultaneously riding one of the henchmen. Solomon smashed into the ground, smashing the man underneath the door and continued to run.

“Ouch that’s gotta hurt… I guess next time you won’t stand in front of the door, when Solomon needs a quick get away.” Solomon shook his head and leapt up the side of a building, then hoped to the next.

He noticed the girl mumble something and Solomon took the liberty of removing the cloth tied around her face so she could see and communicate.

“What the hell are you doing?! Put me down right now!”

Solomon lifted his visor half way so that he could talk to the girl yet keep his identity hidden. Puzzled he looked down at the girl as he continued to hop from building to building leaving the docks behind in the thick fog. Rain started to drizzle across the bay as he continued to run away from the dock.

“Excuse me?” Solomon looked down.

“K-k-kendrick!? Kendrick, what is this?! Is this some kind of joke!?”

Solomon, now a little confused and a bit irritated checked the distance from the docks on his visors and decided it was safe to let the girl down. The fog would cover his tracks, and it was safe enough to drop the girl off in the current area. He cut the ropes off her hands and feet and could see that she was a bit mad.

“You know, I just rescued you from some really bad people.”

“Kendrick, if you’re trying to make up for what happened today, it’s not working. You know that I’m going to be a journalist, and the best there is. Even if I have to put myself in danger to do so!” Her eyes glowed with passion as she stared off into the distance monologuing.

Solomon started to string the situation together. “I’m sorry, but I believe you are mixing me up with someone else.”

“OH PLEASE! Lose the super hero gag Kendrick. How could it not be you?! Same hair as this morning popping out of that helmet thing of yours, same height, you could change your voice just a bit to make you sound a little bit more heroic, and heck… I can spot you standing around from a million miles away. Don’t even try that on your girlfriend.”

Solomon flinched backwards as he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He began to think that she may be a stalker that was infatuated with him.. After all, he was a boy billionaire. Could Kendrick be her special nickname for him? Solomon, Kendrick? No, nothing added up.

“Look, I don’t know Kendrick, and I am not your boyfriend. Obviously…”

“Obviously what? Obviously, you are stupid. I can’t believe you’d go through this much trouble… You know, all I ever want to hear, is a SORRY?”

With that statement Solomon concluded that the girl was insane. In a split second, disregarding keeping his identity a secret, and a bit of frustration, he accidentally slipped a thought to open his visor revealing the entirety of his face. The female gasped and slapped him in the face.

“You are so kidding me…” Solomon rubbed the side of his cheek. The girl knew how to hit.

“You’re not… Kendrick.”

“Like i said…” Solomon shook his head and flipped his visor half way. “Take a cab from here. Don’t do anything stupid like that anymore. Mixing yourself up with Yamamoto will only end with you dieing.” Her eyes were still wide as saucers unable to comprehend the situation. She looked as if she was about to fall into shock.

“The area should be safe, so take a cab out.” Solomon’s visor slipped down covering the rest of his face and he sped off. Her eyes were still wide with fright and shock, not knowing how to react to the situation. Before the girl had returned to Earth, Solomon was three buildings away. No, make that four.