evillurks: (cranston impassive)
It has not been easy to pull things together so quickly, but The Shadow has a secured facility in upstate New York, and men he can trust to guard Ming. With the Myra Reldon of his own world dead for over a decade, Ming Dwan is an unknown. The agents he has ready to guard her have never heard the name, and no better than to ask too many questions, in any case.
The transportation from her world to his is the more complicated part of the arrangement, in the end, and he takes some liberties working in the other world. He does not dare to make use of the connections he once had, but he visits to arrange the rental of a private plane, under an alias his younger self has never used. The man who lands to pick up Ming comes alone, and asks to see Sayre directly. He is tall, with a piercing gaze, but his eyes are dark. An older man with silver hair, he is nevertheless clearly still strong and in good health. His features are plain, almost nondescript, and his featureless coveralls are a costume that allows him to add a little bulk to his narrow frame. Apart from his height, there is little to make him recognizable even to the young doctor.
Seeing Dr. Sayre again is almost painful, but the weathered, ordinary face shows no emotional reaction. He has some very secure bonds to place Ming in, and is quick to fly away with her, landing in an obscure and empty field miles away. She is sedated, and he guards her mind carefully even before PINpointing to his own dimension with her. Placed in a cell in an underground bunker, she is under heavy guard before he leaves, to return the rental plane and vanish quietly into the night. That brief trip is a test, and he finds guarding her mind and Myra's across dimensions difficult, but possible.

He has been in contact, if vague, about his arrangements, and sends off a message to let his alternate know Ming is safely locked up once more. Then he retires to the Sanctum to work, and strengthen the shielding around the minds of both women.
evillurks: (cranston asleep)
Thanksgiving is a day to count one's blessings, a day to relax with family and friends, and a day of indulgence. Alone, in a spartan uptown apartment, The Shadow celebrates in his own way. Very few crimes are committed on this day. In his most casual clothes, the aged crimefighter stretches out on the couch, idly peruses a few books, and sleeps. He's very grateful for a rare day of rest.

Sake owed

Nov. 14th, 2009 03:24 pm
evillurks: (cranston impassive)
The Rettigue apartment has sat empty for a few days, as The Shadow worked out of the Sanctum and another apartment across town, closer to the area he's been watching. With another drug ring at least temporarily stifled, he is ready to migrate back to this place that is the closest thing to a home he has.

He is also likely to arrive late to his own arranged meeting, leaving Ichi to jump at the opening of the door. The muted sounds beyond indicate a quiet hall rather than the outdoors, and the rattling cough that accompanies the entrance should reassure him to who is entering there.
evillurks: (cranston thoughtful)
Now that he's growing accustomed to having her as a true agent again, Myra's recovery in her own world puts The Shadow slightly short-handed. He finds his own wheezing a severe liability whenever stealth is needed, forcing him to rely on other agents for quiet investigations. The alternate solution, and one he struggles to uphold, is to be supremely diligent in taking care of himself except when he truly needs to take to the streets firsthand. The restriction grates on his nerves, and coordinating agents to do some of the footwork takes up more time.
He is careful, following the unexpected incident in ancient Japan, and he is also busy. The drug market has gone fairly quiet, but there is a definite gradual increase in violent crime. Arresting the individuals involved seems to have no impact on this slow crescendo. The network is spread wide and thin, scratching the ground for clues. After a matter of days, The Shadow has done all he can do about the matter. Once again he must wait, sift the city through his agents, and hope some vital puzzle piece comes to light. On this break from work he recalls a social obligation. A morning outing has him arriving at the Rettigue apartment with sake and scotch. The place has been abandoned the past few days, but that means there's no paperwork to tidy. The grand spaces and spartan furnishings should make it a comfortable place for a blind man to visit.

When the sake is warm and the cups set out, he sends off an invitation, and then laughs quietly at his own unfamiliar attempt at hospitality.
evillurks: (cranston impassive)
The Shadow has been making an effort to take a break from his work, nearly every day. The erratic quality of his schedule is an excuse, and he knows it. On the other hand the wheezing rattle that tends to rise in his lungs at the end of a twenty-hour day is a distressing reminder to take care of himself. He cannot quite erase the disapproving looks from Sarah Branigan and Myra from his mind, although he would never admit aloud they have any impact on his behavior.

Some days, however, chatting with the Nexus crowd is too much. He has never been a naturally social man, and there are days that the chatter wears on his nerves. Today he does not feel up to the babble of the crowd, and has sought out a more secluded area. Too restless to truly rest in his few hours off, he is cheating. Psychological peace of mind seems as important as physical health, and with that thought he can justify himself.

Off in the edge of the Nexus is a garden, half-ruined and damaged from a flood more than a year ago, the place is badly neglected. It is also quiet. Amid the sparse trees, The Shadow moves slowly through a Tai-Chi routine. He is dressed in a fashion he would consider sloppy, only a t-shirt and slacks, his feet bare in the grass.

Check-up

Sep. 22nd, 2009 10:47 pm
evillurks: (cranston impassive)
The Shadow has been splitting his time between the Sanctum and the apartment of James Rettigue, but only one of these locations is a place for guests. The coffee table is a solid mass of paperwork, although there are signs of order in the form of stacks. The furniture is sleek and black, modern even for its time. One wall of the living room is dominated by a tall picture window that overlooks the city, but the curtains are half drawn. From the kitchen the scent of fresh coffee drifts, but The Shadow is not used to entertaining. The spartan feel to the place, broken only by his paperwork, does not give a welcoming feel.

Undercover

Sep. 5th, 2009 03:04 pm
evillurks: (wary)
Deep in the hold of a freighter, bound eventually for eastern ports, The Shadow composes messages and recieves information regarding crime in New York. Already he has had to warn Burbank that his absence may run longer than expected. The trail he has picked up is leading him not merely to a seaport, but to points further inland. The crates that have aroused his suspicions are marked 'Afghanistan'. The road ahead promises to be long and difficult.

He is not technically traveling as a stowaway, at least not in the traditional sense. The face he wears mirrors that of a man currently held by his agents back in the city. One of the few on board trusted to the secret drug trade operations, this man has provided him the ideal cover for the journey. The man whose face he wears belongs in prison, but his punishment will be a tricky political affair, involving forein policy and extradition. For the time being, he must remain under watch, as his release to the proper authorities would destroy The Shadow's cover. It is an awkward situation in every aspect.
There is little more than a skeleton crew aboard the ship, as most of the real work happens in ports, and is done by men there. Modern freighters require few hands, guided by computers and well-charted courses. There is little for the men to do, from day to day. The Shadow spends much of his time among coarse men, who while away the hours in smoking and card games. The second-hand smoke burns raw in his left lung, and he finds coughing unavoidable. He has convinced the other men this, and his own reluctance for a cigarette, are due to his coming down with a cold. Illness is usually quick to spread in such close quarters, so the other men are glad to avoid close contact with him. This suits his purposes ideally, sparing him from more exposure to their smoke, and buying him ample time for his private communications.
It is a miserable trip, all the same.
evillurks: (scowl comic)
It's an unpleasant thing to argue with yourself from half a lifetime ago, even if there are other subtle differences I haven't had opportunity to note yet. Clearly my sense of humour has improved. Still... he spoke to me in Russian, and if memory serves, I have a good idea what he's currently gotten himself into. I'd probably snap too, in such a situation.

Was I really so dour?

Have I really become that.. personable with Myra?


Alone in the darkness of the Sanctum, The Shadow watches the writing fading beneath the single blue light. With a sigh he crumples it in a gnarled hand and drops it neatly into the unseen waste basket. Back to business. There's Myra's courier jobs to line up, and a greater task he'll need her on when the time is right.
evillurks: (cranston thoughtful)
The ordinarily spartan apartment is showing the signs of being inhabited by a man of limited mobility. It is not that The Shadow isn't capable of going up the hall to sleep in the bedroom, it's simply that he can't be bothered. Ever since leaving the Clinics, around the clock, his life has centered around the sofa and coffee table, and the kitchen. He is too fastidious not to put his dirty dishes in the sink, but papers have accumulated around his living room workstation until it forms a small disaster area. The PINpoint is central to the chaos, reading glasses tossed haphazardly beside it. Pens and pencils are scattered on the table and floor.

The Shadow himself is dressed in t-shirt and slacks, and looks comparatively put together apart from being sans shoes. He is attempting to gather the papers into some semblance of order as Myra arrives.

Gratitude

Jul. 6th, 2009 10:24 am
evillurks: (cranston impassive)
The Shadow has been back in his own world for several days, but he has yet to see any duty on the streets. The combination of grave warnings from the doctors and nurse Branigan, combined with an awareness that he still wheezes after any form of exertion are enough to persuade him to take rest. The Shadow's form of rest, however, may not be quite what the clinic staff had in mind.
The apartment of James Rettigue, sleek with black furnishings and little decoration, is nearly as good as a second Sanctum. He would prefer the familiar, dusty elegance of the abandoned Cranston Mansion for his recovery, but this is a working vacation. There is a luxury here, in that the black suede sofa is long enough for even him to lie out at full length. It is here he spends much of his days, papers and books within reach on the coffee table, PINpoint in hand. It sees almost constant use for text communication with Burbank. The phone is also close at hand, thanks to an extended cord, because sometimes it is easier to give instructions and recieve information in a more personal fashion. The task of coordinating agents, even as expanded as his network has become, to cover for him is a more laborious task than his usual work. He sleeps erratically, as has become his habit, and forces himself off the couch to stretch and make coffee and occasionally food. Just once, when things seem quiet for an hour or two, he dons black garments and visits the Nexus for the sake of preserving his own sanity and patience.

Somewhere amidst this life-devouring stream of work, he finds a few moments here and there to write notes, bundle together borrowed books, and PINpoints them home to their respective owners. He appreciated every visit... )

When the thank you letters are done, he returns to his work, and his private worries over Myra.
evillurks: (injured)
The recent hate crime is at last sufficient to break The Shadow's self-imposed physical restrictions. Although he knows the wound in his shoulder is very far from healed, he places the case above his physical well-being, assuming the work will be more tedious than strenuous, in any case. The police have no leads at all, as hate crimes are often committed by otherwise ordinary citizens. The neighbours are somewhat suspect, especially considering how late into the morning they reported it, but they are close-mouthed and fairly law-abiding community.
The Shadow is upon the scene the night after the crime, seeking any incriminating clues. What he finds takes the rest of the day's research to produce anything hopeful, but the next night he seeks out a teenage boy that has fallen under his suspicion. His approach is careful, but the boy reacts with first contempt, then fear at the questions that come from the very darkness around him.

When he runs, The Shadow does not hesitate to follow. The boy has a slight lead, but The Shadow's long strides carry him after easily, around a corner, dodging a dumpster, and vaulting over a low fence. He is nearly upon the boy at that move, but as he clears the fence his very breath seems to go very wrong within his chest. Rather than landing with soundless grace and catching the boy's clothes, he stumbles and fetches against the alley wall, gasping. As the footsteps vanish into the distance, The Shadow struggles for air and finds that breathing in feels like the worst thing he could possibly do. He fumbles for his PINpoint, pulls up the default coordinates for the Nexus Clinics, and pushes the button as he sinks to his knees.
evillurks: (cranston thoughtful)
The appointment has been set for very early in the morning, a reminder that he keeps all hours, not just the late ones. The coordinates he's sent Myra land her somewhere that the very first and overwhelming impression is one of fog. In her day and age, only a daring pilot would dream of taking off in it, but this is a modern airport with a very small, if often unmanned control tower, from which it's already clear this is simply a low-lying and temporary blanket of mist that will burn off quickly once the sun is truly up. Already a watery light is filtering through.
The building at her back is a shabby hangar, and is no different from any she's seen in her own time, if just a little more weathered. On a private airfield, not much changes but the planes.

The Shadow, dressed in a button-down shirt, light jacket, and jeans, is holding two thermoses. It should be easy to guess the contents, but he looks fairly alert already. "Morning." He has either slept a little better, or is simply covering for it well. Possibly there is some combination of the two.
evillurks: (injured)
The Battle

The Aftermath

In sleep Myra looks nothing like the harsh, sometimes cruel Ming. The rumpled covers reveal a shoulder pale and bare but for the strap of a nightgown. Her tousled hair still looks black in the darkness, locks streaming across the pillow. She looks so terribly young, and blissfully at peace in her current dreams.
Her blood is still warm, staining the bedclothes, when he PINpoints away. Read more... )
evillurks: (wary)
The Shadow PINpoints to Victor's coordinates early, in black trench-coat, hat and scarf, but sans cloak. His arm is bandaged still, but well healed enough that he is no longer concerned about popping stitches. He paces as he waits, stretching muscles stiff from the unusual lack of exercise.
evillurks: (cranston direct)
Time to talk... )
evillurks: (cranston thoughtful)
At the end of a long, picturesque drive and surrounded by trees, the Cranston Mansion sits. Only the woods keep the Hudson river out of view, and somewhere across it, Manhattan. The Mansion sits dark now, untenanted and infrequently visited by a caretaker who lives some miles away. There are people who wonder why Lamont Cranston, having long ago retired to the Carribean, and now in failing health, does not sell the old place. The grounds are beginning to look overgrown and wild, and the furniture sits mouldering beneath dust covers.
He maintains ownership from afar for one reason only, as a favor to a sometimes tenant no one ever sees come and go. The Shadow does not stay here often anymore, and he knows that when Lamont Cranston dies he will lose this refuge. He has other places, in the city, but still comes to sleep in the familiar master bedroom when he desperately needs peace, quiet, and isolation. The PINpoint makes it easier to come and go without risk of being spotted.
For two days, The Shadow haunts the Cranston mansion, leaving off the lights and sleeping on the study couch. He sleeps often, dosing himself heavily with aspirin, meditating to ward off the pain. He has never felt anything like this. Every bone in his body down to the smallest fragments of wrist and fingertips aches, burns, and drags like lead. He feels heavy, ancient, weighed down by years and pain and exhaustion. It was perhaps unwise to let Metody reinforce his bones, and he wonders if there is some complication from his age, from the build up of damage the young man so clearly saw. In a haze of aches he manages the walk to and from the kitchen and the bathroom, living on old stale coffee and, once in those two days, some old canned soup.

After two days he wakes in the evening, just before sunset, and gazes blearily at a decaying bear's head mounted over the double doors of the study. The couch barely fits his length, and he shifts and stretches. There is a lingering ache, a mild heaviness, but the only pain that catches at him is the injured right arm and his battered legs. The flesh wounds there are deep, but healing. After a few more aspirin he stands tentatively, reaching up, stretching and turning and twisting. He feels... solid. Reassuringly well, apart from the gashes on his arm. Within an hour even the lingering ache is gone and he moves through a stretching routine, paces, and practices a few faster moves. There is not a trace of stiffness. Not only are his ribs healed, but any trace of arthritis has vanished. His joints feel almost new. By the time his arm heals, he reflects, he will be in better shape than he has been for a decade.

The Shadow is not a new man, but he is an improved one.
evillurks: (writing)
Aspirin can only do so much, and The Shadow is past due for a rest by the time he returns to his own world, but there are details to clear up first. The PINpoint makes things easier, but it’s still a chore to return Derring’s body to the bookshop. Physically incapable of dragging him upstairs, The Shadow manages to fine tune the PINpoint to take them both the short distance from downstairs to the upper room where the circle remains. Another trip brings up the books. A few of the volumes strike him as suspicious enough to hold onto, but the rest he dumps beside the body. Garbage bags removed, Derring is left sprawled on the floor with them, his head inside the chalk circle. The Shadow has taken a little time to prepare for this, and brought lighter fluid, which he pours lightly along the chalked line. Bending with difficulty, he relights the ceremonial candles, and tips just one.
From the doorway he watches long enough to see the fire crackling it’s way through floorboards, and slowly working at the remains of the man who caused the trouble. There will be questions, ones the police are not likely to ever find answers to. The bullet can’t be helped. He is too tired to care. When the upper story begins to become a dangerous place to stand, he slips downstairs and out, to call the fire department before any neighbouring buildings are threatened. Then The Shadow slips down an alley, calls a cab in the next street, and makes his way toward the Sanctum. Burbank will be notified. The case is closed, and that’s all the agents need to know.

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