7 January 2011
Ravan flipped over the dossier as the plane came down at the New Carthage Airport. It was a convoluted trek from the Morningstar base, which was located on the floor of Lake Ontario right on the US/Canada border. Ravan had just finished reading the ‘exciting’ history of Zesti Cola and moved onto:
** The History of New Carthage **
The deed to New Carthage was signed on July 1, 1642 between Abner Hudson and Chief Honive for two horses and forty blankets. The contract was renegotiated again in 1700 when the settlers had to pay an actual financial sum of 2000 pounds.
In 1692, New Carthage was home to a less famous witch trial, actually a warlock trial. The accusations were less fanatical than the Salem hysteria, but Thomas Asquith Randolph was burnt at the stake by church officials. He vowed revenge as he burned.
In 1792 the New Carthage town hall burnt down, on the centenary of Thomas Asquith Randolph’s death and again in 1892 the Town Hall burnt down and coincidentally again in 1992. Since then every 22 of September has been named Randolph’s Night and bonfires are lit followed by fireworks displays in preparation for Halloween.
New Carthage was incorporated as a city in 1895.
In the 1920’s the Ku Klux Klan tried to establish a foothold in New Carthage but was beaten out of town by the burgeoning Italian-American community, the suburb Barlotti named after alleged gangster Alphonso Barlotti.
During the 1930’s-40’s, the city was under the protection of The Silver Shepherd until he mysteriously vanished in 1949. The New Carthage Airport was built in 1943 as a backup site of the Air National Guard unit to protect New York City.
In the 1960s and 1970s, New Carthage’s commercial real estate boomed as corporations relocated up from New York City, Gotham & Metropolis to peripheral areas. A massive urban redevelopment campaign during that time resulted in a downtown with many tall office buildings. In 1962, Horace J Swain built what was the city's tallest structure, The Swain Tower, at 24 floors high of marble in the city centre which bankrupted him and his family due to the expense.
Hudson University, named after Abner Hudson and a sizeable donation from the Hudson family, was opened in 1966 and has expanded over the years to a massive campus with a STAR Labs facility attached to the science department. Around this time a new (possible the old) Silver Shepherd appeared around the city but as quick as his return, vanished.
In 1975 the city’s tallest building, The Huxtable, was opened and dominated the skyline. It was dwarfed in 2009 by the new Zesti Cola head office which relocated from Opal City. Zesti Cola has naming rights on the stadium until 2030.
During the 80’s the city, and the country, had an economic downturn which crippled parts of the city. But under the mayorship of Elizabeth Gale, the city recovered and rewarded her with a record five terms before her retirement in 1998.
The New Carthage Elephants, the cities NFL team, was founded in 2000 and has a rivalry with the Gotham Rogues caused by a busload of Gothamites burnt down the Elephants stadium after a one point loss in 2001. The Carthaginians, the cities lacrosse team share the stadium as does the MLS The New Carthage Conquerors.
New Carthage is made up of approximately 22 distinct neighbourhoods: Atlantic Square, Barlotti, Charlestown, Downtown, Fairfield, Flat Mount, Gateshead, Goose Hill, Hannibal, Himera, Hudson, Indian Park, Landmark Square, Leptis, North Shepherd’s Bush, Roxbury, Sahara, Senate Grove, Shepherd’s Bush, Swaineville, Swaineville Heights and Zama
The New Carthage Police Department(NCPD) is the only police force and is composed of a chief (currently William Esperanza) , 1 assistant chief, 7 captains, 11 lieutenants, 52 sergeants, 220 officers, 3 police dogs and 55 civilian employees
Mayor of New Carthage, Jeffrey Hannibal Hudson II, is a direct descendant of Abner Hudson.
People of note in New Carthage
Jeffrey Hannibal Hudson II (Mayor), Pamela Hudson (mayor’s wife), William Esperanza (Police Chief), Emma McKenzie (Assistant Police Chief), Elliott D Moxon (Head of Zesti Cola), Dorian Barlotti (property developer), Dominic Barlotti (quarterback for the New Carthage Elephants), Rebecca Gale (District Attorney), Peter Ferrick aka The Masked Bandito (92yr former super villain),
Ravan sighed to himself, closed his folder and rubbed the back of his head, his fingers tracing the paper thin scar on his skull.
“Ready to go to work?” said Harvest as she adjusted her burkha and sat beside him, ignoring the seatbelt sign.
“I am always ready” said Dhaman suggestively as he peered between the two seats “Ready, willing and able”
Ravan shook his head “Does it not bother you that we are tagged like cattle?”
“Seriously bird boy, I’ll dig it out of your head if it’ll shut you up!” Harvest snarled “Man! Should’ve offered T twenty!”
“Welcome to New Carthage!” said the captain in an overly friendly tone “Enjoy your stay”
Ravan and Harvest walked through the airport, dressed as a traditional Muslim couple. Dhaman followed along behind them nonchalantly dressed up as a body builder. Airport security noted them but nothing to take action over; they were more worried about the group of dancing Hari Krishnas who had once again encroached into the terminal with their dancing and noise. Ravan got into the front seat of the cab, Harvest in the back, Dhaman stopped to by buy the Daily Planet.
“Where to?” barked the harsh, weather beaten man behind the wheel.
“The Davenport Hotel” said Harvest
Ravan pulled off his turban and sunglasses and threw them on the floor. Harvest looked at him and placed her bag on the floor.
“I know it’s a hotel” she said “But come on!”
“Let us go kill this man and be done with it!” snapped Ravan drawing his kirpan “Send this man to his demise so I can work out how to be free”
Harvest placed her hands on her hips, Ravan could tell the expression on her face even though it was hidden by cloth “Don’t you think I’ve tried?! I’ve been in Morningstar for about a year now and I nearly went mad trying to work out how to get it out. It’s not just its position, it’s how its linked to his powers. It’s in there, just forget it, it’s like an earring or a tattoo”
“I have neither”
“Fine it’s like pubic hair!” said Harvest “Have you got that?”
Ravan picked up his turban, mumbling to himself.
“So?” asked Harvest
“When do we kill Elliott Moxon?” said Ravan avoiding the question.
“You’re really bad at this assassin business.” scoffed Harvest as she headed to the fridge. Ravan shot across the room and grabbed her wrist, flipping her like one beat a rug, onto the floor. He sat on her, pinning her to the floor, one hand tightly on her jaw pushing down, the other gripping his kirpan, the tip sat millimetres from her eye.
“I am not an assassin!” Ravan growled
“This isn’t very convincing” replied Harvest looking up at him from her prone position “You better get off me before you lose, well let’s just say, I’ll bite it off!”
“At it again you dirty little minx!” Dhaman stood in the doorway watching them “Don’t mind me, I’ll have a go when you’re finished!”
Ravan looked over at Dhaman and stood up, extending a hand for Harvest who knocked it away. Ravan marched over to the big man.
“You are a disgusting human being!” said Ravan “I would kill you but I fear my god strike me down for sending another putrid gift to her table!”
“Settle man, she’s just a girl!” laughed Dhaman patting Ravan on the face patronisingly. Ravan grabbed Dhaman’s wrist, twisted and forced him to the floor using a simple joint lock. Dhaman tried to struggle but Ravan just pushed his arm further, nearly popping it from its socket. Ravan ran his kirpan along Dhaman’s cheek.
“Kali is a woman!” growled Ravan forcing the arm higher “Apologise to Harvest”
“Sorry” whimpered Dhaman
“I don’t think you mean it” said Ravan applying more pressure “Again!”
“I’M SORRY!” yelled Dhaman, tears in his eyes.
Ravan leant in and whispered in his ear “You so much as look at Harvest or Tigress or for that matter, ANY woman again with anything but reverence, I will end you! Are we clear?”
“…Yes” panted Dhaman
Ravan sheathed his weapon and stood up; Harvest gave him a round of applause. Dhaman slowly got up off the floor, huffing and puffing before he grabbed the TV set and threw it out the window with a crash, followed by slamming his fist deep into the wall.
“Very mature” sniggered Harvest
“Oh shut up!” yelled Dhaman stamping on the coffee table and turning it into kindling “This reminds me when Helgrammite joined the team! The new guy is either a fed, a mask or a $%!k up! So which one are you?” He pointed at Ravan “My guess is mask!”
“Ready when you are?” said Ravan as he shifted his footing, readying for an attack.
“Is everything okay in here?”
The trio turned to see two members of hotel security standing in the doorway. They were big, well dressed and armed with tasers and radios. Ravam palmed his weapon behind his back.
“This drunken idiot was in our room!” said Harvest quickly rushing to Ravan’s side “My husband was protecting me, thank goodness you’ve arrived”
“What?” said Dhaman looking back between the guards and Harvest, Harvest slyly nodding to the big man.
“Sir, if you’ll just come with us please.”
“This is my room!” roared Dhaman, flailing his arms knocking over a vase. The security guards tackled Dhaman who could’ve easily batted them away, but after some gesturing from Harvest; went with the flow and was pinned, cuffed and escorted from the hotel.
“We’re very sorry for the commotion folks,” said the head concierge “We’ll get you upgraded”
Ravan and Harvest sat in the lounge room of the Governor’s Suite of the Davenport Hotel. Spread out on the table was the schematics of the Zesti Cola building, photos of their target Elliott D Moxon and a map of the city. Harvest tapped a red marker to her covered chin “Skully says the client wants it done at work, which makes it harder, unless we bring down the whole building”
“I shall go and get a truck and some fertilizer” said Ravan plainly.
“Did you read the brief at all?” said Harvest “Seriously, maybe Dhaman was right about you, can’t believe I’m siding with that jock! The job is to take out Moxon at work, but minimal collateral damage. The clients paying two million; of which we each get a two hundred and fifty cut but only if the building is still operational. So blowing up the building IS NOT AN OPTION!”
“I am not an assassin,” repeated Ravan “I kill to delay the Kali Yuga, not for money”
“So you’ve got a code of ethics, cool!” Harvest gave him the thumbs up “But you still kill people right? So you’re either; an assassin, a murderer, a serial killer or a lunatic!”
Ravan glared at her and slowly a smile “I suppose you are correct”
Harvest flipped open her phone “Of course I’m right. Hello? Hello Dhaman…I can put him on the phone if you keep…we’re just running through the plan now…look how about we meet at the…” Harvest looked over the map “The Zesti Cola Stadium at say, well its four now and ooo there’s a game on tonight” She put her hand over the phone and spoke to Ravan “Do you like football?”
“Yes” replied Ravan, a tad confused
Zesti Cola Stadium, New Carthage
“This is lacrosse!” moaned Harvest as The Carthaginians took the field against the Fawcett City Falcons. She slumped into her seat “This sucks?”
“CARTHAGE! HOO-HA!” roared Dhaman getting into the spirit of the game, joining the crowd cheering and clapping.
“How does this help planning how to kill a man?” asked Ravan looking down at his chicken wing hot dog covered in cheese and onions “And what in Kali’s name is this monstrosity?”
“Chicken dog with cheese” replied Dhaman “Seriously did you grow up in a box?”
“A cult actually” Ravan handed the delicacy to Dhaman “Harvest…actually I need to call you something other than that when we’re in public”
“I’ll tell you my name if you tell me yours” she said coyly
“And mines Harvest!” she stuffed a handful of popcorn up under her facial scarf and into her mouth “Fine, don’t tell me!”
“SHUT UP!” snapped Harvest and Ravan at Dhaman in unison; he shrugged and went back to chanting.
“This is ridiculous!” Ravan stood up “A pointless exercise!”
“Really?” Harvest pointed to the jumbotron where their target, Elliott Moxon, was on the big screen waving and smiling. Ravan looked back at her and promptly sat.
“What is the plan?”
“Oh, now you want to talk to me?” laughed Harvest
“GO! GO! GO!” roared Dhaman as the Carthaginians scored and the crowd went wild.
To be continued