The Negative Man: City of Chaos (Chapter 5)

Whoops  I missed yesterday.  Sorry about that, got a bit busy at work and before I knew it, the day was over.  Fear not readers, for today is a new day and I can just double up the posts.  So in making up for lost time, chapter 5 will be posted now, in the a.m. and later chapter 6 will be up in the p.m.  That seems reasonable right?  Anywho, let’s get to it.  Where were we…

The Negative Man Cover

Chapter 5 –

Friday Morning; South Baker Street


My alarm went off and my head was throbbing. It took me a minute to realize there was another body in my bed.  “Heather…”

My passed out visitor just mumbled something and pulled the blanket up over her. It was Friday, which meant casual wear was going to be fine, so I figured she’d have time to get home and change.  I got myself into the shower and let the warm water shake off the effects of an alcohol induced night.

I nearly jumped outta my skin when I felt a hand touch my back. Heather Adams was awake and smiling at me.  “Tsk tsk Jericho.  You take a shower without inviting your guests…”

Suffice to say my shock over her staying the night was soon replaced with my shock that even sober she was still willing to do these sorts of things with me. Not that I was complaining (I’m not), we both ended up showing up a few minutes late for work.  As soon as I sat down at my desk, I got an email from DL requesting that I come upstairs.  This was going to be pleasant hung-over.

I guess word traveled fast as he had this shit eating grin on his face when I entered. “I’m glad you enjoyed yourself last night, all things considered.”

“Hey, The Negative Man wasn’t going to ruin my night.”

At the mention of his name, DL turned serious. “Diamonds was right.  He’s back Jericho and I’m guessing he’s controlling The Aces.”

Logic told me not to jump to conclusions, but a man like DL was already there. I’d just have to go with the flow here.  “What do you want me to do about Jenkins?”

He rubbed the stubble on his lower face. “We proceed as planned, yet use extreme caution.  We don’t know just how deep this goes and how dangerous Clubs could really be.”

It was hard to think about Jenkins as anything more than a rube. “Got it.  I’ll see what I can get outta him.  We’re supposed to have beers together after work one evening.”

“Do you think it’s a good idea to fraternize with the enemy?”

That was rich considering this was his idea. “Alcohol makes people lose their inhibitions.  Maybe a few beers in old Jenkins will get us a good lead.”

“Well it got you laid, so I guess we can try it your way.”

My face went from pale to red. “That was low, even for you DL.”

My boss just laughed and went back to his desk. “I see you emailed me your thoughts and analysis of Diamonds blood.  Sorry we didn’t get to it yesterday.”

I smirked, almost commenting on his ability to read but I let it slide. “Yeah, incapable of feeling physical pain.  That’s why none of your blows incapacitated him.  As you said, he was really a human punching bag.”

“That makes sense. The Aces always used him in their more dangerous jobs.  Something bothers me though…”

Oh no, I was afraid to ask. “I’m sure a great many things bother you.”

“I’m being serious. Diamonds really was just a distraction.  Up until Wednesday night The Aces had always covered their tracks so well.  Did anything else happen while we were engaged with him?”

There was only one place to go for answers, The Dark Lion’s lab. “Let me go check.”

I walked over to the secret door at the back end of his office. I put my hand on the scanner and the wall moved, opening the way down to the hidden floor below.  Switching on the lights, I went over to the computers and got to work.  This was going to take a while.

The first few incidents were just of public urination and intoxication. The minor supers dealt with those, like Giga-Girl, The Flying Squirrel, and Mr. Mayhem.  Unlike the major league players like DL and Massacre, the minors had one relatively useful skill, but it was normally offset by other baggage.  The good thing was they knew to keep the hell away from the big time.

The first potential scenario that struck me as odd was Pacific National, off South Baker Street, had an alarm go off. The cops were the first on scene and determined nothing at the bank had been stolen – they chalked it up to faulty wiring in the security system.  Knowing today that Jenkins was Clubs raised some questions.

I printed off the police report and went back upstairs. I punched the code in and waited for DL to open the door.  It was a protocol we put in place just in case people who don’t need to know are in his office.

After about five minutes, the door opened. DL looked annoyed.  “Sorry, Janice was in here complaining someone was stealing her food from the break room fridge.”

I couldn’t even imagine running a company like this. “Sounds like an issue above my pay grade.”

“Did you find anything out?”

I handed him the police report. “On the same night you guys were dealing with Diamonds, there was an alarm that went off at Pacific National.  Nothing was stolen and the cops said it was probably bad wiring.”

Even though I summed it up for him, he still read on, slowly. “I’m guessing you think Clubs had something to do with this.”

“A computer genius and an engineer? Yeah, he could pull this off with no problems.”

DL closed the file and handed it back. “I think we have some expense checks that need to be cashed.  Go to Financing, get them, and head over to Pacific National.  See if you can figure some of this out.”

I dropped into one of his chairs. “Whoa whoa whoa!  I’m the behind the scenes guy in this team, not the investigator!”

“You’re the only person I trust with this. As the CEO of a multimillion dollar company, people would think it’s weird I show up to drop off checks and make small talk.”

Damnit! I hated when he used logic and even more when it worked.  “Fine, but don’t I need to take someone else with me since we’re talking about money?”

He hadn’t thought of that. “Take Adams with you.  Since the two of you hooked up last night, let’s make things incredibly awkward.”

He was on fire with burns today. “You’re an asshole, you know that?”

“I’ve been called worse by better.”

I grumbled to myself all the way from his office, to Finance, and then down to legal. When I explained what DL had tasked me to do with Heather, she was all about coming.

“Are you kidding? I’m hung-over and Janice is being a royal bitch today.  She’s all wound up because someone ate her egg, bacon, and cheese bagel this morning.”

Heather’s breath smelled just like egg, bacon, and cheese. “I don’t think it’ll take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”

“Shut up and let’s go.”

As we drove, we discovered that we shared a lot of the same interests. She liked classic rock, horror movies, and ice hockey.  Sitting there talking, I couldn’t help but notice even dressed down in jeans and toned down make-up, she was a knockout.

And then at a red light, I couldn’t stop myself. “Heather, you’re beautiful.”

“Oh my God!”

My face turned from pallid white to burning red. “Oh damnit, I shouldn’t have said that!  I’m sorry!”

For the second time today, sober, she kissed me. Right there as we were sitting in traffic.  The kiss was only broken when the car behind us laid on their horn.  I raised my hand in apology and hit the accelerator.

“Jericho, that was the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

That surprised me. “Really?”

“I get Heather, you’re so hot or I’d totally hit that! But no guy’s ever just called me beautiful and meant it just like you did.”

“I’m just telling you the truth.”

She put her hand on my leg. “I’m not going to lie, last night was just supposed to be fun with someone I trusted.  However, you keep this up and you’ll be keeping me around a lot longer.”

I gave a nervous half laugh. “I wouldn’t mind that at all.”

“Good, now let’s get these checks cashed! I’m getting hungry and I feel like Mr. Wonderton can pay for our lunch after we finish this!”

Oh man, DL was going to kill me, but it’d be totally worth it…


Tired of waiting for me to post chapters?  Damn that Jeremy, he’s so unreliable!  Well then, head on over to and grab your own copy of The Negative Man.  It’s just 99 cents on the Kindle.


About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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One Response to The Negative Man: City of Chaos (Chapter 5)

  1. Pingback: The Negative Man: City of Chaos – Easy reference to all the chapters | 5 Good Minutes

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