The Negative Man: City of Chaos (Chapter 12)

So, have you been enjoying the story?  I hope so, as we’re about 1/3 of the way through.  If you wish to express your thoughts/feelings, feel free to email me at  Well, here we go with…

The Negative Man Cover

Chapter 12 –

Sunday Afternoon; Alameda Apartment Complex


It was well after one p.m. when I finally woke up. I felt like total shit after the night I had.  As the room focused in, I was taken aback that the person I was looking at wasn’t Heather.  No, John Wonderton was sitting in my bedroom.  “Rough night Jericho.”

“You can say that again.”

“I heard about everything on the news. Your friend, Heather Adams, she wasn’t too keen on me coming in to see you, but with a little persuasion, we are here alone.”

DL had a certain effect on people that got them to do what he wanted. Hell, something about his charm convinced me all those years ago to give him a chance.  Not that I had much choice in the matter.  “I know what each of The Aces can do, their powers…”

For a second he got the maniacal glee in his eyes, but it quickly went away. “We can discuss that later, once you’re not in such a bad state.  Apparently the energy The Negative Man used to kill Martinez also saved your life.”

“What do you mean?”

He got up and walked over to the window. “This is a bit outside my area of understanding, but the electric arced into your body and caused the air filling up in your lungs to expel.  At least that’s what the doctor’s report said that Heather had on the table.”

“I feel bad about that guy dying, but at the same time, I’m happy to be alive. Does that make me a bad person?”

He looked back at me. “Ian Martinez was a scoundrel and a crook.  I don’t mourn the man’s loss too terribly, but at the same time, The Negative Man… that son of a bitch just keeps taunting me.”

“Isn’t that what we do DL? I mean, just like the time you killed Diamonds?”

“The difference is I killed a known murderer. Martinez was scum, but embezzling money is not an offense worthy of death.”  He sat back down, almost like a parent trying to teach their kid a lesson.  “The punishment must fit the crime Jericho and that’s the difference.”

He certainly believed the words he said, but this wasn’t the same DL I’d started working for. He’d been changing, becoming more violent.  I’d drop it for the time, focusing back on my attackers.  “Are you ready to hear what powers The Aces have?”

Knowing the box had been opened, “Fine, let me have your report.”

“Spades can make himself intangible. Each time I tried to punch him, my fist went right through.”

DL pulled out his phone and began typing. “When you say intangible, you mean as in an apparition?”

“I wouldn’t say like a ghost. I almost got the feeling he could speed his molecules up so fast that they become unstable, therefore he becomes almost like a hologram.”

“That will make a fist fight much more challenging.”

I hadn’t observed Spades power long, but my brain told me there had to be a catch. “I doubt he can keep it up very long.  If his molecules didn’t slow back down, my guess is he’d eventually fall apart.”


We could worry about theory later. “Hearts is another badass.  His power involves creating forces that act as barriers.  He’s so proficient in the use; it’s almost an extension of his hands from what I gathered.”

He sighed as he entered in what I said. “And Clubs?”

“I can confirm he is Jenkins. He pulled his mask off after my ass kicking to apologize.  His power involves putting his mind into computers.  Once inside, he has free reign.  That’s how they discovered Massacre’s identity.”

“Was it something one of us did?”

I tried to put it into words that didn’t blame anyone. “When PJ emailed you a few days ago, he used an unsecure server that had no built in firewalls, so it was easy pickings for Jenkins.  Fortunately, your email address is so encrypted that they couldn’t break that one.  They have no idea who you are.”

“They do now.”

“You didn’t set up the meeting did you? You had PJ give you up.”

He tossed his phone on the bottom of the bed in disgust. “My mind was made up once I heard what happened to you.  They only attacked you because they thought you were The Dark Lion, didn’t they?”

No point in lying now, the damage had been done. “Yeah, Spades was convinced because of how secure the email was.  Jenkins figured only I could create a firewall so invulnerable to attack.”

“How did you convince them you weren’t me?”

I laughed, which hurt a lot. “By taking a royal ass kicking.  After a few powerful shots and no real defense or counter attacks, Spades figured it out pretty quickly.  Unfortunately I was already in bad shape.”

“For that, I’m truly sorry. I never meant for you to see real combat like that.”

It was my turn to take over this conversation. “The Aces now know I’m not involved, or at the very least, that I’m not The Dark Lion.  My work is far from over.”

“Jericho, you’ve…”

“Don’t try to talk me out of this. Jenkins will feel terrible about what happened to me and he’ll reach out trust me.  That will be my in and a way for me to get us more information on The Aces.”  He was ready to say no, but I put my hand up.  “I’m not going to take no for an answer DL.  It’s my turn to do some good for the cause.”

“And there’s no changing your mind?”

“If you want to prove to the world what we’ve started can change the city, then we all need to do our part. I’ll get the information and with it, you’ll be able to take down The Aces.”

“I don’t like this plan, but with Spades knowing both mine and Massacres real identity, it’ll only be a matter of time before he confronts me.”

There was a slight knock on my door. “Is it okay for me to come in?”

“There is the ever lovely Miss Adams with your food.” DL got up and opened the door.  “I thank you for giving Jericho and I some time to go over what happened to him.  He is in your care the rest of the day my dear.”

Heather blushed at being addressed by Mr. Wonderton in such a way. To her, he was our big wig boss, taking time from the clouds to visit us.  If only she knew the truth.  “Well thank you for ordering this food for us.  You really didn’t have to do that.”

“It was my pleasure. Miss Adams, I shall see you in the morning.  Jericho, I don’t want you rushing it.  We can set you up to work from home if we need to.”

“That’ll be good. Just send Jenkins over and I’m sure he can help me configure my tablet.”

DL knew the real reason, as my tablet was already hooked in through the back door to access not only the business side, but the vigilante information too. “Of course, I’ll get him over one day after work.”

He waved one more time at both of us before he left. Heather was still in boss shock when she started opening all the food.  “I can’t believe John came to your house!  You two must be closer than we all thought.”

“Not really. He came over because he doesn’t know any of the passwords to his accounts.  Don’t tell him I told you that.”

She gave off her customary laugh which made her even cuter. “Your secret is safe with me.  Plus, who’d want to work for a boss that apparently is a functioning moron?  Doesn’t even know his own passwords…”

Heather kept talking, but I started to space out just a little bit. The weight of what I set myself up to do became real.  The moment Jenkins came over was the breaking point.  Either this would work and we’d figure a way to return the city to its former glory, or else everything would go down in flames.

Heather stopped in the middle of her story. “You okay Jericho?”

“Yeah, sorry about that. What were you saying?”  I forced myself to listen to her and eat the food we had, no matter how much my brain wanted to go elsewhere.


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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 12)

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

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