Dark, is what it is, as black as a crows back. Driving down a long desolate Highway after midnight is a man of about 6feet 2inches tall, 105kg of muscle and sinew. A stranger is what he is, a man who wanders from town to town, never stopping long enough for people to not consider him a stranger. Nomad? Vigilante? Or just a man with nothing to lose? Many a person would consider him all of the above. But to Max Edgar, it’s something more personal. A man with one purpose in life, To gain revenge on the person who ruined his existence. One early evening while in a small town called Alice, Texas working on an oil rig Max received a phone call letting him know that the person he is looking for is north of where he is, in San Antonio. Dropping everything he was doing, and heading for trouble has become routine for Max in the last few years, having spent what remands of his now lonely and one tracked existence. “GOTTAGO!”, yells Max to the site Manager. “Like Fuck Max, You aren’t going anywhere“, says his boss. “Yeah I am mate, so get the fuck outta my way and you won’t get hurt” With that the 145kg behemoth boss lunges for Max, grabs him by he collar, and yells, “We can’t fucking stop the rig you stupid prick, it’ll cost the company a lot of man hours and money, just so you can do what the fuck you want” “I Don’t give a fuck, I QUIT!” Yells Max. With that Max grabs his boss by the hand twists the arm then with one mighty shove, snaps his bosses wrist. Dropping to the ground, “YOU BROKE MY FUCKING ARM!” Screams Max’s now former boss. “It’ll heal“, says Max as he walks away.
When Max gets to his trailer, he’s had time to think about what must be done. Pack his bag, get his money that he’s kept hidden in the wardrobe floor. That’s about all that matters to a man that can move on at a moments notice, a change of clothes and spare cash. On a night that is like many others for Max, but unlike what Max considers a good night he is on the move again, leaving yet another town where he has left an indelible impression on those who got in his way. Yet still leaving as a stranger.
The day has come, he’s found who he’s looking for. He will stop at nothing to do what must be done. Kill or be Killed.
Walking is by far the cheapest way of transport for Max, on occasion if a ride is offered he takes it without a second thought. Tonight though, getting to where he needs to be, stealing a car is best for what has to be done. Max decides to head down to the local watering hole and steal some drunks car. Theft it may well be, Max don’t give a shit though, you could also see it as a public service by getting another drunk of the road, who could potentially be your killer. Outside the tavern Max sees 3 cars and 4 Utes. Max decides to go for a 12 year old Ford F150 pickup. Hell this is Texas, Utes are less conspicuous. Walking over to the truck Max looks around him for any sign that someone can see him, no one is visible so Max pops the passenger door lock with a screwdriver, jumps in a slides over to the drivers side. Sliding the head of the flathead screwdriver into the ignition Max smashes the ignition without to much of an effort, after that its pretty straight forward to start her up. Easing onto road Max looks in his mirrors, no one has seen him, thinks Max confidently. In a couple of hours someone is going to be very pissed off.
Before hitting state highway 37 some fuel is needed so Max does a quick bit of siphoning to a couple of vehicles in town. On the highway now Max finally relaxes into driving, knowing that in 48 hours time, the person who changed everything will be dead. Taking what Max held most dearest to his life, what Max lived for, his everything. His family.
Eighteen months earlier, while on holiday in New York with his wife and son. Carlos Rodriguez and his gang of drug dealers were on the run and in a shoot-out with the NYPD going through Times Square. Ten minutes earlier, around midday, Max his wife Rhiannon and there 3y.o son Cory were walking into the area, looking for somewhere to have lunch. Seeing a hotdog vendor Max asks his son what he wants, “Hey Cory, what do you want on your hotdog?” “Chips Daddy” replies Cory “You can’t have chips on a hotdog buddy” “Then what can I have on it?” “Wait here with mummy, I will bring you something very yummy, Ok?” “Ok Dad” “You want anything in particular babe?” Max asks his wife Rhiannon replies, “Same as you is fine Honey ” “Ok, I’ll be right back” says Max
While standing in line at the vendor, Max watches his son chasing pigeons and his wife taking pictures of him doing so. What a life, Max thought, A Stunningly beautiful and Intelligent wife, And a son that could light up anyone’s life. I couldn’t think of anything better he thought as he turned to the Hotdog vendor, “Three hotdogs please mate” says Max. “How you want em” says the street vendor in a classic New York accent. “Two with everything and one with just ketchup for my boy” replies Max. “Comin’ up” Max turns back to watch his family while he waits, doesn’t see them at first. Then notices Cory running toward him at full 3 year old speed, arms flailing, legs pumping, making it look like great fun, in only a way a toddler can do. Smiling Max scoops him up as he reaches him, “Where’s Mum?” Asks Max. “Don’t know Dad” replies Cory “You know your not aloud to run away like that” “I know, but Mum was taking pictures of me, I got bored” Paying for and taking his hotdogs, Max thanks the vendor, then says to Cory, “Lets go find your mother, shall we.” “Ok” says Cory. Putting Cory down and giving him his lunch Max starts to scan the people looking for his wife. Ten seconds later he spots her about 80 meters away. With Cory holding one hand, and the two hotdogs in the other they start to walk to where she is. “Are you liking that buddy?” Max asks. “Yup, it’s Yummy” replies Cory. “Good. What else do you want to do today”. “Can we go to the zoo Dad?”. “I suppose so, what animal do you want to most see?”. “I wanna see a Lion, there my favourite”. “Cool, there my favourite as well”. About 30 meters into the walk Max thinks he hears a familiar sound, a loud popping sound coming from his left, he turns and looks, his suspicion confirmed. It’s a gun going off. Multiple shots ring out in close vicinity. “SHIT!” yells Max. “You swore Dad” says Cory “I know buddy” Thinking quickly Max picks up Cory and runs for cover, that being the hotdog cart they had just left. Crouching behind the metal cart, Max holds onto his son tightly. “Your hurting me Dad”, Cory tells his Father. “Sorry”, Max replies, and eases his grip. “What’s wrong, what’s all that noise?” “Some bad people are shooting guns at someone buddy” “Oh!, What about Mum?” “SHIT!”, yells Max again. “You just swore again” “I know buddy, I know” Max decides Cory should be ok here for a minute, he needs to get to Rhiannon. “Stay here Cory, I need to go get Mum, Ok?” “No Daddy, I’m scared. I want to come with you” replies Cory. “You need to stay here buddy, It’s too dangerous. I’ll be right back, Ok?”. “Ok, but hurry”. “I will Son, I promise”. Max Kisses his son on the forehead, and with that Max gets up and starts sprinting through the screaming and panicked crowd. Dodging and sidestepping his way through the crowd, Max can’t see his wife in the area she was before, stopping and scanning the mayhem, he sees three gunmen shooting in a northerly direction, at what he can’t see. Looking to the east Max sees nothing but mayhem, spinning now to his nine o’clock position, roughly west, Max sees Rhiannon lying on the ground face down. Thinking that she is just trying to take cover he makes his way toward where she is. While more gunshots ring out from different directions, Max looks over his shoulder and sees Cory where he left him. “Good Boy“, thinks Max. Now hearing police sirens wailing close by, and hoping that everything should be ok, Max reaches the area his wife is lying up. Something isn’t calculating in Max’s mind, everything slows down. Rhiannon isn’t moving, then he sees the pool of blood pouring out of his wife’s neck. “Oh No!” yells Max, he runs to her and gently turns her over, the mother to his Son, his beautiful wife is dead. She had taken a bullet to the side of her throat, hitting her in what must have been an artery. Max lets out a small sob as a tear rolls down his cheek. Holding her in his lap now, Grief now permanently etched in his face Max at once knows what he must do.
Thinking fast now, Max gets to his feet, looks about him and sees a wood lined trash can. He walks over and with an effort he breaks two battens of its side. He turns and again looks toward his son, and sees an elderly woman holding him. “Thanks lady”, thinks Max. Hoping Cory will be Ok, Max takes a deep breath and forces himself back into the person he left behind when he left the New Zealand Army. More precisely the NZSAS. Max then looks about him to see where the shooters are, and spots one about 20 meters away, bending at the waist then running hard Max makes a beeline for the first of his wife’s killers. Running straight at the mans back outside of his peripheral vision, Max shoulder charges him and in the same movement swings both battens with all the strength he could muster, connecting on the right first, right on the shooters temple, followed a split second later with the left connecting on his neck. With a very loud crack, and nothing but a small whimper the killer drops dead with his head caved in and quite possibly a broken neck. Max looks at the dead guy for only a second before being bought out of his daze by a loud metallic crash. He looks up to see what it was, just in time to see one of the killers aiming an AK47 right at his chest, Max dives just as a short burst of the high velocity rounds exit the machine gun. One bullet rips a hole right through his shirt, missing him by millimetres. In one movement Max has rolled and picked up the dead guys gun, a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle and fires a short three round burst back at the second shooter, one of the bullets crashing into his sternum, the other two exploding into his stomach. That’s two down in the space of about 10 seconds. The cops look like they have secured the third shooter so Max throws the rifle back down by the dead guy, turns toward where he left his son just as he is hit by something very heavy, Max drops to his knees, just as who ever it was that hit him, pounces on him and in the struggle hits Max again in the back of the head. As everything goes blurry, all Max can see is shapes running around, and hear nothing but screams and screeches. Then everything fades to a black like Max has never experienced before.
About three hours later, in a brightly lit yet still dank room. Max slowly opens his eyes, with everything in his mind a fuzzy blur Max sits up in his chair and looks about him, taking in his surroundings. He’s in a small room about 3 meters by 3 meters, a desk pushed up against one wall with a chair in front of it, to the side of the desk is another chair which Max now sits in. On a wall there is an old fashioned cork board with a bunch of old staples in it. Above Max in the left corner of the room is a small half round black dome attached to the ceiling which Max takes to be a camera. With Max’s mind now focused he realises he is cuffed to a chain which is attached to a counter sunk bolt in the linoleum floor. That’s easily sorted thinks Max To Distract whoever is watching him on the other side of the door Max begins to yell out- “HEY, WHO THE FUCK’S OUT THERE!” Three times Max yells this before the door is unbolted from the outside. “Don’t try any funny business Mister” says a croaky New York accent from behind the still closed door. “How the fuck can I, you’ve got me cuffed to the damn floor you idiot” “Oh good the uniforms have done there job” replies the voice. With that a small white man of about 5 feet 4 inches tall slinks into the room. Bald and rather nervous looking he introduces himself as Detective Harper. “What the Fuck’s Going on” snaps Max “We will get to all of that soon sir, I have just a few questions for you first. Ok?” replies Detective Harper. “Fine, whatever. Just tell me one thing. Ok?” “Sure” replies Harper. “WHERE THE HELL IS MY SON YOU FUCK?” screams Max as he launches himself out of his chair and grabs Harper by the throat with his now free hands. Startled Harper almost falls out of his chair and yells, “I THOUGHT YOU WERE CUFFED?” “I was, and now I’m not” he replies in a menacing voice. In a strangled gargle Harper tells Max “Let me go and tell me what your talking about” “I will let go when I get what I want, now tell me where my son is?” “I don’t know anything about what you are saying ok, Let me go so you can tell me what your talking about.” While all this was going on another man, a fat guy in a cheap suit had rushed into the room aiming a pistol at Max‘s head “LET HIM GO! OR I WILL BE FORCED TO SHOOT!” yells the man. Max turns his attention to the new guy while still holding onto Harper with his massive fist. “Why don’t you put that away before I crush his larynx, then put that fat nose of yours through you brain?” replies Max. With a small shock the fat guy wavers just enough for Max to rush him and grab him by the wrist. In one quick movement Max has relieved the fat guy of his gun while still holding onto Harper. Now turning the gun back on to the fat guy Max asks him to give him his hand cuffs that Max noticed clipped to his belt. Handing Max the cuffs, the fat guy says “Your making a big mistake here buddy. You will never get out of here” “I didn’t say anything about leaving did I?” replies Max “Then what is it you want?” “I want to know where my son is, NOW!” “Sir, your in a police station, you need to calm down. If you need to find your son, we can help you. All you have to do is let us, Ok?” “My wife is dead, some fucker shot her. Now my son is missing and you want me to calm down.” “Yessir, I do” “Well you can go to hell mate. I’m not going to calm down until I find my son, do you understand me?” “No Sir, I don’t think I do understand. The only thing that will happen is you either getting killed along with your wife. Or you hurting someone and getting locked up for the rest of your life, meaning you will lose your son that way also. If you calm down and talk to us then we can help you find your son while keeping you and your son out of harms way. Now do you understand that Sir?” “Yeah, I understand” “Good…good, now just drop the gun and release Detective Harper there, before you choke him to death” Max releases the pressure he had on Harpers throat who in turn sucks in a massive gulp of air. “You Bastard, you almost killed me” chokes Harper “If I wanted you dead, you’d be dead” replies Max “Now tell me where my son is, or I am walking out of here to find him myself” “YOU ARE’NT GOIN………” “SHUT-UP HARPER!” snaps the fat guy Harper turns and looks at the fat guy in an expression of disbelief . “What did you just say to me Jackson. You saw what he tried to do to me, he isn’t going anywhere” “Just shut your damn mouth will you”. Turning his attention back to Max the fat guy introduces himself as John Jackson. Detective Sergeant of this precinct. “Sir, your son, is he a small dark haired blue eyed boy of about 3-4 years old. Wearing a black shirt over white shorts?” Unsure if he should trust his instinct or this John Jackson or not. His instinct screaming at Max that his son has been taken from him “Yeah that’s Cory. Where is he?” Max replies in a strangle sob. “Is he Ok?” “I’m sorry to have to tell you this Sir” “QUIT IT WITH THIS SIR CRAP MY NAMES MAX EDGAR. NOW TELL ME WHERE MY SON IS NOW!” “Ok…Ok. During the mayhem in Times Square this afternoon. It seems your son was struck by a vehicle, whose driver had been shot in the cross fire. It seems your son was being held by an elderly woman while hiding behind a hot dog stand. They were both killed instantly. I’m so sorry Sir…. Ah I mean Max” Stunned into silence Max stares blankly at the corkboard. “Dead?…. How can he be dead?….I left him alone for no more than a minute while I went to get Rhiannon. He can’t be. Can he?” Max looks up at John with what can only be described as pure anguished grief. “Are you sure it’s him?” “It looks to be that way Max. We will need to do a formal identification. However, from the description I gave you. It certainly sounds like him. Again Max, I am so sorry” With tears running down both cheeks Max tells them he needs to see his family.
At the morgue up the road from the police station Max confirms the identity of his son and wife who are now laying together waiting to be taken home. “It will most likely take a couple of days to clear all the paperwork then you can go home with your family Max, Ok?”
“Ok, Are you able to tell me the name of the woman who was holding onto my son when they were killed?” “Yeah, sure. Let me just check.” Pulling out his notebook and flipping a few pages John tells Max her name is Edna Walker. “Thanks, is there anyway I could speak with her family? “Why?” “So I can thank them before I leave” “Umm, let me see what I can do Ok?, I will see if there up for visitors.” “Thanks, you have my number at the hotel. Let me know where and when Ok?” “Sure Max. Is there anything else I can do for you?. You need a ride?” “No thanks, I’d rather walk” “Ok, I’ll talk to you soon Max. Take care. Get some food in ya, and have a sleep. “Yeah.” replies Max as he turns and begins waking back toward his hotel.
To be Continued....