This is merely a depiction and not a direct report of the events which have come to pass in March of 1774. The dialogue has been modernized and certain names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty.


Catharine carefully descended the steps from the Doctor's office onto Tompkins Avenue. As she looked up her startled expression met the glance of a well-dressed man in dark clothing and a hat pulled down over his shrouded eyes. "Hello miss."
After a moment, "hello good sir."
"Would you care to walk with me?"
"Why certainly" she replied.

As they walked down the avenue towards the harbor, they made their way through the crowd exchanging small pleasantries and colloquialisms until they came upon a cul-de-sac. They walked down until they were out of earshot and out of sight and sat on crates opposite one another. "How in the HELL did you know I was here" she spat.
"Well you're not moving too quickly these days. I barely even recognize you."
She pursed her lips. "Well yes, it's true I've gained some weight since the last time you saw me. And my joints have been killing me."
"I bet, or you wouldn't have come all the way to see Doc Oliver."
"He's under James?"
"Everyone's under James."
"Not everyone."
"Well, some are closer than others. But no one's out of his reach."
"As you so deftly remind us all."
"Can't let 'em forget who's boss. They're liable to do something stupid."
"If bowing down is so smart then call me stupid."
He chuckles. "So does that mean your father's stupid?"
"That's not stupidity, that's simply being oblivious. And he'd better stay that way."
"Oh come on. You think your father doesn't know who you are?"
"No. I don't."
"Hmm. No, maybe not. But he's on to you, that's for sure. He knows you killed David."
"Yeah he does. I explained my way out of that. You know what a monster he was anyway. But he still doesn't know anything about this."
"Don't be so sure about that. He told your mother how you got rid of the body and how fast. Told her you did it like a pro. She should know, after all."
"Leave her out of this. Just because she's somebody's brother doesn't mean she's under James."
"Not anymore."
"That's right. Not anymore."
"Like you?"
"That's right."
"You think you can just walk away, with what you owe him?"
"I don't owe HIM a GODdamn thing. I've never even seen the man but once. I just took out his trash. I was only ever doing any of this shit for David, and now I'm done."
"Oh but you're wrong. You lost him money, honey. That's the difference. See, I told him myself, I says 'David deserved to die, James, he had it comin.' He says 'yeah you're right. But if David wasn't dead we'd still be making the percentage on the brandy shipments. That was twenty percent of our income,' he says. Maybe that was pushin it but it's close enough that he's still got a point. 'Are we supposed to just cut our losses' he says. 'the girl needs to be held responsible for the lack of income,' he says. So we're gonna use you." He lowered his gaze and his voice. "Or else we'll have to use your mother."
"I can see right through you. You and all this smoke and mirror bullshit. You've got a mark, that's what this all boils down to. And you want me to take it because I'm the only one who can handle it and you think you've got me in your pocket."
"Actually I was serious about your mother doing it, I really vouched for that. She's still the best I've ever seen."
"Shut it."
"Alright, James said it was your decision anyways."
"I don't feel like I have a choice. Who is it?"

He looked around carefully. He slid a small piece of paper out the end of his sleeve into his hand and passed it over to her. She held it against her chest and read.
"You can't be serious" she said.
"There's never been a mark more serious."
"You're insane."
"He's desperate. But you didn't hear that from me and if you repeat it I'll knock your teeth out."
"What's the play?"
"Don't be stupid. You've never asked before and don't you ever ask again."
"Yeah but this is different. I mean this is...I'll have to disappear forever after this."
"That's the idea."
"I'll never see my family again."
"That's the price. It'd be the same for your mother if she did it."
"Then do it."
The silence hung like a fog. She knew she was stuck. She knew it the moment she saw his face. But even they wouldn't be able to know where she was after this. This was a sever-all-ties kind of job. Scorched earth. She'd never have to look over her shoulder for them again. "Alright."
"He's leaving for Philadelphia early Thursday morning. You've got three days. Get it done before then. Meet me at the docks, the old spot, one week. Bring the trophy."
"Yes master," she said in the most condescending tone she could muster. She watched him walk away.


She'd never cried on her way to a hit before. But she was thinking about her father, how little he would know. She was thinking about her mother, how little she could say. She was thinking of David and everything she'd done for him, and everything he'd done for himself. She was thinking of her little life out there in Jersey. How she wouldn't have a chance to explain herself. She hadn't said a prayer since she was 7 years old. But in that moment she felt such guilt that she muttered a prayer for forgiveness under her breath. She knew that she was doing this for them in the end, for their peace. Even if there was no way she could make them understand. No way she could expect to be forgiven. As she got closer she felt more and more ridiculous, crying by herself in the middle of the night, on her way to work. No reason to keep from being professional, she thought. Can't be making dumb mistakes. Especially now. She gathered herself.

It was messy. But it was also quick. The dog's blood ran down the alley, about 40 feet, mostly in the gutter. There was no other trace outside of the bedroom. The stained sword on the hearth, the lash marks on his back, the bruises on his neck. It was all designed to look like it was something very personal. The suspicion would inevitably fall on his political rivals, or his relatives. Nobody would ever suspect the group that helped ascend him to such prominence from behind closed doors. From the shadows they influenced, from the shadows they struck, and to the shadows they had returned. She had to burn her only pair of shoes and steal herself another. 1 broken lock 18 blocks away would never be connected to the murder. The city that never sleeps was much more sleepy in those days and no one saw her as she shuffled her way to the safehouse in the breaking dawn. She stumbled up the stairs and into the only room with a bed, and slept for nearly all of 32 hours.


She was leaning against a lamppost in the place that would eventually be known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was the only hazy respite of a glow in the thickness of the early morning fog. She was twirling her gray lock of hair between her fingers, considering her situation. Maybe I'll just go back home, she thought to herself. There'll be a lot of heat. Piss a lot of people off. Way against protocol. But it'd be worth it to see mother again. To confront her with the life she's allowed her daughter to inherit. And to forgive her. To confess to her father who she really is. Or who she was. And to warn them both. It would only take one day. A few hours, even. But she had no interest in simply popping in for a few hours and leaving forever. She wanted to be home where she belonged. James and everyone else might be livid about it, but let them be. They still wouldn't be able to touch her. Not for a while anyway.

"They can just fucking deal with it" she spoke aloud.
"Well, I'd sure hate to be them" came a voice through the fog. "Whoever they are."
"Snuck up on me."
"Not trying to. It's all this fog."
"Yeah. It's kind of pretty though."
"Not to me. I've always been a sunny weather kinda guy."
"Yeah I know," she said through a small chuckle. "I always remember because it's never really matched your disposition."
"Well I'm full of ironies ya know." There was a moment of silence. "You have the trophy?"
She handed him a white napkin. Wrapped inside of it was 1 of 4 fingers which had been severed. Made to look incidental at the crime scene, of course. Not as a calling card.
"Good" he said, pocketing the napkin. "But not good enough unfortunately."
She lowered her gaze. Her head sunk. She could have only described the moment as an out of body experience. Like being lapped by waves as you forget everything. Feeling it all leave you as you're tossed around by the elements.
"You know how it is" he said. "It's only a matter of time til all the allies find out we were behind this. When they do we're gonna have to convince them you acted alone. We can't exactly do that if you're alive, can we? No. We'll just have to tell 'em we gutted you like a fish the first chance we got. Tried to sweep it under the rug as quietly as possible. That's the only way we come out of this without a full-scale war. But believe me, you've paid your debt."

"It all comes down to numbers doesn't it" she mumbled. "You and James both. Every decision you make is based on money and position."
"Is that why you tried to get out?"
"Yes. Of course. It's why my mother got out too. She would tell me over and over, all those years, she'd say you have no heart. None of you do."
"Catharine. It really hurt us when you tried to leave."
"Drop the charade."
"No I really mean that. I can't pretend like this isn't a little personal."
"Oh come on" she said, rolling her eyes. "Don't be like that."
"I'm not bein' any damn way. That's just the way it is. Just like this. What we have to do."
"What you do for your filthy money?"
"You're so naïve. You're so behind the times, you always were. One day these colonies are gonna become their own country. And when that happens it'll be just like this. Conquerors on the new frontier. Struggling for territory and resources and power. Even men like James'll come and go. Forgotten like so many other kings in hiding, puppetmasters that quietly controlled everything. The men behind the curtain. And women too, I suppose. It's every man and woman for themselves."
"And you're still as blind as you've ever been. There's power in family you know. There's power in community. There will always be people willing to stand in the way of you cutthroats."
"Family goes a long way in my world too Catharine. And you've left it. To the victor go the spoils."
"You're going nowhere."
"You're wrong. This is the land of opportunity."
"And the opportunistic snakes shine on, huh?"
"Well that's the course of nature. What'd you expect?"
"I expected some character and some dignity."
"We're just gonna have to agree to disagree on that."
"I'll agree that you're wrong."
"Well I'll be the one who lives to tell the tale."
"I'm not saying this is easy."
"No. Just personal is all."
"Yes. But that doesn't mean I'll enjoy it."
"See if I care."

They stood there for what seemed like an hour. She felt that he was being respectful in this moment. Or maybe he was wanting something. She finally mustered up what needed to be said. "Cyrus,"
"You have to promise me something."
"C'mon. You know I don't do that."
"You have to."
He shifted his glance towards the ground. "It's not funny Catharine. You know I don't make promises anymore."
"I'm dying! I. am. DYING. You think I don't deserve to ask?"
"I can't."
"Promise me."
"Promise me you'll leave mother and father alone."
Another long silence. "Ok."
"Say it."
She clenched her teeth. "Say it."
"I p-. I promise."
"Thank you." She gave a small smile, half grimacing.
"Anything else?"
"I really am sorry Catharine."
"Shove it up your ass Cyrus" as her smile grew slightly.
He stuck the syringe into her throat in one swift motion and pressed it down.




f4v's story quest. Inspired largely by Miller's Crossing.
For Catharine.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.