Castle and Cape
By Michael Weyer
Castle owned by ABC.
The Cape owned by NBC/Universal
The idea for this has been bouncing in my head for awhile ever since the all-too-short-lived The Cape aired on NBC. The recent episode of Beckett as a comic fan has pushed it more. I know, so many more fics to finish but wanted to get this out to see if enough popularity to continue. All comments welcomed.
Chapter 1: The Fall of Kate Beckett
It's said that before a person dies, their life flashes before their eyes. For Kate Beckett, it was taking place in her mind during that area between sleep and awake, that time when one is unsure of where one is or what their mind is like. It was in this state that Kate Beckett sat, her mind whirling about, unsure of her surroundings now and only able to process the events that led us to this current predicament…
"No, Castle, for the tenth time." Kate sighed as she worked at the computer at her desk. She was clad in a nice blouse with her usual dark pants and jacket draped over her chair. Her short brown hair was nicely combed, the picture of professionalism. Which was a direct contrast to Richard Castle, who was hanging by her desk in one of his usual light suits.
"Come on," he said in that borderline whine he believed was endearing. "You got a dead body with evidence pointing to a long-rumored crime boss by the name of Chess, you don't think this is worth my time?"
"I often wonder what is worth your time, Castle," Kate responded. "I told you, the feds stepped in, the guy was part of their investigation. We've got enough on our plate to worry about some mystery man who may not even exist."
"You've been hearing about Chess for months now," Castle said. "How can you ignore that?"
She fixed him with a glare. "Some genius criminal mastermind who goes around in a mask, the few who have seen him never talk about it and is secretly pulling the strings in New York?" She shook her head as she returned to her paperwork. "No one can do that."
"Never heard of Kyser Soze?"
She gave him her standard "come back to reality" look. "Don't you have a big party or something to go to?"
"Actually, I do. A shindig for the illustrious Peter Fleming."
Beckett raised an eyebrow. "The new wheeler-dealer in New York? The guy whose ARK Corporation supplies the security to half the city banks and jewelry stores?"
"Wow, I should only hope to provide such nice exposition in my next book," Castle said.
"I do read the papers," Beckett said. "I know he's got that crazy idea to try and privatize the police force but come on, public will never go for it."
"I've learned long ago to never underestimate the foolishness of the public."
"Which explains your entire career," Kate couldn't resist cracking.
Before Castle could retort, they were interrupted by an argument between Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan. "Why do you even bother with that shit, bro?" Esposito asked.
"You don't care?" Ryan pressed. "If he names us…"
"Who name what?" Castle asked.
Ryan sighed. "That Orewell freak. The guy running the blog on police corruption? He just posted a dozen cops he claims are on the take!"
Kate groaned. "Really can't believe you two are paying attention to some guy on the net."
"We're not the only ones," Ryan insisted. "You know IA will be looking at every one of those guys now. I know a couple of them, no way they're crooked."
"It's just another blogger, Ryan," Kate told him. "He gets as much real respect as TMZ."
"Ooooh, reminds me, I have to check that out for the hourly update!" Castle said, rising to get out his iPhone. Kate's eye roll was cut off as Captain Roy Montgomery walked up. "Okay, folks, we got a homicide. Some exec at ARK Industries, Beckett, you're on it."
"Yes, sir," she said, rising to put on her jacket. "Come on, Castle."
"But, they're about to post the latest Kardashian sighting…"
Even in Manhattan, the bold pointed skyscraper of ARK Industries stood out with its triangle-shaped top aimed the skyline. Beckett ducked under the police tape to enter the main parking garage, Castle trailing after her, finishing up a phone call. "Yes, Mother, I'll call later." He hung up, sighing. "She's working on her next theater project and wants me to grab more dress material."
"She's sending you to a dress shop?"
"No, to get curtains." He shook his head at her look. "Don't ask."
She focused on a man coming up toward them, dressed in an immaculate suit, his dark hair nicely slicked back and an easygoing smile on his face. "Detective Beckett? Peter Fleming." He offered a hand and shook with a strong grip. "This is a terrible tragedy and I promise we will cooperate fully in this investigation."
"Thank you, Mr. Fleming," Beckett said even as she put her guard up. She'd met more than a few slick operators before and recognized the type. "Did you know the victim?"
He sighed. "Sadly, yes. Marty Voyt, one of my top security men." He began leading the way to where several officers stood around the crime scene. The body of a strong-looking black man in a suit lay in a pool of blood. He was staring up at the ceiling, the bullet holes in his chest evident.
Castle winced as he looked at the body. "Very strict overtime parking rules here."
Fleming glared at him for a moment before looking to Beckett. "Our security cameras were down for nightly maintenance at the time of the murder."
"Any ideas who might have done this?" Kate asked as she looked over the body.
"He was our main security man," Fleming told her, keeping away from the body. "I make a lot of enemies, Detective, from business rivals to people on the street who don't agree with my practices." He raised an eyebrow. "Perhaps even some among the NYPD who don't approve of my…criticisms of your work."
Beckett fixed him with a harsh gaze. "Being told we can't close our cases and protect the public tends to rub us the wrong way."
"It's a cop issue," Castle said, feeling odd about being the only having to defuse tensions.
Fleming smiled. "Richard Castle, I'm a great admirer of your work. I enjoy insights into the criminal mind."
"It's a gift," Castle brushed off, ignoring Beckett's eye roll. "In fact, we may have more in common than you think. I've been wondering, how did you pull off that Hastings deal?"
"Oh, it was no trouble," Fleming said, turning his back on the body as he talked to Castle, obviously loving the idea of showing off his skills. As they talked, Beckett knelt to examine the body, seeing the pockets were turned out, indicating his killer had searched him. She was about to rise when she spotted something on the man's shoe. She leaned in closer and saw the heel on Voyt's right shoe seemed a bit off. Reaching with a gloved finger, Kate pushed it and it swung as if on a hinge, a small card falling out. She took it in her hands, turning it over, the thick data card looking like a large key of some sort.
She heard Fleming speaking and rose up, slipping the card into her coat pocket on instinct. Turning, she nodded to him. "We're going to need a full report on Mr. Voyt's movements for the last day."
"I'm afraid much of that is confidential, Detective," Fleming answered, once more the businessman. "We will be conducting our own personal investigation."
"This is a murder, Mr. Fleming, not some industrial espionage," Kate responded. "We'll be handling it."
Fleming's eyes flickered with something dangerous, for one instant not the businessman but…something else. It vanished but Kate still saw it as the man calmly replied. "We shall see, Detective. We shall see." He turned on his heel to walk away.
Castle moved up to Beckett, gazing after Fleming. "Gee, that wasn't at all foreboding," he dryly said.
Beckett shook his head. "All the rich guys are alike, think they're above the law. We'll see how hard it really is to touch him."
"What do you mean, we can't touch him?"
Beckett was staring across the office at Montgomery, the captain somber as he gazed back. "You heard me, Detective. Fleming's own people will be handling it from here on in."
Beckett shared a disbelieving look with Castle, who sat nearby before returning to Montgomery. "Sir, this isn't a federal landmark or anything. It was a public garage."
"Actually, on Fleming land."
"Fleming land?" Beckett widened her eyes. "What is this, old Texas?"
"It might as well be." Montgomery sighed. "Beckett, you know the shots he's taken at the NYPD and people do listen. This is a very delicate situation, we can't risk angering him."
"You mean the people up top can't," Beckett accused.
"True," Montgomery admitted. "He's got friends in very high places, Detective."
"Maybe I can talk to the mayor," Castle offered.
Montgomery shook his head. "It doesn't matter, Castle."
"But he likes me," Castle actually pouted.
"And Fleming has money and that'll trump friendship for a politician any time."
"Damn the money," Castle muttered.
Beckett put her hands on her hips. "We're supposed to just drop this?"
"Exactly," Montgomery said. "His people will have our reports as soon as the autopsy's finished and anything we found on the scene."
"This isn't a request, Detective," Montgomery barked. "This comes from the top, it comes from me, so just do it!" Both Beckett and Castle were thrown by the heat of his voice. Noticing, Montgomery sighed, softening his tone. "Listen, I know this is hard. But it's out of our hands. Just put it aside and concentrate on cases we can solve."
Beckett glared before turning to leave the room, Castle following until Montgomery called out to him. "Castle." He waited until the writer had closed the door. "I know she's going to pursue this," the elder man said in a somber tone. "I need you to keep an eye out for her. This is a very delicate situation, Castle. If she gets on Fleming's bad side…there may be nothing I can do to help her."
"You know she won't listen," Castle pointed out.
"Try," Montgomery pressed. "For her sake." He watched as Castle left and let out a tired sigh as if feeling the weight of the world upon him.
Castle came to Beckett's desk, seeing her furiously working on the computer. "You should never Facebook when angry, trust me on that."
"Not in the mood, Castle," Beckett said.
Castle winced before leaning in. "Futile as it may sound, I would recommend…"
"Castle, don't make me get my gun."
"Okay, when you start talking dirty, it's time for me to go." Castle rose up. "Talk to you later, then."
Beckett just gave a grunt as she checked her e-mails. She wasn't happy about this to say the least, not liking the idea of giving up a case like this. Something in her gut was telling her that there was more to this case then met the eye. Something about Fleming just raised her hackles.
She slipped a hand into her pocket, feeling that odd card inside. She knew she should have turned it into evidence already but that annoying little voice in her head was telling her it was better to hold onto it for now. Kate remembered what Voyt had done and before she knew it, she was slipping the card into her shoe, adjusting it so it wouldn't stick out too much. She was about to get back to her work when a flashing image showed she had a new e-mail incoming. She tapped over to it and was startled when her screen was covered by what looked to be a large eye. It flashed for a bit as text appeared before it.
Kate Beckett. You're right to believe Marty Voyt knew more than he seemed. He knew the truth of how Chess is working with a man known as Scales to bring in some smuggled material into New York. If you want to know more, check out Dock 35 at the shipyards. Come alone, Chess will know of a raid right off. You're one of the good ones, Beckett, or at least I think you are. Best to prove me right as Orwell is watching.
The mail vanished just as Kate finished reading it. She tried but couldn't reopen it at all. She sat back in her chair, mulling her options. The smart thing would be to tell Montgomery and get some cars down to that docks. She should also get computer crimes to start checking the system and trace this "Orwell" down. But the cop within Kate Beckett was intrigued. One didn't send a message like this on a lark and it lined up with what she was already suspecting about Voyt. She paused long enough to jot a quick message down before rising to go.
The docks were quiet at this time of night so Beckett had little problem finding her way around. She paused as she checked out some nearby containers, a small flashlight guiding her way. She wore gloves with the rest of her outfit to handle the chilly air, making her way to the right dock. It was a mix of various container carts ready for loading and Kate noted how many of them bore the ARK Corporation logo which was enough to get her interested.
As she examined them, she ran through what she knew of Scales. Dominic Raoul was Australian by birth, cursed with a condition that caused his skin to resemble lizard-like scales. With his hulking form, he'd built a criminal empire, forced to flee the country and reestablish himself in New York. If he was involved, Kate knew this was serious, even if this supposed "Chess" wasn't in this.
She felt a latch and was mildly surprised to find one container door wasn't locked. She jerked the handle and opened it, looking into a crate of what appeared to be a bunch of dolls. She lifted one up, feeling how heavy it was and rubbed the back. She felt a crack inside it and opened it up, reaching in to take out a cylinder. It was metallic and painted over with various letterings. Kate didn't recognize it all but the clearly labeled "explosive material" words and drawing of a radioactive cloud were enough to let her know it wasn't good.
She took out her phone, quickly punching in Montgomery's number. He picked up quickly, his gravely voice coming in clear. "Detective, where…."
"Captain, get all available units down to Dock 35," Beckett said, intent on the canister in her hands. "We've got illegal explosives in ARK trucks."
"Sir, we can't wait! I don't know if Fleming is really involved but someone in his company is…."
Too late, she felt a shadowy form behind her just as a strong grip snaked around her neck. Kate tried to punch back at him until she felt the blasting pain of a taser at her neck and a flash of agony before blackness took her.
Pain was echoing in her mind as Kate slowly came awake. She tried to reach her hands up to brush her hair only to find she couldn't move them. She came awake with a start to realize she was bound to a chair tightly. She struggled but it was no use, her hands cuffed as well as feet. She felt an absence at her hip, realizing her service weapon was missing. However, the slight ache in her left shoe told her the key she'd taken was still safely hidden. She looked around, seeing what appeared to be the interior of an empty train car, slats from above letting the early morning light drift in.
"I tried to warn you, Kate."
She whipped her head around to see Montgomery leaning on the wall. The captain was dressed more casually, just slacks and a dark sweater with a somber expression on his face. "Captain?" Kate asked, wincing as she sat up straight. "Wha…what's going on?"
Montgomery stepped up, his eyes carrying true sorrow as he looked at the detective he'd known for so long. "When I saw the note you left, I was afraid you'd come here. I'd hoped you wouldn't but…it's out of my hands now."
"Captain…what the hell are you talking about?"
"He is talking about the latest move in my game, Detective." Kate looked over as a figure stepped out of the shadows, accompanied by a pair of masked guards. He was clad in black military pants with a red leather vest, his head covered by a black mask that covered him like a lizard's head. What threw Kate were his eyes which appeared to be slits in the shape of a king's chess piece. Her lips were turned upward in a sly smile as he came in.
"Let me guess," Kate breathed. "Chess."
"Good, I was afraid you'd waste time denying me existence," the man said in a smooth accent that carried a hint of a rasp to it. "I had hoped, Detective, that it would not come to this. The loss of Marty Voyt was bad enough. I trusted that man and for him to steal from me…"
"Voyt was your inside man in ARK," Kate concluded. "He was passing you intel on their codes."
Chess chuckled. "Ah, my dear Detective Beckett. So smart and yet so naive. What use have I for an inside man…" He reached up to his mask, unzipping the back. "When I know all he knows." He removed the mask to reveal a very familiar face with tousled black hair.
Kate knew her jaw was hanging open but couldn't help but gape at the unmasked Peter Fleming. "But…Why?" she managed to stammer.
"Chess has his uses," Fleming said, his voice shifting into his normal tone, which made his appearance more bizarre. "My goal, Detective, is to make ARK as vital to this city as the police force is and more so. It is a delicate process, much like any game of chess. It requires special moves and strategies within strategies. Marty Voyt nearly ruined one of them when he stole from me a security disc containing full records of ARK personnel, codes and a master key to any vault of my design."
Reflexively, Kate moved her shoe, feeling the card within it and realizing she was literally sitting on the key Fleming sought. The man was too busy speaking to see the move. "Sadly, Mr. Voyt suddenly decided a conscience was worth more than my loyalty or money and attempted to take it to the authorities. Thus, sadly, I had to sacrifice him. Unfortunately, he must have secreted what he stole before he met his fate." He shrugged. "But I am confident it won't upend my plans too much. "
"Which are what?" Beckett asked. She was hiding the fear she felt over the obvious fact that if Fleming was showing his face and admitting to murder, it meant he had no intention of letting her live.
Fleming smiled, which made the eye contacts look as if they were sparking with menace. "You were obviously a comic book fan in your youth. I hate to disappoint, Detective, but while I'd love for you to appreciate my genius, I have not the time to waste detailing my plans. The time has come for another sacrificial pawn and you have fit into that role."
Beckett narrowed her eyes. "You kill me and you'll have half the NYPD on your tail in no time."
He let out a long and heartfelt laugh. "Detective Becket, I own half the NYPD, not to mention media and contacts in every branch of every federal agency in New York. Those who weren't bought were…persuaded." He motioned toward Montgomery. "Your good captain here has been forced to abide by my decisions or else I expose his connection to the group of men responsible for the murder of your mother."
Kate felt the blood drain from her face as she stared at Montgomery as if she'd never seen it before. The man looked ashamed, turning his face away. "I'm sorry, Kate. I never wanted it to go this far but…It's out of my hands."
Fleming pulled the mask back on and when he spoke, it was once more in that strange rasp. "A great player adapts his strategy to fit a change in the game. He must also be able to endure a sacrifice." He pointed at Kate. "When what remains of your body is found by the wreckage of this exploded car, the evidence of your guilt will be clear."
"Wh…what?" Kate blinked in confusion before letting out a short laugh. "Guilt of what?"
"Why, of being one of Chess' many agents, Detective. A homicide cop, perfect cover for one involved in the criminal lifestyle. You were overseeing the transfer of these explosives yourself when the police raided the facility, having been investigating you for the last several months."
Beckett shook her head. "No one will believe that."
Chess smiled. "You talk as if I've never done it before. The paper trail has been laid to your hidden account in the Caymans. Your personal computer will have a year's worth of encrypted files detailing your involvement in various of my criminal efforts. The police who raid this facility will swear to seeing you with my men and exchanging gunfire with them just as Internal Affairs will swear to having been secretly on your trail for the last four months. By the time my contacts in the media are through, you will have achieved far more noriety than your print counterpart, albeit in a less genial light."
The matter-of-fact way he said this, reciting it with calm certainty, no pause at all was what convinced Kate he was telling the truth. That one man could so corrupt an entire system was more horrifying to her than what he was planning for her. She tensed against the ropes, shaking her head again. "My team won't believe it."
"Two officers, a medical examiner and an author? Hardly the sort of thing to keep me awake at night." He began to back up. "It does mean Chess goes from a boogeyman to something real but I believe this may only enhance my plans." He turned to walk away, calling over his shoulder. "Farewell, Detective Beckett. Be sure your sacrifice will not be in vain when it comes to my endgame."
One of the guards moved toward her as she looked to Montgomery. "Captain…please, Captain, don't…" She knew she was pleading but desperation pushes one to extremes. "Captain, you can't…"
He looked back at her with a sad stare before walking away. It was the last sight Kate had before she once again felt that pain in her neck and lost consciousness once more.
The sound of gunfire awoke her, rousing her fast as she remembered what had been happening. Kate was surprised to see she was no longer bound but then realized that having her corpse tied up might be a tad bit suspicious. She looked around to see she was alone but the sounds of gunfire close. She glanced beside her, eyes widening as she saw a trio of the canisters set right by the wall of the fright car, easily within range to catch a "stray bullet."
Kate had no idea how much time she had before the explosion would go off but knew it wasn't enough. She looked about in desperation, a glint of metal catching her eye. She knelt to see a small part of the floor was raised, a panel slightly off. She tried to pry at it but it wouldn't give despite her grunting and yanking until a nail snapped off. She looked around and saw the chair lying in the corner. She raced toward it, kicking hard at a leg until it snapped off. Kate moved back, jamming it into the raised edge. She pushed down as hard as she could, feeling the sweat on her forehead, pushing until at last the panel began to rise up. She adjusted the arm in the gap and pushed it again, then pulled it up enough for her to slip through.
She landed on the ground, groaning in pain from the effort. She heard the gunfire coming closer and could see SWAT soldiers coming over, firing rifles. Kate knew trying to identify herself wouldn't do any good. Glancing down, she saw a grating under the car and grabbed it. She yanked it up and slid underneath, falling into a large sewer. Spitting out some dirty water, she rose up to start running.
And that was when the bullet found the canister and a massive explosion rocked right above her, filling the sewer with a shockwave and a billow of flame.
The docks were a bevy of activity as Rick Castle ran up to the scene. Cops were about along with slews of reporters. Castle moved toward Ryan, who was staring out at the distance. "Ryan! Ryan!"
The cop turned and the lost look on his face told Castle it was bad. "Kate?" he managed to whisper.
Ryan swallowed. "She was on the scene…they said she got caught in an explosion…"
Castle was rocked back. "She…how? Why?"
"They're saying…" Ryan wiped his face. "They're saying she was in on it, she was helping them…"
"No," Castle said. "No way, not Kate."
"I don't want to believe it either," Ryan said. "But….she's gone, Castle. She's just…gone."
And for one of the few times in his life, Richard Castle couldn't think of a single thing to say.