The Keeper Chronicles by Philip Solomon:
Chapter 1 - Continued.
The man I'm here to see today is by far the strangest that I've come across. He has no known contact number or living address, my only means of contacting him came via a letter I sent to the New York Times at the prompting of a web article investigating the matter. About a month after sending the letter I received a text message from a private number telling me a location, time and date for my requested interview.
In a dirty alleyway in the middle of Manhattan I found a couple of chairs and a box between them acting as a table, presumably set up by who I'm here to see.
Of all the second generation of superheroes the one known simply as 'Mysteryman' is perhaps the most unknown. Despite being a member of the Dynasty he has never been seen in public, only a handful of photos exist of him online and the countless criminals he's locked away only ever claim to witness a black shape. Because of this the man I wound up meeting who at the time was holding a bag of Chinese takeout, was far from what I expected.
"Sorry I'm late. Got a bit hungry on the way over so feel free to help yourself."
(He empties the bag's contents onto the table revealing Fried Rice and Chicken Noodle Soup which he quickly begins to pick at).
"So you're that guy writing that book about Keeper, right? Mitch and Jackie mentioned you."
(There is a notable pause).
"Yum. Anyway, so what is it you wanna talk to me for?"
"You've encountered Keeper a number of times before, correct?"
"Once or twice, but normally I was just helping out in the background while Ram or Spark or Mitch took the punches. Probably why I haven't got an action figure to myself... but anyway that's normally why I'm never on TV, I'll be taking down the mad scientist controlling the robot everyone else is fighting, or I'll be investigating something really important."
"Well. Y'know how last week everyone was busy fighting Eldritch Moon? While that was going on I was... sorry."
(He moves to his noodles which he proceeds to devour).
"While that was going on I was investigating a certain mercenary that's just popped up in Mexico. So I'm always being productive, I'm just not as flashy as everyone else."
"So what about Keeper then?"
"I've never actually spoken to him."
"Really? Then why agree to do the interview?"
"There's a couple of reasons really. The main one being that I probably know more about the man than anyone else that isn't utterly insane. Back in 1989 after Dynasty first got together to fight Keeper it hadn't gone as well as we'd have liked.
So that's where I came in. Our bout with Keeper had been fairly bloody, what else would you expect? Anyway Ram let me borrow some of her tech on a sample of Keeper's blood which lead me in the right direction."
"You were the one that learned Keeper's real name."
"Yeah. It didn't help much though, and it didn't even go public till a few years later. The problem was that the guy didn't have any living relatives, hell, he was listed as himself. I visited his grave, autopsied the body and... this is the sick part. Turned out the body in Keeper's grave was a childhood friend of his that had been 'missing' a few years before the £$%@#&!'s parents died."
(He shudders slightly his meal forgotten).
"I asked around the town he grew up in. Everyone there was scared silent. His family house was untouched, abandoned. I checked his childhood bedroom to see if I could find anything. Something that might tell me about this guy that was busy tearing people's lives apart, and I found absolutely nothing. I had Mitch go over the place with his X-Ray vision, Spark checked the whole town eleven times at super speed. Nothing."
"Are you sure there was nothing there? In his hometown?"
"There was... something. About a mile away there was some sort of cave. I had a check inside but didn't find anything. Yet for some reason I've always felt like I missed something, that there was some clue I missed that would have pieced the whole thing together.
But hey. For the foreseeable future the secret origin of Keeper is exactly that, secret. Sometimes it keeps me up at night."
"So where did the name 'Keeper' actually come from?"
"No idea. One day the news just kept calling him that. It sounds better than 'The Threat' anyway, and it sounds very nice on the cover of a book."
"Yes... one more question?"
"You said there was more than one reason you did this interview. Keeper's investigation was the main one, what were the others?"
"Oh right. Yeah. Well as y'know I never do interviews. That's why call me 'Mysteryman'. Not because I'm a detective but because nobody's ever seen my face or really spoken to me. So I guess the real reason I agreed to do this thing..."
"Was because no one will ever believe you."
True to his name little is actually known about 'Mysteryman'. The only concrete facts known are that he's silently solved hundreds of New York's most grizzly cases over the two decades since his first sighting. He is often proclaimed by the media and spokespeople to be a member of The Dynasty despite never actually being seen with the team. The only seemingly reliable way to contact 'Mysteryman' is by sending a letter to the New York Times which has lead some to speculate that he works there.