The full comic archives for The Jaded are contained over at Graphic Smash, a division of the Modern Tales Family.
Needless to say, the following synopsis contains SPOILERS as it is intended for those who do not wish to pay to see the archives but still want to be able to follow the story. Enjoy!
Synopsis: Fours Years Late
The scene opens on a dark night, where a red-headed woman with long hair is running madly down the street as a masked man pursues her. Running past an alley, she ducks behind an alley and hides behind a dumpster. The masked pursuer runs past, seemingly not noticing that his prey has eluded him...
Once the danger is past, the woman breathes a sigh of relief and emerges from her hiding place. As she leaves the alley, she does not see a shadowy figure concealed in the shadows of a doorway behind her...
The masked man grabs the woman from behind, but the spirited girl struggles and digs her elbow into his ribs. The man lets go in pain, and does not attempt to pursue as the woman escapes. Suddenly, a footfall is heard behind the masked man as a figure in a long coat appears...
The bearded figure in the long coat offers the masked man a hand. The masked man removes his mask to reveal a young man with short blond hair. As the old man in the coat speaks, we see he wears a crucifix earring on his left ear.
"That looked like it hurt."
The scene jumps to a sunny field. In the distance, two figures are sparring. One of the combatants, a small woman with short black hair, is thrown by her opponent and lands on her back. While musing over her defeat by her opponent, Charlotte, she looks up and realises that the head trainer, Denise is looking down at her...
Denise proceeds to inform the woman with short hair, Jin, that something important is required of her and wants Jin to be "packed and in her office by three". Jin is left pondering the reason as Charlotte rags her about being thrown out of training as only the best trainees get called for duty, and Jin is not considered one of them. Charlotte then waves Jin a mock goodbye, implying that Jin would most likely be replaced soon.
Cut to the interior of a dimly lit truck. A group of five individuals, the young man and the man with the crucifix earring from the previous scene included, are clustered in what appears to be some sort of meeting. The old man with the crucifix earring appears to be the leader, and is warning the other members about the importance of a mission they are about to carry out...
The young man addresses a ponytailed and goateed man who is crouched over a computer: "Rust, is she still there?".
To which Rust replies: "The bug you planted says she's still in the building."
The old man goes on to announce that they will "...go in, and if everything goes according to plan, Mr. Wilcox gets his daughter back".
A grizzled one-eyed man grimly comments about the probability that no one else will be killed in the process, to which the last member of the group, a rather fetching redhead replies cynically: "Or so we hope".
Alone, Jin reminiscences about the past, and explains that on her 25th birthday, four years ago, she attempted to commit suicide, but was stopped by an old man named Jade. We see that Jade is the old man with the crucifix earring. Jade has apparently offered her a second chance at life by giving her a fresh start, which she has accepted. she goes on to wonder if she has wasted her chance.
Looking into the mirror, she wonders if four years have really wrought any changes in her. Her reverie is interrupted by the arrival of Park, a friend and fellow trainee of hers. Park is considerably upset to her about Jin's impending departure, as while he agrees that Charlotte is the best trainee of the lot, Jin has never been the worst, either. Despite his efforts, Jin sets off for Denise's office in a pessimistic mood.
Somewhere in the dark reaches of London, a numerous sentries watch over a building. The woman with the red hair who was being chased earlier bursts in in a state of distress and asks the sentry, Manuel, for the location of a Carlos.
Carlos, a dashing Spaniard, appears, and asks the woman, Jen if she "had trouble". Jen flies into his arms, and proceeds to mentions that she tried to get some apparently important data, but her father guessed she was coming and got some of his hired goons to grab her. She informs him of her narrow escape, but Carlos quickly discovers the reason why: On her coat lapel is an small object rather like a button...
...which turns out to be a tracking device. As Carlos smashes the bug, he orders Jen to run and tell Manuel of the occurence. He proceeds to warn the rest of their men.
As the bug is smashed, Rust utters an expletive and berates the young man, Juno, over the communications channel for planting the bug somewhere so easily found. Juno's counter-grumbling is interrupted by the woman Lysanne's admonition to keep arguments off the channel.
The one-eyed man, referred to as "The Doc", directs Rust's attention back to his work. Rust proceeds to communicate with Lysanne, who mentions "she's already on it". Rust goes on to grumble to Doc that sitting in the van playing operator is boring, and all the others are having fun. The Doc replies sardonically that Rust has funny ideas of fun.
Somewhere in the building, Carlos instructs two of his men, Choritzo and Paprika, to conduct a sweep for intruders. Meanwhile, Jen appears to where Manuel stands watch and warns him that intruders are approaching. She then starts and points out of the window, stating that the intruders have already arrived...
As Manuel looks out the window, Jen knocks him out from behind, revealing that she is not in fact, Jen, but an imposter.
Jade's men spread out and start eliminating sentries. Carlos prepares his firearms for the assault, grumbling about Jade Lanner, who appears to be the head of a band of mercenaries with rather fearsome reputations. This revelation is juxtaposed to a scene at the van, where bored Rust is being curtly reminded to get back to work by a knife-juggling Doc Ice. Carlos vows not to be outdone by Jade's men this time, hinting at past tangles with Jade that did not go down well. In the spirit of "talk of the devil, the devil will come", Jade appears and holds Carlos at gunpoint.
Back in Denise's office, Jin is astonished to learn that she has not been kicked out of training, but rather, has been called to duty in Jade Lanner's group. Denise adds that Jade asked for her personally, a fact that puzzles Jin.
We return to the van where Rust and Doc Ice are. Rust detects the approach of Choritzo and Paprika, and is alarmed as well as gleeful. Against the Doc's wishes, he goes off to take care of them, leaving the Doc alone in the van. Elsewhere, Jade confronts Carlos about their purpose.
Jade reveals to Carlos that he knows about Carlos's affiliation with someone called "Graeme Smith", who appears to be a sinister figure. Meanwhile, Juno, who is on the roof, contacts the van and asks Rust to do a perimeter scan for some missing sentries, but finds only the Doc, who explains what has happened. However, he is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Choritzo...
Before Choritzo can shoot however, Rust appears and clouts Choritzo with the pistol-butt. As Rust apologizes for leaving the Doc as bait, they realise that one of the sweepers is still unaccounted for. At that moment, a gunshot reverberates, and an alarmed Juno on the roof is left wondering about the sound, which he conjectures does not come from a handgun. He attempts to contact the van, but no response is forthcoming.
Jade reveals that he know Carlos has been using Jen Wilcox to conduct espionage on Wilcox Industries on behalf of Graeme Smith. Carlos attempts to feign ignorance. In the van, Rust shoves the Doc out of harms way as they are fired upon, but is hit by a ricocheting bullet...
On a plane bound for London, Jin sits and ponders about Jade Lanner. She is jarringly brought back to reality when her fellow passenger is required to get her attention on behalf of the air stewardess. After the initial embarassment and a little light conversation, Jin notices that her fellow passenger is in possession of a hidden firearm...
Naturally, Jin is alarmed, but conceals her observation.
Meanwhile, Jade has managed to extract a defiant confession from Carlos, who doesn't realise he is being recorded. Just as the interview comes to an end, Carlos's phone starts ringing.
Jade answers the phone, and finds that Paprika, one of Carlos' mercenaries, is on the other end. Paprika announces that she has two of Jade's men hostage, and threatens to shoot them unless she gets to talk to Carlos immediately.
Jade and Carlos negotiate a prisoner exchange and things appear to be in a deadlock.
On the plane, a fearful Jin takes an opportunity to be alone by heading for the restrooms. On the verge of panicking, she reveals that she apparently is on the run from someone, and she suspects that the man with the gun is one of them. Just as she ponders how the man was allowed a firearm on board, she realises that she was followed...
The man puts a hand on her from behind. As they stand in a secluded section of the plane, no one notices that something is going on.
Still holding Jin, the man tells Jin that they need to talk, and that there is something import he needs to say to her. In an unexpected move, Jin deftly swipes his gun and has it cocked under his chin before he realises it.
Ready to blow his head off in an instant, Jin demands to know why the man was following her...
Back with Jade, the final stages of the negotiation is over, and Jade instructs Lysanne, who apparently has Jen prisoner, to 'sacrifice the queen' as part of some code. Lysanne seems surprised by the order, but does not dare to disobey. Carlos comments at the odd code for an abort, Jade only replies enigmatically.
The man on the plane tries to talk his way of out the situation. At Jin's insistence, he reveals that he is Jin's guardian angel...
Jin reacts with predictable disbelief at the announcement.
We go back to the van, where Paprika gives orders to the now-recovered Choritzo to move Doc Ice, who is still prisoner, to the point for a prisoner exchange. Choritzo asks about Rust, who lies motionless on the floor. Paprika tells him to leave him.
As the Doc walks at gunpoint out of the van, we see Paprika step into the sights of a sniper scope...
In a display of skill, Juno takes out Paprika non-fatally with the rifle. The other mercenary, Choritzo, empties his pitiful handgun at the distant roof, but non of the shots find their mark. While Choritzo's attention is distracted, Doc Ice slides a hidden blade out of his sleeve and knifes Choritzo. Two down.
One of Choritzo's stray bullets crash through the windows of the room where Jade still holds Carlos at gunpoint. By sheer luck, it grazes Jade lightly, just enough to divert his attention from Carlos. Carlos jumps at his chance and knocks the weapon out of Jade's hand.
Jade quickly downs Carlos with a blow, but as he does so, Lysanne and Jen, Impostor and Original, arrive at the scene.
"Stop, or she dies!", the one with the gun declares. At this point, Jade reminds Carlos about the 'sacrifice the queen' comment, and tells him it's time to choose between Jen or his mission.
Carlos shows his true colours and declares that Jen is of no use to him any more. The woman holding the gun reacts to this in bewilderment, and then anger. It is revealed that it is not Lysanne holding Jen hostage, but actually the other way around. Now furious, Jen shoves Lysanne away and prepares to shoot a panicking and horrified Carlos.
Back to the plane with Jin, who demands to know that meaning of the guardian angel comment.
With perfect calmness the man explains that he came to keep and eye on her, and to warn her of a them who have tracked her down, and of a her who will not rest until she, Jin is dead. Jin reacts to this news with a haunted look on her face.
As Jin presses for more information, the man refuses to answer unless she stops holding him at gunpoint. He tries to convince her he's on her side, and tells her to make a choice whether to trust him or not. She makes the choice.
As Jen Wilcox attempts to shoot Carlos, we see her stare in bewilderment at the gun that is not longer in her hand. The camera pans away to Jade, who has dived for his gun and has it pointed at her.
At that moment, Jen's gun falls to the ground. Jade lowers his gun, having shot the weapon out of her hand. Mildly, he comments that there is no need for complicating the situation any further by committing any murders.
Back at the van, we see a wounded Paprika trying to reach for her rifle. She receives a warning shot from Rust, who "isn't quite dead yet." Finally, she is forced to surrender.
The Doc patches Rust up and reports the situation to Jade, who is finishing off the last of his business with Carlos. An ungrateful Jen Wilcox takes the recording made by Jade of Carlos's plans and storms away, accompanied by Lysanne for safety.
Jade turns his attention to Carlos, who asks if he is to be killed. Jade response that he is neither a hitman nor a vigilante, but warns Carlos against working for people like Graeme Smith, saying: "...keep playing with fire and you'll get yourself burned"
Carlos retorts: "What about you?".
As he leaves, Jade replies darkly: "I've been to hell and back, Charlie. There's nothing in me left to burn."
View of the Heathrow Express pulling in to Paddington Station. Jin is seated by the window, the man from the plane is next to her. The man repeats his warning about the her who is after Jin, stating that even Jade, her employer cannot protect Jin from the mystery woman.
Jin responds that she has resolved not to run anymore. She has worked too hard to rebuild her life, and no bitter old woman with a grudge is going to take that away from her.
As they walk through the crowded station, Jin asks the man, whose name is finally revealed to be Martin, why he cares about her, Jin's well-being. Martin responds that he it's not Jin that he cares about, but rather the mystery woman who is out for Jin's blood.
Jin continues to ask why, but when no answer is forthcoming, she turns around to realise that Martin is gone.
In the confusion of the crowded station, Martin managed to slip away, leaving Jin in the middle of Paddington Station, alone once more.
Continue to Footfalls In The Dark Synopsis.
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