I’m Tony Hooper.  Lane Diamond thinks he knows me, calls me his protagonist, thinks he can manipulate me just to offer others a thrilling ride.  Yeah, good luck with that!

He doesn’t know me, any better than you know me.  Don’t judge me until you’ve worn my skin, crawled inside my mind.

What do you know about loss?  What do you know about pain?  What do you know about living every night of your life as if a raging tornado were roaring through your gut, twisting your intestines into a stew of guilt and anguish, shooting your heart across the abyss at 250 mph?

Me and pain, we’re buds.  BFFs.  Just as well, because I deserve it.  If I believe in justice and claim to fight for it—and make no mistake, I do—then I have to accept the pain.  I must embrace it.

Fate deals the cards; all I can do is play the hand.

If I end up dead or in prison as a result, so be it.  But if you’re one of those animals out there, one of the monsters that preys on the innocent, know this: I’m coming for you.

And to my little brother, who’s always represented the best part of me, I can only say, “Forgive Me, Alex.”