"The stage is now set. I will show the answers to your questions using your own memories. Before you became comatose, you already knew most of your answers; you just forgot them. "
Morpheus closed his eyes and went silent for a few moments, then slowly opened them again. A door appeared before him.
"You see, Ryerson, memories never leave us. Our mind take thousands of snapshots daily, and files them accordingly. Weak memories are the result of the minds tendency to forget to remember."
He pointed at the ethereal door.
"I have taken the liberty of finding the ones you were looking for. All you have to do now is enter and see them for yourself."
Ryerson nodded, and took a very deep breath before pushing the door open with both hands.
He emerged in his Cincinnati apartment, looking just as empty as it had ever been. As soon as he shut the door behind him, his phone rang.
"Ryerson? It's your mother. I, I don't know how to tell you this, but... It's about Peter..."
He felt himself freeze like he did the first time he had heard this call. He knew how it went from this point on.
He left through his apartment door just as he had entered it, and emerged at the frosted glass window of a private investigators office. He now remembered this clearly as the day he was there. This was probably the third time he met him; he remembered this engagement very precisely.
"No gang involvement, no outstanding debts or vendettas of any sort, and only about two people I talked to even know the guy. I don't know what to tell you, other than I have absolutely no leads on your brothers case."
He left the stuffy room into a more interesting domain; his fathers office. Sometime while he was in high school in another county, his dad had scored himself a very snug job in the city's upper echelon. It was rather sudden too, but Ryerson was far too apathetic to dig into the details. His dad had become rather rich and powerful since he had last saw him, so he decided to take it upon himself to use some of those resources to continue the investigation on his own.
He remembered an awful lot here, rifling through the greasy rolodex on his dads gaudy desktop. Names he knew from his childhood: like P. Kurly, a smelly friend of his dad's who sometimes came to the christmas parties; he always had sound advice like 'never shave'. Or Sam Paxton, a man who he had always seen with his father, but had never talked too. When he had the common sense to know it, he figured he was a dealer or something.
There were also a few dangerous looking names that looked to have been added recently; names Ryerson had heard only mentioned with a very cautious hush, or had read about in the more unpleasant of newspaper clippings.
"I remember now. Dad, I couldn't possibly have turned a blind eye to this, regardless of blood."
He closed the rolodex with a mute sigh, made a b-line for the office's double-doors, and heaved them open. The room he was in now was not familiar in any sense. It was completely black, save for the solemn eerie glow of a street-lamp, and a familiar figure leaning against it.
"Brother." It was Peter.
"P..Peter..." Ryerson sheepishly responded.
"I need you to listen to me very carefully." Ryerson just nodded. "Before I told you that I wasn't going to see you again, I was following dad's dirty footprints for a good while. He was getting himself into some very heavy shit - much worse than his tangos with coke. He was in real danger, the kind where people get stomped by sledge hammers, if you know what I'm saying. He may not have ever really been a real father, but he was the only one I had, so I tried to stop him."
Peter collected his thoughts a bit, as well as bit back some of his radiant emotions.
"He wouldn't have it, no matter how I urged him, he just wouldn't fucking listen. So I left home for a very long time. I kept tabs on him and everyone around him; those who he owed money, those who were out to get him, even those who fucked him over and thought they could get away with it. I was his shadow, his silent guardian."
Ryerson sat down beside the lamppost and continued to listen intently to his brother's message from beyond the grave.
"Word got out that dad was damned invincible. People started to really fear him, and I'm sure I've told you before what kind of power comes from being feared. He nestled himself into a position of legitimate power and was able to double his influence. "
"Ah, so thats how he did it."
"Yeah, but he was getting really out of hand. He definitely didn't need my protection anymore. In fact, at that time it turned out I was doing what I could to stop him entirely; too much power in the hands of an unfit man.
I was clumsy though. He caught wind of what I was doing, and when he found out it was me, he feigned joy over the rediscovery of his oldest son, and took me home for dinner. During the night, he drugged both myself and mom, and raped her. When we came too, he pinned it on me, threw a fit of rage and kicked my ass to the curb. He looked for me later that night, and shot me once in the chest."
Ryerson jumped up. "What?! Why would he do that? If he was going to kill you, why did he do that to mom?"
"He didn't want her to find out that her son had been investigating her husbands crime ring. He wanted to keep her in the dark, in case she got any funny ideas. Doing this ensured that she would be caught off guard.
Dad also used it to his advantage; he had enough power that he was able to use that to cover up my death. It was said that a bunch of junkies ran into me and roughed me up a little before killing me."
Good Lord, thought Ryerson.
"And finally, he had the balls to try to kill his youngest son. You know, it was dad who poisoned you. You were getting too close to the truth of the matter, so he fixed you a cocktail that was to die for."
He just stood there, jaw agape. He had a feeling, but never did he commit to the idea.
"Fortunately you survived, and you're going to awaken soon. And brother..." He paused. "You're going to kill dad for us."