Batman: Punishing Gotham - Part 7

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Project_Worm

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#1  Edited By Project_Worm

If you have not read before here is a link to Batman: Punishing Gotham - 1   This Fan-Fic is rated T+
 
Bruce Wayne sits at The Bat Computer reading an extraordinarily thick police file. On the main screen in front of him are photos of Frank Castle, one of him in his Marine Dress Blues receiving The Congressional Medal Of Honor in 1972. The others are his mug shots from when he was arrested, tried, and convicted for multiple counts of first degree murder back in 1988. There is a list of names scrolling up one of the computers smaller screens to Bruce's left, and another list of names on another screen to his right. Alfred Pennyworth comes downstairs with a coffee cup and a metal thermos. He pours a cup of coffee for his employer and then sets it down in front of the billionaire.

 

"Oh my," says Alfred as he looks up at the pictures of Frank on the main screen, "Charming looking fellow."

"His name's Frank Castle," says Bruce, "Also known as The Punisher. Ex Marine special forces turned self styled vigilante in New York City."

"Is he the one doing all the killing in Gotham recently?"

"So far, he is the prime suspect," replies Bruce, "He fits the profile. Military background. Tragic personal loss in his history. Failed by The System. And he uses lethal force against those he goes after. Always lethal force."

"What are these?" asks Alfred, looking at the smaller screen to Bruce's left.

"Victims," replies the billionaire, "All the criminals known to have been killed by The Punisher."

"And those others?" asks Alfred, pointing to the other screen to Wayne's right.

"Suspected victims," says Bruce, "Criminals who have been murdered or simply disappeared without a trace, with no confirmed suspects or perpetrators that match The Punisher's M.O."

"My word!" gasps the butler, "So many? The man must be utterly mad!"

"Actually," says Bruce, "He's quite sane. In 1973, Frank Castle came home from Vietnam on medical leave. He was severely injured when he was the only survivor when the North Vietnamese Army overran the fire base he was stationed at. When he was medically cleared to return to active duty, he took his wife and two children on a picnic in Central Park. While playing tag with his kids, they accidentally stumbled upon a mob execution. The hit men gunned down the whole family to protect their identities. The children both died at the scene. His wife died on the operating table at the hospital. Frank was the only survivor. He tried to get justice through The System, but the mob hit men were too well connected. They had air tight 'alibis' for the time of the shooting. Then they sent a hit man to kill Frank. He failed and was captured. Then they sent someone else to kill both Frank and the first hit man. The first would be killer died quickly. But when he tried to kill Frank, Castle threw him through a window. He survived, but he's so horribly deformed that he acquired the nickname 'Jigsaw'. Then Castle began his one-man-war against crime. In 1988, they police finally managed to capture him and put him on trial for multiple counts of murder. By that time he had accumulated a body count in the hundreds over just fifteen years. He was convicted and sent to Riker's Island for multiple consecutive life sentences. He escaped a few weeks later during a prison riot, and has been in the wind ever since."

"Dear Lord!" exclaims Alfred, "Are you sure he's not absolutely mad?"

"While he was incarcerated, they gave him every psychological test known to man," replies Bruce, "According to his test results, he's as sane as anyone walking the streets today. He's just pissed off. Very pissed off. He hates all those who prey on the weak and helpless. He sees them as the enemy. And he's a soldier. It's his job to search and destroy the enemy. He applies the same rationalization to his life as The Punisher. Which makes him very sane, but also very dangerous."

"Are you sure it's him?" asks Alfred.

"Reasonably sure," says Bruce, "A witness outside the bank earlier today said they saw a black panel van with New York license plates tailing The Scarecrow and his gang. The Punisher stays mainly in New York, although he has been known to travel to other parts of the country to track down a specific target. He's also known to drive a suped up black van which he refers to as The Battle Van. It essentially functions as a roaming headquarters, sleeping area, and armory. Between the steel outer shell and the interior is armor plating capable of stopping a 50 caliber bullet. The windows are all bullet resistant, and the tires are made of solid rubber. And despite all of that, it can still outrun most police vehicles because its engine has been tweaked to the point of that van being capable of towing a house. Frankly, his Battle Van is a very fast moving armored tank."

"Is that all you have to base your supposition on?" asks the butler.

"Not quite," says Bruce, "There is some confirmation," then the billionaire brings up the crime photos of The Scarecrow and his Wizard Of Oz Gang on the main computer. "You see the grouping of shots?" asks Bruce, "Crane and his two men were shot by an automatic shotgun. A full magazine holds over thirty rounds. Each of these men were hit at least a half dozen times before they fell. This says to me that the killer was an expert marksman, likely with a military background like Castle. But why so many shots? He could have used a pump action shotgun and killed them all just as dead."

"Perhaps he didn't want any of them to escape while he was ejecting the spent shells," suggests Alfred.

"I've thought of that," says Bruce, "But he could have easily set the gun on semi-automatic and fired one shot per squeeze of the trigger. Instead, he elected to put it on full auto and empty the magazine into all three men. And then he shoots Dorothy in the back with a Smith & Wesson 500 revolver as she's running away. That first shot severed her spine and nicked her aorta. She was already dead, or as good as, when he walked up to her and emptied the rest of the rounds into her back at point blank range. He had a smaller caliber sidearm, the one he used on their rottweiler, but he chose not to use it. Why?"

"They did something to anger him, I suppose," says Alfred, "I wonder what."

"I think I know," says Bruce.

He hands Alfred the police file he had been studying. In it is the original police report on the 1973 murder of the Castle family. It includes an inventory of the deceased's belongings. One of the items listed, was four ticket stubs from the movie theater. The name of the movie on the ticket stubs, The Wizard Of Oz. And after Frank Castle had gone A.W.O.L. and begun his life as The Punisher, the police found a copy of The Wizard Of Oz in the daughter's bedroom. It had 'Merry Christmas, Love Mom & Dad, Christmas 1970' written inside the front cover. Alfred sighs.

"So it appears that The Wizard Of Oz holds sentimental meaning to our coldblooded killer," he says.

"Looks like it," admits Bruce, "And Frank Castle has a history of being particularly brutal to criminals who target women or children. Child pornographers, abusive pimps, serial killers, he often makes their deaths particularly painful, messy, or even both."

"Like with Mr. Zsasz," says Alfred, "He could have simply shot him dead. But instead he disemboweled him by cutting extraordinarily deep tally marks into his abdomen."

"Exactly," says Bruce.

"Interesting hypothesis," says the butler, "But you are still lacking any real proof."

"I know," says Bruce, "He's been at this for a long time. He knows how to cover his tracks. He's good. Really good."

"If it is Frank Castle," says Alfred, "would you be able to stop him?"

"He reserves lethal force for the criminal element," says Bruce, "He tends to avoid the police and other costumed vigilantes. If forced into a confrontation with them, he uses non lethal tactics and weapons. I'm sure I can take him in a hand to hand fight."

"Are you sure you want to?"

"I've drawn a line," replies Bruce, "One that I will not cross. One that should not be crossed. This is my city. These are my people. They are under my protection. Even the criminals. I will not let him cross that line in my city."

"Very good, sir," says Alfred, and he heads back upstairs to Wayne Manor.

  
ALL CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS ARE PROPERTY OF DC COMICS OR MARVEL
 
Sorry that this one is so long I just wanted to make sure that I could get this done so next chapter has some action. Also just like before please comment bellow.
 
 
Batman: Punishing Gotham - 8
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sentryssj4

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#2  Edited By sentryssj4

Oh man this is getting SO good!

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Constantine

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#3  Edited By Constantine

Can't wait for more man :)

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ComicStooge

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#4  Edited By ComicStooge

Good stuff.

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tha_mercenary

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#5  Edited By tha_mercenary
@ComicStooge said:

Good stuff.


I second that.