For this contest I tasked writers to create an original villain for Frank Castle aka The Punisher.
I had one rule for this story: At some point in their story, The Punisher will kill their character.
Here are the entries:
I should really like this dirty, polluted, European warzone.
But I don’t. I hate Croatia!
Maybe it’s the proximity to Latveria and its tin pot dictator. Or the fact t…
“Passport!” The one-eyed customs official barks at me. Just by his scars and haircut you can tell he’s ex-military. I hand it over.
“Francis, Cas-tig-li-on-ee,” he says aloud. Nobody ever says it right. I nod. “American?”
He stares at me, it’s a short contest and he folds up the passport and points to the baggage claim. “NEXT!”
I’m out of my usual hunting grounds to track down a man called Steel Eye or as he’s known here Oko Željezo. Some Baltic filth trafficking girls into the US. I’ve disrupted his network stateside but to kill a snake, you’ve got to chop its head off.
There’s a heavy military presence at the airport due to a spate of terror attacks in the name of religion. If the gods really cared about us, they’d stop joining the Avengers and actually do something.
I look to see an old man with the skin lesions dressed in a suit that was in style in the forties. On his lapel he has a sprig of lavender.
“I am to take you to the capital, yes?” He smiled, proudly showing off his blacked teeth that were held in place purely by the nicotine stains.
Let’s see if Kaganitzky's got my coded email or that I’m going for a ride.
“Is Vȁraždīn far?”
He looks at me. You can almost see the lightbulb switch on. “Yes, too far to walk. Besides it is old capital.”
“Older is better,”
He smiles and nods. “Welcome to Croatia, Francis.”
Steel Eye is one of those mutants that was too much trouble for Magneto and not troubled enough to be worthy of the wheel chaired hypocrite! Either way he’s going to get several bullets to the head because I’ve tussled enough times with Wolverine to know that ONE regular bullet doesn’t cut it with these guys! My driver, Zlatan, drives me to the location that Dima Kaganitzky set up for me. I don’t have many allies in this part of the world…I don’t have many allies full stop, but Dima so far has come through for me. He fights a lonely war like I do against the Russian Mafia, corrupt government officials and drug cartels.
“Bakar!” Zlatan points to a road sign for the upcoming town after our hour long trip south.
He hesitates but pulls off onto the grass. I get out and hand him a fistful of money I got from some scum bucket in New York, still has some stains on it. “Go home.”
Zlatan’s eyes widen at cash. “Thank you! Thank you Francis.”
Two hundred US is nearly a grand here. Hopefully Zlatan doesn’t go stupid with it. I walk into the forest and head to the drop site leaving my driver to celebrate his windfall.
I pull up the chain hidden in the sand and enter the underground storage locker. The lights flicker on to reveal an arms cache. Smaller than what I’m use to but it’ll do. A dozen AK’s, three Tokarev pistols, a Vityaz-SN submachinegun, a box of grenades and a disposable one shot RPG. I check them all to know how they run, don’t want a misfire.
A few years ago I stumbled across some Advanced Idea Mechanics goons making super meth. I set them all to an early grave but out of it I got myself some vital information from one of the dead mechanics and Microchip dummied me up an account. For a price they’ll make whatever you like and deliver it anywhere in the world, so Charles Fort makes use of their terrible talents. One day I’ll have to terminate our working arrangement.
“Thanks for your custom Mr Fort,” I read the card and peer inside at the four vibranium coated phosphorous bullets. Should do the trick if Steel Eye is as bullet resistant as all the reports make out. And if not they may come in handy for when the angry green moron rampages through New York again saying how strong he is.
Finding Steel Eye isn’t an easy task. I shoot up a bar in Zurkovo where he’s known to appear at and I set fire to some cars his underlings drive in an effort to draw him out but so far nothing. Can’t expect magic on the first day; if I want magic I’ll call that idiot in the high cape who waves his hands like he’s speaking to the deaf.
My other problem is the language barrier, but luckily the big white skull on my chest and a hail of bullets tend to get people to get the gist of what I’m saying.
Forty-eight hours in Croatia and nothing. Perhaps he’s dead? Yeah and Wilson Fisk will have a coronary due to his size! Couldn’t get that lucky. Starting to run low on regular ammo. Maybe that’s HIS plan…
“OKO ŽELJEZO!” I yell as I kick the man in the sternum. It won’t kill him but it’ll sure hurt. “I’m tired of asking!”
This is getting nowhere fast. As I waste time here in Croatia, the scum in the States go unpunished. This guy knows nothing. I’m about to put him out of his misery when the roller doors to this warehouse fly open.
“I hear you look for me, Mr Punisher!”
The guy looks like that a cross between Russian kid from the X-Friends and the rock thing from the Baxter Building. Moulded steel like a statue come to life. And he’s not alone, he’s got seven friends with guns.
“Heard right,” I open fire with the AK sweeping the door. Obviously they thought I would happily shoot the breeze as he revealed his grand plan. Got the happily shoot part right. I drop the empty gun and roll for cover, changing weapons and keeping up the barrage. Steel Eye laughs as bullets bounce off him; his friends not so lucky.
“You cannot hurt me!” he bellows. “I am Steel Eye. I will crush you and continue my operation into the US.”
“How about this then?” I stand up and aim the rocket launcher at him. His cocky expression evaporates as the projectile hits him in the chest. There’s flames, smoke and a pretty little mushroom cloud but he’s still standing, barely even bothered.
“I am Steel Eye!”
I open fire with two Tokarevs, it’s like throwing spit balls at a tank but it keeps him focused on me. I throw the guns at him which have even less effect than the bullets. All that’s left is the grenades and the empty AK on the floor. It’s about now I’d like Spider-Man to show his blue and red butt.
The first grenade he catches and smothers in his hand, sounds like a whoopee cushion. The second blows a crater under his foot causing a slight stumble.
“You will die in Croatia, Mr Punisher! I guarantee it!”
I roll across the floor and scoop up the AK as he steadies himself.
“You have no more bullets. Are you going to beat me to death with the handle!” He laughs.
I raise the gun and take aim for his mouth. I pull the trigger and to his surprise a volley of bullets fly out hitting him in the mouth, chin and face. The vibranium bullet pierces the metal skin and the phosphorus melts the steel. He collapses on the ground writhing in pain.
“Hard to tell if someone’s fired twenty-six or thirty shots isn’t it? Especially when they discard the weapon. Now that wasn’t a bad suggestion beating you to death,” I tell him as I stand over him. “But I’m gonna need something heavier.”
I cross the warehouse and return with an armful of tools. “I think I’ll start with the sledge hammer, then the fire axe and then the shovel.”
T&A Exotic Dancers is exactly what it advertises- strippers showing their all to a steady stream of horndog drunks, frat boys, lesbians, and on many a Saturday night, bachelor parties. Like tonight. Tonight, the bachelor party is for...
"Joey Legonza!" calls the DJ, followed by cheers from a large group of rowdy men. "Joey Legonza! Report to the stage!" A happily tipsy man in the middle of the crowd of cheers tries to wave off the silhouetted man in the booth on stage left, but he persists, "We hear this is your bachelor party!" The cheers intensify. "That gets you a lap dance with two of our beautiful girls! Right up here on the stage!"
The whooping and cheering men begin to push Joey towards the stage, along with one woman in a yellow and black tube dress, yelling and cheering right along with them. "Joey! Who'sthat hottie?" Some whistles follow. "Is that your fiance?" Joey shakes his head as the crowd herds him forward. "She's NOT?! I've got to meet her then! Glad to see you're not that whipped though!" Cheers and roars of laughter rock the club.
"Okay guys, hoist him up to the stage!" Joey's friends grab him by the arms and legs, and half-throw him onto the raised platform as two girls come from stage left to help him up. "Ooooo, Joey, it looks like you got a sweet deal tonight! Meet Domino and Holly Sugarrr!," he growled. "The Sugar Twinnnns!"
Whoops and cheers went up from the crowd. Joey pursed his lips with an overly appreciative head nod, and playing to the crowd, he struck a contemplative pose- left arm folded over his chest, right elbow resting on that arm, and right hand stroking his chin as if trying to decide which one to sample first. It was just further intoxicant to the exuberant swell of men.
With lust in his voice, the DJ sneered, "And tonight, Joey Legonza, you get to see Sugar in the RAWWWW!"
Joey rubbed his hands together expectantly, and his friends fairly gargled their cheers through their salivations.
"But FIRST," taunted the DJ as Domino brought out a chair from backstage, "Put your hands behind your back, Joey!"
Joey snapped to attention in a mock manner and clasped his hands behind his back. Domino set the chair directly behind him, and then took hold of his hands. Holly undid his belt, and slipped it expertly out of the belt loops. Joey raised his eyebrows and rocked to his toes, making excited faces at his friends. They ate it up, cheering him on. Domino sat him down, and Holly made a show of walking behind Joey to secure his hands with the belt.
Then the DJ commanded, "Now sit there just like that while the girls do their thing!" The music started, and the DJ taunted, "For the entire dance, Joey! No touching, only looking."
Joey's shoulders sagged in mock dejection, but he couldn't erase the playful grin from his face.
"That's right, grin you idiot," continued the DJ, "because it's for this dance, and the rest of your life!"
Joey couldn't help but laugh aloud with the crowd.
The girls did their job well, working both Joey and the watching crowd into a lather, teasing and taunting as they danced. Men from the floor walked up to the stage and threw bills of various denominations on the edge of the stage. As Joey enjoyed himself, the DJ called out, "So Joey, be honest: are you thinking about the Sugars right now, or your fiance?" The crowd laughed as Joey mouthed something to the DJ. "Your fiance? Really? Why have Sugar when you've got a honey waiting for you, right?" The crowd laughed, and the twins stood up with their hands on their hips, momentarily huffing at the DJ, making the crowd laugh louder. Then they smiled, and went back to work on their dance, determined to make Joey break.
Another twenty seconds into the song, the DJ said, "Joey, really- you still want to get married?"
Joey nodded enthusiastically.
The DJ yelled into the mic, "Everybody say, 'a$$#ole!'"
The crowd called out "A$$#OLE!" and then cheered.
"Show of hands," said the DJ, "How many of you guys know Joey's fiance?" Every hand in the house went up. "Wow. Is she worth it?" The guys supportively cheered their friend's girl.
Another five seconds went by, and as Domino slid her body down the front of Joey's shirt and between his legs, expertly teasing him, the DJ sounded quizzical as he casually asked, "Joey, your fiance- does she give good...y'know- what Domino's faking right now?" Domino winked up at Joey.
Joey craned his head back over the chair and gave an overexaggerated nod.
"You see all those hands out there?" asked the DJ. "THAT'S WHY!"
The room erupted with laughter and a synchronized "Oooooo" from the assembled men.
"What do you think she'd say if I asked her?" asked the DJ. Joey nodded with an assured look on his face, to which the DJ said, "So you think she'd tell me she's good at it too?"
Joey tossed his head backwards over the chair, clearly feeling the burn. His friends cheered uproariously.
"So what's her name, Joey?" the DJ asked as the girls danced around him. Joey answered, but couldn't be heard over the music. "What's that?" asked the DJ. "Anyone out there know the name of Joey's fiance?" he called.
"JENNY!" roared the crowd.
"Jenny?" repeated the DJ. "Jenny? 'Joey & Jenny?' Really? That's too cutesy," protested the DJ. "I'm just going to call her 'Jennifer,' okay Joey?"
The DJ just kept talking over the music. "So you're really in love with Jennifer, huh, Joey?"
Joey nodded seriously. Holly slid her hands around him from behind, rubbing from his shoulders, down his chest, and reaching for his waist, but pulling back at the last second.
"Do you tell Jennifer that?"
Joey nodded again.
"I would hope so- you popped the question, right?"
The crowd laughed good naturedly.
"Does Jennifer tell you that?"
Joey started to nod again, but was interrupted by Domino rubbing a hand along his cheek to his chin, and turning his head to within inches of her face.
"Yeah, of course she does," agreed the DJ. "What's not to love?"
"Does Jennifer work?" the DJ asked.
Joey shook his head, sneering like it should be obvious that she wouldn't, then looked back at Domino.
"Stays at home then?"
Joey shrugged, smiling less, but clearly interested when Holly rubbed a hand across his other cheek to his chin, and turned his face away from Domino and back to her.
"Does Jennifer know what you do?"
Joey looked back to the DJ with a what the hell look on his face, the crowd of friends quieting by half. Joey shook his head.
"Jennifer doesn't know that you traffic girls overseas?"
The other half of the crowd went silent.
"Jennifer doesn't know that she's the fifth fiance this year?"
The music stopped.
"Jennifer doesn't know that you're also known as The Black Widower?"
A distinctive CLACK and SHLICK-SHLACK was heard over the mic, and then the booth lights went on.
"You girls should duck now," said the DJ as the Punisher looked out from behind him, holding a Beretta to the DJ's head, and a sawed-off shotgun to the window.
BANG! went Castle's Beretta, and the DJ's brains exploded all over the window. BOOM! went the shotgun, and the window blew out onto the stage. The Sugar Twins screamed and ran backstage.
Suddenly, everyone in the room had a gun in their hand, but the Punisher was faster. He grabbed a machine gun that was slung over his back and sprayed the room with one hand, and grabbed a grenade from his belt with the other, lobbing it into the crowd. Then a second and a third. A few shots rang out in his direction, and one even clipped Frank in the shoulder of his grenade arm, but it was over before anyone knew what hit them.
Joey Legonza, now sober, had come to realize that his hands were secured to the chair with his belt a lot tighter than he thought, so all he could do was shout, "Oh sh!t, man! Oh sh!t! Oh SH!T!"
The Punisher walked up to him, and put the shotgun to his forehead. Then looking down, he used the gun to poke Joey hard in the crotch, and said, "What's the matter, Legonza? You didn't like the dance?"
"N-nah," he lied. The Punisher scowled. "NAW, man, naw! I-I-I..." his voice dissolved into a whine. "I-I'm getting married tomorrow, man!"
Castle scowled harder, "At least for a week, before shipping her to the underbelly of Saudi Arabia, or India, or Moscow, right?"
Joey's face went completely hopeless.
"You really didn't like the girls?" asked Frank. "Is that why you do it? You hate women?"
"S-sure man," Joey sputtered desperately. "Whatever! The girls were great! They were fantastic! Best evUHG," he was cut off by the Punisher's shotgun being shoved into his mouth. A wet stain spread across his pants and down Joey's leg. Castle ignored it.
"Yeah, they weren't too bad," Frank agreed. He yanked the shotgun out of Joey's mouth, pumped it one-handed, and shoved it roughly back into his mouth, breaking teeth as he did so, making Legonza cry harder. "You should have gotten your dance in the V.I.P. room though. You know why, Joey?"
The trafficker sobbed violently, tears flowing harder as he shook his head with some difficulty due to the shotgun.
Frank's face went serious and dark as he answered, "They're known for their happy ending."
Frank stared blankly at the table in the briefing room. It had been a long day and now an even longer night. He had sent out a routine evening patrol, and had not expected the same outcome as two nights before, despite all intelligence having told him that the previous incident had been an isolated one. His men had walked into an ambush while on one of what the politicians like to call the "hearts and minds" patrols that were meant to be a low threat to the soldiers. They were meant to help to win over the opinions of the local populace by walking among them and showing that they were people just like them, in effect that a small town farm boy from Montana had the same overall concerns and problems as a farmer from this war-torn republic.
Shaking hands of village elders and waving and smiling at the children only did so much. Frank didn't much care for these patrols. He was only a lieutenant, but he already saw that while these patrols played a part of the overall strategy to be seen as liberators and not as conquerors, that the tactical value was as best negligible. The first night, they had gotten lucky as the section that he had sent out had managed to escape with only a few scrapes, but now he would have to add funeral arrangements for the dead body of Private Griffith among his other duties.
"Sgt. Miles," he called out. Although he had asked to be alone to contemplate how to move forward, he knew that his section commanders would not be far. It took only seconds for the sergeant to appear in the door of the tent.
"Yes, sir," Miles said.
"What is your take?" Frank asked.
"I am not really sure, sir," Miles replied, "it would seem as though the enemy is figuring out our movements, but I am not sure how." It was the same fact that was picking at Frank's mind. The enemy seemed to be extremely reactive to the movements of Frank's platoon, and he wasn't sure how they had managed to get the tactical upper-hand on him in recent weeks.
"Can you bring me Naiah?" Frank asked, "I need her here early tonight."
"It will take some time," Miles said, "she is probably with her family."
"I can wait," Frank said. Naiah was the closest thing that Frank had found to a friend among the locals. Despite all attempts to show them otherwise, the locals seemed only to regard the American military as another occupier, in a long line of occupiers that went back thousands of years. Naiah seemed to regard it as something else, that these men had come from overseas to help provide freedom to a country which had never really known it. She was a schoolteacher at what passed for a school in this small isolated town, and she was one of the few that spoke English to a level that the words they shared were more than just platitudes. She was also one of the few that shared information freely with the Americans, and it was common for her to brief Frank every night, but this night he couldn't wait. It took about five minutes for her to show up, though Frank had not managed to break his silent contemplation.
"Good evening Frank," she said as she walked into the tent, having been escorted there by Sgt. Miles.
"Good evening, Naiah," he said, "it was another bad night for us. We walked into an ambush tonight, and this time I am sending one of my boys back home in a box."
"I am sorry to hear it," Naiah said.
"What can you tell me?" Frank asked. He looked her as she looked at the ground, but he knew that her lack of a direct answer meant that she knew something.
"What is it?" he asked.
"I have heard of the return of a man," she said, "he is known only as the Red One. They say that he fought in the last wars, and that he is interested in this area now because of specific interests. It is said that maybe he comes from this village, and that he has made his way back here to wage a personal battle on the Americans. I am uncertain though, it would seem as though this man is a phantom, as well as the men that he controls."
"Do you know anything else?" Frank asked. Her continued glancing at the floor confirmed that she knew more.
"Tell me," Frank said.
"It is maybe nothing more than a rumor," Naiah said, " a whisper traveling upon the wind, but I have heard that this man is to be at the intersection of the two main roads just before dawn, awaiting a shipment of arms. If it is the case, then your problems will likely become worse."
"Thank you," Frank said, as she disappeared out of the tent into the darkness.
"Sgt. Miles," Frank called out to the Sgt. who he knew was not far away. The man quickly entered the tent.
"Ready your men," Frank said, "and be prepared for a fight."
"Yes sir," Miles said.
"And one other thing," Frank said, "I am coming with you."
It was an unconventional order and decision on Frank's part, but he was tired of receiving his information second hand, and while he could have deployed the entire platoon for this mission, a platoon was likely too large of a group to set up an ambush on an isolated intersection, at least not if they wanted it to go right.
Frank waited alongside Miles and the other men at the intersection. They had made their best time to the location, and had set up covered positions. Frank had ensured that the lines of fire were maximized as they had only nine men with them, and the intersection had been sighted for their high explosives.
The waiting became a task in itself, as the men wiped sweat from their brows while trying to maintain focus on their weapons and their eventual target. Time passed slowly, but none of the Marines dared break any kind of tactical discipline. It was unknown to Marines, and especially to these men who had the added respect for their platoon commander, which was unwavering.
Frank eventually looked over to Miles, and nodded, though Miles at first did not know why. It was maybe ten seconds later that Miles heard the low rumble of vehicles approaching, and knew that the time of action was soon at hand. They watched as trucks drove up from the different directions of the road, and stopped at the intersection. Frank waited a second longer to confirm that these were not simply two locals looking for directions, but as he saw the men leave their vehicles, he could see that they were not there for formalities. This was the trade that Naiah had told him about, and Frank signaled to his men to start shooting
Gunfire erupted as the men spun around in time only to greet their deaths. There were seven of them in total, but any question about their status as civilians was extinguished as Frank observed the weapons that they were using. These were soldiers of some kind, even if they didn't necessarily identify with the enemy's army. The firefight lasted only ten seconds, and the enemy combatants hadn't even had the chance to fire a single round. They all now lay dead or dying on the ground. Frank signaled to his men to halt fire, and then he led them down to the scene of the carnage.
"Miles," he said, "grab two men and give me a quick inventory of these vehicles. Just get them to eyeball it, set up the remainder in a defensive perimeter." He was still concerned about the possibility of a followup action, as he was uncertain that these vehicles had traveled alone, but he needed to have a look at who it was who he had just engaged in battle. Frank looked to the ground where the bodies lay, and tried to figure out which one of these men could be the battle hardened veteran that Naiah had told him about. The first man was nothing more than a boy, nor was the second one. As Frank inspected all the bodies it became clear, none of these was the so called "Red One" that Naiah had told him about. Just as he made this realization the private reported back to him with an inventory of the vehicles.
"No weapons sir," the private said, "other than personal side arms. The trucks are full of narcotics, heroin from the looks of it."
Frank looked to his side back to the village where his platoon was based.
"Damn!" he said.
They had returned as quickly as possible after destroying the cargoes of drugs. Frank was relieved to see that his platoon had not been engaged in this time, which he had feared had been the case.
"Get me Naiah," Frank said to Miles.
"Sir," Miles replied, "it is O Four Hundred, should I wait?"
"Get me Naiah," Frank replied.
This time it too less time to retrieve Naiah than it had last time. Despite having been woken up in the middle of the night, she seemed strangely well put together for such a time.
"We got him," Frank told her as she came into the tent. Naiah took a second to interpret the information.
"It is excellent news then," she said.
"Excellent, yes," Frank said, "but I wonder for who?" Naiah looked at him for a moment, seemingly confused.
"I don't understand," she said.
"I guess that you might not," Frank said, "see for you people over here, running drug gangs is a new business, but for me, it is something that I grew up with. It just took me a bit of time to figure out what was happening."
"I still don't understand," Naiah said.
"You appear to be innocent," Frank said, "but you learned quick about how to eliminate your competition. Whoever these men were, they were evidently posing some threat to your operation." Naiah's eyes squinted very slightly at this challenge from Frank, and she reached behind her back. Frank cursed his own carelessness, he should have told Miles to search her for weapons, but none would thought that their supposed ally was actually playing them for the benefit of her own drug running operation. She pulled out a pistol and fired it towards Frank, but her lack of training with the weapon made her miss with all three rounds. Frank had grabbed his own pistol and fired back hitting her once as she stumbled backwards out the door. Frank stood up to chase her, but by the time that he had reached the door, Miles was already there, having run in with weapon drawn to see what was happening.
"Where is Naiah?" Frank yelled.
"I thought that she was in here," Miles said. Frank pushed him out of the way and looked into the darkness. She was gone, maybe dying but maybe not.
"Doc, what's his problem?" says Randy's father, afraid of the answer that may come.
"Randy, well...he is a special kid. He has shown signs of schizophrenia and he has also shown sociopathic tendencies. I strongly recommend that Randy comes back here at my office on the next week, so we can make a full diagnosis on him. Don't take me wrong, I know you are a respected military Mr. Sanders, but go easy on your son, a military discipline isn't one of the best things to do with a kid who has shown sociopathic tendencies." says the doctor.
"It's alright Doc, I'll take good care of Randy." says Mr. Sanders, disappointed with what he just heard.
After this day, Randy Lockdown was raised by his lonely father, who murdered his own wife (Randy's mother) because he got her cheating on him. Sanders Lockdown, Randy's father, wanted his son to be a religious person, for that reason, Randy was put on catechism school. The teachers of this catechism school were old priests and there were only a few students, including Randy. Usually, he had to stay after class on the catechism school, unfortunately for him, he was the only one that had to stay there with the priests, waiting for his father. The old priests were lonely and needy, so they always took advantage of Randy and sexually abused him when they could. Afraid of the possible outcome, Randy never told his father about what the priests done to him after catechism class. For years, he was a victim of sexual abuse. When Randy was 20 years old, his father took him out of catechism school and enlisted him on the U.S. Army. Randy did not want to serve the army, but his father obligated him to do it so, saying this to Randy:
"For years, you have learned to respect God. Now, you will learn to respect man".
Fortunately for Randy and for his father, Randy was an excellent soldier and a skilled marksman. At the same time he was serving the army, without the consent of his father, Randy was on Law school. After 3 years, he was freed from the military service and he tried to make a living as a lawyer. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough time to study on Law school, so he needed help from a professional lawyer and he sought help from Matt Murdock, a professional lawyer from Hell's Kitchen. After some time learning with him, Randy decided to start his career as a lawyer. Although he wasn't really good on that area, he was able to live with the small amount of money that he received after every case. In a rainy saturday, he got stuck at a McDonald's, where he met Laura Reyes and her son, Matthew Reyes. At that point, Randy was 25 years old. Laura was a Colombian engineer, who was living with her son at New York City (city that Randy lives in). They eventually fell in love. After two years, they decided to marry, so they can both get benefits from their respective incomes. After one year of marriage, Randy found out that Laura was pregnant of a girl. He considers that day as the best day of his life. One day, Randy was going back to his home after a normal day of work. As he opens the door of the house, he says out loud:
"Honey, I'm home!"
Suddenly, he hears the sound of a window being broken on the room of Laura's son. He slowly walks and he says with a worried voice:
"Laura? Matthew? Are you there?"
He opens the door of Matthew's room and sees the broken window. He sees a man running as fast as he can, but he can't see much of him. The only thing that Randy could clearly see from that man was the skull on his chest and the black clothes. Desperate and worried, he thinks to himself:
"What would the Punisher be doing here?"
Randy enters the room and he is paralyzed for what he sees. He sees Laura's and Matthew's bodies lying on the ground, with bullet holes on their heads and pools of blood around them. Randy falls on his knees and lots of tears come down from his face. He starts facing the ground and in anger he shouts:
He keeps shouting this until someone calls the police. When they arrive, there is no one home and there are two bodies lying on the ground. It was Laura and Matthew Reyes, two colombian drug dealers, both were leaders of a famous drug dealing mob on Hell's Kitchen. Laura's husband, Randy Lockdown, is missing.
Randy never showed up to work again, no one has seen him after this day. At the slums of New York, there is an old abandoned church, where drug dealers go to sell their drugs and the addicts go to use their drugs. In a common day, one month after Laura and Matthew's incident, the drug dealers were counting their money and the addicts were using their drugs, when suddenly, the front door opens. The sun does not get inside the church when the door is open, so all they can see a black figure holding something. Quickly, the drug dealers put their hands on their guns, waiting for the next movement of this black figure. It closes the door and walks to one of only sunspots on the church, where they see who this black figure really is. It is a man wearing the clothes of a priest, with glasses and social shoes. He is holding an Ak-47 on his hand. A bit worried, one of the drug dealers ask:
"Who the hell are you, what are you doing here?"
The man makes a quirky smile and says:
"My name is Randy Lockdown, but soon enough, people will call me The Messiah"
All of the drug dealers start laughing. One of them, says something while laughing at the same time:
"What makes you think you are The Messiah?"
Once again, Randy makes a quirky smile and says:
"When the darkest of my days came, I lost control over my soul, I was turning into a savage. Suddenly, a light shined upon me, it was as shining as the sun itself. It was God. I could hear his angelic voice speaking, it was as beautiful as one of Mozart's songs. He said to me: Randy, you're the chosen one. I chose you to clear the impurity of this world, to clear what is bad about this world. The only way to finish this is through death. That's why I give you my blessing, you are allowed to kill, but you must not stop following the path of the righteous man. Kill those who will never be forgiven for their sins."
Silence fills the church. The drug dealers went from laughing to sweating. They have their hands on their guns, waiting for Randy's next movement. Randy says out loud:
"And you all gentlemen, you are all going to die."
Before they could even react, Randy starts shooting them without any mercy. He's a skilled marksman and he is pretty accurate. His clothes get dirty with the blood that if flying all over the place. He killed the addicts as well, showing no signs of mercy. When the killing is done, he gets on his knees and starts praying on top of a pool of blood.
Five weeks later, detective Jonathan Carlson follows a police convoy to a school located on Brooklyn, where a mass murder happened. When gets to the school, he sees Captain America (Steve Rogers) waiting for the police in front of the broken glass door of the school. The detective leaves his car, shakes Steve's hand and ask:
"What the hell are you doing here, Rogers?"
"This is where I've studied on the past. The moment I knew something bad happened over here, I ran to see what was it. I need to start thinking on the local problems, not only the major problems" - says Rogers
"Think about the local problems? Alright then. You're a guy who saved this planet from multiple alien invasions, saved the universe from a purple powerful alien and I'm going to tell you something that may shock you: What you're about to see, it's way out of your league" - says Jonathan
They get inside the school and Rogers almost throws up. They see dead children on the floor and there are pools of blood all over the floor. On the end of a large corridor, they see a kid crucified on the wall. They get close to it and see words written in blood on the wall:
"No sin shall be forgiven - Randy Lockdown."
"He's either the dumbest serial killer that I have ever met or he is a genius. This is not the first time this guy attacks. On the last few weeks, lots of attacks have been happening and the same phrase is written on blood on all of those cases. But now, he inserted his name on the phrase. I think he is calling someone, he wants someone to find him" - says Jonathan
"But who?" - asks Rogers
"That's the main riddle." - answers Jonathan.
Some hours later, Frank Castle is wearing an overcoat and he is buying the newest newspaper. He's standing next to a local newsstand, reading the news. The main headline says on it's title :
"Local serial killer, Randy Lockdown, kills several children on Brooklyn"
Angry, Castle keeps reading:
"This is not the first of Lockdown attacks. He has attacked places such as a harbor, a condo located on Queens and a building on Manhattan. What will be his next attack?"
Frank kneads the paper with anger and throws it away. He pulls out a cellphone and calls to an unknown number:
"Jonathan, info on Randy Lockdown."
"Some people from Hell's Kitchen reported strange activities on an abandoned church and they have seen a suspicious man enter and leave that church. These folks described the man and the description matches with the man once known as Randy Lockdown. I was going to check that church out, but I think you're angry so I'm letting you go for it. Good luck and please, take this bastard down for me, would ya?" - says the detective Jonathan
"Thanks for the info, Jonathan" - says Frank
He turns off the cellphone and quickly leaves that area.
It's 11 P.M. The moonlight shines on the sky. The Punisher is in front of the church door. He can only see that red lights are on inside of it. He checks his equipment: two Desert Eagles and five C4s. He slowly opens the church door and the creaking door sound can be heard. He sees the dead bodies all over the place and he also sees 6 crosses, with people crucified on them. On the end of a large corridor, Randy is waiting for Castle to show up. He looks at Randy with anger. Lockdown points to the first cross and say:
"You can see 6 crosses right. Each one of them represent one of the six deadly sins. The first cross represents lust and the man crucified over there is Samuel Kanto, a famous rapist from Brooklyn, he raped over 150 women. Now, he is paying for his sins. The second cross represents gluttony and the woman crucified is Lara Von Gang, who defends the rights of those who also practice the act of gluttony. She barely fits on that cross. The third cross represents Greed and the man crucified is Jaime López, a famous politician from New Jersey, who steals from those who are poorer than he is and he murders those who stand in his way. Now, he knows how it feels to be murdered. The fourth cross represents Sloth and the man crucified is Clark Lockdown, my older brother, who did not attend to his own father's funeral because he didn't want to. Now...he will see our father in hell. The fifth cross represents Envy and the man crucified there is Jonathan Carlson, a detective who envies those around him, he has always hated superheroes because he can't stand the fact that there are powerful people watching him. Now he envies those who live. The sixth cross represents Wrath and there is no one on that cross, you know why? Because I reserved that cross for you, Frank Castle, or should I call you Mr. Punisher?"
Frank looks around and says:
"I thought it was seven deadly sins, not six."
"You're right Mr. Castle. The last cross is behind me and it represents Pride. The man that is crucified on that cross is Matt Murdock...also known as Daredevil. His ego is so gigantic that he actually thought that he could come to my place and take me down! I want to see if his ego is big enough to hold his own on hell or if he will kneel for the devil in the first chance he gets."
Randy moves himself in order to make Castle see the cross with Murdock crucified on it. Not dead, but suffering, he tries to say to Castle:
Matt coughs some blood after that. Pissed off, The Punisher pulls out his pistols and says:
"I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"
Randy quickly pulls out his AK-47 and before Frank could react he starts shooting everywhere. The Punisher hides behind one of those wooden church pews. Angry and crazy, Randy keeps talking:
"You know why you represent wrath? Because you kill only for revenge. Me and you, we are pretty similar, the greatest difference is that I am allowed to kill, I have a blessing of god himself, you kill because someone killed your wife and your children, releasing your wrath on those who you judge to be unworthy of a life. You can't do that, Castle, God did not allow you to do that, HE DIDN'T ALLOW YOU TO DO THAT"
Randy shoots at the pews that Frank is hidden behind. He takes a shot on right shoulder, but he simply doesn't care and says:
"Stop lying to yourself, we both know that you're only doing this for revenge, you are clearly doing this for revenge."
"I AM NOT, I AM NOT, I AM NOT! I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL, CASTLE!" - shouts Randy, releasing his rage upon Frank.
Suddenly, Randy's bullets are over. He cannot shoot anymore. He simply drops off his weapon and waits for his fate to come. Quickly, Frank stands up and shoots him twice, on each knee. Randy falls on his knees and he starts laughing. Slowly, Frank gets close to Randy and points a pistol on his forehead. Randy stops laughing and gets serious, he says:
"There was no blessing from God. He was too disappointed with me to actually help me. This is not the man I wanted to become. I was driven by rage, I had no control over my own mind. In one day, I went from sane and normal to insane and sociopathic. I've done all of this only to have my revenge against you. Was there any other way to call your attention and have fun at the same time? I don't believe so. My final act was kidnapping Jonathan in order to attract you to this church. I thought you would be dead by now, but as we see, it is the exact opposite."
"Anything else?" - says Castle
"You know what is funny? What you've done to me and to my family is similar to what the mob made to your family! You created this monster that I became. Indirectly, you are the responsible for the deaths of hundreds and hundreds of people all over the New York State. How does it feel? How does it feel to know that you have created your own villain, how does it feel to know that you have done what you claimed to fight against? How does it feel to know that by pulling that trigger, you will be no better than the ones that murdered your family? HOW DOES IT FEEL, CASTLE?"
The shot could be heard from miles away and a gigantic hole was made on Randy's head. His body fell over a pool of blood. Quickly, Frank helps Matt to get out of that cross. Once he is no longer crucified, with the help of Frank, he exits the church. Before they leave the church, Frank plants C4s all over it and says:
Once they are out of the church, Frank pulls the trigger and all the explosives blow up the place. There is nothing left but ashes and pain. While Frank carries Matt away, he looks to the church and say:
"Now who's burning in hell, idiot."
Warning: Due To The Violence In This Fan Fic, This Is For Mature Readers Only
A young man sits strapped to a chair, wearing only a towel. Blood trickles down his chin as he looks up and smiles at his four captors.
"What are you smiling about, super hero?" asks a big, fat man wearing green coveralls. "We captured you easy! You're in for a world of hurt once the boss gets here. Hey Nerd, what's this punks name?"
"Call me Mister Nerd, will you Garbage Man." replies a blonde haired man with glasses holding a laptop.
"Yeah, okay buddy. Mr. Nerd, with all due respect and yadda yadda, who the frack is this kid?" Garbage Man asks.
"The names Towel Boy. I'm here to wipe the sweat of evil off this city's brow." answers the young man from the chair. The towel wrapped around Towel Boys waist flew off him and wrapped itself around Garbage Mans face. "With the power to telepathically control towels, I will wipe the floor with your bu.."
Mr. Nerd backed away and yelled. "Dog Leash. Clock Breaker. Restrain Towel Boy."
Dog Leash, a man with a dog face who wears a leash with a spiked blade at the end, ran up to Towel Boy and snarled in his face while holding the blade to his throat.
Clock Breaker, a man wearing a long coat and a Victorian era lords outfit, walked daintily up to Towel Boy and put a soft hand on his shoulder. "My dear boy, you must simply stop this absurd outbreak. Dog Leash here is a ruffian who enjoys viole.."
The towel flew off Garbage Mans face and wrapped around Dog Leash's bladed leash, pulling the dog faced man right into Clock Breaker.Towel Boy unbound his restraints and jumped up on the chair. His towel wrapped itself around his waist. "I'm free. Ha ha! If you need a towel, Towel Boy will be there."
A giant swarm of flies swarmed the air, controlled by Garbage Man. Towel Boy swatted the flies as he dodged Dog Leash.
Clock Breaker took a clock out of his coat pocket and smashed it. Time slowed to a crawl for everyone in the warehouse except Clock Breaker, who simply stood up, brushed off his coat, walked over to a table, sat down and sipped some tea. Time sped back up.
Mr. Nerd talked on his cell phone. "Sir, we need you in here."
"Bollocks! Can't you blokes do anything?" replied the voice from the other line. "Sorry love. Gotta work."
A woman's voice began protesting.
"You got your bees and honey. Now it's time to go, innit?" The voice on the other line continued. "Alright Cow. I'll be there in three."
Five minutes later.
Towel Boy and the four super villains were at a standstill.
The door burst open.In strode an average sized, middle aged man with a receding hairline. He wore jeans, a leather jacket over a Millwall FC jersey and he was smoking Turner D. Century cigarettes. Looking at Mr. Nerd he asked. "Alright then, Cow. Watts going on?"
Mr. Nerd fumbled with his glasses. "It.. it's Nerd.. er.. Mr. Nerd.. sir."
"The hell do I care, Cow?" Looking at Garbage Man he said. "Hey bloater. Bin Man, yeah? Git rid of these disgusting blights."
Garbage Man backed away. "Sure boss!" His flies followed him
Dog Leash put his head down, grabbed his leash and pulled himself over to Clock Breakers table.
"Pathetic bunch, these lads," the boss said, pointing to his gang while talking to Towel Boy, who held his towel in a defensive stance. The boss continued. "I used to run with a mean bunch. F-Troop. Real nutters!"
"Who are you?" asked Towel Boy. "Why am I here?"
The boss smiled, took a drag of his cigarette, then answered. "The latter question you'll find out soon 'nuff. The former, who am I? That's a good question. I got a few different names. All you septic's like to go by code names, right? Super hero and villain names.You call yourself Towel Boy, right? I like that. You got balls mate. Hell, I can see 'em dangling there."
Towel Boy stood firm.
The boss continued. "You met my super villain gang. I call 'em The Rovers. Or the Dockers. They haven't earned the right to be called Lions, nor Bushwackers," he took out a copy of the Daily Bugle, on the cover it had Spider-Man dodging bullets from a man in a black outfit with a skull logo. "They'll never be good enough to be called F-Troop. No septic ever could, anyway."
He began folding the newspaper and continued. "As for me, well I keep it simple. A name that takes me back to South East London. Back to the Den." He folded the newspaper tighter, folding it in half. The paper took the shape of a brick. He smacked it against his fist.
"Call me Millwall Brick!"
He launched himself at Towel Boy, who whipped his towel at Millwall Brick, who deflected it with his makeshift weapon. Millwall Brick slammed himself against Towel Boy with incredible speed and above average strength. The young hero dropped to the ground as Millwall Brick climbed on top of him and began pummeling him with his newspaper brick.
"No one likes us," Millwall Brick began singing as he beat down on Towel Boy. "No one likes us""
"No one likes us,"
"We don't care!"
"We are Millwall, Super Millwall!"
"We are Millwall. From the Den!"
Towel Boy passed out.
Punisher unloaded his M60 on gangsters bringing in drugs.
Bullets flew everywhere. Sweat dripped down Frank's forehead.
"Looks like you need a towel!" came a voice from above Punisher. He looked up to see a young man floating above him, sitting on a towel.
"What the hell?" Punisher asked. A bullet flew past his head. He began shooting back.
"The name's Towel Boy." the young man said. "I'm here to help."
"Get the hell out of here, kid."
Towel Boy opened his eyes. Millwall Brick was standing over him, blood dripping down his newspaper bludgeon.
"Get help!" Towel Boy whispered to his towel, which flew off his body, up through the air and out the window.
Mr. Nerd hung up his cell phone. "It's time. Mr. Doyle wants us to move."
Millwall Brick took a drag from another Turner D. Century cigarette. "Oh goody!" Then, looking at Garbage Man he said. "You there, Bin Man. Take the boy and throw him in your Bin Truck. We're going to your favorite place"
Garbage Man smiled, picked up Towel Boy and carried him over to a large, gray garbage truck that said 'Doyle's Junk Yard' on the side.
The Punisher hid in the trees outside an hotel building, holding binoculars. In his sights were a dozen mob goons, carrying automatic guns, surrounding and protecting one man. Garrison Doyle. A ruthless mob boss that Frank chad been scoping out for a few days now.
Garrison hung up his cell phone and walked to his white limo.
Now was the time to strike. Frank aimed his rifle. Squeezing the tr..
A towel flew up in front of his face.
"What? Ah, frack. I don't have time for this."
The towel formed into an S. Then an O. Then another S. It repeated this twice.
Garrison Doyle's limo drove away.
"Alright. It's too late now. Damn towel." Frank sighed. "What do you need help with?"
The towel formed a T. Then an O. Then a W.
"Alright. I get it," he said. "Towel Boy needs help. Where is he?"
The towel formed into an arrow. Frank loaded his gear up into a truck and followed the arrow.
Millwall Brick and his Rovers stood in the middle of a dirt field, surrounded by a maze of junked car stacks. Kneeling at his feet was Towel Boy, naked and bleeding.
A white limo drove up towards them.
Millwall Brick flicked Towel Boy. "See. There's the boss himself. Owner of this trash heap. A fine, upstanding septic, that one."
Garrison Doyle stepped out of his limo. Mr. Nerd walked up to Doyle and shook his hand. "Mr. Doyle. Pleasure as alw.."
"Shut the hell up, Cow!" Millwall Brick shouted."I'll talk to the man. You just sit back."
Doyle looked at Millwall Brick. "Mr. Brick, I assume?"
"My dad was Mr. Brick," he replied. "You can call me Millwall."
Doyle walked over to Towel Boy. "This the super hero? The one who knows Punisher?" Doyle looked the young man over. "Are you sure?"
A dark, gravelly voice came on over the loudspeaker. "Let the kid go, Doyle. You want me. I'm here."
Doyle pulled out his hand gun and pointed it at Towel Boys head, whose eyes were closed and face was focused.
"Come out, Punisher," Doyle yelled. "You want two bodies buried out here or just one."
"A lot more than that." Punisher replied.
A towel flew over everyone's head.
A shot rang out. Doyle dropped dead to the ground with a hole between his eyes.
Several live grenades and dynamite dropped from the flying towel towards Doyle's men's feet.
The Rovers all scrambled away as the Punisher began firing his M-60 at Doyle's remaining goons. Millwall Brick grabbed Towel Boy and ran, Mr. Nerd followed.
Garbage Man and Dog Leash disappeared in a cloud of flies. Jumping straight into his garbage truck, Garbage Man drove straight at the Punisher.
Frank saw a giant mass of flies heading straight towards him and heard the engine of the garbage truck inside it. Dropping his M-60, he jumped out of the way of the dump truck. Grabbing his grenade launcher, he aimed it at the giant mass of flies hiding the speeding truck as it turned for another pass.
Before he could fire, Frank was tackled to the ground.Dog Leash stood before him with his bladed leash in one hand and a sawed off shotgun in the other. Dog Leash lashed at Punisher, who took the slash so he could sidle up to Dog Leash's left arm and smash the shotgun out of his hand.
Dog Leash pushed Punisher up against a wall of piled up cars and began spinning his blade leash around his neck.
"I'll eat your bones!" Dog Leash snarled, as he swung his blade at Punisher's face.
Punisher grabbed a rusty pipe and deflected another blade swipe upwards. The bladed leash caught itself on a car door. Dog Leash couldn't get it out. Snarling at Punisher he pounced, who smacked him in the face with the pipe, then dove to the ground as the dog faced man went into a rage.
Bouncing up from the ground with the sawed off shotgun in his hand, Punisher pointed it at Dog Leash's knees, blasting off both kneecaps. As both legs fell to the ground, Dog Leash swung backwards, hanging by his leash.
Frank saw the garbage truck veering in his direction again. 'The M60 will take care of that.' He thought as he ran towards it.
The sound of glass breaks behind him. Punisher slows down, as does the garbage truck.
Clock Breaker walks up to Frank and slaps him in the face with a glove. "That was for poor Dog Leash, you brute. He was a good boy.. sometimes."
Clock Breaker walked over to the M-60. "I'll give you a taste of your own medicine." he said as he tried to lift the large machine gun. He dropped it. Struggled to lift it again. Tried pointing it at Frank. "This.. oh dear. This is for all the..grr.. ugh.. Geez. This is heavy."
Clock Breaker managed to hold up the M-60. Then he looked at Frank Castle's eyes. He was staring back at Clock Breaker. A Glock was in his hand. He was slowly raising it towards Clock Breaker. The Punisher had murder in his eyes.
Clock Breaker squealed. "Oh my.. time to leave." He dropped the M-60 and ran as fast as he could from Frank, who's hand steadily rose. The Glock aimed straight forward as Clock Breaker bobbed and weaved through broken down cars.
Frank slowly squeezed the trigger. A bullet flew out of the gun at half its normal speed. It hit Clock Breaker in the chest, through the lungs.
'Damn, I was aiming for his heart.' Frank thought. As Clock Breaker drowned in his own blood, normal time sped back up.
Punisher ran and jumped out of the way as Garbage Man drove his truck in the wall of cars, crushing Dog Leash's body and causing the cars to fall onto the truck. Garbage Man kicked the door open and slowly stepped out of the truck. Blood trickled down his face. A giant swarm of flies surrounded him, forming into a giant fist.
"The flies will consume your dead flesh." he yelled.
Punisher walked past the M-60 and picked up his grenade launcher, pointing it straight at Garbage Man. The giant fly fist flipped the Punisher off.
Frank smiled as he shot a grenade straight at Garbage Man, who exploded in a great fireball, more cars fell on top of him and the giant, fly swarm, middle finger.
In another section of the junkyard, Millwall Brick and Mr. Nerd had carried Towel Boy to a special clearing.
"Alright. You got my help. Now may I please go?" Mr. Nerd nervously asked Millwall Brick.
"Yes, Cow. You can finally run off." he answered.
"Right! Mr. Nerd," Millwall Brick replied. "Now, Mr. Nerd, run off to the rest of the cow herd. This next part's for men," Looking down at Towel Boy he added. "Or what you septics might call cowboys."
Mr. Nerd ignored him as he jumped on his motorcycle he had stashed in the junkyard, started it up and drove off.
Millwall Brick left Towel Boy bleeding, wrapped in his towel and laying in the middle of the clearing as he jumped inside a crane.
Towel Boys towel flew off him.
Mr. Nerd drove as fast as he could through the maze of piled up cars.
As he reared a corner, a bloody towel flew up into his face. Blinded, he tried to ease up on the gas but the towel wrapped itself around the gas clutch.
Mr. Nerd drove straight into a forklift, impaling himself on the fork.
The towel flew up back towards its master.
Punisher saw Towel Boy lying on the ground. The poor kid had taken a terrible beating. Frank ran up to him, as the flying towel returned to the young hero. Frank took off his leather jacket and put it on the young man as his towel wrapped around his waist.
"It's a trap!" Towel Boy whispered to Frank. "Don't forget.. to.. bring a towel!" he added before passing out.
"Take it easy kid." Frank replied as he gently laid him down.
Millwall Brick turned on the crane. A giant magnet hung above the Punishers head. His guns, knives and explosives flew up to the magnet.
"Just you and me now, Punisher." Millwall Brick said over the loudspeaker. "No guns, no knives, no mates. Just you, me and well.. okay, I do have one little advantage."
Millwall Brick jumped down from the crane, held up his newspaper bludgeon. "It's called a Millwall Brick. Just like me.I used to use these crafty little brain bashers back in my hooligan days. Ah, F-Troop. I miss those mean nutters."
The Punisher walked straight toward Millwall Brick with murder in his eyes.
Millwall Brick giggled. "Oooh! It's time to dance."
He raised his makeshift bludgeon and rushed towards Punisher while singing.
"No one likes us,"
"No one likes us,"
"No one likes us,"
"We don't care!"
"ss.. Super.. Millwa.."
"..cough.. We argh. millwll.."
"..frm.. th.. gag.. Dnn.."
Frank shoved Millwall Bricks namesake weapon down his throat.
Millwall Brick choked to death on his own Millwall brick.
Frank gripped the bloody towel as the nurse talked to him.
"I'm sorry Mr. Castle. Your friend didn't make it. His injuries were too severe. If you know his next of.."
Punisher sat in some bushes. Stalking his next prey.
A super hero landed behind him. Spider-Man? Daredevil? Thor? Didn't matter.
Frank pulled out his Glock without looking.
Frank Castle AKA the Punisher inLamentation
"Sarah?" The grizzled voice of Frank Castle asked as he saw the face of his wife, long since relegated to the back of his brain sitting there in the chair of the rat infested motel room that the man infamously known as the Punisher was currently residing in.
"Frank." The woman cried, as she got up and embraced him, only to be pushed gently away by her husband.
"You’re not really here." Frank stated, despite the smell and touch of her skin seemingly telling him otherwise. The entities warmth was almost right, and the scent was very convincing, but mixed in with the perfume was the smell of cheap starch and cleaning fluid.
"I am, you've done enough good to be rewarded." The 'thing' pretending to be his wife pleaded as she reached out to him. Her efforts were rewarded as Frank removed one of the damaged wires from the cheap TV on the wall and stabbed them into 'Sarah' her flesh bubbling before she exploded outwards in a shower of starchy organic materials.
"I don't know what or who you were, but you made a mistake." Frank told the oozing puddle of flesh, a hint of sorrow in his voice. "I'll never do enough to earn that kind of reward."
The man dressed in a black catsuit tutted as the woman, her features hidden by the darkness of the room save for her dark eyes, watching the footage of 'Sarah's' destruction bowed her head in disbelief and anger.
"Zola's rental fee for that Doughboy cost a lot and it achieved very little." The woman sighed. "Did you see where we went next Slyde?" She asked as she stood up and looked her henchman in the eye.
"I may be new at this Lady Lament, but I know how to tail a guy like Castle." Slyde replied, as he spun on his heel, the ultra slick coating on his boots creating a soft squelching sound as he spun. "He went to his van and drove to the harbour. What I want to know is why you care about that mad-dog in the first place."
"Because I lament my losses every day and I know he does as well." The Lady stated. "One of us needs to be happy, and despite my best efforts I know it can't be me."
"Pfft a guy like Castle is only happy when he kills." Slyde replied sagely, as he rubbed his palms together. "He needs no pity, save it for a more worthy cause." He added.
"Until he's either happy or dead I cannot do that." The Lady replied, the tattooed tears on her cheeks joined by very real ones.
"I can handle that." Slyde replied as he headed for the door. "I know a few guys who can help with this." He added as he walked for the door.
"Please leave him alone, don't add to his suffering." The lady called after him as he slid out the door.
"I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that." Slyde grumbled. "This'll make my rep forever!"
On a normal day Frank didn't know what he despised more, human traffickers or the corrupt officials that let them make port. Tonight however, he didn't have to make that choice, his contacts down in the docks had stumbled across a conspiracy between the harbour master and a group of Nigerian traffickers who'd been abducting young women from refugee camps across sub-Saharan Africa. As he cruised to his prey's meeting point Frank caught the sudden flash of a speed camera go off behind him, as something headed down the road towards him, before sliding past, sparks spraying as it scratched the paintwork of the van on the overtake.
"What the..." Frank snarled, as the object, a man dressed in a black latex suit, stopped spun round and sped towards him again, a pair of swords in his hands. Gunning the engine, Frank watched as the man slipped onto his back and skidded under the van, twin blades slashing through the floor leaving a deep cut through the vehicle's cargo bay.
"Castle, you're about to face the wrath of Slyde and the Split Second Squad!" Slyde bellowed as three more flashes lit up the road as three more hooligans came speeding towards the stricken van. The first, a man wearing the Blue Streak armour, drew level and opened fire with a compact SMG, his speed causing the majority of the bullets to pepper the side of the van.
"I don't know who you are or where you came from but you’re not going..." Frank never got to finish his sentence as something struck the back of the vehicle with enough force to rock the contents of the van.
"Yo Hurricane, hit him again boi." Blue Streak called, as Frank saw a heavily armoured man slam into the back of his vehicle.
"No peeking cracker." A woman's voice called as the fourth figure sped past, the sharpened blade attached to her right arm ripping off the wing mirror. Reaching a bend in the road, Frank veered round the corner, the Split Second Squad only moments behind him.
"Speed Freak, alley oop." Hurricane called, as he came up behind the woman and boosted her onto the roof of Castle's van, the blades digging into the roof, the right hand one only just missing the driver.
"I got the front dawg!" Blue Streak added, as he sped past the van, spun round and opened fire, his spread cracking the windscreen and ricocheting off the bonnet. Speeding up Frank watched as Blue Streak sped away before joining Hurricane and Slyde in a loose 'Luftbury Circle' that spun round the van, with each villain taking shots or slashes at the vehicle as they sped round it.
Up ahead a warning for a low bridge was displayed, and suddenly Frank sprang into action, his right hand going from the wheel to one of the Trapster's adhesive pellets that he'd boosted from an AIM weapon cache a few months before. Slamming it into Speed Freak's blade, he sped up as he approached the bridge, the curses of the stuck villain joining Frank's liberal use of the horn to scare innocent motorists from his path. With a sickening thud, Speed Freak hit the bridge, the shocked looks on the others faces suggesting that the strike was terminal.
"Slyde man, you going under again?" Blue Streak asked, just as Hurricane slammed into the side of the van, its panelling buckling from the impact.
"Nah just keep him busy." Slyde called, as Frank slammed the van into Hurricane, sparks flying as he was pinned to the concrete barriers along the side of the road, his legs crushed by the blow. Spinning round the other side of the vehicle, Blue Streak reloaded and opened fire on Frank, forcing the driver to release the now crippled Hurricane and drift towards the new shooter. Firing back, Frank heard something on the side of his van clang as a heavy item impacted with it, but ultimately Blue Streak's spray and pay shooting style was of greater concern to him.
"Punish this whack-job!" Blue Streak sneered, as Frank removed a handgun from the foot well and took a shot, the bullet smashing through the window and drilling the high-speed hijacker in the head. Pointing the gun the other way, Frank didn't even bother to look at Slyde hanging off the driver side door.
"Don't even think about it!" Castle sneered.
"Totes wasn't." Slyde gulped nervously as his eyes crossed as he stared down the barrel of the gun. "Just hanging is all." He added.
"Who sent you?" Frank asked, as he pulled the van towards the side of the highway.
"Some chick with a mad on for you. She's under the impression that the two of you are kindred souls or something." Slyde sneered, as he looked down at the road and then back at the gun. "So you going to put me down or something?" He yammered, only to see Frank pull the trigger.
"Or something." Frank grumbled, as he holstered his gun and headed for the nearest off ramp.
The screen door shattered as Frank marched into the motel room opposite to the one 'Sarah' had ambushed him in the night before, the young woman sitting in the chair by the dresser not even moving her head to look at him.
She was passably attractive if you were interested in the Goth scene, Frank mused, her shoulder length dark hair was cut into an A-line bob that contrasted with ivory skin, marred only by tattooed tears under each eye. Like her hair, her clothing was black in this case, consisting of a leather bustier and trousers with too many zips for his liking.
"You found me." The lady stated. "I'm sorry I never meant to enhance your suffering. I know what you went through, my husband was gunned down just like your wife." She stated, still not looking at him.
"Your husband was a dirty cop who pushed drugs in playgrounds, he deserved what he got." Castle growled.
"Maybe, but after his death I was broken. I lamented for days until I read about you, and that's when I knew we were kindred souls. Two people whose loved ones were ripped away from them by a moment of violence." The Lady told him, as Frank drew the sidearm he'd used to kill Slyde. "What can I do to make you happy?" She asked as she turned to look at him for the first time.
"Nothing!" Castle growled, as he put the gun on the table and stalked away. Descending the stairs to the car park he heard a loud bang and lowered his head. He wasn't proud of what had happened, even empathised with the woman just a bit, but he also didn't feel sorry regarding his actions today. In the end the innocent had been spared and the guilty punished.
It was so ironic it was almost funny. For a man like Jasper Jitters to spend the last few minutes of his life in such fear, it was clear that God was trying very hard to tell a practical joke of some kind. The only real problem was that Jasper was the one on the receiving end of the prank.
"Alright!" Jasper yelled, raising his hands into the air like he was drunk at a rave. The metal helmet covering his face somewhat obscured his vision, making the room seem black, and judging from the smell of burning bodies, he was glad he couldn't see what was happening. "I give up!" He said, gaining the courage to continue speaking. "It's all fine!"
Somehow, over the moans of pain and sound of burning that seemed to be all over the room, Jasper managed to hear footsteps approaching him.
"It's fine!" He said again, this time throwing his head back slightly and letting the helmet slide to the ground. He blinked once and saw the face of the man who'd killed so many people over the years. Steel eyes glared at Jasper from mere inches away, a chiselled jaw seemed locked into a permanent scowl, and on the killer's black, armored vest was the large, white skull logo that had been the last thing many criminals had seen. "I'm... I'm gonna get down on the ground!" He said, getting to his knees while keeping his hands up in the air.
Strangely, the man just looked down at Jasper and tilted his head slightly, like an animal finding amusement in his prey.
"Okay." The Punisher said, shrugging as he pulled out his sidearm and fired.
Fifteen minutes earlier had been very different. As he walked down a bright, shining street, dressed head to toe in his costume, Jasper couldn't help but feel proud. This would be the moment where he became someone. No longer would he just be another cog in the machine, he'd become someone worthy of note! Passersby wouldn't give him odd looks as he went by, instead they'd look at him with their eyes filled with awe and resp-
Caught off guard by the sudden yell, Jasper retreated from his inner thoughts to return to find himself face to face with a man dressed in a smart, bleak business suit.
"Sorry!" Jasper said, smiling awkwardly as he was pulled into a nearby hotel. "Got lost for a bit."
Stepping into an elevator alongside his new companion, Mister Jitters couldn't help but pat the side of his leg nervously, feeling his stomach lurch as the metal coffin began to rise into the sky.
"This your first time in New York?"
"Yeah." Jasper admitted, nerves starting to sink in as the doors opened into a well lit, carpeted hallway.
"You want my advice?" The guard asked as they finally stepped outside of a heavily guarded door.
The guard opened the door slightly, looking to Jasper as he did so.
"Get out while you can." He whispered before pushing his escort inside. Looking up at his surroundings once he'd regained his balance, Jasper found himself stood before a table filled with some of the worst crime lords in America. They all sat there in silence, waiting for him to say something, to impress them. Even their personal bodyguards lining the room looked at Jasper with some anticipation.
"Uh... hi!" He finally said, trying to keep his body from shaking.
"Jasper Jitters?" A bored voice called from the table.
"Yep! I'm here for the contract." He paused for dramatic effect. "The contract on the Pun-"
"Yes, yes! We know you stupid idiot! But who are you?!"
"Jasper Jitters." He said again. "I'm here for-"
A loud groan flowed up from everyone in the room. Clearly it had been a long, tedious day filled with interviews.
"Your codename!" The man who'd called Jasper an idiot yelled. "What is your super freak codename?"
This was the kicker, last night Jasper had spent hours of his time coming up with a name, something that would strike fear into the hearts of all his foes. It was pretty freaking cool.
"You can call me..." He said with a sly smile. "Bullseye!"
Shocked silence wasn't exactly the response that Jasper had expected, but it was the one that he got.
"Bullseye is already in use you idiot!"
"What? But I-"
"WHAT'S YOUR CODENAME?!"
These were powerful men, and they were not to be trifled with. Unfortunately that was exactly what Jasper was doing.
"The... the Terror-Nator!" He yelled, blurting out. "You can call me Terror-Nator!"
"Thank you, Mister Nator!" The same guy said, having taken a personal investment in the interview. "Now... what are your powers?"
"I can read peoples' minds."
Another silence followed, with the table seemingly expecting Jasper to continue.
"Get out." They said once they realized this was a complete waste of time.
"Do you even know who the Punisher is?"
"He's the shield guy, right?"
Another groan sounded.
"You believe the Punisher to be a superhero." One of the gangsters said. "This man is not a superhero. He is a force of nature."
"But he wears a costume."
"It's not a costume. It's a symbol that makes grown men sh!t themselves."
Glass mixed with fire and debris as one of the room's windows exploded, severing the heads of several men seated around the table. Jasper got knocked to the ground and when he looked up he saw a man dressed in black stood against the flames, wielding what appeared to be a large flamethrower that spurted out flickers of flame. The legendary Terror-Nator stared at the Punisher in awe, and almost jumped out of his skin as the vigilante turned towards him. A scream of pain located near the Punisher was met by a burst from the flamethrower, filling the room with screams, and what followed was Jasper trying desperately to beg for his life, only to be met by being knocked to the ground with a bullet in his shoulder.
"Please..." He gasped. Taking any chance to save himself, Jasper resorted to his telepathic abilities. He looked into the mind of the Punisher and saw what lay inside such a man's brain. There was blackness inside, and horror, and when he managed to drag himself back into reality, there was only one thing that Jasper could do to save himself from such terror.
The Punisher did as he was asked.
Those are the entries. Writers, let me know if I messed anything up.
Voting ends in two weeks. September 14 11:59 pm Pacific
If you wrote you should vote.