CRANK: Salamander #7

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ImpurestCheese

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#1  Edited By ImpurestCheese

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Athens, Georgia - Seventeen Months Earlier

The Crooked Stile Inn, Just outside of Athens, Georgia

James took a handful of the silver coins, and shoved them into the pockets of his overalls before he and Car-Face walked up to the door, the later knocking so loudly on the metal door that it left a dent in the steel.

"Password?" A suspicious voice asked, as the door rippled and a man in a grey hooded cape and silver ballistic armour walked through the door, his face covered in a gas mask.

"Gulf - Sierra going down."James sneered, as he looked the bouncer up and down, the man doing the same to the two amateur thugs standing before him.

"Okay go on in, but don't cause any trouble or you'll be thrown out." The man in grey warned them, as the door swung open to reveal a dark wood floor and stone walls. While still dark, the night was mature and the amount of patrons had thinned somewhat.

"You recognize any of these losers?" Car-Face asked, as they passed a woman covered in chitinous cyan armour save for the skin around her mouth and a pair of long insectile wings.

"Yeah some of them." James whispered as a man with a large axe walked past with a keg of beer under one arm, and a bald woman wearing nothing but a bodice made of bones wrapped around the other. "The guy at the door is the Phantom, a thief who steals identities and sells them on the black market. Then you've got thugs for hire like Gallowglass," He stated, before shooting a glance at the man who had just walked past them, "he used to be fierce, but rumour has it that the axe isn't as sharp as it used to be."

"How do you know this stuff?" Car-Face asked, as he watched a man dressed in a shirt and jeans played pool against an identical doppelgänger of himself.

"It's all in those games where you play as a make your own hero and have to capture the escapees from the Shaft." James stated, as he flashed a smile at the red haired woman, dressed in a sun-dress sitting at the bar, tubes stabbed into her arms leading to green nailed talons, drops of liquid dripping into a wine glass. "Most of them like Chemical Aly over there are lame henchmen who barely put up a fight."

"Yeah it was 'Call of the Panopticons' I think," Car-Face added as a barn owl flew across the room and grabbed a sealed bag of peanuts from the bar, before flying them back to a figure in the corner dressed all in black, "I never got past the Terror Truck boss battle, kind of ironic now ain't it."

"We didn't come here for the irony, we came here for booze." James snorted, as he slammed a coin down on the bar, the noise causing the reptilian bartender to swivel one of his turreted eyes around to find the source of the noise. "Two beers, we want to toast our success!" James announced loudly, not that any of the other patrons seemed to react to the news.

"Your crooked sixpences are no good here boys." The bartender hissed. "If I were you...," He added, his other eye swivelling around to look at them, despite his back facing the two young villains, "...I'd give it back before O'Hare catches the two of you."

With a hiss like releasing steam Car-Face slammed a ten dollar bill on the bar. "How about now?"

"Let's see your IDs then?" The reptilian bartender asked, as he turned to face the two thieves, his eyes swivelling to point forward. "Let me guess, you don't have any." He hissed, as his tongue lashed out and pulled the note off the bar.

"Typical, lame villains and lame service." James whispered as he glowered at the crowd of criminals drinking and having a good time. "They are all has-beens here, just like that joke on the west coast with the super adhesive Sundew." He snickered just as a heavy set man dressed in a leather jacket, reinforced trousers, steel toecap boots and a metal helmet with a face guard.

"Thats enough from you two." He stated. "Guys like Sundew deserve some respect, it wasn't until after that traitor with the cigarettes got in his head that he started having problems. As for you two, we've had enough of your lip, order a drink or get out before you end up joining Doctor Danger over there." He said, before pointing out the tank of formaldehyde attached to the back wall, the body of a man drifting inside.

"And why should I take your advice!!" James hissed as he drew his heat-gun, the movement accompanied by the sound of weapons clicking and chairs scrapping as the assorted villains finally paid him and Car-Face attention.

"Because I'm the Ram-Raider, as in the guy who ripped off four armoured car convoys last week alone!" Ram-Raider grunted, as he shot a look at Car-Face before slapping James's heat ray away. "Agama, get these two men a Loca each, once they've finished drinking I'll walk them out." The Raider told the bartender, as he picked James up and put him on the chair. Seconds later two glasses of Coda Loca slid along the bar.

"You dare to treat us like children!" James snarled, as Car-Face chugged down the glass of Loca, exhaust gas spewing from his nostrils as he digested the liquid.

"Because you are." Ram-Raider replied, as he slid the coins on the bar into an empty glass. "You don't even know the danger of what you stole." He added, as he handed James the glass. "What misfortune lies ahead of you if you don't return the Shark's goblin silver.

"I'm not feeling so hot." Car-Face moaned, his metal chest splitting open as a torrent of bog water washed out of the wound onto the floor, clumps of moss washing out with the stinking liquid.

"Jesus which one of you weak f*****s did that to him!?" James bellowed, the blood vessels on his arm popping out before erupting through the surface and hardening into hazel stems. "One of you must have...must have spiked the drinks!!" He roared as he got to his feet, blood spurting from the end of the hazel twigs.

"You're in possession of cursed silver boy." Ram-Raider sighed, as James grabbed Car-Face and headed for the door, the metal cover slamming behind them. "Idiots, they call us lame, chances are they'll be arrested by idiots like the Fisherman or the Mime by the end of the month...that's if they aren't cast to the Otherworld by that Goblin Silver before then

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#2  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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stumpy49er

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@impurestcheese: So many cool villains introduced here. Total Bar With No Name issue.

Ram Raider was really good in this.

I love all the references to the other CRANK stories. "it wasn't until that traitor with the cigarette's got into his head" is that a possible Aaron Moro reference? :)

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ImpurestCheese

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#4  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@stumpy49er: Yeah it was, and yes that is a reference to Moro.

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stumpy49er

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@impurestcheese: I forgot to mention my favorite part 'you don't want to end up like Dr Danger over there.' Very cool.

Also, Call of the Panopticons. 'I never got past the Terror Truck boss battle.' I'd play that game.

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batkevin74

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@impurestcheese: "Yeah it was 'Call of the Panopticons' I think," ha ha ha must remember to add that in and reference it, very clever

Also there's a Fisherman, let's see who that is :)

Good chapter. Will be getting a new computer this week, fingers crossed, so I'll have my new Gunship chapter up

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#7  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@batkevin74: The Fisherman is a grouchy old git, who sets up sting operations to catch criminals. Many a villain has taken the bait only to find himself hooked on his rod of justice...yeah I know 'Phrasing'

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TommytheHitman

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Nice set up for the super villain community in the CRANK Verse. Feel like I say this every issue but Ram Rider is pretty damn cool.

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ImpurestCheese

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@tommythehitman: Thanks I try, and yes I have always been best when working with the super-villain community

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@impurestcheese: I have to agree with stumpy's Bar With No Name comment, but it came off well.

That goblin silver is nasty stuff.

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ImpurestCheese

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@cbishop: Thanks as always I am more comfortable around the villain community.

And yes Goblin silver is horrible in the hands of mortals

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Bumped