Marvel Knights: The Punisher #2

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TommytheHitman

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One Man Army: Part 2 of 5.

Ben Urich sat completely alone, within the warmth of his favourite diner he was allowed to collect his thoughts and relax after a hard day's work as the chief editor (and founder) of the local newspaper 'Frontlines', an unpopular paper that the public of New York couldn't stop buying. Despite many threats on his life due to the paper's contents, Ben Urich simply refused to give up. Reporting was his life... and nothing kept him waiting when it came to finding a good story.

At the moment however he was waiting for the waitress to return with his order. Sausages, beans and eggs were sure to restore him back to health after the stresses of living in a world of super powers and madness. It was a late, dark night... and Ben wasn't in the mood for any excitement. He got enough of that in his day job.

"Hello Ben." A deep and all too familiar voice said from over Ben's shoulder. The reporter almost jumped out of his skin when he noticed the dark figure of Frank Castle towering over him, his iconic white skull peering out from between the confines of his heavy black trench coat.

"Jesus Frank!" Ben gasped, his voice high pitched and slimey like black oil. "You scared the hell outta me!" The Punisher smirked slightly to himself before sitting down across from his old ally, not bothering to wait for an invitation. Both stared at each other for a couple of seconds as Ben waited for his heart to calm down. "I'd heard you were back... I didn't think you'd come and try to give me a heart attack!" Ben took a quick gulp of his coffee in an attempt to calm his nerves.

"You can't die, Ben." Frank said. "You don't know the meaning of the world."

Frank and Ben had a long, violent history... and Ben knew better then most that anyone who had any history with Frank usually ended up dead... or worse.

"I need your help Ben." Frank muttered, keeping his voice low in an attempt to keep from disrupting the other patrons of the diner. "I'm back in town. As you can probably tell." His eyes quickly darted upwards as he watched a passerby walk past their booth. "That explosion last night in Hell's Kitchen was my little returning act... and now everybody knows it."

"That's what happens when you go around killing criminals, Frank." Ben pointed out, completely unhappy with his current predicament. "People tend to notice."

"Sausage, beans and eggs?" Ben looked to his left to see the diner's waitress had finally returned, a plate of warm, steaming food in her hand.

"Yep!" Ben let out a little, fake chuckle. "That's me!" The waitress rolled her eyes at the large grin that Ben was forcing, completely unaware Ben was silently asking her for help. She turned her attention to Frank who was giving off a pleasant smile. "Can I get you anything?" She asked, her tone making it clear she didn't want to be there.

"No thanks." Frank answered as the waiter placed Ben's plate in the middle of the table. "I'm fine." The two men waited for the young woman to leave before continuing their conversation. "Do you come here often?" Frank asked. "I'm curious. It seems lousy."

"Where've you been?!" Ben asked, ignoring Frank's question. He tried desperately to avoid the sweet smell of his meal and focus on the psychopathic vigilante staring right at him.

"Handling business." Frank answered. "And it's been handled. Anyway... I need a favour." Ben opened his mouth to reply, only for Frank to continue. "I'm working alone this time. Other people can be a distraction. Disrupt my focus..." The Punisher lowered his head for a moment before standing up from his seat and stretching slightly. "And focus is something I need. If you get wind of anything big... but not Avengers level big... give me a call." A black phone that looked like something right out of the 1980s clattered onto the table. "My number's listed on the back."

"What makes you think I won't just call the cops?" Ben asked as Frank turned to leave.

"Because... Ben. I know you." Frank said while dropping a fistful of loose change into a glass battle labelled 'Tips'. "And you know me." He added before stepping through the diner's exit and letting the door slam shut behind him.

Ben stared at the bulky phone in silence... then stared at his plate of food. He tried to resist the urge to vomit onto the table.

"Goddamn it Castle." He grumbled before pulling on his brown, leather coat and shoving the phone into his pocket. Ben stood up from the table and left some money on the table, along with it lay his completely untouched meal. Something about meeting Frank Castle always ended in Ben losing his appetite, and therefore losing his mood for a nice warm meal.

His stomach just couldn't handle it.

_______________________________________

Turk Barret wasn't having a good week.

Which basically meant he was having an average week.

Atop a rooftop overlooking the once shining City of New York stood the low life criminal. He was well known throughout the criminal underworld for his constant beatings at the hands of nearly every superhero on the planet. It wasn't the sort of thing an aspiring supervillain wanted to be known for.

"Now, Turk... you and I are going to have a little talk."

This week didn't seem to be any different. Turk stared at the tall, lean figure stood before him and did the only thing he'd ever been remotely good at... besides getting his ass kicked.

He got down on his knees and begged.

"Please!" He yelled as the masked man stepped towards him. "For the love of god, man! Ple-" Turk didn't even get a chance to finish his sentence before being lifted up by the scruff of his neck and hoisted over the edge of the rooftop. Red gloves lifting him effortlessly into the air.

"There've been.... rumours." The masked man said, ignoring Turk's pleading. He kept his voice low and deep... and on the lower part of the man's chin that wasn't covered by a mask, there was a large, purple bruise forming, no doubt gained from an earlier encounter with some sort of criminal. "Someone that the criminal underground fears is back." The man's red eyes seemed to stare right into Turk's soul, stealing all knowledge from him. "Who is he?"

"I... I-" Turk stammered before almost slipping from the rooftop.

"Who is he?!" The mask yelled, clearly impatient with the bumbling criminal.

"The Punisher!" Turk gasped, his feet literally dangling over the edge, nothing but the man's strength to keep him from plummeting to his death. "It's the freakin' Punisher!"

The masked man was silent for a second, almost as if he was surprised by Turk's answer.

"The Punisher?"

The vigilante known as Daredevil tossed Turk back onto the roof without a care. The red of his costume mirroring his namesake in the black sky surrounding him. There were a few reasons why people knew him as the Man without Fear... and Frank Castle wasn't one of them.

Daredevil crouched to the edge of the roof in order to ponder his new information, he ignored the loud, clattering sound of Turk escaping down the building's fire escape. He'd hunt him down later... at the moment there was a much more serious problem on the horizon.

"Isn't that something?" He muttered.

___________________________________

Uptown New York

Anthony Fesack let out a little sigh before having a quick check over his appearance, he had to be absolutely perfect. The people he would be seeing weren't the type to forgive anything less then perfection. He wore a smart blue suit, golden cufflinks, smartly combed brown hair and grey sunglasses covering his eyes.

"Do I look perfect?" He asked Tammy, his assistant. He took a deep breath while looking at his reflection in the mirror before him.

"You ARE perfect." Tammy replied before stepping up behind her boss and planting a kiss on his cheek. "Everyone's arrived."

"Is the device ready?"

"It's a bit late now."

Anthony chucked slightly, more out of nerves then humour. He brushed his assistant's hands from his shoulders and quickly patted himself down to wipe away any creases in his clothing.

"It's time to go make some money." He muttered before adjusting his tie and turning to walk through the door. For a moment he felt powerful, completely in control of the situation.

"Good luck!" Tammy yelled as her boss stepped through the door into a dining hall filled with golden light.

Any feeling of strength Anthony had once had disappeared the moment he stepped before some of the most powerful crime lords on the planet. All eyes turned to him from behind a large white table, representatives from organisations including HYDRA, Advanced Idea Mechanics and the Secret Empire all stared at the puny, pathetic mortal standing before them.

Anthony let out a little cough to clear his voice before stepping behind a large podium, to his right stood a glass container holding an ancient artifact of pure, evil power.

"Gentlemen!" Anthony said, his voice crisp and clear as he spoke into the microphone. "Today we are bidding for the Evil Eye of Avalon, a device of pure, unimaginable power and capable of reducing even the mightiest of mortals to mere dust in seconds!" Anthony pushed his glasses up his nose and smiled slightly as he started to say the sentence that he loved more then anything else in the world. "Let's start the bidding at 150 Million American Dollars."

________________________________________________________

Fogwell's Gym

Frank Castle wiped sweat from his forehead before continuing to vent his frustration out on an old, whethered punching bag. The very foundations of the building seemed to shake as he pounded relentlessly in an attempt to quell the anger pulsing inside him.

The building wasn't shaking of course... if it was, it wasn't because of Frank's punching. It was due to the disrepair of the building's walls.

It was nearly dawn, Frank could tell from the flickers of light shining through the window. Slowly he pulled off the hand wraps covering his fists and sat down on a nearby bench where he gulped down pure clean water from a plastic bottle.

"Hell of a punch."

Frank's head bolted up, his natural instincts kicking into action at the sight of a short, plump elderly man walking towards him from across the Gym.

"I thought I was the only one in here." Frank muttered before taking another gulp of his drink.

"I thought the place was closed." The elderly man grumbled before flicking on the lights to the building. "So I guess we're both wrong." He walked slowly towards Frank, helped by two wooden crutches to replace the small stump where his right leg had once been. After what felt like hours, the old man sat down next to his colleague and let out a loud sigh. For whatever reason Frank felt like he'd seen the man before.

"Where'd you lose it?" Frank asked, referring to the man's missing limb.

"The war." He replied, tilting his head forward slightly revealing a long, thing scar running across the back of his neck. "You?"

"I've not lost anything." The Punisher replied.

"Everybody's lost something." The old man grumbled. "Every soldier loses something... why're you so special?" He asked.

Frank tossed his bottle into the black duffel bag by his side and pulled the strap over his shoulder. He stood up from the bench and looked down at the old war veteran.

"I'm not special." Frank said as he started to walk towards the exit.

"I'm still at war."

Next Issue: Plants, Tranqs and Automatic Rifles.

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TommytheHitman

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ImpurestCheese

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@tommythehitman: Daredevil nice. Feel sorry for Urich, he didn’t deserve to loose his appetite, then again it would make a good diet regime.

I can imagine the Consortium sending a bidder for the Evil Eye of Avalon, very interesting

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boschePG

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@tommythehitman: nice cameo of DD

I have to ask. Something read weird to me

his voice high pitched and slimey like black oil.

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@impurestcheese: Meet the Punisher once every night and someday you'll be as thin as me!

@boschePG: Yeah I didn't like it either. I'll edit it next time I get onto a computer.

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#6  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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TommytheHitman

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@waezi2: You'll have to wait and see.

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waezi2

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@tommythehitman: I just ask because I'm not very found of her. But the story so far is good.

Keep one keeping on

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@waezi2: I plan to.

Now bring us Namorita!

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stumpy49er

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@tommythehitman: Nice story development. Urich fits the blue collar aspect of this series. Good to see him. DD too.

Fesak seems like a good villain for Frank to punish.

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#15  Edited By AdmiralLogic
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@tommythehitman: DD cameo was cool, though who this mysterious old soldier is...hmmm

Again too many ellipsis's for my liking. I do like the auction idea, will probably reference it

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@batkevin74: I am quite proud of the auction idea, and it's definitely getting expanded upon in the next few issues,

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When I read chapter one all I could think was, "Daredevil better be in this." I mean, Frank can't just come to New York and not meet up for drinks and an ass beating with his favorite sparring partner.

I'm serious, I actually believe that those fights between Matt and Frank help them both in the long run. Frank becomes a better fighter, and more adaptable to martial artist; Daredevil gains a greater grasp of guerilla warfare.

Also, great to see Turk being beat up. I hate guys that abuse women, Matt should have dropped his ass in a dumpster like he did that wannabe Hitman in season one of his show. Lol

Great read man.

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knightofthechronicle

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@tommythehitman: Nice softer issue in comparison to 1. Loved how Daredevil and Urich reacted to Frank being back in town

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@knightofthechronicle: That Daredevil scene may (ironically) be my favourite scene of this series so far.

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#24  Edited By wildvine

@tommythehitman:

Blah blah ellipses. You know by now so I'm not gonna ride a dead pony, because you can't. Unless its a zombie pony.

"Jesus Frank!"

Hitting the religious undertones a little hard there.

"You can't die, Ben." Frank said. "You don't know the meaning of the world."

Not sure what Frank means here. And not sure if that last word is a typo.

most that anyone who had any history with Frank usually ended up dead... or worse.

Worse then dead, like a.... zombie?? (See I brought that zombie comment full circle.)

"Do you come here often?" Frank asked. "I'm curious. It seems lousy."

Frank does not use the Yelp app.

"Where've you been?!" Ben asked, ignoring Frank's question.

Ben is a lousy dinner conversationalist.

If you get wind of anything big... but not Avengers level big... give me a call."

Well, that's pretty definable. I guess.

"Goddamn it Castle."

Its either 'God damn it' or 'Goddammit.' Not Goddamn it. If you say it out loud it would be like "Goddamn <Kristen Stewart pause> it."

There were a few reasons why people knew him as the Man without Fear... and Frank Castle wasn't one of them.

Frank didn't know the reasons, or didn't know Daredevil's moniker, or didn't know Daredevil himself, or isn't a person or...."

"Where'd you lose it?" Frank asked, referring to the man's missing limb.

I hope he says 'the laundry mat.'

Good enough continuation. The highlight being the introduction of Daredevil. I'm sure that's going to be an entertaining meeting later on. And I hope you see where I was joking and where I was serious. : P

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@wildvine: Lol. I understood. Made me laugh quite a bit. Thanks wildvine.

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@tommythehitman:

I watch too much Cinema Sins. Seriously though, for a character I'm not a super fan of, this has been interesting.

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Bump

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#28  Edited By cbishop

I didn't read past the first issue? I'll have to read this later. I'm Thanksgiving-ing right now. :)

Happy Thanksgiving! :^D

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@cbishop: And a happy thanksgiving to you.