(Rated MA, something short before Xmas)
E 149th St New York The Fallen Angel Tavern
Frank Castle sat back to the wall near the toilets, his eye on the front door. The bartender leant against the counter under his ‘Magneto Is Right’ poster whistling some teeny bopper tune out of key. Frank’s eye throbbed like a subwoofer playing house music. He’d cleaned himself up in the bathroom; no bite marks he could see but plenty of scratches, glass cuts, bruises and the mother of all black eyes.
Castle looked up to see a tall man with a moustache wearing a blue trench coat standing before him. Frank kicked the opposite chair out with a shunt of his foot and grunted as he motioned to the beer on the table.
“You mentioned on the phone zombies?”
Frank pointed to his eye “I put Kraven in the ground. Four hours ago he punches me in the face, tries to eat me and Kingpin”
“Kraven the Hunter?” Frank nodded “Did he bite you?”
Frank shot him a derisive look as he gulped his beer “No”
“Where is he?” Dr Strange made a gesture with his hand as a light emitted from the brooch around his neck, bathing Frank in it.
“Cops took him. Maybe to the Ra…”
“HEY! I SAID HEY!” Doctor Strange turned to see the bartender pointing at him, baseball bat in hand “Sign says no smoking! You wanna smoke, take it outside!”
“YOU CALLING ME A LIAR? IN MY OWN BAR?”
Dr Strange stood and made some gestures “I have been meaning to come back here and properly clean this site. The mists of the Morpheus will take you now!”
Green smoke appeared around the bartenders head as he inhaled the mystical cloud and promptly passed out on the bar, sleeping contently.
Frank smiled without emotion “You could’ve just shot him”
Dr Strange returned to his seat “As you are finding out Mr Castle, death isn’t always the answer”
“So am I going to turn into a zombie?”
Dr Strange made another gesture and Frank was bathed again in the light of the Eye of Agamotto “No, you are not infected”
Frank felt funny, his skin tingled. He felt his eye with his hand; it had completely healed “What did you do?”
“The Eye has…well, healed you” said Strange, a little puzzled himself.
“I don’t need your charity or your magic potions!” snapped Frank “I called you because this kinda thing fits in your world. Now that I’m cleared of any zombieness, you know where the zombie is, you can %$^&!”
“You are a very angry man.” said Dr Strange as he stood “And I have had occasion to work with the Hulk”
Frank placed his TEC-9 on the table “We’re done, there’s the door!”
Dr Strange went to speak but saw the look on Frank’s face. It was like stone, so any ‘conversation’ would be wasted. He wasn’t going to listen. They barely knew each other, meeting one time to stop a demonic truck driver and that was years ago.
“Thank you for the information Mr Castle. I shall take it from…” he stopped and looked off into some unseen distance “Here?” And with that he shimmered orange and disappeared into nothing. Frank dropped some money on the table and walked out of the bar locking the door behind him.
Punisher War Journal
What the $%#^ did he do to my eye?
I just got magic voodoo in my eye and I’m all better!
Magic, mutants, super soldiers…all of them can stay out of my way. Hard enough trying to remove all the scum from the city without them interfering. Or as they call it “helping”. Go make it rain or provide food to the hungry, that’s helping.
Spider-Man best stay out of my way today
“You’re boy failed!” snarled Hammerhead as he sat next to Black Talon as they watched the people go by.
“I think not!” said Talon defensively “Punisher not my problem, nor are da cops. Zombie worked fine”
Hammerhead placed an arm around Black Talon’s shoulders and hugged him in close “Well, we’ve got ourselves a difference of opinion”
“Best be taking your hands off me” warned Talon as he stared into Hammerhead’s eyes “Now!”
Hammerhead stared back “You try any of your mumbo jumbo on me…”
“Three!….Two!” Black Talon counted down as Hammerhead released him.
“I don’t ever want to see you again!” spat Hammerhead.
“Maybe I cut your eyes out,” said Talon as he stood “You never see anyone ever again.”
The pair stared each other down, the passengers oblivious to the stoush in their midst. Hammerhead clicked his fingers and four of his goons headed his way. Black Talon folded his arms.
“Don’t be making me your problem fat head,” warned Black Talon as a fine blue crackle of energy danced on his fingertips that poked out from under his crossed arms “Because you will lose”
“Ya man” and with that Black Talon erupted in blue flames and vanished. Hammerhead and his men jumped back at the inferno and soon everyone was staring at them. Hammerhead grunted and quickly left as a transit cop headed their way.