Punisher: The Glass House (One-Shot)

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JasonNoir

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Thanks in advance for checking out my story! Here is a brief synopsis:

The Punisher details his raid on a house belonging to a power drug cartel.

Feedback is much appreciated!

***

Punisher: The Glass House

Tonight's operation was seven weeks in the making.

I started from scratch, tailing the bumbling steps of midnight druggies. I prodded the neighborhood's selection of low-end hookers for information. I ran license plates, set up surveillance, twisted an arm or two. The usual legwork.

Then I found something I could sink my teeth into. My den of iniquity. A drug house on the corner of Laney and 14th, belonging to one of Latin America's fastest growing cartels. Three years ago Los Condenados were little more than a blip on my radar. That blip had become a stain.

I intended to send them back into obscurity.

Much planning followed. It wasn't enough to burn the house down, I wanted inside. My objectives were standard: inflict as many casualties upon the enemy as possible. Confiscate or destroy his remaining resources. Vanish.

If conditions allowed, I'd also be taking one or more prisoners back to my safe house for interrogation. My Spanish was passable, my nonverbal communication exceptional. I'd acquire details, names, locations, for other dens, other missions. The war would go on.

My gear was meticulously selected and prepped. Roughly 40 pounds of added weight, including a Kevlar vest and loaded battle belt. The cartel soldiers would be equally well-armed, but they lacked both preparedness and proficiency.

Tonight Los Condenados were going to learn that their den of iniquity was made of glass, and that I was the man with the stones.

The female guard standing out back trembled in the glacial 2 a.m. stillness. She threw on a black hoodie, obscuring both the cartel ink committed to her flesh and the J-frame revolver stuffed down the front of her jeans.

I watched from behind a shed in the unattended backyard. As she pulled out a cell phone I double-checked my primary weapon system, an MP5 submachine gun fitted with a suppressor and tactical light.

Her head lowered, fixating on the screen of her phone. I sprang, keeping low and closing distance. I lined up on her oblivious silhouette and did what I always did when a mission commenced. I thought of my family.

I sent five or six rounds of semi-automatic fire into her upper torso. They cut through the air with hushed snaps. After she keeled over, I tagged her twice more to be sure.

Reaching the back porch, I peered in through the screen door. The kitchen was clear, aside from a Kalashnikov rifle resting on the counter. Far from auspicious.

I accessed my weapon's dual magazine clamp and performed a tactical reload. 30 rounds of nine millimeter to bolster my entry, and make me a touch more comfortable.

The voices of two inebriated men drew my attention to the living room. I slid the screen door open and approached as they stood in front of a television set, apparently arguing with each other.

Aside from the television's glow, the room was dark. On a table beside the men were several black gym bags, bottles of liquor and a handgun of some sort.

They noticed me a half-second sooner than I'd anticipated, shouting foreign curses as I flicked on the tactical light. Its glare was enough to disorient, if only for an instant.

As the man on the left pulled at a weapon inside of a shoulder holster, I took a measured breath. No need to be hasty. Let them do the panicking.

Two accurate shots in succession, one striking the left man's throat and the other punching through his cheek. He collapsed immediately.

His friend continued hollering. He found the gun on the table as I moved laterally towards cover. We exchanged fire, and a couple of his rounds jabbed into my Kevlar. I forbid myself from acknowledging the pain.

He stumbled after I gave him four or so to the midsection, but adrenaline and who knows what else in his system kept him in the fight.

I reached the wall I'd been moving towards and dipped behind it. Gunfire indoors was hellishly loud, so whoever might've been sleeping inside was now more than privy to my endeavors.

After hitting the deck, I leaned out from the wall. My enemy fired high, not expecting me to appear from such an angle. I plastered him with nine millimeter until he dropped and went still.

No chance to take a breath. The bedroom door diagonally across from me popped open, and automatic fire barked from inside. Must've been another Kalashnikov, the wall I leaned against did little to buffer the shots.

I grasped at the front of my battle belt, hearing numbed, wall fragmenting around me. I unclipped a "baseball" grenade, pulled the pin and counted. Then I chucked it from behind my inadequate cover. Guesswork.

The impending boom prompted me to dash in a safer direction. I went prone and shielded my ears before the grenade's eruption sent an ungodly jolt through my organs.

Despite my efforts, my ears still rang like hell. I could hardly distinguish the shouts coming from upstairs, but the fear in their voices was all too apparent.

While repositioning myself I readied the MP5, toggling its rate of fire to automatic. I pounced from cover, sending two quick bursts of suppressive fire at the bedroom doorway. No return fire. The door had been blown off its hinges.

I vaulted behind a couch at the far end of the living room. Peeking out from the side and now with a clearer vantage point, I trained my light on the bedroom. It illuminated the frozen form of a cartel soldier. Concussion from the grenade probably did it. I noted the shattered windows behind him.

If anyone else was in that room they were hurting. My attention shifted to the commotion upstairs. The shuffling.

I decided to wait for them. Funneling myself up the narrow staircase was less than ideal, and their only alternatives were to hang around for the cops or jump out a window.

Unsure of my ammo count, I opted to reinsert my initial magazine. Then things got real quiet, save for the twaddle of some blissful television infomercial. I cut off the tactical light.

Seconds ticked away. Not a creature was stirring.

Then a white synthetic glare cast itself over the room. Someone had flicked a light switch and was coming down to play. I could've lingered behind the couch, but I risked being spotted from the top of the staircase. I decided to make my presence known.

I perked up over the top of the couch and took aim. The two soldiers creeping down the stairs spotted me almost immediately. I sprayed the front man with automatic fire, splintering the wooden railing between us. He took quite a tumble. Made it to the bottom of the stairs in record time.

His accomplice, still at the top, leveled a shotgun while backing away. He let off two quick blasts, obliterating sections of couch by my head. I rattled off nine until the MP5 clicked empty. The man with the shotgun disappeared from sight. I'd done little more than pepper a wall with holes.

I rose to my feet and discovered that the solider who'd fallen down the stairs was still alive. I unholstered a staple of my arsenal, a 1911 semi-automatic, and thumbed down the safety.

My staggering foe brought up a machine pistol. I realized he was wearing body armor, which meant I had a split second to deliver a round to his CNS before he started lighting me up.

Concentrate on front sight. Exhale. Press. I fired and his computer went offline.

Someone else had been in the bedroom as it turned out. He exited, winging me with buckshot. I dropped to a knee, pellets searing the flesh of my shoulder. I cursed myself for being so clumsy.

As he racked the slide I got a good look at him. Shirtless, donning tattoos and a monster mask with massive, pointed teeth. Looking like my angel of death. But looks weren't everything.

Before he could achieve a second shot I pelted him with .45s. The extended magazine lodged in my weapon meant I could afford to be a bit liberal with ammunition. Six or seven rounds and the monster doubled over.

Get up, Marine. I disregarded my sweltering wound. Spanish taunts and expletives rained down on me from upstairs. I had something of a response for them.

I pulled a bottle of liquor from the table, noting the open gym bags. Bricks of cocaine, the stuff that bred addictions and fueled a lifetime of violence. The last bag was flooded with stacks of hundred dollar bills.

I hurled the bottle. It smashed against the wall at the top of the staircase. Then I reached for one last stone. An incendiary grenade that would slowly but surely burn the whole place down.

After readying the grenade I sent it where the liquor had gone. It gushed waves of expanding orange flame that scaled the wall. A thing of beauty.

I grasped the bag full of money. Cops would be sweeping up ashes when they got here. I made like a shepherd.

THE END

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ImpurestCheese

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@jasonnoir: An intresting piece to be sure. Where is this going? Can't wait to find out soon.

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cbishop

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#3  Edited By cbishop  Online

@jasonnoir: I wasn't completely sold on this, but I'm not sure why. Probably because when you start specifying weapons, I go numb, like you're speaking a foreign language. However, best line in this for me was this:

I lined up on her oblivious silhouette and did what I always did when a mission commenced. I thought of my family.

Oh yeah! Added to my FF Long Box - Authors. :)

@impurestcheese: You'll be disappointed. It says "one-shot." ;)

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batkevin74

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@jasonnoir: Punisher is hard to write, believe me I know (some self promotion if you get a chance)

Part 1: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher/659194/

Part 2:http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-2/659338/

Part 3:http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-3/659630/#20

Part 4: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-4-659685/

Part 5:http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-5-661284/

Part 6:http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-6-662210/

Part 7:http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic-8/marvel-genesis-the-punisher-7-739633/

It's like Spidey-speak, when it's right it's right and when it's off it shows. Your tactical knowledge is excellent and you describe a good firefight but it was this one line that turned Frank Castle into Mr Bean "Gunfire indoors was hellishly loud, so whoever might've been sleeping inside was now more than privy to my endeavors"

There's GOT to be a better way of saying that. "had to be dead not hear me." Maybe, I don't know but privy turns him into Harry Brown aka Michael Caine.

Also on a formatting note, you seem allergic to paragraphs. It's two lines and then two lines. Some of these could easily be grouped together to paragraphs. Overall I liked it! :)

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JasonNoir

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@impurestcheese - Glad you liked it. "The Glass House" is supposed to be a self-contained story, but I might continue with his war against the cartel in future pieces.

@cbishop - I definitely appreciate the feedback. Any suggestions on how to handle passages that involve weapons?

@batkevin74 - Thanks for the links. The idea with the "Mr. Bean" line is that he's intentionally using pompous language there. It's not because that's how he speaks naturally, it's his way of making light of an intense situation. You're absolutely right that there are much simpler ways to say what he said, and he knows that. I guess that didn't completely come across. Oops!

The fragmented paragraphs were supposed to emphasize the fast-paced nature of his experience and decision-making. I'll look over them and see where I could've made adjustments.

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cbishop

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#6  Edited By cbishop  Online

@jasonnoir: I actually have no suggestions for the weapon-speak. Personally, I don't know them well, so I gloss over it. I think scenes with weapons should be more knowledgeable than mine, but maybe less technical (maybe?) than yours. I dunno. Tough call.

A side note on Batkev's paragraph remarks- technically, a paragraph only needs to contain two sentences. If you're "breaking the rules," you can go with one sentence, and sometimes even one word for effect. Rule breakers shouldn't be done much though. There are a few of your two-liners that could be combined, but yes, it might slow the pace down a little. On the other hand, so does reading a new paragraph and trying to figure out what the new info is, or if it relates back to the previous paragraph, so if it's talking about the same thing, best for it to be all in one paragraph.

Writing styles are different though. I don't know that I could write a Punisher. :)

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JasonNoir

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@cbishop - Could always give it a try, and do some research on weapons in the process :P

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cbishop

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#8 cbishop  Online

@jasonnoir: Oh sure, of course I could try. Just no plans for it in the near future. Y'never know though.

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deactivated-5e8a1f5fafc4e

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@jasonnoir: This is awesome. Other than what others have already noted, the only thing I would change is this:

On a table beside the men were several black gym bags, bottles of liquor and a handgun of some sort.

Frank would be able to identify the handgun, he's like a guru for modern military weaponry.

Other than that, it was great from a story-telling standpoint. There was some nice ideas, like Frank using the glare from his tactical light to get the jump on his opponents, the part where he thinks about his family, the "synthetic glare". I enjoyed it!

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JasonNoir

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#10  Edited By JasonNoir

@i_like_swords Glad the story worked for you!

With the dimly lit room, two adversaries and fast pace at which Frank needed to scan his environment, I think it's reasonable to believe that he didn't focus on the specifics of the handgun. From a writing perspective it might also be considered distracting/redundant to describe the particulars of every weapon that comes into play. I can definitely see what you mean though. Really appreciate the feedback!

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cbishop

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#11 cbishop  Online

@i_like_swords: @jasonnoir: (Ran across this again today.) Actually, as much as I said I went numb on the gun-speak, I have to agree with ILS- even in high action moments- perhaps especially in high action moments- Frank is going to know what he's looking at, even at a glance. Where Batman doesn't like guns, it's one of the things Punisher likes most, and he has made it his business to know them. He's going to see it, recognize it, know if he can get to it, and in a way that probably only happens in comics, he'll probably know by the weight of it in his hand just how many bullets are left in the clip. ...Hm, maybe I could write a Punisher. lol

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Guardiandevil83

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JasonNoir

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@cbishop - Glad you took time to revisit the story! I've since written/published another short one (too explicit for this site I believe, but it exists elsewhere) and have a crossover in the works. Hope you'll check those out as well.

@guardiandevil83 - I appreciate the kind words.