Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

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Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:27 am

After the clusterfuck known as the Middle East, Clayton thought his life would be slightly easier now that he wasn’t being shot at and the risk of roadside explosive devices had dramatically decreased. Of course, life could be funny that was. Almost a year to the day when he got to get medivac’d due to a gut shot, his whole life changed. Then again, no one really expects to mutate into some freakish monster.

He hadn’t exactly been happy with civilian life, to be honest. Not enough resources for vets and too much backlog at the VA. He’d been considering backpacking around the US, but hadn’t really gotten a reason for it. So, he kept putting it off for one reason or another. Well, this sure as hell gave him one, it seemed. After he changed, he drained his accounts of money and started loading the money onto pre-paid giftcards. Easier to carry around in a backpack than a couple thousand dollars, and a bit safer, too.

Honestly, the biggest issue was hiding the less than human parts of himself. It was easiest in winter due to all the extra clothing. Boots weren’t really comfortable, but doable. Still, it was the damn tail that caused the most issues. Again, it was easiest in winter because he could just wear a coat, but he wasn’t much of a fan of the cold. So, he ended up spending most of his time camping out. This tended to be handy because as time passed, the world decided to ass fuck him a bit more. The whole horror movie look wasn’t enough, no, he also had to be telepathic on top of things.

Admittedly, once he figured out how to work things, he discovered it was pretty handy. It helped to get free food and stuff…And kinda why he had a brand new iPod loaded with all sorts of music. The music helped to drown out the mental voices around him. He could still hear them whispering beneath the music, but it helped. Consequently, he nearly always had earbuds stuck in his ears. It made people think he was rude, which he was, but he didn’t really care. It was better than listening to the absolutely stupid shit that some people have pinging around their heads.

I go to sleep when I’m awake,
I stay awake and grind my teeth.
I go to bed and walk around around around,
inside my head

It was the middle of spring when he stepped off the bus, and one of the few to do so. Most were sleeping, given that it was 3am. About the only thing he really wanted to do was get the stupid boots off; he was certain he’d rub a raw spot on one of his toes. Not really a good thing, since apparently, he had acidic blood. Despite that, he continued on. The rain was a bit of an annoyance, since it meant he couldn’t listen to his music. On the bright side, things were fairly quiet thanks to the time of night and the rain helped down out what he could still hear. Really, the most important thing was going to be permanent shelter, since he planned on bedding down in the city for a while. New York City. The Big Apple. Home of millions of people and the best place to hide.

It took him a few days to actually find a place to rent. Admittedly, he had to go to the shitty part of the city. It was run down, condemned houses, homeless in the darker alleys. It stunk of desperation, and yet, he was able to find a run down apartment building. The owner was desperate for tenants and when he offered her a fistful of bills, she happily gave him the key.

Rusted linings on my black clouds,
It’s raining piss, will somebody tell me what that’s all about?
Wish on a black star until it comes,
It seems to me, I’m the lucky one.

For the first month or so, he kept to himself. Only moving around at night, mostly to run to the store when he needed food. At least, until some idiot had tried to rob him. He had read the guy’s mind, trying to figure out if he was serious, if he should defend himself or not. The guy had done this to countless others, in a few cases, killed them. He did it to get money for his next fix. Before Clayton even really knew what he had done, he had slammed the man up against the wall and brutally ripped his way through the guy’s mind, learning everything he could about the drug dealer.

This left the would be mugger as nothing more than a drooling vegetable, so Clayton simply killed him. Continuing home, he was a bit unsettled over how good it had felt to kill the mugger. Still, he felt his work wasn’t done. The drug dealer was still out there…Except Clayton knew where, so he could deal with him, should he desire to.
After a lot of debate the next day, he waited for nighttime once he had made up his mind. After a bit of hesitation over what he had planned, Clayton slipped out his window. Quickly, he prowled through back alleys and over rooftops. This felt…Strangely personal. Likely, if it weren’t for the drug dealer, the mugger wouldn’t have attacked him. Maybe. Clayton didn’t know much about the mugger. Didn’t care to.

Perching on the corner of a building, he watched the dealer make a sale to a junky. Softly, he made a low hiss under his breath and swished his tail behind him, but patiently waited. Once he was certain that it was only them, he silently crept down the wall as the drug dealer counted his money. Gently, he tapped the dealer on the shoulder. When the man turned, he suddenly spasmed as Clayton slammed the tip of his tail up through the man’s head. He lifted him up slightly, allowing gravity and the dealer’s weight to impale him further onto the tail. Then, he flung him, watching the man’s body hit the wall on the other side of the alley and crumple to the ground.

Clayton had killed before, he was in the military, after all. In those instances, he’d either been ordered to or had done so to protect his life. Never had he killed because he wanted to. The slightly concerning thing about it all was that he liked it. There was a deep rooted feeling of satisfaction, as if he had done something that he’d needed to do for some time. He also…Didn’t really feel any other emotion, either. It made a bit of sense to him since the guy was trash. Still, this was something that he’d need to consider, and consider heavily.

After a moment of hesitation, he climbed off the wall and quickly frisked the body, taking the money; all and all, a couple hundred dollars in various denominations. Without hesitating further, he returned back home and stuffed the money under the shitty mattress he had. He really wasn’t sure what to do now. The hunt for the drug dealer had been enjoyable, nearly as much as the actual kill, and really…He was doing the city a favor, wasn’t he?

It really didn’t take him very long to convince himself that he had done a good thing, and so, he started prowling the city. He ignored those who were being investigated. Those would likely burn soon enough, and if not, well he’d find them sooner or later. No, he went after those who flew under the radar. Those with connections, but nothing substantial, nothing that could be proven. Oh, but he knew. They could verbally lie all they wanted, but their thoughts betrayed them.

He really didn’t have a favored method of killing. Some people got their necks snapped. Others were killed by associates. Still others, he stabbed with his tail. The police were baffled and not all of the killings could be pinned to him due to the variety of methods he employed. Minimal DNA was found at the crime scenes, and what DNA there was came back as inconclusive or contaminated. Weapons experts couldn’t ID the weapon, other than it being some sort of blade. No one saw him and the psyche profile was all over the place. In short, he simply didn’t exist.

By the time summer rolled around, the police had started calling him a serial killer…And well, the media did too, but they gave him a name. ‘The NYC Ghost’. It was…Kinda a dumb name, actually. He supposed that they needed headlines to catch people’s attention. Oh well. It wasn’t really like he could ask them to not call him that. He wasn’t keen on sending some letter to the media. It’d likely attract attention to him, which was the absolute last thing he wanted. Besides, he had more important things to tend to.

His nightly outings weren’t always fruitful. While he could get information about someone, it was just that: information. It didn’t always tell him where they would be or what they planned on doing on a particular day. So, sometimes, he’d have to follow around a lackey for a while in hopes of gleaning enough information for his needs. It was boring as hell, but made the actual killing that much better…Which is what he was hoping would happen tonight.

He’d been following this particular asshole around for the better part of a week in hopes of finding out where his boss was. Honestly, Clayton was frustrated enough of watching the guy beat up hookers that he was about the shank the guy. He was holding out on the hope he’d be led to the boss. Tonight, he was led to a dockside warehouse that looked like it’d seen much better days. Rather cliché in all honesty, but he supposed it’d work for shipments.

Climbing up the wall, he slipped inside via an open window. Then, he prowled along the rafters; getting an idea of where everyone was at and what his potential escape routes were should things go south. The boss was inspecting a shipment, and as he looked around, he noted a decent amount of security. Fun. Looking to the lackey he had followed, he watched the man go into a run-down looking ‘office’. That worked perfectly. Focusing on the man, he gave the sharp mental suggestion to throw the main breaker switch and destroy the fuse box.

Moments later, the warehouse went dark.

Just let me kill you for a while.
Just let me kill you for a smile.
Just let me kill you once I’m oh so bored to death.
Oh, I hunger. I hunger.
War is coming swiftly... ..You don't know my power... I will resist and bite.

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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 am

New York City was a shitty place to live unless you were rich. Just like every other big city, there were pretty much two sects, divided by income. And unless you were one of the few people in between, you either loved the city or hated it. Frank hadn't felt much of either for a while, especially not towards something as inanimate yet protean as this place. Still, it was his home - and had once been his family's. It was as good a place as any to clean up.

He'd been Catholic once. Been a dad once. Been a son, a husband, a brother. Whether he was the same man now was debatable according to who you talked to. Anyone could tell you that the roles weren't there any more, though. Frank had moved on, from being a person to being a Punisher. The two weren't mutually exclusive, but they weren't mutually inclusive, either. At least the grey areas were still there.

The first time he'd killed in the military, he'd been calm in the moment and gotten scared later. Back when he and his unit were back at their base, had already eaten. It had passed, and the next time he'd made a kill shot, he'd been steadier afterwards.

Yet his first Punisher shot had come easy. Breath in. Breath out. Slow press on the trigger. Pack it up and get out. It had been two weeks of tracking and it came down to a thirty-second hunt. Sort of anticlimactic. But it had led to more, and he'd made a job out of it. Hadn't made a living, but he killed the people that needed killing. After all, the called him the Punisher, not the Psychopath. If he went after someone, they deserved it. Skip the hospital or even the jail for the morgue.

Currently he'd had to be patient. And he didn't like being patient. But it had gotten him clear shots on several small fry that had led to bigger players. He'd had to let a few slip through his fingers but it had gotten him here. To a time and place where he was almost ready to get rid of this damn drug ring. It wasn't the drugs that bothered him much. For the most part they went to kids looking to put a notch in their belt or addicts already living under bridges. Frank could have done something for them, probably. He just didn't want to.

Getting into trafficking had been this guy's mistake. So far he hadn't gotten any bodies shipped in. He'd just put out some money, brought in some guys, and let the right kinds of people know that he'd be offering additional services. But he'd also tipped off one wrong person. And that person was Frank. That person was the Punisher.

And it felt good to find the lair of the beast. Secondary to the beast he was himself, but that wasn't uncommon. New York City had a lot of low lives, a lot of petty criminals. They were as common as shitty death-trap apartment buildings. Frank was a better killer and a better tracker. He knew how to get rid of people and how to make sure their friends weren't encouraged to come back. While he'd love to have people showing up at all hours to play around with, even he needed some downtime.

Downtime that he'd had enough of recently. He'd left the traps and safeguards up around his base. Taken more weapons than were probably strictly necessary. But there was gonna be blood tonight, his and others. Preferably mostly others, but getting wounded was generally inevitable. The scars hadn't bothered him in a long time. The ones he got from tonight wouldn't either. It was part of the trade. People who hurt got hurt. People who killed got killed. Maybe tonight would be his time, but it wasn't likely.

Unnoticed upon arrival, he had every reason to want that to stay that way. He'd waited just a little beyond the outer defenses, making sure that everything he'd found out via research would be borne out on the ground. Otherwise he'd possibly have to withdraw a little, but this was going to be a red night. There was a feel that some people got when it was going to rain. Sometimes that feeling came on a killing night too. There was a blood smell in the air.

Bypassing the guards would have been easy if he'd been so inclined. Killing them was far more satisfying. He picked off a few easily. This guy was either too powerful or too careless to think he should have his guards within sight of each other. Frank didn't care which he believed himself to be, he was a target. And targets died.

When it was all said and done, the boss had taken his long-range defense resources and put them into short-range. No defensive snipers. Likely no outside air or ground support. If he got a good shot at the boss, the others would either clump to him or scatter, according to their preferences. Whichever they did, they'd die eventually. He didn't mind how long it would take. Chances were he'd catch up to them before they had the balls to sneak out of their holes for work again.

Setting up in a good location wasn't hard. There were more than a couple to choose from locally. More if he'd chosen to use a spotter, but he wouldn't have bothered with the guards if that was his intention. Personal satisfaction was as important as efficiency, though he'd had to choose the second choice many times. But tonight had been typical. Hurry up and wait, as they'd always said.

Or at least until the lights went dark. Frank swore softly, tensing up. That wasn't good. It had to be an inside job, all the other buildings and vehicles were lit up, which ruled out the transformer or an EMP, respectively. His intel hadn't shown him anyone with both the bravery and desire to stand up to their employer. A handful of each, but the circles didn't intersect.

Right now his choices were... His choice was to go down there in the dark and kill his target. Falling back wasn't an option that he liked or condoned. Breaking up his rifle stand and storing his extra gear, he left it there and made his way to street level. All the guards had been drawn into the warehouse by the lights turning off, like a reverse moth-to-the-flame effect. Was he really so different, even though he'd waited? Maybe not.

Pausing just outside the warehouse door, he tilted his head a little, listening to what was going on inside. Interesting. He opened the door and slipped inside, carefully closing it behind him with little more than the click of the doorknob. This was where the fun started. With a predator and his prey, with the dark assisting him. It would also help preserve his anonymity, although he wasn't always as worried about that as he should be. Time of that later. Now he had something to focus on.

Finding a bunch of guards all bunched up amused him. "Knock, knock." They flailed wildly, getting in each others' way, and just made Frank's job easier. Whether it was affection for each other, fear of the monster in the closet, or hesitance to fire blindly, it didn't matter. He shot first and last. A few bullets from them in the middle of that didn't really matter. They all missed.

Might as well be amateur hour. Frank put down three more men, eyes having barely adjusted to the light enough to pick out the outlines of his opponents. They had to worry about shooting each other. About pissing off allies or killing friends. He just had to worry about making sure that everyone stayed down.
War is coming swiftly... ..You don't know my power... I will resist and bite.

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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 am

They went dead silent when the lights went out, save for a few curses. While they couldn’t see, Clayton could…And he was aided by the sounds they made. A sort of bastardized echolocation, he supposed. In any case, he knew where everyone was at. Creeping down a support column, he grabbed one of the guards and snapped his neck. The sound of the body hitting the floor was the only clue his partner had. “Fuck, Marco’s down!”

Clayton had already retreated to the rafters as the guards started sounding off as they began to regroup. Let them panic, he thought as he watched the boss trip over boxes and pallets. That’s when player number three decided to enter the game. The new voice, calm and vaguely amused was a stark difference from the panicked voices of the guards. Then the world exploded in automatic weapons fire, painting a vivid picture of the gunfight below.

The boss was running, seeking to get to the safety of waiting vehicles. No, Clayton wouldn’t allow this. Bolting along the rafter that connected two support columns, he leapt to the column and immediately leapt off onto a stack of product. No sooner had he landed he had leapt off again. The stacked pallets shifted, threatening to topple on the gunfight below. He didn’t care.

The boss was screaming for help, terrified of the unseen assailant chasing him. His screams were cut short when Clayton tackled him, sending them both tumbling. However, in the short scuffle, he’d delivered a killing blow, stabbing his bladed tail into the man’s back and out through his chest. The boss had managed to scream once before he fell silent.

Kicking the body off of himself, Clayton flipped himself over and was immediately on his feet. Time to book it before whoever the other guy was found him.
War is coming swiftly... ..You don't know my power... I will resist and bite.

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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 am

He only stopped for a second when he heard someone yelling from another part of the warehouse. Was someone else here? Rival hit? Frank had no problems killing two birds with... well, not with one stone. But with many, many bullets. That was a far better idea. But if they'd shown up tonight, they were at as much of a risk of getting killed as anyone else, no matter who they were. It wasn't nearly enough to phase him, however, and definitely not enough to stop him.

Most of the guys were carrying automatic weapons. That made it easy to track them, at least. And if he could get around to flank them before they realised he'd moved, well, they were literally showing him where to shoot. The sound and light probably should have been disorienting but instead it was just familiar. Calming, almost. It meant he was at work and doing what he was supposed to in order to keep this city safe. Safe as it could get, anyway, which wasn't too much.

There was definitely someone else around, he realised not soon after. He ducked a hastily thrown punch without really paying attention, glancing up to try to locate the source of the sounds he was hearing. One of the stacks started to topple over and Frank drop-kicked the guy in the chest, sending him into the wave of pallets and crates. His screaming worked to panic his friends even more, and luckily, he didn't die right away. Sooner or later he would, and chances were the pallets had crushed enough of him that it would be before Frank went around putting down the wounded survivors.

Somewhere off in the warehouse, there was a man screaming at the top of his lungs, but Frank paid no attention to him. He hadn't pinned the voice's owner as his primary target, and anyway, playing with the lackeys was much more fun at the moment. It would take time for the boss to escape, time that would run out before he managed to run off. There weren't enough men to slow him down enough that he'd lose him.

After all, he was a hunter. Hunters didn't abandon their prey. Not for any reason. Definitely not tonight. The mission? Death. That mission would succeed no matter what. Frank shot three more men and moved on, hearing several of them make a break for it in disjointed panic. A few through the cracks, that could be easily traced.

Killing as he went, he moved through the warehouse, searching for the boss as best he could. It was hard with the lights off but he knew the men earlier hadn't been escorting their employer off the premises. Not organised enough for that. So he was still in here, probably hiding somewhere in a bunker meant to keep out his enemies. One of the men ran into him, literally, and Frank could sense his terror for a split second before pulling the trigger. Another one down. Then he was moving, unknowingly getting closer and closer to the boss' body.
War is coming swiftly... ..You don't know my power... I will resist and bite.

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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 am

Now that he was up in the rafters, Clayton perched and watched the carnage down below. Absently, he wiped the blood splatters off his face...Mostly. It seemed that the majority of the guards were either dead or had fled. So much for being decent hired help, he supposed.

The boss had managed to survive a few moments, crawling a few feet and leaving a bit of a blood smear on the floor before collapsing into a pool of blood. Unfortunately, this all meant that he was without leads on who was ordering the boss around. He had intended to kill off the guards and then interrogate the boss. With the other person, it had become a case of either killing him now, or risk him escaping.

As the shooter got closer to the boss' body, Clayton continued on to the window which he'd come in. A quick peek out told him that the coast was clear before he bailed. Slipping through the shadows, he started making his way back home.

The next week or so saw him working on taking out a bunch of drug dealers. He knew there was a sex trafficking ring, potentially involving underage people, and he was trying to find who the boss of it was. From what he could glean, they got teens hoked on the drugs, then lured them off to be shipped out of country.

Unfortunately, he was having a hell of a time finding leads. The boss was covering his ass well. All he had to go off of was code names...And a club. The club was something he could work with. Honestly, the nice thing with the telepathy thing was the range. He didn't have to be super near people. Just being in the general vicinity worked.

Given that the club was a legit business, there was no one sitting on top of the roofs watching. So, he nestled himself next to one of the AC units and focused. He let in a sharp breath as hundreds of thoughts suddenly flooded into his mind.

Need to buy pickles fo--That guy's absolutel--

Bit by bit, he shut out the thoughts of people who didn't have what he needed, and slowly, he started honing in on those he needed. Suddenly, a thought stuck out, one thinking about how to better marker the drugs, how to continue to pay off a couple cops, getting the children to the breakers.

This...Concerned him. A bit of a foreign feeling anymore. Carefully, he dug into the man's mind and almost wished he hadn't. Shocked, he yanked himself away. He had known it was a sex trafficking ring, but fuck! A lot of them were barely old enough to be considered teenagers.

It took him a moment to realize that he'd been biting his inner cheek. With a soft noise, he spat the blood out onto the roof top, watching it hiss and smoke. No. This couldn't wait. He couldn't. This needed to end, and it needed to end tonight. He pushed away the rage that bubbled under his skin. Calm, he needed calm. Exhaling slowly, he turned his attention back to the man in the private room, if he could even be called that.

While Clayton was a man, mostly, that wore the skin of a monster, his prey was a monster that wore the skin of a man. Gently, he planted the suggestion for the man to leave and go back to 'work' early. With an extra nudge, the man left. With the knowledge of where the man would be going, Clayton hoofed it.

He traversed the rooftops using parkour and freerunning skills that would put any pro-youtuber to shame. By the time he reached the privately owned, five story brick building, he was heavily out of breath...But he had managed to get there at the same time as the boss' car. Stepping back from the edge of the roof, he worked on catching his breath.

He still had a chance to back out. Car door slam. He could still go home. The soft murmur of conversation and laughter. Honestly, the run had done plenty to calm his temper and warily, he took a peek at the man’s thoughts, just to gauge things.

Maybe I ought to sample the next shipment, just to see if they’re good enough quality.

In an instant, his blood was on fire again. He let out a sharp breath, no, there was going to be a death tonight. Focusing on the boss again, he gave him the suggestion to order his men home. Clayton wanted the man alone for what he was going to do. There was a bit of hesitation from the men, but another sharp order from their boss prompted them to leave. He did a quick mental scan of the building, good. It was just him and the boss who was making his way up to the office.

Climbing down, he slipped in through a window and quietly stalked through the hallway after the man. “…Death is too good for you.” When the man spun around, he immediately had a fist connecting with his face. It was hard enough to stun him. Grabbing his arms, Clayton started dragging him down the hallway and into his office where he shoved the man into his office chair and duct taped him into it. By this point the man had come around enough to start cussing him out.

“I don’t care.” Clayton stated, simply as he arched his tail over his shoulder. The man’s eyes widened, assuming he was about to be stabbed.

“No..No…A quick death is far too kind for you. I’ve seen in your head. I’ve seen what you done. To children. No, I can only pray that what I’m about to do to you is even an ounce of the misery you’ve caused…And I’m going to fucking enjoy this.” Quickly, he using his tail to slice open his hand. Red blood welled up, but the second a drop fell on the boss’ leg, he screamed. The initial smell of burning flesh made his stomach turn and brought up unwanted memories of the war.

He clenched his teeth and shoved away the memories.

Quite quickly, the boss was begging for his life, offering money. Clayton ignored this and slid his hand down the man’s front. More screaming. “Children, Gio. Children!” He flexed his hand, keeping the blood going. Leaning forward, he hissed in the man’s ear, “What were you thinking earlier? Wanted to ‘sample the next shipment’?”

There was a sobbed out ‘yes’ which quickly escalated into a scream as Clayton squeezed blood onto the man’s crotch. “I thought so.” Already, the man was a mess of bloody burns. The earlier blood drops having already eaten down to the bone. While the blood would lose potency in air, it would last long enough to do decent damage. With a low growl he grabbed the man’s face, making sure the blood got into his eyes.

The screaming was something that he’d remember for a long time, but the feeling of Gio’s terror helped sooth Clayton’s rage over what he’d seen in his mind. There was a sudden gurgle and the boss went limp as the blood ate through his eyes and skull, into his brain. Honestly, the man was pretty unrecognizable now. His leg was barely attached, the front of his chest and stomach revealed bone and organs, while his head was steadily being eaten away. “…Got what you deserved, you fucker. Rot in hell.”

Clayton glanced at the clock and cursed softly. Two hours. Didn’t feel like it. Suddenly, he felt drained, both emotionally and physically. Yeah, he was going to be sleeping in. Sighing, he left the room and escaped out of the building through the window he chad come in through.

It took him a lot longer to get home, and as soon as he did, he took a shower, wrapped his hand, and went the fuck to bed.
War is coming swiftly... ..You don't know my power... I will resist and bite.

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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 am

Well, that had been one kill he'd been cheated out of. He couldn't say he approved of that, but the kill method told him that it hadn't been a friendly fire incident. Curiouser and curiouser. Frank put down the wounded, rifled the warehouse for cash and weapons. Not much. Afterwards he'd piled the bodies outside out front and set the warehouse on fire, leaving enough for the cops to identify the operation and the remains. He'd been tempted to set the boss' head on a stick but he'd heard sirens and had decided to err on the side of caution.

Frank was good at getting information. A little psychological torture here. A couple drill bits there. Either way, people tended to know that it was only so long before the Punisher got the information he was after. The first time someone had broken their silence after just seeing the sign of the skull had been particularly gratifying.

But this asshole? Had tough people working for him. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Frank kind of liked getting his hands dirty. And these guys certainly deserved it. Most of the crime in NYC was stuff he disapproved of, human trafficking even moreso, and child trafficking... Well, then it just became a point of "I'm enjoying hearing you scream right now".

One batch, two batch. There was a special kind of hell for those kinds of guys, and Frank only wished they were capable of withstanding more of what he gave them. It would do them good to undergo a few more hours of torment before getting an eternity of it. A couple guys had taken to threatening him with hell themselves lately, and it simply amused him to think he'd get a good long stretch of hunting in the flaming thereafter.

It had all paid off eventually, though, and he welcomed the chance to finally get to the bottom of things. Or to the top, really, since he was finally going after these bastards' head man. He'd personally dumped a good twenty bodies related to the case before getting to this point, but the wait would be well worth it. The plan was to get the guy somewhere alone and make sure he was well aware of what he'd done, but plans always changed. Any way, he'd find some guy to trash before the night was out. There was a buzz, like feeling lightning before it hit or the first shot of whiskey, one that made him want to move fast, lash out. Tonight was bound to pay off, though, and Frank had been hasty to get his things together and go.

He parked near the base of operations and grabbed his rifle out of the back. There were only a couple people around, not nearly as many as there should have been, but he was okay with that. Maybe he'd get lucky and there would be some meeting outside. Nothing had been in the cards according to the people he'd gotten a hold of, but that kind of information was rarely a hundred percent accurate. Something he'd learned early on despite his natural pessimism.

Unfortunately the few guards were too distracted to make it an enjoyable hunt. Frank could deal with that for now, he was on a mission, he had a bigger target. The office was fairly easy to find, and when he got there, the reason for the largely abandoned building was explained. What kind of person...? He was simultaneously disgusted and approving. It wasn't like the man didn't deserve a fate a hundred times worse. But still, even Frank had to admit that there was a slight part of him that almost wondered if the guy deserved it.

Needless to say, if he'd known the extent of the boss' depravity, he wouldn't have minded at all. It wasn't like he exactly regretted it as it was, it was just... Honestly, Frank had been very tempted to puke. And the smell hadn't helped the sight any. He'd prowled the building for a good half hour, moody at losing his chance to interrogate and kill as prominent a criminal as his intended victim, but there was nothing for it.

A brief search of some of the papers gave him some useful information for further hunts. There were a few notes about scheduled shipments that he'd have to confirm. Possibly contact a few numbers to let them know about it. He knew one guy in particular that would love to slice-and-dice a couple fuckers like these people. Before too long, though, he was out of the building, leaving it as it was apart from the new corpses.

The information was more than he needed to confirm or discard the information. Some of the shipments were ones that clashed with his current targets, and he had to hand them off, but he managed to be there for several. And god did it feel good to go hand to hand with those perverts and open their bodies up for the flies. He was still finding flakes of blood everywhere, but that wasn't uncommon these days. He'd had a lot of work lately and it had all had a positive outcome, even if he hadn't personally been the killer.

So far, the fact that there was another player in the game was only slowly starting to come around to him. There was always the chance that some rival would beat him to the kill, but it usually didn't happen this frequently. And there was stirring of all the bosses getting nervous of this guy that nobody seemed to know. Whoever he was, Frank appreciated him for putting fear into so many of these jackasses. It made it a little harder to kill some guys, and once or twice he would have sworn the blood was still warm on the bodies he'd found, but so far he'd seen nothing of the new entrant.

Possibly the city's new 'Ghost'. Possibly someone else. Frank didn't care much. As long as he killed the people that he was going after, he had sense. Tendency to step on some toes, maybe, but as of yet he hadn't gone after anyone that didn't deserve it. Of course, he'd only tracked down part of Clayton's kills, since he wasn't familiar with all his murder methods, and some could be construed as human-on-human murder. But a lot of the crime lords were hunkering down at least a little.

He liked that. It meant they were less likely to bolt for it when Frank came a-knocking. And he had a prime territory for the next few nights. Two gangs had been trying to lay claim to the same dock for drugs, weapons, whatever else they decided they wanted to start moving. So far it was all inanimate objects, but god only knew how long that would last. So he'd grabbed his kit and headed down towards one of the most fucked up docks in town. Word was to stay away from it for the next week, so naturally, that was exactly where he was headed.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 am

The next morning saw Clayton feeling irritable. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if a shed was coming up, or if he was still pissy over what he had seen the prior night. Possibly both. Still, he knew he’d done a good thing in getting rid of the boss. With having also taken out the underboss and several of the higher ranked lackeys, he was hoping that particular group was going to fall apart. He knew it’d leave a power vacuum with everyone fighting to claim the territory. Likely, things were going to get worse before they got better.

More of a chance for him to take out the trash.

For the next few days, he picked off the small fry and gained information on what was going on in the city. Once more, he was working his way up the hierarchy. Eventually, he caught wind of a gang war over some docks. As he had thought, they were starting to go after the territory left by the collapse of the one gang. With the chaos that would likely happen, he figured he could take out a few…Although he knew he’d have to be wary of Player Three. He hadn’t been able to pick up a name beyond ‘that guy with the skull shirt’. Guy seemed heavily armed, from what he was able to tell.

Either the guy was ex-military or had spent a lot of time practicing. Clayton was personally leaning towards the ex-military idea. Whatever. He didn’t really care as long as the guy didn’t take pot shots at him. If it came to that, then Skull Guy would end up on his shit list.

He arrived at the docks before the arranged meeting time and scoped the place out. Honestly, he wasn’t intending to get physically involved with anything. For now, he wanted to see how shitty these guys were. From his understanding, this was a chance for them to posture and showboat to scare the other gang off. Of course, things could also get heated…It’d just require the right…Prodding.

He found a rather nice place to hunker down; a disused shack, likely an office for the dock supervisor. It wasn’t really great in terms of vantage, but he didn’t need to see for what he was going to do. Hunkering down in the corner, he waited. While he wasn’t usually a patient man, the instances where he was hunting…Oh, he had all the patience in the world. He was aware of the world around him, but he wasn’t. In what felt like a few moments, two hours had passed and he was pulled out of his ‘nap’ by the sounds of tires on gravel.

Clayton slowly exhaled and opened his mind. Immediately, the thoughts flooded in. Four vehicles, five occupants each, total of twenty. A loner perched in the second story of a warehouse. He smiled slightly, “Found you…” He murmured softly as his mind brushed through Frank’s. The sensation likely feeling similar to a cold shiver down the spine. Within seconds he knew plenty about the man who called himself ‘The Punisher’. Interesting, but not the major concern. Clayton’s attention shifted to the gangs who were lined up in a cliché fashion. Silently, he sifted through their minds, picking out the needed information.

“Hmn.” He opened an eye and glanced at the window…Chaos it was. One of the guards whose posture said he was quite bored suddenly twitched. Like many of the others, he was armed with a submachine rifle. The safety was on, but with a subtle flick of his thumb, this was changed.

“Yippie ki yi, mother fuckers!” The guard suddenly screamed before spraying the opposing gang with bullets. Several dropped immediately before they could return fire. In seconds, they had devolved into a fire fight. Two of the ‘attacking’ gang managed to survive…At least, initially. One pulled his gun and point blank shot his fellow gang member in the head. Then, he turned the weapon on himself.

Blinking a few times, Clayton felt dazed. Manipulating people to that degree was still hard. Planting suggestions was easier. Wrinkling his nose, he wiped away a bit of blood before it could fall on his shirt. The shots would likely attract the police, so it was time to haul ass. Keeping a mental look out on where Castle was, he slipped out of the shack and started home.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 am

Getting into the thick of things could be fun. A lot of fun. There was something about making sure your victims knew who they were falling prey to that made it worth doing. Plus fewer room for user error, in a sense. While it was rare for Frank to miss a shot, it was a greater error margin that putting a knife up through someone's ribs.

His M40A5 was still a highly serviceable weapon. And with a .308 caliber, hell, there wasn't much it wouldn't do. Definitely didn't leave survivors unless he wanted it to, and that was about the biggest bonus for tonight's mission. If these morons started posturing and left it at that, well, it wouldn't be hard to escalate things, even if he generally took a disinterest in such actions. But he doubted that things were going to stay peaceful. Idiots just didn't like to sit down and talk about things. Lofty words coming from himself, he knew, but still.

Even though the warehouse he'd set up in wasn't exactly ready to move into, he hadn't expected it to be drafty enough to make him shiver. Just a little bit after the action had started to start, too. How annoying. But the feeling didn't stay, and Frank went back to watching the men moving around below. The positioning was stupidly dramatic enough that he almost expected to see a movie camera peeking out from somewhere. No wonder New York was going to the dogs with this kind of management.

And then the fun started. Frank startled a little at the sudden yelling and shooting but quickly recovered. Even though the killing below hardly needed his help, he wasn't about to pass up a chance to kill a couple of no-good assholes. And his rifle wasn't about to fail him. One shot, one kill, just like when he'd worn a different uniform. Finally things slowed down, into a murder-suicide that greatly interested him. Time to pick through things, see what he could find out from the bodies.

Frank joined the street level, pausing to double check that nobody was incoming that he could hear. Eventually the cops would show up, even to this place, but he could steal one of the cars. He'd watched to see who had pocketed the keys and rifled the closest of those bodies first. Phone, wallet, keys. Even if he wouldn't be able to get passwords or anything, he could pay someone else to. And the records would be instrumental in helping him track down someone else. Plus money was always helpful.

Once he heard sirens, he stood up and turned toward the cars. He consolidated the better contents into the vehicle closest the gate and stepped on it, barely slipping out before the police showed up. A few cars gave chase but he lost them fairly easily. Frank knew these streets better than they did, and was also a more reckless driver. Several daring moves and one worrisome moment later, he'd lost them and set course for a different warehouse district of town. Transfer the loot to his own car and leave this one in a rival's territory. Petty shit, but effective. And then homeward to clean his rifle, after dropping off the phones at a local techie.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:29 am

The next two days saw Clayton out of commission. Shedding was always a bitch and he wasn't about to go out hunting when his skin was still hardening. Still, it gave him a chance to mull things over, do a bit of research, and plan his next move.

Everything he'd pulled from the minds of the men had indicated a club to be a sort of base of operations. Nothing major, just drug deals in the back. Still, the guy who ran the deals was supposedly knowledgeable about more of the higher ups in the gang. This group just seemed to be drugs and weapons trafficking...Mostly the former than the latter.

After planning everything out, Clayton headed for the club. This time, he was planning on going face to face with the guy. While normally, he would have just hung out on the roof, the shedding had left him feeling a bit drained and unwilling to do the mental mumbo jumbo. This meant he had boots, cargo pants, and a buttoned up knee length coat on. Not really the best for summer, but it was the only way he could hide his inhuman aspects.

He got a few strange looks, but figured that the guards in the club would be packing which meant his look wouldn't be too far off. The guard was about to turn him away, but a little mental convincing saw him waved inside. Immediately, he flinched at the shitty music as he started making his way towards the back. Beyond being tall, he was relatively unmemorable...Just how he preferred it.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:30 am

The club was easy to find once Frank's tech man was done. He spent a day in recon - wasted was more like it, he felt sometimes, but every so often it ended up saving his ass. For this mission, it didn't seem like anything of the sort was going to happen. It would have been as simple as a B&E at a nursing home if it weren't for the fact that a bunch of people were packing. Wrong move and he'd turn the place into a shootout. Something he normally wouldn't mind, but in this case, he'd be a bit more in the middle of the bullets flying than he'd prefer to be.

But here he was anyway. Jeans, black t-shirt and jacket, just like half the other guys that had walked into the place while he'd watched it. He got a warning at the door same as everyone else they deemed potential trouble but got in. Although from first impressions, it certainly wasn't worth it. He'd put the guy down fast just to get away from this music if it weren't for the fact that he was enough of a professional to tune it out.

And now to track down the man in question a bit more specifically. He didn't bother even looking at the crowds of people, knowing his target wasn't the kind to enjoy having that kind of close contact unless it was one on one. Instead he got himself a couple shots, since he might as well have fun, before wandering off towards one of the side doors. Once he was out of sight of the majority of the crowd, he dropped the drunk act and moved more purposefully. It'd take a lot more than Daniels to get rid of him, especially with a hunt on.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:30 am

He had his mind closed, this time around. The music was giving him a bad enough of a headache that he didn't need the added mess of about a hundred different thoughts. He knew the side doors that led to the hallways where the deals went down were unguarded. The bulk of the security would be out in the main floor.

Pushing the door open, he stepped into the bland hallway. Also no guards...This was a bit suspicious. Although, the information he'd gotten from the canon fodder had made it seem that this was home turf, meaning they'd be comfortable and wouldn't be expecting an attack.

Perfect.

He continued a short ways before pausing when he heard the door open behind him. Frowning a bit, he turned slightly to see who it was.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:30 am

Frank hadn't expected to find anyone so close to the main door. Shit, a newly returned guy? They were just too far apart for Frank to rush him, and he wasn't stupid enough to think that everyone else would politely ignore the sound of any gunfire. And while the other guy didn't seem too happy to see him, he also didn't immediately sound the alarm. He could work with that.

Whoever this guy was, he was a nobody or Frank would have recognised him. And if he wasn't a worthwhile target, there was no reason to play around with him. Except for the simple fact that Frank was in a hell of a mood to fuck somebody up after someone had been getting to all his targets before him. It wasn't nice of somebody to do that to him. This random fella could certainly serve as an appetizer for tonight's intended success.

He could probably get away with one shot. And he didn't often need more, not when he was shooting with the .375 SIG he'd chosen to bring along tonight. The guy maybe might have gotten enough time to be suspicious, but not enough to duck in the time it would take him to draw and fire. While he would have thoroughly scolded someone for walking around with the safety off, once upon a time, he nearly always did so himself. Shaving off a couple extra half-seconds could be life and death, and Frank was only fond of one of those when it didn't pertain to himself.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:30 am

While Clayton didn't visually recognize him, he sure recognized the man's mind. The thought that Castle had of shooting him was all that he needed. Even with the clothing he wore, Clayton was fast. Too fast. That was the neat thing with his legs, they were like coiled springs. It allowed him to run with half the energy a human needed...It was also how he damn near leapt towards Castle.

As the other man was pulling out the SIG, Clayton grabbed the arm holding the weapon and flung him towards the wall. Immediately, he had shoved the man's face into the wall before pressing his forearm against the back of Castle's neck. The other hand had snatched other man's arm with the weapon to apply just enough pressure to make it too painful to hold onto the weapon.

"You're not the only big dog in the city. This will be you're first and only warning: pull a weapon on me again, and I will kill you. Do I make myself clear?"
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by LadyLizard » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:13 am

Frank swore mentally as the guy moved way too fucking fast and proceeded to somehow pin him against the damn wall. He'd have bet that he would have been stronger than the other guy anyway, but he also would have been doomed to lose his money pretty quickly. This stranger was weird, too weird, and whoever he was, Frank just didn't trust him. Although that was a pretty unavoidable side effect of attacking somebody like that. Strange how that worked.

The stranger's opening made Frank wonder just which side of the law he was falling on, just for a second. The fact that he was alive was a pretty strong indicator, but he was no stranger to people sparing enemies for their own gain. Hell, he'd done it once or twice upon a time. Until he'd just decided that shooting them off the bat was a better idea. But that had little bearing on his current situation, really. Not like this guy would know if he thought about killing him.

"Yeah, I understand," Frank said. He shoved back at the pressure against the back of his neck, testing the boundaries. It wasn't like he enjoyed not being able to kill whoever was screwing with him. But at the moment he had a far different target, one he suspected they might have in common, unfortunately.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:57 am

Oh, but Clayton would. In fact, he was hearing every single thought that was bouncing around Castle's skull at the moment. None of them were really too bright, truth be told, but the guy didn't exactly know what he was up against. So, he couldn't really blame him. Still, he didn't appreciate the shove back. To Clayton, that said the guy was likely to try and stab him or something as soon as he was released. That wouldn't do at all.

"I don't think you do. Let me make myself a bit more clear." Since he still had a grip on the other's arm, he suddenly twisted it, knowing full well that he'd be causing the other a great deal of pain. He only stopped a hair's breathe from breaking the elbow joint. "Do. Not. Fuck. With Me." He hissed before shoving the other into the wall again, but finally releasing him.

Stepping back, he kicked the SIG further down the hallway before starting back towards the door where he knew his target was at. Moving into the room, he locked the door behind him. Given that he was now in a bit of a mood, he simply ripped his way through the man's mind, extracting the information he needed. Within a few moments, he was done and had left the flunky nothing more that a drooling idiot. Unlocking the door, he stepped back out and glanced towards where he had left Frank to see if the man had chosen to remain.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by LadyLizard » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:52 am

Well that was fucking strange. But hell, whoever that weirdo was, Castle wasn't going to much mind whether he got himself killed or not. Cause a guy like that was somebody he didn't mind going after these sons of bitches. Since he hadn't killed him, he couldn't think of many other reasons for the other man to be here. Any kind of local or club security would have gone for him the second they'd seen the gun, but this weirdo... he intrigued him. For a later time, though, because he was here to put down a couple nasty assholes and wasn't about to stop just cause some random guy showed up. If that was his MO, he never would've gotten through his first kill.

He checked the gun over, mentally fussing over the minute scuffs on the barrel and grip, before holstering it and going further down the hall. The door was locked, so he leaned against the wall with his arms crossed and waited. Whoever that guy was, he'd be out sooner or later, and Castle wanted to make sure he was there to deal with whoever or whatever was lost. No screaming from inside, but no talking either, so what the hell? The door opened to show, guess who, the fucking weirdo that had just pinned him in the the hallway.

And the guy was really not worth shooting, but Castle was feeling a little vengeful anyway and put a round through his eye socket. "Hey," he said as he came out, holding the pistol at his side. He wasn't about to use it, but who knew who'd show up. "How'd you do that to him?" Whatever it was, weapon, skill, what have you, he wanted to know. That kind of influence could put him miles ahead of the field in dealing with rapists, weapons dealers, human traffickers. So naturally he wanted to figure it out, because the more ways he could fuck up this class of trash was more ways he could have fun.
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Re: Throw All of Your Bullets into the Fire [18+] and Run Like Hell [r. lizard]

Post by Master of Shadows » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:03 am

Unsurprisingly, Castle was sulking outside the door. It seemed that the guy wasn't a fan of getting to the target last. Honestly, it didn't matter to Clayton since he had to information that he needed. It'd take him a bit of time to sort through the information and research what he needed, but it was a lot more than what he had when he walked in. Since the other man was clearly more interested in the target, he said nothing and started for the door that led into the dance floor. There wouldn't be anything useful to get from the target; Clayton had essentially rendered him into a comatose lump. Of course, that clearly didn't matter to Castle, judging from the single shot that came from the room behind him.

What did surprise him was Castle wanting to know how he did it. Clayton paused and half turned towards him, noting the neutral stance that the other had. "Even if I wanted to tell you, you wouldn't be able to do it." Now that he wasn't being all snarly through grit teeth, his southern accent was clear as day. It wasn't as thick as some southerners, a by product of having both traveled during his tours and moving north after getting out. Then, a vaguely annoyed look crossed his face as he felt something akin to concern bubble up from one of the guards on the floor.

"Congrats, chucklefuck, you got someone's attention." Shaking his head, he turned and left the hallway, onto the dance floor. As he passed the guard going to investigate the gunshot, he briefly distracted the guy by mentally planting the suggestion to look at some chick's ass. Still, as quickly as he had arrived, he was gone.

The next week saw him researching names and places. Most of the names he was given were of no name thugs with petty crime rap sheets. Theft, breaking & entering, that sort of thing. Nothing worth going after; they were just the dumb muscle. One name stood out. Guy was a pimp, but worked on drug trafficking on the side. Tended to use it to keep his women in line. Clayton figured that he could pull info from that guy, maybe find out who his supplier was. So, one rainy summer night, Clayton went hunting.

The man tended to operate out of seedy motels. He'd show up with the woman to meet the John, money would change hands, and he'd leave for a smoke. Easy to work with. However, the rain was making things into an absolute bitch. It'd started out as a nice sprinkle and was turning into a nice downpour. Grumbling to himself, Clayton pushed his wet hair out of his face. At least it wasn't cold. Perched on the corner of the roof top like some modern day gargoyle, he waited....And waited. Finally, the rain slowed and his target stepped out for a smoke. Mentally, he beckoned the guy around the corner and into the alley as he slowly crept down the wall.

There, the man finished his smoke and turned to leave. Before he could, Clayton grabbed him, clamping a hand over his mouth and dragged him deeper into the alley. It took little effort to get him into a choke hold and knock him out. From there, he hauled the guy up to the roof in order to rifle through his memories unbothered. Hm. Mexican methamphetamine importers? Interesting. After pulling everything of use from the guy, he slammed his tail blade into his chest, prompted a gargled scream. Then, he flung him into the alley below. After bouncing off the wall, the man landed on the ground with a wet sound...Likely from his skull cracking on the pavement.
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