(2014-09-09) Midnight Dark
Midnight Dark
Summary: The Punisher does what he does best, Black Lightning happens to be looking for the gangs in question following a lead, they two meet
Date: (2014-09-09)
Related: Language
NPCs: Gang members
Scene Runner: The Punisher.
Social/Plot: Plot

-==[ Chinatown and Little Italy — Lower East Side ]==----

Rumor has it that Chinatown has turned into a pure tourist trap, and in places, that's true; some of the bustling streets offer nothing but high-priced stores or kitsch, and Canal Street, the area's northern border, houses perhaps the biggest of the area's outdoor markets. Even those streets, however, are still recovering from a two-year depression that stripped most of the tourists away. The rest of the area - where the tourists *don't* flock - is largely residential, and its businesses reflect its makeup. Traditional herbal-medicine suppliers, acupuncturists, and low-priced noodle shops and teahouses cater primarily to the locals. Signs and conversation are frequently not English; overheard music is rarely Western; and one of the major local shrines is the Wall of Democracy, covered with newspapers and posters describing the situation in China.

Just the other side of Canal Street is an area marked off with a sign - tattered glittery letters strung on wire across Mulberry Street, saying 'Welcome to Little Italy.' Though there are few Italians still actually living there, the bakeries and restaurants reflect that original makeup, and the area still celebrates the ten-day Feast of San Gennaro every September.

Gang meetings are rare enough. Neutral ground's usually just a euphemism for killing fields, and packs of street thugs usually run a little short of diplomats. Today, though, is an exception. Three gangs: Death Punch Killers (Hopheads, psychos, rapists), Three-Eyed Dragons (Chinese based, fake mystics, watch too many fucking movies), and the Lead Pipes (Italian based, think they're old school cause they watched the Sopranos and wear some chains). All in one place. It's just before midnight, the grounds the demolished remains of one of Little Italy's finest establishments, Nostromo's, site of many a Mafia hit. Tonight, thirty men, ten of each gang, meet to establish territory, agree on trade and make faces at each other.

None of them know that there's one more person there. In the shadows of the alley across the way, his trenchcoat heavy and full of toys. Doing one last check on his AR-15, making sure the grenade launcher is clear. And waiting. The pipe bomb he planted in the middle of the empty lot should be going off in about two minutes. And all the players are here, sharing fake handshakes and passing blunts in a show of faux friendship.

Scum. Pigs. And soon, corpses.

This night, Black Lightning was also out and about. The gangs meeting today aren't so much his concern, with his focus being on the 100 and more specifically with Metropolis. However, since coming to Brooklyn and getting the Outsiders established, he's been paying attentino up here. He'd heard something in the works, but the details were all but lost. Thus, while not directly on the scene, he's at least in the vicinity doing an actual patrol. Not the sort to look for kittens in trees or muggers either, he's seeing if he can get any leads on the gang activity he's heard rumors about for tonight. Thus a flash of blue is all but missed overhead as he makes his way from building to building, if its about to get ugly, he might not see it, but his ears will pick up anything ….

Lightning might've noticed a van a couple of blocks away, matte black, tinted windows, just sitting. Dilapidated looking thing, probably abandoned - unless he can sense electrical output and energies. Then he might notice that the thing is loaded with electronics, including sensors that send a silent vibration update to the man in the alley. He checks the text from the van's auto-server: Energy signature detected, rooftop. Mask involvement likely. "Great, a fuckin' hero. Oh, well." he mutters. No reason to wait, then. He hits the remote detonator and lets hell break loose.

The explosion blasts right in the center of all three clues, turning their leaders into the main victims. Frank had loaded the thing with shrapnel and junk: broken glass, old pipes, pieces of brick, even some strings of barbed wire. There are screams as men lose eyes, have their limbs torn, two or three dying on the spot gushing blood. All of which is preface for the man stepping from the shadows and raising his assault rifle. A few of the thugs look over and see the old man, his coat unfolding to show the white emblem of the Death's Head. A symbol every street thug has feared for thirty years.

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT, IT'S THE PUNISHER!" one of the Italians yells before he takes the first burst of autofire in the chest, his sternum exploding as Frank perforates him, quicky moving to short sprays of aimed autofire to keep them penned into the alley at the edges.

Their neutral territory has become his killing box.

Able to pick pu the high electrical output, Black Lightning is curious and while moving is probably keeping close out of that curiousity but not outright going to spy just yet. The van could be anything, but electronics for him doesn't equate to gang-related. Landing on the corner of a smaller building in the area, he's giving a pause to look around, give a listen, recalculate his efforts. He's even considering radioing in to see if anyone else is at their headquarters - though newly formed, the Outsiders aren't that coordinated just yet.

About to make that call is when everything erupts, literally. Not far from that van, the explosion and then gunfire. A flash of blue light and a streak and he's descsending near the area to a perch if he can find one - balcony, fire escape, something close to the action but not in it, to survey what's happening. Even with the chaos, it still looks like gang versus gang activity. As they're calling out its the Punisher, and the Punisher is punishing, he calls out in warning, "The War is over, drop the weapons!" A slight hint of blue about him as if ready to take gunfire himself.

Frank Castle can't help but snort a laugh at Lightning's words. The war isn't over. It'll never be over. He unleashes a grenade into a closely packed group of Dragons, watching with satisfaction as their limbs get blown off their torsos, screaming. Most of them are in their early twenties, tattooed and drugged up. Frank shows no mercy, taking a moment to snipe a particularly cowardly Killer as he tries to make his escape, the bullet in his head putting an end to his career as a thug.

"Play hero somewhere else," Frank calls out, not sparing a look in Lightning's direction. "Maybe there some nice scumbag dressed like a wombat you can bother," he says, popping his clip and snapping in another as the confused gangs, their lines all crossed up, try to find allies in a sea of enemies, the relentless reaper striding across the street only growing closer.

The grenade and subsequent shootings that continue, all from one man who is the bringing of the onslaught of the gang members, stops Black Lightning a moment. Seeing the gangs confused and trying to scatter instead of stand ground, he makes up his mind and with a thought he flashes down to land on the street somewhere between Frank and the fallen, and the scattering. "Not tonight, looks like its you I'm gonna bother," he says, holding up a hand with a universal halt warning, but electricity flashing from his hand instead, lighting the street a little more. "Normally, I'm trying to stop them, but I can't watch you do this, even if they deserve it, or most of them will end up dead anyways on their own."

Frank Castle sighs and slowly lowers his weapon. In the better light, he shows his age, the street lamp and Lightning's power unrelenting on his scarred and craggy face. Thirty years he's rained hell on the criminals of New York. Guy's gotta be pushing sixty, if not over it, although his hair's still black as sin. Some say he's killed ten thousand men. Some think that's probably an underestimation. Frank doesn't keep count. He just knows he wants more.

"I get it. Life is sacred, everyone deserves a second chance. These people are somebody's sons, somebody's brothers, maybe even somebody's father," he says. He drops the auto weapon and holds up his hands, as if in surrender. "Look, freakshow, I've got no beef with you, but I'm gettin' god damn sick of amateurs stepping into the middle of my war thinkin' they can tell me what to do just 'cause some stray genetic bullshit gave 'em superpowers. I was killin' scumbags when you were suckin' tit, boy."

There's a general murmur as the survivors, about thirteen in all at this point, start pulling themselves together. Some of them have their guns out, "F-f-fuck you, man!" one calls out, shooting from his pistol. Frank doesn't even flinch as the bullet sails wide right. "C'mon, punk, you gotta try harder than that! Shoot to kill, you little bitch!" he taunts.

About to say something to Frank regarding the speech about freakshow and genetics, Black Lightning is silenced as one of the kids starts shooting a pistol. He's not so worried with a light forcefield in place for the moment. Instead he calls over his shoulder, "Can it, not helping your situation." To the thugs, but he can't take focus off Frank to see if they would even listen at the moment, just a slight look over his shoulder to throw his voice in their direction.

"I'm not saying if they deserve to live or die, but I don't see the point in slaughtering them either. As long as social-econimics reflect unfair distributions, this isn't going to change. My choice is to protect the innocents. You've done your damage tonight." The forcefield remains presently, but the air starts to ionize around him as if readying some bolts.

Frank Castle considers for a moment. More than fifty percent's actually not a bad take for this kind of deal, they usually scatter quick enough to make 'em hard to pick 'em off. Shame to waste a good slaughter pen like that lot, but sometimes you gotta look on the bright side of life, even if the life in question is that of a murdering vigilante.

Frank starts slowly backing away, hitting a button to start the van up a few blocks away, the machine auto-shifting into gear and following its GPS to his coordinates. "You say so, Mr. Hero Man. When one of those punks ends up raping a girl in your neighboorhood or shooting an old lady on your block, you tell yourself you did the right thing tonight."

The headlights of the van turn around the corner, spotlighting him more, "You can stick you socio-economics straight up your ass. I ain't the Rescuer or the World Changer or the fuckin' Social Services Savior," he says, as the van screeches to a halt just short of him.

"I'm the Punisher. And what you saw tonight - is punishment."

Frank backs up, Black Lightning listens, he's also slightly split with his attention, between the one-man war front and the beaten gangers, half dead or on their way to dying. Relaxing slightly for a moment, his hand drops only to come back up as the van screeaches around the corner then to a stop. That hand seems to focus on pulling some juice from the van, at best cause some minor visible drain, the alternator is working after all - but in part helping him maintain his output levels with the forcefield. "Any die, its on me. The Outsiders are in town now, we'll work harder to prevent the raping and killing." He knows he can't make any gaurantee to stop that as much as the Punisher would know no single group of metahumans and crime fighters could completely stop criminal gangs.

Frank Castle looks over at his van, being attuned enough to his machine to know when something's even a little funky with his machine. He furrows his brow as he walks over towards the driver's side door, "Don't mess with another man's car. No need to sink that low," he says, pausing to lay a hand on the hood.

"You and your 'Outsiders' do your jobs good, you probably won't see me again. But when something slips through the cracks, just remember, I'm out here waiting for 'em. Consider that motivation for you and your little band o' do-gooders," he says, hopping into the van and revving his engine to make sure it's ready to go, then hitting the gas to speed away.

"I was preparing for the worst," returns Black Lightning, about the vehicle, as if he thought he might need a boost of energy and as much an apology even. Not big on vehicles himself and mechanics, he is a fan of motorcycles, but only casually. Simply nodding to doing his best as Frank's words, hoping that they can. Such that they don't have to meet up with the Punisher again and for some of the criminals at least. While some of the grizzled vets in the gangs will never change, he still keeps his hope for the younger ones, or better the ones not yet influenced by those gangs.

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