A Vigilante Team-Up Offer

July 07, 2018:

Kid Karnevil has an offer for Frank. A violent one.

A still-standing Hell's Kitchen roof.

Characters

NPCs: Various DEO agents and an unnamed member of Team Youngblood off-screen.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Hell's Kitchen isn't on fire anymore, which is nice, but it's crawling with DEO, Homeland Security, and FBI Agents, plus police, SHIELD Agents, and a score of crazy metahumans with too many pouches. None of that is nice. Especially if you're planning a score of killings or more.

The night is filled with sirens and sadness, while a distinctly grumpy man sweltering in a trenchcoat stands in the shadow of a rooftop exit, his back to a wall and his eyes on a DEO patrol moving on the street below. He looks far less than happy, a scowl on his heavy features.

The murders in Hell's Kitchen have drawn some attention from people other than the forces that be. Kid Karnevil was curious about whomever had brought such terror into the hearts of evil men, such as himself, and sought to break the soul of the man breaking the bones of so many black hearted ghouls of the blood red bricktop.

Kid Karnevil was bored, and the acting scholarship he had gotten at the local community college was going to run out sometime. You can only pretend to be a kid you stabbed to death when he got off a bus for so long.

"It's a long way down from that perch, angel," comes Jeremy Karnes' voice from behind Punisher. He's crouched to the side of the architecture Punisher stands in, having alighted upon the roof through means unseen. He's wearing a green jacket with a black Megadeth t-shirt, a pair of tight acid wash jeans on his legs, and a pair of black low-top sneakers on his feet. His long blond locks hide the sides of a black domino mask that covers his eyes.

Frank Castle is fast, as shown by how quickly his head whips around to study the source of the voice. Frank Castle is also restrained, as shown by the fact that he doesn't immediately draw a weapon, or move anything else but his head and shoulders. Quick motion draws the attention of peripheral vision, and he doesn't want that. Dark eyes scrape over the young man standing alongside him, and then he growls, "Missing the halo and the wings." It's the domino mask that draws the eye eventually, and he grunts, "Going to a party?"

There's a distinct twang of a Texan in Jeremy's voice, but with the honey milk of a non-descript southern Christian. "More like party crashing."

Jeremy stays in position, his head tilted to look at Frank while being carefully nonchalant. "I hear you kill mobsters. Where I'm from, it's a crime to send the cops to break up a shindig like this. Bunch of rodeo clowns can't handle a little bull bait."

The first comment isn't troublesome, but the nonchalant comment that follows, that sends a leemer up Frank's spine, and his hand dives inside his trenchcoat, grabbing hold of the hilt of his kabar knife. He doesn't respond right away, studying the younger man instead. "Bombs are for cowards." He didn't exactly deny the bit about the mobsters, of course. "Imprecise. And they draw attention." Hence the suits and the crazies with shoulderpads out of the '80s.

"You know how I like to do things?"

There's a sudden flash in the night as a blade flies up from his left hand, having hidden it out of side by keeping Punisher to his right. Before it can hit Frank's head, his right hand shoots forward, grabbing it by the hilt and withdrawing it to a polite distance, keeping it down at his side.

"I like a nice little blade, and some fancy footwork. I'm a road rasher. I take down screwhead bikers, and I ended up here in the tri-state to cool my heels."

Maybe Frank would have avoided the flying blade, maybe he wouldn't have. He doesn't have to find out, however, but the flash of the knife is still enough for him to draw his own blade in his right hand, sinking into a knife-fighter's crouch and ducking his head to one side. "So what are you doing here? I'm not a screwhead biker." Jerking his head toward the edge of the roof, indicating the government forces in the street below, he adds, "And neither are they."

"Hey pardner, sorry if I'm into theatrics, but I'm feeling a little bit like a wet whistle at a military parade. Allow me to introduce myself."

Jeremy steps around to face Frank, knife in his hand as he grins with dimpled cheeks, tapping the blade against his leg. "The name's Lonestar. And I want in. All I do is the little stuff. I go after sex offenders, the kind that are too tough to beat down in prison. I don't want them making it into the inside in one piece - my father was a cop, and he drank himself to death trying to lock up the same few town lowlife's, every five years."

He tips his blade upwards, pointing at Frank with it, his grip allowing an uplifted gesture as a peace offering. "You do the heavy lifting, just give me the ground clearance to slice up some tall boys, and I'll do the Lord's work while you handle whatever you need to handle. We both hold our own at the latrine, and we eat together at the mess."

Frank turns to follow the younger man's movement, the knife in his right hand flipping from point-first to point-back with an movement that is entirely muscle memory. "You want in?" Frank is already shaking his head alongside the surprised repetition. His gravelly voice does not carry far, "You've got the right idea, but I'm not looking to clean up the Kitchen." There's a moment's thoughtful consideration beneath the gravelly statement, but he powers on, "You're quick, you're quiet, but I don't know you from Adam. Why should I bring you in on what I need to do?"

Jeremy Karnes slides his knife away in a brown leather holster on his hip, then crosses his arms, puffing his chest forward.

"Because I'm going to do it anyways, and you're going to do it anyways."

Having seen how quick the other man drew the blade, Frank doesn't sheath his own yet, but he does relax a little from the stance, "Yeah? And how's it help me if you get the attention of the suits? Or worse, the pouches, shoulderpads, and bodysuit brigade?"

"Tell you what," Jeremy says, uncrossing his arms.

"I'll be a cat, and I'll start rat catching. I find anything interesting, I'll track you down."

Jeremy, 'Lonestar', turns his torso to the side briefly, before he springs onto his hand and flips off to the ledge of the roof, straightening into a crucifix stance at the ledge.

He smiles at Punisher, arms spread, before he swiftly falls backwards. The fire escape can be heard with a quick metal strain, before there's a cat's meow and a distant thump from below.

And then, the natural sounds return.

Frank nods slightly at the 'offer' from the younger man, although the certainty with which 'Lonestar' states that he'll track Frank down causes his eyes to narrow a little dangerously. He watches the flip and pose, shaking his head slightly, and waiting for the sounds of the city night to return. Only then does he sheath his own knife, lean forward to cast a glance at the DEO agents and their Team Youngblood companion below, and then turn away to find another place to search out a hole in their patterns. He still has work to do.

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