Cutscene: Putting Down a Dog

July 11, 2018:

Frank Castle finds a Dog of Hell and gets a surprise.

PG-13 or light R for violence, sexual content, and language.

A Dive Bar, the remains of Hell's Kitchen.


NPCs: Two Dogs of Hell and a hanger-on.


Mood Music: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

Fade In…

Music pounds in the dirty back hallway of the dive bar, only slightly deadened by the thin wall of the hall. The government presence in Hell's Kitchen has made Frank's mission difficult, but "difficult" isn't going to stop him. He brushes past a tattooed biker, checking the back of the man's vest and making sure that he's not a target. Grinders. The man's safe for tonight.

And that was the last man who had gone into the bathroom in the last ten minutes, so Frank pulls up the hood of his gray hoodie and pushes forward, reaching under the sweatshirt and taking up the grip of the silenced pistol there. Shouldering the door open, he stops in his tracks, the usually unflappable man suddenly flapped.

There's Frank's target, jeans around his ankles, in mid-coitus with a woman sitting on the counter between the sinks with her legs wrapped around his waist and her fingernails dug into the man's Dogs of Hell vest. At least she has her head thrown back, so she doesn't see him opening the door.

He's not here to kill innocents, and he can't be sure that his pistol's rounds won't go through the biker and into his partner, so the pistol is released and Frank's hand goes to his trusty Ka-Bar. Four quick steps bring him across the filthy bathroom, and he reaches past the pumping man's shoulder to hook two fingers in his nose and pull his head back. "One batch, two batch, penny and dime." Even as the biker is starting to protest the grab, Castle stabs the Ka-Bar into the man's throat, sending a gout of blood over his hand, the woman, and what passes for a mirror behind her.

The man's already dead, he just doesn't know it, so Frank looses his nose and steps back, already turning away as the woman starts to scream, pleasure quickly turning to horror.

"Billy?" He's halfway back to the door when the word comes from a closed stall opposite the sinks. Frank has time to think what the hell kind of man takes a shit for ten minutes while his buddy is having sex outside the stall, and then the door opens up, revealing a tall, gangly man hiking up jeans under a black leather vest with Dogs of War colors on it.

Shit. Long arms reach for him, and he twists desperately away, off-balance and off-guard. His knife slashes the man's side, but he gets an elbow to the chest for his trouble, driving him back a step. Flipping the knife around so its blade lays along his forearm, Frank moves in as the other Dog of Hell spins and swings for him again.

It's another trade — this time a fist to the face in exchange for a slash across the biker's ribs. Frank can feel blood trailing from his nose and his eye starting to swell, but he ducks under the next wild blow, gets a whiff of the shitty business the man never finished, and then drives the pommel of the blade into the biker's ribs, feeling one crack under the blow. A second blow, a third, and a rib breaks. That gets the Dog of Hell to retreat, and Frank follows after him.

The woman is still trying to get untangled from her late lover, trying to wipe thick blood off her face, so he has a moment. Another swing, and Castle slashes the inside of his attacker's elbow, drawing a roar of pain that fades into a wheeze as the broken rib does its job. The next punch is clumsy and left-handed, and Frank reverses the grip on his Ka-Bar again, punching it home into the man's left armpit. The strength goes out of the lanky man quickly, and he crumples.

Wiping blood off his nose onto the sleeve of his sweatshirt, Frank Castle ducks his head to ensure the woman can't see any more than she has already, wipes his knife on his hoodie, sheathes it, and leaves the bathroom. Messier than he would have liked with this many Feds in the Kitchen, but two when he was looking for one. All in all, a successful night.

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