Pushing Up Daisies

October 19, 2018:

Eddie and Frank have a chance meeting over dead bodies (of the demon kind).

Somewhere Outside Hell's Kitchen

Alleys and warehouses and bad people, oh my!

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Frank Castle doesn't kill everyone he runs into. Clearly, because the population of Manhattan is just shrinking, not plummeting. Right now, however, he is engaging in aggressive negotiations, which means he has a 9mm pistol to the head of a known gunrunner just outside his place of business — a warehouse by the docks. "Sanchez. Where is he?" The guy with a gun barrel to the nape of his neck and his hands on his head is shaking hard, "I don't know, man. I don't know! He just got a piece from me. Didn't say where he was going!"

*

It's amazing how well sounds can travel, tricky little things that echo off hard surfaces and bounce at odd angles so voices carry upward into the ether. The two men are arguing, one clearly having the upper hand. There is a puff of vapor from Eddie's mouth as she hunkers down on the rooftop, the chill of winter making its presence known in the black of night. At least that yellow industrial light illuminates Frank and his mark nicely so it's easy to line up the scope. The .300 Win Mag has been blacked out but that doesn't stop the telltale wink of the lens as it accidentally catches a slice of moonlight. Seconds before the shot cracks. Maybe it misses its intended mark, however, as both Frank and Sanchez remain standing. For now.

*
The gunrunner screams at the crack of the rifle, even if the bullet has already hit its target wherever it is. When you think you've just gotten executed, you scream. Even when you realize, belatedly, that you haven't been executed.

Frank twists away from the other man, to gain some space not to avoid the first shot, which he knows already whipped past, but instead to try and get cover against a second. He bares his teeth, ducking down behind a crate and then peeking back up, "You got a bodyguard, Simmons? No… I think someone wants you dead."

*

Is that…laughter? It sort of filters down like rain drops from the distant rooftop. The barrel of the rifle disappears from the lip of the ledge. A second shot doesn't come, but instead a blackish creature ambles out from a stack of crates, is mouth red with blood that stain its teeth but judging by the trail it leaves behind him, it bleeds black. It falls dead about ten feet from where it has stumbled out of hiding. "You're WELCOME!" Comes a sing song voice from the distance before there is another titter of laughter.

*

Despite rumors to the contrary, Frank Castle has a sense of humor. When his unwilling informant takes a runner and Frank whirls to raise the pistol toward the stumbling demon. But it's stumbling, and so Castle just watches it over the sights until it collapses. Giving an exaggerated shrug, he raises his gravelly voice, "Not bad. Made the asshole do a runner though." The pistol is holstered but his hand remains on the grip, and he shakes his head, dark eyes scanning for the source of the shot.

*

"You'll catch him again, big guy! Wouldn't be fun if it were easy." Comes the reply shout, obviously from a woman. It was an easy shot, taken from less than a block away judging by the reverb, and high and open for those that are trained to center on such details. A scan of the rooftops will reveal a thin column of smoke rising up. Cigarette?

*

Frank snorts at the reply, his eyes shifting back and forth as he scans upward and outward. Spotting the trail of smoke, he glances after Simmons, shakes his head, then starts stalking down the street. Once he's out of sight of the area that is smoking and presumably shooting, he takes off at a limping run, heading for a fire escape that leads up to rooftop.

*

Eddie doesn't scramble, even though she knows she's clearly blown her cover. Hell, she doesn't seem particularly careful about retaining it. She does fall quiet though, nothing but the crackle of the paper in of her joint as it burns down and the evenness of her breathing as she listens to see if Frank went back after his mark. No. There are boots on the metal of the fire escape. She shakes out her watch from the sleeve of her leather jacket, timing him. There is an exhale of fragrant smoke when she estimates he must be reaching the roof. "You're favoring your one side - uneven gait - otherwise I'd be offended."

*

Frank's trenchcoat billows open as he comes up the top of the fire escape, showing the white skull spray-painted on the front of his ballistic vest. He settles both feet onto the rooftop and glances about to spot the nearest cover. His dark eyes flicker back to Eddie quickly enough, and his hand drops back down to the grip of his pistol, although it stays in its holster at his side. "It's been a busy couple'a months." He gives a sniff, and his eyes narrow, "Really? Stuff slows your reactions."

*

Eddie has her sniper rifle draped casually over her lap, a pistol clearly strapped to one outstretched thigh. She's dressed all in black down to the knit beanie that's low to her eyes and no doubt if she pulled it down all the way it would be a balaclava. "At least for one of us." Morales says a bit sardonically. Is it in answer to how busy he's been or the reaction time? It's left not clarified. "Man on a mission, huh?"

*
"Good thing for a soldier not to be busy." Frank eyes the rifle and the pistol, then shrugs a touch, "Not that that ever happens." He's quiet for a long moment, then gestures to the rifle, "You're just out here shooting demons, Smoky?"

*

"Annoying little shits aren't they?" Eddie draws again, making that paper burn bright for a second before it fades. "Soldiers." She smirks across the darkness, her voice pinched as she tries to hold the smoke into her lungs before finally relenting to the scream for oxygen so she exhales. "I'm not one though, so you can stand at ease, Private. Just out here shooting demons like you're just out here taking out the trash."

*

"Public menace." There's a pause, and then Frank allows, "Yeah, soldiers are too." He looks in the direction of the dead demon a moment, then shrugs, "That wasn't trash. Just a guy makin' bad decisions. The real trash are keepin' quiet. Somethin' about demons." Even after weeks of this, the fact that he's talking about real, actual demons causes Frank to shake his head in disbelief. "So you're really just shooting? Doesn't the NYPD kind of hate that?" Says the guy who had a pistol to someone's head.

*

"I figure you weren't gonna turn me in. You won't remember my face, just the same as I never saw you. Ghosts of the night." Very carefully, she taps the end of her joint on the stock of her weapon to extinguish it, the stub tucked behind her ear for safe keeping for the time being. All of this done without removing her skin tight gloves. "Well. I took out one more of your roadblocks. I expect flowers."

*

"I'm sure Simmons is real glad you shot that demon." Frank smirks just a little, "Lucky it was one of the ones that dies easy. One of them took four .45 rounds to the chest and head." His brows furrow, and he hesitates a long moment before he asks, "You practice on non-demons too?" Pot, kettle, black.

*

"Holy water pay load straight to the fourth chakra." Eddie explains with an implied eyebrow waggle that gets lost in the darkness. "Pays to know your target." She shifts a little, scooting one leg up underneath her so she can peak over the brick edge of the roof. She answers his question with a bit of a shrug, distractedly. "For the right dollar amount…there's another one, if you wanna take a shot, Sparky."

*

Frank has no idea what the fourth chakra is. He knows that chakras are a thing, but that's about his limit. "Haven't found one that won't go down for enough lead." Which probably means he's been lucky. "Just a heads up that there are some folks in the area who don't much like people gettin' shot."

*

"Good thing they'll never find me." Eddie is shifting fully now, balancing the muzzle of the rifle on a little bean bag she has settled on the ledge. "You get in and you get out. You don't stick around for the calvary to show up." She's lining up the shot on a dark figure coming to investigate his fallen brethren. "The heart, Sparky. The heart. You wanna take this shot and show me what you can do or are you gonna let me have all the fun?"

*

"You can have all the fun, Smoky. You're gonna put it down, ain't no reason for me to worry about it." Still, he steps over to stand just back from the edge of the roof, where he can see the target but doesn't stand out in bold and blatant silhouette to anyone looking up from below. Trying to warn someone off from shooting people in the Kitchen just… didn't sit well, and there's a faint sense of relief that the woman isn't planning on lingering. Even Frank Castle has a sense of the ironic.

*

After he tells her to take the shot, there is a long moment where she just shuts her eyes and listens to the wind. It kicks up for a moment and then dies down. When her eyes open, and in between her next set of heart beats, her finger gives the slightest nudge of the trigger and the rifle judders briefly as the shot quietly whistles out. The beast - a wendigo by the looks of it - straightens right into the killing blow that leaves it draped over the form of its mate. "Good, I'd hate to split the payout." She grins aside to Frank as she takes the rifle and ducks back down, tugging out her phone to type in transfer information, her glove having a specialized finger pad that lets her use the touch screen without having to remove it.

"Daisies. I like daisies." She eludes to her previous statement about flowers as she begins to break down her rifle.

*

Frank watches the shot without immediate comment, nodding his approval for the shot. The mention of a payout draws him up a little, "Someone's paying for dead demons? Shit, I should have made bank at the parade." There's a pause, and he inquires, "Holy water's a real thing? Like, it really works with these things?"

*

"If…" Eddie's words are disjointed, pausing when she clicks off a part here or there and stows it in her duffel. "You know who's hiring. Like the owner of this building who kept getting his employees eaten to the point that production slowed and it was seriously dipping into his profits. Speaking of, here, snap a picture for me, will you?" She hands over her phone for Frank who's still standing and in the vantage point to do so. "You can believe in demons but not in a divine way to kill them? I mean, taking out the heart probably helps too…" She considers this and then just shrugs.

"You thought I was doing this because I was bored? Please. I'd rather be drunk and screwing some ex-…army? Marine? If that were the case. You're too straight to be Navy, and too tall to be Airforce."

*

Frank gets the phone handed to him, and he frowns at it a moment, looking over to Eddie, then at the phone, and shrugging before he lifts it up and takes a picture, using his knuckle to push the button instead of the pad of his finger. Because he's suspicious enough of technology to keep the battery out of his phone so far. "I'm still havin' problems with the whole demon thing. I just think of 'em as targets." Handing the phone back, he shakes his head slightly, "I'm gonna assume the only reason you thought I could be Army is that I was limpin'." No comment on the drunk and screwing point, "You just… go to a church or somethin'?" Assuming Frank could find one that didn't have a lightning bolt waiting for him.

*

Eddie tucks the phone back into her pocket with a little nod of thanks as she finishes packing up, the zipper pulled up on her duffel with a note of finality. "Find a priest. Find some water. Give him a reason to bless it, and viola. But Catholic churches usually have a font near the doors, fill a flask up with that shit between services. Or raid the baptism bath…if you're going to go that route, I suggest you ditch The Punisher gear before you visit the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, there bub. The aesthetic is nice. Menacing. But not really what you want to wear when you're lighting a candle to Santa Maria."

She stands and gives the place a quick once over to make sure she didn't leave anything, even though she already knows the scene is clean. "Remember. Daisies." Is the last she gives the man as she slings the bag over her shoulder and heads towards the fire escape.

*

It was going so well. Frank even managed a dry chuckle at the suggestion of raiding the baptismal font. He's even fine being recognized — after all, that's why he started wearing the skull. But 'Santa Maria,' even if it was unintended, sparks fire in his dark eyes, and a shudder runs through his frame, his right hand clenching in a fist as some forgotten, under-control part of him keeps him from grabbing his pistol. The fist eases and clenches half a dozen times as the anger washes clearly over his face, and his voice is even more gravel-strewn, a low, almost animal growl, "Like pushin' up." Daisies. He stands there a long time, struggling to control the urge to strike that he knows is out of place. He's really going to need to find some demons soon.

*

Eddie snap points up at the sky when he mentions 'pushing up' and then she's gone, foot steps light and deft on the metal stairs. Like he'd even know where to leave flowers, or for whom.

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