Return of the Gladiator

July 30, 2014:

NYPD SWAT responds to an anonymous tip about a meeting between organized crime lieutenants.

Library Hotel, Midtown New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

MANHATTAN'S EAST SIDE

LIBRARY HOTEL

An anonymous tip came in with information on a meeting of high placed lieutenants or organized crime. A penthouse in the Library Hotel seemed to be a relatively safe place for these smutrakers of society to converse about expanding their meth production and sales to Jersey. It's a planning session, and although these types don't tend to bring much evidence on them, it is notable that four of the men have outstanding warrants; some of them have been on the run since March for drug trafficking, tax evasion, and in the case of Hipalido Picardo, murder.

The powers that be at One Police Plaza send out a SWAT team, led by Detective Ralph Skinner. Though technically on suspension, Paul Manning has been given a call to see if he was interested in sitting in on the arrest. Though not particularly close, both men served in the same branch of military and Skinner knew that Manning had been on the forefront of organized crime over the course of the last few months. Skinner didn't think Manning would want to miss it.

Technically, Paul's not suspended so much as he's not even on the force any more. He was listed as dead; they had a body and everything. The peperwork is going through to fix that little error but it's slower to fix that to do. Still, it means it's not a punishment or anything so the other cops tend to overlook that little technicality when they can. He does though stay to the read of the action since he has no authority, let alone a gun or badge. A vest though, that he has. "It's your show." he says to Skinner.

Skinner nods to Manning as the pair get out of the squad car. Dozens of men in black scroll through the building and begin to cut off the exit routes. The elevators get blocked. The back stairwell is covered, two on every floor. Helmeted men with sub machine guns move through like a tactical military operation-in some ways it really is.

*

Inside the large penthouse, a small table with 6 lieutenants, including Picardo are in deep discussions about the best way to expand the Kingpin's drug empire. The major disagreement is one of production. Should they set up a new cooking house to the west? If so, where to put it? If so, who to put in charge of it? Anton Voltov is a name bandied about for leading the operation.

A cell phone rings and Picardo begs for forgiveness. "Yes," he says into the cell phone. "I understand."

"We've been ratted out, boys. The fuzz are on their way."

Paul waits, gazing up at the outside of the building, as the police begin to move into and through the building. "The problem with meeting in penthouses is there are so few ways out if you need one. They've gotta know this by now, even if they had no reason to suspect they would. Makes me wonder what their backup plan is."

Skinner nods just as he brings his radio to his lips, but pauses as he and Paul make their way into the lobby. "Well, if they have a rat in the attic, they may have set it up this way. Someone seems to be working from inside, or at least close to the organization." "~~This is Skinner. Enter when ready.~~" Back to Paul now, "I'm not sure who it is, but whoever they are, they're going to give us Picardo at least. So…" He chuckles. "Whoever it is is a friend of mine."

BOOM!

The door to the penthouse is bust down with a metal battering ram, and SWAT agents begin to file in with guns drawn. Luckily, they have flashlights on the end of their weaponry, because someone has killed the lights. "POLICE! DROP YOUR WEAPONS AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP!"

"Someone looking to move up, probably." Paul muses. "Ambition can be a bitch." For those above the ladder climber. When the order is given, he looks to the radio as if he can see through it to the penthouse.

POP POPOPOPOPPOP!

Gunfire lights up the windows of the penthouse in the dark as the SWAT team and the gangsters go at it head to head in an enclosed space. Down in the lobby way, people begin screaming and diving for cover, even though the action is taking place several flights upward.

The radio screams right into Paul's face with updates. "We're taking fire, not sure who's here and who isn't." Skinner gives Paul a look and begins heading upwards, taking the main internal staircase. "We'll see you when this is over, Paul," he says over his shoulder and leaves Manning on his own.

After a few moments, another radio signal comes through. "Shots-not shots…something else fired on the stairwell. Someone, someone big! GAHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Then nothing.

No gun. No badge. Not on the force. Paul tells himself that to keep from following. Not happy. Stupid paperwork. But all that gets thrown out the window when he hears that last radio call and he sprints after Skinner. "Screw that, you may need help."

By the time Manning gets up the back stairwell, he sees two SWAT teamers firing upwards trying to get a piece of whatever the hell is attacking them. From his vantage point, Manning can see Skinner.

Or what's left of him.

The Detective has been sliced in two at the navel. By what? It's not clear from here.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Skipping off of the surfaces of the walls, two circular saws bounce and carom in the rectangular shaft and catches each of the SWAT members right in the throat, decapitating them and killing them instantly.

Holy shit. Paul leaps back down to the last landing and gets out of the stairwell. He should have insisted on a radio. And a gun. And an extra SWAT team. He looks around quick then steps over to the fire alarm and pulls it. Then he takes the fire extinguisher and pulls the safety off.

Paul steps out of the stairwell and back to the lobby as gunfire still goes crazy upstairs. From where he stands he can hear three pair of steps coming his way.

The door swings open, right in front of the Detective. Barely able to make it out of the doorway, a giant of a man bursts through. A blue-black grill mask is set over his face, while his large rippling muscles are exposed, covered only by leather straps which hold his large saw shooters on each of his forearms. Behind the GLADIATOR, Voltov and Picardo seem to be hiding. They're using the large man as a shield.

Paul hopefully fires first, spraying the fire extinguisher directly at the man as he moves to avoid any blades fired at where he was standing. Using the cloud as cover, he tries to kick the side of his knee to dislocate it. Musclebound he might be but that joint is still the weakest and isn't protected by much muscle.

The white foam erupts and blocks Gladiator's view as it diffuses throughout the doorway and leaves its residue on the back wall. The beast fires, but the saw goes wide and buries itself in the wall behind Manning. As the Detective brings his leg down on the joint, a flash of red comes swinging in from the opposite angle, adding a kick to the side that sends the Gladiator towards Manning's kick and giving it even more efficacy as the ACL tears immediately.

Gladiator screams in pain and doubles over, while Daredevil lands on top of him. The smaller man struggles to keep the saw arms down on the ground and away from slicing him in two, but Gladiator is much bigger and stronger. Meanwhile, Voltov and Picardo make a run for it.

The old saying is to fight fire with fire. Whoever thought of that was an idiot. The way to take out a brick is not to hit him with a brick. It's to take out his air. Paul brings the fire extinguisher tank down on Gladiator's head as hard as he can but it's really just distrct him from Daredevil. Right after the blow, he lowers the business end of the extinguisher to just above the man's mask and turns it on again.

Gladiator gurgles as the foam fills his mask up. Meanwhile, Daredevil reaches down to each of the mighty arms and yanks, hard, on each of the cords that give the saws power. Using his feet and the rest of his body, he yanks out the sources and the whirring comes to an end.

As Voltov and Picardo are about to reach the entrance, Daredevil slings his billy club outward with unerring accuracy. The club hits true, knocking Picardo in the back of the head and sending him into unconsciousness right where he stands. Voltov, meanwhile runs out onto the street.

"Glad you're not dead," Daredevil mutters quietly.

"Me too." Paul agrees but he's frowning as the fire extinguisher starts spluttering. Damn things always empty too soon. As it stops spraying, he slams it down on Gladiator's head again a couple times if he's still moving.

Daredevil begins running after Voltov, darting past some of the lobby's tables and chairs as he desperately gives chase. Once he hits the door, he can see Voltov ducking into an SUV and escaping. "Dammit," he mutters, before turning back to check on Manning.

By now the firefight has ended. Upstairs the SWAT team did pretty well. One man down, but it was a glancing shot off the upper arm. The stairwell was a bit worse, however, as the NYPD lost 6 men, all at Gladiator's saw. Daredevil catches up with Manning as the Gladiator lies unconscious, not far from Picardo. "This is a mess."

"A mess?" Paul repeats as he sets the fire extinguisher down on the floor next to Gladiator's head. "A mess? Dead cops is not a mess. Glass windows shattered and walls riddled with bullet holes is a mess. Dead cops is a tragedy. And since you just conveniently showed up, should I assume you were the one who called in the hot tip about the meeting and didn't bother to mention the enforcer they had with them who just killed at least three cops?" Some of whom he knew.

Daredevil's red lenses turn towards Paul as he shakes his head. "I didn't mean to make light of it. And I think you know that. I wasn't the tip, I heard the gunfire from a few miles away." He gives another exhale and turns to walk away. "I'm sorry for your loss."

Paul studies Daredevil a moment then nods though he doesn't apologize for the accusation. Coming back from the dead's been pretty shitty so far. "It's what we signed up for." Except most of them never signed up expecting to take on things like the Gladiator. "At least we got most of them. They better be worth it."

"I hope so," Daredevil looks over his shoulder. He shakes his head, "The Kingpin will pay for this. Pay for all of it." But will that justice be balanced in the end? Is there any way to even it up? Daredevil isn't so sure.

He better. Paul doesn't answer and instead calls for some cops to come secure the prisoner: with several sets of cuffs and zip ties. The paramedics are told to keep him sedated too whether that's legal or not.

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