The Punisher: Special Delivery
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
DEC 24, 2236 HOURS
It's cold. Not as cold as Russia or Siberia, but pretty cold for New York City. There's no snow yet.
I see familIes walking on the sidewalk, kids holding hands with their parents. I used to be a parent. I used to have kids. That was a lifetime. A life ago. Before we all died in Sheep's Meadow in Central Park. Maria. Junior. Lisa.
Frank Senior. Me.
Now, I'm a dead man walking, stalking the streets. I live to kill. I wage my war. It's all there is. It's all I know.
I have to deliver a package. It needs to be done tonight before midnight. Can't let anything stand in my way. The person who gets this package has it coming and deserve very bit of it.
I have a tail. I knew I had to change safehouses. Always moving. Can't be stationary with my lifestyle. Always gotta move.
I have to lose them. Cops? Feds? Skells? CIA? SHIELD?
I'm not paranoid. Paranoid people THINK that the world is out to get them. I KNOW that the whole world is out to get me.
Hell of a difference.
Can't start a rolling gunfight even in Brooklyn at night. Have to look for a good battleground.
Think, Castle. Look. Look.
Abandoned warehouse lot. Drive in there. Whoever they are, they'll make their move there. Most of the mooks gunning for my ass are not too subtle about it.
A minute. Two minutes. In the deserted lot, a car speeds by my van. I duck out of reflex. That reflex saved me from multiple gunshots wounds. Silenced. Sounds like a subgun. A Mac-10 maybe. Throw away piece of shit subgun. Only in the movies do bad guys use H&Ks all the time.
All right, then. What am I dealing with here. Two carloads of assholes. One tries to cut me off. The other behind me. Some shithead sticking half his body out of the car spraying at my van from behind.
I should feel insulted they sent these idiots. I have standards. Reach behind the shotgun seat, in my duffel bag. Pull out a USAS 12 gauge automatic shotgun. With a 20 round drum. Looks like an M-16 on steroids. Loaded with a mix of shredders, 00 buckshot and solid rifled slugs.
I like variety. Keeps things interesting. Lively.
Stop the van suddenly. Go into reverse just as suddenly. The mooks from up up front spider-web my windshield while my bumper rams the car behind me. Lots of noise. Metal crushing. I force the car backwards. I turn the steering wheel left and sharply.
The pricks from upfront start chasing after me. Good. I stick the shotgun out of the window, barrel resting on my door.
Come and get it, punks.
Squeeze the trigger. The monster in my hand belches metal and fire. Hellfire and brimstone. Their engine is history. Their windshield is history. Front tires are history. Everything explodes in a cacophony of lead, glass, screams, blood and steel.
Chaos. Carnage. Music to my ears.
Give them the whole drum. Shotgun clicks empty. Dump it in the back. Slam on the brakes. Go in the back of the van. Go into my bag of goodies. Pull out my .45 from under my armpit. And a metal cylinder from my bag. ShootiNg stopped from the back. They are reloading. My turn.
Knock open the back doors to my van.
Their car is sideways. I empty out the 45s clip. I don't hit shit, but they duck. Doesn't matter. Press a button on the cylinder and toss threw the passenger's window. Shut the door. Rush back up front and speed. Quick reload on the .45 on the way.
KA-BOOM. Nasty and nosy. Special home made frag. Favorite of mine: Sem-tex packed with ball-bearings, wrapped in kinked barb-wire. They should be ground beef. They're off my ass anyway.
Got rid of the mooks. They must have asked around my neighborhood. Shouldn't spend too much time in the same safehouse. Easier to track. Easier to find.
Okay. Still have a delivery to make. Have to rush it. Speed up a little.
Someone landed on the roof of my van. I buckle my safety belt, accelerate and brake suddenly. Someone flies off the roof and lands in front of me. Don't quite see who it is. Hardtime seeing with what's left of my windshield. Fuck 'em. I'm gonna feed them my front bumper as a late supper and run them over. I duck reflexively. Shuriken fly through my windshield.
Swell. All I needed. A fucking ninja. Morons with the guns were probably to test my skill and strategy. I see the silhouettte jump and land on the small hood of my van. A katana comes through the windshield, nicks my right shoulder. Slices through the leather of my coat and the kevlar. Brake again, They fly off again. Put the .45 through one of the holes in my windshield and and fire. The guy-it's a guy from the silhouhette-seems to take a couple of hits and dodge a couple of others. He's wearing armor. This just keeps getting better and better.
I hear three gunshots. My engine and front tires are hit. I leap out of my van. Roll and fire a few shots. The guy's isn't where he was a second ago.
Cut in the shoulder is annoying me. Bleeding. Reload the .45. We're out in the open. Nowhere he could hide-unless-
Out of instinct, I leap forward and roll away, I hear more gunshots. The guy got under my van. Fucker's fast. Has a .44 Magnum. I get a glimpse of the guy. White. Red haired. Freckles. Black fatigues. Fucking Archie Andrews in a spec-ops outfit. Using ninja techniques. I roll up one of one knee. Forearm covering my face. Reinforced my coat with Kevlar. I take a shot in the forearm, one in the chest. One shoots the gun out of my hand. Goddamn chest is hurting. Arm is hurting. Probably broke something. Still mobile though. Broke a rib. Breathe. Swallow the pain. Get back on my feet.
Guy pulls his katana. Got a big survivor knife and a good old kabar. His steel meets mine. The big knife stops a sword stroke. The ka-bar stops another. The jarring impact is reminding me of my wounds. Come on, ignore the pain. Hurt this bastard. The sword is coming up, down, sideways, blinding speed. Luck and reflexes and experience save from being cut into pieces.
Blade meets blade. Sparks fly.
Front kick under my chin. My head is snapped back. Never saw his leg move. An hunch puts a knife in the way of his sword and I avoid decapitation. Seeing stars. That kick was quick. Or I'm getting slow.
I gotta get some offence back. I know how. I just need the right chance.
Spinning heel kick catches me on the chest. Lose my footing. Fall on my back. My kabar stop the downcoming stroke. I swing the other hand holding the other knife. Swing towards his throat. He's just out of range. I can't slice it.
Don't need to.
The blade flies out of the handle and goes into Ninja-Archie's throat. His eyes go wide with surprise.
"Ballistic knife, asshole."I spit. I dig the kabar deep into his left-eye and push into his brain. He falls over. I get up. Painfully.
I walk to my van. Eveything hurts. But I can still move.
Van is bullet riddled. What I love about the neighborhood where I am. Cops rarely bother. That's if someone bothered calling 911.
I drive away.
Have to find out who sent these guys after this time. I'll ask around tomorrow morning. Now, I got a package to deliver.
I make it to my target. I have the box under my arm. I step out of the van and walk. I have to make sure I'm not watched. Very exposed here.
I stop in front of my specific target. Open the box. Three flowers.
One for Maria. One for Lisa. One for Junior.
I put the three roses on my family's grave.
"Merry Christmas, everybody."
I close my eyes and hear them laugh. I grab both my kids. And pick them up. Maria kisses me lightly on the lips.
"Merry Christmas, Frank."
I open my eyes. I'm alone in the empty cemetary, standing over the cold, hard grave. I wait for another second. I turn around. And go back to my van.
I'll be back soon, everybody. I have to carry on with the war. And Punish the Guilty
THE PUNISHER IS CREATED BY GERRY CONWAY AND BELONGS TO MARVEL COMICS