Punisher Chapter 7

Hello, we're finally nearing the end. This took a little longer to edit than I thought. Feedback is appreciated. I own nothing…..

Frank slowly pried open is heavy eyelids. With the ground swimming in front of him and the metal binds digging into his skin, in was kind of hard to concentrate.

"Rise and shine" Vincent Pesci purred from the shadows…

"Now Frank, can I call you Frank? I bet your wondering why you're here. I actually have several reasons. Of course there are the deaths of my family members, but that's only the second reason."

"Just spit it out," Castle snapped.

Unruffled by the interruption Pesci continued in the same obnoxious purr, "Now, Mr. Castle. You're here because of who you are and what you do. You underestimate the affects you have on this side of the city. The tales of your existence range from supernatural events to conspiracy theories. So many of…the more superstitious say you're a judging angel from the hand of God with ebony wings and transparent flesh, hence the skull. Others contest that you're an angel of the less heavenly variety and drag souls to Hades. The more cynical argue you don't even exist. They say the Punisher is just a boogeyman created by worried families' Don't join the gangs or the Punisher will kill you' or an alibi for overzealous cops. But you, Frank are so much more." He whispered leaning closer. You are a symbol. You are vengeance. You are death incarnate." I can even feel the blackness rolling from you" he pressed fiercely.

"But now I have you. It took a lot of planning to catch. You know Frankie, you're smart and dangerous, but you're also predictable. I knew if I framed you for killing an innocent, you'd come prowling to see who framed you. A few tips here, a disposable thug there, and I had you. You didn't even see it coming, did you?"

"And now for the real reason I went through all this trouble. It's like this, most of the other dons are either scared of you or don't believe you exist. I arrange a meeting, and they see you. For the ones that fear you, I'll use that fear to my advantage. For the doubters they won't know what to believe. You, Mr. Castle, are going to help me rule this city"

Collins ran, he was forming a plan as he did so. First he needed a target. He would probably never know who had killed his family; therefore, all criminals had to pay. It was simple, logical, necessary. His mind flashed back to Bruto. Well, considering Castle had him, Collins highly doubted that specific con would ever hurt anyone again. But why not start with the Italians?

The wayward Detective slowed as he neared his home. Stealthily he slivered through the cars and tape, until he reached his own vehicle. Making sure no one was watching, he noiselessly opened the car door and drove off into the night. Glancing in the rearview mirror, Collins left his former life behind.

He mentally began scrolling through his list; Intel was the next item on the list. Luckily, he had a few files from the station in his briefcase. Pulling over he flipped through a couple of them. He ran into Bruto's file again. Well, maybe the thug's apartment would be a good place to start; after all it wasn't like he had to worry about the owner.

A strange urge began tingling in the base of his scalp: go to the pier, go to the pier… The coaxing continued, Until Collins complied. As he neared the pier a chill of apprehension crawled up his spine. Something had happened here.

He could tell some sort of shootout had occurred. Several high- caliber shell casing littered the area. As he got closer he noticed several darts among the casings. He recognized the projectiles and tranquilizers. Someone had been hunting.

Then it clicked, someone had a shoot-out with the Punisher, and Collins was willing to bet Frank Castle wasn't the one shooting darts. The Punisher was known to use lethal force. This puzzle piece fit in the bigger picture. The judge's murder, a low level thug like Bruto saying he had worked with the don, and this: a trap.