New Mutants Unlimited 6

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New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by Blight on Oct 24, 2006, 2:23pm

New Mutants Unlimited #6
Crime and Punishment

Cover Description: Wreck crouches beneath a lone bridge at night, New York visible behind him. Rain falls down, and an oddly familiar gloved hand aims a huge gun directly at his forehead.


For as much as I talk, I really don't speak about my past much. Sure, I'll constantly drive into the ground that I was homeless, but do you know exactly what I was DOING when I was homeless?

I'll tell you, then.

I was using my powers for survival. Some might say I was using them for personal gain. But when you've woken up at the bottom of a bridge, nothing left in the world and no way out of it, what else do you do?

You take advantage.

So it was that I wandered the seedy underbelly of New York. Which is pretty damn seedy, let me tell you. I would pilfer what I wanted, using my natural gift of not being able to die to pull off otherwise impossible things. The local gangs and riffraff started to think of me as a sort of urban legend. The homeless bum who would show up unannounced, rob a store and apparently kill himself to escape. Only to appear again, and again, and again.

I made a good deal of money this way. What happened to it? Well…..heh, that's a story for another day, isn't it?

In spite of my powers, I had kept a relatively low profile. My hits were quick and to the point. No knocking off armored cars, banks. Just small stuff. No need to attract the attention of Spider-man, right? So one day I'm sitting beneath a bridge (and yes, it was the same bridge I initially took a dive from to discover that, in fact, you CAN live in spite of breaking every bone in your body). I'm thumbing through my latest ill-gotten gain, a wallet full of money. And I look up just in time to throw myself out of the way of a hail of gunfire.

Of course I saw the symbol before I saw the rest of him. How do you miss that thing? He stepped out of the gloom.

"Time's up, Jason."

That symbol. I'll never forget it.

That fucking skull. White as a ghost, like looming death.

I reacted fairly quickly. I pulled out my own guns and opened up on him, only vaguely wondering both how I'd drawn the attention of the goddamn Punisher and how he knew my name. I never really tell it to anyone.

"For you, maybe," I replied as I shot back at him. He ran out of the way, and his next barrage didn't miss. It tore through my side and sent me spiraling to the ground.

Realized then that as good of a shot as I might have been, he was better. From everything I'd heard about this loon, why wouldn't he be? He'd been doing this for ages. Just wandering around the city, gunning down crooks and criminals.

Of which I was both.

So, I fell back on an old tactic of mine. I laid there on the ground, the cold runoff of the rain rushing past my head, and pretended I was dying. And surely enough, Castle marched up to me with his pistol drawn.

Closer, closer…..and finally he was right on top of me. One good thing about these sunglasses I wear is that it's hard to tell when I'm actually conscious or not. He lined up a shot and got ready to finish me off.

Just a kid. A 16 year old dumb kid, and he would have finished me off, just like that.

I had no pity.

"Boo," I yelled as I abruptly sprang up and shot at him. Was aiming for his face, but his reflexes were astounding, as he threw his head back and the bullet only knicked him. Maybe he'd seen this trick before in some capacity?

In any case, that gave me enough of a chance to scramble away, clutching my side in pain. Stupid healing factor that won't kick in unless I suffer a fatal wound. I did draw the lame end of the power spectrum, didn't I?

I could still hear him tromping after me. So I ran, firing a few stray shots behind me. Away from my bridge, and up towards the city proper.

If I could get there, I thought, I could hide. I knew the place like the back of my hand.

Running across the street, I added jaywalking to my list of crimes. In retrospect, I really should have just found a crowd of civilians and hidden in it. But I didn't know Frank Castle aside from vague hearsay. How could I know if it would have worked? He might have just gunned down all of them to get to me.

Besides, my ego wanted me to take him down. He'd hurt me, and I wanted to hurt him back.

Stupid kid. He was probably counting on that, now that I think of it.

So I made it to an abandoned warehouse. I'd toyed with using this place as a hideout, but that seemed too obvious. And I liked my bridge. It had sentimental value. Opening the front door, I shouted out behind me.

"Why are you after me? What did I ever do to you?"

Nothing greeted me in response. I ran inside, slammed the door and locked it. Stopped to catch my breath. Then I started to run again, but didn't make it much more than a few steps before Castle popped out from behind a box, a shotgun in his grasp. Point blank, right to the chest. Boom.

Needless to say, I flew backwards until I slammed right back into the door again. Slumped to the ground, looking in amazement at where my chest used to be. Then up to Punisher, as he walked up to me again.

"You're scum. That's enough."

My vision faded, blurred. I saw two of him, two shotguns aimed for my head. And then everything went black.

You know what it's like to die?

I do.

I tell everyone that I CAN'T die, but that isn't entirely true. I die often. And what do I see when I die?

Well, that's a story for another day, isn't it?

Suffice it to say, I came back rather abruptly, screaming bloody murder at Castle. My wounds were closing up, I remember leaping at him and firing both of my guns. They hit him right in his damned white skull, tearing it. And I remember seeing metal beneath, and having a brief, insane thought that Frank Castle was a robot.

I ran again. Dying isn't fun, even if you can do it repeatedly. I heard the crack of his shotgun again, but I was too far away. Ran for the stairs. Those would take me up to the rooftop.

Surprisingly, my trip up there was uneventful. I opened a hatch, and the night air bit at me. Clambered on through, stood, and then jumped out of my skin as I saw he was right in front of me again.

"What the hell are you, Batman!?"

Frank didn't seem to find much humor in my humor. He just leveled his gun at me again, aimed it dead center for my forehead and pulled the trigger.

Screaming death. Down, into a ring of fire. The devil's maw opened wide for me, gobbled me up in gnashing teeth and blood, blood, blood.

And I was awake again. Castle didn't say anything. Rather, he just looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

Then he shot me again.

That bastard.

I awoke a moment later. Tried to regain my footing through the maze of pure insanity that was my thoughts at that moment. Only for him to put another bullet through the back of my head.

Up I rose. Running, stumbling, watching bits of my own brain scatter across the rooftop and fall beneath my shoes. He shot me in the back. I didn't die from that. He shot me again. Still not dead.

I laughed. Oh, I laughed, and I turned back to him, standing at the edge of the roof.

My chuckling stopped as he pulled the pin of a grenade with his teeth. Castle threw it at me, it landed at my feet. And I had enough time to let out a sigh, before the world exploded.

Over the edge of the warehouse I went. It was an odd feeling. My usual death spiral matched the literal spiral I was taking towards cold pavement below. And I hit the ground headfirst, my neck snapping like a twig.

I'll never know what happened to Punisher then. The last I saw of him, he was standing at the edge of the roof, looking down upon me. And then he was gone.

For my part, I was stitching together again. And oh god, you miserable bastard, I wished I wasn't.

As the bones of my spine reformed, I made no effort to stand. Rather, I laid there in the dead of night, as no one made an effort to help. Why should they? I'd preyed upon them for years now.

Then, one of those moments that only seems to happen in storybooks and real life. I turned my broken head to the left, and a piece of litter blew upon the wind. A stray piece of paper, landing next to me.

Xavier Institute, it read.

I couldn't help but laugh, even though the effort caused ribs to shift into ribs and pain to tear through my mind like thunder. I laughed until I could laugh no more.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by K'lar on Oct 24, 2006, 2:29pm

Pretty fun read. Also probably something that will never really be addressed in a mission I am not a fan of the Punisher.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by Roxanne "Madrock" Madison on Oct 24, 2006, 2:34pm

Once again, top work! Love the Punisher, here. Good characterization.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by K'lar on Oct 24, 2006, 2:41pm

Yeah, I was going to post a comment about that being a much better characterization of the Punisher than quite a few comics he's been in, but I decided I didn't want to piss anyone off. Oh well

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by Alexander "Cadmus" Baptiste on Oct 24, 2006, 2:47pm

Very good stuff.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by Amelia "Heaven" Chow on Oct 26, 2006, 1:39pm

Good? I actually liked the Punisher in this, which is rare.

Re: New Mutants Unlimited #6
Post by Curt "Reflex" Camden on Nov 3, 2006, 2:55pm

I thought it was very good. But would the Punisher really go all out like that to kill a 16 year old who was pulling petty crimes? Excellent work nonetheless.

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