Daredevil 2099UGR #1 - June 2006

Issue One, Volume One

"Eyes Wide Open, Part One: Lowered Expectations"

Written by Bowie Sessions

Edited by: David Ellis and Jason McDonald

Chief Editor: David Ellis




“The leaders of the revolution have children just beginning to talk, who are not learning to call their fathers by name; wives, from whom they have to be separated as part of the general sacrifice of their lives to bring the revolution to its fulfillment; the circle of their friends is limited strictly to the number of fellow revolutionists. There is no life outside of the revolution.”

– Che Gueverra

Uptown, Stark Fujikawa-subsidiary HQ, "Geru Automotives", popular Maglev producers

The night is unerringly dark and silent. Lights dimmed as the business of the day has surrendered to the weakness of sleep. Maglev cars seem to have come to a stop, with infrequent rushes of wind issued from railways and the skyscape to assure us of their presence, high beams splashing through the dimness of a neon-highlighted city at night. This dreary evening breaks in a crash of glass hundreds of stories above the building's solid foundation.

"NOOOOOO!" screams the silhouette made against the background of the office tower’s lit lights. This silhouette falls to Earth, and just as quickly, sharply cries in pain when his leg stops his descent. His leg dislocating issues a sickening noise. The shoulder dislocates with ease. Legs take a lot of work. Above, however, is a very competent worker.

Around his ankle is a glowing red cable that slowly pulls him skyward as an angler might reel in their catch. Returned to the safe confines of his office building, his body drags over the broken glass, yanking him in foot by foot. He suddenly turns and struggles, as if to get free of the bonds, crying from the pain of his injured leg. He seems terrified of his savior.

The victim’s eyes are unable to glance away from him, as the light of the office reveals him, his Guardian Angel, in a soft halo of luminescence above his head from the victim's vantage. The light silhouettes the figure, making the complete black of his form-fitting suit seem an abyss in a world of light, horns prominently jutting from his brow, with only his glowing red eyes to cast free of the shadows.

A similar crimson light radiates from the strange baton in his hand, displaying the cable that recently ensnared the victim's ankle, now reeling into its peak. "I'll do it! I'll give you the shutdown codes!" There is silence. His Angel is not moving and not flinching. His muscles do nothing to change at the insistence of the victim's desperation.

"...say something! Say yes! Something! Please! I'll do it!" No voice responds. This dark figure kneels down before him, and the exec sits up, looking down over his own bleeding body to the devil at his base.

"What are you doing? What're you ..." he does not get to finish his sentence before the dark figure grips the man's other ankle from the undeformed leg and stands again, forcing his foot into the executive's crotch.

"I know you mean it. But I need you to stay right here, so I can find you. In case you're lying to me, Charlie," the dark figure’s voice is cold, deep and detached.

Charlie struggles for understanding, "...but I'm -- I'm not going anywhere! You -- my leg, you know I'm not--"

"I know you're not, Charlie. Not if it's both legs," the voice casually remarks in torment, and then without hesitation, he violently dislocates Charlie's only healthy leg. Well, it was his healthy leg. "Make sure you don't ... walk off." The masked figure walks out of the room as soon as he gets Charlie's codes written down on scratch. It is a quick walk through the building, past long since unconscious security guards, and finally he finds a large terminal. Typing into it, he refers to the note of paper, and writes in the set of codes. There is no loud bang or dramatic noise. A simple ‘Bing!’ of affirmation, and he walks back through that hall. Once more past the downed security guards lining the floor, and into Charles Takiwara's office, as if he owns it.

"Charlie," he begins, mask unable to show anything of his facial inflection, presenting the strangest sense of mystery to what he may be thinking. Charlie immediately begins to yank himself back, crawling in reverse over broken glass, dislocated legs awkwardly trailing behind him and his fear palpable.

"Charlie, I need you to know, you shouldn't be afraid of what your boss will do when they find out about this. You know what they’ll do. Let it go. Your life is much too short to live its last minutes concerned."

A staff forms from the red baton gripped in the dark figure’s hand, and he moves forward in an effortless somersault, landing with his staff shoved against Charlie's chest to pin him down. This masked devil kneels down, replacing his energy-staff with his knee. The staff first returns to baton shape, before its edge crystallizes into a stake-shaped blade. Leaning forward, he grips Charlie's hair, and place the blade over the upper left of the victim’s forehead. "Be a man. A true man is without fear," he seems to offer in explanation, before making His mark.

"Who -- who are you?" The man asks; sweat beading down from his scalp, feeling the foreboding pressure of the blade.

"Oh, I think you’ll figure it out," the two letters ‘DD’ scrawled suddenly and mercilessly across the entirety of his face are the imprint left on the mutilated executive.

That broken window finds another silhouette against the neon landscape lunge through it. This one, however, is much quieter in its cries, as the wind rushes around his body which languidly stretches through the sky as if a swimmer in its dive. Then, as quickly, a bolt of red releases from the baton gripped tight in his black fist, cable trailing in the air to catch a passing rail line.

Apartment high-rise, Tormen Towers, Eighty-fourth floor

"You jolt it, Daredevil?" a tall, dark-skinned, shock-white haired woman asks, bitingly, as if expecting bad news. Her eyes, tight, crisp blue and bright as her hair, focus on the vigilante’s face formed in black. The red 'DD' subduely imprinted on his chest is overcome by the deep crimson of his glowing eyes, transfixed on her. She struggles not to shrink under his gaze. One can almost make out from the mask a crease of his smile at her reaction.

"I did," he responds, calm and dismissive as he perches on her balcony. One hand grips the rail, the other hand grips the baton, which reels its crackling cable into its hilt. The baton then dissipates, leaving both hands to grip the rail. He watches her as if to gauge her, expression alien from the dark of the mask.

She still looks crossly at him, shooting a quick look over her shoulder, then immediately back, like Daredevil might leave if she blinks. "You need to understand the importance of this. They were going to eliminate thousands of jobs, and the technology could've been used to fabricate weapons that--"

He does not allow her to finish her rant, her cries of exultant support to 'The Cause' that Re-Activ-8 so constantly rants and entrusts into one of its champions. Him. “I never doubted the mission, Arc. I live for it. We can't let them make robot taxis. First - it'll be taxi fares. Then its the world."


"I'm not laughing," he again cuts in, voice curt, vicious, like the slices he left across the executive's paling face.

"There must be humanity in all things. The ranks of the poor are swelling every day only so the rich can grow richer. This party line is forced down my throat, and I've eaten it, Arc. Don't treat me like an ignorant child. I bloody my fists for you, but it doesn't make me an ignorant barbarian. I know why I was there. Don't belabor the obvious."

Unsurprisingly, she is quiet. They contend each other with their stares, his eyes unseen behind the soft flicker of the glowing light. She finds herself losing the stoicism she treasures and breaks the eye contact. "There's something else for you. When you're ready, you know, rested up, we need--"

"I'm ready."

"Well... Okay, then," she slowly manages, taking that in stride with deep frustration burning her voice, "We've received word there's been a corporate takeover of a medical research facility, possibly by Stark-Fuji. They're trying to get its President to surrender... under duress."

He does not say a word. His silence is his response.

"You have to understand, I know you think this is just a pointless tasking, but every time a business is claimed, every single time Indy is made Glom, we lose identity, and we lose ground. We have to make a stand. With you, we can finally make a stand, Daredevil. DD." Finally, she begins to plead, "H--"

From the silence, his baton erupts into his hand. His stare is given life, as if Hell wars beneath the embers in those eyes. "No names," he hisses, suddenly, and eyes drill through her skull in a way she can feel from behind that black mask. "I do not 'have' to understand. And I would question seriously if you have any idea what I think. These are favors that I do for you. I do them if I believe in them, and only then. You begged me, Arc. You begged me. And in this 'pointless tasking', I believe."

There is only a beat, a heartbeat, in-between those scathing words and his next, but the pause stretches a mile to her ears. "Where?"

Dockside New York, Distribution centers of Daneshi Fishing, Inc.

There is the loud crack of metal against flesh. The image is very clear - a woman's head whipping back as steel knuckles around a fist buckle against her demure face. The fist of a man who looks as if he may have spent his entire life bathing in steroids and cuddles with free weights when he sleeps. She cries, but behind tears and black flesh, she has the eyes of a demon, alive and fiery, face set and firm, chin tight and teeth that grit tight. She resists, and returns her head forward every time the behemoth of a man sends it nearly flying off her shoulders.

Around her stand four men. These men are not Japanese, which is a surprise to Daredevil. Bad intel.

Most seem Caucasian, maybe Italian or Greek. One looks Hispanic, but has a dark complexion. They question her, interrogate her, 'convince' her - under duress. Daredevil coldly surveys it, looking for other figures. Counting and calculating threats, he sees one gunman standing at either door on the bottom floor, while they occupy the top floor's office for their attacks.

This information is clear to him – he has let them beat her for the last twenty minutes as he circled the facility, counting, deciding his actions and his chances. He is thorough, not for hesitation, but for consideration.

Six men before him; one is a brute, two are assault rifle-bearing gunmen, three are business-seeming men of an olive-skinned descent. One of those three is the one interrogating her now, but he seems to take his directives from the slightly taller man to his right. They all are packing heat. Both of the riflemen look confident, and one of those on the top floor looks comfortable with their arms - the director to the questioner's right. The rest seem nervous of the awkward weight packed on them.

“Two threats,” Daredevil whispers to himself. He looks at the questioner who does not know how to use his weapon, and the Brute who looks hungry for more: the rest of them are predictable. A predictable enemy is a dead enemy, DD muses. Just one who hasn't figured it out yet.

He plays to his strengths. He leaps to shock them, leaps to drama. After all, how many places have real skylights these days?

The glass shatters around him as he sails down and lands in a three-point stance, one knee to the ground, one leg behind him and one hand to support. Looking straight up from his prone stance, his right hand snaps forward with his energy baton forming instantly from his gloved hand and flying free with careful ease. It slams into the adam's apple of the brute, before returning to its caster’s hand with haste.

He stands in an overly dramatic flourish of a flip and twist, leg sliding across the floor to draw an imaginary line before taking a formal stance. Dramatic action poses are bad for their morale, and apparently good for his. The director raises a gun to her head, and DD appears underwhelmed. "Who the shock are you?!" he screams insensibly.

"Daredevil," he offers just so very politely, amusement filling his voice.

They collectively hesitate, and glance amongst each other. He is a legend, if only an urban legend. The story told to little criminals to make sure they do not make mistakes. He sees that shudder in them briefly.

"I don't give a shock who you are, slag! One flinch and she's dead!" the director screams. The riflemen murmur their awareness below. The director pushes aside the dusky-skinned questioner to better aim his weapon at the prisoner's skull. Unfortunately for him, he is one of those not counted as a threat but instead counted as predictable. They need her more than they want to admit. Daredevil seems like he can see it in their eyes, hear it in their breaths and smell it in their sweat.

He does not pause. The cable lances out from his club, its tip extending into three sharp tripod legs. Its the grappling hook, and it rushes around the victim’s hand in half a second. Daredevil pulls him viciously with a tug of the hand, reeling him in. They begin firing from below, easily heard and seen. They do it right on cue, too, as Daredevil pulls his victim in and leaps backwards, grasping the rail of the catwalk in one hand.

As he comes into range, Daredevil makes a backwards flip to place his foot firmly in the victim’s sternum mid-flip. With leverage placed, DD keeps going in his flip while the momentum carries his victim flying over the rail, DD simply landing with his feet dangling, the rail gripped to keep him from falling.

The victim, who did not find the rail, flies down to the floor below. The wet smack of his body crunching against concrete below echoes. The two gunmen below open fire on Daredevil as he hangs above them. Daredevil swears at himself, for getting too excited and leaving himself exposed, like an idiot.

Daredevil flips back up with casual ease and hurls the baton mid-air. He lands again as the stick slams into the lower leg of the fleeing questioner, who cries when the impact makes him drop. Rifle fire soars all about the masked man, but he does not seem to mind its scorching heat. The baton returns to hand and the black-clad vigilante notices the brute has recovered. No words, no zings offered, as the captured CEO stares with wide eyes and a prayer on her face.

The brute swaggers ferociously towards DD, fury disfiguring his face, and Daredevil is smiling widely beneath his mask, the creases made clear. The brute’s fist comes rushing for DD as his baton rises to catch the brute’s arm. They keep away from the rail as automated laser-fire below electrifies the air behind them. Neither seems to want to chance too close a walk. Really, no man would who is thinking right.

Daredevil steps back under a swing, and then reverse springs. The brute comes rushing at him, and ducks as blaster fire races around them. Daredevil stands there, unhesitating and unmoving, the baton in hand pulsing threateningly. "You scared?" He asks the brute in a low, daring rumble. Daredevil, for instance, is not a man who is thinking right.

Sneering, the brute grimly offers his particular brand of poetic response, "Only that I might break my knuckles on your face, retread!"

Daredevil sees out of the corner of his eye the untouched questioner who is pointing his weapon valiantly at our masked avenger, while trying not to focus on the pain in his own leg. He aims, eye closed, focusing, hand shaking ... and Daredevil lets him. He rushes into the brute, and lets him catch him when he sees the questioner prepare to fire.

When DD sees him close his eyes, which is the clear sign of an untrained firer about to fire, he pulls in his shoulders that had spread out when the brute caught him, and uses his now smaller figure to drop, hands catching the brute’s tightened forearms to yank the brute down as he falls. The brute gets the bullet aimed for DD, stumbling back in pain and horror. He goes far enough back that he slams into the rail behind then and topples over it, blaster-fire welcoming his falling body before it firmly meets the concrete below.

The masked man stands again, and taking his club, he turns slowly and threateningly to look at the nervous gunman. He walks up to the gunman, who stumbles back for a moment in fear. It takes the gunman a long moment to gain the confidence to reaffirm his aim and surprisingly, readies it to fire. "Go ahead," DD tells him, and the gunman prepares to.

Until Daredevil continues, warning him, "But when I stood up, I threw a monofilament wire into your barrel. It's jammed. You fire, the backfire will kill you," he explains calmly. The gunman sweats, checking and double-checking his weapon as the masked man steps forward. Its several moments spent with sweat beading his forehead. In the end, he pulls the trigger, eyes clenching in fear and crying out as it fires.

A disappointed Daredevil groans viciously as he is shot in the arm. Hurting but unhesitating, he whips forward and yanks the weapon from the gunman with his reliable hand.

The questioner and newly made gunman seems shocked he didn't die more than that Daredevil lived, "You said--" he begins. DD pistol-whips him across the face with his good arm, sending the questioner sprawling out below him. Daredevil turns the gun around and shoots him in the stomach.

"I lied." Daredevil drops the weapon, and kneels down beside him.

Daredevil pull the questioner’s lighter out of his pocket, even as the gunmen racing up the steps make their loud approach clear. Daredevil decides he has a few seconds. He approaches the weaponless inquisitor, playing with the lighter. "What's your name?" he asks him, curiously.

The questioner hesitates. The energy baton becomes a staff and DD viciously slaps him across the face with it, making him cry out again. He kneels down beside the prone victim, not saying another thing. The inquisitor is sweating. Daredevil lights his shirt on fire. Unsurprisingly, he now begins to answer, amidst screams. The tip of the staff becomes sharp. Daredevil slams it through his thigh and removes it. The victim screams in his pain.

"--Alec de Luca!" He cries, desperately, trying to paw at his chest but screaming when he touches the fire and burns his hands. He begins to smolder as he wails.

"Who do you work for, Alec?" Daredevil asks calmly. He hesitates, and Daredevil realizes as they crash that last step - the guards are here.

Daredevil hooks him in the side with the staff, and uses its leverage to launch his burning, flying, screaming body at the stairwell as the riflemen enter. Launched off the top step, Alec hits the two who rush up the stairwell and sends them all toppling, scrambling from the fiery twit.

Daredevil flips and leaps, catching a pipe above to swing himself closer, and with another flip meet them all. Reactively they fire, and strike him in the leg and in the stomach. DD lands on them just before one fires and strikes him in the chest, sending him soaring back. DD hits the floor with a groan.

They begin to stand, staring, and move towards the masked man’s limp body. They shove him to see if he responds - and at their first touch, Daredevil jumps back up, and rages. "Possum!" one manages to yell as DD pounds his friend viciously, angrily, slamming fist and baton across faces and guts, breaking ribs, breaking jaws, letting blood coat his gloved fists.

They fall under the assault, backs striking metal, tears and teeth shed from their faces, skin breaking under his strength. Its solid minutes of fury unleashed upon them before DD stands back up finally and removes himself from their battered bodies. Blood splattered messily over his costume, he breathes slowly, catching his sanity.

He stands back, staring at the injured gunmen. He grasps the questioner by his neck, his shirt having burnt onto his chest and flame snuffed during the conflict. He lifts him skyward before turning and hurling him against the floor again.

"It's your turn to be asked questions, Big Man. Who do you work for? And don't tell me he'll kill you. Because, trust me ... I won't. Don't test which one's worse. Just look at your lively friends." Daredevil advances on him again, staff forming once more from his glove. Alec’s eyes widen and he holds up a hand, defensively.

"Herrera! Jeffrey Herrera!" There is silence, DD seeming taken aback. It lasts just a second or two, and then he slams baton once more across his face, sending him into a pained sleep. The masked man’s head turns to stare at the current president of JR Biotech.

"What's your name?"

"L-- Lena Russell--" she manages, her eyes wide with terror. She just watched all this and looks unsettled. Daredevil appears understanding.

"We're leaving, Lena." It is a simple matter to cut her free, throw her over his shoulder and leap skyward, swinging them back to Arc's lovely apartment.

The Baxter Building, HQ of Stark-Fujikawa

A man known by the respective title of Hikaru-san sits in his office and drinks a simple tea as he reviews a touch-screen that unfolds in front of him, scrolling over data with a sharp eye clear on all the things crucial to his involvement. "Takiwara-kun," the esteemed man offers as the doorway opens to a humbled man stepping forward, a guard assisting him on either side of him, forbibly.

Takiwara seems unable to find his own feet, dragged along the carpet, wincing at each ounce of weight he presses on his ruined legs. Released to kneel, he cries out shortly in the pain. Hikaru does not seem pleased by the wincing. "Takiwara-kun. Bow to me," Hikaru orders with his lips tight and eyes set, his voice not changing in octave but clear in its tone and briskness. He is displeased, no matter how pleasant he seems.

"Hikaru-dono," Takiwara offers, head bowed, on his hands and knees, tears flowing from his eyes in the pain, using the most subservient of honorifics he can think of in a desperate desire to please his master. Hikaru inclines his head, and sips his tea. Takiwara kneels backward, wincing, his tears visible now to his Lord, the scarring of two letters - DD - clear upon his face clear for the first time. Hikaru sits impassively.

"Tell me, Charles-kun. This one man, who managed to infiltrate our defenses, defeat seventeen of our trained employees and one specialized security troop - your bodyguard - on his way from his furthermost undetected entry to the point of our R&D lab in your facility. This 'demon', this 'Oni' you speak of, who made his mark on your face ... you do not know him? His name?" He sips at his tea, again, and makes an invitational gesture with his hand.

A guard steps forward and lifts a ceremonial sword from Hikaru's wall, an award he received - for his excellency in bringing their family esteem in this empire, according to its engraving. The guard turns, and kneels before Takiwara, placing the katana at his knees.

Hikaru makes no comment towards its arrival, except to dismiss the guard with a similar gesture, as Takiwara's silence proves his ignorance. "Yes, you told us that he said 'we would figure it out'. And I have. That emblem, this action - there was once a legend among the Heroic Age. His name was Daredevil. He was a hero of the destitute, the poor. A selfless warrior, trained in our family's ways. The Way. Bushido. And yet he finds conflict with us. This disturbs me."

Takiwara cannot take his eyes off the sword. Hikaru sips gently at his tea. "But he is dead. This man is a lie. He troubles us; he has made an enemy of us. This will be his death. Yet, he has proven us weak and this ... too ... cannot be forgiven. Takiwara-kun. I wished you to know two things: The name of the man that shamed you. Also, to know that we will avenge you." These words Takiwara knows the meaning of. You cannot properly avenge the living.

Hikaru takes one last sip of his tea, as Takiwara's tear-stricken eyes fix to the hilt of the blade laid before him. Tentatively he grips it in his shaking hands. Hikaru kindly speaks to him, "You may take this chance to absolve your shame, as well, and honor your ancestors. I myself find honor in being witness to your courage." Hikaru smiles softly, now.

Apartment high-rise, Tormen Towers, Eighty-fourth floor

Lena screams the entire trip back, energy-cable carrying them quickly to their destination. It is with a 'thud' that he lets her go the very moment they meet the balcony. She falls through the doorway with the force of the landing and rolls, arms and legs still bound and mouth newly taped shut. She was loud, after all. "Intercepted the package," he informs Arcadia dismissively and slides off the rail, standing now with arms crossed, eyes surveying the scene behind their glow.

"What did you DO to her?" Arc accuses him as she tosses a book angrily.

He lifts it up, and glance at its title as if the secret to her anger is in it. It is titled 'Good Omens'. Somehow, he looks strangely wistful. A book - in this day and age? He glances up to her, expectantly.

"I'm -- give me that, I'm reading it! I just -- threw it at -- get her untied!"

There is a long moment, once more, where wills contest. Finally, he surrenders because there's really no point. He throws the book to her and kneels down, untying Lena and removing the tape from her lips. She has stopped crying, which is a little more convenient, he thinks. He looks to her, as she struggles to her feet and brushes herself off. Daredevil explains her for the sake of Arcadia, "It wasn't SF raiders. Jeffrey Herrera. Is he Corp?" She looks to him quizzically.

"He uh ... no idea. Sounds ... I'll look into -- are you okay?" She does her best to answer him, but she's frazzled, excited and she may actually shows a considerable concern for the injured and broken woman at his feet.

"What did they want from you?" And Daredevil finds himself suddenly cautious, worried that she just might be approaching the same inquisition from a new angle. He finds himself deeply concerned, but not for the CEO's welfare.

"I'm fine, miss, I'm ... Lena Russell, I'm the head of JR Biotech..."

"I know who you are," Arc calmly responds, cleaning Lena's blood with a soft hypo-sponge. Drains blood into it like a vacuum.

Arc cannot help but smile, so calmly, so easily. "I'm Arcadia Davers, a humble helper. We are with Re-Activ-8. A... group dedicated to the freedom of individual dreams. Daredevil, our agent, was sent to save you from a dark fate. It's really going to be okay, now. We'll protect you, and help you get your feet back on the ground..."

He sees it spinning in her eyes. Lena is not rescued. Lena is captured. She just has a much prettier looking leash. Worry mounts in him.

"Thanks. I ... we just work on cures and prosthetics, alternative ways of having a comfortable life, I don't ... I don't understand why they'd want to do this, why they ... killed so many of my friends, why ..." Her fingers tighten and clench, eyes closed. For a moment, Daredevil could have been certain he heard a low rumble. Arc comforts her, taking both of Lena's hands in her own.

"That's what we want to find out. So we can stop them," he hears Arc say, and his world changes in those simple words.

Paranoia or Epiphany, he wonders.

He steps back from the building, as their voices mingle. Suddenly discomforted in ways he cannot begin to describe, he walks away, unaware of her calling out and simply steps over the rail off of her balcony, to the gusts of wind whipping about him as an answer to her any question. The darkness welcomes him and he becomes it.

There is bitterness in the air, and he may have brought it with him.

Across town, Undisclosed warehouse

Three men lay on the ground, being brutalized.

This night fills with the sound of skin being torn from injury.. The sound of boot leather across the face of the man splayed across the ground. "What do you mean, 'Daredevil stopped you'? What do you mean that -- did Santa Claus' sleigh wrap your Maglev around a tree? Did the Easter Bunny egg your car? Did Thor swing his hammer and usher in the crazy?" His voice, rich Spanish accent, is saturated with anger as he viciously kicks the man in the stomach again, folding him around the boot. Blood spills from a closed wound being opened again.

"He ... he said he was Daredevil! ... and he ... wouldn't stop coming, like ... like bullets meant nothing ... straight from Hel, I swear it, sir, I swear--" Again he's answered with a kick, spitting up blood across the cement. Alec de Luca looks like his discomfort is not at an end yet.

"You find this leech, you bring him to me. Knock that 'Hel' and 'Valhalla' trash, slag. You bring him to me and we have words. I'm squashin' this lunatic 'fore he scares more of you girls. I hear you say his name, whisper it, think it too loud, you're recycle." The boot makes one more breath-crushing contact before he tries to walk away. Then, a slight pause, while one of the other two man kisses feverishly at his Spanish lord's passing boots.

"Mr. Herrera, please--" The pleading voice of the boot-kissing servant displeases Mr. Herrera, and he kicks that boot viciously into the man's teeth, eliciting cries of pain. The boss seems not to mind the strangled cry.

"No. I'm becoming merciful in my old age. Alec, I let you live - not your fault, sweet boy," he smiles to him, then his face returns to his sneer. His eyes snap to a corner, to a brutish figure admiring the display. "You recycle Angelo and Sam here. Then you go find our masked man. We handling this today."

Angelo cries and his eyes widen. "But, I -- I promise, it won't happen--"

"--again? Oh, I know it won't," Herrera offers with a dark smile, as he walks away, taking a napkin from another's breast pocket, to wipe at his bloodied shoe.

Angelo looks terrified, and begins to cry, quietly. "Mr. Herrera... please..." he begs, for his life.

The cleaning of the blood stops suddenly. Herrera steps forward, and kicks the bloodied boot back into Angelo's mouth that fills with far more blood now.

"No. You don't get to say my name. Name to you, it's The Kingpin."


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