Frank Castle slept restlessly that night. The cold New York air was drafting though the single room apartment all evening. Visions of William, his son, flew through his head. Playing catch, eating ice-cream, bleeding out on the pavement. He would clutch his sheets and grit his teeth so hard that it would shake him awake. After finally drifting off again he would get other visions. Visions of Maria, his wife. Visions of her beautiful, soft skin. He could see when Frank took Maria to Ocean Point. It was their fourth date or so. Frank began kissing her, then he moved his way up her shirt. He felt something hot and sticky. He jerked his hand out from beneath her shirt to reveal that it was covered in blood. Removing the shirt affirmed his worst feeling as he stared at eleven gunshot wounds piercing her flesh. Maria was dead. Frank awoke and grabbed the alarm clock, he noticed the time was flashing 3:05 am. He threw his alarm clock against the wall.
Six blocks away two men are sitting in an alleyway. They are smoking something out of a long thin clear tube. "This is so clean," says the man on the right while letting out a cough. "You gotta try this." He passes the tube to the other man. The man takes the pipe, his hands are shaking. “I don’t know, Reggie,” he squeaks. "Don't worry man! It hits so easy," says Reggie in a sing-song voice. The other man lifts the pipe to his trembling lips and takes a long drag. His eyes bulge out of his face as he tries to hold in the smoke. "Yeah, Brian! Yeah, boy!" chants the first. Brian lets the smoke out with a loud and terrible sounding cough. Reggie laughs while snatching up the pipe from Brian. "You always were a girl!" Reggie exclaims. He pockets the pipe and looks down into his lap where a purse lay open. The strap appears to be broken and they are pawing through its contents. "Who knew stuck up chicks blow smoke?" Brian ponders aloud. Reggie exclaims, "Jackpot!" as he pulls a small wad of twenty dollar bills out of the purse. They exchange a quick high-five.
A frustrated Frank Castle climbed out of his window and onto the fire escape. His breath was visible in the night air, but this didn't affect Castle and he follows his routine by grabbing a cigarette and lighting it. He stood with one hand on the banister looking out at the city. Letting out a sigh he mutters, "disgusting." The streets below him were running rampant with crime. He had for years fought this crime with extreme prejudice. Delivering his brand of justice to the scum that streaks this city with filth. Viciously eliminating criminals like those that had taken his wife and child ten years prior. He takes a long drag from his cigarette and grabs at the sniper rifle that rests underneath his apartment window. While holding the cigarette in his mouth he hoists the sniper rifle up and lines his eye up with sight. “They took Maria and William.”
Frank began by scanning the New York Skyline.
He thought of his first kill after his wife had died. The man pleaded with Frank, but Frank knew that if he had let the man go he would have killed someone. This was without a doubt in his mind. The man cried and urinated. He pleaded and bribed. Nothing swayed Frank. His mind had been set.
Frank blows out a large plume of smoke. He then scans the central park area. He reaches back into his apartment and switches on a police scanner.
Frank moves his sight to the alleyways around his apartment. He could get a pretty clear view of just about every alleyway in a four block radius from this apartment. He could make out a clear five blocks from the roof.
There has to be something going on.
A drug deal even.
The criminals that Frank would take on all knew him. They knew exactly who he was. They never counted on him showing up. They never anticipated The Punisher being there to make sure they kept in line. The Punisher was the last thing that these thugs would see. In jail they told tales of him. When he was locked up for a brief time, it was utter hell for the other inmates. They were afraid of him. They were afraid of Frank Castle. The Punisher.
Frank blew out another plume of smoke.
Then he noticed it.
A yellow light in the sky behind the clouds.
Lightning? Maybe. However, this looked a lot smaller than just any lightning.
Then something fell through the clouds.
Frank squints and can barely make out the figure of a man falling.
“Damn! That’s a person!” exclaims Castle. As he climbs the fire escape to the roof, he looks in the direction of the fallen man and can see a yellow glow about six blocks from where Frank is now.
Frank runs back down the fire escape and darts into his apartment. He reaches into the corner and pulls out his usual Punisher attire. He pulled on his skull t-shirt and carefully chose a few good, low-profile handguns, a few sub-machine guns, a dozen shuriken, brass knuckles, and a black jack.
Then he stealthily ran out of his apartment, via fire escape.
When on the roof, he began moving in the direction of the fallen man. The yellow light had already began to fade. “Not too far,” muttered Frank. He knew these rooftops and could make it to that building in no time.
Surrounded by shrapnel and debris, Basilus lays breathing heavily. That trip nearly killed him. He lifted his right hand and noticed the yellow lantern ring on his hand. His mouth began to twitch upward in a smile. However, he passed out before he could do it.
He was slowly slipping in and out of consciousness when two men approached him.
"...told you, Brian!" called one of the men to the other. "Something crashed up here. I mean someone."
The two men approached the blue-skinned visitor with wonder. It was breathing slowly. It had human features, but the proportions were smaller. It had a full head of white hair and it was draped in red robes with yellow trim. On his right hand he wore a yellow ring.
"It's an alien!" exclaimed the one called Brian.
The two men approached the blue stranger.
"Were going to be millionaires, Reg!" The men high-five.
"Let's see if he bleeds blue!" said Reg, flipping open a switchblade.
The two men laugh as they close in on the fallen Basilus.
“I want that ring,” says the bossy one.
"NOT TODAY!" boomed a voice from the shadows.
The two men spun around and from the shadows stepped The Punisher. A Sub-Machine gun brandished in both hands.
"Drop the knife scumbag."
The man throws the knife aside.
Frank approaches the two men.
“Get on the floor, now!” exclaims Frank.
“W-What?” says the meek looking man.
“I said GET ON THE FLOOR!” yells Frank, machine guns poised.
The two drop to the ground and Frank approaches them.
Simultaneously the two men spin around on the floor, each with a pistol.
Frank doesn’t hesitate and opens fire on the two men.
Splattering their insides on the roof of the building.
Frank turns his attention to the blue man on the ground.
"Now, what the hell are you?" asks Frank.
Basilus is still slipping in and out of consciousness. He can barely make out Frank. He reaches his right hand up the hand with the yellow ring. Frank takes hold of it and kneels down.
"Where did you come from?"
He looks in the sky behind them, but the crack in the clouds is no more. When Frank looks back at the man on the roof he catches his eyes. They are completely black with yellow retinas. "What the hell!" this catches Frank by surprise.
"Frank Castle of Earth-616"
The words seem to be coming out of nowhere.
Frank looks around in wonder and drops the man's hand.
"Frank Castle of Earth-616"
Frank spins around again.
"Yeah, who do you think it is?" snarks Frank.
There is silence for a while and then the voice is booming. The alien on the ground lifts off of the floor in front of Frank. His mouth opens and his head falls back. A yellow light beams out of it and seems to emanate from his body. Frank stumbles back a bit covering his face from the bright light.
"Frank Castle of Earth-616, You have the ability to instill great fear into those who you find guilty."
Frank drops his arm and the light is becoming easier to look at. The alien has his hand out again.
"Welcome to the Punishment Corps."
to be continued.