"Charlie. Charlie. Charlie."
He circled the restrained man, tied to a rickety chair by an assortment of heavy chains, kept bone-crushingly tight by a series of locks situated at numerous parts in the cocoon of steel. His stark red, dishevelled hair lay over his face, the tips stained with sweat and grime. The small gasps of breaths he took shook his entire frame, his restraints squeezing the life out of him, quite literally. Three other men were in the room, surrounding him. One was the leader, a man clad in a pair of beach shorts and a shirt with a set of polka dots plastered across the front. His jaw was weak, and his chins trembled when he spoke. The greasy mop of blonde hair that reluctantly sat on the tip of his oval head was illuminated by the single light bulb that hung in the centre of the cramped storeroom, casting tall shadows off of the two remaining men, who stood at the door, their arms folded calmly behind their backs, massive bodies covered in matching attire to that of their boss. It looked a little ridiculous, the rope-like assortment of veins across their muscle bound arms and legs a stark contrast to the child-like threads.
"I just want what's mine. Give it to me, and I'll let you go. Do you understand? You can continue your weird little game of serial killing, just give me back my mask."
He rested both hands upon the shoulders of the restrained form, leaning in close, whispering raspily in his ear.
"I'll give you five seconds to tell me where you hid it, then I leave you to my boys. Franklin and Fred."
Suddenly the scarlet haired man quivered, making a coughing sound. He continued to tremble, until it became apparent that he was giggling, a tendril of blood slipping from the corner of his mouth and dropping to the floor with queasy speed. He threw his head back and bore his eyes into those of his captor, a maniacal grin plastered across his stubbly face, teeth stained crimson. The man jumped back, perturbed by the disturbing display of resilience. He regained his composure almost as swiftly as he'd lost it, and delivered a fat hand to the side of his prisoner's face, the sound reverberating off of the small room's walls. Charlie's head lolled about to the left then forwards again, his hissed breathing the only sound remaining until the polka dotted criminal resumed speaking.
"That's it, your five seconds are up. It really didn't have to go down like this. It seems that Crimson Charlie will never kill again."
He snapped his fingers and took a step backwards, pulling out his iPhone and checking out his Facebook newsfeed with nonchalant fashion whilst his goons set out to reduce the prisoner to a mess of battered pulp.
He paused, holding a palm up to stall the large cronies. He craned his neck forwards, hope lighting up in his dark eyes.
"What's that? You wanna talk Charlie?"
He bent down next to his captive and looked up at his bloodied face. He waited until the scarlet haired man repeated his gravelly words.
"Sooner... Than you think."
He whipped his head up and roared, veins popping out from beneath his skin, the muscles in his body uncoiling like steel cables, allowing him to break out from his formidable restraints through means of brute force alone. The chains shot outwards through the air, clanging against the walls ad floors. Without missing a single beat, Charlie lashed out both arms and grabbed hold of two of the steel ropes, using his entire body to twist and send them twirling through the air, catching Franklin (or was it Fred?) across the face and tearing his head from his shoulders instantaneously. A torrent of red burst from his severed neck and his lifeless form fell forwards sloppily. Fred (it might have been Franklin) stared down at his partner, face aghast. He didn't waste too much time mourning for the loss of his only friend, and instead launched himself forwards at Charlie, who had already began spinning. His foot struck Fred across the face in a perfect roundhouse kick, the sound of his jaw breaking bouncing around the room. He stumbled over the corpse of his partner and fell to the floor, holding his face with both hands, moaning in pain. Charlie didn't lose any momentum, pivoting on the heel of his right leg and bringing the other foot down in a punt, striking Fred right off the back of his skull, shattering it instantly. More blood flow followed.
"I...I think I'll talk to you now... Kingman."
The robust man tottered backwards on his stumpy legs, flattening himself against the wall, hands raised in a placating manner, doing his best to extend the seemingly limited amount of time his life would continue.
"N- No, it's all good Charlie. I don't need no mask. It's yours. I-It's yours!"
His face was crushed inwards not a moment later by the fist of his prisoner, then the other fist, then the other. This continued for a few more moments until his head was reduced to a mess of fleshy pulp, after which the body slid down the wall, completing the disturbing portrait of blood and death that the room had now been left to bathe in. The scarlet haired man licked his bloody fingers then gave his work a last glance before kicking open the door and entering the alleyway outside.
"There we are."
He turned the little object around in his fingers, paying attention to each minute detail. He sat back against the underside of the bridge, letting the cool water of the stream wash across his bare, dirty feet. He smirked to himself, scratching at the scab on his lip, deep in thought. He brought the small mask up to his face, inspecting it carefully.
"Any second now."
He pocketed the item and got to his feet, splashing his face with some water before he walked out from underneath the bridge and glanced upwards at the squad of FBI agents, pointing an assortment of weapons at him, ranging from M4's to 9mm pistols. He smiled broadly at them, folding his arms across his lithely muscled chest.
"May I speak with the Detective that brought you all here? The one who found me."
There was a moment of indecisive silence and inquisitive glances at each other, before there was a series of muffled talking from the rear and a figure sifted through the crowd, his face shadowed by a slick fedora hat that rested at an angle atop his head. It was Detective Troy, one of the century's most renowned sleuths. He'd been tracking down Crimson Charlie for over three years, and after receiving a tip off from Beach Boy Bob, he'd finally found the scarlet haired serial killer's place of refuge. He'd assembled a team of highly-trained FBI agents and had staked out the bridge for over a week, watching from a motel a few blocks away. They'd seen Charlie arrive a few hours ago and had immediately mobilized. And now they were here, ready to capture one of the world's most infamous killers.
"Ah! Troy! Do you mind if we chat alone quick? I just have some things I'd like to sort out before I kill all of your friends."
Charlie chuckled at the scowls he received for the comment, waiting for his response. The detective gave him a disgusted look then turned to the man at his right, exchanging a few words with him before giving the scarlet haired serial killer a final dirty look, walking back through the throng of agents. Charlie closed his eyes and leaned back, laughing theatrically at the sky.
"You don't get out of it that easy pretty boy."
He brought one hand to his mouth and stuck his finger down his throat, coughing a bit before he pulled out a small device and held it up in the air, the agents keeping their weapons trained on him, under orders to bring the target back alive, but prepared to shoot him down should he attempt any sort of escape.
"You people are too slow."
He tapped the device and winked at them, a split-second before the front of the bridge exploded in a cloud of bright red fire and murdered at least fifteen FBI agents instantaneously. The supporting columns beneath the structure began to crumble and before a second had passed, the entire bridge had toppled over and left two squad cars under rubble and surrounded by a cloud of noxious smoke. Charlie folded his arms again and strolled forwards slowly, watching the pile of destruction carefully, searching. There was movement near one of the cars and a moment later a hand popped out from beneath a chunk of stone, wielding a battered fedora hat.
"Detective! So glad you're still up and at 'em."
Charlie grabbed his arm and wrenched him from within the rubble, letting his broken body fall to the earth and come to a stop a few feet from the pile, covered in cuts and bruises, dirt and grime concealing his features. His fingers trembled, body statuesque. It was more than apparent that he was dangerously near death.
The scarlet serial killer knelt beside his shattered frame and brushed a lock of dark hair from his dirty face, slapping at his face a little. Troy's eyelids fluttered open a moment later and struggled to focus on Charlie's face, eyes narrowed. Charlie smirked at him and brought a small item up to the detective's temple, showing him the small ancient object, the mask of Anubis.
"It's time for the big leagues. No more small fry killings. No more, 'serial killer'. How does, 'assassin' sound? Murderer of the masses. That's me."
He paused as the item began to glow, giggling softly.
He roared with laughter before the world imploded in a flash of purple and fused the beings of Charlie Baker and Anthony Troy into one magnificent entity forever.