Kings Row : hour 3
The heroes held position at the Independence
Port tunnel's exit into Kings Row, entrenched behind turned over cars,
trucks and busses. Everyone that made it out of the district found
refuge there, Red Cross units and police personnel were tending to
the wounded, military reserves were armed and given a weapons free
permission to keep the makeshift stronghold safe.
Cavalier and Darklightning
were directing operations in unison, keeping the Ghost Army at bay.
But they both knew that in a matter of hours, their position would
be overrun if they didn't come up with a solution. All in all, there
were about three thousand fighters here to oppose what had been evaluated
as almost one hundred thousand. The long, grim faces of the people
present here, told the very same truth, they needed a turn of events
in their favour.
Each assault from the Circle of Thorns army in the
last hour, had taken its toll in human lives. Cavalier had gathered
almost four hundred blasters that were positioned at the back, ranging
the enemy without mercy, some of them were even taking bets on who
would snipe the most enemies in a row. So far, Electrobolt held the
record with fifty-three, followed closely by Chromium Man at forty-eight,
but in his defence, he had gotten there late. Two hundred and fifty
tankers were holding the frontline, along with twice that much scrappers,
names like Hammerhand, Sun Kil Moon, Nether Spirit, Cain Marco and
X-Executioner were present. Holding the middle ground were the defenders
and controllers, led by Moon Heat and the ever wise Mase Lokrin.
what made the most difference, were the people that answered the calling.
Soon after the news broadcasted the event, they came to the tunnel,
armed with a first aid kit or with a weapon. Heroes of this city had
never let them down, and they were now returning the favour. The "Ghostbuster
Army", as the news had called it, grew from three thousand heroes,
to eight thousand in less than an hour. Even members of famous crime
syndicates came to help, be it Family, Tsoos, Sky Raiders or all the
others, they all recognized the danger here.
Meanwhile, inside the
perimeter and in less than three hours, eleven thousand civilians
had been slaughtered without mercy. Those lucky enough to have made
it out, told frightening stories of human sacrifices and captured
heroes being taken back to Ghost Starr, to suffer death at his hand.
The Circle of Thorns was in control of Kings Row, and of four tunnels
leading out of the battle zone, they held three, which they closely
guarded against any intrusion. The reason for the massacre had yet
to be known by Cavalier, but the butcher's bill ran high and mighty.
"Tell me a sad story." Said the Skull, who had just cocked his shotgun
and was aiming it straight at the stranger who had walked in on him.
Until an hour ago, he was king of the world, running an underground
superadyne facility in Kings Garment. He was now the last surviving
member of his gang, the many bodies littered all over the ground in
the factory, told of a bloody battle between the Skulls and a lot
"Sad story?" Asked the man who raised his hands in the
air. "I don't know any sad stories, are you ok?"
"My homies are dead,
man, and over there, see that girl, she was my girl, and they ripped
her apart." The Skull was pointing his shotgun towards a mangled human
body that was missing an arm and a head. "They came at us while we
were partying man, most of my men never had a chance." He went on,
with an obvious slur in the voice, the one that comes from too much
"Listen man, I ain't your enemy, I only want to find a safe
place so I don't have to go out there again, for a while. Just until
the insanity that's going on, passes. If you can't let me stay here,
then let me leave, I won't bother you again." He answered
a sad story or die right fucking now." The Skull was drunk and who
knows what would happen if he went trigger happy.
"All right, all
right... A sad story, let's see..." The stranger backed up a bit,
bringing down his hands slowly. "How about a sad love story?" He asked.
"Love is pain, it's sad and merciless, your story better good man."
Replied the gang member as he lowered his gun. He took out a flask
of alcohol from his jeans jacket, and brought it to his lips to take
a long gulp from it. Swiping his mouth with the back if his hand,
he stepped back a bit from the stranger that had come unannounced.
"Got anymore of that juice for me?" Asked the man, who was now a bit
more relaxed since the Skull had stopped aiming at him.
behind ya, it's filled with liquor." He was pointing to a wooden crate,
which top was slid a bit to the side. Searching in it with a hand,
the stranger brought out a bottle with a white and black label.
Doctor Daniel's, Doctor Jack Daniel's" He whispered to himself, as
he unscrewed the bottle, and took a long drink of the light brown
"Ok, sad story... Let me tell you of how I met the woman
of my life then..." He burped the vapours of the alcohol, then took
another gulp from the bottle. It felt good going down, relaxing his
tense senses. "She was everything a man could want, beautiful, smart
and deadly." He sat down against the wooden crate, resting his head
on the "FRAGILE" insignia painted red on it.
"When I met her, I was
undergoing a very rough third day of torture in a Tsoo hideout. They
had been trying to slowly kill me, saying I had betrayed them by not
killing children. Kids are innocent man, no one has the right to arm
them, no one, not even me." He drank again, letting the liquor do
"They were afraid that when they would grow up, they would
seek them out, and take revenge of the murder of their parents. But
that's beside the point, they were young ones, and that's where I
draw the line, even as an assassin." One more gulp, the bottle was
already one quarter down.
"They had been using me for targeting practice
with ninja stars, while I was tied and helpless, they tested the sharpness
of their blades by cutting my flesh, they shot me with arrows to practice
their aim, three days it went on, three days of the purest pain I
had ever known." The Skull sat down on the ground too, also drinking,
while absorbed by the story of this stranger.
"That's when she came
in, by a sewer's entrance, moving like a cat. She came to stand in
front of me, my hands were tied up to the ceiling by a rope, and I
looked like a bloody mess. She must've thought I was dead, for when
I opened my eyes, she looked surprised. Anyways, when I showed signs
of life, she cut the rope, and held me down to the ground." He took
a long drink from the bottle, while his other hand was following a
deep scar line that crossed his chest from the upper right of the
shoulder, to the bottom left of his hip.
"But the Tsoos are good,
you know, and they knew she was there. Mister Po, that was my boss
by the way, came in with seven ninjas and a fight followed. She fought
like the wind, her moves didn't fool me, she was Tsoo trained. But
my ex boss and seven fighters is more than anyone can handle on their
own, and she was taking quite a beating. She did take down four of
them, but Po was the best there was at the time. Anyhow, he was beating
the crap out of her, while I, I was crawling to a sword that had fallen
from one of the ninjas. She put up a great fight, but in the end,
he had her down and beaten." He raised the Jack Daniel's bottle in
a toast, which the Skull member returned in kind. They both drank
long and hard.
"While Po was busy boasting his victory over her fallen
shape, I had finally gotten to the sword, and was about to attempt
to stand up. But the boss felt me move, and turned around smiling
at me. He asked me what it was I was trying to do, challenge him to
a duel or something? He laughed at me, and that's when I moved. I
didn't get up, didn't attempt to rush him or anything, no sir, I looked
at him, and took the only chance I had left to kill him. I threw the
sword at him in a last ditch effort, and clean through his chest it
went. I tell ya, the look on his face when he saw it stuck there,
almost in to the hilt, was worth it." The two of them were sitting
there in the dark, quietly drinking amongst dozens of dead bodies.
"We both helped each other out of there, through the sewers, and made
it back to a hospital, where we were both healed and sent home. We
became quick friends, and soon lovers, hunting down criminals and
sharing the same bed at night. Those days were the most peaceful I
had known in years, man, the best days of my life."
"Then what happened?"
Asked the Skull
"Then... Then she found out, that before she met me,
I was a Tsoo assassin. She had taken a vow of vengeance, as a young
girl, to kill every Tsoo she met, to eradicate them from the surface
of the earth. And from her point of view, I was a Tsoo, and nothing
could forgive that."
The Skull stared in the distance, then took a
very long swallow from his bottle, to empty it and throw it away with
a backwards throw. He stood, staggered next to the stranger to sit
down besides him, grabbing the Jack Daniel's and drinking.
she was heart broken, and her tears that day told the truth. But what
hurt me the most, was right before she walked away, right before we
became enemies. She told me the one thing someone in love should never
hear, spoken of in the past. "
You, made my heart smile.
vanished from my life, only to reappear a few months later."
it has a good ending then?" Asked the gang member
"No, she arrested
me, and I got sentenced for twenty years in the Ziggurat." Replied
the stranger, who then proceeded to empty the bottle.
"That is sad,
true love can be unforgiving when it turns on ya. Well, you get to
live man, your story was sad enough." The Skull staggered up, using
the crate to hold himself upright.
"What's your name, Tsoo assassin?"