The Set Up
Detective: standard (rank 1)
Dumb thing was they took me out to Hickory Park this little encounter. In the past, we disappear’d a good handful of schmucks in that park. This time around we had no schmuck and they told me I didn’t need a gun. It was an obvious set-up…and I guess they thought I was the schmuck. So, there I was alone and surrounded by four guys. Lousy ‘stronzo’! I trained half of these guys and worked side by side with the rest and they thought they were just going to walk all over me! Me! Ma De Luca’s boy! Heh heh…not in this lifetime. I knew this whole town and I knew how to survive in it better than any of these mooks. I may have been stupid in those days, but I weren’t no punk. So, first things first…
Piercing Weapon: standard (rank 1)
- Ranged Attack
Big Lou was the closest, slowest and had the biggest gun. Big Lou was…well, he was big, suffice to say…and he carried a big saw’d off shotgun to boot. I always wanted that gun. Lou raised that baby pretty quick for his size, but not quickly enough. I leaned in and grab the barrel, forcing it down. He shot the ground but something must’ve ricocheted by my face. Heh…I still have a scar there. That’s when the guns started blazing. Good thing Big Lou was big. I rolled around his fat ass like a pro-basketball player. You should’ve seen me with the shucking and jiving. I got me a brand spankin’ new shotgun out of that exchange. Meanwhile they tore into Big Lou like kids with presents on Christmas morning. Luckily for me, the capo’s car was close. They tore into it too after Big Lou went down and I skidded across the roof to the safer side of the gunfight…heh heh. Take that, wise guy.
Tactician: standard (rank 1)
Don’t think I got out of that little altercation unscathed. They nicked me pretty good. I barely had time to register just how bad until later. Meanwhile, you better believe that those bums took chase. While I slid down a hill behind his wrecked ride I gave off a few covering rounds to keep them at bay. As I made a break into the woods, I noticed that my arm was bleeding pretty bad. I smiled. On the streets, you learn to think on your toes. I disappear in the underbrush, but the blood…my blood…it gave me away. So, here they come following in hot pursuit.
They split up and decided to close in on me from all directions. The first to reach me was one of the capo’s boys. He saw my pool of blood dripping from a tree. He looked up and there it was. My bloody shirt was waving in the wind like a damn white flag and hypothetically giving away my hiding place. In one leap, he was on the branch. He had to be a damned ninja or something. The syndicate was full of surprises, but so was I. He swung around the tree where my sleeve was flapping and popped off two shots. …Nothing. Well, not unless you count the mutilation he did to my nice shirt. Me on the other hand, I wasn’t in the shirt. Nor was I on that branch. I was in the tree behind him; the rest of that torn shirt was making a nice tourniquet. The other arm…it was wielding a nice piece of equipment.
Iron Will: standard (rank 1)
Ask me how I climbed a tree with a bum arm and all the while lugging around a sawed off shotgun...one word: survivor. So boom…one shot from my new boomstick and that little turd was airborne like the man on the flying trapeze. And immediately, the last two dogs were barking. …My boys. I saved them for last. I decided not to wait on them. I ran to the little dead prick whose body I just mutilated and I hoisted him on my back. Next up was Pretty Pete. He actually caught up to me first, while I was headed to a stream which leads to Radnor Lake. I still heard Pete’s lousy laugh from behind, when he got the drop on me. I ran as fast I could muster. I would’ve been dead to rights if he hadn’t taken the time to yell at me, “Fight like a F’n man, ya lousy…” He wasn’t stupid. He wasn’t being brave, he was alertin’ the boys...and they came like clockwork.
By the time he got to the stream, I was gone. There was nothing around but me and that ninja mook’s dead body lying next to the edge of the water. Pete jumped in and walked straight to me. I smiled and gently nudged ninja-mooks body into the water. Translucent waters went to deep blood red in a matter of seconds. Pretty Pete looked down. He looked back up and I was gone…into the water. You should’ve seen his face; white as a ghost. Immediately, He panicked. He was taking shots in every direction…Stupid Pete. He never saw what hit him. Seconds later and it was the boom heard round the world. …and Pete, well he had a brand new hole in his pretty little head and me, well I was about to bleed out. No matter…three down and one to go…then, it’s bossmans turn.
Angels with Dirty Faces
Healing: standard (rank 1)
Now, remember the bum that laid me out when I was eighteen? Well years back, I didn’t know what kind of powers this guy had. But when he found me…it took all of about five minutes for him to give me the full tutorial. Teleporter…that’s what he was. Every time I looked up, he was gone and I was on the ground. I couldn’t get a solid bead on this guy to save my life…and it was to save my life. …And up in the distance was that damned cigar chomping pucchiaca again, smiling like a schoolgirl on prom night. The teleporter gives a body blow…a bomb explodes in my gut. A wrecking ball smashes my face. A steamroller runs over my leg…and the boss-man says his man is just getting started. “That’s for my Lexus!” He yells. I can’t even respond. I’m not even sure I still have lips at this point. …And just when I’m about to give up the ghost, that’s when my angel arrives. Heh…sweet mercy, what an angel.
I’m so messed up, I barely register what happened. A shot rings out and suddenly, the teleporter has no head. His body collapses right in front of me. I hear footsteps trampling through the woods…fast. Shots are fired. The capo is screaming. …More shots. The struggle gets indistinct as they get further away. …and then…the angel appears. This was no squaldrina either. This dame, she was the real deal. She just stood there staring at me. Her blue eyes must’ve had some drug in them, cuz I lost all my senses. I just stuttered at the mouth. …then…then she kissed me. …And everything went black.
When I came to, I was laying in the back of somebody’s ride. The dame with the blue eyes was sitting right there next to me…smiling. …And there I was again, lost in those eyes. Her eyes spoke of innocence, but they weren’t fooling me. Something in them told me that this girl knows death way too well. She said, “You’re alive. I suggest you leave.” I tried to speak and she put her finger on my mouth. Her hand smelled like lavender. “Leave…before Risk comes back. You don’t want Risk to come back. Trust me. He doesn’t like anything that has to do with the Syndicate” she says. I manage to find some words, “where’s that cigar chomping pucchiaca?’” I say’s. “Hopefully dead.” She say’s flatly. “Was I dead?” I ask. “You’re alive now, that’s all that matters.” She replies. “Now go. Please...take this opportunity to just start over again. Don’t throw away your life. Go now.”
…I do. I mean, how do you say no to an angel?
So, I get out and I run. I run far away: I run away from the Bottom, I run away from my former life and I run away from her…my angel of mercy.
Out of the Past
Ally: standard (rank 1)
…And that…well that brings me back to here and now: eight years later to this stinkin’ office, in this run-of-the-mill job, in this run-of-the-mill town…and a knock on my office door. “Come in.” I say’s. “…It’s open.” …and that’s when she walks in. Honestly, the scent got me first…lavender. It hit me like a sucker punch…and I was the all-day sucker. …And there she stood: my angel of mercy. She saved me that night and all I could think of since then was her.
I had moved to Port of Kings, Khazan about four years ago, I had started a new life just like she said. I went to work for a Private Investigation company. Turns out I was pretty damned good at it. …Damn right I was. Eventually, I started my own company. See, I had loot left over from my hustler days. So, here I was with my fancy new life…and I was dead inside. When she walked through that door, it was like a resurrection. I felt like Christ Almighty come back to do a jig!
She stood there and even in the dull light, I could see those blue eyes. They hypnotized me again, just like that time in Hickory Park. Then she spoke and shattered the dream. “Your services are needed.” She says. …and while she says this, I’m thinking…”Yes indeed.” Of course, she continues talking and therefore continues to shatter my dreams. “Are you listening to me, Mr. De Luca? Do you remember me? I didn’t have time to give you my name all those years ago. They call me Merci and I work with those who seek to protect our streets. These factions need your assistance, Mr. De Luca. The Angel’s of Mercy need you. There is a war coming and I believe we have a mutual enemy.” She pauses and just stares at me with those eyes. Then she says his name and I’m all ears. She says that cigar chomping mutt must die and I can’t agree more. Nothing can hide the interest in my eyes after hearing that name again. Not that I was hiding my interest to begin with. “What about that Risk fella?” I ask. “You really have a death wish, don’t you? Stay away from Risk, Mr. De Luca and he’ll stay away from you.” She says matter of factly. “I saved you that night, Mr. De Luca. Did you understand it was my kiss that healed you? My bodily fluid has the power to heal…” Stop! Heh heh, I just liked the sound of that. Continue, “…and I saved you. A life for a life, Mr. De Luca.” She say’s.
“Say no more.” I reply. “You had me at Hello. You and me baby, let’s kill em all.”