Fangs and Skulls
Roleplaying Log: Fangs and Skulls
IC Details

Blade and the Punisher run into each other. Eric and Frank talk.

Other Characters Referenced: Luke Cage
IC Date: October 03, 2019
IC Location: Harlem, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 05 Oct 2019 07:12
Rating & Warnings: R for language
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Frank doesn't get back to Harlem very much anymore. Especially since Luke disappeared and he quit working at Luke's. But sometimes Max likes to go back to the old stomping grounds, and so the Marine is being pulled around Harlem by a sizeable rottweiler-mix, the dog's tail wagging as it remembers all the smells from the area. Max pulls his way into an alley, sniffing around a particularly pungent dumpster. Frank gives a little sigh, "Really, man? That thing smells like shit." He wears a heavy canvas work jacket, jeans, and a Mets cap. He's moving a little gingerly, but only a little, and the knife at his side and the pistol at the small of his back are relatively well hidden.

* * *

Frank wasn't the only one enjoying the great outdoors, but perhaps he IS the only one looking to just enjoy a normal day.

The Daywalker was stalking. He had just killed three vampires previously in the night, two by stakes in the chest and one by decapitation. He would've just tied 'em all up and waited for the sun to come out, buuuut he had bigger fish to fry.

Especially one he wanted to see if he was an actual Vampire.

Frank might hear heavy footsteps behind him. If he looked, it was an African-American fellow. Black trench coat, fingerless gloves. Black shades, tactical cargo pants, kevlar everywhere else. If he has any weapons on him, he's not showing.

"Enjoyin' the night? Take any ripe pickings? Walkin' the dog here and there?"

Has Blade been stalking Frank?

* * *

Frank doesn't look around over his shoulder at first. Instead, he just shifts his feet a little to spread his weight out, the hand not holding Max's leash no longer visible as it slips beneath his jacket at his side. "This kinda shit ain't really my deal." His accent is Hell's Kitchen, straight up, and his voice sounds like forty miles of bad, gravelly road. Only then does he turn, one hand still carefully tucked in under his coat. His dark eyes taken in the other man, and his shoulders spread slightly, a semi-conscious threat gesture. Max comes around Frank's side and tilts his head to one side, his fur bristling at the back of his neck. Frank glances down, then back up to the other man, "Got some friends in the area I'm tryin' to avoid visitin'." There's a pause, then he adds, "Nice shades." Frank's bruises are almost entirely gone, just a hint of yellowing around his eyes.

* * *

Blade knows the motions. Memorized 'em. Uusally means the Vampire has a sword or a gun ready to fire and Frank isn't doing himself any favors. Marine training and life on the run paying due. "I rather like 'em myself. Nice dog." Blade looks at the pup. Good cover for civilian life. A few have done it in the past, though they tend to prefer cats.

He audibly sniffs.

"Hnnh. You don't smell like one of 'em. So who the hell are ya?"

Blade narrows his eyes behind those shades. "If you ask me?"

His hands clench together. "Another dead vampire. But I don't know for sure. You lot hide well in groups, but your mistake is travelin' alone. So, since I'm so nice I'll say it twice…."

"Who the fuck are you."

* * *

Frank turns his head down toward Max, but his eyes remain on the big guy. "Yeah, he's a good boy. Lazy as fuck, but…" Max looks up at him, panting like, 'What do you mean, lazy? Where's my food?' The sniff and the words that follow ratchet up Frank's wariness, and he lets Max's leash dangle loosely from his hand, ready to move if he needs to. Cover's right behind him, the noxious-smelling dumpster that Max was so interested in. Nearest precinct is eight blocks away. Response time… a few minutes. Forever. But his eyes narrow under the ball cap, "Vampire? What the fuck? I've been called a lot of shit, but that's a new one. Seems to me you ain't a cop, so I don't know where the fuck you get off askin' me who I am. Unless you're gonna try to take me down for some shit you think I did…"

* * *

Blade stares at Frank. "I believe you are responsible for…" he starts using his fingers to count to be obnoxious. "37 counts? That right? From what I hear, those were pretty brutal kills." He -knows-.

Thats -bad-.

"Been followin' your trail for a few hours now. You play it safe. Play it cool." Then it seems that Frank doesn't admit or outright isn't a vampire, which doesn't help Blade's thought process.

"Oh I see, you want to play games. How about this one?" Blade then quick draws his sword, probably a quicktime that can be matched by Frank. Unless he moves, or stalemates Eric Brooks, Frank will find himself with a sword at his neck, but not cutting him surprisingly if he succeeds.

* * *

Frank smirks just a little at the mention of '37.' "Still ain't said who you are — " but the other man is moving, and so Frank moves too. He's fast, but he's also only human. He gets a simple 9mm Glock out from the holster at the small of his back and gets it pointed at the hollow of the big man's throat, but then there's the sharp edge of a blade at his throat. He tilts his head up and away to try to gain a little space, but the motion causes him to wince, his ribs shifting painfully. "Pretty much fuckin' hate this game. Then again, I'm pretty sure you'll hate this game too if you twitch. Sounds like you got a pretty good idea who I am, so why don't you drop this vampire bullshit and tell me who the shit you are." Max is not wagging his tail or looking curious anymore. No, he's bristling at Frank's side, but Frank gives a little shift of one foot, nudging the big dog's shoulder, and he settles a little, although he keeps growling quietly in his throat.

* * *

Blade watches as he seems to be countered. There's a gun at his throat, but there's a blade at Frank's neck. The smallest movement from either could cause death for the other. Blade seems to smirk just a little bit at Castle. "Not bad for a dead man walking." He saw that wince and he's good at body language. Frank's hurt and hurt bad. Vampire would've healed by now. "Hnnh. Not a vampire." Blade eventually depicts. "Vampire wouldn't be wincing like a bitch from small motions."

Sloooowwwwlly Blade will lower his sword from Frank's throat. "The name's Eric Brooks. You stand like a military guy, so I'll let you have this one. Callsign: Blade." his callsign. "Vampire Slayer. I kill the dark shit nobody wants to believe exists. For a hot minute, I thought you were one of 'em."

* * *

If Frank hadn't gone through a New York City full of demons, he'd probably be calling the psyche ward. As it is, well, he still doesn't believe, but it's only a little ridiculous. "Try me, and we'll see who the bitch is." But Blade's lowering the sword, so Frank lifts the barrel of the pistol, then draws his hand back, shifting it down so that his body covers it from the street. "Callsign? Really? Lemme guess, you picked that one yourself." He lifts his hand up to brush a thumb across his neck, checking it for blood, then shakes his head, "And vampires? I've blown the shit outta demons, I've met a wizard," come on, Frank, a warlock, "but you gotta be shittin' me. Blood sucking, tuxes, capes, bad accents?"

* * *

"You wouldn't like that result." Blade says when he lowers his sword from Frank's neck and puts it back in its sheathe, slinging the weapon onto his back. "More like they got the memo that I liked using sword to take out HVTs. Semper Fi and all that." Blade was a marine?

Long time ago.

"They never wear capes, they have accents of all kinds, and Bram Stoker makes me want to kill myself." Well then, thats very straightforward. "If you want your prove…" Blade opens his mouth and he shows his fangs as he hisses at Frank. Vampire? No. Something else. A vampire wouldn't hunt his own kind.

* * *

Frank narrows his eyes slightly, then glances to the handle of the sword over Blade's back, "How the hell do you hide that shit, anyhow? I get in goddamned trouble trying to carry a pistol." One of Frank's weaknesses, he relaxes a little when Blade goes with 'Semper Fi,' nodding slightly. "First to Fight." But then shit gets real, and Frank steps back, the pistol flying into his hand again, pointed right into Blade's sniper's triangle again. "Jesus Christ." Max doesn't react any better, going from bristling to snarling, crouched down with his tail tucked between his legs. Frank's eyes narrow, and he tilts his head, "So you're a vampire. I miss the fucking 'Stan sometimes. Demons and wizards and assassins who come back to life when you kill 'em, and now fuckin' vampires?"

* * *

"Practice. Been doin' this gig for a long time." When Frank seems to relax and speaks of the 'First to Fight'. "Nemo Resideo. Thats my personal one. No Man Left Behind." Well, looks like Frank gets to do some research when he gets home.

But Blade almost seems amused when Frank leaps backwards. Good thing small arms don't do much to the guy. But he waits for Frank to calm down just for a little bit, though Blade then looks at the dog. "Sorry. Needed to prove a point. They never believe me until I smile for 'em." some grim humor, but he shrugs after.

"No…something else. In between. I think the nerds call it a Dhampir. I'm not completely a Vampire, I'm what you call a hybrid. Mixed breed. Half human, half vampire. But you don't need a history lesson. Whats your reason?"

Blade looks at Frank then. "You're not a vampire, which means you're not treatin' these scumbags like bloodbags. So why ya doin it? Got an itch to scratch?"

* * *

"Damp-what-the-fuck?" Frank shakes his head, then rolls his eyes a little and lowers his pistol again, "Whatever. The nerds can figure that shit out." Blade asks about his own reason, and Frank holsters the pistol again, crouching down to scruff up Max's shoulders and work to calm the dog down. He doesn't answer right away, but it's only a slight delay before he does, "Shit no. There were cockroaches. Shitbirds that weren't gonna stop until someone put 'em down." It's clearly not the whole story, not with the attention that Frank's giving the dog, who calms down slowly and turns into Frank, nudging the veteran Marine with his shoulder.

* * *

"Don't ask me, I didn't invent the damn term." Eric snaps back at Frank when he rolls his eyes, apparently these two are just going to be the -best- of pals. Obviously. In this manner though, Eric crosses his arms as Frank seems to give him an apparent kind of dodge of an answer.

He could probably google Frank at this point. A state kinda wants him taken out, so…

But Eric keeps his eyes on him. "Fair enough." Eric doesn't push though. He knows the sob stories that are probably coming. Them tough guys always got one. Hell, even Blade has a sob story. It just comes with the package.

"Hnnh. Anyway, if you see a vampire and I'm not there….try to carry some stakes with you." Eric doesn't look like he's joking. He might put some prepared paranoia into Frank on that note.

* * *

Frank draws in a deep breath, gives Max another scruff around the ears, and then looks up to Eric again, "There's some lines you don't fuckin' cross." That'll suit for Frank for now. He steadies himself again, taking in the advice only to shake his head a little, "Thought you hated Stoker? Isn't he were the stakes came from? Or is that just the movies and what-the-hell's that TV show, with the blonde?" Straightening up slowly, he grunts, "You thought I was a vamp. So findin' 'em's not some kinda exact science. So how do you do it? Just watch for fangs and hissin' like a cat? Seems like it ain't just stakes if you were gonna come after me with that pigsticker." It's a finely-crafted katana, clearly. But that counts as a pigsticker to Frank. "So you're a half-vamp. And you go 'round killin' vamps. You got a why?"

* * *

Eric keeps his attention on Frank as he talks about Stoker. "He's just the one who read one of the vampire slayer's books and decided to get famous off of it. He exaggerates just about everything." he takes a deep breath then. "OK, Vampire Anatomy 101, crosses and holy water don't do dick so forget what you've seen in the movies. That shit just pisses 'em off. You use a stake, silver or sunlight. You want to find one, you probably have a deathwish like me."

He does make a good point though. "Vampires are never active during the day, so thats a solid hint of where to start. A lot of ladies and men of the night are either vampire thralls or vampires themselves, for example. You can usually figure out from small ticks. Do they get fidgity around blood, check. Do they try really, really hard to seduce you beyond reasonable attempts? Check. Do they try too hard to be trendy, check. They like gothic attires and underground party scenes too. My sword is a special case…"

He jerks his thumb at it. "Acid-etched Titanium. Decapitations work like a charm, no silver needed. If you have a bowie knife, that should do you just fine. just know that they are stronger than you and faster than you. Regular bullets don't do jack shit either. Need Silver hollowpoint filled with garlic. You aim for the head or the heart. Anything else and you're fucked."

When Frank then asks him for a why, he looks at him and quotes him too. "There were cockroaches. Shitbirds that werne't gonna stop until someone put 'em down."

Well, shit.

"Tell you what." He stands up tall then. "If you want to exchange stories, there's a bar down the way. Luke's or something like that. Heard they serve good ones. Don't get to meet a lot of my fellow Jarheads anyway, profession and all that." vigilante life for the win.

* * *

Frank listens to the description of the vampire threat, grunting thoughtfully at the question about a deathwish, "Not anymore." At the mention of the bowie knife, he snorts, "Come on man. I'm a jarhead. I got a ka-bar." Because of course the veteran Marine thinks that the Marine-issue knife is the best knife. He apparently takes the news in stride, however. By his expression, it's not the craziest briefing he's ever had. But it's probably not far off either. "You ever check out Noir down in Gotham?" A deep furrow gathers in his brows, and he glances off toward the south, "They get all up into the freaky hedonistic," he pronounces the word a little carefully, clearly it's someone else's word, "shit." He accepts the quote in reply, a little grin flickering over his lips for a moment before it fades away again. The mention of Luke's helps. His eyes tighten slightly, but he nods, "Good people there. Used to work there." He draws in a little breath, then lets it out and nods his acceptance, "They're good with dogs too. Sure." Beat pause, "You serve in the 'Stan too? Or the Sandbox?" Iraq. As he inquires, Frank draws Max's lead a little closer and gives a little tug, "Let's go, mooch. Get you some water."

* * *

Well, since they're gonna chat now that they arn't, in the most literal sense imagineable, at each other's throats with lethal weapons, Eric shrugs and walks with Frank. "Right, Ka-bar. Didn't use 'em that much. Had the sword, you feel?" Makes sense. Not much need for a ka-bar (unless you want to be a badass) when you've got a REALLY good Katana ready to go at a moments notice.

Katana + Vampiric Powers = No need for a ka-bar.

"Once or twice. Killed a vampire or three down there in the same night. Thing about vampire bodies is that the disentegrate when killed, especially by sunlight or silver. No bodies, no cops. Witnesses are a pain in the ass though." But Blade doesn't sound like he goes after witnesses. No blood will be shed from the innocent.

"Good to know. You were a bartender? Look more like a bouncer than a bartender." As for the big question. Afghanistan or Iraq. Well, funny story on those two.

"Both, actually. Afghanistan for the majority of it. Then, government comes knockin'. Say they like what I got, that I'm needed in the Raq. I say sure, they basically put me on a killsquad of sorts. Went after things that weren't considered natural." Considering that he's here and not there, chances are that didn't go so well. Or it did, and Eric just left while the getting was good.

* * *

"Line cook," Frank answers simply. But the other man's story draws his heavy brows down into a deep furrow, "No shit." There's no question to the words, just a thoughtful glower. Frank starts walking, but he stays silent for a couple of paces before he adds, "Sounds pretty familiar, Brooks. Didn't know they had more of these fuckin' things goin' on." His anger rouses within him, never far from the surface, and his right trigger finger twitches slightly, tapping against the pad of his thumb before he presses his knuckles into the opposite palm. "Company?" He grunts softly, then adds before they get too close to Luke's, "They call me Pete there." His dark eyes turn over to the half-vampire, "But the name's Frank Castle."

* * *

Blade chuckles then. "Line cook, huh?" He almost makes a comment before Frank starts asking about the company. 75th battalion in Afghanistan. In Iran? Got put on a group called the Howling Commandos. I always thought the name sounded like a rejected Saturday morning cartoon, but I guess all the badass ones were taken." He smirks just a bit.

"Its the fuckin' military. Think they sit on their ass all day like the chair force?"

aaaand there's that kick in the balls to the Air Force. Come on, Blade.

"Nice to meet you then, Frank. For what its worth, so far I'm appreciating not dicing you." Yes, thats Blade attempting to be nice in the way that a former marine knows how. "I'll try and keep the referring to your alias."

* * *

"I meant the CIA." Frank grunts softly, "Didn't know the Howlin' Commandos were still 'round. Back in World War Two. Barnes and fuckin' Captain America? That's how a goddamn war should be." He grunts amusement at the crack at the Air Force, but the mention of his alias draws a grunt that's disgusted, uncomfortable, "Don't fuckin' like it, but ain't nobody I wanna work for gonna hire Frank Castle after all the news shit that went down. And a guy's gotta eat. Just another bullshit mask to wear, but," he hesitates a moment, then goes for, "friend of mine convinced me it was a good idea."

* * *

"Not CIA."


"Dunno if you know what SHIELD is, but it was basically them. Didn't care for it at first, but they grew on me." Blade smirks at the mention of Barnes and Captain America. "Yeah. Back when it wasn't shady backroom deals and who gets the most blood money." Though Blade is significantly older than Frank, he doesn't mention how old he actually is.

"Kinda what happens when you get a string going." a string of kills, he means. "These days, government don't care for your reasons. They only care if a guy is dead or not and who did it. Sometimes a mask is better. Or you're like me, a guy who doesn't have a normal life because I'm too busy using fuckin' quarters to kill undead." yes, its a joke. but its also a bit of irritation. Blade doesn't have a normal life. "But I envy you. A normal life sounds relaxing, even when you live a double one."

* * *

Frank nods at the confirmation that the team wasn't CIA, the tensely-coiled anger loosing its hold on him just a little. Instead, some melancholy settles around the veteran Marine as they walk down the street. Eventually he gravels, "I wish I had a normal life. Still had it, had it again." The muscles at his jaw tense sharply, and his lips press together tightly enough to drive the blood from them for a moment. Finally, he blows out a little puff of air and shakes his head, "Whatever it takes, right? Bullets, sword, stakes, quarters, rocks, whatever the fuck it takes to get the job done." Not that he's ever used a quarter. He'll have to keep that one in mind. Max speeds up a little as they approach Luke's, happy to smell the familiar scents again. "You gotta have someone groundin' you though. Someone watchin' your back. You ain't got that, you're gonna lose yourself in the job. Almost happened to me in the 'Stan." 'Almost' is debatable.

* * *

Blade just walks casually down the street at Frank's side. Just two marines, having a chat. "Never really had a normal life. When you're born craving blood, the normality goes out the window surprisingly quickly." He shrugs. "Thankfully, I leanred self-control early on. The most people belonging to the despical half of me never learn that." Vampires tend to focus on the next meal or their own twisted plans.

Or at least thats how Blade thinks.

"Yeah. Whatever it takes." When Frank mentions someone to ground him, Blade shakes his head. "Haven't had that in a while. A person to count on. Last one was…oh, Abraham Whistler. Taught me everything I know. Well, on the modern stuff. My face doesn't really make me attractive to ladies. Fangs is a turn off, so I don't have anyone on that front. What about you, Frank? You got somebody to keep you grounded?"

* * *

Frank grunts at the lack of a normal life from the other veteran Marine, but he nods slowly. "Shit, Brooks. If I can make it with this mug, you at least got a chance, man." Somehow, the question that follows comes a little closer to home than even the question of why, of his lost family, but after a moment, Frank still nods. "Couple people, yeah. It's the family you find that do that for you. Or the ones who find you." He nods toward the sign for Luke's, "Big man ever comes back from wherever the fuck he went, you should talk. He's a devil dog too. He's one'a the ones I found. After the shit went down. But yeah, found a weird fuckin' kinda family, but it works. Kept me from goin' too far." Apparently, killing 37+ people isn't 'too far.' for Frank.

* * *

Eric smirks just a little bit, even almost a chuckle at Frank's quip on both of their just supermodel good looks….when compared to a gravel road. But well, Frank did have a point. "A family, huh?" Blade shrugs a moment. "Only family I had was years go. Vampire slayers, the lot of us. I'm the only one left. Whether or not I'm the only one left in the world is questionable, but…pretty lonely out there. I'm glad you found your people, Frank. I still got a ways to go." Hey, Blade's killed a LOT of people. He's not gonna judge on whats too far or not.

Especially since he's half-supernatural.

"So, got a drink of choice? Figure I try to not-kill you, I should buy."

* * *

Frank nods, "I don't care if a vet's got fucked up teeth, or can punch through a wall, or is missin' an arm, or whatever. You serve and you're not a shitbird, you're good with me." It's a weakness, the easy trust, but it's one that doesn't seem to bother Frank. "I know a guy runs a group. I've been thinkin' about actually sittin' down and talkin' one'a these times." Instead of just listening from outside the door. He grunts thoughtfully, "Happens during the day though. Guess that won't work." He pushes the door to the bar open, and he only makes it a couple of steps in before one of the bartenders is calling out, "Max! Oh, and Pete too." It's a teasing, good-natured jibe, and Frank shrugs his shoulders a little helplessly, "How's it goin', Taylor? Darren still fuckin' up the chili?" Taylor shakes his head, laughing, "Naw, think he finally got it." Frank gestures to Blade, "I'll have a beer," apparently he's not picky about the kind, "and whatever he wants." He cracks a momentary grin at Eric, the easy-going atmosphere of the bar apparently having loosened even more of his tension, "He's buyin'."

* * *

Eric looks at Frank with a smirk. "Yeah well, you're good with me too." Marine comraderie! Though Eric seems intrigued at the 'knowing of a guy who runs a group', though perhaps Eric isn't entirely on board with anything of that sort yet, he does have to meet a few people before he truly considers. Chances are good though. "About the day thing…I'm a hybrid. I got their strengths, but not their weaknesses. The sun does as much harm to me as it does to you." So…Blade is a half-vampire who can't be hurt by the sun.

If Frank has to fight this guy, that'll be challenging.

Eric seems to smirk a bit at the overall kindess and joy thats present in the atmosphere of the place. It was nice to be among actual….people. First time in a few years that Eric has actually socially interacted with others.

No wonder he's rude and straightforward. "Yeah. Hope you're not a heavyweight Pete. I like not having a whole in my wallet." He pats the fellow on the shoulder as he moves over to one of the booths.

* * *

Frank raises his eyebrows under his ballcap, "That's bullshit." He's not trying to claim that Eric's lying, just… all the strengths and none of the weaknesses… he shakes his head in amusement, nodding over toward the booth to Taylor and then following Eric in that direction, "Naw. I shouldn't drink much. Gotta get this lazy bum back soon. Gettin' back into shape after takin' a beatin'." Literally. He quiets down when Taylor shows up with a bowl of water and a biscuit for Max, a pint glass for Frank, and whatever Eric ordered. Frank nods his thanks, and then looks back across the table, "I try not to spend too much time here anyhow. Don't like puttin' people in danger. One thing when I'm back in the kitchen, another out here."

* * *

"In a way, it really is. Especially since that phrase is kind of a lie. I have one weakness, and really, out of all of them, its probably the second-worst to have." Eric says to Frank as he takes his seat at a table. He ordered himself some whiskey, something simple and strong. When Frank looks at him, he looks back at him.

"Also makes me thel east trustworthy. In order to stay alive, I need to ingest blood." Ohhhhh.

Thats not good.

"I have a serum that provides the same nutrients so I'm not out drinking people. I go without blood or the serum for too long, then I'm turnin' to ash."

He gets his drink and he sips on it, thankfully Eric's words are out of earshot.

* * *

Frank lets Max's leash sit on the side of the bench, evidently trusting the dog not to wonder off. At the moment, the rotty-mix seems more intent on draining the bowl of water. Frank himself tenses a little as Blade mentions his weakness, but this time he doesn't go for his gun, even if his knuckles tighten a little on the heavy pint glass. There's enough of a crowd buzz around that quiet words slip right under it, lost more than a few paces away, and Taylor definitely had to go deal with other customers. "I was gonna say, blood bags. From hospitals or whatever. Start your own blood clinic. It's all logistics, right?" Taking a sip of the beer, he grunts thoughtfully, "Well that's some shit. Never thought I'd have to worry about all this bullshit. Never trained for it, magic and demons and vamps and shit." He's taking it relatively well though… or just not processing it at all.

* * *

"Yeah. You thought your life sucked." Eric tells Frank with a bit of a grin as he takes a sip of his drink. "So, we were gonna exchange our tales of woe and fucked up misery. Who would you prefer to go first?" Yes, Eric is being very casual with all this.

Seems Frank isn't the only one who trusts easily.

But, thats what happens when two marines get together for a helluva good time. With drinks. After having a standoff after a misunderstanding.

* * *

"Literally." Literally sucking. See, Frank has a sense of humor. It's just buried deep. Or all dad jokes. His humor fades away though, at the mention of spilling deep darks, and he shrugs his shoulders, keeping his eyes on his beer for a long moment. He licks his lips, hesitates a moment longer, then looks up from beneath his heavy brows, gravelling out, "Mine's been all over the news, most of it. Came back from a shitshow overseas," his voice tightens, but he presses on, skipping things, skimming over the details that still drag at his psyche like barbed wire more than a year later, "and my wife and kids get shot by these shitbirds. Me too, but I made it." His eyes squeeze shut, that anger rippling up to the surface again, roughening his words even further than usual, "Supposed to be a drug deal gone bad. Supposed to be a police sting gone bad. But it was a hit. My shitbird COs were behind it, coverin' up for movin' heroin and this Meta shit," a drug that gives you metahuman abilities temporarily, from the Stan to the States — in dead bodies comin' home. That's where the list came from." And then he takes a slug of his beer, as if a little bit of hops could wash away the bitterness of the memories.

* * *

Eric listens to Frank as he decides to go first on his tale of woe. Thats….really rough. Despite the initial dad joke, watching you and your family get gunned down in a crossfire is a shitty way to go. Especially if its just a sudden event. Eric seems to nod just a bit, sipping his drink.

"I'm sorry about your family."

Probably doesn't mean much since they've been dead for a bit now, but thats still really hard for someone to go through. No one should have to go through that, but shitty things happen to good people. "One of the reasons why I got out. These government types arn't exactly what you call trustworthy."

* * *

Frank shrugs at the the shared grief. He's heard it before. It's appreciated, but nothing new. He takes a sip of his beer, setting the glass back on the table and resting the fingers of his left hand at the rim. "List's gone." His voice is even rougher than usual, but there's pride and relief in those gravelly tones, along with his grief and the echoes of his anger. "There's some things you don't come back from." Some people would say that what he did is one of those things. He has another view, of course. "They don't get to." He shifts his glass around a little, his eyes scanning the room from beneath the brim of his hat, "Some of the soldiers I fought with became family. The Company shitbirds… another story." Letting out a little breath, he adds, "So, what you got?"

* * *

Eric looks at Frank for just a little bit. Everybody tells Frank they're sorry, but sorry doesn't bring 'em back. Eric knows this, but thats pretty much the best he can do for Frank at the moment. "Good to hear. Here's hopin' they stay six feet deep." Eric sips on his drink for a long moment when Frank asks him his story.

"Well…I was born in London. When my mother was givin' birth to me, vampire decided he was a little thirsty."

He lets Frank connect the dots. "Thats how I came out lookin' pretty like I do today." A grim joke, but thats the explanation for what he is. "Didn't know what I was. Only that a vampire killed my mother. My father was never there. Came from nothin as a result. Traveled a little bit, didn't know how to control my thirst so I took a few drinks here and there. Killed when I didn't want to, or mean to. Felt like a monster in my own skin."

"Eventually I meet this real mysterious type. Called himself Jamal. Apparently he's been huntin' the nightwalkers for as long as he could remember. Gave him my sob story, so he taught me what was up. Thats when I entered it proper. Ever since then, I've been huntin' 'em like a fanatic. Rolled with a few military operations in my day. SHIELD, MI-6, the Marine Corps…" Blade shrugs just a little bit.

"I'm still lookin' for the guy who killed her you know. He's been hiding from me ever since he knew I survived. One of these days I'll put him down for good."

Of course, there seems to be more to the story, but isn't there always?

* * *

There's a little healthy skepticism in Frank's face at the start of the story. Sure, he's seen the fangs, heard the description of vampires, but it's still something he's wrapping his head around. "So you gotta work your way up the food chain? Or is this shithead even anything special? Or is he just some random asshole that got hungry?" He takes a slow sip of his beer, then sets it down again, his eyes flickering away to the room as a whole now and then. "So you just go around lookin' for vampires?" He pauses, frowns thoughtfully, "Vamps, you said they're strong, tough, get back up again? They go all ninja-shit too? Like owls?"

* * *

"Not really. I'm not -really- one of them, I'm in a hierarchy all on my own and its not one I'm lookin' to expand on." Oh good, Blade's not looking to make more like him. Thats so nice. "His name's Deacon Frost. He's what you'd consider a 'mob boss' as the closest equivalent to his position in the vampire chain of command. He's secretive though. Rarely comes out, but when he does? A pure evil piece of shit. One of these days, I'll put him down for good, and then I'll smile forever." That last bit is a joke.

"Vampires, mainly. Lesser demons or werewolves sometimes end up on the radar at some point. Other times, stopping a gang from stompin' a kid up Jacob's ladder or putting a bullet in a killer." Blade shrugs just a bit.

"Call it an expansion of operations." At the question if the Vampires are like ninjas, he shakes his head. "They usually never have an interest in that sort of thing, only higher vampires prefer to actually learn how to really fight. Most of 'em are just brawlers who are too overconfident. Didn't notice Owls were ninja-like." Seems Blade doesn't know about any other shadow wars going on!

* * *

"I mean you gotta snatch the small fish, get info outta them, then go for the next one up the chain. Until you find your cockroach." Frank shrugs slightly, "Pretty much what I did." When he was killing those 37+ (very plus) people on his list. His right index finger taps at the side of his pint glass as he considers something, then nods, "That mess around the start of the mayor's race down in Gotham." He shrugs a little, "Expansion of operations." As if that explains what he was doing down in Gotham. Hey, if Blade can toss his words back at him, he can do the same. "Some real crazy fucks called the Court of Owls rippin' people up. One of them took three shotgun rounds to the chest, half a clip of 9-mil to the face. Took another shotgun shell to the face to put him down. Broke another one's neck three times. He kept gettin' up." And Frank kept putting him down. "They don't turn to ash though."

* * *

"Court of Owls, huh?"

Blade listens to Frank as he, rather colorfully, explains EXACTLY what it ook to take out just ONE of their number. "Hnnh. Didn't get turned to ash, probably not a vampire, likely just superhumans. But honestly, I don't much give a damn."

Small pause.

"Looks like its something I should start payin' attention to. When was the last time you saw one of 'em?" Blade asks Frank, apparently now interrogating him in the friendliest way possible: over beer.

* * *

"End of August," Frank answers promptly, then considers, "Twentieth, I think. Yeah, that was it. They've been lying low. Which is good, because there's been way the hell too much stuff goin' on since then." Grunting softly, thoughtfully, Frank spins the pint glass slowly on the tabletop. "Killed a buncha people. Tried to kill a whole lot of others. But too bad. Sounds like vamps would've been easier than some crazy-ass metas."

* * *

Blade grunts just a tad as he taps the table for a minute. "Make it somewhat hard to track 'em if they're not doing anything. Need a trail before I can hunt." He finishes off his glass as he sets the glass down.

"Vampires are considerably easier. Its like asking if I'd rather fight a Vampire or Superman. I'd choose the vampire." especially since Blade has nothing against the Boy Scout.

"Either way, if what you say is true, we're huntin' the same prey. Looks like we'll be seein' more of each other."

* * *

"Yeah. One'a the speedsters ran down one'a their old lairs in the Gotham sewers. But I haven't seen shit since August." Frank drains off most of his beer, and Max looks up from where he's flopped down at the end of the booth. The veteran Marine looks over to the dog, then back to Blade, "Still haven't figured out that one. Although I tend to stay outta Underoos City, so I don't think that'll be a problem. The Owls are bad, but I still got a bigger fish to fry. Asshole who did for Hell's Kitchen," the bombs that killed 8,000 people over a year ago, "he's the only one left on my list, but he's a late addition, he barely counts." Slowly, Frank shifts in his seat, reaching into a pocket with two fingers to pull out a piece of notepaper and a pen, writing down a number and sliding it across the table, "My number if you got a problem."

* * *

"If it helps you feel better, I don't assocaite that much with the capes either." Blade shakes his head. "Don't need people gettin' in the way, you know." Of course, thats just Blade tryin' to be tough. It works for him, but then Frank mentions the magic name.

"Let me guess, name begins with W and ends in asshole?"

Snarky humor, sure. But Frank knows who Blade's talking about. "Been keepin' an eye on him too. I'm tempted to just go put him down like the dog he is and be damned what everybody else says, but I don't need to be state known."

Blade likes being unknown. Means people don't see him coming.

Not even looking at the paper that Frank slides his way, Blade nods. "Appreciated. You want mine too? Usually dinner's first." hah.

* * *

"I was gonna go with 'fat fuck,' but apparently fat shaming's bad now?" Frank shakes his head in faint amusement, "There's some high powered hitters lookin' to take him down one way or another. He ain't down yet. Suggests maybe you wanna take your time, figure out a way in that doesn't end up with your head on a spike." He grimaces, "So far the cops or the feds or SHIELD all got the good sniper spots staked out. And most'a the bad ones too." He shrugs at the offer to exchange numbers, tucking his pen away again, "I got people watchin' my back. Everybody should have that." Max gives a little whine, and Frank nods to the dog, "Yeah, yeah." He shrugs to Blade, "Gotta go see a dog about a fire hydrant." Starting to scoot his way out of the booth, he pauses a moment, "Thanks for the beer." And then he heads for the door, Max moving along at his side.

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