The Lion And The Wolf


ethan_icon.gif king_icon.gif rico_icon.gif

Scene Title The Lion and the Wolf
Synopsis Ethan tracks King down to Jersey City to exact some old-fashioned revenge.
Date January 11, 2009

Jersey City, Irradiated Zone

Jersey City is a filthy, disgusting hole.

And that's the parts the government cleaned up.

Tracking down one of Kazimir's operatives who doesn't want to be found is a thankless job, espescially when it's one Ethan isn't particularly familiar with. But Jersey City is a filthy, run-down, God forsaken place that would have been the last place Ethan would have looked, were he not being led there by the target himself. Over the last few days, trying to get a handle on King's patterns of activity have been difficult for the Wolf. He knows King, somewhat, having been on the mission where the Nigerian was recruited, but Africa fell far outside of Ethan's command purview.

Knowing your quarry makes the hunt a little easier, but this is a wolf stalking a lion. This last leg of the hunt began when Ethan finally spotted King, after a long and protracted stakeout of the ferry leaving from Manhattan for Staten Island. Seems he hadn't given up the ghost on finding Eileen quite yet.

By the time he'd stalked King through Manhattan, the sun had set, leaving the clear and moonlit sky overhead to light the path to Ethan's bloody revenge against this hired killer. But King's journey was a long one, taking Ethan out across the George Washington Bridge, through the reclaimed parts of Jersey City, and then finally into the winding side streets and abandoned back alleys of the Irradiated Zone, where the fallout cloud lingered after the bomb.

From the snowy streets of the abandoned city, up black iron fire escapes alongside crumbling brick buildings, to the barren rooftops of closely constructed apartment buildings, King takes the hunt from the ground to the rooftops, letting Ethan look out upon the blackened and powerless cityscape, and the glittering lights of Manhattan across the Hudson.

Scraps of bone.

The first rooftop catches Ethan's attention, even as King has just jumped from one rooftop to the next, skidding in the snow after he lands. There's bones here, broken and discarded bones half-buried in the snow, long and thin; some bleached white and others yellowed on the ends. It's like an animal leading the way back to its den.

The moonlight catches and slides across the sleek steel that is tossed quietly into the air. Then again.

There's only so much you can do with a girl. You can hold her hand, you can give her a gun, you can give her your time. But bad things will happen to good people, and Eileen was no exception. But really there's only so much you can do with a hurt girl. Eventually you're going to have to go out.

The blade flies end over end before the hilt falls in Ethan's black gloved hand, and then the blade flies up again.

Revenge. His black boots crunch against the soft snow as the Wolf climbs up the next roof. The knife is tossed up one last time before it is caught and sheathed at his side. Black from head to toe, Ethan's outfit is complete with a black hood that rests over his brow. Which works quite nicely to keep him warm while also looking quite ominous. One black glove traces gingerly over a bone as his eyes skim over the rooftops to his prey.

Rising the black clad Holden stealthily lopes across the roof to follow King to the next roof. Leaping and lunging where necessary. The Wolf is on the prowl.

King stops when Ethan's eyes settle on him again, a massive hulk of a man with his shoulders sloped and head bowed. For a moment he just stands there in the still of night, and then with slow and deliberate motions that are possessed of some feline fluidity, King turns to look back across towards the roof Ethan waits on. There's no indication that King sees him, no eye contact, but one gloved hand moves up into the heavy leather jacket he wears, retrieving a knife sheathed inside, withdrawing a gleaming length of steel to turn in the moonlight just enough so that it glints with the pale blue-white reflection.

It's a statement, as if to say, here I am, and this is for you. These bones may not be because King had been on his way back to his place of rest, but from others who have been lured into this killspot. Remaining stationary, King rolls his shoulders, pointing the knife dow towards the rooftop, had slowly beginning to tilt to the side as a wide snarl spreads across his lips.

Crouching, Ethan tilts his head a bit as the man stops. Lured. A word that trickles past his thoughts as a nigh impossibility. Even had King said he was going to trick Ethan into death.. The Wolf has a chance at justice. And it will not be ignored. His thumb slowly raises up, tucking a thumb under the black strap on his shoulder. Easing it off his shoulder, the man pulls up the assault rifle with both hands.

If you shoot at a King, you must kill him.

A spray of bullets are released from the automatic rifle. Ethan's aim is careful though his expectations low. If his prey is as good as he thinks, he will avoid it. If he's not, this will be highly unsatisfactory.

King doesn't move.

But ont he same token, he doesn't need to. The moment the bullets begin to fly, the assault rifle is rifing up into the air, bullets wildly whizzing towards the moon as if in some vain attempt to shoot it out of the sky. The moonlight glints off of a series of hair-thin fibers wrapped around the barrel of the gun, followed by a low growl and a grunt as someone drops down off the top of the roof accrss stairwel, tackling Ethan to the ground. "Buenos noches signor.

Wrestling with the gun, to one side, the assaulting figure straddles Ethan's chest, pulling taut a pair of wooden handles that connect three lengths of razor thin wire that have snared the rifle. "Senior Holden, how long has it been?" The wavy black hair, the ragged and poorly trimmed beard, and those wild, dark eyes. It is one of Kazimir's most loyal, long-time employees; Rico Velasquez. The man who trained the late Sierra Heart, the man who owns the Invierno.

This is worse than it first looked.

Bewilderment is a feature that rarely makes an appearance on Ethan's facial expressions. But tonight is a night for exceptions apparently, as Ethan looks quite bewildered as his shot goes off target. And then a silent grunt is released as he is brought down by one Rico. Ethan wrestles over the rifle for a moment, before abruptly releasing it into Rico's grip.

After that Ethan throws several moves at once. His hand jabs at Rico's throat, knuckles first. Though it is more of a diversion, his leg coming up quickly to thrust into the roof below his free hand going to sweep under Rico's leg the same instant. Pressing himself up hard at the same time, if effective Rico will find himself on his own back. After all this is the man who killed Sierra Heart, and who will more likely than not blow up the Invierno.

The strike to the throat sends Rico reeling, disorienting him enough to cause him to flail backwards and succumb to the scoop toss that sends him sprawling onto his back. When he hits the ground, Rico gasps out lungful of air, struggling to reach up and grab at Ethan's collar when the man moves. "Traidor de mierda." Rico hisses up through clenched teeth, swinging wildly as he strikes Ethan in the ear with a closed fist, knocking the Brit away for only a moment before he grabs Rico's wrist, twisting it awkwardly as he climbs forward and settles a knee on the drug-runner's throat.

The struggle between the two lasts only for a moment, interrupted by the sound of a heavy weight crashing onto the roof and what might be similar to the sounds of a bull rhino in a charge. Ethan finds an enormous arm wrapping around his neck, wrenching him off from Rico. King's leather sleeve muffles Ethan's mouth as he slings him around like a ragdoll, heavy and grunting breathing rattling in his massive chest. "Mista' Holden, da' masta wishes t'have words w'you," He squeezes harder, flexing his bicep and forcing Ethan's throat as close to the pocket of his elbow as he can, "But firs', I'm gon' let out some frustrations."

Choking, Rico scrambles to his feet, rubbing at his neck as he looks up from Ethan to King, "King! Tenemos órdenes!" Rico's protest is met with a thick, heavy snort from King, uncaring to the logic of following orders.

Getting to his feet, Ethan would prepare to send Rico to his grave, he doesn't like these struggle things lasting very long. But he is quite rudely interrupted. With a very large arm latched around his neck the instinctive thing to do is bring his hands to the tool which closes off his air supply. Though rather than try to pry the arm away, Ethan uses the man like a pull up bar. King is a very large man. And so his size must be used against him. His feet practically dangling he pulls up on the arm, creating more space between his feet and the snowy rooftop.

Pulling hard on the arm Ethan lets his body swing forward then brings it back powerfully, aiming both of his booted feet at a powerful kick at one of the ogre's tree trunks. In the same instant his hands leave the arm to find purchase around the back of King's head. Using his body as leverage, the Wolf uses the Lion's own size against him, sending King up and over as Ethan's feet loosely halt on the icy footing below.

King flips thorugh the air, his higher center of gravity causing him to tumble over Ethan's back to smash into the rooftop with an explosion of snow. The man's jacket flares out from the impact, and there's a too pained look on his face when his back is slammed down onto the roof; while Ethan couldn't have been aware, it's exactly where he struck the windshield of a car not too long ago. A well-timed decision. But even as King comes crashing to the ground, Rico is already moving, bounding like a money up and over his fallen companion, throwing his hands down to the snow before flinging his legs upwards towards Ethan. The south-american soldier locks his angles around Ethan's neck, then falls backwards, twisting his waist to the side as he throws the Wolf to the ground. Legs unatngle, and Rico rolls across his shoulder, picking up King's knife from the snow before lunging forward towards the prone Englishman.

A swift flurry of one boot whipping up from the ground connects with Rico's jaw, sending him flying backwards while Ethan uses the momentum of the kick to spin around on his back, and swing himself to his feet in a crouch. The knife falls soundlessly into the snow.

King rolls onto his side, letting out a low and feral growl before lunging up from where he lays, just jumping square at Ethan, slamming him in the midsection with his shoulder, sending the pair careening through the air.

The wild spearing sends the two crashing through a skylight on the roof, smashing through a framework of aluminum and glass, obtaining a horrifying sense of weightlessness as they crash through a series of wooden scaffolding, one platform splitting apart after another beneath Ethan as King's massive weight has them plummeting to the ground in the renovated building.

Still taking sharp breaths from King's nice to meet you hug, Ethan doesn't find breathing any easier when Rico goes for his neck as well. And then well, it's a whole world of different sights smells and pains. Though as King caught him in his gigantic leap Ethan was able to thrust his body forward slightly.

So as they crash, Ethan is able to twist just enough to share the brunt force of all the impact with his esteemed colleague. The wood splintering and crashing sends an echo through the building, but it is alone. Ethan makes no sound, were it not for the pain singing through his body it would seem he was invulnerable to such petty attacks. His facial features barely recognize the attacks, his vocal cords much less so.

His body is a different story.

Finally their adventure through the air comes to an end, debris raining around them as they end in a heap on the ground. The Wolf's hand darts, albeit slowly for his side. Unholstering his sidearm. Bringing it out, it doesn't take a glance to understand.

Smashed. Useless.

The aching Wolf weakly presses his elbows against the ground. His mind working constantly, his eyes searching for anything he could use. And there, the pale glint of the moonlight shining through the whole the pair of them made. His knife, only seven or so feet away. He should have strapped it, but he didn't, and it might be this mistake that makes this kill for him. Rolling to his stomach the man slowly pushes himself to his knees, he starts to scramble for the knife…

Floor after floor of scaffolding debris covrs King's body, his ribs and bach ache from pain as bruised bone throbs beneath lascerated skin. The mountain of a man lets loose a low and throaty growl, throwing the timbers off of himself as he rises up to sit, the growl breaking into a chest shuddering roar as his arms come up. King explodes out from the pile of wood like some monster from a movie, kicking debris aside before grabbing a hold of a piece of the bent metal framework from one corner of the scaffolding, wrenching it from side to side before ripping it out of place like some makeshift steel club.

As King walks forward, moonlight spills down through the broken skylight overhead, dimly illuminating the enormous wrap-around stairwell that had fallen down through. From the edge of the skylight, with one boot planted on the edge, Rico brings a lit cigarette to his lips, drawing in a slow breath as the ember lights up. He should go down there, he should take out his pistol and shoot, throw a grenade. Rico's brow furrows together, and he turns to take a step away from the skylight — Let them sort it out, maybe there'll be one less monster in the end.

A roar splits from King, swinging the bent shaft of scaffolding down at Ethan, clubbing him in the side of the head and sending him sprawling trhough the wooden and metal debris and away from the knife. The bestial man rolls his shoulders, popping his neck to one side as he works his jaw back and forth. All the pain when he breathes in and out, it shoots sharp up and down his back and sides.

Reeling, Ethan rolls to the side as the bar hits him on his head and neck. Tucking his shoulder, the man goes into a roll as the blood leaks onto his hood. His hand stretching out weakly for just a moment before he withdraws it. Making a small gesture with his hand. Making a small trail of blood the man grips up at the scaffolding using it to haul him to his feet.

Slowly turning, he takes a shallow breath, watching the mountain from his emotionless shell. Slowly taking his hand off the scaffolding he takes a slow step forward. "'Ow many of there are you? 'ow many does 'e 'ave 'ere?" The Wolf growls softly, standing stoically he watches before going to make his move.

His boot sweeps forward, the rear foot flying quickly at King's shin. Drive the leg back, urge the upper body forward. In the same instant his elbow goes up, practically waiting for King's head to crash into it. His second elbow flying horizontally, connecting thickly against King's chin.

The series of rapid-fire blows sends King ultimately reeling to one side, crashing into the remaining metal framework with a loud crash. He looks up, blood running down the side of his head, a few small pieces of glass piercing through the leather of his coat, "We're all here, Wolf. All'a us, th' end is comin'," He licks the blood from his lips, gripping the piped metal in both hands, "But you ain't gonna be 'round to see it come."

King throws himself away from th scaffolding, swinging once to collide with Ethan's shoulder, the reach of his long arms and the pipe makes avoiding the sweeping blows in such cramped squarters impossible. The piece of scaffolding bends in the middle from the hit, and King keeps advancing forward, using his size and weight to overpower the Brit. The pipe is raised, gripped at opposite ends in both hands as he plows Ethan back against the plaster wall, bringing the metal bar up to his throat.

King growls, leaning in with a snarl like some enormous, feral beast, nostrils flaring. "You's gonna die 'ere, Englishman. This be the end'a you, but it ain't gonna' be fast…" His lips curl back into a bloody smile as he presses the bar down further, "An' you ain't gonna be able ta' scream."

A frown at the cryptic answer, he was hoping to get a little more solid intel from this situation. His face reddens and veins become visible as Ethan's muscles tense against King's pressing against his throat. His arms come up once again. Always with his neck. His hands go on the large man's thick arms for a moment. Pulling against them, making it seem like Ethan actually is fearing for his life.

A pity, he couldn't get more information.

The knife slides smoothly if not cleanly into the bottom of King's jaw. The knife which Ethan had surreptitiously grabbed moments ago, the knife which Ethan pounds up into the bottom of King's mouth. Straight up.

A boot is raised and kicked hard against the Lion, as Ethan's hands seize around the bar sa he goes to create distance between the mountain. The knife through the mouth might not kill him. If it doesn't, this would be all the more satisfactory…

King flies backwards, leaving a drooling trail of blood in the air as he careens towards the scaffolding, smashing into it before sliding down to the ground. The hulk of a man rolls from one side to the other, a murmured series of choking sounds coming from him, followed by a vicious, horrible noise as he crawls back up onto his knees, lurching forward with a constant stream of blood rolling off of his lips. He wraps his fingers around the hilt of the knife, and rips it out of his own lower jaw, springing up to his feet as he howls some profane string of Nigerian and charges Ethan with the knife raised, held backhanded.

This is the man that tried to kill Munin, he would have, he could have. This is the man that would have taken her from the world, split her open like an animal and left her bones out in the cold.

To some extremes, Ethan and King aren't entirely different animals. Both will kill without hesitation for what they believe in, without emotion, without a second thought.

But the different tonight is, one of them is going to die.

Holding the pipe with both hands, the man moves with his shoulder to King, he slides forward slowly. Though there are no loud noises from the Wolf. No battle cries, no strings of profanity. The only thing Ethan gives is a very small, very cruel twists of his lips.

A smile.

The pipe connects soundly with the side of the Nigerian's head, Ethan's arms following through, already changing the momentum for the second strike.

The mountain falls to his knees, the blood draining from multiple wounds as the second blow lands unceremoniously on the other side of his head. But King doesn't go down. Not yet.


It only lasts so long. Three. Four. Five. Even when the body slumps to the ground, Ethan continues the cranial assault. Over and over, even after the Nigerian takes his last shallow breath the metal continues to pound wetly against his skull. Finally Ethan gives a pause, his eyes scanning the downed body slowly. The pipe is dropped as the Wolf goes to one knee. Take back his fucking knife…

Nothing but silence rewards Ethan's survival. The wet sound of blood trickling out onto tile floor, the occasional clink of a falling piece of glass finally loosened from the broken skylight. But there is no cheer, no happiness, just the inevitable silence and lonliness that comes with death. There is no sign of Rico, no sign of other members of the Vanguard. For now, there is just Ethan, and the corpse of the man who threatened to take Munin from him.

Wrenching the knife away from him, Ethan brings up the blade, pulling the wrist away from the body the Wolf deftly carves off a finger of the fallen beast. A present for Kazimir. The dismembered finger is wrapped up in cloth that used to be Kazimir's shirt. Tucking it away the man stands.

Peering down at the body, Ethan tilts his head. Idly wondering what kind of wolf it would take to wound and kill a lion. Stepping swiftly away from the body he searches the building with his eyes, pulling up his hood around his head once again. The knife held deftly in his hand. He pauses a moment to listen for the one person missing.

Where is that son of a bitch?

January 12th: What A Way To Start The Night
January 12th: Black Moonlight
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