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Just Another Lone Wolf Part 2
By Zack Bouis

Gray approached his contact in Independence Port, hoping that whatever news she had about the Council could wait until the morning.

As she saw him, she motioned for him to come over and look at her laptop. Looking down the tired scrapper noticed that the data displayed was a long list of names.

Christine began to explain. “I was looking through the info that the Council had on all these groups and I found a complete list of all high ranking bosses within the Family, along with a list of perpetrated crimes, most of which aren’t anywhere in the police database.”

She scrolled down and brought up a particular name. “This one here is an assassin whom the Family trusts to find out traitors and moles within their ranks and hunt them down.” She clicked the mouse and another list was brought up. “These are all the people that he’s murdered.” The list was comprised of low level Family goons who sold out to the police. There were some of slightly higher status, hunted down because they tried to leave and there were also some undercover cops on the list. As he read all this Gray wondered why his contact was showing him this. The Council was Christine’s specialty and what was so important about this one guy? The Family probably had plenty of Mooks like this.

Continuing down the list, a name caught his eye. Following his gaze Christine said. “Gray I know your father was killed while working undercover with the Family and I think this is the one who killed him.”

Upon hearing this Gray Wolf stepped back from the computer. When he was a child, growing up in Paragon City, he lived a happy life. But, his father was a cop, a well respected officer on the force. He had worked undercover, moving ever closer to finding out more about the Don’s operations, but eventually he was found out.

It had been in a seedy bar by the docks in Independence Port, a Family hangout. Without warning someone sitting at a nearby table produced a shotgun and blew the head off of the man sitting at the bar. That was how a good cop and father had died. The cops knew that it would be impossible to find the killer, it would mean penetrating the Family on a scale they weren’t capable of. But now after all this time, the Family assassin had been revealed.

Christine tried to speak up but Gray didn’t feel like listening to her unemotional, analytical approach to these problems. He wanted to take action, and he was in Independence Port at night, find an unlocked warehouse and there’s Family goons inside.

He rushed off and, sure enough, found a building containing mobsters within minutes.

Tommy “The Mouth” Leoze sat at a table watching a cheap, tiny, black and white T.V. Sitting next to him was Tony “The Killer” B. The reception faltered and Tommy got up to adjust the rabbit-ear antenna. “One of us has got to spring for a DVD-player,” he said to his partner as he sat back down. When he was in his chair again he heard an odd, continuous, noise. He swore under his breath and got up to adjust the T.V. again. As he stood he realized the sound wasn’t coming from the television, but from behind them, and both men spun around and reached for their guns.

Tommy’s hand managed to latch around the handle of his weapon before a long piece of steel made contact with his neck. Tony actually managed to clear his holster before an ancient Japanese sword broke through his stomach cavity.

Neither of the men were able to raise any alarm and as Gray continued through the warehouse none of the other gangsters would be allowed to either. Despite his lack of stealth, the speed that he seemed to possess now in his rage made it so that every man he killed could barely utter a word before meeting their demise.

He continued through the entire structure in this manner, and after he had hacked his way through the last Family member in the building he said to himself, in between long heavy breaths, “I’m not done yet.”

It continued this way throughout the rest of the night. He found every Family-owned, warehouse, front building and hideout he could and slaughtered all inside. He could no longer control himself and the idea that he was breaking the law was little consequence to him as long as he had a way to vent his rage.

As dawn was breaking he finished off the last man in another warehouse that he had found. As he stood there, alongside the corpse of the man he’d just slain, he fell to his knees and put the point of his sword to the ground, while he held onto the handle for support.

His trembling hands slid off the weapon and he fell to the ground in exhaustion, unconsciousness already sweeping over his mind.

Greg Williams sat on the living room floor in his Paragon City apartment. His six year old hands swung green skinned action figures through the air, occasionally smashing them into each other with the sound effects to match. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were all the rage right now. He picked up another toy, this one red and blue, and battled it out with his adolescent amphibians. Statesman always won when he played this game.

His game ceased when he realized his father was back home. He was glad to see his dad back again but his mother put a hand to her mouth and rushed over to his father. She didn’t ask what happened but filled a bag with ice and put it on the bruises covering the man’s face.

Years later, the same boy wakes up in bed, slamming his fist down onto his alarm clock, while his eyes open to the familiar site of his room. The old action figures that he played with when he was younger still sit on top of his dresser. Along with all the favorite playthings of the 80's sits some plastic renditions of Paragon’s more famous heroes. Of course none of them had been touched in years, and his mind wasn’t on action figures, he had just had a rough night. He knew his father had been working a case for a while now but he had never been gone more than a few days before. Greg walked into the kitchen to find his mother sitting at the table sobbing to herself. He rushed over to her and asked what was wrong. The small Japanese woman made an incredible effort to compose herself. Although she had spent the last hours of the night sobbing, now was when she had to be strong, for her son. “It’s your father,” she began, “some people from the station came last night and they said,” she closed her eyes for a moment before she continued, “they said your father’s been dead for a week now.” She didn’t cry now, but looked at her son, waiting to see how he’d react, but Greg didn’t know what to do. What possible thought could he hold in his head now that would not bombard him with the feelings of loss, sorrow, and remorse? What could he do that would have any sense of rationality when something like this had happened? He didn’t want to think about anything, any thought would bring up those feelings and he was scared that those feelings would destroy him.

A few months later Greg found himself back in school. Although the pain was still there for both of them, his mother had done a much better job of moving on. Both of them had been changed as well. His mother was now driven with the purpose of making sure her son grew up as normally as possible, despite him not having a father. She started dating again, but none of the relationships lasted long and Greg was thankful for that. He, on the other hand, became stoic and reserved. He never talked to anyone at school, girls didn’t interest him, and all of his friends eventually drifted away. His grades, while not really exemplary in the past, became something he kept at a decent enough level so his mother would never get involved.

Then one day, while he was walking through the hallways of Paragon High, he saw four seniors beating up on a younger kid. It was easy to see why they were doing it too. The kid had orange skin and horns sprouting out of his head. Greg was just going to turn around when the orange kid looked up at him. Something stirred inside him and he felt he just couldn’t turn away. He walked up to the bullies and asked them to stop. They stopped, and even though the orange, horned kid was free he was still too scared too run away. One of the attackers spoke up, “Look Greg,” (they recognized each other from the soccer team,) “I’m sorry about your dad and all, but I didn’t think you were a mutie lover.”

Greg looked at the assaulted student and motioned for him to take off. No one stopped him, but Greg and the lead bully stared each other down. In that gaze, ties were broken and lines were drawn. Although nothing was said as he walked away, the next day “Greg Williams is a mutie lover” was spray painted on the wall of the hallway. But Greg never found out about that, since he didn’t show up for school the next day.

He went back home that night and saw his mother sitting at the table with a man at least ten years younger than her. Greg recognized him, his mother had been dating him for a while now. His name was Kai and there were rumors that he was fairly wealthy because of his work for a fledgling street gang called the Tsoo. Greg had never seen his arms so he couldn’t tell if the man had the tattoos to prove it, but he did know that Kai was never very accepting of the fact that his girlfriend had a white son. Right now both Kai and his mother had very happy looks on their faces.
Then Greg’s eyes widened with horror as he saw a sparkling ring adorning his mother’s finger. “I’ve got some wonderful news,” she said, while Greg remained rooted to the spot, hoping against hope that she wouldn’t say what he knew she would. “Kai and I are getting married!” With that Greg dropped his backpack and ran out the door.

There was an Army recruiting station around the corner from their apartment building, he walked in and signed up.

In a warehouse in Independence Port, around midday, the superhero Gray Wolf awoke and realized that he had spent the past night murdering members of the Family. Although he was amazed no one had found him and arrested him yet, he was worried about himself. He had never lost control like that before. He didn’t trust himself right now, and he felt his sanity might be in question. He needed to calm himself, meditate for a time, before he went after his father’s killer.  With dried blood on his gray colored spandex, he picked himself up off the ground and headed towards Atlas Park.

Meanwhile, news of the past night’s attacks had already worked their way up to the desk of Emil Marcone. While his resources were already stretched thin across Paragon City and the Rogue Isles, with his battle against the Mooks, on Lord Recluse’s turf, taking up most of his attention, the knowledge that a single swordsman killed such a large number of his people in one night had to be dealt with. He called two men up into his office and there orders were clear. Find out who he is, find out where he is, and then kill him.

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