New Warriors #9


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New Warriors #9 (Volume 1)

Hard Choices.

It begins with a stand off.
Night Thrasher holds a .45 Caliber Uzi ACP while the Punisher holds Silhouette. It would seem that overall, Punisher has the upper hand, knowing how Night Thrasher feels about Silhouette.
That’s the funny thing about things like this. Things aren’t always what the appear to be…
When Silhouette shadow melts out of Punisher’s grasp, it is Punisher who is left now wide open.

Realizing he is at a disadvantage now, he allows Silhouette to explains herself… when she tells Punisher that she does not run with her brother, Midnight Fire, anymore and that she has come clean… the Punisher looks into her eyes… and knows that she is telling the truth… that she really does want to make a difference in the name of good.

With that, Punisher climbs into his van and leaves – leaving both Night Thrasher and Silhouette, as well as Father Jane to ponder one last thought:
Even though Jane acted during a time of war, does the Bengal have any less of a reason for wanting vengeance? After all, how does all that play out to a man’s family that was murdered? I have what I came for. Besides,” as Punisher looked one more time at Father Jane, he added. “The bad guys may be in here and not out there…”

Brazil. It is an interesting thing to see… when you have been walking through miles and miles of thick, plush forest to suddenly over look an area that is nothing but dirt. A place where tractors are pushing mounds of dirt to the side, making roads… men hacking away at trees with their larges axes… some areas of the woods burning…
All to make a clearing… for business.
It’s like watching Mother Nature being raped… slowly. Callously. And you have to stop and wonder, just for the moment, what you believe in…
His name is Mr. Barrenos. He is showing the New Warriors just what it is like… how wrong it is. He claims that it must be put to a stop to save Mother Nature. However, when the New Warriors don’t act – it doesn’t take long for the Forces of Nature to react. Without hesitating they launch into the clearing attacking the workers.

The New Warriors don’t take long to react to that threat – they charge into the clearing to save the lives which the Forces of Nature threaten.
Firewall unleashes a wall of fire…
Aqueduct lashes out at those firing weapons…
Terra-Former controls the very vines to strangle the workers…
Skybreaker attempts to throw a bulldozer onto some of the workers…
Their intent is clear and it is up to the New Warriors to put an end to it… by stopping the Forces of Nature and by rescuing workers…
Nova saves the men from being crushed by the bulldozer while Namorita flies in to free the men being strangled by the vines under Terra-Former’s command. Not to be out done, Speedball leaps through the air and lands on Skybreaker’s back, unleashing all the air from his lungs.
But it all takes a turn for the worse. When Mr. Barrenos finds an unconscious worker and his gun, he picks it up and smiles. “What we must do is kill the most innocent of us and blame it on the workers. That will gain us some support.” He turns and faces Maddie Baldwin – Speedball’s mother.

He fires the gun, but just as he does, Speedball bounces in the way and grabs his mother – very surprised to have found that the bullet bounced right off of him at close range!
Away from the others… Speedball reveals his secret to his mother… showing her that he is Speedball… and that everything she is involved in needs to be stopped…

Interlude: Egypt.
How long has she waited? How long as she lied there in wait? Her time has come.
A triangle with the Scepter of Ka floats above the coffin of a young woman who was mummified hundreds of years ago. She smiles as she looks on. From the smile she laughs, “It is time for the energy of Ka to be absorbed into me…”
There is a brilliant flash…
Then silence.
End Interlude.

His figure passes before the window.
A fatal mistake if there is an assassin after you, Father Jane.
Had it not been for the lightning quick reflexes of Night Thrasher and the fact that Dwayne had spotted Bengal with his infra-red lens – Father Jane would be dead with an arrow through his back and through his heart.

Night Thrasher doesn’t wait. Before anyone is sure what is going on, he leaps through the window and begins pursuing the Bengal.
Night Thrasher leaps onto the roof, only to be kicked in the face and gut by Bengal who hid behind the wall. Not allowing Night Thrasher to recover, Bengal quickly used the pummel of his sai to smash into Night Thrasher’s face plate. Then spinning around he lands a solid kick into Night Thrasher’s face plate which finally shatters and breaks.

Standing up, Night Thrasher manages to land a solid punch to Bengal’s gut; but Bengal lashes back delivering his sai across the exposed portion of Night Thrasher’s mask, drawing blood. When Bengal leaps forward to deliver the killing blow, Night Thrasher unleashes a gas that sends both he and Bengal crashing to the ground, coughing and choking.
But when the smoke clears… someone stands among them.
His name… the Punisher.
This time he holds a gun to the head of both Bengal and Night Thrasher.

Punisher shakes his head. “This has got to stop. The two of you remind me too much of myself. Where does revenge stop and justice take over? Do you wear armor for revenge? Were the New Warriors formed for revenge? No. They were formed for justice. You have the fire to make things right, Night Thrasher. You should honor the memories of the family you lost; not descecrate them with blood soaked revenge.”

With that, Father Jane approaches Bengal and bows his head. “I am so sorry, my son… so terribly sorry…”
And on that day… two broken hearts learned to heal and forgive…

Brazil again…

Firewall laughs as her wall of fire continues to move forward… so obsessed with winning she never sees Nova fly by and grab her by the ankle. Dragging her along, he flings her into Skybreaker who had focused only on trying to hit Speedball, that he never saw Firewall before it was already too late.
When Firestar blasts Terra-Former, he lets out a scream and begins to shrivel – fussing to the very plants he once controlled. Vance explained that since Terra-Former claimed to be a sentinent plant form, that when he was blasted by Firestar’s microwave – he was dehydrated and could not substain his human form.
Namorita was the last to fly in, holding Aqueduct laughing at the idea how he had tried to defeat her by using water…
The saga ends with Chord smiling and saying, “Let me guess, your mother’s a sixties activist, Speedball? Great… three tours in ‘Nam and I’m stuck with a bunch of kids and an ex-hippie.”

Prologue: The Taylor Foundation in Manhattan…

The window shatters… and several figures step in.
However, they are greeted by something moving faster than they can see – especially under the cover of darkness.
The first to react to the attack is a Hellion by the name of Catseye… but she finds her attacker to be too swift, quickly positioning herself on top of Catseye and raking away at her. Roulette is the next to react, ready to throw a bad luck disk, when the attacker suddenly throws Catseye at her, sending them both falling over one another. Jetstream flies off to get some more help… Just before Tarot can throw her card however, someone steps out of the shadows and sends a mind blast to the attack of the Hellions… She smiles as she looks down at the figure of the old woman… the keeper of the Taylor Foundation… Tai… the woman to take her down…
… The White Queen…