5 – Facing Off

Mockingbird came out of the shadows between one breath and the next, moving fast. In one of those motions that didn’t seem…fair, somehow, she caught one of her batons on a rebound. 

The other one – the one that had hit him, numbing his left arm – it was still at Castle’s feet. He snatched it up, holding it in front of him in a guard position.

She smiled.

“You want to play in my house, Frank?” She called, dancing just beyond the reach of the weapon. “This is the ocean, I’m a shark and you don’t know how to swim.” Her voice was sweet, as though she was talking to a precocious child. 

He snarled at her and raised the baton. He knew how to use these things; he trained with them too.

She darted in, actually inside his strike, and drove the end of her baton into his ribs like a poker cue, then spun away from him again before his blow even landed.  He turned, trying to track her. If she got behind him he was meat. 

But now his left arm was numb and she’d cracked one of his ribs and if she hit him there again he was screwed. Broken rib = trouble breathing = oxygen deprivation = she’d just have to keep him moving long enough to wear him down. 

He was not going to the Raft. 

Mockingbird was spinning her baton up and down, almost idly like she was waiting for him to do something, a sardonic smile on her face.

He felt another surge of anger…and realized that was what she wanted. She wanted him angry. Angry was stupid. Her whole fighting style was based on getting people to over-extend, to under-estimate her. To fall for her mocking them.

“Nice one, Barton,” he acknowledged — then threw the baton at her.

She caught it in mid air with her left hand.

Most guys would have charged behind it, trying to tackle her.  Most guys would have gotten a baton to the back of the head.

Punisher was not most guys.

This time it was he who turned and ran for the shadows.

What’s going on in Mockingbird’s head? (Go to 6)

Maybe Punisher should get off the ground floor? (Go to 8)

But ouch! What about Punisher’s injury? (Go to 10)

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