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The Demon's Gift (DCU, SI/OC)

Chapter 12 - Trailing Mission
Chapter 12 - Trailing Mission

Been a while, yeah? My mind got the better of me, so motivation has been non-existent. We'll see if I can make a proper return with this chapter or if very infrequent updates will be the new normal.

— — — — —

After the Leshen hunt, I spent a pretty decent amount of time lying low, and patrolling my area when I felt the need. The reason was because I wanted to get a handle on the new ability I demonstrated during the fight, Aard Sweep. At least, I think that's what it was called. It was an instinctual use, but I've been trying to force myself to learn how to use it on command. Every single tool and ability in my arsenal adds to my ability to keep out of jail.

It took a couple weeks to get it to a usable point. Still not coming out as fast as I'd like, but there's only so much training I can do before I feel the need to take a break.

Now though, as I sit on the couch and contemplate my next move with the news in the background, I decide to get to work on something that's always been on my list of 'things to deal with'. During my patrols, I often came across drug dealers. Now, I don't really have any issues with what people decide to do in their free time. You want to make an unholy concoction of every drug known to mankind? Feel free, so long as you aren't forcing anyone else to come along.

What I do have an issue with, is the fact that these dealers don't really care about how old their buyers are. I haven't actually seen the deals themselves go down, but I've seen what looked to be 7th graders walk into an alley, and come out with some plastic bags, filled with white powder.

I don't necessarily want my small piece of the city to be a utopia, but I wish they'd at least pretend they didn't live in the worst city in America while they're here. Is not selling to children such a large ask?

I've actually tried to get some information about the dealers and their suppliers or bosses before, but the low level point-of-sale guys don't actually know that much, and there's been less of them around since I tend to scare them shitless. I'm also just one guy, who can't patrol that much because if Batman figures out I show my face on a regular schedule I'm sure he could find time to re-introduce my face to the floor.

So, I might need to do something I wasn't about to follow up on. I originally wanted to go to the Iceberg Lounge to find someone to buy some stolen goods. Now, I think I'll need to subtly ask around for some kind of… what are they called? Informants? Snitches? Hell, either will do. Just a quick google search to see what hours the place is open for, and away I go.

— — — — —

I was originally a little afraid of looking out of place here, but luckily for me, the Lounge doubles as a casino. Throw a few hundred dollars away on the machines, and I'll blend right in.

Coming up on the doors, I have a look at the criminal hotspot. The gigantic Ice Blue sign hangs grandly over the glass doors, and windows allow me to glance in at the machines I'll be wasting my money on. Bushes line the building, and the 'security guards' out front are barely hiding the fact that they're actually hardened criminals. As far as I know real guards don't own revolvers like that. Also that they would not be allowed to have them so clearly on display like that.

I pull my head away from the lack of professionalism, and head into the building. I'm tempted to hit the lounge first, but my paranoia forces me to the machines first. Don't want anyone to get suspicious about why I'm here. Realistically, I know no one watching me, but living in this city on the side against the Bat has made me a bit scared of the shadows. There's always a chance he set up a camera, or something.

Now, I will say, I decided to do this because I needed a cover as to why I'm here, sure. However, I also do enjoy a bit of gambling, I mean, who doesn't? My first choice was to head straight to the roulette table. I decided to use 300 dollars there, and 200 on the slots whenever I ran out, or doubled my cash at the table. My roulette money ran out pretty quickly, who would've thought that slamming 50 bucks on lucky number 13 each time isn't a winning strategy?

The slots however, kept me imprisoned on that cushioned stool for what felt like an eternity. Every time, right before I'd run out of money on the machine, I'd win just enough to keep me there for another 5 minutes. Again and again, my freedom was dangled before me, yet eventually the cursed machine grew bored of my suffering and set me free.

Now that my wallet is significantly lighter, I headed over to the Lounger itself. Looking for…

Fuck, what does an information dealer look like?

Change of plans. I found a free table near enough to the center of the room so that I could hear damn near everything being talked about. After ordering a drink, I start listening. All the conversations at once, happening over the music being played was disorienting as all hell for the first few minutes, but eventually I managed to focus in on some conversations. It's not like I could filter through keywords for my ears to pick up, so I just decided to choose one conversation to hone in on, and if I was lucky they'd say something information dealer-y.

"Did you see the latest Teen Mom episo-"

Don't need to listen to that one anymore.

"So I took the guy behind the bar, and right as I raised my fists, the guy just tossed a fucking money clip at me and ran away screaming! Easiest hundred bucks of my life."

Funny enough anecdote, but no, also useless. This half baked plan is seeming to be more trouble than it was worth.

"I'm telling you, it's not worth it. You saw what Lycaon did to those other guys."

Oh? Well, go ahead. Tell me what's not worth it. My information dealer can wait.

"Not worth it? He's cutting into our profits. Remember what Falcone did to the other guys who failed their quota? It's our fucking lives on the line. We have to get the guys together and stop the bastard."

Well, I guess that answers my question anyway. Sorry info-guy, no paycheque for you. Now, I just wait for these guys to tell me exactly what I need to be expecting.

"Fuck. Fuck! Why'd you have to remind me about them!? You're right… I don't like it, but you're right. Falcone won't see the reasons why we couldn't keep the profits up, he'll just make an example out of us. Well? You brought this up, you have to have a plan?"

"I have the basis of one," his friend just scoffs and mutters some shit under his breath that I couldn't pick up. "But I figure we should hammer out the rest of the details with the others. Besides, this place is far too public to have a whole ass planning session. C'mon, let's go."

Well, that's my queue to leave as well. Like every game with a trailing mission has taught me, I make sure there's at least 15 feet between us at all times.

I follow them outside, and when they get into their car I realize that if I want to keep following them, I'll need to get on my bike, which thankfully isn't too far away. Still, I make a quick sprint to it so that I don't lose them, and from there, it was just a nice and relaxing drive to their hideout.

I watch them pull into a driveway belonging to a surprisingly well-kept house, I mean, the grass was fucking mowed. What sort of crook keeps their lawn within HOA standards? Ugh, focus on what's important, me. We can go back to questioning why they also have a well tended garden out front later.

I park down the street in a convenient alleyway, because this is Gotham, there's always an alley nearby. I figure keeping my bike well out of harm's way is a good practice, plus pulling in the driveway beside the guys I was just following doesn't seem very smart.

Walking back towards the house, I elect to wait on calling my gear to me. Right now I'm just some unassuming guy walking down the street, instead of Lycaon, who still has a pretty bad rep honestly. I mean, come on, you rip out one guy's heart because the devil made you, and suddenly no one wants you around.

My disguise as myself was very effective, since it let me walk right by their house as another car pulled in. See, they would've stopped me if I had my wolf mask on. I gave the newcomers a polite head nod as I walked past them, all the way to the end of the street because I was afraid turning around would give me away.

Okay, plan 'Walk up to the front door' didn't work. Guess it's time to suit up and start fence hopping.

— — — — —

The sound of the door brings me out to the living room, to be greeted by a couple more familiar faces. A brown haired, stocky man. Reliable, up until you need him to fight anyone. Then he gets far too nervous for his own good. Beside him, his best friend, a dirty blonde, about as lanky as men can come. I didn't much care for him, due to his extreme cowardice, but he has a connection to the family, so what could you really do?

"Hey Craig, Jaime. You guys brought the shit? No one saw you guys bring it in?"

"Yup, we have it. There was a guy out front, but he only saw us pull in. We waited for him to turn the corner before we brought it all in." Craig reassures me. I shoot a grateful nod to the brunet.

"Hey Boss, the hell is all this for? We brought the shit cause you told us to, but who the hell are we fighting that we need all this?" Jaime gestures toward the various bags on the table containing shotguns, a couple rifles, and a few bulletproof vests.

"One of the freaks," I pause as they stare at me, mouths gaping, eyes widened, like I told them we were going to fight the fucking Bat. "Lycaon, to be exact."

Craig is the one that broke from the shock first, "Boss," he whined, "we can't fight them. Don't you remember the last guys that tried? Dead. All of 'em. I don't wanna be next, Boss."

"What he said." Jaime adds while pointing at him. Little shit.

"We'll be dead if we don't. Unless you forgot, Falcone doesn't allow any decrease in profits. We were put in charge of the district that Lycaon took over. He's been running out our dealers. I've already gotten a warning from my Boss. We won't get another, so we need to fix the issue, fast." My explanation only seemed to make Craig more hesitant to participate.

"Okay, let me put it this way. So far, he's only done a couple things besides take over that district. He's robbed a bank, which doesn't prove anything besides the fact that he's a somewhat capable runner. The other thing, like you mentioned, was wiping out a gang. A gang that clearly, was not prepared for him. We, unlike them, will be bringing the fight to him. We have firepower, we have armor, and most importantly, we will have a plan. One that we're going to iron out, right now. So sitdown, and I'll call Ron out of the kitchen so we can begin."

Once I finish my speech, I turn around and march straight down into the kitchen. Halfway down the steps, I crack a grin as I hear a couple bodies flop down onto the couch. It's good that they decided to stay. That was a fairly decent motivational speech, if you could call it that.

"What's got you all happy?" Ron asks as I enter his lab. He's arguably the most important person in our operation, as he's the only guy here that actually knows how to make the shit. I'm surprised the scraggly haired friend of mine actually bothered to look away from his work. He treats cooking meth like it's the fulfilling and important thing he's ever done in his life.

"Just another wonderful motivational piece, provided by yours truly. Managed to keep Craig and Jaime from chickening out. They're waiting for us upstairs. C'mon, let's get started, you can finish bagging everything later." Reluctantly, the man followed me back upstairs. I stopped myself from sighing, I knew he wasn't excited by what we were about to do, but could he at least act a little more confident? Show some support for the plan? It's our goddamn lives on the line.

We get back upstairs, and drag a couple chairs to the living room. Once me and Ron are sat across from Craig and Jaime, we begin trying to come up with the best possible method on ensuring Lycaon's death. There is a time limit, since gunshots, especially ones from guns like ours, attract the Bats like nothing else will. In fact, that's one thing every member of Falcone's mafia learns after being accepted. If you shoot your gun, you have maybe 3 minutes to get the fuck out, or you'll be caught. If you're unlucky, you won't even have that.

Our planning session was interrupted by a knock on our door. Immediately, I scowled at Craig and Jaime, and hissed at them, "I thought you two weren't fucking spotted!"

"We weren't!" "Honest!" They cried out. I didn't believe them for a second, but a few more knocks on the door stopped me from ripping into them. I told them to turn on the sports channel as a flimsy sort of alibi, and went to answer the door.

A glance through the peephole revealed nothing, so I pulled open the door to have a quick look around. Once I opened it fully, I was met with the barrel of a gun.

"Hello, my name is Lycaon. I have reason to believe you're planning to kill me. I take great offense to that. Show me where the rest of you are, or I think I'll paint the walls with your grey matter."

What… How did he find us..? I was as careful as I could be… This must've been Craig and Jaime's fault, the fucking idiots led him right to us! I swear, I'm going to kill the bastards if it;s the last thing I do!

"Hello? Anyone in there? Ugh, of course the minion answering the door is a complete fucking moron. Wasted one of my better lines. Whatever. Hey Buddy." He looks into my eyes. "Go the fuck to sleep."

And the last thing I remember is a pistol colliding with the side of my head.

— — — — —

Seems like plan 'walk up to the front door' was the correct one after all. Would've saved me the trouble of trying to quietly pry open a window. Fucking impossible, is what that is. Five minutes of that was all I could take before giving up.

Thankfully the person they had in charge of the door was too much of a dumbass to even try saying anything. If he looked like he was going to, I was ready with Axii, but it seems like it wasn't necessary. I let myself into the house, closing the door and stepping over the body. A look to my left shows three others, all pointing weapons at me. I suppose they heard my entrance. Ah well, stealth was a fool's errand anyway.

"I wouldn't do that if I was you. I mean really, do you honestly think three guys with guns is all it takes to down a metahuman these days?" I look a bit closer at their table, with all the bags on top of it. Way more guns than they could conceivably use themselves. "So, anyone else coming to visit? Or is it just the four of you? Trying to take on the big bad wolf, all by yourselves?"

No one said a word, but the two on the couch started to shake a bit. One of them even looked like he was going to cry.

"C'mon, one of you has to be the boss, right? Show some backbone, leader! Speak up! I love monologuing, but right now, I want to talk!"

"So uh," I look at the guy sitting across from the scaredy cats as he points the barrel of his shotgun at the guy I layed out, "he was the Boss. I don't think he's up for a talk right now."

"He was the Boss? Well, fuck it. Not anymore. It's you now. Talk to me. Is there anyone else you were expecting to drop by? Also, if you three know what's good for you, put down the guns." The cowards listened immediately and the man across from them followed their lead after a couple seconds. Now, time to start with the interrogation properly.

"So, now that that's sorted, answer my first question, then tell me your part in this whole… operation. Also, you two. Go grab your boss and tie him up in his chair with something." They jumped to action and I took their place on the couch as the man in front of me began his explanations.

He said that they have more people that would've worked under them so long as they made the call, since that's how the Falcone Family works. The thugs were at the beck and call of anyone with actual jobs. And wasn't that a shock. The dealer's I've been antagonizing and interrogating for the past couple weeks have belonged to a goddamned mafia. He told me that the man I had knocked out was in charge of the drug trade in my district, and that due to dropping profits, he had to do something to keep himself safe from the family's punishment. Sure, all right. So this could technically all be labeled as 'My Fault.'

He then went on to explain his place in the operations as the chef. He said he was in charge of making enough to cover demand for a few districts. And wasn't that something. I always thought it was a process that required a lot of manpower, but hey. Shows what I know. He went further into detail about the creation process and as he did, I swear I saw his eyes light up. I let him just keep rambling as I thought about what I wanted to do with them after I was finished gathering my information.

As I was mulling over the few options I could come up with, a bone-deep chill that originated from my marked hand, rocketed up my arm and across my body. This meant one of two things. One, there is potentially some mystical creature waiting outside to shank me, or…

"Greetings, fool."

Him. Of course. Well, at least this can distract me from the detailed information on methamphetamine creation. Plus, he finally gave up the mickey mouse voice, and went with what seems to be my voice, but pitched down, and a slight bit more gravelly.

"Always a silver lining, isn't there? Fool, I have to wonder, do you know why I'm appearing now? Why I appeared the previous times? Show me the insight that belongs to my chosen entertainment."

Fuck, it isn't just whims? "No." Well shit. That was my first guess.

If I look back. The first time was my placement here. The task was waiting for me, and it commanded me to make a choice between two paths. Good and Evil. It was also when I proved my worth as entertainment by 'failing correctly'.

The second, was a gift. A boon granted for progressing quickly, since I cemented my position on the side of evil, when there was technically still a way to go back to being a hero, and tentatively ally with the Bats.

When I used it, he presented me with two choices, one would show my ruthlessness, the other, would show my mercy, however cruel it may have been. It made me known as a criminal that doesn't do eye for an eye, but rather an eye for a life.

And now, well. I'll have to see, but he'll definitely present me with a choice, one that will affect my future in a permanent way. He only appears at a crossroads… Whenever there's a choice that will define who I am, he'll be there to influence my choice. To shape me into something. There were plenty more ways to act in those situations, yet I was restricted by his tasks, into picking not from my myriad of options, but picking the one that felt less bad than the other.

Here, well, I can almost guess what it's going to be, but lay it on me.

"Yes, you are correct, for the most part. I want to see you not at your strongest, or your safest. Only your most entertaining. I appear to ensure I won't get bored, as simple as that. With that in mind, here is my task, fool of mine.

In front of you lies the dregs of humanity. The unloved, the shunned. They create poison, to prey on their own kind. Yet within that poison, lies profit. You can see it, in this very building. The basement holds enough poison to keep you growing ever richer for years. Yet, will you fall to this greed, or not? Your first option, poach these dregs of society, and profit from their presence. After all, the devil you know is trustworthy. I'm sure you could control them, if you tried hard enough.

Yet, they are still a devil. Humanity has a long standing belief that devils need to die. It matters not if another devil, worse than the first, takes its place. For you've had practice killing devils now that you got rid of the first, and you can just keep going, until there are no more to replace them. You could wipe these dregs off the face of this earth, and keep doing so until there are no more left to dirty the streets. After all, violence is always a solution to any problem.

I wish you the best fool, succeed, and you'll see your reward. I think you'll enjoy this one. I know I will."

And with that, he vanished from my mind, and it felt as though a weight was lifted off of me. Though in its place, there was a new sort of pressure. The pressure that comes from a confirmation of something I was personally fearing deep down. He truly doesn't care about my well being, and he won't save me from anything. He only wants to see a story. For that goal, he'll do anything, including forcing me to choose between what he believes are the two most interesting paths. The ones that would affect the core of my being the most.

Well, fuck him. I'll rebel the only way I can. I can't not do the task, as the potential risk of failure is far too high. However, I never remember him saying I couldn't do both actions. So yeah, fuck it. These misfits are mine now.

The rest of the Falcone's, will die.

And unbeknownst to the unfortunate soul, the devil cracked a smile at his pawns choice.

E — N — D

Aight, I'm not gonna lie to y'all. Motivation and mental problems aside, this chapter did not want to be written. I think this was what writer's block is? Anyway, sorry if the chapter is lower quality, it's kind of hard for me to tell, since I find myself incapable of reading my own work. I dunno, when I 1: know what's going to happen and 2: literally made the thing. It's a bit hard to glean enjoyment from reading it.

Regardless, here we go. Chapter 12, in all its glory. No action, because I couldn't find a place to fit it in, but hey, he's declared a war on drugs! On both sides, even. So we'll have him fighting again soon. I've been debating starting a new fic, but I can't decide what I want it to be about. So that's distant future as well. For the best really, I need to try and force myself into the habit of writing again.

Anyway, thanks for reading, hope y'all enjoyed it, and I'll see you all in the next one, that hopefully won't take as long. No promises though.

(P.S. Lemme know if I left any typos in, I was a bit lazy with the proofread/editing this time.)
Welcome back, sir! I look forward to the violence prescription to be given to The Falcones for daring to sell to kiddies!

I also hope that Lycaon can get some specialized training to--if not keep up with The Bat--at least make him bleed as the badass villain in development that he is.
And the wanna be Witcher now has an "alchemy" lab, hopefully he'll get some knowledge. Or maybe that would be to broken lab bottled shit in DC is amazing fucking Danner Formula was made in I think the 20s with a normal lab.
oh no no no. please dont be modest. this chapter is awesome. i cant wait to see more. carmine falcone is going to have a bad day. its gonna be epic.

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