Life sometimes doesn't go the way you wanted to. very human has his history and Maverick is no exception to that rule. It is what has defined us as a people, giving us appreciation for just being able to get up for another day. Though for Maverick, it was never quite the same, he could not trample through another endless afternoon relying on his horrible memories. However what will be following this statement is an account of the history of the ones known as Maverick and Azazel and their storied relationship. Some demons are hard to dig up, he knows it as well as I do. He knows that they can take physical forms, they do have the ability to attack our minds, should they be weak. Or not so weak ... and Maverick can be very susceptible to this. As was his uncle, he thinks ... always drawing that conclusion, always making that link. We're flipping the pages of this book, we're identifying with the stories but they don't know what he knows, they don't have what is in his possession. A will to kill, a complete disregard for his own conscience or a lack of one altogether. Yes we're thumbing the pages and coming up with stories we did not think were there before, we found mixed emotions in places were things were once certain and we're finding out that the past isn't quite what we thought it had been. Things change with time, the winds blow these old leaves away and new ones replace, yet something still seems to stay the same, that we as a species are stuck in a rut and all the technology in the world could not dispute that fact. Because it is something more thast we need to survive, all of a sudden, instinct, technology and spirituality were not enough. All of a sudden it takes another addition to the soul to simply live another day, for some, because they have reached the end of their rope, they have come face to face with death so early. The story will go on; stories tend to do that sort of thing. Death has not come for him though it has come close to watch and, against its better judgment, has interfered and saved Maverick when it was his fate to sleep ... And now a deep look inside a man who should be like any other man, but somehow isn't, a man with a very black soul, one who is unforgiving, merciless, and intelligent. Oh how the wicked will bow, their gnarled arms slammed to the ground in the faith of their ignorance. And I looked upon their faces, at their cuts and in their eyes, and I knew that they had to be massacred, they would have to pay. Why is justice lost now, why has lady peace's scales tipped? Idiots, every last one of them, megalomaniacs with nowhere to turn, believing the world revolves around them, believing there are no other pawns that cannot be checked. Except this world is a game board, a full one, it always has been, if someone loses his role, he will fall off and be replaced by another pawn. This is tragic to the other pawns, but you have to ask yourself, what does it mean to the world? It is recognized as a new piece, that is it, not based on merit but chance. Not appeciative of the skills that are brought to the table, only that something is. And such is life, such a bitter, bitter end. He's not accepting to walk into the cold grave just yet, there are more souls to be obtained, more lives to threaten, more to prove ... possibly to himself though he would never admit to such heresy. He fell last night, he fell by a fluke, and for that reason he is locked away in a remote location training to fight Erik Murdock, the World Champion, and thus will not utter a single word this week. Instead, a deep look into who he is, what his history is like and his alliance with Azazel, the mysterious fighter, the same who had once accompanied Sean Corvik on that journey once ... it felt like such a short time ago that had happened, but in the midst of it, it felt like years and years. How do we come full circle like this? We'll deny the flame this day, we will take a path that was not supposed to be taken. We will challenge the faces of what they call right and correct in this world. And it makes me sick, that these bullshit human sheep, these clones, can follow so far into their graves, I can't believe they are so willing to become the clones they needed to avoid. Wow, it burns my soul, sets me afire ... the more I think about it, the more my head throbs, pathetic. Nevertheless, we come to this destination, to the past of Azazel, of Maverick, their actions and consequences, successes and triumphs, and the tragedy that shook two titans.
Part 1: Mission: Search and Destroy
Five Years Ago
The darkness falls upon the world like a cloak, letting only a few privileged stars shine before its wings. The moon hangs in the Western sky to balance those powers of which no one speaks, watching over its dominion. We are led to the entrance of a bar, emphasized by a grotesquely neon green sign that says "The Green Beaver." A hand pushes the doors open to a rowdy club with strobe lights climbing every inch of space. People casually dance everywhere in between the notes of generic techno music. The camera whips around to Maverick, a pair of black sunglasses wrapped around his head and his blonde hair slicked back. He is very formally dressed in a black two piece business suit with a white undershirt and a black tie. On occasion when he is walking, his jacket moves to outline the form of his precious weapon, the golden gun. He keeps it concealed, gazing not in wonderment but in disgust at the hedonism around him in this glorified, juke box of a brothel. With a grim look etched upon his face like an expressionless stone, he weaves through the people and winds up near the bar, where a large African bouncer guards the doors. His arms are folded over his massive chest, with the word SECURITY barely stretched across it. He looks down at the small man before him, who pulls a black leather waller from his back pocket, flipping it open to the window with his I.D. inside it. Satisfied, the bouncer steps aside and Maverick opens the doors, quickly lighting a cigarette and sweeping a lock of hair from his sunglasses. Lifting the object in question up and over his head, he calmly strolls through the room before encountering two quite thuggish individuals in front of another pair of doors.
Maverick: Vito, Tony, how are you guys?
The two men appear to be brothers, both with thick Italian/New York accents.
Vito: Yeah man, we doin' real good. The Boss wants to see yous.
Maverick: Oh what fun, I wonder what endless fun he'll have me experience this time.
Tony: He ain't been in such a good mood lately.
Maverick: Same old.
Maverick flicks the ash bridge from his cigarette as it breaks off and lands in the floor. The two men step aside and let Maverick open the doors, this time to a rather small room. There are several guards, rather large men, on the left and the right, equally, of the desk in the center of the room. In front of the desk stands a muscular bald man dressed in a business suit, behind it, a large black chair. Obviously someone is sitting there, as smoke is rising from the top of the chair and dissipating into the cloudy room. Maverick nods to the guards and steps up to the desk, folding his hands behind his back.. A few hits from the cigar and a little loud coughing, and a raspy voice from behind the chair breaks the silence.
Man: Maverick, I have a job for you.
One of the guards to his left pulls out a manila folder and drops it on the table. It lands with a thud, Maverick still not looking down, still puffing away at his cigarette.
Guard: This man's name is Vincent Wright. He has been a thorn in our side for a long time. If you'll remember, he was responsible for being the biggest druglord this half of the United States. Of course, everyone knew it, except for the authorities who would decide his fate. He has the money to keep people quiet and that is how he was able to get out of trouble. As is customary, we do not ask questions about our client's wish for this termination, only present him with an up front fee. You will both be paid $100,000 for your hit, half now, half when the job is accomplished. Maverick, you're not new to this--
Maverick: And just who is this gentleman beside me? You forgot to mention him.
Guard: Yes, your new partner's name is Azazel.
They look at one another, neither sticking out a hand of welcoming, and look back to the guard.
Guard: I realize it will be odd for you two to work together, being the first time and all. But Azazel has extensive experience in his craft, expertiese in five forms of martial arts, and he is an excellent sharpshooter.
Maverick: Yeah, yeah, spare me. And you say I can't do this by myself?
Guard: Because you are one of his most skilled employees, the Overlord wishes to ensure you the best help so you may be available for future services.
Maverick: Nice to know you care.
Guard: And of course, your regular partner, Lotus, will also be employed to do this.
Maverick: Thank God, finally something is familiar.
A beautiful Chinese woman walks in, with deep brown eyes and black hair to her shoulders. Maverick finds himself ogling as she approaches the desk, smiling to Maverick, who nods. She leans on the desk and picks up the photograph, inspecting the man with the long, dark hair in the photograph. "Vincent Wright," she says, without bothering to look at the name written on the form.
Maverick: You know him?
Lotus: Of course, this man was huge ... merciless and powerful. This is the man you want?
The chair spins around and a large, chunky man turns to stare at the three people before him set to do the job. He is mostly bald, save for a few patches of white hair, he has a large, intimidating presence about him. He takes a final hit from his stub of a cigar and puts it out in the glass ash tray. He sets the cancer stick in and folds his hands, coughing and wheezing, before wiping his nose and leaning down to pick up the papers.
Overlord: This is a very dangerous man. Lotus knows, that he is relentless and has people very loyal to his cause. We're talking 20 men, experienced men. My analyst here can give you all the information needed to take care of this problem, though we do not know much. Mr. Wright is quite intelligent about his profession, it has been required for him to emerge from this mess unscathed. I don't want to send that many people in because there is surveillence on the premisis and those are just too many people to keep track of. Of course, we can supply the weapons, though you seem to have grown quite fond of your plaything, Maverick. It's late, I suggest you and Azazel become acquainted. We will give you a call early tomorrow morning with all the information we have to offer. Good luck.
Maverick nods and motions Azazel to walk with him back through the doors, through the club and eventually get to the side of the street, riding around to the parking lot. Maverick pulls out a set of keys and hits the unlock button, causing the system to beep twice, and they both climb in. Turning the key, the black Bentley roars to life and he backs out onto the street, racing down the street. His hand clutches the black gearshift while resting one hand on the top of the steering wheel. Azazel leans back and scans the papers as well as surveillence photos that had been taken, sketchy images of people who appear to be Vincent, but could just as well be anyone else.
Azazel: Says here he got busted with 20 pounds of marijuana and got off clean. Strange thing is, no one seems to be crying foul.
Maverick: That's right, and I'll tell you something that's not on that sheet of paper. Mr. Wright also funded anti-drug campaigns, community involvement projects and highway repairs for the city of Miami. It's obvious where the money is coming from but unfortunately the community doesn't seem to care because they are being largely helped by this man.
Azazel: Well, if he's such a druglord, why did he only have 20 pounds in his possession. I've seen guys holding ten times that much.
Maverick: Because he doesn't keep it all in one place. He's smart about it.
Azazel: It looked like earlier you didn't know who he was.
Maverick rolls down the window as he takes a right turn and blows the ash off his cigarette, exhaling.
Maverick: Damn, you ask a lot of questions. What matters is I k now what I ... what we're up against. Just know one thing, if you die your blood will not be on my hands, I didn't ask for a partner. But in truth, I need the money, so here we are stuck in a situation.
Azazel: Yeah thanks, but if you're going to be an asshole for the rest of the time we work together--
Maverick: Which is hopefully not for long.
Azazel: We aren't going to be able to get this done.
Maverick: Yeah, well, I don't want some rookie coming in here and telling me I don't know what I'm doing, I've been in this business long enough to know what I have to look out for.
Maverick spots a nice hotel and whips into the nearest parking space he can find. Hopping out after Azazel, he locks the doors and turns on his security system, not bothering to look back at Az. Maverick walks to the lobby and gets his room straightened out, when Azazel enters the lobby, leaning against a wall. Maverick takes the keys and Azazel gets his own room sorted. The both move back to the car and drive around to where their rooms were, right next to each other, and they both go in their respective places of rest. Maverick enters and strips off his suit, shedding himself of the uncomfortable garb, and slips on an old black shirt and red shorts. He takes a seat on the beautiful bed and leans back, closing his eyes for a moment, losing himself, searching for answers ... his thoughts moved back to Vincent Wright. This job never guaranteed you would survive past the next mission, and Vincent was a notorious man. "It's not that I'm scared," he thinks, though that could be the shell of his machismo speaking. It's that he simply wasn't ready to jump into this environment. He had told himself it was over, countless times, but it seems as though no one is willing to listen, thety keep dragging him back when he was supposed to start a new life. But they did him well, were up front about his payments, even showing their good moods by adding a nice chunk of change on the end of some of those payments. "...It's that I provide a service, just like anyone else. And this man is a sinner. And a murderer. And a liar. Alas, justifying these things to himself wasn't as easy as it used to be. A knock comes at the door and Maverick, startled, peers over to the entrance. He stumbles to his feet and opens the door. Azazel comes in, armed with a case of beer, and sits down on one of the nice beige chairs, taking one for himself and tossing one to Maverick. Maverick pops open the St. Pauli Girl and takes a long drink. Az takes a swig of his own.
Azazel: Look, it doesn't matter if I trust you, doesn't matter if you trust me. What matters is by executing one man we have money to be set for a while. Now, that seems like a pretty decent deal to me.
Maverick holds his bottle in one hand and stretches out on the bed. His eyes look forward but not to Az; rather, down to the brown carpet surrounding him.
Maverick: We are ... providing a service.
Maverick: That is what we are here for. To provide a service. When I was training, they taught me that there were necessary evils in this world, and that there were unnecessary ones as well. I learned from a young age the moral that you get what you are coming to you. It took me a long time to cope with the fact that not only would people deemed "bad" get what was coming to them, but also that fate took the form of my hand and I would be judge, jury, and executioner. We provide a service, much like a cashier does, or a waitress does. It's just that our duty requires a greater payoff, and a greater sacrifice.
Azazel: You are not happy with what you are.
Maverick: That's the problem, I don't know who I am. I have always been called a killer, a cold blood assassin, even though to me, the work was justifiable. These people were not innocent, these people didn't have a damn value to their names, was it not my obligation to end them, and if not me, would it not be someone else's? My point is, to some beasts, guilt will never come. However I'm dealing with a flurry of mixed emotions. I was actually thinking of qu--
He stops himself, mid-sentence, realizing he, for some reason, has opened up a little bit too much to this stranger.
Maverick: --Of going over this one last time ...
Azazel nods and reaches into the briefcase beside him, the wifebeater he is wearing displaying outlines of his colorful celtic body art ... he withdraws the manila folder and lays it out on the bed. He pulls the chair closer to the foot of the bed as Maverick sits up, sifting through them. Suddenly another knock comes at the door. Maveric moves quickly to the robe in the corner, withdrawing his curved blade. He rushes up to the door, opens it and raises his arm to strike. Lotus appears in the doorway and Maverick drops his blade, letting her in. For a moment he looks outside of the door, left then right, and moves back in the room, locking the door. Lotus' black hair falls on her shoulder, wearing a black spaghetti strap shirt and some khaki pants. With her she brought a briefcase. She rolsl in the combination of the case and hears it click open after the fourth number. The case pops open and she reaches in a side pocket, withdrawing blue prints and more surveillance shots of the premises. Positioning blueprints, she takes her laser pointer and points to a door frame.
Lotus: This is the entrance, and completely not an option. It is guarded by at least ten people at any given time.
She sweeps the pointer across to the side and two what appears to be a side entrance.
:Lotus: This is the second. It also wouldn't be a good idea to go there, we need to be where it can be executed the most cleanly.
She ponts down.
Lotus: Here, the cellar. It leads up to the main entrance, blocked by two guards. We can take them out, but don't bring attention to yourselves. Also, don't fire if you don't have to.
Maverick quirks his brow.
Maverick: Excuse me?
Lotus: What? We're already drawing attention to ourselves as it is. We can't let something that big happen, it would get out, questions would be raised. As it stands, if we kill Vincent, there won't be a huge outcry after he's exposed with who he really is. Disappointment, yes, but you know they'll lay the case to rest.
Maverick: Fine, alright ... we will do this. Not as simple as I thought it would be but I'm up to the challenge. We strike tomorrow.
Azazel and Lotus nod.
Maverick: Hey you know Lotus ... you could spend the night here if you don't have a room.
Lotus gets up and gives him a kiss on the cheek, laughing.
Lotus: Silly boy. Remember our game plan, we will go over it again early tomorrow morning.
Azazel: But what time do we go in?
Lotus: Tomorrow night. Remember, this is the mansion of the most prestigious man on this side of Florida, we have to watch our asses if we want to come out alive. The way I see it, we take out a couple of guards, slip in oh so quietly, put a bullet in this man's brain and disappear just as quickly, if not quicker. Of course, we cannot communicate silently enough, so we can't bring walkie talkies. We have to stick together at all times, and I mean it.
Maverick rolls his eyes.
Maverick: Are you done?
Lotus: The nerve of you!
Lotus turns and walks away before Maverick can get in another word edgewise. Azazel starts on what seems to be his fifth beer, slowly becoming a slave to the empty gaze as well, thinking of the progress of tomorrow, whether or not he had the heart to do this. His training said he did, but then, our fundamentals become ultimate slaves to our critical hearts. Maverick finally finishes his third beer, leaning back in bed, his eyes darting over to the digital clock. 3:00 AM. "Shit" he thinks, brushing a hand over his face. It was going to be a long day. Of course, operations like these needed time for adequate training, an insight on where everything is and how quickly you can access or terminate them. That is the whole game, after all, the cruel life or death battle. And wouldn't you want an upper hand, a smart leader not a flamboyant powerful one who will charge blindly into oblivion? I thought so ... when the stakes are this high, you have to ensure your victory because no one can afford the price they will have to pay for one mistake. Wartime strategy is such an interesting thing ...
Azazel: Well, I'm going to bed.
Maverick node and Azazel exits the room. Maverick grabs another beer and walks over to the air conditioner, switching it on, as cold as it would go, and lies on the bed, sipping his beverage. The sheets soon become cold, soothing him, refreshing his being, for tomorrow would be a day of revelations for this man, a day of realizations and breakthroughs from the confinement he had once known, a chance to break those shackles and rid himself of the ball and chasin. Maverick gets up and hobbles over to the bathroom, soaking his face in water and relieving the hot flash he had. He stands up, groggily looking at the mirror for a moment before drying off with a nearby towel. Maverick walks over and switches the air conditioner off, before sitting back on the bed, grabbing a pen and a notepad, his mind filled with thoughts, scribbling on the notepad absent-mindedly, arranging his mind into eclectic patterns.
Take the time to realize and pull forth, a straining will to survive, a serpent in the mire, an eagle on the stairway, the killer's in my brain. Another bomb exploding, another child drowning, a pool of wrath and torment has pulled him down this day. A broken mirror taunting, a rotten apple to resist, the poison drops like lava and is melting in my fist and all the power and they glory and the sinners won't suffice, pollution's hold on us a simple word to the wind and a letter in a tree and etched in the clouds and all I need to live are the moments I can't remember now. The sores are spreading, the sores are spreading and life's dividing, unfair sections with season's tidings, a question, hurled into the night with all the power it could, coming back as ash on the ground, to deliver nothing. But they watch me, they see me when I am not looking, they taste my blood everytime I hurt, everytime I cry, the salt of the seas sweeps in their wounds and tears them apart because they don't have the will to fight it. You know they are carried off like corpses of another life, dragged from their burial ground directly through hell's gates as the skin is peeled off their bodies. Knowing the maker is going to torture them before their final judgment day. Because these men around me, they are already dead, their chemical sprays forth like a fountain of death ready to sieze and claim. And running short of breath I can do nothing but bow to meet the final maker, carrier of souls, I can't wait to look in that mirror and see the hideous monster that stares back to me, a monster that is not complete because my heart isn't either. There is a void, somewhere deep inside, a pit of fire and flame, and they burn, every last one of them, they feel the tender roast of the licking fire that consumes them, they love the torture, yet, as I love watching it, I know I will soon be next, I will be the one perched atop the nothing and become the anonymous martyr. Raised high above the hill for a sacrifice, like God's son, ready for the blade to pierce his heart. But it won't, not yet ... there is too much to live for and far too much more to regret ...
Maverick opens up another bottle, letting the buzz enter him and course through his body. Five years ago, he didn't know that soon he would be facing the PWR World Champion, Erik Murdock. He did not know he would be on such estranged terms with the man known as Azazel, because the next day would change his life completely. We look at these history pages, we try to rip them out and read them with the vigor with which we read them as they happened, with the intensity of a frezh nature. Maverick would not find sleep for long that night, somehow knowing, deep in his gut, that something bad loomed on the horizon. He pulls the covers of his body, a blue eye catching the glimmer of the golden gun. The weaopon of his destruction.