Angelo Mortalli is a hitman on the rise who the Carboni crime family sells to Project Rising Spirit, which erases his memories and infuses his bloodstream with microscopic machines called nanites that turn him into a killing-machine and engine of destruction. Oblivious to his true identity, the man who would become Bloodshot flees from Rising Spirit’s laboratories to learn who he is.
Bloodshot is a Harbinger with the ability to dominate electrical devices and read computers directly through physical contact, and a triumph of bio-engineering whose nanite-rich blood gives him superhuman speed, agility, healing powers, and total control of his body.
Blood of The Machine
Angelo Mortalli stood on the balcony of his lover’s apartment where she pleaded with him to break off his engagement with Diana Canelli, but he slapped her across the face and left. The next day, Angelo ambushed Gilad Abrams at the docks, where after a shootout he stood triumphant over Gilad’s bleeding body. Angelo threw Gilad into the river, unaware that Buck McHenry would rescue him. Angelo thought that he was on the way up the echelons of the Mob, but what he did not realize was that Don Canelli discovered that he cheated on his daughter. Framed for the murder of a rival family, Angelo turned evidence against the Carboni family to avoid life imprisonment. While in custody, a government agent betrayed Angelo and sold him to the Iwatsu Corporation. Taken to Project Rising Spirit, Angelo endured a process that erased his memory and replaced his blood with plasma filled with nanites. Freed by Geoff McHenry before Iwatsu’s training was complete, Angelo rechristened himself Bloodshot after the project and embarked on a quest to learn who he was.
Blood Of The Machine
At Heathrow Airport, Bloodshot killed two members of the INLA and took a briefcase from them. Escaping from MI–5 agents who were staking out the airport, Bloodshot jumped on a bus that took him to the East End. Using a stereo and the nanites in his blood, Bloodshot decoded a CD–Rom he found in the briefcase. Two days later at the River Thames, Bloodshot staked out an exchange between the INLA and Canelli, a name he found in the CD–ROM. After dispatching the Irish, Bloodshot questioned Canelli about what he knew about him and Project Rising Spirit, when then Thompson and Otomo, two Speedshots sent by Hideyoshi Iwatsu, attacked. As their fight took them into the river and Otomo and Thompson almost choked him to death, Bloodshot reached out to the nanites in their blood and made their hearts explode. Coming out of the river, Bloodshot came across Charles "John" Sinclair, the MI–5 agent in charge of the stake out at Heathrow that he botched. Meanwhile in Manhattan, Don Benito Carboni saw a picture of Bloodshot taken at the airport and realized that Mortalli still lived.
An Ax To Grind
In Del Mar, California, Ax and his cybernetically–enhanced thugs broke into Project Rising Spirit, where he used his power over machines to open the files on project Bloodshot inside Wallace Durkins' computer. Meanwhile in NYC, Bloodshot met with an arms dealer in a shoddy hotel near Times Square who equipped him with replacements for the weapons he lost in the Thames. The next day, following Canelli’s trail, Bloodshot broke into an office in the financial district and questioned a pencil pusher who told him that he could find Canelli in Long Island. An hour later, while Bloodshot made his way through Battery Park, Ax’s thugs attacked him. Besieged at first, Bloodshot made quick work of the thugs, disabling most of them and killing others. Just then, Ax appeared on the scene garbed in an X-O Commando Armor. As a battle ensued, Ax used his ability over machines to control the nanites inside Bloodshot’s blood to make him freeze in place, but then Bloodshot turned the tables on him and ordered his armor to break open, which gave him an opening to slice Ax’s exposed arm with his sword. Flying away, Ax swore that he would have his revenge. Elsewhere, the pencil pusher called Carboni.
Crime Lords Of Flatbush
While Bloodshot was in a bar, Maria the bartender confused him with a man she knew who died after getting involved with the Mob. Wondering if he was that man, Bloodshot returned to his hotel. Elsewhere, Carboni hired the arms dealer Bloodshot got his armaments from to build him a weapon Bloodshot could not control. After leaving a warehouse where a man told him that he could find Carboni in a chop shop, Bloodshot helped a street kid escape from a gang beating. After avoiding a confrontation with the street kid’s gang, Bloodshot narrowly escaped from a car that almost ran him over. Shooting two bullets into it, Bloodshot killed the driver, who recognized him before he died. Blinded by the headlights from a second car, Bloodshot took cover from an assault led by Tony Barucci, a man he recognized as a friend who betrayed him on the witness stand during his trial. Shooting a phosphorus tracer round into the gas tank, Bloodshot blew up Tony’s car, killing everyone. Elsewhere, Canelli joined Carboni and revealed that the chop shop was a trap for Bloodshot.
Breaking into Carboni’s house during his daughter’s wedding, Bloodshot retrieved data from his PC that led him to a chop shop in Long Island. The next day at the ranch, the H.A.R.D. Corps headquarters, Superstar was on the verge of a breakdown while Flatline was eager to see his wife, who still believed that he was dead. Assigned to determine whether or not Bloodshot was a Harbinger, the Corps followed him to Long Island, where they witnessed a shootout between Bloodshot and the Mob that escalated once they joined the fray and concluded when a mobster dropped a grenade that destroyed the building. As the dust settled, Gunslinger told the others to shoot Bloodshot if he tried to leave. To everyone’s surprise, Flatline stood between the corps and Bloodshot as he could not abide taking his freedom as Omen Enterprises had taken theirs. Asking what they wanted from him, Bloodshot allowed the Corps to scan him with a device that his nanites recalibrated to show negative results no matter what it was looking for. The next day Seth denied Flatline’s request due to his breaking from the team. As Flatline left, Seth expressed concern over Shakespeare’s’ whereabouts. Unaware that the Spider Aliens had captured him, Hammerhead assured Seth that Shakespeare was safe with a friend in Oregon.
Blood Of The Ages
After accompanying Maria home from the movies, Bloodshot, nervous over how to conduct himself in a romantic setting due to his lack of memories, declined her invitation to go up to her apartment and left. Going home, Bloodshot discovered that someone had broken in. Drawing his gun, he followed the scent of paint–thinner to the bathroom, where Gilad shot him with an empty gun as payback for when he dumped him on his butt the year before. While talking over a couple of beers, Gilad warned Bloodshot about going after the Mob, whom he had a run–in with a few years earlier, a reference to when they met when Bloodshot was Angelo Mortalli that Bloodshot did not understand. Revealing the reason for his visit, Gilad offered Bloodshot a job for Neville Alcott, when then Bloodshot’s arms dealer arrived to deliver a custom–made gun and a note from Carboni that said that he had kidnapped Bloodshot’s sister, a sibling he did not know existed.
Following the note, Bloodshot and Gilad made their way to an abandoned factory in New Jersey where they met with Carboni and the heads of his crime family, including Canelli. Speaking on Bloodshot’s behalf, Gilad admitted to knowing that he was Angelo Mortalli, but offered that Angelo died when Bloodshot was born. After considerable debate, Carboni concluded that Bloodshot was too dangerous. Under the threat of his sister’s death, Bloodshot agreed to submit quietly in exchange for her freedom, but as she was leaving, Canelli pulled a gun and shot her. Enraged, Bloodshot jumped on Canelli and grabbed his neck in his hands.
2,000 years in the future, the Malev Emperor ordered his subjects to kidnap Rentaro Nakadai.
Blood On The Sands Of Time
Bloodshot proceeded to tear through the mobsters in the room, until finally, Carboni agreed to a truce. Leaving with Gilad, Bloodshot inquired about the woman’s health, who he had surmised was not his sister. It turned out that she was an actress Canelli hired as part of his elaborate scheme for revenge. Having spent his fury against the Mob, Bloodshot accepted Gilad’s invitation to become an agent for Neville Alcott. Later that night, Bloodshot knocked on Maria’s door and spent the night with her.
2,000 years later, the Malev Emperor tortured Rentaro and used him as bait for Takao Konishi. Discovering that the Malevs had taken Rentaro, Gilad located Rai just as the Malevs had offered to exchange Rentaro’s life for his own. As the Malevs took Rai and Gilad to meet with a hologram of the Malev Emperor, Gilad recalled the time he and Bloodshot met with Carboni to rescue his sister, and was unsettled at the thought of Bloodshot’s blood running through Takashi’s veins. As Rentaro refused to allow Takao to take his place, a Malev shot him and he fell to his knees. Angered, Takao used his Harbinger ability to cause explosions throughout the installation until the Emperor agreed to let them go, which he did.
Death At 10,000 Feet
On a plane over Sidney, Cinder stole a briefcase that contained a component from an agent of the Weaponeer, then after setting the plane ablaze, he escaped with his wife Glyder. Meanwhile, Bloodshot returned to his flat in London, where his friend Malcolm, a tabloid photographer, had been living. That day in France, Alicia Guerrero, the second of five agents able to deliver her cargo, quit the Weaponeer’s organization due to the increasing amount of deaths. Four hours later, Colin King drugged Alicia and took her to parts unknown.
Back in London, Bloodshot reported to Neville Alcott. Introducing himself as Michael Lazarus, Bloodshot embraced his new life. Telling him that someone was killing the agents of the Weaponeer, Neville showed Michael pictures of Cinder boarding the same planes as the agents. Believing that the plane crashes covered the attacks on the agents, Neville assigned Michael to discover why Cinder was after. Two days later, Bloodshot followed Colin aboard a plane to Manila. During the flight, Cinder approached Colin like he had the other agents, but Colin caught him unawares and injected him with a drug that knocked him out. Weary, Glyder stood up and ran toward the exit hatch, and though Bloodshot tried to stop her she opened it and flew away. Hanging on for dead life, Bloodshot could not fight the suction and fell off the plane.
The Unkindest Cut Of All
Plummeting toward the ground, Bloodshot saw Glyder and angled his body towards her to grab her ankle and force her to take him closer to the ground. Struggling against Bloodshot’s grip, Glyder kicked her boot off and pushed Bloodshot off her, which sent him crashing down toward the jungle. Meanwhile at the airport, Colin took an unconscious Cinder to the men’s room, where he left him after he changed into a new disguise. Waking up, Cinder walked out of the restroom and overheard two police officers discussing their inability to search the jungle for Glyder and Bloodshot due to a storm shutting traffic control down entirely for an hour. Unaware that Colin was following him, Cinder made his way toward the public phones and reported the situation to his handler, Brandon, who he told to meet him at their rendezvous point.
Waking up with injuries sustained during the crash that his nanites were already healing, Bloodshot made his way through the jungle to look for Glyder, when then a hurricane fell on his position. Unbeknownst to him, half a mile away Brandon and three armed soldiers were making their way toward the rendezvous point three klicks up. Back at the airport, Colin shadowed Cinder and saw him kill a guard and steal his transportation.
While Brandon found Glyder hiding from the storm beneath a stone, half a mile away Cinder’s truck broke down. Forced to make his way to the rendezvous point on foot, Cinder went on his way, unaware that Colin, now garbed in his Ninjak uniform, was following him. Spotting Bloodshot, Ninjak deployed his collapsible sword and stabbed him on the chest while accusing him of being a killer. Saved by his nanites, Bloodshot removed Ninjak’s sword from his abdomen. Returning his sword to him, Bloodshot told Ninjak that if he had come after Glyder and Cinder that they were on the same side. Though he could tell that Ninjak did not trust him, Bloodshot teamed up with him to deal with their foes.
Circling around Brandon’s camp, Ninjak killed one of his men and subdued another, but alas Brandon captured Bloodshot. Holding Bloodshot at gunpoint, Brandon demanded that Ninjak surrender himself. Swooping down from a treetop, Ninjak wrapped a cord around the third man’s neck and killed him too. As Brandon threatened to kill Bloodshot unless Ninjak granted him safe passage back to his chopper, Ninjak deployed his sword once again and killed Brandon by stabbing Bloodshot in the same spot as before.
As Glyder escaped with Cinder and boarded the chopper, Bloodshot asked Ninjak what he was going to do about them. As Ninjak assured Bloodshot that he always took care of things, the chopper exploded. Following Ninjak’s lead, Bloodshot followed him back to the truck Cinder abandoned.
At a warehouse in Philadelphia, Bloodshot took out a group of counterfeiters in a bloody firefight, then after recovering the printing plates for Neville and planting a bomb, he exited the building. While taking cover from the explosion, Bloodshot came across Geoff McHenry, who recruited him to help stop Master Darque. Though agreeing to join the fight, Bloodshot left to take care of a previous commitment in London, but he promised to meet Geoff at Gilad’s apartment in New York 48 hours later. Meanwhile in London, unidentified men captured Malcolm after he returned home from work.
After meeting with Neville, Bloodshot returned to his flat. As Bloodshot walked up the stairs thinking of Jillian and of Maria’s inability to handle what he was, the scent of musky cologne stopped him in his tracks. Drawing his gun, Bloodshot pushed the door open and saw that whoever had been there had trashed the place. Finding a note on the wall hanging off a dagger with a message inscribed in Malcolm’s blood that read For Lucy, Bloodshot realized that the INLA had taken Malcolm to trade for him.
While Bloodshot armed himself to face the INLA, a sniper shot him with a trank dart from across the street. While chasing the sniper through the rooftops, Bloodshot felt dazed and sluggish even though the nanites in his veins were counteracting the chemicals in his blood. Catching up to the shooter after he failed to jump to another building, Bloodshot hoisted him up with his hand. As the sniper confessed that an Asian man sent him to inject Bloodshot with a computer virus, Bloodshot lost his grip and the sniper fell to his death.
At a textile plant, Bloodshot watched as the INLA’s leader, Eric, beat Malcolm for betraying them. With his senses awry, Bloodshot failed to see one of Eric’s men walk up to him until it was too late. Though loosing the element of surprise and weakened due to the virus, Bloodshot took out Eric’s men. Enraged, Eric aimed his gun at Bloodshot to kill him, but before he could, Malcolm shot him with one of his own men’s shotguns. Hearing police sirens surround the building, Bloodshot knew that he and Malcolm were trapped.
16 hours later at Scotland Yard, the police surrendered Bloodshot into Charles Sinclair’s custody on Neville Alcott’s behalf and Bloodshot was free to return to New York and meet with Geoff and the others.
Agent of MI-5
In the jungle near Macao, Jillian parted ways with Gilad as he left to find a designer drug plant. While Jillian returned to her seaplane on her motorboat, a group of thugs on jet skies shot at her and made her crash. Taken Jillian captive, the men took her to Hong Kong, where they delivered her to Emil Sosa, the soul eater, who had spent the last nine months recovering from injuries he sustained during in battle with Shadowman.
The next day, Bloodshot arrived in Hong Kong to search for Jillian. Following Sosa’s name, the only lead he had from Jillian’s transmission before she was captured, Bloodshot made his way through a seedy market where he learned where Sosa lived from a child porn peddler.
A few blocks away, Mohammed Mekkel, Sosa’s spiritual trainer and one of Neville’s former agents, told Jillian that he was holding her captive to exchange her for high–level computer access codes. Moments later Sosa walked into the room after feeding off one of his aides, an act that displeased Mohammed, who warned Sosa that if he was not careful the pain would be his undoing. Meanwhile, Bloodshot broke into the building and followed Jillian’s scent to where they were holding her captive.
As Mohammed told Jillian how her mother died when her father failed to make a deal with Dr. Silk, Jillian saw Bloodshot sneaking into the room. Fooling Mohammed into freeing her, Jillian kicked him across the head and flung him out the window. Watching as Sosa grabbed Jillian by the wrist, Bloodshot tackled him and the two crashed through the concrete wall out onto the street, breaking the power lines as they fell.
Lunging toward Bloodshot, Sosa grabbed him by the neck to suck his soul. Treating Sosa’s drain as an infection, the nanites in Bloodshot’s blood sent his energy back at him, which made him loose his balance long enough for Bloodshot to kick him off his feet into the open power lines, which fried him to a crisp.
Joining Bloodshot, Jillian asked him if he saw what happened to Mohammed and he said that his sensors detected that he had died from a broken neck. Unbeknownst to Bloodshot, Mohammed had survived through the use of a trick taught to him by a fakir and was hiding in an alley.
After sending Jillian to London, Bloodshot traveled to Cu Chi, Viet Nam to search for a former American GI called the Rat as a favor for Neville. An embarrassment to the States, the Rat was a dangerous individual that used to run drugs during the war. The day after Bloodshot checked into a hotel, the girl from the front desk, Lao Cho, the daughter of an American soldier and a Viet Namese woman who preferred to be called Julie, was found dead in an alley from a heroin overdose. Infuriated by a local cop’s racism, Bloodshot lashed out at him before taking his leave to go search for the Rat, who unbeknownst to him was closer than he thought.
Figuring that he should try to get inside the Rat’s head, Bloodshot traveled to the jungle to investigate a tunnel used by the Viet Cong during the war to attack American GIs, which had become a tourist attraction. Unable to go through the hole with the other tourists due to his size, Bloodshot followed them from the surface using his nanites to track their movements. Reaching the supposed end of the tunnel, Bloodshot heard movement coming from the beneath his feet on the other side of the wall that seemingly sealed the rest of the tunnel.
Plunging a knife into the ground to mark the spot, Bloodshot went back to the tour. Returning that night garbed in his uniform, Bloodshot dug an entrance and crawled down into the tunnel to find the Rat. Making his way through a couple of traps, Bloodshot reached the Rat’s hideout, where he found a stash of heroin and a pile of CIA documents detailing something called Operation Phoenix, when then the Rat returned. Running away, the Rat lead Bloodshot on a chase through the tunnels that turned into a shootout. Loosing himself in the dark, the Rat inadvertently triggered his own trip line and shot himself with a riffle embedded on the wall.
Coming out of the hole, Bloodshot ran across two CIA agents who congratulated him for taking care of the Rat and wanted to take him with them for a debriefing. Flouting the agents, Bloodshot said that he knew that they did not care that the Rat was a pusher, and that their only concern was stopping the truth about Operation Phoenix, which involved using the Rat’s drugs to kill many people in the name of eradicating the Communist infrastructure, from coming out. Walking away, Bloodshot left the agents to dig for the evidence themselves.
Arriving at Musashi Labs in Osaka, Yoshi Iwatsu informed his father, Hideyoshi Iwatsu, of their continual failure to replicate Angelo Mortalli’s transformation into Bloodshot, when suddenly Hideyoshi suffered a heart attack. Taking his father to undergo the Bloodshot procedure, Yoshi hoped that he would not survive, but much to his chagrin Hideyoshi live through the transformation and became a Speedshot.
The next day in Viet Nam, Tanaka approached Bloodshot at the airport and told him that this father was dead and that thieves had stolen the prototype of the device that put the nanites in his blood. Giving him a circuit board encoded with pieces of Angelo Mortalli’s life, Iwatsu offered Bloodshot to return his memories if he helped him recover the device. Eager to recover his memories, Bloodshot went with Tanaka to Osaka.
Arriving at Musashi Labs, Tanaka took Bloodshot to where the alleged break–in took place. Walking by testing facilities that stirred his memories of equipment he saw at Rising Spirit, Bloodshot linked with it and discovered that it was in fact the device that Tanaka claimed the thieves stole, which had been used the day before to operate on Hideyoshi, who suddenly came up from behind Bloodshot and hit him across the head.
Transformed into a long–haired, 7-foot Speedshot, Hideyoshi stood over Bloodshot with a sword in his hand. While Hideyoshi praised Tanaka while condemning Geoff the Geomancer, Bloodshot trained his gun on, but before he could fire Hideyoshi sliced it in half with his sword. Confessing that he did not have long to live, and that he brought him to learn how he survived the process, Hideyoshi disarmed Bloodshot of all his modern weapons, leaving him only with his sword to defend himself, like honorable men do.
Recognizing that they were engaged in a battle preprogrammed into his nanites, Bloodshot deduced that the only chance he had to win was to break the pattern. Reaching for his gun, Bloodshot emptied the clip on Hideyoshi, then before he could heal himself he grabbed his head and used the nanites in his blood to accelerate the nanites in Hideyoshi’s system to burn out his metabolism, killing him.
Standing over Hideyoshi’s body, Bloodshot demanded that Tanaka give him the memories he promised him, but Tanaka revealed that what he showed him was all he had, and that Bloodshot destroyed everything else when he escaped from Rising Spirit. Enraged, Bloodshot left, leaving Tanaka alone with his father’s corpse.
Bloodshot’s Day Off
After six months of endless fighting, Bloodshot decided to take a vacation in Puerto Rico. Looking forward to spending time on the beach surrounded by beautiful women, Bloodshot checked into a high-class hotel. While watching a movie, Bloodshot overheard a couple arguing on the room next door, but deciding that their fight was none of his business, he got dressed and went to the lobby. Walking past the couple’s door, Bloodshot heard some labored breathing and the sound of two heart beats coming from inside the room. Deducing that the couple had kissed and made up, Bloodshot went down to the bar, where he met Trish, an attractive woman he told he was a buyer for an art house, a lingering undercover ID programmed into his blood. While asking Trish to have dinner with him, Bloodshot noticed a man bleeding from a cut on his head that he was certain sounded like the heavy–breather from the room next to his.
That evening, while Bloodshot and Trish entered the restaurant, he collided with the heavy–breather and saw a gun in his pants. After dinner and gambling in the casino, Trish invited Bloodshot up to her room, but he hesitated for the briefest of moments and she left without him, promising to see him later. Returning to his room, Bloodshot walked by a couple of thugs carrying a man–sized object wrapped in a bloody sheet. Feeling paranoid, Bloodshot dismissed it, but then curiosity got the better of him and he decided to listen in on the room next to his, but heard nothing. Breaking into the room, Bloodshot found a puddle of blood on the floor.
Learning that the room was registered to a drug dealer called Alberto Cordova, Bloodshot followed his trail to a warehouse where he found Cordova and his men holding two drug runners that had stolen his drugs and were spending his money at the casino at gunpoint. Breaking into the warehouse, Bloodshot fooled some of Cordova’s men into killing each other while he knocked the rest unconscious. Walking away, Bloodshot left the drug runners tied up surrounded by Cordova’s men waiting for the police to arrive.
Returning to his hotel room, Bloodshot enjoyed a relaxing bubble bat, when then Trish knocked on his door with a bottle of champagne. Gazing at how beautiful Trish looked, Bloodshot was glad that he took a day off.
Who Killed The Weaponeer?
At the behest of Neville Alcott, Bloodshot followed two Weaponeer agents that were leading him to a cache of armaments in the Balkan mountains, when then two mysterious individuals killed his guides. Surviving the ambush, Bloodshot hid in a cave on the side of the mountain from where he saw the killers escape in a copter.
Sometime later at MI–5’s headquarters underneath Heathrow Airport, Neville reintroduced Bloodshot to Sinclair, the newly–appointed field ops commander. During a debriefing to recap the assassination of the Weaponeer’s agents, Neville told Bloodshot that Montblanc, a high–level official in the Weaponeer’s organization, had recently been killed and that they had discovered that the Harbingers Cinder and Glyder worked for Dr. Silk, whose Webnet operatives were systematically killing the Weaponeer’s agents. Showing Bloodshot a mobile missile system in their keep, Sinclair charged him escorting a Weaponeer agent who had the schematics for the missing component needed to operate the machine in his possession.
Two hours later, as Bloodshot watched the agent’s plane descend into Ryan’s field, he helplessly witnessed as Webnet’s agents blew it up with a stinger missile and then got away. Sometime later, Bloodshot returned to his flat, where the Weaponeer agent that supplied him with his armament the year begged him for his help.
Forty–five minutes later Bloodshot escorted the agent to a heavily–fortified and protected MI–5 safe house in Liverpool, where four other Weaponeer agents were hold up. Not soon afterwards, however, the Webnet operatives stormed the house and they killed the MI–5 agents they slaughtered the Weaponeer’s agents one by one. Breaking the agents out of what was to be a safe room, Bloodshot led them towards the roof, but with every step they took one more of their numbers fell to an assassin’s bullet. Once all of the agents were dead, the man Bloodshot brought with him shot him with a dart filled with malaria and revealed that he had betrayed the others to Webnet. Paralyzed by the infection, Bloodshot was helpless to stop the agent as he escaped in a Webnet helicopter. Surrounded by flames triggered by a Webnet incendiary device, Bloodshot forced himself to walk out into the street, where he came across Sinclair, who was waiting for him in a car.
Sins of The Father
Upon discovering a break in at his house in Massapequa in Long Island, Daniel, a member of the Carboni crime family, called Don Benito Carboni and told him of the robbery of the Canelli file, a theft perpetrated by an individual barely caught on tape who Daniel and Benito believed was Bloodshot, who they were convinced had broken their truce.
Arriving in New York City, Bloodshot decided to visit Gilad in his new apartment, but after getting there he discovered that he had left with Geoff shortly after he moved in. Leaving the apartment to do some Christmas shopping, Bloodshot barely avoided a car sent to run him over by Don Carboni. Moments later in Little Italy, Diana Canelli met with Don Benito and told him that she received a phone call from someone with a high voice that told her that she would be receiving a special wedding gift which Benito deduced referred to the stolen file. After seeing Diana out, Benito inferred from what she told him that Max Bartolo’s boys were the real culprits behind the theft, so he called Daniel to tell him that Bloodshot was innocent.
That Saturday at the Carboni estate, Bloodshot crashed Diana’s wedding in a cook’s uniform and confronted Carboni. Apologizing for the confusion, Carboni told Bloodshot of the contents of the file, which detailed various intolerable acts committed by Canelli that the Bartolo boys intended to use to hurt Diana. As the Bartolo were under protection, they were beyond Carboni’s reach, so, reminding Bloodshot that Diana was the woman he was going to marry, he urged him to stop the Bartolo himself.
Following the information Carboni provided him with to Champ’s Place Sports Bar in Brooklyn, Bloodshot used his enhanced strength to shatter a billiard ball in his hand to intimidate the Bartolo boys into giving him the stolen file. Meeting with them later that night underneath the Brooklyn bridge, Bloodshot discovered that the Bartolo had betrayed him and intended to kill him. After a brief skirmish, Max Bartolo, the boy’s father, arrived in a car and gave Bloodshot the file, which he said his boys stole to get back at Gino for treating them like dirt by letting his little princess known exactly what kind of monster her old man really was.
Later that night at the Carboni home, Bloodshot delivered the file to Carboni, who claimed that in the changing times they lived in, in which the old family ways were ignored, he was the only one he could count on to be consistent. Promising to destroy the papers, Carboni raised a glass in Bloodshot honor and wished him a merry Christmas, an act that reminded him of the man he was before, Angelo Mortalli.
Returning to the city to look for Gilad, Bloodshot missed him by mere moments and ended up in a restaurant spending Christmas alone.
The Hunter: The Hunted
Early one morning, Bloodshot barely escaped from a fire in his building holding a woman and her child in his arms. Certain that the blaze had been set to kill him, Bloodshot was unaware that on a rooftop across the street Cinder and Glyder, who survived the copter’s explosion, plotted to kill him to get in Dr. Silk’s good graces. Meanwhile, beneath Heathrow Airport, while Neville, Jillian, and Sinclair discussed their inability to use electronic devices to find the Weaponeer’s vault because their use alerted Webnet, Jillian suggested recruiting Geoff McHenry so that he could find the vault using his ability to speak with inanimate objects.
Two hours later, Bloodshot discovered that someone had thrashed his apartment during the fire, so he decided to call Neville to ask him if he knew who could have done it. Hesitant to use his phone, Bloodshot went out to find a public phone. Though feeling that somebody was following him, Bloodshot was unable to see anyone despite his enhanced vision, when then, Glyder bumped into him and planted a tracker on his clothes and left before he could recognize her. Later that night, Cinder and Glyder followed the tracker’s signal to an alley where they ambushed someone wearing Bloodshot’s coat who turned out to be a homeless man.
Thinking that Bloodshot was a hundred miles away, Glyder and Cinder returned to their hotel unaware that Bloodshot had followed them. Breaking into their room, Bloodshot punched Cinder, so Glyder kicked him across the face. Turning to face Glyder, Bloodshot left himself open for Cinder to set him ablaze. Grabbing Glyder, Bloodshot jumped out the window hoping that she would pull them up before they hit the ground, but instead she twisted free of his grasp and dropped him on the roof of a warehouse. As a fight ensued, Cinder set the roof ablaze and it gave way beneath their feet, dropping them in the middle of the warehouse. Hitting her head on the ground Glyder passed out. Upset, Cinder called out to Bloodshot, who punched him out of his way. Grabbing Glyder, Bloodshot took her outside, when then Cinder, blinded by rage, set his hands on fire and unintentionally ignited the boxes of fireworks that were around him and destroyed the warehouse. Minutes later, Bloodshot walked away with Glyder, while the firemen found Cinder badly burned but alive.
The next evening, at Geoff McHenry’s Greenwich Village apartment, Gilad and Bloodshot recruited Geoff to help them find the Weaponeer’s vault.
Search For The Vault
Late one night in Battery Park, as Bloodshot told Gilad and Geoff of his need to use Geoff as a bloodhound to find the Weaponeer’s vault, snipers onboard a Webnet stealth helicopter opened fire on them. Running away, Gilad dispatched a group of Webnet goons coming out of a van just as Bloodshot saw a second van coming their way. Following Geoff to the subway, they ran inside the train as the doors closed, but then the Webnet agents cut the power and the train stopped. As the Webnet operatives boarded the train, Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot escaped through a grate into the sewer. Meanwhile, 100 feet below Heathrow Airport, in a shooting range within MI–5, Richard Grant arrogantly showed his superb marksmanship skills to Charles Sinclair.
Hours later, in the Lower East Side, as Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot left New York aboard a speed boat, Webnet operatives shot at them with a bazooka from a yacht and destroyed their transport. Jumping into the water before the missile hit, Bloodshot, Gilad, and Geoff swam to the yacht and dispatched the agents, then, using his ability to speak with machines Bloodshot jammed Webnet’s frequencies so they would not be able to locate them and commandeer control of the boat.
The next day in the Balkan mountains, Felina, a guide, led Gilad and the others to a cave that Geoff discerned was were the vault used to be before it was moved. While making their way down the mountain, Bloodshot heard the faint sound of an assailant taking out a Webnet sniper, but dismissed it. Twenty six hours later in Hong Kong, Geoff looked out at the city from the roof of a hotel and found the vault. Making their way south, Gilad saw two Webnet cars coming at them, so he led them into an outdoor market to end their pursue. While Gilad and Bloodshot dispatched the Webnet agents, Felina took Geoff to the other side of the market, but two agents found them. While Felina fought off an agent, the other one offered not to kill Geoff in exchange for his help finding the vault, but then, through means he refused to elaborate on, Geoff knocked out the agent.
Sometime later, on an island off the coast of the Philippines, Geoff took the others into an active volcano that he assured them was where they would find the vault. Finding the Weaponeer’s weapons cache in a massive cave, Geoff asked the security system to let them in, then he and the others found a specific crate that Neville was looking for. Just then, however, a group of Webnet agents came out of the shadows to take it from them.
Elsewhere, the Weaponeer wrote down an entry in his journal detailing his assistance to Neville’s men looking for his vault and his hope that Neville would put weapons they found there to good use.
Search And Destroy
Though surrounded on all sides by the Webnet agents, Bloodshot and Gilad dispatched them and escaped. Carrying the three crates that Neville was looking for on their shoulders, Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot found a submarine in a dock within the volcano. Sensing the approach of more Webnet agents, Geoff said that they should stay and hold them off, but Gilad urged him to get inside the submarine and leave. Staying behind with a crate, Gilad dealt with the agents while Bloodshot took Geoff and the remaining crates away in the sub. As their submarine sped away from the island, Geoff saw two enemy vessels following them on the radar. During a firefight, the submarine hull breached and the vessel went down to the bottom of the ocean.
Back in the cave, Gilad engaged the Webnet agents in a fist fight, but they overpowered him and took the crate, which in reality was a bomb primed to blow up within seconds. Fighting his way through the agents, Gilad escaped the explosion and leapt off a ledge onto a rope ladder hanging from Felina’s chopper. As the chopper flew away, the island exploded behind it. Meanwhile, beneath the ocean, Bloodshot rammed the Webnet submarine with his own. As the hull cracked and the submarine filled with water, Bloodshot gave Geoff an aqua–lung and dragged him to the surface, where Sinclair was waiting for them aboard a boat.
That night in Bangkok, Gilad took Felina to dinner to repay her for saving his life, while back in London, Neville admired his new acquisitions, eagerly looking forward to begin Project: Secret Weapons.
The HARD Corps
Divided We Fall
In a train station in the former Soviet Union, Bloodshot stopped a man from shooting Ambassador Wolfgang Rokjevich before they boarded a train to Geneva where the Ambassador was to speak in a peace conference. While the ambassador applauded Bloodshot as the police took the man away, Vladimir, the ambassador’s second in command, who Bloodshot could tell resented his position, did not think that they should praise him.
As they arrived in Geneva, a reporter asked the ambassador to comment on General Grejhev’s claim that he was a puppet of the west. Replying that the puppeteers would call the accusation mudslinging, the ambassador told the reporter of a press conference the next day before he and the others left for their hotel. A short time later at the hotel, where Vladimir assured the ambassador that General Grejhev was not a threat and that he would be content with his military power, Bloodshot met Sergeant Major Olga Petrolka, the local head of security, who ordered him to report to the ambassador’s room at Three am for his night watch. That night Bloodshot relieved Olga, who flirted with him as she walked away from the ambassador’s room.
The next morning at the dining room, while Bloodshot listened to Vladimir insult the General, the nanites in his blood registered an incredible power surge that created a powerful electrical field that he deduced would fry the ambassador during his speech. Running into the PA control room while the ambassador walked to the podium, Bloodshot ripped the console apart before the ambassador grabbed the mike and completed a circuit that would have killed him. That afternoon, Bloodshot called Neville, who warned him of a highly–placed official who had made a substantial deposit in his bank account that tagged him as suspicious. Promising to do what he could, as the official had made himself too visible to pin anything on him, Bloodshot went to work.
The next evening, while Bloodshot commended the increased security measures, Olga stopped a revolutionary from crashing the dinner with a fake press pass. Meanwhile, in the dinner hall, General Grejhev objected to his placement in the speaking order, so the ambassador gladly gave him his spot. Turning to a man on his table, the General whispered something in his ear, and soon thereafter a man asked the ambassador to inform others of a meeting in his suite that night following the dinner, an invitation that concerned Bloodshot.
Shortly after dinner Olga went to Bloodshot’s room, where she seduced him and they made love. An hour later, Olga left to go over the route to the peace conference before going to sleep. While getting dressed, Olga told Bloodshot of her cousin, who was shot for looting while trying to salvage his own belongings after an attack, a tragedy that symbolized the urgency of need for peace in her nation.
The next morning, while preparing to ride on the motorcade to the peace conference, Vladimir decided to ride in a covered car instead of going with the ambassador in a convertible, a move Bloodshot found suspicious. Getting into the covered car, Vladimir told his companions that tomorrow would be a different world. While on route to the peace conference, a sniper’s shot a bullet at the ambassador, but Bloodshot protected him with his own body and the bullet hit him behind the head.
At the Center for Neurological Trauma, high in the Swiss Alps, Dr. Fjielkegord took Miss Linda Lincoln of Omen Enterprises to see Michael Lazarus, who following a traumatic head wound suffered through a profound coma. Standing over Bloodshot, the doctor told Miss Lincoln that it seemed as if he was shutting down all but his automatic functions and putting everything he had into healing himself, a notion he knew made him sound crazy. Taking Miss Lincoln to the lounge, where Olga waited for Bloodshot to get better, Dr. Fjielkegord told Miss Lincoln that he was at his wit’s end and would greatly appreciate her taking Bloodshot off his hands.
The next day at the Ranch, the HARD Corps’ headquarters in New Mexico, Director Sigmund Heydrich sent the Corps to verify and retrieve Bloodshot as a possible candidate for the project. Meanwhile, in London, Jillian offered to travel to Switzerland to retrieve Bloodshot from the trauma center.
Back at the center, as Dr. Fjielkegord and his colleagues used an MRI machine to analyze the damage to Bloodshot’s brain, all they saw on the monitors was static. Leaving the room, Dr. Fjielkegord ran across Ms. Lincoln, Gunslinger, and Shakespeare, the latter of whom were posing as specialists from Cornell. Just then, an orderly taking Bloodshot back to his room walked by them and no one noticed Bloodshot making a fist. Pretending to work for British Intelligence, Gunslinger gave Dr. Fjielkegord a falsified authorization notice that released Bloodshot into their custody, and less than an hour later they took him with them in a helicopter. Returning to his office, Dr. Fjielkegord met Jillian, who was there to take Bloodshot into her custody. Perplexed, Dr. Fjielkegord showed Jillian Gunslinger’s notice, which she quickly realized was a forgery.
Soon, in a nearby chalet owned by Omen Industries, Mr. Lincoln hooked Bloodshot up to a VR gear that Flatline used to maneuver around inside his brain to ascertain the damage he sustained. Navigating through a virtual model of Bloodshot’s skull, Flatline made his way deep into his brain, where he witnessed the nanites repelling the bullet fragments and regenerating Bloodshot’s skull and brain. As Flatline reached out to touch a piece of skull, an electrical surge repelled him and shorted out the VR gear. Back at the trauma center, Jillian left Dr. Fjielkegord in a huff demanding that he find Bloodshot soon as possible. Meeting Olga in the lounge, Jillian sat with her and asked her to tell her everything she knew from the moment she met Bloodshot.
At the chalet, Bloodshot broke free of his restrains and, following a self–preservation program embedded into his nanites, attacked the Corps in a bid to escape. Accessing strategy maneuvers based on Bobby Fisher’s chess moves, Bloodshot easily dealt with Gunslinger and Hammerhead. Running outside, Bloodshot led the Corps on a merry chase through the snow. Attacked from all sides, Bloodshot grabbed Shakespeare and jammed the Corps’ com–link with Softcore, rendering them unable to switch powers. As Bloodshot pulled his arm back to punch Shakespeare in the face, he suddenly recognized him as an ally and let him go. Returning to normal, Bloodshot apologized for his rampage and made peace with the Corps.
Sometime later, at the trauma center, as Jillian and Olga walked toward Jillian’s car to go find Bloodshot, Dr. Fjielkegord walked out of the center and told them that he was back. Soon, Jillian and Olga went to see Bloodshot, who was back on his feet and had a long story to tell them.
Somewhere in the newly independent Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, Bloodshot barely made it onboard an evac helicopter on top of a motorcycle to escape from an armored tank and a group of soldiers. Meanwhile, in the underground prison of Bhutu Hassan, Hassan mockingly told his prisoners that the whole world would soon recognize Palestine as a country once his military obtains a nuclear bomb. Enraged, one of the prisoners leapt tried to reach Hassan through the bars, so Hassan shot him and left him on the floor to die.
Somewhere in Damascus, Syria, one of Neville’s contacts took Bloodshot to an old computer that he used to download reconnaissance files he acquired during his last mission and make contact with Neville and Jillian. Informing Neville of a warhead on route to Syria via the Indigo Cartel, Russian weapon dealers, for delivery to Bhutu Hassan, Bloodshot offered to intercept the missile before it reached Hassan at sunset that night. Thought hesitant at first, Neville ordered Bloodshot to intercept the cargo and stop Hassan by any means. Meanwhile, somewhere in the desert, Hassan and his men boarded a hovercraft bound for the Syrian shore.
Sometime later in the Syrian shore of the Mediterranean, as Hassan finished his transaction with the Indigo Cartel and took delivery of the warhead, Bloodshot suddenly came out of the desert riding a motorcycle and startled the cartel’s operative, who ran inside a helicopter to escape. Leaping into the helicopter after it took off, Bloodshot killed everyone onboard and commandeered control of the craft to go after Hassan, who escaped on the hovercraft with the warhead. Flying over the hovercraft, Bloodshot’s chopper took crippling bullet hits, so he jumped onto the hovercraft before the chopper crashed.
Running on the deck toward the warhead, Bloodshot killed everyone who stood in his way until he and Hassan where the only ones left onboard. Shooting at Bloodshot from the safety of his gun turret, Hassan mockingly yelled that unless he reset the bomb’s timer it would blow up. Convinced that Hassan was mad enough to go through with his threat, Bloodshot reached for the bomb certain that his nanites could reset the timer. Worried that Hassan would blow up the bomb before he finished, Bloodshot took control of the crane and released the bomb into the ocean just in case he could not reprogram it in time. Finding the timer with three seconds to go before detonation, Bloodshot used his rapport with machines to halt the countdown.
Fighting through the pressure of the depths, Bloodshot swam back to the hovercraft and knocked Hassan out.
Blood And Roses
Somewhere in Alphabet City, New York near Avenue D, Bloodshot acted as back up for the DEA during a drug sting operating as a favor for Neville Alcott. Witnessing the dealers murder the DEA agents, Bloodshot leapt into the fray certain that the dealers had a snitch who alerted them to the sting and killed every one of them except for Rosetti, the dealer, who he decided to track later. Reaching for a briefcase that Rosetti left behind, Bloodshot opened it to see what was worth killing for, but as he did, a bomb inside it went off. Less than a block away, Anna Trebecci, a mysterious beautiful woman waiting in a limo, asked her driver, Charles, to investigate the hold up, when just then, Rosetti ran by and killed him. Almost an hour later, Anna walked into the alley and found Bloodshot’s body laying on the ground amid the rubble from the explosion.
Waking up naked in bed in Anna’s mansion two days later, Bloodshot found himself smitten by her beauty and personality, so, despite the lingering question of what happened to the DEA agents and his duty to report to Neville, he opted to stay with her. Over the next two days, while his body recovered from the trauma of the explosion, Bloodshot continued to dodge calling Neville while he and Anna grew closer, until one night, he made love to her in spite of his qualms over getting romantically involved with a married woman. Two days later, time during which they grew closer in love with one another, while Bloodshot made breakfast for Anna she discerned that he was leaving her and was not planning to return.
An hour later, Bloodshot left Anna’s mansion garbed in a suit she bought for him. Dodging a Mob tail, Bloodshot made it to his flop house in New York and called Neville, who informed him that the DEA had found the snitch that sold out their agents and were about to arrest him.
Three hours later, on the Jersey side of the Hudson river near Hoboken, Bloodshot accompanied the DEA agents to a yacht to arrest Agent McCarthy, an undercover officer who had been under so long that he sold them out. Spotting a shooter at the dock, Bloodshot froze for the first time in his life and was unable to stop him from killing McCarthy and then running away.
Uncertain of why he did it, Bloodshot returned to Anna’s house and broke in to see her. Wondering if it was love that paralyzed him, Bloodshot wanted to tell Anna that he loved her, but she stopped him before he could say a word. Later, Bloodshot urged Anna to leave her husband and go with him, but she refused, and instead begged him to protect her husband and ensure the would make it home alive. Though he would rather kill him, Bloodshot nevertheless did as Anna asked him and went to find her husband, Vincenzo Trebecci.
That night, at a private airstrip outside Massapequa Park, Bloodshot waited for a plane carrying Vincenzo, a criminal in exile from the country who the feds would arrest and rival mobsters would kill just as fast. As the plane landed, Bloodshot spotted a sniper and killed him, but not before he got a shot off that hit Vincenzo’s bodyguard. Engaging a group of mobsters that came down the runaway with guns blazing, Bloodshot recognized Rosetti’s voice and killed him. Smelling a set–up, Bloodshot killed everyone except for Vincenzo and his men. Standing over the mobster’s corpses, Bloodshot warned Vincenzo to leave.
Sometime later, standing outside the gate to her mansion, as Bloodshot told Anna what happened he realized that she did not really love her husband, just the things that he gave to her. Confessing that he was running away and that he realized that he did not love her either, Bloodshot decided that it was not worth it to trade his prison for the one that he would share with her and walked away, leaving Anna behind her mansion gates.
Tears Of A Clown
Outside the Daly–Walstein Circus Big Top, Joey Vantago and Nick Maccini, two Mob hitmen, opened fire on the carnival freaks and walked away certain that they had killed all of them, unaware that Lenny Branuzzi, the clown, was alive. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Bloodshot stalked out a condemned building that Detective Morgan told him was a front for Det, a gun runner selling army–issue weapons. Breaking into the building, Bloodshot killed Det’s men and then forced Det to tell him where he got his stock from. Later that night, at St. Vincent’s hospital, Mr. Walstein, the circus owner, asked Lenny, a former boxer, to become his head of security, but claiming that he was a clown that made people laugh and not a dumb pug, Lenny kicked him out of his room.
Two weeks later, after seeing on the news that Vantago had been released due to lack of evidence, Lenny went to the cemetery, and while standing over his friends’ graves garbed in a dark clown suit with a skull on its chest, he yelled out that he was a clown that made criminals pay.
The next day, Bloodshot used Det’s information to stop a major weapons deal in Harlem, but during the tumult, Det got away just as Detective Morgan arrived with the cops. Later that afternoon in the Bronx, Lenny followed Vantago and Maccini into a mob front, and calling himself Uzzi The Clown killed everyone inside. Later in Harlem, Uzzi forced Det inside a car and took off, unaware that Bloodshot was close behind them.
That night, on a bridge on New York’s south side, Uzzi pushed Det down the catwalk to take him up to the top of the bridge so he could string him up as a symbol for all the mobsters that crime did not pay. Kicking Uzzi on the shins, Det tried to run away, but Uzzi shot him in the knee caps and crippled him. Standing on the other side of the bridge, Bloodshot called Uzzi out by his real name and told him to drop his gun, but he refused. Firing a shot at Uzzi’s head, Bloodshot missed his target due to the high winds and the bullet ricocheted off the girder. Refusing to go to jail, Uzzi leapt off the bridge into the stormy waters below.
Chaos Effect Gamma
Finding the Secret Weapons running an exercise outside Heathrow airport, Bloodshot stopped Mach’s high–jinks before he alerted airport security of their presence. Asking Bloodshot to let him run the team his way, Sinclair reminded him that he was the Secret Weapon’s leader, a de facto decision that Sonar, who Bloodshot could tell was bitter over what happened to the original Para–Man, did not agree to. Upset, Sinclair told Sonar that there were many things he did not agree with that he was stuck with, just like she was stuck with him. Just then, Jillian arrived to inform the team that they had clearance to enter the Tower of London to diffuse a hostage situation. Watching the Secret Weapons walk away, Bloodshot whispered to Jillian that for a new team they already had a lot going against them. Meanwhile in suburban London, the Immortal Enemy, empowered by the influx of necromantic energy, gained the ability to transfer his consciousness from Timmy, his latest incarnation, to the boy’s father without touching his new host or having to kill the child.
Beneath the Tarmac of Heathrow Airport, as Bloodshot made his way to the locker room to retrieve his bag, the lights suddenly went out and the lift he was in plummeted to the ground. Awakening an hour later unable to access his internal clock, read his metabolic system, or employ his enhanced strength, Bloodshot realized that his nanites shut down when the elevator did. Some miles away, the Immortal Enemy, drawn into town by the effects of chaos, wandered the empty streets, which reminded him of the days when he could kill an entire family and it would take the authorities weeks to find the bodies. Two hours later, the Immortal Enemy discovered that he was burning out his host’s body and needed to find another one, when then he ran into an acceptable subject.
Under Heathrow, Bloodshot, unsure of what was going on topside, retrieved a dead guard’s gun and made his way to a system of access tunnels Neville told him about once. Coming upon a fork in the road, Bloodshot, unable to access any of the data stored in the nanites, had to make an educated guess on what path to follow, one of which had been walled off years earlier. Above ground, not many miles away, Cheng followed the death energy that caused the chaos around him in his new body, leaving Lloyd’s corpse behind on the lawn.
Reaching a dead end, Bloodshot turned back and found an exit that opened in a cemetery. Staring at Big Ben, Bloodshot noticed that there were no lights on in the city. Presuming that Para–Man had the sense to abort the mission, Bloodshot went to find the Secret Weapons. Sometime later, outside the Tower of London, Cheng attacked a sentry and two police officers, one of which shot him. Hitting Cheng on the back with the butt of his gun, Bloodshot stopped him from snapping a cop’s neck, when then, he recognized his distinctive eyes. Fighting Cheng hand to hand, Bloodshot accused him of being part of the craziness around them. Grabbing Bloodshot by the neck, Cheng, who was unable to take over his body, told him that he could make him watch while others died. Taking a switchblade out of a pouch, Bloodshot slashed Cheng’s face.
Certain that Cheng was connected to the night’s events, and feeling a different type energy coming off of him, Bloodshot chased him inside the tower. Feeling the same energy coming from the top of the tower, Bloodshot deduced that it was the center of all the chaos. Reaching the top of the tower, Cheng searched for the Silver Basin, a container of death energy that held the necromantic power he needed. Following the basin’s call to a hall in the wall, Cheng stepped through it, when then, Bloodshot jumped him and pushed him into the other room, where the Secret Weapons were fighting a man called Crona.
Clothes Make The Man
Standing outside the White Tower, Carol Hatcher accused Sinclair of not deserving to wear his suit, then she said that Richard would not have had them stand there like fools during a hostage situation. Pointing at the guards, Sinclair told Carol that there were two of their own inside, and that they deserved every chance to rectify the situation themselves. Laying against a tree, Andre DuBois asked Joe Valez what moved Carol, Richard’s death or the fact that Sinclair was wearing his Para–Man suit, which he himself was not sure he deserved. Assuring Andre that Sinclair, with whom he had worked before, could handle the suit, Joe said that Carol was another story. Fed up, Sinclair ordered Carol to fall in line, when then Tex, one of the burglars, opened fire on the guards. Telling the others to check their suits’ batteries, Para–Man ordered them to breach the tower.
Standing by a window at the top of the tower, Tex watched with delight as the guards scattered, when then a raven flew at him and he shot him. Recounting the legend of the ravens that guard the royal treasures in the tower, the burglars’ leader, a blonde woman, told them that the queen could sleep easy as they were too stupid to pull of a simple robbery. Telling the woman that there was time for them to retrieve the Silver Basil, Tex questioned why their boss wanted her to tag along and wondered what her part in the robbery was. Assuring Tex that he did not have to worry about her, the woman told him that he worry about the storm. Telling Tex that he would find out why she was there soon enough, the woman discreetly placed her hand on a knife.
Under the cover of a blanket of white noise generated by Sonar’s suit, the Secret Weapons broke into the tower, startling a sentry in the lower level. Advancing on the man from opposite sides, Tank and Mach told him to lower his weapon, when then the lights went out. Refusing to surrender, the man shot Tank, who snapped his neck. Upstairs, the woman killed all the burglars and filled the basin with their blood, which released a surge of energy. Kneeling down, the woman recited an incantation that called forth Crona, a spirit trapped within the basin that manifested beside her. Seeking nourishment, Crona sucked the woman’s soul.
Hearing a scream, Para–Man sent Mach to investigate, but soon as he took a step, Mach fell down and they all discovered that their suits no longer worked, but nevertheless, Para–Man ordered them to go up. Reaching the top of the tower, the Secret Weapons were astonished to find the badly decomposed corpses of the guards and the burglars. Enraged, Sonar accused Sinclair of being responsible for those people’s deaths, when then Crona ordered them to leave him to the power in the basin or suffer the same fate as the other mortals.
Angered, Mach lunged against Crona, who easily pushed him out of his way. Grabbing a scepter, Tank hit Crona across the jaw, but proving to be stronger than he was, Crona grabbed Tank’s neck and pushed him to the ground. Looming over Tank, Crona reached for his head to rip it off his shoulders, when then Sonar came running toward him with a sword. Promising to keep her alive long enough for her to see her own body rot, Crona shot Sonar with a blast from his hand, but then Para–Man tackled her to the ground before it connected. Standing over Para–Man and Sonar, Crona accused them of distracting him from tapping into the power within the basin, when just then, Bloodshot and the Immortal enemy came crashing through a wall.
Grabbing the side of the basin, the Immortal Enemy could feel it drawing the power from whatever was going on outside in great amounts, while Crona, sensing that he was not like the others, warned him not to test him. Deciding that they were out of their league, Para–Man ordered the others to retreat, but Bloodshot refused to let either Cheng or Crona have the basin. Telling Para–Man that whatever was going on outside powered Cheng, Bloodshot explained that it was the silver that was focusing it and ordered him to destroy it. Certain that his suit would protect him, Tank grabbed Mach and threw him against the basin, which shattered into a dozen pieces. Enraged, Crone lunged against Tank, when suddenly the ravens swoop down on the broken pieces of the basin and took them with them, taking Crona’s power as well. Grabbing an ax, Tank then beheaded Crona, who turned into energy and vanished.
Sometime later, while paramedics took Bloodshot out in a stretcher, Carol accused Sinclair of killing Richard and two guards had to drag her away.
While on his way to Heathrow Airport, where Neville was expecting him to brief him on a mission to capture Janine Noir, who had escaped from MI–6, Colin King avoided an airplane that crashed within meters of his car. Feeling the blistering heat on his face and the stench of aviation fuel and smoke in the air, Colin wondered what brought the plane down, when then he heard the shrieking sound of a second plane crashing behind him and he realized that there was nothing natural about these disasters. Sometime later, Ninjak broke into MI–6 headquarters through the vent system. Informing Alcott that Heathrow was a disaster area, with planes dropping like lead balloons, Ninjak asked if anyone knew what was going on, so Sinclair told him that before everything died on them they registered a global power surge on the electromagnetic scale.
Deducing that Silk would be blind and more helpless than he had ever been before, Ninjak wanted to strike, when, suddenly, Mademoiselle Noir, empowered by the chaos effect, materialized in the middle of the room as an unearthly Goddess behind a carpet of red muzzle flash fired by puppets who were once MI–6’s finest. Falling to their knees, all the men in the room became Noir’s slaves, except for Ninjak, who despite his racing heart and lust for her, resisted her irresistible charms. Amazed by Ninjak’s resistance, Janine desired to know more about him. Taking Ninjak to a tropical island, Janine found him to be a man who had strength that made him a worthy lover. Savoring his immunity to her power, Noir found Colin to be everything she desired.
Confessing that when Darque made her what she was she lost the chance to love, Janine told Colin that she loathed the human cattle that fell at her feet, and that she longed for a partner who would love her, not her powers. In awe of her, Colin told Janine that in exchange of her taking him to face Dr. Silk so that he could finally end his struggle with him, he would be hers forever. Finding his heart’s desire to be a fair exchange for her own, Janine entered Colin’s mind and used his memory of Silk to take him to Dr. Silk.
Appearing in Webnet central in less than a blink of an eye, Ninjak engaged Silk’s security guards, when then Janine ended their lives with a snap of her fingers. Telling her to stay out of his business, Ninjak moved forward, but Janine ignored him and continued to interfere, until he threatened to rescind their deal unless she allowed him to finish things his way. Reaching the inner sanctum, Ninjak swiftly dispatched Fitzhugh, Silk’s bodyguard. Holding Silk at bay with the tip of his sword, Ninjak ignored his pleas for mercy and was ready to strike, but then he hesitated and pulled back. Realizing that his journey had been a mockery of everything he struggled for, Ninjak accused Janine of taking away the challenge and the prize of being hollow. Accusing Ninjak of being unbearably noble or pathetically squeamish, Janine used her spell on Silk to make him beg Ninjak to kill him, but turning his back on both of them, Ninjak told her to let him go and called their deal off.
Upset, Janine blasted Ninjak across the room with a wave of her hand and threatened to burn the flesh from his bones if he defied her any further, when just then, she noticed Fitzhugh wheeling Silk out of the room. Though she commanded him to return to her, Janine’s spell did not work on Fitzhugh, who took Silk away. Facing Ninjak, Janine demanded that he honor their deal. Asking Janine to reach into his mind, Colin told her that it was fitting that they should be together since they were kindred spirits destined to never find real love again. Showing her his memories of Michiko Okubo, Colin told Janine that her prize was as empty as his. Appalled, Janine accused Colin of buying her help with an empty promise. Her heart fluttering away, Janine released Ninjak, who through the vestige of their psychic bond, felt her hopelessness before she vanished.
Finding himself alone, Ninjak centered his thoughts and focused to drive aside the madness of that insane day. Though he threw away the change to kill Silk, Ninjak felt no regret, certain that Silk would soon die by his hand in a victory that he would earn. Hearing Webnet’s guards approaching, rallied, rearmed, and returned in force, Ninjak welcomed the challenge.
Risen From The Dead
Outside Heathrow airport, Gilad witnessed as an airplane crashed on the tarmac after its engines cut off as a result of the strange clouds gathered overhead. Wondering if anyone survived the crash, Gilad jumped over a fence and ran toward the airplane to help the survivors. Ripping a door off its hinges, Gilad walked inside the plane, while outside the paramedics and ambulances gathered around the crash. Kicking the emergency door aside, Gilad emerged from the wreck holding two children on his shoulders. Hearing the paramedics say that even their flashlights did not work, Gilad felt like he was back in the dark ages. Watching the paramedics take the passengers away, glad that theirs was the only plane on the glide path, Gilad wondered what would have caused the disaster, when just then, he felt a strange sensation that drew him elsewhere. Resigned to accept that the whole world seemed to have turned on its rear end in the last few hours, Gilad decided to play by the new rules and followed the strange calling wherever it might take him. Meanwhile, Malloch, empowered by the chaos effect, escaped his confinement within a cavern in a hillside near Heathrow
Sensing Gilad’s presence in a horse ranch where he was borrowing a mare, Malloch thanked the fates for delivering his old enemy into his hands. Retreating into the cavern, a resting place prepared by his followers, Malloch opened his lady Julia’s crypt and commanded her to rise so they might reign once again, but the death power that brought him back was not enough to rouse her from her slumber. Soon, Malloch found Gilad looking to take what he sought from him. Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, Geoff made his way to Gilad’s apartment looking to gather others who could help him against the chaos effect, when suddenly the pipes blew up and the stairwell filled with water that threatened to drown him.
While riding through a canyon, Gilad got the inexplicable feeling that Geoff was in trouble, when suddenly Malloch threw him off his horse. Lunging against Gilad, Malloch said that his death would awaken his lady, but Gilad hit him across the fate with a rifle and knocked him to the ground. Looming over Malloch, Gilad told him that he believed that he had died in a fire. Crawling away, Malloch said that the cursed silver coins wielded power beyond that ken that saved his body even as the fire took away his life, and that he had laid there ever since, interred alongside his coven, waiting for that night of death. Shooting the mountain to seal the entrance to the cave, Gilad told Malloch that he would have to dig his friends out. Crying out for Julia, Malloch used his power to barrage Gilad with a pile of rocks, but, standing his ground, Gilad shot him repeatedly. Taunting Malloch to pray to his dark Gods to keep his dusty bones together, Gilad shot him in the chest and said that that night was no different than the other times he defeated him and his damned priests.
Standing over Malloch’s remains, Gilad wondered what had brought him back. Taking a dagger from his bag, Gilad walked into Malloch’s resting chamber to finally bring peace to the lost souls that followed him and look again upon the face of the woman he stole from him. Back in Brooklyn, Geoff yelled for anyone to help him and asked the walls to tell him how to get out, when, suddenly, he vanished in a flash of light.
Reaching London’s East Side on his mare, Gilad felt Geoff calling him again, but he also felt that he was all right. Thinking that if anyone in the city would know what was going on it would be his brother, and that he would not be surprised if he had a hand in it, Gilad rode to Ivar’s apartment, where he found a letter addressed to Aram that said that Ivar had left in a time arc. Getting the feeling that the world was coming to an end, Gilad left Ivar’s apartment thinking that there was nothing he could do about it.
Trapped in the flooded stairwell of Gilad’s building, Geoff McHenry could no longer feel the geo–lines of the Earth, when, suddenly, he vanished in a flash of light and reappeared in a cemetery in New Orleans where Sandria Darque told him that the world was full of Darque energy and that chaos was upon them. Taking Geoff by the hand, Sandria told him that there were others they needed to find before they traveled to Ladakh.
That evening, while Archer and Aram were stuck in Los Angeles traffic, an earthquake shattered the bridge they were on and sent all the cars down to the ground. While helping the other drivers, Archer got the feeling that Ladakh was calling him home, so he and Aram went to find a way to get there. As they sky darkened and the temperature fell, Archer said that it seemed like the end of the world, when then he and Aram came upon a mini mall under the protection of a man armed with two guns that was keeping the looters away. Stepping forth, Archer assured the man, Fred Ames of Ames music, that they were not looters. Shortly, a group of actual looters broke into the store, and while Archer and Aram attempted to dispatch them without bloodshed, one of them shot Aram in the chest and Fred, unaware of Aram’s immortality, killed him. Astonished to see Aram still standing, Fred gave him a boxed set of jazz recording as a thank you for his help.
Taking their leave, Archer and Aram followed a crack in the Earth that lead directly to Ladakh that took them to a petroleum field overran by dinosaurs. Igniting the oil around them to cook the dinosaurs, Archer and Aram took shelter in a ridge within the crevice. Just as the fire sucked the oxygen up, and it looked like the end was at hand, Sandria and Geoff appeared and took Aram and Archer with them to Ladakh. Telling them that the chasm would take them to the temple, Sandria left to search for the one who could end the chaos.
As Archer and the others neared the temple, a volley of arrows stopped them in their tracks. Showing himself, Chan ordered them to halt where they were, but then Archer told him that they were friends and had come to help. Aware of who Archer was, Chan gladly guided them to the temple. Reaching a high peak from where they could look at the temple in the distance, Archer knelt before it, grateful that he was able to see it again. Telling Archer and the others that a traveler had fallen out of the sky and not yet regained consciousness, Chan took them inside the temple in the hope that they might recognize him. Walking inside a room where the monks kept Ivar as comfortable as possible, Aram knelt beside his brother and grabbed his hand in his.
Wanted: Dead Or Alive!
The More Things Change...
Outside the Lake Union Mall in Seattle, Washington on July 1988, Ax used his power over electronics to steal money from an ATM, when then, the cops arrived and he and his friend, Artie, barely escaped. A half an hour later in Ax’s basement, his grandfather swatted him with his cane for skipping school. The next morning, while his grandfather yelled at him, Ax used his power to swat him back with the garage door.
In 1994, in NYC, Ax built a remote–controlled robot to attack Bloodshot. Not far away, at the Carter Hotel, Bloodshot held Marty Dietz, a man who witnessed Louis Dominguez killing the Marini boys, off the fire escape from his ankle fourteen floors above Time Square and threatened to drop him unless he testified. Just then, there was a knock on the door and Bloodshot left Marty tied to the fire escape while he went to answer it. Opening the door, Bloodshot let Lt. Morgan, who he left a message for with the dispatch to personally pick up Marty, inside the room. Looking out the window while grabbing a beer, Morgan heard Marty screaming for help and promising to do anything as long as they kept Bloodshot away from him. While the officers took Marty away, Thomas told Bloodshot that there were rumors that a new guy who was taking over territory like crazy had placed a bounty on his head, and did not care how he was brought back, dear or alive. Meanwhile, on New York’s Chelsea area, near 19th Street and 9th Avenue, two armed men killed two gangsters extorting money from the owner of a deli, only to turn on the man and demand the extortion money for themselves.
At One am that morning, Bloodshot, who Morgan told that someone was moving in on family territory, and that a dozen businesses on the block were paying protection money to two new goons that wasted the old messenger boys, followed a tip and found the men the deli. While Bloodshot followed the men to Teddy H’s bar, he heard a noise like a plane flying awfully low, when, suddenly, a robot with Ax’s face came out of nowhere and swatted him off the fire escape to the street. Grabbing a lamppost, Bloodshot twirled and kicked the robot on the chest as it swooped down to attack him. Grabbing the robot’s head while Ax taunted him, Bloodshot got Ax to say that he was wired to the automaton. Fooling Ax to get close to him, Bloodshot used his control over machines to send a feedback burst that blew Ax’s virtual reality remote control and burnt his hands. After severing the robot’s head with his sword, a cathartic experience, Bloodshot walked out into the street and saw an ambulance taking Teddy H to the hospital after the thugs shot him for refusing to pay them.
The next day, in a penthouse office near Central Park, a man draped in shadows warned Don Benito Carboni that unless his men were placed in his territory within sixty days and his crime family removed, what had so far been a relatively bloodless transition would escalate into a war. After Carboni left the office, four trained assassins walked inside and the man offered 10 million dollars to the one who killed Bloodshot.
Wanted: Dead Or Alive!
Following a tip from Andros, a blind newspaper man, Bloodshot went to Mullen’s Pub in Chelsea to ask the bartender, Pat, about the bounty hunters that were after him. Seeing a Japanese man sitting at the bar who he suspected was one of the bounty hunters, Bloodshot fooled him into following to the bathroom, where he leapt up from behind him and grabbed him by the neck. Surprising Bloodshot, the man, Mr. Oyama, tossed him over his shoulder against a door. Drawing his Magnum, Bloodshot shot Oyama, but he dodged the bullet and hit him in his carotid artery, freezing his muscles. Standing over Bloodshot, Oyama told him that he would not kill him in the toilet, as there would be no honor in that. Before leaving, Oyama removed the bullet from the wall and told Bloodshot that the next time he saw it, it would pierce his skin before he died.
Chasing Oyama to the roof of the bar, Bloodshot demanded to know who hired him, but then Oyama, who reshaped the slug into a shruriken, threw it at Bloodshot, who parried it with his sword. Suddenly, Diana, another hunter, shot Oyama in the arm with an arrow to take him out of the hunt. Dodging Diana’s arrows, Bloodshot leapt off the roof and stood on a ledge to wait for her to stand over him to pull her over the edge, but she landed on her feet. Lunging against Diana with a knife, Bloodshot asked her who sent her, but kicking the knife off his hand, she slashed him on the chest with her own blade. Disarming Diana, Bloodshot pulled her toward him by the hair and slammed her against a wall, and then he knocked her out with one punch.
Applauding Bloodshot for taking Diana out, Tex, a third hunter, told him that he was no longer interested n the bounty since he could not spend it if Bloodshot turned him into a multi–plegic who sucked food through a straw, and that he bet it would be more interesting to be on his side. Although he knew that Tex was feeding him a line, Bloodshot decided to go along with him for there chance that he could learn something.
Sometime later, Tex and Bloodshot found Laws, the last hunter, on a roof facing the Carter Hotel preparing a bazooka to shoot a missile into his room. Using his ability to control machines, Bloodshot disarmed Laws’ weapon, but then, the hunter threw a smoke bomb that detonated over their heads. After shooting Bloodshot in the arm with a hollow point bullet, Laws kicked Tex in the abdomen and escaped. As the smoke cleared, Tex told Bloodshot that he could take him where Laws was staying.
Several hours later, Bloodshot and Tex followed Laws to the warehouse distinct. Watching him take a crate inside a warehouse, Bloodshot and Tex jumped into the room through the window guns blazing, but Laws had vanished. While Bloodshot searched the room, Tex opened the crate and activated a bomb inside it. While Bloodshot pushed Text out the window, the bomb exploded and the blast knocked them out. Looming over Bloodshot, Laws aimed his gun at his head.
A Touch Of Fire
Standing over Bloodshot and Tex, Laws called the Immortal Enemy to inform him that he had captured them, but then, Bloodshot took the phone from Laws’ hand, and while holding Laws by the neck, told Juan Caldone that he was coming to get him. After breaking the phone in his hand, Bloodshot tossed Laws against a wall and demanded that he tell him everything about his boss. Meanwhile, in St. Vincent’s Hospital, while a doctor insisted that he put on a pair of prosthetic arms, Cinder, who lost his hands in his last battle with Bloodshot, burnt the doctor and orderly to a crisp and discovered that he did not need hands to touch them to do it. Across town, Bloodshot engaged Laws in fisticuffs and demanded to know about his boss, but, ultimately, Laws escaped using another smoke bomb. Throwing Text over his shoulder, Bloodshot walked out of the smoke determined to get past the cannon fodder and find the Immortal Enemy to take the battle to him.
While Bloodshot took a stroll through Central Park, Cinder, who blamed him for his wife leaving him and the loss of his arms, shot him with a blast of fire. Realizing that Cinder’s power had changed, Bloodshot dodged the blasts and threw a park bench at him, but that only enraged. Shooting Bloodshot, Cinder set him ablaze, but Bloodshot jumped in the lake and put the flames out. Jumping out of the water, Bloodshot destroyed Cinder’s prosthetics and, punching him out, told him that he set off the explosives that cost him his hands and drove his wife away. Suddenly, someone shot Bloodshot with a dart. Turning back, Bloodshot saw Glyder, Phaze, and Cobrah, the Harbinger Foundation’s Black Ops team, who knocked him out but did not kill him. Dazed, Bloodshot watched as Cobrah and Phaze took Cinder inside a van and left. Gliding over him, Glyder told Bloodshot that she knew Cinder was too violent to live in the real world, which was why the foundation formed her group, to deal with Harbingers like him. Certain that they were going to kill Cinder, Bloodshot walked away unsure of what made him sick the most; their doing it or his not thinking it was so wrong.
At the penthouse of the Immortal Enemy, Tex told Caldone that despite not being too wild about catching some of Laws’ blast in his face that was the clincher for Bloodshot to get him figure as being on his side all the way. Telling Caldone that they had reeled him in, Tex said that it was time for Bloodshot to take the bait.
The Blind Leading The Blind
At the 15th Precinct, Bloodshot used the police computers to track down the Immortal Enemy’s host, a broker who two months earlier started putting together a criminal organization. Telling Morgan that the Immortal Enemy had to be close to the person that he was going to take over, Bloodshot said that he was going to get him in a room where it was just the two them and going to put a bullet through his brain. Elsewhere, Diana witnessed as Clay McHenry, Geoff’s uncle and current Geomancer, stopped two men from raping a woman.
Later that night, while Bloodshot circled Caldone’s penthouse in a taxi, inside, Caldone ordered his men to double–check the lower floors and make sure to replace all digital surveillance equipment with older models. Upset to see Tex kicking back in his office, Caldone grabbed him by his shirt and roughly asked him what he was doing there, but then Tex pulled a gun on him. Cocky, Caldone dared Tex to shot him, threatening to take over his body if he did, but then Tex revealed that he had a cyanide tooth in his mouth and that he would bite it before he made the jump. At an impasse, Caldone let Tex go and told him to go check on the others.
Several hours later, Bloodshot swung through a window in Caldone’s building from an adjacent edifice, guns blazing to get his guard’s attention. Hearing the shots, Caldone’s men broke into the room where Bloodshot was and he took them out, but just then, Diana shot him on the leg with an arrow. While fighting Diana, all Michael could think about was that she was the first woman he had met since he became Bloodshot that he could hold without being afraid to break her, but he knocked her out regardless. Walking in on Bloodshot, Clay McHerny said that he sensed the Immortal Enemy and followed him there. Musing how in the past it was Gilad who had defeated the enemy, Clay wondered what he would think of a fighting Geomancer, but Bloodshot told him that he would have to find out next time because Caldone was his.
While Bloodshot and Clay made their way to the penthouse through the stairs, Laws jumped on Bloodshot’s back and detonated a tear gas bomb to blind him so that he could not disable his bomb. Tossing Laws over the railing, Bloodshot sent him careening down 20 stories to the ground. Telling Bloodshot that the stairwell told him that that there was enough Plastique in the penthouse to take out the roof, Clay said that the bomb did not have any electronics for him to control and that the only one that could disable it was Laws. Sensing the timer ticking, Clay led Bloodshot to an elevator and they jumped down the shaft to avoid the explosion.
Shortly, outside, Bloodshot recovered his sight, but it was too late and Caldone had escaped, but Clay assured him that they would be there when he returned.
Big Trouble In Little Clown Town
Big Trouble In Little Clown Town
In the Carny Town of Orchid, off the Southeast coast of Florida, while Uzzi the Clown painted his face and Malcolm took pictures of Monkey–Boy in his house, a group of thugs working for Mr. Grambolli suddenly tore the house down with a bulldozer to make room for condominiums and Uzzi killed them with his guns.
Two days later, Malcolm showed Bloodshot a picture of Uzzi, and Michael decided to go find him. The next day, Bloodshot arrived at the Carny Town right before Grambolli’s men arrived with bulldozers to raze it. Helping Monkey–Boy’s wife and daughter escape the gunfire, Bloodshot took them to the fun house, from where he saw as the goons killed the circus folk. Joining Uzzi and the others against the mobsters, Bloodshot thought that if they could get past that little war he might be able to bring the law into this since he Mafia’s strong–arm tactics had screwed up any legal claim they might have had, when then a mobster attacked him with a bulldozer. Unable to shut it down, Bloodshot took hold of the dozer and toppled it on its side.
Watching the monsters leave, Bloodshot declared that he conflict was over, but Uzzi wanted to take the fight to the Mafia’s turf and convinced others to follow him. Giving them a five minute head start, Bloodshot followed Uzzi and the other circus folk to the swamp, where three alligators suddenly attacked him.
Uzzi And His Killer Clown Commandos!
Wrestling a giant alligator in Southeast Florida at midnight, Bloodshot tossed it against a tree and then scared it and its friends away with gun fire. Twenty minutes later, Bloodshot returned to the Carny Town with Uzzi, who went back when he and the others realized that they could not track down the mobsters in the dark. A few miles away, Marty, Mr. Grambolli’s hired thug, told him that he needed manpower and support to clear out the Carny Town and deal with Uzzi. Meanwhile outside, a guard found Malcolm taking pictures and took him to the office, were Grambolli ordered him to drop Malcolm on the foundation of lot fourteen. Back in Orchid, while Bloodshot used maps of Grambolli’s construction site that Monkey–Boy stole to lay out a plan of attack, Uzzi stocked them up with weapons from his arsenal.
Meanwhile, in England, Ian McDowell, Jillian’s replacement while she was on holiday, informed Sinclair that he wanted the Secret Weapons and Bloodshot to travel to Korea to stop the sale of components to nuclear weapons. Later, McDowell called Tanaka in Osaka and informed him that Bloodshot would be in Korea.
Back in Florida, Uzzi and his commandos cut out the lights of the Mafia–controlled construction site and attacked. While Uzzi broke into the trailer and took out Grambolli, outside Bloodshot led the assault hoping that he could convince the Carnies to come to some kind of deal before there was no one left on either side. Seeing Uzzi chasing Grambolli out of the trailer at gun point, Bloodshot stopped him and told him that he did not have to kill him. Standing back to back, Uzzi and Bloodshot watched while the mobsters held their friends at bay. As Bloodshot asked Uzzi if he wanted to see his friends get killed and Uzzi said that he just wanted them to stand up for themselves, a monster walked up from behind them and held Uzzi at gun point, but then Monkey–Boy leapt out at him and the guy shot him with Uzzi’s prop gun.
Just then, Benito Carboni arrived on the scene and stopped the shootout, promising that Orchid would be left alone and that the inhabitants could assume immediate possession of the completed condos with Grambolli’s complements. Surprisingly, however, Uzzi took Malcolm hostage so that Bloodshot would not arrest him. Running into the bayou, Uzzi stood too close to the water and fell over the edge. Watching the alligators gather where Uzzi fell, Bloodshot did not put it past Uzzi to bite the gators and escape.
Rampage – Part I
Climbing down from a helicopter into North Korea, Bloodshot lead the Secret Weapons to a distribution hub confirmed to be wholesaling nuclear bomb components. Commandeering a truck, Para–Man drove it through the front gate while Bloodshot gunned down anything that moved. Meanwhile, at Musashi Labs in Osaka, Tanaka, having learned of Bloodshot’s attack on the Kyoto facility, ordered Nicolai, the facility’s manager, to pull his men while he took care of everything else. Walking into a heavily–protected room, Tanaka stood over a cryogenic tube that held Hideyoshi Iwatsu inside and told his father that he would be rejoining them soon.
In Korea, Bloodshot and the Secret Weapons discovered that the facility was empty, when suddenly the doors to the warehouse shut closed and the room filled with gas that knocked the Secret Weapons out while armed mercenaries shot Bloodshot with high–powered tranquilizers that knocked him out before he could metabolize them. Restrained in a device designed to send a random frequency charge that prevented him from using his ability to control machines, Bloodshot awoke in a room at Musashi Labs where Tanaka told him that he was going to complete the programming in his nanites to turn him into the perfect host for his father’s memories.
Elsewhere, the Secret Weapons broke out of a cell and went to find Bloodshot. Fighting their way through the security guards, the Secret Weapons reached the room where Tanaka was holding Bloodshot hostage. Breaking inside, Sonar let out a high frequency pitch that destroyed Hideyoshi’s cryogenic tank. Looming over Bloodshot, Tank asked him if he was okay, when suddenly Bloodshot punched him on the jaw and sent him reeling backwards. The programming in the nanites in his blood having been completed, an imposing Bloodshot, his body covered in sweat, stood over the frightened Secret Weapons.
Rampage – Part II
Somewhere in rural Japan, Bloodshot used his ability to control machines to take out Sonar and Mach, and though Tank wanted to face him one on one, confident that he could not stop him since his power was in him and not his suit, Para–Man held him back and Bloodshot escaped. Later, in a jet heading for England, Sinclair told the rest of the team that, from the stories Bloodshot had told him, he was acting like a rampaging killing machine like when he awoke from Project Rising Spirit. Wondering how they could stop him, John told the others that he knew of man capable of stopping Bloodshot, but that he doubted that Neville would agree to it.
Later, with Neville’s permission, Sinclair went to MI–6’s medical center where the individual he spoke of was prisoner. After signing documents and having the built–up of static electricity in his body discharged, Sinclair, ignorant of the extent of the inmate’s power, followed a nurse to a specially– built wing of the hospital constructed out of that lacked any technology and where the nurses only used 19th Century medicine to take care of their prisoner. There, he walked into a room where he offered Ax, the Harbinger with a score to settle with Bloodshot, amnesty for his help in bringing Bloodshot in, but swearing that when Bloodshot went down he would be the one to do it and not with Sinclair’s help, Ax refused and laughed at his face.
Later, the Secret Weapons followed a reported sighting to a lab not 20 minutes away from Heathrow, where they found Bloodshot garbed in a Speedshot uniform. With extreme prejudice, Bloodshot took out every members of Secret Weapons one on one until he and Para–Man where the last ones standing. Though injured, Para–Man, sufficiently enraged, stood up to Bloodshot ready to face him with the full power at his disposal.
Rampage – Part III
Obeying the programming in his nanites, Bloodshot escaped through a hole on the wall blasted by Para–Man before he fell unconscious to continue his acquisition of the necessary means to complete his directives to destroy target sites and kill Neville Alcott. In Osaka, Tanaka learned that Bloodshot was following the new programming in his nanites, and was well on track to destroy all known British Intelligence facilities and methodically murder all division heads. Breaking into a paramilitary installation outside London, Bloodshot acquired hand held firearms and enough C4 explosive to complete his directives.
Hours later, Bloodshot broke into the home of Neville Alcott, but Ninjak stopped him from killing Neville. During the ensuing battle, Bloodshot knocked Ninjak out, and would have killed him had Neville not shot him with his berretta to distract him. Stopping Bloodshot from breaking Neville’s, Ninjak planted a tracking beacon on him before the Secret Weapons arrived and forced him to escape.
Following the beacon to a British Intelligence’s newest high–tech facility hidden below an urban setting near the docks of the Thames river, the Secret Weapons ambushed Bloodshot, who once again took them out with ease. Leaping between Bloodshot and the others, Ninjak showed him that he had diffused his bombs and begged him to go with him to the hospital where they could make him better. Just then, however, Bloodshot took out a C4 block and a detonator that he used to blow up the facility.
Rampage – Part IV
Falling through the floor following the explosion, the Secret Weapons and Ninjak found themselves in the sewer, where, frozen with panic, Tank, who was afraid of fire, could not move. Crawling out of the wreck, Bloodshot grabbed Ninjak and squeezed him in his arms to kill him. Surmounting his fear, Tank punched Bloodshot out and then escaped with Ninjak in his arms. Gathering with Mach and Sonar behind a wall of fire that separated them from Bloodshot, Ninjak got an idea to use his nanites against him.
Elsewhere, a doctor informed Neville Alcott that John Sinclair had gained the powers of the Para–Man suit independently from it, and that he did not need the suit to have the powers. Telling Neville and Jillian that when the others had problems with their suits Sinclair did not because his suit was not working, the doctor theorized that when the suit started to malfunction rather than adapt to Sinclair’s body, it adapted Sinclair to it. Excited, Neville ordered Sinclair to engage Bloodshot, certain that without the limitations of the suit, he could get close to him without his being able to shut his powers down.
Meanwhile, at the Mansion of Colin King near Canterbury, retrieved a sample of Bloodshot’s blood filled with uninfected nanites from the sword with which he skewered him when they first met to put his plan in motion. Elsewhere, in an abandoned tenement building, Bloodshot ingested trace minerals and protein drinks to help his nanites heal him from the damage he sustained in the explosion, unintentionally giving the infected nanites a stronger foothold in his system.
While Ax killed the nurse watching him in the hospital cell and went to find Bloodshot, back at MI–6 headquarters, Jillian introduced the Secret Weapons to the new Para–Man, John Sinclair, who showed up in a newly–designed suit similar to the Weaponeer’s enhancement suit ready to face Bloodshot once again.
Rampage – The Conclusion
While Bloodshot walked through a busy street in downtown London, a double decker bus ran him over. Enraged, Bloodshot jumped inside the bus and tossed the driver out the window, when just then, Para–Man arrived sporting a modified costume and attacked him. Sensing that Para–Man posed a threat, Bloodshot used his command over machines to endanger a lift filled with innocent people to distract John while he escaped.
In Canterbury, Colin located the high–order functions within Bloodshot’s nanites, which he believed he could use as antibodies to purge the Rampage programming that Tanaka infected him with. Looking at Bloodshot’s being laid out before him, Colin wrestled with the morality of improving him, and though he decided that doing so would make him no different than the people who did that to him in the first place, he decided that perhaps he would let Bloodshot keep his physical enhancements and boost his strength and agility a notch. Back at MI–6 headquarters, Ax used the digital phone lines in the building to listen in on a conversation between Jillian and the rest of the Secret Weapons. Learning that Neville was hiding in a safe house in old Glenborough lane, Ax, certain that Bloodshot would go there, decided to beat him to it.
Several hours later, outside the safe house, Ax, posing as a fast food delivery boy, killed the guard at the gate, while inside Bloodshot broke in through a window looking for Neville. Holding Bloodshot at bay with a gun powerful enough to blow a hole in his chest, Neville gave Bloodshot reason to question the level of threat that he posed to him. Just then, however, Ax arrived, and after disarming Neville, he used his technopathy to paralyze Bloodshot. Taunting Bloodshot, Ax hit him with Neville’s rifle, but then Bloodshot’s nanites re–adjusted to the outside interference and broke free of Ax’s control. Arriving on the scene, Ninjak refused to let Bloodshot kill Ax, who used his power to momentarily freeze Bloodshot in his tracks and give Ninjak the opportunity to inject him with the pure nanites he developed.
Holding a defensive stance, Ninjak questioned Bloodshot on the name of a movie he programmed into the nanites as a sign that they had successfully purged Iwatsu’s encoding from him. In a daze, Bloodshot answered Ninjak’s query correctly, bringing an end to his rampage.
On a night in the spring of 1995, Bloodshot laid against the bullet–ridden wall of a building somewhere in Brooklyn, NY with his right leg blown off at the knee. Focusing on releasing endorphins to kill the pain and on minimizing the blood flow to the femoral artery using the new programming in his blood that Ninjak told how to use, Bloodshot wondered from where Proteus, a creature who judging by the things he said Bloodshot surmised came from the future, came from and how he found him so quickly.
Assuming that Proteus locked into a phone system and tapped into a computer network to find him, Bloodshot recalled the first incident about him centered in Massachusetts at MIT, where two graduate students working on nanotechnology marveled at the molecular machines constructed a screw out of raw materials they provided when, suddenly, Proteus appeared and killed them both. According to the report Bloodshot read, the lab was devastated, but the only thing missing were the nanites, primitive versions of the ones in his blood.
While his leg regenerated at an incredible rate, Bloodshot, whose nerve endings hurt like they were on fire, sought shelter. Continuing to reminisce, Bloodshot recalled that the MIT murders meant nothing until Proteus hit New York a week earlier and killed Thomas Belkin, a man that Bloodshot learned from Detective Morgan had nanites in his shoulder and that his attacker him took his arm. While investigated the blood–splattered subway car where Belkin died, Bloodshot mused over how it seemed that the killer was nanite–based.
After making some calls that afternoon to some people who knew where to look for things, Bloodshot turned up the info on the MIT killings. With no doubt in his mind that the incidents were related, Bloodshot surmised that something was gathering nanites, and he also knew that there was a chance they would go after him, he just did not realize how quickly that would happen.
As Bloodshot left the subway depot, Proteus appeared and attacked, and though Bloodshot severed Proteus’ arm cleanly with one shot, Proteus reattached it to his shoulder like it had never happened. Proclaiming that the nanites in his blood had to be destroyed Proteus told Bloodshot that he had to die. Aware that there was no way he could fight something like Proteus bare–handed, and unaware of what the real extent of his powers was, Bloodshot futility stood up to Proteus, who managed to counter every move he made.
Capturing Bloodshot in his tentacles, Proteus prepared to complete his initiative, but then Bloodshot blew up his head with a blast from his shotgun. Taking advantage of the brief respite, Bloodshot ran away, but Proteus recovered quickly and shot him with a flame thrower. Trying anything to push Proteus back, Bloodshot threw a piece of a brick wall at the creature’s abdomen, but Proteus absorbed the mass of the rubble and converted it into a machine gun that he used to blow up Bloodshot’s leg at the knee.
Three hours later, Bloodshot, who had learned from Proteus how to heal his leg by absorbing the mass of any object within reach, climbed a fire escape and then jumped on Proteus when he came looking for him.
Landing on Proteus’ back feet first, Bloodshot wondered how he was going to stop the creature, which was capable of everything he was and more. Shooting Proteus with his shotgun and machine gun to no avail, Bloodshot moved out of the way of Proteus’ arm, which changed into a weapon that that shot an energy blast that hit inches from Bloodshot’s position. After the nanites ejected a piece of rubble embedded in Bloodshot’s so they could heal the wound, Bloodshot ran away while Proteus yelled out that he could not be allowed to live because the future would not permit it.
Leaping over the fence of the subway depot, Bloodshot knew that Proteus whoever sent Proteus back to that time period believed that molecular–level machines were a threat, and that Proteus was intent on carrying out his programming, which included destroying him. Refusing to lay down for Proteus to kill him, Bloodshot stood his ground and dared the creature, who he called an ugly freak, to end their conflict right then and there. Mocking Bloodshot’s derogatory remark, Proteus changed its appearance to look like Belkin and one of the MIT scientists, who he claimed he could not let live because the future could not bear it.
Telling Bloodshot that he would wear his face as well, Proteus lunged at him, but Bloodshot grabbed his arms and kicked him into a high voltage electrical plant in the hopes that Proteus was capable of overload. Throw clear of the explosion by the blast, Bloodshot turned around and did not see Proteus in the wreck. As Bloodshot walked away, however, one of Proteus’ tentacles wrapped itself around his leg, so he shot it with his shotgun.
Rising from the flames, Proteus told Bloodshot that he could not stop him, as his electromagnetic fields did not operate as he expected, and that he was going to die. Just then, the police arrived, so Proteus, who did not have any directives to harm humans over those directly involved in nanite development, left, but not before he warned Bloodshot that there might be a time when he changed those directives.
Two days later, a plane on loan from Neville Alcott through his connections in the intelligence community, took Bloodshot to a deserted location the Arctic Circle. Aware that Proteus would follow him wherever he went, and expecting that he would not have the same reservations about harming innocents anymore, Bloodshot jumped out of the plane with a duffle bag to wait him out.
Later that night, while Bloodshot sat by a fire, Jim, the plane’s pilot, walked out of the darkness calling for him. Collapsing in his arms, Jim told Bloodshot that Proteus had attacked the plane and forced him to bring it there, but then Bloodshot, whose nanites detected Proteus’ presence the minute “Jim” got near him, shot him point blank in the chest. As Jim changed into Proteus, the creature told Bloodshot that he was the last of his targets and that nothing could stop him now.
Reaching into the duffle bag, Bloodshot activated a machine that amplified the already high levels of natural magnetism in the area, which scrambled Proteus’ nanite–based form, but literally using its head, Proteus destroyed the machine. Making a run for it, Bloodshot stop inches from a crevasse hoping that Proteus would follow him. As a learning machine, however, Proteus knew better than to leap upon Bloodshot so he would throw him into the crevasse, so he stood his ground a considerable distance from him.
Just then, Bloodshot detonated a series of buried explosives near Proteus that destroyed the ground beneath him. After falling into the crevasse, Proteus shook his fist in the air and said that in time he would climb out, but then Bloodshot dropped a bomb into the crevasse and the explosion buried him beneath thousands of tons of ice and snow.
Certain that Proteus could not escape, Bloodshot went home, unaware that Proteus still lived.
Vampires In The Village
Vampires In The Village
At one a.m. in New York’s West Village, Malcolm left a pub with Joshua, a man who for the last two hours regaled him with stories of himself and others who lived as vampires. Though he was skeptical, Malcolm went with Joshua to his friend Michael’s sculpture casting shop, a place filled with plaster Davids and copies of the Holy Virgin next to Venus that reminded him of Catholic School and Sister Theresa’s ruler.
Across town on 32nd near 2nd Avenue, Bloodshot retuned to his apartment from his trip to the Arctic Circle. Upon coming to his door, Bloodshot could sense that someone had been in his apartment, and though he suspected that it might have been the super, he nevertheless drew his gun and walked inside. Recognizing the smell of stale pizza, old cigarettes, and beer, Bloodshot deduced that Malcolm had been there. Finding a note on the fridge from Malcolm that said that he was in town for a few weeks researching a story about vampires, Bloodshot tosses the note in the trash and went to bed.
At the shop, Malcolm listened as Michael told him how he became a vampire. One night, while Michael was closing the shop, he head a man who was really thin, like he had been sick for a long time, moaning in the alley that bit him on the arm when he tried to help him. While Joshua accepted a delivery from Linda’s special foods, Michael told Malcolm that, before he died, the sick man told him that he was running from a network of webs that had injected him with stuff that had turned him into a vampire. Standing up, Michael, who sired others like him so he would not be lonely, offered to show Malcolm what they were all about.
That night, Bloodshot had a nightmare in which he Malcolm had become a vampire that the police were looking for. Finding Malcolm standing on a fire escape, Bloodshot was powerless to stop him from draining a woman’s blood and then tossing her aside. Turning intangible, Malcolm transformed into a hellhound covered in flames and then bit Bloodshot on the neck to drink his blood.
Joshua and Michael took Malcolm to the Limelight, a church on 6th avenue that they turned into a trendy club. Following Joshua and Michael upstairs to a private room, Malcolm was shocked to see two men biting a woman’s neck and drinking her blood. Across town, Bloodshot received a call from Malcolm telling him where he was and that he needed help against the vampires, when then Michael took the phone from Malcolm and told Bloodshot that he was tied up.
17 minutes later, Bloodshot arrived at the Limelight. Sensing the smell of Malcolm’s British cigarettes hand–soaked in brandy through the thousand different scents around him, Bloodshot surmised that he had been there. Just then, Malcolm came stumbling out from behind a curtain followed by Michael, who tossed him over he railing. Leaping after him, Bloodshot caught Malcolm and then flipped over so get himself under him.
Suddenly, three of Michael’s vampires came crashing down through a window and surrounded Bloodshot. Landing beside Bloodshot, Michael noticed his gun and sarcastically dared him to shoot him, which he abided with, but the bullet did not harm him. Engaging the vampires in combat, Bloodshot was certain that there had to be some logical explanation or scientific reason for them.
As a vampire who claimed that not all of them liked what they had become and that he would be the first to pull the trigger of a gun if he thought it would put him out of his misery disarmed Bloodshot, he threatened to kill him with a broken table leg. Just then, Malcolm grabbed the table leg from the vampire’s hand and, while looming over Bloodshot, said that he would kill him because he was very hungry.
Bloodshot Is Mine!!
Inside a night club ion Manhattan at four a.m., Bloodshot reached for his weapon as Malcolm leapt over him. With one punch to the face, Bloodshot tossed Malcolm against a monitor bank, then, with his weapon aimed at his head, he told him to stand down, but Malcolm swatted his hand away and punched him in the face. Saying that all his life there had been others like him that were bigger and stronger, but now he was strong enough to take what he wanted, Malcolm leapt at Bloodshot with blood–thirsty eyes. Shooting Malcolm in the shoulder, Bloodshot startled him and he ran away.
Once he was alone, Bloodshot went inside the effects room to look for whoever was running the monitors during the fight. Finding a girl hiding under the control console, Bloodshot asked her what she knew about the so–called vampires and learned from her that they hung out at Michael’s sculpture shop in the Village.
Less than an hour later, Bloodshot walked into the store and followed Michaels’ scent to one of the two apartments over it. Aiming his weapon at Michael, Bloodshot demanded that he tell him where Malcolm was, but Michael told him to forget about him as Malcolm was one of them. Though he still doubted Michael’s claim that he was a vampire, Bloodshot pulled down a curtain to let the sunlight in, but to his surprise it had no effect on Michael, who threw a glass table at him and then slashed his wrists with a broken shard. Looming over Bloodshot, Michael told him that crosses, garlic, or wooden stakes would stop him. Throwing Michael off his feet just as Joshua and another vampire ran into the room, Bloodshot swore that he would find out what had turned them into vampires.
While Michael and the other vampire escaped, Bloodshot impaled Joshua on a broken metal bar on the window sill. Thanking Bloodshot for ending his life, Joshua told him that not all of them liked the way they were, and that Michael was the only one who got off on it. Before Joshua died, he told Bloodshot about a man sent by the people responsible for the virus that infected them called Jack Frost, who he believed would eventually kill them all to eliminate any evidence of the tragic infection.
Following Joshua’s directions to a curio shop near Union Square ran by a blind man named Micah Tomes, Bloodshot went to find Frost. Telling Micah that Frost was tracking some people in the city, Bloodshot said that one of them was a friend of his, and that he was afraid of what Frost might do when he found him, but Micah simply said that whatever Jack would do, his friend would be better off than he was now.
Upon leaving the store, Bloodshot saw Malcolm in an alley holding a beautiful woman in his arms, just like in his dream. Certain that the woman was still alive as he could hear her heat beat, Bloodshot stopped Malcolm from biting her in the neck and assured him that he had a chemical infection and that he could help him. Screaming for Bloodshot’s blood, Malcolm pushed him against a car and bit him in the neck, when suddenly Jack Frost shot him in the back with an arrow and he fell down to the ground.
Assuring Bloodshot that Malcolm was not dead, Frost told him that he wanted to get some serum into his system to try and reverse the process that changed him in the first place, which is why he was hunting the infected in the first place. Telling Bloodshot that there was some kind of biochemical testing and that a lab subject flipped out and escaped, Frost said he was called in to find the people he infected and make them better. Uncertain of what kind of reaction he would have, Frost injected Malcolm and Bloodshot held his gun over his head expecting the worst.
Within seconds, the excess material dissolved from Malcolm’s canines and he returned to normal. After injecting the woman, Frost left to find the other vampires, certain that if he could get the serum into them hey would have a good chance of surviving. Telling Bloodshot that he had a friend like Malcolm once that he could not save, Frost said that he had a feeling that they had a lot of things in common and told him to be thankful that that was not one of them, then he walked away.
After watching two thugs burn a man to death at the docks, Bloodshot lunged at them. During the melee, Bloodshot would feel his heart pounding like a jackhammer and his adrenaline running wild like he was loosing control. His eyes burning red hot, Bloodshot silently brutalized the two men. Just then, a police officer arrived and Bloodshot tossed him into the water. Regaining his senses, Bloodshot pulled the cop out of the water and gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation, then once he was certain that the cop would live, he left.
Hours later, Bloodshot sat on a park bench in Madison Square Park comparing his blackout to when the Rampage programming took over him and turned him into a killing machine, when then Melissa Duffy sat beside him. Speaking in rambles, Melissa said that she had an out of body experience once, but she went swimming that day and the doctors said that her Dylantin levels were all screwed up. As Melissa introduced herself and said that she had not taken her medicine for two days, Bloodshot noticed the scars on her wrists. Freaking out after Bloodshot put his hand on her shoulder because she suffered from fear of germs, Melissa apologized for her outburst and, refusing Bloodshot’s offer of help, went back home to Cryerton House, a facility where she treated in an out–patient basis.
Later, Bloodshot visited Malcolm in St. Vincent’s hospital on 7th Avenue and told him about Melissa. Still hurting from his recent experience, Malcolm wanted Bloodshot to admit that he stuck him while he was not looking, referring to the bow on his back, but Bloodshot refused to take credit for something he did not do. As Bloodshot walked toward the door to leave, he suddenly knelt over feeling like his stomach was in knots. As the symptoms eased up, Bloodshot went to the cafeteria feeling dehydrated and inadvertently ate a Styrofoam cup after drinking the coffee inside it.
Returning to his apartment in a trance, Bloodshot spent the next hours consuming high quantities of complex carbohydrates, alcohol, fats and protein, and supplemental vitamins and acids that maxed out his digestive intake. Waking up in a tub filled with chemicals, like iron sulfate and protein nitrate, Bloodshot had no idea of how he got thee. Wondering if he was going crazy, Bloodshot stepped out of the tub and collapsed on the bed feeling extremely tired.
Later, Bloodshot ate everything in his fridge and, using a knife, slashed himself across the scar on his chest. Running out of his apartment into the street, Bloodshot felt as his rib cage fractured while his adrenaline, pulse, and pituitary gland output increased to five times above normal. Falling to his knees, Bloodshot crawled into an alley, where, as a creature emerged from the opening in his chest, he let out a scream. Weakened due to the sudden loss of mass, Bloodshot passed out.
Awakening sometime later, Bloodshot wondered where he was, when, suddenly, the creature kicked him in the abdomen. Looming over Bloodshot, the creature said that when the nanites were unable to use his body to continue the programming from Project Rising Spirit they created him, Rampage, the very programming he had tried to suppress.
Dragging Bloodshot by the hair on his head, Rampage climbed a fire escape to toss him over the side of the building so he would not stop him from achieving the Rampage directive. Holding Bloodshot over his head, Rampage tossed him over the edge, but Bloodshot grabbed his hair and pulled him with him. Holding on to the fire escape, Rampage kicked Bloodshot off his feet and watched him fall to the street below. Maneuvering for a soft landing, Bloodshot crashed on a pile of garbage.
Hours later, Bloodshot woke up and went to find a hospital. Finding himself in Melissa’s neighborhood, Bloodshot went inside Cryerton House, where doctor Raleigh admitted him despite his superior’s dismay. Later that night, while Dr. Raleigh and a nurse looked over Bloodshot, who had regained 20 pounds of weight since that morning, Melissa walked by his room and recognized him. Despite the doctor’s belief that Melissa was hallucinating, they ultimately believed that she had indeed met Bloodshot in the park.
Six hours later, Bloodshot woke up and sensed that Rampage was tracking him. Walking out of the room, Bloodshot came across Melissa, who was waiting for him outside his door, certain that he was gonna try to escape. After giving Bloodshot a chocolate bar, Melissa took him to the janitor’s closet and gave him a jacket. While Melissa showed Bloodshot a way out, they hear a loud crashing sound and Bloodshot realized that Rampage had found him. After Melissa left through the window, Bloodshot went to find Rampage.
Following the nanites in Bloodshot’s blood, Rampage went inside the janitor’s room, where Bloodshot kicked a bucket and splashed water all over his feet, then he threw the television on the floor and electrocuted him. Certain that Rampage was not dead, Bloodshot crawled out the window, and then, with Melissa’s help, he went back to his apartment. After changing clothes, Bloodshot drank a bottle of ammonium nitrate to replenish the vitamins he lost.
Two hours later, in a diner, Bloodshot ate until he recovered all the mass he lost when Rampage was born. Taking his leave, Bloodshot asked Melissa to stay behind as Rampage was too dangerous.
That night, near Central Park South, Bloodshot went to the Titan Hotel, where one of the key figures from the international intelligence community that Rampage was programmed to kill was staying. Climbing the side of the hotel, Rampage fired a shot from the balcony to kill his target, but to his surprise he shot a mannequin. Just then, Bloodshot leapt out of the darkness, Bloodshot engaged Rampage in hand to hand combat.
As every strike Bloodshot dealt received a perfect response from Rampage, Bloodshot threw out the logical move and pushed Rampage out the door, which surprised him. Chasing Rampage down the hallway, Bloodshot followed him to a room where Rampage had tied Melissa up to a pipe over Bloodshot’s own sword. Making Bloodshot choose between saving Melissa and stopping him, a trick he learned from Para–Man, Rampage jumped out the window at the same time as Melissa’s bonds broke and she fell.
Catching Melissa in his arms, Bloodshot landed on his feet beside the table. Holding Melissa in his arms, Bloodshot thought that Rampage’s willingness to use a sick girl to get at him meant that he was scared, which meant that he could beat him.
The Blood Is The Life
The Blood Is The Life
Led to the Bayous of New Orleans in search of a drop point and processing lab for a new designer drug called Bloofer, which was five times more addictive than heroine and ten times as lethal by a dramatic surge in drug related deaths, Bloodshot witnessed a helicopter pilot deliver a briefcase to a cabin in the swamp. Rising from the water with guns blazing, Bloodshot killed the drug dealers and blew up the cabin while musing over the analysis of the tissue samples from OD victims, which showed component structure similar to blowfish toxin.
On Fat Tuesday, Bloodshot went to a diner in the French Quarter for one last party before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of forty days of abstinence before Easter. Taking advantage of the nanites’ ability to let him eat Cajun food without gastric distress or embarrassing side effects, Bloodshot helped himself to three servings of red beans and rice and Mint Julep, then he left the diner with three girls.
On his way back to his hotel, Bloodshot walked by an alley and saw Papa Juju, a voodoo priest, chastising Ayisha for using Bloofer recreationally. As Papa Juju tried to elicit sexual favors from Ayisha, Bloodshot stepped in and dispatched Juju’s bodyguards by pitting them against each other. Laughing at Juju’s attempt to curse him, Bloodshot took Ayisha with him, but Papa Juju warned him that she would come back to him like she always did, because it was in her blood and the blood was the life.
Later, Ayisha and Bloodshot went to a bar where she told him that, despite his disbelief in Papa Juju’s power, he was no joke, and that in the swamps from where she came from he was everything. As Ayisha mused that she should return to the bayou, Bloodshot assured her that she could have a new life and a fresh start, and that the only thing that stood between wanting and being was doing. As Bloodshot offered to help her, Ayisha reminded him that Juju put a hex on him and said that maybe the Bloofer Lady would get him. Asking Ayisha if she really believed that, Bloodshot told her that he cared about what she thought, but she told him that life was more complicated than that and then asked him to dance with her. As the two danced to celebrate the night and the life and forget the rest, Ayisha saw something that made her leave abruptly.
Returning to his hotel, Bloodshot saw as an ambulance took away a tourist that the cops claimed suffered from terminal heartburn. Hearing an old woman in the street say that the Bloofer Lady got the man, Bloodshot asked her what that meant and she told him that the man may or may not have ODed. As Bloodshot asked the woman what she meant, she said that folks always looked for what they did not have, like him, who was searching for something that, upon seeing his palm, she told him he would not find on that side of the grave, a cryptic answer that made him ask her if she believed that voodoo was real. As the woman walked away, she told Bloodshot that just because she was paranoid it did not mean that they were not out to get her.
That night, as Bloodshot reported the success of his mission to Neville, Neville told him Papa Juju’s brief bio, and that he did not have a criminal record. Telling Bloodshot that they got another bit of intelligence from Interpol, which was working with the New Orleans Police on a series of homicides related to the Bloofer deaths, Neville said that it seemed that from September to December of 1993 there were eight murders in Europe identical to 11 of the 37 New Orleans drug deaths. As Neville said that all the victims were males found in bed with evidence of sexual activity and their throats cut out, but blood loss inconsistent with the amount of blood found at the scene, Bloodshot joked that there was a vampire in New Orleans.
Arming his weapon to go find the killer, Bloodshot ended his communication with Neville, while his thoughts revolved around Ayisha.
While walking down the streets of New Orleans thinking about Papa Juju, who was building a voodoo drug empire, Bloodshot mused that his only contact was Ayisha, who for some strange reason seemed familiar. Just then, as he wondered if he had known Ayisha when he was Angelo Mortalli, Bloodshot saw a copy of Vogue magazine with her picture on a newsstand and realized why she looked familiar. Failing to learn where he might find Ayisha from the newsvendor, Bloodshot tried to bribe him for information about Papa Juju, but the man refused to say anything, a story that repeated over and over again all over town that day as even people who should know better listened to the primal voice of fear and stayed quiet. That night, Bloodshot and Ayisha found each other and she took him with her to find out what they were both looking for.
After making love, Ayisha told Bloodshot that she tried to run away when she was 15 and got a job to put herself through college, then she landed a modeling contract and kept running until she ran in a circle back where she started with Papa Juju. Reiterating his offer to help her, Bloodshot told Ayisha that he could get her away from him once and for all, but then she asked him if he was not afraid to die. Telling her that he wanted to live forever but that if he could wish for it he would not, Bloodshot said that death was the only thing that made life precious because it gave it value. In tears, Ayisha asked Bloodshot to hold her until dawn and make her believe in his words. Later, Ayisha left a note on a pillow that said that she wished that she wished that Bloodshot’s dream could come true for one single day, and that they would have that night forever.
Feigning that he was asleep, Bloodshot waited for Ayisha to leave and then followed her to the Brasseur Cemetery, where he saw her go inside the crypt of the Family Lebrasseur. Going after her, Bloodshot found a staircase hidden inside a tomb and opened it, then as he went down the stairs, he heard Papa Juju threaten to turn Ayisha into a zombie to ensure that she did as he told her and not use the Bloofer to satisfy her hunger.
Hearing Juju say that their first New York shipment would be picked up there the next night, Bloodshot walked into a laboratory where Juju developed Bloofer and startled Ayisha, who yelled out his name. Accusing Bloodshot of having a serious death wish, Papa Juju tossed a skull at him that he said would put him in the grave. Catching the skull, Bloodshot shattered it in his hands and inadvertently released a cloud of Bloofer that fell all over him.
As Bloodshot confronted Ayisha over the trail of victims she left everywhere she went on assignment for a magazine spread across Europe, which she then brought home, she assured him that she was different because of him and wished that she could make her understand.
Taking pleasure in making Ayisha suffer, Papa Juju told her that Bloodshot understood that he had a need for a particular sort of killer to work for his organization, one whose methods would awaken fear in the hearts of his competitors. Stroking Ayisha’s cheek, Juju told Bloodshot that he was delighted when he discovered her, a beautiful young woman with an unquenchable thirst that led her to kill her lovers, his competitors, and drink their blood, which addicted her to a potent drug he designed which effect surprised even him that the press named Bloofer Lady, after Ayisha.
Approaching Bloodshot with a vial of the drug, a blend of amphetamine and tetrodotoxin – the same poison used to create zombies –, Juju said that Bloofer caused a death–like effect that lasted three days, during which the victim was buried alive, and when dug up again became invariably compliant. Whispering in Bloodshot’s ear that the drug was absorbed through the skin and affected the nervous system, Juju took Bloodshot’s gun from his hand and said that the skull was filled with pure tetrodotoxin, which left him in a zombie–like state.
Later, while Juju met with Don Francisco, his associate from New York, the nanites in Bloodshot’s blood stimulated his cerebral cortex and isolated the tetrodotoxin molecules, which they broke down to its basic elements. Waking up inside a crypt beside Ayisha, who had a stake coming out of her heart, Bloodshot broke out of the coffin screaming her name.
Returning to the cemetery, where Juju and Francisco were exchanging money for drugs, Bloodshot killed a guard and took his rifle, which he used to shoot out the laboratory, then he tossed a Molotov cocktail at a propane tank and destroyed the laboratory.
Crawling out of the debris, Bloodshot came upon Juju, who was holding a briefcase field with Bloofer over his head. Using the rifle, Bloodshot shot the briefcase and exposed Juju to the drug, which left him paralyzed. Looming over Juju, Bloodshot told him that he was not going to bury him alive.
Sometime later, the coroner removed Papa Juju’s brain, unaware that he was still conscious but unable to communicate his condition to anyone with.
On a rooftop in New York City, Rampage forcibly convinced Laws to work with him and finish his old score with Bloodshot or else he would kill him.
The next day at Kennedy Airport, Bloodshot sensed an electronic field around a guy with a backpack and, surmising that it was a detonator, alerted airport security. Realizing that they had discovered him, the man threatened to detonate the bomb in protest to Milano, a presidential candidate. Calling his bluff, Bloodshot activated the timer on the bomb and offered to turn it off if the man surrendered, but, refusing to go back to prison, the man tried to escape by jumping out a window that unbeknownst to him was safety glass. While he watched as the guards took the man away, Bloodshot had the feeling that it was not an isolated incident.
Later that day, Rampage told Laws that they had five targets at the political enclave that night, and that though Bloodshot was bound to know that he was after the agents, he did not know about Laws, and that he had a special plan to smoke him out. Telling Laws to take the sniper position, Rampage said that when Bloodshot went after him he would be his.
Returning to his apartment, Bloodshot came upon Melissa, who was waiting for him and had a package from Gilad that the mailman left for him. Inside the apartment, while Bloodshot opened the package, a bonsai tree, Melissa told him that Neville left him a message that said that if he got in before five to head over to the Westin Plaza. After giving the Bonsai tree to Melissa, Bloodshot left.
Meanwhile, at the Westin Plaza Hotel, Milano chocked to dead and his head exploded after he took a drag from his cigar while giving a speech in front of a crowd that included Neville Alcott and his aide, Singleton. Arriving too late, Bloodshot told Neville that he believed that Rampage was involved in the assassination and then left for the roof to look for him.
Sensing that Rampage was nearby, Bloodshot walked into the roof and barely avoided a missile from Rampage’s bazooka. Taking cover behind a ventilator shaft, Bloodshot rolled out of the way of a bullet barrage from Laws’ rifle. Taking shelter in a shed, Bloodshot grabbed a gas tank and tossed it at Laws to throw him off the roof, but, using a grappling hook, Laws swung back to the roof.
Leaping over Rampage, Bloodshot wrestled his weapons away and shot him in the abdomen with his gun just as Laws landed back on the roof. After punching Rampage out of the way, Bloodshot took control of Laws’ grappling hook and swung him off the beams like a puppet.
As Bloodshot rammed Rampage against the shed, a strange mist surrounded him and before he could react it rendered him unconscious. Triumphantly, Wisp, Rampage’s ally, loomed over an unconscious Bloodshot.
Gathering around Bloodshot, Rampage sarcastically told Wisp that it was about time that she showed up. Just then, a SWAT team opened fire on Rampage on Neville’s command. Tossing a ventilator at the officers, Rampage was certain that they would escape, but then three helicopters came upon them. As Wisp dissipated and escaped, Bloodshot woke up and punched Laws out, then he went after Rampage, who jumped on the roof of an adjacent building. Just then, Laws shot Bloodshot in the back, so Bloodshot went back and took care of him using his control over machines to destroy his wrist–rockets. After asking Neville to put Laws in maximum security lock–up, Bloodshot left to find Rampage.
Twenty blocks away, in an abandoned subway tunnel fifty feet below the street, Rampage lashed out at Wisp for the failure of their mission. Upset, Wisp threatened to do to Rampage what she did to Bloodshot, but he assured her that he would not be so easily defeated.
Outside Bloodshot’s apartment, Bloodshot watched as an ambulance took away Melissa, who killed herself with an accidental depressant overdose. Angered, Bloodshot went to find Rampage to vent his fury.
As Rampage and Wisp made their way down a dark subway tunnel, Bloodshot crashed through a wall and startled them. Jumping behind a wall to avoid a shot from Rampage’s weapon, Bloodshot crawled down beneath him, pushed the grating beneath his feet, and then pummeled him with it. After punching Bloodshot across the head with a pipe, Wisp surrounded him with her mist to choke him again, but much to her surprise, Bloodshot used gas from a tank and a spark to ignite it and create an explosion.
Rising from the flames, Bloodshot and Rampage punched each other, with Bloodshot gaining the upper hand. Making a break for it, Rampage escaped, but Bloodshot followed him to the street, where, using his pain over Melissa’s death, Bloodshot focused his anger on Rampage and defeated him, then tossed him inside a garbage compactor that killed him.
Later, at Bloodshot’s apartment, Neville told Bloodshot that he had the garbage truck confiscated to examine and safely dispose of whatever was left of Rampage. Mourning Melissa’s death, Bloodshot told Neville that she was a friend who helped him when Rampage was created and he was week, and that did not care what he looked like of what he did. Though Bloodshot blamed himself for her death, Neville assured him that he could not have watcher her every second of every day.
Standing in front of the mantle over the fireplace, Bloodshot slid Melissa’s ID bracelet on the bonsai tree and thought that when Rampage came to life he ripped himself out of his chest but it did not hurt half as much as her passing did.
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
Standing watch over a coffee warehouse in London’s West End during delivery of a shipment, Bloodshot used his nanites to verify that the crates were filled with cocaine. After informing Jillian, who alerted the authorities to move in, Bloodshot crashed through a skylight in the warehouse and ordered the people inside to surrender. Sensing that their vital signs were completely off the scale, Bloodshot was surprised at the lack of resistance, so he told Jillian to order her men to hold their fire. Slamming his fist on a crate, Bloodshot pulled out a handful of coffee and told Jillian that they had been set up again. Outside, two individuals discussed that Bloodshot and Jillian had taken the bait, and that the status quo was about to change.
Hours later, General Edward Cartwright called an emergency meeting of the Joint Chiefs of staff in Washington DC to discuss the emergence of Para–humans that posed a threat unlike anything they had faced before. Standing before a monitor screen that showed images that ranged from the Armorines to X–O Manowar, the General told the chairman that he was interested in recruiting Bloodshot, a former mafia enforce and the deadliest of all Para–humans, to stop Julio Cortez, a drug dealer that sneered at their attempts to stop him and killed with impunity. Cortez was responsible for supplying half of the world’s cocaine and 80% of the drugs that reached American shores, and sent the remains of American soldiers in a box as a message. Asking the chairman to trust him, Cartwright told him that they had nothing to loose by recruiting Bloodshot.
Back in London, at 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minster told Neville Alcott that Parliament was replacing him to salvage his division with all the bad press over the botched raids, not to mention the Secret Weapons debacle. Thought Neville offered to suggest a successor that had already been decided with a candidate that surprised him.
One hour later, beneath Heathrow Airport, Bloodshot and Jillian walked into Neville’s former office and met his successor, Charles Mirren, Jillian’s ex–husband, who the Prime Minister appointed to straighten things out at MI–6. Though he could not prove it, Bloodshot told Charles that he was certain that they were set up the night before, but Charles sarcastically told him that he could either follow his orders or find himself back on the streets as Angelo Mortalli, an International fugitive. Taking offense, Bloodshot walked out, but Charles gave him 24 hours to reconsider.
After Bloodshot left, Jillian told Charles that he was a bastard for asking Michael to leave since he had no family and nowhere else to go. Telling Jillian that he would rather lose a malcontent who might flip out again, Charles said that his leaving could be their chance to start over and that he could make things good for her. Slapping Charles’ hand off her, Jillian told him that she was not the naïve young girl he married and abused and that she was leaving on holiday.
Once he was alone in his office, Charles called Smith and Wilkerson and gave them a nanite–tracking device developed in the event of another Rampage incident to follow Bloodshot, who he was sending on a trip. Warning them to keep their distance, Charles told Smith and Wilkerson that Bloodshot’s computer memory could cross–reference their files and identify them on sight. Before they left, Charles ordered the two men to forget about Jillian and leave her alone.
Later that night, in Bloodshot’s London flat, Bloodshot told Jillian that he had decided to accept Charles’s offer to go to Washington when he sent word that he had been requested there on loan. Accusing Charles of being a back–stabbing social climber, Jillian warned Bloodshot that he could not be trusted, but though he agreed with her, Bloodshot said that he was stuck and that until he could collate his options her ex could make his life hell. Telling Bloodshot that she was briefly married to Charles when she was too young to know the difference, Jillian strongly implied that he beat her and that she joined MI–6 to learn to defend herself so it would never happen again. In tears, Jillian stood next to the window and saw Smith and Wilkerson standing outside in the street. Turning away from Bloodshot as he tried to console her, which made him think that he found him repulsive, Jillian asked him to promise her not to trust anyone and left. Enraged with his own reflection, Bloodshot slammed his fist on the wall and broke a hole in it.
10 hours later, while General Cartwright briefed Bloodshot on his mission in the Pentagon, inside an airplane somewhere over the South Pacific, Smith and Wilkerson followed the signal in their tracker to Bloodshot’s location, unaware that a female passenger sitting beside them was really Jillian.
12 hours later, Bloodshot used his nanites to bypass the infra–red sensors in the trees and approach Cortez’ compound on foot unnoticed. Leaping over a wall, Bloodshot was certain that the alarms were bypassed, but then Cortez’ men opened fire on him and made remarks that made him realize that they knew he was coming. Using a grenade to dispatch his attackers, Bloodshot was certain that someone was watching him from inside.
Making his way deep into the compound, Bloodshot was surprised to hear a high–velocity bullet killed a sniper that was looming over him. Following an electronic echo he could not seem to lock down, Bloodshot made found Cortez, who had the nanite–tracker and knew he was coming. Showing Bloodshot a disc that he paid a fortune for, Cortez told him that a man named Iwatsu assured him that he would make a deal in exchange for the file of his memories. As Bloodshot lost himself in thought at the notion of reclaiming his lost memories, Jillian rushed inside and warned him that it was a trap. Before Bloodshot could react, Cortez shot Jillian while Smith and Wilkerson electrocuted him with a discharge that rendered him unconscious.
Waking up in chains beside Jillian, Bloodshot worried that while her wounds were not life–threatening she could bleed to death. While Cortez ordered Smith to call Iwatsu and tell him that he had his experiment alive, Bloodshot blamed himself for trusting himself too much and not listening to Jillian enough.
After General Cartwright’s plan to extract Julio Cortez amounted to a complete disaster and they lost contact with Bloodshot, Michael Harris a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and suggested that the General’s recon–Intel was either woefully inadequate, or there was a leak in the organization. While the General took offense at Harris’ assertions, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs thought it best that the General disclose his sources regarding Bloodshot to the ret of the security council until they ascertained the level of damage caused by the action. Sworn the secrecy, the General rather have the Chairman relieve him of his duties, but he did say that his source told him never to count Bloodshot out no matter how dire the situation was.
In Columbia, Bloodshot stood with his hands shackled to a wall inside the basement dungeon in the hacienda of Julio Cortez while Jillian bleed to death at his feet. Refusing to let Jillian die after she risked her life to warn him that her ex–husband’s henchmen were working for Cortez, Bloodshot broke free of his chains and carried her to a cot, where he tied her wounds with a make–shift tourniquet. Certain that Jillian would never make it to a hospital even after his nanites restored his body functions to 100%, Bloodshot knew that it was only a matter of time before Jillian died. Regaining her consciousness momentarily, Jillian told Bloodshot not to blame himself for what happened to her. Telling Bloodshot that she saw Smith and Wilkerson outside his flat, Jillian said that he followed them and heard them mention someone in Washington, which made him believe that Cartwright had betrayed him as well. Kissing Bloodshot, Jillian told him that he was a good man, but that if he could not save her that he should let her die with someone she cared about. Refusing to watch the woman he loved suffer, Bloodshot told Jillian that he could stop her pain. Telling Bloodshot to do whatever he had to, Jillian told him that she loved him and then passed out again.
Meanwhile, Charles Mirren called Michael Harris and told him that his men who were following Bloodshot had vanished too. Telling Mirren that he kept his end of their bargain and took Bloodshot off his hands, Harris said that whatever happened next was his problem and then hung up. Shortly thereafter, the Prime Minister, who attended Charles and Jillian’s wedding and was privy to the circumstances of their divorce, walked into the office and warned Mirren that if anything happened to Jillian, who was like a niece to him, he would have the shortest tenure at MI–6 on record, then he left.
In Columbia, while Cortez allowed his son to play with the nanite–tracker, in the dungeon Bloodshot stood watch over Jillian, whose pain was over, and hoped that he had done the right thing. Just then, as his auditory range retuned to full capacity, Bloodshot heard as Cortez interrogated the pilot that brought him there and Wilkerson beat him. Since the pilot refused to reveal who sent him, Cortez killed him with Wilkerson’ gun and then said that Iwatsu’s people would be arriving at the next day to retrieve Bloodshot, who he ordered his men to spend the night with so nothing would happen to him.
Hearing the sound of footsteps coming to his cell, Bloodshot knew that he could handle them alone, but he feared that he could not risk anything happening to Jillian. Before the men arrived, Bloodshot broke the bars on the ceiling window, which was his only chance for both him and Jillian. As the thugs opened the cell door, they were startled to discover that Bloodshot had escaped and that Jillian was cold as ice. After the thugs left to inform Cortez that Bloodshot had escaped, Bloodshot crawled out from beneath Jillian’s cot.
While Cortez ordered his men to search the grounds for Bloodshot and Smith and Wilkerson to wake his pilot just in case he needed him, Bloodshot killed Cortez’ men and appropriated their weapons for himself. Coming across Wilkerson, Bloodshot shot him with a machine gun to avenge what he had done to Jillian. In need of an advantage, Bloodshot ripped a junction box off the wall and cut the power.
While Bloodshot found the armory and armed himself, Cortez took the nanite–tracker from his son to know where Bloodshot was and ran away with his wife and son. Realizing that Bloodshot was behind him, Cortez used his family as a shield to prevent him from shooting him. As Cortez’ chopper arrived, Bloodshot shot it down with a bazooka and the resulting explosion threw Cortez and his family off their feet. As Bloodshot came to him and offered him the choice to surrender, Cortez threatened to destroy the disc that contained Mortalli’s memories. Just then, the nanite–tracker picked up a second signal as Jillian walked out from the shadows of an underpass and shot Cortez directly in the chest.
Transformed into a being like Bloodshot due to a desperate life–saving transfusion, Jillian told Bloodshot that no matter what happened she still loved him, then they passionately kissed. Concerned for Jillian’s life, Bloodshot warned her that the nanites made her body run at an accelerated speed and could burn her out, but she told him that it did not matter, and that what was important was life. Holding the disc that contained Angelo Mortalli’s missing memories, Jillian said that they both had a second chance at it.
The Past Anew
The Past Anew
Using a stolen Lear from one of Cortez’ rival drug lord’s airstrips, Bloodshot took Jillian back to the United States. Following a brief skirmish with two Tomcat fighters from the USS Enterprise over the South Atlantic ocean, Bloodshot arrived in Washington DC, where he took Jillian to the Walter Reed Medical Center.
Meanwhile, in the Pentagon, Michael Harris relayed a signal from the closed–circuit system at the hospital to Musashi Labs in Osaka to show Yoshi Iwatsu that Bloodshot survived his encounter with Cortez. Telling Harris that Jillian was very important, Yoshi ordered him to go to the hospital and keep him posted on her condition then he ordered Takao, his lackey, to contact Nyoko.
While Bloodshot watched as the doctors tried to keep Jillian’s temperature down and he confronted General Cartwright over her Intel that the men she followed got their information from someone in Washington, Harris arrived in the hospital. Speaking on the phone with Charles Mirren, Harris told him to tell the Prime Minister that the hospital wanted a copy of Jillian’s records, and tell Neville Alcott to come get her if he wanted her so badly. Unaware that Nyoko was following him, Harris walked inside the hospital.
Back inside, as Bloodshot held him at gun point, Cartwright told him that he went to serious trouble to get him there and that he had no reason to set him up, but that if it would make him feel better he should pull the trigger as he was not afraid to die. Just then, Doctor Ricardo interrupted and said that Jillian had stabilized but that there was a previously unrecorded gene in her DNA sequence, which compared to the tests they ran appeared to be active, probably due to her current condition. Recognizing the DNA helix on a print out, Bloodshot told the doctor that his files indicated that the code was a reference to part of the original gene–sequence in his nanites. As Bloodshot explained that the original files were restricted and that they could only be accessed through the original program, which Cartwright said Neville had told him died with its creator, Hideyoshi Iwatsu, Bloodshot noticed Harris listening in and said that maybe he had something to add.
As Harris said that Jillian’s superiors wanted her returned to England immediately, Doctor Ricardo said that she was in no condition to be moved under any circumstances, but, recalling the conversation he overheard, Harris told the doctor that from the sound of it he did not know what was wrong with her. Holding the disc he took from Cortez, who claimed that the files within it contained the information on his weaknesses and history, Bloodshot proposed that he could find the answer to Jillian’s ailment, but first he wanted to reach an understanding with General Cartwright.
Shortly, in a subbasement of the hospital, Bloodshot used a multi–million dollar virtual reality simulator to access the computer disc. Immersing himself in the virtual realm, Bloodshot saw himself as a child with his parents, Bruno Mortalli and Marie Mortalli, and his sister, Jeannie, on Christmas morning 1971in his childhood home, a sight that brought a smile to his face.
As the scene shifted five years, to a day when young Angelo and his friends returned home from playing stick ball, Bloodshot witnessed as his father and his cronies beat up an old man in an alley for not paying a marker, a sight that made the young Angelo proud of his papa. Watching from the sidelines, Cartwright told Harris that Bloodshot said he needed the simulator to better visualize the DNA, but Harris wondered why Bloodshot, who could read the disk on a CD player with his fingertips, needed to use his equipment at all.
Inside the virtual realm, young Angelo and his friends overheard Marie yell at Bruno for coming home with lipstick on his collar while they talked about the layout of a store they were going to hit. Just then, Bruno, who knew what they were plotting, took Angelo aside and told him not to get caught and never to rat on his pals. Before he left for the Williamsburg bridge, Bruno told Angelo to remember that he was proud of him, which brought a tear to Bloodshot’s eye. Ditching his friends, Angelo rushed to the bridge, but when he arrived he was appalled to see that someone had killed his father’s crew, a sight that enraged Bloodshot.
Hiding in a catwalk under his father’s feet, young Angelo watched as Bruno threw a man called Caruso over the edge after he found a wire and discovered that he was a cop. Suddenly, the police surrounded Bruno and arrested him for killing an officer and under suspicion of drug trafficking, a sight that made Bloodshot cry.
Suddenly, an alarm rang out throughout the hospital and Harris and Cartwright left Bloodshot to go check up on Jillian. Arriving in the iso–lab, Harris and Cartwright were shocked to see that Jillian had awoken and was struggling with the doctors to escape.
Back in the virtual realm, Bloodshot relieved the day that Angelo Mortalli made a plea–bargain with Charlie Weiss to turn state’s evidence against Canelli to avoid going to Riker’s Island, which led into the pain of the night he became Bloodshot and revealed the original supplementary DNA string encoded in his nanites. While upstairs Jillian severely injured the doctors and Harris ordered his men to shoot her despite Cartwright’s protests, Bloodshot copied the complete Iwatsu nanite–technology formula to a disc and learned that Jillian was part of England’s Project Hope and Glory, which he was certain might just save her life. After running a successful computer simulation, Bloodshot took the virtual helmet off and heard the alarm.
Running into an elevator, Harris barely escaped from Jillian, but as the doors opened Bloodshot demanded to know what was happening. While Bloodshot followed a trail of Jillian’s blood rife with nanites, Harris took possession of both computer discs, when then, someone garbed in shadows startled him. Elsewhere, Cartwright ordered his men to hunt Jillian down and stop her.
Finding Jillian in the subbasement knelt beside Harris’ corpse, Bloodshot feared the worst. Raising her blood–soaked hands while tears ran down her cheeks, Jillian told Bloodshot that she was in a blur, and that when she snapped out of it she found herself covered in blood standing over Harris.
Blaming himself for turning Jillian into a Speedshot, a killer, Bloodshot trained his gun on her to kill her.
Outside Walter Reed Memorial Hospital, Nyoko walked away and called Yoshi Iwatsu to inform him that she had the computer discs with her. Meanwhile, National Security advisor Parks arrived in the security office and assumed command of the operation despite General Cartwright’s protest. Just then, the security camera picked up Harris’ corpse and the General and the others listened in to Bloodshot and Jillian’s encounter.
Using his nanites, Bloodshot shut down the cameras and told Jillian that he knew that she did not kill Harris, then, offering her his hand, asked her to go with him until he could prove her innocence. Back in the security office, Parks ordered that his men shoot Jillian on sight, an order that Cartwright called premature given her admission of innocence. Nevertheless, Parks ordered his men to proceed, so Cartwright went down into the subbasement himself to fix the mess they were in. Shortly, while studying Harris’ corpse and discovering that the discs were gone, Cartwright wondered what Harris was doing there and were Bloodshot had gone.
Elsewhere, Bloodshot and Jillian laid hidden inside a supply closet. Certain that she was going to die because she was not a Harbinger like Bloodshot, Jillian felt very weak and did not know what had come over her. Assuring Jillian that he would help her, Bloodshot told her that the genetic imbalance between nanites and human DNA was unusual, but that he found an anomaly in her DNA on her medical records, which said that she was part of Project Hope and Glory, a genetic experiment that her government conducted to create Para–Humans. Promising to explain later, Bloodshot wanted to know why it was so important to kill Harris, so, he went over his briefcase, which was equipped with a satellite uplink that he suspected led to Yoshi Iwatsu.
Meanwhile in Osaka, Yoshi ordered Buddha, his bodyguard, to locate his father’s protégé and bring him to him before Nyoko arrived with the computer discs she took. At that same moment, onboard Royal Air Command over the Atlantic, the Prime Minister and Neville Alcott confronted Charles Mirren over the discovery of Wilkerson’s body at the Cortez’ compound, the same place that Bloodshot and Jillian escaped from. As Charles tried to hide his involvement behind petty excuses, Neville warned him that if anything happened to Jillian he would make him wish he had never left his mother’s womb.
Back in the hospital, Bloodshot progressively disabled one security camera after another in order to create a false trail for Parks’ men to follow, unaware that Cartwright had seen through his trick and knew that he was leading them in the opposite direction of his true goal and leading them on a wild goose chase.
Breaking into doctor Ricardo’s office, Bloodshot held the doctor at gun point and told him he needed his help, but assuring that he did not need the gun, Ricardo told Bloodshot that he studied the printouts from the iso–chamber and agreed with him that Jillian did not have long to live.
As Parks dismissed Cartwright’s suggestion and Cartwright heartily chastised Parks over his failure to read Bloodshot’s file and realize what he could do with the nanites in his blood, Parks accused Cartwright’s suggestions of being a fantasy, when then Neville, the Prime Minister, and Charles Mirren arrived and backed up the General’s assertions.
Elsewhere, Bloodshot and doctor Ricardo convinced a private that they were taking Jillian to the morgue under the guise that she was a member of the staff who suddenly died of a mysterious infection, but instead they took her to the major transfusion/dialysis unit, where they hoped to save her life. Unbeknownst to them, Neville and the others had convinced Parks to check in with his men stations in the areas where General Cartwright suggested Bloodshot was going, all of whom were unconscious in a trail that led away from the sub–basement.
While doctor Ricardo synthesized an antidote for Jillian and Bloodshot looked after her, Bloodshot heard that all units were converging on their location and left to engage them, trusting that Ricardo would save Jillian. Though Neville urged Parks to let him go in alone, Parks refused and send in an armed squadron. Hidden in the ventilation shaft, Bloodshot watched as the squadron ran toward the unit and used his nanites to shot off the electricity, then he jumped on them and disarmed them, making sure not to kill anyone. Meanwhile, doctor Ricardo injected Jillian with the antidote and she called out Michael’s name. As the dust settled and Neville asked Bloodshot where his daughter was, Jillian walked out of unit fully healed but still transformed into a nanite–enhanced creature. Taking Jillian into his arms, Bloodshot passionately kissed her.
At Musashi Labs in Japan, Yoshi Iwatsu met with his father’s protégé, Goro Sanada, the Seventh Dragon, who had spent the last few years hiding from his past choices in a monastery living as a monk. Showing Goro the discs that contained his father’s formula, Yoshi promised him that he could not escape his destiny.
The Return of Rising Spirit
The Return of Rising Spirit
After spending a night of love making with Bloodshot at the Marriott Hotel in Washington DC, Jillian left their bed for the bathroom to get ready for their meeting in the Pentagon that night, when, suddenly, she saw her reflection in the mirror and screamed. Staring at her reflection in the mirror, Jillian asked Bloodshot what happened to her beautiful hair and whole body. Telling Jillian that now that the nano computers were safely joined with her DNA they were making adjustments, Bloodshot said that the nanites were encoded to make them ultimate fighting machines, and that their programming regulated minor details, but that she could still grow her hair and nails to any length as a disguise for a short time.
At the ancestral home of Hideyoshi Iwatsu in Osaka, Japan, Yoshi Iwatsu told Goro Sanada that he had always known his whereabouts, like his escapade with Doctor Silk. During dinner, Yoshi said that his father’s experiments continued without Goro, and that now that it had reached fruition he had made arraignments to end the true reason for his self–imposed seclusion, the price placed on his head by his Yakuza half–brother Toshiro Matsuda, who Yoshi mused still missed the hand that Goro cut off. Believing that Yoshi intended to deliver him to Matsuda for the reward, Goro took the servant girl hostage at knife point, which enraged Yoshi.
Just then, three ninjas broke through the roof to kill Goro, who viewed them as a challenge worthy of the Seventh Dragon. Letting the girl go, Sanada proceeded to slaughter the ninjas with his blades while Yoshi contently watched and drank his Sake. Looming over Yoshi covered in blood, Goro asked him if he had no respect for the people who gave their lives for his amusement. Accusing Goro of presuming that the men were his assassins, Yoshi told him that the attack only insured that Matsuda knew his whereabouts, then he sarcastically offered to send Matsuda his men back along with a cleaning bill.
At the Pentagon, Charles Mirren dismissed General Cartwright’s assertion that Jillian killed Harris as rubbish, especially since she did not even kill his soldiers when they shot her, but Cartwright was more interested in talking about the potential of nanite–powered soldiers. As Parks brought an end to the debate and said that the President was waiting for his report with answers to some hard questions, Bloodshot unexpectedly tossed Harris’ briefcase on the table and told him that the answers where inside it. Assuring everyone present that Jillian did not kill Harris, Bloodshot told them that he knew who did.
Meanwhile, in the hallway outside, Jillian told her father that she was not returning to England with him because she wanted to find out what she had become. Though Neville told Jillian that after losing her mother and his post as director of MI–6 to her bastard ex–husband she was all he had left in the world, she told him that she understood how he felt, but that she was going with Michael.
Back inside the briefing room, Parks was flabbergasted to discover that Harris was a double–agent, but said that that did not explain who killed him. Saying that the man Harris was working for was obviously trying to resurrect Project Rising Spirit, Bloodshot told Parks that with the information on the missing discs, he know had the means to do to it, and that once Harris obtained the discs he was a potential leak and expendable. All of a sudden, Parks called the guards and stopped Bloodshot from leaving. Warning Parks that except for doctor Ricardo and General Cartwright he did not feel comfortable conducing in anyone else, Bloodshot told him that he hoped he knew better than to attempt to stop him. Telling Bloodshot that he understood how he felt, Cartwright asked him to call him if he needed anything, and that he still had friends in the field. Thanking Cartwright for his sincerity, Bloodshot promised to report what he found to him and then left.
Twelve hours later in Osaka, Yoshi took Goro to Musashi Labs, where he told him that he took control of his father’s corporation after his murder at he hands of a Gaijin spy and decided to continue his work. At that same time at Osaka airport, Bloodshot mused that Harris’ assassination was more Tanaka’s style since his devotion to his mentor’s dream was pathological while Yoshi was a small–timer. Just then, the absurd thought that Yoshi and Tanaka were working together hit Bloodshot, but he soon dismissed it and left, determined to put Iwatsu’s company out of business permanently, starting at Musashi Labs, which according to Cartwright’s recon–Intel had increased activity in the last six months.
Back at Musashi Labs, Yoshi took Goro to his crowning achievement, the most advanced bio–technology lab in the world, completely redesigned and rebuilt since his father’s death. There, he introduced him to Doctor Ito, who told them that all data from the optical discs secured by Nyoko were downloaded into the computers. While Ito explained the Bloodshot procedure to Goro, Yoshi took a call from a spy who followed Bloodshot from the airport and told Buddha that they were about to receive a unwelcome guest.
Outside, Bloodshot easily bypassed the perimeter electronic system and used the nano–files of the complex’s layout to locate a direct access to the lab through the exit door at the south corner. Back inside, Goro stared at a series of tubes filled with individuals that Yoshi called volunteers in the final stages of the transformation process. Listening to Yoshi reveal that his father’s experiments inadvertently made him the perfect candidate for the nano–technology that they now employed to transform those brave men, Goro grew increasingly upset and wrapped his hand around Yoshi’s throat. Accusing his arrogance of knowing no bounds, Goro told Yoshi that he would not allow the continuation of his father’s folly, which had made his life miserable. As Goro crushed his throat and tossed Ito at Nyoko as if he were a paper doll, Yoshi urged him to turn his attention to the wall screen behind him, which showed that an intruder had entered the building without sound the alarm.
Releasing Yoshi, Goro stood before the screen and wondered if the intruder was another assassin sent by his half–brother, but Yoshi told him that the signal came from a nanite–detector, and that the intruder was his father’s killer, Bloodshot, who he surmised had returned to destroy the place and stop him from creating others like him. As Goro wondered why Yoshi allowed Bloodshot to continue on his path unabated, Yoshi released the volunteers from their tubes, revealing them to be a new breed of Speedshots.
While making his way to the laboratory, Bloodshot found himself surrounded by Yoshi’s aberrant creations. Unable to control them with his nanites, Bloodshot relied on his weapons to sever the Speedshot’s nervous system. Watching the battle through the view screen Goro was amazed at Bloodshot’s fearlessness in the face of death, so he agreed to let Yoshi transform him into a being such as him. Besieged and out of ammo, Bloodshot fell down, then, as the Speedshots surrounded him, he thought that his escape was up to Jillian.
Watching Goro undergo the Bloodshot procedure from the control room overhead, Yoshi assured Ito that once he was mind–wiped like the Speedshots he would be under his control. Unbeknownst to Yoshi, Jillian had arrived in the laboratory and, standing on a catwalk over Goro, she used her nanites to take control of the machines below and bring the process to an unexpected halt. Seeing Jillian on the catwalk, Nyoko shot her with her gun and caused her to loose her concentration and release the mechanism, which began the first phase of the Bloodshot procedure on Goro.
Accessing the strategic situational battle files in her nanites, Jillian used her katana to disarm Nyoko by severing his hand at the wrist. Just then, she recognized Nyoko’s scent from Harris’ body and seemingly stabbed her with the katana for killing him. Taking off, Jillian went to rescue Bloodshot and found him at the foot of the catwalk being beaten by two Speedshots. Using her machine guns, Jillian killed the Speedshots and then knelt beside Bloodshot to make sure he was fine.
Just then, Goro rose up from the operating table holding his katanas in his hands. Amazed that Bloodshot still lived along with his angel of death, Goro said that there could only be one like them, and that they would both die at the hands of the Crimson Dragon.
Enter The Crimson Dragon
Rising from the operating table following the successful infusion of the Bloodshot process, Goro Sanada stumbled across the hallway in a daze until he crashed into a display case that held twin katana swords that he picked up in his hands. Following the sound of a conversation between Bloodshot and Jillian Alcott, Goro came across his nanite–enhanced brethren and told them that there would only be one like them and that they would both die at the hands of the Crimson Dragon. Two levels away, Yoshi Iwatsu ordered Buddha to locate Bloodshot and Jillian.
Deflecting the bullets from Jillian’s gun with a shield he grabbed from the broken display case, Goro came at the albino beauty with his sword. His strength slowly coming back, Bloodshot struggled to get off the floor, but then Goro stabbed him with a naginata in the chest. Several dozen meters away, Yoshi and a group of armed men walked down the hall looking for Bloodshot and the others.
Hearing Yoshi yell out at his soldiers to use their tasers on anything that moved, Goro turned his attention away from Jillian, who slashed him on the chest with a knife. Shocked that Jillian had cut him, Goro was equally amazed when he felt the sensation of the injury healing itself. Laughing at Jillian, Goro told her that he was not staying to see what Yoshi had planned, so Bloodshot told Jillian that she could not allow Goro to escape and had to follow him. Failing to convince Jillian to leave with him, Goro leapt at a catwalk and fled. Assuring Jillian that he was fine, Bloodshot urged her to follow Goro before he got away. Though she was reluctant to leave, Jillian removed the naginata from Bloodshot’s chest before she left.
Shortly, Yoshi and his forces converged in the room, but were surprised to discover that it was empty.
While Jillian followed Goro to Yoshi’s office, Bloodshot made his way through the ventilation shaft and, following the sound of a heartbeat, discovered Tanaka held prisoner in a room looking shabby and helped him escape.
Elsewhere, in downtown Osaka, doctor Ito informed Matsuda that Goro had died at the hands of a Gaijin spy in exchange for the reward, however, Matsuda told Ito that even though he believed that he owed him for the hand he made for him he had made a terrible mistake coming to see him.
Back in Musashi Labs, Tanaka and Bloodshot confronted Yoshi for imprisoning Tanaka and turning Goro into a nanite–enhanced being. Holding Yoshi by the neck, Bloodshot raised him from the floor and ordered him to return the discs to him. Meanwhile, Jillian had followed Goro to Matsuda’s home, so she contacted Bloodshot to inform him where she was. Simultaneously, Yoshi discovered that someone had stolen the precious computer discs. Following Jillian’s signal, Bloodshot, Tanaka, and Yoshi drove to Matsuda’s home in Iwatsu’s limo.
Holding Ito at gun point, Matsuda accused him of having no honor and having a loyalty measured in yen. Leaving Ito’s fate in his bodyguard’s hands, Matsuda asked him if he believed Ito’s story about Goro dying at the hands of a Gaijin super–woman, when just then Goro killed the guard and broke into the room.
Aiming his gun at Goro, Matsuda shot him in the chest and was certain that he had killed him, but as he ran away, Ito told him that he was not dead. Looming over Goro’s body, Matsuda laughed at Ito’s assertion, but then Goro rose up from the ground and loomed over Matsuda. Feeling responsible for preventing Goro and Matsuda from killing each other until Michael arrived, Jillian rushed in between the two men and took a bullet barrage in the abdomen meant for Goro. Outside, Bloodshot dragged Yoshi into Matsuda’s home
Grateful to Jillian, who he called DeathAngel, for saving his life, Goro grabbed Matsuda’s head in his hands and snapped his neck, when just then Bloodshot and the others rushed into the room. Taking his brother’s mechanical hand in his, Goro was enraged that he could not control it with his nanites. Just then, Bloodshot aimed his gun at Goro and told him that even though he was not like him or Jillian he was too dangerous to live, but Jillian stopped him from shooting and said that Goro was now free from Yoshi and his brother’s vengeance.
Wondering why Jillian saved his life again, Goro asked her why she interceded on his behalf, so she told him that they had been given a gift and possibly immortality, which they should not abuse. Telling Jillian that they had nothing to fear, Goro reached into his sash and took out the remains of the computer discs, which were destroyed when Shotaro shot him.
Lamenting that soon she would be more like Goro than Bloodshot, Jillian revealed that she was not like Michael, and that the only reason she could control machines was because she was carrying his twins. Telling Bloodshot that after the twins were born she may be more like Goro than him, Jillian said that she was going away to sort things out and find out what was real anymore.
Two hours later at Musashi Labs, which Goro destroyed during his rampage, Yoshi ordered doctor Ito to upload a computer virus on the Internet. Dubbed “Proteus”, the virus was Hideyoshi Iwatsu’s failsafe against nanotechnology, and in time Yoshi was certain that Proteus would self–activate and return to destroy it.
One night in Manhattan’s Little Italy, Bloodshot – the man once known as Angelo Mortalli – visited the site of his former childhood house, now an empty lot that served as home to Bud, a homeless man in a box. Taking pity on the less fortunate, Bloodshot saw no harm in giving a few coins to Bud, who with a gasp recognized him. Grabbing Bud’s arm, Bloodshot pleaded with Bud to tell him how he knew him, when then Richard Cole, a plain–clothes police detective, shone his headlights on Bloodshot and ordered him to freeze.
Reacting instinctively, Bloodshot drew his gun and disabled the computer–controlled electrical system in Cole’s car in a bid to resolve the situation diplomatically, then, before Cole could react, he closed the door on his arm and disarmed him. Calling Bloodshot Bruno, Cole told him to get it over with and kill him like he did his kid, but asking Cole to cool off, Bloodshot showed him his Federal badge and told him that his name was Michael Lazarus. Releasing his hold on Cole’s car, Bloodshot asked him why he called him Bruno Mortalli, so Cole told him that he looked like someone he knew a long time ago who he believed was dead.
As Bloodshot walked away, Cole asked him what he was doing there, to which he replied that he was looking for something from the past, an answer that enthused Cole to say that sometimes the past did not go away.
Back in 85, Bruno Mortalli, a high–ranking member of the Carboni Crime family, emerged from the Federal Courthouse in Manhattan after he testified before the Grant Jury in the biggest blow against Organized Crime since the days of Al Capone. Under heavy guard, and in full view of the media, Bruno was taken to an undisclosed location where he would be sequestered until the sealed indictments were handed down.
Meanwhile, in a social club in Little Italy, Angelo Mortalli met with Don Carboni and other members of the Commission, whom he valued as his true family, to ask them not to judge him based on his father’s betrayal. Vouching for Angelo, who was engaged to his daughter Diana, Canelli promised the Commission that Angelo would prove himself by eliminated their problem personally, a vow that impressed Don Carboni, who told Angelo that if he succeeded, he would have a place with them and their gratitude. Promising to burn in hell if he ever betrayed his friends, Bloodshot kissed Don Carboni’s ring and promise not to fail him.
That night, in a penthouse at the Empire Arms Hotel, FBI Agent Glenn convinced Detective Richard Cole to clock out early and leave Bruno to watch the Football game on TV until the next shift started in three hours. Leaving for the bar with Glenn, Cole left his son, Junior, in charge of guarding the entrance to the elevator, unaware that at that same moment Angelo and three other men were on the roof preparing to repel down.
While Bruno escaped through the ventilation shaft in the bathroom, down in the bar Agent Glenn ominously told Cole that he wished he had told him that his son was working the Mortalli detail. Just then, a bomb went off in the basement and destroyed the generator room, which took out the power in the hotel. Back in the penthouse, Angelo and his men broke in through the window and killed all the cops and agents, then, while looking for Bruno, Angelo discovered that he had escaped. Minutes later, Cole rushed into the penthouse with Glenn and found his son’s bullet–ridden body.
In 1996, Bud visited Don Carboni and told him that he saw Bruno Mortalli in the empty lot and about his confrontation with Cole, and although Bud’s assertion sounded crazy, Carboni’s men trusted him to be a reliable snitch. Certain that everybody knew to stay away from the lot, and that no house would ever stand there as a remainder of Bruno’s betrayal, Carboni wondered who Bud saw, a doubt exacerbated by Cole’s identification. Though Mario, his second, suggested that Bud may have seen Bloodshot and not Bruno, Carboni was sure that Bloodshot had no memory of his previous life and that it would be too much of a coincidence. Either way, Carboni ordered his men to call their man in Cole’s precinct to find out what was going on, and that if Mortalli was alive they had a score to settle with him.
At that moment, Cole arrived for work at the 15th Precinct, and as he made his way down the hallway he came across Detective Morgan’s office and saw Bloodshot inside using the computer. While Cole took Morgan aside to talk, behind them a police officer called Mario and told him that Cole had just arrived and that Bloodshot, who he described as an albino, had been there for an hour. Unbeknownst to the officer, Bloodshot listened in on his conversation, until Cole asked him to step into his office for a minute.
Back in Carboni’s estate, Mario confirmed to the Don his suspicion that Bloodshot was the man that Bud saw. Certain now that Bloodshot had discovered something about his past, Carboni worried that if he and Cole started digging they might lead him to the 10 million dollars that Bruno stole from the Commission. After 10 years of a stalemate with the FBI, who believed that they had killed Bruno while they believed that he would turn up eventually and testify against them, Carboni was certain that Cole and Bloodshot would find Bruno and led them to the money. Ordering Mario to put their men on alert, but keep their distance, Carboni mused that the situation was no longer about money, it was about blood between a father and his son.
Back at the precinct, Cole asked Bloodshot what he was looking for, so Bloodshot told him that he was searching for Bruno Mortalli, a relative of his. Assuming that Bloodshot worked for Internal Affairs, Cole sternly assured him that it was true he had a tough time dealing with his son’s death, but that he took a psych evaluation every month that always checked out clean. Telling Bloodshot that the only he drove by Mortalli’s house to remember, Cole said that meeting him there was not an accident. Assuring Cole that he was not from Internal Affairs, Bloodshot told him that he had gone through the Mortalli files and that it was obvious that the hit was a complete set–up. Staring out the window, Bloodshot saw the officer from before telling Carboni’s men that he believed that Bloodshot had looked up Mortalli’s old files, and that if Carboni wanted him to follow Cole he needed to increase his bribe.
Upset over Bloodshot’s suspicion of a set–up, Cole told Morgan to remind Bloodshot that he and Glenn barely missed being killed by a couple of minutes. Placing his hand on Cole’s shoulder, Bloodshot turned his attention toward the window and told him that his survival may not have been an accident either, and that he knew what really happened that night. Pointing at the officer and Carboni’s men, Bloodshot told Cole that he was going to make a phone call and then they were going to solve the case that night.
That night, Agent Glenn drove up to the empty lot looking for Bruno Mortalli, who unexpectedly called him and told him to meet him there. As Glenn shouted into the darkness for Bruno to show up, two glowing red eyes in the shadows asked who Glenn believed belonged to Bruno asked him if he was there for his cut of the stolen money. Drawing his weapon, Glenn assured the man in the dark that he was there for his money, which he owed him for tipping him off about the hit on his life. Stepping out of the darkness, Bloodshot thanked Glenn for confessing as he was the only one who could have pulled that off.
As Bloodshot told Glenn that the bathroom vent in the suite was ajar but that did not show up on the police report, Glenn confessed that he replaced it and asked Bloodshot how he knew about it, but Bloodshot deflected the question. In disbelief, Cole aimed his gun at Glenn and accused him of killing his son. Swearing that he did not mean for Junior to get hurt, Glenn shot Cole and Bloodshot to keep them quiet. Looming over both men, Glenn apologized to Cole for Junior’s death, and told him that he tried to warn him in the bar. Calling it a cliché, Bloodshot told Glen that ten million dollars was still a lot of money for the mob, and sarcastically asked him what made him think that they were the only ones looking for Bruno Mortalli. Suddenly, a car’s headlights shone on the three men and Don Carboni and his men walked into view.
While Carboni’s men disarmed Glenn, Bloodshot dammed him for breaking their agreement. Watching as Carboni’s men took Glenn away, Cole screamed insults at Don Carboni despite Bloodshot’s warning that they were outnumbered and told him that Glenn was his prisoner. Fighting a cough that he was certain Doctor Stefano could help him with if he were still with them, Carboni accused Cole of being an idiot and budding up with the man who killed his son, then he ordered Mario and Al to shoot him and Bloodshot.
Using his Harbinger ability to control electronics, Bloodshot shut down the car’s computer–controlled systems like he did before and ran away with Cole in his arms, leaving the mobsters shoot themselves. Ordering his men to cease fire, Carboni told them that they shooting themselves, when then the lights came back on and he ordered everybody to clear out.
Later that night, at the NYU Medical Center, Cole confronted Bloodshot with his discovery that he was Bruno’s son through his contacts in Washington. Certain that General Cartwright had also told Cole that he was authorized to act independently, Bloodshot told him that he would continue alone, but Cole stopped him and said that he was grateful to him for saving his life, and that he needed to know what happened to his son. Agreeing to let him help him, Bloodshot told Cole to meet him the next day at the NYPD records department.
At Barucci Concrete in Williamsburg, Don Carboni loomed over the corpse of Tony Barucci, who after excruciating torture Glenn confessed was who ratted the Mortalli hit to him. Unconvinced that Glenn had told him everything he knew, even after having all his teeth removed, Carboni gave him a Sicilian neck–tie.
The next morning, Cole found Bloodshot in the Hall of Records, where he was reading the files looking for information about Doctor Stefano, the former head of reconstructive surgery at Bellevue and Carboni’s personal physician until he left after the hit on Mortally to found a pharmaceutical company with Barry Mondale using ten million dollars in a venture capital. Realizing that Bruno used reconstructive surgery to become Mondale and then killed Stefano, Bloodshot and Cole went to Stefano/Mondale Pharmaceuticals.
Unable to get pass the secretary and the lobby despite Bloodshot’s credentials, Cole and Bloodshot were asked to leave by security. Making their way down the street outside, Cole was enraged at the time they wasted, while Bloodshot was satisfied that they got the attention that they needed from Mondale, whose men were following them.
Later, in Stefano/Mondale, Mondale received a message from Bloodshot on his computer telling him to go to the Williamsburg bridge or else he would tell Carboni about his surgery and the real Mondale. Opening the doors to a hidden room in his office, Mondale unveiled what he called a big surprise for Cole and Bloodshot.
Later that night, Cole went to Bloodshot’s apartment to arm himself for their meeting with Mondale. As Bloodshot warned him not to confuse vengeance for justice and pull another stunt like he did on the lot, Cole assured him that he did not have to worry. Pleased to know that Carboni’s men had followed Cole, Bloodshot wanted them in case they needed them to run interference, and believed that if everything went well they might out Carboni away as well.
An hour later on the Williamsburg bridge, as a snowstorm fell around them, Bloodshot and Cole stood watch on the same catwalk from where Bruno had pushed Cole’s son off the ledge a decade ago, a memory that Bloodshot had recently discovered. Within moments, Carboni and his men arrived with Glenn in custody. Mocking Cole, Carboni once again reiterated that he was blind to the fact that he had partnered with his son’s killer, the man he had been looking for a decade. Though Don Carboni revealed that Bloodshot was working for him back then and begged him to kill his old man, Cole refused to believe him since Bloodshot had saved his life. Accusing Carboni of selling his own mother like he sold him to Iwatsu, Bloodshot got him to confess that he ordered Canelli to set him up for the hit on Johnny Scotto and sell him off to Project Rising Spirit after he followed his father’s footsteps into Witness Protection and betrayed them.
All of a sudden, the loud booming sound of metallic footsteps brought an end to the debate. Watching from atop the catwalk, Bloodshot and the others saw as Barry Mondale walked out of the snowstorm inside a human tank and blasted two of Carboni’s men and their cars with flamethrowers on his forearms. While Mondale slaughtered Carboni’s men, Bloodshot, Cole, and the don took cover from the fire.
Asking Cole to look after Carboni and to watch his back, Bloodshot jumped on Mondale, who was gloating over Glenn’s corpse. Tossing Bloodshot off him, Mondale aimed his weapons at him, but then stopped as he saw a hint of familiarity in his face. Repeating the life lessons that Bruno had imparted on him when he was a child, Bloodshot convinced Mondale that he was his son and that all he wanted was to know where his mother and siblings were. Believing that Bloodshot worked for Carboni and that he wanted to use his family against him, as well as knowing that Angelo had turned on him once before, Mondale threatened to open fire on Bloodshot and send him to hell. Promising Mondale that he would be the one that would go to hell unless he told him what he wanted to know, Bloodshot mindlocked the computer’s weapon systems and disabled them.
Enraged, Mondale lunged at Bloodshot, who locked the tank’s gyro–motion controls to stop him to no avail. Falling over Bloodshot, Mondale went over the railing and barely managed to hang on to the ledge so he would not fall. Holding on to the suit, Bloodshot tried to pull his father back up and asked him to tell him where his family was, but then Mondale pulled Bloodshot down with him and they both fell in the ocean.
Watching from the catwalk, Cole was certain that the weight of the suit would drag both men down to the bottom, which Carboni called a fitting end to both father and son.
In New York City, a private detective called Tyler took Karla Putkin, the daughter of General Putkin, an old friend of Neville Alcott, to a loft in Canal Street to meet with Sergei, a man who had information about the people who killed Karla’s husband, Ivan. Finding Sergei laying on the floor with stakes on his hands, Tyler told Karla to wait outside the room while he saw if Sergei had anything to say. Kneeling down beside Sergei’s head, Tyler asked him who did that to him, but all Sergei said was the word Goda. Lifting Sergei’s head up to help him breath better, Tyler was shocked to find a bomb beneath him that exploded immediately.
Sometime later in Florida, Bloodshot ran through an automated armed shooting range in the jungle to vent his frustration over recent events, like his discovery of his father, Carboni’s arrest, Jillian’s transformation, and his failure to locate the rest of his family. Sensing a presence in the jungle, Bloodshot nearly shot Neville Alcott, his former employer, who had come to Florida to ask him for his help. While making their way down a path in the jungle, Neville told Bloodshot about Karla’s search for her husband’s killer. Agreeing to help Karla to square things with Neville for all his past help, Bloodshot expected them to be even afterwards.
Meeting with Karla in Central Park, Bloodshot learned that her husband was a KGB agent reassigned to investigate the theft of Soviet weapons that the Russian mafia was shipping overseas to an arms dealer for re–sale in the national black market following the collapse of the Soviet state, a tale that sounded like bad James Bond movie to him. Upset that Bloodshot would joke over what cost her husband’s life, Karla tearfully told him that if he would not help her find out who killed him, she would continue searching on her own. Rueful, Bloodshot asked Karla if Sergei said anything before he died, so she told him what he said.
Recognizing the word Goda, Bloodshot knew that it referred to Victor Goda, a weapons dealer who supplied illegal arms to the highest bidder ever since Doctor Silk wiped out the Weaponeer Organization whom even he had used once before. Feeling that he had come full circle, and that his past as a mob enforcer, his transformation into Bloodshot, and his new work as a Special Agent with the US government had guns and death as the same common denominator, Bloodshot viewed his helping Karla as his chance to make amends.
Using information that they got from Moose, a former thug for the Carboni Crime Family, to learn where to find Victor Goda, Bloodshot and Karla went to Brighton Beach, the Russian Mafia’s stronghold. There, after Bloodshot dispatched two sentries on the docks and gave Karla a gun, she told him that she appreciated all he had done, which she saw as a sign that their two people could work together in the future. Making his way inside the stronghold, Bloodshot climbed into the rafters and found Goda, who fit Moose’s description like a glove. Noticing that Goda was using the waterfront turf of the Russian mob he was buying from as his base of operations, and that he had even enlisted members of their organization as his personal guards, Bloodshot was certain that the last piece of the puzzle that began that job had fallen into place. Though Goda looked more like an accountant than an exotic arms dealer, Bloodshot believed that it was too much of a coincidence that he came out of nowhere to move in on the arms racket right after Ninjak’s Weaponeer outfit was dismantled.
Leaping off the top of a mountain of crates yelling that Goda had issued his last death warrant, Bloodshot used four shots to put down Goda’s armorer and landed on him to cushion his fall. After single–handedly dispatching Goda’s six guards, Bloodshot allowed Goda to get the drop on him so he could get to the bottom of the set–up.
Praising Mortalli’s performance, Goda asked him if he was moving in on Carboni’s territory and demanded an answer before he put a bullet in his skull. Just then, Karla stepped out of a chest and, calling Goda Ivan, ordered him to lower his weapon. As Bloodshot realized that Goda was Karla’s supposed dead husband, Goda asked Karla to stay with him so that together they could again be like they were in Moscow. Revealing that he had a lucrative arrangement, Goda told Karla that the States were ripe with bounty, and that if she was smart she would kill Bloodshot so they could be partners again and no one would ever know.
Aiming her gun at Bloodshot, Karla appeared to intent to kill him, but then she shot Goda instead to both men’s surprise, specially Bloodshot’s, who had given Karla a gun with blanks. Kneeling beside her husband’s body, Karla confessed that that it was her duty to kill him for betraying their country, but that the scars went deeper than any physical wound. In tears, she told Bloodshot that she sensed that, like her, she had to move forward and start his life anew.
Badblood – Part I
Somewhere in Washington State near the Columbia river, Bloodshot followed a convoy of trucks emblazoned with the AmChem logo to Morton, a shanty town in the middle of nowhere that until a week earlier was just a service stop for the local chemical plant. Cursing himself for letting General Cartwright convince him into a working vacation, Bloodshot mused that AmChem reporting their own toxic spill downriver was unusual enough, but that it served a convenient dual purpose as it brought a ton of equipment and a tide of migrant manpower that effectively closed the entire area. Using falsified papers that said that he was a freelance toxic specialists, and a cover story that his RV broke down a few miles down road, Bloodshot gained entrance into Morton, but unbeknownst to him the guard at the gate did not believe his cover and reported him to the boss.
After reporting to the AmChem check station, where he used his nanites to input his cover in the supervisor’s computer, Bloodshot made his way to Mobile home seven where he his sleep space was. Satisfied that he got a look at AmChem’s operation when he poked around the computer’s hard drive, Bloodshot learned that the operation consisted of 900 out–of–town workers administered by AmChem and an FBI liaison that interested him. Certain that with so many new faces he would pass unnoticed, Bloodshot changed his mind when he came across a minor scuffle between a Native American called Graham who was looking for his brother Bear and an AmChem employee. As Bloodshot mused over how AmChem built Morton on Nahook tribal land and reneged on their promise to give jobs to the local tribe even before the chemical spill, which left the Nahooks limited to protesting against the rape of their land and filing complains with a government that AmChem spent millions to lobby, he found Mobile Seven.
While Bloodshot unpacked, he mused that when he saw the clean up of the spill on TV a holographic memory search initiated in his nanites revealed that AmChem was a bearded subsidiary of Iwatsu International, but that it was FBI agent June Schnieder’s face being interviewed about the clean up of the spill that hooked him. According to the information in Bloodshot’s nanites, June was the FBI’s Relocation Program coordinator and supervised Angelo Mortalli’s assignment right before one of her collages betrayed him and his life as Mortalli ended when he became a guinea pig for Iwatsu’s Rising Spirit program. Since the FBI had no record of an ongoing operation in Morton, Bloodshot surmised that June either had a twin sister working for AmChem, or that the Bureau had a cover interest in their operation. Determined to uncover the connection between the FBI and Iwatsu, Bloodshot went to sleep.
The next morning, Bloodshot followed a perimeter security chopper to the AmChem plant. Noticing two men with surveillance gear on a bridge to the planet’s entrance, Bloodshot used his nanites to blank the listening devices with white noise and climbed freehand beneath the bridge to the other side. Unbeknownst to Bloodshot, the guards had orders to let him through, so they ignored him as he walked by them.
Inside the plant, Bloodshot picked up turbine hum but no body heat, which led him to surmise that he had the run of the place. Making his way to the control room using his nanites to disable the various security measures, Bloodshot found it strange that the computer annex was bereft of security. Interfacing with a work station, Bloodshot did not find any record of any kind of chemical spill in the file logs, which revealed that the operation was a sham. Accessing the secure files, Bloodshot was appealed to discover that June had been on AmChem’s payroll for years, which meant that she was working for both sides and reported directly to Iwatsu. Just then, June walked in the room and startled Bloodshot. Accusing June of knowing that he was there all along, and of tracking him since he got there, Bloodshot told her that he deduced that AmChem was using research from Iwatsu’s Musashi Labs to process rare minerals, and that the whole operation was geared to improving nanotechnology using minerals as the basic building blocks. The only question Bloodshot had for June was whether she sold him out to Iwatsu, but with a laugh she told him that what should worry him was what they had in store for him.
Suddenly, Bear, Graham’s brother, grabbed Bloodshot’s face and pummeled him against the ground. Sporting a scar on his chest that signified that he had gone through the Bloodshot procedure, Bear loomed over Bloodshot and let out a hollowing roar. Picking up a strange nanite signature from Bear, Bloodshot realized that he was also giving off electronic pulses like a big remote control receptacle, then he noticed that June had a handset that served as a transmitter. As Bloodshot and Bear punched each other, Bloodshot tried to override Bear’s nanites to no avail, but then he realized that the discs attached to his body were the receivers, and that if he could cut them off he could break June’s control over him. Unfortunately, Bear’s skin was like stone, and Bear was too strong for Bloodshot to handle. Rushing toward Bloodshot, Bear pushed him out a window and Bloodshot fell in the Columbia River.
Watching as the rapids carried Bloodshot away, June chastised Bear as they needed his body to study why he did not need cybernetic implants to survive the Bloodshot process. Telling Bear to control himself, June said that they would drag the river downstream to recover whatever was left of Bloodshot.
Badblood – Part II
Inside AmChem’s Chemical plant in Washington State, June Schnieder used her handset to release a jolt of endorphins inside Bear’s body to take away the pain he was under and make him as meek as a lamb. Explaining to Mr. Kinsey, one of AmChem’s representatives, that Bear’s cyber–implants monitored his vital signs and the painkillers supplemented his daily transfusion of fresh nanite blood, which prevented rejection by his body, June assured him that Bear’s warrior spirit made him ideal for the project.
Assuring Kinsey that Bear was completely under their control and indispensable, June said that he pushed Bloodshot to the edge and won, yet she added that it was a shame as Bloodshot could have been useful to the project. Telling Kinsey to send out a search party and search the banks of the river bottom for two miles downstream, June said that the freezing waters would have a paralyzing effect on Bloodshot’s nanites the same way a battery performs more slowly in cold weather. Musing that Bloodshot might be dead, June was certain that perhaps they could still use his body for research.
Awakening on the shore of the Columbia river with his head spinning, Bloodshot was unable to move and could only see lines of light. As his sight returned to normal, Bloodshot saw a white wolf that transformed into a young man called Uma that asked him if he was alive. Loosing consciousness, Bloodshot passed out.
Awakening inside a cabin sometime later, Bloodshot saw Uma standing over his bed asking him if he was on a vision quest. Rising from bed as Uma said that he was on a vision quest when he found him and that when a warrior finds his totem the Great Spirit showed him all truths, Bloodshot told him that he was not on a vision quest, but that he saw his totem, a white wolf who was guarding him. As Bloodshot’s senses returned slowly, Tahma, Uma’s father, sent Uma to get some food for Bloodshot and told him how Uma saved his life.
At dawn, Tahma showed Bloodshot around the camp, where hundreds of Clearwater Nahook Indians lived in sheds flanked by woods and the icy river, what Bloodshot called a tactician’s dream trap. As Tahma told him that AmChem was trying to force them off the land by poisoning it, Bloodshot could sense the pain in his voice over the biting wind. Though Tahma refused to fight, Uma’s description of the wolf convinced him otherwise and he trusted in the Totem spirit and Bloodshot, who told him that the chemical spill was a ruse to gain control of the area. As Bloodshot told Tahma what AmChem did to Bear, and how they would probably use him against his own people, and that AmChem would have them relocated to claim the land, Tahma trusted that the Great Spirit was strong in Bloodshot and agreed to follow him if he would lead his people.
Elsewhere, the search teams returned to the AmChem plant with no sign of Bloodshot, whose body Kinsey surmised had sunk from the weight of his gear of washed downstream. Worried that Operation Snowblind was running behind schedule, June told Kinsey that they had to move that night, before the public and his bosses at the FBI got inquisitive, so she ordered him to mobilize the assault teams.
Sometime later, AmChem’s assault team reached the Clearwater Nahook camp, but discovered that it was completely empty. Unable to communicate with the plant the assault teams fell into a trap and were killed one by one. Using an ax, Bloodshot pinned the team’s leader to a tree and tossed his radio away. Before he died, the man warned Bloodshot and the others that when he did not report in, AmChem would send Bear, who would tear them apart. Unbeknownst to him, the Nahook wanted their brother Bear back any way possible. Sending the Nahook back to take cover, Bloodshot stayed behind to deal with Bear.
Jumping off a chopper, Bear landed in the middle of the camp and engaged Bloodshot in combat. Futility, Bloodshot tried to use his nanites to communicate with Bear’s nanites to subvert their programming, but Bear tossed him inside a cabin and then almost chocked him to death. On the verge of blacking out, Bloodshot saw a white wolf leap inside the cabin and Bear lunged at it.
Two hours later, as the AmChem plant burned to the ground, June rushed into her office to destroy any records that connected it to Iwatsu and was surprised to find Bloodshot waiting for her inside. Telling June that he transmitted AmChem’s database to the FBI and Justice department, Bloodshot said that her conspiracy was blown, and that he wanted her to know that he noticed that her messages to Musashi were addressed to Hideyoshi Iwatsu, who had been dead for over a year and that she had been receiving her orders from his son Yoshi. Looming over June, Bloodshot told her that he knew that back when he was Angelo Mortalli and she was the witness protection liaison she sold him out and handed him over to her paymaster Iwatsu and Project Rising Spirit. As he left the room, Bloodshot thanked June for turning him into what he had become.
Suddenly, Bear broke into the office and killed Kinsey before he could shoot Bloodshot on the back. Aware that Bear was near death after he lost his last blood transfusion, Bloodshot was thankful to the Totem spirit for reaching the Warrior inside Bear when he could not. Using her handset to release the endorphins inside Bear to no avail, June realized that her remote control no longer worked and begged Bloodshot to save her, but Michael kept walking and left her to die. The warrior inside Bloodshot hoped that Bear’s pain would end, but he left it to the Great Spirit to see that justice was done.
Walking away from the plant, Bloodshot felt strange, dislocated, as if something was missing even though he found the last puzzle of the mystery that was his rebirth. Certain that when the police arrived they would find Bear’s body and he would be long gone, Bloodshot knew that Iwatsu’s connection to the FBI and AmChem’s plan to wipe out the Nahook would be exposed.
Noticing the white wolf looking at him, Bloodshot recalled Uma’s words that finding his Totem would reveal all truths, and decided that he was on a quest after all.
Double, Double-Cross And Rumble
Cornered inside an elevator shaft inside the Vanhook high school in upstate New York by a small army of high–tech mobsters cradling the felled body of Albert Manelli, a man he shared a secret with that laid locked behind a door of tradition and terror who took a bullet meant for him, Bloodshot fought for both their lives. Running out ammo, and suffering from an interference that affected his nanites, Bloodshot leapt into the open elevator doors of the second floor and ran toward the art room carrying Manelli on his back.
Using his ability to control machines to mess with his foes’ comm systems to keep them busy, Bloodshot had to keep Albert alive because he knew where to find the Neupro Gun, the only shot he had to return Jillian to normal after his blood saved her life and turned her into DeathAngel. Thinking about Jillian’s pregnancy reminded Bloodshot of how he got into his current predicament in the first place when, while watching the TV news his mind was flooded with memories about the school, which the Sicilians called the Place of Many Alike. Afterwards, Bloodshot rifled the NSA files on the place and found the name of the lead investigator, Albert Manelli, who out of all of Mortalli’s friends was a good guy unlike the rest of them, who were just hoods, specially Sal “Leftovers” Carboni, old man Carboni’s nephew and the man in charge of his pursuers.
When Bloodshot was a kid, he, Albert, and Mel were sent upstate to live with old man Carboni’s cousin, Poppy, who kept them off the streets and out of trouble. Poppy treated them like family, which did not sit too well with Sal and his brother Eddie “Extra”, who always had something extra like a gun or a knife and loved electronics and comic books. Sal and Eddie would have treated Angelo and the others like hired hands, but Poppy would not have it as he was a good man.
Outside, Sal ranted that the operation had become a mess, and that all he wanted was to waste Albert and get the Neupro gun out of the school. Upset, Sal wanted to use the gun to end the massacre, but Eddie reminded him that the gun needed time to charge and that it did not kill people, it just broke down low–vibe matter. Enraged by the loss of their soldiers and the billion dollar score about to fall through, Sal wanted to stage an all–out assault of the school, when, suddenly, Bloodshot tossed three of his men out a window into his car.
Back inside the school, in the library, Bloodshot took cover behind a shelf from a bullet that drilled a hole in a yearbook. Watching a picture of himself with Mel, Sal, Eddie, and Albert on the open book on the floor at his feet, Bloodshot recalled how they liked to play at being made men. Remembering how Mel bought it the night of the robbery, Bloodshot recalled that Albert ratted them out and that, while Sal and Eddie’s money got them off, he went to jail after the judge accused him of being the ringleader. Staring at a picture of Evie, the true ringleader of their group and the toughest girl he knew, Bloodshot mused over how he never saw her again after he got sent up and that he had heard that she got knocked up and sent away to give birth to twins.
Evie was the first one to tell Bloodshot about the Place of Many Alike, which the NSA files said was founded centuries earlier by a religious order that took in unwanted children, especially twins and triplets, whom they trained to be assassins like the Knights Templar or the Illuminati. Aware that the Neupro gun, a weapon that broke down low–vibrational matter like rock and metal without harming organic life, belonged to the order, Bloodshot believed that he could modify it to rid Jillian of the nanites in her system. Believing that the Neupro gun was what was interfering with his nanites, Bloodshot thought that maybe he could use that to his advantage long enough to get Albert and him out of there.
While Albert came in and out of consciousness, and apologized to Angie and Evie, the buzz in Bloodshot’s head was getting stronger and he felt like his nanites were going off line. Suddenly, two stiletto knifes came whistling through the air and Bloodshot barely blocked them with his left arm. As Albert warned Bloodshot to run, two fourteen year old novices from the order stealthily came out of the shadows armed with stilettos. Noticing that the girls were not using peripheral glares, Bloodshot believed that he could use their inexperience to his advantage.
Ignoring Albert’s attempt to warn him about the identity of the novices, Bloodshot, who was unable to reach the gun he took from a goon earlier, used his katana to trim the girl’s bangs to make them think twice about fighting him, but it did not slow them down. Tossing Albert at the girls, Bloodshot startled them and threw them off balance, which resulted in one of them stabbing the other, an undesired result. Certain that the girl’s scream would alert Sal and Eddie of their location, Bloodshot barely avoided the surviving girl’s boot, which vibrax soles could kill him with one hit.
While outside Eddie readied the Neupro gun, which had reached its full charge, Bloodshot knew that he had to kill the girl if he wanted to save Albert and Jillian, but soon as he saw her eyes he recognized Evie in them. Just then, the girl knocked a statue off its pedestal and, as it shattered on the floor, Bloodshot saw Evie’s corpse inside it. Surmising that someone had killed her and hidden her body long ago, and that both Eddie and Albert knew, Bloodshot wondered who else knew everything and why they wanted all of them back there, but the buzzing in his head made it hard for him to concentrate.
Using the Neupro gun, Eddie blew a hole in the school that he and Sal’s men used to go inside to find Bloodshot. As Sal, Eddie, and their men made their way into the school, Bloodshot suddenly shot them from inside the mist created by the use of the Neupro gun. Leaping at them with the girl on his back, and Albert and the other girl hanging from his hip, Bloodshot wanted the gun for himself. While the girl killed Eddie with a stiletto to the face, Bloodshot electrocuted Sal.
As the buzzing in his head vanished, Bloodshot found himself surrounded by broken things and broken people once again. Certain that Albert and the girl would survive if they made it to a hospital, Bloodshot realized that the gun would not help Jillian or him as its effect could only be described as the mother of all headaches. Sensing the sound of heartbeats behind him Bloodshot turned back and saw three individuals garbed in tunics step out of the mist to claim their lost. Taking Albert and the girls, one of the strangers, whose vocal patterns sounded like Evie’s to Bloodshot, promised that they would tend to them as they were charged. Ordering Bloodshot to return home, where he would be briefed on what transpired, the stranger told him to take care, and that they would be with his heirs just like they had been with him before he has born.
Left with more mysteries, Bloodshot felt like he had been played his whole life, and that Jillian and their children may never escape the cycle of savagery. Enraged, Bloodshot walked away mused over how he wanted to get his memories back and got them, and that he would not ask for the dead to return as, with his luck, one of them might look just like him.
Deathtrap – Part I
Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Jillian Alcott – also known as DeathAngel – followed a voice in her head that took her to where Proteus laid buried in the ice. Staring at the frozen behemoth, Jillian could hear his cries for help calling to her in his mind.
Three months later at the Pentagon, General Cartwright learned of a distress call from Post Seven, a listening post remnant from the Cold War in Northern Alaska near the Arctic circle that sounded like they were under attack. Walking into the communications room, Bloodshot told the General that anyone there was dead or soon would be and that there was nothing he could do for them. Suddenly, Colonel Rodriguez from Post Seven issued a mayday and yelled out that everyone was dead and that they were under attack, when then the transmission cut off amid the sound of gunfire.
Preparing for a rescue mission, Bloodshot mused over how Cartwright was a good soldier that felt responsible for every man under his command and worried for them before he worried about himself, including the unlucky souls of Post Seven, who he would go after no matter what he told him.
Half a day later over the Arctic Circle inside a helicopter, Bloodshot looked at the soldiers around him and, in light of the last year, thought that they were as close as he would ever get to having a family. As the chopper approached Post Seven, Bloodshot prayed that he was wrong about what they were up against, but as he saw the remains of the installation he knew that all the fire–power and the best Army Rangers in Cartwright’s command would not be enough. Deep down, Bloodshot knew what to expect as soon as he knew the location of the listening post, which was too close to a certain location to be a coincidence. His worst fears realized, Bloodshot knew that soon he would have to tell the men that they were up against Proteus, a nightmare from the future sent back to destroy all nano–technology from the past, especially him. Proteus appeared out of nowhere, with an artificial intelligence superior to anything Bloodshot’s programming could identity, and it was sheer luck that Bloodshot got the better of him when it came after him a year earlier in the frozen wasteland. Aware that Proteus would return, Bloodshot hoped that his preparations were enough.
Approaching the installation on foot while their chopper left for the Hive to await instructions, Cartwright told Bloodshot that he prepared a contingency plan for the possibility that Bloodshot’s instincts were right. Just then, one of the Rangers found the word Bloodshot written in blood on a wall surrounded by skeletal remains. Moments later, another ranger found tracks on the northeast corner of the base, one set of which was too big to be a man’s. As night fell, Bloodshot suggested that they make camp while he briefed them on Proteus.
inside a cavern Several miles away, Proteus watched over Jillian, who had given birth to her children. Sitting by a bonfire, Proteus accessed a late 20th Century databank to learn the number of the approximate population of the Earth, then, while analyzing the maturation of Nano–Cenogenetic off–spring, he came to the conclusion that it would take 197,000 hours to replace the total human population and replace it with nanite–based life.
Back at Post Seven, Bloodshot told Cartwright that Proteus was a learning machine that must have picked up information from the computers and men stationed at the base. As Cartwright explained that his contingency plan was to release a fuel–air bomb, the most powerful non–nuclear weapon, which sucked all available oxygen to the core and vaporize everything within a mile of ground zero if he missed to check in with the Hive, the sound of a weapon discharge from outside startled him and Bloodshot.
Finding a dead sentry, Bloodshot and the Rangers followed the screams of a second and found his corpse laying on the snow, which rose up and came after them. Suddenly, tentacles reached out and grabbed the Ranger’s legs, then Proteus rose up from the ground calling Bloodshot’s name. As Bloodshot shot a tentacle holding on to Cartwright and released him, Proteus swatted him aside with a hit form his hand.
Watching in horror as Proteus absorbed the Rangers, Bloodshot rushed to find his bazooka to destroy him, when, suddenly, Jillian stepped out of the dark holding their children in her hands and asked Bloodshot if he would hurt him of their kids.
Deathtrap – Part II
At Musashi Labs in Osaka, Doctor Ito and Yoshi Iwatsu stared at a holographic map of the Earth’s globe and discussed the appearance of a signal that showed up the moment they linked their nanite tracking equipment with the American GPS satellites. Certain that the technology necessary to unleash the Proteus formula did not exist yet, and having confirmed Bloodshot’s location in Washington and Goro’s nanite signature in a remote are of Honshu, Yoshi was perplexed that the remaining beacon indicated DeathAngel and the Proteus formula’s nano–code. As Ito concluded that time travel was involved, Yoshi worried that if Proteus returned to complete his programming it would eventually trace the Bloodshot prototype back to them.
The next day, in Western Alaska, Bloodshot shot Proteus scare in the chest with his bazooka, while Jillian leapt out of the way with their children in her hands. Pleading with Bloodshot, Jillian told him that Proteus was trying to help them, while Proteus himself told Bloodshot that he needed him, when then, General Cartwright opened fire on the behemoth. Suddenly, Yoshi Iwatsu shot Proteus from aboard a Musashi Labs helicopter with an anti–Proteus virus that blew off Proteus’ right hand. As Bloodshot pushed Jillian out of the way, Yoshi shot the monster once more, so Proteus escaped to avoid further damage.
While Bloodshot held Jillian back, their children attacked General Cartwright and tried to kill him. As Cartwright tossed one of the kids away from him, the child unexpectedly exploded, startling his twin, who escaped by crawling beneath the snow like Proteus had done. Looming over Cartwright while holding Jillian under his arm, Bloodshot lamented that, once upon a time, those monstrosities were their children.
One hundred miles Southwest at the Hive, a temporary US military outpost, the Captain in charge of the operation ordered the deployment of the fuel–air bomb after Post Seven failed to report in.
Back at Post Seven, while Bloodshot stood watch over a tent and mused that Proteus accelerated Jillian’s pregnancy and destroyed their children, inside the tent General Cartwright tried to fix the radio to no avail while Yoshi and Ito watched over his shoulder and Jillian laid asleep on a cot behind him. Learning of the impending bombing, Yoshi suggested that they all escape in his helicopter, but then Bloodshot rushed into the tent and, holding Yoshi and Ito responsible for releasing Proteus, told them that they were staying with him to see things through.
Meanwhile, in an ice cavern several mile away, Proteus, who was unable to regenerate his missing limb due to an unknown silicon–based virus that destroyed his nanite cells at a molecular level, absorbed Bloodshot’s son to heal himself.
Back at Post Seven, while Jillian awoke screaming Proteus’ name, outside the tent Bloodshot ordered Yoshi’s pilot to take her and the General to the Hive so they can call off the attack. When Cartwright went to find Jillian, however, he was startled to discover that she was gone. Hearing Cartwright yell out that Jillian had vanished, Bloodshot told everyone to get inside the chopper immediately. Elsewhere, Jillian followed a strange feeling to the icy cavern and found Proteus doing something that made her scream out his name.
Later, as Bloodshot and the others approached the cavern, he said that a simulation of Proteus’ instructions he ran on his nanites revealed that, faced with his own destruction, his self–preservation overrode his primary program to destroy the source of nanotechnology with a directive to sire a race of nanite–beings that would insure the success of his mission. Hoping that the sight of Ito and Yoshi would force Proteus into a Moebius loop long enough for him to blast it to hell, Bloodshot walked into the cavern, where he and the others were shocked to see Proteus looming over them with Jillian hanging off his chest wrapped in his tentacles.
Ordering Bloodshot to destroy his weapon, Proteus promised to spare Jillian’s life. As Proteus told Bloodshot that together they could destroy all carbon lifeforms and repopulate the planet, he saw Ito and Yoshi and concluded that they sought to destroy him. Meanwhile, a chopper approached the cavern with the bomb.
Though Ito and Yoshi tried to escape, Proteus lashed out with his tentacles to grab them, which gave Bloodshot a chance to release Jillian from his grasp. As Proteus absorbed Ito and Yoshi, Bloodshot made a run for it with Jillian, but Proteus’ tentacles stabbed him and released self–replicating nanites that invaded all of his systems into his body. As Bloodshot shot Proteus with his bazooka, the resulting explosion startled the chopper pilots, who received an order from General Cartwright to abort their mission and pull out.
As they returned to base, the chopper pilot informed Cartwright that the target had self–eliminated and that nothing could have survived the explosion. Beneath them, Bloodshot’s hand and Proteus’ head lingered over the debris of the cave covered in blood.
Bloodshot Volume II
Is he an Atomic-age Lazarus, or a post-modern Frankenstein’s monster?
That is what Bloodshot must learn as he searches for clues that will reveal who and what he is.
His memory says that he was Angelo Mortalli, a mobster whose career went south, permanently.
But men lie, and memories can be wrong, especially after you have been dead for a year.
Which is the truth, and which is the lie? And why did they remake him as Bloodshot?
These are the answers that the man called Bloodshot must have…
… and these are the secrets that D.O.A. Director Simon Oreck cannot allow to be exposed.
The Angel of Death
He strikes like a bolt of lightning. Bones and sinew are ground into powder in his hands. Microscopic machines whisper into his brain and haunt him with memories of an erased past. Once he was Raymond Garrison. Now he is Bloodshot… and he is the walking dead!
Trapped in a labyrinth of conspiracy, Raymond will not skulk in the shadows fingering his way through filling cabinets! He has big guns, searing reflexes, and the indomitable will to learn why the mob has taken his life – and the United States government has stolen his soul.
What he will discover is so terrible that it will affect every man, woman, and child on Earth.
Behold, A Pale Horseman
Late one night in a police precinct in Brooklyn, Detective Miller interrogated a cavalcade of bystanders that witnessed an altercation earlier that evening that involved four mobsters and a man with white-chalked skin in a long overcoat who one woman called the Angel of Death.
Witness accounts described how when the man attacked the four men after they came out from a theater in Bensonhurst that was showing the movie Vertigo a shootout ensued and they shot him at least seven times and he did not even notice. A newsvendor who claimed that when the man spoke it was as if his throat was made of gravel and old leather that made his voice sound like if a gravestone could talk, said that when he questioned a man about Angelo Mortalli he told him to ask Michael Pileggi before a car ran him over.
Further statements illustrated how, when the man pursued the car through the Belt Parkway on a stolen Harley, he took a shotgun hit on the chest that did not faze him and then shot the man in the car on the throat while he smiled. Frankie, the sole survivor, claimed that the final shot that his companion fired blew out the man’s front tire and he went through the guardrail into Sheepshead Bay.
While the witnesses waited for him, Miller locked himself in his office with Johnson Keel, a man who claimed to be an FBI Agent that revealed that the precinct was a phantom operation and everyone in it were undercover agents that only pretended to investigate the shooting. While Keel said that he would arrange for the witnesses to suffer heart attacks, muggings, and car accidents over the next three weeks, an agent reported that they had divers in the bay searching for the man’s body, a prospect that Miller found to be optimistic.
Elsewhere, Cameron Sinclair, an agent of the Domestic Operations Authority, reported to DOA director Simon Oreck that they had traced the white-skinned man to Bensonhurst, where he started a shoot out with the neighborhood mobsters. When Sinclair wondered what the man was doing there, Oreck told him that he was engaged in a search for Angelo Mortalli, a reveal that startled him.
Meanwhile, while the gravely injured white-chalked skin man hid in the bottom of the bay, he paid heed to the voices in his head that told him to sleep, and, in his slumber, he relived his rebirth at the hands of Frederick J. Stroheim, the DOA scientist in charge of Project Lazarus.
In his dream, the man awoke in a regeneration tank and grabbed Cameron, who when he demanded that he tell him where he was, who the people around him where, and what they had done to him, called him Ray and told him that they had brought him back from the dead.
While the DOA kept him isolated, the man itemized the information he possessed to find an explanation for what occurred to him, and once he went over the process that brought him back to life six months after he was murdered, he came to the conclusion that he was not Raymond Garrison as they had told him and escaped.
When the divers found him, Raymond dispatched them and then slipped past a DOA dragnet that was looking for him. After he gathered the supplies that he required to aid the nanites in his blood to heal him, Raymond holed up in a hotel on 86th Street, and, once he tended to his wounds, he called Pileggi and asked him about Angelo Mortalli, but he claimed that he did not know the name and hung up on him.
While Pileggi brooded over his desk in his penthouse office, Frankie told him that he saw Angelo Mortalli alive and well and he killed him. When Raymond called again and Pileggi told him that he had never heard of Angelo Mortalli, he told him that he would.
Dead Man Walking
After Raymond Garrison broke into Michael Pileggi’s penthouse apartment and killed all his men, he dragged Michael Pileggi to the cemetery and forced him to dig out Angelo Mortalli’s grave to open the casket.
An hour later, after Cameron Sinclair and the DOA agents discovered the massacre in the penthouse, he ordered them to prepare the site for a standard insurance fraud arson cover to burn the bodies. When Sinclair reported to Director Oreck that they were close to locating Raymond, Oreck told him that his inefficiency had cost them more time than was convenient and that he had sufficient data to enable the Special Circumstances Division to complete the mission. Though Cameron pleaded with Oreck not sent the Chainsaw after Raymond, a man they had both known for a over a decade, the director terminated the discussion.
When Pileggi opened the casket and revealed that it was filled with cinder blocks, Raymond grabbed him by the throat and said that he would loosen his grip only long enough for him to take exactly one breath and use it to tell him something he did not know, and, that as long as he kept talking, he would breathe.
Michael told Raymond that Mortalli was a made man in the Cianelli crime family and that Don Cianelli ordered his murder after he cooperated with the FBI. When Michael confessed that he did not know what happened to the body, and that he only handled the funeral because the Don’s daughter loved Angelo and they wanted to keep up appearances, Raymond tossed him in the casket and buried him.
Elsewhere, Director Oreck contacted Stroheim and told him that the present state of affairs was unacceptable. When Stroheim suggested that the process that they employed to retrieve and alter Raymond’s memories had guaranteed that he was hopefully insane, Oreck proposed that the cause of Raymond’s incoherent behavior was because they had revived Angelo Mortalli and not Raymond Garrison.
While Raymond walked down a dark street, he recalled the moments that followed his escape from the DOA.
Raymond recalled how, after he dispatched the guards that were watching him and hacked into L.I.Z.A., the DOA’s artificial intelligence computer, he escaped through an air shaft that took him to the armory where he acquired his equipment, and then stole a helicopter.
When Raymond remembered how after a DOA helicopter fired a missile he leapt into the river to escape, he wonder is what Project Lazarus called from the grave was not enough to make a whole man, or if he brought back too much of Death with him.
Just then, Raymond walked by an empty lot where his house used to be, and, although he remembered the building, every brick, and every board, he could not remember ever living there. When Raymond asked a neighbor about Gina DeCarlo, Don Cianelli’s daughter, she told him that she had never heard of her and warned him to leave before she called the police.
While Raymond searched for Angelo Mortalli in a diner’s directory and discovered that it did not exist, he recalled a time when he ate there with friends who he figured were gone just like Gina.
Unbeknownst to Raymond, the members of the Chainsaw were watching from a building across the street.
Some Assembly Required
As Raymond Garrison walked to a building door intent on going inside, he suddenly smelled the scent of copper wiring and fuel aerogel and walked away. A fraction of a second later, the building exploded and the members of the Chainsaw, a team of highly–trained mercenaries, opened fire on him with incendiary rounds.
While Cameron Sinclair stood in the sidelines and reported what he saw to Director Oreck, Stroheim accused the director of risking the destruction of the prime assembler that Raymond carried in his blood. Enraged, Director Oreck warned Stroheim that he was more qualified to asses the situation than him, then, when he realized that Raymond had survived the first volley, he asked Stroheim how long he could continue to function and the doctor confessed that he did not know how he could still be alive at all.
After he took a direct hit to the chest that sent him reeling into an alley and severely injured him, Raymond patched his injuries with bailing wire and a stray cat that the nanites could use to regenerate his injuries.
As he compared himself and Chainsaw to the tale of the blind men and the elephant, Raymond concluded that once he took out one of them their structure would collapse and used an explosive they wired to a building to kill their heavy ordinance expert. Raymond then tracked the rest of Chainsaw and killed them one at a time.
As dawn broke, Gina DeCarlo appeared to Raymond in the form of an apparition and warned him of a man of light whose soul was cold and dark, and told him that a pale rider who carried the candle of truth within the darkest of hearts would lead the four horsemen that would arise to ride against the blinding light.
Before she vanished, Gina told Raymond that, before she died, they tried to brainwash her so she would not remember him, but that just like after their first date every time the words ‘’Reservoir Dogs’’ made her hot for him, there were some things she could not forget.
The mention of ‘’Reservoir Dogs’’ made Raymond remember everything, but left with a few missing pieces, he knew that he had to go back to where they revived him to meet his maker in order to find them.
The Postmodern Prometheus
When Raymond Garrison returned to Project Lazarus and demanded that Stroheim tell him the truth of what happened to him, Stroheim told him that truth was an existential construct with no reliable means of objective analysis, and that he preferred to concern himself with facts. Offended by Raymond’s entrance and demands, Stroheim told that they were an extremely ill-mannered way to address the man who gave him life, to which Raymond retorted that he was only his creator on the outside.
From his Think Tank, Simon Oreck watched while Raymond demanded that Stroheim tell what happened to him, and as he reviewed footage of how he breached the facility, he mused that his performance far exceeded their expectations of his limits. When Stroheim refused to explain himself and rhetorically asked Raymond what possible answers could the creation demand from the creator, Oreck accessed a behavioral psychology database in search of a predictive pattern mach and concluded that, once again, the real proved the virtual to be nothing more than empty rhetoric of the repetition of the same tiresome and meaningless questions. Desperate for an answer, Raymond asked Stroheim what he was and why he created him.
After he looked upon the thing that he had created and wondered how to make him understand the banality of his request, Stroheim forced Raymond to behold all creation inside a tank of water. As Stroheim told Raymond that from the first primitive replicators swam in tidal pools of preblotic fluid and built to the critical mass of the Cambrian explosion through repeated mass extinctions, he said that the purpose of life was to live, and that it existed because it could just as he made him because he could.
While Stroheim showed Raymond the regeneration tank, he told him that the emergent possibilities of technological confluence had made him inevitable, and explained how, once the conditions of survival had been carefully supervised and manipulated, he achieved direct evolution of a vastly accelerated schedule by compressing billions of years of natural selection into less than a decade.
Stroheim told Raymond how from molecular engineering he took the means to shape crude mechanisms built from handfuls of atoms, how genetic algorithms from simulated cellular automata of artificial life provided the kernels on which to base their operating systems, and how biology established the instructions necessary to imperfectly replicate life to allow for the rare error that conferred advantage.
After Stroheim told Raymond that he created neo-biological organisms beyond the hand of man to design that served his whims, even revive the dead, Raymond said that tiny robots were just robots and not being dead was not the same as being alive. When Stroheim retorted that any sufficiently advanced nanotechnology was indistinguishable from life, Raymond accused him of thinking that he was indistinguishable from God, and then grabbed him by the collar and told him to look down at his work and tell him if he found it was good. Enraged, Raymond tossed Stroheim against a vat of fluid and said that if he was God then he was an atheist.
As a nanological solution filled the laboratory, the contamination hazard protocols sealed the affected area and activated a thermal sterilization that would incinerate the room. When Stroheim tried to reach the keypad and enter the countermand code before they died, Raymond held him back and told him that he still owed him. When Stroheim told Raymond that he made him what he was and gave him life, Raymond retorted that he did not ask for it and told him that if he wanted to live he had to give him a reason.
While he watched the events that unfolded in Stroheim’s laboratory, Oreck ran a chaotic attractor model in progress to attempt to define the variables involved in Raymond’s resurrection, but the quantum state vector flux went beyond the system capacity to anticipate. Just then, a security recording of a conversation Oreck had with Stroheim, in which the doctor warned him that there was an inevitable degree of chaos inherent in biological systems revealed the hidden variable.
While Raymond held him by the collar, Stroheim told him that he was responsible for developing the process that brought him to life, but that he did not know what they were going to use him for because they did not brief on matters of strategic deployment since he did not need to know. Angered with the realization that he was nothing more than a weapon made of meat, Raymond tossed Stroheim aside, and, while he destroyed the laboratory, he demanded that Stroheim tell him how many others there were in his inventory of living dead.
As Stroheim told him that he needed the prime assembler he hosted to create others like him, Raymond shattered his hand and stopped him from reaching the keypad and annulling the thermal sterilization. While Raymond welcomed the end, Simon Oreck halted the process offered to provide him with what he sought if he dared risk finding it. When Raymond asked him who he was, Oreck told him that a mutual friend of their, Michael Pileggi, would call him the brains of the operation.
Since he was finished with Stroheim, Raymond left him in the rubble of his laboratory and followed an illuminated path to where Oreck promised he would find the poison pill of truth on a silver plate.
As Raymond Garrison followed the light into corridors thick with the breath of sterility, passed security guards that let him thru, he mused that, while they could scour away the rot and filter out the stench of decay, it did not change that buried the truth alive there.
While Raymond approached, Simon Oreck loaded all pertinent background data about him, Angelo Mortalli, and Project Lazarus into his monitors, and then he redirected the primary scan and processing to the interaction between himself and Agent Bloodshot. When Raymond entered the Think Tank, Oreck offered him a change of attire to replace his clothes, which tattered during Chainsaw's attack. While Raymond changed, Oreck told him his name and that he was the guest of the Domestic Operations Authority, a cover operations arm of the United States government, when, suddenly, Raymond pulled out a gun and ordered Simon to shut up.
While he held a gun to Oreck’s head, Raymond told him that long as he answered his questions he would not shoot, but then Oreck activated the chamber’s environment controls and caused the floor beneath his feet to vanish and Raymond plummeted down a shaft.
As Raymond fell through what he discerned were nothing more than holograms and illusions, he grabbed a ledge and pulled himself up. While Raymond stood in the middle of a platform surrounded by monitors that displayed his face, Oreck told him that his questions were classic conundrums of identity and epistemology, and asked him what was reality and how one knew to distinguish the real from errors of perception, more specifically Angelo Mortalli, a name occluded behind codename Bloodshot.
When Oreck mockingly said that Angelo Mortalli was nothing more than a minor footnote in the history of organized crime, a victim of a greater conspiracy, or a man shorn of existence erased from the official records for reasons most sinister, Raymond demanded that he tell him the truth and a hologram of Angelo Mortalli appeared before him. When Angelo asked him if he knew him, Raymond told Angelo that he died before he was born and then the platform vanished and he fell once again.
As Oreck loomed over Raymond in the form of a hologram, he told him that Angelo Mortalli was not dead for the simple reason that he never existed. After Oreck revealed that Raymond Garrison, a DOA operative, assumed the identity of Angelo Mortalli to infiltrate the Cianelli crime family, and then, through unforeseen circumstances, was executed and subsequently brought back to life through means that transformed fiction into reality, to his surprise, Raymond told him that he already knew all of that.
Enraged, Oreck shattered a monitor while Raymond told him that he thought that he held a secret hammer with the power to break his spirit like a sheet of glass and then he could use the pieces to build the good little robot he meant him to be, to crush his soul and enslave the leftovers. Mocking Oreck, Raymond said that while he built tombs for secrets, he never realized that he shut himself away from the light and become so bloated from swallowing his lies that he did not know what reality smelled like anymore, otherwise he would have known that he could not shatter a vacuum and could not use truth to build chains.
As the lights in the holotank came on, Oreck told Raymond through a PA system that his words were poetic but utterly irrelevant, as physical coercion was unnecessary when he possessed the means to manipulate his perceptions, a concept that he suspected he had no difficulty understanding. After Oreck revealed that the distance between them crossed no less than three state lines, he told Raymond that he was of no use to him at his present stage of mental development, and that the outside world would be an effective instructor.
While Raymond stepped out of the room, Oreck told him that when he was prepared to accept his guidance he would return of his own accord, but Raymond turned back and told him to hold his breath.
As Raymond made his way across a darken bridge, he mused that the grail brimmed with ashes of futility, bitter salvation, shattered chains of identity, and freedom found in the embrace of meaninglessness, and as he pondered that the purpose of his existence was his to define, he set out to learn who Raymond Garrison was.