Character Name: Slugger
Alternate Identities: LaMarlon Diggs
Player Name: NPC
|Hair Color:||Shaven Bald (Black)|
|Slugger watched just a little too much 'Spencer for Hire' when he was a kid and hasn't outgrown the 'Hawk' look. Shaved head, black wrap-around sunglasses, long black leather coat, black jeans, black shirt and black boots. Actually he carries it of fairly well, or like to think so. Its the trappings of 'thug enforcer' that he's going for and Mask's normal cliental tremble in their shoes when Slugger pays a visit.|
Slugger had NEVER been hit so hard in his life. Doubled over, bat on the concrete and forgotten, he struggled to suck in a breath. Why didn’t the surfer dude finish him? Hell, he would have clubbed him a dozen times by now but no attack came. Raising his head he saw the two, the beach boy and his hot-assed bitch strolling away from him as if he were a pile of dog shit to be ignored.
The dude had cost him a piece of ass and he was gonna get him for it. Maybe take it out of his bitch’s ass. Yeah, that would be a better idea. See how that dude felt about her after he’d had her a few times.
At last able to draw breath he took a second to recover his bat and tuck it into the loop inside his long leather coat. He straightened. The alley was empty, the only people in sight those on the boardwalk or back on the main street behind him. He’d lost the girl. Muttering an oath, he gathered his dignity and headed for his car.
“Dude,” Slugger hissed. “This cat one-punched my ass! Nobody one-punches me!”
Mask looked up at his enforcer slowly.
“What were you doing at Mission Beach,” he asked in his deceptively calm tone.
Slugger lifted one shoulder. “Ya know, cruzin’ bitches.”
One of Mask’s eye-brow went up.
“A huge black man, dressed in black leather pants, combat boots, black tee shirt and a full length black leather duster doesn’t exactly blend in with the white tourist bikini crowd during the middle of a hot summer morning. Have you considered doing your hunting at a darker hour?”
A sly look crossed Slugger’s face.
“Yeah,” he said. “I think I’ll do just that and I’m gonna start with that bitch girl-friend of surfer boy.”
Mask sighed and tossed the pen atop his sheaf of papers he’d been reading over.
“You will not be going back to Mission Beach,” he said. “They will be on the look-out for you and as I said, you do stand out. Give it a few weeks, let then forget they ever saw you, then pay your little visit.”
Slugger was wrong about the ‘nobody one-punches me’ thing. Well, not wrong, it was just that he preferred to forget the other time. Sixteen years old, already 6’4” and 240 pounds, he had thought himself invincible and the fact that he was a metahuman only reinforced the assumption. Already stronger than ten men, the youthful Slugger, then known as LaMarlon Biggs, made the mistake of trying to tackle an older man, a smaller man, a wiser man, in his early forties. Like they say, old age and treachery will win out over youth and strength every time. Biggs never saw the baseball bat that splintered on top of his head and left him with a bloody gash. To remind himself, he kept his head shaved rather than trying to hide the scar but it was his only acknowledgement of that time.
He grew up in Compton, California, in the 1970’s, a time when young black men had to prove themselves quickly or be ploughed under by someone tougher. Biggs had the advantage, size and superhuman strength. He was smart about it though and didn’t advertise exactly what he was capable of but still he caught the eye of the urbane William Lincoln, the future Mask. Lincoln recognized Biggs’ potential and recruited him as an enforcer in his growing street gang.
Slugger made more than two dozen forays to the beach, carefully remaining invisible behind the smoked glass of his black Chrysler 300. Cruising Mission Blvd. he kept a look-out for the huge surfer and his bitch. On the fourth trip, he spotted them but lost them when the cars behind him began to lean on their horns when he paused too long. On the ninth trip he spotted them again and this time was able to parallel them as they sauntered down the sidewalk. The girl was even hotter than he remembered but something in the way the big kid moved gave him pause. Was it the way he moved or the total confidence the surfer displayed that made him stand out? Slugger needed more information and he knew just where to get it.
Cream slowly crossed her legs as she leaned back on the soft leather of the couch and regarded Slugger through hooded eyes. The big man knew she didn’t like him, hell, she probably despised but he also knew when it came to money she had few boundaries.
“That’s all you want?” she said slowly.
“Yeah, names and addresses, that’s it,” Slugger replied.
“Tell me why I should help your ugly ass,” Cream seemed to look down on him from a sitting position. It was beginning to piss him off.
“Worth a grand to me,” he replied. He had to grit his teeth. Rather than talking to the bitch, he wanted to stuff something hard and hot down her throat but he could wait on that for another time. Right now, she had Filch in her pocket and Filch could get her what he needed.
“How bad you really want this, Slug,” Cream drew circles on the soft leather with one well manicured nail.
“It’s just a fuckin’ name and address, bitch, not your ass!” he snapped.
“You’re right,” she replied unperturbed. “My ass is a hundred grand for you. I’d need that for shampoo and soap to get the stink of you off me.”
The baseball bat whistled toward the woman’s head before Slugger realized it. He barely managed to check the swing without crushing her skull. Fear flashed in her amber eyes and it felt good.
“Or you could do it so I don’t cave in that pretty face of yours,” he growled, the tip of the bat an inch from her perfect nose.
The bat’s handle exploded in his hand, leaving him six inches of shattered ash. Snap dropped from the ceiling, the .45 aimed between Slugger’s eyes. The goddamn bastard had slipped in without Slugger noticing. He should have known, the bitch didn’t go anywhere without her pet bodyguard. It wasn’t that Slugger was afraid of the little shit, he could squash him like a bug, but the huge cannon he held confidently aimed at Slugger’s face was another matter. Super strength didn’t always translate into ‘bullet-proof’. He turned his back on the pair and tossed the bat’s handle into the corner.
“A grand for a name and address,” he said.
From a desk drawer he pulled ten $100 bills and flipped the stack at the girl. It fluttered to the floor like confetti. The girl nodded at Snap and the little shit tucked the cannon away before kneeling and gathering up the bills.
“You’ll have it tomorrow,” she said, rising. Snap folded the bills and offered them to her but she ignored them. Tucking the money into his pocket he took four quick steps to the door and pulled it open. Cream flowed toward it, stopping just before crossing the threshold. “Nice doing business with you, Slug,”
One hour later four men removed the smashed remnants of the office’s contents and replace them with new. A glazier arrived a short time later and replaced the two windows without comment. It wasn’t the first time either had been done.
The following morning a text message appeared on Slugger’s cell phone: Nathaniel Ryan and Wren Collins, with an address on Island Court off Mission Blvd.
Pidge sat nervously on the forward edge of the replacement couch and fidgeted. Round, white haired and balding with high sunburned cheeks, given a beard, Pidge could have passed for Santa Claus, and sometimes did during the season. Gifted with remarkable hearing and the ability to ‘see’ inside buildings, he was a regular police informant that was on retainer to Mask and his organization. The information he passed on to the SDPD was always accurate but never seemed to come near any operation involving his true employer. The arrangement had been lucrative in the extreme and though he’d been associated with Mask for years, he had never been comfortable around the ruthless Slugger. Truth to be told, the black man scared the piss out of Pidge and to be called to Slugger’s office and not Mask’s had terrified him.
“I want you to watch these two,” Slugger thrust a card with two scrawled names and an address at Pidge who took it with trembling fingers. “Find out times when they are apart, when he’s off some place with his buddies. First time she’s alone, you call me! Got it?”
“Yessir,” the fat man said. He was being used to set up a rape, not like it was the first time. “I’ll start as soon as I can get there.”
“You get your ass there now!” Slugger snapped.
The call came three days later.
Wren Collins had just gotten out of the bath when a sound caught her ear. It was late, nearly midnight, and she knew Nathaniel was not for another half hour or so. Flipping off the bathroom light she ghosted across the hall into her room and silently shut the door behind her. From the small drawer in the bedside table she pulled the tiny earpiece and carefully inserted it into her right ear.
The door exploded, literally coming off the hinges and hitting the opposite wall. A massive dark figure stepped into the room and focused on the girl. In the faint light from outside the cottage he saw terror on her face and grinned. This was gonna be so good. What he didn’t see was the relief that replaced the terror. The intruder wasn’t one of the HARP robotic killers.
“Think yo so fuckin’ high and mighty, bitch,” Slugger growled at her.
He moved enough to put himself near the center point between the door and windows, covering both possible escape routes. Slowly he advanced on her then stopped suddenly, his shoulders sagging as if under a great weight.
“What the fuck?” he snapped as his knees buckled and he hit the floor. Through narrowed eyes he looked up at the girl and saw satisfaction in her eyes. He smiled and very slowly stood. The satisfaction turned to consternation.
“Nathaniel,” she said a hint of panic in her voice. “I need you home now!”
Nat Ryan moved faster than he had every moved in his life, his heart pounding like a jackhammer. Light flooded the hallway from Wren’s room and as he reached the shattered door, the intruder struggled to his feet.
Slugger made it two steps towards the girl when a vise closed around his neck. He brought both hands up and fumbled for a grip on the hand that lifted him from the floor like he was a rag doll. Air refused to pass through his windpipe as he tried to kick out behind him. His heels met steel and bounced off.
“Nathaniel,” the girl said, her hand coming to rest on surfer’s forearm.
Air flooded back into Slugger’s lungs in great gasps as the pressure on his throat eased.
“I am going to kill him, Wren,” came a soft reply.
Finally Slugger managed to get his fingers under the surfer’s grip but no matter how hard he pulled he could not free himself.
“He did not touch me,” the girl said, her tone almost flat.
“Maybe not,” the surfer said. “But he intended to and I bet he’s done this before.”
“You cannot kill him, regardless, Nathaniel,” the girl said. “Let Miller handle this. It makes him feel useful.”
The hand holding him off his feet quivered then he was pulled against the larger man’s chest, an arm around his waist holding him in place. The surfer hissed in his ear.
“I have no problem crushing you like an empty Coke can,” he said. “But she has asked me not to do that. Consider yourself very lucky.”
A hand caught his wrist and twisted the arm up behind his back in a hammerlock then forced him out into the hall and toward the small living room. The front door to the cottage burst open and five men flooded the room, weapons pointed at the three. A man in a black suit stepped in and regarded the scene.
“Miller,” Wren said coldly, eyeing the man like a bug. “You have been monitoring our frequency I see.”
The man in the suit inclined his head very slightly.
“Did you expect differently?” he said. “Mr. Ryan, if you would release the prisoner.”
The look Nat gave Miller actually stopped the agent. This kid was a breath away from killing the man.
“We will take him into custody,” the agent said, nodding to the men that had come in before him. One lowered his weapon and took out a pair of Police Issue handcuffs from a pouch on his web belt. There was a pop and the prisoner groaned. His shoulder had been dislocated.
“That was unnecessary,” Miller said coldly.
“Maybe to you,” Nat replied, thrusting the man into the waiting arms of the two combat agents.
They expertly cuffed the man with little regard for the dislocated shoulder but the prisoner made no complaint. Once he was held between the two Nat stepped up, his face an inch from Slugger’s.
“If I ever see you again, I will throw you into the South Pacific,” he said. “From here.”
“Have no fear, Mr. Ryan,” Miller said. “We have him.”
“That just reassures me in so many ways, Miller,” Wren said snidely.
Slugger was frog-marched outside, covered by two agents, where two vehicles waited, a black Crown Vic and a matching step van. Neither bore markings. The van’s door swung open and with no regard for their prisoner’s injuries, they literally threw Slug into the back of a black van where landed hard on his injured shoulder. The ball slipped back into the socket catching Slugger between pain and relief. The doors slammed shut and he felt the vehicle shift slightly to the left then to the right as two climbed into the cab. He hear the engine kick over then settle into a low rumble. Rolling up into a sitting position, he propped his back against the wall of the van and began to experiment with the cuffs. People always underestimated him. Especially cops.
Slugger hit the ground and rolled to his feet in time to dodge a SmartCar driven by a man who was more than a little intoxicated. He broke for the fence as an oncoming car illuminated him but as soon a he was clear of the headlights, he reversed course and sprinted for median. He bellied down into ice plants as his previous mode of transportation came to a screeching stop in the emergency lane a couple hundred yards away. The Crown Vic, slower to react, jammed into reverse and burned rubber back to the van. Both vehicles erupted men, one staying with the two vehicles, while the remaining five charged back up the Emergency lane. Four hopped the guard rail and disappeared down the slope. When they reached the fence they broke into pairs and began to move in opposite directions. Miller, the fifth, shouted down at them but his words were lost to Slugger in the traffic noises. He watched them through slitted eyes.
“Stupid motherfuckers,” he muttered.
On the other side of the freeway the blue lights of a California Highway Patrol cruiser came on and the CHiP gunned it, racing for the turn-around three miles up the highway. Miller noted the cop and whistle to his men. The five hot-footed it back toward their vehicles pulling out just before the CHP got in range. The blue lights went dark and the car slowed back to something near the speed limit. As it zipped by Slugger smiled.
“First time a cop ever did ME a favor,” he chuckled.
Even at 2 am, Mask looked immaculate. Fuming, but immaculate. He glared at Slugger.
“I guess I gave you too much credit for brains,” he hissed. “Obviously I was wrong.”
“The motherfucker’s got government backing,” Slugger replied.
“That don’t mean shit to me!” Mask snapped. “You been lettin’ yo dick think fo’ you!” He slipped back into the language of the streets, a very bad sign, for Slugger. “I want yo ass outta town now!”
“Where you want me to go!” Slugger glared back, not particularly impressed or concerned.
“Drag yo sorry ass back to Compton and keep yo fuckin’ head down!” Mask’s left fist tensed as he fought to regain control. “It would be best if you were out of sight for a while,” he concluded in his normal tone.
“That motherfucker’s strong as shit,” Slugger offered. “And his bitch got powers too.”
“All the more reason for you to keep out of sight. We can’t have them looking into your and MY business,” Mask’s hand unclenched. “Think of it as a vacation.”
“If it gonna be a vacation, I’ll go down to Cabo.”
“That is acceptable,” Mask agreed.
Miller didn’t bother to mention Slugger’s escape to Nat Ryan or Wren Collins ...
|Strength and a baseball bat, that's pretty much it. To a normal, he's very scary and extremely dangerous, to a Meta ...|
Slugger is a Gen 2 Meta-human. Until his powers manifested at about 14, Slugger had been just another black kid growing up in Compton. His mother was on welfare, his father unknown, and he made his living making deliveries around the city. He didn't give a shit what it was, all he cared about was the $20 bill he got for each one. When he discovered his enhanced strength, things changed and soon he was the one hiring others to make HIS deliveries. With money came a side benefit, girls. Suddenly he was a chick magnet and those that didn't fall for his charm, well, they could be 'pursuaded'. In fact, he enjoyed the 'pursuading' a hell of a lot more then a long-ass seduction.
Now, mature, level-headed, Slugger is still about the bucks and the occasional 'pursuasion'. Trouble is, he has never met his equal ... until Nat Ryan, and he really doesn't like it plus the guy's got a hot bitch.
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