Frank drove from New York down to Maryland, where it was loaded into a friend’s plane, to be dropped off in Mexico at the place he had specified. He had about a hundred reasons why he had shipped his car ahead of him….and they were all secured in his trunk. He didn’t want to cross too many state lines with all that ammo and other implements of destruction. Not a good idea in this day and age. Meanwhile, he took the bus. He had a layover in Mississippi…and he was going to do some snooping of his own while there.
He would be picked up in Texas, after having throughly studying the intel his “friend” had supplied him with. Shouldn’t be too hard, he thought to himself, to get rid of fifteen men. But rescuing those girls…that might be a little more difficult. He decided to save them before he began to use the guerilla tactics.
In the compound, there were fifteen men…heavily armed, some with military experience, not as extensive as his, but he’d be wary nonetheless. Four girls, all American, being held for sale. Highest bidder got the lot of them; American girls were quite popular overseas. They’d go fast and for a lot of dinero Frank scowled.
Human trafficking disgusted him and he thought it should enrage any decent person. Especially the super powers.
Frank’s mind pondered over the fate of the girls, how they were faring. He didn’t think they would be “touched” as verified virginity would bring the seller more money….and these kind of scum were all about the money. At least that’s what Frank told himself, to feel better. He did wonder about the fathers of the girls, thinking of how panicked and rage-filled they must be. If it were Lisa, the world would be in flames until he got her back.
He made his plans on the detailed map he had been supplied with. X’s marked key locations that he needed to secure. O’s indicated good sniper spots.
The bus stopped and he put his plans away. It was time to stretch his legs.
The cab dropped him off where the old county records were held. He needed to give Rogue some information about her father…to give her some answers about her past. Well, answers to questions she was afraid to ask. She needed to find out what happened to him, and even if she had any half siblings.
Rogue needed a family. Frank knew that. She needed to center herself firmly in life to be as healthy as she could be. He had been brought up with the notion that family, that familial blood, was everything.
He went in and was assaulted by the smell of staleness, as if these records had been purposely sent there to rot, to be forgotten. A sort of melancholy haunted them; every file represented a person, a life lost or ruined. There was an woman at the desk who wore bitterness like a shroud around her face. He came to a stop in front of her. “I need the file on a Lorelai Williams. Birthdate…May 5, 1984.”
Her head jerked up from the book she was reading as if to yell at him for disturbing her….the expression on his face convinced her that HE wasn’t the man to mouth off to. Sometimes, it was good to look so foreboding. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think…”
He gave her a more serious look that basically said: “I’m not fooling around. I WILL find it if I have to.” Frank leaned just a little on the desk. His shoulders blocked out what natural light came in through the front door.
The woman, who was in her mid-thirties, paled then scurried to do his business. He waited until she came back with the file. The woman was gone for a long time, obstenstially to research and make sure she grabbed the correct file. “After Lorelai..disappeared, everything was put in this file. Her case notes, everything.”
Frank noted that the seal was broken on the files. “Yes, I read enough of it to make sure it was the same lady. Is she OK?”
The Punisher nodded. “I’m trying to help her find whatever family she might have left. I’m not committing a federal crime for shits and giggles.” He said, dryly.
To their surprise, she laughed. “I hope you can help her find some peace, because what happened to her was a tragedy… I read about so many horrible things..but what happened to that little girl has to be one of the worst.” Lorelai’s story had lifted the bitterness from her, at least temporarily.
Frank gave her a long appraising look. “She’s a strong woman.” He added, uncharacteristically giving advice. “You’re unhappy here. Maybe you ought to think of doing a career that doesn’t eat you up inside.” There was a flash in his deep blue eyes that let her know that his chosen path was consuming his humanity, slowly.
Then he turned and left her to think.