By Kevin McVicker
Tale of the Tape
Sergei Karvinoff (Kravin the Hunter)
Height: 6’ 0”
Abilities: Enhanced speed (can run up to 60mph), strength (can lift up to 2 tons), durability, agility, reflexes, senses, and slowed aging all due to an herbal potion. He has also mastered multiple fighting styles; he’s a weapons specialist, expert marksman, master tactician, strategist, animal tamer, hunter, and tracker.
Frank Castle (The Punisher)
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 200 lbs
Abilities: Master martial artist, expert marksman, expert pilot, expert interrogator, extensive special ops training, and expert tactician.
I am the Watcher, and I have seen more than you could ever comprehend. I have seen worlds vastly different from your own to worlds which undoubtedly you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.
On one such world like the later, the only difference is the less tragic history of the Kravinoff family. While you know of their deaths and resurrections and even transformation into beasts, on this world they have become a successful criminal family filled with pride and devotion towards one another. They eventually used their skills to create not only a poaching ring with incredibly rare, sought after animal bones, organs, and hides, but they also expanded into human trafficking for purposes far to numerous and nefarious to recount.
However this empire causes the Kravinoff clan undesired attention.
War Journal Excerpt:
My intentions are still not known, probably. This is good. I’m working my way up the ladder, and breaking each rung as I climb to the top. The longer they are unaware the easier things will be for me. They aren’t idiots. They’re professionals… deadly professionals. This makes my work both equally more important and more difficult. Except for today. Today was the stretches before the long race.
Chameleon has been a thorn in many side, and he was the first step towards wiping out the Kravinoff syndicate. The only hard part was locating him. It took me far too long and far too much money to find that faceless freak. I’m mad about the money, but then again I don’t have time for vacations and I doubt I’ll see retirement. So I guess it’s the principal. It paid off though.
He was spending time masquerading as a high ranking military official and helping the family circumvent checkpoints and inspections with their various products as they moved them around the world. He had always been slippery. I would hate to count all the times he escaped from that Spider-Kid. He was a tricky SOB, which is why I knew I couldn’t give him the opportunity to get away.
Once I was able to confirm who I was looking at (lucky for me he can change his appearance but not his DNA), I waited until he was alone in “his” office. I had snuck in earlier and hid in a coat closet (did I mention he took the identity of an extremely pampered official). Once he was in his seat I snuck up behind him and with the tip of my silencer pressed against his temple I waited just long enough for it to register with him who I was before splattering his brains against his antique, mahogany wood desk. Just like those Skrulls who are so fun to kill, he reverted back to his white, featureless mask erasing any doubt that I may have killed the wrong man.
The rest may be easier to locate, but I know they won’t be as easy to kill.
Sergei Kravinoff’s Journal Excerpt:
First Dmirti. Now Alyosha. Sasha doesn’t seem to care about either and tells me I fret over nothing. I know she’s just happy the memory of my affair is dead. She always accepted my unfaithfulness with grace, but Alyosha was a slap to her face. A constant reminder that I have needs which she cannot always fulfill.
Dmitri being murdered in his office was a hindrance to our operations, but not a hurdle impossible to leap clear. He had enough enemies on his own. I didn’t jump to any conclusions that it had anything to do with myself and my family. But less than a month later Alyosha and a group of poachers were ruthlessly cut down on a hunt. Looking at the photos of the massacre it is obvious one man did this. The way they were murdered… the method is setting off an alarm in my head. I feel as though I’m looking through a fog. I can just make out the outline of a familiar form.
Sasha says I’m being paranoid. I tell her I’m being cautious.
War Journal Expert:
I’ve never fought a lion, but I can only assume that was what it would be like. The power and ferocity were unlike anything I’ve gone up against. That includes the time I hit Wolverine with a rocket launcher. Heh. That always brings a smile to my face. But tonight I dealt a decisive blow to the Kravinoffs. I took apart, piece by piece, Sergei’s first born. I think he drank that same voodoo juice his dad had too. He was tough, but not anymore.
I tried to take him out from a distance at first. Using a sniper rifle from one-hundred yards I shot at him. Now I know that’s far too close. Somehow he heard or sensed the shot. He couldn’t have heard the shot. Could he see the flash from the suppressor at that distance? I’m going to have to rethink my approach on the rest of this group. His brother in Africa was a daytime hit, so I never thought about these factors.
The first bullet still clipped him though, but just in the shoulder instead of a center mass shot like I had planned. He moved so quickly, within a few seconds he had cleared our one-hundred meter difference and he was on me. I pulled my side arm and was able to connect a few shots. Luckily I think those and they first shot slowed him down enough to give me a chance at victory. Otherwise I may have been over my head.
I used two smatchets to finish the deal. They were gifts from Pete Wisdom. I think he would have approved of how I used them. He was never too shy when things got gory. One in the gut and one in the throat. I don’t care how good you are, you aren’t coming back from that.
Except for maybe Wolverine. Heh. That look on his face when the rocket exploded…
Time to mend some wounds and rethink my next step. I’m halfway up the ladder now; I can’t take chances and fall when I’m this close.
Sergei Kravinoff’s Journal Excerpt:
My children. My beautiful children. My heart is burdened by such sorrow and hatred at the same moment.
Sasha is angry with me. She is angry at the world. Her son and daughter have been violently murdered. One was butchered in his garden and the other was murdered in her bed. The monster woke her. The expression on her face was not one of someone who drifts off quietly in slumber. It was of someone tortured before they were murdered. My sweet Anastasia, I will have my vengeance on whoever did this to you.
Whoever is tearing my family apart, I shall tear them apart with my own bare hands. I will honor my family by ripping this monster’s still beating heart from its chest. If it means I lose my soul, I shall have justice for them.
I am afraid of what this will do to Sasha and I once I find this monster and mount his head on my library wall. We are filled with so much rage, I’m not sure how well we will grieve for our losses. I am fighting dark urges myself which dance the edges of my mind. I am not frightened to entertain them, but work has to be done first.
I am leaving for Paris and London tomorrow to seek vengeance on a few who could be responsible for these actions. I don’t believe they are responsible, but Sasha wants blood and she is not one for reasoning with in her state of mind. It is not her fault. She has lost her children. She has never experienced lose as I have. My mother… I haven’t thought of her in years. They said my mother was insane.
War Journal Expert:
One final step and this crusade is complete. I haven’t thought much on my next war. It’s dangerous to even entertain another war when the battles for the current are far from over. And the hardest battle is yet to come.
Tonight I took care of the matron Kravinoff, far from the most challenging but deadly in her own right. Unlike her daughter I was unable to catch her in her sleep. It would have been easier that way. I wouldn’t have even had to wake her up unlike her daughter. The younger was far too easy to break and full of useful knowledge.
I did get lucky that Sergei is on the warpath and went hunting competitors who he believes are to blame for the trail of bodies I’ve left. He’ll get his chance to learn the truth, but if he wants to make life easier on me first by cleaning up other scum like him I won’t bother correcting him. He left his wife, Sasha, alone. Well, she had security thugs and she herself is an accomplished murderer. But one Kravinoff at a time is enough.
After entering their compound I was quickly able to dispatch her guards as I worked my way towards the main house. As I moved along I built myself a path by setting claymores to catch any guards foolish enough to run after me when I made my exit. She was waiting on me when I reached the house and nearly took my head off with a spear. I didn’t know people still used spears. That would have been an embarrassing death.
I had a gun though. She tried to hide behind some African shield, but I doubt thatched straw would’ve stopped my bullets even if they weren’t hollow points. The howl she gave when she was hit sounded more like an animal than a person. But I know the things this family has done, and they’re definitely more animal than human.
She fell to the ground and as I walked over to her she started gnashing her teeth like a cornered animal. What was the woman on? It didn’t matter. I left her there as I walked back outside. She started screaming obscenities. Even bleeding out on the floor her pride wouldn’t let her think I had won. I walked back in with that spear she chucked at me and she got really quiet. Most people probably couldn’t impale a woman with a spear, but I’m not most people. As I made my planned way out of there, my traps cleaned up another half-dozen guards foolish enough to follow me.
I’m too the top now. No turning back. That time I was caught on close-circuit camera. I wanted him to finally know who was coming to kill him next. He is a hunter, so I have to act quickly before he comes after me.
Sergei Kravinoff’s Final Journal Entry:
The Punisher. A simple man with a simple gun is who did this to me and my family. He killed them all. He left me alone. Maybe I should have let him kill me too. Instead I sit here with his decapitated body on the hearth, his head impaled to the wall above the mantle with the spear he used to murder my wife, and his heart lying in a drying pool of blood by a picture of my family on the table next to me.
He took it all away from me, and all I can take from him is his life. The scales are unbalanced. Such a vile and dishonorable man, it would be impossible to ruin his legacy worse than he has left it.
My soul is weighted by the injustice. The thoughts that have been dancing the peripheries of my mind have now invaded like a welcomed army. They deliver me happiness… no, not happiness… contentment; the offering of peace. Such welcomed peace they bring.
This tool in my hands is what this monster used to destroy my life. It should be heavy and burdensome, but it speaks to me of honoring the dead and of being welcomed the same.
I’ll never know peace or calm… or that elusive thing called happiness. But I feel as though I can know it now. That it’s nearby, just outside, perhaps hidden in the patter of the rain; the drum beat of the thunder.
Peace, calm, happiness, an ending.
They said my mother was insane.