The Emerald Avenger treaded lightly, muscles tense. What was going on? Why had Marco lured him to a cave?
Â A shot exploded. He hit the ground. Another shot rang out.
He searched for the source. There, behind the stalactite. Marco.
The Emerald Avenger threw a smoke bomb at the stalactite. The chamber filled with smoke. Marco continued to fire off random shots.
Marco gagged, but kept shooting. He had to go the last round. His gun clicked empty. The smoke began to clear. He started to reload.
Someone tapped his shoulder. â€œPut your hands in the air and turn around.â€
Marco cringed and complied. The Emerald Avenger met him with a ferocious right hook. Marco fell. The Emerald Avenger grabbed him and hit him again.
Marco shuddered. â€œFinish it.â€
The Emerald Avenger gave him a quizzical look. â€œWhat?â€
â€œYouâ€™re terrorizing the organization because of me. Leave the organization alone and take your vengeance on me.â€
The Emerald Avenger shook his head. â€œHuh?â€
â€œKill me. You know you want to.â€
The Emerald Avenger dropped Marco and laughed. He waved a finger. â€œNo way, Markie-boy. Now, I know the perfect vengeance. Iâ€™ll take down everyone in your organization and, donâ€™t worry; youâ€™ll be alive to see it all. There is no redemption for you, only the swift justice of the Emerald Avenger.â€
â€œCanâ€™t you just do what I ask?â€
â€œSorry, Iâ€™m the dark figure of justice. I donâ€™t take requests.â€ The Emerald Avenger ran out.
Marco shook his head. â€œIs there no penance?â€ He sighed, he knew full well what would be the necessary penance. Heâ€™d have to forfeit the fruits of his sin, which would mean forfeiting the organization, and he couldnâ€™t do that. The organization was everything. He could no more turn himself in and bring about the conviction of Frank Ross than he could turn in his own father.
Heâ€™d write another big check to charity for a quarter of a million dollars. Maybe that would assuage his guilt.
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