Malus: World of War I
Enter the Joker
Benjamin Chudnofsky VS The Joker
Stories you Should be Familiar With:
The Green Hornet
God of War
Kung Fu Panda
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 9:11 PM
The chaotic flames of death and misery enthralled the city of Los Angeles, a haven of crime and villainy. Russian mobster Benjamin Chudnofsky, the current kingpin, had once thrived in the city's bloodied state. He had all of the city's authority under his payroll, had personally killed his greatest enemy, the Green Hornet, and now ruled the city with an iron fist. The drug business he owned, Chudnofsky Industries, was now spreading through most of the country, his rivals being driven into bankruptcy with him to gain all of their profits. He only had a few rivals in the criminal underworld left and had formed a recent partnership with Frank d'Amico. However, he was now facing his greatest challenge yet in the form of a mysterious crime syndicate that had recently risen in L.A.
Chudnofsky sat over his desk, looking down at the newspapers and the pictures of his murdered associates. It was clear that whomever this man was had great expertise in the ways of a criminal and had a knack for manipulating the underworld against itself. Many of Chudnofsky's employees had attempted to flea the city, only to emerge weeks later hanging from barbed wire on a lamppost, with a Glasgow smile carved into their face. However, he refused to surrender his city. He would die to protect his precious empire.
There was suddenly a knock on his door that broke his focus. Frustrated, he gave the visitor permission to enter. The door opened, and Frank Scanlin, the mayor of L.A. and one of his few associates who had not left town, entered.
"What the Hell are you doing here Frank?! You had better had found a lead!"
"Actually, that's just why I came here. I put every cop and lawyer on the case, and one of them managed to get in a picture of the guy you've been looking for."
Chudnofsky made a sigh of exhilaration and relief when he received the great news. "Well, who is it?"
Scanlin suddenly made a look of nervousness and fear that concerned Chudnofsky. "Well, turns out we're up against one of the best in the business."
He then pulled a picture out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Chudnofsky. He looked at the photo and was shocked to see one of the most feared criminals ever who had disappeared for months. A certain clown with white skin, green hair, a purple suit, and a haunting Glasgow smile stared back at him from the picture.
"The Joker?! I thought the son of a bitch was locked up! And even if he wasn't, he'd have to make some strong connections to come here all the way from Gotham!"
Scanlin paced the room with nervous energy seemingly built up in him. "I called Quincy on it. He said the bastard broke out when they were constructing that super-prison."
Chudnofsky stroked his hands over his black hair and leaned back in his chair, trying to calm and relax his stressed mind. "So now I've got a clown trying to take my city. Any idea where he's going next?"
Scanlin finally stopped his incessant pacing and stood in front of his boss' desk. "I had the commissioner station cops at every bank in the city. They have the picture, weapons loaned from Xanatos Industries. Put cameras all over the city. And we also got a fingerprint from one of the guy's "calling cards". If the clown even sneezes, we'll have him on the electric chair in less than an hour. No court, nothing to defend him."
Chudnofsky finally relaxed a bit, but was still stressed for the most part. Then, after a thoughtful pause, he finally responded. "Screw the electric chair. Bring him here. I wanna blow the guy's head off myself."
Benjamin Chudnofsky had only gotten a couple of hours of sleep. However, the stress of this new threat overcame his ability to relax his stress. He had woken up several times in the middle of the night, until he finally succumbed to his anxiety to look over the photos again. However, the first photo he picked up was one he couldn't put down. How could he deal with such a deadly criminal? As much as he tried to think of a plan to capture the Joker, all that he could think of was the fact that his empire was on the line. He was so deep in thought that he suddenly pulled his double-barrel pistol when he heard the phone ring. He took a sigh of relief when he came to his senses and picked up the phone.
"What is it?!" he shouted.
"It's Scanlin, Ben. The Joker, we got him."
L.A. National Bank, 5:38 AM
Benjamin Chudnofsky had brought his red trench coat, his toughest guards, his double-barrel gun, his best polished brass knuckles, and his most exotic truck to the bank that the Joker had been captured robbing. He wanted to truly intimidate the Clown Prince of Crime before he killed him. As his driver pulled over to the bank, he stepped out. He held his arms out to his sides as his guards slipped his trench coat on. He then slipped on a gas mask, just in case the clown might have his trademark Joker Gas up his sleeve. And then, with a proud sigh of triumph, Benjamin Chudnofsky walked into the bank.
Chudnofsky saw people in body bags being pulled over to the corner by S.W.A.T officers on his payroll and Scanlin standing above a group of men with bags over their heads, talking to the one in the front. Then, as Scanlin turned to see Chudnofsky, he walked over to him.
"Bastard put up quite a fight. Took out a lot of our guys, but we got him." Scanlin said, seeming a bit nervous.
"MY guys, don't be naive. You bring a camera?" Chudnofsky responded, impatience slipping through his voice.
"I have my phone. Why?"
"I'm going to show this to the rest of the underworld. Once they see that I've taken out the Clown Prince of Crime, they'll be lining up to join up with me."
"You sure, Ben? Knowing a lot of these guys, there might be some bullets with your name on them."
Suddenly, on a whim, Chudnofsky pulled his gun and aimed it toward Scanlin's eyes.
"I killed the Green Hornet. It made me king of this city. I kill this damn clown. It makes me a god of an entire nation. Got a problem?"
Scanlin swallowed hard, slowly backing away without a word. He then slowly pulled out his phone with a trembling hand and said,
"Ready when you are... sir."
Scanlin turned on his phone and pressed the button on it to start recording.
Chudnofsky removed his gas mask, now utterly confident that he had won.
"A good morning to the underworld! My name is Benjamin Chudnofsky and today, I bring to you the Clown Prince of Crime!"
He then walked over to the man in the suit that he recognized as the Joker's with pride and vanity.
"Take this as a gesture. Do your jobs, be a good friend, your careers will be a dream come true! Try to screw me over though..."
Chudnofsky's proud face then twisted with fury and rage as he kicked the Joker in his covered face, knocking him to the ground.
"You're buying yourself a death warrant!"
He then continued to beat the Joker, first kicking him between the legs, then grabbing a nightstick from a nearby S.W.A.T officer and clubbing him with it. He stopped for a moment to catch his breath, and then delivered a final kick to the clown's throat. He was so busy beating his captive to a pulp that he failed to notice an eerie giggle from a nearby S.W.A.T officer still wearing his combat mask.
"Alright." said Benjamin Chudnofsky in between tired breaths and wiping the blood off of the nightstick. "Now for the finale. Get him on his knees."
Two S.W.A.T officers walked by and lifted the Joker onto his knees.
"Take the bag off."
Benjamin Chudnofsky grinned sinisterly, eager to see the clown's pleading eyes before he killed him. However, his glee turned to shock when he saw the face of a gagged man, in tears and seeming to beg as best as he could with his mouth sealed.
"Who the hell are you? Where's the Joker, damn it?!" Chudnofsky's face contorted with uncontrollable rage. He delivered a strong punch to the man's face, which caused the latter to yelp. "Where is he?!!"
Just at that moment, the S.W.A.T officer behind Chudnofsky walked up to him, pulling a tazer from his belt, and pressed it against the back of the infuriated Russian's neck, dropping him to the ground. As the mob don lied on the ground, barely holding onto consciousness and gasping for air, the officer that stunned him leaned in close, and removed the mask to reveal a familiar face.
"I'm right here," said the Joker.
Chudnofsky quickly shook off his tired state. He reached for his gun, but the Joker grabbed his shooting hand and pulled the pistol out of the tired mobster's hand.
"Don't just stand there, do something!" shouted Chudnofsky.
However, he looked around to see the men dropping their weapons, and the two guards that had accompanied him out of the truck lying dead on the ground, bullet wounds visible from all over them. Scanlin then stepped forward,
"You want me to keep filming sir?"
The Joker then spoke back, but kept his eyes on Chudnofsky.
"Oh, sure. Just come in for a close-up. Not close enough for the screen to turn red, but you get the point."
As Scanlin complied, the Joker pulled out a knife.
"You look really down right now, Chuddy. I don't want to be a goodie too-shoos, but beating some innocent guy I pulled off the streets isn't a good sign of mental health. I know. A good story would make you feel better. You see, a long time ago, when I was a kid, my uncle, a man working for the mob, used to love to take me down to these banks. You see, he needed a hostage for when he was taking the money out of the safe, and an eight year old kid seemed to hit people pretty hard. I admit, I was scared, but it was like a bonding time for the two of us. But one day, when the guy that my uncle was working for decided to lay him off, he got carted off to jail. So, I was taken care of my a nanny that he had hired. A year later, he came back, beard grown out, dark circles under his eyes, bruises from fights with prisoners. I go to give him a hug, but he takes out a gun and shoots my nanny. Then he points it at me. But then, some little twitch went around in his eyes. I think that he thought that just killing me right there wouldn't... hit me hard enough. So, he gave me two choices, the screw driver, or the knife. Thankfully, I chose the knife."
The Joker spoke in between occasionally licking his lips and looking away in twisted thought.
"So, he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me over to the knife drawer. He grabbed the smallest one in the bunch, stuck it into my mouth, and asked me if I loved him. I said, in between begging and crying, that of course I did. But he told me that if I really loved him, I would have come to prison holding a pistol to my head to free him. And after that, he tore the knife through my left cheek. Then my right. He then told me that if I loved him, I would also smile more at his return home. Then, he locked me in his closet for a couple of hours to think my lesson through."
Malice and hatred began to drip from the Clown Prince's voice.
"So, I gave him a surprise that night. He was drunk and asleep on his couch. I taped him down and thought about giving him a smile as well. But I thought that, just this once, I should be original. So, instead of doing that, I took the two largest kitchen knives in the drawer and stuck them into his eyes. I wondered if he wanted me to stop, but he didn't say anything. So I went to the drawer and got every knife I could find. I stuck one in his throat, two in his ears, and two of the smallest ones in his nose. Then I got some bandages for my face, sat down, and watched some Spongebob. My uncle never played another hostage game with me again. And I admit, I do kind of miss them."
As he continued to speak, Chudnofsky was too deeply buried in his terror of the story to even process his next words thoroughly.
"In fact, since I feel a bit nostalgic, I think I'm going to relive the memory. You two, hold him real quick."
Two thugs walked forward and held Chudnofsky up by his arms, keeping their feet on his legs to keep him from escaping. The Joker then went to the homeless person he had used to replace him and reached toward his belt. It took Chudnofsky a moment to realize what the clown was reaching for: an entire belt littered with knives and lent. He took the entire belt off of the man and walked toward the defeated mob don. For what was probably the first time in all of his days, Chudnofsky felt absolute terror for his life.
"Look man! You want the city? Take it! It's all yours! I'll give you all my money, all my guys, all my drugs, anything! Just let me go!"
The Joker giggled in amusement, then proceeded to sigh, with a passionate smile on his face.
"I already have the city, money's overrated, I can kill for drugs whenever I want, bang, bang, bang. Three strikes. Not doing so well. Now quit acting like a child and hold still while I give you your vaccinations."
Chudnofsky desperately struggled against the guards who restrained him, his eyes not leaving the two knives that the Joker was holding in his hands.
"Damnit man, you win! Just let me go! Will somebody fucking help me?!"
Scanlin was sweating, looking at the situation with horror. He moved to put his phone away. However, this didn't escape the Joker's notice.
"No, no, keep filming. I'm putting this on Youtube later." said the Joker.
Chudnofsky continued to scream and struggle as the Joker pressed the knives closer and closer to his eyes.
"No! Please! NOOOO!!!"
THE SUICIDE PEEKS, GREECE, 3:13 PM
Kratos stood over the ocean, pondering what his next action would be. He had known that the Gods would betray him eventually, like many of them had before, but his own father; this was a true challenge for him. He had already killed the two people most precious to him in the entire world. He did not want to kill any more of his own kind.
"You fight like a demon, my friend," said a calm, yet intimidating voice.
Kratos turned. He heard the voice coming from behind a large boulder.
"If you've come to die by my hands, you might as well come out now and make it quick for yourself," said Kratos, ready to fight whomever was there.
The man then stepped out from behind the boulder. Only, it wasn't necessarily a man. It was a snow leopard with the physique of a very muscular and fit man. He wore purple leather pants and had a cocky, yet experienced smile on his face.
"I'm not here to fight you," he said.
Kratos turned around all the way, still unsure of this creature,
"Who are you?"
"My name is Tai Lung. And I think that we can help each other."
Kratos walked forward, past the snow leopard, "I'm not interested."
Kratos continued to walk until the snow leopard continued to speak,
"We have much in common, Kratos."
Kratos stopped dead in his tracks and turned around.
"No mortal has ever dared to speak my name," his tone was gruff, but he was actually quite impressed by Tai Lung's daring.
"I'm not quite mortal," he quipped.
"What is it that we have in common?"
"Easy." Tai Lung turned away, walking to the very cliff where Kratos once stood.
"We were both betrayed by the ones we called 'father'."
Kratos squinted his eyes slightly. He still wasn't quite sure of Tai Lung, but already the two seemed to have much in common.
"What is it that you want? I do not work well with others."
Tai Lung chuckled, his back still to Kratos,
"I'm sure that we will work quite well together. I trust that you know of the oncoming war."
"It's of no concern to me. I've fought many wars. And I'm beyond any mortal," Kratos spoke boldly, but his face remained dry and bitter.
"The Sisters of Fate themselves have foretold this. The war will grow to engulf the entire mortal world. Eventually, they will rise against Olympus itself and siege the Heavens. It is then that the Gods will blind themselves in their cowardice and destroy the world of man."
"I care not for the world of man, nor the Heavens."
Tai Lung finally turned, his smile changed to a stern face,
"The Gods intend to finish you first."
Kratos spat on the ground,
"Let them try."
Tai Lung walked toward Kratos,
"There are weapons that they have at their disposal. Forces that they intend to unleash. I despise them as much as you do. They don't deserve to rule this world. I intend to give power to those who truly deserve it, to allow the mortal world to govern itself without fear of any higher power. The higher power that has taken everything from people like us."
Kratos looked down. Tai Lung's words hit him hard. It was the Olympians who had taken everything from him. Now that he thought of it, there could be no denying Tai Lung's words.
The snow leopard held out his hand,
"I saw what you did in Sicyon. An arm such as yours is powerful enough to restore order to this broken world. Together, we can end the tyranny of the Gods once and for all."
Kratos looked Tai Lung in the eyes. In them he saw pain and anger; that same pain and anger that consumed him every waking hour. They were indeed the same. It was then that Kratos put his hand around Tai Lung's bulky arm, and the latter did the same. Two lone warriors would now fight side by side in an ever-chaotic world.