The Atomic Punk
Apologies as I have been incredibly busy!
Original Character Design by DC-Lover; Story by The Atomic Punk
~ Chapter 1 ~
Good morning, citizens, some of you might recognize me as Tank, co-founder of the Greenpoint Guardians. Depending on whom you ask, we are a community watch, do-gooders, vigilantesâ€¦ or a public nuisance. The media refers to us as â€œReal-Life Superheroes.â€ Today, I am here to tell you that it can get very real.
Actually, my story begins twenty years ago. You see, I was a jock. Itâ€™s how I came up with the â€œTank.â€ The nickname is from my days as a right tackle. In wrestling, I was a tough hombre to take down. I was an All-American in high school. Our football team won state my junior and senior years. Empire State University took notice and gave me a full-ride scholarship.
This is where I have to back up a little. There was this scrawny kid in my junior high that everyone picked on. I roughed him a few times myself. It all started with a flick to the back of his head. As the year went on, I would flip his lunch tray, hit him with snowballs, even slammed him against the lockers a time or two. He transferred the summer before high school.
We met again at ESU. I was a red-shirt freshman when I blew out my knee â€“ during practice of all things. The guy who lined up against me was â€œTerribleâ€ Tony Clark. You know him. He was drafted by the Potomac Warriors in the first round in 1998. Today, prosecutors are arraigning him for murder.
The injury ended my college career. Forget about going pro. Not too long after, I was busted for trying to re-sell painkillers. My lawyer was able to get me probation, but the crime was enough to bar me from the police and fire academies.
During this time, I was going through physical rehab. The team nurse was none other than Gary â€œEl Geekoâ€ Proulx. The same kid who I bullied in junior high. He recognized me, too. Yet he didnâ€™t say anything. Instead, he worked with me. He helped me get back on my feet. When I asked him why, he simply said, â€œItâ€™s the right thing to do.â€
Gary graduated. The Med Center hired him to work in Physical & Occupational Therapy. I had dropped out and was checking IDs at Club Nicco. We kept in touch and soon became friends. Chats turned to our jobs and what came through our doors. I would see shady dealings in the backroom, fights in the parking lot, a few stabbings, even an attempted rape. Gary would tell me about dockworkers with broken hands, even bullets in their spines. Drugs were walking out of the Med Center.
After a few conversations, we noticed a pattern between Club Nicco and the Med Center. Many of my clients soon became Garyâ€™s. The signs pointed to the clubâ€™s owners and their associates. Greenpoint had a gang problem. The police went through the motions. They knew about the drugs and violence. However, they didnâ€™t step up patrols. There would be an after-hours brawl but no arrests. People stood silent as they watched paramedics load the ambulances. Even if someone wanted to come forward, the police wouldnâ€™t bother to take a statement. Gary and I agreed that the neighborhood needed new protectors.