-Whitesky City Harbor: Warehouse Pegasus-

-November 25, 1:54am-

It was a cold evening, with shitty weather and a chill in the air that seemed to creep into Mike Harrison's bones.

A large, heavy-set thug with a taste for the whiskey flask he always kept strapped to his hip, Mike sat impatiently among the stacks of humidity-warped wooden crates in the harbor warehouse.

"Yo, Mikey!" One of the warehouse crew called out, catching his attention as he resisted the urge to drift off.

"What is it? It better be that fucking shipment, I'm freezing my ass off out here!" He roared irritably, spitting on the ground as he stood up, checking the pistol he always kept at his side. There never was a certainty that a shipment wasn't going to go wrong…and it didn't hurt to have insurance.

To his relief, and to the relief of the dockworker paid to keep an eye out for the boat, it was indeed the dropoff he'd been waiting all night for.

The tiny steamboat's captain, an old man with an eyepatch and a ragged hat, merely nodded at him gruffly they pulled up to the dock, his single crewmate pulling out the large cargo crates and helping the dockworkers offload them..

Neither of them knew what was in it, naturally, and they were paid to never find out. Mike, on the other hand, knew very well about the pile of heroin neatly loaded within. He couldn't say how much it was worth, but it was enough to earn a bullet in the head for even thinking about jacking such cargo and betraying the Knackers.

"You got your payment. Get outta here." As soon as the cargo was offloaded, he tossed a bag of credits at the old man, who merely called his crewmate aboard and started up his steamboat again, disappearing slowly into the night without a trace, as always.

"Now, don't make me remind you fucks what happened to Dominic when he tried to take a 'sample' of the product." Eying each of the workers as he pried open the crate, Mike examined the bags of grayish-black powder with satisfaction. With nobody looking, he quietly slipped one of the smaller bags into his pocket. It was going to be a sweet cut for him, and that meant a few nights living and drinking in luxury at the Black Rose. Besides, if the bosses noticed missing product this time, it was all too easy to "find" some in one of the worker's lockers.

"Start getting these crates ready for shipment. I want em' ready in half an hour!" Sliding the lid over the crate, he roared at the workers to get moving, but as he spoke, a strange thudding sound echoed through the harbor. "Huh?"

Before he could speak again, one of the workers slid to the ground like a sack of bricks, a pool of blood spilling out from the bullet hole in his forehead.

Mike's eyes widened, and he instinctively reached for his pistol and the cell phone in his back pocket.

"SNIPER!" He yelled out, flinching as another worker let out a screech of shock, falling to the ground motionlessly. The other scattered like cockroaches, leaving Mike in the open as he took cover behind the heroin crates. He could hear their screams of panic as they fled into the warehouse.

"Fuck, fuck, FUCK!" Fumbling with the phone, he hurriedly keyed in the number, uttering more curses under his breath as he was met only with an answering machine. Looking around him, Mike realized that no more shots had rang out...but he also no longer heard the screams of the dockworkers.

"…Guys? G-Guys? Any of you there?" Shakily crawling to his feet, he looked into the warehouse. The lights were out, shrouding the building in darkness until a sudden motion caught his eye, something thrown from the shadows.

Pointing his gun in that direction, he watched as the object thudded on the ground, rolling slowly towards him.

"Oh…oh fuck!" He felt sick as the severed head of one of the workers stared back at him, blood-soaked and crudely sawed off.

"Mike Harrison." A muffled voice behind him brought him back to reality, and he whirled around with his pistol readied, only to be immediately slammed in the face by his attacker's gloved fist, his gun swiftly taken and thrown into the harbor as he felt a knee travel between his legs.

Letting out a howl of pain, Mike dropped to the ground, clutching his groin as the figure standing over him grabbed him by his head, forcing him to look upwards before delivering a powerful blow to his face, enough to elicit a cry of pain from the gangster.

Dressed in black combat fatigues and battle armor, a black helmet and goggled mask stared back at him, with a white sabre-toothed skull painted over the mask. A sword and cross sigil had been painted on their pauldrons, the symbol even Mike knew as that of the Order of Paladins.

"W-Who are you?! I-I'll pay you! You can have the heroin! I'll give you anything! ANYTHING!" He begged, pleading for a life that was already over as blood slowly poured from his broken nose.

"You can't give me back the people you and your gang have hurt." The figure answered, producing a serrated knife from their belt. "Time to face your crimes, Harrison. Make your peace with the gods, you're about to meet them."

"NO! NO! NOOOO—ggwahh!" Mike screamed for mercy, his cries cut off as the figure swiped the blade across his neck, opening it across the harbor grounds. Letting him fall, gasping for breath as blood poured from his slit throat, the figure merely walked over to the crate of heroin, leaving Mike to die.

"You'll be my message to them. All of them."