Grep Backstory

Grep was born in the Five Points neighborhood of New York in 1827, which had close to the highest murder rate on planet earth at that time.

Grep was an orphan, but a lucky orphan who became an apprentice to a butcher slicing deli meat.  He was lucky because most of the city was in utter poverty.

The neighborhood was controlled by a low-level gang called the Old Sixth Ward, which was connected to municipal police and government as well as low level gang members. 

There was a group of low-level Irish Criminals known as the Lenny & the Top Hatters, who ran muscle for the Old Sixth Ward, doing things like shaking down local businesses, collecting taxes, and providing protection for the neighborhood from other gangs.

The Top Hatters started showing up at the Butcher’s store on a regular basis demanding money from the butcher in exchange for protection.

The butcher, a proud and honest man, refused.  The Top Hatters stomped his lights out, and took what he had from behind the counter.  They intimidated him into paying them a monthly stipend for protection from other dangerous elements in the area.

The butcher shop owner was driven deeper and deeper into debt, until he could no longer pay the amount they were expecting each week.

Desperate to turn things around, the butcher decided to stand up to the Top Hatters when they came for the next payment.

After refusing to pay again, the Top Hatters violently dragged the butcher into the kitchen while Grep watched from the coat closet where he had been hiding as the thugs and beat the Butcher into to a pulp. 

One particular Top Hatter punched him mercilessly. He had a golden eye and was especially tall with a boxer’s build and wore a top hat.

The thugs held him down, and the man with the golden eye seized the cleaver from the cutting board in the kitchen, held the cleaver up high, and drove it deep into the back of the Butcher’s hand as he let out a blood curdling scream, his hand detached in a bloody mess off his wrist. 

The Butcher let out a blood curdling scream, as the two thugs holding him punched him in the kidneys.  The Butcher slumped to the ground in agony and as he crawled the man with the golden-eye brought the cleaver up above his head and buried it into the back of the old man’s head. 

Blood sprayed everywhere and the Butcher slumped to the ground, but his eyes stayed open looking at Grep through the doorway in terror as the life slowly drained out of his body.

The men quickly emptied the register and looted the butcher’s safe and walked out of the store, laughing. 

Grep watched this as the three thugs walked away from the scene of the murder.  A hot anger began to burn in his head as he watched the men exit the kitchen door.

With the three men out of the room, he approached the dead body of the Butcher and grabbed the cleaver by the handle that was driven into the back of the Butcher’s head. With tears streaming down his face, he pulled at the handle of the cleaver with all of his might, but it was buried so deep he could not pull it out.

Grep ran back into the freezer, and grabbed one of the chains they used to hang pigs, hurried back into the kitchen, and fastened the chain to the handle of the cleaver.

Grep yanked the chain with all of his might, and finally pulled it free from the Butcher’s skull.  The cleaver splattered blood across his face as he pulled the cleaver free and he felt himself panting heavily. 

Grep exited the kitchen to follow the men, and saw the three of them surrounded by tongues of fire that were now engulfing the room as they used torches to light the building on fire. 

Grep wiped his eyes free of the splattered blood with his forearm and started breathing heavily.

It was then that he felt the strength in his hands from the hundreds of hours he had spent cutting flanks of meat. He felt strong, strong enough to do something about what had just happened.

With newfound courage, he started spinning the cleaver by the newly attached chain in a circle.  The men finally took notice Grep and turned to him

Grep hurled the cleaver through the air, still holding on to the chain he had wrapped around his wrist. The cleaver flew through the air sunk into one of the men’s chest with such force, it pierced right through his chest plate. 

Having sunk the cleaver into the man, Grep pulled the chain back towards himself, and the man stumbled across the floor towards him.  Grep headbutted the man as soon as he came close, and he went sprawling to the ground. 

As the other two men began their approach, Grep ripped the cleaver out of the fallen thug’s body, grabbed the heft of the handle and swung the blade blindly at the man approaching man.  The cleaver struck clean into the man’s neck, but not before the man was able to swing his torch like a club and thumping Grep on the side of the face and lighting his hair on fire.

With Grep’s Ears ringing, the man with the Golden eye jabbed his fist into Grep’s face, knocking him backwards. With his other hand, the man with the Golden eye drew his knife from his belt and slashed at Grep, who just barely ducked under the blade and lost the grip of his cleaver.

Regaining his footing, Grep was able to move quickly and ran forward with blind fury, grasping the mans jacked and driving him headfirst into the door with all of his might. The man with the Golden eye got stabbed Grep twice in the back of the shoulder, and Grep winced in pain but managed to keep his grip and pinned the man against the door and kneed him in the groin. The man doubled over, but delivered a sharp elbow to the back of Grep’s head, knocking him down.    

The fire raged, and Grep’s eyes looked across the floor, the one man still bleeding out from the chest, screaming in agony, and the other man who’s head was nearly severed, bleeding out on the floor.

The man with the golden eye kicked Grep’s ribs, and Grep turned over to catch the mans foot and twisted.  The man fell over, and they brawled on the ground. Grep recovered back to his feet and got into a position to block the door. The man with the Golden eye followed suit and stood back up, a full head taller than the sturdy boy blocking his way. 

As the heat intensified Grep locked eyes with the man.  He surveyed his surroundings and looked towards the window. He flashed smirk at Grep, and leapt through the window out into the streets.  Grep quickly yanked the cleaver that was still buried in the man’s neck on the ground, and rushed out the door to chase the man with the golden eye down.

As Grep ran out into the snowy street, the snow was so thick he could barely see.  He tried to follow the footprints, sprinting down the street like mad as the fire raged behind him.  After following the tracks for ten blocks, he ran into a crowd, where so many feet were shuffling, he could no longer follow the trail. 

He had lost him, and the weight of the guilt of not being able to stop the men who killed the butcher began to weigh heavily on Grep.  He was breathing heavily, taking deep gulps of cool air under the crushing feeling of sorrow as he walked back towards the butcher shop. 

Men from the municipal fire department were already showing up to put out the blaze.  Grep’s fingers and face went numb, as he watched the frames wreathing uncontrollably and swallowing the butcher’s store. 

On the ground, he noticed the man’s top hat had fallen off.  He picked the hat up, looking at it with a detached stare and feeling numb to all of the chaos that surrounded him. 

The only thing Grep could now hear in his head was dull ring and as he placed the top hat on his head, having not even noticed all his hair had burned off and walked away into the snowy night in New York.

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