The Chase of Luke Cage was the hunt for Luke Cage by Diamondback in order to gain his revenge and kill his half brother and the New York City Police Department in order to capture main suspect in murdering of Cornell Stokes.
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Upon his returning, Diamondback tracked down Luke Cage on the Harlem streets where he walked with Claire Temple. Armed his special rifle with Judas Bullet, he took aim and fired a single shot, hitting Cage in the stomach and penetrating his seemingly unbreakable skin. Feeling the impact of the bullet, Cage felt the blood dripping out before he fell to the ground and clutched the wound in agony while Temple attempted to help him. While Temple tried to stop the bleeding, Diamondback chose not to kill him but rather continue tormenting him.
Due to the wound, Cage lost consciousness and awoke in an ambulance on its way to Metro-General Hospital, with Temple still caring for the gunshot wound. Although Cage insisted that he could not be on the hospital's systems due to being exposed. While Temple and Cage drove to the hospital, Diamondback followed them closely behind in his armored car. Before they could get too far away, he used his gun to destroy the bottom of the ambulance by single shot, causing it to crush into the streets. Dragging themselves out of the ambulance, Cage and Temple hid behind a car while Diamondback followed closely behind. Much to Cage's shock, Diamondback called out to him by his real name, causing him to realize that he was being chased by Willis Stryker. While Cage and Temple remained hidden, Diamondback continued threatening them until he escaped after hearing a police siren, telling Cage to keep on running while he chased them down.
They both went to a Harlem Women's Clinic where Temple attempted to remove the bullet from Cage's stomach, causing him great pain. Then Cage's phone rang so Temple answered it, finding Misty Knight on the other end demanding that Cage come into the police station, explaining that Cottonmouth was killed and they needed to take a statement as a witness had placed him at the scene. Noting that Knight was trying to trace the call, Temple hung up. While Temple tested Cage's blood, noting that his powers healed him and trapped the shrapnel at the same time, Knight then appeared, surprised to see Cage wounded. When Knight was called by Mark Bailey, she informed Cage that he was under arrest for the murder of Cottonmouth because on his gloves was found Stokes' blood.
Diamondback soon tracked Cage and Temple down and took aim at him, but missed and instead tried to grab Temple only to get stabbed in the arm. Cage then ripped Diamondback through the window, causing them both to come face to face. Diamondback used Cage's hesitation to kick him into his stomach wound before being thrown through the wall, discovering to his frustration that he was out of ammo. Diamondback then used his rifle to hit Cage in his wounded stomach, ensuring that he was in too much agony to fight back, falling to the floor while Diamondback prepared to make his escape.
As Diamondback attempted to leave as he could not kill Cage without another Judas Bullet, he also managed to grab ahold of Knight, who had tried unsuccessfully to ambush him, and stole her gun. Shooting Cage in the stomach three times, Diamondback placed his gun to Knight and threatened to execute her if Cage had even attempted to follow him as he exited the building as he walked out backwards. As he held her own gun to her head, Diamondback asked Knight to beg for mercy, which she refused to do, so Diamondback forced her down to her knees and placed the gun to the back of her head. But rather than executing her, Diamondback explained that he would continue hurting her later to make Cage suffer, knocking her out cold before escaping. Cage had Temple then discovered Knight had been knocked unconscious while Diamondback had escaped. Leaving Temple to care for Knight's wounds, Cage went after Diamondback to end their fight.
- "The crimes you went to jail for, the torture you endured once you were inside, all me I'm afraid. Well not Reva's death, I just like saying her name just to watch you squirm."
"You ruined my life."
"I gave you wings! I sent you to hell and you come back with superpowers! Ain't that a bitch."
- ―Diamondback and Luke Cage[src]
Running down the streets of Harlem, Diamondback had then found a empty United Palace Theatre where he shot off the lock before then entering, leaving a trail of blood behind him. Taking up his position hidden inside Diamondback loaded his Judas Rifle while Luke Cage entered the theatre and began looking for Diamondback inside. Finding Diamondback on the platform above, Cage saw that Diamondback prepares to shoot Cage again, but Cage managed to dodge it and destroy the platform on which Diamondback was standing on top of, causing him to fall down to Cage's level.
Getting back up, they fought a brutal battle with Diamondback taking advantage of Cage's wound to best him, kicking him in the stomach repeatedly until Cage was able to endure that kind of attack from him. Eventually, however, Cage was able to disarm Diamondback, and toss him through the door and sending him flying into a pillar briefly knocking him out before Diamondback got back up and escaped into the street with Cage following behind him.
Cage got out to find Diamondback, however, Cage found himself struggling to even walk to the wound. Finding himself now at a complete disadvantage, Cage was held at gunpoint by Diamondback, telling him the concept of the weapon he was using that the victim might possibly survive the first blast from a Judas Bullet but would be killed by the second, with Diamondback clearly hoping that this shot would finally be enough to kill Cage. As Diamondback asked Cage for any final words, Cage apologized for everything that happened, noting he loved him like a brother. Diamondback, however, revealed that they were brothers before shooting Cage and causing him to fall into a garbage truck which then drove away.
Searching for Cage
As Stokes' men were unable to track down the corpse of Luke Cage, Diamondback decided to confront them himself. Coming to Harlem's Paradise, Diamondback mocked their efforts by asking if his disappearance was due to magic. He then shot Darnell in the shoulder, explaining that they would have to keep looking until they found Cage dead or alive and brought him back to him.
Meanwhile, Cage woke up inside the truck, still suffering from the pain caused by the two Judas Bullets now lodged in his chest. Despite all the pain he was in, Cage got out as the truck had stopped and then began trying to make his way back to Harlem. As Cage had making his way through the city, he was suddenly approached by NYPD officers Masterson and Herrera who suspected him of being drunk. Cage claimed to be simply going for a walk, but the officers demanded to see his identification regardless. Having now been publicly accused of the murder of Cottonmouth and with Cage matching his description the officers asked Cage to immediately remove his hood for them.
Correctly identifying him, cops attempted to arrest Cage, drawing their guns and demanding that he get down on the ground. However, Cage refused to go down without a fight, Cage slapped Masterson around the head, knocking him out cold. Seeing Herrera was now about to shoot, Cage protected Masterson with his own body before pushing Herrera through the air where he crashed into his own police car, knocking him out as well, while Cage suffered some pain from his wounds. Cage then moved them onto the street before taking the car and driving away.
Cage managed to locate Claire Temple at her Train Diner. Cage explained that attacker was Willis Stryker who was his former best friend. Temple noted that his wounds are getting infected and if left untreated, Cage would die. Cage told Temple that Noah Burstein was the only man who could help him. After some convincing by Temple, Cage reluctantly agreed to go and look for Burstein for aid and they took car to drive to Burstein's address in Georgia.
- "We know Jackie wasn't hit by a car or anything like that, and this guy over here talking to Chang isn't just making stuff up, 'cause that Luke Cage dashcam video went viral."
"Well, there are no impact wounds. No glass, metal flakes or nothing. The impact is localized and focused."
- ―Misty Knight and Mark Bailey[src]
While Cage recovered from all his wounds in Georgia, Diamondback had then established production of new Judas Bullets in order to eliminate him. Mariah Dillard then explained that she needed more time to convince the NYPD to purchase the bullets to fight against Cage. Diamondback said that he would cause a few random deaths that would then be blamed on Cage to spread fear around Harlem, promising that he was personally focused on killing Cage.
Wearing the Judas Gauntlet, Diamondback wore a hoodie and followed Officer Jackie Albini. Stepping behind Albini and, when he questioned who he was, Diamondback said that he was Luke Cage before punching him so hard in the chest that he broke his rib cage and caused him to go flying across the street about 20 feet, landing hard on the ground, dead. As Diamondback made his escape, he began shouting out that he was Cage, ensuring that the people had someone to blame for the murder. NYPD organized hunt for Cage in order to arrest him and caught random people from the streets to gain some information about his location.
Saved by Noah Burstein
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Returning to New York City, Luke Cage learned from Dave Griffith that he was a public enemy having been blamed for attacking the New York City Police Department while he had been on the run. He learned there was a gathering in Harlem's Paradise where people against his actions were getting together, so Cage and Claire Temple went in to try and get a look first hand at what was happening.
In the club, Mariah Dillard held a massive press conference condemning the actions of Cage. During her speech, Dillard noted that Cage had seemingly murdered Cottonmouth as well as Jackie Albini, calling on all the people to turn against Cage, calling for the police to be armed to protect them, all of which Diamondback watched closely from the balcony without getting involved himself.
Diamondback watched from his balcony as Misty Knight arrived and began making her way towards his location. When Knight stepped into his office. Knight claiming that he was under arrest, Diamondback denied this before drawing his guns and shooting her in the arm. Before he could kill her, Cage arrived and blocked his bullets while chaos unfolded downstairs as the terrified guests ran for cover. Knight urged Cage to rush to the exit, but he told her that he couldn't cover her from every angle. When Cage show an opening, he lifted Knight and headed toward the kitchen as Zip and the other goons continued shooting him. Once in the kitchen, Cage barricaded the door by pushing a large fridge in its path, which could not be moved by any of Diamondback's men.
Shades arrived and advised that they should escape now before the NYPD arrived. Diamondback, however, refused Shades' advice to leave at all, advising instead that they freestyle the current situation, much to Shades and others great dismay. Shades reminded Diamondback that he only had one Judas Bullet, but Diamondback was not concerned, ordering Lopes, Sugar and Ty to take the remaining guests hostage and execute them if they had offended him, demanding that Damon Boone to taken upstairs to his office and that Zip collect a specific key there. Diamondback explained to Shades that his plan was to frame Cage for the shooting.
Checking on Knight's wound, Cage noticed that she was bleeding fast as Diamondback seemed to have shot an artery, so he was forced to push Knight's finger into the wound in an attempt to lose down the bleeding. Knowing that they could not stay there for much, Cage took Knight down a hidden basement in the kitchen. With the hostages in position, Diamondback and Shades moved to the kitchen door where they met up with Zip, who then presented Diamondback with the case that he had asked for which contained a grenade launcher designed by Hammer Industries. He fired a single shot into the kitchen, destroying the door into the kitchen. As his men stepped into the kitchen, Diamondback discovered that Cage and Knight were nowhere to be found. Diamondback then ordered his men to search every inch of the kitchen to finally find them both.
Meanwhile, NYPD led by Inspector Priscilla Ridley arrived to the Harlem's Paradise and cordoned off the area. With Boone in his office, Diamondback held a gun to his head and ordered him to call Ridley and claim that he had been taken hostage by Cage. Before Ridley could ask for his demands, Diamondback snatched the phone away and hung up. Boone tried to offer to help Diamondback get what he wanted.
While bandaging Knight's wounds, Cage watched as Knight called up Ridley, although she soon lost signal before she could explain the situation. Knight told Cage to get out while he still could, but he refused to leave her as she was bleeding out. Being hostage, Temple noticed that Candace Miller hurt her leg. Sugar saw her when she tried to help Miller and ordered her to get back. Temple managed to convince Sugar to let her help Miller. They heard Zip and Sugar's talk about Cage's location. Upon Temple's request, Miller pretended her in agony and Temple said that she needs her medicine from her locker. Sugar ordered Lopes to escort Temple downstairs and while they coming down she pushed Lopes away down the stairs and ran to find Cage.
As situation grown dangerous, District Attorney Blake Tower arrived to the scene. Tower told Ridley that the mayor had sent him as a way of helping both parties achieve a promising outcome. Ridley said that she did not need his help as all, as she was worried about was getting the hostages and her own officer to safety, while also seeking to arrest Cage, who was thought to be the perpetrator behind the recent criminal activities. However, Tower informs Ridley that Dillard has managed to sell specialized weaponry to the police that would be capable of killing enhanced individuals. At that moment, Diamondback had Boone call Ridley again and request a helicopter on the roof of the Paradise and offered to hand over half of his hostages in exchange. Ridley promised to do this and asked if Detective Knight was also still alive, with Diamondback claiming that she was, although he refused to prove this.
Diamondback kept his promise and let several hostages go. Detective Donnie Chang informed Ridley that some of the hostages' statements are not matching up. Most of them said that they saw people inside shooting at Cage, not the other way around. Ridley said that they might have this all wrong, but now they need to get control of situation before they could do something.
While they discussed what to do next, Cage heard faint tapping from the walls. Smashing a hole through the wall with his fist, Cage found Temple was still in the club. While Temple went to get some things to help stabilizing Knight's wounds as she insulted the poor work Cage had done, Diamondback was informed by Sugar that Temple had disappeared after attacking Lopes to help Miller, who Shades noted was the one who Dillard had bribed so Diamondback sent him to deal with it. Diamondback made an announcement to Cage through the speaker and ordered him to surrender himself and Knight.
As he spoke, Diamondback loaded his rifle with his final Judas Bullet before explaining that if Cage failed to surrender, then he would begin executing one hostage every ten minutes until he finally showed himself, noting he would kill Boone first. Knowing that Diamondback was not bluffing, Cage intended to go after him, although Knight suggested that he did not have to go and fight as Paradise was currently surrounded by the police. Cage, however, still left as he then told Temple to lay low and that he would come back for them. When Cage left, Temple treat Knight medical emergency.
Diamondback was then contacted by his weapons manufacturer who informed him that Dillard had convinced the police to buy all the new Hammer Industries guns from him. Diamondback proceed to continue telling his stories to Boone, explaining how he and Cage had been arrested as young men, with Cage getting off and him being sent to prison before committing his first kill and doing hard time while his mother died of cancer. Meanwhile, Cage made his way to Diamondback to fought against his goons. Cage was forced to listen Diamondback's story how his mother died alone while Stryker was imprisoned, something he still blamed Cage for. Collecting his Judas Gauntlet, Diamondback then hit Boone hard in the chest, throwing him backwards and killing him as his chest was caved in.
Diamondback ordered Shades to drop Boone's outside for the police to collect. Ridley ordered ESU Lieutenant Mario Green to assault the club. Having done the deed, Shades had gone to the kitchen to wash his hands of Boone's blood. While there, however, Shades had accidentally discovered the secret loose panel on the floor which he found led to the basement, while going down the stairs, Cage managed to cut the power across the building. The lights in the club were shut off while Shades still continued making his way down the stairs despite the sudden darkness.
Going down the stairs, Shades discovered Knight clutching her wounded arm which she gained when Diamondback shot her, as well as a large hole in the wall which Cage had used to escape. When Shades proceeded to draw his own gun and prepared to execute her, he was suddenly attacked by Temple, who knocked the gun out of Shades' hands before hitting him repeatedly. Despite being taken off guard, Shades managed to disarm Temple before moving to kill her as she tried to keep him at bay by kicking at her attacker. Before Shades could murder Temple, Knight managed to pull him away from Temple. Due to the dark lighting, Shades struggled to regain control of the fight and before long, Knight and Temple succeeded in ganging up on him before they pulled him across the room and slamming his head hard against a steel pipe, which knocked Shades out cold. Knight then proceeded to handcuff Shades to the pipe and left him there.
At that moment, ESU prepared to storm the building using their new Hammer Industries Assault Rifles with Judas 2.0. Cage managed to reach the main hall where he proceeded to knock out Sugar before he got the crowd of hostages out. Except Miller who still was held by Diamondback armed with a gun. Cage tried to talk to Diamondback and convince him to let Miller go free, but Diamondback traded insults. Despite Cage's attempts to talk, he was unreasonable. Diamondback forced Cage to choose to either catch him and let Miller die, or save Miller and let himself be killed by the police who were coming in armed with Judas Bullets in their guns.
Diamondback dropped Miller off the balcony before attempting to shoot Cage as he caught her; however, Diamondback missed the shot and was forced to run as the ESU stormed the building. While Cage was surrounded and captured by the police, Diamondback collected his equipment and found Zip, who promised to show him a way outside despite being threatened with a gun. Diamondback followed and walked free into Harlem while Cage and Shades were arrested by the police along with Sugar, Lopes and Ty and taken away for their questioning.
Arrest and Escape
Cage was led out of the club by the ESU team under the supervision of Tower and Ridley and the rest of the NYPD who were still monitoring the situation. While Knight was taken to Metro-General Hospital, she insisted to Ridley that Cage was innocent and tried to insist that Diamondback was the guilty one. Stepping outside, Cage spotted Claire Temple watching from afar and he mouthed her to leave while he was being put into the back of the police van.
As the van drove away, Cage used an opening to break himself free of his chains and made his escape. After running for a short while, Cage reached an alley where he was held at gunpoint by Officer John Polsky. Cage told him that he needed to go and find the man responsible for this and that he would rather die than go back to prison. The cop told him that he heard about the people calling Cage a hero and revealed that he was a frequent of Pop's. Choosing to believe him, the cop let Cage go and urged him to catch Diamondback.
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