“What exactly does your invention do, Dr. Connors,” Peter asked.
“All genetic material is made up of genetic markers. These markers control everything, from looks, to behavior, to basic body functions. We know almost nothing about these markers right now. My machine will change all of that. With it, we should be able to unlock the secrets of genetic markers.
“Think of the possibilities, Peter! If my invention works, we’ll be able to see which markers cause genetic diseases and destroy them. We’ll be able to look inside a pregnant woman’s womb and detect any birth defects or genetic abnormalities before a baby is born and fix them. And that’s just in humans. What about the lizards? What if we were able to find the genetic markers that allowed lizards to regrow lost limbs? Maybe then we could put those markers in man so that they could do the same.”
Dr. Connors voice petered off towards the end as his gazed drifted down towards his missing arm. Wanting to snap the doctor’s attention back to the conversation at hand, Peter continued. “You said that your invention might make him more dangerous. How?”
“Just like we may be able to do good with it, he might use it to make himself stronger or faster if he finds the right markers.”
“Is that what you think he’s doing? Trying to become more powerful?”
“If it was the same Michael Morbius that I knew, I’d say no. But I’m not sure what he’s capable of now that he’s that….thing.”
Peter couldn’t think of anything to say to that, so he wished his professor a good night and left. There was something he needed to do and it was probably best to go ahead and get it done with. He cringed, knowing that this would be more unpleasant than being thrown around by Morbius.
“You were right next to him and didn’t get his picture,” J. Jonah Jameson exploded when Peter arrived at the Daily Bugle. “You can get all kinds of pictures of that Spider-Man freak, but you can’t get one of the man who stole a piece of scientific equipment in front of you?”
“Sorry, J.J.,” he replied sarcastically. “I was a little busy being picked up and thrown out of the room.”
“That’s no excuse. Now, you’re still a witness to the crime that nobody else has, so go to a desk out there and sit down. I’ll send someone over to interview you. Even you shouldn’t screw that up.”
Peter did as he was told and sat at an empty desk. He didn’t just wait for the reporter, though. One of the reasons he had come to the Daily Bugle was to go through its database for anything about Dr. Michael Morbius. Since Dr. Connors said that he was a Nobel prize recipient, he knew that there would be at least one story about his supposed death. After a few minutes of searching, he found what he was looking for. Unfortunately for him, the article really didn’t tell him much more than his professor had . Still, he now knew where the building was located and he’d check it out once he was done with the reporter.
When he was finally free, a half hour wait on the reporter and another hour of repetitive questions later, he swung on his webs across town. No matter how many times he’d done it, gliding through the air at the end of a web was always exhilarating. The rush of the air, the view of the city from up high, it was all still magical to him.
His enjoyment of his travel was cut short two blocks away from his destination when he heard a man cry for help. He looked down in time to see a thuggish looking man being dragged into an open manhole by an overly white hand. The only time that Spider-Man had seen that color before was on Morbius. He swung down lower and dropped onto the pavement just as the manhole cover was put back into place. With a swift shot, he grabbed the cover with a web and yanked it out of its spot. He leapt into the air and fell through the opening easily.
The first thing that hit him when he landed gently was the smell. Sewers were supposed to be rancid, but this wasn’t the smell of waste. It was the smell of death. If it wasn’t for the fact that he knew a dangerous person was not far away, he might have stopped to throw up. Dozens of bodies were to the left and right of him as the sewer ran further up. The killer had taken the time to line the corpses against the walls so they wouldn’t block the flow. A sudden shifting sound made him look up ahead.
Twenty feet away, Morbius stood, holding the thuggish looking man in his arms. Judging from the limpness of the man’s body, Spider-Man assumed that he was already dead. The large volume of blood coming from his neck supported that theory. Morbius wore a look of satisfaction as drops of blood dripped from his fangs.
That last thought made Spider-Man pause. Morbius had fangs. He drank blood. Spider-Man had come across a real life vampire.