Ghoul Fan Fiction Finale

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With five guns now swinging my way, I didn’t have time to check on the Punisher’s condition just yet. I hoped that I could get all five men with one long burst from the automatic pistol. After I mowed down the first two men, the gun began clicking. Damn. I was out of ammo. I dropped the empty gun and drew the two pistols I had in my shoulder holsters.

By that time, the remaining three men had trained their guns on me and opened fire. I was hit by a barrage of bullets. None of them really did any major damage to me. Most of my coat and shirt were gone. My left pinky finger and my right middle finger had been shot off. Although I wasn’t a hundred percent sure, I was pretty sure my hat was now gone too.

Their shots did nothing to slow my own attacks. My trigger fingers worked furiously, sending speeding metal at the jackasses who were doing their best to kill me. Two of them fell with new holes in their bodies. The third man had taken cover before I could get him in my sights. A metallic ring sounded off to my left and I remembered that he was the grenade thrower.

While the grenade wouldn’t kill me, being blown up would severely hamper my ability to do….anything, really.

I dove to my right and hoped that it’d be enough. The explosion came as I hit the floor. Looking back to where it had gone off, I saw that I was now missing my left foot. It wasn’t ideal, but it could’ve been a lot worse. My guns had miraculously managed to stay in my hands, so I made ready for when the grenade thrower moved from cover to check on his handiwork.

Sure enough, he peeked around the corner to look in my direction. I shot the second I saw his head. From the other side of the room, someone else shot at the same time I did. Grenade thrower’s head literally exploded as two bullets tore through it. The Punisher stepped out of the doorway he had been using for cover, the barrel of his assault rifle smoking.

There were some dents in his body armor, and some small cuts on his arms and legs, but the grenade didn’t do him any major damage. I assume he found something to hide behind before it went off. “What’re you doing here,” he gruffly asked.

“Saving your life,” I replied while rolling my eyes. “Now, could you stop being an ungrateful ass and hand me my foot?”

Grunting slightly in response, he did as I asked. Once I had my foot back in place, I picked my two fingers off the ground and reattached them. To test them out, I held up my right middle finger up to the Punisher. “It works,” I said.

He ignored my awesome joke and moved further into the mansion. We made our way through the rest of it with ease. I would go into a room first and draw all of the fire. That left the Punisher free to take them out without having to worry about being under fire himself. It was the most efficient fight I had ever had in my “superhero” career. Well, when working with someone without powers, anyway.

The last room we got to was the master bedroom. When I busted down the door, Dallos stood alone. He was unarmed and holding his hands in the air. “I give up,” he pleaded. “I surrender.”

I thought of the sadness I saw on Amanda’s face when her spirit talked to me. “He’s all yours,” I told the Punisher as I turned and walked out of the room.

I wasn’t sure what he was going to do to Dallos, but I was sure that I didn’t want to be there when he did it. Besides, the sounds of the gunfight had been noticed. Police sirens played outside the house. Flashing red and blue lights could be seen in the windows in the front of the house. I needed to get the hell out of there.

I took off my shirt and trenchcoat, since they were nothing more than tatters now, and grabbed replacements from one of the other bedrooms. The shirt was fine, but there wasn’t a coat as good as my trenchoat at obscuring my face. Grabbing the best thing available, I threw it on and vowed to put my ring back on as soon as I possibly could. I also tucked a change of clothes under the jacket for when I found a place without any cameras.

The police were only at the front of the mansion at that point, so I was able to slip out the back undetected. I took a random route for a while, just in case someone was behind me. After finding a suitable place, I put on my  ring and changed my clothes. Once that was done, I hailed a cab and took it back to my office. Just like last time, I walked in to find the Punisher sitting behind my desk.

“Did you honestly think I wouldn’t figure out that you had taken the file,” he asked.

“I honestly don’t care that you know I took it,” I responded.

“I’ve seen firsthand that bullets don’t do much against you,” he grinned as he pulled something out of his pocket. “I also saw you run from a grenade. You made my work tonight far easier than it normally is, so it would be a shame if I had to use this on you. Give me the file, and we’ll part ways as friends.”

If I had lips, I would’ve smiled. Instead, I said, “Crop dust.”

He began to frantically look around, but didn’t see anything. I could tell he was debating using the grenade, but there was no guarantee that he’d be able to escape the blast when I was this close to him. Within seconds, his arms began to droop. Not long after he slumped over completely.

“Paralyzing gas,” I told him. “A friend of mine got it for me from S.H.I.E.L.D. It works really fast once it gets into the bloodstream. Another benefit of being dead is that I no longer have blood, so it doesn’t affect me at all. I wasn’t sure that I’d ever need this setup, but I like to be prepared.

“I could easily kill you right now, and I bet that I’d be the best friend of many spirits roaming the city tonight if I did, but I won’t be doing that. What I am going to do is drop this off at the police station. I’m pretty sure that a lot of the people in this file probably have enough people paid off that this won’t hurt them too much, but I think some of them will face some time because of this.

“All I’m really sure of right now is what will happen if you get your hands on this: My city will gain a lot of new spirits. You may not care, because you’re done with them once they’re dead, but I do. I don’t want to have to deal with a lot of disgruntled mobsters that you set your crosshairs on.”

I walked over to stand in front of him and put my face right in front of his. “I know you can hear me, so listen up. You’re going to stay right where you are until the gas wears off and then you’re going to disappear from my life forever. I’ve heard you’re not to big about letting things go, so if you ever get the urge to come after me, I want you to remember something. I want you to remember how many people you’ve killed. How many of those spirits would help me against you?

“Sure, you could hurt me with that grenade, but you still wouldn’t kill me. And, once I recovered, I would use every one of those spirits to find out every single thing about you. With help like that, I’d be able to take you out before you even knew I was coming after you. Or, maybe I’d use them to warn every person you’re targeting that you’re coming after them. I suppose I could always scare away anyone who supplies your gear, too. There’s really no end to the things I could do to disrupt your crusade.”

I walked to the door, put my hand on the knob, and turned my head towards him. “No matter which option you choose, I will always be ok in the end. All you’re really doing is choosing how hard your life will be from now on. It’s up to you, Frank.”

With that, I walked out the door, hopefully to never see the Punisher again.

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Ghoul Fan Fiction Part 7

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Aa much as I wanted to run out the door to help the Punisher, there was some unfinished business to take care of here first. The fate of an innocent child was far more important to me than the fate of a man who spends his nights on a murder spree. “Why’d you take the boy,” I asked. “Are you, or one of your sons, his father?”

“What,” Cook cried, his face crinkling up in disgust. “God, no. I’ve known her since she was born. She grew up with my kids. She was like a daughter to me and a sister to my boys. It’s just that if I didn’t get him, who knows where they would’ve stuck him. I took him because I thought he should stay with family.”

I let my gaze drift over to Robert, who was studying Cook’s face. Making up his mind, he gave me a slight nod of his head. “Ok, Cook,” I said. “Here’s the deal. From now on, you’re out of the business.”

“Dallos will kill me if I try to back out.”

“After tonight, you’ll never see Dallos again, so don’t worry about it. I’m going to assume that, like McKenzie, you have a number of legitimate enterprises?” Cook nodded, so I continued, “Good. You’re going to focus on those and raising Amanda’s son. You will care for him as much as you do your own. I will have someone watching you at all times, Cook. If you do anything to hurt that boy, I’ll be back and when I get done with you, you’ll look worse than me.”

That last part put a little fear in him. I didn’t have time to stick around and press the issue. Instead, I took the elevator back downstairs and ran outside. A couple was out front about ready to climb into a taxi. Once again, my horrid appearance worked in my favor. Not only did the couple run away upon seeing me, but the driver did too. It was about time something went my way.

I punched the address McKenzie gave me for Dallos  into the GPS and gunned the engine, letting the navigation unit catch up as I went. I knew the general area fairly well, from my own time as a taxi driver, but I didn’t know exactly where. Another throwback to my taxi days was knowing the best routes to take to avoid traffic. It still took longer than I liked to get there, though.

The last few blocks were a little odd. Through the city, I moved at a frantic pace. Out here, among the large estates that made up this neighborhood, everything seemed calm and serene. I started wondering if I had come to the wrong place. That’s when the sounds of gunshots began echoing through the night sky.

A gate barred the entrance into Dallos’ estate, so I plowed the cab right through it. Or, I  attempted to, at least. The gate was a lot sturdier than it looked. It stopped the car flat. Still, the taxi did enough damage to it that I was able to squeeze through it. I ran the rest of the way to the front door. When I flung it open, I was greeted by one of Dallos’ men.

With one look at me, he dropped the automatic pistol he was carrying. “Oh, hell no,” he said as he raised his hands and started walking out the door behind me. “First, the Punisher and now some dude who looks like he’s right out of Night of the Living Dead? Nope. I’m done. I ain’t getting paid enough for this bullshit.”

I watched him go, not knowing what to do. That was definitely a first for me. Shaking it out of my head, I picked up the gun he dropped and went deeper into the house. Trying to pinpoint where the gunshots were coming from based solely on the sound was impossible for me. Having no ears has its drawbacks, folks. So, basically, all I was doing was blindly walking around.

In the second hallway I walked down, I found the billiards room. Going inside, I quickly located the flash drive behind the vent, grabbed it, and put it in my pocket. Before I had a chance to put the vent back, a shot rang out behind me. The bullet tore through my trenchcoat and out of my chest.  I turned to see another henchman standing there with a smoking gun. His hands trembled when he saw that his shot did no damage to me.

“We gonna do this the easy way or the hard way,” I sighed.

He replied by repeatedly pulling the trigger. The only thing he accomplished was putting more holes in my coat. Now, I was angry and he wouldn’t like me when I was angry. One squeeze on the automatic pistol sent a small spurt of lead in his direction. He fell backwards, landing with a groan. I didn’t see any blood coming from his torso, so he must’ve been wearing a vest. There were holes in both his left thigh and the opposite shoulder.

I thought about finishing him off, but just walked out of the room instead. As a general rule, l avoid killing people, especially since they might come back to haunt me. If this guy ends up going, it won’t weigh on my conscience. I gave him the chance to walk away and he chose to shoot me.

I checked my pocket to make sure that the man’s barrage of bullets didn’t hit the flash drive and breathed  sigh of relief when I found it intact. I continued on into the next corridor and hoped that the growing decibel level of the gunshots meant that I was getting closer to the action. I was.

As I rounded a corner, I saw that there were five men firing into an open doorway. Three other men lay dead around the room. Obviously, I had found the Punisher. I raised the automatic pistol just as one of the men threw something into the room with Frank. “Punisher,” I yelled to get his attention. “Grenade!”

The men, hearing my cry, turned their guns on me. My weapon started barking out seconds before the grenade exploded. I glanced at the doorway long enough to see nothing but a cloud of dust come out of it.

Ghoul Fan Fiction Part 6

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Once again, the Punisher looked pissed that I was having a conversation that he couldn’t hear both sides of. I didn’t care. “Cook took your grandson,” I asked, not really believing. “With you and Amanda both dead, your grandson gives him no leverage over anyone. Why would he do that?”

“I’m a ghost, not a mind reader, you jackass,” McKenzie retorted. “How the hell should I know?”

“He has two sons around that age,” the Punisher interjected with a shrug. “Maybe one of them is the father. Or, maybe it’s Cook himself, if she had a thing for older men.”

“They had better not be,” Robert fumed. “She told me it was some boy from school. I swear if any of those three even thought about touching my daughter, I’ll kill all of them.”

“Focus, people,” I hollered. “Let’s get back to what matters. We have a deal, McKenzie. If you tell me where you hid those files, we’ll go get your grandson.”

“It’s behind an air vent in Dallos’ billiards room.”

“You hid your files in Dallos’ house?”

“If I was trying to hide something from you, would you look in your own house for it?”

“Good point. Wouldn’t he notice that the air flow is being disrupted, though? There’s no way those files are letting air go by them.”

“They’re on a flash drive.”

“Amanda said you kept all your files on paper because you didn’t trust computers.”

“Do you know how many people in this city are in the business? I’d need a warehouse to keep files on all of them on paper. I was forced to make an exception.”

“It’s really annoying when you talk to people who aren’t there and don’t tell me what they say,” the Punisher grumbled.

“It’s not important,” I countered. “Let’s just go get his grandson.”

“I don’t think so. I’m going to Dallos’ house to get the files.” The look on my face must’ve shown my confusion  because he clarified, “I still heard your side of the conversation, genius.”

I thought back. Had I said where the files were out loud? Damn it! I had.

By the time I turned to try to convince the Punisher to change his mind, he was already halfway out the door. “Let him go,” McKenzie said. “We don’t need him. You’re immortal, right?”

“More or less.”

“Then you’ve got nothing to fear from a bunch of guys with guns.”

I stood up and got my gear together. Once I had both of my shoulder holsters on, and full, I put a couple of extra clips of ammo in my pocket. An old rickety jacket was thrown over my shoulders to cover the guns up as I walked out of my office.

When I was around halfway to Cook’s house, I ditched the old jacket in an alley and put on my tan trenchcoat, that I had been carrying underneath the other jacket. I put on the other garment that I had under my jacket, my brimmed hat, and pulled up the collars. My face needed to be as obscured as possible. Once I had it hidden as best I could, I pulled off the magic ring. Immediately, I returned to my actual appearance.

“What did you do that for,” McKenzie griped disgustedly.

“As far as the world knows,” I replied, ignoring the ghost’s tone of voice, “Jonathan Martin is just a regular private investigator. If a surveillance camera catches him entering, or even near, a place right before a gun fight breaks out, his life becomes far more difficult. For tonight, I’m Ghoul.”

“If you say so, pal,” I thought I heard Robert mutter, but I ignored the dead bastard.

The remainder of the walk was fairly uneventful. Most people ignored my horrid appearance. I told the few who didn’t that I was on my way to a zombie walk, which they applauded. That’s one of the great things about living in New York City. Nothing is considered weird here.

Unlike Dallos, who had a house out in the suburbs, Cook resided in a fairly swanky building in the city. Swanky enough to have a doorman, anyway. I had a way around him, though. All I had to do was walk up to him and show him my face. Naturally, he freaked and tried to run away, but I  grabbed him by the collar of the ridiculous looking jacket they made him wear and made him open the door first. Once he did, I released him and he ran away screaming.

After I got inside, McKenzie, who had been here many times before, directed me on where to go. I got on the elevator and hit the floor number he indicated. While I was going up, I pulled my guns out of their holsters, expecting trouble as soon as the doors opened. There was none.

The doors opened up directly into the living area, an entertainment room by the looks of it. Cook sat on the couch watching TV, with the infant in his hands. Obviously, he heard me approach because without turning around he said, “It wasn’t supposed to happen like that. Amanda wasn’t supposed to die. But, Dallos moved too quickly. I couldn’t stop him.”

“Where are your bodyguards?”

“I don’t have any. I’m a secret mobster, remember?”

He turned to face me for the first time. To his credit, he didn’t react to my visage. “I thought you were the Punisher,” he admitted.

“No,” I responded, “I’m much more charming than he is. I can, however, kill you just as dead as he can if you keep lying to me. Now, where are your bodyguards?”

“I’m not lying. Not tonight, at least. There’s nobody here but us. Everyone else is at Dallos’ house.”

Uh oh. “What are they doing there?”

“Dallos killed Amanda  because he didn’t believe her when she said she couldn’t get the file for us. He thought she was working with someone else to hide it from us. After he killed her, he said we wouldn’t need to look for her partner because they’d come after him for revenge. So, now he’s got all of our guys, plus some extra muscle he hired on, waiting for whoever shows up.”

Damn, I thought. The Punisher is about to walk into an ambush and I have no way of warning him.

Ghoul Fan Fiction Part 5

 

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As soon as the Punisher told me that he wasn’t planning on killing her, I should’ve known something was wrong. The aura of death surrounding Amanda told me it was coming, but I pushed it aside when I took her away from him. I still felt it, even if I didn’t admit it to myself. Had I listened to it, maybe she’d still be alive right now.

“Hey, Martin,” the Punisher snapped my last name. “What the hell is going on? Why were you whispering to nobody?”

“You know how the Hulk is green and can throw heavy things?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I got the green part down. I just can’t pick up cars. What I can do, though, is talk to the dead, and Amanda’s spirit just came to me.”

“You think you can talk to ghosts?”

“So do ghosts. And I have three of them here that want to talk to you.. A woman with two children. Do you want to talk to them…. Frank?”

If I were in a different situation, I might laugh at his facial expression. It was rage, confusion, and sadness all rolled into one. I didn’t have time for laughs right now. “What’s it gonna be,  Frank,” I asked impatiently. “You gonna talk to them?”

“Fine,” he conceded with a snarl. “You can talk to ghosts. But if you ever bring up that woman and the children again, I don’t care how unkillable you think you are, I will find a way to end your existence.”

Once again, I wanted to laugh. Oh sure, he could blow me up into a million pieces. That would certainly slow me down while my body put itself back together, but he couldn’t kill me. Trust me, more powerful people than him have tried.

“Fine,” I mocked his earlier tone.

“What happened to her?”

“All she said was that she left the place I had her stashed to get her son and that ‘they’ were waiting on her.”

“Who is ‘they’?”

“I’m assuming she’s talking about her father’s associates, Cook and Dallos.”

“She better not be talking about Cook. I made it very clear to him that nothing was to happen to her.”

“What are you talking about? You’re in contact with Cook?”

“I’ve gone up against a lot of gangsters in my time, but McKenzie was one of the smartest I’ve come across. Hell, I didn’t even know about him until about a month ago. The only reason I know about him is Cook. He never said how, but he and Dallos found out about him. They weren’t very happy that their old friend had been conning and using them.

“So, they decided to start making some side deals on their own. The problem with that was they weren’t as smart as McKenzie and they caught my attention. I busted in on a deal that Cook was making with the Russians for some guns. He started cowering when the shooting started. After I killed everyone else, he tried making a deal with me. I played along with it at first, but eventually we came to an understanding.”

“And what was that?”

“He’d tell me everything he knew in exchange for me not killing his two sons when I took down the family. They were low level guys who really hadn’t done much anyways, so I was ok with giving him that one. That’s when he told me about McKenzie and what was in his files.”

“Sorry, but I  kinda tuned you out when you told me what was in there earlier. I was shocked when I saw Amanda walk in. What’s so important that’s in those files?”

“Dirt on every mid to major organized crime figure in the city. I don’t know how he did it, but he got incriminating evidence on all of them. That way, if anyone pushed too hard to find out his true identity, McKenzie would blackmail them into backing off.”

“Well, I’m sorry to say, but I think that file is lost. McKenzie wouldn’t tell me where it was, and Amanda didn’t know.”

“How can you be sure that she doesn’t know where it is?”

“Because she hired me to find it. I asked her dad where it was, but he wouldn’t tell me.”

“I’ll tell you now,” a voice interrupted. Robert McKenzie stood behind the Punisher, staring at me. “But, if I do, you have to do something for me.”

I held up a finger to stop the Punisher before he started talking. “What do you want me to do,” I asked him.

“When they killed my daughter, Cook took my grandson. I  want you to get him back.”

Ghoul Fan Fiction Part 1

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Things have been a little on the boring side ever since I came to this world. Well, boring compared to my old life anyway. I used to run with a couple of superpowered teams. My first gig in this universe was my old standby of driving a taxi. Even when sitting in traffic, and experiencing other people’s road rage on a daily basis, it was never quite as exciting as battling it out with a bad guy. My power, however isn’t very useful in a fight. So, I’ve stayed out of all of the superpower business. Somehow, I even managed to keep myself out of that whole Civil War mess.

Still, I felt like my power was going to waste. My old pal Dane, the Black Knight in case you didn’t know, suggested that I become a private eye, specializing in finding things thought to be lost when a loved one passes away. I don’t always see eye to eye with him on everything,  but he was right about this one. Not only does it let me use my powers, but I make pretty good money doing it. There’s also a sense of satisfaction when I’m able to find what the client is looking for. If I’m able to give them something  from a deceased loved one, it helps bring a little closure for  both the client and the person who passed away.

The things I’m asked to find fall into two categories. The first is sentimental, a personal object that reminds them of the person that they lost. The second is monetary, money or jewelry that the person had stashed away somewhere.

At first, this case seemed like both.

******************

There was something unsettling about this place. I didn’t know if it was because I had never been in a closed restaurant before or something else. All I knew is that I didn’t like it here.

“Mr. Martin,” she said, breaking my uneasy thoughts.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I was trying to get a feel for this place. What did you say?”

“I asked if you had any questions for me.”

“Right,” I mumbled, turning my attention back to her. “Ms. McKenzie…”

“No need to be formal. Call me Amanda.”

I wanted to point out that she had started the formality by calling me Mr. Martin, but I held it back. “I’d like start by saying I’m sorry that you lost your father. Was this place special to him?”

“Very. He owned this place and was here just about every night.”

“And what is it of your father’s that you’re wanting me to find?”

“Any and all documents that have to do with this restaurant: recipes, supply lists, financial records. Things like that. None of it was kept in the safe deposit box along with his will.”

“Shouldn’t things like that be on his computer?”

“My father didn’t trust computers. He said that they get hacked too easily. Everything in the restaurant was done on paper.”

“I’ll see what I can do for you, Amanda. Now, is anyone else in the restaurant right now?”

“No. The chefs won’t be in for another hour or so to start their prep work. We’re all alone.”

That last sentence was said in a way that was very inviting. Because being dead puts a serious hurt on any romances I might have, I wear my appearance altering ring as if it were a wedding band to try to prevent situations like this. Before I died, I would’ve loved being hit on by Amanda. She was an attractive girl, somewhere in her college years. Nowadays it is just a nuisance.

“Good,” I said, making a show of playing with my ‘wedding’ ring. “Could you please leave as well? I need some time to look the place. Just give me ten minutes.”

If she was offended by my refusal, she didn’t show it. “How exactly are you going to find anything in ten minutes,” she asked instead.

“I can’t tell you that,” I replied. “The secret of my success will stay with me.”

She shrugged her shoulders and began walking towards the front door behind me. As soon as she passed me, the uneasy feeling I’ve had since I got here exploded in my stomach. It began radiating upward, so much so that I had trouble breathing for a few seconds. It was then that I realized that the feeling wasn’t coming from this place. It was coming from Amanda herself.

Now, it doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while my powers will flare up like this. It only happens when I’m in the presence of somebody who is going to die soon.

My powers won’t tell me exactly when, but given the intensity of the feeling, it was going to be soon. Very soon. Amanda reeked of death.

Spider-Man Fan Fiction Finale 

Morbius took two threatening steps forward. “You ruined everything!”

Spider-Man wasn’t sure what to do. After all, he hadn’t done anything to interfere with whatever procedure  Morbius had just done. The rage on the vampire’s face told him that it didn’t matter. Failure had angered him to the point where he wasn’t thinking rationally.

“I didn’t,” Spider-Man tried.

Morbius interrupted him with a snarl as he hurled a table at Spider-Man.

Normally, having a table thrown at him wasn’t something that he would be afraid of. He’d been hit by plenty of harder objects. This table was covered in chemical filled glass containers. Without knowing what was in those containers, or what would happen if the chemicals inside of them mixed, Spider-Man wanted no part of what was coming his way.

Peter leapt away nimbly, barely making it out of the way. He shot two streams of his web at Morbius. From previous experience, he knew that his webbing wouldn’t hold the vampire indefinitely. All it needed to do was slow him down, though. The strands did their job and tangled Morbius up enough that he had to stop to free himself from them.

His opportunity upon him, Spider-Man jumped forward and, using his momentum, landed a solid punch in the middle of Morbius’ chest. The vampire flew backwards until he crashed into the machine he had just been using. A small crack appeared in the glass wall of the chamber, but, other than that, the setup remained intact. Still, it was enough to infuriate its builder even more.

“If you have broken my machine,” Morbius hissed, “I will drain every last drop of blood from your veins before the night is through.”

The vampire lunged at Spider-Man clumsily. Peter jumped over him and grabbed ahold of the ceiling. Turning his head as his opponent passed underneath him, he saw that he was right to be afraid of what would happen if the chemicals mixed. At the base of the wall the table hit, smoke was starting to billow. A second later, a small fire appeared. Upon seeing the flames, Morbius became even angrier.

“I will not let you destroy what I’ve built here, Spider-Man!”

He wanted to point out that it had been Morbius who had thrown the chemicals, but he knew that it wouldn’t make a difference. Instead, he shot more webbing at his opponent. This time, the vampire mimicked Spider-Man’s earlier move and jumped over it. Morbius flew forward and crashed into Peter as he hung from the ceiling.

The two combatants hit the floor hard and began wrestling around. All of Morbius’ energy was put into trying to get his fangs onto Peter’s neck. All of Spider-Man’s energy was spent making sure he didn’t.

Morbius managed to get on top of him. Spider-Man was using both hands to keep the fangs at bay. The vampire took his hands and began trying to gouge the hero’s eyes through the mask. With his strength, and mask, starting to give out, Peter knew it was time to take action. He let go of Morbius’ head and quickly twisted to the side.

With nothing holding him back now, Morbius’ face shot down with all of his strength. After Spider-Man had moved out of the way, there was nothing between him and the ground. His face hit the ground with a hard slap. If the vampire had a nose, it would’ve broken. It was still enough to temporarily knock the sense out of him, though.

Knowing he had to strike before he recovered, Spider-Man picked the vampire up and hurled him into the machine with all of his might. A loud crash accompanied the sound of breaking glass as Morbius broke through the glass chamber. Sparks shot out of various electrical wires. Power to the machine flickered briefly before going out altogether. Peter smiled. It worked just as he had hoped. In that one move, he had both destroyed the machine and hurt Morbius.

He wanted to go to the chamber and make sure that the vampire was down for the count, but the acrid smoke from the chemical fire began burning his nostrils. Suddenly, his spider sense began going off. Using his webs, he got out of the room as quickly as possible. When he was about fifty yards back down the sewer line, the whole room exploded in a bright white fireball. The heat pouring off of it assaulted his lungs as the shockwave blasted the air out of him.

A couple of minutes went by as Spider-Man just laid there. His breathing became regular again and he lifted himself up off the ground. Slowly, he made his way back to the room’s entrance. He didn’t want to stay long. After all, the fumes of the chemicals could be toxic, but he needed to check on Morbius.

Across the room, now nothing more than one big pile of debris, Michael Morbius was exactly where he was when Peter left. Now he was nothing but a burnt husk, however. Without anything else to do down here, Spider-Man sped away from the scene.

When he was far enough away, he changed out of his costume and began walking down the street back to his home. Questions hounded every one of his steps. What had Morbius really been doing? What caused the explosion: the chemical fire or the sparks from the machine he had broken. Was there anything he could’ve done differently to prevent Morbius’ death?

He didn’t have the answers. All he knew was that he had taken a killer off of the streets and prevented them from possibly making themselves more powerful.

It wasn’t much, but it was all he had.

PepperJam Collaboration

I know it’s last minute, but that’s just how I operate. Here is the collaboration between Daniel (from Stray Dog Strut) and I. He, being a much more talented artist than I could hope to be, drew an image for me to attach a story to. Daniel’s picture is of the characters from my Star Wars fan fiction, Torr Nupp and Envy.

Since there are still some parts of the story that have yet to rerun (and not everyone has read them all), I will be doing a prequel story based on the awesome picture that he drew. Besides, it’s Star Wars. Making prequels goes with the territory. So, please take a good look at the amazing job he did at bringing Torr and Envy into the land of the seen. Also, be sure to follow him when you go check his blog out.

pepperjam

I don’t know if you know this, but it’s pretty hard to breath when a Wookie has grabbed you by the throat. It also hurts a tad bit more when he’s lifting you off the ground while he’s choking the life out of you. “Gee, Torr, how did you get to be so smart?” The answer to that will have to wait. I’m somewhat preoccupied at the moment.

“Is your face supposed to be turning that odd shade of blue,” I hear from behind me. “Just when I think I have you fleshpiles figured out, I learn that you can change color.”

I tried my hardest to turn around to face the speaker, if only so that kicking my droid Envy in the head would be the last thing I ever did. Tranduur, the Wookie that was less than pleased with me, was against this idea for some reason. My eyes were forced forward into the growling face of an irate hairball. Having people angry at me was nothing new. In fact, it seemed to be a fairly common occurrence for me (jealousy runs rampant in this galaxy. It’s sad, really). This time, however, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything to deserve it.

Just as my vision began to fade, I heard Tranduur yelp in pain. I felt myself falling for a second before hitting the ground hard. The metallic hands of Envy pulled me roughly onto my feet. “What happened,” I managed to croak out of my damaged larynx.

“The red idiot jabbed the hairy beast’s arm with one of his horns.”

I looked up to see Katellan, my Devaronian pilot, standing between me and the Wookie. Both of them were showing off their sharp teeth in, what I could only assume was, an attempt to scare the other one off. Neither of them moved. Bending down, I picked up a couple of my tools that had fallen out of my pockets when I hit the floor. At the same time  I let out a loud whistle. They finally turned away from each other to look at me.

“What’s the problem,” I angrily asked the thing that tried to kill me. (“He’s not a thing, Torr. Tranduur is a fellow being that has feelings.” That may be true, overly sensitive person who may be reading this, but anyone who tries to kill me for no reason gets no respect from me.)

After a lengthy bout of the grunts and howls that make up the Wookie language, Envy translated. “The hair-covered fleshpile says that you have dishonored him, therefore you must be punished.”

“How did I dishonor him? We’ve never had any dealings before.”

“He says that he is the major sponsor of this race and that your swoops skills are so bad that it made some of his business associates not want to watch.”

“I don’t get it.”

“He’s saying that your lack of racing skills made him look bad for allowing you to enter the race.”

“I’m sorry that I made him look bad, but that doesn’t justify him trying to kill me.”

“You wouldn’t be saying that if you had to watch you race,” Envy quipped. “I am incapable of feelings, but watching you attempt to compete in that race caused me considerable pain.”

“It couldn’t have been that bad,” I pleaded as I looked to Katellan for support. He immediately dropped his head, refusing to meet my gaze. Apparently, he felt the same. “Fine,” I conceded. “I’m not a great swoop racer. But, that doesn’t mean you have to try to kill me. I just won’t enter the race next year.”

Tranduur gave another series of growls and groans. “He says that it’s not good enough,” Envy translated. “He needs to finish what he started.”

“Remind him that if he kills me then I can’t work on any of the swoops that enter his next race. I may not be a good racer, but his races will be even worse if I don’t upgrade any of the bikes.”

That got Tranduur’s attention, as well it should. I am, after all, the greatest swoop bike mechanic in the galaxy (I’m also the galaxy’s greatest lover, ladies. However, that’s not important to this story). With a grunt of defeat, the Wookie waved me away. Using my bountiful deductive reasoning skills, I figured out that he said I was free to go. I instructed Katellan to take Envy back to the Quick Fix and get it ready for take off while I said one more thing to Tranduur. The Devaronian looked at me funny, but he did as I asked.

“Without Envy, you won’t be able to understand what the Wookie is saying!” I know that, dear reader. I don’t need to know what he’s saying. I just need him to understand what I’m saying, which he does.

I give him a long, drawn out apology. Tranduur is beginning to get bored, I can tell, but it’s very important that I take a little time with telling him that I was sorry. As soon as I feel like he can’t take any more, I abruptly cut myself off and offer him a goodbye. He gratefully accepts it and starts to walk away. Once he’s a good ten meters away, I call out to stop him. I draw my arm back and let the tool I had picked up earlier fly as he turns around.

A direct hit!

The metal hydrospanners smacked Tranduur right in his forehead. I wanted to stick around and revel in my small victory, but I was sure that my strike didn’t do enough damage to allow me to do so. My feet were at full speed by the time I heard the angry growl from behind me. I weaved in and out of the crowds as I made my way back to the ship. As soon as I made it to the top of the ramp, I hit the button to close it. “Let’s get out of here,” I hollered to Katellan through the comms.

Just as the ramp was about to fully close, I saw Tranduur step into view. Thankfully, he only stayed there for a second before the loud bang that announced that the ramp was back in the ship. I breathed a sigh of relief as I walked up to join Katellan on the bridge. “You need to pilot those things better,” Katellan sighed as he lifted the Quick Fix into the air.

“I’m not worried about it,” I laughed. “I may never win a race, but I’m going to have fun while I do it.”

“I wouldn’t say you’ll never win a race. I’ve got a good feeling about the next one.”