Hidden 4 mos ago Post by AndyC
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"New York City,
Center of the Universe.
Times are shitty,
But I'm pretty sure they can't get worse."

'Superheroes.' Vigilantes and mutants and alien gods, jumping across rooftops and cracking skulls in the name of the greater good. Sure, it was dangerous, but it was all in good fun, right? They were our friendly neighborhood watchmen, pulling cats out of trees and keeping the bad guys in check. You might get some broken windows, maybe lose a building here or there, but unless it was a full-blown alien invasion or cosmic demigod or something along those lines, your Iron Men and Thors and Spideys always made sure nobody really got hurt. That's how we saw it-- cops and robbers on a bigger scale. It was all just a game to us.

Until last year, anyway.

It looked like your average showdown between Spider-Man and his arch-rival, the Green Goblin, on the George Washington Bridge. People were recording it on their phones, streaming it on YouTube and sharing the fight on Facebook. Millions watched and reacted when the Goblin was unmasked and revealed to be OsCorp CEO Norman Osborn. Social media lit up as a crowd-favorite hero grabbed his nemesis and impaled them both upon the Goblin's glider. The whole world saw the age of the harmless, fun-and-games heroes come to an end with the murder of an innocent 19-year-old girl named Gwen Stacy.

People had died in the action before, but never that deliberately, never in front of so many eyes and cameras. The shock of it all turned the City against the costumed heroes, and the Feds began to crack down.

SHIELD stepped up its surveillance, and now you can't walk a block without hearing one of their drones buzzing overhead. After anti-cape protests broke out into full-blown riots in front of the Avengers Mansion, the team closed up shop and moved to a secluded compound far away from the city. Reed Richards and his team have started finding more and more excuses to be on other planets, other dimensions, anywhere but the often-vandalized Baxter Building. Charles Xavier's kids can't set foot in the Big Apple without setting off a fight, either with SHIELD operatives or just your average disaffected New Yorkers. No one even knows what happened to Spider-Man-- given how badly he was injured that night on the Bridge, most people assume he died later that night, but others claim he's still out there. Either way, he hasn't been seen in over a year.

Even if the major players are gone for one reason or another, though, that doesn't mean there's nobody left in the game. Spider-Man had been New York's most active defender, and without him, other men and women have started braving the SHIELD crackdown to fill the void he left. Norman Osborn had left a major power vacuum behind-- both in the corporate world and the criminal underworld-- and there's no shortage of stuffed-suits and crime bosses looking to grab their share of the Goblin's empire. Neighborhoods are being carved up into territories, Hell's Kitchen and Harlem and Soho being claimed as the domain of one hero or villain or another, like the knights of feudal Europe.

And New Yorkers, like the serfs and peasants of olden times, are feeling more and more powerless, keeping our heads down and quietly wondering when the rules stopped applying to everyone. A knight might protect you and your family, but they might also chop your head off if they're in a bad mood. No one ever had to worry about Captain America doing something like that, but who can say the same about the Punisher, or the Ghost Rider, or any of the so-called 'Defenders' now?

Things are dangerous now, sure. Everything's up in the air. The city feels like a pressure cooker, ready to blow. Walking around the city, it doesn't take long before you get the feeling that we're all holding our breaths, waiting for the spark that sets it all off. When that happens, if these new capes really are the new knights of New York, it won't be long before we see if they're worthy of it.

-Ned Leeds, Daily Bugle

Central Arc:


Norman Osborn, CEO of the multi-billion-dollar science firm OsCorp, is dead. In a scandal that rocked the corporate sector, Osborn's death came moments after he was revealed to have been the criminal mastermind and terrorist lunatic known as the Green Goblin. His killer, the controversial vigilante known as Spider-Man, has not been seen in over a year, and is presumed dead from the wounds he sustained during the battle.

In the wake of Osborn's death, companies like Stark Industries, Rand International, Fisk Financial, Alchemax, and the Roxxon Corporation have been vying for OsCorp's assets, while the deceased madman's son Harry tries to keep the proverbial vultures at bay and salvage what is left of his father's empire.

The fall of the Green Goblin has also left a tremendous power vacuum in the criminal underworld. The Maggia Crime Syndicate, who had lost much territory to the Goblin, is on the rise again, as are prominent crime lords like Tombstone and Hammerhead, while smaller gangs like the Kitchen Irish and outsiders like the Yakuza and Triads mean to carve out territories of their own. As syndicates and street thugs begin to clash, assassins and hitmen are finding no shortage of dirty work, and the police find themselves overwhelmed, leaning harder and harder on the new SHIELD authorities to keep the city from breaking out into all-out chaos.

While full-scale war has thus far been avoided, New York has become a powder keg, and a new player threatens to spark things off. A mysterious and brutal new vigilante has been spotted in recent nights, ripping his way through criminal lairs and SHIELD checkpoints alike. Wearing all black and seemingly indestructible, this new player looks at first glance like the long-lost Spider-Man, but fights like a vicious animal, and thus has been given the code-name "Venom."




Eddie Brock

Luke Cage
Byrd Man


Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu
DC The Dragon

The Shocker
The Bork Lazer


Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by AndyC
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Gianino's Imports
Corner of Court and Bryant St, Red Hook District, Brooklyn
02:34 AM

She's falling.

The night air was hot, stuffy, not even so much as a breeze to stir up the humidity that sat heavy like a damp blanket over the district. Any stars that would be out were drowned out from the dull orange of street lights, the sky a flat black washed in a dim brown haze. In the distance, a red-eye commuter train rumbled past, likely carrying no one other than a dead-eyed conductor and a few drunks and transients. A dog, woken from its sleep by the train, barked in protest.

It was the closest thing one could get to silence in the City.

"Christ, I'm sweatin' my balls off here," griped Tony Campaea, wiping at the glossy sheen that had settled on his brow. "How much of this shit is there?"

"Enough that you should keep your mind on moving it instead of whining," growled Ronnie Tataglia, grunting as he and Frankie Zambrano hoisted another large crate from the loading dock into the trailer of a nondescript semi. "About a dozen more of the big ones left in the basement, and six or seven cases of--hey!"

Louie Laguna stopped in his tracks, partway through slinging a small metallic case into the semi trailer.

"What'd I tell you?" Ronnie snapped at him. "Big crates and money bags go in the truck. The smaller cases go in the van."

"Right, right," Louie nodded, trudging towards an unmarked windowless gray van.

"I don't get it," Tony said as they headed back into the warehouse. "Why're we splittin' this up anyway? Ain't it all going to the boss?"

Ronnie shook his head.

"The stuff in the crates and the money all goes to the boss," he said. "Hammerhead wants the smaller cases going to some outfit he's got going on upstate."

"What's in 'em?"

"I don't know, and I don't want to know," Ronnie said as they boarded a cramped service elevator and descended into the basement of Gianino's Imports. "All I know is I wanna get this shit moved out. I just wanna go back to makin' money, not cleanin' up after psychos in Halloween masks."

Years ago, this place was a front for Silvio Manfredi's smuggling operations, bringing in or shipping out whatever goods the Maggia Crime Syndicate needed at the moment-- guns, drugs, people, anything the market demanded. The Maggia took a pounding and lost half of Brooklyn, though, when a couple of new players moved in: a pair of masked freaks who went by Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Spider-Man was one of the hero-type freaks, crippling Manfredi's operations and running them out of town to the point that Silvio himself had to leave the country. Meanwhile, the Goblin simply moved in everywhere the Maggia moved out, turning their old fronts and safehouses into caches where he would store weapons and gizmos and whatever other crazy things he was saving for later.

That was over, though. The Green Goblin was dead, and Spider-Man probably dead with him. Over the last year, Manfredi had returned to New York, and was hell-bent on taking back his old territory. His right-hand man Hammerhead had been put in charge of clearing out all of the Goblin's hideouts so the Maggia could return to business as usual.

"So why's Hammerhead not bringing everything to Silvermane, huh?" Tony asked, squatting down to lift another crate. "Think he's tryin' to pull a fast one on the boss? Would that make us--"

"Tony, enough with the questions already!" Ronnie barked, his patience running thin. "We ain't got all night, and I ain't in the mood to--"


Tony and Ronnie stopped dead in their tracks and looked up, towards the ground floor of the warehouse. Down in the basement, the scream had been muffled, but they'd heard it all the same.


"I said enough with the questions," Ronnie cut him off, dropping the crate and pulling a pistol from the waistband of his pants. Following his lead, Tony did the same, producing a chrome-plated revolver. Ronnie nodded his head towards the stairwell, and the two made their way back to the ground floor as quietly as possible.

As they headed up the stairs, there was another scream, followed by several loud POPs and a chatter of automatic fire. An intruder was bad enough; those gunshots would bring in cops, or worse, capes. A year ago, the worst you had to worry about when the super-types came around was a bloody nose, maybe a couple of teeth knocked loose. You took your licks and stayed down until the cops came to round everyone up, then the boss would post bail and you'd be back to work in a couple of weeks. After Spider-Man went down, though, they started getting mean. Started snapping limbs, breaking backs, leaving people twisted up like pretzels or with their brains beaten to jelly.

Opening the door with as little noise as he could manage, Ronnie poked his head out, sweeping the warehouse with his pistol. He heard a pained groan from the other side of a shipping container, and gestured for Tony to check it out.

Tony nodded and crept alongside the shipping container, the chrome hand-cannon trembling in his grip. Rounding the corner, he saw a figure trembling on the floor.

"Aww, Jesus," he muttered. "Louie, you all right?"

It was a stupid question, but it was all he could think to say. Louie Laguna lay on the concrete in a pool of blood, wide-eyed and pale, his arm snapped backwards. Through dark red shreds of mangled flesh, Tony could see white shards of bone sticking out. His legs were bent in unnatural ways too, probably broken in several places. What could have--

"No, nonono, NOOOO!!!!!"

A figure blurred through the air, and letting out a startled yelp, Tony squeezed the trigger of his revolver. The shock of the hand-cannon going off shot a wave of pain up his arm, the kick nearly breaking his wrist. The BANG was so loud his ears began to ring, the noise of the chaos surrounding him muffled and drowned as if he were underwater.

His heart pounding and his senses reeling, Tony frantically spun from one side to the other, pointing the gun at nothing each time, until he finally saw the figure that had flown at him crumpled in a heap ten paces behind him.....

It was Sal Minelli, a pool of red the size of a basketball spreading from his head. Sal was enormously fat, nearly 400 pounds, and whoever had broken Louie's arms and legs had thrown him like a football. In his panic, Tony had blown a baseball-sized hole in Sal's thigh, and as crimson gushed out from the wound, the big man had gone too far into shock to scream.

"Jesus Christ, Tony, you stupid fu--" Ronnie began before being cut off by another deafening chatter of automatic fire. Frankie Zambrano, shrieking like a man possessed, emptied the clip of his Uzi into thin air. As the gunfire gave way to the click of an empty magazine, Tony saw something, what looked like a long black whip of some kind, lash out from the rafters and snare itself around Frankie's arm. It pulled up, yanking the fear-crazed Frankie upwards into the shadows, where a loud crunch cut his screams short.

"Hell with this," Ronnie muttered, "I'm gettin' the hell outta here!"

Ronnie sprinted for the loading dock, and realizing he was about to be left alone, Tony broke out into a run behind him. They were maybe five paces from the door when a figure dropped down from the ceiling, putting itself between the two hoods and their exit.

The figure was maybe five-and-a-half feet tall, thin but with chiseled muscles under a skin that looked like it was made of tar or oil. Light seemed to just fall into it, like a moving shadow, the only parts not flat black were a gleaming white emblem of a spider on its chest, and a pair of flashing white eyes--the only features visible on its face.

"I.....I heard about you," Ronnie sputtered, raising his pistol. "New guy, they're callin' Venom, right? Tryin' to replace Spider-Man or somethin'?"

The thing he called 'Venom' didn't answer. It cocked its head to one side, like a curious dog, but otherwise made no move as Ronnie pulled back the hammer of his gun.

"Well he's dead, asshole," he said, taking aim "an' so are you!"

With that, Ronnie squeezed the trigger, and again Tony's ears rang from the noise. He saw a splatter of black goo spray from the front of Venom's head, a perfect shot right between its eyes....and the thing didn't even flinch.

"What....what the--"

Suddenly springing to life, Venom lashed out an arm, which shot forth one of those whips of black goo and pulled Ronnie towards him. With its free arm, the black figure slammed a fist into Ronnie's face, bone and cartilage giving way with a sickening crunch. Ronnie Tataglia didn't make so much as a whimper as he crumpled to the ground.

Tony Campaea turned to flee back into the warehouse, but he felt something snag his feet, and a second later, his world burst into stars as his face hit the concrete. Scrambling onto his back, he saw Venom turning away from him, its attention now turned towards the crates they had been loading onto the semi.

The black figure ripped off the top of a crate, wood and nails that might as well have been tissue paper, and reached inside. Tony saw the creature produce a small, metallic orange sphere about the size of a softball. It regarded the orange ball with the same curiosity that it had looked at Frankie before smashing his face, then its hands began to tremble. Whatever was in those crates, it made that Venom thing very upset.

"Please," Tony begged, "whatever you're doin', just.....just let us go. We're not hurtin' nobody, we're just--"

Venom's head snapped back towards Tony, white eyes flashing, and Tony froze, too terrified to finish his thought.

Still carrying the orange ball in its quaking hand, Venom stalked back towards the stairwell to the basement.

The creature pressed a button on the side of the orange ball, and Tony saw it light up. Across one side, sickly green lights made the shape of a ghoulish smiling face.....and Tony's eyes went wide with horror.

This place was an old Goblin hideout. Which meant those crates were full of the Goblin's favorite weapon....

"Your friend is right," it said, a garbled, gurgling voice bubbling up from its pitch-black skin before tossing the Pumpkin Bomb down the stairs towards the dozen more crates filled with high explosives. "Spider-Man is dead."

Moments later, the night sky lit up as Gianino's Imports erupted into flames. The night air began to wail with the sound of police sirens, the staccato chopping of SHIELD helicopters....and the screams of men burning.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Byrd Man
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There's nowhere like it in the world. A bunch of Dutch settlers founded it as a village way back in 1658, named if after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Back in the day everyone from Alexander Hamilton to Harry Houdini called Harlem home. It's where Jim Reese Europe invented Jazz music. It's where Norman Rockwell, that guy who painted all those pictures of happy white people, was raised.

In the early 20th century black people began flocking here in en masse to escape the Jim Crow south. Sometime during that migration, a boy from South Carolina name of Joe Lucas made his way up to Harlem. He'd be my great grandfather. He was here during the Renaissance, when Louis Armstrong blew his horn and Langston Hughes talked about a dream deferred. But there was plenty of bad with the good. For a Marcus Garvey or Lena Horne you had gangsters like Queenie St. Clair, the Madam of Harlem herself, and Bumpy Johnson who ran numbers and pushed Horse for the mob.

The sixties brought Frank Lucas, no relation, the man who ran the East Coast heroin trade and forced the mob to bend the knee. Civil Rights and rent strikes existed concurrent to Lucas' drug empire, and his cheap and strong heroin gutted the neighborhood. Junkies and unemployment ran rampant over the years, anybody with any kind of money got while the getting was good. Upper and middle class flight meant that only the poorest and most desperate will still around in the eighties.

That was when I entered the scene. Crack was king when I was growing up, plenty of people I went to school with and knew around the neighborhood chased the rock until there wasn't anything left of them but skin and bones, so empty you could hear their insides echo when they walked. Those of us that didn't smoke it sold it. I was sixteen years old when I left school for good to work on a corner. Only took four years on the streets before I got pinched and sent up the river. The funny thing was that, for all the shit I did as a corner boy, I actually went to jail for something I didn't do. Ten years away and I came back to a different Harlem.

It was still tough and dangerous, but it was on the comeback. Good people were tired of how it was around here and wanted to change it. They're trying to turn things around without reverting to the soul destroying process of gentrification, but it isn't easy. There's a lot of money to be had in that game. The temptation to gut that old rowhouse and turn it into a yuppie condo is fierce. But if there's one thing I've learned about Harlem over the years is that the people are tough. Black don't crack, and it certainly don't run.

Through good times and bad times, Harlem still survives.


Pop’s Barbershop

“I’m glad Mello’s gone!”

That statement from Mo sent the four other men in the barbershop into general pandemonium. Pop’s took time from the plate of food in his hands to call Mo a bum, while the Boykins brothers just booed. Me? I just shook my head and gave him a thumbs down.
“Overrated!” Mo said definitely. “He can score, but he can’t win. Give me five guys like Porzingis over one Mello any day.”

The mention of the lanky European center sent the Boykins brothers into a frenzy.

Barry Boykins. “You’re talking out your as—“

Barry stopped short when he saw Pop staring at him over his barbecue, the swear jar right beside his chair and filled to the brim with money.

“--You’re crazy,” Barry finished with a grin. “

“He’s got a point,” I said with a shrug. “Mello never played hard on D, never passed, never did anything but shoot. You can’t build a team around that.”

“What about Jordan?” Bobby Boykins asked.

“Are you comparing Mello to Jordan?” Mo shook his head. “Get out of here with that sh—stuff. Mello ain’t a franchise guy. He’s a ballhog, which is why the Knicks were losing even though he was dropping points.”

“Yeah,” said Pops. “And it’s also why we lose to Sherm’s every year. Mo thinks he’s Mello.”

“But his game is more like Jello,” Bobby Boykins said with a giggle.

That sent the group of men into another round of bickering and arguing. I opted out, looking out the window with a grin on my face and enjoying an evening off. Pops was one of the very few places I could just hang and be one of the guys. In here, nobody thought of me as Harlem’s hero.

There was a pretty steady rain outside that night. That's usually good news for everyone. Rain means the gangbangers are too scared to go out, lest they get their sneakers dirty, and the cops aren't up to getting out of their cruisers unless they really need to. They avoid banging people up on the small fry stuff that really pisses off communities. My previous observation was contradicted almost at once. Two NYPD patrol cars with rooftop lights flashing sped by the barbershop, basking the small room in an eerie glow before they disappeared further down the street. Like I said, the rain is usually good news but not always.

Suddenly, all eyes fell on me and the din from a few moments ago was now a silence that seemed to be just as loud as their yelling. I stood up, held out a fist that Pops tapped with his own, and looked back at Mo and the Boykins twins with a grin.

“Joakim Noah is gonna be the next great Knick.”

That sent the four of them into a new round of debate as I walked out into the rain and pulled my yellow hoodie up over my head. There weren't many people on the street, but the few that were all headed in the same direction: down the street and around the corner. The corner blocked the sight, but I could see the blue and red flash of police lights reflecting off the buildings.

A few minutes later and I stood in front of police tape. My hood kept my head dry against the slow pitter patter of rain. The crime scene was at the playground just around the corner from Pop’s. Two uniformed cops kept the small crowd gathering back from the scene, but everyone could see through them to the white tarp covering a dead body sprawled out in a sandbox. There were murmurs and talk rippling through the crowd. I didn't take part, but I listened and got the gist. The body under the tarp was Bobbito Garcia, seventeen years old and a nearby resident. Someone said he had his girlfriend with him when he got shot, someone said they heard the shots and turned around to see Bobbito falling to the ground and an unknown shooter running from the scene.

A detective in a cheap suit walked through the crowd, flashing a badge. I started to fade back into the crowd to avoid being seen. The less police attention I attracted, the better. From my vantage point I could see the crime scene and the few places the officers had protected from the rain. Bobbito's body was covered, as was a small space I assumed covered up the murder weapon. A plastic baggie lay on the ground with a small card inside. I couldn't make out the words scribbled on the card, but I saw the logo in the middle of the card as clear as day. A bright red crown, dripping blood.

Who murders a seventeen year old kid execution style and leaves a calling card?

I didn't know, but I was going to find out.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by AndyC
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The former site of Gianino's Imports
Corner of Court and Bryant St, Red Hook District, Brooklyn
03:05 AM

"Jesus," said Detective Jean DeWolff as she ducked under the police tape, flashing her badge to the approaching officers to let her pass. "What have got here?"

The area was still a cacophony of sound and heat, the flashing strobes of lights from police cruisers, fire trucks, and ambulances assaulting her eyes, to say nothing of the towering inferno where Gianino's Imports used to be. Bright yellow flames gave way to thick black smoke which poured into the night sky, filling the air with an acrid smell. Jets of water arced through the air and into the blaze as crews of firefighters desperately tried to contain it. Given the reports of the fire being started by an explosion, no one was too eager to get any closer than was absolutely necessary.

"A real shit-show, that's what we've got," called out Sergeant Francis Tork, hands in the pockets of his old olive-drab army jacket as he approached DeWolff. "Reports of gunfire, possibly an armed robbery, then boom, the whole goddamn place goes up like it was hit by a howitzer."

"Witnesses?" DeWolff asked.

"Not at this hour," Tork shook his head.

"Any survivors?"

"Ehh, if you can call them that," he shrugged. "Five guys, all completely FUBAR. Broken bones, severe burns all over, all total vegetables; it's all the EMTs can do to keep them alive. An' if they're not moved to the hospital soon, they're not gonna make it."

"Damn it," Jean cursed, staring at the inferno. "Any IDs on them?"

"Nothing official," Tork said, "but one of them's Sal Minelli, one of Hammerhead's enforcers. His face looks like a good salsa right now, but I'd recognize that fatass any day. Chances are the rest of them are Hammherhead boys, too."

"Think it was a rival gang, then?"

Tork shrugged again. "Could've been a hundred different things. We won't know for sure until either they get that fire out, or one of the roasted vegetables starts talking."

Jean gave him a slight scowl for his rudeness, which Tork didn't acknowledge.

"Who got them out? One of ours, or FDNY?"

"Well, that's the interesting thing," Tork said. "Nobody got them out. By the time we were on the scene, they'd already been dragged about a hundred yards clear."

Jean's brow furrowed, and she turned to Tork with a look of confusion.

"Who could've done that in time?" she asked. "Someone gets the drop on these guys, beats them within an inch of their lives, and leaves them for dead.....then, what, some good Samaritan pulls them out at the last second?"

"Might've been a cape," Tork suggested. "I mean, I know they're not really welcome in the city now, but that doesn't stop 'em."

"Maybe," Jean said, unconvinced. "This place....it used to be an old Silvermane front, right?"

Tork nodded.

"And Silvermane was pushed out of Brooklyn by the Goblin...."

"What're you thinkin', DeWolff?" Tork asked, an eyebrow raised.

Both of them flinched as a small explosion punched through the air, sending debris flying and firefighters scrambling to regain control of the situation.

"I'm thinking I want that goddamn fire out so I can get a better look at the crime scene...."

The back room of DeNucci's Gym
Lexington and 96th, Italian Harlem

"It's three in the morning," came the voice of Silvio Manfredi, impatient and angry, over the phone.

"Yeah, I know boss," Hammerhead stammered, the usually cold and confident gangster uneasy when speaking to his superior. "It's just....the job at Gianino's, it.....it went ta hell, boss."

There was a long pause over the line before Manfredi spoke again.

"How much were you able to recover?"

"Ah, well.....none of it," Hammerhead admitted. "Whole place got blown ta shit, with five a my guys in it."

"Who did we lose?"

"Tataglia, Minelli....Laguna, Zambrano, and, erm....Campaea?" He answered, two fingers rubbing his forehead as he tried to remember who he'd sent on the job.


"Don't know. My guy on the inside says they was beaten ta hell an' burned, might not make it through the night."

".....and you're sure it's all gone?"

"The bombs, the money, the serum, anything Goblin had in that place, it's gone."

There was another long pause as Manfredi collected his thoughts. Hammerhead felt sheets of sweat pouring down his face as the silence bore down on him.

"I want him dead," Silvermane decreed. "Whoever did this, I want him dead by the end of the week, and his head mounted on my wall. No excuses, no bullshit, you find this guy and you put him down, or I'll find someone who will. Capisce?"

"....yeah, boss," Hammerhead muttered.

"Good. Don't ever call me at this hour again," Manfredi said, before hanging up.

Somewhere in upper Manhattan

"How was tonight's performance, gentlemen?"

"Very illuminating, sir. The subject entered an active state in record time, with far less resistance from the host than any previous outings. We believe the symbiosis is nearing ideal levels."

"Excellent. I'm seeing from the news that it's not just taking our boy out for joyrides anymore. They're actively hunting together."

"Yes, sir, and I'm concerned about the level of autonomy the subject is allowed. If the bond continues to grow in strength, we may need to act and place controlling agents on it before--"

"I'm noticing none of the reports of the explosion are including any fatalities."

"Erm, yes, sir. While the subject is engaging in combat with overwhelming force, it seems to stop short of lethal actions. We're trying to determine if this is inherent in the subject organism, or if the host is somehow overriding its instincts."

"So....he's still in there. Interesting."

"If I may, sir....if the host is maintaining a presence while under the influence of the subject organism, there is a chance that their hunting instincts may turn towards us at some point. I suggest activating the Slayer Protocols before--"

"I'll take that under advisement, thank you very much. I've made sure the host will be in no mental state to take control, even if the symbiosis fails. And I've been observing him more closely than anyone. Trust me, he has no idea what we're doing, or what's happening to him."

"Even so, sir, may I--"

"That will be all tonight, thank you very much."

".....yes, sir."

Muggins Apartment Complex
410 Chelsea St., Brooklyn

She's falling.

In the distance, lights flashed and sirens still wailed around the pillar of smoke that rose above the city skyline. Police, firefighters, paramedics, and SHIELD agents swarmed about the chaos. Here, though, things were quiet and still. No lights were on in the old, four-story brownstone walk-up when a figure in black landed on the roof without so much as making a sound.

Keeping to the shadows, the black figure crept across the rooftop, nearly flat against the concrete as it crawled between television antennae and air conditioning units. Reaching the edge, it paused for a moment to let a lone car pass by in the night, then as the headlights passed and darkness draped across the old building once again, crept over the edge and crawled along the brickwork before slipping inside of a window.

Careful not to make any noise, the black figure crept along the ceiling, clinging to it with ease as if it were crawling on the floor. Once it was certain it had not been detected, the figure extended rope-like black tendrils up into the ceiling and lowered itself down gently into the lumpy, stained, unmade twin-sized bed inside an equally filthy and squalid bedroom.

The floor was covered in ancient mouldy carpet, and on that carpet sat mounds of sour, unwashed clothes. The walls were plastered with posters, some from cheesy science fiction movies, some portraits of Einstein and Tesla and Howard Stark, some from bands that played loud and obnoxious music. The desk across from the bed was littered with scribbled notes, half-finished homework, a leatherbound journal the only thing that looked like any care had been taken in keeping it.

She's falling.

The figure settled into this mess, and slowly the oily black shadow that covered it melted away. Creeping into the dark crevices of the wasteland that was its host's home, the black mass left the young man to his nightmares.

Tossing and turning until dawn, Peter Parker dreamed of pain, of fire, of people screaming....

She's falling.

....and that he was helpless to do anything about it.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Byrd Man
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Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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131st Street

I stood on the sidewalk and watched the traffic coming and going. The steady rain from earlier was gone, replaced by the occasional mist, but I still wore my hoodie up to keep my head dry from a sudden return to a downpour. Plenty of foot traffic on the street meant the people of Harlem were more optimistic about the weather than I was.


I had to suppress a laugh when he heard the shrill cry. On the corner of Lennox and 131st street, Sister Mercy was doing her thing. She'd been working the corners of Upper Manhattan for nearly twenty years now, dressed in her black nun habit and ringing that bell while she shouted about fire and brimstone and the only way to heaven was to give to the "lawd."

"'For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils' First Timothy 6:10, people. GIVE TO THA LAWD!"

You wouldn't think it by looking at her, but the sister was without a doubt the best street hustler of all the would-be conmen and scammers operating out on the streets. It didn't hurt that she has a dynamite racket. It takes real balls to impersonate a nun, and the sister had balls. The truth was that sister was actually a brother by the name of Jackson Coleman. Jackson was a former B&E man who hit the right racket to feed his drug addiction. I knew him back before he went to jail, back when I was gangbanger Carl Lucas. We got back in touch after my homecoming and I found an unlikely ally in the hustler. From time to time over Sister Mercy had helped me out with errands and intel for a price. A cross-dressing junkie nun who cons people with a bell and the bible. I had to grin. Where else but Harlem?

"Say, Sister Mercy," I said as I palmed two twenties and shook the good sister's hand. "What do you know good?"

"'Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times', Psalm 106:3," she said loud enough for the pedestrians passing by to hear before whispering. "Luke Cage, my man. What's up, homie? GIVE TO THE LAWD, PEOPLE."

"Wondering if you had your ear to the ground on something, Sister."

I held up my cell phone. On the screen was the picture I had taken at the crime scene of Bobbito Garcia's murder. It was zoomed in on the calling card, the bloody crown found inches away from the dead boy's body.

Sister Mercy let out a low and soft whistle before returning back to the work of yelling about damnation and monetary salvation. She thanked a passerby as they tossed a dollar into the bucket at her feet. After a few moments of thought, she finally shook her head.

"That's out of my range, brother. Hood politics and shit. Only thing I know is that they call themselves the Kings of Harlem."

"A gang?" I asked.

"An army," she whispered. "They are Day of the Jackal-type motherfuckers. They roll on anybody they don't like, and they roll in force. That's all I know."

"What about your network? All those homeless fools."

Sister Mercy stopped ringing her bell for a second before she nodded. "Joe the Bum. He's a homeless guy that bottom feeds by hanging around young drug slingers, get's free taste of the product, does errands for them for cash. They supposed to be slinging, and if they are Joe would know all about them.

"You better, Sister. I don't want to kick a nun's ass."

"I do what I can, nigga," she whispered softly. "I'll be here tomorrow morning with Joe the Bum."

"Sister, I could kiss you..."

"'But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart,' Matthew 5:28, brother. Repent and GIVE TO THA LAWD!"

I laughed and walked away while Sister Mercy started back up. Thanks to her, I had a line on the people who potentially did it. Now, I needed to find out exactly why they would have wanted to kill Bobbito.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by HenryJonesJr


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I still have the dreams, sometimes. The sting of the electric cattle prod against my skin as I cower in the corner of a cage. Its sparks illuminate the darkness, giving me flashes of the faces of the devils that torture me for amusement as we cross the sea. Other than their laughter and the spark of their instrument, all I can hear is the groaning of the cargo container against the water. Around my neck, the collar suppressing my mutant abilities constricts tightly. I only have enough breath to survive. None to talk to the other mutants in the cages around me. None to scream in pain as the prod comes down again. I had been scared in the past, wandering through the European forests alone. But there is nothing like staring your slavers in the face as they inflict pain for sport.

The nightmares come and go. Ever since I moved into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, they have become less and less frequent. Building a family around yourself can heal a lot of ills, and my X-Men family has done that.

At least until recently.

When stories began appearing on the news about abducted kids, my trek across the ocean once again krept into my dreams. When Professor Xavier began to openly muse that it was mutant children disappearing, I was on that ship damn near every night.

They stopped last week when Professor X told Shadowcat and I that we’d be going to New York to track the kidnappers down. Even the chance to take down the people who imprisoned me and took Rahne from me has me running at a high motor.

Rahne. The name still hurts to think about. She was better than me in every way, and she’s more than likely a slave to some depraved lunatic.

But if I have anything to do with it, it’ll never happen to anyone again. I’m gonna make sure of that.

“You understand this is a recon mission, first and foremost,” Scott Summers, better known as Cyclops, says to Kitty and I. Scott is like the big brother I never had, but he can certainly be a hardass more often than not. I know it rubs Kitty the wrong way, but it’s never bothered me much. Scott has the weight of the world on his shoulders. The X-Men are the most visible group of mutants on the planet, and it’s a planet that doesn’t love mutants all that much. “If you can help it, I don’t want you interfering. Verify our suspicions and get back to us.”

“Understood,” Kitty Pryde, one of my very best friends and teammate, nods. While the two of us are some of the youngest members of the team, she’s already become one of the keystone members. She’s relished the opportunity.

Not that I haven’t. But I’ve always had a mischievous streak that doesn’t always jive well with Scott’s no nonsense form of leadership. Logan enjoys it, sure, but Logan isn’t the leader of the team. Still, as a circus performer, I guess it’s in my blood. I like to have fun and make people smile.

“Kurt?” Cyclop’s crimson gaze falls on me.

“Da, I understand,” I nod to him and smile. It seems to make him at ease.

It’s of course a lie. I’m not going to let an opportunity to take down the men who ruined my life slip through my fingers. Scott doesn’t understand. Kitty doesn’t understand. Hell, Professor X barely does. None of them understand what it feels like to have been hunted like a wild animal with the person you love running beside you. They don’t know what it’s like to be treated like a dog in a cage.

I do, and it fills me with righteous anger every time I think about it.

“We have a contact with SHIELD in the city,” Professor Charles Xavier adds as he moves forward towards the two of us. Charles Xavier is like my second adoptive father. The man has more nurturing care than should be humanly possible. There are over one hundred children at this school, and he knows and loves every single one of them like they are his own. There’s no better face for mutant kind on the planet. “She’ll make contact once the two of your are settled in your apartment. Remember, your cover is a young couple right out of college. Kurt, is your image enducer working correctly?”

“Da, professor,” I nod. I’m what society would call an obvious mutant. It’s hard to be blue, furry, and with a tail and be considered otherwise. Luckily, Hank McCoy had developed a holographic image projector to hide his own furry visage. “I had it set to Channing Tatum to mess vith the younger students, but I will change it to the default setting for the mission.”

“Very good. We’re counting on you two,” Xavier smiles warmly at Kitty and I. That’s what I’ll miss the most about being away from the school. Even in the thick of a crisis with the Brotherhood, it still feels like home. Xavier still feels like the patriarch of this great big freaky family. New York’s not going to have that.

“And remember New York is on the verge of exploding,” Scott adds in. “We need to try and keep a low profile.”

Scott isn’t being hyperbolic either. Ever since the death of the Green Goblin and the disappearance of Spider-Man, the city has transformed into the wild west. It’s the reason the mutant slavers have moved in. They see a vulnerability and are pouncing at the opportunity to make a profit off the city’s misery. They’re bottom feeders, and I’ll make sure they’re treated as such.

“We won’t let you down, Professor,” Kitty says determined, flashing a sly smile at me. The two of us are on the same page with this one. She wants to finish this mission on our own without any help. The two of us can do it. We know we can. She has the knowledge of New York, and I know how these guys operate. There’s no stopping us.

“I know you won’t,” Charles Xavier’s calm and confident voice floats through the air. “Now go pack and be ready, X-Men. We have a mission to complete.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Hound55
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In The Neighbourhood

Flint carried his third box up the stairs and into the door marked “EENMITE INC.” followed by a young teenager carrying odds and ends. Melodic bars from Tom Waits’ “Ol’ 55” hanging filling the hallways and hanging in the air; the turntable and collection of vinyl records being in the first box he brought up the stairs. ‘You know they got music digitally now.’ The boy had said.

He knows. He’s aware. ‘Vinyl has a warmer growl to it.’

‘What’s a warmer growl?’ the boy had asked, whilst placing the box carefully where he was directed.

‘Tom Waits…’ Flint had answered with his weathered face’s approximation of a grin.

The boy went down to get more items from the U-Haul trailer whilst Flint began setting up the record player. Carefully placing Closing Time on the turntable and gently dropping the needle, he waited until the music kicked in before going downstairs for the next box. The pair crossed paths in the stairwell. ‘Hey! This is—‘

‘Careful.’ Flint had warned with a furrowed brow. ‘The first rule of this place is that nobody says shit about Mister Tom Waits.’

‘—pretty good, I guess…’ The boy had mumbled. After nearly a dozen more passes, Flint could have sworn he caught the boy humming along to Martha.

After Flint brought up the last heavy box, he set to work on the door, chiselling at the black block letters with a plastic scraper. The office had been unused since it was the administration for a small family run pest control business started by a migrant family with a tenuous grasp of the English language. Something was lost in translation as “Seenmite” did not turn out to be a quality name for an American pest control business, and they also didn’t realize that “Inc” was a suffix reserved for those who maintained a corporate business structure – believing it instead to be purely aesthetic and “something good businesses call themselves”. These were only a few examples of their lack of business sense, and whilst they were good at their jobs (when they could find business) there were also issues of safety violations. Seenmite was swiftly shut down and the office had been vacant for 18 months since – as honest a statement of the state of disrepair the building was in as you could find.

Having finished shaving down the letters to change “EENMITE INC.” into “FLINT” he stepped back to assess his work.

A little lopsided, but the price was right.

‘So that’s the last of it.’ Flint dug into his wallet and pulled out a few wrinkled notes and handed them to the kid. ‘Uhh… these are ones.’ He reached in further and pulled out some fives. ‘You know, this is more than minimum wage for a pizza boy.’

‘Then dial yourself a pizza and get him to haul your stuff upstairs.’

Flint grabbed two tens and gave them to the boy. ‘You know, time was I could have had a bunch of cops here moving all of my stuff in for no more than the cost of a carton of beer.’

‘So where are they now?’

Flint turned over cold. ‘Just take the money, kid… while it’s still on offer.’ The boy knew better than to look a gifthorse in the mouth, at least at this point. He grabbed the paper and ran down the stairs, his house just a little down the street, leaving Flint standing in the doorway to his new office.
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Taytay
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Taytay King of Tea

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Cunningham Park, Queens
Early Morning

You ever think of death, like really think about it? Have you ever wondered what it's like when the glorious lady herself wraps those bony cold hands around your soul and rips it straight from you body? Don't kid yourself, it's some pretty fantasy or a euphoric trip. It's a dark abyss filled with nothing but your pain and the mistakes you made in life, coming back from the dead was no pretty trip either. Imagine someone simultaneously ripping all the nails from each of your toes and fingers with a pair of pliers, if you have ever wondered why people usually gasp when they "wake up" now you know. Even after experiencing both life death and then life again, most would think I might get out of this business of killing but it keeps calling me back. That's how I ended up in this park early in the crisp morning freezing my ass off waiting for my contact Mrs.Jackson to arrive and pay me my money. See I just "handled" a little finance problem her group was having and they are paying me by the head so I made sure deliver a lot of them.

Her "accounting firm" is known as a upstanding business that not only helps you settle your books, but they also make small loans to the right people. In actuality they some loan sharks, but instead of loaning to some helpless mother trying to take care of three little kids and put a fourth through college by herself, they loan to the local gangs and other crime oriented groups throughout the borough of Queens. From what I could dig up on the little group they started a little over a year ago, and have become quite popular, as long as you pay your debts back. Mrs. Jackson hired me not knowing my real identity, most people still think I'm dead, that Bullseye got me and my body is rotting in some gutter or that he uses my head for target practice (the rumors I have head since I got back). This was my first real job since returning to the city a few months ago, and boy was it exciting. I felt like a kid who finally got off the bench after a big injury, I was amazing (if I do say so myself), my kills clean, no injuries and I got away before the cops arrived. It was like night and day compared to my last job (which ended in my death), and now I waited to report to my boss.

They wanted me to take care of a group of thugs who were in deep with the firm, over 400k and counting. The poor souls wanted to start a drug operation and need some buying money, but instead of starting small they went big with no guarantee for income and ended up owing money to the wrong people. Funny thing is, if I did not take care of them someone else would have; Maggia, Triads, Kingpin, none of the big boys like competition, especially little kids who try to sit at the adult table. So maybe those guys should be glad I took them out quick and quietly, because I can make a list of others would have made an example out of them. The job was easy enough, it's not like they had top of the line security or paid the hand to protect them and all 10 of them were in some shabby condo trying to hide out.

It’s over now and that means it’s time to collect. Now don’t get me wrong I love what I do, killing is my career and I take pride in it, but I did not come back to New York to stay. I came back to make things right with Matt and then leave after. If memory serves me correctly, he never saw me wake from my death and I got up long after he had been taken away. He deserved to know that I was alive and well, would Matthew be happy that I am back in the game...no. But he knows me and my nature, plus with the death of the spider things have gotten lively in this shitty city again. If crime here was a bitch then we assassins would be her fangs, and she has been using us on a regular since his death. That’s how I got sucked back in, it started with a simple kill, then a few “simple” kills, and now I am a hire on again. With the return of the “red one”, I am sure news has reached my former employer and his top assassin, along with others who might seek out my employment (if they can find me).

As I waited and thought about my predicament, the air shifted and that caused me to tune back into my surroundings. There was an elderly woman wearing a pants suit walking towards me, she was carrying beat up brown suitcase and a cup of coffee. As she stat down, I got a closer look and noticed her light blue scarf and latch-back earrings. She had a worn wrinkly face with grey hair to match, she had an air of wisdom around her but it looked like her and time have been in the ring together for a long time and time was winning. I was in a black trench coat, under was a black suit I had made a while back, durable, doesn’t cut easy, and breathes like egyptian silk. I don’t think I will be dawning the red silk just yet, to many memories and not enough counseling. Aside from my sai, I had a cup of now warm coffee in my hand as she sat down. She looked straight ahead and used her leg to slowly scoot the case until it touched my uncrossed leg.

“So you’re her, Elektra. Nice job on this, those pest have been a problem for months. In the case you will find another job for you, if you are interested of course, and like this time payment will follow after its completed.” She said in her British aged voice, without even looking at her I know she had some sort of satisfactory smirk on her face.

“I’ll see what the job is and get back to you, and I hope that is all there, considering your profession.” I said back to her.

“Yes, we accountant's can count, I will be on my way. I’ll contact if anything changes with the targets.” With that she was off the bench fixing her scarf and headed back out into the world.

Oh how I would miss her accent, but alas with SHIELD running around it was best to keep these meeting short. I am sure that they knew I was back in town, but since I was not enough of problem then they let me be, or I hope so, there is only one woman who they would send to take me down and I do not need that drama right now. I set my coffee on the bench grabbed the case and opened it up in my lap. The money was laid out perfectly in the bottom half, while a manila envelope and a small white envelope sat in a zipper with a flip phone on the top half. Everything was in order except the white envelope, and I know there was some puzzled expression on my face right now. When I open it and read the letter I laughed, I laughed like the best joke in the world had been whispered in my ear. I put everything back in my case and picked it up with my coffee and walked in the opposite direction of Mrs.Jackson.

Life has a funny way of shitting on you at the worst times, but what can you do? Nothing but roll with it and make sure your ass comes out clean in the end.

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Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by AndyC
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She's falling.

Everything I've ever feared is happening all at once. I'm bleeding from a hundred different places, fiery pain overwhelming my senses as broken bones scrape against each other. I can hear his laughter, mocking me as I dive after her towards the pitch black depths below.

She's falling.

Her eyes, those perfect hypnotically blue eyes, are wide and bloodshot with terror, tears glittering in the moonlight as they hang suspended in split-seconds that feel like hours. Her mouth is wide open, but she's still too shocked to scream. Her hand reaches out, vainly clawing at the air in the hopes that my hand will grab hers like it has so many times before.

I'm too slow.

She's too far.

I'm not going to make it.

God, please, don't let this happen.

As the water rushes up to meet her, I throw out a last, desperate lifeline. The shock and horror in her eyes melts away, giving way to relief and trust, and her lips begin to pull upward into a smile.

I've got her.

I've saved her.

Everything's going to be--





........I wake up, jolting out of bed in a cold sweat. My heart is pounding like a machine gun, and I'm breathing in ragged gasps like I've been running a marathon. My eyes dart back and forth across the room until I realize where I am, before I flop back down onto the bed with a groan.

I've been having this same nightmare for a year now. Or rather, I've been living it. Every night, I'm back on that bridge, trying again and again to save her. And every time I wake up, I'm reminded that I failed.

Growing up, I didn't have many friends-- being the smart kid in class didn't exactly come with the honors and prestige one might hope for. There was Harry, of course, but we were never really equals-- in grade school I was practically his tutor, then he spent junior high in some boarding school in England, and when he came back he was virtually a different person, a slick alpha-male happy to take his old pal Pete under his wing for a change. And there was Eddie, but there was always an under-current of resentment there, and we always found ourselves competing over the same things: the spot in the science fair, the photographer gig at the school paper, the girl we both liked-- hell, he even took my old job at the Daily Bugle after I quit last year.

And then there was Gwen.

Gwen Stacy was always brilliant, and not just in her intelligence (which, incidentally, often made me look dim by comparison). She was the most kind-hearted person I've ever met, the only one in our little nerd-herd who had the spine to stand up to the Flash Thompsons and Sally Avrils of the world, and had worked her butt off to get scholarship offers that would give her a better future than anyone I knew whose parents weren't already billionaires. She was there for me when Uncle Ben died. She figured out what I'd been doing all those times I'd run off and suddenly Spider-Man would show up and clobber some bad guy, and she helped keep my secret. She always knew how to lift up my spirits when things were getting tough, whether it was in my failing social life or my double-life as a neighborhood superhero. For as long as I can remember, she'd been my best friend.

It wasn't until the end of our junior year that she blindsided me with our first kiss. It was another week before I worked up the nerve to return the favor. Both of us were kind of stunned, not just by the fact that we'd had feelings for each other, but by realizing how long we'd had them and how deeply they ran. The next year was bliss, even as school life got harder and the villains got more dangerous-- I knew no matter how tough things got, she'd be there to give me the strength to keep going. I loved her more than anything else in the world.

And that's exactly why she's gone now.

"Pete? You up?"

I blink a few times, realizing I've been pacing listlessly around my room for nearly a solid minute. Shaking my head to bring me back to the real world for a bit, I answer.

"Yeah, I'm up."

"Cool," says Harry from the main room. "I'm heading down to Katz's for lunch, meeting up with MJ. You wanna come with?"

Mary Jane Watson transferred to Midtown halfway through our sophomore year, and because her aunt and my aunt were old friends, they conspired to hook us up on a blind date. I spent the whole night positive I was walking into some kind of trap-- I mean, this fiery, free-spirited, drop-dead gorgeous girl was going to the homecoming dance with me? It was too good to be true. But the punchline never came-- MJ really did go out of her way to make sure we had a great time that night, and while we left it at that one date, she stayed friends with our weird little clique for reasons that are beyond me, because frankly she was far too cool for any of us.

She's been around the apartment a lot for the past couple of months, hanging out with Harry, occasionally knocking on my door to see if I wanted to come out and be sociable. I don't think I'm really ready to be around those two getting cozy with each other.

"Ehh, you go on ahead, man," I say, giving a half-hearted glance at the pile of notebooks on my desk. "I've, erm, I've got some studying to do for Dr. Warren's class on Monday."

"Lemme rephrase it," Harry says, taking a sterner tone. "You're coming to get some lunch with me and hang out with our friend. That is no longer a request, Pete, that's an order. Understood?"

For a moment I tense up, as I recognize the tone and cadence he's using-- it's the sort of thing his father would say to him. I know he means well, but anything that reminds me of Norman Osborn makes my blood boil.

"Besides, it'd be a nice change of pace to see you out in the sunlight," he adds, relaxing a bit. "Everyone's starting to think you're a vampire. I'm gonna start telling everyone you sparkle."

"You wouldn't dare," I say, unable to resist a wisecrack.

"Last chance, Pete," he says. "Then I'm bringing out the big guns. You've got to the count of three to open that door, or I'm calling Aunt May. One....."

"Okay, okay, I'm coming," I say, opening the door and no doubt filling the apartment with a whiff of old laundry and B.O. "Just....lemme take a quick shower or something first, all right?"

The Daily Bugle
Flatiron Building, 175 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

"Miss Brant?"

"Yes, Mr. Jameson?"

"Why is there an angry teenager in my office staring at me like I owe him something?"

"That's Eddie Brock, sir. Your photographer? The one who--"

"I know who he is, Miss Brant. I'm asking why you let him through when he looks like he's about to start throwing punches."

"How can you even think of running this story?" Eddie Brock demanded, a printed out sheaf of copy crumpled up in his fist. "This is insane!"

"Answered your own question there, didn't you?" J. Jonah Jameson said, staring down the beligerent youth huffing and puffing in front of him. "This sort of thing is what gets people's attention, it's what sells papers, which means it keeps the both of us gainfully employed! You should be thanking me for even considering it!"

"Thanking you?! She was my friend! She was--....and now someone anonymous weirdo sends the Bugle staff some pictures and you're just going to run with it?! We don't even know who this 'Sin-Eater' guy is, or why he's doing this, and now--"

"Look, I get that you're mad about this," Jameson said, barely even trying to take a conciliatory tone. "But a story's a story, even if it's one you don't like. I'm sorry this ruins the image of your friend, but we can't pick and choose which stories to run just because we're attached to the people in them."

"It's not just her," Eddie responded. "It's Pete. If he sees this, it.....it'll crush him, sir. Considering the state he's in, it might kill him."

"Parker?" Jameson asked, a raised eyebrow. He considered Eddie's words for a moment, then sneered. "Parker's a quitter. You oughta know; you got his old job because of it."

"Hey, that's--"

"BUT, that doesn't mean he's not a good kid," Jameson interrupted. "Tell you what. I'll give you twenty-four hours, let you break it to him easy. Then we run the story. Sound fair?"

".....about as fair as I'm gonna get," Eddie said bitterly.

"That's life, kid," Jameson said, not even acknowledging the hateful glare from the young reporter. "You're Parker's friend, you make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. Now if you don't mind, I've got a paper to keep in business."


" 'Yeah,' what?"

"....yes, sir."

"That's better."
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by AndyC
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