Shout-out to Richy Calixte, Al Ma, Fabricio Augusto, Alberto Garcia, and Inferno Vortex for the patron support.
Inside a metallic structure.
It was a hallway as any but plated with synthesized steel. Hard enough to even preserve against small-caliber blasts. The dull silvery sheen even provided for a little mysterious aesthetics loved by the employees of the organization. Wearing a jet-black trench coat, a man with an eye patch walked with the thuds of footing echoing across the empty path. His expression somber and his remaining eye revealing the man's stern nature for these eyes... eye, belonged to a cold and ruthless man not driven by ambition but responsibility in name of something ethereal. In essence, the most dangerous kind. The bald man continued until he reached the end of the hall and the retinal scanner, of course, wouldn't work. The system of the space couldn't be changed for a single person and to provide maximum security, both the eyes are needed for the scanner. Deflating into a sigh, the man took out a communicator and whispered in, "Hill, I am up." His statement instantly slid open the thick metallic door with a stream of pressure leaking through the lower portion in a 'pssshhhh' sound following by cold mist.
The man walked in and the door behind him closed. "You lost your mental faculties again, Agent." The room wasn't large. Barely a cube of 2 meters with small, circular entryways that allowed the cold stream to gush into the room. It was a prison. Aside from the black man, a monstrous figure sat with a... The man couldn't even understand if the monster mutated into a wasp could have an expression. "I did..." the recently caught wasp monster whispered. His voice jarring. Hearing the genuinely disappointed reply, the man talked into the communicator once again as the door opened. "I am just here to inform you that the project is siphoned. We are now developing the cure drug for your mutation alongside other agents who took part in S.I.N. Don't lose hope just yet."
Before he left, the monster whispered.
"Director Fury, kill me... if you don't," he struggled a little to slowly sit up, "I am still going to slice open my venom sac and let it dissolve me. I don't want any more pain... please" Before he could complete, the man referred to as Director Fury walked out. "I won't put you down, agent. Never." He whispered as he slowly made his way out only for the communicator to flash and let out a female voice.
"Sir... Agent Roade passed away. Cause of death, corrosion." Without replying for the man himself did not have any, he continued to walk alone. The burden on his body increased with yet another body. His shoulders sunk ever so slightly. "This is not what those four proud agents signed up for. To end committing suicide." He rubbed his eye while walking and called in. "Shut down S.I.N. Norman Osborn's data on the super-soldier serum and the experiment on insects is to be scrapped off immediately. Follow up with Dr. Banner's version but keep a distance from Dr. Banner himself. Contact the other departments for another meeting."
"Lady, she just found out that you aren't normal." Cindy instantly felt her heart drop the moment she heard the person standing opposite to her. Everybody knew how different people get treated. Hell, if anything, history has been the greatest piece of evidence about discrimination based on race. "I would suggest you to calm down but I just came by out of genuine curiosity."
"You are like me!" Cindy exclaimed, "I can feel it!" she breathed roughly, her eyes glazing once again but this time, she had much better control of her actions, "You... did the spider bite you, too? Is that it? A spider is going to ruin my life? What about my boyfriend? Will he still like me?"
"Uh, I can answer the last part. Well, if he isn't homos.e.x.u.a.l, then yes, he would be all over you," Nik smirked as he sat down and leaned against the tree, "And no, I am not like you. I have control and you... well, you should start opening to the idea of bestiality. Cause if you can't control your scent, some nasty things will try to show their appreciation, too." Cindy shivered and hissed, "Hey, how rude!" She sat down with a huff, her brows slanted in anger. "It's the truth. Here." Nik smiled and let a little bit of his pheromones and Cindy felt a little lightheaded and hot. "Ah," she whimpered, "I understand. Turn it off!" She cried as her chest heaved up and down with Nik retracting his most basic and precious treasures.
"Now that my curiosity has been satiated, have a good day," Nik grunted and stood up. The girl in front of him had attained enhanced physical and mental abilities but that still didn't push her above the range of rank 1. The most curious thing about Cindy was the fact that her palms are blanketed with extremely tiny fleshy spines, too tiny to be seen through n.a.k.e.d eyes, and her fingertips are capable of secreting... webs. "What?" Cindy stood back up, catching Nik's wrist and inquiring with a deep frown, "Curiosity? You're going to leave me here?"
"This is where you study, right? And what am I going to do in the scenario that you wish to come with me? I mean, sure, you are strong now but that doesn't mean you don't have a life. Go be a doctor or something." Nik shrugged, not minding the rather tight grip as Cindy gulped and whispered nervously, "Really? Don't you feel that the moment our secret is out that people will... hurt us?"
"Oh, but they have hurt others for much less," Nik chuckled, "Why? Is that truly surprising?" His inquiry eased Cindy strangely as she shook her head. However, the moment Nik sniffed a little, he exclaimed pleasantly, "Good! Your scent is... well, it's going low. Keep that up and you'll be just fine. I guess it's more of an emotional control than a physical trigger for you. Anyway, if you would now go back to your classes, I have my own priorities to be fulfilled." Taking his hand back, Nik started walking backward while holding Cindy's gaze, "And don't act so scared. You're a big girl and with powers now. You can take care of yourself. Just think straight."
"Hey!" Cindy called out, "Is your name really Nik?"
"Sure, you can call me that," Nik waved and turned around. Originally, he had been wanting to just fool around as usual. Knowing that Cindy is alive allowed Nik to realize that those injected by the same venom can instinctually feel each other and it may have something to do with the spider but his thoughts changed when the monsters attacked and he found actual heroes working together. That could have pointed to circ.u.mstantial team up if not for the hourglass White Tiger stating the fact of calling in for local support and this made Nik realize that there may be a whole... hero-complex organization out there and of course, if there is a hero organization then it must have been created to oppose something in the first place and that meant Villains Organization. One or plenty, and that is something Nik didn't want to involve himself into.
"Hmm... It's possible that anyone behind them will try to run a background check on me. And... now that I think of it..." Nik muttered to himself while stealing a glance towards one of the many cameras on the road, "Digital era does come with quite a lot of constraints. But damn... if it wasn't for that monster, we both might have done it there..." He continued to walk at a normal pace. The first thing not to do while expecting someone to stalk upon oneself is to panic and break a probable pattern. Nik of this world has already been charged quite a few times and now, after quite a bit of a gap, he still lived a relatively normal life. "Ohhh..." Nik patted his forehead, "I forgot to convince Cindy to not speak about me..." pursing his lips, Nik avoided a possible run into another stranger and looked back with a soft sigh.
"Oh, well," he shrugged and continued on his way. He wasn't helpless and even if he couldn't attack physically, he could simply 'shift' a person's head off of his body so yeah... he wasn't that afraid. "Say, Lola, should I try to gain the data of other spiders in that museum for you? The first one is already quite juicy, right?" Nik muttered as Lola's voice echoed within him.
[My aim is to bring changes to your bloodlines. Other minor mutations are hardly worth keeping track of.]
"I'll take it as a no. Now, I have a Belle performance to catch!"
Within the stage hall of the Midtown Highschool, a peaceful and enchanting Belle performance finally came to an end under the striking applause of the audience but Peter, who had been busy with his practicals, pointed out the absence of one particular viewer that was sitting right next to him. "Em... guys, where did Nik go?" The boy adjusted his glasses and looked sideways, finding a brunette staring back at him, inducing Peter to question the girl herself. "Jessica, did you see Nik?"
The girl in question snapped a reply, "He left!" she exclaimed before explaining herself a little more calmly, "Uh, I mean, I saw him leaving a little"
"Yeah, pipe it, Jones!" Flash snickered, "What? You think we didn't know your crush? Oh, gods! The look you gave him," The blonde sports star of the school emphasized as Harry looked away. Meanwhile, Mj touched her forehead while leaking a deep sigh, "Flash, stop saying all that!"
"Well, f.u.c.k you! Thompson!" Jessica Jones snarled and stood from her seat, angrily flipping at the blonde youth while taking her leave meanwhile, Peter looked towards Mj for a moment and instantly averted his gaze the moment the woman caught the sight of him stealing a look.
Meanwhile, Nik sneaked into the backstage and came to a hurried stop and instantly pulling a big smile on his face. "Mrs. Smith," Nik greeted the lovely coach that trained all the girls that performed today. a bespectacled old woman, a little past her prime with a rumor stating that her age has already surpassed the line of 50 but still managing to look as fresh and kind as possible, "wonderful performance," he praised, "It kind of got me thinking if I should have ever left Belle in the first place."
"You shouldn't have, son," Smith smiled and shook her head, pressing her register against Nik, "But it is good to see you so healthy. I guess you really took my advice?"
"Clean for a year now, Miss. In fact, I'll be holding a small party in a few days. You know, birthday and the achievement of staying clean." Nik rubbed the back of his head. Letting drugs control one's life wasn't the greatest point of his past version's life. However, Nik still didn't understand why would he ever choose to join Belle classes. Yes, there were occasional overnight classes but did he always enjoyed dancing this much?
"So, why are you here, Nik?"
"To meet up with Ann. Wanted to see her and praise her performance firsthand."
"You know the way, just keep your praises in your pants, boy."
Nik coughed and chuckled, "I'm sorry about that night, Miss. Really. I did clean it up, right?"
"Yeah," Smith chuckled sarcastically, "Just get outta here."
"Thanks," Nik smiled and walked past her and continued to walk until he found the makeshift make-up room for the crew. His entrance caught a few eyes but the surprise was relatively moderate as Nik winked at Anna and made his way towards her while she still wore a tight pink outfit followed by cream-white leggings and her hair tied into a cute bun. Her face dolled up and her eyes glimmering as she smiled, "So? How was it?"
"Amazing," Nik chuckled and leaned down to kiss her, attracting a soft and rude cough, making Nik and Anna sigh in annoyance together as Nik turned to see a blonde girl with relatively moderate assets glaring at the two of them. "Gwen, do you want to join in? Anna is a wonderful kisser," Nik invited with a happy expression, making Anna snicker, "What about you," she poked Nik, "You can now blow my mind away," her coo made others chuckle as they continued to get changed one after another through the changing room. Sometimes, a few chummy ones would enter together while giggling. "Can you both keep the PDA in check?" Gwen snorted at the two while crossing her arms as Nik and Anna looked at each other.
"Babe, she doesn't want to join," Nik muttered, "I am so sorry. I have failed you."
"No," Anna shook her head, "The blame lies in me as well. I shouldn't have left the changing room open that day."
"Ugh," Gwen rolled her eyes, "I was better off being a drummer."
"Ah, yes. The apple to your father's eyes." Nik scoffed. "I mean... who drums the p.o.r.nhub intro at the beginning of the performance? No doubt he wants you off the drum set."
"You made a bet with me!" Gwen shouted.
"Hey," Nik looked a little hurt, "And I paid you 20 bucks for it. No need to blame me, Gwen. I mean, the intro itself was amazing. The crowd cheered for you that day and look at it this way. You are an amazing dancer, too. Right, babe?" Nik nudged Anna's shoulder, making her shrug, "Of course. I mean, that's why she gets the lead sometimes, right?"
"Anyway," Nik quickly leaned down and playfully pecked Anna, making she giggle, "I am here to shower you in praises and," Nik's voice lowered, "maybe, I was wondering, you could keep that outfit on tonight, hmm?"
"Dance in the bed, eh? I like it!" Anna snickered alongside Nik while Gwen scoffed and shook her head before entering the changing room.
State 48 News Building.
"Mary," A young man came up to a beautiful redhead who now seemed more pleasing to the eyes in recent days. The woman herself was quite focused on the screen of her desktop as she groaned in frustration and looked towards the source of interruption. "What?" she inquired, "Better make it quick. I am busy!"
"There's been an attack at the Manhattan Highschool. Super kind... like, see, here's a video posted on the internet by some kid."
The man wearing the blue cap showed Mary the video that captured the back of a yellow monster while a black youth and a woman in white flanked it. The person who caught Mary's attention was another boy in a black t-shirt alongside some asian chick. "And I need to cover it?" She inquired.
"No, that's the problem." The man scratched his stubble uncomfortably, "Apparently, the video is already taken off and even the sites those were posted on are currently down. I mean, I downloaded this in time so... do you want to poke around?"
"Not today." Mary shook her head, "Email me the video and I'll go through a different source. Maybe I can find out what happened."
The man nodded and took his leave, more than willing to shake a few other bushes with his stick as Mary pursed her lips and blinked into the distance. Taking out her cellphone, she dialed Nik's new number that he shared this morning and the moment the call connected, she smiled.
"Nik, did you ditch your class today?"
"Uh... yes? I went to Manhattan High. Why? Did the news reach you already?"
"That's what I am calling for. You need to get home now. Is Anna with you?"
"She just came out of the dressing room," the reply came back.
"Good, book a cab and return. And if you find unknown numbers calling you, don't pick them up."
"And you won't tell me why?" Nik inquired, making Mary sigh, "Of course, I will. Once I return. Oh, another thing. Did you get Ann's performance in a video?"
"Of coursehere, talk to her" Nik's voice was cut off by her daughter's scoff, "Mom! I thought you said no recording! If he gets to record me in the day, he also gets that option at night!"
Mary's lips twitched as her daughter hung up on her but she sighed and took out another cellphone from her purse. A pitch-black one with a sturdy exterior and quite a primitive style. Entering the text and sending the message, Mary deflated against her chair and muttered to herself, "And after I told all of them not to try the experiments... I hope Nat was here... Hill's just a crazy bitch."
Not wallowing however, she then once again focused on the articles opened on her desktop A New Contender! Fisk Speaks!.
After gazing through the article of this particular high-profile member, she clicked open the next tab and read the article from a scientific site Osborn Tech Reveals Disposal! which claimed Osborn Corporation's revolutionary waste disposal system targetted towards radiation wastes. This led to another link regarding the corporation's Bio-Tech and many diverse agendas.
"And then there's Stark, Banner, and so many minds that are already fed up with human... strengths. God! I really should have chosen a better occupation from the beginning," Mary chuckled to herself, "But then again... I would have met Paul..." She smiled, thinking of her daughter and son. "Hehe, next sunday just became better..." she giggled foolishly after recalling Nik's words. And then, all of her focus went on the fact that Nik... well, might have some s.e.x.u.a.l powers after all. She just didn't have the s.e.x.u.a.l experience but also the training to pull an all-nighter but even an hour would be hard for her.
"Ahh, think of something else. Dirty and angry caterpillar. Monster wasps, uhh... spear-riddled p.e.n.i.s... oh, that did the trick!"