The Predator and The Hunter Finale
Osborn Industries, Research and Development Private Lab
The first image that flashed in front of Norman Osborn's face was the ripped and grotesque face of one of his dead guard.
"Jesus!" Osborn yelled as he scurried backwards. His hands touched more liquid and as he raised his gyrating hand to his face slowly, he shivered. It was blood. Norman then looked around the room and almost threw up. There were limbs and intestines splattered all over the room, blood changed the room from a heavenly white to a devilish crimson and Norman looked around the room as the nightmarish images of what had happened flashed in his head.
Thirty Minutes Earlier...
The unconscious body of Curt Connors was carefully wheeled into Norman Osborn's private lab. After a few hours of worrying, Norman finally had Connors back into his possession, this time in human form. Now curing -or at least stabilizing- Connors transformations was the primary concern. This would require much more than simply brainpower. The situation only days earlier had proven that to him. Brainpower created ideas and monsters, but science was the cure. Osborn had analyzed nearly every strand of DNA in Connors' body, attempting to modify the Lizard strands to a less extreme degree. As far as he had seen in computer simulations, modifying Connors' DNA could kill him. However, Norman would rather have that than everyone in his facility dead.
"Do want to start looking over Connors' ribonucleic acid strand, Norman?" a scientist called. Osborn turned and waved the papers over towards him. As he started to read, his eyes widened.
"Of course. RNA. It communicates responses to cellular signals. If we can go deep enough, we can change the Lizard transformation completely. We can cure him." Or use his stabilized state as a weapon... Osborn said with a smile.
"What if I don't want to be cured?" Osborn looked down and saw the bruised face of Connors. His eyes were a dark crimson, with golden yellow circles around his pupils. Norman gasped. The mutation was spreading and taking over.
"What do you mean 'what if I don't want to be cured'?" Osborn asked, letting the shock of his discovery be buried by the bravado in his voice. "We can help you. Return you back to your normal life. I can change the structure of the serum in your RNA so that when it catalyzes the bio..."
Connors slammed the table with his fist and growled, his enlarged and fang-like canines showing in his snarl. "Shut up with all that science bullshit! I have my arm back! That's all I want! Don't go probing in my body! Don't change my molecules around! LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!" Connors shouted as he began to get worked up. The heart monitor began to beep faster and louder and Osborn shook his head.
"Calm down, Connors. It's not as serious as you're..."
"YES, IT IS! YOU TURNED ME INTO A MONSTER! IF I GET CURED, IT'LL BE BY SOMEONE I CAN TRUST!" Connors yelled, crazily. Osborn looked down at the man and sighed. He had no choose. He had to administer a sedative.
"Someone get me a sedative," Osborn said as he placed his hands on Connors. Osborn felt his rough, scaly skin and shuddered slightly. Connors shook Osborn's hand off and stared up at him.
"NO! NO MORE! NO MOOOOOORE!" Connors yelled as he leapt off of the table and grabbed Osborn. Instinctively, Norman punched Connors, however, the former soldier took the blow without so much as wincing. He simply stared coldly into his eyes, his reptilian gaze causing chills to run up Osborn's spine. When Connors curled his lip back into a snarl, he saw his sharpened teeth. Connors was changing. He was transforming. However, this time, things were very different. Connors' spine ridges began to grow as they protruded out of his back, becoming tall spinal ridges. Immediately, his muscles began to ripple as well as he grew larger and more reptilian than before.
"Lock down the facility! NOW!" Norman yelled. His workers didn't move. They stayed in place, shocked at what they were seeing. Norman couldn't help but share in their fear. Connors was growing even larger than what he was before and his appearance was even more primal than before. But why? How was this happening? As Connors continued to transform, spouting his tail that whipped across the room, destroying several technical units and knocking down three men, Osborn came to a conclusion. From what he understood, the Super Soldier Serum responded to adrenaline. Since he had used that as the basis for his Lizard formula, it had reacted to Connors growing stress levels, causing the primordial Lizard side of the formula to take control and mutilate his body even further. Osborn had successfully reversed evolution entirely, however it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Connors looked over the men in the room and Norman suddenly felt small and helpless. Connors flexed his long and hooked claws and his wet, salivating jaws stretched open as he gazed over the lab assistants. This time, Osborn had nowhere to run. He had absolutely no way out.
Osborn sat still in the pool of blood around him as the images of what happened next replayed in his mind in short spurts. The horrifying yells of the men as they were simultaneously grasped in the jaws of Connors and torn to pieces and some eaten. The way that Connors roared like the beast he was. Norman remembered himself being swiped by Connors' meathooks and thrown against the ceiling and crashing to the ground. He should have been dead...but he wasn't. Even in the midst of all the death, blood, and violence, a smile crept across Norman Osborn's face. If he had survived all that he had gone through and had absolutely no scars left on him...then that meant it had worked.
Midtown High School, Gymnasium
Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Spider-Man thought as he swung around the rafters of the gym, having barely escaped the claws and jaws of the massive Lizard. He had spent the last few minutes circling the animal's upper body on his weblines, dodging and jumping over his strikes. The creature was clearly becoming frustrated with him as he was fast moving target. Spidey flew up into the air, spinning into a cartwheel and landed on a thin metal bar above the creature that simply roared in annoyance as it looked like it was attempting to climb up the side of the gym. Spider-Man wasn't nearly as concerned with where the creature came from as he was with how to stop it.
It was fifteen feet tall and about twenty-five to thirty feet long. It was half the size of the Midtown gym, but maneuvering around the comparatively narrow space between the two bleachers was hard for a creature its size. Peter wagered that it was around three tons or a little more, considering how thin it was compared to a dinosaur of similar size and how easily it was able to almost slither around. Peter had never tested his bench pressing strength so he wasn't entirely sure if his swiftly thought up plan would even work, however, he knew it was of the upmost importance that he remove the Lizard from inside the school to outside, possibly on the football field so he could see what he could do.
Spider-Man swung down from the rafters, blasting the Lizard's skin with a thick coating of webbing. The irritated creature snapped its jaws quickly, trying to catch Spidey in his jaws. Spider-Man launched himself off the top jaw of the Lizard and rocketed downwards towards the animal's feet. The Lizard sent its feet crashing down next to Spidey. Peter dodged in between the animal's feet, spinning webs and entangling the beast's feet. Spider-Man flipped up into the air and landed into the wall at eye level to the Lizard.
The Lizard's beady red and amber eyes stared deep into Spidey's glass openings, gazing into his own light brown eyes. They shifted back and forth as they examined him, almost with a distinct human-like intelligence. Spidey could almost sense that there was something deeper inside him, a human side. A human side, fighting to gain ground against the prehistoric instincts that were currently overriding his sense of human reason. Spider-Man was mesmerized for a mere few seconds before he finally dropped to the ground. He then ran around, grabbing the loose strand of the webbing that lightly wrapped around the reptilian's legs.
Hmmm, hopefully this plan works. If not... Spidey thought as he pulled the loose strand with as much force as he could muster. Within seconds, the massive creature was falling to the ground. Here's go nothing! Spider-Man thought as he held up his arms as the creature descended towards him. The next thing he felt was three tons crashing down on top of him. However, to his surprise, he held the creature up with almost no trouble. His muscles barely tensed up as he supported the weight of the wiggling and squirming Lizard. Phase One was finished. He had successfully picked up the Lizard. The next part would be tricky...and would probably cost the school thousands of dollars.
Midtown High School, Hallway
Mary Jane's body felt the shockwave before she was even conscious. When she felt it, however, it did jolt her enough to pry her from her sporadic fall into sleep. Everyone else around her seemed to have fallen to sleep as well and after the impact they were all waking up. MJ looked around quickly, searching for Peter who had been in front of her face before she lost consciousness. Where was he? Multiple pitched groans and grumbles were heard throughout the hallway as the Midtown students and teachers rose to their feet, dazed and confused. Much to her chagrin, Mary Jane spotted the Gossip Girl herself, Liz Allen. She brushed her bouncy auburn locks from in front of her face and the first words to come out of her mouth were the most annoying.
"Oh my God! I was on the floor! No, not in these clothes!" she cried, like the drama queen she was. She always acted as if her needs outweighed the needs of everyone else in the school and treated everyone else like they were lower class. MJ hated uppity people of all kinds, especially girls. After Liz had announced her disgust at being on the floor of a public school, the students of Midtown began to look around and ask some of the same questions.
"Why am I on the floor?"
"Is school over?"
Mary could only focus on one thing. Peter. He wasn't anywhere near her and that made her worried, even more so when she heard the echoing roars and grunts that were coming from outside. At first, she thought it was odd that she could hear sounds coming from the other side of the school. When she finally stood up and caught her breath, she made her way down the hallway to discover why. MJ's eyes widened and she gasped softly, her frozen position catching the attention of everyone else in the hall as they all gathered around her.
"Holy shit..." one boy said.
"The hell happened?"
MJ thought all of those things, but her fear was overridden by her curiosity and she began to walk down the fifteen foot hole in the middle of the school that had broken through several classrooms and a few other hallways. At the end of this tunnel, Mary Jane could see a larger whole and an open green scene. A red and blue figure leapt back forth and MJ saw a large reptilian tale swing after it. Her heart began to race as she quickened her pace down the tunnel until finally she made it outside. The rest of her schoolmates followed her and stopped when she did. MJ stared frozen as she finally made out who the red and blue figure was. It was Peter...and he was fighting a giant Lizard.
Midtown High School, Midtown Marauders Field
Spider-Man barely noticed that his classmates had all woken up and had made their way outside to watch his fight, but when he did notice, he truly realized the stakes. There were innocent people in the immediate vicinity, some of them were idiots who instead of turning and running, pulled out their cellphones and began to record. Dammit! he thought as he blasted the roof of the Lizard's gaping mouth with webbing, causing the creature to gag. With his enemy momentarily dazed, Spidey turned to the gathering teenagers.
"Why're you standing there recording? Get the hell out of here!" he said as he leapt upwards towards the Lizard, firing a webline into its eyes and pulling himself forward, sending his feet into the creature's eye. He didn't think his plan through enough. He hadn't counted on his idiotic schoolmates waking up from the sedative so quickly. He didn't think about the kids walking through the hole that he had made when he had tossed the Lizard through the side of the gym. And speaking of the sedative, what had happened to Sergei? Had he been killed when the Lizard barreled through the school? Whatever the case, he was a secondary concern. The main one was the fifteen-foot, raging reptile and the hundreds of his idiot peers that could possibly be injured or killed.
Spidey couldn't move them without risking the Lizard gaining an upper hand. So, fighting him and ending the battle quickly was his only option. Spider-Man jumped onto the roof of the school and rebounded off the sides towards the Lizard, leading with his fists. He connected with several quick shots and only barely ducked under a defensive reaction from the creature. Spider-Man landed on the ground and circled around the Lizard, turning him away from the bystanders. During their last fight, The Lizard was faster and stronger than he was but now he was slower and appeared to weakening. Not only that, but it even looked like he was growing smaller, back to his normal size.
But why? Why the sudden change? Peter thought back on multiple documentaries he had watched on animals before on Nat Geo Wild and Animal Planet (before it became a reality show about people with animals). He remembered how when lizards exerted themselves too much, they grew sluggish and could even die from overexertion. If whatever mutilated this thing's DNA had made it a true Lizard, then maybe that was the case. It was growing tired. Whatever adrenal rush it had before was being replaced by fatigue and as it grew more tired, it lost the size and additional bony spikes it had before. It was reverting back to its normal form.
This meant that he was winning. The thought of his success caused him to momentarily lose focus and the Lizard took instant advantage. Pouncing forward, it jumped on top of Spider-Man, clawing at him and snapping his jaws. Images of their last encounter flashed in Spidey's head, however, he had learned from his past mistakes and the Lizard was weak. Holding up the creature's head, Spidey swung multiple punches into the creature's neck as hard as he could. He heard a raspy gasp followed by wheezing, indicating he had definitely hit a soft spot.
Gagging as it was thrown off, the Lizard fell flat on its stomach, it's bacterial and corrosive saliva spilling out of its mouth. Spider-Man stared the still shrinking creature down and waited. Its actions were becoming far more anthropomorphic. It grasped at its throat with his hands, wrapping his fingers around it. Its cough was becoming less of a hiss and more like an actual cough. Its tail was becoming increasingly shorter and his scaly skin changed to a pale white. The long snout retreated and serrated teeth began to fall from its mouth as his jaw noisily shrank. Blonde hair sprouted on the man's head and he laid, naked in front of Spidey. He didn't look at his body at all. His face was the thing that really fixated him. It was one of the men that had rammed his uncle's truck...and killed him. Like some inhuman, demonic force, anger overtook Peter and he lifted the man to his feet, tears flowing under his mask.
"You...you killed him," he said, his rage making his voice only audible to himself and the man, who began to stir after hearing the voice.
"What're...you talking about?" the man asked.
"My uncle. You killed him. You rammed his truck. You tried to kill me too!" Peter said progressively getting louder. The man stared at him blankly. Then a smirk crossed his face.
"P.P.," he said softly. The man began to move his hands towards Peter's face and Peter balled up his fist and was ready to swing it full-force into the face of this murderer. This animal.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, son," a man yelled from across the field. Peter turned and saw a large group of police officers running over to them. Some of the high schoolers instinctively began to shift uneasily. Police often meant getting booked. Spider-Man stayed still as the officers ran forward. The lead officer, the one who had called out to them, was a tall, bald, black man with an eye patch. He stared at Spider-Man for a few seconds and seemed to mouth something to himself. He then spoke. "It's okay, son. He's down. We've got him," he said.
"No. You don't know what you're dealing with. He'll change back. He'll..." Spider-Man said.
"Trust me. We've got him...but I'm going to need you to come with us," the officer said.
"What? Why?" Spidey asked, as his heart started to pound in his chest. The fight with the Lizard had tired him and his body was aching. He didn't feel like running away, much less swinging. But, he wasn't going to risk his identity being found out.
"We're just going to ask you a few questions. Don't worry. It'll be off the record," the officer replied. Spidey shook his head and narrowed his eyes.
"Can I see a badge?" The man scoffed and smiled and opened up his trench coat. An NYPD badge glinted in the sunlight. The badge did look legit enough. But, Peter still didn't trust these guys at all. Spidey briefly looked over his shoulder at Mary Jane, who stood at the edge of the crowd with worry written on her face. She didn't seem to trust these guys either. But, he didn't have a choice. Resisting arrest certainly wouldn't look good on his superhero resume. "Alright, I'm coming," he said finally. Fury nodded and waved for his guys to take the blonde man. They picked him up and placed handcuffs on him, followed by what appeared to be...invisible shackles? Peter's sensitive eyes could see the rippling outline of the second set of restraints being placed on the man. What was this? Who were these people?
Suddenly, Peter remembered. The Russian that had gassed his school. Where was he?
"Wait. There was a guy...Sergei..."
"I've got it covered," the man replied simply.
"What? How did you..."
"My best guy's on it." Spidey shook his head.
"I hope he's one hell of a cop. That Russian guy's like some kind of Spetsnaz or something," he said. To his surprise, the man only smiled.
"Don't worry. Catching him will be as easy as stepping out of bed," The man said as he opened the door of the police car. Spidey shrugged and entered.
Manhattan, Several blocks from Osborn Industries
Sergei Kravinoff couldn't believe his fortune. He had escaped with both his life and his freedom. He had been conscious enough to watch the fight between this Spider-Man and Connors at least until all the teenagers blocked his view. The arachnid-themed "hero" was quite impressive. He had managed to take down Connors without much trouble, despite the creature being many times larger than him. As much as he admired his actions, Sergei wasn't ready to get arrested by the American authorities. Between assaulting a high school and doing Norman Osborn's black operations, he was sure that they would find some way of putting him in prison. But, he had known better. He had left the scene as soon as he saw the police officers massing. He was home free. The last thing he needed to retrieve was his limousine and his woman. The next stop would be the airport and...
The impact hit Kravinoff like a ton of bricks. His trajectory ruined, his balance off, he flew face first into the concrete top of the skyscraper. Sergei rose to his feet in an instant and drew his kopis daggers, expecting the wretched and irritating Spider-Man to be on his heels. But, he wasn't there. Instead, there stood a blonde man, tall and firmly muscled with a young but hardened face. He wore a black leather jacket that covered a dark blue uniform with a large white star on the center of his chest and a red and white streak, similar to the American flag. In his right hand, there was a large circular red, white, and blue disk, resembling a shield. The sight took Sergei by surprise and he almost laughed.
"And who are you supposed to be, mudak?" Sergei asked, almost cackling. The man stood in front of him, motionless. The stoic expression on his face didn't leave or shift in the slightest. When he finally did move, he placed his shield on his back and shook his head. Sergei then frowned. "Why do you shake your head, Amerikanskaya musor?"
"Because..." the man said. In an instant, he rushed forward. Sergei felt, rather then saw, two hit land on his body. A punch landed on the bridge of his nose, causing a sickening crack to ring in his ears. Blood gushed out of his broken nose and before the pain could even register, he felt an elbow hit him directly under his jawline. The impact caused him to fall slowly to the ground, like gravity had momentarily been turned off. After Sergei had fell and before he lost consciousness, he heard the man finish his sentence. "I can't believe Fury needed me to take you down."
Police Car, Queens-Midtown Expressway
Ok, now this is freaking weird. Peter thought as he sat beside the head officer and stared outside of the window. They had been driving for a while and he had expected to see the police station about fifteen minutes ago. However, they had only stopped at red lights. Peter was growing increasingly uncomfortable, both emotionally and physically. He was sure that his wetsuit was not really designed for sitting the entire day. The head officer hadn't said a word to him. He only stared forward. He had talked, however, when he answered his bluetooth, but otherwise, he had said nothing. Peter was done. If the man didn't give him a decent reason for them still riding around instead of reaching a police station, then he would bust out of the car and swing home.
"Look, I don't know who you are, but I know that there are at least 76 precincts in New York City. We haven't stopped anywhere. Who are you and what do you want?" Peter said. The man smiled and laughed.
"Smart kid. Thought it would've registered sooner though, but you are your father's son," he said. Peter frowned.
"You don't know anything about me," he said. The man smiled.
"Oh, to the contrary, Peter Benjamin Parker, blood type B, African-American, male age sixteen, born September 26, 1994 in New York Presbyterian Hospital as a premature baby, mother died giving birth to you, father dropped off the grid, presumed dead. You live with Mae Reilly-Parker in Forest Hills, Queens and you are a sophomore in Midtown High School, currently performing 'extracurricular activities' as the Spider-Man. Need I go on? I can tell you all of your transcripts since preschool," the man said. Peter stared at him, his shock hidden by his mask, which suddenly he felt wasn't needed.
"B-but...h-how...Christ, who are you, really?" he asked. The man leaned forward and looked Peter square in the eyes.
"My name is Nicholas Fury. I am the Director of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, a close friend of Richard Parker...and your godfather."