The Predator and The Hunter Part 1
"A strange occurrence has hit the streets of New York, throwing the city into a state of amazement. A robbery was broken up by a masked hero who called himself 'Spider-Man'. Footage was shot by one of the witnesses at the scene and shows the abilities of the masked hero."
The reporter paused for a few seconds as the video played, showing the masked man leaping from person to person, knocking them out with a swift series of punches and kicks and then hiding behind the desk. It also showed the man firing webs up to the broom and throwing them towards the criminals as a distraction and delivering the final blow. "You can clearly see the mask is makeshift like it was patched together from a Halloween shop and we are currently investigating where the costume was purchased. Back to you, Johnathan."
Peter stared with a blank expression on his face as shock enveloped him. His venture into heroics had been captured on a camera phone? It was somewhat embarrassing to watch but at the same time fulfilling as he evaluated his performance to the letter, analyzing everything he could have done better...including his costume. His costume was the epitome of laziness. A poorly thrown together red Halloween mask and a red sweatshirt. Peter smacked his forehead and palmed his face in anguish. He may have been classified as a "nerd" by high school standards, but he had a pretty keen fashion sense.
I most definitely cannot keep wearing that every time I decide to do something heroic... Peter thought to himself. Who's going to take me serious if I run outside wearing THAT? Peter leaned back in his chair and then looked up at the ceiling. An idea then festered in his mind and the young man slid across his room and grabbed a sketchbook, pencils, and a couple of Sharpies. He began to sketch a basic outline of his body physique, which he had noticed to have become considerably more muscular and fit since the car accident. He then rested his knuckles on his chin and began to think. He had randomly chosen the red sweatshirt and mask but had taken a liking to the color choice. However, he wanted to add a bit more color to it. Wearing all red in some parts of New York would get him shot on sight anyway.
Peter then began to draw an outline of the costume. He drew a mask with small eye openings and couldn't decide whether or not to make it red or another color. In fact, Peter hadn't even decided what the other color should be. Peter then began to doubt the usefulness of small eye openings. The hoplites of Greece had small eye openings and that was a setback that restricted peripheral vision, something that he would need if facing armed thugs, or unarmed at that. Peter erased the mask and then redrew it with larger eye openings. After it had met his approval, he moved down to the body. Peter realized that, even though the seasons were turning and it was becoming cooler because of fall, his exertion in fights would be enough to keep him warm, so the need for a sweatshirt was demolished. A skin tight long sleeve top could possibly be better suited for exertion.
Peter then drew the same design for his bottoms, skin tight and covering his legs. Peter sat back and smiled at the costume that he had created and rubbed his head. Now it was time for coloring and designs. He knew that by creating the alias of "The Spider-Man" that he had to incorporate spider-esque elements to his costume. Peter began to sketch a spider on his sketchbook and began to draw a spider with its legs extended all the way across the paper. Peter stared at the design and rubbed his chin. He then incorporated the extended spider design to the torso of the costume outline that he drew.
I'm still forgetting color! Peter shouted in his brain to remind himself. He began to color the head and torso red and the arms and legs blue. He then colored the feet red and the gloves blue with red stripes. Peter smiled widely as he looked over the drawing. I hope I can actually make this... Peter thought to himself as he went to get the necessary materials and get to work.
Later that night: Osborn Industries, Medical Facility
Dr. Nevin Lloyd looked over Connors' observation chamber, eyes keen for any sort of sporadic activity, jotting down notes onto a clipboard while his "team" searched the computer records, keeping everything tidy. This regeneration process of Connors' missing arm had been successful but had also come with an ominous twist. What they had thought to merely have been eczema from other parts of Connors' body infecting his regrown arm was in fact discovered to be nearly identical to the skin found on a Komodo Dragon. Not only was the skin identical, but also the DNA. Lloyd had never seen such a case in his life, the sheer impossibility of such things happening. However, nothing in this day and age was possible, Nevin concluded.
Unlike the rest of Osborn's rookie medical assistants, Lloyd knew all about Osborn's illegal dealings and his position as President of HYDRA, a terrorist organization that had funded his business. if it had not been for them, it was possible that Osborn would be a millionaire at most, but a multi-millionaire, very nearly bordering billionaire status? Never. He also knew of HYDRA's impossible search for the first super soldier, "The Captain" and that it may not be as impossible as previously conceived...
"You called, Lloyd?" a rumbling voice said. Nevin pushed his glasses up and looked down at his clipboard.
"Yes, Mr. Osborn. I did," Lloyd responded. Osborn folded his arms and Nevin took the time to breath and then continued. "The regeneration process has been going remarkably well, as far as the regrowth itself is concerned. However, there are some other...things that are going on inside of Connors that we must look at immediately."
"What other things are those?" Osborn asked.
"It would appear that the skin that we thought was merely eczema from Connors skin..."
"You mean the skin Connors thought was merely eczema," Osborn corrected. "I suspected that there was something abnormal about his new skin from the beginning. But please, do continue. I need to hear your report before making my decision." Nevin nodded, but frowned slightly. He hated to be interrupted.
"Yes, the skin that he thought was eczema...in fact, it's identical in texture and makeup to Komodo Dragon skin. We took some skin from Connors and put it inside a DNA analysis and the computer was only able to find minuscule traces of human DNA in order to determine that the DNA was indeed Connors," Lloyd replied. Osborn frowned.
"I see...the increased stress and pain from the regrowth process, as well as some components in my serum, may be making the Komodo DNA more active and causing this fluctuation to mutate Connors. We're going to need a closer analysis. Tell your team to gas the chamber."
Lloyd nodded in agreement, but before he could give the word on what to do, he heard a loud moan as if someone had been stabbed in their stomach and looked through the observation chamber glass and saw Connors spasming. "Gas the chamber with the Ketamine now! The subject is spasming!"
Connors threw himself against the wall and another yell blasted throughout the chamber. Connors regenerated arm began to twitch and convulse and grow longer. Scales began to protrude from it, blood leaking from where the bones were extending. Large claws ripped through Connors fingernails and he roared in pain as muscles rippled throughout his arm. Osborn glared at the medical assistants.
"What the hell are you doing! Gas the damn chamber now!" he yelled.
"We're trying, sir! The gas is failing to initialize!" one man screamed.
When Lloyd looked back down at Connors, he could only stare as he saw that Connors' normal arm had gone through the same process and was now covered with blood. Connors' legs to bulge, grayish-brown reptilian skin covering them both. Claws ripped from Connors toes and he screamed loudly. The skin traveled up Connors' neck, overtaking his face with animalistic hunger. Connors' bottom jaw ripped forward, sending a sonorous crack throughout the facility. His upper jaw did the same and jagged, serrated teeth pushed their way through Connors' gums. Blood fell from Connors mouth, but instead of screaming in pain, Connors instead let out a bestial roar. His boss, Osborn, stared and slowly backed out of the room, shaking his head.
"Shit...shit...shit..." he repeated before racing out. He closed the door behind him and sealed it with his executive keycard and sprinted towards his office. The scientists inside frantically worked to initialize the gas but to no avail. Nevin looked down at Connors' chamber and was horrified to see that not only had Connors sprouted a tail, but the reptilian was going towards the back of his chamber...to get a running start to break through the observation glass.
"To hell with the gas! Let's get out!" one scientists yelled as he tried to open the door. "Dammit! It's locked!" he shouted. Nevin's mouth dropped.
That bastard...he locked us in here.
"No! Connors...he's trying to break the glass!" another scientist screamed. Nevin dropped his glasses from his face and stared at Connors as he made his final push towards the glass. With a resounding smash, he broke through. The room was filled with screaming and the smell of urine filled Lloyd's nose as he moved back to the corner of the room. He watched in horror as Connors' mouth opened wide, exposing his newly acquired teeth, saliva dripping from the corners of his mouth as he surveyed the scene. In a single motion, Connors pounced towards one scientist, grabbing him by his torso and shaking him violently. The man's squeals filled the room while everyone else stared in shock until abruptly the squeals ended with a spray of blood and the cracking of bones. Lloyd stared Connors in the eyes, attempting to find any source of humanity. He found nothing but the cold, hollow, but intelligent and bright eyes of a predator.
Osborn raced towards his office and immediately locked his door. He searched the computer systems for the cameras and found the observation room. Osborn stared dumbfounded at the blood red hue of the camera and shivered slightly. He then looked at the cameras that surveyed the hallway and his heart pounded deeply in his chest. Connors was loose. Osborn grabbed his phone and began to speak.
"Attention, all Osborn Industries personnel. This building has been placed under complete lockdown. All armed guards are to report immediately to the Medical Facility to secure the hallways. Target is reptilian mutate, Curt Connors. Incapacitate, but do not kill. I repeat, do not kill," Osborn said as he sat back in his chair and waited for things to play out.
"Reptilian mutate? The hell kind of shit is that?" Roderick Kingsley whispered as he moved slowly down the hallway, a modified M16 with red dot telescopic sight scope in his arms. He swirled his flashlight to the left and to the right, attempting to illuminate the otherwise dark hallway. As a result of Osborn's lockdown, the area was also placed on electrical restrictions with everything but the major areas, the control rooms and public areas being placed under dark. A less than ideal situation when hunting an alleged reptilian mutate. Kingsley knew better than to joke about it. He had never heard Osborn's voice sound so serious, yet it had a major hint of fear in it. His words came out somewhat shaky and they were unnerving to everyone in the building.
"Keep your eyes peeled, gentlemen. We don't have any idea what we're up against. A reptilian mutate could mean anything from the Geico gecko to freaking Godzilla," another guard said.
"Shit, isn't that right. Mr. Osborn's not the most informative employer," one guard answered.
"You can respect the man for keeping his private life separate from his work, can't you? How would it be if everybody knew of his projects?" the first guard asked.
"We should at least know when he's messing with something dangerous so it doesn't kick us in the ass when it breaks out," the second guard responded.
A low and feral growl rumbled down the hallway and was followed by a snakelike hiss.
Kingsley paused and slowly aimed his flashlight upwards. In his sights was their target. It had to be twelve feet tall at least and was covered in grayish-brown scaly skin stained by dry blood. Its mouth was opened, a forked tongue hanging out, examining the air.
Kingsley had seen lizards like this during his brief stay in the Philippines. It was like a monitor lizard in it's facial structure however it's body was much more humanoid.
"Well, this damn sure isn't the Geico gecko," Kingsley remarked.
"On my mark...fire at its limbs," the first guard said to the second. Kingsley stepped backward with the other men that waited. Kingsley watched as the first man counted down and the two men fired at a rapid pace. The bullets pierced through the beast's flesh and blood spurted on the walls. Kingsley raised his flashlight to add extra light to the scene. The rounds that had been sent off had scent holes through the beast's limbs but to the horror of the guards, the wounds began to close within seconds. The creature then blasted a hiss at the guards and darted towards them. Kingsley ran backward and felt blood spurt on his arm. He pushed one guard to the side and continued to run, occasionally firing shots above his head as he ran into the darkness. He heard the screams of the men as they were picked off one by one and slaughtered.
Kingsley ran towards the only available light, a bright red neon sign that said "Exit". He turned and aimed his rifle only in time enough for the creature to leap on top of him.
Osborn could only stare in complete and absolute despair as he watched as Connors cut through his guards and broke containment. On his exterior cameras, he saw him heading straight towards Manhattan. Osborn slowly rose from his chair and slammed his fist through a computer screen.
"Damn, damn, damn!"
Peter happily held his newly constructed costume in his hands and smiled. It had taken a pretty long time to even find the available material to create the suit and it was even harder to pry it out of Aunt Mae's hands. She would probably kill him if she knew that he had made a flexible, crime fighting costume out of her best threads and materials, especially if she knew what he was going to be doing in them. Peter flipped on the local news and sat back in his chair and was shocked by the headline.
"Monster Lizard Rampages Through City? What the hell is this?" Peter asked as he turned the volume up to hear.
"We are on the scene and the police and animal control are here attempting to capture this immense reptilian creature, greatly resembling a Komodo Dragon native to Indonesia. We have no herpetologists on the scene but it is possible this is a Central Park Zoo breakout."
"I don't remember Central Park Zoo ever having Komodo Dragons...and that thing most definitely does not look like a Komodo Dragon," Peter said as he looked over at his new costume. Hmm, a trial run? "Aunt Mae! I'm going out for a bit! I'll be back by 11!" Peter yelled downstairs as he put on his costume followed by his gloves and boots.
Besides...Peter thought as he put on his mask and smiled. What's the worst that could happen?