The Predator and The Hunter Part 3
Sergei Kravinoff exited through the front door of Osborn Industries and walked out towards the parking lot where his limo awaited him. The job offer from Osborn was a simple as most job offers came. Capture a reptilian mutation? Sergei had survived worse things. Spending a year alone in the Russian wilderness as a child would make any man hardened and tough. Sergei opened the door to his limo and the heat embraced him as he entered. A soft, caramel brown hand touched his bearded face and a smile graced the Russian hunter's face.
"So, what did Mr. Osborn want, my love?" a soft and cooing voice said. Sergei chuckled softly as he sat back in his seat.
"He wants me to hunt one of his escaped experiments," Sergei said as he shook his head. "Corporate Americans always make problems for themselves with their greed. The only reason that I accepted was because of my love of the hunt." A beautiful black woman moved from the shadows and straddled Sergei and looked down on him, her hazel eyes meeting his grey.
"Will you need my assistance on your hunt?" she said soothingly. Sergei smiled.
"No, but if you feel the need to, you can follow on this hunt. Just so long as you can keep up," Sergei answered. Calypso laughed and leaned down as her lips connected with his and Sergei growled seductively. "We can continue this on our way back to Russia, my dear." Calypso nodded.
"Of course. The plane's large enough for us to do what we need to," she cooed. Sergei chuckled and gently brushed Calypso off. He exited the limo and stripped his business suit off, revealing a vest, with a lion's mane on the shoulders and black tights. He strapped on a pair of brown commando boots and growled.
"It is time to hunt," he said.
Sergei arrived at the area in which Osborn had told him Connors had ran towards. The scent of the reptile was heavy in the air and Sergei kept his nose in the air. He then looked down suddenly and picked up a very small scale on the ground. He examined it closer and sniffed it.
"Hmmm...Connors," Sergei whispered. Calypso looked down at Sergei and smiled.
"Found him already?" she asked. Sergei stood up.
"No...but I know which way he went," Sergei said. He sniffed up into the air and noted the wind was blowing to the West, carrying the scent of Connors with it, meaning that he had gone East. "Come, Calypso," Sergei beckoned as he ran towards the buildings.
In a quick motion, he had scaled the building and jumped across the gap. Calypso followed, using an extendable quarterstaff to help her cross. Sergei sniffed again as he continued to jump and then frowned. Connors' feet had never touched the ground. As far as Sergei could tell, Connors' scent was still in the air. "He jumped from the distance where we found the scale into the distance," Sergei told Calypso, who was now keeping pace with her Russian love.
"If that's the case, how do you plan on finding his landing point?" she asked. Sergei scoffed.
"When his scent descends, of course," he said as he inhaled the scent of Connors again and he began to beam with confidence. Connors' scent had finally started to descend. When Sergei looked down, he saw two large foot prints and a very large tear in the concrete. He narrowed his eyes and dove into the alleyway, sliding down the walls, using the rough tips of his fingers that he gained from years of training. Sergei flipped backwards and landed on the ground. Calypso landed behind him silently and looked around. Sergei sniffed the tear in the concrete and instantly grabbed his nose. "Chtoebat!" Sergei cursed in Russian as the smell of sewage entered his nose. Damn Americans and their waste...he thought as he entered into the hole.
Sergei landed with a loud splash and the sounds of rats scurrying echoed throughout the entire sewer line. Sergei crept through the sewers slowly, lessening the sounds of his steps as he trudged through the water. Calypso was behind him, silent as she usually was as she followed him. Sergei looked around, listening for anything that sounded abnormal.
"Do you think that the creature would search for refuge in such a place?" Calypso said as she looked around in disgust. Sergei turned to her and nodded.
"Indeed. This place is probably the warmest place in this city during this time of year. He would need heat to survive if his body has truly taken on the form of a reptile," Sergei replied. Sergei stopped in his tracks and raised his head. He could hear something at the very back of the line. It sounded like hissing, like a cat only much, much larger. Sergei and Calypso continued down the line and Sergei kept smiling. He peaked around the corner and begin to laugh softly.
"What is it, Sergei?" Calypso asked.
"I've found him. He is much larger than I imagined..." Sergei said as he looked around the corner to see the immense Connors curled up in the corner, his large and muscular tail curled around his snout. Sergei inhaled and then exhaled. It was time to perform. The hunt was over. It was now time to drug the beast and take him back to Osborn. Sergei waved Calypso backwards and his Haitian lover moved back behind the wall. After Calypso had moved, Sergei growled and ran toward Connors.
In an instant, the reptilian monster was up and roared as it swung out its tale defensively and Sergei flipped over the tail and landed in front of the beast and growled. Connors let out a monstrous roar and leapt towards Sergei. Sergei shot an uppercut at the beast, barely giving the animal a problem. Sergei performed a commando roll and ducked underneath Connors' snapping jaws. Saliva flew in the air and Sergei did well to avoid it. He knew that even if the saliva didn't enter into a wound, it could still burn through his skin, especially since he didn't know what crazy concoction Osborn had put together to create such a thing.
Connors leapt forward and attacked with his claws, swiping at Sergei's head and chest, Sergei partially blocked one of the strikes and winced as he felt the six-inch meat hooks rip into his pectoral. The impact sent Sergei down the sewer line and he hit the wall with a thud. He looked over at Calypso and waved her away and she moved farther down the line. Sergei stood up and Connors was on him again in an instant. Sergei placed his forearm onto Connors' throat, keeping the beast at bay. It kept snapping its jaws at him, roaring and clawing at him. Sergei narrowed his eyes and shoved the beast upwards and flipped backwards against the wall and leapt over the monster's head and landed behind him.
Connors whipped around and roared in anger. Sergei laughed. "Are you angry, Connors! Come! COME!" he yelled. The lizard leapt forward and swung its claws at Sergei. The Russian leapt under the swing and looked up at the monster and growled. The beast was not going down easily. Sergei was going to have to use weapons now. Sergei pulled two hooked kopis daggers from their sheaths and ran towards Connors, swinging the blades around in a circular motion. Connors watched intently as his predatory senses were attracted by the movements of the blades.
In a quick motion, Sergei swung his blades towards the beast's neck. Connors yelled out in pain as the blades connected to his neck, springing open a wound causing blood to gush out onto the ground. Sergei smiled and raised his blades in triumph, however Calypso pointed worriedly at Connors.
"Sergei! Look!" she yelled. Sergei turned around to see that the wound he had just caused had been healed nearly instantly. His eyes widened and his mouth almost dropped.
"Bozhe moĭ ..." he said softly as he started to back away. This Connors was incredible. He had speed, power, durability, ruthlessness and healing ability. A worthy foe. Sergei had waited quite a while for something so magnificent to offer him a challenge. Connors roared at Sergei and leapt towards him. Sergei drove his daggers into the creature's chest and continued to stab as the creature's own momentum sent it crashing into him. Connors could only yelp in agony as he began to lose massive amounts of blood and Sergei did not relent. His daggers continued to plow deep inside of Connors and the monster roared loudly.
Connors howled and Sergei felt the monster's immense half ton body fall on top of his body. With a great heave, Sergei threw the beast to the side. He walked over to the creature and turned the beast over. He raised his hand, gripping his dagger tightly to further injure the creature if it was once again feigning unconsciousness. However, Connors was not feigning. He was genuinely knocked out. Connors suddenly convulsed. Blood squirted from the wounds that Sergei had inflicted as they slowly began to close. Connors shook violently and rolled across the floor, but the lizard didn't make a sound.
Connors' flesh began to sizzle and steam rose from his body as he continued to convulse...and change back to normal. He immediately shrunk, bones cracking and seemingly breaking as his body reached its normal size. The extended vertebrae retracted back into his spine with a sickening crack and the final act of transformation was his skin. The bone-like armor submerged itself beneath his skin and rippled underneath as if a parasite was under his skin. When it was all finished, Connors lied in a pool of his blood, breathing slowly but steadily. Sergei could only stare in disbelief. In all his years of hunting, he had never seen anything like this before. In all his years living, he had never seen anything like this before.
After he had gathered himself, Sergei leaned down and picked Connors up and placed him on his shoulders and proceeded to return the escaped subject to Osborn...
Empire State University
"Well, Mr. Parker...it would seem that you're clear to go. Your ribs have mended nearly completely, your brain is free of any symptoms of a concussion and your arm is fine as well. You're quite the healer," the doctor said with a surprised look on his face. Peter and Aunt May exchanged equally shocked glances.
"That's..." Aunt Mae said softly.
"Great?" Peter said with a smile and a shrug. Now I can find out where that lizard creature went. Peter thought to himself. "So, can I go now?" Peter asked. The doctor nodded.
"Yes, we have the wheelchair ready for you when you're ready to go. Just make sure to put your clothes on, Mr. Parker," he said as he walked out. Aunt Mae smiled at Peter and rubbed his forehead.
"My goodness, Peter. Well, let's just thank God that you were able to recover so early. The last thing you need to be missing is school, young man. A boy needs his education," Aunt Mae said. Peter smiled. Aunt Mae was naive, almost to a fault. Sometimes, Peter even wondered how much of it was real and how much of it she was just acting. He sometimes even wondered if she knew what Uncle Ben wanted to tell him...
Peter got out of his bed and quickly grabbed his clothes, throwing them on in a rush to get out of the hospital. He was reluctantly bound to the hospital-issued wheelchair and pouted the entire way out, protesting. "I can walk!" Peter said.
"Hospital policy, kiddo. We're almost down to your car," the patient and stoic nurse said. Peter sighed comically and they finally made it to the front entrance of the hospital. Peter and Aunt Mae walked over to her car and Peter sat in the car and sighed.
"So glad to be going home," Peter said as he smiled and leaned back as he put his hands behind his head. Aunt Mae turned to him as she began to pull out of the hospital parking lot and headed down the street.
"I'm so glad that you're alright, Peter. Everyone was quite worried about you. Thank God, you have a good healing..." Aunt Mae said, cutting herself off at healing. Peter looked at her sideways and raised his eyebrow.
'Good Healing' what? he thought. Peter chuckled. "Yeah, seems like everything's different now," he said as he stared out of the window. There was an awkward silence and Peter looked over towards his aunt and he could faintly make out that she was whispering to herself. Unfortunately, he lacked the superhuman hearing to decipher what she was saying but he was sure it had something to do with her comment. Peter shook his head and sighed. His main concern was finding out where the giant lizard was. He wanted to know desperately who was responsible for the creature because he was completely positive that this wasn't a natural occurrence. What kind of freaky mad scientist would do something like that to an animal...or maybe even a person?
Peter thought it was merely a foolish conclusion but then he thought about it. Somehow, he had gained spider-like powers and superhuman strength out of nowhere. If he could do that, then it was entirely possible that somebody could get mutated into a lizard monster. Mutate. That word was too close to Mutant. The world hated mutants. Some news stations completely bashed their existence, especially MHN, which Peter thought stood for Mutant Hating News. It wasn't like mutants hadn't caused problems. A group of mutants threatened to bomb a rally in Washington and there was complete hysteria. People were saying it was the end of the world as they knew it. Peter shook his head. Some people were completely ignorant.
Peter's mind flashed back to his current situation. The lizard monster. Where had it been going? Peter had lost too much blood to even have the awareness to survey his surroundings, especially after he had been dropped in the alley and left for dead. Peter almost physically slapped his forehead. He needed a new costume after all that had happened. The lizard had torn easily through the fabric. Peter frowned. Using polyester and cotton for his suit was a bad idea now that he though about it. He needed something that wouldn't tear so easily and something that would provide ample warmth during the coming colder months. Maybe he could find a wetsuit and make some changes to it himself. He had $100 saved up after all.
"Aunt Mae," Peter said. His aunt nodded to acknowledge him.
"Yes?" she said.
"Can I go to the store after we get home. I need to buy something," he said. Aunt Mae shrugged.
"Depends. What do you need to buy?" she asked.
"A wetsuit..." Peter said softly.
"A wetsuit?" Aunt Mae raised an eyebrow. "Peter, it's the middle of autumn. You aren't going swimming unless you're going to an indoor pool in which case you won't need a wetsuit," she said.
"So is that a 'no'?" Peter asked.
"It's not a 'Yeah, sure. Go right ahead'," Aunt Mae said. Peter narrowed his eyes. Sigh, then I'll have to sneak out. Maybe...I can see if I can use my webs to get from place to place fast enough for Aunt Mae not to notice.
Later That Night...
Peter slowly opened the window to his room and peeked outside. Aunt Mae had retired to her room and Peter had a thirty-minute window before she would call him for something. The problem was, the swimwear store closed in ten minutes and Peter had to travel into the city...again. He didn't have much time to lose. Peter closed his window after he had crawled out and leapt from the wall on top of another house and then repeated as he made his way to the Queens Midtown Expressway. Peter sighed as he stood on the side of the road and frowned. The tunnel was a toll road and if he wanted to make it across he would have to sneak onto someone's car...or truck.
An SUV passed by Peter and he used the darkness to his advantage and webbed himself underneath the truck. Thank God, there's amazing traffic flow tonight. Peter thought as the SUV sped through the tunnel with almost no stopping. Peter could see the bright lights signifying that they had reached the Manhattan side of the tunnel. Peter rolled from under the car and ran into and alley and began to climb a building. When had reached the top he surveyed the area around him and sighed. There were taller buildings in every direction and he could almost make out his destination down the street. Peter shot up a web into the air at the tallest building and then pulled. The webbing was firmly in place and Peter walked to the edge of the building and looked down. He was five stories up and another fall would probably put him back into the hospital. He couldn't fall and he definitely didn't have to take tentative baby swings. It was all or nothing.
Peter leapt from the building holding on to his web for dear life. As he began to get close to the building, he shot another web to the building's neighbor. He let go of his former web and swung with the second webline towards another building. Peter began to find the rhythm as his body became accustomed to his swinging. It was like it was adapting on it's own, adjusting to Peter's new found skill. Peter shot two webs upwards and pulled himself over an immense building and suddenly felt himself falling. Peter could feel the adrenaline rushing through his body. His senses were heightened. He could his muscles tightening and he was felt like he was on Cloud 9. He felt as if everything was fine. He felt...high. As Peter swung another web that launched him farther, he smiled.
I'm doing it. I'm definitely Spider-Man now...
Meanwhile, Osborn Industries
Norman Osborn was sitting at his desk when he saw the door to his office creak open again. Norman smiled as he was expecting Sergei to have returned. However, the secretary brought forth another message.
"Mr. Osborn, it's your son. Send him in?" she asked. Norman shook his head in contempt and then beckoned for her to send him in. The entire reason for the little prick to go to college was so that he could be away from Norman. It seemed ever since his mother had died, he had gotten extremely clingy. Norman sat back in his chair and placed a faux smile on his face as his son entered.
"Harry! How're doing, son?" he said. He was almost nauseated from his words and the tone in which he said them. Harry smiled.
"I'm fine. Just a little tired is all. College is really kicking me in the ass," Harry said.
"Well, that's what it's there for. It's going to be a challenge, Harry. I gave donations to that school for better equipment and better teachers, not so you could have a free ride," Norman said. Lies. Norman had thought that by paying off the school to let Harry do what he did would make him stay far from home. In fact, it had done the opposite. The boy kept coming to him. Again and again.
"It is. I'm doing well, Dad. I'm ranked number 20 in the sophomore class. But, I didn't come to talk about grades. It's...more of a friend problem," Harry said. Norman nodded, although inside he couldn't give much of a shit.
"Is it a girl?" Norman asked.
"Well, yeah. There is one girl, Gwen Stacy..." Harry said as he trailed off and smiled. "But no, it's about Peter Parker. You know, the kid that helped me get into college." Norman's interest was genuinely caught and he looked at his son intently.
"What about him?"
"Well, I drove him to my school's medical center the other day. Doctor's said he had broken ribs, a bruised lung and a few bites and scratches like he had been mauled by an animal or something. But today, I went in to check on him and they said they had released him. He must've healed overnight. Crazy right?" Harry said. Norman smiled. It was so amazing how his son so naively trusted him. It almost made him laugh.
"Yes...very crazy indeed," Osborn said softly. Osborn heard the buzzer and pressed the button next to his desk.
"Mr. Osborn...a Mr. Kravinoff is here to see you," his secretary said. Norman smiled.
"Ok, send him in," he said. He then looked up at his son. "It was nice talking to you, Harry. But I've got a little bit of business to take care of. When you see Peter, tell him I said 'hello'," Norman said. Harry nodded and walked out.
"See ya, Dad."
After Harry had exited, Sergei Kravinoff entered the room with a very large duffle bag on his shoulder. He placed it on the table gently and looked up at Osborn. Norman noticed the large air holes and smiled. He unzipped the bag and looked inside to see Curt Connors, curled up and unconscious.
"Amazing. My armed guards with military grade automatic weapons couldn't even bring him down," Norman said.
"You're armed guards are not Sergei Kravinoff," Sergei said with a grin. Norman smiled.
"Indeed, they aren't," Sergei sat down in front of Norman and looked him in the eyes.
"Now, about my pay..."
"How would you like triple what I offered you the last time?" Norman said. Sergei's eyes widened and then settled back down.
"What is the catch?" he said.
"There's...someone else that I need to be found and captured. The person that caused Connors all the trouble he had gone through. His name is Peter Parker and he has something that I need," Norman said as toothy grin covered his face.
Peter shot his web from one house to the next and landed on the side of his own house. He had made it just in time to get into his room. There had been only one red and navy blue wetsuit in the store and it just happened to be in Peter's size. He was ready to fist pump at the amazing amount of luck he was having lately. Healing faster than expected. Web swinging. Getting his new suit. Everything was definitely going his way...
"Peter...is that you?" Peter's heart jumped as he slowly turned his head down to the ground. He had completely forgotten about the street lights. He had forgotten that almost nowhere in his neighborhood was dark at night. He looked towards the ground and his eyes widened in shock.