Later that evening Fox was in the living room sketching his latest comic strip, as a nagging thought he fought to keep away all day came back to him full force.
“Hey, Cyanide?” Fox asked.
Cyanide hummed in response. Fox thought that was strange as it usually growled, but shrugged it off.
“What did you mean that Samantha was up to something?” Fox asked curiously. The thought had been bugging him since the ceremony.
"I smelled ill intent on her. She plans to do something to you, to us. I am willing to bet she is working with the one who smells of familiar blood,” Cyanide rumbled.
Fox didn’t want to believe it at first, but with all that’d happened within the last few weeks, he was honestly not surprised. Though, he wished he knew the real reason why Samantha was doing this. He also needed to know if this person of familiar blood was really his father.
“Well, that’s just fan-fucking-tastic. My dead father is possibly alive and hunting me for reasons I don’t fucking know, and Samantha is actually his bitch, trailing after him like a little lost puppy for again some shitty reason I don’t know! GAH! This is balls-up-the-wall insane and I’m probably going mad!” Fox shouted in frustration. His life was getting a bit crazy, like some characters in your favorite superhero comic book.
“Calm yourself, Fox. Getting worked up will solve nothing!”
Fox threw his arms up in the air and shouted, “I can’t freaking help it! All of this is like some whacked-out fever dream that I can’t wake up from! For fuck’s sake, I should be freaking out since I’m fused to an ink monster!”
"Calm down now!” Cyanide barked loudly and menacingly.
Fox stilled and quieted his mind. Cyanide was scary as hell when it was angry. Even in his comics it was menacing when it was mad.
"Good. Now then. The only thing we can do for the time being is lay low and plan,” Cyanide rumbled.
“Do you know what she and my possibly-alive father are planning?” Fox asked.
"No. What I do know is that they are going to take you and me down, or at least try,” Cyanide said.
“Like in my comic! The leader of The Underground wanted to take you out but he couldn’t. You managed to slip away,” Fox supplied the obvious. Thanks, captain.
"Yes, I remember. I also remember he had a partner. I slaughtered them I believe.” Cyanide almost purred in happiness.
“You did. Quite brutally…” Fox trailed off as a thought slammed into him like a drunk driver. “Sonovabitch.”
Cyanide growled in question.
“My father killed my mother,” Fox said, his eyes blank and his voice void of any emotions.
"How do you know?” Cyanide asked.
“I had a dream a while ago. It was a dream I’ve had for years after my parents died. It faded into the background but came around once and a while. I had it recently, well, before all this happened. I was six years old and it was thunder storming. I wanted my mother and went to look for her when she didn’t answer me. I came down the stairs and went to the kitchen as I figured she’d be outside watching the storm on the beach. I looked out the back doors and saw a skeletal wolf-like creature in the lightning,” Fox explained.
"Like me,” Cyanide rumbled.
“Give or take a few details, but yeah. I screamed and woke up. Thinking about it and putting together all the pieces of what’s been happening lately, I don’t think it’s a dream. I think it’s a memory, and if it’s a memory then everything makes sense,” Fox said, biting his knuckle. This whole thing was giving him a headache.
"What makes sense?” Cyanide asked, confused.
“The reason why my mother has an altar in a hidden room, and all the magic stuff. It makes all the sense. The picture on the cave wall at the cove Samantha and I visited, the Poison Lei picture, it’s all real. My mother was part of an organization that uses magic to commit crimes. My comics aren’t fiction,” Fox said with an emotionless chuckle. “How many people can say that?”
"So if your drawings are real, what plan do you have?” Cyanide asked.
Fox sat back down on the couch and ran a hand down his face, “Not sure. My father’s character disappears after you were wounded, well more like me, but you get the gist. He doesn’t reappear until a year later. If he’s here now, he’s probably laying low and will send Samantha to do his dirty work.”
"So what do we do?” Cyanide asked, needing to know.
“Like you said at the ceremony. We play along, then I kill my father,” Fox said
"For your mother?” the creature rumbled softly.
“Yeah, among other things,” Fox growled.
"Among other things?”
“He’s trying to kill me, and would’ve killed me that night if my mother hadn’t wounded him to the point of death. He wants me dead because of my mother, so I need to kill him before he gets to me.”
"So we just sit back and play along?”
“You ask a lot of questions, pal,” Fox joked.
Cyanide snarled and Fox barked a laugh.
“Anyway, yes. For now, we play along. As you said, Samantha’s up to something and for the time being we lay low,” Fox said, still smirking.
"And our plan?” Cyanide asked.
“We’ll improvise,” Fox said with a shrug.
Cyanide huffed a frustrated growl but said nothing more for the rest of the night. Fox was okay with it and went back to drawing. Despite everything, he wanted to continue Cyanides’ story.
Fox finished the sketch and took it upstairs to the office where his other sketch pads and art supplies were. He grabbed the very first comic pages he drew of Cyanide and scanned them with the printer, then uploaded them to a file on his own laptop, which he set up the night after he moved in. He went over the pages and uploaded the file online.
“Let’s see how the world likes a scary anti-hero,” Fox said nervously, his heart racing.
Fox then made a Twitter page for his comic and promoted the first pages with a link to them. He closed his laptop and headed down the winding staircase to make some dinner. Fox’s phone was in his bedroom ringing and he frowned when he heard the loud ringtone. No one had his new phone number. He raced back up to see who would be calling. The phone stopped ringing before Fox got there, and he picked it up to check the caller ID when it rang once more. He hesitated, but answered anyway.
"Fox! Thank god. I’ve been taken; I was out to dinner with my father when my phone rang. I went outside to answer it and I got snatched!” Samantha whispered on the other end.
Fox didn’t buy it, but played along like he planned and said. “Do you know where you are?”
"N-no,” she cried, not knowing Fox could tell they were fake tears. ”But I heard them. We’re going to the warehouse district.”
“All right, try and call the police if you can. I’m on my way,” Fox, with fake urgency, pretended to sound concerned.
"Please, please hurry,” she whispered.
"Hey! What are you doing?” a man in the background shouted.
"No! Get back!” she screamed.
Fox pulled the phone away from his ear, then hung up and made his way downstairs. He was not in any hurry as he knew it was a trap.
"Are we going?” Cyanide asked.
“Why not? It’s a nice night, why not have a little fun?” Fox asked.
Since the warehouse district wasn’t too far from his home, he decided it was a beautiful night for a stroll. He left the house and walked in the direction of the warehouses. He enjoyed his walk, letting the gentle ocean breeze cool him off. It was pretty hot despite the fact it was near ten at night.
As he walked, he let Cyanide slowly creep out. His black veins spread throughout his body as the ink flowed, but he didn’t fully transform. He was halfway there but the full thing would come soon. The black veins were hidden as they got closer, and Fox’s skin was the ashen grey it had been when he first performed the spells.
Fox smirked as Cyanide began to growl. They were almost there.
At Warehouse Number Nine
Activity was being set for the trap for Fox.
“Are you sure he’s coming?” Maddox asked, while tying Samantha down to a chair to make the kidnapping seem real.
“Of course. He wouldn’t leave me in this situation. Ouch! Not so tight asshole!” Samantha said with an eye roll.
“Right because you’re such a convincing actress. The ropes wouldn’t be so tight if you’d stop moving,” Maddox snarked.
“For all I know you could’ve done it on purpose, and I think I did fan-bloody-tastic. I deserve an Oscar,” Samantha bragged.
Maddox huffed and began to say, “What you deserve-”
Maddox was cut off by a loud SMASH! The two looked up to see the skylight had been broken, with a dark substance oozing off of it.
“What the fuck was that and what the hell is that dark shit?!” Maddox exclaimed.
“How the hell should I know!?” Samantha argued.
The two watched as the substance continued to drip. The warehouse was silent for a few moments before it was broken by a female voice.
“Well, don’t just stand there like a bleeding idiot! Go see what it is!” Samantha commanded.
Maddox rolled his eyes and mumbled something under his breath, but listened. He went over to see what the substance was and found it was not blood, like he was thinking. He dipped his fingers in it and brought it up closer to his face for inspection. He found the black liquid smelled like a permanent marker.
“I think this is ink,” Maddox said, and sniffed it again to be sure. “Yup. Smells like it. It also has that texture and feel.”
“Ink? What the hell is ink doing here?” Samantha asked.
“Someone must be out there. I’m going to go look,” Maddox said, and walked over to the table where his weapons were laid out. He chose a gun.
“Untie me first!” Samantha shouted.
“If it’s my son, you’ll be fine. Just stick to the plan,” Maddox said, not too worried.
“What plan? We never discussed one!” Samantha yelled.
“You’ll be fine. I’ll be back.”
Maddox left and Samantha threw her head back and groaned.
“Son of a bleeding bitch. That cock could’ve at least untied me,” she muttered under her breath.
“That would’ve been no fun,” Fox/Cyanide said from somewhere in the shadows.
“Fox!?” Samantha exclaimed.
She looked around and didn’t see him anywhere.
“Fox, where are you? Why do you sound so weird?” Samantha asked, getting nervous.
“I’m right here,” Fox/Cyanide said.
Samantha looked around again and still didn’t see Fox anywhere.
She was about to call out to him again when she spotted something coming out of the ink puddle. It looked yellowish and bony. A large claw poked out of the ink and slowly the rest of the creature emerged from the puddle. When the creature fully emerged, the ink puddle ran up the wolf-like creature and covered half of it like a protective skin.
Samantha struggled for words. She remained silent for a moment before finally speaking.
“F-Fox?” she stuttered in a whisper.
The creature didn’t move. Just stared.
“Fox, the spells...they actually worked?”
“They did,” Fox/Cyanide rumbled, almost growling.
“What are you?” she whispered curiously and somewhat fearfully.
“A new kind of Cyanide. What are you?” the creature snarled.
“What do you mean?”
“You know what,” Fox/Cyanide growled.
“I’m-” she began.
POP POP POP! Gunshots rang out, but didn’t faze the creature as the shots somehow missed it.
“Is that any way of saying hello to your son after trying to kill him all those years ago?” Fox/Cyanide said with a sinister smirk.
“I couldn’t let your mother poison your mind with this magic nonsense. Then when it turned out to be true and there really was an organization that used magic to commit their crimes, I had to stop her before she converted you. I see she sunk her claws into you anyhow,” Maddox declared.
The creature laughed menacingly with a slight growl. “My mother poisoned me? That’s a laugh!”
“She did! Look at you!” Maddox shouted.
“I barely know anything about her and why she chose the path she did, but I’m not following in her footsteps. I obey no one and I have no master,” the creature snarled, and bared its terrifying teeth.
“If you’re not following in her footsteps, why perform the spells!?” Maddox demanded.
“Curiosity. Simple as that,” Fox/Cyanide said.
“Believe what you will, but I speak the truth,” the beast rumbled.
“Fox was that you or Cyanide talking?” Samantha asked.
“Both of us. We are one,” the ink beast said.
Fox came through. “But we can speak separately.”
Cyanide came through. “We share the same body, not the mind or soul.”
“Since you can talk separately, can you separate from each other in that form?” Samantha asked curiously.
Both Cyanide and Fox came through again “Why should we tell you?”
“We can help you! Fox, we can separate you and you’ll have a normal life again,” Samantha pleaded.
The beast laughed like a madman and Fox came through to speak.
“Why would I do that, and what normal life? I’ve been a foster kid that bounced from home to home. Some nice, while others were a living Hell. Why give this up? I feel free.”
POP POP POP!
Maddox held his gun and was panting. The creature looked down at its bones and saw a bullet lodged in one of the ribs on the right side. The creature reached up with a claw and pulled it out.
“Was that supposed to hurt?” Fox/Cyanide asked.
Maddox was ready to shoot again when the creature allowed the ink to slip off to the floor and it vanished back into the puddle, jumping into the shadows of the warehouse.
“Fox!” Maddox yelled.
“Maddox, untie me!” Samantha demanded as she struggled in the ropes.
Maddox untied her and the two tried to escape. The creature jumped out with a menacing roar, blocking the door.
“Leaving so soon, Dad? I thought we’d sit down and talk some more,” Fox said with a smirk that would make the bravest man scared.
“Son, come with me. We’ll get you cured and you can join me! My organization hunts down The Poison Lei cultists and puts an end to them and their ways. If you come with me, we can make you an agent,” Maddox pleaded.
“Cure me?” Fox asked.
“There is no cure,” Cyanide growled.
“Even if there was, there’s a tiny little problem,” Fox said.
Samantha spoke up. “Fox, think about it! You can be with us and I won’t have to get my revenge,” she said, trying to make Fox and not the beast to see reason.
The beast turned its horrifying gaze onto Samantha, and she flinched. She didn’t want to do this, but she wanted all this madness to end.
“This is just a revenge story for you?” Fox snarled.
“My parents were tortured and killed by these bastards after “betraying” them! You can’t blame me here!”
“Were your parents a part of the cult?” Fox tilted his head.
“Yeah. One of the rules is that you can’t have children. Rules were made to be broken, I suppose,” Samantha spat.
“If that’s true, how are we still alive?” Fox asked.
“I’m alive because I’m fucking protecting the world from monsters like you! You’ll die, though. I’ll see to it. This is my operation, not your father’s,” Samantha exclaimed angrily.
Maddox was about to say something when he was cut off.
“A monster, am I?” Fox gave a gruesome smirk.
“No. Not yet. You know, I don’t have to kill you. We can help you, and cure you. Just come with us. Please. I don’t want to hurt you.”
Fox was silent once more, before laughing. “Like I was saying before. There’s a tiny little problem.”
“What’s that? Tell me you didn’t perform a spell that leaves you like this forever!” Samantha now begged.
“No. We like the disease!” Fox/Cyanide howled menacingly.
Fox lunged at them, pinned Samantha to the floor, and took a chunk out of her shoulder. It listened to her scream bloody murder, when Maddox fired the gun again. The creature jumped off of her and felt a few bullets hit its front legs and collarbone.
“Ouch. That hurt,” Fox/Cyanide said, both voices dripping sarcasm.
The creature disappeared into the shadows, only to reappear behind his father. It swiped a massive claw at him, throwing Maddox halfway across the room. Maddox slammed into some crates and rolled to a stop. The creature noticed Samantha army crawling across the floor to get to the exit. He pinned her to the ground once more and looked at her, seeing the fear etched on her face.
“I should spare you, but like those bullies, you’ll just keep coming back until your clichéd revenge story is complete,” Fox snarled.
“Fo-ox...ple-please...I didn’t w-want this...all I-I want-ted-” Samantha gasped in pain.
“Let me guess, avenge your beloved fallen parents? HAHAHA! So you came after me thinking it would ease your pain. News flash, it wouldn’t.”
“Y-your m-mother was the o-ne who did i-it...D-daddy over there w-wanted t-to kill y-you first…” Samantha painfully rasped.
“Doesn’t surprise me. And how do you know? If my father told you, he could’ve lied to you. Lied to get to me. Ever think about that?” Fox growled.
Samantha didn’t answer, just coughed up more blood and took in a shaky breath.
“I trusted you when every fucking fiber of my being said not to. Rule one being a foster kid, trust no one and make no connections,” Fox snarled. Trust was something most foster kids struggled with, especially when they’re placed in multiple homes. Fox was no different. He had tried to learn to trust but couldn’t. He felt it was better that way.
“Fox?” Cyanide called.
“What?” Fox snarled.
“Your father is gone,” Cyanide pointed out.
“We’ll deal with him later. For now...”
Fox decided to go ahead with his plan and put Samantha out of her misery. He drove his claw into her back, and grasped her spinal cord. With a harsh yank, he ripped it out, her violent screams and howls echoing in the background before silence settled over them once more.
The whole warehouse and the surrounding area fell into an eerie silence. The creature let out a howl and disappeared into the night.
The creature made it back home and headed to the back yard, standing on the beach and staring out at the ocean for a moment. It returned to normal, and Fox stood there not wanting to go inside just yet. Fox settled into the hammock and rocked slowly, letting the breeze that had been coming off the water soothe his nerves.
He had just killed a person. He wasn’t freaking out as most people would, but then again he wasn’t most people. He didn’t freak out when finding his dreams about being fused and becoming Cyanide were true. He wasn’t sure why he didn’t freak. Maybe he was jaded or maybe he felt this was better than the hand life had previously dealt him. Maybe he really died and this was Purgatory. He just didn’t know.
“They were also trying to kill me, so it was self-defense. It’s not like they can trace it back to me anyway. Apparently, the cult that my mother was once a part of is now mostly or completely extinct, and the ink? The only other thing I left behind besides blood is ink. Who the ever fuck can trace that back to me?” Fox asked himself.
"What the hell are you mumbling about?” Cyanide rumbled.
“Wouldn’t you and the principal like to know?” Fox snarked.
"Who is the principal person you speak of?”
“No one. It’s a figure of speech,” Fox groaned.
"If you say so. What do we do about your father?” Cyanide asked with a growl.
“I say we let him come to us.”
"How do you know he will?”
“Oh, he will. He still has a job to do and won’t stop until it’s done. It seems like Daddy Dearest has a one-track mind.”
"What’ll we do until then?”
“Not much we can do, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait for very long. With his partner now dead he’ll want my head on a silver platter even more, and I bet it won’t matter if they had a connection or not,” Fox pointed out.
"So we just sit here and wait?” Cyanide asked, not liking that idea at all.
“Yup,” Fox said, popping the P. “Although we could have a little fun while we wait.”
"What kind of fun?” Cyanide asked wearily.
Fox smirked like the cat that caught the canary and watched the black veins crawl up his arm then disappear. He yawned and decided it could wait until tomorrow.