"How far out is he?” Fox asked.
“Not much further! He’s traveling at a rapid pace but nothing I cannot handle,” Cyanide said.
"We’re getting close to the city, now. Remember we’re on a small island with a small city, if people see us we’re screwed.”
“What would happen if we are caught?”
"Mass hysteria and we’d wind up as lab rats. Remember in your one comic when you got caught by the government and taken to the mainland for testing?” Fox asked.
“Yes, but I escaped. Surely it would not be that much of an issue?” Cyanide asked, not sure what the big deal was.
"True, and yeah, it kinda would be, depending on where we would end up. Remember this: you were experimented on while you were there and it was painful to you. That same thing can happen to us if we’re not careful,” Fox reminded it.
“I see. Then we shall not get caught. The night is here and it shall be our ally.”
When they hit the edge of the highway that led into the small city, Cyanide leapt on top of the buildings and ran across them, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
"There’s the jeep!” Fox exclaimed.
The creature spotted the jeep below and continued after it.
Maddox zipped off to the city, losing the creature for the time being. He looked up at the buildings above and somehow managed to spot the creature running after him.
“Sonovabitch!” Maddox swore.
Suddenly an ink-like spike was thrown right in front of him and he smashed into it. He was tossed from the vehicle and temporarily dazed. He got up and stumbled to the beach access, ignoring the people trying to help him.
Fox took this chance to leap off the roof, change back, and go down to his father.
“DAD!” Fox cried with false worry.
"Fox, what are you doing?” Cyanide growled.
Fox muttered to Cyanide, “Roll with me here.” He then shouted again, “DAD!”
Fox weaved through the crowd and reached his father. He grasped his father’s arm and gripped it tightly.
“Are you all right Dad? Do you need a hospital?” Fox asked, playing the worried son to perfection.
The crowd was getting bigger and closer. People were asking if they should call an ambulance.
“Do you know this boy, sir?” a woman asked.
“Yes. He’s my son, and I’m fine, Fox. I don’t need a hospital,” Maddox said, playing along.
“Son, I would take your papa to the hospital, regardless,” an elderly man said.
“That’s the plan, sir. Come on, Dad, my car’s this way,” Fox said with a nod to the man.
Fox led him to a parking lot and then disappeared behind a car. After he made sure no one was watching, he steered the battered man to the beach and they walked a bit up the shore until they hit the private part of the beach. Fox was lucky there were no houses or condos, and the road was a way back on this portion. It was pitch dark, and the only sounds were the waves crashing on the sand.
“Get up. I know you’re fine. You might be bruised but you’re fine,” Fox growled.
Maddox stopped playing his pitiful card and stood up.
“That was a good show, son. I didn’t know you could form things from the ink,” Maddox said with a bit of pride.
“I didn’t, either. It was mostly Cyanide. I’m still learning everything.” Fox crossed his arms over his chest.
“So how do we do this?” Maddox asked.
“Do you have to ask?” Fox asked with a wicked smirk.
POP POP POP!
Maddox tried to shoot the beast but he was blind as a bat in this darkness. The only light he had was the heat lightning and it was not bright enough to light up everything. He made do as he was still hung up on his mission.
Cyanide toyed with Maddox by knocking him over and then letting him up leaping off of him. The creature knew he could kill the man before him easily, hence the playing. The cycle repeated on for a few more moments until he ended up too close to the water.
Maddox fired the gun when the lightning lit up the sky once more and he saw the creature was forced to the water. He fired in that direction until he heard a splash and an unearthly screech of pain. Maddox smirked.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you like the water? You certainly love the beach,” he taunted.
Fox didn’t say anything, just snarled.
“Now that you’ve lost your skin what’ll protect you?” Maddox asked wickedly.
"We haven’t lost our skin,” Cyanide reminded Fox. “It can come back with the ink that flows in our veins. It’ll take some time, however.”
“Shit! All right, so we kill him now and get it over with,” Fox said.
Cyanide lunged for the man in the dark and pinned him to the ground. Maddox managed to kick the skeleton off. He fired his gun and got a few hits on the creature, breaking a few of the bones. Bullets cracked two ribs and its upper hind leg.
“You okay, buddy?” Fox asked concerned.
"I’m all right. Are you all right?” Cyanide asked.
“Fine. I can’t even feel it. Are we really okay? I know in the comics this doesn’t faze you,” Fox said.
"We are fine. You’re correct. These wounds do not faze us, as you say.”
“Okay. I’m done playing games. We end this and end it now,” Fox said with urgency.
“Are you done talking to yourself like a madman or do you need more time?” Maddox asked, getting a little impatient.
The creature snarled and gunned toward the man, knocking him flat on his ass once more. Cyanide then bit the man’s arm and flung him to the water. Cyanide smirked in satisfaction when the man hit the water.
POP POP POP!
More shots were fired, but missed Cyanide completely.
Cyanide took Maddox by the leg and tossed him away again. It lunged at him, taking Maddox by his shoulder throwing the man up into the air then letting him crash back down to earth.
Maddox tried to get up, but his battered body wouldn’t allow it. He looked over in the general direction of the creature and raised his gun.
CLICK. Maddox stared at his gun and tried to fire again. CLICK, CLICK. Nothing. Maddox threw the gun away in frustration.
“Looks like you’re out of ammo, human. What a shame,” Cyanide taunted with a growl.
Cyanide slinked closer to the broken man before him, ready to finish him off.
“Wait!” Maddox exclaimed.
Cyanide stopped and stared at the human.
“Please. Let me talk to my son again,” Maddox said softly.
"It’s probably a trick! End it!” Fox shouted.
“Why should I allow it?” Cyanide growled.
“Would you deny a dying man his last request?” Maddox asked.
“You are not dying. Not even close. Yes, you’re badly injured, but not even close to death,” Cyanide snarled.
“Just let me speak to my son. Please.”
“It is up to you, Fox,” Cyanide said.
"Switch with me,” Fox said, against his better judgment.
Cyanide allowed Fox to take over and Fox looked at the battered Maddox.
“What do you want?” Fox snarled.
“Fox, change back to you,” Maddox said.
“Forgive me Pops, but I don’t exactly trust you.”
“Please just change back. My gun is empty, so I can’t defend myself,” Maddox said, raising his hands in a surrender pose.
Using what little ink had come back, he shifted back to mostly human. He still had some of Cyanide’s features, such as the tail and his inky ears, his eyes were black with the pinprick white dots, his legs were still wolf-like, but the rest of him was human.
Fox walked up to his father with caution, stopping just a few feet short of him.
“Come closer son, I just want to talk,” Maddox beckoned.
“Yeah, no. I’m fine right here,” Fox said, making no moves.
“Suit yourself, I’ll just come to you.”
“One, if you can even get up. Two, stay back. I mean, I plan to kill you, don’t get me wrong, but if you come anywhere near me I will drop you in a heartbeat,” Fox threatened with a vicious snarl.
“I don’t doubt it.”
Maddox struggled to get up, and when he did, he was wobbly at first but held steady. He couldn’t see his son, but looked where he thought he might be.
“I didn’t want this, you know,” he said.
“Oh fucking spare me,” Fox growled.
“Despite what I’ve said, I meant it. I didn’t want this and I wanted you to come with me,” Maddox swore.
“The mind really is the first thing that goes, isn’t it? You keep saying that, then you turn around and say the opposite. Which is it?” Fox asked.
“Fox-” Maddox began
“Let me tell you what I think. I think you fell in love with the one. You settled down but you barely knew each other. You both were leading double lives. She would disappear in the night as you would the day. Then I came along. The two of you found out what was really beneath the surface, and it scared you. She takes me and runs again, risking coming back here to raise her baby. You despise magic. You had to take her out on your boss’s orders and your own. She died and you lived. You watch over me all these years, keeping tabs, and now you want to get rid of the nightmare once and for all. The kicker? I don’t think you give a damn at all, hell you probably never gave a damn. You’ve been doing this for years and you let your group of merry men corrupt you. Make you think magic is evil. Newsflash asshole, the unknown and different aren’t evil. Anyone that thinks that needs a good look in the mirror,” Fox snarled.
Silence filled the beach.