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Thejoshie

Dark Origins

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Issue 1

Dark Origins (Part 1)

The air was heavy with silence at this height. The speckled night sky, its beauty denied by the lights of Freedom City, managed to cast just enough darkness so that a lone figure was able to hide from prying eyes of anyone who may have been on the rooftops at this time of early morning.

She was not hiding, per say. She was merely resting, relaxing from a busy night, her grey eyes separated from the world behind her dull skinned eyelids that were starting to get annoyingly heavy. She stood up from her crouch, adjusting the full faced mask on her face. Her eyes have long since adjusted to the nighttime surroundings, her nose ignoring the smokey residue from the pipe beside her. The echo of the occasional car horn hung in the air, reminding her that life still continued, even after dark. Of course, considering what she does at this time of night, she needed no reminding of that fact.

She spotted the pigeon as it began to flutter its wings, noticing how the pigeon seemingly swooped down from the sky; it’s landing graceful and fearless. It inspired her. She started with a light jog forward, slowly lengthening her strides till she was in a full run. And when she reached the edge of the building roof, she merely fell forward, Gravity grabbing her body as she plummeted head first down the side of the building, the wind whistling past her ears as the flag pole drew closer and closer.

Her leather gloves protected what would have been a serious case of rub-burn, as she grabbed the pole and swung on it, gathering momentum. Faster and faster she spun, releasing her grip on the pole at the last second. Her body soared, trespassing a height that a person had no business flying through without any sort of climbing equipment. When she felt the apex of the leap approaching, she pulled a backflip, watching her intended landing spot spin in and out of her vision. It was a perfect landing, her boots crunching into the gravelly rooftop.

And the judges give a perfect 10!

She froze up when she felt the feeling. Many a times she tried to define it, the vibration that she felt at the base of her skull. When she foolishly was about to stick her hand in a malfunctioning garbage disposal when she was 13 to get her Mickey Mouse watch. The buzz caused to hesitate for a split second… and her fingers were saved by inches as the fuse shorted and the disposal kicked in full gear. The watch was destroyed, of course.

A danger-sense that warns you of danger was seemingly a good thing. But there was a slight problem: It was a ‘danger’ sense. Danger was never really something you wanted much of.

The buzzing was steady and constant, like a tug. Nothing north… nothing west… South.

Oh great… it was coming from Southside. No other spot in Freedom City could you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Time to be a hero…

***

Leonard didn’t expect the kid to be this heavy. Nor did he expect being picked to even carry her in the first place. Such was life. “Mike, how much further?â€Â

“Just a little more, quit being a baby.â€Â

“It’s just that… well, you know…â€Â

“No, I don’t know.â€Â

“We killed a minor. I hear that’s as bad as raping one… that’s serious time, man. We could lose our jobs.â€Â

Leonard saw Mike look back at him with cold eyes. “She took the meta of her own free will. She was a junkie, willing to risk a stronger dose for a free fix. She died of her own stupidity.â€Â

“But we gave it to her.â€Â

“Hey, if you want to take the route of Mother Teresa, just leave your money on your way out the door…â€Â

Money. The ultimate equalizer. Almost immediately, all his debts came back to his mind. “…â€Â

“Exactly. Now shut-up and help me hoist this into the dumpster.â€Â

“I’m sorry, but the bin for re-cycling bodies is full this evening.â€Â

***

Yuki felt bad, seeing the dead body being carried like a piece of meat between the two men. She also heard enough to know that they were as innocent as a condom on prom night. Hanging upside down on a webline, she looked down on the two people who she had to assume did the deed.

The one called Mike dropped the body rather abruptly. "Walk away."

"Do I look like I walked?"

In the seconds that followed, she felt drops of wetness hit her body. A drizzle. She’s about to be caught in the rain.

"Awww nuts, it's raining." Mike looked up at her with agitation. "Look, snowflake, we don't have time to play."

"Really? But you have plenty of time to kill people?"

"Oh absolutely. We can continue with you, if you like?"

"Now see, you butchered that sentence."

"What?"

"Here's the correct way..." She crossed her arms, allowing her legs to hold on to the webline. "...you can _try_ and continue with me. You can't just assume that you'll do it. You leave yourself open to have your foot in your mouth if you fail. Just saving you some embarrassment."

"…you're not going to leave, are you?"

"Only if you turn yourself in for killing that girl."

The man sighed. "Come on Leonard, our job isn't done."

“Well, mines have just begun.†Yuki let go of her webline as the men produced weapons. Forty-fives from the looks of it, but they didn’t look like the civilian issue. She webbed up the first man before he could blink, sticking his feet to the ground with one hand and used the other to web his gun arm to his stomach. His wiggling caused Yuki to giggle to herself, her danger-sense snapping her attention back to the here and now. She executed a backflip just as Mike fired his gun, landing on top of the dumpster they were going to use. Trusting the buzzes in her skull for timing, she ducked, dodged, leaped and weaved through more shots. If he kept this shooting up, someone would get hurt.

“Okay, if you can’t use that thing, something gotta be done about it!â€Â

She concentrated and shot a thick glob of psychic webbing at his gun. Her aim was perfect, and she smiled as the webbing splashed around the gun and hardened. It almost stuck the gun to Mike’s hand if he didn’t drop it. “You freak!â€Â

“What!? I wasn’t the one who killed someone!â€Â

“She killed herself.â€Â

“Right… and that’s why you tried to hide the body.â€Â

The thug rushed her, yet Yuki didn’t attempt to dodge. She saw him throw a right straight and she swayed hard to her left, just outside the punch.

“I don’t have to answer to you. This isn’t your concern.â€Â

“You made it my concern.†She was in the middle of sending her right counter-punch towards Mike’s wide open jaw when her skull shook her head. She ducked the bullet that would’ve killed her. Of course that also caused her punch to be thrown wide of its target.

It was a critical mistake, as her head met the thug’s knee, knocking her backwards. That was another problem with her danger sense. It couldn’t detect more then one danger.

“Blast it, Leo! Watch who you shoot!â€Â

“Is that how you thank me for saving you!?â€Â

“I’m winning!â€Â

“Only after I… look out!â€Â

Yuki was on one knee but rose as the two idiots argued, twisting her body to avoid another swing from the man. She recovered from the cobwebs.

No pun intended.

As she saw the left haymaker whiz past her face she countered with one of her own, slamming her fist into his ear. She wasn’t done as she leaped up, twisting her body with the momentum of her punch. Her legs wrapped themselves around his neck and she rolled backwards, tossing him onto his partner. They both crashed into the garbage behind them. Neither moved.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish. Just be grateful that I don’t kill.â€Â

She looked over at the body. “…damn grateful.â€Â

***20 minutes later***

“Hey… Hey Bobby, look at this!â€Â

Mike’s eyes opened, and his head was pounding. His right ear was ringing and he felt a trickle from it.

“Woah! Get them out of that! I’ve got questions for them. This one is bleeding from one of his ears.â€Â

Mike’s eyes closed for a few seconds and re-opened and saw two uniformed cops approaching him. One had a utility knife. Another was cutting Leonard out of the same web prison he was in. Now it was coming into remembrance… the junkie… the test… the heart attack… Spider-Girl…

“That girl…â€Â

“Yeah, we found the body. We want to question you two on that.â€Â

Mike looked over at Leo, who’s eyes grew to the size of softballs. “Uh…â€Â

“Shut up Leo.†Mike got up as the webbing was cut. “Officer, the teenager was killed by a girl. Red and blue costume… Spider-motif.â€Â

“What! You have evidence?â€Â

“Besides the webbing everywhere?†Mike took out his FBI badge. “Fine. Does this answer your question?â€Â

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Issue 2

Dark Origins (part 2)

“That loose cannon, must be removed.â€Â

Mike Weathers nodded at the man sitting behind him in the Starbucks. To a passerby, they were seated in such a way, that they couldn’t be talking to each other. But they were. On their cells, with their voice low enough so that other tables couldn’t hear. “She’s that much of a menace?â€Â

“That girl has interrupted various street deals and underground activity. Not just meta, but other avenues. Cocaine, Extasy, money laundering, the other night she even prevented a shipment of clean registered guns from being sold to the black market over in Wading Way. This ‘Spider-Girl’ is interrupting his business. And when ‘his’ business is interrupted, heads roll.â€Â

“Well, she’s a wanted woman now…â€Â

“That’s a start… but only a start.â€Â

“I don’t follow…â€Â

“Her death would’ve been worth the red tape that needs to be laid down. Now a body, freshly doped up with the newest batch of Meta, is going though Freedom City’s coroner office. That means bribing doctors, changing autopsies, providing false dental records, I even had to hire outside contractors to wipe out the hardcopies of her bank account, each a possible avenue that can pierce ‘his’ secret. Yet, she’s still alive, meaning that she has the potential to do this all over again.â€Â

“…I’ll see too it that the nail gets hammered down.â€Â

“See that you do. I’m sending the contact number of the independent contractors. They're Meta users, thus they are looking forward to meet you for their... fix. See to it that their activities are properly covered. They maybe juveniles, but they provide decent service... as long as they are properly looked after.â€Â

Mike hung up the phone and waited as he watched the contact walk away. Who would've guessed that one body would cause so much trouble.

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Yuki couldn’t believe what she was reading.

“…while the police is still in the midst of a full investigation, a full warrant for Spider-Girl’s arrest has already been processed… WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!â€Â

Yuki tossed the newspaper in disgust. Big mistake, as the paper fluttered down from her third story perch and dozens of newspaper sections rained onto the populous below. “…oops.â€Â

Yuki was NOT having a good morning right now. A lack of sleep would do that, courtesy of a concerned mother who doesn’t know about her dual life. A mother who is always out the house without so much as an explanation, who just HAD to be in the house the morning Yuki decided to sleep in.

And ironically Yuki drifted back to the very reason she was tired in the first place. The vibrant red and blue costume that now has a target on it, currently attached to the side of one of the many skyscrapers of downtown Freedom, watching the slow descent of her paper, causing her to frown.

Well, that’s 35 cents down the crapper. Way to go Yuki, you could’ve bought a breakfast burrito.

Her stomach growled and she lightly rubbed it. She foolishly left the house without grabbing a bite to eat. “I know, I know… let me just head over to the bank and pull out money first…â€Â

She aimed, focused, and unleashed a stream of greenish webbing from her finger tips, watching as the resulting web line caught the tip of the building off to her left. She was off and swinging just as she heard screams from below her.

I don’t know what their problem is… they’re getting a free paper!

This was by and far one of her favorite moments of being a teen super hero with spider powers. The air whipping in her face, the view of the city from this high up, and with her agility the whole city was her play ground. There wasn’t many places where she hasn’t climbed, swung from, or leapt off of.

But as her stomach growled again, all her thoughts ceased.

Her danger-sense went off.

But of course. Well, it could be wors…

She stopped mid-thought, as she saw smoke rising in the distance. Smoke coming from the bank she was headed for. Me and my big mouth.

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“Rant and Rave in da house!â€Â

Gerald watched as the two kids blew the door open as if it was card board. Meta users always scared him, and only the generous cut of the profits he was entitled to kept him from rejecting this job.

Still… Rant and Rave, the Bonnie and Clyde of Meta-Criminals, were quite… juvenile. As he watched Rant fire off one of his sonic blasts at a security guard, watching the elderly man slam into and slide down the wall, Gerald couldn’t help but wince behind his stocking mask. He could’ve handle the man, why did Rant even bother to be so barbaric?

“Anybody else want to be a hero?â€Â

Silence engulfed the building.

“Good. Now someone, ‘any’ one. Lead me and my sister to your records and your money. For every minute we wait, someone will get hurt!"

Gerald watched as one of the banktellers scrambled up to Rant.

“Smart man. Gerald, get the car started and running, we won’t be long.â€Â

Gerald nodded, running out without a second thought. If everything went as planned, then all he had to do was go out and speed the car around the block to the back, the rendezvous point.

He slipped into the BMW, turned the key and jammed the accelerator.

Nothing.

“Hello good sir. Shall I fill her up, or check under the hood?â€Â

Gerald looked out the passenger window. What met his eyes caused him to stammer…

***

“OH! I get it,†An hanging upside-down Yuki exclaimed, smiling underneath her mask. “…you ‘are’ a hood! Silly me.â€Â

“Lookout! It’s Spider-girl!â€Â

“REALLY!? Where!? Where!?â€Â

Yuki looked all over the place wildly, as the driver slipped out the car and ran. He didn’t go too far, a practiced shot of psychic web to his feet saw to that. “I have to apologize, I get flustered when I’m around celebrities.â€Â

Yuki dropped from her webline and onto the hood of the car. “Seriously, you can’t be alone. Who were you…

Her spider-senses went nuts, and she barely leaped off the car before it became scrap, the smoke of the motor oil burning reaching her nostrils and causing her to leap again when she reached the pavement. The car exploded, sending shrapnel everywhere.

Yuki was on top of the Lamppost (a different one, as her previous one collapsed due to the explosion), looking at the source of the blast… a young man who obviously is still living in the 90’s, with his shirt and jeans having holes and chains on them. The woman next to him was the same way, her boots causing a slight clink each time she tapped her toe on the manhole cover she was standing on. They both seemed to have exited from the bank, whose doors looked to have been blasted apart.

Wait… that’s…

“Rant and Rave?†Yuki grinned.

This maybe just the thing I need.

“You know you two have an APB… from the fashion Police. Apparently, 1996 wants their clothes back. I’m taking you in!â€Â

Yuki flipped off her perched, firing Web balls at Rant, the one she assumed fired that blast that ripped the car to shreds…

She was right. Rant screamed, the resulting blast crumbling her Web Balls before they came near him and almost tagged her as she made a three point landing infront of him and Rave.

“Why do people ignore me!†Rave screamed, as she lifted an arm and pointed at Yuki. For a second, the two images in front of Yuki’s eyes began to distort, but Yuki shook her head and leapt into the air. “Oh, I’m not ignoring you, just don’t have many insults to say about you. The way you dress is insulting enough.â€Â

Whatever she was trying to do, it was screwing up my co-ordination. Gotta keep moving…

Yuki fired a glob aimed at Rave’s eyes… only for Rant to incinerate them with another blast. It was frustrating, as the man was obviously aiming for Yuki and missed her horribly. How lucky could he be!?

Rave, meanwhile, was beside herself. “…y-You…â€Â

Whatever adjective that Rave attached to that pronoun in response to Yuki’s insult was missed as once again, Yuki felt her sight getting distorted, her surrounding twisting to the right at such a horrible angle… but Yuki concentrated and kept true with her leap, and sure enough, the wall of the bank was right where she remembered it.

Lord knows how embarrassing it would’ve been if I was fooled…

She pressed off the wall and leapt at Rave. “I’m sorry, but I’ve been called worse by better. Try again.â€Â

Yuki split legged Rant’s blast, placing her palms squarely on his head and leap frogging over the stunned man, somersaulting towards Rave. She _barely_ missed Rave, with more web-balls. And that was because she saw two Raves in front of her.

NUTS! I fell for her mind tricky thing. Snap out of it, Yuki!

Yuki managed to see through the distortion, but by then she leapt well past Rave. Shooting a webline, she tagged another Lampost, and swung around and back towards the two. Rave had both her arms out, trying to get a bead on her. Rant was taking a deep breath and…

He’s getting predictable…

Yuki released the webline at the down swing, timing it to Rants blast. When he screamed, it hit nothing but the air above her rapidly descending body. But Yuki didn’t miss, as she dropped to the ground and gave his gut a good straight punch. He dropped everything, the shoulder bag… and a cell phone. He stumbled back towards his sister, who caught him.

Score! I’ll just take this cellphone. Wait, why are they glowing… oh nuts.

Yuki leapt straight up and barely avoided the solid yellow blast that originated from a yellow aura around the two. It struck the side of the bank.

“Okay, I’m getting weird vibes here. Are you two ‘sure’ you’re just brother and sister?â€Â

Yuki fired a webline to the ground she just leapt from to cut the distance of her leap short, a maneuver that successfully feinted Rant, who fired a blast way over her head. She then pointed a finger and concentrated, firing a greenish glob at him. She hit his feet… but he fired at it with his sonic blast before the webbing had a chance to solidify.

Nuts.

Her vision jerked to the side again, and her stomach flipped. Yuki held it together.

Alright, Rave you’re getting on my nerves!

Yuki let go of the Webline and fired another to allow her to swing towards Rave, but even with her Spider-Senses kicking in, she wasn’t fast enough to avoid Rant, who got in the way and fired a blast at her. It resulted in knocking her back, ears ringing.

Stop ignoring your spider-sense, bone head!

It got worse. As Yuki managed to attach herself to the bank wall again, she saw that Yellow beam coming right at her. She leapt over it, the spot she was on exploding into a shower of dust and brick.

“Okay, you two are getting a bit predictable here…â€Â

“So are you… what the heck!?â€Â

Yuki smiled as, in mid leap, she flipped backwards. As Physics would have it, this slowed her momentum down considerably causing her to drop straight down. She was hopping to drop ontop of Rant, but he took a step back. He predictably fired another sonic scream that she easily flipped away from. She saw Rave touch him, and again with another yellow beam…

They have to touch each other…

“Oi! Get a room, you two! Seriously, incest in public is not cool!†She paused. "...actually, it's not cool, PERIOD!"

Yuki fired more Web-balls just as the beam went under her leap. She managed to hit Rant square on the jaw. “You really need to learn to speak when spoken too!â€Â

Yuki Spider Senses went into over drive and she turned to see that the Bank wall was crumbling. Then she was hit and her entire body felt like it was getting ripped from the inside out, flying her into the crumbling wall. The Debris collapsed ontop of her, pressing her to the ground just as she heard sirens approaching.

***

“Well… looks like the Meta may be perfected. Rant and Rave succeeded in their task, and handled Spider-Girl. It was sloppy, but they may have succeeded.â€Â

Mike smiled as he listened to the other side of the conversation. All the while, he looked through his binoculars. “…no, for some reason he’s not answering his phone. He maybe waiting till they outrun the police.â€Â

…

“No, the rubble hasn’t move and the police has begun digging into it.†Mike smiled in relief as he backed away. “Either she’s dead… or she’s helpless. No matter what, our problem’s solved

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