Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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The Beast Inside, Issue #003

June 24, 2013 in The Beast Inside Tags:

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Issue #003 – – – – – controlled by Frank Devocht – – – – – Credits 15

Nelson wanted to stop the Straw Man escaping for two reasons.  The lesser of the two was because he needed information.  This thing had smashed up his club!  (Well, not his club, precisely, but the club he was contracted to protect.)  It had murdered two innocent young women.  He had to find out why and to make sure it, or whoever had sent it, faced justice.  But the main reason was that villains escaping just as they were about to be caught was just so damn obvious.  Nelson hated feeling like a bit player in a cheesy television show and stereotypical last minute escapes were right up there with the things that irritated him the most.

“I’ve got it!”  Wild Thing said as his triple somersault (really?  A triple somersault?  Couldn’t he have just run there?) landed him on the rapidly de-materialising monster.  It vanished into wisps of smoke just as Beast Nelson went to grab it.  “Well, I had it,” Helk sighed.  Nelson spat some unprintable invective into the air which caused Wild Thing to raise his hands in supplication: “Sorry man!  I gave it my best shot.  It turned to smoke.  What was I supposed to do?  Inhale it?”  Which reminded Nelson that Helk was also at the top of his list of personal irritants.

A couple of hours later when the police had finished their cursory “investigation” and the medics had taken the bodies away – Nelson sat in a tiny back room of the club which served as the Security Office, facing Helk.  “I think you have some explaining to do,” he told the hero.  Wild Thing looked shaken and was nursing a stiff brandy that he’d managed to secure from the bar before Nelson had dragged him up here.  “Me?  Why?  I didn’t do anything.”
“This thing murdered the two girls you came here with,” Nelson reminded him.  “It harmed nobody else.  It seemed to want to hurt only you and your guests.  Why?”
“Did I imagine that massive fight where it tried to tear you into pieces then?” Wild Thing shot back.
“I intervened.   It was after you.  You know it too, because you said so.”
“I did?”
“Yep.  When you were still under its fear effect.  You said ‘it’s come to get me!’   So I’m thinking you know something more than you are saying.”
Wild Thing eyed Nelson carefully and took a deep breath.  “You don’t want to get involved in this,” he said.  “It’s my problem.  I don’t want to drag you into it.”
“You didn’t seem to mind dragging those girls into it,” Nelson pointed out.
“I didn’t think they would come after me so publicly.  I thought I was safe unless I was in costume.”
“Why?” I asked.  “You’re one of the few licensed heroes in the city.  Everybody knows who you are.  Why would you be safe out of costume?”
“This group, the ones who want to kill me – they’re clandestine.  They work in the shadows.  They don’t want people to know.”

Beast Nelson was at a crossroads.  On the one hand – this really wasn’t any of his business.  He wasn’t a cop, or a superhero, or anything like that.  He was a bouncer in a nightclub.  He could just leave it where it lay, as it were.  Let the authorities and the heroes deal with their own business.  But then again, this had happened in his club, on his watch.  Those girls, vapid though they had been, were under his charge.  Beast Nelson took things like that seriously.  Also, something about all this was interesting.  He seemed to have spent months, even years, in a fog.  Just going through the motions, almost.  But now he felt a tingle inside him.  It was like waking up.  Nelson made a decision.  “Tell me all of it.  I may be able to help.”

Wild Thing’s story went like this:  “I was on patrol in Helix Point.  It’s one of the areas licensed heroes are allowed to monitor.  I’d just tackled that girl with the goth make-up and icy touch – you know the one, she digs up bodies and then  ransoms them back to grieving families?”
“Jane Doe?” Nelson asked.  He’d seen her in the papers once or twice.
“Yes, that’s the one.  Easy takedown really, no problem.  I was on my way back to base when this black car pulls up and this guy steps out.  He’s dressed in a black business suit but he has a skull facemask.  Didn’t look tough so I was pretty cocky with him.”
“You?” Nelson cocked an eyebrow sarcastically, “I don’t believe it.”
Wild Thing pressed on: “He introduced himself as Death, Esquire.  I had a laugh about that.  I wasn’t laughing for long though.  So this guy, he tells me that I should not be alive and that he’s come to take me back where I belong.  I pointed out that he was crazy.  He says that he’s not, he’s just doing his job.  Then he asks, pleasantly enough, if I’d accompany him voluntarily or if he’d have to take me by force.”
“I’m guessing you chose the latter?” Nelson chuckled.
“I did!  At which point he gives me a business card which says nothing more than his name, gets back in his car and leaves.”

“That’s it?” Beast Nelson asked.
“No.  Since then, six or seven horrible things have come after me.  They claim to be part of something called The Macabre, though I don’t know what that is.  There was a werewolf thing, a couple of zombies, some weird dead-looking woman in a nurse’s outfit, an animated child’s doll and a pack of dogs with green eyes.”
“You fought all these things?” Nelson asked, fascinated by the unlikely story.
“Like heck I did,” Wild Thing shook his head.  “I fought the Werewolf until it became obvious I couldn’t beat it so I ran.  I fought and beat the zombies, they were no problem,” he looked a little embarrassed.  “For the rest, I chose to make myself scarce.”
“You ran away from a nurse?” Nelson asked, incredulously.
“Hey!  You’re mighty judgemental for a guy who seems to have forgotten the dead-looking part of that story!”
“You also ran away from a toy,” Nelson reminded him.
“An Animated  Child’s Doll.  Have you not seen Chucky?  You don’t mess with that shit!”

“So, this supervillain.  Or supervillain team, perhaps.  Has taken a dislike to you.  Their premise is that you are ‘supposed to be dead’ and their goal is to actually make you dead.  Is that a fair summary of your situation?”  Nelson asked.
Wild Thing looked at the ground.  “Yes.”
“And you, a licensed glamorous city superhero are spending most of your time running away from them?” Nelson added.
“Pretty much,”  Helk agreed.  “I’ve tried to be blase about it.  I’ve stayed out of costume except to meet the minimum hours required to keep my licensed status.  I’ve tried to go on normally.  But it seemed like its getting worse.  The things Death, Esquire is sending after me are getting worse.”
“Sounds like you need help,” Beast Nelson mused.  He was owed some time off from the club.  He could take a vacation and look into this.  But why did he want to?  Nelson didn’t precisely know.  But this was the most awake he’d felt in quite some time.  It was a feeling he wasn’t keen to lose.
“Will you help me?” Wild Thing asked.  He was a flashy, egotistical, cocky irritant.  But he wasn’t a bad guy.  Nelson looked him up and down and sighed.
“Yes,” the black-furred bouncer said.  “I think I will.”

2 Responses to “The Beast Inside, Issue #003”

  1. False Bill Says:

    so Beast Nelson got some fun villains coming his way, just to keep a second rate heroine living.

    He gets all the fun.

  2. Frank Says:

    …indeed, while the useless guys faf around in nice costumes, it’s up to the real superheroes to do all the work. Anyhow, something called Death, Esquire sounds like something that would make a nice hollow sound when one slams it into a wall…..


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