Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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The Beast Inside, Issue #007

September 21, 2013 in The Beast Inside Tags:

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Issue #007 – – – – – controlled by Frank Devocht – – – – – Credits 7

“Wake up, sonny boy,” Beast Nelson growled.

The teenager’s eyes flickered open.  He peered at them from between two black rings, the bruising from his broken nose and swollen head beginning to show already.
“Huh?” he muttered.  Then realisation filled his countenance as he took in his surroundings.

They were in Wild Thing’s secret base.  The boy was firmly secured in a chair and – though his wounds had been tended to  – no attempt to make him feel comfortable had been attempted.  “You can’t keep me here,” he told them.  “I have rights.”
“You have the right to be flattened by a girder,” Beast Nelson told him.
“Take it easy,” Wild Thing said.  “My friend here isn’t going to hurt you.  Well, not any more than he already has, as long as you give us the information we need.”
“I’m not telling you anything,” the young man who had been Death, Esquire said resolutely.  But the way he was looking at Nelson suggested that his resolve might not remain as long as he hoped.

“You will talk,” Nelson said.  “Because if you do not,” he crunched his furry black knuckles, “I will see if I can convince you.  The hard way.”
“Just explain,” Wild Thing said, “Because I don’t understand why you targeted me with this horror campaign.”
“It wasn’t personal,” He replied.  “I was simply doing as instructed.”
“It felt pretty damn personal!” Wild Thing assured him, angrily.
“Who asked you to do it?” Beast Nelson growled, red eyes flashing.
The young man seemed to consider his position before saying: “Okay.  If I come clean, do you let me go?”
“I don’t think so,” Beast Nelson laughed, “We might lock you away with no further broken body parts.”
“We’ll see what we can do,” Wild Thing took a gentler note.  “Depends on how clean you come.”

“Okay, look,” he said, glancing fearfully around despite the fact that they were in Wild Thing’s base.  “There’s a group, a union if you like, of super criminals in Helix City.  They are big hitters, shakers and movers.  Compared to them I’m pretty grass roots, you know?  Lower tier.”
“Now that we know you’re just an energy manipulator, we feel much the same,” Nelson said.
“Hah!” Death, Esquire laughed, “But you didn’t before did you?  I spun my little undead yarn and you went for it!  You have to admit, it’s a good front!  Much more effective than making giant yellow boxing gloves or casting half-hearted illusions in shadow on alleyway walls.”
“True,” Wild Thing acknowledged.  “It was convincing.  You had me jumping at my own shadow.”

“So look,” Death, Esquire said.  “These guys.  They call themselves The Hidden.  They’re into everything.  The police, the city council, the government.  They own stuff and they control people.  They’re Players.”
“What has this to do with me?” Wild Thing asked.
“No idea,” Death, Esquire said.  “They don’t say and I didn’t ask.  To be honest, I’ve been waiting for a proper job to do for them for a while.  They’ve given me runarounds, but I’m not some feeble C-Lister, I’m Death, Esquire.”
“I’m sure they’re very impressed,” Beast Nelson indicated the villain’s smashed face and bound condition.
“I never expected another hero to be involved,” The young man said, defensively.
“So you have no idea why they wanted Wild Thing dead?” Beast Nelson asked.
“I’m not sure they did want him dead at all.  They just wanted me to scare the shit out of him.  Which I did.”
“What about all this stuff about him not supposed to be alive?” Nelson asked.
“That’s what they told me to say.  I met this guy, Nightblade is his name.  You know the sort?  Ex- special forces.  Black ops.  Scars and gravelly voice and terrifying even though he doesn’t need to threaten you at all?  The kind of guy you just know has been killing people since he was about ten?”
“You paint a vivid picture,” Nelson agreed.
“Anyway, he tells me to say that stuff.  Then he says that they want you too terrified to think of anything else.  But nobody said you had to be dead and so I just kept sending stuff to keep you running.”

“Okay, look,” Wild Thing said.  “I don’t know why this Nightblade, or this group The Hidden want to mess with me.  But I’m a government-sanctioned hero, I can call this in.  I can get the help I need.  Now that I know this isn’t some supernatural freak I can get action taken.”
“What are you saying?” Nelson asked.
“Well, you’ve been a big help.  I owe you.  But you don’t need to remain involved with this now.  In fact, since you aren’t legally supposed to be active, it’s probably better if you aren’t.  I don’t want to get you in trouble, Nelson.”
“Oh yeah,” Nelson laughed coldly.  “Considerate is your middle name.”
“No, listen,” Wild Thing said.  “Really, man.  I owe you big time.  I wouldn’t have got through this without you.”
Nelson shrugged, “No big deal.  They brought this to my club.  And besides, it was kinda interesting to be active again.  Sort of like old times.”
“Well thanks anyway.  But you can leave him with me.  I’ll make sure he gets locked up.”
“He deserves more than being locked up,” Beast growled.
“I know.  The two young ladies his monsters killed might not think that his casual obedience to The Hidden justified his crimes.  But don’t you worry about that.  I’ll explain the, uh, situation to the Bullies running the City Jail.  They know how to deal with his sort.”

Beast Nelson walked home.  It was a dark night in the city.  The wind howled between the buildings like some demon loosed on the world.  The moon could not be seen as black clouds gathered portentously across the sky.  Two blocks from his apartment, which was atop the club in which he worked, Beast stopped on a street corner.  His heart was hammering in his chest.  He felt … exhilarated.  He felt alive in a way he had not for many months.  Maybe years.

“What is this?” He asked the night, but the night did not answer.  There in the pool of lamplight he watched the shadows dance on the edge of the ring of baleful illumination.  He felt a rush of adrenaline.  Something was happening here.  Within him, some desire was making itself known.  How long had he been sleeping?  Just drifting through his life without questioning his purpose?  It didn’t feel right.  Here, in the cold night air, Beast Nelson was rediscovering himself.  He was more than he seemed.  He was a hero.  There were bad people out there in the city.  It was his job to smash them, pummel them and put a stop to their activities.  He didn’t know where these new/old feelings were coming from – but they weren’t going away.  Helix City criminals were in for a surprise.  Beast Nelson was back.

2 Responses to “The Beast Inside, Issue #007”

  1. Keith Nixon Says:

    Want to bet the Bullies etc and the Hidden are connected?

  2. Frank Says:

    This seems the end of the pilot of a new series. He’s back ladies and gentlemen….back and ready for seasons 1-7, and beyond :)


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