By wildvine 15 Comments
Continued Marvel Mayhem: Mercy Liddle reporting
The Man-Thing sloughed through the filthy sewer water, oblivious to the smell and the heat. A yellow chemical fog rose from the water reacting to the chemicals in the creatures body. It remembered last night, but not in images. Not the way it had once recalled things. It remembered the sudden pain, tearing through its body. Screaming across its strange pain receptors.
* * *
The source of its pain like a white hot beacon. Man-Thing had followed the waves of agony, using a sense it neither understood, or was conscious of using. The source of pain, distracting it from its purpose for being here.
It had risen up, polluted water streaming off the creature in filthy rivulets, dripping from it mossy body. It knew what the creatures were on some level of its mind. Humans. Two young ones, and another one who spoke it a loud voice. Its fear coming off as waves of agony to Man-Thing. The young ones were afraid too. It would come back for them.
The creature had grabbed the man's arm, his mammoth hand enveloping it with ease. The man had struggled, but his strength was no strength to Man-Thing.
Man-Thing was aware of loud sounds, and the impacts on its body. But these were barely noticed. If it had been in a dry place, with no earth or water, the damage might have hurt more. The Man-Thing was in water though, in contact with mud and earth. It was a place very similar to the home place.
Man-Thing held the man down, underneath the soothing water, where things did not burn, or hurt, until the man had stopped being afraid. Until the pain had ceased to rip through the Man-Thing. It carried the body with it, to its comfort place. A place deep, and dark and warm. Like the home place....
* * *
"You're joking, right?" Lance Bannon looked at Mercy, then back at the sewer outflow tunnel. *You want to stomp around in the sewer looking for a monster? I mean, weird stuff goes down in New York, but this seems a bit.... Scooby Doo."
Mercy wanted to get on with it already. It was noon now, and she didn't want to be in the sewers after dark, monster or not. "Quite being such a girl. Peter Parker climbs flagpoles to get pics of Spider-Man. Its called getting the shot. Then again," She paused. "Maybe I should wait on Peter. He is the star photographer for a reason..."
"Parker has some deal with the web head, that's how he gets those shots." Lance shot back. "I just think this is stupid, and J.J's off his rocket. But whatever. It pays the same anyway." He shouldered his bag, and made a show of walking ahead of her. "Oh jeeze." He covered his lower face with the bottom of his shirt. "Its like getting punched by stink!" He gagged. Mercy followed behind, but refused to make such a fuss about the smell.
* * *
Mercy didn't know what she was expecting to find, but it wasn't leaving evidence of itself. "Are we ready to call this off?" Lance asked. "Based off what I know from B-monster movies, one of us should have died by now. Unless this is the fake scare. Where you think something scary is about to happen--" He never finished as something big splashed up out of the fetid water at him. Mercy's startled scream caught in her throat. A good thing, since it was just a filthy sewer rat. The rat quickly scurried away. "Okay, got the fake scare out of the way. On to the real monster." He muttered as they turned a corner, and nearly ran into a maintenance worker, dressed in dirty yellow coveralls.
"What are you doing down here?" He asked. "This is not open to the public." His eyes narrowed suspiciously behind his safety goggles. "Looking for a 'private moment' are we?"
"Oh eck. As if." Mercy cut in, feeling disgusted by the notion.
"You would be surprised Miss. Now then, what are you doing down here?"
"We're with the Bugle." She showed him her press badge. "We're investigating a... sighting." She cringed at the word. It was a word nutcases used more often then 'conspiracy.'
"Listen, there's nothing down here. No monster, no alligators. Just rats and muck. The last thing we need is a bunch of wannabe monster hunters down here getting lost, or hurt. Why don't you find something else to write about?" Something about his tone made her reporter sense tingle. There was a story here, and this guy knew something.
"I'm sorry, what did you say you name was again?" Mercy stepped forward, uncomfortably close. She pulled out an old tape recorder, and pressed the record button. "Would you care to go on record about the possibility of a creature?" He shook his head, and pushed the recorder away. "What was that? I still didn't get your name, by the way." She followed as he backed away. She had him running now.
"This area is off limits to the public. I'll have to report this to my supervisor."
"Can we talk to him or her?" Mercy pressed. "If a monster has taken up residence in the sewer system, doesn't the city have a certain liability? What is the city doing to keep our sewers monster free?" She called as he walked away quickly.
"What was that about?" Lance asked, a bewildered smile played across his face.
"That is called guilt. He doesn't work for the city anymore then I do. That means someone else is looking for the monster, which means...."
"There's actually something down here." He finished.
* * *
Man-Thing turned, having heard the voices of humans. They were searching for it. Hunting it. It understood this on a primitive level. That it couldn't stay in this place long. It was weak here, and the humans would come eventually. It had to finish its strange mission, so it could return to the home place.