This is a crossover fanfic between the comic books "The Crow" and "Spawn". Characters from the manga "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon" will be mentioned occasionally, but will not appear.
Since this is a sequel to another fanfic I've written, "Death and Rebirth", I suggest reading it first in order to make better sense out of this one.
"The Crow", created by James O'Barr.
"Spawn", created by Todd McFarlane. The phlebiac brothers, except for Violator, were created by Alan Moore. McFarlane got into a heap of trouble, facing several lawsuits for not giving credit where it's due.
Port-Bou, France, 3:24 am:
Inside his hotel room, a young man was at the desk writing frantically. Several pages had already been filled out, yet he showed no signs of stopping. He was by no means a tireless worker, this man wrote not out of inspiration, but fear. Finally, his hand hurt so much he had no choice but to drop the pen and stop. There was a sudden tap at the window.
"What!?" He spun in his seat and saw a crow at the window. "Damn bird, nearly gave me a heart attack." he growled. He rushed over to swat it away. "Shoo, get out of here!"
"Caw!" the black bird scratched the man's hand angrily with his talons before flying away.
"Ugh, as if cramps weren't bad enough, now I-"
"You're not done yet."
"GAHH!" Without a sound, a teenager with black attire, pale skin, and marks upon his face had appeared in front of him.
"And I don't appreciate you treating my partner like that," Karasu no Shi warned. "Now, keep writing," he ordered, "a lot of people's lives depend on that confession."
"Look man, I'm tired. My hand aches so much it feels like it'll fall off if I write just one more letter. Hey, to top it all off, I'm bleeding now!" The warrior's eyes darkened as he got closer to the man.
"You're expecting a little consideration," he guessed with a grin. The undead teen growled and grabbed his victim by the neck. "You never considered anyone or anything except your own money. You may use something for a bandage. But you will write!"
Terrified, the man went back to work. It didn't take him that long to complete the list of his crimes, contacts, informants and people he'd fooled and exploited. The first domino piece that would bring down an entire drug smuggling operation.
"Done," the confessed criminal gasped with exhaustion. "It's all there, I swear, every name has been included."
"I believe you, and as promised, I'll leave you now. Just one more question. Do you remember Christine?"
Karasu was referring to a British girl he'd met at a Thailandese prison a few months ago, shortly after leaving Japan. When she was eighteen, Christine was enjoying her first holiday on her own. She met this very man, who proceeded to court her. However, the day she was supposed to board the plane that would take her home, the police stopped her and found ten pounds of cocaine in her bag. The drugs had been planted there by him, he'd been assisted by airport security thanks to a few bribes. Christine, an innocent girl, ended up in jail. This had been two years ago, and the only thing keeping her prisoner was lack of evidence, not to mention negligence from the authorities. The confession that had just been written down was going to help change that.
"This is what Christine was thinking and feeling the night I found her." Karasu no Shi placed his hand on the smuggler's head, he shook a second then dropped on the chair with an empty stare. "I managed to stop her before she could do something foolish," the dark-haired teen said as he left. "I'm not going to stop you." Right after the door closed, the man yelled at the top of his lungs and jumped out the window.
A few minutes later, from the rooftop, Karasu watched as the paramedics took the smuggler away. Kashaku landed on his ward's shoulder.
"Suppose the consequences had been more severe than a broken back, Warrior."
"I checked the trees, Kashaku, and was almost certain they would break his fall. If the outcome had turned out more severe though, it would've been pure luck." He sat down and took a deep breath. "And don't forget, I managed to save Christine, but there were others. (sigh) At least their families will have the satisfaction of knowing the ones responsible will finally pay."
"That is true, and I must admit, this was a very well made strategy," the crow replied as he came down to floor level, "considering that finding this fellow was pure coincidence. Also, I must point out how you took this assignment too personally."
"S, I guess I was reminded of Carmela, and how Jairo provided the marihuana she smoked." Karasu stood up. "Anyway, we're done here. Better get a move on if we want to find out what that thing we felt was." Three days ago, warrior and guardian had sensed a wave of unknown energy. Remembering that instant sent chills down their spines once again, it was like having their nerve fluid replaced with industrial-strength coolant.
"All I know is that it was a portal opening," Kashaku commented as he got ready to take off, "however, I cannot say from which realm."
"But we do know something came through." They both looked in the same direction silently. "Now let's hurry and find out what."
Seville, Spain, a week later:
Two men were standing in front of a church that was hundreds of years old. One of them was quite burly, had all his hair shaven off and wore a weirdly designed tattoo on his skull; the other was skinny, had spiky, green hair and wore black rimmed glasses. Their overall appearance was quite unkempt and repelling, and although they looked quite different from each other, they were brothers.
"We certainly got a lot of laughs out of this place, huh, Vinnie?" the large one chuckled.
"We sure did, Van. You remember that priest? He thought he was going to get great rewards for his services."
"Oh yeah, you looked hilarious disguised as an angel." The tattooed man leaned against the wall and guffawed even harder. "And that speech was a beauty! I don't know how the rest of us managed to keep quiet."
"Right, when he stepped through the doors, he was so proud and happy of himself; then he saw where he really was!"
"Why? Why? What did I do?" Van mimicked, "Duh, you hung and burnt about fifty children to hide your little secret."
"'They're devils and witches', he used to say when he was alive, and everyone believed him. Those who dared question his words, ended up in the gallows." The green-haired man crossed his arms and took a deep breath. "Too bad kiddy lovers today can't solve their problems using the same method. Scandals are fun, but not nearly as fruitful."
"Excuse me," a young nun walked up to them. She hadn't heard the conversation, but the pair was talking loudly and were displaying some very nasty gestures. "Please, do behave yourselves," she requested gently, "you're disturbing the people."
"No problem, sister, we were just leaving," the tattooed man replied. He grumbled as they walked away. "The nerve of her, if she knew who we are. What do you say we come back later and have fun with her?"
"No can do," Vinnie replied, "we're going to have our hands full with that kid, and you know the other side always sends competition in matters like these, if we don't hurry we lose the race. Besides," he looked back, "that penguin's much too stout to fall."
A safe distance away, a young woman with sky-blue hair held in two long ponytails watched over the disgusting pair. Her stare was cold and harder than flint.
"Idiots, sending brawlers to do the work of scholars. I'll find that child in record time and make those two look like even bigger fools." She turned away and left.
A suburban home:
A brown-haired boy, age fifteen, was lying on his bed with an old newspaper over his face. There was a knock on the door, and before he could answer, a blonde boy, Enrique, and a girl with tanned skin and pink hair going a bit below her shoulders, Rosa, barged in.
"Hola Juan," the girl greeted cheerfully.
"Hey, Paco! Did you finally get enough sleep so you won't doze of in class tomorrow?" the boy asked as he dropped down on a bean chair.
"Quique, Rosa, good to see you," Juan replied lazily as rubbed his eyes, "No, not if you keep waking me up like that. And my mom had me do thousands of chores, and she's bound to come up with new ones soon," he added with a groan. "Damn slave-driver, does she have to be so strict?"
"Hey, you knew we couldn't cover you forever," the pink-haired girl replied, "eventually, the teacher was going to catch you, and did."
"Yeah, and this guy always sends notes to the parents," Enrique added. "But hey, it's Friday you've got a whole weekend to rest yourself."
"Sure, rest." Juan yawned loudly and sat up. "Did any of you see the news? I missed the program because of my nap."
"S, but there's nothing new," the blonde boy answered, "That costumed guy is still the top story. He foiled another robbery last night, that's the fifth in a row."
"And as usual, he sucked at it," Rosa complemented, "The crooks got away, and only half the money was recovered. You'd think he'd have enough experience to put on a good show by now. But no, he still fumbles, he's still slow-"
"Oye tía, give the fellow a break," the brown-haired teen protested, "It mustn't that easy to go into the hero business."
"Maybe all he needs some sort of mentor," was Enrique's opinion, "You know, the way Obi Wan is to Luke. One way or another, he'll get better." He'd taken the paper Juan was using to block the light. "Let's change the subject. What do you think of this? Some U.S. drug dealer, who was vacationing in France, jumped out of his fifth-floor suite after writing a twenty-page confession."
"Now that's good for a laugh," the tan girl stated, "developing a conscience all of a sudden and getting so remorseful you have to end it all." She leaned back on her seat and stretched her legs. "Nah, I don't believe that. I say he was testing the merchandise too often and got visions."
"Save it, Rosa, we all know you're a bitch who doesn't believe in consequence," her sleepy friend retorted, "But mark my words, gather enough skeletons and your closet's bound to explode. Sooner or later, you pay the devil his dues."
Carlos Navarro put all of his effort into getting to Seville as fast as possible. His top priority was to discover the source of this disturbance. Right now, he was gathering as much information as he could, by checking out the headlines at a kiosk.
The undead boy raised his head upon hearing the call, he bought the paper that seemed to have the most information, went into an alley and made a series of leaps towards the rooftop, where Kashaku landed on his shoulder.
"Anything new, Warrior?"
"I think so," the dark-haired teen replied, "If my calculations are correct, this guy showed up shortly after the day we sensed that occurrence." He pointed at a blurry picture taken by a bank's security camera, it showed a human figure wearing a dark suit and sash, but no further details could be determined. "It could just be a tabloid gimmick, but it's the best lead I can come up with so far."
"This might be the creature that crossed the threshold, or a person that has nothing to do with our business at all," the guardian pointed out. "And have you come up with a plan to find this character?"
"Not a ghost of an idea." Carlos huffed and started pacing, "All those stunts I pulled off on our way here, they were easy, all I had to do was follow the most angst or corruption I could sense at a given time and head towards the source." He took a deep breath and shook his head, "I left Japan too soon, I don't have enough experience to handle something like this. (sigh) I gotta get in touch with the senshi, I need their help."
"Caw!" This call carried the tone of a scolding. "It is wise to admit our own limits, and solicit aid when it is needed. But do not ignore your own capacity, Warrior, otherwise you will in fact become as weak as you claim." Carlos glared at the crow, then his visage softened and he chuckled at his own silliness.
"Most importantly, I promised Hotaru not to give up." He got up. "Let's look for a place to stay, we don't have to act until tonight, and we should come up with a plan by then."
Calming down and analyzing the situation helped Karasu greatly, all he had to do was remember how he'd started out himself, and according to the paper, he was dealing with a beginner. The places this character had appeared at were random, but they were all close together. When Karasu had first started patrolling, the dark-eyed warrior would work within a definite area around his nest in Shinagawa, then expand it.
"So if apply a little logic," the undead hero said, "this guy must also have a haven nearby. But first we have to see if he does make another appearance." He grumbled as he leapt to lower levels, "I hate all this waiting, the last thing I need is for this guy to be inconsistent and not show up at all." Kashaku smiled inwardly, his ward definitely had the spirit of a predator. They landed on a lamppost and looked around. "At least I can get to know the terrain, learn where to go and how to get there."
"Do not forget to keep your eyes and mind open, Warrior," the guardian reminded, "Look for clues and places that we might find useful."
"Somebody help me!!"
"Funny how you forgot to mention ears," the warrior quipped as he rushed towards the source of the ply. He found a woman with her hair and clothes made a mess. "Señorita, what happened?"
"That man grabbed my purse, then he tried to…" she shivered in disgust as she crossed her arms over her chest, "It's a good thing you scared him. He went that way." She pointed in one direction, and when she turned back to look at the boy, he was gone. The cyan-haired woman chuckled mischievously and got up. "Don't hate me, I'm doing this for your own good. Besides, it's your own fault for being so naïve."
Karasu had only the trace left by the soul to follow the mugger, but couldn't find anyone after several blocks, not even through crow-vision.
"Chingada, he can't possibly be that fast."
"Agreed, and there is no place to properly hide from sight." The black bird paused and hovered. "Better go back to our search, Warrior, we're only wasting time."
"I don't believe this," the pale teen grumbled, "I've fought zombies, a cyborg and a megalomaniac with ambitions of godhood; and I'm given the slip by an ordinary purse-snatcher." He punched a wall in order to calm down. "It's not the guy we're looking for, this presence is human, yet…"
"I know what you mean, Warrior," Kashaku said in a thoughtful tone, "There is something here that does not fit."
A short distance away, an all-night pharmacy was being robbed. There wasn't much money to take, but the pair was more interested in obtaining a good supply of syringes and assorted pills.
"Okay, we've got enough," the one with the gun announced, "let's beat it." They stuffed the loot into their backpacks and hurried outside. They ran for a while, then slowed down so they wouldn't attract attention.
"I feel kinda bad about stealing these, they're really not that expensive."
"They're not," the other one agreed, "But cheap is only good when you actually have money, and I need to stay high now."
"Agreed, it feels as though I've got ants crawling all over me." His eyes went wide open. "Oh shit, now I'm really messed up!"
"Qué?" The pair came to a halt upon seeing a young man in a dark bodysuit standing before them. Without warning he raised his arms and a shadow-like substance extended towards them. "Coño! What the devil is this stuff?"
"Just something to keep you in place," the masked teen answered in a cocky tone. Panicked, the armed one tensed his muscles and broke his bonds as if they were mere paper, then, without thinking, aimed his weapon and fired three times. "GAAHH!!" The rookie hero fell and clutched his chest. "Ugh, you know? this suit would be a whole lot better if it stopped the blow along with the bullets." The boy looked up and noticed that the thieves were escaping, he tried to, but couldn't rise because of the pain. "Damn it, didn't even recover the money they stole, I'm definitely no good at this. Qué?" He felt someone swooping over his head, and saw a shadow leaping towards the addicts. He was amazed, the pair was terrified.
"It's a trip, tío, we're only seeing stuff."
"Right," the unarmed one replied with a shaky voice, "Just shoot and he'll vanish. Do it!" The armed one fired, but his pulse was too shaky, only one bullet managed to hit the side of Karasu's head.
"I don't think it really matters to you if I'm real or not," the hero in the dark cloak said in an eerie tone as the wound healed, "potheads like you can't tell the difference." He charged and sliced the gun, then he sheathed Seventh Sin and knocked out the pair with two well-placed kicks. Finally, he knelt besides them and put his hands on their foreheads. "There, you'll still go to jail, but you won't feel the need for drugs anymore." The dark-eyed teen shifted his attention to the costumed kid. Black was the predominant color, but he also wore a red sash, had green eyes (probably tinted lenses) and white designs on the mask, sort of like dragon wings. "You've got enthusiasm, but your technique's pretty lousy. I'll cut to the chase. What did you come here for?"
"Well…Gracias, I guess. I am…I…huh?" The rookie froze then started moving awkwardly.
"You okay-HEY!" Karasu back-flipped away from the leathery whips, they were so sharp and strong the asphalt was deeply marked. "What's the big idea, pendejo!?"
"I'm not doing this, it's the suit! Woah!!" More whipping, not only from the arms this time, but from the shoulders and back as well. "Get away! I can't control it!!"
"Caw! Warrior, do as he says!" Kashaku ordered as he made a roundabout, "You cannot possibly fathom who your opponent is!"
"No way!" the undead teen replied as he drew out his katana, "Check out the street! Do you really expect me to leave such a loose cannon on his own?" He stood firm and sliced five tentacles, which grew back to full length in a matter of seconds. The pieces that had been cut off turned to dust. "Gotta get close and knock him out with one blow." He tilted his head. "I'll buy him a soda to apologize." Karasu leapt high into the air, planning to shred the dark strands as he fell, but something changed that plan. Out of the blue, a fireball landed smack between the two and exploded. The dark-haired warrior was both blinded and blown away. When he got up, all there was left was a small crater. Kashaku came down and landed in front of his ward.
"Calm down, Warrior, you had no chance for victory, not on this encounter."
"I lost because someone threw that thing," Karasu roared. Then he raised an eyebrow at his guardian, "You sound as though you know who we're dealing with."
"Indeed, and you must learn as well," the bird replied as he took flight.
Vinnie and Van watched as the undead teen left. The latter's eyes were glowing an eerie red.
"Just what we needed, a crow. I'll show that nitwit zombie to stick his painted nose into our business."
"Hold your horses," his green-haired brother said. "Crows are untouchable, remember? Lay a finger on him and you'll never hear the end of it." He bit the frame of his glasses. "However, we are allowed to use negotiation."
"Now your memory's failing," the bald man retorted, "These guys have a one track mind, once they get an idea into their heads, nothing will convince them otherwise." He crossed his arms and grumbled. "But we better try if we wanna keep our reputation. I'll handle this, you go take care of our original mission." Unable to hold down his anger, Van stomped his foot. "If I run into the bitch they sent, I'm gonna tear her limbs and eat her guts while she screams."
"Save me the kidneys."
The siblings were not the only ones keeping an eye on Karasu no Shi, the woman who'd tricked him earlier was doing so as well.
"Kid's quite fast for a crow, he covered sixty yards in record time, and I had to mix all the decoys I had in order to make one strong enough." She started working on her second ponytail. "Next time, I'll be sure not to underestimate him." She finished fixing her hair and looked in another direction. "He'll find the kid again, of that there is no doubt. Better think my next move thoroughly, if I want to keep this mess from getting bigger."
"This is far enough, I better walk the rest of the way," Rosa said to the driver. They were bringing her back from a party her parents knew nothing about. Had they known, the pink-haired girl would've been locked behind seven keys. Technically, said party was a rave, and all of her companions were male and much older than her.
"We're still pretty far off," one of them noticed, "Why not take you straight to your house?"
"Are you crazy!? My dad has a pretty good ear, he'll wake up the moment he hears the motor then kill me!" She got out and closed the door. "Besides, it's a pretty boring neighborhood, nothing ever happens here." One of the guys pulled her back and held her by the waist.
"If you're that certain, why not hang with us a little longer?" he invited. His hand slid to Rosa's hip. "We might have a lot more fun."
"Didn't you animals get enough at the dance floor?" the tan girl asked nastily. She pulled away, bent down and blew her companions a kiss. "I'll see you again tomorrow night. Bye now." The car left among the sound of laughter mixed along with music. Rosa sprinted towards her destination. She'd obtained silence, but it was better not to push her luck.
She was crossing the last street towards her block when she saw a hunched figure. It took her but an instant to recognize who it was, the one Karasu no Shi had encountered.
"Oh good heavens, are you okay!?" The mask drew back on its own and he threw up everything his stomach was holding. "What (gulp), what happened to you?"
"I don't know, I don't even know how I got here." The teenage boy tried to get up but collapsed. "Coño, it feels as though my body's been taken apart into little pieces then stuck back together." He tried to rise again.
"Don't strain yourself, you'll get worse!" Rosa ordered as she picked him up. "I'll take you home, and tomorrow you'll tell me everything, Juan."
I'm sure those who follow McFarlane's work have found several inconsistencies between Juan and the original spawn. Don't flame me yet! I'll reveal everything in due time. And if I'm as lucky as I've been so far with my writing, you'll grow fond of the story as it progresses.