Red Sky: The Octopus' Return
By Enigma Cypher
(A/N: This is the sequel to "A New Beginning", a story I finished a few months ago. In order to understand the events of this story, go back and read it. If you already have, then disregard this message.)
8:57 pm, New York City...
It was a hot summer in New York City in 1933. It was the time when the city was alive with activity, when most of the city's classes were out for the summer, when everything was going on.
Except in the lab of Otto Octavius Inc., when the man the company was named for was fast asleep on the couch, one arm hanging off the couch, quietly snoring.
The last year had not been an easy one for Octavius. He had emigrated from Germany to continue his research, and was not prepared for the firestorm of activity that his life would become. Only 6 months ago, he was in the employ of a shady businessman named Norman Osborn, who had framed him in 2 explosions he had not committed, then left him to die in the wreckage of the second explosion. Osborn had not counted on Octavius surviving the explosion and hunting him down, even while in the clutches of radiation poisoning(which he had later recovered from), and even with the city's entire police force hunting him down.
Eventually Octavius had managed to clear his name and had gotten his revenge against Osborn, who was now in prison, a life sentence hanging over his head.
At this point, he was even engaged to a woman he had met in a diner, at his friend's rather, er, forceful insistence. She had proposed to him only 3 months ago. She was currently in the upper level of their apartment/laboratory in the East Village, probably reading a book on poetry.
But today, the only thing on his mind was the experiment he was still working on. He had been working on his experiment for 3 days straight, which was why he was currently out like a light on his couch.
Suddenly, he was awoken from his nap by the sound of a small explosion. Octavius sat up and looked at his apprentice, Peter Parker, who was standing there, holding the remnants of a shattered flask, his face and lab coat covered in black, a sheepish grin on his face.
"Sorry, doc, didn't mean to wake you." Parker said. "I was trying out this formula that I think would help for your reactor. Heh... guess I miscalculated."
Octavius got up and walked over to the lab bench, looking down at the notes Parker had scribbled his calculations on.
"Maybe this explains it..." Octavius said, picking up a pencil and changing a few numbers in the equation. Parker looked down at the notebook, smacked his hand to his forehead, and said, "Of course. Why didn't I think of that?"
"Because..." Octavius said, "You're still learning. There are some things that even you won't know yet."
He left Parker to look over the equation as he headed upstairs to the apartment half of the building. He walked into the kitchen, made himself a cup of coffee, then headed into the living room to see what Rosie was up to.
As expected, she was sitting in the chair she liked so much, reading a book on T.S Eliot. She had once tried to explain his poetry to Octavius, who had not understood a word that Eliot was talking about.
"Still reading that book?" Octavius said, a slight smirk on his face.
Rosie looked up from her book and said, "Yes, I really have nothing else to do right now, so I figured I'd kill some time." She smiled at him and said, "So how's the experiment coming along?"
Octavius just shrugged and said, "About as well as can be expected, I suppose. I'd probably be able to think better if I could get some sleep, but I'm a little wary about leaving Parker down there working on it..."
Rosie closed the book, set it on the table, and said, "I'm pretty sure you can leave him down there and not have to worry about him setting himself on fire. He's pretty smart, you know."
"Of course he is." Octavius said, nodding in agreement. "I wouldn't have taken him in otherwise. But either way, maybe I'd better send him home for the night."
He headed back down into the lab, walked over to Parker and said, "Alright, you can go now, Peter. We'll work on this tomorrow."
Parker looked over at him and said, "Yeah, you're right. Don't want to get Aunt May all worried about where I'm at."
"Yeah, that wouldn't be a wise idea, would it?" Octavius said. "I'll see you in the morning." With that, he picked up the notebook Parker had been scribbling in, headed back upstairs and back into the room he had just left a minute earlier. Taking a seat, he began to go over the calculations that Parker had been working on. About halfway through the first page, he started nodding off. Rosie noticed this and said, "Otto, I think you should be getting to bed yourself."
Octavius shook his head and said, "Nonsense. I just need to finish this one..." here, he broke off in a yawn, "... this one small detail..."
Rosie shook her head, a half-cocked smile in her face, borne from the many nights she'd had to practically drag him into his bed.
"Come on, you're falling asleep sitting up. You'd be able to think better in the morning."
Octavius looked up at her and sighed.
"Alright, fine, I'll continue in the morning." He set the notebook on the table, got up from his chair, and walked into his bedroom. He sat on the edge of the bed, and looked out the window at the full moon shining through his window, remembering the last 6 months and how hectic they had been.
He looked over at the other side of the room, where a strange 4-limbed apparatus sat on his desk. He had originally built the device to handle dangerous materials. He remembered how the device had been fused to him in the second explosion that Osborn had tried to frame him for. He had eventually found a way to get them removed, but not before earning himself the nickname of 'Doctor Octopus'... the nickname that Osborn had originally called him upon first seeing the device. He didn't much care for that name.
There was a knock on the bedroom door, and Rosie walked in, noticing the look in his face as he stared at the device.
"What are you thinking about?" Rosie asked as she sat down beside him.
It was several seconds before Octavius replied, "Just everything that's happened in the last few months. I still can't believe it all."
Rosie was silent a moment before saying, "I understand what you mean by that. I have trouble believing it myself."
The room was silent again, until Octavius said, "Well, I'm going to bed. I'll see you in the morning."
Rosie nodded and left the room, as her and Octavius didn't share one.
He sat on the edge of the bed a moment more, before getting under the covers and turning off the lamp beside his bed. He laid there, staring up at the ceiling, before his consciousness gave out on him, and he fell asleep.
Meanwhile, in another part of town, there was a secret meeting underway; one which had the power, if the plan they had in mind carried out, had the potential to shake the world to its core...
The next day, 9:37 am...
It was a cold day for a summer morning. Octavius was taking a walk around the city, as he needed to get out of the lab for a while. 3 days was too much, even for him, and he desperately needed to just take a walk, clear his head.
He had gotten as far as 3 blocks away, before the sound of squealing tires made itself known to him. He looked back and saw a black car heading towards him.
He took off running, trying to escape from his potential captors. Something told him they didn't have the best intentions in mind.
Suddenly, a man jumped out in front of him. Octavius didn't have time to react before the man struck him in the head with what looked like a steel rod.
Octavius fell to the ground, stunned. He had enough presence of mind to put up as much of a fight as he could as 2 other men walked up, grabbed him, and threw him in the back of the car.
As the car sped up the road, Octavius tried to strike the 2 men sitting in the back with him.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME!?" He screamed, taking a swing at one of the men sitting right beside him. The man grabbed his arm and said, "Stop trying to hit me." The man had a heavy Russian accent, and had the look common of most SVR agents...
The Russian Intelligence Service? Octavius thought, confused. What do they want with me?
One of the men spoke up.
"This whole situation will be much easier on all of us if you just cooperate."
Octavius looked over at him and snarled.
"Cooperate!? You still haven't told me what you want from me!!"
With that, he took a swing at the man, only to have the man deflect the blow and grab his wrist to prevent him from trying again.
"Doctor Octavius, this is your last warning. STOP hitting me."
Octavius yanked his arm away, but didn't make another attempt. He just sat back, glaring at them. The man whom Octavius had tried to hit sat staring at him the entire ride. Octavius glared back, but didn't speak.
It was several minutes before the car finally stopped. It was several minutes before the car finally stopped. The two men tied Octavius' hands behind his back before escorting him from the car, much to his annoyance.
They entered the building, walking into a room that was lit by dim red lights. One of the men said something in Russian, and the other man nodded. They opened a door and motioned for Octavius to enter.
Octavius stood there, glaring, but did not make a move towards the door.
"I'm not entering that room until you tell me what you want from me!" he snarled, taking a step towards one of them.
The man put his hand in his jacket, as if reaching for a gun.
"I insist that you get in that room before something happens."
Octavius shook his head and said, "I do not take orders from one such as you!"
The man took a step forward and said, "I'm not warning you anymore. GET IN THAT ROOM."
There was silence for a moment before Octavius snarled at the man, but walked into the room. The last thing he needed was to be attacked by one of them; they were way bigger than him, and he didn't have anything to fight them back with.
"I recommend you make yourself comfortable." The first man said. "Our leader will be along shortly. He wants to talk to you."
The man slammed the door shut, leaving Octavius in the room alone and in the dark.
Why did they bring me here? He thought, infuriated. What would they want with me, anyways?
He stood leaning against the wall for several minutes before the door finally opened and a man walked in. He wasn't the tallest man in the world; he was shorter than even Octavius himself was.
He walked over to the light switch and turned it on, causing Octavius to howl and put his hand over his eyes.
"TURN THE DAMN LIGHT OFF! YOU'RE BLINDING ME HERE!!"
The man said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll dim it real quick." He flicked a switch and the lights were much dimmer, enough for Octavius to open his eyes and glare at the man.
"Why did you bring me here?"
The man sat back in a chair near the wall, ignoring the question.
"Why did you yell when I flicked the lights on?" He asked, not looking up from the notepad he was scribbling on.
Octavius shook his head at the rather pointless question, but said, "If you must know, my eyes are intolerant of bright light, and your idiot lackeys knocked my sunglasses off my face in their attack."
The man nodded and said, "I do hope they weren't too rough. I told them to be easy…"
Octavius glared at him and said, "Easy!? One of them smashed me in the face with a steel rod! HOW do you call that going easy on someone!?"
Once again, the man did not answer as he continued writing. Finally, he put the pen down and said, "Well, I'll have to have those 2... dealt with, so to speak." He stood up and walked over to Octavius, untying the rope around his hands, walked over to the door and locked it, sticking the key in his pocket.
"Well, I suppose I ought to tell you why you've been brought here..."
"That would be appreciated!!" Octavius growled, glaring at him.
The man ignored the comment as he walked back to his seat, slipped the notepad in his jacket, and said, "I must first tell you that none of what we will discuss leaves this room. To ignore this warning will result in your death. Do you understand?"
Octavius was silent for a moment, before he nodded and said, "I understand completely. Now what am I here for!? And you obviously know my name-"
The man said, "Of course. You're Doctor Otto Octavius."
Octavius said, "Damnit, that's not my point! You know who I am, but who are you!? I want to know, if I'm to be dealing with you!"
The man shook his head and said, "I'm not permitted to tell you."
There was silence for a moment before Octavius said, "I don't have to deal with this." He walked towards the door, but as he reached for the handle, the sound of a gunshot filled the room, and the bullet struck the door only an inch from Octavius' head, blasting a fist-sized hole in the door.
Octavius turned around and said, "WHAT WAS THAT FOR!?"
The man lowered his gun and said, "That was a warning. It would be in your best interest to sit down and listen to what I have to say."
Octavius shook his head, but didn't make another move for the door handle. He leaned against the wall and said, "Then start talking. You're wasting my time here."
The man was silent for a moment, but finally, he said, "I had you brought here because I am in need of your expertise. You're the world's leading authority on atomics. I could use your insight for a project of mine."
Octavius thought on this, and said, "What, exactly, is the project of which you speak?"
The man said, "Again, that information is classified. It will be revealed to you on a need-to-know basis."
Octavius snarled, "I don't work on any project without knowing what it will be used for. I've already been double-crossed once because I made the mistake of working on a classified project. If you want my cooperation, you'll have to tell me everything now!"
The man said, "I'm sorry, but that is impossible."
Octavius glared at the man for a moment, before realization dawned and he realized exactly why he had been brought here...
"You want to be the first to develop a weapon. You want the first atomic bomb."
The man nodded and said, "Yes, that's pretty much it."
"There's no way I'm helping with that!" Octavius shouted, walking towards the man. "You think I'm going to be your key to developing the most powerful weapon the world has ever seen? You've got another thing coming!"
The man raised his gun again and said, "It wasn't an agreement. You will help with this project, or-"
"OR NOTHING!!" Octavius shouted as he smacked the gun from his hand, then ran for the door, throwing his weight against it and flinging it open. He ran down the corridor, hearing the man shouting "CAPTURE HIM! HE MUST NOT ESCAPE!!"
But by the time enough men got it together to go after him, Octavius had already escaped the complex and was a few blocks away. Looking behind himself often to make sure no one was following him, he eventually ducked into a side street to catch his breath and think on what had just happened.
They want to develop a bomb... what are they planning!? He thought, bewildered. And why did they come after just me? There's got to be something bigger involved here...
He shook his head and walked out of the side street, heading back towards his lab. He didn't know what to do about the situation that had occurred, but he at least wanted to know what they were up to...
-To be continued...