CHAPTER 6: Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate - leads to suffering...
The world was a bleary haze as Kingpin came to, and a piercingly high voice stung his head.
"Don't you think you should hit him again?"
"Nope," responded an equally painful voice, one that he recognized all too well. "Don't think he'll be coming back to the world for another ten minutes at least. I didn't know you were that handy with a steel weapon."
A glittering laugh splintered into Kingpin's ears. "It's just a pole. It doesn't take that much talent."
"Still, I'm glad we're on the same side now."
Kingpin's headache turned sour as the two continued to talk. His villain was a dud. That stupid sphere...he would have Smythe's innards for that. From what he could tell as his ears stopped ringing and became more reliable, the two voices were coming from a bit of a distance off. Fortunately for him, the wrist with his comlink buckled to it had been webbed close to his face. Kingpin strained to get his mouth closer to it as he whispered, "Kingpin to Smythe, over."
His earpiece came alive and was muffled with static for a moment, then cleared as a thoroughly irritated voice sliced through, saying, "Nice to hear from the dead. Where have you been? I've been trying to get contact since our helicopter came back."
"Why are you whispering?"
"I'm indisposed, I said! Enough. I need you to send me a real villain." Kingpin stopped to listen, noting that the two teenagers were still conversing and hadn't heard him.
"Real? What was the last one made of, playdough?"
"The last one is a -," and here Kingpin called the girl something truly shameful, "siding with that blasted pest, Spider-man. You had better have some good news."
"I do, actually. The crack that you so carelessly inflicted in the sphere informed me of a disparitive amount of glystoroids-."
"Don't science-babble at me, Smythe. What did you find?"
"-which caused the sphere to latch onto a less than qualified villain. Any idiot who had so much as a selfish thought, a desire to break away from confined quarters, or anything of that mild nature could have attracted it. That would explain why your 'villain' would side with Spiderman. I've fixed the problem, though, and on the next experiment we should be seeing someone more… dark."
Kingpin shuddered with joy. "Good. Start it up now and get me out of this predicament."
"Now?" Smythe barked a laugh. "It's still not stable enough, because of my experiments. Another go could total it. I need at least twenty more minutes, if even that much."
"Fine! Just get me a villain as soon as you can! I don't know how much more of this I can-."
Rapunzel raised the pole again, grimacing at the prone body of their prisoner as Pascal bobbed his little head knowingly from her shoulder. "Pascal said he heard him talking."
Spiderman glanced at Kingpin. "Well, even so, we can't keep him like this. No matter how entertaining it is," he added sadly, swinging a dejected kick at the fat man's rear end. "We'll have to cut your hair." He reached into his belt and grabbed a pocket knife, but a slender hand slapped it away as if it were a venomous reptile.
"NO!" Rapunzel shrieked. "No cutting, period, at all, whatsoever!"
Spiderman jumped. "What the heck? Why not?"
"Because it turns brown!" she retorted, as if brown hair were the most despicable thing on the planet.
"Oh, because that would be a terrible shame." Girls these days, he thought. "Why on earth would it turn brown?"
"Because it loses its magic when it's cut! Duh."
He stared blankly at her. Ok, Pete. She has seventy feet of hair, her name is Rapunzel, and you're still surprised at the crazy stuff she says? "What in the world does it need magic for?"
"Goodness, what world are you from? For healing, of course. And keeping people young."
Spidey flung his hands in the air. "Oh, because that's normal! And just who else has magical hair that can heal and rejuvenate where you're from?"
"No one! That's why I live in a tower, to be safe from people who want my hair."
"Okay, okay. So now we're stuck with this crate of meat until you get the guts to lose one strand of 'magical' hair."
"OH COME ON! You can't possibly expect me to carry you and THAT all over New York, can-?"
A blast like thunder ripped through the air, a rush of wind not far behind. Spidey and Rapunzel were knocked back for a second, and Pascal went flying off Rapunzel's shoulder and into yet another takeout bag. Clouds had darkened over a cluster of buildings several blocks away, and the light had gone a sort of sick purple. Smoke began to rise, horns and sirens started blaring, and just on the last breath of wind, screams came faint and helpless.
Spidey almost shivered with glee. The thought of being distracted by someone other than her for once in the past 24 hours was exhilarating.
"What is that?" Rapunzel breathed, terrified.
"I have no idea!" he shouted back with a thrill of excitement in his voice.
"Should we go after it?"
"For once, I agree with you," a blubbery voice said from behind, and both teenagers whirled around to see Kingpin sitting up, rubbing the lump on his head with a grimace. Pascal hissed from the inside of his bag.
Rapunzel frowned and looked at Spidey. "This can't be a good idea if he's on board."
Spiderman stood motionless for a minute, then said, "Unless you've changed your mind about your hair-"
"-then we have no choice. Come on, Moby Dick." He picked up his pocket knife and started hacking away at Kingpin's webbing, allowing the man a range of motion that was stiff at best, but free enough for him to be able to walk.
Spiderman then stood on the edge of the building like Peter Pan about to embark on a flight-filled adventure, and took Rapunzel by the waist.
"OKAY!" said Spidey with an excited laugh, "Try and keep up, Lumpkins!" and with that he thwipped a web and jumped.
They had not gotten far before it was clear that going by web was not the best choice. Kingpin should have thanked his lucky stars for the protective layer of blubber, because he thumped and bumped and bounced and rolled around uncontrollably, knocking off Spidey's balance. By now, the part of Rapunzel's hair that wasn't being used to keep her friend close and her enemy closer was a disaster; it was tangled knot of hair, webbing, gravel, and a particularly adventurous fast-food takeout bag, from which Pascal was rasping out a reptilian scream.
"This is NOT working!" moaned Spidey, landing beside a rolling Kingpin and setting down Rapunzel's disheveled form.
"I don't think it has to much longer," she replied in awe, straightening and pointing in front of them.
A massive hole in the air far in front of them writhed with energy, but then it snapped shut with a shattering clap and disappeared. There was a wave of wreckage all around where it had been, and people were running panicked past the three unlikely musketeers.
"Run for your lives!" screamed one of the deserters.
Rapunzel yelled back, "But the portal is closed, don't you...see..."
Striding towards them in the wake of the screaming civilians was a man over six and a half feet tall. At least, they assumed he was a man; he was covered in black, a swirling cape billowing behind him as he crossed the wreckage, his face hidden by a glassy, black helmet. The helmet's bulbous eyes and skull-like mouthpiece caught both the sun and a red glow from the sword blade, which was humming menacingly in his right hand, while his every breath rattled audibly through the mouthpiece.
"Darth Vader?..." Spiderman breathed.
"You may dispense with the pleasantries," Vader's voice scraped from inside the mask, "I am here to put you back..." His labored breathing came shuddering to a halt as the sightless eyes of his mask slowly looked from one to another of the trio, taking in the crazy hair of the trembling girl, spandex-clad teenager, and blubbery whale of a man. "What collection of fools is this?" he demanded incredulously.
Kingpin grinned approvingly. "Finally, someone I can agree with!" he said, loud enough for the newcomer to hear.
"Silence," Vader snapped, flinging his hand forward in a grasping motion.
Nothing happened. Everyone stood awkwardly still. Vader clenched his fist harder, but Kingpin only turned pink with rage.
"The Force doesn't work here," Spidey said in wonder, half to himself. Vader whirled on him, air writhing through his mouthpiece.
"I find your lack of faith disturbing," he seethed, whirling the saber at Spidey. He dodged and spat a web at Vader, but the cyborg sliced it in midair.
"Good. You would make a valuable ally," Vader said, the sword idling at his side as he glared at Spidey.
"No!" shouted Kingpin, "I'm the villain, not that stupid kid! You're here to serve me."
"I serve no one, you pitiful lump of lard," Vader snapped.
"Did you do all this?" shouted Rapunzel, and Spidey stared at her. She had snapped out of her terrified trance, and her was red with rage as she started storming towards the huge man. "You've destroyed these people's homes, sent them terrified in every direction, and-." She was almost within range of the saber.
"RAPUNZEL!" screamed Spidey, lunging forward in slow motion. Vader was swinging the saber down in a whistling red arc, Rapunzel only then seeing it. She raised her arm in a pitiful defense as the saber came down, too soon for Spidey to block it, too soon for him to think, and-.
Rapunzel slammed onto the ground from the force of the swing, but her arm was intact.
"What?" screeched the Dark Lord, swinging the blade down again on her prone body. Another shattering crack splintered the air, but Rapunzel was not so much as scorched.
Spidey sprang onto the cyborg's back, jerking him backwards with his body weight as extra leverage. He rolled out of the way as Vader fell, but not before the lightsaber grazed his arm. Scathing pain shot up to his brain. Okay, so she's immune but I'm not. Wow, the world's such a wonderful place. He stumbled and fell as Vader rolled onto his feet, and the two eyed each other in a tense moment as Vader raised his lightsaber again.
"Stop wasting your time!" sputtered Kingpin, hobbling forward. "With your technology and my people, we could have absolute control of this city!"
Vader's cold eyes turned to Kingpin. "The ability to rule a city is insignificant to the power of the Force."
There was an awkward silence.
"However," Vader added, "It will do, for the time being." He turned and began to walk away.
"Wait! Aren't you forgetting something?" shouted Kingpin.
Vader barely turned to respond, "I see there is no joining one of you without taking all, which is a pitiful-."
Spidey shot a web at his face.
Vader slashed at him, grazing him as Spidey rolled out of dodge and tried to smuggle a cry of pain; with that, the darkly clad figure turned and vanished into a nearby alley.
Kingpin wrenched out his comlink, furious. "Smythe! You had better have a good explanation for this."
"Villains don't share power. Didn't you learn that in kindergarten? Or Lord of the Rings?"
"It's time to shut down the portal! I've had enough of this madness. Do it, before any more of these fat headed -s," and here Kingpin said another word that I have no heart to repeat, "come through and ruin my domain!"
"Something's wrong!" Kingpin could hear Smythe banging on his keyboard. "The portals...they're only opening for sixty seconds each, then they disappear."
"And that means?"
"I can't get it to stop transporting villains!"
"WHAT?" Kingpin screamed.
Just then another purple blast was heard a few blocks down, and they all felt their stomachs drop.
A gruff voice with a weird accent pealed through the air. "I am Mojo Jojo, and I am here to rule the World!"
Spidey groaned, his hurt arm and shoulder trembling. This is going to be a long day.
Thanks for reading everyone! HEY LOOK WE ACTUALLY UPDATED...when we said we would...Yay responsibility! Anyway hope you liked it! Special thanks to PureCreativity for giving us the "crate of meat" metaphor ;) We both laughed our rears off at that! R&R, and we'll see y'all next week!