Hate Ball #4 (of 4)

Revengeded

Behold, poor Russell. Our hero has fought through cultists and aliens and then more cultists to save the day, and now he finds himself dangling over an immense, toothy maw of alien aspect, the only thing preventing him from falling in being the suction cups of two tentacles that are suspending him over it. His clothes even more tattered, his gear all broken up, it looks like this may be the end for our wiry young redheaded hero...

(That should do for a 'cover', shouldn't it?)

Notice: for those of you that are faint of heart, the following tale isn't exactly what one would call G-rated in nature. It contains a plethora of bad language, excessive violence, sexual innuendo, and of course, things that would get this story burned, were it in a printed form, by the more fanatical elements of just about any religion on earth. In other words, if these things offend you - you've been warned.

(That should do for a 'disclaimer', shouldn't it?)

***

Russell stared down the demonic terror as it continued to adjust the formerly human body it had appropriated to suit its purposes; its legs were swollen to an almost elephantine degree, and its chest, where a heart should be, had exploded open, leaving a gaping maw full of what looked like shark teeth. Only in circular rings leading ever inward. Russell almost felt bad for whoever would find themselves chewed up by that monstrosity.

The now only vaguely human-looking Ocpatex regarded the room before him, spying the various unconscious cultists, the prone form of Clarence Davidson (who summoned him), and of course Russell. Ocpatex was expecting a different reception upon its birth in the earthly plane; it expected a lot of cultists throwing virgins and martinis and the like at him. Oh, and tribute! Lots of tribute. Gold, magic, even more virgins... that kind of thing.

But no, it looked here like there was some sort of disrespect going on.

"Clarence Davidson! I was promised... things! Lots of things. And here you only have foolishness for me?! Tell me why I shouldn't kill you right now."

Russell ground his boot into Clarence's broken nose a bit for effect, and spit. Again. "Clarence can't answer right now... but you know, I been asking him the exact same question today. Just a minute ago, in fact. But Hell, you want to do him in, I'll get out the way..." Russell then stepped off the unconscious cultist's face, as if to give Ocpatex access to the prone man. "No really, rip him apart, eat him, whatever. He's all yours."

The demon growled at Russell, though it didn't attack right away. Instead, it lurched over to the sacrificial female before it, and started shoving her into its gaping maw. Russell winced at the horrible sounds it was making as it ate the (thankfully) dead woman, slowly making his way towards the door. Not that he intended to run away or anything, but he figured if he had to fight this stupid monster, he'd want a bit more room to breathe, as it were.

"Where do you think you're going, maggot?" Ocpatex did not move, however, for it still had about half that woman to eat. Thinking he'd force the issue, Russell backed out the door entirely, and before he turned towards the stairs back up (and out), he fired a shot at the monster.

Bizap!

The concussion cannon knocked Ocpatex back, but it didn't seem to faze the thing very much, only enrage it further. "Grarrrgh! I'll kill you, human!"

Russell took that as his cue to fly off - fast - and he bolted right up the stairs and out the door, as fast as his flight boots could carry him ... without him pushing himself through a wall or something. Policemen screamed in alarm as he whooshed past at reckless speed, but Russell wasn't too worried about that; he just wanted to get the beastie away from other people. He hoped Ocpatex would be too angry at him to bother with innocent police - and he was right.

The otherworldy horror could teleport, however, and appeared in the air right before Russell; luckily he had his force field belt working or his head would've landed right in the creature's maw. Instead, Russell simply body checked Ocpatex hard, flinging it back down to the ground... eventually. It bounced off a few buildings first, ultimately coming to rest in the back of a parked truck. The demon wasn't nearly done yet, though, and flung a tentacle up at Russell.

Little did our hero know that those tentacles could elongate like rubber bands, and before he knew it, Ocpatex had Russell's ankles wrapped up. Tugging down on him hard, Ocpatex slammed Russell straight into the concrete, which had the unfortunate (for Russell) effect of overloading his force field somewhat. It was flickering in and out, and Russell had no idea how long it would last - or how effective it could be in its current state.

On the plus side, he only cracked the cement... instead of every bone in his body.

Trying to shake it off, Russell was again lifted by his ankles, this time to dangle helplessly over Ocpatex's head. Or eye, as it were. "Ignorant meat, I have been killing your like for millions of your years. We Kedae are immortal, you see, and you little eye-blinks come and go so quickly, you could not guess at the sheer power and knowledge we possess. Were you even minimally sane, you would just give up now, and save yourself an eternity of torment!"

Though the blood was rushing to Russell's head, something clicked inside it while he dangled above the demon. Kedae? Wasn't his old teammate one of those?

"Wait. I thought the Kedae got all messed up a bit back. At least, that's what Hellena said -"

Russell never got to finish the taunt, for Ocpatex slammed him into the concrete again, clearly having lost its cool. "Whaat?! You know of our fate? And you know where Hellena is? Speak, insect, or I'll -"

Russell took it upon himself at this point to return the attack, blasting at Ocpatex with both cannons. The demon let go of his ankles, and flew back through a (seemingly) empty Starbucks ™. Thrashing about as it tried to right itself, Ocpatex thoroughly trashed the place, which made Russell smirk - he always hated coffee. Before the demon could rally, he fired another volley of concussion blasts into the three story building, collapsing it on him entirely.

He then cursed, seeing the readouts from his guns on his goggles. They were tapped out.

Holstering them, he flew back to the Ologyology foundation, hoping he'd have time to rig something else up. Though as he crossed the lobby, again causing no end of frustration to the police - who were now following him - Russell made his way back to the sacrifice room. That sword was still there, after all, and if he was out of power to blast Ocpatex - who seemed to shrug most of their force off - perhaps that sword could do the monster in.

Landing on the altar, he picked up the sword, which was discarded when Ocpatex ate its last victim. Waiting for it, Russell jumped when he felt a 'whoosh' of air, guessing the monster would teleport in right where he was standing. And Ocpatex did. At that perfect moment, the police barged in, guns drawn, which prompted the demon to turn on them. As Ocpatex charged the police, they opened fire to no avail, and Russell rushed behind it, swinging at the base of its 'neck'.

He cleaved the gigantic, obscene 'eye' clean off of the demon, causing it to start thrashing about madly with its tentacles. "Graaak! I may be blind, but I'll still kill you, human!" Slowed by the bullets, however, Ocpatex couldn't find Russell with its flailing tentacles, allowing him to chop them off, one at a time, until the monster finally fell to the ground in a bloody heap. Jumping onto its chest, Russell then drove the sword into its creepy, tooth-filled mouth.

"How you like that, sucker?"

"Freeze!"

The police, who were but moments ago plugging away at a giant, extraplanar freak, were now bearing down on Russell - and he wasn't too thrilled about that.

"Did you not just watch me kill the thing that was going to pop your heads like an oversized zit?"

At this point, a plain-clothes type policeman walked into the room. "Yes, yes, we all saw that. You should also be aware that the city of New York does not take too kindly to this silly vigilante weirdness that's going on of late."

Russell just blinked at this, not knowing what on earth he was talking about. Vigilantes? Never met 'em.

"Well that's okay, officer, 'cause I'm a super hero. Why not ask any of the ladies these whack-jobs have been holding captives in the other rooms. No really, ask them. If Rebeccah's in there, she'll tell you just how they tried to brainwash me into killing her. And failed." *

The cop just nodded, and started taking statements from the (count 'em) thirteen women that were being held against their will in the next rooms. The police'd been so busy checking out what was going on upstairs, they hadn't even got to looking around down here. At least, until Russell's actions led them there.

Russell was more than happy that he did, indeed see Rebeccah there; he wasn't sure if the Ologyologists would've killed her immediately or saved her for something truly horrible. She was alive though, and did tell her tale to the cops, who were suddenly a lot more kindly disposed to our hero. Of course, they still wanted his weapons, so Russell handed them over. Though he used his power over technology to render all the circuits within into slag first.

No need to give the police anti-gravity technology, after all.

Russell then told them everything from his perspective, from his initial joining of the Ologyology Foundation to his sudden snapping out of their brainwashing, and then through the events in space ** and here earlier. *** Of course, he left out the whole 'blasting the place up' part, along with a few other, less seemly details. He even told them who he was, 'cause hey, they had his guns (prints) and his secret identity was probably blown, at any rate.

Click.

Though the room was busy with police checking things out, rounding up Ologyologists and looking for clues, Russell noticed that it was suddenly short one Clarence Davidson. Looking about, he saw a trail of blood leading from where the man was laying moments ago, to a section of wall... and then nothing. Walking up to said wall, Russell kicked it as hard as he could, and the section of wood wall exploded inward, revealing a secret passage going down.

Into the sewers.

"Any of you have a flashlight?"

***

Though the police weren't too keen on Russell wandering off by himself, especially when they had more Questions, he nonetheless grabbed a flashlight from a willing officer and made his way into the secret tunnel. Of course, his flashlight would only give him away, but what choice did he have? If he didn't move now - and right now - Clarence would get away... and likely do all this again somewhere else. And Russell wasn't about to let that happen.

He tried to follow the blood trail once he hit the sewers proper, but Russell had a hard time of it; the place was somewhat wet, after all. When he lost the trail momentarily, Russell paused to look around - at which point he was tackled from behind. "You shouldn't have followed me, Russell. Or whatever you call yourself now. Gunner? 8-ball? Absolute Failure?" Clarence began to furiously punch Russell in the kidneys while the hero lay face first on the sewer floor.

Trying to recover, Russell heaved with all of his strength, and managed to roll on top of Clarence, returning the fisticuffs. Of course, Russell was punching the man in the face, not the kidneys. "Bite me, Clarence. Though I must admit, if it weren't for you and your demon-worshiping goons, I wouldn't have figured out how my 'power' actually works! So I suppose if you wanted to talk about absolute failures... we could just look at you, right?"

Clarence tried to growl in rage at that, but he had a face full of fist again... and was unconscious soon enough - Russell never actually stopped punching the man.

Heaving the overweight cultist over his shoulder, Russell hauled Clarence back to the Ologyology Foundation building, and to waiting police. As they cuffed the man - who had since regained consciousness - Russell whispered into his ear. "To answer your question, as they make a lady out of you in prison... the name is Hate Ball, Clarence." The head of Ologyology screamed in rage as he was led away, and kicked at everything and everyone he could see through his swollen, puffy eyes.

Russell then had to answer a few more hours of questions from the police, who wanted clarification on that whole 'outer space' thing and for the most part dismissed him as a delusional wreck. But then, he did say he'd been brainwashed by these freaks for a while, so that was no surprise there. Eventually, the police finally let Russell go, and he stepped out over the rubble of the Ologyology Foundation's lobby, into the streets of New York City.

There he saw Rebeccah, waiting. "Hey Super Hero, can you give a girl a lift home?"

***

As the dust settled some, Russell decided that he was going to become a full-time hero after all. He'd have to track down his former teammates - both teams of such - to make sure everyone was okay. He'd lost track of the original group entirely, and hoped the second had fared better than he did - though admittedly, he did finally have a grasp on his ability to invent. And then he'd have to find these 'other' vigilantes the police seemed so upset about...

He had to rebuild his gear first, though. Again. He liked the flight boots so he was keeping those - the one bit of gear that didn't fail him when he threw down with the Ologyologists. He liked the force field deal but it was too fragile; he'd have to make it more dependable. And while the concussion cannons were awesome, they didn't have enough... 'punch' for things like Ocpatex. He'd go with lasers, but an old teammate used them; didn't want to step on anyone's toes.

Maybe he could rebuild his old 8-blaster? But perhaps a bit smaller... no need to haul around a forty pound gizmo any longer. Or perhaps two hand guns with four different weapons each? Yess...

Focusing his power, Russell started to plan and invent again, and the table he was sitting at quickly filled up with notes, scribbles and various drawings. As he did so, he was completely unaware that he was being watched from afar.

Well, from out in the back yard, at any rate.

Seņor Barnett watched his son from a safe distance, his own 'problems' with technology preventing him from getting any closer to his former home. He smiled as he watched his son work. "That's my boy...!"

***

* in Issue 1.

** in Issue 2.

*** in Issue 3. Haven't you been reading this stuff?

***

So it's been a good twenty eight issues while you lot bear with us and get the origins of seven different heroes. Which is nice of course, but what's it all got to do with anything, you ask? Well, now that you know how the major players got their start, we can go ahead and tell the origin of the Crazy Hate - how these heroes get together (with a surprise eighth member) to become an outcast force fighting for ... each other, anyway. Tune in next time!

***

Hate Ball #4 (of 4) - Revengeded
© 2009, 2012 Denny Hill 2, All rights reserved and so forth.

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