Awakening: Part 1
In blistering sands accompanied by heat that would be found in the lowest regions of hell, Marc Spector did as he was told, opening red, bloodshot eyes that revealed to him the very nature of his current predicament. Opening his mouth to speak, possibly to wonder aloud about where he was, Marc instead found that his throat was quite lacking in saliva, and was instead filled with what felt like sand. No, not sand... pain. Pure, unaltered pain.
Clambering up to his feet, with legs and body looking like they were about to snap, the former mercenary began to gag, painfully regurgitating the vile dirt and returning it to the ground it had come from. Marc's whole body ached terribly, only growing worse as he picked a direction and began to walk towards the vast, empty horizon. Eventually, Marc noticed a throbbing bullet wound in his shoulder, the pain telling a story that its protagonist couldn't quite remember.
That was when Spector noticed the cloak, a white, ancient cloak draped around him, that he hadn't noticed in his delirious state. Memories began to remind Marc how he'd arrived in the middle of nowhere. Collapsing once again, mentally exhausted, this husk of a man began to slowly break down, lying still for a number of hours before finally opening up his soul and letting himself be reborn.
"Oh god." He croaked as the night fell and the moon began to rose over the dunes. "I deserve to die."
In the dark, and the black... an angel... or something worse, began to descend, ancient, cruel and powerful. A godly being beyond mortal perception, yet operating in a mortal universe, regardless of whatever rules had been set centuries ago. He'd come from the mood and beyond, standing above the unconscious Marc Spector and taking hold of the man's head, Khonshu, Egyptian God of the moon began to lay his claim on the poor man's soul.
"Fear not, my son." Khonshu said, voice scathing and causing pain to all those within the continent. "You will not die here." Marc's eyes began to open. "You deserve all the pain that's going to come.... and this world deserves someone to protect it from the-"
Sitting alone in a diner just outside of New York City, Marcus Lyman watched from his booth as a couple of police officers entered the building and began to move towards the waitress on duty, talking loudly about one of the more urgent cases that had occurred just that morning.
"Guy is the evilest S.O.B I've ever heard of!" One of them said, almost jokingly, clearly a man who had not encountered the terror that was about to be unleashed.
It was a quiet morning. With the exception of Marcus, the officers, the waitress and the diner's cook, there was no one else in the area. Looking down at the home cooked meal he was devouring for breakfast, Lyman tightened the hood over his face, making it all the more difficult for the officers to make out his features.
"Morning 'Flo!" One of the officers, low ranking judging from his badge, took a seat at the waitress' stand, while his partner chose to remain standing by his side, giving off a sense of professionalism and duty that was sorely lacking from this modern day and age.
"Hi, Lou." Flo said, voice decidedly false and slow. "Your usual?"
Before Lou could respond, his partner quickly stepped in, ruining any hope of a quick meal.
"No time today, ma'am." He said, somewhat hasty and urgent in how he spoke. "We're on duty, and can't stay for long."
A look of crafted intrigue flashed over Flo's face. Clearly she understood the task given to her, and remembered what would happen if her performance was anything less than perfect.
"Guy escaped from the Raft today." Lou explained, bored and tired of the procedure already. "Calls himself 'Massacre'"
"Never heard of him."
"He fought Daredevil, or Speedballs, or someone a couple years back." Lou continued to explain. "Total nut job. Point is, he used to come to this diner in his younger years, so-"
Flo bit her lip, feeling nerves climb up her arm like an army of ice cold ants. The unnamed officer took note of this action and immediately sprang into action, probably looking for a promotion to something less mundane and useless than a street cop.
"Ma'am. If you know something, it would be best for everyone if you tell us."
Blood splattered the wall, courtesy of the ballistic, bullet wound crafted in the skull of Lou, who now lay head first on the table where he had been resting his arms. Getting up from his seat, and pulling down his hood, Marcus Lyman aimed the smoking pistol he was carrying and shot the second officer dead before he even had the chance to turn around.
"And I just wanted to finish my breakfast." Massacre said, voice as cold and emotionless as the metal fragments lodged in his skull. He took note of his handiwork, and felt nothing. Three people dead, two of them police officers, the other one the diner cook who had recognized him from TV when he'd entered the building. Now there was just one more loose end left.
Flo wiped blood from around her eyes, unable to hold back sobs as the man who had ruined such a perfectly, normal morning, began to turn his attention, and his gold plated machine pistol, towards her.
"Please." She begged, as Massacre looked at her with his grey, unforgiving eyes, silver metal plates on his skull showing Flo her own reflection. "Please..."
Massacre raised his gun, preparing to fire as he'd done so many times before.
"No." He answered.
For the Fist of Khonshu, sleep was not the blissful, relaxing experience that other people enjoyed every night. Instead, whenever Marc Spector dared to close his eyes, he was assaulted by numerous nightmares of the many atrocities he'd committed in his younger years. This lack of relaxation had almost driven the man mad once he returned state side, so, instead, Marc had adopted more unique methods of rest.
"You're meditating again?"
Flicking one eye open, Marc saw his fiance, Marlene, making her way down the stairs to the basement, where Marc was currently sat, cross legged, surrounded by glass cabinets containing his equipment as well as various iterations of the Moon Knight costume, some only slightly different from the main edition, and some seeming like they belonged to another person entirely.
"I was." Spector sighed, opening his other eye and lowering the finger movements required to keep himself in this peaceful state. "It helps me heal. Keeps me calm. Plus, my back's been aching lately, and this is helping." He explained, already guessing the thought going through his fiance's mind.
"I thought you were taking a break." Marlene said, staring down at Marc with great concern etched all across her face, joining the many stress lines she had seemingly adopted since first meeting the man. These marks however, were mostly obscured by the bright blonde hair all across her face.
"If Khonshu wills it..." Marc shrugged before jumping up to his feet and taking a drink of water from a plastic bottle he had lying atop one of his bright red, Ferrari sport cars.
"You're insane." Marlene said, partly joking, partly serious. She began to turn back the way she came, pulling her coat from an ancient Egyptian statue as she began to return to the staircase. "The hospital's called me in early. Eggs are cooking upstairs. Next time you want to speak about something real, you know where to find me."
Saying nothing as she left, Marc turned to a punching bag he had set up next to his Moon Knight costume display, and began to punch it repeatedly until he'd removed all of the pent up anger bubbling within. Currently he was alone in his mansion, confined to the empty, natural quiet of the New York countryside. The Moonjet, and its pilot, Frenchie, was in a small hanger about a mile away, while some of Marc's more experimental equipment was kept in a bunker located within the Bronx district of New York. This quiet, however, was soon interrupted by the sound of the mansion's front door bell ringing. Confused, yet quick to respond, Marc pulled on a shirt and made his way through the building to the main entrance.
Opening the door, Spector found himself face to face with one of the more respectable, and iconic heroes of the age, a smiling, blonde figure who'd fought through countless battles, yet had come out all the more powerful.
"Captain America!" Marc yelled, surprised by the unexpected arrival of one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
"Moon Knight." Steve Rogers said, nodding respectfully, white army tank top and buzzcut hairstyle hinting at the man's rigid sense of duty. "May I come in?"
Minutes went by, and eventually, the two men found themselves sat inside the mansion's kitchen, both on either end of a black marble table, one pecking away at a morning meal, the other, not even interested.
"These eggs are delicious." Captain America said, politely cutting his way through the yolk. "Well made and well formed."
Getting a sense of where the conversation was headed, Marc chose to take charge, and ignore any unrelated business. "Like the Avengers." He said, clicking his fingers like he was coming up with some brave, new idea. Wiping his mouth with a napkin, the Captain nodded once again, calm and respectful to his new ally.
"The Avengers are trying something new." He explained, cutting directly to the point, as intended. "For too long now, the superhero community has been operating independently from each other, with hardly any cohesive contact. We're trying to fix that. Make things more tight knit. Like a neighborhood watch but on a planetary scale."
Reaching into his jean's pocket, Marc produced the Avengers I.D. card he'd been granted years ago when part of the team's west coast division.
"I've already got one."
"Well, now you've got a spare."
Passing the red, plastic square over, the Captain raised an eyebrow as he watched his newest recruit begin to access some of the device's more unique features.
"I can contact the tower with this?" Marc asked, looking over the list of phone numbers hidden within the card's data.
"As well as law enforcement, and anyone else who's part of the team." Steve explained. "Like I said, we're stronger together than apart."
Spector wasn't listening, instead he was busy flicking through the personal database kept within the card, more specifically, the info the Avengers were keeping on him
"Your info needs an update." Marc said, shoving the card into his pocket and taking a swig of black coffee from the mug sitting before him. "What's the catch?"
Captain America smirked, being aware of a joke that Marc wasn't getting.
"Just do what you normally do." He said, standing up and leaving behind an empty plate. "But make sure you keep us all in the loop."
Moon Knight didn't watch his ally leave, choosing instead to think quietly about the day's proceedings.
"Avengers Assemble." He finally sighed, before beginning to move back down towards his workshop, preparing for the night's events.
In the very center of New York City, the sounds of screeching tires and idle chatter could soon be replaced by the happy cries of young children playing within the confines of Central Park.
"I don't know, Debbie." Angie, mother of five, muttered whilst leaning on a railing separating her from the play area her son was currently enjoying. "I've never declawed kittens before..." She said into her mobile.
"Mummy! Look at me!" Danny, Angie's son screamed whilst swinging on the monkey bars, free from any concerns that would later plague his every waking moment.
"Just bring them over." Angie continued, temporarily ignoring her son's cries. "I'll have a-"
Looking up, Angie saw something relatively terrifying. Her son, being pulled away by a man dressed in a green hoodie, his back turned towards her.
"Hey!" Angie screamed, marching furiously as her motherly instincts began to kick in. "What the hell do you think you're-"
The man pulled back his hood and turned towards Angie, but it wasn't his face she saw, instead it was her own, reflected in the metal plates attached to the top of the man's skull.
"Please don't-" Angie began to say, all anger turning to fear as she understood the severity of her situation.
Massacre, still gripping the boy's hand, pulled out a pistol and placed it on the tip of Angie's nose.