Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula, by ImpurestCheese

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Introduction

This is a lost work of ImpurestCheese. The details are unimportant, but this story has been known to a few of us for some time. After discussing it with our lovely mod, Wildvine, the three chapters are being gathered here for your enjoyment. So, if you've read everything Marvel Mayhem by Imp', here's another for you. If you've never read a Marvel Mayhem tale by Imp', well then this is as good a place as any to start. Enjoy. -FOP

Marvel Mayhem - El Tarantula #0

Marvel Mayhem - El Tarantula #0

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Two figures dressed in black lurched out of the setting desert sun as a dilapidated uni-bomber style shack came into view. The one in front being pushed by the former, his face covered by a hood and his arms bound tightly with cable ties. The helpless figure was shoved roughly, and fell into a shallow hole camouflaged by a tarp, his shoulder cracked loudly as he landed at the bottom. His ‘companion’ dressed head to toe in black stopped at the edge and looked down. The figure in black watched the trapped man squirm with disgust, flicked the hood off to reveal a face covered in cuts and cigarette burns.

“Where the hell am I?” The man grunted. “You... you’re that punk on the TV, the one who beat up that senator last week.”

“I am?” The figure in black asked in a mocking tone. “And you're Blackie Drago, a low life thug and an idiot who thought by moving out of New York he would have a pass to do whatever he wanted. Still, someone like you has uses.”

“I don’t work with heroes.” Blackie groaned as he struggled to remove the cable ties that bound his hands.

“Do you really think a hero would do this?” The figure in black asked. “I’m not a hero, but I’m not one of you either. Now you have two choices; either you answer my questions or I leave you in that hole to rot.”

“Bite me.” Blackie spat. “But remember that when I get out of here the Vulture will be coming for you. I’ll make sure that every day you feel like you’ve got a target painted on the back of your head!"

“Hard way it is.” The figure in black sighed, then removed a canister from their belt and twisted the nozzle and tossed it into ‘Blackie’s Grave.'

“What is this you sick f*ck?” Blackie asked. “Some kind of smoke grenade?”

“It’s amazing what you learn when your guest lecturer is an Avenger. That is a pheromone solution from Solenopsis invicta, an invasive ant species. In minutes the first scouts will be marching into this hole and in an hour they will have begun to pick the flesh from your bones.” The figure stated calmly. “Now tell me where Hurricane is before I start filling in the hole.”

“Oh, you want that guy.” Blackie stated. ” Him, yeah he’s around. Last I heard he was holed up in a trailer park just off I35 Exit 281. He’s been using the road to commit hit and run robberies on tourists passing by. Now get me out of here.”

“Hold tight for a moment.” The figure in black looked over to where the shack stood, before tapping the headset and pulling out a mobile phone. “Hello nine-one-one, I want to talk to Detective Dawson of the Austin Police Department. I have a crime to report.” He waited for a few seconds, then activated the phone’s speaker mode.

“Hello, Detective Tex Dawson.” A rustic Texan accent stated, “Hello anyone there?”

“Hello Detective, do you recognize my voice?” The figure in black asked.

“You?” Dawson gasped. “You!”

“Hey! Help! I know who this punk is, it’s that Night Thrasher guy from Stamford!” Blackie yelled.

“Is someone else there?” Tex asked. “We already have charges of assault, breaking and entering, and interfering with a police investigation. We will catch you. So for the love of God turn yourself in.”

“I will when I've finished my mission.” The figure in black replied. “I’m leaving this phone on so you can trace this call. You should find a wanted felon known as Blackie Drago at the end. But I’d hurry, he’s going to attract attention from the locals very soon. I wish you luck Detective Dawson.” The figure tossed the phone into ‘Blackie’s Grave.'

“Damn it! Star, we've got a hostage situation!” Dawson yelled as the figure strode back the way they had come slowly. The figure reached up and pulled the mask off to reveal long black hair, streaked with red. And a feminine face. “So you are close Hurricane.” She purred as she reached a Toyota Hilux, a dirt bike strapped to its bed, before she cut the cables with a blade attached to her wrist. “Catching you will get me one step closer to the men I need to find, to the survivors. And when I find Night Thrasher, Penance and Nitro I’ll learn the truth about what happened to my sister after Stamford.”

**

Lights swirled around the shack as a police Jeep 4X4 rolled up, and an ageing man dressed in a leather jerkin and trousers raced to the hole, his gun drawn. But when he looked inside he saw was a writhing tide of red running across a human body. Following him to the edge a blonde woman and a man with a bushy mustache, both dressed in police uniforms, looked down at the grisly sight with shared looks of disgust.

“Do you think that’s Blackie Drago?” The woman asked.

“I’m certain.” Dawson snarled, “The 'Tarantula Vigilante' has never lied to us about what he does Officer Star.”

“That is a mighty bad way to shuffle off the mortal coil.” The mustached man commented. “Guess we can add murder to El Tarantula’s rap-sheet. You reckon SHIELD will send someone down to investigate this?”

“SHIELD is too busy dealing with serial killers and aliens in New York to get involved with local problems.” Dawson stated, “And that’s what this is.” He added, "The news crews don’t need to hear anything about this. A whole load of folks think this Tarantula character is just what law enforcement needs, someone who is tough on criminals.”

“What do you think boss?” Officer Star asked, “Daniels and I will support you in whatever you decide.”

“I think that whoever El Tarantula is he’s smart, cocky, and full of himself.” Dawson told her, “And because of that we’ll catch him. I will say one thing for him though, he knew how to clean up evidence. It’ll be nearly impossible for us to remove all those fire ants before they destroy the majority of the evidence.”

“So what, we wait for the little suckers to finish?” Officer Daniels asked.

“Until we can get some insecticide down here to deal with the ants.” Dawson sighed. “Round one goes to El Tarantula, but he’d better savor it. His days running free are now numbered.”

Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula #1 - Storm Warning

Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula #1 - Storm Warning

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Sirens rang out as the pair of police cruisers thundered down the highway, dust coating the paint work as they cut through the dust storm and flakes of melting tar. Sitting in the front seat the bearded detective watched as the Speedo crept up to ninety kilometers per hour as it continued the agonizing climb upwards. It was a risk, the driver could barley see even with the hi-beams on, it was almost as if they were driving at the dead of night, yet he knew it was a sunny early April morning. Slowly the dust cleared as a minute speck of silver accelerated off into the distance.

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“Dispatch this is Dawson, the suspect escaped… again.” Dawson reported into the on-board car radio. “We hit a hundred and he was still keeping pace, almost as if he was mocking us. Star and I are heading back to the way station, see if he left any evidence.”

“I doubt it.” Officer Star sighed. “We haven’t got any leads yet. Do you think this has something to do with that 'Tarantula' Vigilante?”

“Maybe. From what I've seen so far he doesn't play well with other capes.” Dawson answered, “Look at Mr Drago, eaten alive the poor basted, the only connection I can see between the Tarantula and Hurricane is that they both clean up after their messes. The ants destroyed almost all biological evidence save for Drago’s dental records. The phone used to call us belonged to the victim. We also found a canister belonging to a mister Henry Pym, we’re trying to schedule a meeting with him but so far we’re being stonewalled by his secretary.”

“And if you had the choice between catching one and not the other?” Star asked as she turned performed a u-turn and headed back towards Austin.

“That’s not my choice to make.” Dawson stated as he looked back over his shoulder, “We’ll get both of them eventually.”

**

The tall athletic woman sat down at the table, flicking her red streaked hair out of her face as she looked with mild dismay at the tray of something the cafeteria at the University of Austin called shepherd’s pie, an English delicacy she knew shouldn't look that way. “Hum I think I’ll pass.” She mumbled as she removed a physics book from her bag and flipped it open to a page describing the equations to calculate the effect of friction.

“Hey, you mind if I sit here.” An accented voice asked from behind her, if she had to guess she’d say the speaker was from Florida or maybe Louisiana. “Sure.” She answered as the tanned well built man with sparkling hazel eyes swam into view before sitting opposite from her. “Names Tobias Harvey, we have Bio Chemistry together.” The man added, “You’re that quiet girl. Maria something?”

“Vasquez.” Maria answered, “And if you don’t mind I’m trying to study.”

“Physics?” Tobias asked reading the spine of the book, “You thinking of changing modules?”

”No, I'm trying out for the track team.” Maria answered sharply, “This is just a little background reading to make me pass the grade.”

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“I used to love running.” Tobias said dreamily, “But then I had an accident, ended up in hospital, would have been crippled if not for this amazing physiotherapist I had, called himself Dr. Mason, pretty much got me moving again by himself.”

“As much as your story fascinates me.” Maria yawned. “I have other places to be.” She added as she packed her books back into her bag and getting to her feet. “But by all means enjoy my shepherd’s pie, someone should.”

“Wait before you go.” Tobias said reaching into his bag and scrawling over a napkin on his tray. “If you ever want tips on running that’s my dorm room number, just pop in and I’ll teach you everything I know.”

"Thanks, but I think I can manage." Maria answered as she crumpled up the napkin, and dropped it back onto his tray. But not before she memorized the number, just in case she changed her mind. She walked out of the cafeteria, well aware she had crumpled his heart along with the napkin.

**

Maria sat on the saddle of her dirt bike, a copy of the Austin Sunrise in her gloved hand as she watched the convoy of vehicles flanking the massive flatbed lorry. It was carrying a hexagonal ring stabbed down by steel cables, followed by a refrigerated van with warning stickers plastered across the back. Pulling her mask down and activating the voice modulating software mounted on her headset, Maria waited for the cars to pass before switching on the radar tracker she had installed under the Yamaha Star Bolt’s handlebars. Counting down from ten she managed to reach three before the flash of chrome streaked past her and the smell of burning tar wafted up her nose. Gunning the engine she felt the bike vibrate as she roared onto the highway in hot pursuit after the convoy and Hurricane. It took only seconds for her to catch up the convoy, but it was clear that had been too long...

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Two of the escort HUMVEE’s had been tossed aside like toy trucks, the hired security inside groaned as they lay broken on the floor. From up ahead, at the head of the convoy, there was the occasional burst of gunfire until Hurricane barged into the vehicle on the left, the sheer velocity caused the vehicle to spin off to the hard shoulder.

Seconds later the flatbed was breaking, the trailer snaking round as the driver panicked, the reason behind his fear skidding under the cab and skidding to a stop in front of the refrigerated van. Slowing to a stop Maria got her first clear look at Hurricane, the man was clad in gleaming chrome armor that seemed to be increasing the musculature of his arms and legs to crazy levels.

“That’s some steroid enhancement you have there.” Tarantula stated as the drivers of the van bolted out of the vehicle. “Either that or you’re a mutant. Either way your days of highway robbery are over.”

“My employer wants the energy source.” Hurricane replied in a grating metallic voice as he ran towards Tarantula. “And what he wants I get.”

“Not anymore.” Tarantula answered reaching for the bolas strapped to her leg only to see Hurricane grab the front wheel of her bike and flung her off, sending her crashing into the side of the van. Grunting more from anger then pain, she spun the bolas only to see Hurricane caught it and snapped the steel cable connecting the weighted balls.

“Nice bike. Now get on it and leave. I don’t want to hurt anyone, not if I have the choice.” Hurricane warned her as he threw the bike over to Tarantula.

“Too bad, because you just made me angry.” Tarantula hissed as she threw a grenade onto the highway, the outer case splitting open to reveal a shower of barbed caltrops. Getting to her feet she gestured for Hurricane to come get her, only to see him leap off the flatbed, and propel himself in to her.

No Caption Provided

“You asked for it.” Hurricane buzzed as he begun to pound Tarantula in the chest, the blows cracking her ribs until she counter attacker, lashing out with her blades and ripping off half of Hurricane’s helmet. “Now you've gone and done it!” Hurricane growled, his voice modulator broken revealing his Florida accent. “I already owe the Tinkerer for getting me on my feet and now you've damaged his equipment. I’ll take what I owe him out of your hide.”

“Sorry but I've got to run.” Tarantula answered as she twisted the pin of a concealed smoke bomb on her waist, thick grey smoke erupting from the device as she wiggled free just as sirens sounded on the horizon. Grabbing her bike she gunned the vehicle off the side of the highway as Hurricane ripped the doors off the van to retrieve the glowing energy cell inside, then sprinting off back the way he had come. Retreating into the darkness, Tarantula looked back briefly at the crash site before remembering the seemingly worthless numbers she had seen this morning before snarling. “Hurricane I’m coming for you.”

**

Dressed in jeans and a red crop top Maria Vasquez knocked on the dorm room door belonging to Tobias Harvey, a knife slid into the waistband of her trousers. The plan was simple, knock, get inside, get close and paralyze the man while she looked for evidence. The first part was simple and after two sharp knocks Tobias answered, a surprised look on his face. “Hi I didn't think I’d see you.” He said happily.

“Well I figure why pass up on an opportunity when he walks right past you.” Maria answered with a forced smile. “Is now a good time?”

“Yeah sure.” Tobias answered as he walked over to his bed and sat down to remove a series of plates from his leg to reveal a pair of cauterized stumps. “Sorry I know that ain't pretty, it really turns off any dates I have.”

“What happened?” Maria asked as she reached for the concealed blade.

“Me and my brother were in a car accident. He was killed and I was ripped in two.” Tobias sighed. “I blame myself. I was playing with the radio like kids do, distracting him when the truck came out of nowhere. I woke up a double amputee at the age of sixteen. Can you imagine? Would never have walked again if it wasn't for Doctor Mason. He wanted me to beta test some kind of adrenal enhancement exoskeleton, and I wasn't going to say no, of course it worked as you saw earlier today, but it didn't bring back the thing I wanted most.”

“Your brother.” Maria finished before retracting her hand. “My sister died a few years back in an explosion. I blamed myself for everything, and I knew my family did as well, they stopped talking to me, looked at me as if I was the bomber.”

“Ah they didn't think that.” Tobias answered. “One good thing came out of losing my legs” He added, “I had been hanging with a bad crew before the accident, you know shop lifting, joyriding all that stupid kid stuff. After I got my new legs I turned over a new leaf, buckled down and studied to get where I am today. I just wish my brother could see me now.”

No Caption Provided

“This exoskeleton?” Maria asked, “How fast does it make you?”

“I’ll be lucky if I can top eight miles an hour.” Tobias answered, “Any faster and the plates shift out of alignment and send me tumbling. Hell after the first few times I had a limiter installed to keep me from stressing out the joints.”

“I’m sorry.” Maria sighed as she looked down at Tobias’s legs before genuinely smiling as she walked back towards the door. “It’s been nice talking to you.”

“Sure, you know where I am if you need me.” Tobias answered as she shut the door before fishing a remote control out of his pocket and double tapping the main button to reveal a secret compartment in the dorm room wall, his Hurricane armor gleaming under the spotlights in the floor. “And that’s on the run.”

.

.

Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula #2 - The Scorpion and the Toad

Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula #2 - The Scorpion and the Toad

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Officer Daniels rolled up the piece of paper on his desk and threw it directly at the back of Officer Star’s head, the projectile smacking her in the neck before falling on the floor. Turning in her office chair Star glared at Daniels before picking up the piece of paper and un-balling it to see the note he’d scrawled in thin spidery font.

“Well?” He asked as Officer Dawson walked past, a mobile phone clamped to his ear.

“No and stop asking.” Star said before balling the paper and throwing it back only for Daniels to throw the phone on the floor and grab the projectile in mid flight.

No Caption Provided

“Really this is what two of my best detectives give me on the location of El Tarantula.” Dawson spat, “A childish game.”

“Er who was on the phone?” Star asked nervously as Dawson thundered out of the room, Daniels and Star hurrying to keep up. “Oh don’t tell me it was him.”

“Yeah our resident arachnid called up, says he’s got our vigilante tied up in a warehouse just outside of Dallas.” Dawson answered. “Grab your gear and Star next time he tries something like that just ignore him.”

“Got it.” Star answered, “So do you think this guy’s telling the truth?”

“The Scorpion nah, the guy’s a thug that the mayor hired in hopes of crushing our spider problem. Apparently he has an excellent track record when it comes to that.” Dawson snorted, “Personally I’m hoping to send his ass back to the Raft, everyone knows he’s getting a second pay check from the Don of the Dead nobody is willing to do anything about it.” He added as he climbed into the Jeep Cherokee. “El Tarantula is almost preferable to scum like him.”

**

No Caption Provided

A few hours later the Jeep pulled to a stop outside an abandoned warehouse alongside a pair of blacked out Mercedes Benz. There tied to a post was a figure in head to toe black leather flanked by two men armed with assault rifles and dressed in combat armour, multiple lights blinking on their face masks as they locked onto Dawson as he got out of the car. Shooting them a dirty look Tex Dawson walked up to the post and was about to reach out and unmask the figure when a towering figure pushed the guards away and grabbed his errand hand in a massive pincer like claw.

“Mac Gargan, your lucky I don’t arrest your hybrid ass for the s<!t you pulled both here and back in New York!” Dawson spat as the Scorpion stepped into the light, forcing Dawson back.

“Hey I was a Thunderbolt back before they started trashing west coast cities.” The Scorpion grunted, “And I just did your job for you. A peek under the mask is free but if you want to claim the runt then you have to offer something of equal value to the Don.”

“Like what?” Dawson asked as Star and Daniels took up position behind the Cherokee.

“The Don wants all of Texas’s confiscated MGH supply, something about a project overseas. You deliver it to us by tomorrow and we hand the bug over to you. If you don’t well I’m sure we can find a mutually beneficial bargain for all involved.” Scorpion explained as Dawson looked over to the figure tied to the post.

“That’s a lot of big words Mac Gargan, “Dawson sneered, “and your criminal record stated that you’re an idiot. I think this is some kind of scam; that you’re trying to sell me a mule that you claim to be a well bread Arabian. A look is free right? Let’s take a peek at that pony.” He stated as he pushed past Scorpion and removed the mask from the figure only to be greeted with a deformed almost green face. “Speak son, say anything.” He ordered as he rested his hand on his holstered pistol.

No Caption Provided

“Grr Argh I’m the Tarantula?” The bound figure snarled only for Dawson to shake his head. “Oh like you could have done any better.” He stated before lashing out at Dawson with a long tongue, the blow knocking him to the floor before wiggling free as Star and Daniels opened fire, most of their bullets ricocheting off Scorpion’s armour. With a long low grunt Scorpion charged, the armoured villain body slamming into the Jeep and knocking Daniels flying with a claw swipe before turning to Star as she valiantly fired shot after shot at the villain’s head only to see the shots deflect off the chin and cheek armour.

“We were willing to offer you something Lawman.” The Scorpion snarled as Star backed away from him only for the second villain to spit a stream of toxic saliva over her, the liquid causing her skin to blister almost immediately. “But you called me stupid. You get to keep your lives today but soon you’ll have to make a choice; live and serve or die protecting the weak.”

“Not a choice.” Lawson groaned as he crawled towards Star, “Never a choice.”

“We’ll see.” The Scorpion chuckled as he plunged his stinger through Lawson’s hand. “And soon.”

**

DetectiveTex Lawson sat with his arm in a sling and his hand mummified in gauze. As the night’s casualties had gone he’d got off easy. Officer Victoria Star was in intensive care as the toxicologists tried to limit the poison’s effect to her body. Officer Drew Daniels was slightly in a better condition then Star but he still had a broken back and ripped tendons. Already Internal Affairs were crawling out of the woodwork trying to prove Dawson was dirty, that he had made a deal with his attackers so when the wall mounted phone rang he wasn’t surprised at who was on the other end.

“Detective Lawson are you in pain?” The voice of El Tarantula asked, “I could probably find a guy with extra meds if you are?"

“Your concern is touching!” Lawson growled, “Why are you calling me?”

“I want to know what you want me to do when I catch up with the Scorpion and the Toad.” Tarantula answered. “You and I aren’t friends but I don’t like it when criminals target cops like they did tonight.”

No Caption Provided

“You want orders?!” Lawson spat. “Take off your mask and become legit, join law enforcement or SHIELD or anybody. I’m tired of the bodies you leave behind and the crime scenes you contaminate.”

“If that’s your answer.” Tarantula sighed before throwing the mobile phone into the bin at the student union bar before turning back to her tablet, the screen logged into SHIELD’s 100 most wanted, the profiles of No 54 the Scorpion and No 87 the Toad sitting side by side. Flicking a few strands of hair from her eyes Maria Vasquez took a sip from the shot glass sitting next to her before minimizing the window and bringing up an online copy of the Aesop Fable; the Scorpion and the Toad before reading it under her breath.

“A scorpion and a toad meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the toad to carry him across on its back. The toad responds by asking how he would know the scorpion wouldn’t sting him with the scorpion answering, because if I do, I will die too. The toad was satisfied, and they set out, but midstream the scorpion stings his host. The toad feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown but has just enough time to ask why?"

“Because it’s my nature.” Maria stated as the scorpion and toad sunk under the stream’s surface. “They will be easy to divide and with the new super tensile adhesive I’ve been perfecting I should be able to keep them that way. This is my city and it’s time I sent a message to the super-human community that trespassing won’t be tolerated.”

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Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula, by ImpurestCheese
Marvel Mayhem: El Tarantula, by ImpurestCheese