Continued in Howard & Charles vs The Dimension of Zombies Pt 1
"What is this you're giving me Liddle?" Jameson tossed the blurry, out of focus photo back on the desk. It was so bad it was cliche. Like pretty much every picture of a "monster" ever taken by a tourist. It looked even to her eyes like a bad hoax. Just a blur of green with a splotch of red that had been the creatures eye as it had turned away from her. If she hadn't seen it, hadn't felt the things touch on her, she would not have believed it herself.
So she understood Jameson's attitude. Plus he would have been surly if she had walked the monster itself in here. You couldn't really win with JJ. You just tried to score higher then last time. "Lance was unconscious. And it was a surreal moment. You had to be there boss. I just snapped the picture as an afterthought." She started to pick up the photo like she was leaving.
"Sit down. Gimme that." Jameson snapped, snatching the photo from her hand. He gave it a glance, then looked off into space again. Mercy could practically hear the wheels in his head spinning. "We'll push it to page two. Search for the mysterious Man-Thing continues. Where is Luke anyway?"
"Lance, sir. He's at the downtown hospital now--"
"Take a taxi and pick him up. I have a new story for you two." He pulled a file out of a desk drawer and tossed it across the desk. "A killer on the loose, and not the useful kind like Castle." He said without irony, even though he often ranted against Spider-Man being a vigilante. The photos were beyond disturbing. Each victim had been ritually slaughtered. Flayed, gutted. It made Mercy sick to her stomach.
"How.." she started to ask. If this case was ongoing, the police would never release them to a newspaper.
"Friends in high places." Jameson replied. "Ghoul calls himself Zodiac."
* * *
"Taxi!!" Mercy yelled, flagging down the first one she saw. "Thanks for stopping." She said as she climbed in the back.
"No problem." The cabbie grunted, pulling his cap a little lower. To block glare she assumed. "Where to lady?"
"One seventy William street. The hospital." She replied. Now that she could relax and catch her breath, she couldn't help but notice the cab driver was short. Really short. In fact, he looked like a human duck hybrid. "Has anyone ever told you--"
"Like a duck. Yup." he grunted again, tapping ashes off his cigar out the window. "Maybe cause I am a duck" He replied so flatly she had no trouble believing him.
"Where are you from." She asked, trying to recover from her surprise.
"Cleveland." He replied, and this time she hear a smirk in his voice. As if he were telling an old joke he still found amusing.
"Seriously?" She couldn't help but sound a little incredulous.
"Well, that is where I'm from on this Earth. Long story lady."
"I'm writing a book about the Marvels--"
"The what?" He squinted at her in the rear view mirror.
"You know, the super people. Could I maybe get a small interview with you?"
"I'm not super toots. Just a guy. No powers." He almost spit the word powers, and Mercy wondered what interactions he had had in the past with other Marvels. The idea of people from other worlds who didn't have powers was a new one for her though. She had never assumed some of the "Marvels" were just normal people, relatively speaking. Just trying to make it in a world of some else's making.
The rest of the trip was in relative silence, save for the radio playing at a low level. They pulled to over to get gas, and Mercy decided to walk the rest of the way. It was a nice day for walking. She thanked him and paid her fare, leaving a small tip. This wouldn't make a chapter for her book, but it would make a nice foreword.