RISE: Ghost Rider
Location: Hillrock Heights, East Los Angeles; 11:59 PM
Peace. Quiet. A good night's sleep. Such things are rare in the lives of those who reside in the Reyes household. Robbie Reyes thought it was strange at first. It never gets this peaceful in this neighborhood. But, after fighting so much, letting his head hit his pillow left him unable to complain. But, as he rested, there was someone who still very much awake.
"This is ********!" said the impatient spirit of Eli Morrow. "There's no point in having this power if we can't use it! Things are quiet now, for sure. But, there's criminals in other cities! Every city!! Come on, kid!!!"
No matter what he said or how loud he screamed, Robbie was completely out of commission for the night. That meant that Eli couldn't go anywhere for the time being. However, Eli could give him a push. Eli attempted to probe Robbie's dreams and upset him into to giving him more control. He just wanted to give Robbie a tiny vision of his mother, pregnant with his brother, falling down a flight of stairs. But, something went wrong.
"Why isn't this working, dammit?!" Every attempt to adjust his dream was undone, replaced with images of the whole Reyes family laughing and enjoying dinner. This left Eli fuming with rage.
"This ain't possible! He is NOT strong enough to keep me out!" Eli attempted to push even harder now. Displays of murder, burning bodies, his brother's face writhing in agony. None of it worked. Eventually, it dawned on him what was happening. "Someone's causing this..."
"Well, obviously," a cold, distorted voice said.
Eli's eyes darted around Robbie's bedroom, but no one was around. "Who's there?! Show yourself!!" Eli screamed.
"Down here, genius."
Eli, still inside Robbie's body, looked deep into his mind and found a table with two chairs. In this room, surrounded by darkness, Eli approached the table with a uncharacteristic amount of caution. This was the work of someone far more dangerous then him.
"Have a seat, Mr. Morrow. If you'd please."
Eli looked around be still saw nothing and no one. Eventually, he took the seat. "Who are you?"
At that moment, a jet black hand appeared in front of him. The hand motioned for a handshake, but Eli slowly looked at what that arm was connected to.
"Blackheart. Son of Mephisto. Charmed, I'm sure." Black reclined in his seat while keeping his hand extended. His eyes soon expressed serious frustration as Eli did not return his greeting. "Shake my hand, mortal."
Eli suddenly realized that he was staring for far too long. In haste, he took that demon's hand.
"You're the son of Mephisto? I...I'm honored, your...uh... lordship." Eli bowed his head in respect, apologizing for his earlier rudeness.
"Now, now. Don't fret over such minor things," Blackheart said as he relaxed. "You've more than earned an audience with us, considering all the hours you put in."
Eli was very surprised at that statement. "I knew someone was listening when I got the Rider's power, but... I never thought I'd actually meet a Hell-Lord like you."
"Well, I admit this is bit... unusual," Blackheart chuckled. "Those souls that you sent us before you died was greatly appreciated! The ones after that were somewhat burnt... but we made due. However, there's a good reason why we had to meet like this."
Eli gave Blackheart his undivided attention. He would not dare disrespect the mighty demon now, especially after all his years of service.
"An event is coming. The Earth's greatest monsters and killers are uniting. Every individual with the title of 'hero' has been marked for death and we require an advantage that they cannot see coming," said Blackheart.
"I get what you're saying, but Robbie, my nephew, can be hard to push. I can try to get full control, but he could pull it away from me if he has enough time. And there's that other Rider that I gotta watch out for," said Eli.
Blackheart chuckled again. "We looked into those issues and created the solution." Blackheart took his hand and dove it into his own chest, pulling out what could only be described as a black mass of dark matter. "Take my hand, Mr. Morrow."
Eli took a breath as he reached for Blackheart's palm. Blackheart then cut a small opening in Eli's wrist and allowed the dark matter to enter his arm. Veins in Eli's arm turned black as the matter traveled through him and into his chest.
"What is this? It feels... incredible!" said a newly energetic Eli.
"It's a part of my essence. Hold onto that until the time is right and keep acting as you usually do. You'll need to wear down your nephew's will in order to guarantee its effectiveness. You just need to reach in and literally pull it out of you. Your nephew will become inert and you'll have the full power of the Ghost Rider to unleash. And, if the other Rider tries anything, his situation will only get worse. Are we clear?" Blackheart asked.
"Yes, my lord. I will be ready for when the time is right and will burn down every hero I find!" Eli said with confidence.
"I like the enthusiasm, Mr. Morrow! By the way, I may need you afterwards for other jobs, if your interested in more of my... gifts," Blackheart said as he arose from his seat.
"Whatever you want, boss... I'm in!" Eli shook Blackheart's hand as the world around them melted from view.
Returning to the world proper, he found the Robbie had just woken up. It was now 9:00 AM and they had to get up for work. Remembering what Blackheart told him, Eli made sure to keep his composure.
"Sleep well, kid?" Eli said.
"Since when did you care?" said a confused Robbie Reyes.
"Come on, kiddo! We're a team, remember? Can't I ask how you're doing sometimes?" Eli asked.
Robbie wasn't interested in his deranged uncle's nonsense and went about his business. "Whatever, man. Just shut up until AFTER breakfast."
"No problem." Saying this, Eli looked at his chest and felt the power of Blackheart pulsating within him. Smiling from ear to ear, he said, "You better be eating right, kid! We got busy days ahead!!"