Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

April 28, 2015:

Two metahumans head to a crime scene and a friendship breaks out.

Washington Heights

A neighbourhood of about one hundred fifty thousand people at the northern end of Manhattan, Washington Heights is chiefly famous for having suffered a devastating crime wave in the 1980's related to the crack cocaine epidemic, though during the 90's the crime rate was driven down by aggressive policing and urban renewal. Presently it has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation.

Characters

NPCs: A number of criminals

Mentions:

Mood Music: ''Always Look on the Bright Side of Life'' by Eric Idle


Fade In…

Sometimes it feels like all is right in the world, things have resolved as they should, and for once Flash Thompson figures everything is all right. He's out of SHIELD's custody, the Army dropped the charges, and he's able to get out of that secure facility and stretch his arms for a swing around the city.

This is the thing he missed all that time. The feeling of speed, the rush of wind past the darkened mask covering his features, that burst of adrenalin as he lets go of a webline and falls straight down into the valley of buildings… then twists and fires another to snap him back up in a smooth arc hurtling him into the sky.

But then there's a subtle ping to his spider-sense, just one of those small tell-tale hints of something untoward far below. He lands with a thip-thap upon a billboard that proudly proclaims he should use AXE BODYSPRAY while depicting a bikini-clad young woman reaching out for something or other. He perches there for a moment, then crawls downwards to get an angle on a vacant lot between a pair of old apartment buildings. A vacant lot that seems to have a plethora of black Cadillac SUVs parked in a semi-circle.


A spider-sense is supposed to act as an early warning system. But how well does it work against someone who doesn't know what he's going to do until after he's already done it? That's the kind of thing that Deadpool would ask if he had one. But all he got was a Common Sense. Not as useful, but still pretty good, and in his line of work, it's surprisingly rare. You'd almost call him genre savvy. It's like he knows exactly what he is.

And on this night, he's working as protection. Landing on the rooftop, near the man in black, he lights up an anywhere match which makes his own mask flicker and glow in the dim light. "Now, you gotta ask yerself, do I feel lucky? Well, do ya Punky Brewster?"

Yep, that's Deadpool, but what's got him acting like that? Is he a good guy, a bad guy, or just here for the fun. Aren't surprises great. Though if his company had one of those nifty, newfangled spider-senses, it'd be going off like the fourth of July.


Straightening up on his perch, Agent Venom looks askance towards Deadpool and his own mask is limned in perfect counterpoint by that flicker of match. The side of it curves up as the balaclava hides most of his smile. "Deadpool?" He sits up a bit further, "Oh hey, this is pretty great. I've heard a bit about you."

Agent Venom drops from the sign onto the rooftop, landing in a crouch but then straightening up. He opens his hands towards the man as if taken aback. "You've got a rep, man. Is this…" He gestures over his shoulder with the jerk of a thumb. "Is this you? Hitting them or protecting them? Heck I was just going to take a gander since it looked suspicious and all that." He steps away to move to the side of the building, planting his hands on the brick wall around the rooftop as he eyeballs those below.

And the SUVs far below are starting to disgorge their contents. At first it's big guys, followed by little guys, then some more big guys. All of them are dressed decently, some have jackets even though it's about fifty five degrees out at two in the morning, but hey fashion is important.


"Awe, you've heard of little old me?" Deadpool seems almost bashfully, playfully raising an arm in what would probably be described as an over the top effeminate manner, not that it would be politically correct to do so. The actual motion raises his right arm high into the air, but his wrist bends abruptly and severely in a downward motion.

And with that little bit of fun over, he straightens up, grabbing a pen from one of the many compartments on his suit, and finding an 8 x 10 of himself. How the hell does he manage to keep an 8 x 10 glossy of himself from bending, and where did he get it? Oh well, some things are better left unanswered. "All right kiddo, who do I make this out to? Spider-Man, Tarantula, Black Spider, Ant-Man, what's your name?"

The fun thing about Deadpool is that he could have just as easily drawn a katana, a gun, or hell, maybe even a pen that's a grenade like in that James Bond film. How many times did he play with the mechanism anyway?

And then he's distracted by the thing going on below, "Oh, yeah, protection tonight. I don't know what they're up, drugs, guns, extortion, theft, maybe a combination. It's usually better if I don't ask, but whatever they're up to, they thought it was worth getting some extra protection in case any of those heroic types decides to spoil their highly illegal but commercially rewarding fun."


"Ah crap," Agent Venom looks over and he tilts his head at Deadpool. "I don't really have a… well." He scratches a gauntleted hand along the curve of his jaw, "Just make it out to Charlie? Since that probably works better than most." He gestures towards the SUV crowd even as some of the bigger cronies start to pull this guy from the back of one of those vehicles.

"Long story, lots of things going on, don't wanna bore you. Charlie is fine." He glances back down while the mugs drag this clearly reluctant guy into the middle of all those blazing Caddy lights, it's clear he's the focus of attention while some of the smaller guys light up cigars and gesture. A few firearms are drawn, some slides clicked in what surely would sound ominous if they could hear it up there.

"Not to be a jerk though, but if stuff goes down… I'm kinda gonna have to try and do somethin'. Just know, hey, mad props for all that anti-hydra stuff I heard about."


Deadpool very emphatically writes in big bold, and surprisingly coherent cursive script, 'hang in there Charlie, and don't let the rain wash you out, sincerely, your pal, the Merc with the Mouth, Deadpool'. Handing it to Agent Venom, he says, "there you go."

Whatever's going on down there, Deadpool seems oblivious, but then, looks can be deceiving, especially when it's this handsome fellow. "Oh, I understand. It's the nature of the business. You gotta do what you gotta do, and if you lose a limb, it'll grow back right. You got one of those healing factors like I do? No, oh, well, I hope whoever's paying you has a good health insurance policy."


Taking the photo, perhaps surprisingly he actually keeps it and slips it into his combat harness, behind the pistol holster on his chest. Over his heart, awww. He gives a nod, "Thanks, no hard feelings and all." Of course that's the moment when the guy screams down in that vacant lot, wailing aloud and pleading for his life.

"C'mon, Jimmy! I din't know she was your wife! You gotta unnerstan'!"

"Good luck," He's even kind enough to wish such on Deadpool… and then /THWIP!/ from both hands there's a big _SPLATZ_ of webbing aimed to just splash the whole area that Deadpool's standing on. Probably hoping to trap him or slow him down as Agent Venom flips backwards and is suddenly falling down into that vacant lot, not wanting to hurt the merc with the mouth at first. Since, you know, that'd be cheating.


Deadpool's good, but he's only human. He's trained himself to come pretty close to dodging bullets, but webbing in the face, and a sucker thwip, that's uncalled for. His shoes get webbed up good.

"Of course," he says calmly as he unsheathes his katanas, "you realise," they glint in the moonlight, "this means war," and he goes to town on the webbing shredding it and freeing himself. From there, he performs a standing somersault over the ledge, landing on the roof of one of the SUVs, which he dents, "nobody panic, that was deliberate, it was deliberate."

And in an Elmer Fudd voice, he says, "be very, very quiet. I'm hunting spiders."


As Venom was falling, he twists in midair, fires a webline… and snares the corner of a building. The webbing tightens and _snaps_ him back up into the air as he swings past the now suddenly aware gunmen and their bosses. Another webline fires and grasps the condemned man, hurling him upwards snatching him from the very cusp of mortality! The swing completes and Flash hoists the guy up onto the lip of the rooftop even as the first bullets start pinging around them. "Run, fella. And next time keep it in your pants."

"Thanks, man!" And at that, the captive starts beating feet across that rooftop trying to get away.

From downstairs voices are calling, "It's that spider guy, get 'im!" The night's lit up with the bark of weapons even as Flash drops backwards into the fray.


"Hey now, these fine gentleman coerced that man here of their own free will. Why don't you get your own sidekick! Can I interest you in a teenage girl in purple lycra? Too Batgirl, hmm, how about a guy with a golden garbage basket on his head? Nah, that's been done too. Hang on, I'll get it, give me a minute."

Now most people like to blather like that standing still, doing nothing but breath, maybe sit, but Deadpool, he's throwing a shuriken at the webline, bouncing off an SUV's roof, hitting a wall, somehow using that to bounce off of, and reaching up to grab the edge of the webline he just cut.

"Get over here!" he shouts all Mortal Kombat-like. And like the men he's working for, he has guns too. Drawing something that looks like it's straight out of a video game, he empties a full clip in the direction of the hero, "hey, no fair, you dodged that one!"


A pair of pistols are drawn and already firing while Agent Venom is dropping down, but then the webline is cut and his fall continues straight down to the ground amidst… all the people he's wanting to shoot at. There's a horrendous cacophony of crossfire as the gunsels let loose, some of their rounds finding their own compatriots and others being nimbly dodged by the blurring dark silhouette in motion.

And suddenly all hope of offense is abandoned in the effort of the spider-figure leaping, flipping, dodging, rolling over the vehicles trying to avoid the fire from Deadpool.

"Hey!" Flash's voice lifts over the side of the car, "What kind of gun is that, it's snazzy!" He's taking cover behind one of the big SUVs, right next to the fallen body of one of those gunmen who is apparently bleeding out. He takes a moment to reload from cover.


"Oh this, I call it the Widowmaker, ironic, right, you being a Spider, and it being a spider too, I know, right?" He seems to be genuinely enjoying himself as he tries to get a piece of the agent, just a tiny one. After all, he is being paid handsomely for this gig.

"What kind of a hero are you anyway? That guy beside you is probably bleeding out. You could save him, but then you'd have to let my employers do their thing. Is that what they call a sadistic choice?"

Deadpool is hired help. He doesn't care about the guy, the rest of them. All that matters is that their cheque cleared. And who hires a mercenary with a personal cheque? Honestly, he takes direct deposit, he even has a PayPal account. Though their rates are murder. And they call him the criminal.

"Hey," he shouts over the growing fire fight. A gas grenade is tossed towards Venom. That can't be good for the guy near him. "You got money? I could start a bidding war?" And then the guys who hired him look aghast, complaining that they already paid him.


With guns reloaded, Flash snaps the slides back into place and hollers over the side of the car. "I'm kinda a soldier, not so much a hero. And sorry, can barely make my rent most of the time!" And with that said suddenly he's rising up and firing his two… three… four… wait _six_ pistols? Six freaking pistols going /BLAM-BABLAM-BABLAM-BLAM!/ all over the place as lead is hurled towards not just Deadpool but a bunch of the gunmen. Amongst the smoke and debris Deadpool might be able to make out black tendrils holding each of the extra guns and he's just spraying and praying.

A few other gun men go down, some scream and wail, the bosses are hiding some distance away even as another breaks and runs.

It's perhaps ironic that with all that firing and all those bullets he's throwing downfield, it's Venom that takes a bullet across the arm. Blood spatters and he curses, knocked back into cover as the gas grenade hurls at him.

"Ah crap!" He starts coughing, rolls… trying to get some distance.


Having been a soldier himself, Deadpool knows the story. Soldier of fortune is heavy on the former, light on the latter. He also knows a thing or two about trajectories, and seems to use it to its maximum, most comical, effect. He stands near the middle of the fray, turning his side, presenting less of a target. If he had a lamp post, he'd be hiding behind it, but instead, all he gets is a heater one of the more outdoorsy criminals set up.

When the gunfire dies down, he steps out from behind the heater, grabbing his ribs, his thighs, his chest, and his crotch, checking for bullet holes, "woohoo, triple score, I don't need to buy a new costume yet… and that's so gross. Did you know you have tentacles coming out of your skin? You should see a doctor about that man. It's not normal." Hello Mr. Pot.

And when Venom takes a hit, Deadpool is on him, jumping over the SUV to join him and the guy who's probably already dead from smoke inhalation and the severe injuries he sustained earlier. Grabbing at the arm that was struck, he adds, "I want my bullet back. I'm doing my part to go green, how about you?"


On the other side of that SUV, Flash grimaces at the bullet wound then starts to regain his feet. He snaps his head around looking for targets and then suddenly… there's Deadpool.

Coughing, and to be fair pretty darn far from trusting Deadpool, Flash pulls back and tries to tuck into a roll to put some distance between him and Deadpool as he tells him, "Here, have one of mine?" And at that the pistol barks sharply even as those tentacles retract. They fold inwards from the back, only to extend outwards from the front as if creating a shield to try and fend off any sort of nastiness that might be coming his way.


So much for going a full day without needing a new uniform. Agent Venom gives him back his bullet, and some extra change. But that doesn't seem to bother the man in red so much. In fact, he's laughing. It's kind of scary when someone gets shot and laughs.

"Hey, come back here, I'm not done having fun yet, and you haven't finished killing my employers." It would probably be good for business if Agent Venom did kill them all. What would this do for his rep, letting them get slaughtered, and all he gave was a mild flesh wound? And sharing a thought out loud, "how come they always say it's a flesh wound in movies? Aren't all wounds flesh wounds?"

He ducks, dodges, flips, and chases after the Agent, firing his own gun in one hand, and hoping to draw near enough to use his katana to carve a 'D' in Venom's chest.


Curiously enough those henchmen that aren't already dead… well most of them are already beating feet. So that now their dialogue seems all the louder, and their heavy footfalls upon the roofs of the SUVs bounce off the brick walls of the surrounding buildings.

Turning around and planting a boot on a luggage rack on the roof of one of those Caddys, Flash brings up his pistol again aimed at Deadpool only for it to /ka-click/. The weapon is tossed to the side, but too late…

That katana flickers through the air and he's able to make a D, but it's on that hardened shield of… whatever that crazy suit of his is made out of. "Whoa, close!" Flash dances back a step, snapping an arm to the side as a telescoping baton snaps out to full length, the tip flickering with electrical charge. But then he looks around for a moment, brow furrowing. "Wait a sec…" He holds up a hand as if to stay Deadpool's attack, but mindful not to extend it too far since that is often a way to lose a hand.


When he's told to wait a sec, Deadpool actually waits. He gives that katana a little flickr, intending to get the blood off of it, but he never pierced that suit, whatever it is. "Very odd, usually there's more blood when I try and weave my sword about," and it's all said in his best Antonio Banderas impression. "but am I Zorro, or am I Puss… in Boots?"

Taking a moment to reload his gun, he looks over Agent Venom, "are you gonna need a new autograph?" Now that's messed up. One moment they're firing bullets at each other, the next they're talking about autographs.


Looking around, Flash looks back to Deadpool. "They're all gone." He says as if a touch incredulous. But then again… the two of them were throwing down some serious hardware. And there is also the distant sound of sirens. "You know, those guys didn't give you much support really. You'd imagine they'd have at least trained some. I mean you're Deadpool, you're the freaking tip of the spear."

He steps back and shakes his head, "Did you want to continue, or are we ok for now? I mean we could go somewhere else but man… they really let you down. It's like buying a big screen tv and then having an itty bitty speakersystem."


"Tip? I am the spear. But I'm having an off night. I know, how could it happen to me, Deadpool, but it happens to the best of us." Moving back to take a seat on the hood of an SUV, "when you get to be my age, you start to understand just how short life is. I mean, I've got what, a hundred years, two hundred years left? How long is immortality anyway?" Yep, he can't die. Death told him so, and she's got a crush on him, so she must have been telling him the truth.

"Eh, you're all right kid." He picks out a bullet with his gloved fingers, working his way inside. That's pretty gross, but he pulls out a bullet from his leg, and offers it up to Agent Venom, "hmm, not one of yours. Damnit, I think one of those punks hit me."


Shaking his head, "Amateurs." Agent Venom frowns behind that black balaclava and takes another step back. "Hey, next time maybe we'll have the same objective." He hops down off the SUV, and then picks up one of his discarded firearms, putting it back in its holster and making sure the autograph is in place. He turns back towards Deadpool. "You gonna be alright? If they make a move on you, I mean sure you can handle it but hey." He lets that float there, the not quite an offer of help. He takes a few steps, plants a hand on the side of the building and a boot as he gets ready to climb up the side.


"I'll be all right. Not sure about them. I kind of have to find them. Bad for business, you understand. Well, sucks to be them." And he begins to whistle. It's a familiar tune. The kind you've probably heard somewhere, but can't quite place for the moment.

Hoping off of the SUV's hood, he tucks his hands into his pockets and begins to walk off, still whistling. And with his back to you, one hand moves a little, it's not sure what he did there, but probably adjusted something.

And then he begins to sing, to the same tune he was whistling, "Always look on the right side of life… For life is quite absurd, and death's the final word. You must always face the curtain with a bow. Forget about your sin. Give the audience a grin. Enjoy it. It's your last chance anyhow. So always look on the bright side of death…" and he disappears, quite literally, as he teleports to chase after the people who hired him.

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