By Jack Freeman
Not too long ago I was the newbie reporter. I got the stories about school projects and local businesses. I dealt with all the frustrations of being a cub reporter until one story caught my attention. A few months ago, while Spider-man was accused of murder, four new costumes appeared on the streets. The first was Hornet. He showed up one night and stopped that nutcase the Looter from stealing Norman Osborns reward money for spider-man. Frankly, with everyone now knowing that Osborn really is the Green Goblin, Im almost sorry that the Hornet saved his cash.
Soon after Hornet appeared, Prodigy showed up on the streets. The super-polite superhero hit street crime hard, although, in my opinion he seemed like an orange suited pansy. Unfortunately, reports from the street dropped my high spirits when it seemed as if a new shroud-covered super-villain calling himself Dusk had teamed up with the Trapster. Last but not least was Ricochet. The bouncing wise-mouth stopped a theft organized by the new crime lord, the Back Tarantula. Unfortunately, all of the witnesses had led me to believe that Ricochet was more interested in personal gain than anyone else's well being.
During all of this I made it a personal task to dig up any
information that came up on these new players in the seemingly
endless game of human chess everyone calls crime. I knew that if I
could get the scoop on the newcomers it would make my career. I had
no idea what I was getting myself into.
Within the next week, however, the action started to heat up and my
perspective changed. Early in the week, Hornet took down the Vulture
and Osborn strangely stopped backing him. Prodigy had already taken
down two crooks upon his arrival, one of which being the
Jack'O'Lantern, and he had been focusing mainly on civilian-based
crime anyway. When it came to Ricochet and Dusk things got sketchy.
Dusk had been keeping such a low profile he was little more than an
urban myth, and Ricochet was last seen in the company of Delilah, a
deadly assassin employed by the Rose. Things were looking basically
the same until one night the story I was looking for fell right in
I had been trailing a couple of nuts working for the Black Tarantula that were going by the names Roughhouse and Bloodscream. Word in the allies said that they had screwed up on a protection racket and unlike any other people that have failedthe Tarantula in the past, their hearts were still beating. These two bruisers were and unusual pair, and that's putting it lightly. Roughhouse was big; at least a foot taller than I am, and built like my college team's quarterback. He had a full, scraggly beard and a vocabulary that suggested that though his punch might hit like a truck, his I.Q. couldn't push much more than a Jr. High dropout. Bloodscream, on the other hand, was a different story. While being barely shorter than his partner, Bloodscream was very thin. The man looked like death personified. Pale face, dark sunglasses, and a long white ponytail, this guy made my skin crawl. Whenever he spoke, his flamboyant words came out in a cold, dry voice that sent shivers up my spine. He was obviously the brain of the pair.
I had followed these nutcases to some snazzy restaurant where they met with this little short guy with goggles on. The sight of the three of them nearly made me burst out laughing. I kept to the shadows until they finally went inside, and don't even think about making fun of me for hiding because you would've been doing the same thing. After a while I casually entered the restaurant, sat myself near the slimeballs, and got ready for a nice night of eating and eavesdropping. Of course, that was before all hell broke loose.
Without warning, Delilah burst through one of the window tiled walls, with Ricochet not far behind. Rico leather jacket flapped in the air as he landed a two-foot, flying kick to Roughhouse's jaw, and I decided that it was time to go.
Now I'm not a wimp but listen, this isn't the movies its real life! Reporters don't blindly go risking it all for their stories, and while I may stupidly get myself into worse situations than I'd like to think about, I'm not that dumb. You know what happens to reporters that seem to think they're invincible? They learn that they're not when they get carried away in a bodybag, so don't call me a wuss for running away with everyone else.
After the fight was finished, the restaurant was in ruins, Delilah was at least half-dead, Ricochet had bounced away, and I was following Roughhouse and Bloodscream again. I followed them to the docks, where they boarded an abandoned boat. Stupidly, I followed them, trying to be perfectly silent. I was on the boat and a good 20ft from the boarding ramp when my luck fled me. If you've ever tried to walk around the house to do homework at 1:00 in the morning when you were a kid you know exactly what it feels like to step on that creaky floorboard.
I stiffened, paralyzed in fear, searching for any sign of them noticing me. I knew that if they came on the deck I was trapped. There was nowhere to run, no way to get out. I tried desperately to find a way to escape, and then I heard the heavy footsteps of Roughhouse coming out from the pair's room in the hold. Half out of the doorway, Roughhouse looked around, his head slowly panning from side to side, and I knew I was toast.