Deathspider/pray for all
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Pray For All
Disclaimer : Story features strong language, violent situations, etc. Not for minors or the weak of heart.
Everything was perfect before I found my dream
You were the world to me
When I used to hate myself for trying
Now relying on you for direction seems so trite
Your attitiude was quick to change when you thought
One minute might go by without being sought
Who do you think you are, manipulator
How did it get this far
I will make you pay, pay for all the lives you've ruined
Pray you're able to breathe while I strangle you
I'll stop at nothing, don't doubt me
You've reined enough
The lies you've been telling, you've been caught
Your enemy is reality
Your fatal flaw, meeting me
I will make you pay, pay for all the lives you've ruined
Pray you're able to breathe while I strangle you
Pray for all the lives you've ruined
Everyone you have betrayed will watch you burn Everyone you have betrayed will watch you burn Everyone will watch you burn
I will make you pay, pay for all the lives you've ruined Pray you're able to breathe while I strangle you
-Chimaria, "Pray For All"
Miguel appeared in the backyard of a one story, single family home, emerging from a sewer access, slick with blood and gore. The grass was crisp and brittle with drought, large piebald patches in the lawn. The house had seen better days, now a boarded up wreck. Blue plastic sheeting stretched out over the roof, a hole causing a section of the sheeting to depress into it. Brackish water sat inside, evaporation leaving black deposits on the plastic.
He growled low, aching from the hellish battle that still raged under the streets – Wyvern troops were still swarming the resistance, while his teammates, the Guardian Angels, helped them fight back. But an arrow plunging into the chest of Wright, the resistance leader, changed the rules.
He was hazy on the details. Apparently this was some kind of dream world, where his inner fantasies took form, but other aspects of his personality, like his fear of totalitarianism, took form as well. At least that’s what the chick with the glowing eyes said. But he had an idea of what his life was like on another world, his subconscious, it seemed, was that of his ‘other’ life, and it was filtering through his dreams and instincts. Hence, why he had these strange Shadow Spider powers.
But he knew enough about Manticore to hate him in any dimension.
In his other life, Manticore was a stuck up prick, a rich boy who became a high profile Hero, arrogant and imperious, had an army of hired thugs called, oddly enough, Wyvern, who sanctioned villains in the Isles. And he hated Miguel, after a rather brutal beating Manticore received on a battleship. Constantly tried to undermine and provoke Miguel into messing up, even assaulted him on New Year’s eve.
In this reality, Sinclair was a vicious governor/overlord of southern California, responsible for the mass killings of illegal immigrants, the creation of several so-called ‘combat zones’, keeping the poor separated from the affluent white suburbs, several hundred political assassinations… the list went on. Archon Sinclair was the personification of everything Miguel hated.
If this was some alternate universe, and he didn’t belong here, then… what kind of Hero… no, what kind of human would he be if he left Sinclair alive?
He crept slowly, the day’s light dying, giving everything an orangish tinge, past the decrepit house, his altered, inhuman form hidden well in the gloom.
Soon, he heard the sharp popping of an assault rifle nearby, and he silently darted ahead, slipping through the abandoned yards and ruins, the homeowners long evacuated or killed in a skirmish.
Ahead, a squad of black clad troops armed with bullpup Steyr assault rifles took cover, behind a rusting hulk of an Oldsmobile. He narrowed his eyes – a young black man with blue jean shorts, black sneakers, a glaring white wifebeater, and a green cap slanted to the side, stepped out of an alley, leveling a submachine gun at the troops.
“Fuck ya’ll!” he crowed, and shot off a burst. The rounds plowed through the car, blowing off the back of one of the trooper’s skulls. The trooper groaned and fell to the glass and debris strewn street, blood and brains wetly splattering and gurgling onto the asphalt.
One trooper rolled to the front of the ruined car and set himself in a prone firing position. A burst from the black youth obliterated his face.
“Fuck all ya’ll!” the youth hollered, getting bolder. He ventured out more from the alley and then stopped, clawing at his throat.
A shining white arrow protruded from one side of his neck, punching through to the other. His eyes rolled to white and he collapsed.
Archon Sinclair appeared, holding his bow, nocking another arrow. He stepped down from an adjacent house’s porch, sneering. “Fucking nigger trash. Take those men’s weapons. I don’t want these jungle bunnies using our shit.”
The squad tore the rifles from the dead men’s grasps. The dead men weren’t using them.
“Move out. We got rebels coming out of the woodwork. Go and reinforce Bravo Company.” Sinclair grumbled, looking distainfully at the corpses of his own men. The scuff of combat boots on asphalt receded.
Miguel crept forward, repressing a snarl.
Sinclair stopped abruptly, sniffing the air.
Miguel shot forward, a lethal black blur. Sinclair spun, firing an arrow. Miguel registered it in mid-flight, and dove down, crouching. As it hissed overhead, Miguel rolled forward, springing at the Archon. Sinclair slashed out with his bow, a wickedly barbed spike springing from the weapon. Miguel felt it tear at his abdomen, and he released a slavering howl, frothing with paralytic venom. He leapt back, his clawed hand clutching his gut. Not deep, but definitely painful.
Archon Sinclair was already firing again. A volley of white arrows slashed through the sir, Miguel defensively leaping and weaving, slipping out of their path. He landed on the sickly yellow lawn, crouching low.
Sinclair narrowed his eyes. “So you must be the rogue.”
Miguel growled low. “The one… whossse going to…. End yourrrr… rrrreign of terrrrrorrr…”
Sinclair snorted in derision. “Many have tried. So, what? Attack of conscience? Feeling bad for all the wetbacks and niggers we put in the ground? Bite the hand that feeds you and all that?”
Miguel skittered around on the lawn, Sinclair’s bow tracking him all the while. “Going to rrrrip that hand off…”
Sinclair clucked his tongue. “Uh huh. Thrown in with the rebels. Pathetic. They’re a bunch of nigger loving, race traitor scumbags, fighting the natural order of things. You’re a Spider. Part of our armed forces. We are the rulers of this country, and soon, the world. Why fight it? Why give up all the priveledge and rights of a real person, why fight for these mud people?”
Miguel snarled. “They’rrrrre human beingssss… You’rrrrre no betterrrr than the people you opprrrressss….”
Sinclair barked laughter. “Of course I’m better. I’m in power. I’m the law. If they weren’t such subhuman scum, why aren’t they in control? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking ‘we’re all equal’ and that’s there’s some inherent rights that those people have. History is made up of tyrants and the scum beneath their heels. All of the rights and privledges you’ve had were made possible because of the glory of the white race and built on the back of the lesser people. You’re a hypocrite if you think you’ll be a hero to all these spics and these nigger pieces of shit. They’ll hate you anyway, they don’t give a fuck about you! You’re white. You’re one of the Spiders. They’ll always hate you. They’ll always be the inferior genetic trash, and they’ll always resent you for it.”
“Take a look around! They fuck up everything we give them, then turn around and blame whitey for their problems! That it’s our fault they all live like vermin, that they’re smoking crack, that they got caught stealing something. You can give these bastards everything and they’ll always want more, and cut your fucking throat just as soon as look at you. Take a good long look at what you’re defending, traitor. Take a look and tell me, am I wrong?” Sinclair sneered.
Miguel grinned, baring dripping, gleaming fangs. “I know what I’m defending… I’m defending them from rrracissst fucks like you…”
An arrow slammed into his shoulder. Miguel snarled and leapt anyway, the arrowhead tearing tissue as he sprang. Sinclair leapt away, reaching for an arrow. Miguel roared, hands out, and dark tendrils of webbing exploded out, the semi-sentient strands wrapping around Sinclair’s bow and wrist. The strands pulled away, yanking Sinclair’s arm wide. Miguel came in low, one hand controlling the web strands, the other closed into a fist, rocketing into Sinclair’s face, pulverizing his nose, smashing his lips against his teeth, the front teeth giving was with a wet crunch. Sinclair staggered and pulled an arrow from his quiver, stabbing down with the arrow like a stiletto, into Miguel’s throat.
Miguel lurched away, gurgling, choking. Sinclair grunted and shook his head, unable to see, the pain blinding him, his face a mask of blood.
Miguel’s clawed hand wrapped around the shaft and yanked out. With a strangled cry, he pulled the arrow from his punctured trachea, blood spurting from the horrific wound. His burning red eyes focused on Sinclair, his bow and hand still ensnared by the tightening webbing. Already, his fingers were turning deep purple, all circulation cut off. The webbing, of it’s own accord, pulled Sinclair off balance, yanking him off his feet and the entrapped wrist brought close. Too enraged to let human decency get in the way, Miguel’s other hand gripped around Sinclair’s forearm and he closed his jaws around the Archon’s blood filled fingers.
Sinclair shrieked in terror and insane agony as the Spider tore off his fingers with his teeth, blood filling the Spider’s mouth. The Archon screamed, his throat raw, as the monster pulled away, sucking and then spitting out his dismembered digits. The hold in the Spider’s throat began to close.
“YOU FUCKING BASTARD!” the Archon roared, the webbing loosening, his abbreviated hand dropping his bow. Blood poured from the wound, a ghastly amount. He shook his head, fighting to stay conscious. His good hand worked swiftly, pulling a .45 from the holster strapped to his leg, firing haphazardly. The Spider leapt away, the shots ringing out, the air unnaturally still and quiet, save for the muffled rumbles from below where the battle was raging.
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Archon Sinclair gasped, placing his mangled hand on his gut and doubling over, his shaking left hand moving left and right, trying to locate the freak Spider who had maimed him.
“YOU RACE TRAITOR FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!”
Nothing there, except the oppressive silence of the abandoned neighborhood and his own labored breathing, hitching gasps through his mouth. His smashed face didn’t seem to hurt in light of the gory stump of his hand.
“Fuck this…” he gurgled and he brought his left wrist to his face, and using his chin, activated the infinitely well named ‘panic button’. Fine, this is it, he thought, the blood loss making him dizzy.
“You… huhn…. You and your fucking subhuman fucking friends… you’re… you’re already done! You’re all gonna fucking die!” he cursed, waving the .45 drunkenly. “This whole place…. All of it! It’s gonna be crawling with Spiders, you fucking race traitor! I hope… I hope they were worth it, you nigger loving, wetback sympathizing piece of white trash!”
A tangle of tendrils slipped around Sinclair’s other wrist, and more wrapped tight around his arm. Screaming, Sinclair recoiled in terror as his own arm was bent at the elbow by the strands, and soon his own gun was pointed at his temple. The thin tendrils of webbing gripped his hand, forearm, elbow, and shoulder tight. The muzzle pressed into his flesh.
“FUCK YOU! Fuck you! You fucking freak! I’ll fucking kill you! You fucking worthless piece of cum ridden shit, you’re nothing to me! I’m…”
A deep strangled voice from behind him cut him off.
Miguel, back in human form, clad only in the rags of his ruined slacks, casually stepped in front of Sinclair, the tendrils sprouting from his fingertips. Sinclair’s eyes narrowed as he saw the color of Miguel’s skin.
Miguel, with his free hand, rubbing the healing hole in his throat. The skin was forming over it, but it took a lot of the blood he took from Sinclair to do it. He needed more.
“You’re a fucking spic. I shoulda known, no white man would be such a fucking coward…”
It hurt to speak. “Shut up…. This is it, Sinclair.”
Insanity glazed over Sinclair’s eyes. “Yeah, it is, isn’t it?” His face was pale from the loss of blood. “In ten minutes, this place will be swarming with Spiders. All your fucking mud people friends are gonna die. Everyone in this whole fucking Zone, you’re all fucking dead already. You think killing me is going to make a difference? You think anything’s gonna change? Nothing’s gonna change! You’re all worthless fucking scum, and I’ll see you in hell, you dirty fucking wetback!”
Miguel swallowed a mouthful of bloody phlegm. “Can’t think… of a better place for you, white boy. But see, person like you… Normally, I’d rip your fucking throat out, drink you dry, leave you for the dogs. But you look like you’re on your way out, chico…”
Miguel grunted, and the gun raised in the air. A strand around Sinclair’s trigger finger convulsed and the gun fired off once, twice, then a dull click. The shots were unbelievably loud in the still air.
“I’ll take that.” He wrenched the gun out of Sinclair’s nerveless fingers.
Sinclair spat a wad of blood and spit at Miguel’s face. He wiped it off, shaking his head, still holding Sinclair’s hand.
“But I think ‘hey, this guy, all he is, he’s some dimestore Nazi fuck who’s got a bunch of money and he can shoot a bow…’ What I’d like to know…”
“FUCK YOU!” Sinclair screamed.
Miguel grinned and licked his lips. “As I was saying… what I’d like to know is… how are you gonna count your money with no fingers?”
Miguel brought Sinclair’s hand to his mouth, iron like grip immobilizing his fingers. More strands slipped out from his other hand, cinching tight around Sinclair’s body.
“No… no, no, NO! NO! NOOOO!” Sinclair shrieked.
Miguel winked and clamped his teeth down on Sinclair’s fingers, his powerful jaws snapping, splintering, breaking bones. He wrenched his face away, taking Sinclair’s fingers with him. The Archon watched in horror as his hand erupted in a fountain of blood. His stomach revolted, and he vomited, his body tensing as he regurgitated on himself.
Miguel stood over Sinclair, his face splashed with crimson. He leaned over the helpless, thrashing form of this world’s Manticore, and let the shorn fingers fall, drained of blood, from his mouth. They fell on Sinclair’s sweating, clammy face, one at a time.
They rolled off his blood and grime caked face. Sinclair was writhing in a pool of mud, grass, blood, and vomit.
“Sinclair…” he growled, his throat healed, but his voice was raspy from the damage. “It looks like this was where your reach exceeded your grasp. I was going to kill you, but it’s better to let you live. Your precious bow won’t be shooting anyone anytime soon. But hey, at least you’re alive. For a little while anyway. Until all the ‘niggers and spics’ you hate so much find lost little white boy, all alone and helpless…”
Sinclair screamed, thrashing at his feet. Miguel leaned down and spat a bloody wad of phlegm onto Sinclair’s face.
“You could never take me, Justin.”
He turned and released the tendrils, the strands of webbing falling free. He slowly began to hobble, wrenching the arrow from his shoulder with a gasp of pain – still, the infusion of blood from Sinclair would heal that over.
In the distance, he could hear the blasts of the Guardian Angels. Maybe Sinclair’s bluff wasn’t a bluff after all. He grimaced and made his way into the direction of the fighting – they must have made it above ground.
He hobbled through the streets in the deserted residential section, the pain fading as his body began to heal. Still, he wished Ellie was by his side to help things along. If she was there during the fight, her healing powers would have stopped wounds from bleeding a drop, she worked so fast.
He was nearing the outskirts of a burnt out section of town when he felt something – a feeling, a sense that… was familiar.
He shifted, his body changing into the Spider form, the change infinitely less painful than his other self had endured. Then again, was there a difference now? He was the ‘other’. His life here, it was stage managed, a lie. But for what purpose?
The scent of a Spider broke him from his reverie. Behind him, a large form lightly landed on the broken, bent form of a lightpole, the metal blackened from a fire. Perched upon it was an enormous, hulking Shadow Spider, rippling with muscle.
Miguel snarled, looked up, baring his fangs.
“Well… I see Archon Sinclair didn’t call us in vain. Aren’t you special?”
The beast leapt down, it’s form shaking the ground. It snarled, revealing a mouthful of wicked fangs.
“You get to be killed by the best.”