2019-04-21 - Teeth In The Dark


Betty gets a lead from a random informant. She meets a monster instead.

Log Info:

Storyteller: N/A
Date: April 21st, 2019
Location: Coney Island, NYC

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Theme Song



Betty got the e-mail from an anonymous address. The promise was simple: the source would give her info on a squad of superhuman 'hunters', well-armed humans who chased down superhumans for sport. Bloody business and it ties in with a few disappearances from Mutant Town.

Coney Island's closed now, after hours, but it's not that hard to get past the limited security chains. She's to meet the informant in the shadow of the ferris wheel.

Betty Brant studies the email. She didn't enjoy the fact she didn't know who it was sending it. It had information, however, and that's how this game was done. She ceases her nightly ritual of files, typing, and wine, and gets ready to go.

It doesn't take her long, and a cab ride out, she pays her fare and starts walking. Adjusting the strap of her purse, she dips around and behind the chains blocking her way into the shut down amusement pier. Her heels click idly as she moves, eyes attentive and alert. Inching closer to the ferris wheel, she exhales and swallows. She was looking for her contact.

He watches her for a while before she appears. He has a dark hoodie pulled up and his hands shoved into the pockets of it, a pair of jeans, a ratty pair of sneakers. He hasn't shaved in a while, scruff along his chin. He looks weary and for good damn reason. He thinks twice about it, wonders if he should just run off. Spare her the angst, spare himself the confrontation.

But he sees her and he misses her and he decides to hell with it.

"Betty," he says, stepping out of the darkness.

They knew her name, they had to. Besides, they contacted her directly after all. Noticing the figure she keeps her distance, her fingers slipping into her handbag in warning. Jaw tight, she swallows again…but that voice shatters through her brain. Shuddering, her hand slips free from her bag and her expression softens instantly. "E-Eddie?" She whispers out, voice choking in her throat.

Venom tucks his chin a bit, looking down. He can't quite meet her eyes. It's been a long time now, longer than he thought it would be. Or not as long. It might've been forever, if things had gone down differently.

"Hey, babe," he says. "Sorry for the weird e-mail. Guess I needed to make an excuse good enough to call you out, more'n just wantin' to see you again. You look good. Jameson ain't worn you down yet."

Betty Brant stares. Quivering, trembling in place, she eyes down at the space between them and decidedly away from his face. "D-don't…" She lifts a hand up to stop him from speaking. Her face was hot, eyes wet, and with a few heavy strides she moves closer she's in front of him. Hand up, her palm cracks across his face that echoes out against the bay. "Don't 'babe' me! You asshole, you just left! Not only that, you didn't just call me?! You lied about a lead! Christ, Eddie!" She growls, giving him a push and a huff, fat tears rolling down her face.

Venom takes the impact of the slap as his just desserts. He doesn't even feel it much, much doesn't surprise him. Well. Not physically. But it's also what he expected. Certainly what he deserves. Although the voices in his head disagree.

<Your guilt is boring me, Eddie>
(Shut up.)
<You first.>

He shakes his head for a moment, as if to clear the cobweb, "We…I didn't lie about that. I do have a lead. I guess I figured if we had a good reason, something more than just..me…I could justify seeing you. Selfish, I guess. Not a surprise. I should've at least let you know I wasn't dead. Once I figured out that I wasn't, anyways."

"We?" She shudders and steps back. "So…after all this time it was someone else?" Brushing her sandy hair back, she closes her eyes and sniffs deeply, inhaling and exhaling, trying to steady herself and calm that fiery rage building up. He knew angry Betty, but this was different. "I have a phone, Eddie. The number hasn't changed. You could have just emailed me the lead…" Another shake of her head, she finally looks back his way. "It's hurting me to look at your right now because I can't decide if I want to hug you and be glad you're ok, or to deck you into the damn harbor. Talk fast, Eddie…"

Venom shakes his head, "No, no, there's not…not like you mean. Not like you think. No, we aren't…"

<Awww, Eddie, I thought you were getting sweet on me, at least a little.>

"SHUT UP!" he says, slapping himself roughly in the head and turning away from Betty, the echoing laughter of Venom in his head not making anything better. He kneels, gripping his skull for a moment as he feels the ooze of the symbiote sliding over his limbs. No no no, not now.

"I wasn't…ready, Betty. You don't understand, I wasn't…myself. I'm still not. But we're trying."

"Not like…what are you talking about?" She couldn't hear that thing in his head, but she could see what was happening. Eyes wide, the anger in her body boils over and snuffs itself out. Brock was hurting, and in a quick shuffle, she's down on her knees before him. "Eddie, hey…hey…" She coos tenderly, her fingers up and attempting to cradle his head, his hands. "Eddie, talk to me, please. What's wrong? I'm calling an ambulance." She decides, digging for her phone without a second thought.

Venom says, "No, no, don't, it…it wouldn't do any good," he says. He forces himself up to his feet, pulling a bit away from her. For a moment, she may see it, the licking tendril of darkness running up his collar, pouring into his ear and then drawing back again as he reasserts himself.

"Nothing they can do for us," he says. "More dangerous for them than anything. I wouldn't want to…hurt them," he says. "When I was out there, when I was lost I…found something. It changed me.""

Betty Brant pulls her hands back, phone in one hand and thumb hovering over the 'call' button. Watching over her and glancing at her phone, she clears the call screen, locks it, and slips the phone away. Standing, she steps closer, reaching up and into his hood to try and touch his neck.

"What is that? What-what did you find, Eddie? Who's we? Who's us?" Worry on her face, she attempts to look into his face. "Why would you hurt anyone, Eddie?"

He catches her wrist and holds her hand for a moment, as much for the feeling of her touching him as for anything. "It doesn't have a name you could pronounce, but it gave me a translation. At least for what it…we…are together…"

He takes a couple of steps back and the symbiote writhes up over his face, covering him up with inky darkness, white slashes for eyes and a thousand fold teeth folding in around a serpentine tongue, the voice changing and growing gravelly. "We…are…Venom," it says.

Her fingers twitch as he stops her from advancing. Staring, she allows him to step back, not following after and resting her hand down. The shift and slide of the dark substance causes her eyes to round out. For now, all she can do is stare. Tense, unmoving, the thing gives its name. Brows dipping and furrowing, her expression becoming angry.

"I don't know what you are," she begins, finally taking a step forward and squaring up against the alien. "I don't care what you are. If you're causing him harm in any way, I will find a way to rip you away from him, you got that?"

The merged consciousness of Eddie and Venom regard her for a moment, the head tilted slightly to the side as the rest of his clothes melt away, becoming fully the monstrous creature of shadows and teeth that it is meant to be.

"We can see why Eddie likes you. You're a ferocious thing. Especially for something so fragile and…crunchy," it says. The voice is inhuman, like nails on a chalkboard, all gravel and broken glass. "We saved Eddie from himself. He won't tell you, but he was going to kill himself, you see. He just hadn't worked up the guts. He chose us over death. We think he made the right choice, don't you?" Venom says, leaning in a bit closer and extending the flickering length of its tentacle tongue.

The very idea of it, of Brock going out to hurt himself, kill himself, causes that defiance to faulter. "Thank you for saving him…" She whispers gently, looking into those white depths in some attempt to find Eddie once again. "But I meant what I said." She decides, stiffening her stance once more. "Whatever you are, whatever…this is, do not hurt him. I will deal with you if I have to, don't think I won't." Staring forward, she sighs. "Eddie, I'll help you. Why didn't you just call me?"

Venom seems almost confused by the thanks, cocking its head like the predator it is, trying to get a read on the woman. "We need Eddie, just as Eddie needs us. Our relationship is…mutual. Intimate. Even more so than yours," the symbiote chuckles. "He doesn't like it when we say that."

Part of the head peels away, revealing part of Eddie's face underneath, one clear blue eye, part of his mouth. "I'm…I'm okay, Betty. I know it's pretty…freaky. But the two of us have a sort of…agreement," he swallows. "He won't hurt you. He knows I wouldn't allow that."

"I'm not afraid if he tried…" He, alright. Looking his way, to Eddie directly and then toward the pair in one go. "I-I don't understand, but I guess I'm not going to at first meeting. Final meeting, whatever you make this, Eddie. Um..Venom." Glaring, she sighs and then steps back, pacing to relax. "What do we do now? Do you have a lead or…" For once, Brant was at a loss for words.

The symbiote recedes, slowly withdrawing back into his body, leaving Eddie as himself once more. There's a twitch in his eye for a moment, a jumping muscle that he shakes off as he reaches into his jacket.

"I don't want it to be final," he says. He hands her a USB drive, "A group of rich chuds selling 'safaris' to Mutant Town on the dark web. Priviledge little assholes with too many guns. Venom, uh…intervened in one of their hunts a few nights ago. Most of that stuff is from the dark web, but you should be able to verify it."

"That's up to you." She explains to Eddie, reaching over and accepting the drive. Serious now, driven by work and the news he was offering her, she nods and eyes the stick before slipping it away and into her purse. "I'll look it over when I get home." Jaw tight, she finds his face once more. "Good job intervening. Keep it up and I might not hate you so much." She muses, or attempts to, her face trying on a tired smile. A pause, she breathes, exhaling and stepping forward. "Eddie," she begins. "Do you…can I help you with anything?"

Eddie takes her hand, squeezing her fingers, "Just…don't give up on me, okay? I'm still not sure what we…what I am anymore. But I'm still Eddie, a lot of me," he says.

"Don't be too grateful for our intervening. I had to insist on tipping you off, to try and give the authorities a chance to round them up. Because if they keep hunting…Venom's going to keep hunting them."

Looking at his hand on hers, she sighs and gives him a squeeze in return. The touch, however, is brief, and she pulls away. "Eddie, you gave up on us." She frowns, her eyes squinting shut as she rubs against the bridge of her nose. "Look, I'm…I can get you somewhere to stay if you'd like. Get you a cab and a hotel. Something to eat…Let you trim that mess on your face." She smiles weakly.

"I'm grateful you did a good thing. If this is that bad, I'm not…upset you're taking them down." Betty admits. "Just let me see what I can do." Pause, "Are you still the same size? I can get you some clothes."

Venom sighs, "Maybe I did," he admits. "No, I don't…I don't need anything. I've done enough to you as it is. I've got enough, I'm…making do," he says. "I might come and see you again. You can tell us to leave when we do, if you want," he says, stepping back into the shadows. "Start with the third guy on the list. Red Vargo. He's a real piece of work. Be careful."

Betty Brant glares briefly and allows her visage to soften. Digging into her purse, she pulls out some cash and sets it down on the pier, like offering food to a scared animal. Setting a rock ontop of it to secure it in place, she steps back and then turns, starting to walk away.

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