|Nocturne Issues #8: Revenge of the Piranha!|
|Nocturne's Character Sheet||
Four days have passed since Nocturne ran into Piranha and Golem. In those four days not only had crime had slowed down, but Midnight and Golem were still in jail, there had been no activity from Mr. Smith, and no jobs pending at Heroes for Hire. Waiting for dusk, Nocturne takes down a couple of thugs on his way to get information from his snitch, Eddie. Eddie informs Nocturne that everything on the street has been really quiet in the past couple of days – too quiet. There haven’t been any drug shipments that he’s known about. In fact, the drug price on the street has been rising a little due to lack of supply for the demand. Satisfied that Eddie doesn’t have any more useful information, Nocturne quickly leaves to resume his patrol.
While on patrol, almost cursing the lack of activity, Nocturne notices five cars pull out of a warehouse and begin to drive at reckless speeds towards the docks. He isn’t certain whether he’s responding out of curiosity or boredom, but he decides to follow the cars. Observing at a safe distance, Nocturne spies roughly ten men already at the shore pulling a large net out of the water as the cars pull up. Getting a slightly closer look, he notices what they are dragging to shore in the net – the Piranha creature he tangled with just a few nights earlier!
As they pull Piranha further from the water, the car doors open and several men step out. Nocturne instantly notices that Freeze-Frame and Cell are among them. Once their quarry has been dragged onto the cement of the parkway, Cell uses his tentacles to pierce Piranha’s dense flesh. With his powers being drained from him, Piranha finds that he is also paralyzed from one of Freeze-Frame’s blasts. Now fully incapacitated, Freeze-Frame casually walks away from him, ordering his men to beat him down with baseball bats. Fighting off his attackers as best he is able, and taking a huge beating in the process, Piranha manages to slash through one of Cell’s tentacles. Cell’s tentacles retract as he screams and falls back in agony. Sensing that Piranha might just be able to squirm out of the net, the men begin to beat him even worse as Freeze-Frame quickly goes to the trunk of the pulls out a flamethrower. With the flamethrower pack being held by its straps in one hand and the nozzle in the other, he menacingly walks over to Piranha.
All the while a clicking sound and a slight electronic whir goes unnoticed by everyone (including Nocturne) as a mysterious individual continues to watch the scene from the shadows.
Just as Freeze-Frame is about to douse Piranha in flames, Nocturne sends one of his Shadowlines flying through the air – snatching both the pack and the nozzle straight from his villainous hands. Caught totally off-guard, everyone turns to see Nocturne holding the flamethrower. Without words or hesitation, Nocturne turns the flames on Freeze-Frame, igniting him on fire! The burning villain takes to the air and flies directly into the water. The shocked thugs, armed with only their baseball bats, quickly back away from Nocturne and start to flee. Piranha sees his opening and tries to free himself from the net. Nocturne calmly walks over to him and helps him free. Once free, the two look at each other for just a moment before Piranha dashes towards the water and a flailing Freeze-Frame.
With Freeze-frame screaming and thrashing in the water as Piranha tears into him, Nocturne looks around for Cell, only to find him slowly crawling into hiding. He walks over to Cell and threatens him with the flamethrower to answer his questions carefully and truthfully. As to almost punctuate Nocturne’s words, the noise from the water ceases – creating an eerie silence.
Nocturne asks him if Midnight is still his boss – Cell replies flatly that he is not. Being urged to elaborate by the nozzle of the flamethrower, Cell tells him that he and Freeze-Frame are simply taking orders from the Darklord. At that moment, Cell’s body lurches forward unnaturally as his eyes roll back into his head. Nocturne remembers this performance from his interrogation with Sludge. The Darklord has possessed Cell.
As Cell’s body speaks the words of the Darklord, he compliments Nocturne for all his accomplishments. He continues to explain that the reason Midnight is still in jail is that he does not reward failure. Informing Nocturne that Freeze-Frame is now dead, the Darklord personally holds Nocturne responsible for his death and while he swears to avenge his lackey, he admires the ruthlessness which the “hero” has demonstrated tonight. He does reward ruthlessness – and as such tells Nocturne of his one true goal: to run everything in New York. Everything.
Suddenly, Darklord tells Nocturne that his “interview” is over and Cell collapses lifelessly to the ground. Nocturne notices that he’s breathing, but as he goes to touch him a Darkforce bubble surrounds the unconscious villain. The bubble disappears as quickly as it appeared and Cell along with it.
Piranha calmly strides out of the water. Nocturne walks over to him and offers for them to join forces against the mastermind of his assault. Piranha declines his offer, telling of how he plans to get revenge on all the crime families of New York by hitting the shipments that come into the harbor. They will have to pay him a toll or he will sink every last boat they bring in. In the end, he’ll make them all pay.