Metal and Red

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Metal and Red

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 01:02 #1

“Metal and Red: Where’s Ahnold When You Need Him?!”

( A quick note-You'll notice that we've leaped ahead a few years for this storyline. Alexander and Hunter are now fourteen and Guri is just about to turn sixteen. Karrie and Tony have declined to have their ages posted.)


The Starks Townhouse

July 2024 Saturday 6:34 A.M.

“Are you sure this will work?” Hunter queries bent down beside Alexander on the floor one hand holding a wired microphone. The youngest Stark turns his head to look blankly at his friend with a cocked dark brow. “Yeah okay, so you THINK it'll work. You also THOUGHT that virtual game display helmet would work too and really dude, it fried Peanut's hair” Parker jags a thumb over his shoulder at the young man in question, one Wallace 'Peanut' Livingstone the third.

“Totally A. He smelled like toast for a week!” Hack snorts plugging a second hand flying V into one of four Peavey amps set up in the cleared living room. Peanut nods his buzzed red-head from behind the complete drum set, his round glasses down to the end of his freckled nose.

Alex goes back to his work, downloading the complete fifteen thousand song play-list into Mendel who is routing it to the huge plasma flat screen mounted to the far wall above where they pushed the sofa. “That was just a data overload” Stark mutters around the pen cap between his teeth, tossing his head quickly to snake the tendrils of his Billie Joe Armstrong haircut out of his eyes. Hunter rises latching onto Hack, also known as Leonard David Smythe, both young men sharing a skeptical expression. “This is a much simpler relay of information” Alex states kneeling beside his robotic cat.

“Dude you're the tech wiz.” Hack announces from behind his fall of long straight brown hair, his top hat snugged down to his rather large ears. “All we wanna do is play Rock Star with the real thing.”

“And we will, just chill okay? Man you'd think you were about to snake a mitt down Gloria DuPree’s shirt or something!” Stark snaps getting a round of teen guffaws from the boys.

“I take it this Gloria is hot?” Parker asks Hack who bobs his head enthusiastically.

“Toe-tally. Hunt man, she has THE biggest...”

“Slam it Hack!” Alex growls as he comes to his feet, ‘You know how much my mom HATES us objectifying chicks. Seriously if she hears that she'll rip us new ones.”

”Pardone amigo” Hack mumbles softly.

“She's a cheerleader too!” Peanut adds holding his two drum sticks in suddenly sweaty hands. “Rah-Rah. Dudes remember the pep rally yesterday?”

Three heads slip to the side as visions of Gloria DuPree move before their eyes. She of the blond hair, blue eyes, massive pom-poms and short skirt.

“<Sigh> Are we doing this or what?!” Hunter asks with a bit of bite in his tone.

“Soon as Stark takes a cold shower!” Peanut snickers thus getting a fast bird from Alexander.

“Hunt's right. Hack has a paper route. Okay its all ripe, soon as the main frame display comes up on the screen we play just like these were those craptastic toys things. Mendel open up the list and scan song 100” Alex commands the red and gold feline as he takes the mike from Hunter. With a fast wink to Parker now adjusting a fire engine red bass on his shoulder Alexander smiles as their first selection comes up on the plasma.

'M-m-m-meow' Mendel answers with miles of thin conduit leading from both guitars, drums and the mike to the open panel on his back. He opens the feed to every available speaker in the townhouse with glowing feline eyes.


Meanwhile in the Master Suite

“Tony?” she calls out slipping her arm under his bulkier one as he sleeps on his side facing the enormous walk-in closets. Karrie drops a soft kiss between his shoulder blades while wriggling her totally bare self provocatively into his back. A snuffling snore makes her face pucker sourly, so she intensifies her planned seduction. Her long right leg snakes over his hip, her hand draws long slow patterns over his furred chest, her mouth glides over the still firm muscles corded along his shoulders. “Anthony,” she purrs tasting his neck. Still nothing but a grunt followed by a mumble.

Not one to admit defeat the woman takes his arm and places his pliable hand on her well-toned tush. Nothing. She arches into his back pressing her robust assets tighter to him. Nothing. She licks a path up to his ear, nipping that spot that makes him crazy. 'Zzzzzzz' is the man’s sensual reply. But still this does not dissuade the love-seeking female. She slides her hand down lower, a perfectly manicured nail circles his navel then follows a path to the elastic band of his light summer shorts. “Antonee, I want you” Karrie whimpers beside his ear like a little stray kitten in the alley starved for a taste of warm milk.
“Mmm lower Natasha.”

“Natasha!?” She spits out. Her retribution is delivered quickly.

“Ouch! Damn, don't pinch a man there!” Tony hisses tightening the hold he has on a firm rounded part of her and hauling the minx over his side. She lands beside him wrapped in the thick duvet as his sharp blue eyes find her sapphire ones ablaze.

“How long have you been awake?” Talon asks her golden brows knitted as his hand slips from under her to rest on his lean hip.

“Long enough,” he replies eying the swells of womanly flesh hidden from his sight. He thinks to drop a kiss to each but finds he feels like a bit more verbal play, her heated reactions always fun. “I hope you have a reason for waking me up at” a fast glance to the small clock on the walnut table. “Six thirty in the morning. On a Saturday.”

Karrie fixes him a look then whips the satin covered duvet off exposing all her charms to the man who wears a platinum band to match hers. “Reason enough Pookie?!” She inquires.

“That is the ONLY reason to summon a man at this ungodly hour. God you are breathtaking” he growls, mind and body tossing aside the verbal play for a more adult kind. His face nuzzles into her neck, the soft hair of his goatee making her sigh then gasp then sigh once more. Her back arches as he moves his muscular body over hers
then... ... re=related

Screams through the boudoirs intercom as the jam begins in the living room, Alex’s opening scream so loud the small vase of freshly cut roses atop Karrie's dresser shatters. Her husband has left the room before she can get the covers yanked back over her, a huge fight with Rocky who was snuggled at the bottom but now seeks to hide under the duvet with her adding to the flail.

Hack is going around in circles ala his hero Slash, Hunter and Peanut are intent on the screen since Hack is mudding up his chords and Stark has his hands on the mike stand as he gyrates and shrieks louder still in an attempt to capture the glory that is Axl W. Rose's vocals.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON DOWN HERE!?!??!” Tony bellows unheard over the concert as he storms down the sweeping staircase. Guri stumbles from her room drawn by classic rock, her thick gold hair askew over her stunning face and her sleep shirt crumpled. Jarvis trips over a lead as he runs into the living room, almost falling to his face while trying to secure his robe about himself for proper decorum. “MAINFRAME OVER-RIDE ALL PREVIOUS COMMANDS VIA STARK SECURITY CODE 145!!NOW!!”Anthony roars out all thoughts of romance shattered not unlike the crystal vase back in his bedroom.

Silence falls. Hack keeps dancing around in circles for a moment then stops and lifts his head to peek through his hair.

“Leonard?” Tony asks the youth in the torn black tee who resembles Cousin It as his bare foot hits the bottom carpeted step.

“Yo Mister S” Hack replies contritely.

“Dad why’d you do that?!” Alex asks planting his hands on his hips trying to ignore the muttered sounds of his friends as they spy Guri in nothing but her t-shirt.

“Alexander it is six thirty in the morning. What the hell is this?!” Tony barks while Jarvis tsk`s the state of the living room pattering behind the master of this bloody insane asylum. And to think he was thrilled when they brought Master Alexander home from the hospital. Guri yawns then scurries back upstairs when she finds Hunter's onyx eyes on her bare legs.

“Dad we had to practice now since Hack has a paper route” Alex explains and four heads nod in unison. Even Peanuts still growing in red one bobs rapidly.

“Leonard, Wallace, go home. Now.” Tony commands with a glower as the two school buddies hurry to vacate the premises giving Alex and Hunter mumbled 'Sorry dudes' as they scurry out the thick front door Jarvis holds open for them.

“He likes to be called Hack dad” Alex chimes up standing next to Parker who seems to have a sudden problem with his brown hair and keeps fiddling a couple hands through it.

“Hack? Dear gawd.” Tony groans out. “Alex what the hell are you thinking at times? Never mind, I can surmise what occupies both your minds” The man sighs. The same thing that had been thrumming in his mind about two minutes ago. THAT was shot in the #&#036;% now Tony knows getting even madder.

“Mendel must have re-routed the audio into ALL possible venues. No biggie dad, I'll just lay in a different...” the raven haired teen starts to say then stops as his father spins from inspecting their living room to flail him with angry blue eyes.
“No you will not. You and Hunter will get all this out of our living room.”

“Okay” Alex replies trying to cajole a bit, “We'll take the gear down to the shop and...”

“Absolutely not! I want all this out of our house within the hour! This is our home gentlemen, it is not Radio City Music Hall! Six thirty in the damned morning! What the hell are the neighbors thinking?!” Tony asks turning to climb the stairs with attitude.

“But where are we supposed to keep it?” Alex asks sharply. “Hunt’s mom said no. So did Peanuts and Hacks! Just let us play in the garage then!”

“No. Take the instruments to Avengers Tower” Tony throws over his very tense shoulder. “Pick a vault and play there!”

“That just so reeks!” Alexander shouts. Nothing comes from his father except the slamming of the master suites door. “This reeks dude.”

“Yeah” Hunter sighs casting his black gaze at the huge mess all around them. “Guess we best get crack-a-lackin’ huh?”

“True” Alex mutters laying his mike down with resignation. ”Guess this'll be the worst thing to happen today anyway huh spanker?”

“Blood, I'm a Parker” Hunter comments dryly getting that 'Oh yeah' look from Stark beside him.


Avengers Tower

“Okay,<Ugh> Again I am carrying all this WHY?” Hunter asks as the two young men heft the last of Peanut's drum set into the huge vault buried deeply under Avengers Tower. “And blood you whip me 'Six arms, DUH' and I will SO slap you like the girl you are!”

“You wouldn't hit a girl and you know it loser” Alex comments placing the symbol stand beside the large bass drum as Hunter drops two guitar cases and Peanut's seat down to rest with the mountain of gear. “OWW!!” Alex shouts at the punch to his arm that nearly knocks him off his black high tops.

“I just did” Hunter taunts leaping to the wall cleanly when Stark swings back. “Too slow” Parker teases then coughs, his landing stirring up clouds of dust. “When was the last time anyone came in here?”

“Got me,” Alex comments rubbing his bicep as he looks around the rather creepy chamber. “Ages, looks like. So are you coming down so I can drop you Parker?”
Mendel glides by his creator’s legs on four soft blue repulsor jets with two drumsticks in his powerful jaws.

“Ha! You couldn't drop an egg Stark” Hunter snickers flipping from the wall to his sneakers. Young Master Parker shakes his head a bit at the low appearance of his warning bells flaring up.

“What?” Alex asks, well familiar with that expression. He and Hunt, they were blood since like diaper days.

“Nothing” Hunter replies scanning the various covered boxes and large items hidden from view. “Must be just my loser sense since I am so close to you Susie.”

“Flag off!” Alexander snorts padding over to poke about some. Yes, his curiosity was both a blessing, Metal his armor being one blessing, and the curses? WAY too many things to recall. Hunter begins his own nosing about despite the odd sensation in his frontal lobe.

“So like this Gloria girl, you going to ask her out Stark?” Hunt asks lifting a drop cloth and tipping his head in the dim light to try to figure out what this metallic thing was.

“Yeah right!” Alex snaps back, “Like she'd give ME the time of day! Man I'd like to though. Hunt she is just so, she has these eyes. And those lips” Stark can see her smiling at him as he presents her with a, well, present of some sort. “But she only dates like juniors and stuff. Not techno geeks in eighth grade” Alexander laments Gloria and her pom-poms. “What about you? Got any sweet things gunning to get a taste of the Red-Back?”

Hunter drops the cloth watching it flutter back into place before he moves deeper into the vault to reply. “Unlikely. Chicks aren't into guys with so many appendages. Even mutant girls give me that look.”

Alex lifts his dark head from some ancient old computer monitors he found in a corner. “What look?”

“The 'You are SO a freak' look.”


“Yeah. So there ya go” Hunter states, the sadness clear in his low tone as he finds a small sealed container no bigger than a grapefruit, perfectly round, metallic and cold to the touch. Parker shakes it then holds it up to lay his black peepers to it in the diffused light. “What’s this?” Hunter calls out and Alex leaves the dusty old computers to have a look.

“Clueless,” Alex replies as Hunter hands the orb to him. His mind was racing though as he turns it this way and that, rolling the spherical container in his sometimes clumsy hands. “This lock, it’s a binary access lock” Alex comments laying a finger to the one inch wide area that seals two halves together.
“Like the ones your dad has on his shop?” Parker asks and Stark nods blowing at his spiky bangs.

“Pretty much yeah. Impossible to access unless you have Stark tech to run a rapid search and decipher sequence. Mendel? Here kitty” Alex summons the cat. Both guys hunker down when the sleek feline zips up covered in dust from his mousing forays in the dark corners of the vault. Alex pops the cats back open then connects a thin red wire to the diminutive locking mechanism on the round ball. “Mendel will process all possible binary codes. Since this is old it shouldn't take him longer than a few..”


“Whoa” Hunter and Alex both whisper as the orb pops open like an over-ripe melon and shimmering yellow light covers the teens from the huge gem nestled snugly inside the metallic orb. Hunter cocks his head slightly trying to tell if this odd pulsation in his head was getting louder or not.

“What IS this?” Alex wonders reaching in and lifting the glowing jewel out to inspect it more closely. “Why would my dad lock this down here? Mom would LOVE to have this...” And the teen falters for a second, his pause making Hunter turn his head to look at Stark. “Blood, this is my ticket to Gloria DuPree.”

“I don't know Alex, that thing has some really serious vibes.” Hunter informs him. “I can't read it as bad really, just really 'Makes my skin crawl' odd.”

“It's just some space jewel or something. She-will-love-this! I mean she'll be all OVER me when I slip this to her in English lit. Monday morning!” Alexander announces with a smile wide as his desire for Miss DuPree is deep. He stands quickly as Mendel's back lowers closed over the open case then slips the bright yellow gem into his pocket for safe keeping. “Let's blow this place blood. We can head to your shack or mine, catch an old movie. Wanna? Oh lighten up! What’s the worst that can happen?” Stark asks slapping Hunter on his shoulder as he activates the matrix band on his left wrist.

“Where have I heard THAT before?” Hunter quips in a worried tone as the three disappear in a crackling flash.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 01:11 #2

“Where’s Ahnold When You Need Him- Pt. Deux”

They reappear in a flash of light in the workshop a few seconds later. Mendel jets over to a table and sits on top of it waiting for Alex, who takes the large yellow gem out of his pocket to look at it again, then puts it back in with a sigh of anticipation.

<<Meeow>> He pats the robotic feline absently, while Hunter moves over to inspect a piece of the black and silver armor that sits on the table.

“This your new up-grade?” Hunter inquires, picking up the new arm-mounted weapon. The strange gem is already forgotten, despite the odd tickle in the back of his head.

“Yup. Version 4.5. Has three power settings, is fully eco-friendly, recharges in half the time, AND has two fire modes- ray and burst. VERY cool, oui?”

“You went to Paris on vacation again, didn’t you, suck-face?” He asks, putting down the piece.

“Heh, OH, yeah. You should have seen the hotties on the Riviera!”

“Okay, see- now I’m jealous. Our vacations are always somewhere boring like going camping or to Niagara. I never get to see anything NEW.”

“Sucks to be you, bug-man!”

“Bite me, Full-Metal!”

Alex cocks his head. “So which one does that make me- Ed, or Al?”

Hunter laughs. “Both- you’re a tin-man, AND you’re short!” He dances back out of Stark’s reach as his friend takes a mock swing at him.

“Oh, you’re gonna pay for that remark, Mister-I-Never-Get-Chicks!” He chortles, and gives his friend a raspberry.

Now the young Parker gives him a scowl. “Not cool, bro. That’s hitting below the belt. Now you‘re in for it!” He moves to pounce on Alex, yelling “Six-Gun Death Tickle!”

Alex yelps, and grabs the arm-gun as he dodges just barely in time. He turns the weapon on and shoots at Hunter as he starts to leap at him for a second attempt. A narrow blue beam hits him, and he suddenly freezes in place for a moment- just long enough for Alex to dash for the door, laughing.

“What the- you just SHOT me!” Hunter exclaims in disbelief, now unfrozen. Alex pumps his arm.

“Woot! Score!”

“Okay, wisenheimer- MY TURN!” He laughs, and Alex suddenly finds himself tripped up, falling to the floor covered in a mass of sticky strands as his friend casually strolls over and puts one foot on his back, doing his best WWE victory pose. “Ha! This round’s to me!”

Alex groans. “Ugh, please tell me you jacked one of your dad’s shooters and this isn’t actually your-”

Hunter snickers evilly, moving to let the other boy off the floor. “Sorry, Chumley- it’s the real deal. How does it feel knowing you just got owned?”

Alex struggles to pull out a small laser-cutter and starts extricating himself from the webs. “Like I just got splattered by a giant spider-loogie. Seriously, dude, that is SO gross.”

Hunter waves absently, and heads for the door. “Heh. Still say it sucks to be me? Who needs arm-guns when you got your own multi-purpose bio-weapon? Come on, I thought you said we were gonna watch a movie? I’m in the mood for some serious butt-kicking action!”

Alex finally follows, still pulling strands of web off his clothes. “Ugh, gonna have nightmares about giant mutant spiders for a week from this…” He mutters. “Hey, what do you want to watch?”

They head for the living room, and find a note on the table saying Alex’s parents have gone to a UN meeting, while Guri is out with a friend. They look at the note, and both boys get the same idea, they turn to each other, grinning.

“You know what this means?” says Alex, almost reverently.

“Yeah- we got the WHOLE place to pah-tey! You pick the flick, I’M on the munchies!” Hunter dashes off to the kitchen to raid the fridge and pantry.
“Okay- but NO weird stuff in the popcorn, Handy! The cinnamon and paprika last time was a BIT much!” Alex yells after him.

“Aww, but I LIKE trying new ideas!” Hunter’s muffled shout is heard from the kitchen amid the sounds of his rummaging among boxes of Fruit Loops, cans of diced pineapple, and half-empty bags of chips.

Alex calls Mendel in from the workshop, and the cat comes streaking into the living room to hover beside his master.

“Good kitty,” Alex opens the cat’s back and starts splicing into the parental control box of the huge plasma screen TV. Soon he has all the channels unblocked. “Hmm, let’s see- what would be suitably violent that Mom would HATE for us to watch?”

He starts scrolling through the listings, and finds one that looks good just as Hunter comes back in, laden with bags of cheese puffs, tortilla chips, and Fritos, as well as jars of salsa, ranch and cheese dips, and a box of chocolate chip cookies. He also has a couple of small bowls in one hand.

Alex looks at him and gapes. “See, THAT’S why I love it when you do the food raids. You can get everything in one trip to the kitchen!” he says, chuckling.

“Yeah, but only because you’re out of popcorn. So what’s our gore-fest?”

“Well, the only good ones on Tivo right now are Predator, Terminator, and Total Recall. What do you think?”

Hunter cocks his head. “Hmm, an Arnold marathon? Awesomeness. I’m up for it! Couch potato warriors!” He exclaims, doing his own version of a gladiator’s salute. Alex does likewise with a roar of agreement as they both vault over the back of the sofa onto the cushions. Hunter sets out the various implements of Munch-Kwan-Do as Alex starts the first movie.

Thirty minutes later.

They are whooping it up, the snacks spread all over the table and sofa, engrossed in the film. Alex lets out a groan as the pig runs through the camp on-screen.

“Aw, man! Why’d they have to go and stab Miss Piggy?!”

“Now that’s what I call fast food!” Hunter says with a snort. They laugh at the dumb joke like a couple of hyenas.

“Seriously- these guys are idiots- they deserved to end up as trophies!” Alex says, popping a handful of cheese puffs into his mouth.

Hunter nods. “No kidding- I mean, jeez, did they just FORGET they were in a jungle? Wild animals, duh! If that was me, I’d have made sure the traps wouldn’t be set off by the local wildlife.”

Alex grabs another handful of cheese puffs from the bag, and nods. “You said it, blood!”

Hunter reaches for a bunch of cookies from the half-empty box. “Man, wouldn’t it bee cool if we could go toe-to-toe with that thing in the jungle? I bet we’d do some serious alien-butt-kicking!”

“Yeah- I wish we WERE in the movie- I’d show old Ahnold how to fight a big ugly space-hunter!” Alex says as he scarfs down the puffs.

Suddenly, a strange glow seems to emanate from his pocket. Hunter’s spider-sense spikes higher at the same moment, as the room becomes engulfed in a white light. The two boys disappear from the sofa, while on the screen, a cut scene shows Arnold and his group of commandos being stalked by the alien hunter from the trees, just as it is about to be ensnared by the net.

They reappear in a dense jungle a moment later, tumbling out of mid-air to land in a tree-top Their startled yells are cut short as they crash into the branches, and Hunter barely manages to catch his friend’s arm and grab one of the branches before they fall through them to hit the ground. Hunter swings up and pulls Alex up after him onto the branch.

Hunter looks down as they try to get their bearings. “WHAT the HECK just happened?!” he asks. “Where ARE we?!”

Alex looks around, and sees only thick, verdant trees and vines. “I’m stumped. Looks like some kind of jungle, blood.”

“Well, duh- I can see that for myself, genius. What I MEAN is- how did we GET here? It’s like, a zillion degrees, and the humidity is enough to sweat your cahones off!” He hears a distant bird cry, and an answering call from elsewhere in the forest.

“Hey, what makes you think I know? I’m just as clueless as you, bro.” He watches a strange-looking bird fly into a near-by tree. “You know, it almost looks like the bird house at the City Zoo, except- bigger.”

Hunter sees him staring at the bird and cocks his head with a puzzled look. “I think that’s a Quetzal. Ms. Munroe took us on a field trip to the zoo last week. But it’s from Central America; to see a wild one, we’d have to be-” He stops, and suddenly goes slack-jawed. “Dude- I think I know where we are! We’re….”

At that moment, his spider-sense flares a warning, and he turns just in time to see a strange shimmer in the air that suddenly lands on the branch. He sees a vaguely humanoid shape within the distortion of the air, and hears an ominous-sounding click. He grabs Alex.

“Don’t move,” he whispers. “It’s here.” He can’t see it, exactly, but he knows the creature is staring at them curiously.

“Huh? What is?” Alex asks, confused. He turns and sees the shimmer. “Oh. &#036;#it. Is that…?”

“Yeah, blood. It’s him. Dude- we’re IN the MOVIE.” Hunter just stands still, watching the huge alien warily. It takes a slow step closer, then leaps down toward the ground below. Unfortunately, the creature’s leap jars the branch, knocking Alex off. He starts to fall; Hunter dives down after him. A split second later, they hear a “sproing” sound, and they are suddenly caught in a giant net, along with the cloaked alien.

Alex flails around amid the leaves and other debris that hid the net, and feels the creature’s masked head and face. He opens his mouth to scream, but Hunter claps a hand over it.

“Quiet, man! Do you want to get us killed? We’re about to-” Hunter hisses, but he’s cut off as the Predator cuts himself loose from the net, sending the two boys crashing to the ground amid a flurry of forest-litter. At the same time, they hear several voices from near-by, then a hail of bullets ringing through the forest at them. Hunter grabs Alex and dives to the ground, rolling aside to hide behind a low rock; then the huge chain-gun starts firing, mowing down everything around them in a massive barrage of fifty-caliber death.

“Ohgodohgodohgod…” Alex stammers, his prayers drowned out in the thundering roar of the huge gun’s fire. Trees crash to the ground, leaves and twigs rain down of them, and bullets ping all around against the rock.

Finally, the deafening sound of “Painless” stops, and they hear voices from about twenty yards away. Alex is about to get up, but his friend holds him down. They are covered with leaves, branches, and other debris from the chain gun’s deadly barrage.

“Are you nuts?” Parker whispers fiercely. “Those commandos will think we’re the ones who killed the guys they found hanging. We’re in the movie, Alex! We’re in the middle of one nasty fight, and either side could decide we’re the enemy!”

Alex gapes. “Holy &#036;#&%! How did we get in the movie?!”

“Shh!” His companion whispers, clapping a hand over Alex’s mouth again. They hear the voices again, with Arnold’s distinctive accent loud and clear. Hunter looks at his friend as if to say “told you so”, and then motions him to be still. After a brief pause, the commandos move off, and a few moments later, the two teens hear a primal scream of terror that is suddenly cut off. They stare at each other and both go pale.

“So, how DID we get here?” Alex finally asks.

“Why are you asking ME?! I just saw that weird light, and- Alex! That glowy gem you found! Didn’t you say you wished we could tangle with big-ugly back there? It must have granted your wish!”

Stark frowns, and then slowly nods. “Maybe. But HOW? It’s just some kind of dumb rock, right?” He starts to pull it out of his pocket, but freezes after a moment. “Uh-oh. It’s gone.”

“Huh? What do you MEAN, ‘gone’? What did you do with it?!” Hunter whispers. His spider-sense is buzzing again, and he cautiously peeks up over the rock, to see the strange shimmer of the alien’s cloaking field not far away. It appears to be approaching them slowly.

“Oh, man. He’s back- and he SEES us…”

“It was right here, I swear! I had it in my pocket!” Alex groans softly, panicking. “It- it must have fallen out!”

Then Hunter sees the creature’s outline pause, and it becomes fully visible. It bends down, examining something on the ground. After a moment, the alien hunter stands again, holding a small glowing yellow object in its hand. The mutant teen’s jaw drops.

“Oh, PERFECT. As if this wasn’t bad enough already. Blood, I know where the gem is.”

“Oh, good. I thought maybe I lost it.” Alex says in relief. “So where is it?”

“Take a look,” Parker answers. Alex peers over the rock, and then goes stark white.

“Oh, man- you gotta’ be kiddin’ me!” He says in disbelief, and stares back at his friend.

Hunter sighs. “Uh-huh, I WISH. And who was it that said ‘what’s the worst that could happen’? Yeah, you and your big mouth, bud. Never say that when I’m around- that’s just BEGGING to get smacked by the old ‘Parker Luck”!”

“We gotta’ get that thing back. If that’s what brought us here, then we need it to get back home!”

“Yeah, and how’re we going to do that?!” Hunter says snidely. “You want to just go ask plugly over there nicely if we can have it back? Sure- see you on the trophy wall!”

Alex shakes his head. “Wait- he could have killed us both earlier, or even right now, if he wanted to. Why hasn’t he?”

Hunter stops, puzzled. He watches the huge creature examining the stone, then turning to look right at him. It starts to raise its weapon; Hunter raises all six hands in a gesture of peace, but he gets ready to spring, just in case. The alien cocks his head, and makes a strange clicking noise. Just then, Alex starts to get up, and it moves its weapon to focus on him.

“Alex- don’t make any sudden moves. I think he’s trying to decide whether we’d make a good trophy. Please don’t do anything stupid to make him shoot us.”

Alex sticks his tongue out at the other teen. “Bite me, Arachno-Boy. If he were going to kill us, he would have done it already. They don’t kill kids, remember?”

“You sure about that? What if he decides to make an exception for us?” The young Parker lad says quietly, still keeping his obsidian eyes locked on the alien. It makes a sort of roar, then goes invisible again, and takes off into the jungle.

The two teens turn to stare at each other. Somewhere in the jungle, they hear shots ringing out.

“We HAVE to get that gem back!” Exclaims Alex, and he takes off. Hunter shakes his head, and follows.

“Man, I just KNOW this is going to get us into some serious &#036;#&%...”
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 01:22 #3

Where’s Ahnold when you need him!? Part Three

Hunter casts a fast glance around, his hair still riddled with debris then breaks off in pursuit of Alexander. If this didn’t turn out to be the death of him he doesn’t know what will be. Puberty and Predators. Wonderful combination for any young hero Parker stews finally getting a hand on the rear of Alex’s shirt and jerking the teen to a rough halt.

“What,” Stark pants with a firm scowl at his bud.

“Where exactly do you think you’re going,” Hunter asks ducking to avoid a bug the size of one of his mothers crispy pork chops. Stark looks at him as if he just said something profoundly dumb.

“After the jewel. DUH. Come on blood, try to keep up will you,” Alex huffs then turns to bound off into the jungle once more. The firm hand on the hem of his shirt draws the gangly youth up short once again.

“No, see that’s a really lame idea. I’m trying to grasp what the angle you’re working here is blood,” Hunter explains with an ear open for gunshots, or clicking or some ex-governor about to spit on them or mow them down, take your pick. Stark finds his friends black eyes on him and sighs deeply.

“Okay Hunt, this is my plan. We go to where Mister Dental Works has the dead guys strung up. That’s his crib right?”

Hunter nods slowly wondering if Stark took a shot to his cranium leaving him off in the thinking department. He tips his head in thought as he listens to the plan unfold. “When he leaves to kill someone we thwip up, grab the gem and wish like hell we were home. Viola, we are back on the couch! Oh, and I thought we could borrow one of his gauntlets, you know, just to…”

“Borrow a gauntlet? Did I hear you right? Can’t be because I know you are kinda smart, get that from your dad and all. Like me and my wit and humor in a situation that spells death in eight languages and fonts. So I really need you to say whatever it was you just said slower and clearer for me. Go,” Hunter motions to Alex as they linger in a somewhat open clearing.

“It’s not all that bad Hunt. Look, just imagine the tech that gauntlet has bro,” Alex says as his crisp blue eyes begin to glass over. Hunter knows that expression and feels a gag reflex begin. Stark got glazed over two things, high tech gadgetry and chicks. Not in that order of course Parker amends mentally.

Speaking of mental, Hunter comes back to the rambling explanation in progress. “It has to use some light refraction device in order to bend the light rays the way it does. Man, with that on Metal even my father would be impressed! I think it could be as simple as a basic re-wire that would make the, OWWW,” Alexander yelps at the slap to the back of his head.

“Dude you have serious issues,” Parker tells his pal. “We are not, no, look at me Stark,” Hunter commands as Alex rubs his head briskly with his eyes closed. “We are NOT going to lift some of that dude’s tech. End of discussion. Finito. Forget it. N.F.W.!”

“You know for such a science geek you really are a pansy,” Alexander snipes trying to fix his hair some.

“Now, let’s just slip along real quiet like, find big and gruesome, get the gem back, go home, put gem BACK into vault and pretend like this never happened. EVER! You with me Alex,” Hunter inquires firmly. Stark’s dark head nods sullenly and with a huge sigh of relief the teens set off as stealthily as possible.

The two move along in the humid dense growth, the going difficult for fear of pits, snakes, big men with bigger guns and one extra-terrestrial with a really enormous urge to make coats out of peoples skins and ashtrays from their skulls. Hunter pauses every so often, letting his head sort out the enormous amount of signals it’s getting in a steady stream.

Then he’d head off once more, Alexander behind Parker frequently looking over his shoulder in case Jessie decided to go postal again. Or was he dead? Heck Alex couldn’t remember where they were in the movie, all he could think about was that gauntlet. The camouflage it provided would be something that would boost any Stark tech armor ahead a hundred years. For once he would step out from behind his father’s huge shadow. That was something that was becoming more important with each passing year it seemed although he didn’t know quite why.
The two come upon a stream and thirst gets the better of them.

“Yo Hunt,” Alexander whispers to the lad kneeling down beside him cupping handfuls of water to his grimy face. Parker turns his head to peer at Stark, chin wet and shiny. “You ever wonder what our lives would be like if we were just normal kids? With normal parents, you know?”

Hunter falls back to recline on his calves as Alexander rubs the clear water over the back of his neck. “Sure.”

“Come to any conclusions?”

“Well I guess for starters we wouldn’t be here,” Hunter says drawing a fast smirk from Alex. “Maybe we’d be like, doing mall stuff, or skate-boarding. Without repulsors on our boards dude,” Hunter adds quickly to quell Stark’s comment. “Maybe I’d be like, normal.”

Alex nods keeping his mouth shut for once.

“You ever hate being the ‘Son of’?”

Parker wipes his chin off with his forearm, his ebony eyes moving over the canopy above them. “Sometimes, I guess. But it’s not like that for me, how it is with you and your dad blood. We don’t have the competition you and your dad have. I really wish I could be more like my pops.”

“You make it sound like we hate each other,” Alex spits out in ire.

“Never said that blood,” Parker is fast to point out wishing now he’d of glammed over this topic since Alex always was so totally both ways about his father. “I know you and him are close. And that you so get into his work, but you gotta be true about how it stokes you to not be better than him. Word is truth blood, that’s all,” Hunter announces gingerly coming to his feet to stretch his tired limbs.

“My bad,” Alex says finding nothing in the trees as he stares openly at them. “He pushes, you know? For me to excel at everything. To tug down grades higher than his, to get into M.I.T. at a younger age than he did,” Stark lets a slow breath out. “Talk about pressure.”

“I got that,” Hunter states looking over as Alex pushes to his sneakers beside him. “Maybe he just wants you to do better than he did.”

“How?” Alexander asks and for that Hunter has no fast or funny answer.

Their throats wetted they begin to step along keeping a wary kind of knowledge about the sun beginning to slip down on them. Both teens secretly scared out of their skivvies to spend a night in this jungle with that thing moving about like a wraith.

“Wish I were in Metal,” Alexander mumbles catching a low branch Parker lets go of in front of him.

“You’d have been skish-ke-Alex if you were suited,” Hunter informs him over his lean shoulder.

“Better than being so damn helpless,” Stark snaps out in irritation and fatigue.

“Come on blood, you know knowledge is power,” Hunter snickers out. "And you are a fountain of knowledge. None of it useful or remotely interesting but still- Ouch!”

“You have just been #&#036;#%^ slapped. Please hand over your lipstick, Jonas Brother’s posters and all feminine products to the victor,” Alex barks softly. Hunter laughs out loud then gasps at the outburst. His forehead chimes just as flash of yellow eyes draws both their attention.

“He’s up there,” Parker whispers dropping instantly to the ground, Alex falling down to his muddy knees beside Parker. The familiar clicking rings in their ears, along with the incessant buzzing of flies. Both guys swallow down the bile that threatens to come up into their mouths. It was one thing to see a skinned person in a movie; it was a whole other litter of kittens to witness it in real life. Hunter suddenly whips his head about, another pulse of awareness wriggles in his frontal lobe. In the dappled remnants of sun the shimmering figure leaps over them, moving to the West.

“Now’s our chance,” Alexander nudges Parker in the ribs for the young man seemed to be intent on something inside his mind. “Fling us a web!”

In silence Hunter whips a web to the upper branches, then grabs a firm hold of Alex’s wrist with twin right arms. Up they go slowly, both sweating more than the cooling air should make them. The more altitude they gain the thicker the swarms of flies, and the more pungent the aroma of rotting flesh.

“I SO was jonesing for some Chips Ahoy but now I am really glad my gut’s empty,” Hunter mumbles down to Stark who nods a firm yes to the statement.

“Blood we make a pact. If either of us hurls, it goes to the grave with us. Spit oath,” Alex says shakily when both worn pairs of sneaks find the gnarled and heavy bough. They both expectorate into their palms, slap them together to shake then reach out to push the dark green vines and fronds aside. What greets them makes both Sons turn their heads rapidly for a moment.

“Oh &#036;%^&,” Hunter hisses finding the trophy room to be worse than anything he could have imagined.

“I am so in tune,” Alexander coughs then steps cautiously forward using the myriad of vines to help balance himself. For there in the last peeks of old Sol sits the odd pulsing yellow jewel. Alex whips his head to the side to find the same look of joy on Parker that he wears.

“Sweet,” Parker states with a true sigh of relief. His joy a fleeting one though for as soon as Stark lays his hand on the gem that lays amid the still wet skulls his head explodes with Notre Dame sized bells.


“I wish we were home,” Hunter and Alex both shout out as the branch shakes violently under their feet. A blinding yellow flash encompasses the treetop then all three fall with a horrific crash directly into Peter and Mary Jane’s living room. The boys lay in a crumpled heap on the shattered coffee table as the alien hunter briefly appears, his towering form filling the humble home of May Parker for an instant. Then the ultimate hunter blasts a huge hole in the far wall, fades back into nothingness and disappears into the night.

“Oh &#036;%%&. That is SO very, very bad,” Alex pants with Mary Jane’s favorite doily resting on his raven head..

“You just HAD to ask didn’t you Stark,” Hunter snaps as his life flashes WAY too quickly before his obsidian eyes. “'What’s the worst that could happen?' He says.”
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 02:16 #4

Pt. Four

The boys get up, dusting the broken glass and wood off themselves. “Great, now what?” says Alex.

Hunter lets out a deep breath, surveying the damage. “Man, we are so gonna be grounded for this. Maybe I can claim Ock or somebody busted in looking for Dad….”

“Hey, yeah! What about Shocker, or Rhino?” Alex coughs. He looks at his friend and shrugs. Hunter doesn’t say a word, but starts to leave.

“Hey, where you going, blood?” says Alex.

“To find that alien, where else?” Comes the reply. The young Parker stops short as a hand grabs him from behind.

“Hunt, maybe we should suit up before we go after the big creepy ET dude? You know, since he’s, like, invisible.”

Hunter thinks for a moment. “Yeah, you’re right. But we gotta hurry, man, before he hurts somebody. All we need is for fugly to make a trophy out of some hapless civilian, and WE’D get the blame!”

“True dat, blood.” Alex agrees, and he waits while Hunter bounds upstairs to tug on his Red-Back suit, and borrow his dad’s extra pair of web-shooters.

“Lucky for me Dad’s at work right now. He’d have kittens if he knew I took these….”

“Heh, meow, dude.”

Hunter stops long enough to hoist Alex up onto his back and secure him with a few strands of web, then takes off. They swing across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, and finally end up at the Starks’ penthouse. They dash to the workshop, where Alex grabs his latest incarnation of Heavy Metal and climbs into it.

<<Okay, bro, let’s go catch us a Predator!>> he says once he gets the helmet on. The other boy nods agreement and pumps three fists in an enthusiastic salute.
“Hoo-yah!” he yells, and the two are off again like a pair of black bullets.

Several minutes later-

“Okay, Al- how are we supposed to find him in a city this big? He could be anywhere!” Hunter says after a fruitless search.

<<Ya got me, Handy. Maybe we could stand in Times Square with a big sign over our heads that says ‘Alien Trophy Hunters Welcome‘?”>>

Hunter groans. “Aw, geez- not you, too! I swear I’m gonna kill my sister for coming up with that lame nickname! Anyway, I got a better idea, now that you mention it. They like hot places, right? What’s the best place for a heat-loving ET to hang, bro?”

<<I dunno- Johnny Storm’s latest shin-dig?>> Alex quips with a shrug, getting a sarcastic look from Parker. They mull it over for a moment, Hunter pacing up and down a wall while they try to come up with something.

<<Wait, in the second movie, the big baddie was hanging out in a big meat packing plant. Totally frozen, dude. So how can we be sure he’ll be somewhere hot?>> Alex turns toward Hunter, his puzzled look hidden by the helmet.

“Cause they always show up when it’s really hot, duh!” The young Parker says with a smirk. “Anyway, we need a way to lure him out into the open so we can catch him. And I’m going to be the bait. Use your armor to find anyplace with plenty of heat. Preferably one near an area that would make a good hunting ground, with lots of ambush points and easy targets.”

Alex goes through his armor’s database, and finally comes up with an answer. <<Okay, we’ve got a foundry over on the West Side, or a steel mill down in the Bowery. Which one? Your call, blood.>>

Hunter thinks for a moment, then stops pacing, still standing sideways on the wall. “Bowery. He’d have a field day in a place like that. Especially if there are any workers around, which means we better haul @&#036;&#036; if we want to keep him from making any more souvenirs. Let’s go!”

Ten minutes later-

Hunter swings down onto a smoke stack, with Alex hovering nearby in Heavy Metal. They look around cautiously, scouting for the tell-tale sign of air-shimmer around the alien’s armor. “Get anything yet?” Hunter asks, as Alex scans the area.

<<Not yet. You?>> comes the reply.

“Nah, I got nothi- wait. Just had a twinge.” Hunter pauses, eyes closed, slowly turning his head from one side to the other. “There! At your eight-thirty, Metal.” He points down at the nearest building, where the huge vats that hold the liquid metal are housed. Several workers come and go about their business, while the two boys watch.

Alex scans again, and spots a red blur with his thermal vision, entering the building. <<Right. Got him, blood!>> He starts to fly down, but Hunter thwips a line to hold him back.

“Uh-uh, bro. You’re too big and clunky in that thing to move around in there. Besides, all that heat will interfere with your scans. I’ll go in, and bring him back out here to you. When you see his ugly mug, fire your new toy at him, dig?”

<<You’ve been listening to Cyc too much, blood. You’re starting to sound like him.>> Alex says with a sour tone.

“Hey, he may have a stick up his @&#036;&#036;, but the guy’s good with tactics.” Hunter replies, and leaps down to slip inside the mill.

He finds himself in a huge open space with big, heavy machinery all around- giant smelters and furnaces, walkways above the vats, pipes to carry water for cooling, and huge molds to shape the steel. He skitters up one wall, his spider-sense making a constant low buzz in his head. He begins a slow, careful search of the place, trying to pinpoint the alien with his spider-sense, though the noise and movement of so much machinery seems to interfere, as he has to avoid the more dangerous areas.

Suddenly, he hears a loud clanging sound, like something heavy falling, and a high-pitched shriek from one of the workers, that is quickly cut off. Eyes wide, he races toward the sound with a curse, a black-and-red blur in the shadows high above the main work area. What he finds when he reaches the scene is horrifying- a man with his head lying on the floor, a look of terror frozen on it, and a huge hole blasted through the body. Three more workers dash up just as he is bending down to examine the body.

“Hey! What the #%&&#036; you doin’?” Shouts one, then sees the carnage, and all three stop dead. Hunter looks up, aware that the situation is about to turn ugly. “You &#036;%&#in’ mutie b@&#036;t@rd!! You killed Frankie!”

“Wha- NO! There’s something in here! You guys need to get out, before it comes ba-!” Hunter starts to warn them, but it’s too late. A burst of light flares from somewhere behind him, and one of the steel workers falls dead with a sizzling hole in his head. The other two scream and start to run for the doors. Hunter turns his onyx gaze toward the shot, and with an enraged snarl spits out, “I know you’re there, creep, so come out and fight me! You want a REAL challenge! Come on, fugly- I’m here!! Come GET ME!!” He senses the shot just before it comes, and leaps nimbly out of the way, his head swiveling to mark the spot it came from.

“Got ya, jerk.” He whispers, and fires a double volley of web-balls. A half-dozen of the globs fly out, but only two hit the mark. One lands on the alien’s shoulder, but the other hits squarely in his masked head. The creature lets out a frustrated and angry roar. Its camouflage shorts out briefly, and Hunter can see it clearly.

The huge hunter rips the webs from its face, and stares at its opponent for a moment. Hunter leaps to another vantage on some pipes, keeping his eyes locked on the alien. It follows his movement, tracking him, then makes some sort of clicking, growling sound, and fires again, only to hit the pipes as Hunter leaps away at the last instant.

Steam fills the air, and he shouts out to the eight-foot hunter, taunting him. “Gotta do better than that, creep!” he yells, swinging to the top of an empty vat.

As if in answer, the Predator leaps across to a large stack of steel beams, and fires again. Hunter ducks, then slips down into the huge container. The next instant, he hears the sound of something heavy landing on the vat, and looks up to see the enemy staring down at him. He smirks, and thwips out two lines onto the alien’s feet, and yanks hard, pulling him into the vat with him.

“You lose, ya Creature Shop reject!” he laughs, while the dazed Predator shakes his head. It roars in response, but Hunter just roars right back, then launches out of the vat, still holding the drag-lines and pulling his opponent along behind him as he crawls along the ceiling. The alien dangles by his feet, smacking into objects as he goes, making furious noises.

“Yeah, back at ya, gruesome. You’re coming with me!” The young mutant sneers, finally reaching the doors. Unfortunately, he forgets about the creature’s blaster, and is hit in the shoulder from below, dropping the alien just inside the doors. Hunter lets out a cry of pain, while his enemy makes a sound that resembles laughter. He hears Alex calling out from outside; Hunter glances back at the alien, and sticks out his tongue, hoping to goad him into following as he leaps out the doors.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 02:31 #5

Where’s Ahnold When You Need Him!?-Issue #5


<Oh yeah, that’s enough of that &#036;%^&> Alex spits out hearing his buddy’s pained shout above the sounds of the foundry and the workers now running out with white pale faces. Stark fires off twin repulsor shots that take out a side wall while he keeps sharp blue eyes on his heat resonance scans. Handy is just now sprinting out the doors. Alex’s medicals telling him Hunter’s been winged while a very familiar alien shape glowing deep red, violet and orange makes one major league ninja kind of leap from floor to ceiling. <Blood, tell me true! You fit to fight, Hunter?>

Hunter turns his head as he lands atop a forklift used to move huge bins of fittings around the massive plant. “Yeah. Chicks dig scars,” he quips with a wince.

<And shrapnel, don’t forget that….@#&#036;@# he’s on the move!> Alex shouts banking a lean turn to the West.< No kind of BS that dude moves sonic!>

“Over there!” Stark and Parker hear, both Sons turning their heads to look down at one of the foundry workers running back while pointing up at the two teens, a NYPD police officer at his heels. “Spider-Man killed Frankie! Then Iron-Man blew the &#036;%^& out of the place!”

< Say what!? Listen we were trying to help! There’s an alien hunter slapping around town making people-kebob’s! And I’m NOT Iron-Man!> Alex growls coming down to hover beside Red-Back working his arm on top of the forklifts yellow roof.

“Spider-Man and Iron-Man!” New York’s finest shouts out as terrified workers gather behind the cop, “We have eye witnesses to a homicide and terroristic destruction of property! You will BOTH surrender yourselves immediately!”

Metal’s ebony helmet cranes around to look at Red-Back.<Are they friggin` serious?!>

“Uhm, I’m going to say yup,” Hunter comments skirting fast looks over the plants roof-top to try to locate the Predator’s tell tale shimmer. “Welcome to the wonderful world of Parker luck! Only thing missing is a front-page spread in the Bugle.”


“True dat.”

“You have fifteen seconds to surrender yourselves or I open fire Iron-Man!”

< I-AM-NOT-IRON-MAN!!! Black and silver dude!! Seriously! >Alexander spits then gets a momentary glitch of their quarry moving with speed and ease up the side of the towering cupola.<He’s skipping blood! We go now or we lose him!>

“Sorry officer! Gotta go!” Hunter calls thwipping two fast lines to Alex’s back as Metal’s flight repulsors open up streaking both skyward in a flash. A few rounds are fired at the fleeing heroes, Alex rolling neatly in air with Hunter riding along behind. Hunter tucks his legs tight as a bullet rips WAY too close to a very personal area.

“Altitude Stark!” Hunter yells, ”Gain some before I lose something I’ve never even had a chance to, Crap!” Another round zings past, ricocheting off Alexander’s left patella.

<Yo! No back seat web-riders! Over there! I’ve got him locked! I’m taking him out!>Stark announces as his shoulder rockets kick up. Hunter whips his head to the left when the twin projectiles impact the base of the cupola. The detonation rocking the cupola so soundly it blows into bits, hot molten metal exploding outward like a deadly rain shower of crimson. Alexander shoots backwards, turning his back to the deluge while yanking on a web to heft Hunter into his embrace.

“Dude! No hugging!” Hunter protests as the two slam into the wall of the scrap iron building while Parker covers them both with a thick gummy shield. Ingots wash down over them as they crumple to the ground still wound into each other. Alex rolls off of Hunter to fling up a force field, small steaming holes melting into his beloved armor.

“Okay a lesson learned,” Red-Back hisses slapping a small red ember on his thigh, “Webbing burns through. Owww!! As does spandex!”

When the deluge stops Stark lowers his field then takes a second to let his helmet drop to the ground with a thud.

“Soooo THAT was quite the call there armor lad!” Hunter grunts pushing Alexander’s heavy leg off of his. “And that hug? It never happened. Do you think he’s ground?”

< Like chuck.>

Hunter and Alex push to their boots and begin to creep forward.

<I’m getting weak life signs, erratic heartbeat and blood pressure is tanking. >

“Yeah, I’m on-line with a barely there,” Hunter adds as they move closer to the blast area. Huge shards of metal are scattered wildly about, devastation to the plant clearly evident. Keeping keen minds to any small twinge of spidey sense or elevation in the Predators life signs they step to ground zero. With a harsh growl Alexander easily flings a massive chunk of concrete and rebar aside, then both teens look down into the gaping hole in the ground.

Alex`s visor rises as he and his blood bro gaze down at the alien broken beyond repair and covered with phosphorescent green blood. The Predator’s helmet is gone and it opens its mouth in a pained hiss, blood and gore bubbling out from its massive internal injuries.

“You are one ugly mother #@#%%” Both teens say and their words are met not with a roar or outburst of anger, but with an eerie chuckle as the alien hunter begins tapping one long clawed finger to the bracer on its thick left wrist. Odd alien symbols begin to light up as the beasts deep strange laugh echoes around the demolished foundry.

“That is not good,” Hunter says, dumbfounded that they had let that tiny little detail slip their usually sharp minds. Must have been the repeated blows to their heads over the past few hours Parker supposes.

“We are so totally toast,” Alexander coughs out as the last small square begins to flicker.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 02:37 #6

Part Six

Alex and Hunter exchange worried looks as they see the last symbol begin to count down. “Alex, we gotta get out of here! Fly, man!” Hunter yells frantically.

<What about all the people here?> Alex screams back.

Suddenly the young Parker teen gets a flash of inspiration. “The gem! Use it!”

Metal turns his helmet toward his cohort, his befuddled expression thankfully hidden by the face plate. Then Red-Back’s meaning finally dawns on him. <Oh! Right!> He pulls the yellow gem out of a small compartment in the suit, and hastily babbles out the first thing he can think of. <Iwishthebombwouldstoprightnow!> he yells, all in one breath.

An instant later, the gem flashes with the bright light again. The Predator’s back-mounted battery that powers his weapon shorts out, and the bomb’s countdown stops on the very last mark of the remaining square. The two teens duck low, waiting for the mini-nuke to explode, eyes squeezed shut and hands up over their heads- but no explosion is forthcoming. The power on the alien’s pack fizzles out, even as it gurgles out its last breath. They both risk a cautious look in its direction, then breath sighs of relief as they realize that both the hunter and his weapon are dead.

“Whoa. Could you cut that any CLOSER?!” Hunter asks as he stares down at the bomb, frozen on the last symbol.

<Well, it worked didn’t it?> Metal replies. <What made you think of that, anyway?>

“I’ve been wondering how it could drag us into the movie and back, and I finally remembered something Dad told me about a while back. You ever hear of the Infinity Gauntlet? I think that’s one of the gems off it. Umm, the Reality Gem, I think. I took a chance. Guess it worked, huh?”

<Lucky guess. What if you were wrong, blood?> Alex asks.

“Uh, fly like hell?” Hunter suggests with a shrug and lop-sided grin. He is about to speak again when he is interrupted, his spider-sense going off loud and clear once more.

“Spider-Man and Iron-Man, put your hands in the air and surrender peacefully, or we will open fire!” An NYPD officer with a jacket reading HSC Special Division on the back comes up behind them with a nullifier gun pointed at them. Hunter sighs and shakes his head, looking ruefully over at his friend.

“They never give up, do they?” he says, then turns around to give the cop an annoyed grimace. “Dude, do I LOOK like Spider-Man?! Okay, costume aside, have you guys EVER seen him with SIX FREAKING ARMS??!!” He thinks again about what he just said, and suddenly remembers something. “Okay, there WAS the whole ‘Man-Spider’ thing, but STILL!!! It’s RED-BACK!! Do you GET IT?!”

Alex holds up one hand to his helmet and flips up his face plate. He glares at the officer, who has now been joined by several others, and walks over, with both hands up, still holding the gem. <Come on, officers! Do you guys even pay attention to the Registration files?! Do I LOOK like Tony freaking Stark to you?! Aside from the fact that he’s my Dad, and could have your BADGE!!! We did NOT kill those guys- this ugly creep with the green blood everywhere did it!!”

The cop looks down at the dead alien uncertainly, but he keeps his gun pointed at the teens. “Just come quietly, and we’ll settle this down at the station. You two have a lot to answer for. Now surrender or I shoot.”

Hunter glances over to Alex. “Bro, we better jet- if our parents hear about this, we are TOAST!”

<And you think they WON’T hear about it if we take off and end up with half the city’s finest on our @&#036;&#036;es?!> Alex says acidly.

Hunter just grins. “Come on, Stark, THINK!! Not if we use the gem!!”

The youngest Stark suddenly gets his meaning. <DOH!! Duh, why didn’t I think of that earlier? Okay, here goes- I wish that everything was back to normal, and we were back at home watching the movie!!> He waits, holding his breath while he concentrates on returning everything to the way it was before the fiasco began. A second later, the stone flashes again….

Stark Family Penthouse: one second later-

The boys appear on the sofa, still in their suits, landing with a heavy thud. Alex looks around, and sees that the movie is still going- the Predator has just activated his bomb, and Arnold is watching it count down. He takes off running, while the boys just turn to each other and heave heavy sighs of relief in unison.

“Dude, I don’t EVER want to go through anything like that again…” Hunter says wearily.

Alex removes his helmet, shaking his head, flinging sweat drops all over. “Yeah, no kidding. It’s definitely more fun to WATCH it than to LIVE it, blood.” He looks down at the gem in his hand. “And to think I was going to give this to Gloria…” He sets the gem down on the table in front of them.

“True dat, bro. Gotta admit, though- we DO make a pretty good team, eh? And I wouldn’t go giving that thing out to anybody if I was you. No telling what might happen then!” Hunter says, flopping back into the cushions with an exhausted grin. He spots the bag of cookies from earlier, and reaches over to grab one out of the bag, stuffing the whole cookie into his mouth hungrily.

“Hell, yeah! And I guess you’re right. I’ll just have to find some other way to win her heart,” Alex replies with a wistful sigh, reaching for the bag of cheese puffs he abandoned when they got sucked into the movie. They watch the credits rolling; the door to the Stark family home opens behind them, and Guri comes in with several other girls, all dressed up in tight outfits, giggling as they carry in shopping bags with fancy department store labels. Both boys stare at the girls, who just glare at them as they head back to Guri’s room.

“Man, I sooo wish I had your life, bro,” Hunter mumbles through another mouthful of cookie. He reaches for the chips and salsa; as he does, one hand brushes the gem. Alex is reaching for the chips at the same time, and bumps against Hunter.

“Yeah, like my life is sooo great. I’d give anything to have cool powers like yours, blood.” Alex snorts. Just then, the large yellow stone flashes once more…..
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 02:49 #7

"Metal & Red- Walk a Mile…." Issue #1

“Oh man,” Alexander wheezes flat on his back on a very hard floor,” It’s not the fall that kills you it’s the landing.” He takes a moment to try to get more oxygen into his very empty lungs, leaving his eyes closed to try to alleviate the soft buzzing in his frontal lobe. Lying prostrate with arms and legs akimbo he starts at the shout that comes through the floor.

“Are you alright!?”

‘Geez mom sounds odd’ the Stark lad thinks and flings a hand upwards to try to massage the annoying hum from his forehead. Two left hands slap across his face and he winces at the twin smack. A tick of the second hand counts off before his eyes spring open and he commences to scream bloody murder pawing wildly at the twin left hands with three right ones. Total mind meltdown occurs. Complete synaptic shutdown spurs him upwards to crab-walk with speed backwards across a room not his own but none the less well known. When the back of his head rams into a re-painted computer desk he squawks louder, near to fainting as one of six hands lands over his mouth.

“Do NOT make me come up there young man!!”

Alexander Steven Stark nods in shock and horror at Mrs. Parker’s threat. With his lean back to the three drawers Alex chances a fast glance to the right. Or would if his eyes would move that way, but they can’t, or won’t. Puffing into his hand as another rubs his knotted skull Stark turns his head to the left then the right, taking in Hunter’s bedroom. And Hunter’s clothes on his body. And Hunter’s body that he now seemed to be in possession of.

“No,” Alex mumbles into his hand, feeling woozy he then removes said hand from over mouth and patrician nose. “This is not in the realm of science,” he whispers raising four arms at once to peer at them as his head tilts to the right a bit. Fingers wiggle at his command, Hunter’s beaten old high tops move when he commands them. More or less the boy concedes as one leg dances out suddenly and one of those right palms begins patting the goose egg on his head, without him knowing how or why.

Stark begins slow deep breaths as muted voices drift up through the floor of May Parker’s old house. “Handy dude, what the…..the gem!” His whisper comes out not in his familiar tones but in Hunt’s. “Magic!” Alexander spits much as his father would. He finds his vision is much keener now, sharper and more precise. He could make out each earring on each earlobe of the Duran Duran poster above Hunter’s twin bed. “Okay Stark, this is not the worst thing that could happen. We just stay cool, STOP IT!” He snarls at the patting hand and it does thank goodness.

“Hunter!! Dinner’s ready! Wash up slick! Terra! You too sistah!”

His eyes grow wide at Peter’s call. “Okay, that’s about the worst thing that could happen! Not five minutes into his mutated skin and the Parker luck begins!” Stark hisses forcing his body up to stand on wobbly legs that feel peculiar under him. More toned and spring-like is the best he can think of to describe the sensation. Thankfully he knows this house as well as he knows his own on Park Avenue so the young man trips and stumbles to the door, catching himself as he propels his face nearly into the portal, his legs moving him with much more drive than he was accustomed to. Laying a hand to the knob he turns and tugs and finds the Lowes special hanging loosely in his grip, the hinges torn from the frame while Hunter’s twelve year old sister gapes at him openly.

“Oh you are so going to get it for that!” Terra informs him then makes a dash for the thin stairwell, her hair bobbing around a face greatly similar to her mother’s.

“Terra!!” Alex shouts dropping the defunct door to try to catch her. His feet land neatly in front of her, making her veer to the left and run her shoulder into the wall. Stark stands shocked as he gauges that one jump to have covered at least twenty feet! If not more! “Did you see that!?!?!?” He coughs out to Terra. Her frown speaks volumes.

“Yeah big whoop,” she says tartly straightening the picture of Ben and May she had knocked akimbo. “You can jump real far. Get over yourself you bigheaded jerk! I have powers too!” She snaps moving past him with attitude and clomping down the flight of steps.

Alex turns slowly as his very sharp mind begins to process this as well. He was somehow magically inside of Hunter’s bod, that stupid gem having twisted reality to make what his blood had wished for come true. So following that course he, Alex Stark, the boy with no powers what-so-ever now was in the body of Red-Back, son of the spider and possessed of mutant powers off the friggin` scale!

“I AM MEGA POWERFUL!!!” Alexander hoots out loudly then trips back a step as Peter steps into view, his brown eyes latching onto his son pumping the air then gaping at his own appendages with glee.

“Oh yeah, you are all that and a box of Cocoa Puffs,” Pete states.” If your head will fit down the staircase, come and eat. Mom made one of your favorites!”

“Oh, uhm, sure Mister Parker,” Alex replies coming down the steps way faster than he had anticipated nearly falling into Peter who shimmies backwards to avoid the collision.

“Mister Parker? Wow, such formality,” Pete chides giving the boy a very odd look as Alex sputters out something about an untied shoelace. “Go help Terra set the table.”

“Set the table?” Alex asks shaking out an arm that seems to want to scratch his butt. He finds Spider-Man gazing at him even more oddly as they stand in the small living room which bore the signs of his and Hunter’s recent arrival, only now the broken coffee table had been cleaned up and there was a rather big hole where it should be.

“Yes, Hunter. Set-the-table. You know? Put a plate on each place mat so we don’t slobber food onto May’s prized oak table?” Peter explains then begins to study Alex intently.

“But, yeah, Jarvis sets the table,” Alexander says turning his head to see Terra glued into the doorway, her arms folded over her chest as she held silverware in her hands. Her brows are knitted as her sharp gaze moves over her brother.

“Well Jarvis doesn’t serve this family so looks like you’ll have to do it!”

Alexander gets a soft nudge from Peter that propels him into the cramped kitchen. He can feel Terra’s intent stare on him as he bobbles the four plates Mary-Jane hands him, dropping them loudly to the plastic placemats.

“Hunter, are you okay?” M-J inquires after getting a shrug of shoulders from her husband. “Hunter?”

“Huh? Oh! Yeah, sure! Sure, I’m just groovy Mrs., err, Mom!” Stark falls into Hunter’s chair dreading having to try to work six hands to eat with. Peter cocks a brow and sits down beside his son as his wife sets the baking dish full of steaming noodles on top of a large potholder, then takes her own seat across from Stark. Alex looks at the dish with a wrinkled nose.

“What is that?!” he asks pointing at the Corning ware dish and knocking over Peter’s glass which was thankfully empty as Terra is just now bringing the gallon milk jug to the table.

“It’s tuna helper, Hunter.” Mary-Jane states righting her husband’s glass.

“Canned tuna? From a box?” Alexander queries, his tone showing his revulsion. “Jarvis bakes our tuna, fresh from the market, in a light butter sauce then serves it over wild rice and…..” the boy clamps his mouth shut at the frigid look Mrs. Parker was beating him with.

“Yes, well I’m so very thrilled to hear how Jarvis prepares meals for the affluent on Park Avenue! But this young man is not the Stark household! This is our house which is located in Forest Hills and dinner from a box is what you get when your mother works all day!” Mary-Jane explains heatedly folding her arms over her breasts.

Alex nods silently making himself lift a fork and gather a huge mouthful on the shaking utensil, then shoving it into his mouth making yummy sounds while he tries to swallow down the tuna helper, praying it wouldn’t make him gag and hurl.

“Soooo. Boy, this sure smells mouthwatering snookums!” Peter interjects filling his plate then his brides while she shoots daggers at her son. “Anyone do anything exciting today? I had to jog over to the Bowery and snap some pictures. Seems there was some huge explosion at the foundry and some jokers claimed that Iron-Man and I had something to do wi……Hunter! Breath!” Peter shouts as Alex chokes on the nasty boxed noodles and cheese.

“I’d still like to know what happened to the living room,” M-J says after Peter beats a stuck noodle free from Alex’s windpipe.

“Why don’t you ask Hunter? I’ll bet he knows,” Terra adds then takes another forkful of dinner. Both parental gazes lock onto Alexander who has his glass of milk to his lips.

“Anything you want to tell us slick?” Peter asks suspiciously. Alex shakes his head, ratty brown hair falling over clearly innocent onyx eyes meet Pete’s over the milk glass. "Were you and Alex playing football inside again?”

“Oh yeah!” Alex pounces on that offering like a leopard would a wounded gazelle. Milk dribbles down his chin and a spare hand comes up to swipe it off onto his sleeve subconsciously. The arm drops with a thud when Mary-Jane cocks a brow at him. “Sorry. Uhm, yeah we were but I’ll pay for it from my trust fund.” Brows shoot to hairlines. “Allowance! Allowance I meant! Man, this sure is some killer grub mom but I ate too much at Stark’s today, and I, uhm, yeah. I’m full! So I think I’m just going to sonic myself upstairs and try to get a hold of Handy. Alex! <Snort> Yeah, Stark! That geek is really handy with tech crap and my, err, my MP is schizing out.”

“Oh-kay,” Mary-Jane says slowly placing her napkin over her thighs to protect her best navy skirt. “Don’t forget tonight is trash night,” she adds as her husband stares dumbfounded at the boy now on his feet. Alex stands in place giving her a blank look to rival Peter’s. “Empty the cans inside and then take them to the can outside. Then take that to the curb. Honestly Hunter what is wrong with you this evening!?”

“Nothing! Trash. Right. I’m so on the whole chore thing! Woo-wee!” Alex states with feigned enthusiasm as he barrels across the kitchen, running into the refrigerator on mutant powered legs. “Hee-hee. I am stoked for trash!” He hurries to grab the full bag from the ivory can in the kitchen then runs to the back door, getting a sleeve caught on the knob and struggling wildly for a moment as the family turn in their seats to watch as their noodles chill. Alex breaks free, grins widely then falls out the screen door.

“Peter,” Mary-Jane says still intent on the screen door which hangs from one hinge. ‘I think you need to have a talk with him. There must be a girl involved to make him act this odd!”

Terra sits with her fork caught between her teeth listening to her brother falling head over heels into the row of garbage cans while cursing Jarvis for not being here to attend to domestic duties. Something was up she knew, and she would bet all she owned it had nothing to do with a girl!
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 02:58 #8

Walk A Mile: Part Two

Hunter regains his befuddled senses to the sound of teen-age girls giggling near-by. <Ugh, must have fallen asleep watching that movie,> he thinks groggily, digging himself out of the deep cushions of an overstuffed sofa. He opens bleary eyes to see Guri and three of her friends standing over him with various make-up brushes, all grinning evilly. A heartbeat later, he realizes what is wrong with the image- he sees only ONE of each girl, his usual multi-view vision gone. It takes only a second before he shrieks in panic, rocketing up to sit ramrod straight on the soft leather Thomasville sectional. All four girls burst out cackling like crazed hyenas.

“Aw, he looks so cuuuute!” Giggles a tall, svelte brunette with a body that looks like it belongs on a twenty-year-old model, and a blonde with a generous bust and long legs leans toward him to cup his chin with one hand, smooshing his lips into a huge pucker. He glances down unconsciously, and flushes when he accidentally gets a peek down her shirt’s substantial cleavage.

“Gee, Guri, your brother makes such a pretty girl- we should’ve done his hair, too!” Laughs the third girl, a petite, voluptuous female with raven tresses done into a long braid, and emerald eyes.

<Brother?> Hunter wonders, mystified. Why were they all looking at HIM?! And what were they talking about?

Then Guri holds up a mirror in front of him with a wicked grin. Hunter looks at it, and the reflection it shows is that of the black-haired younger Stark, with blue eye shadow, a dusting of blush on his cheeks, and dark pink gloss on his lips. He screams like a wounded wildcat, jumping off the sofa and grabbing at the mirror frantically.

“Ohmygod-whatdidyoudotome? I mean- to-to-to…. Why do I look like…??!!” Hunter’s heart is beating wildly, as he tries to leap over the expensive glass coffee table, only to trip, and go crashing heavily into the frosted surface, smashing it. He yelps, shaking bits of glass out of his perfect Fifth Avenue hair-cut, and cuts himself on a shard.

Hunter hisses in pain, and holds up his hand to look at the huge piece of glass jammed in his palm. He yanks it out, and stares for a moment at the blood trickling from the wound. Only then does he realize that his spider-sense didn’t warn him of the obvious danger. All the color drains from his face, and he gasps for air, suddenly hyperventilating.

“What happened?!” He yells, scrambling to his feet amid crunching glass; he looks at the girls, who have stopped laughing and are eying him strangely now. “Wha-?” He can’t even form the words anymore, just stands there with his jaw gaping. Finally, it hits him like a ton of bricks. <The gem- I wished I had Alex’s life, and…. Oh. My. God… I’m in HIS body!!>

“Um, little brother, are you done spazzing out now? Geez, Alex, it was just a practical joke!!” Guri’s pretty features wrinkle up in a look of mild annoyance.

He stares at her blankly, then finally answers. “Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry. I just, uh, was having a bad dream and you girls scared me when you woke me up!” He sputters weakly.

“Uh-huh. You’re really weird, Stark!” Says the brunette. Hunter fishes in his memory for her name- Jennifer, he thinks. The shorter girl is Lindsey, if memory serves. Then he looks at the large-busted blonde, and wonders if she’s the Gloria Alex mentioned. <Man, they’re so HOT!!> he reflects, getting distinctly warm under Alex’s Hugo shirt. He glances down at himself, and suddenly realizes that he no longer looks like a freak-of-the-week contender.

Hunter decides it’s time to beat a hasty retreat, so he dashes off to Alex’s room, almost colliding with Jarvis carrying a huge laundry basket full of the Starks’ dry-cleaning along the way. “Sorry, Jarv!” he squeaks out, still not used to maneuvering without his spider-sense to help him avoid mishaps. He finally makes it to the safe haven of his bud’s room, and breathes a sigh of relief.

“Whoo-boy. THAT was close. Okay, Parker, just think. There’s got to be a good explanation for this.” He snorts. “Yeah, like that stupid gem just stuck me in Stark’s bod. Great- now what?” He thinks for a moment, then looks up at the ceiling. He tries to jump up to touch it, knowing he thinks better up-side-down, but only manages a hop that falls far short of his usual easy acrobatics. He can’t even jump high enough to cling to the ceiling? “Oh, crap. No powers! What the heck am I supposed to do now?!?!” He starts to pace, and reflexively reaches into a pocket for one of his puzzle toys, before he remembers that he’s in the wrong clothes, AND the wrong body.

Hunter pauses, then glances around for something to occupy his perpetually nervous hands while he mulls over this latest dilemma. He spots Alex’s portable game console, and turns it on while he flops down on the bed. He still hasn’t gotten used to only having two hands to work things, and it is several seconds before he realizes that he can’t operate the game and scratch at the slightly itchy sweater at the same time as he would if he were still in his own skin.

“Geez, Alex, what the heck do you see in this expensive stuff? It itches like nobody’s business! What’s it made of?” He yanks it off, checking the label with eyes that squint at the tiny print. His normally sharp eyes don’t seem to function as they should, and he wonders if Alex is near-sighted, since he had to hold it up close to read it. “Angora hair? Geez, I’m wearing a friggin rabbit- no wonder I feel like I’ve got fleas!”

Then he glances down at his- or rather Alex’s slim frame again, and notices something that completely floors him. Instead of his “double-navel” as he has always called it, he sees just one. No spinneret “outtie”, the one trait he has always felt most embarrassed by.

“Whoa. I’m like, completely normal!” He rushes over to the mirror over Alex’s dresser, tripping on the discarded sweater on the floor, and stares at the young but still good-looking face and chest that gazes back at him with perfectly ordinary blue eyes. “Wow, so this is what it’s like to have a normal life? Cool!”

Then a thought hits him- if he’s in Alex’s body, what happened to his own?

“Holy- I gotta call home! He’s probably stuck in MY bod, and freaking out!!” He makes a dive for Stark’s cell, and frantically punches in the number for his house, waiting impatiently for an answer from his own phone.

Finally, after three rings, he gets a response. “Alex- is that you?!” He blurts out impatiently.

“Excuse me? Aren’t YOU Alex?” Comes Terra’s familiar voice. He stares at the cell for a second, confused.

“Oh, right! I meant this is Alex! Terra, what are you doing with my- er, Hunter’s cell? Where is he? I gotta talk to him, like- NOW!”

“Oh, he’s taking out the trash. Hang on, here he comes!” There is a slamming noise in the background, then something like a crash, and a yelp from his own voice, before he hears his own familiar tones, somehow sounding different from the outside.

“Yo, blood! Z’at you?!” Alex blurts excitedly from the other end.

“Yeah, dude. Man, what happened?! We totally switched bodies!!”

Alex laughs from the other cell. “Yeah, way kickin’, eh? Blood, your powers are so awesome!!”

Hunter sighs. “Come ON, Stark!! Get serious. What are we going to do? We can’t just STAY like this!!”

“Why not? You DID say you wanted a life like mine, and I’ve always wanted to see what it was like to have REAL powers! Anyway, what’s the worst that-”

“DON’T say it, Al- you KNOW that’s just asking for the Parker Luck to kick you in the-” He stops, then looks over at the mirror again. To have a normal life….

“Hold on, I’ve got a nosy sister giving me the fish-eye. Let me find someplace a little more PRIVATE.” Alex says from the other end. Hunter hears a brief scuffle and muffled protests from- himself? Along with it comes the sound of Terra’s annoyed voice raised in that familiar “I-know-you’re-up-to-something” tone. Finally, Alex comes back on.

“Man, your sister is a nuisance! Had to climb up onto the roof and lock the attic door to get rid of her!” Parker/Alex complains.

“Yeah, well at least you didn’t get a beauty make-over in your sleep, blood!” Hunter gripes, wiping off pink lip-gloss on his sleeve.

“Ugh, Guri is so immature for being older than us.” Comes the agreement from Alex.

“You said it, man. So how do we get back?” Hunter asks.

“Why do we have to? Why not just stay like this for a while? I mean, you DO still have the gem, right?”

Hunter searches his pockets, and finds the large yellow stone. “Yeah, so what?”

“So, what say we, you know, try it out? You get to live it up on Park Avenue, and I get to see what it’s like to REALLY swing!! Come on blood- it’s the chance of a lifetime!!” Alex wheedles.

Hunter thinks for several long seconds. “Well…. Okay, but only for a little while. We both have school tomorrow, so how about we try it for one day, and see how things go? If we like it, maybe we could keep the switch for a while.” <I just KNOW I’m going to regret this,> he thinks to himself, even though he really wants to know what it’s like to walk around as a normal person, without all the stares and whispers.

“Deal!” Alex says emphatically, and they set a time to talk again the next evening before hanging up. Hunter sighs again, and cautiously goes back out into the living room on his way to the kitchen, passing Guri and her friends on the way. He tosses a glance at the girls, and notices the green-eyed girl, Lindsey, giving him a little smile. He gives a hesitant wave, then goes into the kitchen, grinning to himself. <Maybe this won’t be so bad…> he muses.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

08 Sep 2012, 04:03 #9

Metal & Red-Walk a Mile…….Issue #3

Alexander slips Hunter’s cell into his front pocket mostly by feel since his arms were beginning to work along some sort of sensible path, well three were at the moment. Looking at the world through Handy’s eyes though? It had him feeling slightly nauseous trying to ascertain which of the many images his mind was getting through the onyx compound eyes was the true picture. Casting those unique eyes upward he sees Forest Hills in a whole new way, marveling as he sits atop the Parker home at how his blood can do how he does. A hand reaches up to swipe at some of those errant brown locks as he decides to give this new body a small test.

“Just like dad says, sometimes you have to run before you can walk. Well, something like that,” he mutters coming to his sneakers to balance gingerly on the roof. The small chirp of a sound moves across his brain, something similar to a pulse that makes him whip his head around with an anxious look. Nothing behind him besides a chimney that…..” Whoa,” Alex whispers, realizing this buzzing annoyance inside his cranium was that wicked spider sense warning him not about the chimney but the proximity of his feet to the edge of the second story roof.

“This-is-bestial!” He smiles moving along the very edge of the shingles, his mind buzzing loudly yet his balance was perfection. Not once, in the entire circumference of the Parker’s whole house, did he teeter or lumber off balance. Heck in his old body he had trouble coming down the steps! Tripping over his feet that had grown three sizes in the last year or falling into his mother as his thin legs tangled by themselves in Tiffany’s sending both him and her into the glass display case.

Bending down to hunker on the roof he scans the ground below, blinking his eyes to try to get a clearer picture. Then he simply closes those obsidian eyes and free falls, flipping over as his head rings loudly and then nimbly catching the window ledge of the bathroom window with one mutant powered hand. And there he hangs, smiling like the cat that not only got the canary but the entire aviary!

“Wicked beyond measure,” Alex utters swinging his legs up and over the open window, accidentally knocking through the screen as he enters with a gust. “Oops.” Fumbling some he finds the ripped screen still in its frame and heaves it out the window onto the roof. The creak of the door opening behind him makes the young man spin around, looking guiltier than a toddler with their hand in the cookie jar.

“Sorry slim!” Peter says rapidly as his son reaches behind his lean back with two hands to slam the window closed while crossing the other four across his chest. “Are you cold?”

“Yeah! Brrrrr!” Alex shivers rubbing his arms, all of them, to show Peter his chill was deep. Alex grins hopefully at the man letting the softening of his ‘sense’ reassure him. Mister Parker wasn’t onto him, yet. For if either one of their dad’s found out they had that gem and had been mucking around ending up in movies and bringing killer aliens back only to blow up foundries…….They would not see the light of day until they were like, ancient! Thirty at least! ”What?” he asks when Peter snaps his fingers in front of his oddly sighted eyes.

“I said ‘Were-you-taking-a shower-now?’”

“Oh yeah! Yeah. Man I’m beat!” Alex yawns widely while stretching out six arms. He hurries to catch the bottle of perfume one of these danged appendages knocked off the small shelf over the toilet.”<Snort> I’m so beat I’m like all thumbs! Heh!”

“Oh-kay then,” Peter replies turning some, then stopping to give the boy another firm look and then finally leaving while shaking his head softly. Once the door closes Alexander places the perfume back gently, pleased when his hands all come into a unity of motion. He decides to leap into the shower, dash back to Hunt’s room and maybe see if he could scare up one certain Red-Back costume. There was no way he was slipping to sheets at eight at night when there was a whole city to swing through!

The spigots turn with speed and it takes a second to get them turned down to his desired heat, but he does then turns from the shower stall to peel his shirt off. Tossing the well-worn tee to the carpet he chances a look down at his chest because, hey, maybe Hunter had some chest hair he had been nixing about and…the shriek of horror that wails out of him is higher than a Stark male should be.

“Gross!” He chokes into the palm of a hand that had whipped up to cover his mouth. Alex finds his reflection in the round mirror over the sink, Hunter’s reflection that is, then makes himself peer down over the bare lean chest to take another peek. Tentatively he ever so s-l-o-w-l-y brings an index finger to his mid-section then pokes the spinneret’s under his, Hunter’s, navel. They twitch some, releasing some fine silk and he rockets himself backwards across the bathroom, yelling loudly as his back crashes into the door, webbing stuck to his finger like glue.

His mind is terror-stricken and his breathing is labored as he tries to swallow down the shame that suddenly rockets through him. What a nasty oddity Alex thinks, instantly feeling terrible since Hunter was his best bud. Blood through and through, but seriously! No wonder Hunt would swim with a tank top on in their pool whenever Guri was there! Yeah, he knew Handy was major emo over this second navel but when he was Alex, well he was still Alex he pants rubbing the webbing off on his pant leg. When he was himself he just didn’t get it. Heck he had even ribbed Hunt about it he recalls with remorse. He swears he will never ride his blood about this again!

A firm knock on the door jars him back from his shock a bit, enough to squeak out a ‘What!?’ at the knocker.

“Hunter? Are you okay in there? I thought I heard you fall in the shower!”

“Nah mom, <pant>, I’m cool,” he pants out as the room fills with steam. “I’m, I, <pant> just tripped! Doh!” Ah man Stark that was so lame he frowns. With the back of his still twitchy head resting on the door he listens intently for Mary-Jane outside.

“Tripped? You’re pretty clumsy today, Hunter. Maybe I should check you for a fever or someth…”

“NO! No! I just, there’s a lot on my mind mom! Do not come in here!!!” He heaves out willing his lungs to quit chuffing like a steam train on a steep incline. Another moment ticks off as he prays to whoever will listen to him then Mrs. Parker mutters something to herself before moving off. Alexander nearly collapses to the floor with relief. The shower still runs so he hurries to undress while carefully avoiding touching those spinnerets. There were some things a dude in another dude’s body should not tamper with and those were one of them!


Alexander sits cross-legged on Hunter’s bed in a pair of lounging pants and a dark red tank top, staring blankly at Peter who is finishing up ‘The Talk’ about young men and young ladies and how he, as his dad and a man, understood certain ‘drives’ and what they could lead a young man to do. Alex nods at the right places, Peter nods along with his son. When Alex feels his mind cannot possibly absorb anything else on this mortifying subject Peter slaps his thin shoulder, rises and cautions him to be more discreet.

“Doh-kay,” Alexander murmurs falling to his back in utter humiliation as his, Hunter’s, door closes with a quiet click. “That was too bizarre for words,” he grunts staring at the ceilings. “Blood, I pray my old man spares you that discussion.” Gathering himself mentally he slips from the twin bed to wrench open the closet door.

A fast movement of a hand has the switch on and Alexander stares openly and with much joy at his buddy’s spandex. Smiling softly he finds the red and black suit and tugs it from the hanger, stepping without incident over the plethora of small puzzles that litter the closet floor. Holding the suit up he admires the costume getting slightly giddy with anticipation when his warning chime sounds off with a ping. He spins around to find Terra in the portal accessing him with sharp and very clever eyes.

“Are you going out tonight as Red-Back, Alexander?” She inquires of him with her hands planted on her hips. His jaw drops for a second then he snaps it tightly closed. How would Hunter handle this he wonders as she raises a dark red brow at him.

“You’re mental,” is the very best his very bright brain can conjure up and he berates himself for his lack of lying ability. Alex shoves past her to stalk to the bed and toss Hunter’s costume across the thin summer blanket.

“Am I? Come on Alex I am not stupid!” Terra spits grabbing a right arm and tugging it soundly. He whips her one good hard glare as he shakes free.” Look, maybe you can fool mom and dad. Maybe they’ll buy all the crap you’ve been feeding them, but I know better! Now either you admit to me what’s going on or I march to that door,” she flings a finger out to point at said door,” And I tell dad to call Mister Stark. I’m betting it wouldn’t take long for them to get the truth out of you and my brother! So what’s it going to be?”

Alexander studies her closely. She looked so much like Mrs. Parker it wasn’t funny, with sparkling green eyes, a spattering of freckles over her nose and soft red hair that was still damp from her shower. She actually was kind of cute, you know, for a twelve year old girl without any boobs to speak of. What the!? Stark you sick dog, he gasps inwardly as she gives him quite the odd look. Alexander takes her by her left arm and pulls her down to sit beside him on the edge of the bed.

“Listen, if I tell you what’s kicking you have got to swear on your father’s life that it never gets out of this room. I mean it Terra!” Alexander whispers firmly. She smiles then, a smile that says she knew there was something major happening! A very smug smile that then quickly changes to one much less worthy of his scorn.

“I promise,” she replies in a conspirators rustle leaning her head closer to her brother’s ragged reddish brown one. “You are Alexander aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” he confirms her suspicions. Terra wants to hoot at her cleverness but she tips her head slightly instead to look deeply into Hunter’s dark eyes. “It’s really complicated and super serious that this is kept like S.H.I.E.L.D. secret. You ever heard of the Reality gem?” He asks moving closer so they could talk without chance of being heard. It takes him a few minutes to relay what’s been going on with him and Handy but when he eventually wraps up the story she gapes at him openly.

“And now you’re going out to swing in Hunter’s body, in Hunter’s costume, and possibly get my brother’s body beaten to a pulp or have some serious web-slinging accident just because you can?” Terra queries of him point blank. That was one thing about Terra Parker, she didn’t pull any punches with him just because of his wealth or last name. Alex wouldn’t mind if she did once in awhile though since when she put it like that his plans did sound very egocentric. “I want to go with you,” she suddenly adds and Alex tugs his head back from hers to stare at her in shock. “You heard me Alex. Don’t try to make up some stupid reason why I can’t. I have powers, ones that I’ve been learning to use which is much more than you have! Also I can help you out if you get too deep in the muck.”

“No,” Alex states flatly coming to his bare feet to look down on the redhead scowling up at him.” You’re just a girl who…..”

That was a bad opening line Stark, he chastises himself as she rockets to her small feet and wags a finger directly in his face, making these funky eyes delirious trying to focus on it. “You listen to me Alexander Steven Stark! Don’t you dare say that to me! Your mother would skin you alive if you talked down to me or any other girl! Now as I see it we do this as a team or I go talk to my dad. Time’s up. You make the call Stark!” Terra growls as he actually takes a step back. Damn he frowns, she had him good and boy did she know it! He shakes his head rather impressed with how intelligent and brave Hunter’s little sister was.

“Okay, we go as a team. Shake?” Alex inquires offering her three hands to choose from. Terra grins up at her brother, Alexander, and slaps her palm into his.

“Give me ten minutes to say goodnight and stuff my blanket to make it look like me! Then meet me on the roof!” she whispers running to the door then coming to a halt before she turns the knob. “You re not too big of a jerk. For being a Stark and all,” she taunts then bolts from his room.

“You’re not too bad for being a snot-nosed little sister either,” he comments then turns desirous eyes to the red and black suit with the spider across it. ”This is going to be off the scale of grandeur!” he smiles then begins to suit up.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 01:49 #10

“Walk a Mile: Part 4”

Hunter finds himself fumbling in the kitchen while looking for munchies to feed his seemingly endless appetite, when it suddenly occurs to him that for once, he’s not even hungry. He pauses with his head in the refrigerator, trying to decide between a piece of left-over cheesecake, and a small tub of orange crème yogurt, wondering why he’s even concerned with food at all. Apparently this body doesn’t need as much.

<Man, I really gotta get used to this,> he tells himself with a deep sigh. He knows he thinks better on a full tank, but just can’t seem to muster an appetite. He’s still contemplating the pros and cons of a more normal metabolism when a voice startles him out of his reverie.

“Alexander Steven Stark! Are you going to get something, or just stand there all night with the door wide open? And why are you eating this close to dinner, anyway? You know Jarvis has a salmon in the oven!” He whirls, at first wondering why his spider-sense didn’t warn him of someone’s approach, before he remembers that he doesn’t have it in Alex’s bod. He looks up at Mrs. Stark sheepishly.

“Oh- sorry, Mrs.- Mom. I just wanted a light snack. I guess it can wait, though.” He closes the door and shrugs.

Karrie looks down at him with an amused gleam in her eyes, and smiles. “Well, I guess you ARE a growing boy. But honestly, where do you men put it all? I’d kill to be able to eat like a man and still weigh this much!”

He leaves the kitchen, wandering past the giggling pack of girls again, his eyes open for another look from that pretty brunette. The girls all stop talking when he goes by, staring at him oddly. Then he realizes that he still has on the make-up they had plastered him with. <Aww, man! Why didn’t Mrs. Stark say something- I totally forgot!> He makes a hasty retreat to the bathroom to wash it off, then slinks back to Alex’s room, to play a new VR game they had been testing from Stark’s game department.

<Man, it so rocks to have cool stuff like this whenever you want- Alex doesn’t know how good he’s got it!> He thinks enviously.

He plays for a while, until he hears a knock on the door. “Hey, Nerd-o! Dinner’s ready!” Guri shouts, and he reluctantly sets it aside to eat, dreading having dinner with Alex’s family.

In the large, extravagant dining room, He finds the mahogany table set with a set of fine china and silverware, more suited to a five-star restaurant than any home-cooked meal he’s ever had. Jarvis is calmly setting out the evening’s cuisine, which only reminds him just how much better his friend’s family lives. He eats in silence, while the rest of the Starks discuss their day, with most of the talk revolving around Tony’s company, and the odd call from the police earlier in the day about a steel-mill explosion.

“Alex! I said- do you know anything about that?” He asks pointedly. “There seems to be some- and I hope this is just a bizarre coincidence- evidence that a certain metal suit was involved. Care to explain, son?”

“Huh? Oh!! Right- no, not really. I mean- maybe it was one of those weird time-space anomalies, you know, like Dr. Doom using a temporal platform to mess with the time-stream, or something?” He looks over at the elder Stark hopefully, praying he buys the excuse. Tony gives him a long look, cool blue eyes narrowed, then gives a little frown.

“I see. So Heavy Metal had nothing to do with it?” He asks archly. Hunter is sweating bullets, suddenly thinking he’s dead for sure- lying has never been a Parker’s forte.

Hunter looks him straight in the eye. “I can honestly say I was never in the suit, sir.” Which is technically true, since it was Alex in the suit, in his own body, and not Hunter.

“Good enough, I suppose. I know you would never lie to my face, son.”

Suddenly Hunter feels a horrible wave of guilt, since he’s done just that. He finishes the rest of his meal, suddenly discovering that he’s lost what appetite he might have had, then trudges off to his bud’s room again. <Geez- that really sucked. I hate lying, but what was I supposed to do? Tell him we were mucking around with that stupid gem?> He fishes in his pocket for it, and sets it on a table by Alex’s bed. He putters around the huge room for a while, then finally decides he needs a hot shower after all the weirdness of the past day. He’s padding softly down the hall to the executive-sized bathroom, towel in hand, when he hears Tony and Karrie in the living room talking.

“Tony, give him a break! He’s a teen-aged boy, and I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for what happened.” This from Mrs. Stark, who seems to be trying to convince her husband of Alex’s innocence.

“Like what, exactly? Just how many black and silver armor suits do you think there are in this city, Karrie? I’ve already ruled out someone stealing one of mine, and Rhody’s not even in town right now. So what’s left? I hate to think he would ever lie to us, but what other explanation is there?”

“Maybe it’s just like he said- some alter-reality slip or something. It’s not like that sort of thing hasn’t happened before.”

There’s a long pause from Stark. “I don’t know, maybe you’re right, but in that case, what if it happens again? Next time could be worse!”

“Just be glad it wasn’t another Stamford.” Karrie says calmly. Hunter slowly backs away back down the hallway toward the bathroom, feeling even worse than before. <Great. We really #%@&#036;ed that up. Wonder what Dad’ll do if he finds out what we did…. We are SO dead.>

Hunter sighs, then opens the bathroom door. And stops dead, as blue eyes meet startled brown ones, and Guri screams bloody murder. Hunter gapes at the blonde Asgardian girl standing in the middle of the bathroom with nothing but a towel wrapped around her hair, her bare body having obviously begun to acquire some very womanly curves. He drops the towel, mouth gaping open like a fish out of water.

“ALEX!!! Getoutgetoutgetout!!!” She screams, grabbing the nearest object off the marble counter-top- which happens to be a bottle of Chanel- and throws it at him. Hunter is too stunned at the sight of his blood’s naked sibling to do anything but stare. Without his spider-sense to warn him, he is an easy target. The bottle smacks into his chest, and shatters, drenching him in perfume, while glass shards tinkle to the floor like glittering confetti. At last his sense of self-preservation kicks in, just as she reaches for another missile- this time a full can of hair-spray- and chunks it at him with a feral yell.

“Hey! Chill, will ya?! I’m sorry!!” Hunter yelps as the can pegs him in the shoulder while he’s turning tail. He retreats down the hall, his flight punctuated by the loud slam of the bathroom door behind him. He finally makes it back to Alex’s room, still dripping with the perfume, which is starting to run down inside his clothes in sticky streams. He reeks of Chanel, and a quick glance at the mirror over his dresser shows that his face and neck are redder than a bottle of Heinz. “Aw, man, blood- this is SOO suckerific.”

A few minutes later he hears Guri stomping angrily down the hall to her own room, yelling loudly about teen-aged perverts, and waits a good long time before he finally pokes his head cautiously out of Alex’s door, then makes a mad dash for the bathroom- again nearly tripping over Jarvis along the way- to wash off the drying perfume. By the time he comes out, Tony is standing there with an expectant look on his stern face.

“Care to tell me what that was all about?” Stark asks.

Hunter sighs. “I’m just having a really BAD day…” he says simply, and stalks back to the safety of his blood’s room without another word.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 01:58 #11

Walk a mile….Issue #5

Alexander Steven Stark is a smart boy, a very smart boy. He constructed a robotic cat at the age of eight then went on to build his beloved suit Heavy Metal at the age of ten. (Both accomplishments completed by himself from only scrap from his father’s very advanced workshop.) He has lived a life that others dream of…homes on every continent, vacations spent on the Riviera or safaris to Wakanda, every possible need attended to, every want fulfilled with ease due to the fortune his parents have. And yet there has always been one thing that the son of one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world has always yearned for. One thing his doting parents cannot give him. Powers like most his comrades have.

Hanging off the smooth glass window of his father’s office in Avengers Tower thirty-seven stories over Manhattan Alexander has finally gotten his wish. And man does it feel good!!

“Yeah, thanks ever so much for waiting for me!” Terra snarls as she finally scales the edifice to linger beside him.

“Sorry,” Alex mumbles trying to get her aligned in his sight. She wasn’t the wall-crawler Hunter was mainly due to her being younger and a girl. She had talents in other fields though that more than compensated. “I guess once I got the hang of it I kind of forgot you were along Terr.”

“Sure, yeah,” she scowls playfully,” I’ve heard that lame excuse before! So what now?”

“Can we just hang?” Alex inquires thwipping a fast line across the street just for the sheer hell of it. His aim is getting better with the shooters he sees happily. The trip over here from the Parker house had left his body, or Hunter’s body, covered with bruises. Running face first into a wall tends to teach you real fast how to judge distance even with buggy eyes! “Just for a minute or two, then we’ll see if we can find some ne’er-do-wells who need some, what?”

Her giggle brings his roaming head back to stare at the girl in the blue and white costume. “Ne’er-do-wells? Honestly Stark if I didn’t know better I’d think you went to some boarding school! Why don’t you?” Terra asks pinning him with sharp green eyes as he scrabbles back and forth across the glass panes like a monkey. “I mean don’t all rich kids go to snooty-snoot boarding schools?”

“Not Tony Stark’s children,” he responds moving down to place his back to the thick pane, his feet tight to the glass as four hands hold him tightly in place. “My dad, he has this thing about boarding schools. His dad sent him to one to ‘Whip him into shape’ as my grandfather said. He hated it there, being away from his mother. Plus my mom wanted us to be normal and not spoiled so we hit the public school system.”

“It didn’t work.”

“What didn’t?” Alex queries, looking with confusion at the young redhead beside him.

“Public school making you normal,” Terra snorts breaking into girlish giggles at the frown on her brother’s face. “You just used ne’er-do-well in a sentence!”

Alexander chuckles behind the mask a bit. “Touché. Blame that one on growing up with a British butler.”

“I’ll keep that drawback in mind when we hire our next domestic,” Terra laughs reaching over to swat her brother on the arm. “Dork,” she adds.

Alex ignores the jibe since suddenly his forehead is chiming like an alarm clock. Not a moment passes when down below the two hear tires squealing and look down to witness a dark car running over the curb, then racing back into traffic. Alexander whips a fast look at Terra who nods but once.

Alex slips two arms around the girl’s lean waist, fires a line to the opposing building and launches himself. Terra clings tightly to Alexander as they swing out widely to clear the skyscraper with ease. Alex has learned quickly that if he just allows his instincts to take over he does much better with the acrobatics. Over-thinking, as his father was want to say, sometimes just gets a man into hot water.
Stark isn’t sure if his father’s words were meant to warn him about engaging villains and hoodlums or if they were about women. He’d have to ask he reminds himself, snugging Terra closer to him as they whip downward, their feet skimming over the tops of moving cars. Both teens breathing hard yet they both manage to squeal out their pleasure when Alex flips from his web line landing with smooth grace on top of the dark car.

That is until whoever is inside decides to open fire.

“Damn ne’er-do-wells!” Terra shrieks leaping from the moving car’s roof to its trunk. Alex jumps to the hood and covers the windshield with webbing. Shouts come from inside the vehicle as it veers sharply to the left crashing into motorist’s who attempt to avoid the collisions, the sticky webs catching the bullets being fired at the thin youth on the hood.

“Yikes!” Alex yelps as his head jangles loudly. A round explodes from a handgun, the gunman now firing out the front passenger window. He drops quickly and the shot misses just as the car slams into the side of a passing taxicab. Terra holds on the best she can as metal grinding against metal fills the air. Then she pulls a large swell of power from the streetlights that race by overhead. She forms a large ball of crackling voltage and flings it through the rear window.

Alexander leaps from the hood back to the roof knowing this had to stop before someone was killed. He goes with the first thing that comes to him and covers the street ahead of them with a huge spider-web. Shots and screams echo from inside the car and Alex jumps from the sedan, grabbing Terra as he passes, right before the car runs into the gummy barrier.

It stops with enough force to slam the hoods inside frontward then slings back some, the lines vibrating with a two-ton Ford fly caught neatly in a silken web. Alexander bobbles his landing and rolls to the right to avoid an oncoming white coupe. Both kids roll with muttered grunts into the hard cement curb, Alex working at getting his back to take the majority of the impact. The back of his head crashes into the cement curb and he hisses out a nasty expletive as Terra hurries to remove her body from atop his.

Coming to Hunter’s ebony boots slowly Alex scans the car in the huge web, his forehead still ringing out a warning. Terra looks up at Stark then darts after the speedy lad to help remove the stunned men from the sedan. The white coupe skids to a fast halt and the driver’s side door flings open.

A low growl comes from the muscular man as he watches Red-Back rip a car door off with ease then reach inside to tug a bloody man out. Another kid is doing likewise on the other side he notes with aggravation, the girl using a small fist to a bulbous nose to drop the large black male. He hurries to lift his cell and snap off at least six good shots before the wail of police sirens sends him back into his vehicle with haste. He texts a fast note to accompany the e-mail he hurries to send to Jameson at the Bugle then Brock speeds from the scene already plotting with that gruff voice in his head.

When the N.Y.P.D. finally manage to get through the bottle-neck of cars this way and that across the road they find the four bank robbers they had lost in pursuit neatly webbed and hanging from a burnt-out streetlight. A barely legible note is stuck to the forehead of the unconscious black man with a gob of webbing that reads…..’Compliments of your friendly neighborhood Red-Back!’


“That was just bestial in its enormity!” Alexander hoots to Terra in a low whisper as they climb into Hunter’s open bedroom window. “Owwwww!!!” he spits at the crack she delivers to the back of his sweaty head. “What was that for!?” He asks wondering why he didn’t duck at the small jingle in his frontal lobe. Her face is a study in feminine anger as she rips her mask off and flings it roughly at his face.

“You just had to leave that stupid note didn’t you! You just couldn’t come along when I told you too! God for someone who’s supposed to be SO smart you’re just a huge testosterone-drunk stupid boy!!!!” She snarls wanting to slap him again but he has all six arms up, well five since one was tugging his mask off to rub the impact spot, in a defensive position. “You do realize that now dad will know we were out right?!”

“Uhm,” Alex stammers dully. “I thought all Parker’s left notes. Isn’t that why Handy carries a pad and pencil?”

Terra gapes up at him in the cool moonlight. “You-are-a-moron!” the fiery redhead grinds out in a very hushed tone before storming, as quietly as possible, to his door. “Stupid boys!” She hisses from behind her matted down scarlet tresses then slips out to leave Alexander standing alone in Hunter’s room with a sore head and a massive over-dose of adrenaline.

“It was still bestial,” he mumbles softly as his stomach begins to protest its lack of food within the past twelve hours. Alex ate in small snippets at home usually and that sufficed. Now he finds he was starving and only the two boxes of chocolate chip cookies Mrs. Parker had brought home would do. Padding to the bedroom door he listens to his brain, hears no bells or whistles, then leaps from wall to wall down to the kitchen, all the while wondering if Terra was prone to over-reacting. Women did at times according to his father, and his father should know so he shifts it from his mind.

The following morning Alexander wakes up to the solid slam of his bedroom door, Hunter’s door that is and he springs up in bed. Reddish-brown hair poking out in various directions and black eyes nearly gummed shut with sleep he finds Peter in the portal holding what looked very much like a wadded up early edition of the Bugle and a very, very angry countenance.

Alexander Steven Stark then questions exactly how much his super intelligent and worldly father did know about over-reacting females.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 02:09 #12

“Walk a Mile….” Part Six

Hunter wakes up the next morning, wondering for a moment why he’s curled up in Alex’s bed, and why in the world can’t he see properly? Then he remembers the switch from the night before. “Oh, right.” He tells himself, feet thudding to the soft Berber carpet as he tosses off the 1200 count linen sheets and gets out of bed. His vision still seems off, not nearly as acute as he is used to. He finds himself wondering if this is normal, or if his bud needs glasses. Maybe he should ask him about it later, he reminds himself with a fast mental note.

The morning routine of teeth-brushing, hair-brushing, and dressing seems to take forever, since he has to do it with only two hands, and each task one at a time instead of all at once like he’s used to doing. <Man, how do normal people live like this?> he wonders. He stares at Alex’s reflection in the mirror, at the blue eyes, and wonders what it would be like to REALLY be like everyone else- and in his own body, instead of a borrowed one. <What color would my eyes be?> He asks himself.

But wearing his best bud’s skin is the next best thing to having a normal one of his own, so he shrugs it off and goes to the dining room for breakfast. He passes Guri along the way, who gives him a dirty look. “I’m really sorry about walking in on you, Guri,” he says quietly. “I didn’t know you were in there.”

“Next time, knock, you little-” she seethes, then glances over at him and sees his hurt expression. She pauses. “Yeah, I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later- can’t have this many people under one roof and not expect to run into somebody once in a while,” she sighs. “Just don’t let it happen again, little bro, or I’ll have to punch your lights out!”

He glances over at her, and relaxes when he sees that she’s grinning. He realizes she was joking- maybe. “Heh, sure, Guru! Besides, who’d want to look at YOUR scrawny butt?!” He says, dancing out of the way as she takes a playful swing at him. <Besides maybe me,> he thinks to himself, remembering the way the sight of her had made him…. He gives his head a mental shake. <Okay, Parker- that’s just wrong. She’s older, and she’s your blood’s sister, for the love of little kittens!>

“Oh, you’re SO dead, Nerd-face!” She exclaims, and rushes after him as he high-tails it for the dining room. But Hunter has forgotten his lack of powers, and Guri’s Asgardian strength and reflexes, and she catches him easily, just as he bursts through the doors, almost tumbling into Jarvis with the breakfast tray of croissants, cheese, eggs Benedict, and bacon. There is a pitcher of fresh orange juice on the table, coffee for Tony and Karrie, and a plate of fresh fruits on the table.

Hunter stares at the food, his stomach growling. He sits down and dives into a plate piled high. Then he sees Tony reading the morning copy of the Bugle, and his jaw drops. Guri chooses that moment to tag him on the arm. “What the-!?!” He yelps, partly from Guri’s punch in the arm, and partly from the headline.

“Spider-Menaces Terrorize Mid-Town!” The headline screams. Hunter stares for a long minute at the blaring words on the page, a forkful of eggs hovering in front of his still gaping jaw.

“D- Dad?” He says hesitantly. “C- Can I see that?”

Tony glances over at him, then shrugs and hands over the paper. “Alright, son. But first, is there anything you want to tell me about yesterday? Something you want to get off your chest, maybe?” He waits patiently, while Mrs. Stark sets down her coffee with a look of disapproval.

“Tony, is this necessary? If Alex says he doesn’t know anything, then why can’t you just let it go?”

“Because I’m not entirely sure he’s not hiding something. And when I find out what’s really going on here, I have a feeling someone’s going to have a lot of apologizing and explaining to do!”

Hunter meets the elder Stark’s eyes, and his face goes white. <&#036;#%&. We are SOO busted…> Two pairs of blue eyes meet in a stare-down, and it is Hunter who looks away first. “No, sir. Nothing to tell. We were watching a movie.” <Yeah, never mind that we were IN it,> he amends to himself.

“I see. Well, it looks like at least one of you has been up to more than just watching movies. I wouldn’t try calling the Parkers for a while, I have an idea that Hunter won’t be allowed any calls for a while after last night.”

He tosses Hunter the paper, and the Parker-in-Stark’s-clothing grabs it quickly and reads over the story. <WHAT?! What was Al thinking?! He could have gotten me killed! Stupid, stupid, stupid!!> He rants inwardly. Then he hears Karrie telling him that it’s time for school. <School? But I don’t even know what classes Alex is taking- how can I go to school?> Then Jarvis hands him a backpack, and Guri urges him to finish eating so they can walk to school. He sucks down the rest of his breakfast and grabs the backpack, following Guri as they leave.

Several minutes and one bus ride later, Hunter stands in front of a large school building, staring up uneasily. He still has no idea what classes he’s supposed to be going to, or even where they are. Then he sees Guri meeting up with the girls from the day before, and chances a quick smile at the blonde, who is looking his way. Then he hears a bell, and a familiar voice calls to him from the steps. He looks around, and sees Hack and Peanut waving at him.

“Come on, Stark! We’re going to be late for Chemistry! Gloria can light MY Bunsen burner ANY day!” Hack leers. Peanut laughs, and Hunter gives them a weak grin and follows the two in. <When in doubt…> he muses.

Several minutes later, a confused Parker steps into the chemistry lab and classroom slowly, taking in his surroundings with awe. <So this is what a normal school is like,> he thinks, looking around at all the other students preparing for the day to begin. He glances around, wondering where to sit, when Hack grabs him by the arm.

“Dude, aren’t you going to sit? Or did you plan on standing up for the whole class?” A chorus of snickers greets the comment, and Hunter shrugs.

“Psst- where’s my seat, dude?” He whispers to Alex’s bud, leaning in close so no one else can hear his inane question. The other boy just stares at him in disbelief.

“Stark, what’s your trip? You got amnesia or something? It’s right there behind me, where it always is!”

“Oh- right.” Hunter gives him an embarrassed shrug, and sits down. Then he sees the gorgeous blonde from before. Male eyes all over the room follow her as she crosses the room to sit- right beside Hunter!!

Peanut leans forward from behind him to whisper in his ear “I’d give anything to be her chair…” he glances over at her tight pink sweater and short skirt with a leer. “Or better yet, her sweater…”

Hunter shakes his head in disgust at the lewd comment, and pushes Peanut’s head back. “Ugh, that’s so disgusting, dude!” Then he takes a fast glance over at the girl. <Then again, I can see his point,> he amends to himself, before he catches himself staring. She looks over and sees him gawking, and rolls her eyes. Hunter blushes, looking away quickly.

He leans close to Hack. “Hey, is that Gloria? The hot cheerleader?” He whispers softly.

The lanky teen turns in his chair, his mouth hanging open. “Duh, dude. Come on, Richie Rich, like you’ve seen her every day for the past three months! What’s with you today?!”

Hunter does a fast backpedal. “Hey, sorry, I’m just not feeling like myself today, ya’ know? Maybe she did something different with her hair?”

Hack glances over at Gloria. “Nope. Same as always. Totally hot.”

Hunter sighs in exasperation. “Maybe it’s her make-up, or maybe her uh, boobs got bigger?”

“Nope, and definitely nope. I’d have noticed THAT. Man, you really ARE spazzing today, Stark.”

Hunter finally sighs. “Yeah, guess so.”

The rest of the class passes quietly, as the teacher drones on about valences and atomic mass and moles, while Hunter scribbles advanced chemical equations idly in his notebook, or rather, Alex’s. He glances down, and notices that the handwriting is different from Stark’s. <Guess that proves we really switched,> he ponders, then the teacher is speaking loudly, and he gets a poke from Peanut.

“Huh?” He looks up, and sees the teacher staring at him expectantly.

“I asked you to solve the equation, Alex- if you can stop daydreaming long enough to join the rest of us?”

“Uh, okay, sure.” Titters of laughter follow him up to the board, and he takes a fast look at the chemical compound written on it. He frowns.

“Something wrong, Alexander? Are you going to solve the problem?” The teacher sounds impatient.

“Not like this, I can’t.” he replies. “You’ve got the molecules in the wrong place- the NHO3 should be over here attached to the S2HC4, or all you get is a nasty explosion.” He erases the equation and rewrites the entire thing, along with the solution, and puts the chalk back down, to the amazement of the teacher and everyone else. He suddenly looks up, noticing the silence, and goes back to his chair, embarrassed again. <Man, I’ve got to stop doing that- they’re going to think I’m a total dweeb…>

Hack leans back to stare at him “Yo, Stark- I didn’t know you were that good at the Chem thing! I thought it was just tech stuff.”

“Um, Yeah, about that…” He begins, but then the bell starts to ring, and everyone is scrambling to get to their next classes. He shuffles out with all the rest, and accidentally bumps into someone at the door, still having trouble controlling his best bud’s feet. “Oops. My bad…” He says, looking to see who he jostled. It’s the blonde girl, Gloria. He blushes.

“Hey, that was pretty impressive, Alex. That’s the first time all year I’ve seen Mr. Hayworth speechless- you should show him up more often!” She smiles, and Hunter’s knees turn to jelly. “Do you think maybe you could help me with my homework later? Over lunch?” Another smile; this one could melt an iceberg. He nods mutely, his jaw hanging at his feet. “Great! See you then, Stark! Bye!” She flashes him a wink, and he feels a flutter in his chest. He stares long after her golden hair disappears into the crowd.

“Dude, did you just score lunch with GLORIA?!” Hack says, awed. Peanut claps him on the back, shaking him roughly.

“Yo, Stark- you DOG!” he leers.

“Oh boy- I think I’m in trouble….” Hunter mutters, wondering how he’s going to explain that he has a lunch date with Alex’s crush. And in Stark’s own body, no less….
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 02:32 #13

Walk a mile………Issue #7


Alexander sits abruptly and without a single word, his right knee bumping into Terra’s left as his bottom sags in the couch that once was May’s. He turns his head slightly to try and find Hunt’s sister amid the many images. Her frown was deep as were the furrows on her brow and Alex sighs before turning his wild haired noggin back towards Mister Parker.

Peter begins to pace the living room; his wife sits primly with her hands in her lap studying her son intently. Alex shifts his vision from the look of disappointment he sees on Mary-Jane’s face. Man but he had hosed things up monumentally!
“Hunter,” Peter begins stopping in his circling to find his son humped up on the sofa chewing his bottom lip as opposed to fidgeting with something as he usually is. “Would you like to tell me just what the hell this is all about?”

Alex shuffles Hunter’s bare feet over the thinning carpet trying to come up with some excuse that would sound feasible. Terra slams her knee into his soundly and he brings black eyes to Peter. “It was, just a kind of whim? No!” Alex flings four arms up rapidly at the narrowing of Pete’s brown eyes. “It wasn’t a whim per say, more like I just felt, trapped. You know? I have all these powers and yet can’t use them. I just wanted to, I don’t know, use them.”

“For good!” Terra chimes up then falls in on herself when Peter cocks a brow at her. “Well it was for good,” she mutters under a tangle of sleep tousled red hair.
Mary-Jane leans forward slightly and takes her sons hand in hers. “Hunter, look at me okay?”

Alex forces his onyx orbs upward, then wishes he hadn’t because Mrs. Parker had the exact same look in her green eyes that his mother would get in her blue ones when she was disillusioned with him. He would much rather face his dad down any day as opposed to seeing his failure reflected back at him.

“Hunter your dad and I understand, we truly do,” M-J tells him as she squeezes his fingers. “It must be very difficult for a young man to want to do what his body is capable of. But baby, this sort of flamboyancy, well it just isn’t like you. Were concerned that you might be struggling with puberty and…”

“Oh mom, please don’t go there!” Alex groans out tugging his hand from Mary-Jane’s. “It’s not anything like that! I was stupid, I know that.”

“That’s an understatement,” Peter interjects as he patrols the living room. “Well Mary-Jane it was!” He comments at her quick sharp look. “Son, I’m not sure exactly what’s been up with you of late. Mary-Jane, it’s my turn now. Hunter, your mother and I are here for you and your sister, anytime day or night. But son, we can’t help you through this if you won’t confide in us!”

Alex finds the floor suddenly fascinating, hoping to not have to reply to Mister Parker for a second or two. He needed time to think because the walls were closing in and he was, it was, things were…

“I just feel like there’s two people in my head lately!” Alex blurts out. Heck it was nothing but the truth and the truth shall set your free. Right? Peter appearing before him startles him from the perusal of the carpeting and he gets pinned by Pete’s concerned stare.

“Son,” Peter says on a long breath out as he squats in front of his boy,” I can really relate to where your head is. Heck Hunter I battle with that every single day, since I was bitten anyway. There’s this side of me that wants to show the world who I am and what I can do! Then there’s a side that wants to hide what it is I’ve become. Buddy, it’s a real stew-pot, but it gets easier to meld the two together when you get older. You just can’t act so irresponsibly. Dig me?”

“Dad, that’s like not even said by old people anymore,” Terra whispers then drops back into silence.

“Well it should be!” Peter grumbles then runs a hand through his hair, making his and his son’s coiffure’s similar. “So you get that I get what you’re going through, right?”

Alexander nods amazed really that the Parker’s were being this cool about it. If his old man knew he had Metal’d up and went out to kick rumps…..well his dad was different than Hunter’s, he knows. “So like this is all cool then?” Alex inquires tenderly. Peter arches a dark brow before he rises with the paper still in his hand.

“Cool? Well sure it’ll be cool after the month you’re grounded ends. Terra, you get to do the same time as your brother since you committed the same crime,” Spider-Man informs them. Gasps and declarations of unjust and unfair treatment explode from the two kids. “End-of-discussion. School, home, chores, homework. That’s your life for thirty days.”

“But dad! I have to go to Stark’s this afternoon!!” Alex sputters leaping to his bare feet with more gusto than he was accustomed to, his leap nearly sending him over the back of the sofa.

“Tough cookies,” Pete states over his shoulder as he heads to the kitchen. “Should have thought of that before you went out to strut your stuff Joe Peacock!”

“Can he come over here?” Alex calls out imploringly.

“Negatory!” Peter shouts from the kitchen. Stark turns puppy eyes to Mary-Jane. “Mom, come on! It’s uber important that Stark and I hook today!”

She shakes her head as she comes from the recliner, tugging her belt tighter around her robed waist. “Sorry Hunter but I agree with the punishment your dad handed down.”

“Thank you!” Resounds from the kitchen and M. J. gives both her children a warm yet firm look then leaves them alone to join her husband. Terra huffs mightily beside him he hears.

“I thought you were supposed to be smart Stark!” she hisses quietly. “I hope you’re happy you big dumb jerk!” she adds before stomping up the steps to slam her bedroom door. Twice.

“Oh yeah, I’m just cosmic with glee!” Alexander mutters under his breath as he drags Hunter’s grounded bod upstairs to get ready for school. He should at least be able to manage that without making a mess of things Alex hopes.


Xavier’s School for Gifted Children, Alexander reads the placard of neatly engraved lettering beside the massive front door for the seventeenth time. This is where he had arrived via the teleportation matrix on his wristband. Handy owned one exactly like this and they used them to port back and forth to each other’s houses.

“This is going to be so not good,” Alex mutters around the only pen cap he could find in Hunt’s backpack. He sucks it up and trudges through the solid oak portal wondering what to do with the other four clammy hands that aren’t crammed into the pockets of his black jeans. “Strangle yourself Stark that would be an option.”

“Hey, I’ve been calling you forever! Thought those spider-ears would have heard me!” Alex trips over his foot as some girl jogs up beside him, flicking his right ear soundly. “Wow, I actually pegged you! That’s got to be a first!”

“Oh uhm, yeah,” Alex comments swearing he would pay closer mind to the ringing in his forehead. “So, sure, like, how’s it going?” He asks the girl. Does he know her? Has he met her at Hunter’s? Why is she looking at him like that?

Elaine walks alongside him keeping her gaze on his profile, well what she can see of it since he was all slumped down and his hair was more frenzied than usual. He was still cute though she thinks feeling her cheeks tint some. “Oh you know, SSDD. So did you study for the mid-term Scott’s tossing us this morning?”
“Guess you don’t read the morning paper,” Alex mumbles.

“What?” Elaine asks bending her head some to try to peek under the hair. “You shouldn’t have any trouble with it though, since it’s chemistry. Hey, are you coming into class?” Elaine asks as Alex continues to pad along. He stops shortly and concentrates on focusing his funky eyes on Elaine as she waits.

“Oh yeah, sure. Chem. Can’t wait!” Alexander replies dragging Hunter’s high-tops along as if he were heading to the gallows. Which in a way he was since chemistry was not his strong point. Handy’s yes, his, no. He managed alright with it but his love was history and technology. Alex skids to a halt just inside the door when his classmates turn to smile, or wave, or call out good natured taunts. Out of the entire humongous class he knew Robbie, Adam Summers and Rhianna Wilson. Oh crap where the blue-blazes did he even sit?!

There were kids here who he literally has to force himself not to stare at. Over in the middle sat a kid who was enormous and looked like some silver-backed ape! Alex starts when a strong hand slaps on his lean shoulder, his head cranks around to see Cyclops behind him.

“Plan on taking your seat, Hunter?” Scott inquires. Alex nods mutely as his stomach rumbles loudly in a mixture of hunger and terror. His mouth is too dry to make any saliva to swallow down to help curb his groaning gut. Man, he had eaten four bowls of Cookie Crisp not an hour ago! ‘Sometime today?” Cyke adds before steering the lad to the one empty seat remaining.

Alex falls into the seat chomping wildly on the blue Bic pen cap. Gadget, or Robbie as he knows him best nudges him in the side as Summers, Scott that was, closes the door with a finality Alexander winces at.

“I hate to say this but you look like dung buddy,” Robbie whispers.

“Thanks, same back at you,” Alex counters quickly chucking his backpack under the desk with enough force to rock his seat. He smiles stupidly at Summers, Adam this time, as the son of Cable turns from his conversation with Rhianna. Some other girl snickers behind her hand and, did she have a tail?! “Uhm, you got a cell Rob?” Alex asks keeping his stunned black eyes on Whisker.

“Yeah. Hello? Do I ever leave home without one?” Robbie inquires slipping Alex his sleek phone which Stark immediately hides under his desk. Oh sweet, Alex snarls internally, texting was fun with umpteen digits! He works at calling his own number to relay the news of the grounding and how they would have to meet somewhere on the sly since he was in fact grounded, well Hunter was the one, oh @#@!# this was getting more….

“Cell’s off Mister Parker,” Scott warns stepping past him as a copy of the chemistry exam flutters down on the top of his desk. Alex sighs, slips the phone into his back pocket, crosses Hunter’s lean chest and flips the stack of stapled papers over. Oh crap, he moans mentally. Sorry, blood!


Alex is the first to propel his body through the door. He dashes around some dude with a hurried apology then slinks off to a corner, Robbie’s cell already out of his rear pocket. Gadget and Elaine both exchange looks of bewilderment before they hurry to catch up with Parker.

When his message finally gets through Alexander rolls the nearly flattened pen cap around to the other side of his mouth, ignoring the two teens who linger beside him. When Hunt’s reply comes back Alex grimaces, fumbles some in his next text to offer another apology to his best then lifts his worried face to Robbie. “They don’t make us do Danger Room exercises, do they?”

“No,” Gadget answers slowly giving Elaine a very odd look at the windy sigh of relief Hunter expels. “You know they don’t until we’re, what?” Robbie asks when Alexander curses richly at the message now running across Rob’s phone.

“No. Way.” Alex gasps reading the very angry and very pointed text Hunter just flung back at him. Okay Alex could understand Hunter being hot about being grounded, and that he had kind of splashed his picture on the cover of a stinking tabloid, and had fouled up his chemistry grade. But to inform him, his best pal, that not only was he going to have lunch with Gloria but if he could he would grab a kiss and tell him how it was, well that was just a shot to the family jewels! Alexander hurls the phone against the wall deciding if that was the way it was going to be then he could play the same game.

“You busy for lunch?” Alex asks Elaine, mainly because she was here and he had seen how she kept looking at him, Hunter, from under her lashes when she thought he didn’t see. She was crushing on Handy big time. Elaine shakes her head as her eyes grow wide with surprise. “Well you are now,” Alex informs her tartly.

When Alex slips one of six hands into hers to lead her down the hall at a fast pace her brows climb to her hairline, but she keeps her fingers around his giving Gadget a silly smile over her shoulder. Robbie stands amid the moving hordes of students slack-jawed over the loss of his jacked-up phone and the impact of what he just witnessed. Hunter and Elaine???? What the heck would happen next?!?
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 02:47 #14

“Metal and Red- Part Eight”

Two hours later, Hunter is jogging on the track in the blustery November wind, his- or Stark’s, he keeps reminding himself- coal-black hair blowing in his face. He’s huffing along, wondering how much longer Coach Williams is going to make them run in the cold. <Man, I’ve NEVER been this winded before!> He thinks, wishing he was in his own body. This would have been a breeze in his own skin, but no! He had to go and make a wish to trade places with Alex, and now he was stuck doing laps in forty-degree winds, and…. He looks up at the dark sky overhead, and feels the sting of the first icy drops. <And it’s starting to rain…> He finishes the thought glumly.

It had taken hacking into the school’s computer system to find Alex’s class schedule and a classroom layout of the school for the young Parker to find out where he was supposed to go after he’d left the Chem lab. And then he’d gotten a text from Alex saying he had gotten Hunter grounded, and bombed Hunter’s own Chemistry test besides. Wonderful.

Now the only thing he had to look forward to was lunch with the incredibly hot Gloria, assuming she didn’t stand him up. Still… He pushes himself to run harder, wondering how on earth Alex manages to make it through the day without passing out in such a weak, out-of-shape bod. It’s almost sad, really.

He finally hears the whistle to stop, and heads back toward the gym locker room with a heavy sigh of relief. For the first time in his life, he’s glad that he has powers, even if they DO make him stand out as a freak. <At least I can do laps without being reduced to a sweaty, out-of-breath wreck,> he thinks with an evil chuckle. <Let Alex stew on THIS!>

He gets dressed in the locker room, taking a moment to surreptitiously glance around at all the other guys, reveling in the fact that he looks no different from them, even if it is a borrowed carcass he’s tooling around in. One older kid with a bleached, spiky hair-cut and WAY too many muscles sees him looking, and speaks up with a sneer.

“What are YOU looking at, Stark? Little #*%!!” He spits, and suddenly every eye turns on him. Hunter gulps. This is no place to start a fight, especially in an awkward, under-developed bod like Alex’s. So he decides to turn the tables on the muscle-bound jock instead.

“I was just wondering where you keep your brains in that huge melon on your neck, but I guess they’re in the OTHER head; the one that can’t even hold your pants up- ‘Tiny’!” He retorts, his smirk daring the other boy to make a reply.

The jock glares back, and Hunter wonders if he might have made a mistake. He suddenly finds himself nose to nose with the bigger boy, but that’s nothing new. He’s been dealing with bullies and creeps like Gecko and his cronies all his life, and has years of training in hand-to-hand combat to back him up, even with an un-powered body. He levels a cool gaze at his opponent, sizing him up.

<Yeah, I can take him,> Parker decides; for all his bluster and over-sized physique, the other boy really has no idea how to fight against someone who has real experience. But apparently, the big lug doesn’t catch the warning look in the younger teen’s eyes, and he throws a fast punch at Hunter’s borrowed face. Even without his spider-sense, the Parker lad sees it coming a mile away. It’s in the boy’s body language, in the way he steps back just before his fist flies. Even without spider-enhanced reflexes, Hunter dodges the blow, causing the bully’s hand to slam into a locker behind him, bloodying it on the vents on the locker door. The jock yelps as he pulls it back, and Hunter grins, a gleam of victory in his cool blue eyes.

“My turn, jerk-off!” He sneers, and delivers a fast one-two to the moron’s chin and solar plexus. The fist punch dazes him, and the second knocks the wind out of the jock. He staggers back, even as a fight ring moves to surround the two. Hunter gloats. “See, not as wimpy as you thought, huh?”

“Stuck-up little rich snot-faced #%&#036;%&@!” The older boy snarls, wading back in. He rams Hunter backward into the locker, banging his head into the same door vents. The Parker boy lets out a curse of pain, but he’s had too many sessions of fight-training with Logan and Summers to give up after one bad hit. He lets the other bore into him, and simply drops beneath him, slipping out of the hold like a greased eel. While he’s down there, he decides to get in another good shot- this one to the family jewels. His opponent lets out a howl of pain that sounds more like a girl than any male voice. Hunter weaves back to his feet, snickering.

“Whaddaya know? You DO have nards, after all!” He quips, getting into the pure exhilaration of the bout. Just then, a harsh whistle blows, and the circle breaks apart as an irate older man in a sweatshirt and ball cap strides forward to break up the fight. Hunter quickly steps back away from his opponent, hands up in submission to the teacher’s authority.

“Who started this?!” Yells Coach Williams, glaring daggers at both boys. All eyes dart to the jock, and one kid pipes up- “Brent threw the first punch, Coach.”

“Is that so?” Asks the fuming teacher, his gaze whipping around to the informant. Several heads nod assent. He turns back to the two fighters, suddenly pinning Alex with a withering gaze. “And what were you doing, Alex?”

Hunter shrugs. “Defending myself.” He answers simply. Coach Williams looks from one to the other and back again, then turns to Brent.

“You- in my office. And then go see the nurse about that hand.” Hunter starts to turn away. “And you- Stark! I want to talk to you, too.” Hunter slumps, knowing he’s probably just gotten Alex in deep with his parents. Still, he concludes smugly, it was worth it for the looks of respect some of the others are flashing his way. Maybe he’s done Alex a favor…

It is an hour later when he finally manages to slip into the lunch line for “Mystery Meat Monday”. He looks down at the rather unappetizing fare the cook slops onto his tray, wrinkling his nose at it. His head throbs slightly from the lump forming on the back of it, courtesy of “Brent” and the locker room brawl. Not that it was much of a fight, he muses. For all his size and machismo, the other boy had caved pretty fast after that last hit.

Hunter moves away from the line, looking around to find a spot to sit, when he spots Hack waving at him from across the room. He crosses the cafeteria to join them, as they clear a space for him.

“Dude! I heard about your fight with that jerk-wad Brent. Man, football jocks are such losers!” Hack snorts, and Hunter tosses him a weak smile.

“Yeah, um, let’s just not talk about it, okay?” He replies. He plops down on the seat, and starts eating the- what the heck WAS this stuff anyway? The corn he recognizes- sort of- and those brown things might be beans, but the rest? He shrugs, and somehow manages to choke it down <Better than nothing,> he muses.
Peanut sees his disgusted face, and guffaws loudly. “What’s wrong, Stark, not rich enough for ya? Guess it’s not like all that fancy stuff you get at home. Then again, I’m not even sure a starving Ethiopian would eat this glop…”

At that moment Hunter feels a hand tapping his shoulder, and almost drops his fork in surprise. He never even noticed anyone behind him. <Stupid spider-sense. Where is it when I need it?> He fumes mentally, then turns around to look- right at a rather generous swell of pink sweater-covered bosom. He looks up quickly, blushing.

“Ugh, you guys are all alike! Why can’t anyone ever just look at my FACE?!” Carps Gloria. Hunter fumbles for an apology, but his tongue doesn’t seem to be working properly. He moves over to let her slide in next to him.

“I, uh, didn’t think you’d show,” he says after a moment. The other two boys just keep staring from their bud to the blonde and back again, unable to believe his luck.

“Well, I guess you’re not so bad, for a rich kid. Must be nice having everything you could want.”

Hunter hedges the question. “Yeah, sure. It’s great,” he says nervously. He stares down at his lunch again, wondering why he can take on Logan in the gym without batting an eye, but one look from a girl makes him go from zero to stupid at ludicrous speed.

“So, you said you’d help me with my homework, right?” She asks brightly, setting a thick book down on the table between them.

Hunter nods. <Man, I can’t believe she’s talking to me- She’d never give me a second look if I were still me…> He nods, and she opens it up and starts asking him questions about the day’s assignment. He soon gets into the tutorial with enthusiasm, explaining each equation in detail, along with how it works and what it would do. She seems impressed with his keen grasp of molecular compounds and atomic bonds, as he guides her through the steps with ease, his food forgotten. Before he realizes it, the bell is ringing for the next class, and he hurriedly scarfs down the rest of his lunch as Gloria- who he now knows is much more than just a pretty face- gets up to leave.

“Thanks, Alex. Maybe we can talk again sometime!” She says, and waves as she saunters off, her hips swaying and her golden tresses gleaming in the harsh glare of the cafeteria lights.

After a few moments, the others turn to him, looks of awed respect on their female-dazed faces. “Dude- she LIKES you…” mumbles Hack reverently.

“Man, you had her eating out of your hand, and all you could talk about was CHEMISTRY?!” Peanut asks in disbelief. “You REALLY need to get out more, dude.”
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491

Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 20:55

14 Sep 2012, 03:08 #15

“Walk a mile…” Issue #9

“Are you going to finish that?” Alexander asks Elaine, two hungry black eyes locked on her half a tuna melt sandwich and spattering of fries. She leans her head upon her left hand and shoves her food toward the bottomless pit that is Hunter Parker. “Fanks,” he mumbles with a mouthful. She exhales pointedly, blowing a strand of loose hair from her eyes. Curious glances move across the cafeteria. Elaine swears she can feel all the students here looking at her.

Another hearty sigh, another tuft of hair rising and falling as he keeps his red-brown head lowered making it easier to scoop massive quantities of food in with multiple appendages she knows. Fingernails begin to tap a beat on the table. Her tightening lips drag a small sip of chocolate milk through a thin straw. Tippity-tap, slurp, sigh. Tippity-tap, slurp, sigh. Tippity-tap, slurp, sigh.

“Hunter. Why did you invite me to sit with you over here alone in The corner?” she inquires as her fingernails increase in speed. Alex raises his head from the last of her fries.

“To eat?”

“To eat?” Elaine asks now beating a steady Lars Ulrich tempo out on the tabletop. If she heard one more titter behind her she was going to just, well, do something! “You know that no one eats at this table so why the……”

“Huh?” Alex asks ripping into the first of several bags of chocolate chip cookies he purchased. “What do they do if they don’t eat?” He wants to know, filling his mouth with rich deliciousness after posing his query.

“What do they do if they don’t eat?”

Alex nods, drains his fifth container of chocolate milk then drags a hand across his face to brush off the cookie crumbs. “You do know that answering questions with a question is a sign that you lack any sound or reasonable response to, wow, my head…” He mumbles wondering if spider-sense alerted you to hunger since he was still kind of…..

Elaine draws in a shuddering breath he hears over the din of so many students chattering at once. Was she going to eat that cup of pudding he wonders, shaking his head slightly right before the detonation engulfs him. He automatically dives to the right, four arms covering his head when her butter knife sails past the spot where Handy’s cranium had just been. Silence like a tomb falls as the rake of Elaine’s chair over the rich hardwood floor signals her hasty rise.

“You can be such a jerk Hunter!” Elaine hisses down at Alex as he peeks over the edge of the round table trying to get her aligned properly.

“You said you were done with the fries!” Alex sputters jerking back down when her fists ball at her sides.

“GAH!!!!” the young lady snarls exiting the cafeteria like a storm trooper, or maybe more like Vader himself Alexander thinks while still kneeling on the flooring. He peeks across the tabletop slowly as the thick double doors leading into the dining hall slam closed with great force. Yup, Alex concludes, she was Vader with a knot in his respirator line.

“What-the-hell?” Alex mutters sliding Hunter’s bottom back into his seat. He flinches involuntarily when Beast falls down into the seat to his left. To his right he spins his head to find Logan straddling the chair backwards while shaking that wild black head of his back and forth in remorse.

“Are you supposed to have beer in here?” Alexander inquires before thinking then shifts his chair closer to McCoy. He knew all about Wolverine. His father’s tales making Hunter’s heart slam into a gelatinous breastbone, or at least his bones suddenly felt that way.

“Are ya supposed ta be wise’n off ta teachers?” Logan snarls in reply. “I didn’t think so,” Wolverine comments taking a long pull after Alex whips his head back and forth with vigor. Alex nearly screams when Beast lays a blue furry arm around his shoulder.

“A mighty pain to love it is, and ‘tis a pain that pain to miss; but of all the pains, the greatest pain is to love, but love in vain.”

Stark moves his gaze from Beast back to Logan, his expression screaming ‘what the #&#036;%#’ at the Canadian.

“Yeah, thanks Hank,” Logan grunts rolling blue eyes to the ceiling, ”That was real, uhm, artsy. What Shakespeare there….”

“Actually that was Abraham Crowley, not the bard. Crowley was….”

“Whatever,” Logan interrupts with a wave of a Molson bottle. “I’ll translate it ta English Parker. See, this here table is kinda one the kids think we don’t know about since it’s kinda blocked when them doors are open.”

“Them doors? Don’t you mean those doors? Sorry!” Three hands slap across Hunter’s face.

“Are ya done interruptin’?”

“Perhaps if you actually spoke to the lad in English Logan it would alleviate Master Parker’s need to question the basic structure of your sentences. Certainly one cannot hope to convey such a delicate and erstwhile emotion as a maiden’s first love while falling back to colloquialisms interspersed with grunts and poorly timed belches. At least that has been my understanding of such things,” Hank tosses out with a wave of his left hand and a small sniff.

“Are you callin’ me stupid?” Logan growls slamming the empty green bottle soundly to the table as a wisp of fang shows under a raised lip.
“Stupid is as stupid does to quote Forrest Gump,” Henry fires back with a show of his own fangs.

Alexander leaps to his feet, sails over the table then sprints out of the cafeteria intent on saving Hunter’s skin when the two X-Men began the whup-down that was brewing.

“This place is insane!” He mutters as he races around fellow students until he runs into a dead-end corridor. His mind was stumped over Elaine’s reaction. Of course the very meaningful explanations that the two staff members had made had certainly cleared things up. NOT! Was everyone with an X gene mental? Stark wonders. He allows his blood’s lean back to connect with the nearest mahogany paneled wall and slides down to his butt, looping two arms over his confused head.

“That was pretty impressive Stark,” Alex hears Terra say softly. He mumbles something keeping Hunter’s weird eyes to the ceiling. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone screw things up so completely and in such a short amount of time.”

“Terra? Shut-up.”

“I should let you just suffer, but since you didn’t know about the make-out table it seems only….”

“The say-what’s-it now?!” Alexander gasps whipping his wide ebony eyes to the pert redhead sitting beside him in the hall. Terra nods her head turning to look at him with deep green eyes. Man Hunter was going to need a few more hands to beat the dudes away from his sister in a few, Whoa. Sicko time there Stark!

“Oh yeah, see the staff can’t see that table when the dining hall doors are open. So when a guy and a girl sit there, well it kind of means they’re a thing, you know? Then if they’re really a thing, they suck each other’s faces off.”

“Whoa!! Okay, first thing you shouldn’t even know about face sucking! Man, aren’t you still playing with like My Pretty Ponies and crap?!” Alex snaps leaping to his high tops in a flash. Now Elaine’s reaction made sense. He had to find her and… do what? He had no idea but he had to try to salvage something of his blood’s life. “Do you know where she….”

Terra’s redhead nods and she points down the long hallway. “She went out the front,” Terra informs Alex. He mutters a fast thanks and streaks off. “Yeah, you’re welcome,” she sighs crossing her legs Indian style while pondering how it was two years difference in ages could make Alexander not even see her as a girl at all and why that stung as much as it did.


Running as fast as Hunter’s legs will carry him Alexander contemplates why it is that Stark men seem to have to make H-U-G-E mistakes before seeing the errors in thinking that caused them. Maybe his mother was right when she would comment with dry humor that only an earth-shattering event could shake a Stark male from his pursuit of his immediate goal. Tunnel vision, she would say while giving his dad a soft peck, could sometimes lead you into an oncoming Acme delivery truck. He and his dad were coyotes at times he concedes. Beep-beep yourself road-runner.

Leaping over a net in the tennis courts with agile grace Alex scans the area hoping to catch a glimpse of her bright purple jacket, of a peek of her hair. Using eyes far more keen than his normal ones he catches the smallest shuffle of purple from behind the trunk of a massive oak. He clambers over the high fence that surrounds the tennis courts, drops with ease and pounds across an acre in no time flat. Elaine starts when he skids around her hiding area and then promptly sears him with a harsh scowl.

“Elaine,” Alex begins. The girl spins on the fallen leaves and acorns under their feet to leave. “Elaine! Please let me explain! I am SO sorry!! I mean, I just totally hazed the whole make-out table thing and what it meant to sit there.”

“Do you have any idea what that felt like, Hunter? To sit there and have people staring at me like I was some kind of pathetic loser?” She asks close to tears he can hear.

“Yeah,” Alexander admits,” Yeah, I can relate to that perfectly! Have you forgotten these?” He asks raising all six of Hunter’s arms while blinking Hunter’s odd eyes at her. “I get those looks every day Elaine! And man you’d think being the one to get the ‘Freakish loser’ gawk I’d be less inclined to make one of my best friends suffer through them. I really am sorry Elaine,” Alexander says laying a hand to her shoulder. “I’d never hurt you on purpose.”

Her angry scowl begins to soften some he sees. Her tightly knitted brows loosen as does her clenched jaw. “So our being there, it was just a dumb male oversight?”

Alex prods some acorns with the toe of Hunter’s black sneaker keeping his hand on her trim shoulder. He didn’t have a clue if Hunt had any feelings for this girl, Handy didn’t exactly spew his feelings out and Alex, in typical Stark tunnel vision, had never inquired. Man he had learned a ton in less than twenty-four. A cool wind ruffles tousled red-brown hair as he tries to word his answer well.

“Maybe someday we’ll be at that table, like as a couple, but right now I’m so trying to get the whole ‘Who is Hunter Parker?’ mystery solved I can’t think of having a girlfriend. I sure can use some friends though, since I seem to have the ‘Hunter Parker can be a fweeb!’ thing down pat.”

“Yeah, you sure do seem to have that aspect locked into a head-hold,” she replies with a touch of humor amid the sarcasm. “I guess I’ll hang around you then, just to make sure you don’t fweeb things up too badly.”

“Thanks,” Alex answers with a smile and soft squeeze to her shoulder. “Speaking of fweebs, can I borrow your cell to buzz Stark?” Elaine rolls her eyes before handing over her phone, getting a promise of no smashing from the lean mutant before cell touches male palm. Taking a moment to whip a text off to his blood Alexander then walks back to Xavier’s, Elaine at his side as she would be for years to come Stark hopes. A man could never have too many friends.
"Well, this is another fine myth you've gotten us into..."
-from "Myth Directions"

"Where Science ends, magic begins." -Spiral, Uncanny X-Men #491