Eddie could feel the anger welling up inside of himself as he looked at the pile of black goo squirming around on the other side of the glass. In the back of his mind, he acknowledged that this intense feeling was just filling in the space where someone else had taken up residence until only a few seconds ago. He had thought that getting his own body back would be a relief, but he had never felt more alone.
The black goo that Eddie could hardly believe was still Venom slammed itself against the glass doors in a futile attempt to get closer to him. Eddie closed the gap between the two, pointing an accusatory finger at the symbiote.
“You were killing me?” Eddie asked, his voice laced with disbelief.
“What happened to we, man?” his voice was harsh and low, cracking with the emotions that tore through him. “What happened to we?”
Getting impossibly closer to his former partner, Eddie found himself trying to find eyes to look into, to find any hint of remorse. The creature plastered itself to the opaque door separating them had never looked more alien to him.
“Yeah, look at you now,” he said as he turned away. “Now you’re dying too.”
All at once it became too much for him to handle. He had to get out of there, seeing Venom outside of himself pained him more than he would like to admit. Sparing one more glance at the pathetic looking symbiote, he felt his heart twinge, which only made him remember the damage that Venom had done to it. Venom had hurt him. Venom was killing him.
Eddie spun on his heel and made his way to the door, barely registering Anne calling after him.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Not even bothering to look at her, he responds, “Anywhere but here.”
He stormed out and felt very satisfied with himself when Anne let the door slam shut behind him and didn’t follow him out. Both hands flew to his chest as he struggled to get air in, suddenly feeling very hollow and empty. He rushed to find the exit, breathing a sigh of relief when he reached the doors of the elevator. However, things immediately began to go south as the doors opened, and Eddie found himself looking down the barrel of a high-tech tranquilizer gun in the hands of one of Carlton Drake’s cronies. For a split second while his brain was trying to register what was happening, he found him asking himself if tranquilizer guns even have barrels.
Before he had a chance to dwell on that thought for too long, one of Drake’s goons pulled the trigger and Eddie was thrown back, landing flat on his ass, looking down at the dart wedged into his chest. As his vision went dark, he had just enough time to wonder if Venom would be dead before he even woke up.
“Venom!” Eddie is suddenly awake, his symbiote the first thing on his mind. He was still feeling groggy as he took in his surroundings. While the metallic device that he found himself strapped to did not ring any bells, the glass holding cells and blue-green lighting did seem familiar. He realized he was at the Life Foundation lab where he met Venom.
‘Venom,’ he thought to himself, remembering the sad state that he left his other half in. ‘Other half? Christ, when did I become such a sap?’
The sounds of heavy boots echoing through the room tore Eddie from his thoughts, and he was immediately on high alert. The same goon that shot him earlier enters the cell that he woke up in, a smirk prominent on his face.
“You can kill me, ‘cause I’m dying anyway,” Eddie said, breaking the silence.
The goon leaned down to get into Eddie’s face. “I’m not just going to kill you,” he promised. “That wouldn’t be any fun.”
His eyes shone with complete hatred. “No, no, no, no, no. I’m going to rip your tongue out of your face- “
Eddie didn’t give him a chance to finish his threat, instead choosing that moment to headbutt the brute man standing before him.
“Whoo!” Eddie called out, the adrenaline coursing through his veins making him feel alive.
Before the larger man had time to retaliate, Carlton Drake appeared in the doorway of the cell, silencing his crony and stopping him in his tracks.
“Stop. You’re bleeding all over my lab. Go. Go!”
Eddie didn’t have time to feel too victorious as he immediately found himself face to face with the head honcho himself. Something about Drake seemed more sinister than the last time Eddie had seen him, but he attributed this to seeing exactly what went down in this creepy lab of his.
“Where is he?”
Eddie tried his best to stall Drake, as his brain was going a mile a minute trying to figure out how to escape, how to get back Venom.
‘No,’ he told himself. ‘Venom hurt you.’
“I don’t know. Even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you anyway,” Eddie started. “I don’t trust you, and you- You're insane.”
Drakes voice nearly oozed sarcasm. “That hurts. Long journey entry about that tonight.”
Eddie thought he was funny when he said, “I’m sorry,” but Drake kept talking right over him.
“You’re being dumb, Brock, I’m not insane. What’s insane is the way humans choose to live today. Think about it. All we do is take, take, take. It can’t go on. We brought the planet to the brink of extinction. We’re parasites. You’re a good example. All you do is take.”
Eddie felt his frown deepen, thoughts immediately turning to Venom. Was he the parasite? Was he the one latching onto people, draining them, ruining them, and then moving on to the next?
Drake continued by saying, “You took my symbiote,” and Eddie felt himself becoming irrationally pissed off thinking about someone else referring to Venom as theirs.
“You take pot shots at a great man trying to get something done.”
“Who?” Eddie mentally patted himself on the back for his clever little quip.
Drake was decidedly less amused. “Didn’t you take from the person you loved the most, who trusted you the most? That’s insane. What I’ve initiated is a whole new world – a new species. Man and symbiote, combined.”
Eddie knew that Drake meant Anne, but he couldn’t help but think of Venom instead. For all he knew, his other could already be dried up and dead on the floor of the MRI room. Eddie’s stomach twisted at the thought, and the hollow space in his chest ached. He felt empty. Maybe Drake would kill him quickly.
“Let me tell you something, buddy, alright? Just man to man. Because I have spent a significant amount of time, with one of these creatures up my ass. It’s not a lot of fun. And then, I find out that all along they’re killing you.”
“This is the last time that I’m asking you. Where is my symbiote?”
Eddie shrugged nonchalantly. “I have no idea.”
The last thing Eddie expected was for Drake to morph into a very familiar looking being, its fangs baring at him with saliva dripping down. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happened, and Eddie could hardly keep his shit together.
“Where is he?”
Eddie instinctively flinched. “Oh, my God.”
“Where is Venom?”
“That is the ugliest looking thing I have ever seen,” he rasped out.
When Eddie opened his eyes again, Drake was in front of him again. “You know, Brock, I have no use for you.”
As Drake walked out of the holding cell, he called out for his loyal goon. “Treece! Come and clean up your mess!”
Eddie could feel his heartbeat as it began to slow back down as his breathing returned to normal. A lot of the strange things that Drake had said began to make sense.
“Ohh, he has one up his ass, too.”
Treece returned to the room with a couple of other guards in tow. His gun hoisted casually up, far too close to Eddie’s face if he had anything to say about it. Treece signaled to the other two to release Eddie from the metal contraption that currently held him.
By the time they got out into the same woods that Eddie had used to his advantage the first time that he was escaping from the Life Foundation, he felt like there was no hope. No point in even trying to escape.
Dan probably thought he was a freak, Anne definitely thought he was a freak, and Venom was most likely dead. All he had to look forward to now was going to Hell for being in the same body as a creature who bit a person’s head off.
He wasn’t even sure if Heaven and Hell were real places, but he knew that whatever was waiting for him in the afterlife could not be good. He was no Carlton Drake bad, but he couldn’t think of too many good things that he had done. All of the bad things that were happening around him and to the people that he cared about were because of him.
His pride wouldn’t let him go down easily, though. Especially not to that dick, Treece. That bastard probably had the smuggest look on his face.
“What are you gonna do? You going to walk me to death?”
“Shut up,” came the unamused voice of Treece from behind him. “Not so tough without your friend.”
Eddie ignored this, he had to. He couldn’t afford to get distracted right now. He turns around, looking the guards in the eyes. Treece looks back at him, his firm glare unwavering.
“Did your momma not love you?”
Eddie lunged for Treece’s gun, but the goon was not caught quite so off guard this time and managed to yank it back and slam the butt of it down on the back of Eddie’s neck, causing him to crumple towards the floor.
Treece gave him no time to recover before kicking him in the side, effectively knocking him over. The other guards chuckled as Eddie pushed himself up to his knees.
Eddie put his hands up in mock surrender as he struggled to catch his breath. “I guess it pays to be a specialist, huh? It doesn’t matter if you kill me anyway, because there is something way bigger afoot in this world than you and me. Much bigger than me- “
Eddie’s eyes widened as one of the guards was whipped up and out of sight and into the branches of the trees above. The other guards didn’t appear to notice, and Eddie tried not to get his hopes up about who, or what, it might be.
“-and it’s much, much bigger than you.” This time Eddie allowed the side of his mouth to pull up into a half smile when the second guard got whooshed away.
Then he saw him. Her? Eddie wasn’t sure, but it didn’t matter. It was Venom. Alive.
“Karma’s a bitch,” Eddie all but whispered, feeling giddy.
Treece was arrogant when he began to respond. “I don’t believe in karma- “
He didn’t get the chance to say anything else before Venom spun him around and promptly bit his head clean off his shoulders.
Eddie was unsure if he ought to feel relieved or terrified at the sight of the creature in front of him. He settled for somewhere right in the middle.
“Hi, Eddie,” came a familiar, yet strange voice. He knew who it was, but he didn’t know whose body it was in. Presumedly some woman from the hospital.
“Whoa…” Eddie said, as Venom reached down for the front of his shirt and pulled him up to his feet, their face right in front of his.
And then Venom kissed him. Like, kissed him. After the initial shock of this action, Eddie found himself taken aback by his own lips responding. He felt Venom’s long tongue prod at his lips, and he granted it access. Eddie was practically choking on it, and he didn’t think he had ever been so turned on before in his whole life.
And then suddenly he felt something he worried he never would again, the sense of being so perfectly whole. Complete. Venom’s tongue began to shrink and pull out of his mouth. He backed away and opened his eyes to see Anne standing before him.
Her eyes were wide and frantic as she looked around at the scene before her. “Oh, no,” she whispered. “I just bit that guy’s head off.”
Eddie was still trying to make sense of what was happening but tried to focus on reassuring her. “I know, I know, I’ve been there too. It’s not fun.”
He felt his heart jump when he heard Venom’s voice in his head again, after thinking for so long that he never would. He could also feel Venom looking through his memories of their time apart, and he found the one of the other symbiote taking over Drake’s body.
The one with Drake is called Riot.
“Who is Riot?” Eddie wondered out loud.
Riot is what you would call a team leader. It has an arsenal of weapons.
“Drake’s got his own symbiote,” Eddie informed Anne.
They are unstoppable.
Anne sighed. “Oh, great.”
Eddie felt Venom give off a sense of urgency. We have got to go.
“Where are we going?”
Anne tried her best to keep up with the conversation based on the half that she could hear. “I’m coming with you.”
No! It’s going to get ugly.
“She can fight ugly, trust me.”
Anne nods. “Yeah, I can fight ugly.
Eddie felt the moment Venom took over. He’s sort of pissed that Venom wouldn’t let him make his own decisions, but at the same time, he was far too relieved to care.
Eddie saw as Venom looked down at her, and with a sense of finality said, “Not today,” before sprinting away, leaving a bewildered Anne behind.
Venom had almost forgotten what it felt like to be bonded with his perfect host. Being in that mangy mutt after being with Eddie was awful. Anne was okay, better than the dog, but no human could compare to his Eddie.
They could still hear the shrill noise that separated them in that awful room. Venom had tried to get back to Eddie. They tried so hard, but they could not find any way through the glass door that stood in their way. They had tried to speak to Eddie, shout to him, but Eddie could not hear them. Their bond was broken. Venom had been worried, and they hadn’t even known what worried was before Eddie.
Venom could tell that Eddie was displeased with them. Probably because they left Anne behind. Didn’t Eddie understand that they were protecting her? Did Eddie not understand how dangerous this was?
They did not like the feeling come from Eddie. Venom relinquished his control over their body so Eddie would not be mad at them. Venom just wanted them to be happy.
“God damn it, what the hell happened there? We just left Anne!” Eddie yelled at them.
It is not safe for her. If we do not stop Riot it will come back here with millions more of my kind.
“Millions?” he asked incredulously. “What? You were going to take the rocket, and then you were going to come back here with an invasion force? And then what were you going to do? You were going to go and feed on a whole planet?” Eddie was being very dramatic at that point. Of course that was the plan.
Yes! But it is different now, Eddie. I have decided to stay.
“Wow,” he said sarcastically.
On my planet, I am kind of a loser, like you. Venom confessed. But here, we could be more.
And we are beginning to like it here. Venom was not lying when they said this. They did not want to hurt Eddie, and if the planet was invaded then Eddie would surely die. Venom had grown very fond of their host, and they did not want a different one. Protecting Eddie was important to them.
“Oh, you like us now, do you?” Venom did not know why this was such a difficult concept for Eddie to grasp.
However, there will be nothing left to like if we do not stop that rocket.
“Oh, I see. When it comes to being completely annihilated then it is back to we.”
It is we. Like it or not, it is going to take both of us.
At that moment they had made it to the end of the woods, leading to a steep decline down, an expansive body water in the distance. Venom could see the rocket that Riot planned to board to take back to Klyntar on a platform stretching out into the water.
“Cut the bullshit,” Eddie said angerly. “What really made you change your mind?”
Venom spread itself out over Eddie’s skin, overtaking control of their body. Relishing the feeling of just how right it felt, their face broke out into a smile, revealing their sharp fang-like teeth.
“You. You did, Eddie.”
They briefly felt a warm sensation emanating from inside themself. It took Venom a second to realize that it came from Eddie. They liked it, it felt nice. Venom wanted to make Eddie feel that way more often.
Venom launched them off the edge of the hill, much to the chagrin of their host. They landed safely and broke out into a sprint towards the rocket and accompanying space stations that were in control of the spacecraft.
They had just made it to one of the buildings closest to the rocket when Riot smashed through the glass windows next to them.
‘Oh, Jesus!’ Eddie thought to the symbiote. Venom could feel their heart rate go up, but there wasn’t much they could do about it right then. ‘You can take this guy, right?’
“He has got shit you have never seen.”
Eddie was a bundle of nerves. ‘Wha- what does that mean? What are our chances?’
Despite the less than stellar situation that they were in, Venom hummed in appreciation at Eddie’s use of the word ‘we.’
“Hmm. Pretty much zero.”
‘Oh, fuck it. Well, let’s go save the planet.’ Venom could feel some pseudo-confident energy being sent to them from Eddie. They savored the feeling of Eddie opening himself up to working in tandem with them. Us.
Faintly, through the shattered windows of the main operation building Venom heard a mechanical voice say, “T minus four minutes.”
Fuck. Less time than they thought.
Venom jumped onto the metal supports of the platform over the water and flung them forward towards the powerful symbiote making its way to the spacecraft. Riot had a head start, but Venom was quickly closing the gap.
As soon as they had surpassed the other alien they smashed up through the pathway and got in Riot’s way.
“Venom. Get in the rocket.” Riot did not seem very surprised to see them.
What did surprise it was when Venom refuted their command. “No. We won’t let you destroy this world.”
Riot’s arm-like tendrils began to morph into something else as it rushed at Venom, slamming the blade shape down, barely missing their face.
After a few attacks back and forth Venom managed to shove Riot back down the pathway the way he came.
“You have a strong host,” Riot acknowledged. “But not strong enough.”
Venom was doing their best, but Riot was far stronger and had managed to get the upper hand. Claws sprang from its knuckles, and it dragged them across Venom’s face, pulling Venom away from Eddie
Venom thought it was all over. It was just a useless pile of goo. Venom needed Eddie, couldn’t do it without him.
Just as Riot unhinged its jaw and prepared to swallow Venom whole, Venom saw Eddie stir from where he had been flung to the side. He jumped towards them, reaching for Venom’s outstretched tendril that took all of their energy to form.
They merged back together, Venom in control again, and they slammed into Riot, knocking them both over. Riot’s claws were everywhere cutting through them both and they could see that both Eddie and the other human were becoming exposed.
Venom felt Eddie try to hold onto them, but Riot was absorbing them, becoming one hybrid symbiote. Venom could still see what was happening and tried to fight their way out, but they could not feel Eddie. Venom felt scared for their very fragile and pathetic human host
Riot was in control and jumped onto the side of the rocket. They began the ascent up it when a screeching noise reached their ears. Riots claws flew up and attempted to protect themself to no avail.
As the high-pitched noise got stronger Venom could feel them separating from Riot, and they tried to grab for Eddie, tried to keep them together, but all four beings fell from the rocket.
They slammed into the platform at the base of the spacecraft, the two symbiotes separating from their hosts. Venom fell farther away than Riot, and tried to climb up the legs of the support beam, but Riot was going faster.
Venom could hear a commotion come from where Eddie was, and then suddenly the other human fell off the side of it. Venom could see that Riot had managed to reach him before he fell, and they merged back together and propelled themself back up to the surface.
Just as Venom made it over the edge they heard Riot speak to Eddie. “You are nothing,” it said, and leaped for the rocket again, allowing Venom to see the large scythe-shaped blade jutting out from Eddie’s chest. Eddie collapsed to the ground facing Venom, seemingly reaching out from them before his muscles relaxed and the life began to fade from his eyes.
Venom had never been able to feel very strong emotions outside of a host previously, but the anger and fear that they felt in that moment was more intense than anything they had ever known before.
Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, they chanted as they went as fast as they could towards his body, but they weren’t moving fast enough.
It felt like an eternity before they made it onto Eddie’s hand. They would have to move quickly. The longer a person was dead the harder it was to heal it, and that was assuming that it was not already too late considering Eddie’s pending organ failure from earlier.
Venom never knew what it was like to blame themself for something before, it was not in their nature, the concept of guilt previously feeling useless and like a waste of time. But if Eddie were to die then, they knew that it would have been their fault. Why hadn’t they healed Eddie’s organs before? Why did they begin to eat them in the first place?
Venom crawled up Eddie’s hand, up to his arm and into his chest and they begin to go through to each damaged organ and repair them. They jumpstarted Eddie’s heart and forced blood to pump through their veins and then reached the lungs and forced them to work, making them breathe in and out.
Venom was able to feel the second Eddie opened his eyes. He was scared and confused, and Venom gathered up all of the relief and satisfaction that they felt and sent it to Eddie, trying to calm him down before completely covering him and taking over.
Venom ripped the blade out of their chest and released and horrid scream towards the sky. They were not going to let Riot get away with hurting Eddie. Venom shot up the side of the metal support beams next to the rocket and then vaulted off, smashing into the spacecraft.
Venom could see Riot through the window and smirked at it.
Though weak, Venom could feel Eddie push through to respond to Riot himself. “Have a nice life,” they said before shoving off the side of the rocket, blade still in hand. As they fell, they pierced through the metal of the projectile with the blade, dragging it down and tearing it apart.
The heat of the explosion was too much, and it took everything in Venom to protect Eddie, to keep Eddie safe. Venom knew that they were fading, but they had to make it through the fire, couldn’t let anything happen to Eddie. It was close, but Venom managed to hold their bond together long enough to make it out of the flames before releasing their host.
The last thing Venom saw before sinking into complete blackness was Eddie crashing into the waters below. Cold and alone, but safe.