"Where is it?" Anne asked the million dollar question.
Whatever the thing was, the black ooze blob that had moments before tried to choke him using Eddie, until Anne turned on the MRI machine, was suddenly gone. Dr Dan Lewis had no idea what to think of these events. It was beyond his scope of knowledge.
"I'm going to go and try and find Eddie." Anne said softly, placing a hand on his arm. He just nodded, watching her retreating form as the door to the lab closed.
He leaned against the nearby table and rubbed at his sore neck, remembering the look of regret on Eddie's face. He hoped she could convince him to come back, he wouldn't survive long with how his body was deteriorating. He looked into the now empty MRI wondering where the strange black parasite went. Little was he aware, it was alot closer than he expected. Not even a moment later he heard a sound from directly overhead at the air vent, and before he could react the black mass descended right on his head. He fought against it as it absorbed into his body, feeling horrified as the parasite vanished into him.
NOT A PARASITE!
Dan flinched as a voice growled loudly. He looked around for the source. "Who said that?"
It took Dan a second to realize that he was hearing the voice IN HIS HEAD. Dan's heart started pounding. Was the parasite talking to him?
I AM NOT A PARASITE! The voice growled even louder. I AM VENOM.
Dan rubbed at his temples, the ire from this strange voice, which sounded similar to his own but perhaps deeper, like he had gargled gravel. What the hell was going on? He looked around the lab to find answer, when he realized his reflection in the window of the radiation glass. It was not his own reflection, but something much different. Dark. Menacing. And a whole lot of teeth. Ok. Definitely not natural.
"If you're not a parasite, then just what the hell are you?" He asked it.
I AM SOMETHING MUCH MORE THAN WHAT YOU CAN COMPREHEND.
Dan scowled. "I'm a man of medical science. Why don't you try me? Cuz as far as I can tell, you ARE a parasite. And you were killing a good man."
Dan looked down at the computer in front of him, and wondered if he could turn on the scanner, and if the noise would be loud enough on this side of the glass to effect the creature inside him like it did Eddie. But before he could even think about moving, he found himself thrown into the chair, and the chair sliding against the far wall. What the? This thing aprently knew every thought in his head and control his every movement, because suddenly he found himself unable to move from the chair.
YOU ARE WRONG! I WAS NOT KILLING EDDIE. AND IF WE DO NOT HURRY HE WILL DIE!
Dan hesitated. For just a moment he felt a twinge of guilt, and as far as he knew it did not come from himself. He took a breath. "What do you mean he will die? From the damage? Or what?"
CARLTON DRAKE WILL FIND HIM AND KILL HIM WHEN HE REALIZES I AM NOT IN EDDIE!
"What does Carlton Drake want with Eddie?" Dan was confused now more than ever. Before he could get an answer, the door swung open and Anne entered.
"Dan, are you still in here? I couldn't find...." Her voice trailed off when she took notice of her boyfriend sitting ramrod stiff in a desk chair against the wall. Before she could ask what was wrong with him, she noticed a strange shimmer in his eyes. It was a flash but definitely something inhuman. "Oh God."
Dan noticed that the voice seemed almost overjoyed at the sight of his girlfriend. "Stay away from her!" He shouted.
WE WILL NOT HURT ANNIE. BUT IF WE DO NOT HURRY THAT WILL BE IRRELEVANT. WHEN CARLTON DRAKE REALIZES I AM NO LONGER WITH EDDIE HE WILL KILL HIM AND THEN GO AFTER EVERYONE EDDIE KNOWS TO FIND ME.
"First Eddie, now Dan. What are you doing?" She asked softly, closing the door and slowly approaching them. "Are you planning on eating him from the inside too?"
"That's what I'm trying to find out." Dan said, voice rather thin at the same time the voice in his head shouted vehemently.
NO! WE CAN FIX EDDIE. I CAN HEAL HIM WHEN I GET BACK TO HIM!
"Wait, you can?" Dan's curiosity was suddenly piqued. "Wait, back to what you said before, what does Carlton Drake want with Eddie?"
"Carlton Drake?" Anne was confused. She obviously missed a lot in the short minutes she'd left the room. Venom eased up on his hold on Dan against the chair, allowing him to reach out for his girlfriend.
WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS. IF WE DO NOT HURRY IT WILL BE TOO LATE!
Dan scowled at the growling voice in his head that only he could hear.
"Considering this is my body, we really don't have any real reason to believe you that Eddie is in any danger." Dan crossed his head, looking at his not-reflection which gave a menacing glare in return, teeth bared. Suddenly Dan saw a memory, not one of his own, but maybe Eddie's?
*A group of men dressed all in black had guns pointed at him. A bald man approached.
'I'm going to need Mr Drake's property back.'
Being reasonable, he held his hands up.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU ARE MAKING US LOOK BAD!
'Where's the bug?'
I WILL DEAL WITH THIS MYSELF!
The men fired their taser guns at him and he found his body fighting off the assailants off effortlessly.
"What the??" Dan shouted as the memory stopped and another one played, this one being chased by more mysterious men while riding his motorcycle. Gun fire and bombs exploding around him, causing him to shout out as it faded.
"Dan, sweetie? Are you ok?" Anne asked as Dan seemed to have lost his balance.
"Eddie's in trouble. We have to go, now."
Anne didn't understand what happened to make Dan change his mind, but she would get the answer soon enough..
They had to find a way to get to the Life foundation and fast. The roads were still a mess, and now Dan knew why. Anne's car wouldn't be able to get thru alot of the traffic, but he knew a way to get traffic to work with them. The hard part would be convincing the EMT's to let him take the ambulance without additional assistance. But considering most of the crew were busy handling the large influx of casualties, and his seniority, it turned out alot easier than anticipated. He also had to pull a couple favors as well, but if it would save Eddie he'd do anything short of actually STEALING the ambulance.
He pushed the gurney into the back and checked on his 'patient' who was just Anne pretending to be Eddie, whom he was transferring to another hospital to alleviate the resources being used at his hospital from the bombings. Once they were a few blocks from the hospital, Anne moved to the seat next to him.
HOW WILL THIS VEHICLE GET US TO CARLTON DRAKE FASTER THAN ANNIE'S CAR.
"Simple." Dan said as they turned. "Ninety percent of humans tend to get out of the way of a speeding ambulance when they have their lights and sirens on."
Dan flipped a few switches, which turned out to be the worst mistake of his life that evening. The second the sirens turned on, it felt as if he was being torn in two from the inside. Pain, such horrible pain! He couldn't concentrate on driving at all, he tried blocking it out but a he heard was a loud screech. He wasn't sure how long it lasted, but suddenly it stopped. The pain. The noise. His vision cleared and he saw Anne steering from her side of the cab, her face pale. She'd aparently been calling his name.
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?
The voice in his head was furious. So furious it took Dan a minute to calm himself down enough to speak. He took control of driving from Anne.
"Ok. So apparently the sirens are loud enough to effect us. I swear, I had no idea it would do that!"
YOU HAVE NO NEED TO WORRY. I CAN SEE YOUR INTENTIONS CLEAR DAN LEWIS. AND IT IS TRUE, YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT WOULD HAPPEN.
They traveled with just the lights flashing and Dan using the ambulance's horn to get people to move. Travel seemed to go extremely smooth when he realized that at times Venom took control of the vehicle to take various shortcuts. During the drive, Dan couldn't help but wonder whether the creature within him was ravaging his organs like he was with Eddie. Regardless of it's intentions.
WE ARE TRYING TO NOT USE YOUR ORGANS FOR ENERGY. WE NEED TO EAT SOON, THE HUNGER YOU FEEL IS OUR HUNGER AND THAT WILL SOON CONSUME YOU.
"I still don't understand what Carlton Drake has to do with any of this. And what are we even going to do when we get there!" Dan asked as they tore around another corner avoiding parked cars and pedestrians easily.
WE FIND EDDIE. WE SAVE EDDIE. MAYBE EVEN KILL CARLTON DRAKE.
Dan slammed on the brakes before Venom immediately forced them to continue on.
"Wait, no. I can't kill anyone!" He shouted.
"Kill who?" Anne asked, confused since she could only hear one half of the conversation.
"He wants to kill Carlton Drake!" Dan shouted in dispair. "And I can't do that! I'm a Doctor!"
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT HAS TO DO WITH ANYTHING? CARLTON DRAKE HAS KILLED MANY HUMANS IN HIS EXPERIMENTS WITH OTHER SYMBIOTES.
"Yes, I get that. But I swore an oath to do no harm to others! Even people as evil as Carlton Drake!"
IF WE DO NOT KILL HIM HE WILL CONTINUE TO HARM AND KILL OTHERS. HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH YOUR OATH?
Dan was not sure how to answer him. He really didn't want to kill anyone. It went against everything he stood for as a doctor.
"What about me?" Anne asked from her seat next to them, trying to figure out what she was missing. "I don't have the same issue. And if it saves Eddie, or even the planet if I'm to guess there's more of these things in Drake's possession? I won't hesitate. "
SHE IS CORRECT. IF WE DO NOT STOP DRAKE YOUR PLANET IS DOOMED.
Dan was not happy about this part of the plan. But he relented.
They soon arrived at the Life foundation, barreling thru the guard gate effortlessly thanks to the ambulance. They stopped a bit of a ways from the building which seemed eerily quiet. They climbed out of the ambulance and walked towards each other, ready to have venom switch from Dan to Anne, when they heard the sound of a gun cock. Before the guard could think Dan suddenly was transformed into a hulking, black creature with menacing teeth. With Venom surrounding Dan like this he was impervious to the gunfire the guard shot at them. They walked over to the guard ready to kill him when Dan screamed in his head "NO! NO! REMEMBER? I CANT KILL PEOPLE!"
"BUT THIS HUMAN TRIED TO KILL YOU AND ANNIE. YOU WOULD STILL ALLOW HIM TO LIVE?"
As logical as it may sound to Venom, Dan was still vehemently against killing the guard, so Venom just rendered him unconscious.
They went back to what they were doing, getting Venom transferred over to Anne. Which seemed to work by kissing? Dan kissed Anne while still transformed and the kiss was full of such passion; more fire and energy than any previous kiss they'd had prior.
Dan felt strangley lonely when Venom left him. He watched as Annie took a moment to get used to the voice in her head. It took her only moments, then she transformed into a large feminine alien creature.
"STAY SAFE. WE WILL FIND EDDIE AND STOP DRAKE."
"Please keep Annie safe!" Was his response. If those memories were any indication, Carlton Drake was a very dangerous man. They nodded and took off, leaving Dan alone at the ambulance.
The first thing Dan did was check on the guard's vitals. When he confirmed he was just unconscious, he did what he could using medical supplies to keep the guard incapacitated. Then was the waiting game. He still felt hungry, and wondered if that was an after effect of Venom. He checked his own vitals and everything was normal, so it seemed Venom had kept to his promise to not eat his organs.
The second to last thing Dan expected to see that evening was a rocket launching from beyond the Life foundation. Sure it was a sight, not something soon to forget. Neither was the last thing he expected to see that night, which was said rocket exploding. The fireball in the sky made his heart stop. In a rush he pulled out his phone and fumbled a second, dialing the most important number on it. After two and a half rings the other line picked up.
"Oh thank God Annie, you're ok!" He felt an immense weight lifting off his chest. He heard alarms going off in the background. "Where is Eddie? Are they ok?"
"Dan I don't know. Drake had one of those creatures too, and they were fighting next to the rocket when it launched. I don't know if they made it off before it exploded. Eddie said fire is deadly to them." Dan heard the panic in her voice loud and clear.
"It will be ok Anne. We'll find them. Venom promised to keep him safe!"
Eventually they did find Eddie, out in the bay some distance from the shore. He was alive and whole, but to be safe they still rushed him to the hospital Dan had lied about taking him to at his hospital.
Eddie woke in a bit of a daze, dry and in a warm comfortable bed.
"Hey, Eddie. How are you doing?" Dan asked him, approaching the bed catching his attention.
"Dan? What... Where's Annie?" There was a note of concern in his voice. He was obviously scared she'd gotten hurt after leaving her in the forest.
"She's fine Eddie. She's getting some coffee, she should be back soon." Dan sat on a chair next to the bed. "What happened up there? With Carlton Drake?"
Eddie gave a brief explaination as to the fight they had, how he thought he'd died when he was stabbed by Riot. And how in the end. Venom tore a hole in the rocket booster which caused it to explode.
"So Venom?" Dan asked as he inspected the area where Eddie said he was stabbed. There was no sign of any wound whatsoever.
"Gone. As far as I know. It's silent in here." Eddie tapped the side of his head. He seemed more sad now than he did that night he first met him outside of Annie's not even three days ago.
"I'm sorry Eddie. I do have some good news. I ran some tests after we brought you here and everything looks better than before. Only one I haven't run was an MRI because I wasn't sure that would have been a good idea if he was still in you or not. But from what I can tell, he kept his promise to fix you."
"His promise?" Eddie asked confused for a moment. But he shook it off. He was tired and done with hospitals.
Dan was about to answer when Anne walked in, smiling with relief that Eddie was awake.
"Oh good Eddie! You're awake!"
Eddie was beginning to feel more awkward than ever and just wanted to be alone at this point.
"Look, if I'm no longer in danger of dying, if it's alright with you guys I'd like to just get out of here."
"Oh, sure. Let me go get you your discharge paperwork." Dan headed out the door.
"Listen Eddie," Anne started as he changed out of the hospital scrubs into some clothes that were probably Dan's. "If you want, you're more than welcome at our home. The door's open if you need a place to stay."
Eddie sighed, unsure of what to really say. " Thanks Annie. I'll think about it. But for now, I just need time to think on some things."
" Oh. Ok. Just let us know." She gave him a kind smile and headed out the door.
It was a week or so later and the three of them were enjoying dinner at Anne and Dan's. It was a nice steak dinner, something Eddie hadn't had a chance to enjoy in a while. He asked for his to be rare and bloody.
"Wow. I could have sworn you usually eat steak medium well?" Anne asked as she served him some vegetables.
"Oh, well you know. Tastes can change." Eddie said as he cut into his steak, relishing in the flavor of it.
"How have you been Eddie?" Dan asked taking a seat at the tabke, digging into his meal.
"Oh, I'm doing ok. Nothing changes but the weather, you know how it is."
Anne nodded. "I guess that's one way to put it. I'm sorry about your friend tho. Venom."
Eddie paused between bites. "Yeah. What about you two? How did you enjoy his company?"
Dan and Anne looked at each other. Dan answered first. "It definitely was something. Made me see how wrong I was to judge so quickly."
"The power certainly was intense tho. That's for sure."
Eddie nodded then mumbled "I don't think that..." He trailed off before clearing his throat. "That I've had such a great steak. Did you do something different Annie?"
Anne quirked an eyebrow. "Actually, it's Dan's recipe. I just made the veggies."
"Well it's great Dan. Wonderfully done. If you'll excuse me, I need to use the restroom." Eddie got up and walked down the hall to the bathroom.
Anne took a sip of her wine. "Do they really think that we wouldn't notice? How long do they plan on keeping it a secret?"
Dan chuckled. "Oh I'm sure it won't be long before they come clean about it to us. Let them decide when they're ready." Dan reached over and gave her a quick kiss before Eddie returned.
Things certainly were going to get interesting for the lot of them, weren't they?