"Let Me In! I Wanna Crawl Under Your Skin!" by NobodyAtAll

In San Francisco, in an alleyway, Venom the symbiotic fluffy looks around, seeing blood, gore, and the dismembered corpses of several feral fluffies.

The Klyntar speaks up in Tom’s mind.

“Another one! Another herd gone! I’m starting to get really pissed off about this, Tom!”

Venom nods, speaking out loud.

“Wike-wise. Yu smeww it tuu, wite?”

“Oh yeah. It smells like there were a few MORE fluffies here. And there’s bits of red Klyntar mass all over the place, like all the other places this has happened. You know what this means.”

“Cawnage am back.”

Venom waddles out of the alleyway, after shifting back to normal form. His secret identity is still a secret to most.

Tom’s got a new collar now.

It has a trinket on it: an X in an octagon.

The Klyntar continues.

“I think it’s time to contact Cal, Tom. We can’t handle this alone.”

“We nu am awone.”

“You know what I mean. The two of us aren’t enough for this. Especially if Carnage is doing what I THINK he’s doing.”

“An wut du yu fink he am duin?”

“Recruiting. I think he’s right, Tom.”

The Klyntar pauses.

“He’s got shit we’ve never seen.”

“We gutta teww mistah Caw.”

“Well, he told us what to do if we need to contact him, didn’t he? You remember the way, don’t you?”

Tom nods. By now, he knows the streets of San Francisco like the back of his… hoof.

Of course, he’s had help with that.

Tom waddles through the streets, finding his way to the local branch of the Faucheuse Foundation, waddling into the lobby, looking up at the employee, a redheaded, bearded man wearing a rainbow flag badge on his lilac uniform.

“Hewwo, mistah Jess-ee? Tom nee tu make anudda caww tu mistah Caw.”

He nudges the trinket on his collar, and the employee nods, stepping out from behind the counter.

“Of course, Tom. Right this way…”

Meanwhile, in a nearby Starbucks, Michelle Howard, attorney at law, walks in for her next fix of precious caffeine.

The coffee maker at her law firm is broken again.

As she walks up to the counter, the baristas greet her.


“Goddamnit, I told you guys not to do that.”

Yeah, she’s well-known here. She’s something of a folk figure among San Francisco’s baristas.

They speak in hushed tones of the time a young and inexperienced new hire accidentally served Michelle a cup of decaf, and to this day, any barista in the city who serves Michelle will quadruple-check before serving her brew, lest they risk incurring the wrath of a caffeine junkie with a law degree.

And don’t waste her time with foam art.

Michelle’s coworkers are planning an intervention. Her coffee addiction is that bad.

Perhaps that coffee maker isn’t breaking down, but instead, going on strike to protest Michelle’s constant abuse.

As she approsches the counter, the barista running the till grins.

“Have you been watching the news, Michelle? Venom busted a fluffy brothel in Chinatown the other day.”

Michelle winces, remembering her unexpected reunion with Tom, and the revelation that her former pet is also the lethal protector of San Francisco’s fluffy population.

“I told you guys not to mention the V-word around me, too.”

She’s still keeping the secret, knowing that there isn’t a move she can make against Venom without dooming herself.

She knew that abandoning fluffies, especially unfixed fluffies, is illegal, both here and back in New York City.

She knows that Venom is in touch with Calvin Korkea, who doesn’t abide fluffy abuse.

And she knows that Venom eats humans, and that the only thing keeping the symbiotic fluffy from doing that to Michelle is Tom not wanting to do it.

So she’s keeping the secret to save her own skin.

Not because she cares about Tom.

“Just get me my usual, okay?”

At the Foundation, Tom, in a saferoom, calls Calvin Korkea, via Jesse’s phone, propped up against the wall on the floor.

Jesse is patiently waiting outside the saferoom for Tom to finish his call, giving him some privacy. He doesn’t mind letting Tom borrow his phone for a few minutes. Calvin arranged a deal with Susan, who owns the phone company: in exchange for cooperating when Tom needs to call Calvin, Jesse’s phone plan is completely free of charge.

Jesse doesn’t know Tom’s secret. All he does know is that Tom is a ChaotiX member and one of Calvin’s many informants. Which is not a lie.

He just doesn’t know that Tom is actually two ChaotiX members.

The ChaotiX is working on a way to make it easier for Tom to contact the ChaotiX when needed.

“So you guys think he’s recruiting? Damn. That’s not good. We’ve already got a few things on our plate. Do you know where he is, Tom?”

“…In San Fwan-sis-koh. Dat am aww we can teww yu.”

“We’ll send some people your way, Tom. I’m thinking Drake, Diablo, Danny, Ghost, and Bellikose. I’ve been meaning to ask. Does your Klyntar know Sarul’s Klyntar?”

Tom’s other replies in Tom’s mind, with a dry tone.

“Well, at least he’s not assuming that all Klyntar know each other. But I DO know them. Bellikose has been bonded a lot longer than we have.”

Tom passes it on.

“Yus, Tom Kwin-taw knu dem. Dey git awong.”

“Alright. We’ll send a couple of people with sonic cannons along too. Vic, if he’s not too busy. I’ll also send Jake back to San Fran to keep an eye on you two, so if you need us quick and the Foundation’s too far away, he’ll be ready to step in when you holler.”

“Whewe am Jake wite nao, mistah Caw?”

“On Magicca, asking Drakonia’s animal population if they’ve seen Dehak. But I think the bastard’s moved on to human hosts. Worth a shot, though. Don’t worry, Tom. We’ll find Carnage, and this time, we’ll make sure he stays dead. I don’t like bad guys refusing to stay dead. When we’ve got time, I’ll tell you some Hans stories.”

The Klyntar speaks up again, only heard by Tom.

“Whoever that Hans guy is, he CAN’T be as bad as Bertrand Faucheuse was.”

Tom has no idea who Bertrand is.

But his other knows Bertrand well, as even the Klyntar suffered at the hands of the now defunct Faucheuse Intergalactic Empire.

Bertrand brought all of his forces to Earth with him, the day he died. And foolishly implanted them with dead man’s switches, to ensure their obedience.

Clearly, Bertie never heard a certain saying about eggs and baskets.


Elsewhere in San Francisco, Carnage bites a dam’s head off, her foals cowering in the cardboard they called home, too scared to run away.

“Mummah! chirp

“Scawy munstah… peep

One foal is hiding in the corner of the box, sucking a hoof.

Another, a fat, spoiled bestest babbeh, got his head bitten off for talking back to Carnage.

Licking his lips, Carnage surveys the litter.

“Ee-nee, mee-nee, mai-nee…”

His jagged white eyes linger on the foal sucking his hoof.


A red tendril extends from Carnage’s body, grabbing the foal, dragging him towards the psychotic symbiotic fluffy.

“Opun yu mouf.”

chirp Nu!”

So Carnage extends another tendril, using it to pinch the foal’s nose shut.

When the foal opens his mouth to breathe, Carnage forces the tendril down the foal’s throat, and the tendril breaks off.

The foal quickly transforms, resembling Carnage in miniature, and Carnage puts his new minion down.

Carnage grins.

“Yu mus be hungwy, huh?”

The symbiotic foal nods, grinning back at his new master.


Carnage steps back, gesturing at the other foals, who are staring at their brother with curiosity and fear.

“Bawn appuh-teet.”

The symbiotic foal approaches his siblings, licking his lips like his new master.

“Wut am bwuddah duin–”




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