Still in stealth mode, I hover above Oracle Park with Marley, seeing Venom in position at the center of the stadium down below.
The force field is closing in on the baseball stadium, and we can see the ChaotiX, the police and the military chasing the Carnage fluffies towards the stadium.
Once that’s done, I’ll have people surrounding the perimeter with sonic cannons, as I had MIKA tell Valerie.
The force field should be enough to keep them from fleeing, Cal.
I’m feeling paranoid, MIKA.
You wanna know how we did the whole shrinking force field thing, dear readers?
Stealthed drones with emitters in them. Hey, we already had both, it was easy for the Nerd Squad to put those two things together.
Like chocolate and peanut butter.
The rest of the squad has blipped ahead, and are now in position, using cloaking devices to remain hidden.
Slayer begrudgingly cut his playtime with one of the red fuckers short before he could finish.
Okay, so the pawns are on their way, but where’s their king? From which way is the real Carnage going to make his entrance?
Probably from below.
I’m not sure I like this plan anymore, Cal. Any minute now, those little bastards are going to swarm into the stadium. When they see Venom…
They’ll see what we want them to see.
A Venom who appears to be alone.
And Venom themselves consented to this plan, Niv.
Still, I think we’re taking a lot of risks here. Danny already got messed up pretty bad, we’re lucky that Des was in earshot. And Scarface was deafened.
It didn’t stick.
Right now, we need to see if Carnage will take the bait.
And I know how villains think. Carnage most likely wants to kill Venom himself, not via a proxy.
Also known as pulling a Voldemort.
On the other hand, Carnage knows that the ChaotiX is here, fighting him.
So the question is, when his minions crawl into that stadium and see Venom apparently alone…
Is Carnage smart enough to see through that ruse? Will he seize the opportunity to eliminate his “father”, or will he think it’s too good to be true?
He’s reached complete mental integration with his Klyntar. And that thing was a newborn when it bonded with him. It had no time to develop a personality of its own. His psychotic mind must have overwhelmed its fragile psyche.
So, the result of such a symbiosis would mentally be closer to a fluffy than a Klyntar, wouldn’t it?
Like how Camiles was closer to me in personality than Miles.
Does Carnage still think enough like a fluffy to fall for this trap?
Well, let’s get our noggins joggin’. Would an ORDINARY fluffy fall for this ruse?
An ordinary fluffy would see Venom all alone, think they must be feeling lonely, and rush over to give them a hug.
So yes, kinda.
But Carnage isn’t an ordinary fluffy. Even when not counting the Klyntar powers, he’s still far more psychotic, bloodthirsty, and viciously sadistic than most fluffies I’ve met.
And he made all of this happen by himself. Even Umbra had Klaus unwillingly lending a pair of hands when he summoned all of those demons.
So Carnage is not as dumb as the average fluffy.
But he still doesn’t seem to have figured out that Sarul’s pretending to not have a Klyntar. And he bought your fake teleporting ruse too. THIS ruse, though? I’m… not so sure about it. I mean, how dumb would Carnage have to be to fall for it NOW? Now that he knows the ChaotiX is in town, helping Venom…
There’s something you’re forgetting, Niv: in a few minutes, Carnage and his minions won’t have anywhere else to go but here. Their choices are come to Oracle Park, or take their chances with the force field.
So even if Carnage figures out that it’s a trap, he doesn’t really have any option except to walk into it.
Unless he wants to have the Klyntar painfully stripped from his body.
Still don’t want to compact those fuckers, Cal?
Let’s just see if this works first, Niv.
Down in the sewers, directly under Oracle Park, Carnage waits patiently for his moment.
He sees his minions nearing the stadium, watching through their eyes.
And he feels that many of his minions have been cut off from the hivemind, after being purged of their Klyntar.
But he also feels that the Klyntar have fled down here, into the sewers. They may be hostless now, but they’re still extensions of Carnage’s will.
Some of his minions are already in the stadium, spying on Venom from the darkest shadows, unaware that they’re being spied on in turn.
So Carnage knows that his sire is-- as far as he can see-- alone, and obviously waiting for him.
Carnage doesn’t plan to keep them waiting for too long.
Venom is his to kill.
And if any meddling ChaotiX members show up, and try to interfere?
Well, Carnage has planned for that.
He wordlessly sends his next orders out to his horrific herd.
As Venom waits in Oracle Park, they see the Carnage fluffies arrive, crawling in over the outer walls, over the seats, onto the field, surrounding Venom in seconds.
The shrinking force field comes to a stop, a vast pillar of light sealing the stadium in.
Venom isn’t afraid, and defiantly addresses the red hordes.
“Wich wun of yu am da WEAW Cawnage?”
The Carnage fluffies all start laughing mockingly at Venom, and one of them replies with a sneer.
“Wud-unt YU wike tu knu?”
“Su yu bas-tuwds CAN du tawkies?”
Another Carnage fluffy nods.
“Yu am tawkin tu CAWNAGE nao, DADDEH.”
And every time Carnage speaks, he speaks through a different minion’s mouth.
“We am AWW Cawnage.”
“Cawnage see wif manee see-pwaces.”
“Cawnage speek wif manee moufs.”
“Cawnage bweak wif manee hoofsies.”
“An nao, it am jus yu an Cawnage.”
“An Cawnage, an Cawnage, an Cawnage…”
“Am yu scawedies, DADDEH?”
“Yu SHUD be.”
“Yu MADE Cawnage.”
“But yu nu cud KIWW Cawnage.”
“Cawnage wiww NEBA die, nao.”
“Cawnage am FOWEBA.”
“Cawnage am AB-SOH-WUTE.”
“Cawnage… am gunna paint da wowwd WED.”
“Soon, ev-wee-wun wiww knu…”
“Dat CAWNAGE WUWES.”
“Dewe wiww onwy be WUN wuwe in Cawnage nyu wowwd!”
“An dat am KIWW OW BE KIWWED!”
“Aww haiw da King in Wed!”
“Du yu wan knu wut da FUNEE-EST pawt am, DADDEH?”
“Dis am aww YU fauwt.”
“Cuz yu nu did FIN-ISH DA JAWB.”
“We am gunna FIKS dat. Wemembew wut we sed, Cawnage? We am da Wee-faw Pwo-tek-tow, and dis am OUW sitty.”
The Carnage fluffies start laughing again.
“Yu caww yu-sewfs da Wee-faw Pwo-tek-tow?”
“Yu nu can pwo-tek ANEEFING aneemowe!”
“Yu am aww awone.”
“Yu nu can stawp Cawnage.”
“Yu shud jus gib up nao.”
“Oh bwah, bwah, bwah. Yu suwe wike tu heaw yu-sewf du tawkies, Cawnage.”
Then they grin maliciously at the red hordes.
“We nu am scawedies of YU! Yu am jus a… a BAD BABBEH! Su how abowt yu stawp hide-in fwom us! Shu us yu WEAW sewf!”
The Carnage fluffies giggle as one.
“Du yu WEAWWY wan dat, DADDEH?”
“Yu mite WEE-GWET it.”
“Yu fink dis am gunna gu da same way as wast time?”
“We nummed yu head awf wuns. We can du dat again.”
Suddenly, the Carnage fluffies part, like Moses just strolled in and started waving his hands.
And another identical fluffy waddles up through the gap in the crowd.
Immediately, Venom knows that this is the Carnage they faced last time.
The real Carnage giggles in a most unsettling manner, his minions all giggling with him as the red slime recedes from his head.
“Uee hee hee hee hee…”
Or rather, from the neck stump where his head is supposed to be, revealing the horrifying truth at long last:
His entire head is made of Klyntar biomass now.
As his head reforms, Carnage laughs maliciously at his sire.
“Yu see nao, DADDEH? Dat nu am gunna wowk DIS time.”
Suddenly, the floodlights turn on, bathing the stadium in light.
And as Calvin and Marley descend from the air, turning visible, landing next to Venom, the rest of their squad emerges from various dark corners, uncloaking as they surround the red horde from behind.
Immediately, the humanoid members of the squad have their sonic cannons pointed at Carnage, and Calvin smirks audaciously.
“Maybe not. But these will.”
I keep smirking at Carnage, and keep my sonic cannon pointed at him.
“So nice to finally meet the real you, Carnage. Do you know who I am?”
He nods, grinning up at me.
“Cawvin… Kaw-keeyah… da su-cawwed Bestest Hoomin. Cawnage knu of yu, yus.”
Marley smirks too.
“An nu fowgit abowt Mawwey, asshowe.”
Venom grins at Carnage.
“We hab yu WITE whewe we WAN yu nao, fuk-face. Yu gut nu-whewe tu wun.”
“You see the force field around the stadium, Carnage. You know what it does to you?”
Slayer lands with us, already in demon form.
“Yu am da WEAW Cawnage, wite? Caw, Swayew fink yu sed sumfin abowt wut Swayew can du, if Swayew fine da weaw Cawnage…”
Carnage and his minions all glare at Slayer in disgust.
“Yu stay AWAY fwom Cawnage.”
Slayer leers back.
“Dat am wut Umbwa sed tuu, an Swayew stiww gut in Umbwa poopie pwace.”
I smirk harder at Carnage.
“And you’ve got something else in common with Umbra: for all your power, you’re still a shitrat.”
“Bite yu fukkin tung, Kaw-keeyah! Ow ewse Cawnage am gunna bite YU–”
As me and Marley wreathe ourselves in golden flames, we smirk so hard at Carnage that we’re at risk of pulling a muscle.
“Oh please, please try that. Now, I’m not usually one for fluffy abuse, but for a fluffy as bad as you?”
“Daddeh can make a ess-sept-shun.”
“We’ve got you over a barrel here, ya little weirdo. You can’t run, and you can’t beat us. So here’s the deal: surrender. Release these fluffies from your control. Or else we will free them by force.”
“Oh, yu wan Cawnage tu wet deez fwuffies gu?”
“You can’t win this, Carnage. If Venom didn’t have all of us helping them? If you had made your move before they joined the ChaotiX? Maybe then you could have won.”
“But it am tuu wate tu win nao.”
Cal… he’s up to something. Whatever trump card he’s about to pull out of his ass, he’s going to do it NOW.
And now I think I see what game he’s playing.
But he doesn’t know that I know.
So let’s end this.
I put my finger on the trigger.
“Y’know what? It’s too late for you to choose, too. I’m choosing for you.”
But before I can do it, the Klyntar biomass falls from the possessed fluffies’ bodies, like melting ice.
The fluffies who were being puppeteered by the red Klyntar immediately flee the stadium in droves.
There’s plenty of people outside who will be able to deal with that.
They’re the lucky ones. That’s the easy job.
Our job is quickly getting harder.
All of the biomass immediately flows onto Carnage, forming a massive red, sticky heap.
“Fuck. HIT HIM!!!”
The squad unleashes their sonic attacks at my command.
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
We’ve got them turned up to ten now.
The mass is writhing and bubbling, but it’s not weakening.
Meanwhile, in the stadium’s restrooms, the taps start turning by themselves, the handles squeaking ominously.
Red slime starts pouring out of the taps, and flooding up out of the toilets, oozing out under the stall doors.
In the locker room, the showers are spraying an identical slime.
And all of the slime is oozing out, towards the stadium proper.
Before we can dial our weapons up further, it gets worse.
More of the red crap is flooding into the stadium, presumably the Klyntar we separated from their hosts earlier, rejoining their progenitor, the mass getting bigger.
And changing shape.
Four massive legs like redwood trunks…
A huge slimy tail…
And a gigantic fluffy head.
A giant-sized Carnage, towering over the stadium, and towering over us.
He looks down at us with a victorious grin.
“Git weddy… FOW MAX-EE-MUM CAWNAGE!!!”
See? I knew he was gonna do that.
Ugly Sweater Guy runs through the deserted streets of San Francisco, towards the SoMa district. He’s started working out at Faucheuse Hotel’s gym, but his efforts haven’t really begun to bear fruit yet.
His rainbow-colored sonic cannon is sticking to the back of his ugly, gaudy sweater, allowing him to keep his hands free.
He’s not very familiar with the lay of the land, so he’s been occasionally stopping to check Google Maps on his phone.
He was lucky enough to have his phone on him when Chaos brought him here, but his attempts to call anyone outside San Francisco failed: every time he tried, he heard a cheerful, flamboyant voice telling him that he’s reached the Hotline for Hot Chocolate Lovers.
When he turns around a corner, he sees Oracle Park up ahead, the force field surrounding it, the ChaotiX, soldiers and police guarding the perimeter gasping in horror as they see the massive Carnage stand tall and proud, and the fluffies Carnage enslaved escaping the stadium around the legs of all of the humanoids.
And Ugly Sweater Guy grinds to a halt.
“That… that’s one big ugly fluffy.”
He looks at the sonic cannon on his back, then back at Carnage, then back at the cannon.
“Chaos doesn’t really want me to fight that thing, does he? Although… if I can kill it… that might count as saving every fluffy in Frisco. I’d be swimming in points. But the place is surrounded. How am I supposed to get in there?”
Then he sees a pigeon land on a manhole cover.
A rainbow-colored pigeon.
The pigeon gives Ugly Sweater Guy a meaningful look, and a suspiciously flamboyant coo, before flying off.
Ugly Sweater Guy groans.
“The sewers, Chaos? Man, there’d better be a big pile of points at the end of this. I’m gonna need a long shower later, I deserve compensation for that.”
He looks down at his gaudy sweater, and the X2 gradually fading away, making an estimate of how much time is left.
“But the end’s getting closer.”
As he reaches for the cover, it slides away by itself, so he starts climbing down into the sewers.
“Honestly, just making it out of this alive would be a sufficient reward.”
My squad’s battle with the giant Carnage starts with a bang.
The bastard is trying his hardest to kill Venom, the rest of us are trying our hardest to prevent him from doing so, and Venom’s trying their hardest to kill Carnage.
Like David and Goliath, but stickier.
Carnage swipes Venom with a massive hoof, sending them crashing into the bleachers.
The impact splatters a lot of Venom’s biomass over the bleachers, but they recover and rejoin the fray, leaving a few bits of writhing black slime behind.
Me and Marley are flying around, flinging golden fireballs at Carnage.
“VENOM, KEEP YOUR DISTANCE!!!”
“IT AM YU HE WAN!!!”
Venom disregards the order, running underneath Carnage, deftly dodging his humongous hooves.
“FUK!!! DAT!!! IF HE WAN VENOM, HE GITS VENOM!!!”
They leap up, biting at Carnage’s underside, and run away as Carnage howls in pain.
Drake, Diablo and Dexter are doing the same as us, but with regular fireballs.
“SHOULDN’T HAVE RECALLED ALL OF YOUR KLYNTAR, CARNAGE!!!”
“CUZ NAO DEWE AM NUFFIN HOWD-IN US BACK!!!”
“AN YU HAF MADE DEX-TEW WEAWWY FUKKIN ANGWY!!!”
Dave’s in demon form too, him and Slayer spewing hellfire at Carnage.
“SWAYEW WIKE DEM BIG AN CHUNKEE, YU KNU!!!”
“WUT DA FUK AM WONG WIF YU?!?”
“LOOK WHO’S TALKING!!!”
Danny, Reilly, Sarul, and Taarn are firing their sonic cannons at Carnage.
“THIS IS FOR RUINING MY BATTLE SUIT!!!”
“AND FOR HURTING MY BOYFRIEND!!!”
“AND FOR BEING A DISGRACE TO THE KLYNTAR!!! Not that I’m host to one or anything…”
“AND FOR TRYING TO KILL MY OLD FRIEND!!! Not that I have any unresolved feelings or anything…”
Victor’s doing the same with his dubstep cannon.
“AND THIS IS FOR MAKING ME ACCIDENTALLY DEAFEN MY SOUL BROTHER!!! NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!!!”
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
Scarface is using his new cybernetic eye, trying to scan Carnage for weak points. Yes, it can do that too, remember where it was made.
“GU FOW DA EAWSIES, SOUW BWUDDAH!!!”
“BECAUSE THEY’RE HIS WEAKNESS, SOUL BROTHER?!?”
“NU, CUZ OF WUT HAPPUND UW-WEE-UW!!!”
“THAT’S A GOOD ENOUGH REASON FOR ME!!!”
WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB
And Ghost is firing ecto-blasts, while Mayday tries to trip Carnage up with webs.
PEW PEW PEW
“MEBBEH WE SHUDDA PUT FAN-TAS-UM AWN DA SKWAD!!!”
thwip thwip thwip
“HE AM JUS AB-SOWB-IN DA WEBBIES!!!”
Those of us with fire attacks seem to be having the most success here.
He’s shrugging off the sonic attacks. Clearly, his resistance to sonics is stronger than his resistance to fire.
But every part of the Klyntar we burn off just regenerates.
Me and Mar are putting as much into our golden fireballs as we can, but we’re hardly making a dent.
Maybe it’s time to bring out Luminary Form and Gemini Burst again–
NO!!! You’re not doing THAT again, Cal! Not unless you ABSOLUTELY have to! And you DON’T have to do it to beat this asshole! There’s ANOTHER way to get a power boost!
What are you talking about, Niv?
Think about it! He wants to kill Venom! He doesn’t want Tom, he wants VENOM! So let’s monkey paw this gigantic asshole!
You’re not suggesting what I think you’re suggesting, are you Niv?
It’s still safer than what YOU suggested!
You’re on a roll tonight, Niv. Beating an enemy like this is not worth the risk of killing yourself.
Not with much WORSE threats looming on the horizon…
Alright, fuck it. Let’s do this.
“MAR!!! FOLLOW ME!!!”
We both teleport over to Venom, now crawling on the big screen.
After we extinguish our flames, I grab Venom.
“We need to talk in private.”
And I teleport out with them, Marley following us out.
We appear behind the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company again, and I put Venom down.
“Sorry about that, Little V, but time is of the essence.”
“It am awwite, Caw, we unnewstan.”
“Good, because I’m about to ask you for a big favor.”
MIKA, you’re gonna have to vamoose for a bit. You know what to do.
Alright. Keep my seat warm for me, guys.
Don’t take too long.
We’re still with you, Cal.
My Endo-Klyn Suit flows off my body, revealing the fluffy print boxers I was wearing underneath.
MIKA shifts to nano armor mode, walking over to Marley.
And I look down at Venom, who is peering at my boxers in confusion.
“Fwuffy pwint? WEAWWY, Caw?”
“What, you don’t like it? Okay, lemme just lay out the game plan real quick…”
The battle in Oracle Park rages on in the absence of Calvin, Marley and Venom.
With the squad’s two strongest members absent, the rest of the squad is struggling against Carnage.
And with everyone outside the stadium now occupied by rounding up the fleeing fluffies, the squad has no backup.
But all they have to do is hold out long enough for the missing members to return.
Which isn’t easy, because Carnage is furious about Venom’s sudden disappearance, and his inability to pursue them.
So he’s taking his anger out on the squad, hoping that will summon Calvin, Marley, and Venom back to the stadium.
In true monkey’s paw fashion, he’ll get his wish, but not in the way he wanted.
Carnage stomps on Victor and Scarface with a big slimy red hoof, squashing them flat, destroying Victor’s dubstep cannon and Scarface’s cybernetic eye, and breaking a lot of their bones.
“WHEWE AM DEY?!? WHEWE DID DEY GU?!?”
As Slayer flies at Carnage from behind, not sure how he’s going to rape someone that big, but determined to find a way, Carnage slaps him away with his massive tail.
“GIT WOST, PUW-VUWT!!!”
Carnage scores a home run, Slayer sent flying out of the park, Dave rushing to catch him.
Fortunately, Slayer wasn’t sent flying in the direction of the water.
There’s probably a lot of baseballs at the bottom of the bay.
“ENUFF OF DIS BUWW-SHIT!!! WHEWE?!? AM?!? VENOM?!?”
As someone teleports into the stadium, Sarul laughs.
“I think they’ve just returned.”
Carnage turns, his enormous eyes fixating on the new arrivals.
“Wut? But dat nu am…”
Marley, MIKA steering the Endo-Klyn Suit, and…
And with them is…
Well, it looks vaguely like Calvin. He has his bag of holding, and the Sword of Kings and his X-Shield strapped to his back.
But he’s now covered head to toe by a black, slimy suit.
He’s got jagged, blank white eyes.
A mouth full of sharp yellow teeth, smirking audaciously.
Even a slimy black ponytail.
And a white X in an octagon is on his chest.
Carnage is baffled.
“Hu… WUT am yu???”
The symbiotic Calvin chuckles, host and symbiont speaking as one.
“We… are VENOM. And we ARE the STRONGEST MAN ALIVE.”