"Maximum Carnage" Part 4 by NobodyAtAll

Part 3

Now all Venomized up, I look up at the colossal Carnage, still smirking at them, and I spread my arms wide.

“Well? You wanted Venom. Here we are, Carnage. Now what?”


Carnage tries to crush us under his hoof, but I catch the big red hoof with my hand, not even straining to push it back.

“If that’s the best you’ve got, kiddo, it won’t be ENOUGH. Your power pales before our own, now. We’re a Venom with the power of an Omega Class. And you? You’re still a SHITRAT under that Klyntar.”

Carnage narrows his enormous eyes as he stops trying to crush us, clearly seeing the futility of it.

“Yu nu AM Venom. Yu am KAW-KEEYAH! Cawnage wan kiww VENOM!!!”

Sarul steps up with me, Marley, Tom and MIKA.

“Venom is whoever is currently bonded with the Klyntar, I think. Hey, it isn’t the first Klyntar to keep a name between hosts. It’s not an uncommon practice among the Klyntar.”

Carnage snorts.

“An how du YU knu su much abowt da Kwin-taw?”

Suddenly, Sarul’s battle suit shifts, his Klyntar reverting back to its regular form, and as the black and blue biomass covers his head, Bellikose chuckles.

“THIS is how, Carnage! Yeah, we’ve been fooling you all this time. Hi there, we’re Bellikose.”

“Yu nu SMEWW wike a Kwin-taw…”

“And you can have TONS of fun figuring out WHY we don’t on your own, because WE’RE not telling you.”

I crack my slimy black knuckles.


“You wanted Venom. You GOT Venom. But you didn’t specify that you wanted TOM. We monkey’s paw’d your big, red, slimy ass. Oh, do you even know what monkey’s paw means, SHITRAT?”

Marley nods.

“Daddeh am wite, yu am a shitwat.”

And so does Tom.

“Nu aw-gyoo-munts hewe.”

He’s feeling a bit lonely right now, I can tell.

I’m not the only one used to having another voice in my head.

Tom must be feeling a lot like I did, back when the Gurus sucked my powers out.

Kinda bummed out.

Like something is missing.

Which is the case.

But man, this is freaky. Fun, but freaky. It doesn’t feel the same as wearing my Endo-Klyn Suit.

I for one am enjoying the opportunity to work so closely with all of you.

This is just a temporary arrangement, so don’t get TOO comfy in MIKA’s seat, dude. I should be able to clean up that codex our temporary headmate’s gonna leave behind.

As for the codices Carnage probably left behind in all of those fluffies, I think the force field took care of those.

So you guys know about the codices too?

This isn’t our first experience with the Klyntar.

Yeah, I absorbed the codex from that black sword when I got my darkness juju.

I knew there was a reason I like you, Niv! But let’s wrap this up. Without me, Tom’s a wee bit vulnerable, I’m worried about him.

Marley and MIKA are with him. Tom will be fine, dude.

You’re a lot nicer than that sword was. That thing kept yakking on about cutting planets in half.

Maybe it’s all that time I spent bonded with Tom.

Maybe. But you’re right, let’s end this, so we can get you back to him.

“So, Carnage. Are you done throwing your temper tantrum? Or do we have to BEAT YOU INTO SUBMISSION first?”

Carnage bares his teeth at me.

“Cawnage cud num yu in wun gu.”

“Are you sure you want to do that? We think you’re forgetting something, Carnage. Your original body is still somewhere in there.”

“Su wut? Cawnage nu NEE dat bodee nu mowe. Cawnage haf bee-come su much mowe den jus a fwuffy.”

I clench my slimy fists, preparing to power up.

“Pur-lease. Our Calvin half once faced a Klyntar FAR more powerful than you, with a much stronger host, and STILL won!”

You ready for this?

If I keep reminding myself that you’re immune to fire, I SHOULD be fine.

Then here we go.


I wreath myself in black flames, little wisps of white in the black.

“You want to eat us? THEN EAT US!!!”

And I launch myself at Carnage.

He just laughs, and swallows me-- us– whole, as promised.


Meanwhile, Ugly Sweater Guy walks through the sewers.

splish splash splosh

He’s made a mental note to replace his sneakers, socks and pants when he gets home, or rather, back to the hotel in the city he is currently residing in against his will.

By now, everything below his knees is heavily stained, and he’s trying not to think about what’s stained them.

He has an unsettling suspicion that he’s going to be spending most of the points he’s earned tonight on SFT, because taking a very long shower is the first thing he’ll do after getting out of his ruined clothes.

Ugly Sweater Guy notices a black baseball cap floating in the sewage, an orange interlinked SF on it, and sees a hole in the ceiling up ahead.

He stands under it and looks up, and from where he’s standing, he appears to be under the locker room.

It looks like something burrowed through the concrete and steel to get up there.

Someone has conveniently placed a rope ladder leading up, and the fact that the ropes are rainbow-colored should be enough for you to figure out who put it there.

Ugly Sweater Guy climbs the ladder, grumbling to himself.

“I don’t know if I hope that I haven’t missed the action, or if I hope that I have.

We find ourselves swimming through a seemingly endless ocean of red slime, our flames fending it off.

They can’t hurt me, they can’t hurt me, they can’t hurt me…

But as quickly as the flames burn the red Klyntar away, it grows back, and keeps trying to assault us, or possibly digest us.


Where is it? It has to be somewhere in here!

Okay, Niv, you’re up! Where’s the most likely place for it to be?

If I had to guess… up in the head!

Then up we go!

We swim up, up, up, the red slime trying frantically to push us back down.

Which means Niv must be right!

That tends to happen a lot, yeah! I don’t get enough credit for that…

Not the time to gloat, Niv! But you are, in fact, right! Carnage knows what we’re after, and he’s trying to stop us from reaching it!

He’s gonna have to try a little harder than this!

That’s the way, Cal!

Right now, I’m not Cal!

We’re no hero tonight!

We’re the monster they need!

We’re VENOM!!!


And it’s time for some lethal protection!

It can’t be much further…

Sure enough, once we fight our way up to the head, we find ourselves in a big round empty room, slimy red walls, floor and ceiling, and at the center, exactly what we were looking for.

It confirms all of our theories:

Carnage’s original, headless body. An orange and red stallion, probably a unicorn or an earthie. There’s no wings, that rules out the other possibilities.

If he had a horn, that was eaten too.

No, he didn’t have a horn. I would know, I was THERE when he died the first time.

Fair enough. Earthie it is.

By now, the body is significantly decayed, despite the Klyntar’s desperate efforts to repair it during his resurrection. Most of the fluff is gone. The exposed skin is greyish, and there are slimy red patches, obviously rushed repair jobs for bits that rotted away entirely.

It’s suspended by webs of the red Klyntar, extending into the walls, floor and ceiling.

And the Klyntar has deeply taken root in its host, because the webs are coming out of the body, and the veins are visibly red too.

The body is constantly twitching in a very unsettling way.

I’ve never seen such an integration between Klyntar and host. Their bond is so strong, he doesn’t even need a physical body underneath the biomass anymore. If we JUST destroy the body, it won’t be ENOUGH.

But he’s made one BIG mistake. He called all of his Klyntar biomass back to him. So, how are we doing this? Are you gonna use that new light trick you’ve been working on?

Mmm, not yet. Doesn’t feel like the right time for the grand debut.

Instead, we reach into our bag, and pull out a few bottles of a firey red, yellow and orange liquid.

Judy’s still working on that potion, but these are from one of the failed batches.

She was apprehensive about giving these bottles to us… me, but she trusts us to be careful with them.

We’re not going to drink this stuff. Even if this batch worked the way Judy wants it to work, that would be entirely redundant.

We already have pyrokinesis.

However, Jude did warn me that, whatever we do with these bottles…

We absolutely mustn’t shake them vigorously.

If we do shake one, we mustn’t pull the cork out immediately afterwards.

And if we do pull the cork…

Well, you’ll see what happens.

We carefully use our telekinesis to levitate the bottles across the room, guiding them with one hand.

Tendrils of the red biomass frantically move to push them back, but we shoot the tendrils down with finger beams from our other hand.


Then, once the bottles are near Carnage’s original body, we shake our hand like we’re shaking an imaginary bottle, and the actual bottles shake in sync.

And then, with a flick of our thumb…

“Here comes the boom.”


The corks pop out.


And the bottles explode violently.


We land on the field, having been expelled by the explosion, our flames extinguished.

Marley, MIKA and Tom run over to us.

“Daddeh! Am yu–”

We get up.

“We’re FINE, Mar. But what WE want to know is, how is CARNAGE?”

The first thing we see is Carnage, screaming in agony as his massive slimy body burns up from the inside out.


Immediately, the squad moves in.

Victor and Scarface are still unflattening themselves in their crater, but Danny, Reilly, Bellikose, and Taarn all grin, as they finally dial the sonic cannons up to eleven.


When they let it rip, Carnage screams louder, and everything shakes.

And for a few seconds, everyone goes deaf, and our biomass crawls.

That’s some racket!

Bits of the red biomass are flinging themselves away from Carnage, desperately trying to get away from the fire and the sonics.

But Drake, Diablo and Dexter are already on it, incinerating those pieces before they get too far.




Impressively, Carnage is still trying to crawl over to us, despite the fact that he is currently dying.


I think it’s time I get out of here, and get back to Tom.

Yeah, I see what you mean. Peace, dude.

Leaving so soon? Well, it was great to have you. Don’t be a stranger!

It was… an interesting experience.

But it’ll be good to have MIKA back.

This was fun! See you on the other side, Cal!

I feel the Klyntar’s presence leave my mind as it flows off me, back onto Tom, the mantle of Venom returning to him.

“Oh, it am gud tu be back.”

It wasn’t a moment too soon, that “we” stuff was weirding me out.

It was still fun, though.

And now I have another trump card in my back pocket, for any future incidents.

MIKA flows back onto me, shifting to battle suit mode.

Welcome home, buddy.

We kept your seat warm for you.

Oh, it’s kinda sticky…

Venom grins toothily at Carnage, as he crawls closer to us, struggling to keep his burning biomass in a shape at least somewhat resembling a fluffy.

Presumably, his original body was incinerated by the explosion.

A bit too late for that cremation, but whatever.

Then Venom glares at Carnage, radiating hatred and disgust.

“We nu am yu daddeh, Cawnage. We am VENOM. An yu… yu am jus sumfin we shat owt.”

“Dis… dis nu am da end… Cawnage am foweba…”

I smirk at him.

“You’ve got more pieces of that thing hidden outside San Francisco, haven’t you?”

“WUT?!? How did… yu knu…”

“Because I’ve seen that trick a lot of times before, you slimy son of a bitch.”

Marley smirks too.

“We wuz sickies of takin dat shit fwom Hans. We nu am takin it fwom yu.

And so does Venom.

“Su, da skawd am gunna haf mowe wowk tu du af-tew dis.”

Carnage starts laughing madly.


And with that, the last few bits of Carnage burn away completely.

Well, the last few bits here.

But the fight is over for now.

I turn to the east, seeing that the sun is going to rise soon.

And CRACK! Nivlac Aekrok knocks another one OUTTA THE PARK!

As the flames die down, the entire squad sighs in relief.

Victor and Scarface, still looking a bit flat, stare mournfully at the wreckage of their new toys, still in the crater. The eye was shattered, and the dubstep cannon is broken and bent in several places.

“Goddamnit, I’m actually about to cry.”

“Can Miwes stiww fiks dem?”

“I hope so, Soul Brother. Because I don’t know if Val will make a replacement dubstep cannon. It took me long enough to talk her into making this one.”

“But da see-pwace, Ewwin wiww make anudda of dat, wite?”

“He could slap one together in his sleep, Scarface. And knowing Valerie, I wouldn’t be shocked if she has another one waiting for you.”

Victor turns to me.

“And she probably knows that this shit is over, so, by now, the rest of the team knows too.”

The force field is fizzling away, so I assume that Victor is right.

Well, he’s wrong about one thing.

“It’s not over, Vic. You heard Carnage. At the very least, we can… un-evacuate San Francisco, and all of those fluffies Carnage infected should probably be checked out.”

“We’ve already got people rounding them up, Cal. So, bonding with a Klyntar, huh? You know, I’ve never done that.”

“We’ll talk about that another time, Vic.”

I look at Venom and Marley.

“You two heard Carnage too. He’ll be back sooner or later. So we’ll have to stay on guard, and track down any bits of him he’s hidden. They can’t be too far away from San Francisco, so that narrows it down, but they’re probably on the move as we speak.”

Venom nods.

“We knu. But DIS pawt am oba, Caw.”

Then I notice something new about their appearance.

A white X in an octagon on their flank.

“You gonna keep that, Little V?”

“Yu nu mine, du yu?”

“Of course not, you are a ChaotiX member. Well, two. Call it a souvenir of my brief stint as Venom. If I ever need your big slimy friend again, I’ll holler at ya.”

“It WUZ fun, but we hope we nu nee tu du dat again fow a whiwe.”

“It takes some getting used to.”

Marley looks at the ChaotiX logo on Venom’s side, and nods approvingly.

“But dat du wook gud. Mebbeh we cud du sumfin wike dat fow da udda fwuffies in da Kay-oh-tiks.”

“With hair dye, maybe? Or henna? Y’know what, figure it out later, we’ve got shit to deal with here.”

Marley looks around.

“Daddeh am wite again. We gut a big mess tu cwean up.”

I glance at the bleachers Venom crashed into. They’re still wrecked, but the bits of black biomass Venom left behind are gone.

“Did someone already clean that up? Eh, whatever, one less job to do. Relax, Mar, we can handle this. We’ve had plenty of practice with our city–”

Then we all hear the sound of hurried footsteps, and turn towards the source.

“Okay, alright, I’m here, let’s get this over with!”

A man just ran out of the tunnel, the one that the players usually walk out of at the start of a game.

A man I glimpsed earlier this evening.

He looks like an average guy, but he’s wearing an ugly gold and silver sweater, he’s wielding a rainbow-colored sonic cannon, everything below his knees is covered in an unidentifiable brown muck I don’t want to identify, and he smells like he just bathed in a septic tank.

Peeeeeeeeee-ew! He got in here through the sewers? Why didn’t he just use the door?

Presumably, he didn’t want to talk to any of the ChaotiX members outside.

That guy will go to RIDICULOUS lengths to avoid talking to us.

Well, he doesn’t seem to have noticed that I’m here yet.

And there isn’t a bathroom for him to hide in here.

The newcomer quickly comes to a stop when he sees that the battle is over.

“What the-- aw, goddamnit, Chaos! Made me run through the sewers for nothing…”

Oh, of COURSE Chaos had something to do with that.

As the newcomer is looking around with an expression of extreme annoyance on his face, panting heavily, his eyes linger on me, and he freezes up when he finally registers my presence.

“Oh, shit. Not you.

I can’t help but smirk at him.

“Hello, Ugly Sweater Guy. So this is what I’ve gotta do to have a conversation with you?”

Meanwhile, in Michelle’s office, Michelle sits under the window, her back pressed to the wall.

She’s cracked the window open a tad so she could listen to the battle outside her refuge, but now, all she hears is an eerie silence, and the first light of day will soon arrive.

“Is… is it over? Pax said he’d let me know when it’s safe to leave.”

Michelle glances at the phone in her hand, seeing a new text.

Dear Michelle, I am pleased to inform you that the crisis has passed. You may now leave your office, and I must ask you to do so quickly, for I need to speak with you as soon as possible. It is time for me to uphold my end of the deal. Do you remember the directions I gave you, the first time we met in person? Follow them again, and meet me in the place where there is no darkness. Do not let anyone see you, and do not let anyone know where you are going. Any questions?

Michelle looks at the rudimentary barricade she constructed with the furniture in her office.

While it wouldn’t have kept the Carnage fluffies out of the room for very long, it’s much more effective at keeping Michelle in the office.

She quickly types out a reply.

Yeah, just one. Can you afford to wait for me to move the furniture away from the door? I barricaded myself into my office, and I’m a LAWYER, not a bodybuilder.

She gets a reply, just as quickly.

Barricading yourself was entirely unnecessary, but I understand why you did so. Dismantle your barricade as fast as you can. It will not be long before the evacuees return to San Francisco, and the less people there are to potentially witness you, the better. I hope to see you before long. Peacefully yours, Lucian.

Michelle puts her phone in her pocket, gets up, walks over to the light switch, turns the light on, and starts moving the furniture away from the door.

She’s not bothering to put it all back where it originally was.

She’s not sure she’s ever coming back here.

Michelle was already on thin ice with her bosses, she’s overheard what her coworkers say when they think she’s not listening, and frankly, she’s never felt so homesick for New York since the day she first moved to San Francisco.

Of course, Venom has followed her to the other side of the country once, and Michelle has an unpleasant suspicion that her former fluffy and his slimy friend survived the night’s events.

She’s not too upset about that now.

After all, she made a deal with Pax, and soon, she’ll have the means to make her life Venom-free once again.

Michelle hasn’t had much time to think about how exactly Pax is going to help her with that. She’s been too busy being terrified out of her wits all night.

But soon, soon, she’ll have the answer.

As Michelle haphazardly pushes a file cabinet out the way (a cabinet that is, incidentally, full of files on clients who Michelle knows for a fact were guilty of the crimes they faced trial for and were found not guilty of committing), she realizes something yet again.

“Oh, so now he’s a fast typer!”

Part 5 (Denouement)