I own the OC however I own nothing of Marvel.
"Higher Power Speaking"
Chapter 4: A New Challenger?
The day was a beautiful one for sure. Plenty of folks were going about their day with going to work, bringing the kids to school, and enjoying the bumper to bumper traffic. With all the horns of cars and trucks going off, someone would think it was an attempt at a bad orchestra. Such was the days in life at the big cities. Today, however, two people didn't have to deal with the bumper to bumper traffic and responsibilities of bringing a kid to school. As for the work, well one was slacking.
We find these two people at a, now, much less seedier part of the city. Here at the wharfs of New York one could find these two enjoying the day in the now clearer waters of the area. The waters were clear enough to look from the bridge nearby and spot a fish, or three. The place had less of an odor of muck and pollution from the docks, leaving one the ability to enjoy the sound of the waters budding against the wooden supports. Birds flew above, occasionally making dives to grab themselves some food, and at the end of the docks there was a man floating on his back in the water.
Jackson has spent so much time in the waters around the city that, along with being videoed as some strange cryptid finding residence in the waters of the docks, has been cleansing the waters with his magical presence alone. His ancestry has even taken a more permanent look on him now, earning a nickname from Reggie, and the boys, as Kit Fisto, from how similar he looks to the fictional character. As he hears the nickname he always takes it as time to practice his water magic, summoning tentacles, found on giant squid, entirely of water to grasp them and shake them around like toys. Reggie, so far, has kept up the nickname since he is the only one who can fight back against it. Reggie and Jackie had been, in the words of Lord Uzzin, exceptional prodigies. Jackie's ancestry helps him a lot, but Reggie is a relatively normal guy, yet his drives for plants has made him yield impressive results.
Speaking of Reggie, he can be seen dangling his feet off the dock, looking out over the water. Reggie never really liked coming to the docks, but ever since Jackson had found his addiction with the water, it has never looked better or more appealing. He likes to come out here, since Jackson is one of his better friends in the MC, but now being able to see what is in the water has made it even better. Aside from it looking as clear as a bottle of water, it still retains it's salt content to support the ecosystem it houses. The magic coming off of Jackson just makes it take on, as Lord Uzzin calls it, a purer look. Honestly he doesn't care about the specifics, it's just cool to see some dolphins jet through the water every so often.
Reggie now looks at his phone, notices the time, and sighs. He then grabs some peanuts from his pocket and begins to toss them at Jackson's head. He gets about 3 to hit him before he gets a response. "Stop. It. Reggie."
This does nothing to dissuade him, as he continues to flick a few more at him. Hearing him growl at him, yet not making a motion to disturb his relaxed position, just made it funnier to him. He threw one more. "Stop it." Then another. "Stop it." Yet again throwing another. "STOP it." Now unable to contain his laughter he snorts a bit. After he calms down he digs into the bag, and finally tosses another. "Reggie I will drop the ocean on you!" Hearing that he stops for a moment, but then takes another and tosses it at Jackson's head again. Jackson's eyes shoot open to reveal the black lenses for eyes now. "That's it fucker!"
Tentacles of water shoot out of the sea, and twist, and writhe towards Reggie, who just laughs as he uses the dock's wood to manifest his own pillars of writhing wood to defend himself. He manifests a super active root systems on them to eat up the water as it makes contact. Further giving it the ability to expand more pillars to block more and more. Reggie continues to laugh as Jackson growls more and more, until Jackson finally stops. Only to get one more peanut to bounce off his forehead, and fall into the water. Now more annoyed at his friend than pissed off his eye twitches from this. "I loathe you right now."
"Awww, Kit Fisto's a little cranky isn't he?" Reggie asks with a playful grin. He then takes out a blunt from his pocket and lights it. He then uses some wood to bring it to his now fuming friend. "Here. Take a few hits to calm down, Nemo."
Begrudgingly Jackson takes the offered blunt and takes a very long hit. Holding the smoke in for a bit he exhales it and notices it is one of his magical strains, from the immediate effect hitting him hard. "You're still a dick." Reggie shrugged at the insult and then began to disperse his pillars of wood, making the docks go back to normal. Seeing his chance, Jackson caused a small tentacle of water to come out and whip the back of Reggie's neck, causing him to yelp in pain from the loud crack of the whip of water. Reggie looked at him in mock betrayal, causing Jackson to shrug. "Shoulda quit, treefucker." Jackson snorted as he took another hit and passed it back to Reggie. "Why you gotta ruin my relaxing times?"
Reggie took the blunt back and began to finish it off. "Two reasons, sharkbait." He got a snort from Jackson with that one. "One, we got to head to Uzzin's meeting with the gangs, considering the time though we missed it. We can still make the meeting for 'success brunch', as he put it. Which I remind you is mandatory." Reggie took the final hit and exhaled as he got a grin on his face, soaking in the ecstacy of his own strain. "Second reason is you have been relaxing since 2 AM, and now it is... 9:45 AM. You were sleeping, more like it." Jackson was in disbelief at the accusation of time, until he looked at the position of the sun. He made an 'Oh' motion with his mouth. "Yeah. Ohhhhhhh, you guppy. I don't know how you can sleep like that when there is a bunch of sharks swimming near you." Reggie pointed at them, unconcerned for his safety since he was awake and alert now, even then he still would have saved him from the sharks if they got any funny ideas.
Jackson took a look at the large predators and gave a shrug. He went as far as to swim closer to them, only for the sharks to flee. This made Reggie look dumbfounded at the fact that a shark ran from Jackson. Jackson, however, was laughing hard at this new turnout. "I don't have to worry about them. They stay away from me, actually all sea creatures give me some space. Guess they sense Gramps and Grammy in my blood so they assume danger." He said as he used the water to lift him out of it and onto the docks. Jackson reached to the pole on the back part of the dock and grabbed his cut for the MC. He put it on and began to start fixing everything with his tentacle hair. Afterwards he fixed it to where a majority of it was in the back, and running down to his shoulder, whilst having a few roll down his front to just below his chest.
"Damn!" Reggie said, and Jackson turned towards him with a raised brow. "I was gonna throw some electric eels into your shower later on! Those things won't even give you a buzz from fear now!" He shouted being very upset at this new knowledge. Jackson laughed and then felt a peanut hit his forehead. Jackson looked back towards him with a neutral face, and Reggie pulled a jumbo bag of peanuts from his coat, returning the neutral face. They stared each other down for awhile until they just shook their heads and laughed. They then went towards their bikes so they could make the brunch.
"Hey Reggie." Jackson says as he gets onto his bike, a Fatbob, and kicks off the stand to hold up the bike. Reggie looks over to him and makes a hum in response to his name. "Think he gonna be mad we missed the meeting? I just remembered he wanted to make a good showing of discipline in his ranks." Jackson says as he remembers the reasons for Uzzin wanting them all to be at the meeting.
Reggie hops on his bike, a Sportster, and then kicks up the stand on his. He raises a finger to answer the question, but then stops for a bit and thinks about it. He decides to not say anything and starts the bike, then looks back at Jackson who starts his own bike.
"Right. Best to not think about it." With their bikes ready to roll out, they begin to make their way to the location. Jackson had forgotten where they were supposed to meet for that, his thoughts mostly filled with thoughts of the ocean and his growing magic. "Hey Reggie!" He yells over the sounds of their engines. "Where are we going for the get together?!"
"Sesamo! Heart of Hell's Kitchen!" Reggie yells back at him. Seeing Jackson's surprised look, he laughs. "Boss wanted to celebrate outside of our territory! Said it would make a statement if we went to the territory of another syndicate's territory to celebrate a takeover, then it sends a pretty powerful message!" Reggie holds up a hand and some branches and bramble grow from his leathers to take the handlebars for him. "Plus with all the power he gave us, well, these guys would be stupid to do something about it! Submission in the face of a greater power and all that! I don't understand it, but then again I ain't the boss! I just do drugs!" He finishes with a laugh.
Jackson laughs as well to that last part and then uses his water magic to go to make a pair of arms to steer his bike, as he kicks back to relax a bit. "I think I get it! It's like the school bully tactic! Go to your victim's house so that they know you aren't afraid of them getting their parents or something?!"
"Oh you would know all about that, huh Jackson?!" Reggie replies. "Wasn't it me and Avery who had to bail you out of that mess with Bart?!" He asked and seen how Jackson seemed to grimace. "Came a long way from swirlies to biker! Now you are the Kraken boy with a kickass rig! Jokes aside, I am glad you grew a backbone to stand up to him that day!"
Jackson's grimace turned into a small smile as he hears the words of praise from Reggie. As he was relaxing, and with them weaving through traffic, he hears the telltale sign of sirens behind them. They both turn around to see the NCPD coming after them with their lights and sirens on. They both look at each other and smirk. "Hey! I'll race you to Sesamo! Loser pays the others ticket!"
Reggie scoffs and grabs his bike handles, ready to take up the challenge. "You actually pay those?! My left saddlebag is filled to the top with unpaid tickets from 2005!" Jackson laughs and leans forward, dispelling the water arms as he grabs his handlebars.
"Well then win or lose, I lose nothing!" He yells as he conjures a water ramp, that solidifies into ice, creating a path for him to drive along and leaving Reggie in the dust. "Pick up the pace, Treehugger! Plants bloom faster than you ride!"
"The hell you say, Tentacruel?!" Reggie yelled in response and a tree breaks through the concrete as it begins to slither and whine under his bike's weight. He lifts off into the air and vines shoot from his shoulder leathers, latching into the buildings, anchoring him to the sides of them. Occasional ramps of wood jut out to let him get some air time to jump from building to building. While more vines come out to anchor him back to the buildings. "I couldn't hear you over my roaring engine, Fishfucker!" He then guns it forward and Jackson matches him in speed.
Both began to race around the city, losing the cops from maneuverability, and speed. Left in their wake is an stream of ice, that breaks and starts again, with buildings being shrouded in greenery. Eventually they make it to Hell's Kitchen, and to Sesamo. Both of them come barreling into the parking lot, and notice it is filled with bikes from their gang. A few of their guys are still outside, watching them come land in the center, and skid to a halt before the bike line. Both of them shout. "I win! What?! No you didn't, I did!" The occasional joke about their appearance or magic use playing into each one's respective argument.
The gang has been used to their mannerisms from even before Lord Uzzin, and now it just makes it even funnier how heated they can end up getting. Most just laugh, while others just ignore the two crazy alley cats. One, however, walks through the crowd to see what all the noise is, and then grins as he sees Reggie and Jackson. He begins to approach them with a raised brow, his piercings catching the glint of the sun. He makes it to about 10 feet from them before they notice his approach. "Well well well... look who finally makes it to something on time. Shark Tale and Daffodil."
Reggie is the first to snort at Jackson's nickname, while Jackson chuckles at Reggie's nickname. Reggie parks his bike and turns it off, then walks over to the man. The man has a mohawk, that goes about an inch or two off his head, with piercings in his brow and one on his nose. Brown eyes and black hair with some jeans and a plain white T-shirt under his cut for the MC. Reggie holds out his fist to bump with the man and the man returns it, as Jackson does the same. "Avery. We were just talking about you before we got here."
Avery turned to Jackson and smirked. "Well that is funny, cause the boss was just talking about you two." This made them grimace a bit and Avery laughed. "Nah he ain't mad or anything, but you guys didn't notice the news chopper following you for a bit did you?" They both look at each other and then back to Avery. Both shook their heads and Avery sighed at their antics. "Well all that damage and chaos warranted a live coverage, Channel 5 ate it all up."
He turned to walk ahead and waved for them to follow. "Come on. We get to eat at Lord Uzzin's table today. I heard him say something about you two making up for not being at the meeting with a show of power like that. Which you are both gonna be cleaning up later." Avery said with a laugh.
Reggie was the first to respond. "Wait, we don't have to clean up our messes unless we do it in our territory." Jackson nodded at that statement as well. Avery gave them a nod and kept walking. Reggie looked at Jackson and then a thought hit his mind. "Wait?! The meeting was a success?!" Avery snorted and nodded as they entered the restaurant. "Fuck, so from Pier 15 to Chelsea?! Dammit we gotta clean all that shit?!"
"That's right boys." A silky smooth voice with a bit of southern tang bleeding into it says from the other side of the restaurant. Looking over they spotted the one who caused so much success, and now cleaning duty, Lord Uzzin, sitting with Tombstone and a few others. "I trust that won't be a problem?" He says with a smile on his face, as he rolls a glass of wine in his hands before taking a sip. Both Reggie and Jackson shook their heads, accepting their fates.
After the meeting we went to this nice little place for a celebratory brunch. As of 1 hour ago I own all the territories from the Battery to Madison Square Park, and boy does it feel great. It feels like yesterday I was entering this world for my next life, and over the course of that time I noticed that my mindset and morals were being replaced with that of a proper Devil. I still have a soft spot and sympathy, however I am more likely to just end the life of my problems now. Am I proud of it? No. Will I fight against it? Eh, probably not. I rather just enjoy all the luxuries this world affords me.
Looking over to the waitress at the place, after we all rolled in, I stepped forward and traced a finger around her neck, and up to her chin. "Table for 60 plus, beautiful. Make it snappy, and without fuss, and I'll give you a nice tip after all this is over." My voice came off as silky, as I allowed my lust aspect to take over for this. Devils are unironically great at all of the sins. It really gives meaning to the words, 'The devil will approach you, and he will come as if he were your best friend.'
I saw her face heat up as sweat formed on her brow. With a stutter to her voice she grabbed some menus. "R-right this way, sir!" Did I just hear her voice squeak? How delightful. I followed her as she brought me to a table with enough chairs for all my top dogs in the MC. Tombstone was sat to my right as I took the head of the table for myself. I made sure to keep some open seats for Reggie and Jackson, wherever those two lazy shits are. I will be sure to discipline them before the end of the day for not being there today. Things went according to plan, but I will always expect my underlings to follow orders, no matter how much I like them or not.
Avery pulled a seat near me and sat down. Avery isn't the most talented one with magic in this MC, but he is a great people person. I have him as head of negotiations if I am not present, he has an uncanny ability to sniff out and exploit a person's weaknesses. Such value should be rewarded with status and power. He has adapted to this role quickly, and has coordinated most of my business ventures. The more I talk about it, he can be attributed to a useful secretary, someone who isn't a piece of eyecandy for a hard working businessman, and instead is actually simultaneously valuable and terrifying. It is actually entertaining to see him chip at a person's psyche in a formal talk, with no hint of malice in his voice, and watching them squirm under the pressure.
"They didn't show up Lord Uzzin?" Avery said and I nodded at that as I began to look over the menu. "I wouldn't be too hard on them, they are idiots, but they will listen better eventually." This is his problem though, which is an advantage in many situations. He is too soft on those he views as comrades. I get it, but there's a point where you must separate friend from job.
I gave a sigh and then placed the menu down. "Well Avery, my friend. I have no doubt they will, but even if it were my own mother, an example must be made. Reggie and Jackson were given orders and were meant to show up for the meeting in a show of power. This meeting went according to plan in the end, but that is no excuse for not showing up." I spoke clearly and non hostilely. I need Avery to understand where I am coming from, and to see that my orders are absolute. I saw him about to speak and I raised a hand to stop him. "I will listen to why they were not here and then I will assign them a punishment based on that. I love those two, but at the end of the day emotional attachment is a hinderance in the workplace. Do you understand, my boy?"
Avery sighs and then leans back in his chair. I can see the war breaking out in his head at that, but eventually it concedes. "Yeah Uzzin. I get it." I nodded and he continued. "Just don't make it too bad for them, please." I sigh and then nod, I may end up doing so anyway, but this way he will be less likely to get upset. Avery may even think my punishment is me being easy on them in my eyes.
After I turned back to my menu I eventually get around to ordering my food, and making sure to get some red wine for myself. After I did that I was about to address the ones assembled, but the TV caught my attention. There on the TV was Reggie and Jackson racing throughout the territories we owned now, being followed by news choppers and police. Many in the crowd were looking at them with a mix of shack and awe, as the duo's magic carved their path through the city.
Noticing this I smirked and seen they were proudly wearing their cuts for the MC. There's no way anyone will NOT know they belong to my gang, and therefore I can let them off a bit easier. They already created their own punishment in this little stunt. They are carving up MY new territory after all. I have rule that my territories are repaired and maintained here. I like my things to remain nice looking after all.
I began to chuckle as the rest followed my vision and watched as well. Eventually the helicopter lost them, but I saw they were about to be here soon since I noticed the path they took. "Ahahahahaha! Those two crazy cats just gave a great display of their abilities, and the power of the MC!" I seemed to have drawn attention from my outburst as most of the eyes were on me. I sat back and then took a sip of my wine. "As if we needed more, yet I welcome this one. Avery." The young man looked at me. "When they arrive, retrieve them for me. Bring them here to be seated. They just gave themselves the honor of cleaning the destruction of the territory, with their little stunt. A proper punishment for tardiness, do you not agree?"
With a final chuckle I saw the look of relief and then heard the traits of laughter. Looking over to my underboss, I noticed Tombstone was smirking as he got a good laugh from Reggie and Jackson's games on the TV. "Yeah, you're probably right Lord Uzzin. I'll be sure to grab them when they-" A roar of two bikes and a skidding sound from outside stops him in his tracks. He looked at me and I motioned for him to go get them. "Right. I'll be back." I nodded as he got up to retrieve the two troublemakers.
"Now with everyone here I think it is time to get back to business. We are 280 strong now, and with more than enough territory to go around. I believe it is time to begin recruitment to our group, and to move onto making the city accept us like they do their precious heroes." I say as I have the attention of the entire MC. The poor restaurant was not prepared to serve this many people, and some of them have yet to eat yet, but the food was coming as fast as the small kitchen could go.
I stood and then clasped my hands together. As I spread them a map of our territory appeared for all to see. I then circled key points around it with runes, which caused a glow to intensify in those locations. "These are the main points we need to cover and man now for our positions in the Underworld. I wish to repurpose a few of these, and give specific jobs to the ones I will put in charge of my spots on the map." This got the attention of everyone and they went quiet. "Tombstone." I had his attention more closely now. I pointed to the spot that highlighted the original base. "I grant you the territory I relieved you of, as I will be moving locations. You know the neighborhood the best, and so I will want you to handle recruitment processes, and run the drugs that we produce through our magical arts."
Reputation increased with Tombstone 80/100 for giving him his old roots back.
A grin was plastered on his face as he banged the table with his fist. "Hell yeah!" I chuckled at his enthusiasm and then moved onto the next ones. "As for these positions..." I went through and gave as many of the territories to all of the ones who showed the most use to the MC. After a bit I made it to the final two territories. "As for this last one, near the Piers of 15, 35, and 42 I will leave this in the charge of both Reggie and Jackson. I expect the both of you to handle any of our affairs in the East River with exceptional work." Seeing that I finished with giving all the territories mostly everyone was satisfied.
"Uhhh, boss?" I noticed Avery began to speak and so I turned to him. "You forgot one." He pointed at the one in Madison Square Park.
I shook my head. "No I didn't. I plan on taking over that part of the territory, using the park as a focal point for the summoning of my castle from hell. I wish to have my old home brought to me, so that I may really get to work with taking care of the territories. I plan on taking you with me to run all the mortal side tasks Avery. I will handle the mystical side, while you handle the mundane." Hearing this, Avery seems to get hyped at being able to oversee his own territory in a way. I could see the glint in his eyes from 6 miles away. I gave a chuckle and then raised a glass. "Now that we got all the business out of the way... it's time to party! All of this is my treat boys! Drink and celebrate to your heart's content!"
A large cheer erupted from them all and they began to party till sunset. After it was all over, I gave the staff each a $10,000 tip, and paid the enormous bill we racked up. They should have enough money to stock this place 5 times over, and I could have sworn I heard a few of them may end up trying to summon me at some point. It will be delightful to get some new contracts made, and the waitress at the start wasn't bad looking either. Considering how she was looking at me the whole night, I can imagine what she would summon me for. I can't wait to see if I am right.
Making my way to the new territory I noticed a presence creeping up behind me. It had a decent magical presence, yet it was tainted by something dark and evil. It was palpable for as small as the taint was. Turning I saw a feminine figure in a monk's attire, and a cowl over their head to hide their appearance. Noticing another aspect of her, she appeared to be ancient. I chuckled as she began to approach me, and the world began to unravel around me. "You messing with powers far beyond what your mortal body can take, baby doll. But sure... I'll take this dance."
Magic coursed through me as it began to take over the unraveling reality and bend it to my will, both converged on each other in a swelling storm of crashing waves, as we walked towards each other.