The dundering duo
The Serpent Society is owned by Marvel Comics.
Chapter 3: The dundering duo
‘’Now Hiss, I am versed in the Nepalese Mystic Arts, which are distinguished from the European forms by their non-reliance on Wands,’’ began Dr. Doom. ‘’My mother was a more traditional European Witch and died because her killers were able separate her from her wand. Nepalese Magic relies more on Hand gestures and Incantations. This means that your magic can be nullified by tying you up and gagging you.
Now the first thing we need to work on is getting your magic confined to your own body. Otherwise, it would continue to play havoc with anything electrical in your vicinity.’’
‘’It occurs to me to me that this aspect of magic could be a formidable weapon against technology dependant foes like Iron Man,’’ observed the Taskmaster.
‘’Although this is true, the electrical disrupting properties of magic is an all or nothing proposition and is notoriously difficult to control,’’ replied Doom. ‘’Believe me, I’ve tried. In addition, as he grows, his magical power will increase, thus increasing the range at which he disrupts technology. It’s very hard to live without electricity! It’s best that he learns to reign this in now, while he’s still young and his power levels are relatively weak.’’
Dr. Doom stayed at the Taskmaster’s school for a week teaching Hiss how to keep his power confined to his body and the basics of Nepalese magic.
‘’Lord Doom, I want to thank you once again for helping us like this,’’ said Diamondback. ‘’Is there anything we can do to repay you?’’
‘’Actually, there is,’’ replied Doom. ‘’There is an impostor out there claiming to be me. He is, even now, gathering forces to invade my country. When the time comes, I would appreciate it if the Serpent Society would lend their support to repelling these invaders.’’
‘’I can’t make any promises,’’ admitted Diamondback. ‘’but I’ll pitch it to Sidewinder and see if I can get him to agree.’’
‘’That is all I ask,’’ said Doom.
‘’Mom, I don’t want to be Hiss anymore,’’ said Larry. ‘’I want to be the new Rattler, in memory of dad.’’
‘’I’m proud of you for wanting to follow in his footsteps! But how are we going to do that?’’ asked Diamondback as she hugged her son. ‘’His tail was electrically powered. Besides, I don’t want you going deaf like he did.’’
‘’Perhaps I can offer a solution,’’ said Doom. ‘’I have a colleague in Switzerland, Arim Zola, who is an expert in genetics. He could make genetic changes that would allow your ward to be naturally powered up.’’
‘’Genetic Engineering? I don’t know about that . . .’’ said Diamondback.
‘’Please Mom!’’ begged Hiss, while looked up at her with ‘puppy dog’ eyes.
Right now, Diamondback was wondering if this was such a good idea. Arim Zola was so Creepy looking! Where his head should be was a box. (some sort of cybernetic enhancement) and his face was in the middle of his chest! But it was too late now. The Swiss mad scientist was nearly finished.
‘’It will take a few months to grow, but once the tail in complete, it will be as strong as a leg. He’ll be able to hit people with it like the Scorpion does,’’ explained Zola.
‘’Will it be prehensile?’’ asked Diamondback.
Being an acrobat herself, she was concerned about his maneuverability.
‘’He won’t be able to manipulate objects with it, like a hand,’’ said Zola. ‘’But he will be able to bend into a hook that he can hang from. I’ve also increased his speed and agility. Right now, he’s about as strong as an average full grown man. But that will increase as he gets older, especially after puberty.’’
‘’Will my tail have a rattle?’’ asked Larry.
‘’Yes, a rattle will grow on the end of the tail and if it breaks off a new one will grow in to take its’ place.’’
‘’Cool!’’ exclaimed Larry.
‘’George, glad you could join me,’’ said Charles Crabbe.
‘’I was a bit curious as why you wanted to meet in such an out-of-the-way place,’’ replied George Goyle as they sipped their tea at Bubble bubble toil and trouble, a sidewalk café in an alley off Knock Turn Alley.
‘’Have you seen Yaxley lately?’’ inquired Crabbe.
‘’No, I can’t say that I have,’’ replied Goyle. ‘’He always was obsessed with Harry Potter, but whatever wards Dumbledore is using to hide him are impenetrable. Do you think he found a way to get through them and locate the boy-who-lived?’’
‘’That’s possible,’’ admitted Crabbe. ‘’Who knows what nasty surprises Dumbledore put in the wards in case someone found the boy-who-lived? That’s why I wanted your help. I was going to cast a locator charm to try to find him and I wanted there to be someone who knows what happened to me.’’
‘’Alright, Charles, but I don’t think you’ll have any luck,’’ replied Goyle. ‘’Remember how hard we all tried after the Dark Lord’s fall?’’
‘’Believe me, I don’t expect it to work,’’ said Crabbe. ‘’I just need you here, just in case. Here goes.’’
Charles Crabbe waved his wand as he said the incantation. To his great shock, an image of a map appeared floating above the table. It clearly showed a line stretching from Britain, across the Atlantic and ending in a bright red ‘X’ in upstate New York.
‘’I’m thinking the Dark Lord would reward us if we killed Harry Potter while he’s in hiding,’’ said Goyle as he gazed at the map.
‘’Still, I don’t think we should go without telling someone where we’ve gone, just in case we disappear too,’’ said Crabbe.
‘’How about Lucius?’’ suggested Goyle.
‘’No, if we tell him, he’ll take all the credit. Even if he doesn’t go himself, he’ll say we were acting on his orders,’’ countered Crabbe. ‘’How about Walden?’’
Inspired by the movie, Apoclyse Now, the squadron of helicopters were equipped with loudspeakers that blared Wagner’s Flight of the Valkirie as they approached the prison. As soon as they were within range the helicopters began blasting away at the guard towers, creating havoc and chaos.
In the midst of confusion, A squad of soldiers of the Secret Empire repelled out of one of the choppers. They were dressed in kevlar body armor that was styled to look like ancient Roman armor.
‘’MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!’’ yelled the centurian as they charged into the cell blocks.
When they found her in solitary, (she’d killed three guards in the past week) they shot the lock off.
‘’Come with me if you want to live!’’ said the centurian, after sticking the barrel of his gun in the mouth of the green-haired woman.
She kicked the side his knee hard enough to tear ligaments and as he was falling, reached out and broke his neck.
The other Secret Empire Soldiers gaped at her in shock.
‘’What are you waiting for? Let’s go!’’ yelled the Viper.
‘’Johan, I still think this a bad Idea,’’ said Mother Night. ‘’She is a seriously crazy nihilist!’’
‘’Shut up!’’ yelled the Red Skull, as he slammed the back of his fist into his girlfriend, Mother Night, who was sitting beside him in the Helicopter.
Blood started streaming from her now, broken nose as the soldiers hustled the Viper into the chopper.
‘’Ah, Viper, I brought your costume,’’ said the Red Skull as he handed it to her.
As the Helicopter was taking off, the Viper stripped out of her prison clothes completely, even the underwear, not seeming to care if the soldiers ogled her naked body. She pulled on her dark green PVC bodysuit, matching boots and pistol. Drawing her pistol, gazed at it as if check to see if it suited her purposes. She then, pointed it at the head of one of the soldiers who’d been ogling her and pulled the trigger before kicking his lifeless body out the door of the helicopter.
‘’If you could stop killing my minions for a moment, I have an assignment for you,’’ said the Red Skull in a calm manner, as if discussing the weather. ‘’I think it’s high time you took control of the Serpent Society.’’
‘’I’ll consider it,’’ replied the Viper as the stopped pointing her gun at a second soldier and holstered it.
Sidewinder was just escorting Larry back from the Taskmasters school where he had help the new Rattler practice teleportation tactics, when two figures appeared before them with a popping sound. Both of them wore hooded black robes and skull masks.
‘’Go get help, Rattler!’’ commanded Sidewinder. ‘’I’ll handle these two bozos!’’
With a ‘pop!’, Larry apparated back to his room.
Sidewinder teleported behind one of the Death Eaters and punched him in the kidney. The other Death Eater waved his wand at the wall and tentacles sprang from it to sieze Sidewinder. Now that he was sure Larry was safe, Sidewinder teleported back to the meeting room and activated the alarm.
The Rattler appeared in the living room of the apartment he shared with his mother, Diamondback.
‘’Mom! The Red Skull has come for us again!’’ yelled the Rattler as he scooped up his pet snake and apparated away.
‘’Larry wait! You didn’t tell me where-‘’ began Diamondback when the alarm went off.
Mixed with the blaring sound of the alarm was the voice of Sidewinder.
‘’INTRUDER ALERT! THE RED SKULLS FORCES HAVE INVADED THE SERPENT CITIDEL! FIRST FLOOR; HALL B!’’
Diamondback ran as fast her legs would take her.
When the Rattler apparated back, he found himself, alone with the two Death Eaters.
“~Get him Sssyrinusss!~”
The snake began shaking its’ rattle as it flew through the air and Charles Crabbe, who had never seen an American muggle movie and didn’t know what that sound meant, was momentarily distracted by the strange new sound. When he landed, ~Sssyrinusss~ bit him on the neck, pumping his venom into the Death Eater’s body. He screamed in terror as the venom pumped into him and dropped his wand as he flailed at it.
‘’Petrificus Totalis!’’ yelled the other Death Eater as a beam of light shot out of his wand at the boy.
The Rattler dodged the beam that sailed over his head to hit Bushmaster as he arrived upon the scene. Diamondback was the next to arrive and as she leaped over Bushmaster’s paralyzed body she threw one of her diamonds into the eye hole of the Death Eater’s mask.
‘’Ow! My eye!’’ Screamed George Goyle as he dropped his wand and reached for the offending diamond.
The Rattler, did a sweeping kick (like the Taskmaster had taught him) at Goyles ankle. Taken by surprise, the Death Eater fell to the ground. The Rattler followed this up by pounding on protruding diamond, driving it deep into Goyle’s brain.
By then Cottonmouth had arrived on the scene and spotting the other Death Eater flopping around on the ground from the poison, removed Crabbe’s skull mask, unhinged his jaw, and bit Crabbe’s head off.
‘’Man ah told you the Skull was gonna’ be trouble!’’ said Cottonmouth after spitting the Death Eater’s head out.
The Rattler rushed to Bushmaster’s side. He recognized that this was a form of paralysis spell so he tried to lift it. Manipulating his fingers as Doom had taught him, he said:
‘’By the Hory Hosts of Hoggoth, I release you!’’
‘’Hey! I can wiggle my tail a little! And I can speak! Thanks kid!’’ exclaimed Bushmaster as movement gradually returned to his body.
‘’Larry Leighton don’t you ever pull a stunt like that again!’’ Yelled Diamondback, after she had thoroughly hugged her foster son. ‘’You could have been killed! You’re not old enough to take on the Red Skulls minions!
Next time they show up, let the adults handle it!’’
‘’Yes mom,’’ said the Rattler as he bowed his head and picked up his snake. ‘’Mom, why does the Red Skull hate us?’’
‘’I don’t know, honey,’’ said Diamondback. ‘’Maybe it’s because we’re integrated.’’
‘’What’s ingrated?’’ asked the Rattler.
‘’Integrated,’’ corrected Diamondback. ‘’It mean we have members of all races in the Serpent Society. Bushmaster is an African American, Asp is Egyptian, Black Mamba is Hispanic. The Red Skull is a racist and doesn’t like people that he considers to be members of inferior races.’’
‘’And how can you afford to throw Diamonds all the time? Don’t they cost a whole lot?’’ asked the Rattler as he pulled the throwing diamond out of the Death Eater’s skull and wiped it off on the Death Eater’s robe before handing it back to his foster mother.
‘’Well, technically, they’re really cubic zirconium,’’ explained Diamondback. ‘’That’s artificial diamond. Chemically it’s the same thing as diamond only more pure. You see, it used be that diamonds were very rare. But then, a hundred years ago, so many were discovered in southern Africa that they aren’t rare any more. In one place, there was a whole beach of diamonds. So this gang of criminals called the DeBeers company took over these huge deposits of diamonds and gained control of the world diamond market. Now they control 90% of the worlds diamonds and they have convinced people that natural diamonds are better, even though they are less pure.’’
‘’Well that doesn’t make any sense!’’ replied the Rattler.
‘’Again the Red Skull attacks us!’’ growled Sidewinder. ‘’And not only that, I’ve uncovered evidence that he was secretly behind the Scourge!’’
‘’That’s the guy that offed Death Adder!’’ said Anaconda.
‘’No, that Scourge was recently killed by another scourge,’’ pointed out Diamondback.
‘’Exactly, and the Red Skull was supplying them both,’’ said Sidewinder.
‘’I hate to say I told you so but I did,’’ said Cottonmouth.
‘’That’s nether here, not there,’’ said the Cobra. ‘’The point is, the Red Skull has now attacked us three times and killed two of us if you count Death Adder.’’
‘’Do you think maybe he trying to take over the Serpent Society?’’ ask the Asp.
‘’That might explain the strange snake and skull tattoos these guys had,’’ mused Black Mamba.
‘’Perhaps you’re right,’’ said Bushmaster. ‘’We’ll have to keep an eye out for that.’’
‘’For now, I propose we take out the Scourge,’’ said Sidewinder. ‘’One of us will have to act as bait. Now usually his victims are in the midst of a battle with a superhero and the current one seems to prefer the more incompetent victims. So how about we lure a foreign hero here, someone who’s a 2nd stringer, like Defensor. Diamondback can engage him in battle-‘’
‘’Hey! I am not a 2nd stringer!’’ screeched Diamondback.
‘’I know that, and you know that, but most people think just because you don’t have any powers, you’re not as big a threat as you are,’’ explained Sidewinder. ‘’Now once the Scourge appears. Anaconda, Asp, Black Mamba and I will help Diamondback kill him.’’
‘’What about me and Bushmaster’’ asked Cottonmouth.
‘’You two will stay here,’’ said Sidewinder. ‘’The Scourge attacks at range, usually with guns. You two have to get close in order to be a threat.’’