SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
A woman with waist-length blond hair walked around her hotel room in nothing but her underwear. She was gathering her equipment to layout for what she had planned for the day. A variety of guns, knives, and even a pair of sheathed katanas were placed neatly next to a red and black costume.
“Today’s the day,” she said, turning to show herself to be Wanda Wilson.
Laura sat at the kitchen table eating a bowl of cereal. She wasn’t fully awake yet and her face showed just that. Gabby walked into the kitchen. The bowl of cereal immediately caught her attention. She wanted to ask Laura if she could have some but was afraid to ask seeing as Laura wanted nothing to do with her.
“Morning, Squirt,” said Megan as she walked into the kitchen. “What do you want some cereal? Help yourself. The cereal is in the pantry and the bowls are in the cabinet over the sink. I’m sure you can figure out where the milk is.”
“I’ve never had cereal before.” Gabby walked over and grabbed a box of cereal.
Megan couldn’t believe what she just heard. “Never had cereal? Who’s never had cereal before? Laura, she’s definitely your clone. She’s just as deprived as you.”
“Tsk.” Laura looked away.
Gabby, up until now, had been under the control of Alchemax Genetics. Born a clone of Laura, she and her ‘sisters’ were sent out as hired assassins. For a time it looked like there was no escape from this grim profession, but the encounter with El Coco freed her from Alchemax’s watchful eye. Thanks to Laura and the Ghost Rider of Los Angeles, Robbie Reyes, she was able to get away from El Coco and now she lives with the Kinneys.
“What happened to the kid?” asked Gabby referring to Robbie’s younger brother Gabe.
“His brother came after you fell asleep and took him home,” replied Megan. “He didn’t say anything about what he did with the monster. Honestly, don’t think I wanted to know anyways.”
Megan’s mother, Deborah, entered the kitchen. “Morning girls. I hope everyone had a good night’s sleep.”
“It was nice to sleep in a bed for once and not some dusty old cot in a dark room,” explained Gabby. “So what other cool things are we gonna do today?”
“Hmph.” Laura got up from the table and stormed off.
Gabby appeared upset by this. Deborah walked over to the eleven-year-old clone and placed her hands on her shoulders.
“Don’t let that bother you, little one,” said Deborah. “She’s been through a lot and this just made things harder for her to deal with everything. She didn’t like talking with Megan at first and she’s slowly starting to come around. You’ll just have to give her time.”
“It was a struggle to get a single word out of her,” Megan remembered. “But now, as moody as she is, she at least speaks to me. Until that time comes, we’ll just have to get to know each other and become close cousins.”
“So, we’re still cousins?” questioned Gabby. “Even though I’m a clone?”
“Yeah, Squirt.” Megan poked her in the forehead.
“Then who’s my mom and dad?” Gabby was extremely excited to know.
“Uhh, heh.” Megan cleared her throat not too comfortable about responding. “Your ‘sister’ went on a blind rampage and killed your mother who was my aunt. Your father… How can I nicely say he’s a murderous sociopath?”
“You know who her… their father is?” asked Deborah.
“Yeah, when Robbie took us to that mage to help Laura, she took us into her mind,” answered Megan. “I saw her being controlled to kill her mother and saw her being broken out of a lab by her father Sabretooth. Apparently, he’s the mortal enemy of the X-Men’s Wolverine, who Laura is more reminiscent of. Makes you question the validity of his claims to be her father.”
LATER – DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO
Wanda Wilson now dressed in her red and black costume had taken a position on a rooftop where she surveyed the area. Her long blonde hair was pulled through the back of her red mask with large black ovals around her eyes. This costume had a pretty familiar design.
“I know what you’re thinking and before you say anything, no this is not a copyright infringement,” she said to the reader apparently. “Hey, writer chill it with the sass.”
Are we really doing this?
“Hey, you knew what you were getting when you plotted this out. Maybe, I should introduce myself to the readers, if there are any.”
What are you trying to imply? I know for a fact, someone reads Araña.
“You’ve been writing that little Latina arachnid since 2005. I would have figured by now you’d be further into the third series than issue #24. Anyway, I’m Lady Deadpool. You can call me Lady-D for short. If you want to go there, Deadpool nicknamed me Boobs once in one of the comics. I can’t remember if that comic took place in Earth-616 or… so what Earth-number is Marvel Omega? I always wondered, but that’s neither here nor there.”
You know I could have just used Deadpool since Nik Wimer no longer writes his series, but I figured you might be less annoying.
“Well, that’s rude. And I mean that towards both of you. I am not annoying and how dare he stop writing the series of the greatest hero of them all. DP you’re in our hearts! If you haven’t guessed I’m a diehard Deadpool fan.”
Maybe Gwenpool would have been less annoying, but I’ve never read her series.
“Okay, now who’s trailing off? Can we get back to the point? I’m here waiting for that hothead of a Wolverine clon… err… What’s the deal with her in MO?”
She’s technically the daughter of Sabretooth but was genetically altered while still in the womb to give her Wolverine’s DNA which is why she has his claws and isn’t as feral looking as her father.
“So you could say she has three parents? I wish I had parents. Okay, wait we’re getting distracted again. That girl has the information I need. And I’m going to get it from her.”
I thought you had Comic Awareness. Shouldn’t you just know the information you need?
“Where would the fun be in that? Now, what happened to the All-New Wolverine? Oh, wait I remember! This is an X-23 series. *snickers* You should totally tell the readers about the time you considered calling her the Lynx because of her parentage.”
…Can you just get to the point where you go after Laura? She hasn’t officially adopted the codename X-23, by the way.
Lady Deadpool peered out a pair of binoculars. Hours had passed since Laura left her home to get some time alone without Megan and Gabby underfoot. All she was doing was walking around, not sure of what to do with herself. She had no idea that Lady Deadpool was watching her from above.
Gabby was watching television while Megan worked on some school work. Megan looked up from her books to see Gabby entranced by what she was watching. She couldn’t help but laugh to herself.
“Let me guess,” she started. “You haven’t watched TV before either?”
“No, I’ve watched TV,” Gabby responded. “But I’ve never been able to watch anything of my own choice. I’ve never had the opportunity to make my own choice on anything.”
“It must have been hard being forced into the life you’ve lived so far,” said Megan. “Being cloned from Laura is bad enough, but to have to be an assassin. It sounds awful. You’re with us now though. Time for things to change.”
“What about my sisters?” asked Gabby.
“Zelda and Bellona, right?” Megan thought. “You said they were older than you. Maybe, they can find their way out on their own. Right now, your only way to go after them is with Laura and that’s probably not gonna happen anytime soon.”
DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO
Laura walked up to a window showing the inside of a clothing store. In the window, several mannequins were set up to display various clothing. One wearing leather pants with a matching jacket caught her eye. As she checked out the outfit, a sound caught her attention. She heard the sound of something being thrown at her from above.
She spun around with her arms up in front of her chest, ready to pop her claws. A cable shot down and wrapped around her before she could react. People all around were shocked as they watched Laura being pulled up to the neighboring building’s rooftop. Finally all of the way up, she saw Lady Deadpool standing at the other end of a pulley device that dragged her up here.
“I didn’t know you were the leather-type,” said Lady Deadpool. “You usually see badasses wearing leather. I don’t see how an eighteen-year-old girl with anger issues fills the badass role.”
“Who the hell are you?!” Laura yelled.
“I’m just everyone’s favorite Mercette with a Mouth, Lady Deadpool,” she playfully replied. “What do we call you? X-23? Hmm, he said she doesn’t go by that yet. I can’t call you Wolverine. How’s Scratchy sound?”
Despite having her arms pinned to her chest she was able to muscle her way into slashing out of the cables. She got into a stance, ready to defend herself. A lightbulb popped above Lady Deadpool’s head. She put her right index finger up to say one second and went to dig through one of her duffle bags she had with her. She pulled out a nail file and held it up to Laura.
“You could use a manicure,” she explained. “I can give you one while we discuss, I don’t know, Alchemax Genetics.”
“Don’t tell me.” Laura appeared annoyed. “I already told you! I don’t know anything! So take your nail file and shove it up your ass!”
“Oh, you have such a weird fetish.” Lady Deadpool flicked the nail file away. “I love it! I’m totally down. We can do so much weird shit to each other.”
Laura was disgusted. All she wanted was to be left alone and she couldn’t even get that walking around the city. She turned away and looked for a way down. Before she could find one she heard the click of a gun from behind her.
“Oh, no you don’t,” said Lady Deadpool holding two handguns. “I’m heartbroken. I thought our relationship took a turn in the right direction. I was gonna tell you my deepest darkest secret.”
“It’s probably just gonna be something perverted,” countered Laura. “I’m telling you I don’t know anything about Alchemax. You are wasting both of our time by doing this.”
“I don’t believe you for a second.” Lady Deadpool kept her guns up. “What about the child you just found?”
Laura gritted her teeth. She knew the only way she was getting away from her was by going through her. With her claws out, she lunged forward slicing the barrels of her guns.
“There’s more where that came from!” exclaimed Lady Deadpool.
This time she pulled out a machine gun. Laura cartwheeled to the side to dodge the barrage of bullets. When the gun ran out of ammunition, Laura charged in and stabbed Lady Deadpool in the abdomen.
“Damn, that hurt!” She grabbed Laura’s wrists and pulled herself from her claws. “You gotta watch where you stick those things!”
Laura was prepared to leave her to bleed out, but unexpectedly to Laura, she began to heal rapidly quite like she would. The outline of a smile could be seen on Lady Deadpool’s mask. She then punched Laura with enough strength that caught the latter by surprise. Laura retaliated and the two exchanged blows to a stalemate.
Gabby was practically beaming with excitement. Megan was introducing her to music for the first time. She couldn’t help but laugh. She never saw someone this excited to just listen to music.
“I can’t imagine what it could have been like not able to do whatever you want,” said Megan. “Music is very important to a lot of people. It could be inspirational at times. It can also be good for keeping your mind distracted.”
“We weren’t able to do anything.” Gabby shrugged. “They took everything from us. Even our ability to feel pain.”
“You can’t feel pain?” questioned Megan. “As bad as everything was, that seems like a win.”
“I wonder sometimes,” replied Gabby. “They implanted nanites in our bodies. That’s what stops the pain. Because of this, the people who created us would abuse us. Luckily, my ‘sisters’ protected me from much of it. I’m glad to be out of there, but they’re still under their control.”
“Yeah, it may not happen right away, but I’m sure it will work out in the end,” Megan reassured.
DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO
Laura and Lady Deadpool came crashing through a skylight. When they stood up they cracked various body parts to readjust themselves. Lady Deadpool drew out her katanas to counter Laura’s claws. Just as they were gonna attack each other, the room began to fill with darkness. It seemed unnatural. All light dampened around them. Eventually, the room was so dark that they couldn’t see one another nor anything else.
“This is the part where we have to team up to fight a common enemy before we turn on each other again,” said Lady Deadpool. “But this girl doesn’t hear me because we’re bathed in unending darkness where no light can be found, no sound could be heard.”
While Lady Deadpool monologued, Laura looked around for an answer to what was happening. Suddenly, Laura was hit by an unseen force. Lady Deadpool playfully dodged any strikes attended for her while laughing despite not being able to see them. Laura was repeatedly struck. She began to grunt lowly to herself.
Laura was thinking irrationally and just began slashing wildly. Her claws caught something. She could feel the blood from her unknown attacker running down her fingers. This stopped her. She thought that this was what her father would do, blindly slashing away without hesitation and getting some sick thrill from it. She backed down and calmed herself.
Since she couldn’t see, she decided to rely on her other senses. In this situation, her nose was her best tool with her heightened sense of smell. After some sniffing, she caught a scent and followed it. She kicked where she believed her target to be. Her nose led her right as the darkness withdrew revealing a young man with pitch-black skin and pointed ears on the ground trying to catch his breath.
“What the hell is this?” asked Laura.
“Hmm, looks like we crashed their party,” replied Lady Deadpool pointing out tables with alcohol, food, and some questionable stuff that caught her attention. “Look at all this cool stuff!!! Is this the new iPhone? Let’s see, tablets, game systems, tons and tons of cash, and hey nice guns. I think we stumbled across that mutant gang I’ve been hearing about.”
Laura couldn’t care less about what she was talking about. She was leaving while Lady Deadpool was talking. She pulled one of the guns and pointed it at Laura.
“I don’t think so, girly,” said Lady Deadpool who was on the receiving end of a middle finger.
“Hey, you can’t just come barging in here!” yelled a member of the alleged mutant gang poking his finger into Laura’s chest.
Laura quickly grabbed the gang member’s finger and snapped it with ease. He yelled in pain and grabbed his hand.
“Keep your fingers to yourself or the next time I’ll break the rest of them,” she threatened. “And you! I’m leaving! If you have a problem with that you can go fuck yourself.”
“Hmm…I don’t know if I should follow up on that line.” Lady Deadpool scratched her head. “Hey, Marvel Omega isn’t PG-13, right?”
Laura wasn’t censored, but I have a feeling of what you’re thinking and let’s not go there.
“Okay, no freaky shit, got it!” She snapped her fingers as if she were showing her disappointment.
“Who is she talking to?” asked one of the gang members.
Lady Deadpool shot the person in the foot, “Sorry, kiddo. The adults are talking here. Now go walk that off.”
“Oh, that’s so sweet of you!” she cheered. “Thanks!”
Laura proceeded to walk out of the building. She looked around to get an idea of where she was. In the time she’d been in San Francisco, she tried her best to memorize the layout of the city. Whenever she went out on missions while still under the control of the Facility, they would have her remember her destinations down to the smallest detail. That stuck with her. She knew where she was and headed in the direction that would best get her away from being harassed.
She got a short distance away before she sensed it. She rolled her eyes and got ready to fight, but before she could she heard a gunshot. It was clear she had been hit. She clenched her fists not in pain but out of complete anger.
“Did you just shoot me in the ass?” She turned and glared at Lady Deadpool as she heard the pinging sound of a bullet falling to the ground.
Her healing factor kicked in and popped the bullet out of her rear end, fully healing the wound. She turned to face Lady Deadpool. The only way to rid herself of this annoyance was to fight and defeat her.
Laura took one step forward. “If this is how it’s gotta be. We can settle this, but when I put you down it will be the end of this nonsense.”
“As if a little girl with daddy issues could take me down,” replied Lady Deadpool.
They charged at each other. Laura opened with a flying knee. While Lady Deadpool staggered back Laura slashed with her claws which were promptly dodged. As their bodies spun, Lady Deadpool grabbed Laura’s hair and yanked her down to a knee in the back. She kept her at an awkward angle.
“When we’re done here, you’re gonna tell me everything you know about Alchemax,” Lady Deadpool insisted.
Laura grunted just before thrusting her right leg up to impale Lady Deadpool in the chest with the claw between her toes. Lady Deadpool pulled back holding her chest in pain.
“Damn, that hurt!” she yelled. “You’re a flexible little…”
Laura kicked her in the jaw before she could finish her sentence. Lady Deadpool stumbled back. She regained control of herself and pulled her gun back out. Laura lowered her body and lunged up, knocking the gun out of Lady Deadpool’s hand. Laura flipped in the air as Lady Deadpool fell on her back. She landed on top of Lady Deadpool, stabbing her claws in both her shoulders.
Lady Deadpool kicked Laura off of her. While Laura’s hands are on the ground, Lady Deadpool pulled out a knife and stabbed it into the top of her right hand. She yelled in pain as she gripped the hilt of the knife to pull it out.
“Time to finally get what I want!” Lady Deadpool cheered. “It’s time to spill the…”
Again her sentence was cut off as she was kicked away. She finally stopped moving in the middle of the street where she would be hit by a bus. Laura lifted her hand and watched as it healed itself. She put it back down and turned her attention to a flattened Lady Deadpool.
“Oww… my spleen…” moaned Lady Deadpool. “You pushed… me in front… of a bus… I totally respect that.”
“Idiot,” sighed Laura.
“We’re gonna have to settle this on another day,” claimed Lady Deadpool. “It’s gonna take some time to regain my shape.”
“Why don’t you do me a favor and settle it yourself?” said Laura. “I’m sure someone will come along and peel you off the pavement.”
“Look,” started Lady Deadpool. “Maybe I should have approached this differently.”
I’d say. This whole thing was completely pointless.
“Shut up, you!” Her body began to take shape again. “I want to show you something if you will give me a moment. Don’t worry I promise it won’t be anything weird.”
Laura reluctantly followed Lady Deadpool, who was still a bit roughed up by the bus, to a secluded area. It was there where Lady Deadpool unzipped her costume. Laura immediately rolled her eyes as it appeared she was already breaking her promise. Although she was now topless, Laura understood what she was looking at. The self-proclaimed Mercette with a Mouth was covered from her shoulders down in scars.
“They did this to me,” she explained. “They poked and prodded until their experiments gave me these powers. That’s not all. They took my son. When they found he had gained the same powers from me they ditched me like… hmm… maybe I shouldn’t go there.”
Laura looked down saddened by Lady Deadpool’s situation and little disappointed in herself. For a long time now she had let herself become more and more disconnected from everyone around her because of her problems. Now she saw that she wasn’t the only one who was used by some organization for a nefarious purpose.
“I’m sorry,” she started. “I truly am. I wish I could help but I don’t know anything about Alchemax. I didn’t even know who they were until recently.”
“Okay, you may not but I think you know someone who might,” said Lady Deadpool.
Gabby sat in front of the television amazed by what she was seeing. What she saw was an army of stone soldiers. They were attacking the police who were trying their hardest to defend the citizens of San Francisco.
“Rock men?” asked Gabby.