Sludge

Sludge: A New Twist #0
August, 1999

"The Changing Man"

Written by Martin ‘Tempest’ Lawson
Based on plot and script from Sludge #1
Created by Steve Gerber
Property of Malibu Comics


[Lower Manhatten]

In the darkness of the underground sewer, two pink eyes and a shadow covered face are all that is seen of this hulking sewage montser called Sludge.

Sludge slowly passes a group of homeless peolple as he makes his way through the sewer. One of the tramps is listening to a radio presenter on a small red portable radio.

"-- Now granted, I am one, but it don’t take a genuis to crack this case."

[The radio station, Chase Naylor’s studio]

Chase is in his late thirties. He’s medium build, five foot twelve, short brown hair and brown eyes. While wearing a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a scarlett red tie, brown trousers, he is holding a cigarette in one hand.

"Listen to the facts and see what you make of it." Chase presses one of the control buttons and a song starts to play.

Follow the bouncing logic--Doop doo wah! He then starts to talk again.

"Detective Sergeant Frank Hoag, twenty year old vertan of the NYPD has been missing for three weeks. Last anyone heard, Sgt. Hoag was investigating a break in at Caldwell Pharmacies here in Manhattern.

The following morning, employees found evidence of violence in a hig security lab on the 44th floor...a pool of blood, bullet ridden floors and shell casings, with no sign of Hoag."

"Is it just me? Has Chase Naylor gone mad or does this sound like murder to you, too? And guess what our Mayor and Police Chief had to say about it?....."

In a diner in Manhatten, the radio is playing and Chase Naylor is on air. The customers answer him.

"Nuthin I bet." says the diners chef.

"You got it -- Zip! Zero! Nada! The Chief says they got no clues...." said Chase.

The people in the diner shout out "Shit..." "Right"

"Can’t analyze the blood, cause it was mixed with chemicals! might not even be Hoags! But he’s got no sympathy when a white male officer eats lead in the line of duty! That’s just a ‘police matter’ according to his dis-honor."


[Elsewhere in Manhatten, a gang are driving round in a car]

Five men are armed with guns and knifes. Each of them are wearing red headbands with a ying yang symbol on in the middle of it. They also are listening to Chase Naylor.

"Maybe we gotta explain to these snivelling bureacats why this senseless death of a dedicated officer might preturb us."

The leader of the gang turns to his fellow members "Hell, man I know why I’m Pre-turbed!"

"Cause it weren’t you that wacked his cop ass?" said another member.

The driver tells the others "Get ready, we got a sharp turn coming."

Chase is still talking. "The time is now to become activists! Pick up that phone! Call City Hall."

"Tell ‘em we’ve had it up to here with thse senseless deaths all the time."

As Naylor is saying this the gang turn the corner and speed up down the street, opening the window as they do and fire of their guns at the civillians.

"Julio. Present from the Fang, homeboy." through the gunfire the leader shouts.

"Tell ‘em we don’t care if their kids shoot each other!"

Rapildly the bullets fly as they hit wildly killing the passers by. A tramp, a woman and her baby, a man and a woman are all killed by the Fang’s bullets. Their bullet ridden bodies slumping to the concrete floor, blood spewing from them. The on lookers watch in terror.

"Tell ‘em the decent type of people are New York are sick of crime and ever sick of excuses."

As Chase is still broadcasting the Fang’s car turns another corner and heads off down the street.

"We want action!"

The car’s driver says to the others "Next time we’ll invite him along..."

Down the street a sewer lid is thrown into the air as a large blue slimey hand reaches upwards. Then another hand, then the entire creature can be seen. The blue beast is eight foot high.

Sludge thinks to himself Knew it....Had to be deaders....No...killers -- that’s it. Damn my head.

Now on his feet, he sees the Fang’s green car approaching him.

"JACKIE LOOK OUT!" shouts one of the members as he looks at the huge creature.

"What the hell is that th--" Jackie is interrupted as Sludge smashes his fists into the front of the car.

"PULL OVER!!!" screams the beast while it thinks to itself. Young pinks. Punks. Damn head.

Smoke rises from the now trashed front of the car. The four punks get out of the car and get their weapons ready.

"Ugliest beast, I’ve ever saw --" says one gang member.

"Beast, hell -- it talked! Let’s waste this bastard!" shouts another gang member.

The gang aim their guns and fire, the bulletts enter the beast, blood splurting from it. Sludge cries out in pain. "UUUUUEEEGGGGHHH!"

They stop firing. "What the -- It’s still fuckin’ standin’." says one of them.

"Yeah , but it bleeds. Look theres flesh under that blue shit." says another.

"Good" Jackie raises his machette. "If it can bleed. It can die. Where’s your fuckin’ heart slimeboy. That it there?"

With those words Jackie plunges the machette throught Sludge and steps back as the beast falls to the concrete road with a thud.

"Jackie, we better split, the cops..."

The other members are high fiving each other to celebrate the creature’s death.

Sludge’s body begins to make weird noises. "slork" "pllp" "fttp" His body heals itself.

He thinks to himself. Mixed up, slow, hurts. Just to think hurts worse than bulletts.

Slowly his body rebuilds and he get’s up again to the amazement of the Fang.

"Jeez, That’s it I’m gonna hack this shit pieces."

"Do it wack him in half!" his members cheering him on.

As the punk runs towards him to attack him again. Sludge grabs his hands and shouts "No more whacking!"

"YAAAHHHHH! MY HANDS, MY FUCKIN’ HANDS!" screams the punk.

Ha. Thinks I’m just crushing them. Wait’ll he sees.

Then he is chucked to the floor shouting "MY HANDS, I can’t OPEN my hands!"

Sludge had melted the guy’s hands together with the machette.

Sludge then make’s his way towards the remaining Fang members. "Give me.....Give me....." slurs Sludge as he thinks Hurts to talk too...Give me a reason...

"You want it come and get it--" shouts Jackie as he aims his gun at Sludge.

Thank you Sludge thinks as he grabs Jackies head in a vice like grip.

"Shit blow that things head off." shouts the punk.

"I can’t incase I drill Jackie." replys the other punk.

Sludge releases his grip on Jackie. He’s on his knees feeling his face which is now melted like his friends hands.

Jackie slurs "Gannnnd breav." as he drops to the floor dead.

Dead. Suffocated under all that new skin. Painful way to die I hoag -- hope. Damn head.

Now with three punks left two firing again while the other is near the car.

Sick of this. Wind it up. Sludge grabs the gun of the punk and smacks against his skull. Blood flys from the blow. The punk lies dead one the floor.

"Give it up, man we gots to go, Jackie proved it can’t be killed. It’s slow we can outrun it no problem." says the punk as he picks up a briefcase from the car. While he tries to plead with his remaining friend.

"I never ran away from nothin before, ain’t starting now." as he continues to fire at Sludge.

Okay have it your way. Running ain’t even an option.

Picking him up over his head, Sludge smacks the guy down on his knees breaking the guy’s spine on impact. Then he throws the lifeless body at the last punk knocking him down.

The last Fang member is quivering on the concrete floor, batter and bruised.

"No more....come on man I’m hurting...don’t...." He’s slicenced as Sludge crushs his head against the concrete with his foot.

Sludge walks towards the briefcase, opens it to find it full of money.

My heart breats. Bleats....So was it worth the monkey, guys? The money? Some people do lotta stupid things for monkey. Lotta stupid things....

Three weeks ago at the Caldwell building

"Gotta ask for your gun, Frank. Standard op nothin personal."

Frank is standing outside an office with other men who are armed and wearing suits.

Hoag has brown hair and stubble. He’s wearing a mucky brown trench coat.

"Glad you decided to show. We’ve been close for a long time, Frank...Wanted to give you every chance to change your mind." said Vittario.

Frank replied "Don’t think you can sell me on this one, pal."

"I know....." Vittario said as he placed Hoag’s gun in his back. "That’s why I asked you to meet me.....So you could talk to someone who might stand a better chance."

Vittario opened the door and showed Frank in and introduced him. "Sgt. Frank Hoag -- Mr. John Paul Marcello."

The man sitting in the seat was wearing a blue pin striped suit and had gelled back hair. Marcello was in his early thirties.

"Good evening, Sergeant. Vittario tells me you’ve declined my offer to perform a certain service for us. Please take a seat and let’s see if we can work this out. Shall we?"

Hoag sits down, followed by Marcello.

"We can talk, yeah. But there’s no way I’m going to change my mind. I’ve done my share of favors, but I don’t wax’ a gu, let alone another cop."

Marcello raises his hand. "Your making a dangerous decision, Mr. Hoag. And that loser, Quinn isn’t worth it. He’s been working three corners -- running errands, selling information to the Fang and drawing a salary from the department."

Hoag put’s his hand against his head. "Y’know I can look the other way from a drug deal. I can tip you off to a raid. But I don’t kill people."

Staring at Hoag "May we rely on your silence --?"

"If you ice a cop? C’mon you know I can’t--" Frank is interupted by Marcello.

Slamming his fist against the desk "He’s not a cop. He’s a whore. He’d sell his own mother and sister for the right price."

"I don’t care if he sleeps with poodles. The answer’s still no and if you do the hit don’t tell me about it, clear?"

"Crystal." Marcello smiles. "Vittario warned me you were a stubborn man I had hoped he was wrong."

Marcello shakes Hoag’s hand.

"Yeah, well - sorry to disapoint you."

Vittario shows Hoag out of Marcello’s office.

"That wasn’t what Mr. Marcello wanted. But he respects you, Frank. You’ve put us in a tight situation. We have to look out for our interests...."

"Just level with me, Vic -- Our arrangements, there finished right? So I’ll be back to living on a cop’s paycheck. I’ll need my gun back now." said Frank as he presses the elevator button.

Vittario pulls Frank’s gun out from his back. "I’m gonna miss you, Frank. We all are."

Pulling the trigger Vic shoots Frank in his left shoulder. The doors of the elevator open slowly and Frank jumps into the life while Vittario is still firing.

"Don’t make this difficult, Frank, You’ve no where to run."

While holding his wounded shoulder Frank presses the evlevators buttons with his blood soaked hand. He thinks to himself I Derserved this...been a damned fool...You sell your self respect for a couple of a grand a month...now look what happens....how else would it turn out.

Leaving the lift, Frank tries to open a lab door. "Damn it’s locked."

Vittario and his men burst through the door down the corridor. "Don’t bother, Hoag. It’s over."

Poot. One of Vittario’s men fires a grenade at Frank.

"Grenade." whispers Frank as he is blown through the lab door and on to a lab desk which had testubes and cannisters filled with a chemical labled XS. The liquid spills onto Frank when he hits the chemicals.

"AAAH...ogod..whaassiss..stuff..burns...gotta...move...AAAAGGGGHHHHH. On fire....every inch of skin.....on fire...can’t move..."

"No need." says Vittario as he and his men open fire on Frank filling his body with over a hundred bullets. "We’ll finish off from here."

Vittario orders his men to put Frank in a body bag and dump him in the sewers.


[Later]

The body bag is dropped down the manhole and hits the water with skoosh sound. The bag flows down the sewer. A blue hand covered in sewage comes out of the bag.

Frank thinks to himself. Can’t....be alive...to many...bullets...need to die....end the pine.....not pine...

Then Frank changes into a hulking blue creature oozing foul odours and screams "PAIN!!!!"


[The Pier]

How lung...long....hours...morning..long. Head to think. Why. What happened to...

Frank stops and looks at his reflection in the river. He’s no longer human, he’s a monster.

...Me....?

"MEEEEEYYYYYYYAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!" he screams.


[Present day again]

...Lotta stupid things an I’m one of ‘em.

Sludge turns as he hears the sounds of police sirens.

Sirens. About time. Beginning to think I’d have it cill it in myself. Call. Damn head.

Sludge lumbers towards an alleyway back into the darkness.

Shortly

Three cop cars and an ambulance are on the scene.

"How many?" asked the officer.

"Four dead. Another dozen injured. Pretty straight forward drive by." replies the ginger haired police officer.

"Oh yeah? You get a peek round the corner?" asks the officer.


[Around the corner]

The trashed car used by the Fang gang members and there lifeless bodies are left in the road.

Three police officers are surveying the scene.

"Witnesses I.D the car as the shooters, all right." said the female officer.

"Who the hell could a’done this to ‘em?" asked the male officer.

"Beats me - But I wish we had him on the force." replied the black male officer.


[The Next Day]

Aladdin HQ, New York

"It’s been three weeks since Hoag disapeared along with the XS chemical. But that report incepted by our agents yesterday revealed that five men had burns and extra skin to the face and hands."

"It’s seems that our Project XS works. I want you to cut all links to Caldwell Pharmacies and Marcello. We need to find Hoag and contain him. And Agent Hunter is the one for the job. I want Hunter called back from his mission to Ireland and briefed when he arrives."


To Be Continued in # 1 in a two part story entitled ‘Aladdin’s Wrath’

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