Amalgam Origins: The Dead Lantern

Amalgam Origins: The Dead Lantern

Two Brothers... Two Universes... In a battle to see who is the best. In the end... only one universe shall remain.

George Duncan lived with his wife and family in Ohio for 23 years before moving to Florida to enjoy his retirement. Helen would always joke about George never having an off switch. When he was 19, he served in The United States Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division where he was given the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. After coming back home from the war, he went to work for the Fire Department. Helen was never crazy about his job, but she came to accept this is what he liked to do. He loves working with people and has put his life on the line on a few occasions to save the lives of complete strangers.

George and Helen were enjoying their vacation in sunny Florida. It was late in the morning as the couple walked the boardwalk alongside the beach taking pictures. The weather was perfect for a February morning. Helen loves taking pictures and on a day like today, she knew there would be some great photos for her scrapbook. She took a few pictures of the sun on the horizon when she saw something strange in the sky. The object was flying at a fast pace towards her near the shoreline.

“Helen!” George yelled to his wife. “Get out of the way!” The object hit the shore twenty-five feet away from Helen. Most women are visibly shaken, but being the wife of a soldier and fire fighter Helen was relatively calm. As George approached, he quickly examined her for any injuries.

“George, did you see that?” Helen asked her husband.

“Yeah, I saw it,” he said. “I’m more concerned about you right now. Are you hurt?” Helen’s frail hands were completely still like a surgeon. George watched her bottom jaw slowly lower in shock as he turned his head to scan the area. In the spot where the object struck the beach an arm was searching around the top of the hole. George and Helen both could not believe what they were witnessing, but it appeared to be a man wearing burnt, military style jacket and what could have been pants.

During the Korean War, George witnessed something similar, but with far less success. George and other soldiers jumped out of the plane to join ground troops, but they were sitting ducks in the air until they landed. A soldier close to George took off his chute; thinking he could just swim the rest of the way to shore without being shot dead in the air. George watched as the soldier aimed for the water, but realized too late the tide had fooled him to his death. “What the Hell was he thinking?” George wondered.

Wade Wilson knows that feeling right about now as he begins to stir and holds his head. “Okay. That’s the last time I call Hulk an over-sized leprechaun,” he said out loud. “I was sure the teleporter would have pulled me out of there before he got a hold of me, but NOOoooooo!!!” Wade begins to stand up and in a mockery of The Hulk waves his arms far apart and clapping his hands together; resembling a circus seal. “HULK SLAP!! Really? What retard came up with ‘HULK SLAP’”? Standing fully erect, the sounds of bones popping and cracking back into place as he stretches. Wade begins to look around and speculate where he landed. “At least he was considerate enough to land me on the beach,” he thought. “Just which beach did I land on? I guess I could ask this old guy.” Wade began to dust the sand off his clothes and that’s when he realized the only thing he was wearing was a pair of boxers and half his shirt. “Hmmm,” he grabbed his chin and thought to himself, “Re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere results in extremely hot temperatures. Note to self: Talk to Johnny Storm about fireproof uniforms.”

Wade walked up to Helen and George a little awkwardly. “Excuse me! Hi!” he said out loud, “Hey, uh… where am I?”

Helen blurted out, “Cocoa Beach!”

“Florida?” Wade questioned back. “Aww, man... least he could have done was aimed a little to the left and landed me in Daytona.”

“You okay, son?” George finally spoke. “It’s not everyday someone falls out of the sky and can survive an impact like that.”

“Not many people can say they just went toe to toe with The Incredible Hulk and live to tell about it, but here I am,” Wade said outstretching his arms like a magician after an amazing trick.

“Who?” Helen asked.

Wade leaned his head a bit. “The Hulk. You know… nerdy guy named Banner gets pissed and turns into an overgrown Shrek and throws a temper tantrum.” The puzzled look on their faces said it all. Wade waved his hand and said, “Never mind.” Dozens of people were starting to gawk from the pier and boardwalk. In the background, the sounds of sirens meant someone called the Calvary and in Wade’s world that means it is time to be scarce. “Well… I would love to stay and chat, but it’s a bit nippy out here so… if you’re ever in San Diego, give me a call. We’ll do lunch!” Wade starts to run through the crowd and fades into one of the shops and out the back door.

Wade’s physique is quite impressive; that is once you get past the skin cancer and scarring that covers his entire body. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer when a doctor approached him with an option. The doctor had heard of this program that had unbelievable results in genetic engineering and had altered human DNA and cured certain diseases. The Canadian government shut them down from doing any more tests since their methods are a bit radical. Wade seized the opportunity to find a location for the facility. He snooped in the right place at the wrong time, but he found the key to his salvation. The guards thought he was a terrorist and they tried to kill him, but Wade was a trained swordsman. He resisted the soldiers to the best of his ability, but in his fragile state he fell forty feet off the scaffold he was climbing into a stack of wooden crates.

Next time Wade opened his eyes he was hooked up to a bunch of monitors and strapped to a table. His eyes could not focus, but he remembered a man in a white lab coat talking about his cancer. Wade slipped in and out of consciousness continuously until one day he woke up and he was actually aware of his surroundings. Doctors had used him as a test subject on a mutated healing formula. This formula enables him to regenerate any destroyed tissues or organs very quickly. The downside is the healing factor results in massive scar tissue causing him to be severely disfigured. The tumors spread across his entire body as soon as the formula fully activated. Realizing he could never live a normal life he accepted a position with Weapon X. Wade Wilson went by the codename ‘Deadpool’ and was trained to be the best assassin ever. Unfortunately, another side effect of the formula caused psychosis and during a mission he went mad. Wade’s lunacy made him a liability and he massacred the entire black ops unit sent to have him assassinated. Since that time, Wade has been on the run.

“I need some clothes before I draw any more attention to myself than necessary,” he thought. “I already hear the sirens in the background getting louder.” ‘Al’s Army and Navy,’ the sign read as he approached several blocks away from where he landed. Wade opens the door and the bell sounds to the shop owner; announcing there is a customer in need of assistance.

“Actually, it sounds more like Pee-Wee should be riding around the corner on his bike right about now,” Wade says to the narrator.

A rather large man walks around the front register licking the spaghetti sauce off his fingers. Wearing an off-white mesh shirt and sporting a blotch of marinara on the front like a target for his extended gut. “Can I help you, Sir?" the man started to ask as he tried to figure out what he was looking at.
“Normally,” Wade began to say standing in front of the portly man with his arms folded across his chest, “I’d kill a guy for staring at me like that if I was wearing nothing but my boxers. Considering I just landed in town recently, I’m going to be a little understanding.”

“Landed in Town?” questioned the shop owner.

Wade chuckled to himself a little. “Yeah, it’s just not my day to ask the flight attendant to fluff my pillow; if you know what I mean. ‘You are now free to move about the country,’ my ass. That is TOTALLY the last time I fly on their plane!” he said using his best valley girl impression.

Fire & Rescue trucks along with the police passed by the shop heading towards the beach. “What the Hell is going on out there?” said the owner.

“Something burnt fell out of the sky,” Wade said as uninterested as possible. You have anything… tactical?”

The shop owner slowly moved back behind the counter. There wasn’t much to figure out with the crowd gathering near the fire trucks and police cruisers, and a half naked guy that looked like a fully cooked pepperoni pizza. He tried to move his hand unnoticeably towards the gun under the counter. “Tactical?” he questioned. “What did you have in mind, man?”

Wade placed his hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side. “Do you have anything with Miley Cyrus? I’m a huge fan of hers!”

The shop owner looked at Wade; a little disgusted, “Oh yeah!! I have that right next to the Jonas Brothers and Desert Eagles merchandise. A chubby hand rose from behind the counter holding a 9mm handgun.

“A Sig Sauer p226? Tell me you are kidding me,” said Wade almost on the floor laughing. “I mean… not a bad gun, generally speaking, if you plan on killing Betty White. Hell, even then she may get off the floor and ask what the Hell you were thinking.”

“I only need one perfectly good shot, pal,” the shop owner said. “I kinda figure you have something to do with all the commotion going on outside.” He reached into his pocket and produced a cell phone and started to dial 911. “Let’s just have the cops check you out.”

“Is this how you treat all your customers?” Wade asked. “No wonder you do poor business here. You should really try relocating somewhere rather than the beach.” Wade still laughing as the pudgy man’s hand begins to tremble. “I mean… how many beach commandos do you have shopping here?”

There was a dial tone on the cell phone which means Wade had mere seconds to react. “There’s plenty of busin...,” the shop owner was cut off before he could finish. His brain could not process the movement fast enough as Wade rushed forward, wrapping his left hand around the entire slide of the gun and squeezing onto it to prevent it from firing. In the same swift motion Wade slammed the glass counter in front of him; shattering the glass case and retrieved a large hunting knife. The color ran from the shop owner’s face as Wade pressed the edge of the blade close to his chubby neck. They were face to face and Wade watched as the sweat bead rolled down his forehead into his eye. Wade gave a menacing grin and felt the tension of the gun released into his hand. He pointed the barrel under the shop owner’s neck aiming slightly to the back wall. In case things got messy Wade didn’t want the spray on him.

“911 this line is being recorded. What’s your emergency?” a voice said from the cell phone. Wade grabbed the phone and acted confused speaking with the phone far away from his lips. “Jennifer, daddy said put the phone down,” he lied bringing the phone closer to his mouth now. “Hello?”

“This is 911. Is there an emergency, sir?” the operator spoke.

“Oh damn! Jennifer, that’s a bad girl. I am so sorry, miss. My daughter grabbed the phone and must have called you,” he grinned some more as he stared intensely into the shop owner’s eyes. He definitely had eyes of a stone cold killer.

“There’s no problem, sir,” she said and the phone went dead.

“I have to tell you,” Wade speaking to the shop owner as he tossed the phone over his shoulder, “your breath is really rank...” and in another swift move bashed the magazine end of the gun between his eyes. The shop owner’s body went limp on the floor. Wade tied the body and hid him in the office, then proceeded to go on a shopping spree. Tactical gear, clothes, a couple duffel bags of weapons and ammo all loaded into the shop owner’s car. As he headed out the back door with the last bag he heard the bell at the front door. “Hello…” he heard someone speaking out loud. “We’re with the police department... is there anyone here? As they looked around the shop they found clothes in a garbage can. They still had the burning odor on them. The cops were startled when they heard a loud thumping noise coming from the back of the store. “IT’S THE POLICE” the officer yelled. The officer listened and could only make out the sound of a muffled sobbing. “Open this door or we’re coming in,” he yelled again. “The sobbing became louder and the officer’s made the decision to break into the office. As the officer kicked in the door an enormous bang followed. Both officers dropped and took cover quickly. As they proceeded to enter they found the shop owner lying on the floor in a doggie style position. A Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle was positioned with the barrel pointed at the shop owner’s rectum and rope fashioned to the trigger. The rope was fastened around the roof to the door handle and pulled the trigger when they kicked in the door.

“Oh man, that is nasty!” said the second officer. He reached for his shoulder microphone to radio in the call. “Charlie 262 to operations. We have a Signal 7 at the Al’s Army and Navy on Pinehurst and Bay Drive."

A voice came from behind the officers. The man appeared to be in his early 30's wearing a green and black uniform and a green mask that covered his eyes. The masked figure was glowing green as he entered the room. "I overheard the call officers," he spoke with a gentle authority. "What do we have here?"

The first officer on the scene spoke up, "Hey Hal, it looks like a homicide."
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