DCM Vertigo


Moon Knight

by Drutz

Steven Grant clutched his head and moaned. The pain was back, slicing deep into his brain. For a second, he nearly blacked out but he fought to find his center, to cut through the pain. He had to hold on. A lifetime of mercenary work, followed by his career as the Fist of Khonshu, had prepared him for pain, but this . . . .this was something else.

He heard Dr. Flesko's voice from very far away. "Steven . . . can you hear me?"

Dr. Robert Flesko knelt beside the writhing form of Steven Grant, worry etched on his face. Steven had been deeply involved in their latest counseling session when the attack had hit. He was using some relaxation techniques, similar to hypnosis when it seemed to trigger this reaction. Flesko stood up, moving to the intercom. He was about to call for medical help when he heard Steven's voice. He paused. He was obviously having a hallucination. The thrashing seemed to have subsided as he slid deeper into the dream state. Perhaps Steven would let slip some clue as to what was plaguing his subconscious . . . he stayed his hand and listened.

"Steven," Flesko said in hushed tones.

"No!" came the deep rasping voice.

"No?" asked Flesko, his brow creasing in thought. "Who are you then?"

"I'm Marc Spector," came the reply.

"And who are you, Marc Spector?" pushed Flesko.

"I'm the Fist of Khonshu. I'm Moon Knight."

Before Flesko could take this information in Steven screamed again. "Randall . . . " Steven's voice droned as his eyes rolled back in his head. "Randall . . . "

Picking up his pad Flesko took notes as Marc Spector slipped deeper into his dream state.

Marc Spector was fourteen years old and very, very frightened. He was in the woods, playing cowboys and Indians with his brother, Randall. But something was wrong -- night had descended so rapidly that he was now lost. And Randall was missing . . . somehow, that was more terrible than anything.

"Randall . . . ?" Marc's voice seemed to be swept away by the wind. "Randall. Stop fooling around. I'll tell Mom and Dad."

Leaves blew and the trees swayed, looking like monsters in the darkness. Something moved in the darkness, stomping about. Marc stopped in his tracks, thinking that it must be Randall . . . but what if it wasn't? What if it was something else . . . a killer with a hook for a hand or a monster of some kind? He frowned to himself, angry for acting like a child. It was Randall out there, it had to be.

"Randall! I'm over here!" Marc called, only the wind answered him.

Marc heard a terrible crashing and he instinctively drew his toy gun -- he was the cowboy, of course . . . Randall was always the Indian. Marc stared with open eyes as a figure emerged from the trees, wearing a ghoulish mask and brandishing an axe that dripped gore.

"Thanks for calling, brother mine. I never would have found you otherwise . . . " came a ghostly voice from the figure.

The masked figure swung the axe in a powerful arc, but Marc dove beneath it.

"Randall?" he asked, could this monster be his brother. Randall had always tried to scare his younger brother, but he had never gone this far.

The figure stopped, the axe lowered ever so slightly. He tilted his head to the side, as if regarding Marc for the first time. " Of course it's me, kiddo. Come to do a little scalping that's all . . . " said the gruesome figure in a voice that Marc recognized as his brother's. Then the creature that was his brother raised the axe above his head.

Marc screamed as the axe rose and fell again. Its blade cut deep into his shoulder and blood spurted from the wound. The pain was overpowering. Marc fell onto his back, screaming again and again. He stared up at the moon, seeing its white face staring back. The moon seemed to twist and turn in his vision, as his brother continued his deadly work. Again and again the axe fell, more and more blood filled the dream. As the life dripped from his body, the moon's face became that of Khonshu. The god of Vengeance. The one who had rescued Marc Spector before.

"Arise, Marc Spector." The voice was powerful and cold. Spector's body now felt as it had just once before.

The feeling infused Marc's body with energy. He stood up, not even noting the fact that he was a grown man now. He was in costume, Moon Knight, Fist of Khonshu, ready for action.

Marc shook his head, his senses seeming to clear. Gone was the clearing in the woods, replaced instead by the interior of a church. Gone was the figure he assumed was his brother. He wasn't alone in the church, however, someone was here with him.

"What . . . happened to me?" he asked.

"You are getting closer to the truth, Moon Knight. You must face the truth that lies within you," came a voice behind him.

Marc turned, glowering at Stained Glass Scarlet. She was wearing crimson, kneeling in front of an altar. She turned to face him. Her lips were moist and glistening.

"I'm getting sick of this, Scarlet," Spector growled. "Why am I having these visions . . . why are you in my dreams?"

She rose and moved to stand close -- too close -- to him. She looked up into his eyes. "This is the last time we shall share this kind of moment, Moon Knight. All you know and love is going to be threatened. You will be torn between the boy you were and the man you are. You must choose who you shall be in now, and in the future . . . "

"I don't want any more vague hints from you, Scarlet . . . I want answers!" he growled. He was fed up of cryptic clues and the feeling of being manipulated.

Scarlet lifted her lips to his and before he could stop her, she kissed him softly. Not the kiss of a lover, but of a friend saying farewell. When she pulled back, a single tear ran down her face.

"Answers you will receive . . . but they may not be to your liking." she said, cryptically. "Take care Fist of Khonshu."

And then he woke up.

Marlene didn't know what to say. She had met Gena several times, but had never formed a close bond with her. Gena and Crawley belonged to another world -- the world of Jake Lockley. It was a world that Marlene didn't care too much for. But now, with Gena sitting on a couch in the Grant Mansion, Marlene suddenly wished that they were closer.

"So Ray's lost his eye?" asked Marlene.

Gena wiped a tissue across her nose. "Yeah. Ricky's gonna be okay." she sniffed. "The bullet went right through his leg, but Ray . . . my poor Ray is only gonna have one eye from now on. Why, they're not criminals, my boys. Why them?"

Marlene sighed, her heart going out to Gena. "I'm so very sorry," she said, as she rested a hand on Gena's shoulder. "Is there anything you need?"

Gena nodded. "Yeah. I need to ask you a favor. Well not you . . . " She looked up at Marlene. "So when's Jake coming back?"

"Steven . . . Jake . . . is coming back in awhile." answered Marlene. "Why do you need to see him?"

Gena smiled. "You know, I don't really want to talk to Jake. I need the man in white . . . "

Marlene sighed. "I'm not sure that Steven is up to that. He's been, I don't know how to say this, he's been sick, Gena. I don't want him putting on that costume any more than is really necessary."

"Any more than is necessary!?!" Gena exploded. "It's necessary that those predators who shot my babies get punished!" She stopped, composing herself. "I'm sorry, Miss Alraune. I shouldn't take it out on you."

Marlene nodded, slightly taken aback. "It's okay. I . . . understand. Maybe there's something I can do to help though."

Leila O'Toole slipped into the sauna and groaned. It was very, very nice. She was growing increasingly pleased with her work in New York. The Knights of the Moon had been training well and their numbers had been bolstered with mercenaries purchased with money supplied by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. Not only that, but from what she witnessed several nights ago, her old enemy Moon Knight was not well. Not well at all.

Leila smiled as the door opened and a well-dressed man entered. He had been supplied to her by the Kingpin and he was becoming a very valuable commodity. He had many uses. He knelt beside the villainess. "Madam, I have a report."

Leila nodded. "Go on," she said, pouring some more water on the coals.

"We tracked sightings of the Moon Copter as you suggested. A large number of them place them in this region." He held up a small computer whose screen showed a map of Long Island.

Leila stared at the screen. "Very good. But I want more. Find me exactly where this Moon Knight calls home. I want him. I will strike at him when he at his most vulnerable."

"Yes, Madam. It shall be done." said the man, leaving the sauna.

"So now I know, Mr. Grant," said Dr. Flesko. "But you know I can't tell anyone, patient confidentiality."

Steven nodded at this, a slight smile on his lips. Flesko had revealed what Steven had told him. At first Steven had denied it, laughing it off but holding the doctor's gaze he knew he couldn't deny it anymore. He told him about his attack, the tomb where he was resurrected and his life after that.

"So you think this is the reason behind my 'attacks'?" Steven asked.

"While it may not help to have multiple personalities, I don't think so. You're not hiding it from your loved ones so it's not affecting your personal life."

"But you don't think that is the reason for my visions?"

"No I don't. Tell me about your latest hallucination."

Steven told Flesko of the vision of his brother attacking him and of the appearance of Stained Glass Scarlet, and her warning. Noting all this down, Flesko turned to Steven. "There are obviously some unresolved issues between yourself and your brother," he said, watching Steven closely.

"That doesn't take a doctorate to figure out. My brother was a serial killer. I had to stop him as Moon Knight. I think that qualifies as 'unresolved issues," sneered Steven.

"Yes. But your headaches -- they have been occurring recently, not just since your resurrection. I believe you battled a villain called Morpheus. I saw it in the news. Wasn't he a villain who affected people's dreams?"

Steven paused. "Yes. You think this might be related?"

Flesko chewed on his pencil. "I think it is as likely as anything. I have two suggestions for you: one, you go see this Morpheus. Find out if he knows about your recent problems. Two: find this Stained Glass Scarlet. For whatever reason, she is involved in this, linked to you in some way. Perhaps it will do you good to see her again. You may have unresolved issues with her."

Steven nodded. "All right. I'll take you up on that, Doctor. Morpheus first. Then Scarlet."

Flesko nodded. "It may be for the best. Make an appointment for next week."

Steven got out of his seat, making his way to the door. As he reached the door a slight smile came to Steven's lips. "I hope I don't have issues with Scarlet." he said.

"Why?" asked Flesko, with a puzzled look on his face.

"Because if I do, Marlene will kill me."

Chloe tugged on her thigh-high white boots and looked up at Gena. "I can do this. I am a professional. I was trained for this." She smiled. It felt good to be heading into action. This could be just what she needed at the moment.

Gena chewed her lip. "I don't know . . . I was hoping that Moon Knight could . . . I don't know, put the fear of God in those kids. Scare them, y'know."

Chloe smiled soothingly. "I am known as Templar when I am in uniform. I have battled Hellbent and criminals the world over. I know what you want and I understand. I will find these youths and bring them to justice."

Marlene cleared her throat. "I'm sorry for doing this, Chloe, but Steven isn't well."

Templar nodded. "I understand. It will be good for me to get out in action again. Particularly now." Her mind turned to her recent troubles with Jean-Paul, but she pushed them away. She turned back to Gena. "You say your friend Crawley has given you some names. Do you think he's involved?"

Gena shook her head, handing Templar a slip of paper. "No, I don't think so. Crawley . . . he's not real clean, but he would hurt anyone, he gets the info though. He thinks it's these kids. They're members of a gang called the People."

Chloe looked at the paper. "I will contact you in the morning, Gena. Don't worry, your sons will be avenged."

Gena nodded, but a cold knot was forming in her belly. Was she doing the right thing? Was vengeance what she really wanted?

Next Issue: Templar vs. Plasma! Moon Knight vs. Morpheus! And a whole lot more. It's the prelude to our big epic, so be here!