Arc Two. Chapter Forty-Three. Days Gone Bye
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Liv was furious as she discovered Alexis's death through Norman, while it was just a job if Alexsi had been compromised then she might have been as well and that would be bad news. she screamed as she flung the monitor off her desk. 

"Now now Liv,” A voice from the doorway said "that's Oscorp property you're destroying" upon hearing the voice her fears were founded, this was the last person she wanted to see, if Harry was cleaning up she'd be on his list sooner or later.

Harry Osborn stood, smug-faced as ever. "I heard you've been tasked with finding out if poor Rhino was just poor or stupid" He nudged the smashed monitor with his foot. "Norman wants a full report but I want you to talk to me first. Oh don’t pull that face, I had nothing to do with this, Rhino was a good lump of muscle and dumb enough to follow orders." Harry leaned in and stared Liv straight in the eyes “ If I wanted him or you dead I wouldn't be so obvious.”

She grimaced, "and why should I talk to him at all, surely you could let him know your plan by now?" the conversation was uncomfortable for her, she knew Harry preferred to hold things close to his chest, especially when it came to his father.

"Now Liv, you don't want to set me off do you, no talk back" Harry waved a finger at her "Norman is obsessed with his armour and glider plan but we both know genetics is the future. If I say anything he'll shut me down, shut us down. So no, keep quiet, do your job, oh and clean this up, I don't like a mess." he turned and waved a hand, dismissing her as he walked out of her office.

She wanted to scream again, wanted to rage at the stupid father and son but each time her heart pumped at the thought of just eviscerating the smug bastard she felt it again and she behaved, she listened, and she obeyed, carefully picking up the mess she had just made, avoiding cutting herself on the broken plastic and glass.

Brushing down her lab coat Liv pulled out the tablet Harry had given her. It had bypassed all the normal Oscorp security protocols and had access to pretty much all the government agencies that were tied to Oscorp servers. Flicking through the app list she headed to the NYPD app and began to peruse the Sytsevich case files. The collected evidence suggested that the pressure seal on the propane tank had blown and lit off of Alexsi's cigarette, his body was thrown from a seating position behind his desk and impaled with large pieces of the desk. The details were all filed and the officer in charge of the case ruled it accidental, no follow up needed.

Liv stared at the crime scene photos and it wasn't until she clicked on zoomed in on one that she realised. There was an open safe, labelled as contents destroyed, in a fire. If the safe wasn't fire rated then, of course, the contents would burn up, but what the CSI hadn't noted, there was no ash, the inside of the safe was clean, no ash, no half-burned pieces of paper, cash or otherwise. No melted lockboxes or pistols, knowing Alexsi he had at least one of each.

Checking the photos again, seeing Alexsi cut open on the coroner's table. She noted the clean edge to some of the cuts, glass, the corner had noted but Liv could see a slight discolouration of the edges, without examining the body herself she couldn't be sure, but to her, it was tinged black. If it had been the front she could have put it down to damage done by the explosion but no, this was the back, unburnt and untouched by the fire.

Picking up her phone she called Harry "it's Liv. It was Venom but unless you let me out to check myself, I can't be 100% but I'm pretty sure it was him." there was silence on the other end.

"Report nothing to my father, do anything necessary to catch him."

"If he resists and I need to use force?" she asked, praying he wasn't listening

"Do what you need to, I want him alive though." and the call cut out

Yes, she fist-pumped. Do anything I want to catch the Venom, alive if I can but not if it can be helped. The wording was wrong, too sloppy and now she was free to do what she wanted, as long as she worked towards catching Venom. Spying the case on her desk she had a thought and while Harry wanted the processor for another plan, she had a much better idea.

Flicking on her phone and sent a text to her only ally left capable of helping her deal with Venom. Standing and stretching, "free, free to get my revenge against Venom" and Oscorp she thought to herself.

Liv wasn't the only one concerned over Alexsi's death. Max stared at the container of serum Alexsi had gotten from Osborn, he'd hidden it on Alexsi's orders, leaving it in a safe was asking for trouble and there was only one person he had trusted with it.

Alexsi's death had hit Max hard, they'd been in the same crew for going on 40 years, starting out on the same streets and joining the same gang, he knew Alexsi could be a bit dumb sometimes, but nobody got to run a business or chop shop by being totally stupid, sure the formula made him dumber but not enough to smoke in a gas-filled office, not stupid enough to not notice the smell of gas around him.

Someone had killed Alexsi and covered it up, maybe it was one of the rival gangs but even then hits like that were to send a message. Alexsi and the yard were supposed to be neutral territory, he had a thought and dialled his phone.

"Go for Aaron"

"Hey man, it's Max, you hear?"

The man on the other end of the line snorted, "yeah, everyone heard, you think it was a hit?"

"Alexis was stupid but not that stupid, so yeah, anything?"

"Not at my end no, nothing on the vine man, if it was a job it wasn't done locally,"

"you?"

"You'd even ask? No, if it was me it wouldn't have been an explosion, but uh, I hear you might have some product for sale? I'll give you a good deal for it?"

"Not for me to decide, Alexsi already sent that home, but shit man, someones not playing by the rules, oh, shit, gotta another call coming in, you know, if I go next then it's something personal for someone right, so, see you around, well, maybe"

"Sure man." and the line went dead.

As Max looked at his phone it was a text message. He shook his head at its contents and looked at the package Alexsi had left. maybe he should have sold it to Aaron, but he shook his head. He had one more job to do for Oscorp and he was leaving. He'd been offered a good deal back home and he'd taken it, he was tired of the junk and the smell, of fucking New Yorkers, and of that fucking Osborn prick. Once this job was over he'd be free.

He frowned as he thought of the last job clicking on his phone, texting the one person he could leave something with.

"Hey, sending over a package, if anything happens, you know the drill"

Flint Marko sat on the window sill outside his daughter's hospital room, he was afraid, afraid that if she saw him she'd cry or worse. She suffered from some disease, sure they told him, even what it did but it was all fancy gibberish to him, all he knew was that without treatment she would die. That's why he did this, why he hated Venom so much. The last job was supposed to be the one that paid for her last treatment but the doc said they drew too much attention, too much heat on them and that the bank job was supposed to be done quietly. So they'd delayed, giving her a treatment but not the cure. One last job they said, one more and we'll cure her no matter what. No matter the cost Flint knew he had to do anything, would do anything, if it meant saving his daughter.

His phone tinged and as he checked his messages he saw that Doc wanted him, the last job had come and that this time the payment regardless of outcome was the cure.

He idly flicked glue onto his skin, making little balls of sand, if he was going to fight that freak again, he'd be ready, he'd make sure that Venom was stopped, and that his daughter was free.

Aaron looked at his phone, his boss had asked him to infiltrate Alexis’s group but now that was pointless. With the man dead he doubted he’d get any answers that lead to the chip. His only lead now was the other costumed man. It was obvious it was this Venom character and as he flicked through the latest reports the man had become active again.

Reports of muggings, robberies, and even a few drug dealers were scattered. The Venom worked mainly in Hell’s Kitchen, taking out anyone too obvious and he pencilled a note to make his people lay low for a while. Anyone working for other crews, well, they were on their own.

If the man walked away from a  beating and still had the strength to smash faces and smile then he needed some heavy duty hardware. Normal rounds would probably just piss him off and he added another note “armour piercing”. Even the camera footage of the failed drone experiment in Manhattan was there and watching the agility and strength of the man was astounding. His shopping list grew even more flashbangs, netguns, explosives, and finally the new sonic weapon the army had developed. Aaron knew that to take out someone like Venom, he’d need to be well armed, and well prepared.

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