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The Fading

"Let them all think I'm dead, because I am. I am no longer Angus." I said to myself.

"Oh, but that was such a nice name." said Carnival.

"Keep silent fool; you are, as the humans say, 'creeping me out'." retorted Goshenk.

"Sigh, why don't the both of you just shut up? Like I was saying, I'm just not the same anymore. Now the name Fade makes sense. That's what happened to me."

"Well then, let us chose one common name for ourselves. Let us be known as one."

"Why would we do that?"

"Why, my dear demonic friend, it would be simply ludicrous to be known as three. Let the three be one. To live, we must unite."

"I do not want to unite with you."

"Carnival is right... umm, you said that was your name, am I correct? For a while now, I've been able to call on your powers, Goshenk, whenever I needed them.
Now, there are three souls in one body. If any of us are going to retain our sanity, we have to act as one unit."

Are we going to be a hero? asked Goshenk.

I laughed, "No, Goshenk. My days as a hero are over. We will be a survivor. We will do what's necessary to keep our friends safe, and our enemies at bay. No heroics. Just life, freedom, and occasionally, vengeance."

"Neither playing the hero, nor the villian. I think you may be the only sane person in existence."

"Let's hope you're wrong."

"What is our name?"

We all stood in silence. Carnival said, "I was a performer in life, but I was also a builder. I can could combine anything. I built transport vehicles, I built portals, I combined animals to create new creatures."

"We will have only two forms, that of a human, and our true form. My, my, but this is all so dramatic, let me revel in the moment. I will combine the three of us. When we are one, we will know our name."

Immediately, I felt my shape begin to change. I felt my flesh molding itself into something different, something more powerful. Something terrifying.

When the transformation was done, Goshenk asked again, "What is our name boy?"

"We have none."

"And that is even better! My, this is delightful."

"Let's leave this hell."


"Oh certainly, agreed."


Soon, with Goshenk's skill in magic, we built a portal. We were connected, we knew each other's thoughts. We were magnificent.

We stepped through, and onto a rainy street. A news vendor saw us step through the portal. He dropped his newspapers, and ran off in fright.

We picked up a copy of the Bugle, expecting to see Spiderman in the headlines. He had been pushed back to page three. The headline read:


We are angry.

To tell the truth, I didn't have any problem with HS going after Laura. He was already in hell, and had lost his devil soul. If he died, where was he going to go? Then there's always those dragonball things that Pan is always talking about.

Pan... I'm going to miss her.


It's obvious Goshenk, with you in my body, it would be like sharing her. I'll not share with a Demon.

Anyways... no Goshenk, you can't talk right now. Anyways, the X-men and HS seemed to have everything under control. There was just the matter of getting HS' devil sould back... oh well...

Soon, I felt an emotional signature coming toward me. It wasn't even partially human, which meant I couldn't control it, so I hoped it was friendly.

A huge man strode toward me. I took no risks, and called out my second form.

"Who are you?" I called.

The man drew out a hammer. "Don't even think about pretending you don't know me Goshenk!"

Ummm... wow. Is everyone gonna mix me up with that guy. He and old Lucy did have quite the conversation before Goshenk released a massive binding spell on him. It didn't keep him long, but just long enough for me to grab HS.

I pulled out the Tail of Daggers, and lashed out at the hammer. The tail wrapped around the handle, and I pulled hard, setting the giant off balance.

"Oh, I know you well enough," Goshenk explained, "but the boy here does not."

The giant looked puzzled.

"It's a long story," I explained, "but I'm in charge of my own body here, and I can call on Goshenk's power whenever I want. My name is Angus, and I'm a friend of HS. Who are you?"

"I see... I am Vulcan." he replied.

I returned to my Fade form. "Then we shouldn't be at odds. HS told me how you trained him."

"So I did. I've come to tell you all that Lucifer may be cast from hell. If he is, the one known as Hellstorm will rule Hell. He will also have HS' devil soul. He may be tricked into giving it back." Vulcan said.

I was about to reply, when I felt another emotional signature coming... fast. I turned back to Vulcan. "Go, find Lo... the Wolverine. Tell him what you just told me."

He stopped, and stood for a moment. "I know who is coming. Don't risk..."

"GO." I screamed.

He left, and I fled down the corridor to put some distance between myself and everybody else. I stopped, and again called on my second form.

"Goshenk, got another binding spell?" I asked.

"If it's for who I think it's for, then no." he snapped.

"Bloody beautiful." I said as Lucifer burst into view.

"GOSHENK," screamed Satan, "this is the last..."

"It's not Goshenk you're up against." I replied as calmly as I could.

Satan stopped... "You're not...?"

"Yes I am, but no he most certainly is not." Goshenk replied.

Satan stopped. Then laughed chillingly. "Goshenk, you idiot. You picked a half angel? Of all the stupid, moronic things."

I lashed out with the Tail, leaving a shallow cut on his neck. "Less talk, more fight." I said.

He smiled, "Well I am impressed. You scratched me. But try this on for size."

Out of nowhere, an unseen blade ripped my chest open, and I sunk to the ground. I smiled back, "One hit K.O. Nice."

For what seemed like the millionth time in my life, everything went black.


I sat in front of my father. Not my adoptive father, Peter, but my real father.

"Son," he said, "I'm proud of you."

"You mean, at least I didn't take three-thousand people with me this time. Speaking of which, is Goshenk still going to be in my body when I get back?"

He laughed, "What makes you think you're going back?"

I only raised an eyebrow. He sighed.

"Yes, you are going back. And yes, Goshenk will be with you still."

"It's my own fault, I guess." I said.

"Indeed, you could have found another solution."

I got up, "Well I'm ready. Send me back."


"Well now, look what I find, just walking through hell." said the man in the blank mask.

"A lonely body, with no soul in it at all. How lovely. It's just what I always wanted!" he shouted, twirling around with a dramatic flare.

He looked around, and there was no one.

"Well, at least they left me this very fit looking body to live in, even if they didn't stay to watch me perform. I shall make the best of my situation."


I was back in my body, and I looked around. All of my surroundings indicated that Satan had gone back to his own realm, temporarily satisfied with killing me.

"Is that what happened?" I asked Goshenk.

"Oh dear, it appears that I have but little control over this body after all."

"Boy, you don't want to know what happened."

Mephisto disappeared, and Logan and I were left alone with the imp. Wolverine thought for a moment. Then he said, "I gotta make a call."

"I actually remember when telephones were invented." said Goshenk thoughtfully.

Logan popped his claws again. "Oh yeah, I fergot to ask ya, what's with the two scents? Or the two voices fer that matter?"

I sighed. "It's a long story Logan. But lets just say the demon inside me didn't know how to actually 'possess' me."

"I AM THE GREATEST OF..." I cut him off there.

Logan snorted. "Ya mean, he tried to posess ya, but all he can do is talk?"

I smirked, "And only when I let him. He's kind of ranting in my head right now, but it's easy enough to ignore."

Logan chuckled. "Well ya're lucky, I guess. Ya can ask Ana about the time she was posessed if ya want. That weren't pretty."

I smiled, "Maybe sometime. Right now, I you hae a call to make."


Peter met us inside the house. He was dressed like this:

"It was the women, I swear." he stuttered.

Logan chuckled again.

"Don't ask, don't tell." I said, leading Logan along while trying to keep the imp I was holding out of sight. "You might as well go back to your threesome..."

"Right." said Peter, and he ran back into the bedroom.

"I generally stay out the nights that Peter stays home." I told Logan. "You wouldn't believe what I hear."

Logan frowned, "And I'd rather not hear 'bout it."

I directed him to the phone. A few minutes later, he was back.

"I'm ready." he said.

I allowed Goshenk to chant for a while, and soon the imp was released from the binding spell. Then I changed into my Fade form.

"Take us to hell, wimp."


When the imp hesitated, Logan popped his claws. "Do it already!"


Soon, Logan and I appeared in front of Mephisto.

"HAHAHAHAHA! Welcome Logan. And you as well, Angus and Goshenk."

Logan growled, "I get the first shot at this guy."

I backed away,"I'll let you have it."

I grabbed the imp by the neck. "HS isn't here. Take me to him."

Every thing faded again.

(Anything said or written by the demon Goshenk will be written in green letters. Thank you very much. I hope to eventually meet and destroy you all, in time.)

It's been a while since I've really talked to anyone but May, and of course, I don't plan to tell her what's wrong with me. It'd be nothing but wheat cookies for me. Wait, did I say anyone but May? Sorry, but I meant May and Goshenk. Yeah, Goshenk's the demon inside of me.

What an introduction, boy. Have you no respect?

None at all, so shut up... Right, where was I?

Well then, I suppose I'll have to introduce myself. The fact that I chose to inhabit this boy has been a mixed blessing. He has all the talent I could ever want, but he is too strong for me to control. It's as much as I can do to speak, and even then, only when he lets me.

I am Goshenk, and I am one of the most powerful of all demons...


SHUT UP, BOY! It is only by the curse of Satan himself that I must be bound to a mortal being. As I was saying, there was once a powerful warrior by the name of Wulfgar. He was captured by the godess Lolth, and given to the balor Errtu. One of Errtu's favorite torture methods was to have a succubus take on the form of Wulfgar's love, and seduce him.

They would afterwards reveal their true nature, thus bringing delicious, delectable pain to his soul. If the union resulted in offspring, Errtu would rip the half-breed infant apart in front of Wulfgar. But on the last occasion where a succubus deceived Wulfgar, the infant had such extraordinary power that he was spared. And that is the story of my birth.

When I was young, I once went to visit Hell. It gives me shame to admit this, but I had the misfortune to actually meet Satan there. In short, I stubbed his toe, and ever since, I have had to inhabit mortal bodies for my survival.

I have inhabited many people since the beggining of this dimension. I started with the Prince of Persia, from whom I acquired the Tail of Daggers. I moved on to others, from Hitler to Pol Pot. I even had a brief stint inside a woman named Lorena Bobbitt, but I quickly moved on to another male subject. They are much easier to manipulate.

I will not tell you the tale of how I entered this boy. He will tell you in his own time. Will you not?

That's enough. Anyways, I received a call from the X-Mansion. Laura is missing apparently, and Professor Xavier is too busy fighting Oprah to look for her with Cerebro. (A sentence I never thought I'd write.)

That's where Goshenk came in. I figure that if he's going to live inside me, he might as well pay rent, no?


Thank you. Anyway, Goshenk has contacts in low places, so we made a few "calls". I don't like hurting innocent people, but beating the crap out of imps is fun. Especially since the imp I smacked around was the same one that tricked HS into going to Hell.

I made a few calls of my own. I told HS' family that I knew where he and Laura were, and that I was going after them. I also told them that if anyone, especially Pan tried to follow me, there'd be Hell to pay, pardon my pun. Then I called Wolverine.

"What?" he said as he answered the phone.

"This is Angus."

"I know, caller ID. Whad'ya want?"

This man knows how to use caller ID?

"I know where HS and Laura are. Meet me on the roof of Clover Heights."

"Thatd be where ya and the web-head live, right?"

I hung up, and turned to the imp who was bound in a magic barrier that not even teleportation could get him out of. One of Goshenk's spells.

I smiled, and Goshenk did too.

"When the big bad wolf gets here, you're gonna take us all to Hell, right?" I asked.

The imp nodded nervously.

"Good boy."

"Angus, why don't you talk like an Irish guy any more?"

I turned, and looked. Pan is amazing, even after what happened... gah, best not to think about it.

"It's hard to explain." I replied, "Things have changed for me."

She smiled, "I guess having a skyscraper come down on top of you might do things to the old noggin'."

Another reminder of what I hated to think about.

I pulled away from her slightly. "Pan, I'm sorry. I know I've, well, I guess I've been ignoring you, just a little bit. It's not that I mean to, you know?"

She closed the newly-made gap between us. "I know. It makes me sad too, though. Every time I see you, you seem stretched, tense enough to snap. It seems like I can't help."

I sighed, "You're right, though I wish you could. Look, I'll tell you about it sometime, I promise. I just want to be more in control of what's going on when I do."

She grinned, "Of course, whenever you're ready! Look, I gotta run. I have to be back with my parents before curfew."

"Which is in, maybe, forty seconds." I replied.

"Yep." she giggled as she kissed me. About ten seconds before her curfew, she disappeared.

"The wonders of instant transmission." I thought.


I had killed before, in self defense, and to defend Pan. I have no issues with that. But now I needed to talk with someone who'd understand the rest of it. Someone who wouldn't blame me.

"Will she hate what I am?" I asked myself, "Probably not, she's dating a devil, after all. But she may not completely understand."

The city was quiet, and Peter was already on patrol, making it a perfect time to visit Laura. I leaped through the city at three times my normal speed. The only good thing that had come out of my experience with Grelm and the now-extinct Fallen Sun, was my increased strength, and uh, some other things.

Finally, I landed on the free way. I jumped lightly onto the back of a semi-truck, and waited out the rest of the ride. Westchester wasn't far away.

As I approached the X-Mansion, I felt an odd emotional signature. This would have been quite normal, if it weren't for the fact that it wasn't actually on the grounds, but skulking just outside. Peter would have investigated, and when he does, he's usually right, so I altered my course.

It wasn't long before I saw: this guy. I tried a line Peter might have used.

"Is it just me, or does that mohawk suck?"

He screamed, popped claws, and charged me. How many Wolverine clones are there anyway? I turned into Fade, and dodged the charge, whipping my claw-like fingers into his back as he passed. Like I expected, he healed rapidly.

"So what do want here?" I asked, hoping for any chance of negotiation.

"None of your business!" he screamed, and charged me again. Instead of continuing headlong, he slowed, and began to exchange blows with me. This normally wouldn't be a problem, as I am much stronger, but he was fast.

He launched one set of claws towards my midsection, which I pushed away, then he brought the other set whipping around from the side.

I stepped back, "Heh, you scratched me."

"Less talking, more killing." he growled, as he launched a rather complicated set of attacks. I dodged, some, blocked one, but then one claw grazed my side.

Hoping to avoid a few more cuts, I slammed myself into him. He lifted off the ground, and flew over one-hundred feet.

I chuckled, "And there's more where that came from."

"Why can't even one thing go right?" he yelled, "First the Laura bitch, now..."

He never got time to finish his sentence. By the end of the word "bitch" I had my left arm holding his arms back while my right hand went around his throat.

Barely holding myself back, I asked, "What was that about Laura?"

He laughed. "What do you think, Idiot? Weapon X wants her back."

I started to squeeze, but he ripped an arm free and plunges his claws into my gut. I fell back, and howled, "If you wanted to hit a nerve, asshole, you did it!"

He just kept laughing, that is, until I released my second form. From the back of my mind, came a voice. "YES! I'm free. Together we can tear the world apart!"

"Shut UP!" I argued back mentally. "The only thing we'll tear apart, is this guy, then I'm putting you back in your cage."

He might have said more, but I didn't listen. Instead, I called the Tail of Daggers to me, and spoke to my demon. "Yes, evil Prince of Persia, we may share a body, but it's mine. I'm keeping you alive, so you're just going to have to sit there and pay rent."

"Fool," he replied, "You don't have a demon inside you. You are a demon. You are me."

(For those of you who would like to know, this is what my second form looks like, only with shorter hair:)

I turned my attention to the man in front of me. He only kept laughing. "So you look even weirder. Now what?" I whipped the Tail at him. It went straight through his chest. I let my inner fire flow through the Tail of Daggers, and into him. It burned him from the inside, and he screamed in pain.

As his pain mounted, the Demon Prince began to laugh uncontrollably, and so did I. Soon, there were flames bursting out of the man. The flames dissipated , while I used the Tail to shred him.

Lights went on in the X-Mansion, as several people came rushing out. Before they could see me, I let myself slip back into my human form, and ran. I'd call Laura later.

I called Laura. The moment she heard me voice, she hung up. I put me cell phone back on me bed-side table, and sighed. This wasna' going well. Once me clothes were on, I padded on down to the kitchen. Peter was there, making coffee.

I looked at the thick, black substance, and snorted, "Liquid Satan."

Peter chuckled, "Best damn liquid Satan in the world. Sure you don't want some?"

"Nah, I prefer health. 'Sides, would ya really want to see me on a caffeine buzz?"

"Absolutely not!" proclaimed Aunt May as she sauntered into the kitchen? "Did you have fun at the party."

"Peter did." I responded.

"And isn't that just like him?" May continued. "You always did leave the hosting to other people."

"I had a lot on my mind." Peter defended himself. "A fake Spiderman, in fact. I'm heading over to see Nick Fury this morning to talk to him about it."

Aunt May and I looked at each other, and we both knew what the other was thinking: "Not another one." Peter and I had caught three fake Spiderman's in the last week alone, each being a better fake than the last.

"Where's MJ?" I asked.

"Still sleeping."

Aunt May huffed, "She'll have a hangover, if I know her at all. I'll stay here to watch her while you boys go out and play."


With Spiderman gone to see Nick Fury, I was left to deal with daily business. What I didna' understand, is why there was no business. For the first ten minutes, there was nothing. No screams of a woman with her purse stolen. No angry yelling from a bank being robbed.

Then a siren blared.

"That be better." I thought.

The siren came from a modestly sized skyscraper. One that I had, oddly enough, never been inside of. I stopped on the roof of the building, then I jumped off the roof, descending in a wild free fall. When I was past the fortieth, floor, I put me feet on the wall and slowed meself down. At the thirtieth floor I stopped.

From far away, I had noticed a broken window on this floor. I entered through it, and came into a plush office. There wasna' much there, except a few chairs and some people in business suits.

"Welcome, Angus." said one bald, wrinkled man. "I apologize for the... incompetence of my employees. They were not supposed to attack you. But you repaid them well enough for their stupidity. Could we talk?"

"Who be ye?"

"Grelm. Arthur Grelm, High Druid of Fallen Sun."

Bloody party... why in the seven circles of Hell did I ever think this would be a good idea? Oh right, 'cause all the heroes and villains from both sides of the Civil War are such peaceful creatures. They all be downstairs right now, singing songs about saving the Earth and promoting the benefits of nudity. At this moment, I wish.

So far, I've lost me best friend, me girlfriend, and I've had to stop at least one fight. Kon El isna' helping on that score... At least they've all been apologizing so far, beginning with Ana and Vampirella, and finally even Hot Stuff came to apologize.

"Hey man, I'm sorry about what happened back there."

"It no be a problem, really. Actually, if ya could stick with Laura for a bit, and keep her busy? She is... a good friend of mine. I will find a way to keep Logan away."

He looked at me funny.

"You'd do that for me?"

I didna' say anything for a moment. Then I glanced over at Laura. "Yeah, I would."


I devoted the rest of me night to keeping all the guests happy. Even if I couldna' be happy that night, I would make sure that as many people as possible were. It didna' help though, that Peter and MJ kept disappearing. Married people (grunts).

On a lighter note, nearly everyone laughed when Superman (who came to the party later than Kon) walked into the hall. Oh, he looked fine, but as he came in, Kon El plugged the sound system into his iPod, and "Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down came blaring through the speakers.

Kal El was not amused. I tried to make on the fly changes to his emotions to keep him from wrecking the place. It didna' work, and it didna' matter anyways. He seems to be better at controlling his emotions than some people I know...

Finally, some time before the end of the party, Pan walked over to me.

"Look, I'm sorry for freaking out on you there. Are you okay?

I half smiled. "As okay as I can be, I guess. Another dance?"