A Most Delicious Mission (Venom #7)
By: Betsy Granger
Date: 10th Sep 2021
Soon after her rather dramatic debut in Fight! NYC, Betsy Granger takes her leave of Shawn “Brother Mine” Warstein and his scarlet-haired lover, Kasey Winterborn, and heads for the most infamous TARDIS in pro-wrestling. As she approaches Excellence, she notices a few folks standing around the little phone booth. Some are openly gawking in wonder while others whisper their skepticism amongst one another. A grin tugs at her lips as she approaches; seeing her, they scatter before she could even lift her hand to wave at them. The greeting she had been prepared to call out froze in her throat as she paused in her steps.
Reaching the doors, she spots a letter taped up at eye level with her name written in a large scrawl. Tearing it down, her green eyes scan the note, growing narrower with each word. Once she’s finished, she looks up and towards one of the nearby camera crews with a mischievous grin on her face.
“So… You fellas want to see something cool tonight?”
Her playful tone causes them to look at one another nervously; realizing how she’s coming off, the Impossible Traveler cackles gleefully and claps her hands together.
“Oh, calm down; this isn’t the beginning of a dirty film, this is a legitimate, once-in-a-lifetime offer. Follow me to my phone booth and I’ll take you on a magic carpet ride.”
One of them snickers loudly, earning him a sideways smirk from Betsy.
“Sorry, Betsy, it’s just… phrasing.”
Rolling her eyes, she waves him off.
“Get out of the gutter and focus; this is your job and I’m putting you boys to work.”
He straightens up, looking a bit sheepish after her snappy reply. Betsy gives him a friendly pat on the shoulder and continues to lead them to Excellence. Once there, she stands before the doors, she turns to face them and signals for the cameras to be turned on. The crew scrambles to set up and in moments, the cameraman uses his fingers to count down from 3… 2…
“So it seems that one of our esteemed leaders has decided to set a task upon me today. A challenge, of sorts, to acquire something she feels only I have the capability to provide. It seems rumors of my impossible travels and refined tastes have spread quickly; now everyone wants a favor. In this instance…”
Betsy pauses as she glances down at the note again, a chuckle full of mirth bubbling from her lips again.
“It would appear Miss F has heard through the grapevine that I know where to find the best burgers in the universe. I can only imagine where she could have heard a rumor like that.
Looking at you, Vhodka darling.”
She sticks out her tongue playfully at the camera before she turns towards the doors of Excellence. With a dramatic flourish, she pushes them both open and walks through them. The crew follows her, all of them stunned at the enormity of the interior that the deceptively smaller exterior hid so well.
“Welcome aboard, guys.”
Reaching the control panel, Betsy looks up and seeing that the entire crew had made it on board, snaps her fingers, allowing the doors to swing shut. Punching in a series of numbers, Excellence’s engine begins to churn to life, pumping away as celestial energy fuels her cells. The comforting noise fills the room as she takes off from the Fight! Tower; the crew, on the other hand, look terrified, unsure of what to do. One of them drops his equipment and heads for the door.
“Don’t open that!”
His hand pauses as she pulls down on a lever that sends the little phone booth through the time vortex.
“Grab a hold of something!”
The bewildered crew abandon their equipment and rush to do as Betsy ordered. Excellence begins to shake violently before skidding to a bumpy landing. Betsy springs to her feet first, clearly well used to landing in this fashion, and smiles apologetically at the crew.
“Sorry, fellas; she doesn’t do very well with short-term trips. I promise the next landing will go a lot smoother than this one. You guys wait right here, I’ll be back in a moment!”
Leaving them on their own, they begin to check their equipment, knowing that the editing guys were going to hate them for this. Setting it up as safely as they could out of the way, they begin to explore the room, gawking at the massive size and impressive engine. A few minutes later, Betsy returns and with her is her boyfriend and the People’s G.O.A.T. himself, James Raven.
“So tell me again what exactly we’re doing?”
Betsy smiles at him sweetly as she grabs both of his hands and pulls him closer to her.
“It seems that Miss F finds my first match to be such a piece of cake that she’s offering me a more pressing challenge.”
James chuckles as he folds his fingers over hers and leans down to give her an indulgent kiss.
“Alright babe, but I still don’t see what this has to do with me.”
With a grin, Betsy produces the note from her pocket and shows it to him. He scans it quickly before shooting his brown eyes towards her, his eyebrows shooting upward.
“Oh, come on Betsy…”
“Yeah, I’m not thrilled about that second half myself… Which is why I’m leaving it up to you whether we complete the mission or not.”
As they lock eyes, neither of them notices when Excellence begins to enter a set of coordinates into the navigational computer. The crew, enthralled with the interaction with pro-wrestling’s favorite couple, continue to record eagerly. Moments later, everyone is taken off their feet when Excellence springs to life, engine chugging away rapidly. Using the panel to climb to her feet, Betsy manages to get her fingertips on the nav-screen and turns it towards her.
“Uh… I don’t know where we’re headed, but it’s going to a be a bumpy ride!”
***** One very long, bumpy ride later*****
“So… This is where the best burgers in the universe are, eh?”
Betsy, James, and the camera crew all share expression of shock and wonder as they witness the bizarre amusement park before them. A search of the planet on her computer offered her no information as to where they were. A sign at the entrance gate read out in bold, gold words against a black background:
WELCOME TO JOYFULLY JOLLY JUNCTION
WHERE HOURS OF MERRYMAKING ARE YOURS FOR THE TAKING!
As they approach the admission gate, a bored looking employee holds up a tentacle to stop them. While Betsy and James seem oblivious to the yellow, octopus-like being that was holding out its suction-covered “hand”, the camera crew held back, utterly unnerved. Before long, Betsy has them all through the gates and they begin to explore their surroundings. James grabs her hand, holding it tightly to keep her close as the camera crew huddles together and sticks like glue to the couple.
Roller coasters of insane varieties are scattered through the park, intersecting dangerously close to one another. Loops and twists of unimaginable styles were enough to make Betsy feel nauseous just by looking at them. Merry-go-rounds with strange, hideously beastly creatures were full with children, some of whom were laughing happily while others screamed in obvious fear. The smells of food soon filled the air, delicious and exotic; unable to help themselves, James and Betsy, followed by the crew, followed their noses towards the source.
It doesn’t take them long to find the cluster of stands where the sounds of sizzling meats and the humming of generators filled the air. They walk through the crowd of mixed alien species, the crew once again in complete awe, but becoming better at hiding it. James spots a large burger in the hand of a Wookie and points it out to Betsy.
“Is that what we’re looking for?”
Betsy turns to where James is pointing and immediately begins to drool.
“That is one good looking burger… We should probably taste-test that before we take it back to Miss F, wouldn’t you say?”
James smirks and links his arm through Betsy’s, getting them in line while the crew continues to record. As they wait, the conversation begins to turn towards the inevitable.
“This seems like an odd request to make of a new member of your roster; I’m honestly surprised you’re agreeing to it.”
Betsy smiles up at James, mischief clear in her green eyes.
“The burgers I’m not worried about, it’s the second half of the request that seems… Off. But we’ll figure that one out when we get to it.”
The face of the People’s G.O.A.T. wrinkles again as he’s reminded of what the letter contained. Shaking his head free of the thought, he steers the conversation in another direction.
“And what about this business with that group that’s been giving Shawn and Kasey so much trouble recently… Apathy, I think?”
“Ah, Apathy is actually one of the members of the group; though her name is rather apt for the effects the group as a whole has on me. As a collective, they call themselves ‘The Cure’.”
She rolls her eyes and smirks as she says it.
“What can I say? I’m sick as shit of seeing these dumb fucking Hot Topic goth, Depeche Mode groupies popping up everywhere and targeting the people I care about. It started with the Left Hand, it continues with BoB, and now I turn my head and there’s The Cure coming after Brother Mine, Kasey and Dickie…”
James hugs her tightly as she begins to get riled up.
“Have I ever mentioned how much I love the way you feel compelled to save everyone?”
“Are you really making fun of me right now?”
“I would never.”
Kissing the tip of her nose, he turns Betsy forward and pushes her along gently as the line moves. His arms slowly encircle her around the midsection as he pulls her into him gently. Resting her head against his chest, she closes her eyes and smiles.
“It’s just… You know I can’t stand it when people use a numbers game and that’s exactly what The Cure is trying to do right now. It’s time something was done about it, that’s where I come in. Kasey is worried we won’t have the numbers to put them away, but we don’t need them. The four of us are worth ten of every member of The Cure.”
Betsy opens her eyes and tilts her head towards the camera.
“And that goes double for you, Eoin O’Rourke.”
She smiles into the camera, though the smile shows no humor. Her green eyes glitter like emeralds against the neon lights of the rides all around them.
“Since you get to be the first example of what happens when you fuck with my family, let me make one thing very clear at the start. Despite my reputation of being the nice girl and giving a clean fight, I’m not afraid to take the gloves off when the cause is justified. You and your unremarkable posse have deemed it necessary to show your cowardice using MY people, my FAMILY as your scapegoats…
None of you has any idea just how messy this can of worms you just opened is going to get.”
Her normally friendly expression grows every darker as she steps away from James, and closer to the camera.
“I’m sure by now you’ve heard a lot about me, but just in case you haven’t, allow me to introduce myself properly.
My name is Betsy Granger, Impossible Traveler and multiple time champion. Whether you realize it or not, I’m kind of a big deal; my accomplishments speak for themselves, as does the company I keep. Incidentally, it’s that company and your involvement with them that has brought me to Fight! NYC… Oh Eoin, I know you and your moronic cronies couldn’t have possibly fathomed what you were setting yourselves up for when you started to target Shawn Warstein… Kasey Winterborn… Dickie Watson…
If any of you thought there wouldn’t be a reckoning for your actions, you couldn’t have been more horribly mistaken.”
Her smile is mischievous, matching the sparkle in her emerald eyes.
“Big Fella, they call you? I can’t say I agree with that, only the smallest of boy’s attack in numbers when the enemy is vulnerable. Here’s a fun fact about me that you may not yet know: it’s a hobby of mine to bring the biggest of men to their knees. After all, the bigger they are, the harder they fall; before the match is through, you’ll be on your knees before me, begging for mercy.
And just before I eviscerate you entirely, I’ll make you beg for it one more time.”
The line moves again, but Betsy remains where she is in front of the camera. James glances back at her, then shrugs, keeping their spot as he turns to watch her, grinning from ear to ear.
“The Cure is attempting to eradicate a disease they believe is being spread by certain members of this business. They would accuse better people than them of being a poison to the industry and have made their move in the pursuit of elimination. Unfortunately for you guys, you couldn’t have picked a worse group of specimens to try this on. You can’t destroy us; every time you try, we’ll just mutate, adapt, and come back stronger than before. It’s not your fault for trying, you just didn’t do enough study to know you were messing with superior genetics.”
The Impossible Traveler smirks as the line moves up. James is now only two people behind the counter; he turns towards her and clears his throat loudly to get her attention. Betsy turns towards him, starting with surprise when she realizes how far away, he’d gotten. She motions for the camera to follow her as she makes her way back to his side.
“You’ll find out soon enough how resistant I am to any cure you believe you contain, Eoin. I came here to show you and your buddies just how worthless you are in the grand scheme of things. If you were looking to garner attention with your actions, congratulations; it was a rousing success. However, I don’t think this was the attention you were hoping to receive, all it’s going to earn you is the ass-whooping you have coming.
Venom #7 is merely a taste of what’s to come, because my family and I are about to force feed you shit bags your own bitter medicine. The Cure is about to be picked off, one by one, and it’s already too late for any of you to do anything to stop it.”
The food vendor yells out loudly to James, who grabs Betsy by the arm and pulls her towards the counter. She smiles up at the grouchy looking Twi’lek behind the counter.
“I need twenty of the Supreme Burger deluxe, ten orders of large fries, and your largest piece of funnel cake with all the sugar.”
The Twi’lek stares at her dumbfounded, unsure of whether or not she was serious. At her nod and the pile of credits she dumps on the counter, he quickly finds his motivation and begins to shout orders to the Jawas that were working the grill. Reaching under the counter, he pulls out a tracker and hands it to Betsy.
“This is going to take a while, so you and your friends may as well enjoy yourselves. We’ll give you a buzz when it’s finished.”
“Hey, thanks pal!”
Throwing the Twi’lek a healthy tip for his troubles, Betsy loops her arm through James’ and they begin to roam the amusement park, heading towards the area where all the carnival games were set up and a live band was playing fast-paced, energetic music…
*****Another long, bumpy ride home*****
Betsy and James arrive back at the Fight! Tower; having timed it perfectly, they land in the same spot at the same time that Betsy had just left. The people who had been milling about when she’d left now scattered in terror as the engine is heard before the ship itself materialized on the scene. The crew rushes out quickly, looking around in amazement at the familiar space around them. Mouths agape, they look towards Betsy and James, who now exit the TARDIS laden with bags of burgers.
Heading down the hall, they swiftly make their way towards Miss F’s office, passing by Vhodka and her husband Vincent Black. Grabbing two of the burgers from the bags in James’ arms, Betsy hands one off to each of them before continuing on. They finally reach the office of Miss F and knock loudly on the door, announcing their arrival.
Within the office is Miss F as well as her assistant, Serotonin; the mouth of the latter drops open when she spots James entering the office behind Betsy. The Impossible Traveler gives her a wink as the door closes behind them, approaching the desk of Miss F and setting the burger bags down.
“You asked, and so you shall receive. Behold!”
Pulling one of the burgers out, she holds it up to the light, allowing the soft glow of the bulb to bounce off the decorative burger wrapping. Impressed with the packaging, Miss F smiles her approval and accepts the burger as Betsy hands it over to her. Pulling up chairs, Betsy and James take one for themselves; Serotonin slides her chair up next to James and grins widely when he hands her a burger, as well. With a smile, Miss F holds out her burger as a form of toast.
“To your long career with us in Fight! NYC, Miss Granger.”
“I’ll eat to that.”
Betsy agrees enthusiastically, holding out her own burger and touching it to Miss F’s. The camera continues to film as the four of them consume the massive burgers… It’s about to fade to black when Miss F suddenly stops, burger halfway to her mouth.
“You succeeded in part one, Betsy, these truly are the best burgers I’ve ever had. What about part two, though? Serotonin has been working hard…”
At this, Betsy can’t stop the grin from tugging at her lips as she looks over to James, who paused with his burger at his mouth. His face crumbles as Betsy gives him a shrug and an encouraging smile. Sighing heavily, James sets his burger down and stands up; Serotonin gasps as he grabs the bottom of his shirt and swiftly removes it, revealing his insanely well-chiseled physique underneath. Sitting back down, slightly pouty, he looks Betsy in the eye as he grabs his burger.
“The things I do for you…”
Betsy grins, reaching out and rubbing his shoulder as he takes a bite out of his burger.
“I wasn’t wild about it either, but now that I see it… It wasn’t the worst request in the world.”
Now, as the camera begins to pan out, is the scene allowed to fade to black…