"Haw haw, run monkeyman, run!" taunted Sandman, watching the Gibbon fleeing Octopus' tentacles and scuttling out of the Hammer Industries factory. It didn't seem worthwhile to bother chasing him. The floor was littered with the rapidly evaporating remains of ninjas and Justin Hammer had been freed. Dr. Octopus appeared satisfied that they had what they wanted, and as long as the Doc was happy then the Six were happy.
Justin Hammer was quite pleased to see his criminal associates return as well, freeing him and his property from the Hand attack. "It seems all they wanted was information. I should never have taken that contract from Fisk, but at least it's his problem now" Hammer complained. "The labs have been disorganized but none of our projects were damaged beyond a few dents and scratches. I'd say we only lost a few days work if you were able to gather the resources you had been collecting."
"Good," Octopus nodded. "The hunter/killer robot will be useful for patrolling the additional territory we've acquired. But the additional weaponry your scientists have been working on will prove even more crucial. As our forces drive off the city's other gangs I expect they will soon make their final stands and we will need to be ready to weather whatever strength they can muster. We cannot allow another raid like this to happen again!"
Meanwhile, across town in the luxurious but besieged Fisk Towers...
"Did you really think anyone could touch me in my own house?" Wilson Fisk demanded. The strange eastern warriors who had invaded his privacy had proven easy prey for the Kingpin's personal bodyguards. Now he would turn this attack into profit. Seizing the wizened Master of the True Believers around the neck with one meaty hand, Kingpin hefted him into the air for all to see. "What could possibly be worth such a foolhardy attack? What makes this 'key' so damned important?"
The old man choked and wheezed but said nothing, causing Fisk to grind his teeth in annoyance. He had lost the patience for posturing and mind games. "You read minds fortuneteller? Then read mine: I'm going to kill you. So make your next words wise ones."
The monk's features calmed, relaxed. His struggles ceased. He knew the Kingpin spoke the truth.
"The True Believers are named so because we guard an ancient truth that must never be forgotten, though most of the world has done exactly that. What others think only a myth, we know is all too real. Beyond the borders of Earthrealm, there exists an Outer World that watches us and waits as a hungry wolf watches an unsuspecting faun. All that keeps their jaws from our throats is the power of the gods."
"By divine law, Earth's champions were granted the chance to defend us from the fiercest warriors that the invaders could summon forth. If Earth could win the tournament, then the darkness would be driven back until the stars of the galaxy had rotated into alignment once again."
"This is preposterous," Kingpin scoffed, tired of listening to the old man's senile ramblings. "I have no time for fairy tales from some dusty old scroll."
"This tale comes from no scroll, friend. I know it to be true because I lived it. A thousand years ago I was called Kung Lao by the brothers of my order, and I became the reigning champion of Mortal Kombat. It is a burden I have born ever since."
"Then consider this an act of mercy," Kingpin snarled, and abruptly snapped Kung Lao's frail neck like a fistful of dry twigs.
"Call the police and report the attack. Tell them there's been a fatality. Self defense is such a tidy excuse for murder," Fisk told Tombstone, eager to wash his hands of this business. He dropped the dead monk to the floor like a limp bag of trash and turned his sight to the jewel-like key that they had sought.
It was only moments hence that a great sweeping shadow fell across New York city, and Fisk's tower went dark. Picking up the key the Kingpin went to the balcony and looked out over his city and up into the afternoon sky. Where the sun should be there was only a dim ring of fire, some great black mass blocking out nine tenths of the sun's light. People in the streets below were panicked; there was no solar eclipse today, and this darkness was not receding. A sinking doubt crawled into Fisk's belly... this was no fairy tale. Kung Lao had thought the key would protect them all, but Wilson Fisk had no idea how.