Chapter 3: Welcome to Popple Corporations
One of the biggest skyscrapers in Manhattan is owned by Mr. P, also known as Mr. Stanton Popple. On front of the big skyscraper stands the word: Popple. Mr. Popple’s employees mostly call him Mr. P also known as the big boss.
Mr. Popple’s office is on the upper floor in the building. He’s currently working in his office but he doesn’t look happy, he looks frustrated.
‘I need it now!’ Yells Mr. Popple, a big man, around the 40’s, black hair, green eyes.
Elsa Farris, the assistant of Mr. Popple puts a hand on Mr. Popple’s shoulder. ‘Relax Stanton.’
‘I can’t relax. I need that beetle blood now.’
‘Lester and Luis are getting the blood, they’re good in their job.’
Mr. Popple looks out the window and smiles. ‘The Asian Purple Beetle is mine!.
In the afternoon, both Lester and Luis are waiting in one of the biggest skyscrapers in Manhattan
Lester stands nervously beside Luis, in a big office. Mr. Popple sits on his chair, looking at Lester and Luis.
‘So, if I understand it, you lost the beetle blood, put it in a kid, killed him?
‘No, I don’t think we killed him, he disappeared from the closet.’ Says Lester nervously.
‘Who put the blood in the kid?’
Luis points quickly to Lester. ‘He did Mr. P.’
Mr. P stands up, he looks very annoyed. ‘Let’s go for a walk Mr. Hammond.’
Mr. P puts walks toward Lester and Luis, he puts his hand on the back of Lester and slightly pushes him to the door. Luis opens the door for them. While Lester leaves the office, Mr. P stands still beside Luis and says ‘You need a new companion.’
Mr. P and Lester are walking out the back of the building where no cars or pedestrians can see them.
‘I’m so sorry Mr. P, he has to be dead, that blood can kill humans.’
‘It doesn’t kill every human. That blood you wasted is on you.’
Mr. P grabs a pistol out his pants and puts it in front of Lester his heart. ‘You’re just a waste of time.’
Mr. P pulls the trigger and the bullet flies right through Lester’s heart, Lester falls on the ground, grabbing Mr. P’s arms. Mr. P pushes his hands away and walks back inside.
Mr. P stands back in his office, looking desperately out the window and says ‘We need the kid.’ To Abraham and Luis, who are standing behind him.
‘I’ll work on that.’ Says Abraham, he goes out the office.
Mr. P walks toward Luis while saying ‘You need to get rid of the body.’
‘Okay Mr. P.’
Luis walks away but Mr. P holds his hand in front of Luis. ‘Don’t call me Mr. P.’
Moments later, Dr. Abraham Richards walks in the office, he’s the doctor that took care of Jerome earlier.
‘The kid is coming to this place.’ Says Abraham to Stanton.
‘Good job Dr. Richard. On you, I can count on.’ Says Stanton while Luis is watching annoyed.
‘Can I ask you why you need that beetle so badly? Asks Abraham.
‘Well, I once found the beetle in Asia, we brought it to here, I multiplied the blood so we had enough. But some asshole destroyed all of it. And now there’s this museum that has this fucking beetle. I thought the last one lived in Asia.’
‘Luckily we found the beetle…’ Says Luis.
Mr. Popple looks angrily toward Luis.
Luis looks down and says ‘I’m sorry Mr. P.’ Luis walks out the office.
A couple of hours later, Jerome Wilson stands in front of the big building owned by Mr. Popple. He walks inside.
Inside the building, Jerome is immediately greeted by Dr. Abraham Richards. ‘Jerome, I’m glad that you came, we will run some tests with you.’
‘Someone injected me with some purple blood, you see this wound.’ Jerome points at his neck wound.
Abraham looks worried ‘Well, we have answers.’
Abraham guides Jerome to Abraham’s lab. Abraham’s lab is a big room with a lot of equipment and weird looking fluids.
There’s another man working in the lab, he’s putting a red and blue colored liquid together, he waits a few seconds and then looks confused. ‘Hmm, nothing.’
Then Abraham and Jerome are walking inside the lab. ‘Leo, this is Jerome Wilson.’
Leo walks towards Abraham and Jerome and gives Jerome a hand. ‘Nice to meet you Jerome.’
‘Jerome, this is my brother, Dr. Leo Richards.’
Leo Richards is the older brother of Abraham Richards, he’s in his early fifties and is already turning bald. ‘Come with me Jerome.’ Says Leo.
Abraham, Leo and Jerome are walking to the end of the lab where a machine stands with a table in front of it. ‘Put your clothes off beside your underwear and put yourself on the table, on your belly.’ Says Leo while pointing at the table.
Jerome puts his clothes off, looking ashamed, and lays on the table.
Leo pushes the table into the machine. ‘Wait, what’re you going to do?’ Asks Jerome.
‘We’ll take some blood samples, it’s gonna sting a little.’ Says Leo.
‘Since when do you take blood simples this way.’ Asks Jerome while laying uncomfortably in the machine.
Leo says nothing and looks to Abraham, Abraham nods and Leo pushes onto a button.
The machine starts giving lights and an iron bar with 3 needles is appearing in the machine above Jerome’s back.
Jerome looks very scared. ‘What was that sound?’
Some handlebars are keeping Jerome on his place and the iron bar with the needles is coming closer to Jerome’s back.
The needle are entering Jerome’s back and Jerome screams from the pain as hard as he could. After a few seconds, the needle are releasing and Jerome feels relieved.
The machine stops giving light and Leo pulls the table out the machine. The handlebars gets loose and Jerome slowly goes off the table.
Jerome turns around to Leo. ‘Leo how do you feel Jerome?’
‘I’m feeling actually great…’
Abraham walks to Jerome. ‘Put your clothes back on, we’ll look into the blood, we’ll get in touch again.’
Jerome puts his clothes on again and Abraham leads him out the building. ‘Thank you Jerome.’
Abraham looks worried, he turns around and Mr. Popple stands in front of him. Abraham startles.
‘So, that was Jerome Wilson? Can I have the blood?’
‘I’m sorry Mr. Popple, he’ll return later in the week, the machine didn’t work.’
Mr. Popple bangs with his hand on a desk. ‘Are you kidding me?’
Abraham walks back to the lab, he goes to Leo who’s holding Jerome’s blood in a glass tube.
‘This isn’t normal, he should’ve been dead. He’s transforming.’
‘Whatever you do Leo, don’t give the blood to Mr. Popple, he’s not planning to use it for a good purpose.’
‘Uhm okay, I’ll keep it.’ Says Leo in a confusing voice.
While Abraham was walking back to the lab, Luis Fischer walks toward Mr. Popple. ‘That’s the kid.’
‘I know. I will get his blood, even if I have to kill him.’
The next day, Jerome went back to school already. He stands there on the courtyard, talking with Josh when out of nowhere Mr. Popple comes on the courtyard, walking toward Jerome and Josh.
‘That a new teacher?’ Asks Jerome.
‘I’ve never seen that man.’ Says Josh.
Mr. Popple walks with a big smile to the two of them. ‘Jerome Wilson, that’s you, isn’t?
‘Yes, that’s me…Do I know you?’
‘My name is Stanton Popple, you visited my building for the research. How did it go?’
‘It went very well, I hope you’ll have answers soon for me.’
‘Oh, it did very well eh? Well I spoke with your principal, very sympathetic man, he will go with some classes to Popple Corporations, I hope you’ll come to.’
Stanton reaches out a hand to Jerome, Jerome looks to it and shakes his hand. ‘Nice to meet you Jerome.’
‘Nice to meet you too.’
Mr. Popple walks away while Josh stares confused at him. ‘What a creep.’ Whispers Josh.
Later when the school bell rang, everyone got to their classes. Jerome sits like usual beside his best friend Josh Palmer while Dain and Charlotte are not sitting beside each other. Dain and Charlotte had a fight over the incident with Jerome.
Principal Ron Warren walks in with an enormous smile. ‘I have some very good new!’
‘One of the richest men in this city invited our class to visit his building. In his building, they make medicines and he’s at the brink of finding a cure for cancer.’
‘Great!’ Shouted Dain Bennet.
After a few hours, the school bell rang again and everybody stormed out the building. Jerome and Josh where also heading outside the building when Charlotte bumps into them.
‘Hey Jerome, are you alright?’
‘Yes, I’m fine, thanks Charlotte.’
‘I wanted to ask you something.’
Josh looks to Jerome and Charlotte and says ‘I’ll leave you two alone.’ Josh walks out the building.
‘Do you wanna get a drink this Friday, after the excursion maybe?’
‘That sounds great, would Dain not get jealous?’
‘Dain and I are no more, I’ll see you tomorrow.’
Charlotte walks away and Jerome can’t believe that he’s going to have a date with Charlotte. At this moment, he’s the happiest man on earth.
Dain runs through the hallway and pushes Jerome against the wall, Jerome’s bag falls on the ground with all his books out. Jerome looks angry and puts all his books back into his bag. He walks outside and realizes his missed his bus, so now he’s going to have to go on foot.
After twenty minutes walking, Jerome is walking through a quiet street where only old building were where old people lived in, and then he suddenly heard an old woman’s voice screaming for help.
Jerome runs toward the voice of the old woman and sees an old woman getting attacked by a purse thief.
Jerome looks to his hands and he makes a fist. He walks toward the old woman who’s getting attacked.
‘Hey! You shouldn’t be robbing old ladies, that’s rude!’
The purse thief stops attacking the old woman and looks to Jerome, who’s slowly walking toward the purse thief.
The purse thief forgets giving attention to the old lady and gives all the attention to Jerome. ‘You want to play a hero? You’re just a kid, get out!’
The purse thief walks back toward the old woman. Jerome walks further to the purse thief. The thief takes the purse from the old woman. ‘And I think you we’re never a kid, growing up to be what? A purse thief? Isn’t that pathetic?’
The purse thief looks to Jerome again and walks now even harder to him. ‘You want me to bash your fucking head in?’
The purse thief walks further to Jerome and swings a fist at him. Jerome dodges the fist. The thief swings another fist at Jerome and he dodges it again. The thief swings his fist a third time but this time Jerome doesn’t dodge it. He grabs the fist.
Jerome holds the fist from the thief and throws the thief’s fist against the thief’s face. The thief falls on the ground, unconscious.
Jerome puts his black hood from his vest on and grabs the purse from the ground. He walks toward the old woman and helps her getting up. He gives the purse to her. ‘Who are you sweet boy?’
Jerome looks around, he doesn’t want to say his name. He looks to his own clothes and realizes he’s wearing all black clothes today.
‘I’m The Black Ranger.’ Says Jerome in a confident voice.
The next morning Jerome is skipping school and stands in the Popple Corporations building. He stands at a desk, waiting for someone.
Dr. Abraham Richard walks in the building with a big brown suitcase and look startled when he sees Jerome standing at the desk.
‘Jerome, what are you doing here?’
‘I wanna speak to you about something.’
‘You shouldn’t be here Jerome, Mr. Popple wants your blood, he’ll kill for it.’
‘You have my blood?’
‘I’m not going to give it to him, I know he has other plans with it.’
‘Dr. Richard, I saved an old lady yesterday, I’m stronger, smarter, faster than ever. That injection changed me.’
‘Side effects. Permanent side effects.’
‘I guess I’m a super hero now.’
‘Heroes don’t exist Jerome, now go off, I’ll contact you later.’
‘Okay, but I’m The Black Ranger now.’
‘What?’ Asks Abraham with a confusing tone.
‘It’s my superhero name.’
‘Go to school kid.’
Jerome looks awkwardly to Dr. Richard and walks off, out the building. Abraham looks relieved now but what he don’t know is that Luis Fischer heard the conversation. Luis is crouching below the desk.
Later that day, Luis stands in Mr. Popple’s office.
‘Abraham did what?!?’ Yells Mr. Popple furiously.
‘I’m shocked to, he has Jerome’s blood in the lab and that kid calls himself a fucking superhero.’
‘Heroes? Heroes don’t exist! Find that blood and bring it to me!’
Luis puts his hand in his pocket and takes out a tube of blood. In his other pocket he grabs a injection needle. Luis puts the tube with Jerome’s blood in the injection needle.
Mr. Popple looks worried. ‘What are you doing?’
Luis rolls his sleeve up.
‘I’m being the most powerful man in the world.’
Luis injects the blood in his arm while saying ‘You need to be careful with the Richards.'
Mr. Popple gets off his chair and yells ‘NOOOOO!’
Mr. Popple looks both shocked and worried to Luis Fischer, who’s now standing still with the needle still in his arm. For some reason Luis can’t move.
‘What’s happening?’ Says Luis while falling on his knees.
Mr. Popple walks toward Luis with a sad grin. ‘You shouldn’t have done this, not everyone survives such an injection.’
Luis falls on the ground with his face, he’s not moving anymore, he’s dead.
Mr. Popple grabs the injection needle and sees that there’s no blood anymore.
Elsa Farris, the assistant of Mr. Popple knocks on the door. ‘Come in.’ Says Mr. Popple.
Elsa walks in the office and startles when she sees the dead body of Luis Fischer. ‘Mr. Popple, what happened?’
‘He acted like a stupid dog. Get rid of him darling.’
Mr. Popple walks to his chair, he sits down, looking desperate.
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