1964-03-21 - You Are what you Toke
Summary: Lois decides to interview The Absorbing Man and find out his deal, over some marijuana. And possibly Creel-derived drugs.
Related: none
Theme Song: None
creel lois 


The letter came a few days ago and, alas, was ignored. Lois almost talked herself out of this whole crazy idea but then no, dammit, she went to the trouble of tracking the guy down, she might as well follow through! So, around 10 pm on a random Tuesday evening, there is a knocking outside his door. The woman standing there is both as gorgeous looking as she is weirdly cute and just a bit strung out. The faint scent of weed lingers on the air around her, mixed with some vanilla perfume and a cigarette. She's in tight jeans covered by a long, fur trimmed courduroy coat. Her black hair down in slightly stringy waves and, despite being full dark out, her glasses are tinted.

*

It takes some time for Creel to really bother with things. He was watching a Beverly Hillbillies marathon, damnit. And trying to consider the best way of tearing off Mojo's head. It's hard, he has no neck, since he has no spine. It's been going through his brain for awhile now. The first knock doesn't get him up. Or the second. Lois is really going to have to go at it before he dumps his cheeto bowl on his misshapen recliner and march over to the door. "WHO THE FUCK IS IT?" He pulls it open a crack, not bothering to peer out the peephole or use the protective chain. He's the friggen' Absorbing Man. What, is someone going to mug him? An attractive female who smells of drugs wasn't what he expected. "Uh. How much do you cost?" he asks. He's pretty sure he didn't order an escort, but if this is a wrong address he's not above opportunistic haggling.

*

"I'm free, baby, but generally only for good conversation." Lois' husky voice offers with a wry smile across her full, slightly glossy mouth. She then holds up a bag which has at least four different types of pills in it and her pale eyes glimmer over the plastic rims of her sunglasses. "But… I do have an offer to make. I sent you a letter, but figured you might not be the phone call short. So, figured I'd sweeten the offer by coming in person." She offers her other hand in his direction, daring, warm, and all trouble. "Lois Lane. And I want to hear your story."

*

"…meh. I'd rather watch the tellie." Creel finally decides, attempting to close the door. Lois will have to put her foot in the way to continue her spiel. The Crusher is rough, so it'd probably hurt, especially given he'd thump-thump it a couple times in mild annoyance. "Oh? You're letter-girl? Goddamnit." The door flings open, showing Creel to be wearing nothing but boxers covered in tiny cartoon mouses chasing caricature wedges of swiss cheese. "This is a fucking Hero sting, isn't it? Huh?! Where are they?! You track me down, you verify I'm here, what now?!" Unless Lois is quite quick, a surprisingly deft and strong arm attempts to grasp her by the front of her clothing and left her up. "You've made a DAMN big mistake if you think I'll go down easy!! I'M THE ABSORBING MAN!!""Nobody cares!" shouts the muffled noise of his neighbor.

*

Of course her foot is in there. Why do you think she wears those chunky boots? They certainly weren't stylish and wouldn't be for another few years, though they give her a good few more inches of height and do help protect her poor feet when a source doesn't want to talk. And, let's be honest, which sources EVER want to talk to Lois Lane? She grins that same cocky grin, wider this time, as he calls her the letter girl. "Bingo. And I promise it'll be a good time… Better than the damn tellie. I've got the good shi-!" SHe doesn't even have time to try and peddle whatever drugs she brought as she's suddenly scooped up off her feet and around in front of him. She yelps a little, hanging by her coat and poor Hawaiian shirt beneath. "God DAMMIT, man, this isn't a hero sting! You think I'd bring this much dope around some fucking HEROES?! And I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! I CARE! SO fuckin' talk to me and get your 15 minutes of fuckin' fame, okay?"

*

"Better than the tellie?! But they're trying to find Jed a wife! It's even got a hot Guest star!" Creel growls. A heavy shaking still follows; applying large amounts of pressure always works to get the truth out of people, in his enforer career. "Dope?" he suddenly asks, stopping dead. He finally looks over Lois' stash, eyes narrowing. That means it's not the police, although he has no fear of even the powered branch. What sort of vigilantes might condone planting evidence like that? Mundane ones. And no mundane hero can do jack shit to Crusher Creel. "Fine." He lets go. "But you are the second person to offer me 15 Minutes of Fame, and I swear that yellow blob is gonna get what he deserves." He leaves the door open and strides within, finding his shitty kitchen table with two chairs to sit at. Reaching over, he pulls open the fridge to find an expired container of milk to begin chugging. A few rivulets going down his chin. Careful, Lois. Don't get seduced by your mark.

*

The woman is either tough as nails or already high enough that she barely winces as she's shaken that way,though it cannot be comfortable to be held like that and her jacket is half choking her. She stands her ground. Or, more so, she vaguely flails in the air above her ground. But you get the idea! Finally, with the call of dope and her glimmering eyes, she seems to have convinced him to give her the story. She coughs out a little laugh, "…We can finish watchin' Beverly Hillbillies if you want, while the shit kicks in. Whatever you want. I don't have any time line, just an interest in what you gotta say and a whole bag of whatever makes you feel good. Got some nice weed too. The good shit. From Canada. Whatever you like… it and a promise to keep your location a secret — I don't ever squeal on a source. I offer all that in exchange for nothin' more than an exclusive interview. Best offer you're gonna get all month." She follows him into the kitchen, unbuttoning her jacket to reveal that crop-tied Hawaiian shirt and her bare stomach. SHe tosses it casually over the back of a chair.

*

Creel cared a lot less about the eyes, really. Lois isn't an escort, so she barely exists as a woman to him anymore. Pshaw. "Whatever, they do reruns. Let's get this over with." Creel's definitely huge. Built with heavy muscles, focusing on power instead of stamina. "But hell, tell someone where I am. I'm trying to make the big leagues. Super Villain stuff. Not working out well. Crusher Creel's no murderer. I'm not gonna kill people, or ruin lives, to make my name. No. I wanna throw people like that lasso bitch around like a ragdoll. Prove I'm the strongest in the world. This isn't about money. It's about respect." He jabs his finger on the table hard a few times. He opts for the weed, lighting it up and then heavily inhaling.

*

Well, he's clearly made his choice. The grass is good, straight from Canada, and Lois has rolling papers as well as a glass pipe. He looks like a pipe kind of guy — it's easier. She lets him take his fill of the stuff, not even asking for him to share. It was about putting her talking partner at ease. So, as he begins, she reaches into her back pocket and pulls out a notebook. She might be sailing rather smooth herself, having taken a few hits on the way over, but she can still write short hand with the best of them. "…How'd you get started on this? Doin' what you do? Being what you *are*? Strongest in the world, that is…"

*

Creel knows enough about drugs to manage himself a down and dirty roll to toke first, although the pipe will be appreciated once that's gone. Although Creel seems fairly sociable. By her accounts, he seems like some kind of basic thug. A person who might not be innately bad, but took a few wrong turns in a rough and tumble life, and here he is. A far cry from the worst dregs she'd know of. "I—" He almost starts somewhere he'd rather not say. Cough. Another long inhale. "I've always been strong. And I ain't smart. But I was taught by a good man, your brain don't have to be smart to fight." He leans forward while saying this, as if he's proud of the words. "You aren't teaching your brain. You are teaching your muscles. Your nerves. Anyone, no matter how slow or how dense, can throw a heavyweight punch if they apply themselves and try." He leans back again, joint already half gone. "But there's not a lot of paths in fighting. So I hit the streets as a mercenary. Did some pit-fighting, underground brawls. Made decent scratch. I was well-known in NYC, respected, but things went south and I hit the canning station for a couple years. Yeah. That's when I got my big break. My mutant shit manifested, and now I'm the goddamn Absorbing Man!!"

*

Quietly, Lois writes. She makes a little notation beside the beginning of his story, somewhere to come back to when he's more baked and loose lipped. There was something he didn't want to say, but she wasn't going to push it at this moment. She smiles a bit more, "Your teacher was damn smart. It's… true. And… the canning station? Is that what mutated you, you think? And… I've heard you're the God-damn Absorbing Man, but… I don't think I, or the people, know *exactly* what you can do? Just how dangerous ARE you, Absorbing Man? What did it do to your already trained skills?" Lois leans a bit closer, the motion showing off the curve of her breasts beneath that low cut, tied off shirt. It might not matter to him, but she's accustomed to using all her tempting wiles.

*

Creel continues toking, and then there's naught left of the joint. He drops the tiny smoldering bud on the table. "I mean prison." he coughs out. "I was drinking some water, shit tasted funny, now I am the Absorbing Man. So I busted out, some months ago. That's it. What a goddamn waste." Eyes are starting to get a touch red rimmed. "And what can I do? Absorb stuff. My name's not a trade secret." He plants his hand on the wooden table. The grain seems to ripple over him, and a few seconds later from the top of his head to the wrinkles of his mouse-underwear, he seems to be wood. Even creakign as he moves, knocking on his head and creating a sound exactly like a tree might. The table appears completely unaffected by it. A moment later he turns it off. "Or this." He grasps the milk carton, and it then gets… absorbed. As if it collapsed to it's core elements, and integrated itself into his flesh. His fist flexes, and the remnants of the carton fall to the table, apparently having been torn to pieces by the assimilation. "And other shit, probably. I dunno, I ain't played with it much. I'm already strong enough!"

*

While Lois has seen a lot in her life, the up close and personal example of his powers — especially the wood — is still a little mind blowing. For a moment, he might be able to see that gleam in her eyes of a little girl who wanted nothing more than to be a reporter. To see the real stories on the front lines. Right now, he's a REAL story in her eyes. A fascinating hero, or villain it seems, but that's enough. "…Damn, man… That is… SHit. That's cool a shit. You might be strong, yeah… but… Fuck. That's a mind fuck, you know? I'd ask you to absorb some of these…" She motions to the bag of pills — mainly quaaludes and LSD — "but then I'd just probably spent half the night lickin' you and we already said this wasn't that kind of meeting." SHe tosses him a teasing sort of flirt then tries to shake it off. Damn, stay on topic, Lane! "…Alright. So… you absorb things. Do you get their powers too? Strength… or durability, or the like? What would you say the *coolest* thing you've done with something you've absorbed is?"

*

Actually, Creel seems curious himself. He reaches over and plucks up one of the small pills. LSD, it turns out. Dumping it into his palm, he closes his hand. And then… a ripple. From head to toe, he looks like the pill's texture. "Huh." he states, as if somehow surprised it worked. He's never tried to turn into something as complex as a pharmacy drug before. Turning his hand and flexing his fingers, he picks off the end of his fingernail and flicks it in Lois' direction. "Well, see how well I copied it?" But then there's some questions more direct, and LSD-Creel crosses his arms thoughtfully. "I dunno. I don't feel pain. Literally. I don't breathe. That was weird at first. Far as I can tell, I ain't got no organs or shit. I've been blown up, lost arms, all kinds of crap, but long as I put myself back together before turning it off, nothing happened. Ah… I did fight the Wasp once. Got myself almost as big as a three story building. Heheh."

*

Well, that isn't what Lois expected, and she generally tries NOT to do these interviews while actively hallucinating, but the dark haired woman cannot entirely resist. Even if it's part of his fingernail. She looks at the piece of a seemingly broken off pill. "… I know this should be really damn disgusting, but… I think I'm just too damn intrigued. Here goes nothin'." Lois knocks it back, dry swallowing. It'll take a bit to kick in, but she shrugs, "…tastes like the same shit in the bag. Sorta bitter. Nothin' otherwise. Weird. Anyway… that is… fuckin' weird. No organs. No breathin'. Is there anything you miss the most, being like that? Something you wish you could go back and have?"

*

Indeed, if Lois hadn't seen the huge man break the tiny piece off, she'd never have known it wasn't what it seemed. Although it's about the equivalent of a couple pills… not a small dosage. On the downside, Creel's no longer high. His biology freezes in this state, although generally this doesn't affect things. With a grunt he reverts back to flesh, and almost immediately his eyes go red again. "I dunno. Not really. I can go flesh whenever I want. I've not stayed in it long enough to get antsy." After a few moments, he narrows his eyes in a paranoid fashion. "You just trying to figure out all my weaknesses, or something?"

*

A couple pills? Oh, Lois is going to have a *fun* time getting home. It's not quite kicked in yet, but she can feel the faint, comfortable swim in the back of her head and her smile becomes just a little more languid than before, "Nah, man…I ain't like that. Don't deal with narcs or the cops… I'm just a reporter. Fuckin' hate the government, actually. They're always tryin' to nose into everyone's fuckin' business. Keep us down. Try to stop us from gettin' the truth out there. So… that's what I gotta do. Tell the truth. Especially the ones the government don't want people to know. Like the fact that Mutants are just… regular ass people with regular wishes and wants and needs… and not all bad guys are… Super evil or crazy. So… there. That's why I'm here. I want your truth. So… what do YOU wanna tell people? What story do YOU want out there?"

*

"Reporters tell people things." Creel states, as if this entire aspect of it was somehow being left off Lois' list of hated things. "So I ain't gonna talk about my powers anymore." From the sound of the Absorbing Man's voice, he expects that Lois would be more or less finished at that point. Of course, when he can turn himself into drugs, maybe he's more appealing. After all, the pill he copied is unharmed; he dropped it back on it's baggy. Infinite drugs? So if she got something really, really high quality in a really, really small amount, he could duplicate it? Ah, the possibilities. "What do I want?" This is actually a somewhat difficult question to answer. At least, without saying something he's not interested in revealing. He lights the weed pipe and begins to puff on that next. "Respect. Deep, primal, instinctual respect. Like you feel when you're face to face with a tiger. The kind that makes you feel small. That's what I want."

*

If she wasn't on the way to tripping quite, quite nicely, Lois would probably be driving this home a bit more. Trying to keep him off his game, get deeper, but her mind is a touch distracted right now. Her writing just a bit slower from her normal shorthand. But she's still managing to muddle through. She was still a reporter. "Mm…we tell people the truth, yes. Whether the government… likes it or not. Or the cops… We tell everybody things. Love us or hate us." Lois admits to all that with a casual shrug of her thin shoulders. The following answer, however, gets a gleam of interest from her eyes. Her head tilts, trying to meet his gaze a bit deeper. "…Why? Why is respect so damn important?"

*

More toking. More time spent letting it sink in. Creel's nice and relaxed now. "Really." he mumbles, staring towards Lois evenly. "You are supposed to be a reporter. And you're asking why respect is important. I'm a dumb man, but I still know it when I see it. Makes the world go round. The only time you feel alive, only time you feel /strong/, is when you're standing above someone and looking down. With them cowed at your feet. Yeah." He seems to be describing an actual, topical thing. Not a fantasy. Then again, if Lois truly did her homework, she would know he did not become Carl 'Crusher' Creel as an enforcer. It was his time in the boxing ring. He was an untouchable, dominant force, almost assured to be a national or even world ranked fighter. And it all fell apart to a fixed fight.

*

The woman watches him for a long moment, though she makes a drowsy gesture with her hand, asking him to pass over the weed so she can get at least one puff in. She returns it to him tasting faintly of her lip gloss and mint she had earlier. A small sound comes in her throat, "Nah…I didn't ask why it was important… Wait. No. I did. I meant, why is it important to YOU? Is it about your boxing career? You miss that feeling?" Lois did her homework. She always does, but she doesn't pick at the deep wounds until now, when he's good and relaxed.

*

The pipe is slid over, Creel still looking distant. Vulnerable. And unhappy. But when she mentions his boxing career, there's a slow blink. "What?" His attention shifts, with some effort, to settle on the woman opposite. "What did you say?" Slowly, like the boil of a watched pot of water, tension starts to ripple through his body. "Fuck that. Fuck that!!" Suddenly he's standing, grasping the side of the table and hurtling it sideways. He's not currently enhanced, but it still flies as if made of paper, impacting the wall and sending various implements flying. He looks as imposing as man in his style of undergarments can be. "I have no reason to set my ambitions so low!! I'm not restricted to fighting people in a little ring, with little rules!! I'm the ABSORBING MAN!" The tile of the floor suddenly ripples up his body; he seems made of ceramic head to toe at that point, and then twists. He strikes the center of his fridge, and the heavy metal bows around his fist. The hinges pop off, sound monumental, a force that would require multiple tons. A strange sound of breaking porcelein runs up his arm, many cracks visible upon it now as tiny pieces slough off to clatter the floor. "There ain't a single person in this world I ain't strong enough to make fall before their knees before me now!!!"

*

Well, that was not the reaction Lois expected though, to a reporter, it's pretty much a screaming red light of a YES answer. Lois winces, half drunkenly moving backwards, away from the suddenly destroyed table and the damage to his fridge, "Yo! Man….Whooooa, man, take a breeeeeath. Come on! Here… fuck…" She is gently motioning the pipe in his direction because it's the best defense she has at the moment. "I…I know. I get it. Shit, man, didn't realize that was… such a sore spot. Fuuuccck…" She then blinks, staring at the cracks in his arm. She's not certain if that's the LSD or it actually happened. "Did…did you break your arm? Are you okay?"

*

Creel is simply standing there, looking rather surreal. His tile kitchen floor wasn't exactly fancy, but to be painted head to toe in the same design has to be a touch disorienting. He thumps back down in his chair, which heavily creaks under his weight. "I told you. I don't feel nothing. The ground seems to shudder slightly, as he draws in some of the tile itself as opposed to merely copying it. The cracks on his arm vanish a few moment later. Then he slowly ripples, flesh returning anew. "We done here, then…?!"

*

"Uh…I… I dunno…" Lois offers him the pipe back again, "Take a breath, you could use it." She tries to talk him down, her own words a bit slow and eyes too damn wide as she stares at the tile floor, then his body, then the floor again. Whatever the woman is seeing, it's probably more than a mutant flexing his powers, but even that much would be a mind trip right about now! Lois rubs her free hand across her face a moment before picking up her pen again, "…ANy…challenges you wanna make? Messages you wanna give the world?"

*

Despite the angry outburst, Lois probably wouldn't feel in any immediate personal danger. Even though she was assuredly the cause of it. This time he does snatch the pipe back, and breathe it in rather heavier than before. "I tried." he finally offers, exhaling a cloud of air. "To challenge the world. The foundation of these so-called heroes. I got rebuffed. I'm done being passive. I'll give the top brass in this world a REASON to want to fight me. I guarantee… the near future, everyone's gonna know my name." The pipe is flicked back casually.

*

The woman accepts the pipe, but finishing putting down his quote is more important than taking a puff. That alone probably shows where her loyalties lie. She's a reporter, through and through. Lois gives him a drowsy, baked, odd sort of smile. She should be scared, but she's not. "…Mm… and is that what you really want? You think threatening world leaders is going to get you respect and not just… dead? Or in jail? You think you're up for it?" It's not so much a challenging question as an almost worried one.

*

Arms remain crossed. "I'm not threatening world leaders." the rather stoned Creel states, simply. "I'm challenging heroes. I'm their little test. Their little challenge. If they can't beat me, then there's gonna come a time they can't save who they care about. Not everyone grew up looking to the skies and admiring them. Some people, deep in the shadows, looked out their window and wondered whether their desperate father would return and put food on the table instead. I know what a hero really is. Someone stroking their own ego, putting on a show, and trying to make a difference the public applauds. There's no goddamn difference between them, and the man I was in the ring. And I'm gonna call them out on it, each and every one. And drag them down to /earth./"

*

While there were a few other things, that's a better ending quote than anything. Lois gives him a slow nod and closes her note book, sticking it in the back pocket of her jeans lazily as she takes one last drag of the pipe. No need to repack it. "Mm…well… I think that's… that's a good story, Absorbing Man. I'll get the word out there and forget where you live by tomorrow morning. I promise. But, you got my number…you ever need anything else. YOu can call me, okay? I always protect my sources."

*

"Off the record… I don't wanna hurt nobody." Creel states, matter of factly. "And the heroes. I know they do good. Playing their little games. I ain't gonna break or kill any of them either. But the world needs a wakeup call. They need a true threat. I'm gonna be that threat. The posers will be thrown to the wind like chaff. And those with a real backbone'll be found out awful quick. Eh?" He grasps his table and thumps it back down. One leg's missind and the other's bent, but it kind of works. Fridge is a lost cause, though. "You want to help, get me lasso girl. Get me Superman. Get me lightning boy. Someone everyone thinks is infallible. And I'll show the world just how wrong that blind faith is!!"

*

The woman's pale eyes flicker over to his fridge. She's feel guilty about this tomorrow, probably. Send him a check for something. Right now, though, she nods slightly and stands, not writing down the last piece. No matter how good it is. "Off the record, then." She gives him a slight sigh, "Look, Carl… You… I think you're a better guy than you realize. I really hope it works out for ya but… just remember, you don't gotta be bad, okay? Maybe…maybe one day you'll use that power to save some folks. There's more than one way to get respect, hm? Remember that, alright?" Lois coaches him gently.

*

"Oh yeah?" Creel states, narrowing his eyes towards Lois. "The hell am I obliged to do that? I suffered and got kicked like a dog my entire life. I never had nothing. And the only reward I ever got for not letting myself be a complete monster was derision and mockery." Being a thug who won't kill or hurt civilians didn't get him nearly as far as his skill and loyalty would have otherwise. "Now I got power. Now I can MAKE people respect me. Why on earth should I use that for anyone but myself?" He pushes to his feet and ambles back into the dark living room, heavily settling into his recliner as the credits for the Beverly Hillbillies plays. "You heard me. Get me a proper fight. If you don't… I'll make them fight me."

*

"…I'll remember that, Carl." Lois sighs, watching him for one moment longer. "Enjoy your TV show. Thank ya for the interview…" And with that, Lois moves back for the doro. She gives him one long look and then disappears into the night. Her Cadillac can be heard starting a heartbeat later and, soon enough, she's disappearing off down the street.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License