"Have you ever been so hungry, that it just drives you crazy?"
He calls himself 'Parasite.' His real name is Rudy Jones, formerly a political activist in the city. He was one of the loudest rabble-rousers during the riot in Little Bohemia, until LexCorp L-Sec officers shot him down. Now he's........changed. Into what, I'm not entirely sure, but it's nothing good.
"You're just so damn hungry that it's all you can think about,"
he says, twitching as snakes of bone and muscle, tendons and teeth, sprout from his body like vines from hell, "But all that's around is a bunch of little snacks, and eating one just makes you hungrier. And you just keep eating and eating these little snacks, getting worse and worse because you can't get a full meal."
"That woman wasn't a 'snack,' Rudy,"
I say angrily. "She was an innocent person, one that you murdered."
I clench my fists, knuckles cracking as I get ready for a fight.
"And if you're looking at me as your 'meal,' well, I think you might be biting off a little more than you can chew."
Parasite just giggles, a crazed and hungry gleam in his eyes.
Another mass of those tendrils of gore whips towards me. This time, they're faster, harder to avoid. Worse, there's not much room to move around in this cramped alley. I need to get to some open air, work around it.
As the Parasite lunges towards me, claws spread wide, I shoot up into the air. Once I put enough distance between him and myself, I can--
A jolting pain shoots up and down my spine, and my left leg goes numb.
For just a second, all I see is red, until my vision clears and I see that one of Parasite's tendrils has wrapped around my leg. I was moving at almost full speed, and he was able to catch me....!
The numbness spreads up through my abdomen, into my chest. I can feel my legs going numb.
I stammer. While I can't feel it, I can see the tendrils squeeze harder around my leg, growing barbs and teeth that actually start to cut into the skin.
He's.....he's getting stronger....and I'm getting weaker....numbness is up to my entire left side now....can't move my arms or legs.....vision getting blurry....
......vision. Heat. Have to.....
In desperation, I focus every ounce of power I have in me into my eyes. Twin laser beams of immense energy slice through the Parasite's tentacles, freeing my leg.
Rudy snarls as the severed tendril recoils.....
.....then grows right back.
And worse, that ghoulish bio-mass is spreading all over his body, covering him in plates of bone and knots of hardened muscle, like armor.
Without enough energy left to fly, I fall onto a nearby rooftop. I need a second to catch my breath, to get away, to......I don't know. I've never run into anything like this before.
"God, the power!"
I hear the Parasite shouting from below. "So much power......and I'm still hungry!"
Erupting from the alley, I see the monster that used to be Rudy Jones fly up into the air. He.....he can fly now. He's taken my strength, and my speed, and he can fly. Just by a few seconds of physical contact.
"All your power is mine now, Superman,"
he says, floating down to me. An elongated claw springs from his finger and sinks into my shoulder. As soon as it pierces my skin, the shooting pain is back, followed by that deathly numbness. "And even then, you weren't the meal I was hoping for. Just an appetizer."
Suddenly, he pulls his claw out, like he's second-guessing himself.
"I don't know how this works,"
he admits. "Something about drawing out sources of electrical energy and turning it into bio-mass....Luthor's android girlfriend explained it when she did this to me."
Parasite looks away, towards the massive spire of the LexCorp Towers.
"The first couple of people I fed off of, I found out their power only lasts a little while. So if I kill you, I won't get a chance to drain your powers again later."
I try to stand, but he whips a tendril toward me, knocking me back and crashing me into an air conditioning unit.
"Just have to exercise a little self-control,"
he says with a bitter laugh. "You've been a great appetizer, Superman, but some payback against Luthor is my main course. And then once I've had my fill, I'll swing back to feed a little more off of you for dessert."
Parasite looks down to the street, lashing out tendrils to uproot a light post. Casually, he bends steel with the strength that he stole from me, and uses it to tie me up.
"Can't have you going anywhere, can I?"
he says. "After all, you're my meal ticket now."
With that, Parasite flies up into the air, and speeds towards the LexCorp Tower, leaving me powerless, immobilized, and barely conscious.
Gasping for breath and unable to break free of my restraints, I find myself saying words I never thought I'd say.