Here is the next installment of Spider-Team. If you haven't yet read the first installment, you might find it useful, because there will be spoilers ahead. Enjoy!
It was a cold dark night and Spider-Man was swinging through New York city, patrolling the night in case a crime was about to be committed. So much had changed in his life over the last year. For starters, the person who now held the Spider-Man persona, was not the holder of that tile a year ago. Peter Parker had sacrificed himself in a battle with the Green Goblin, to save his friends, family and the city of New York. His friend and closest ally, Harry Osborn had injected himself with the same spider venom that had caused Peter to gain his powers and had joined the battle. It was him who now swung through the city.
It had been 4 months since Peter had died and Harry, along with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, was slowly getting over that fact. He came out every evening to get some fresh air and think about all the good times they had had and also could have had, if it wasn't for his father killing his best friend. Harry's grip tightened on the web he was hanging from as the memories flooded through his mind. With a final swing he gracefully landed through the hole in the roof of his house. The hidden hatch swung shut, closing him off from the outside world. He reached up to his head and pulled the mask off as he began to make his way downstairs to the living room.
"Hey there," an awaiting Gwen said, as he walked through the door.
"Hey," he quietly replied, slinging the mask onto a chair and walking over to his girlfriend, embracing her.
"Still finding it hard then?" she asked.
"I don't know when I will stop finding hard. I just can't believe he is gone."
"Just remember what Aunt May said. You have been given a fantastic opportunity and none of this was your fault. Had no idea what your dad was up too and there was no way you could have stopped even if you did. You can now do good to restore the Osborn moral fiber."
"You're right," Harry said pulling himself upright. "I can do this for Pete and show the world I am nothing like my father."
"That's the spirit," Gwen said, a smile beaming across her face. "So, were there any interesting criminals out and about tonight?"
"Not really. The most action I saw tonight were a few idiot kids who thought they could try robbing a convenience store. They claimed they were just hanging around doing nothing."
"Very good," Gwen said, getting the joke. "And now they are hanging around from your webs."
"You are just too clever," Harry replied, as he moved into the laboratory, hidden behind the fireplace.
Two minutes later he emerged wearing a pair of jogging bottoms and a loose fitting t-shirt. On his feet he had slipped on a pair of flip flops.
"Comfortable?" Gwen asked.
"Yeah. The suit is nice, but it is nice to be in ordinary clothes every now and then. Any activity on the cameras?"
"No nothing. I think the criminal classes have been taking a bit of a holiday."
"That's what is worrying. They would never go this long without committing crime if they weren't planning something big."
"Let's just hope you're wrong and the NYPD are being a little more effective."
"Hmmm," Harry murmured. "Is there anything on the TV tonight? I fancy watching something else."
"I think there is a nice nature documentary on tonight," Gwen replied.
"What is it about?"
"Haha. I just want the rest of the night to be spider free."
"A little difficult when you have spider DNA running through your veins," Gwen gave a squeal of laughter as Harry chased her from the living room and round the downstairs part of the house. She managed to dodge him, but he finally caught her in his embrace back in the living room. He bent down and gave her a kiss on her cheek.
"I love you," he whispered to her.
"And I love you too. Spider-Man."
"So what really is on TV tonight?" Harry asked."
"There is a nature documentary that I would like to see. Don't worry, it isn't on spiders. It's about the sea."
"Sounds interesting. Shall we?"
Harry pushed a few buttons on the console in front of them and the room began to transform in front of their eyes. As quickly as the transformation had started, it stopped, the sofa clicking into place and a normal living room sat where once a high tech, superhero nerve centre was. Gwen flicked the TV on and tuned it to the channel the documentary would be on. Harry went to the kitchen and came back just as the programme began, carrying a tray laded with drinks and a large bowl full of popcorn. The pair settled down to watch the show.
About an hour later, the show was just coming to an end and the adverts came on promoting the various products that were being peddled to those watching. Gwen sat back on the sofa and glanced down at a sleeping Harry, his head laying in her lap. She loved watching him sleep, all peaceful and calm and safe with her, away from the dangers of fighting crime in the dark streets of the city.
Suddenly the shutters began to descend over the windows and a red light began to flash over the fireplace. Gwen shook Harry awake.
"Oi, I was enjoying that dream. What's up?" Harry said groggily.
"The security light is flashing and the shutters have come down," Gwen said hurriedly.
As soon as she had said that, Harry jumped up and ran over to the Athena statue, twisting the staff round. The living room began to transform back into the nerve centre. Gwen managed to clear the sofa before it descended into the floor and was replaced by the main console unit.
"What has tripped the alert?" Gwen asked.
Harry began to tap out on the computer and search through the CCTV footage from the cameras surrounding the house.
"I don't know. There doesn't seem to be anything that could have caused it. It could have just been a glitch in the system."
"Wait, stop there!" Gwen exclaimed.
Harry stopped the footage playback.
"Rewind a few frames."
By pressing a button, the video wound back a few frames to show a dark silhouette of a figure, perched on the roof next to their house.
"Who is that?" Gwen asked.
"I don't know; I can't get a good enough image. They are just out of range of the infrared lights," Harry said as he tried to adjust the lighting of the freeze frame. "It could just be a burglar in the house next door."
"Should we call the police?" Gwen asked.
"Hang on, let me check something."
After tapping a few more keys, the CCTV footage moved to one side of the wall full of screens and several small windows opened showing more CCTV feeds, this time from inside the house next door.
"You have camera's in our neighbour's house?" Gwen said in shock. "Isn't that highly illegal?"
"Well, for starters, I didn't put them there and I have hacked the feed, that bit is the illegal part."
"But how did you know they had them there?"
"When Tony Stark put this system in for us, he offered to put CCTV in and around the houses surrounding us on both sides of the street. People went for it, because he was doing it for free and they wanted that extra security. They control the feeds, but Tony provided me with the access codes."
"Well that makes me feel a little bit better."
"There doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary in the neighbour's houses," Harry concluded from his search.
"So that means the figure might be trying to get into our house?" Gwen asked, curiously.
Before Harry could reply, there was a loud bang from upstairs. Gwen grabbed Harry's arm, her nails digging into his flesh. There was another bang, this time louder than the previous. Harry pulled up an image of the house on the screen and ran diagnostics. A third bang sounded and as it did, the house plan highlighted red on the screen, where the sound was coming from.
"Someone is trying to break in through the roof. They must have found the hatch," Harry said. "Did you deadlock the house when you closed the hatch earlier?"
"Yes, I always double check every time I do it," Gwen replied.
"I need to go and have a look," Harry said.
"You aren't going to leave me on my own are you?"
"Come on then."
The pair of them moved up the stairs and into the loft area. As they entered, Harry turned the light on and then a fourth bang sounded. It was much louder now they were next to the sound. The fourth bang was definitely the hardest hitting one, as a large bump appeared in the shielding of the roof.
"What is out there?" Gwen asked, her voice and body shaking.
"I have no idea, but no ordinary person could do that. The shielding is not going to last much longer."
And then, almost as if the being outside was working on cue, a fifth and final bang, brought the hatch crashing into the loft and a figure followed it in. Harry pulled Gwen behind him and got into a defensive stance. The figure got up from a crumpled heap it had landed in and stood right underneath the loft light, bathed in the yellow hue of the bulb. The figure was dressed head to toe in a red skintight suit, with large jagged white eyes in the mask and a blue sleeveless hoodie with a large black spider on the front.
"Didn't I say I had had enough of spiders for today?" Harry said out loud.
"Hey, sorry have I come to the wrong place?" the figure asked.
"I don't know," Harry said. "That all depends on where you are supposed to be."
"I was told this was the home of Spider-Man. Sorry I broke in, but your doorbell didn't seem to be working and I couldn't get an infrared reading on the house."
"Couldn't you have just waited for Spider-Man when he was on his patrol?" Harry asked.
"So he does live here?"
"That isn't what I said. Why couldn't you wait to see him in person, rather than breaking into a house, hoping he would be there?"
"Well I have only just got to the city and this was where I was told to come. Also, it is the only house for miles around with some serious shielding. So I reckon my chances are quite high."
"Who are you?" Gwen asked, peering round Harry's body.
"The name's Scarlet Spider and I fight crime in the shadows around the country. Where is Spider-Man?"
"Why should I tell you where he is?" Harry asked.
"I'm here to join his team. I want to help him protect New York. After the previous Spider-Man was killed bad things have been happening and I think the city hasn't seen the worst that is out there. I can be the help and support he needs."
"Spider-Man isn't a very trusting person. He needs proof and a proper identification before he will work with anyone. Give me that and I will let him know when he gets back," Harry said.
"Ok then," Scarlet Spider said.
He reached up to his mask and pulled it off. Harry and Gwen took in a shocked gasp.
"What is it? You look like you have seen a ghost."
There was a momentary pause and then it hit Scarlet Spider.
"Oh yeah, I look exactly like the dead Spider-Man. I am the spitting image of Peter Parker. That is a complicated story, the simple version being that I am a clone of the original Spider-Man, but I ran away to start my own life and I dyed my hair and changed my name. Hi, I'm Ben Reilly."
"You might want to tell us the long story another time," Harry said.
"Yeah if I am still in contact. Who are you two?"
"Just give us a second," Harry said, shoving Gwen out of the loft and down to the landing below.
"What are you doing," she asked.
"I don't know. He has just told us his secret identity and he says he is here to help. I could do with a partner out there. Peter had Kelvin, but I have no one. What do I do?"
"Ok, ok. Find out who sent him. He was clearly told about us being here. If he can prove who sent him, then we can probably trust him. If not, we use the loft's secondary defence system and knock him out onto the street."
The two of them moved back into the loft.
"Um who told you that you could find Spider-Man here?" Harry asked.
"Some bloke called Phil Coulson. He tried to get me to work for some organisation called SHIELD. I told him no and then he suggested I come here. I liked the sound of that better."
"Could you prove that he sent you?" Gwen asked.
"Well this suit doesn't really allow for pockets, but Phil did give me this card to give you."
Scarlet Spider pulled a card from inside his hoodie and handed it to Harry. Harry studied it closely and using his enhanced eyesight, was able to see a small message written on the card, too small for a regular human eye to read without the aid of a microscope. It read:
Mr. Reilly has my full confidence and you will need him with what the whisperings of the underground crime groups are saying. Use him well.
Harry looked up from the card and towards Gwen. He gave a small nod.
"My name is Harry and this is Gwen. We work together with Spider-Man. If you come downstairs with us, we will get him to come and see you."
"Firstly though, we need to patch up the hole you have left in our roof."
Harry walked over to a large grey box that was mounted on the wall. Opening it up, he revealed a series of flashing lights and buttons. He pressed a couple of buttons and then a weird buzzing noise began to emanate from the hole. As they watched, a brand new hatch began to appear and cover the gap.
"Nano technology," Harry said to a confused Ben. "Millions of nanobots can rebuild large sections of the house in no time. There, a brand new hatch and no clue that the previous one has gone. It is designed to be weathered like its predecessor, so the neighbours have no idea. Now, let's go downstairs."
Harry closed the box and motioned for Ben to follow Gwen down to the living room. He made sure to follow him, just to be sure he couldn't pull a surprise attack. When they had gotten downstairs, Ben looked round in awe.
"This is an amazing setup you have here. You must have some serious money to have all this equipment."
"Just some very rich and generous friends," Harry replied. "Now, if you'll just wait here, I'll go and call Spider-Man."
Harry moved into the laboratory behind the fireplace and out of Ben's view. He walked over to the cupboard where he stored his suit. As he began to change into it, he pretended to call Spider-Man, getting him to come back to the house. After about a minute, he burst back into the living room dressed in the suit.
"So, you are the intruder who has broken into my house," he said as Spider-Man to an awaiting Ben.
"Spider-Man it is such an honour to meet you. After what you did to defeat the Goblin, I have longed for the day I could meet you," Ben held out his gloved hand to shake Harry's gloved one.
"Well I have been informed that Phil Coulson is the one who tipped you off to coming to our aid. Can we really trust you?"
"Absolutely. I will never reveal any of the information that we discuss and I promise to keep identities completely secret, never telling another soul."
"Well then, I suppose I can tell you my secret identity as you have been gracious enough to tell us yours."
Harry reached up and pulled his mask off. The sight of Ben's face, made Harry wish he had a camera in his hand to get the money shot.
"Well, I didn't see that one coming."
"That's the whole idea," Harry replied. "So welcome to the Spider-Team Ben. I hope we have a good and fruitful partnership."
Harry reached out his hand once more. Ben took hold of it and they shook hands again.
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. I don't know when the next will be out, I am about to start a new job so my workload will be busy. Please review if you liked it, or even if you didn't. Tell me what I could improve. Thanks.