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Another Strand In The Great Web – Prologue

"I'm facing the demons I created. With every last part of me the pain will fade and I'll go on and on and on."

Black and Blue (2017) – CFO$

New York City, afternoon

Working on pure instinct, Peter Parker pushed, as gently as possible, his beloved Aunt May aside. He ignored his spider sense which screamed at him to dodge or evade the incoming danger instead of putting himself in harms way. The assassin's bullet tore into the right side of his abdomen leaving him numb. Peter fell to the ground. He could hear the anguished cries of his wife and aunt as he clutched his side in pain. He pulled back his hand. It was covered in blood, his blood. He stared at his crimson hand for what seemed like forever. His senses slowly dimmed. Everything went dark.

High above the scene, a red pigeon sat perched atop a brownstone. The oddly colored avian watched everything unfold with rapt attention. This was no ordinary bird but rather a guise of the demon lord Mephisto.

'How unexpected,' Mephisto mused.

Events were supposed to develop differently. Spider-Man's aunt should have been shot not himself. In exchange for saving the aunt's life, Peter and his wife Mary Jane would have offered their marriage past, present, and future to the lord of demons. Thus their future daughter Annie would be eliminated from the timeline, otherwise, their yet to be born daughter would pose a dire threat to Mephisto's plans in the years to come. A scenario he would not permit.

'No matter, I'll simply alter my mode of attack. Try a more direct approach.' Mephisto thought evilly. His legendary guile serving him well. 'Peter and Mary Jane cannot conceive Annie should one or both of them die by day's end. Fortunately, I know of the perfect individual to serve as my pawn in this matter. A man whose loathing of Spider-Man knows no bounds, in spite of his hypocritical religiously coached claims of being redeemed. But I know the truth of his dark heart. I knew his type well. Eddie is a zealot and zealots are easily turned to evil, especially when they are faced with their own morality and the specter of their own shortcomings. To postpone their day of judgment they will gladly sell their wretched souls. It is time to ignite within Eddie Brock the remaining fragments of the alien symbiote who shares with him so much mutual hatred of Peter Parker to reform the original Venom.' The red pigeon flapped away following the ambulance that had arrived to transport the gravely injured Peter Parker to the nearest hospital when it departed minutes later.

New York General Hospital half, half an hour later

"We have an unconscious male in his early thirties, gunshot wound to the abdomen. He's lost a lot of blood. His breathing is shallow. We cannot find an exit wound. The bullet appears to be lodged inside the abdominal cavity." One of the paramedics announced as the Peter was brought in on a crash cart. The crew of paramedics and Peter along with a doctor who joined them were ushered through a set of double doors.

"You can't go in there, miss." A male medical orderly said stopping Mary Jane who almost stumbled into him in her forward, almost autonatic motion.

"Huh," Mary Jane said blinking at him. In her hands was clutched Peter's bloodstained keys and smartphone. The screen of the latter was crack from impact with the ground when Peter had collapsed.

"I said you can't go inside miss." The orderly repeated himself patiently.

"That's my husband in there." Mary Jane protested the words shaking her out of her funk somewhat.

"I'm sorry miss, but there's nothing you can do for him. Somebody will come get you where there is news. Until then, please have a seat in the waiting room." The orderly. "I'll show you where it is." He motioned for her to follow.

"Come along Mary Jane dear." Aunt May said herding the distraught younger woman in the direct the orderly had gone as best she could. "We have to go with this nice young man."

"Okay," Mary Jane said. Her mind in a state of shock. "I'll call Felicia once they tell us something. She'd want to know about Peter." She mumbled staring off into space.

Headquarters of the Kingpin

"You've done well." Kingpin said to his hired gunman. "As promised your reward." One of his associates passed a briefcase full of unmarked bills to the gunman. "It was a pleasure doing business."

"The pleasure was all mine." The gunman said grinning. "Icing Spider-Man will make me a legend. Thanks for the opportunity." He said before he left the office with his money.

Kingpin reclined in his chair. A smile on his broad face. With Spider-Man on death's door, this was a red letter day for him. Spider-Man's imminent demise would serve as a warning to others who would target his criminal empire in the future.

"The next costumed do-gooder to cross my path will think twice before meddling in my affairs." He said with a laugh that sent shivers down the spine of his minions. Most of which silently prayed they would never be on the receiving end of their employer's wrath.

Apartment of Felicia Hardy, some time later

"Hello Mary Jane," Felicia said answering her smartphone. "How are you? I hope everything is going well. I heard about Peter's trouble with the Registration Act. I wish there was something I could do. The whole situation is just awful."

"Felicia," Mary Jane said her voice cracking. "Peter's been shot."

"What," Felicia exclaimed.

"We're at New York General Hospital." Mary Jane said on the verge of tears. "The doctors aren't sure if he'll make it. Please get down here as soon as you can."

"I'll be right there," Felicia said grabbing her coat, purse, and keys. "Are you alone Mary Jane?"

"No, Peter's Aunt May is with me." Mary Jane said.

"Hang tight Red, I'm leaving now," Felicia said putting on her coat.

"Thanks, Felicia," Mary Jane managed.

"Don't mention it, bye." Felicia on her way out the door.

To Be Continued

Author's Note -

So my loyal fans, should I continue with this story teaser or not?