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CONTENT/LANGUAGE WARNING –
THIS EPISODE CONTAINS EXTREME CONTENT THAT MAY OFFEND SOME READERS. READER DISCRETION IS STRONGLY ADVISED
Another Strand In The Great Web – Episode Forty-One Spider-Verse Part Two: Blue Orb Squad
Houston Texas, evening
Anarchy reigned through the city center. The police were powerless to stop the Blue Orb Squad as were the National who had only arrived a short while ago. People screamed as fires blazed, and vehicles were tossed about without regard for safety. All appeared lost until they arrived.
"Evildoers you must yield," Captain America said. Around Cap were gathered Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, and Captain Marvel.
Cap spied the hulk type creature among the enemy ranks. He wished their Hulk had not been shot into space by the shadowy Illuminati some months prior. Cap knew this would be a tough go without a hulk of their own.
"This will be fun." The yellow-green flamed Ghost Rider laughed cracking his bony knuckles.
"Oh yeah," The heavily scarred X-23 look-a-like giggled unsheathing her fearsome claws.
"Finally, opponents who are perhaps, although doubtfully, worthy of our might." Female Loki said. Her eyes narrowed when she spotted a version of her hated nemesis - her despicable "brother" Thor.
"Should we engage these hostiles, commander, or ignore them in pursuit of our objective?" The gremlin-faced Modok asked the bearded blue-skin hulk.
"By all means, destroy them." The bearded blue-skinned hulk said crossing his muscular arms over his broad chest. He took several dozen steps back choosing to observe the battle from a respectful distance, for now.
"I have no idea who thou art but thou art, not my bother, imposter!" Thor said. He used his hammer to direct a lightning bolt at the female Lkoi who dodged it!
"So, I was born a male it this universe, how pedestrian. I am Lokia Goddesses of Mischief and second-in-command of the Blue Orb Squad. I've defeated many Thors across many dimensions. Here is a clue how." Lokia pulled a black hammer off a loop on her belt.
"It cannot be!" Thor said his eyes growing wide.
"Behold Dark Mjölnir the Hammer of the Unworthy. I gained possession of this cursed artifact by slaying a version of our 'father' who resides in a thoroughly corrupted universe. Let's test which of our weapons is stronger, 'brother'." Lokia said with a smirk.
Thor failed to react in time (largely because he was still reeling from meeting Lokia). Lokia used Dark Mjölnir to zap him into unconsciousness with an intense surge of black lightning tinged with grey. "So much for the Mighty Thor of this universe." she laughed.
"Gremdoc will deal with pesky humans," Gremdoc said using waves of psychic energy to disorientate Black Widow and Hawkeye before they could attack. They griped their heads in pain. Gremdoc's brutal mental assault tearing their minds apart.
"No fair, Gremdoc. Leave some for me, X-27 the Mad Wolverine. I'll gnaw on their broken bones!" X-27 said leaping between Hawkeye and Black Widow. She stuck her claws into their bellies causing a bloody mess.
"Black Widow, Hawkeye," Falcon screamed from his position high in the air. He shot some of his exploding metal feathers at X-27 who with a growl rolled out of range and away from her targets.
"No inference allowed, birdie," The yellow-greened flamed Ghost Rider said wrapping one of his chains around Falcon's neck and upper body.
"And who might you be?" Falcon croaked out struggling to free himself.
"I'm the Infernal Ghost Rider. But before that, I was Johnny Blaze the fabled Interstate Killer. I died in a shootout with the Nevada Highway Patrol. But I took a ton of those pigs down with me, yeah! Next, I outsmarted the misguided Angel Lord Mephisto of my world. The do-gooder fool thought he could reform me. He offered me a deal to kill sinners in his name saving those I could." Infernal Ghost Rider laughed. "I kill who I want when I want. I don't care if they deserve it, or not. I then released all the damned souls of Hell so they could party! You should have seen it. Our blasphemous bacchanal was to die for, yeah!" Infernal Ghost Rider said. He loved recounting his exploits due to his huge ego
Falcon used Infernal Ghost Rider's long-winded monolog to squirm free. Falcon attacked Infernal Ghost Rider who merely shrugged off the exploding metal feathers. Falcon dive-bombed him but Infernal Ghost Rider absorbed the attack without any apparent ill effect. Falcon bounced off his target scorching his suit.
"Ho, you're not too bright, are ya birdie?" Infernal Ghost Rider laughed. "Time for a fricassee." Infernal Ghost Rider threw a large fireball at Falcon who hit the ground engulfed in flames. Falcon rolled around frantically trying to smoother the inferno. Infernal Ghost Rider laughed at his foe's misery. "Ain't no use, birdie. Nothing can extinguish my infernal flames. You're toast!"
Captain Marvel had seen enough. She used her energy blasts to counteract the yellow-green blaze. Once she was sure Falcon would survive, she set her sights on Infernal Ghost Rider.
"Ah, you're no fun." Infernal Ghost Rider said.
"This one is mine." The bearded blue-skinned Hulk declared stomping toward Captain Marvel.
"Whatever you say, commander, enjoy." Infernal Ghost Rider said. He put up his hands and backed away as did X-27, Lokia, and Gremdoc. "Be advised child, you have no hope of success. I am the Cosmic Maestro, Commander of Blue Orb Squad. Aside from my unfathomable gamma power, and unmatched intellect, I also wield a portion of the Power Cosmic. Your death is assured unless you, wisely, retreat." Cosmic Maestro stated.
Captain Marvel growled at Cosmic Maestro. Her yellow aura increased in its intensity. At the same time, an aquamarine aura surrounded Cosmic Maestro. The two titans of raw power stared at each other neither willing to make the first move. Cosmic Maestro's subordinates watched gleefully excepting a blood bath.
"Carol," Captain American called out. "Falcon, Black Widow & Hawkeye might not survive unless they receive medical intervention. Thor is incapacitated. Even if we somehow win this battle, the cost will be too high."
Captain Marvel swore under her breath. She knew Cap was right (as he usually was in any given situation), not that she was happy about it. With a profound sigh, Captain Marvel powered down, Cosmic Maestro did the same. She and Captain American collected their wound and left.
"Why are we letting them go?" X-27 raved. "We should gut them and wear their entrails."
"I'd be up for that." Infernal Ghost Rider said.
"We have a mission that must be accomplished, or in your blood-lust, have you two forgotten our objective?" Cosmic Maestro said his expression stern.
"Our commander is correct," Lokia said. "After we locate our targets they'll be enough time for more fun. I doubt Lord Spider Reaper would object if you shattered this pathetic world before returning to base."
"Gremdoc, locate the targets, we'll beam there once you have done so," Cosmic Maestro ordered.
"At once, commander," Gremdoc said. He closed his eyes for about ten seconds. "I have discerned their location. They reside in a New York City skyscraper, located at this street address." He gave the address of the Baxter Building.
Baxter Building, not long afterward
Jessica Drew was watching a movie with Johnny Storm, Miles Morales, and Ben Grimm. Jess was complaining about the Peter of this universe. She constantly called him a coward to the point the movie was all but ruined for everyone. Finally, Johnny managed to get her mind off Peter by kissing her. The pair were cuddling happily when all hell broke loose!
The exterior wall caved in. Out of nowhere, the Blue Orb Squad attacked! The four metahumans proved no match for their wickedly powerful opponents. Cosmic Maestro easily overpowered the Thing. He scoffed that such a lowly creature could ever challenge him or those like him when Thing said he often sparred with the Hulk of this universe. Infernal Ghost Rider and Lokia working in tandem subdued Human Torch. Jess and Miles would have been in deep trouble if Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman had not intervened.
Drawn by the racket caused by the destruction of an entire floor they soon arrived. Reed Richards came prepared. While Sue held the four villains in one of her trademark force fields with great effort, Reed used one of his many inventions to send the Blue Orb Squad back to their dimension of origin where their none to pleased master awaited.
Parker Residence Western Long Island the next day, morning
"Dad, will Uncle Kaine be alright?" April asked a note of concern in her young voice. The entire extended Park Clan was gathered for breakfast.
"He's been asleep a long time," Mayday added.
"He was hurt badly, but he's tough, like me. His healing factor should pull him through. It'll just take some time. In a day or two, he should recover." Peter said.
"Kaine probably saved my life, for the second time." Aracely holding the coffee cup which remained as full as it had been half an hour ago. "He's all I've got in the world. I really care about him. I can't lose him."
"You have us now dear. We'll help you any way we can." Aunt May said in an attempt to comfort the young woman.
"Thank you, so very much, for everything, Aunt May, everyone," Aracely said with a weak smile, it was the best she could muster under the circumstances.
"Have you had sex with him yet?" Cindy who was seated next to Aracely asked.
"No," Aracely said confused and somewhat offended by the question.
"Cindy, language," Mary Jane snapped.
"What did I say? It is a legit question. If they aren't," Cindy said defensively. She noticed the twins and altered her words. "having relations, how attached to him can she honestly be?"
"MJ don't bother. Miss Pouty Mouth here can't help herself. Her mind is constantly in the gutter." Ben said glaring at
"You didn't mind being dragged down into the gutter yesterday! You loved every minute of it" Cindy fired back.
"Shut up!" Ben warned.
"Your hands were all over me, you perv," Cindy said.
"You brainwashed me!" Ben said.
"Horndog," Cindy said.
"Tramp," Ben said.
"Oh, dear me," Aunt May said.
Aunt May silently wished Jarvis was here. He was good under pressure. He handled stressful situations far better than she did. Regrettably, he had been called away to his duties with the Avengers early that morning following the Houston incident (as the Media were calling it).
"Girls, let's go watch some TV. Let the grownups work things out." Anya said. She and Miguel escorted Mayday and April outside.
"Ben, Cindy, please stop," Mary Jane said rubbing her temples. Their bickering was bringing on a stress headache. Cindy and Ben glared at each other but remained silent.
"Guys, this isn't helping," Peter said. He turned this attention to Aracely hoping to change the subject. "So, you can generate portals, eh? What a cool gift. Can you make them at will or only when under stress?"
Aracely burst into tears. "I can't take it anymore." She ran out of the dining room.
"That certainly could have gone better," Peter said.
Mary Jane shrugged. "Er, look on the bright side, it could have gone worse."
"There you are, coward," Jess said storming into the room. With her were the Fantastic Four and Miles.
"Excuse me," Mary Jane said getting out of her seat. No one insulted her husband in front of her.
"This doesn't involve you," Jess said.
"Like hell, it doesn't. You barrage into my home and insult my husband makes it my business." Mary Jane said.
"What now?" Peter sighed getting up.
"There was an incident at the Baxter Building last night," Reed said calmly.
"Five freaky goons in leotards calling themselves the 'Blue Orb Squad' crashed our movie night. They tried to kill me and Miles," Jess said.
Aunt May gasped at the name. "Peter, could they be the same group who attacked Aracely and Kaine?" She wondered aloud.
"I suppose so," Peter said. And here he thought his thirtieth birthday had been rough this day was shaping up no better. "We best compare notes, before anyone else gets hurt."
An upstairs bedroom
Aracely sat by Kaine's bedside. She held one of his large rough hands in her small soft ones. She openly wept for her fallen partner.
"I know you think I'm a silly girl who can't look after herself, but you're wrong. I'm stronger than you know. You didn't have to shield me from the worst of the beating with your body." Aracely said. "Oh, Kaine, whatever will I do without you? I'm lost. You're my only friend, but it's more than that. I'm sure you'd laugh if you were awake, call my feelings a silly schoolgirl crush. I love you Kaine with all my heart, all my soul, everything I am. Please, don't leave me. Please, wake up. Say something, anything." She continued to sob. Her abundant tears fell on Kaine's face.
"Uhhh, you're getting me wet." Kaine moaned his eyes fluttering open.
"You're awake, yay," Aracely said hugging Kaine.
"For a little thing, you're really strong. You're crushing me." Kaine said gruffly.
"Sorry," Aracely said releasing him.
She then twiddled her thumbs nervously. "Ummm, did you hear the stuff I said."
Kaine sat up in bed with some effort. "Only you pledging your undying love to me." He said.
"Aw, man, I'm sorry. I know you don't feel the same way about me." Aracely said blushing.
"Who says I don't feel the same way," Kaine said.
"Say what?" Aracely said. "You, you, love me?"
Kaine took a deep breath. "I'm not a good person, Aracely. You deserve better than me. I'm a broken down third rate imitation of a great hero."
"Don't say such things. Because of you, I'm alive and so are plenty of people back in Houston." Aracely insisted.
"Be that as it may. You can do better." Kaine said.
"I don't want to do better. I want you dammit!" Aracely said. Her hand flew to her mouth once she realized what she had said.
"Now who owes the swear jar," Kaine said with a smile. He glanced around at his accommodations. A sinking feeling filled him.
"Yeah, about that, I couldn't think of anywhere to take us so I kind of plucked an image from your mind, sorry," Aracely said.
"Where are we, Aracely?" Kaine asked.
"You're family home on Long Island, surprise," Aracely said.
"Wonderful," Kaine said dryly.
Spider Reaper's Earth, afternoon
Spider Reaper was incensed by the defeat of his vaunted Blue Orb Squad. He quickly decided this humiliation would not stand. He would decide on their punishment later but for now, decisive action was required. His decree went out - marshal my forces immediately and prepare for all-out war. The inhabitants of New York City and the adjacent areas of Earth 621-B would pay dearly for this indignity! No one denied his will, no one! Those insignificant insects were doomed!
New York City Earth 621-B
The sky above Manhattan, Eastern New Jersey, and Western Long Island cracked open. A pulsating cascade of purple-black energy engulfed everything creating an immense bubble. Anyone or anything unlucky enough to be on the exact border of the energy bubble was sliced in half or simply disintegrated. The selected landmass was plucked from the larger planetary sphere. It was pulled up through a gaping sky hole of swirling red clouds into another place and time.
To Be Continued
Next up – Spider-Verse Part Three: Web War!