Disclaimers: I do not own "Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne" and "Fantastic 4". The "Age of Wonders II: The Wizard's Throne" belongs to Triumph Studios. "Fantastic 4" movie belongs to 20th Century Fox. All other canon material belongs to their respected owners. All original material—original characters, original locations, etc.—belongs to me, the authoress of this fanfiction story.
Inspiration for Fanfic: "Fantastic 4" movie with Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, and Chris Evans.
Inspiration Music for Death Sphere Chapter: Boy Epic's song, "Scars".
Warning! This chapter is Rated T for dark themes and mild sensual content.
Jill Arachna opened her eyes.
The first thing she did was check her headpiece. That was strange. It was as if the spider legs had attached themselves to her head. Her black hair was now permanently attached to the spider's belly, allowing her hair to flow down the spider's belly to the middle of her back.
Her skin was a lighter color, adding to the deathly look she was getting towards this darkened, underground place. Her dress was black, complete with its own spidery heightened collar, which added to the dress' dark glamorous appearance.
She let out a cry of panic. The last thing she wanted was a spider attached to her head. Even her nails were long and sharp, adding to that spidery substance she was now enduring.
The last thing she remembered was working on her landscape design for her underground lair. She covered the place with spiders, even naming it Arachna's Kingdom. Now that she was inside the basement, of whatever place she was in, she looked around, spotting the cobwebs on the dirt floor, the dirt walls, and the cavernous ceiling.
She looked around the room, screaming to no one as she tried to wretch the spider off her head. Nothing worked. The spider was permanently attached to her head. She let out a sigh, cupping her knees with her arms, as she tried to figure out a new strategy.
She turned to her work computer, finding it said her kingdom was complete. Complete? How? Where, in her work computer's right mind, did her work computer think that her kingdom was complete? She just remembered pressing the Enter key and then winding up seeing a giant sun turn even more massive.
And Marinus… dear Marinus bringing in that stuffed rabbit. Hmm… Arachna wondered whatever happened to his stuffed rabbit. Did the rabbit survive the trip? Did Marinus even take it with him, when they separated?
Either way, Arachna was not happy. She had to get up and do something, even if it meant risking her life, just to see what lay beyond this basement.
She stood up, searching for the exit. And she found it, for there was a hallway filled with spidery webs. As best she could, she slowly but surely made her way to the hallway, where she could see a cavernous spidery lair beyond her.
She walked for what felt like hours. She reached a certain point in the spidery cave, where all the spiders invaded. Big ones, small ones, even baby spiders crept up to her.
"No! Don't get me! Please!" She let out a scream, finding it hard to stay focused. In her heart, she knew the spiders weren't going to hurt her. Or were they, seeing as one of the spiders was attached to her head… and apparently alive, too.
Why do you run? Why do you scream? We aren't going to hurt you. It was a spidery voice talking inside her mind. Only she didn't know where it was coming from. The entire sensation was panicking.
"What do you want?" Arachna screeched, covering her ears.
Do you think that will help? Arachna, I am on top of you. I will not hurt you, the spidery voice said. Arachna looked up, realizing the spider that was attached to her head was talking to her. But if you betray us… well, the spider chuckled, deviously, well now, that would be a loss.
"Does that mean you would eat me, if I betray you?" Arachna whimpered.
The spider on her head nodded, leaving her wincing in pain. But you need not fear us. We are here to help you. Should you betray us in any way, well… the spider on her head chuckled, …well then, we will talk. I don't think you are a threat, are you?
Arachna shook her head. "No, I am no threat to you."
"Then you may pass," the spiders said, knowing they had just met their match. Now, they needed Arachna to continue with her promise, lest she be eaten.
Arachna feared for her life. The spider read her mind, checking to see whether or not she would betray them. So far, his analysis on her future appeared to be fine.
"You are no threat. I can see your future. You will be loyal to us!" the spider on her head announced.
Arachna relaxed. Something about this analysis led her to feel depleted. She found herself crawling over to a wall, where she fell into a deep sleep. The moment she woke up, after a long sleep, she was surprised to find a spidery web blanket shielding her from the cold.
She sat up, her head adjusting to the spider that rested on there. So far, all was silent, but the spiders were gazing at her with such intrigue.
She moved to a standing position, surprised to find a hardbound book with her name on it. She approached the book, finding the spiders followed her. Were they going to eat her?
"We won't eat you. We read your mind and it is good," the spiders said in a spidery voice.
"Right. Good," Arachna said, reading the note addressed to her.
This book is for you. Keep it with great care, for you will need it. The spiders are not your enemies. They will not eat you, even if you ask them to. They are your allies. They will protect you.
For now, you are bound to them. You are the Spider Queen and will be treated as such. However, you should not be the only friend to the spiders.
The Dark Elves are hanging out beyond the cave you are in. Take the book with you. Show it to the Dark Elves. They will know you are one of their leaders.
I wish you luck. I will see you soon at your wizard's tower.
Take care, Arachna. May we meet again very soon.
"Take the book! Take it! Take it!" the spiders said in unison. Even the spider on top of Arachna's head also said this.
"Okay," Arachna said, taking the book off the spiky iron pedestal. The pedestal vanished, but the book remained. She looked at it, realizing it was her book with her name on the front cover in gold lettering.
"My queen! My queen! You are loyal to us! We will not eat you," the spiders said in unison.
"Ah yes, but whatever food you have, I will eat more insects. For you, my queen," the spider on top of Arachna's head said.
"Right. Let's go," Arachna said, making her way out of the caves.
The moment Arachna reached the marketplace, where the wizard's tower was kept, she was surrounded by Dark Elves. The Dark Elves with their sickly greenish-grey skin and donned in black robes and black cloaks, raised their spears at Arachna and the spiders who joined her.
Arachna dismounted from her giant spider friend, moments before she showed the Dark Elves her book. Just merely unlatching the book sent the Dark Elves reeling, for they knew there was some magic at work within its pages.
Arachna latched the book up, taking a look at her surroundings. The buildings were all in these sickly greenish-grey colors, same as the booths were where the vendors sold goods, clothing, supplies, and more.
Arachna approached one of the Dark Elves, asking them, "Am I permitted to go inside the wizard's tower? It is mine, after all."
"It is yours. You're the one we've been waiting for. Welcome home," a male Dark Elf said in greeting. "My name is Bondin. Welcome to the Dark Elf realm, for you and your spider kin."
"Thank you," Arachna said, pleased.
"Come with me. I will guide you to the wizard's tower. Gabriel awaits you," Bondin said, leading the charge.
Arachna brought a small spider on her arm, a tarantula, who seemed keen on giving her nutrients with just a prick from his stinger, rather than giving her venom.
Arachna giggled, telling her tarantula friend, "Why thank you, sir tarantula."
"No problem. My name is Tressin," the tarantula introduced himself.
"It's very nice to meet you," Arachna said with a warm-hearted smile.
"And to you," Tressin said in a spidery voice.
"Let's get straight to it! We're going to trust Bondin?" the spider atop Arachna's head declared.
Bondin stopped to look at the spider on top of Arachna's head, saying, "Or would you prefer that Arachna stays out here with you."
"We would prefer it," Tressin pointed out, leaving the spider on Arachna's head rolling his red eyes.
"Lead the way," Arachna said, plainly. She told her spider on top of her head, "We'll talk about this later."
"We'll talk about this right now! Where's my insects?" the spider on top of her head asked, hungrily. He eyed a fly, snatching it up and gobbling it down. Arachna winced from the sensation the spider's legs caused to her head. Nevertheless, she followed Bondin up the stairs, feeling lightheaded.
She was more than surprised when Bondin came over and helped her. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," Bondin said, leading her up the stairs, straight to her office, which was covered in spider webs and spider figurines. There was a dinner table, where Bondin set Arachna down on a wooden chair.
Bondin went to work fixing up a remedy for Arachna. The moment she had the drink, she drank some of it down. However, the spider on top of her head drank more of the liquid down, leaving Arachna with hardly any more to drink.
Arachna set the glass down, feeling even more lightheaded. "Why? Why did you do that?" she asked the spider atop her head.
"Because I'm here to help you," the spider on her head said. "You couldn't drink that liquid because it'll make you feel worse. But I can because it's a spider drink and now you'll have spider blood in your veins. Why did you drink it?"
"That drink was more for the spider than you, Arachna. But it should help you with your powers," Bondin said.
"I need rest," Arachna said, as Bondin helped her to her queen-sized bed. Arachna fell asleep. She was surprised when the spiders invaded her office, keen on helping her heal.
"It's a partnership…"
"We need to heal her…"
"Give her more fluids…"
"Henry, keep a close watch over Arachna. Any food you eat, Arachna eats differently. Whatever drink you drink, she drinks differently. Remember that, Henry… remember that…"
Arachna woke up, hearing those spidery voices surround her. She didn't know why, but it was almost as if the spiders were no threat to her any longer. They wanted to calm her down. They wanted to help her. By the time she woke up, she felt loads better, as if she had gotten more food to eat and lots more fluids to drink.
She was well rested enough to discover she was wearing a spidery black dress and even had her black cloak wrapped around her for warmth and comfort.
She got out of bed, finding her way to the bathroom, where she took off her cloak and did her business. Once she was done and washed her hands, she was surprised to see a white-robed wizard with silver hair and a silver beard observing her book, which was now sitting on her desk.
"Well, you seemed to have made a name for yourself," the white robed wizard stated. "I am Gabriel. You must be Arachna. How are you enjoying yourself?"
"You leave me with spiders, who are trying to help me," Arachna said, freaking out.
"Yes, they are here to help you. They ensured themselves of this, by looking into your future. That is why they are so helpful," Gabriel said. "But you need not fear them or the Dark Elves, as long as you can control yourself. As long as you can control your magic."
"What magic?" Arachna asked, as she took a seat at her desk. Gabriel moved, of course, so she could sit at her desk.
"Oh, you will know soon enough. And treat your spiders well. They are no threat to you or to anyone," Gabriel said. "I'll be seeing you." He disappeared, leaving Arachna depressed and scared. Great. What had she gotten herself into?