MANHATTAN, NEW YORK
Araña had pulled off his goggles and dropped them on the floor. He didn’t know what to think. Originally he was chasing down the Crimson Spider who had been mentally controlled by Anya’s old enemy Felix Jade to steal things for him. Araña followed the Crimson Spider to a building Rescue Incorporated had been renovating. While the Crimson Spider had gotten the upper hand on Araña, he would be freed by Sofia who finally confirmed the belief that he was a male clone of Anya. Jade retreated and with things settled between both Spiders, Sofia would bring Araña to a cage filled with cargo he never would have ever expected to see.
“Hehe, your face is priceless,” giggled Sofia, Anya’s mother. “If only I could have seen Anya’s. Don’t be too shocked. You didn’t do anything wrong. She’s displaced in time. With that said you are still her father and she needs your help.”
Araña dropped to his knees stunned at what he was seeing. The Crimson Spider walked around him and pried open the cage door giving Araña a better look at his so-called daughter. Sofia placed both her hands on her granddaughter’s shoulders.
“Sweetie, you have nothing to fear,” Sofia reassured. “We’re all family here. Don’t you recognize your father? He might not know you yet but I bet he’s the same guy you know and love.”
The ten-year-old girl cautiously crawled out of the cage. She looked up at the Crimson Spider and instantly knew who he was and then looked at Araña. She didn’t speak a word. Just seeing his face set her into tears. She ran into his arms which he wasn’t ready for. He stared off into the distance as the girl hugged him as tightly as she could. She was crying but no noise was coming out of her mouth. Araña couldn’t help but embrace her.
“Somehow Jade discovered her existence and powers which can grant anyone she chooses super powers,” explained Sofia. “She was used to create new supervillains.”
“Oh, joy,” said the Crimson Spider. “It’s as if the ones we’ve been dealing with weren’t enough.”
“You look like Anya,” said Araña. “What’s your name?”
The girl didn’t speak. Araña just quietly nodded.
“Lucas, take her home to your mother,” suggested Sofia who appeared to be fading away. “My power is fading for now. Remember I’ll always be watching over you kids. And it’s up to you to free Anya from what’s possessing her.”
With that the final bit of her power faded with her. Araña and the Crimson Spider looked at each other. Araña thought about what Sofia had suggested about bringing the girl to his mother. He decided to do just that.
WHAT HAPPENED TO TED MANKOWSKI
In a dark room, the blond-headed man known as Ted Mankowski sat at a table with a small desk lamp. He was reviewing some files he had received from various sources. Sometime had passed since he was last seen. The Spider Society had gone silent on Araña. No one knew where everyone went. Ted himself had gone into hiding. Things had happened that required him to disappear and with him being wanted by one of the crime organizations in New York he had nowhere to go.
“Hmm…” he muttered.
He had tried to find Miguel. He tried contacting Anya, but for some reason wasn’t able to. He even tried Emi but no one has heard from her since that day she left for Japan. The files on his table were information about the latest happenings. They told of Anya’s disappearance and of the Araña identity being transferred to a male who he assumed was someone close to Anya. The first name in mind was Lucas. The next thing he wasn’t ready to read. It was a report about the Cult of the Tarantula mobilizing throughout the world with their new lacky known as Mania.
“This isn’t good,” he said. “What is Nina up to this time? It’s no coincidence that Anya goes missing the same time as the Cult shows up.”
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Araña swung through city with his daughter in hand. The Crimson Spider wasn’t too far behind. The two web-slingers dropped on a building to take a quick break. Araña took a moment to figure out where they were.
“Brooklyn Visions Academy?” questioned Araña looking at what appeared to be a school. “Where did that come from? It’s almost as if it appeared overnight.”
Upon closer inspection, he could make out what appeared to be a slender African-American male and a heavy-set Asian male which he assumed were in their mid-teens. They were both having a serious discussion about something. The latter flailed his arms about and made motions with his hands that made Araña think of how he fires off webbing.
“There’s something about that black kid has me curious,” Araña said while holding tightly onto his daughter.
“Black kid?” The Crimson Spider scratched his head. “He’s probably part Hispanic considering this part of town.”
The two continued on and headed to their destination. Upon reaching his mother’s house, Araña’s costume transformed back to his ordinary clothes. He motioned for the Crimson Spider to go toward his bedroom and sneak in. Lucas, no longer in costume, jumped down with his daughter in arm and walked into the house.
“Lucas, I didn’t think you were coming back,” said Jessica checking her watch. “It’s late too.”
“I wasn’t but something important came up.” Lucas presented the young girl.
Jessica walked over from the living room with her two friends who had come over earlier in the day. Lynn just sat and watched from a distance. She was too tired and didn’t want to walk around in her current state.
“Who is this cutie?” Jessica kneeled down to the girl’s eye level and smiled.
“This ‘cutie’ as you put it,” started Lucas still struggling to come to terms with it. “Would be your niece. So where’s mom at?”
“Wait, wait you’re just gonna drop a bomb like that and move on to something else?” Jessica was taken back a bit.
“Does this mean she’s your daughter?” asked Rocky Flint. “Because she’s kind of a little old to be your kid.”
“Yeah, she’s mine and Anya’s,” explained Lucas who saw Lynn stir a bit in the kitchen.
Jessica looked at Lucas not sure what to think. “Sweetheart, what’s your name? Come on, you don’t have to be afraid of me.”
“She doesn’t talk, so good luck with that.”
The girl knew who Jessica was and what she was capable of. She stuck her tongue out to her aunt to show her why she couldn’t talk.
“That marking prevents her from speaking,” said Jessica. “Oh, my god who would do such a thing? I’m gonna have to look into something to try and break that.”
Jessica without hesitation grabbed a piece of paper and handed it to the girl with a pen so she could write her name down.
“Elizabeth?” asked Jessica. “Lucas you gotta tell me how this happened.”
TED MANKOWSKI’S HIDEOUT
Ted sat before a computer now. He was deep in thought. This was all he knew. He was a hacker. Now he had no purpose. He didn’t know where his friends were. Some he believed were in trouble. He wondered what his next move should be.
“I gotta find Araña,” he said to himself. “That’s the most important thing. Than hopefully we can find Miguel and get Emi back. The problem is that this Araña isn’t the Araña I’m familiar with.”
He thought about the Cult of the Tarantula possibly having Anya captured. He remembered that the Cult had dealings with the Jackal and figured that maybe he could get some answers from him. Of course he would never go directly to the Jackal for answers. It was getting late. If he were to do anything it would have to be done tomorrow.
Lucas flicked on the light of his bedroom. It had been awhile since he last slept in this room, having moved out to Manhattan to attend Empire State University. He shared an apartment with Lynn, who was awaiting the birth of her son. The original plan was for her to move in with him and Anya. Lucas looked over to his bed where he saw the image of Anya sitting on his bed with him lying down with his head in her lap. He lowered his head wishing she was here with him.
Elizabeth entered the room and began looking around. She was fascinated in seeing what her father was like in the past. She instantly stopped when she took one look at his gloomy state. Lynn then walked into the room showing signs of discomfort.
“Are you alright?” asked Lucas.
“My back is killing me,” she moaned as she was guided to the bed. “I sense one of those patented ‘Lucas Garcia Massages’ coming. Are you sure it’s okay if I sleep in your bed? I don’t want you to sleep on the couch.”
“Lynn, it’s fine,” he assured.
Lynn, while she received said massage, looked over to Elizabeth. “Lucas, I know this is strange. But it happened and it looks like she’s stuck with us. Maybe you should be a little nicer. I bet she’s scared being sent to the past. You’re great with Angela and I had no doubt you’d be the same with your nephew. This girl is your daughter and yeah if I go by the timeline I understand she’s eight years too early, but that shouldn’t change anything.”
“You know you and Jess really have a knack for lecturing me,” he sighed. “And I bet if Anya was here she’d be doing the same. She really is her spitting image. We have an air mattress that I can blow up. We’ll all sleep in here. Is that alright, Liz?”
The girl wrote something down and handed it to him.
“I call you Lizzy?” He thought about it while Lynn giggled to herself. “If that’s what you want. Come on help me bring the air mattress in here. It’s getting late. We should get some sleep.”
Looking in from the outside, Caitlyn Sierra stormed out of the kitchen and through the living room as her mother followed shouting at her. They argued about something before Caitlyn ran upstairs and slammed her bedroom door. Brittney shook her head before she headed back into the kitchen. From above the window a person crawled down having witnessed the whole thing. A flash of light revealed it to be Mania.
A couple hours had passed since they initially went to sleep. Lucas never went to sleep. He was restless. There were several things rolling around in his head. He looked to the bed to see Lynn sleeping. Images of Anya sleeping there would pop in his head. Then there was the girl who slept next to him. He felt uncomfortable even though they were flesh and blood. He turned his head to look at the girl. It amazed him how much she looked like Anya.
“Hmm…” he sighed.
It took sometime but he would finally fall asleep. The next morning, he woke up and Elizabeth’s head was resting on his chest. This weirded him out. He didn’t move. He really didn’t want to wake her up after all she had been through. About thirty minutes later, Elizabeth was in the kitchen being served breakfast by her grandmother. Erika had used her own magic when she was introduced to the girl to confirm who she was and found she was in fact Lucas and Anya’s offspring.
“All right, baby girl,” said Erika placing a cup on the table. “I hope you enjoy it. So… are you my only grandchild? You can tell me. I’ve been alive since the eleventh century and every past incarnation of your parents have had children.”
Elizabeth shook her head no. She then used her hands to show how many there were. Erika smiled and hugged her granddaughter. Lucas entered the room looking refreshed after taking a warm shower.
“So what are your plans now?” asked his mother.
“My plans?” responded Lucas. “Who can plan for something like this? Obviously she’s gotta stay with me. At least until someone can pull her back to the future.”
Elizabeth wrote something down for Erika to read. “She says as far as she knows no one from her time has created a time machine. She accidentally was sent to the past by a villain from an even further future. And that you’re stuck with her. No honey we’re not stuck with you. You’re part of this family. You’re right where you belong.”
Elizabeth smiled at her grandmother. Lucas looked away and sighed.
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK
Ted walked through a neighborhood trying his best to look inconspicuous. He was wearing a hoodie with the hood up and was also wearing sunglasses. No one appeared to be watching him. He looked around a bit before he headed down an alleyway to his right. He continued on until he approached someone who also was trying to hide their appearance in a similar fashion.
“You got the information?” asked Ted.
“I didn’t get the exact information you wanted,” the person began to explain. “But I do have the location of a hideout the Jackal has abandoned after his dealings with the Cult of the Tarantula.”
“Abandoned?” Ted considered the information. “Why was it abandoned?”
“The Jackal had no use for the space when he took over the operations of Hammerhead’s gang,” replied the informant.
Ted thought for a second. “Okay, it’s a start at least. Give me the address.”
Ted got what he needed and parted ways with the informant. The travel took a bit since he went by foot. He didn’t want to attract any attention to himself while stuck in public transportation. After the long walk he reached an abandoned warehouse. He approached the entrance and found it locked up tight. It wasn’t a problem for him as he came prepared. The lock itself was kind of unique in design but Ted was still able to break it and enter.
“Ted, there’s no telling what you’re gonna find in here, but keep on your toes,” he told himself. “For all I know this place might not be as abandoned as suggested.”
He walked in and found the the building still filled with the Jackal’s equipment. On one table he found gear that was used for the Goblin including an unused faceplate. Throughout this laboratory were pieces to various experiments. He found a computer and turned it on. Working with computers was his thing. It took him no time at all to search through the system and find what this place was all about. He found videos of the Jackal’s projects. The Goblin’s creation was one of the first superhumans experiments that happened. The following videos showed young villains like Aftershock, Hydro-Girl, and others that would make up the Bastards of Evil.
Of course the one thing the Jackal was known for was cloning. Ted found videos showing a number of clones made of Anya. He decided to record the video for when he meets up with Anya again. If that was even a possibility. After a little more snooping he came across information on the Cult of the Tarantula.
“Hmm…” he hummed quietly.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – CLINTON HILL LIBRARY
Caitlyn Sierra sat at a table reading quietly to herself. She didn’t want to go home after the argument she had with her mother last night. Her brother, Rome, revealed to his parents that she had the markings of a Hunter. A Bee Hunter to be exact. Her mother was mad that she kept this a secret from them. She was told to not leave the house and refused to do as her mother wished.
“Bad day?” asked someone from behind her.
She turned around and was surprised to find Anya standing behind her. Caitlyn jumped out of her seat about to shout her name but remembered where she was and reframed from doing so. She didn’t even know what to say. No one from her brother’s circle of friends had seen or heard from Anya in months.
“Shhh.” Anya put a finger to her lips. “Meet me on the roof. We’ll talk there. I know you can get there without any problems.”
Anya left first. Caitlyn put her book away and headed outside. The building was only one story, which put Caitlyn a little at ease. She didn’t like using her powers. She couldn’t control them. A pair of wings materialized on her back not appearing to pierce through her clothing. She quickly flew up the roof and withdrew her wings.
“Interesting,” said Anya. “What do you call yourself? I mean we all made up names for ourselves. Araña. Avispa. Lucas must be having a real identity crisis right now. Hmm, Honey Bee seems appropriate for you.”
“Where have you been?” asked Caitlyn. “Rome told me Lucas has been struggling to carrying on without you. Why come to me? You should be going to him. He loves you.”
“He’s better off without me,” claimed Anya. “But he’s not why I’m here. You’re what’s relevant right now. All this time you’ve been hiding your heritage from us. Your father is Panamanian. Panama, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and all the other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean all share one thing. Their connection to Spain. And you know what comes from Spain, the Insect groups. You’re a Bee Hunter. I can’t say that I’ve met one, until now. You’re in great danger. Someone wants the power of the Hunters and you’re a target.”
“Someone wants my Hunter?” Caitlyn looked at a nodding Anya. “Who?”
The Mania suit suddenly appeared. “Me.”
Caitlyn tried to fly away but Mania’s webbing pulled her back down. She was scared. Caitlyn had never been in a fight and never really had a need to learn how to protect herself. She looked at Mania and was easily unsettled. Her own Hunter took it upon itself to armor Caitlyn’s body with a yellow exoskeleton. A stinger popped from below one of her wrists.
“Eww,” moaned a grossed out Caitlyn. “Just eww.”
Mania shot balls of webbing at Caitlyn, which her stinger deflected. Caitlyn wasn’t sure how she was able the protect herself. She wasn’t aware that her Hunter was guiding her. Mania moved in on her prey who defended herself with her stinger by slashing wildly.
“You’re an amaetur,” said Mania. “What chance do you have against me?”
Caitlyn tried flying off again but was pulled down once more by webbing, this time she was met by an uppercut. Mania then picked her up overhead to drop her into a knee to the gut. Caitlyn had the wind knocked out of her and tried to catch her breath. Mania kicked the girl while she was down which caused her to roll over on her back. She then webbed her down to the ground.
“Consider yourself captured.” She turned as something flew passed her. “Hmm…”
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – LUCAS & LYNN’S APARTMENT
Elizabeth walked into the apartment and took a look around. Lynn followed, coming in while holding her back. Lucas entered the kitchen and dropped something on the counter. He looked over to see Elizabeth helping Lynn. This put him a little at ease. He wasn’t sure about bringing her back to his apartment but his mother insisted. The whole ride back he couldn’t help but turn his attention to his rear view mirror to see what she was doing. Luckily, driving with a Spider Sense makes looking away for long periods easy.
“Any ideas on what we should do for dinner?” he asked.
“You know you always ask and I never have an answer,” replied Lynn.
Lucas laughed. “You’re the one eating for two. I would think you’d know what you want. I guess I’ll go swing by the store and pick something up since you don’t have a preference. Maybe a good swing through the city will help me clear my head.”
Lynn and Elizabeth watched as he clothes transformed into his spider costume. No matter how many times Lynn saw it she was left awestruck. Elizabeth just smiled. This wasn’t the costume she was familiar seeing him wearing. He opened a window and leapt out of it. Elizabeth stepped forward to try and stop him but remembered she couldn’t speak. She faced Lynn.
“Don’t worry he’ll be back,” she assured her. “Of course if he runs into a villain or something he may be delayed.”
Elizabeth nodded showing she understood. Then she surprised Lynn by igniting her own body in flames much like her father used to. They swirled around her own body giving off no heat. The flames would eventually fade revealing a costume quite similar to the Avispa costume.
“You really are his daughter,” Lynn smiled as she playfully ran her fingers through the girl’s hair on top her head. “Go after him. But if you don’t find him be sure to come back.”
The girl shook her head yes. She moved toward the window as her long orange scarf began to flap like the wings of a wasp. She flew out the window leaving Lynn on her own.
THE JACKAL’S ABANDONED HIDEOUT
Ted was still messing around with the computer system. He had found some information about the Cult of the Tarantula that he felt needed to get to the New Slingers since Anya was not available. His first thought was to find Lucas. If he was really Araña now he would be the top member to go to. Before leaving he decided to gather any additional information he could find. He did find a file on the Tribe of the Scorpion, who were looking for ancient artifacts belonging to the insect groups of old. He also found some interesting tech.
“The Goblin might like this,” he said. “I haven’t formally met him but if this is what we can expect out of the Tarantulas and the Scorpions we’re gonna need all the help we can get. And this new glider upgrade looks promising.”
Just as he finished, he heard the sound of something rolling by his feet. He looked to see what it was. It was a pumpkin bomb. He jumped out of his seat and ran for cover. It exploded without harming him.
“What the hell was that?!” he yelled.
“Ha, those glider designs are mine!” called the one responsible for the bomb. “No puny little man is gonna stand in my way.”
He peeked from behind his cover. Hovering above was what appeared to be a goblin of sorts. This goblin was female wearing a red top with black leggings and spiked boots, wrist guards, and belt. The goblin’s face didn’t appear to be covered in a mask. Her gray complexion was in fact her skin. She also had red hair that flowed behind her broken gray horns.
“So little man would you care to give Menace what she seeks?” she asked. “Or must I take it?”
“Are you referring to yourself in the third person?” Ted appeared confused. “That’s just weird.”
“WEIRD!?” yelled the demonic looking goblin known as Menace. “How dare you!”
Panels on Menace’s glider popped open to reveal the barrels of guns installed within the glider. Ted’s eyes widened as he backed up. He ran down a hall as Menace shot at him.
Somewhere not too far, Araña dropped on a building and took a brief break from swinging through the city. He let out a sigh. When he said he was going out to the store he was being honest but he was still hoping to come across someone causing mischief. However, it appeared nothing was really happening at the moment.
He took a second to collect his thoughts. It was then when his daughter landed next to him. He turned his head to the right and saw an exact duplicate of his former Avispa costume. The girl smiled at him as he appeared unamused.
“So you’re a smaller version of me?” he questioned. “I thought your powers were to grant others powers? Let me guess you inherited my powers and somehow came across these additional powers of superhuman creation?”
She nodded yes. Then motioned her fingers to show she wanted to write something out for him. He gave her his cellphone which she quickly told her story to him. He rolled his eyes after reading one part of the story.
“Of course, Mexico.” He threw his hands up. “You walked into a Mayan temple after I explicitly told you not to. Tsk, you’re my kid after all.”
From the corner of his eye, Araña saw something move drawing his attention to a building to his left. He stood up quickly when he realized who it was. A miniature version of Venom. Just based off her size he knew it was her. It was Anya.
“Anya!” he exclaimed. “It’s your mother. Look at me, Elizabeth. I got a feeling I know where this is heading. You have to promise me you’ll stay right here. No matter what you see. I can’t risk you altering the future. And I don’t want you to see your mother this way.”
Elizabeth tried to plead with him but she couldn’t get her words out. He held a finger out to her to put a stop to whatever she was suggesting. He leapt into the air and headed after Mania. Elizabeth’s wings began to flutter allowing her to hover over where she was standing to get a better view of the action. Araña dropped on the rooftop behind Mania.
“Anya!” he called.
Mania spun her body almost eerily, unnerving Araña. He examined her hoping to find some sign that the woman he loved still existed in the strange alien suit he was viewing. Her mannerisms were completely different. He wondered if she even knew who he was.
“Stop this!” he yelled. “Get rid of that costume and come home! Please.”
Mania laughed. “If it isn’t the spider wannabee. I guess it was only a matter of time before you’d run into us. If you think you’re gonna break through to her you might as well quit before you even start. She wants nothing to do with you. You should have taken the hint in that message she sent to stay away.”
“I know this isn’t her talking.” Araña threw a fist up angrily. “Symbiotes are parasites Anya! Don’t let it control you!”
“A parasite am I?!” growled an annoyed Mania. “My race has made the lives of others better by bonding to them. This girl’s heart was in shambles and I cured her of her heartache. You would have made her life even more miserable than it already was. Now leave us! We will fight you if you insist. But we know the truth. You’re nothing without your true powers. You’re not a Spider. You’re a Wasp. And you pretending to be something you’re not makes you weak.”
Even though these words were in Anya’s voice he knew they were those of the symbiote’s. They still stung nonetheless.
“You mean nothing to her,” claimed Mania. “Nothing to us. The love she had for you died along with her father.”
Araña felt as if his heart and soul had been shattered. There was no getting through to her. He wondered if these weren’t the words of the symbiote but in fact Anya’s. He wanted to rip the alien creature off of her but was afraid he might hurt her. He feared if he managed to get the costume off that he would find that she truly wanted nothing to do with him.
“Pathetic,” hissed Mania. “Just do us a favor. Go run off and die somewhere.”
He couldn’t move. He told himself to move but his body wouldn’t respond. Mania decided to attack. As she inched closer Elizabeth flew into her, ramming a shoulder into Mania’s gut. It did nothing. Mania grabbed the mini Wasp and slammed her against a wall. She then picked the young child up by her orange scarf.
“Who is this runt?” questioned Mania. “Speak! Not the talking type are you? It doesn’t matter. You make a mistake wearing the symbol of the Wasp. Their fate will soon be decided along with the rest of the Insect Kingdom. I’ll show you some compassion and end your sorry existence now.”
Araña couldn’t move. He saw his daughter about to be choked to death by her own mother and he couldn’t do anything. Mania tightened her grip expecting no resistance from Araña. Out of nowhere a blast sent Mania flying back, freeing Elizabeth from her grasp. It was a sonic blast. The sound made the alien costume loosen it’s hold on Anya but it fought to keep it, eventually regaining its control. Mania glared at her attacker.
“Son, you shame me,” replied the attacker who turned out to be Araña’s father, Anthony Garcia also known as Hechicero, much to his surprise. “Wearing the colors of the Spiders and letting this creature best you. You would let it harm my grandchild? Rise child.”
Hechicero waved his hands and cast a spell. Elizabeth felt a strange urge to stick out her tongue. The seal that was on it shattered. He stepped forward to Mania who bounced backward. He then looked at his son who still hadn’t moved.
“As much as I despise you Spiders, this is not the route I want to see you go,” said Hechicero. “If you continue down this path your child will no longer exist.”
“What!?” yelled a wide-eyed Elizabeth. “I like existing.”
“There I bet that feels better,” smiled Hechicero. “Dear, do you grandfather a favor and go stand by your father. I must attend to your mother. Anya Corazon! Whatever pain and sorrow you let fill your heart. You must expel it. If you are not strong enough I can do it for you.”
Mania backed up further.
“A new threat looms,” he explained. “And believe it or not this time it’s not from me. The War of the Arachnids is upon us. The only way my son will be able to stand strong during this battle is with you by his side. You must make a choice. Rejoin your loved ones or continue on with my failed children of the Tarantula. Be warned for they soon go to war against the Tribe of the Scorpion.”
Windows from the building behind Mania blew out. She took this as a sign to leave. She jumped backward off the roof. Across the way, Hechicero saw Ted running for his life. He stopped to see the sorcerer and Araña.
“Okay, I don’t know how I feel about this,” said Ted. “But I really would like not to die.”
“Abuelo, I know that guy,” said Elizabeth. “It might be a good idea to help him.”
With the snap of his fingers, Hechicero summoned Ted over their building just in time to get away from Menace, who flew out toward them.
“Hmph,” Hechicero sighed as he waved his hands.
In a flash they were gone. Menace was confused at what she had seen and left the scene. The four of them appeared somewhere the new goblin wouldn’t find them. Ted looked at the miniature Avispa and then to the unmoving male Araña.
“What’s wrong with him?” asked Ted.
“His spirit is broken,” answered Hechicero. “I can free him but something must be done to truly fix him. It’s a pity to see my Wasp Hunter sealed away. To believe he was bested by an Ant. It sickens me. The day it happened a part of him was sealed away as well. Another part remains broken with his other half gone.”
“You mean Anya?” Ted inspected Araña. “I need to know everything that happened. Why is he Araña? Where did the Spider Society go? And why are you here?”
“Your former Hunter is possessed by an alien creature,” instructed Hechicero. “The leaders of your sect are not who they appeared to be. And when this little one was struggling I sensed her presence and had to investigate.”
Hechicero struck the palm of his left hand into Araña’s chest. Whatever was holding him in place was removed. Araña fell to his knees. He was held up by his daughter.
“Daddy?” she said. “Please tell me you’re alright.”
“You talk now?” He smirked. “Why do I have a feeling that’s a bad thing?”
“Lucas, pull yourself together man.” Ted stepped in.
“Where the hell have you been?” Araña wanted to yell but felt as if his energy had been drained. “Anya looked for you guys. Maybe if you didn’t disappear on her when she needed you the most she wouldn’t be in this situation. Why do I feel so weak?”
“Like I said you’re spirit is broken,” his father explained again. “Do you not listen? Of course. You would never listen to me. Don’t think I’ve forgotten what you and your little girlfriend did to me in my dominion. Go. Bring my grandchild home and take better care of her.”
“Excuse me?” Araña struggled to pull himself up to come face to face with his father. “You’ve got a lot of nerve to tell me how to take care of a child, deadbeat loser. Lizzy, Ted, let’s get the hell out of here.”
“You’re welcome by the way,” continued Hechicero. “Don’t think anything has changed between us. You haven’t seen the last of the Sisterhood of the Wasp.”
CAT’S EYE INVESTIGATIONS
Lucas sat in one of the large swivel chairs surrounding a large circular table. Jessica sat next to him showing signs of concern for her brother. Rome and Alejandro talked as Ted walked into the room talking to Felicity Hardy who was dressed in her Black Cat costume with her mask off. The very pregnant Felicia Hardy was the last to enter the room.
“Jessica, I see you finally perfected teleportation magic,” said Felicia as she held her back to take a seat. “You’re more than welcome to use this room as a meeting place so long as you don’t lead any of your enemies here. We’re just a simple detective agency and I’d like to keep it that way.”
Over the past eight months, Felicity had taken over as Black Cat since Felicia was now expecting…Felicity. Felicia had started a detective agency of the same name once before and decided it would be best to retire from her life as the Black Cat and train her time displaced daughter to take over since she didn’t appear to be returning to her present anytime soon. Everyone in the room didn’t know that they still partook in a burglary or two every so often.
“So what’s this about a ‘War of the Arachnids’?” asked Felicia.
“It’s something my father said,” replied Lucas. “I’m not too sure what’s going to happen. I’m not one for trusting my father but I have a feeling this is something we must prepare for.”
“I might have some details we can work with,” Ted followed. “I stole a ton of information from the Jackal’s old hideout and in it there’s mention of the Tribe of the Scorpion and what they’re looking for. I also have the plans of the Cult of the Tarantula. They want a Hunter from each group so they can use the combined magic to end the Insect Kingdom and leave themselves as the last surviving group.”
“With Anya gone and Mike doing god knows what, there’s only four of us now,” said Jessica. “We need to make sure we’re ready when this comes.”
“Say whatever happened to Emi?” inquired Ted. “Last I remember she went to Japan for her brother’s funeral. Did she not come back?”
“We’ve tried contacting her, but can’t get ahold of her,” mentioned Lucas.
“Maybe we should just go over there and find her,” said Rome. “We know where her family lives right?”
“I can help you with that,” stated Felicia. “Just let me know when and where.”
NEXT: Going Under!