NEW EARTH – DOMINION OF THE WASP
Nomad and her team stood down a street unfamiliar to them. They stood spread out a bit as they took in the sights of what should be Manhattan, New York. But this city wasn’t Manhattan at all. It was at least two times bigger. Mettle talked with Hazmat to try and recall what had just happened. The American Panther walked over to his sister Monica who was in a modified version of Iron Man’s armor, reshaped to fit her form. She adopted the codename Rescue as her secret identity.
“Please tell me you have something?” asked the Panther. “Some kind of readings that can tell us what the hell just happened.”
“I’m sorry,” she turned her head with a robotic sound. “My sensors were fried when everything went white. They seem to be fine now but I have no idea what happened. Also my systems aren’t registering this city. There are no recognizable landmarks. I can’t even get a link to the Rescue Inc. mainframe.”
“So our company is gone?” he asked only to receive silence from her.
“Dude, this city is wicked,” said Mettle. “Every turn makes you feel more and more lost.”
“Is this craziness what I signed up for?” Hazmat questioned. “Fighting giant bugs and having the world changed to this strange place?”
“I should have taken that wasp out when I had the chance,” Nomad was being hard on herself. “We could have used her to track whoever did this.”
“There’s no way we would have known this would happen,” American Panther chimed in. “I guess the bugs were more of a threat than we expected. We’ll figure something out. I think it would be best if we get moving, if we stay in one place for too long they’re bound to find us.”
“Right,” Nomad agreed. “Allies, let’s move out.”
Part IV: Enemies and Allies
BELOW IN THE SEWERS
Araña and her friends walked along the rat infested sewers. Like the Young Allies they were placed on this strange earth. However, unlike them they had an explanation for what happened. Araña’s mage Miguel Legar had the answers.
“The wasp lord knows many forbidden spells,” he began. “This one had never been used before seeing as there had never been the right materials to complete it. The spell is meant to merge two worlds to form a new one. On the other side of the sun a Counter-Earth was created by the son of the Fantastic Four’s Reed and Sue Richards. Hechicero took the two earths and fused them together.”
The sky went from its usual bright blue to a blinding white. The white light from the sky hit the earth and enveloped everything in sight. Araña would be whited-out before screaming for Hechicero to stop. Miguel was next. In Brooklyn the Garcia siblings saw what was happening. Estrella hugged her brother as they faded into the light. Armory, in Queens, pulled strands of webbing from her shoulders and looked at Apocrita who had been taken out by Spider-Man, she vanished into the light. The Goblin and the Bastards of Evil in the Bronx were next. Finally on Staten Island Hormiga and the nameless spider hero were gone.
The whole planet was covered by this light. In space the planet shined so brightly that you could see it from the sun. And on the other side of the fiery giant was another planet glowing the same as earth, it was Counter-Earth. Their orbits were then altered and the two planets moved closer to each other.
Amidst the light Hechicero marveled at his achievement. The moment he waited for so long was happening. But of course someone always must meddle with the villain’s plans. A flash of pink light appeared revealing the ghostly appearance of Sofia Corazon, Anya’s mother. He yelled in anger only to be left unheard. She vanished.
She reappeared again on Counter-Earth grabbing the left behind members of the Young Allies. She then jumped to the original earth and picked up Nomad and the new Young Allies. Then she got Armory, Hormiga, and the others who were fighting the wasp. She then appeared behind the Garcia twins and wrapped her arms around her beloved god-children. Her final act was getting to her daughter. Anya felt the warm touch of her mother but did not know it was her. The only one to see her other than Hechicero was Miguel who used to be her mage, he could sense her anywhere.
“I love you, Anya,” she said. “I leave the fate of the world in your hands. I believe in you, mi Arañita. Now go get them.”
With that the two earths collided.*
*Took place in Araña #6—Justin.
BACK TO THE PRESENT
The group continued walking through the sewers not certain of where they were going. They heard a THWIP echo in the underground maze. It was Araña webbing down a giant sewer rat.
“Just because the planets merged into a super planet didn’t mean they needed to make super rats,” she cringed at the sight of the rodent. “We need to get out of here before we catch some kind of disease.”
“We need to do something to get an idea of what’s what in this city,” said Armory. “Avispa, maybe you can take to the air and get a better feel for things.”
“No,” Miguel interjected. “That’s exactly what they’d want. That would be like handing their hunter over on a silver platter.”
“Then I’ll go,” Araña stepped in. “They may show just as much interest in me as Lucas but something’s gotta be done. I’ll head up through the manhole.”
Araña climbed the ladder up and pushed the manhole aside to get back to street level. She reached the street and looked around. For such a big city it was really quiet at the moment. A little too quiet Araña thought. They had been on this planet for at least an hour or two, yet they haven’t seen a single wasp.
She took to the skies and swung by the buildings. There were no sign of the Sisterhood of the Wasp, which was quite unusual. It was their world. One would think it would be flourishing with them. As she continued to swing a small disc flew by and struck her web-line. It snapped making Araña fall out of the sky. She quickly reacted and shot another strand to stop her fall. She looked to see her attacker, expecting them to be wasps.
“Okay, wall-crawler!” it was Nomad to Araña’s surprised. “Whatever you and your people did, you’re going to reverse it!”
“Listen here you Captain America-wannabe I had nothing to do with this,” Araña replied. “It was all the Sisterhood of the Wasp. I’m gonna put an end to this myself, so get out of my way or shall I web that mouth of yours shut again.”
“Now!” Nomad called for her team to surround Araña.
Mettle came in from behind Araña. She looked at him and couldn’t help but be disturbed by his grotesque appearance. His body was covered in red iridium. It wasn’t too appealing to look at, but it didn’t help that his face was essentially a skull covered in this iridium. He looked like the Red Skull, if he were a huge bodybuilder. He didn’t have a costume like his other teammates he simply wore a black shirt that was tucked in to a pair of gray pants that were themselves tucked into his black boots.
Next Araña looked to her right where Hazmat appeared. She was wearing a black and yellow bodysuit that had a pattern that took the shape of a hazmat symbol. She wore a helmet on her head that matched her suit except at the upper half of her face that had a clear blue glass shield that showed her appearance, that of a young Asian woman.
To her left Rescue landed with a loud slam on the ground. As mentioned earlier her armor was similar in fashion to Iron Man tech. Her brother was the one who brought it to her, how he came by it is still uncertain but Monica managed to make it her own altering it to fit her feminine physique. The armor was red and silver with a shining blue power source in the middle of her chest.
“You guys look ridiculous,” laughed Araña.
The web-slinger had to get the last word in before the group made a move for her. But with their first step they were forced to stop as an explosion went off behind them. They looked back the way Araña came to see a mass of flames coming from the sewers. This distracted them from seeing Avispa who landed right in front of Araña. He grabbed Nomad and lifted her off the ground. Nomad had already hurt his sister he wasn’t about to let her hurt his girl.
He spun around and threw Nomad into Mettle making him fall back. Araña quickly shot strands of webbing on Rescue and Hazmat’s helmets. She pulled the strands making their heads collide. She leapt into the air while tying the webbing together. She landed behind her boyfriend who lifted his right leg to kick Rescue away. She fell back where Mettle landed pulling Hazmat with her. They pulled the webbing off their helmets and looked back at the arachnid and insect heroes.
“They knocked us down too easily,” Nomad was displeased at what happened. “Time to get serious, these two are trained combatants and an effective duo. We need to separate them. What happened to AP?”
“He said he was gonna check something out,” replied Rescue. “I don’t know why he hasn’t come back yet.”
The American Panther planned to do a quick survey of an area but found something that interested him. He came across a group of wasp drones. Among them he saw two individuals that didn’t fit in with them. One was a rather large man with a pair of horns growing from the top of his head with long black hair running down his back like a long mane. He had large black and red straps with spikes on them went around his upper body and black and red pants. The other one was a woman wearing a spandex costume that was mostly black with a yellow thunder bolt going down the front of her costume that was outlined in black and that was outlined in red. She also had red elbow and knee pads as well as red goggles.
“Hmm…” AP jumped into the shadows and began running to keep up with the group.
The Panther followed them for a good distance before he saw where they were taking their prisoners. The city was primarily made up of large skyscrapers like New York but the building they were taking their captives to was different, words couldn’t describe what the Panther was looking at.
“I’d be careful if I was you,” claimed a voice from seemingly nowhere.
“Who’s there?” the Panther looked around.
Hormiga, hunter of the insect group known as the Ant Council, was actually the size of an ant. He increased his size to let the American Panther see him better. The Panther was surprised to see this even though he knew much about the Avengers and their member Ant-Man.
“They’ve got some tight surveillance on this place,” said Hormiga. “There’s something in there they don’t want seen.”
“You don’t say,” the Panther became interested in this. “I’m the American Panther. And you are?”
“Hormiga, hunter of the Ant,” he replied.
“Another insect character,” the Panther retracted his claws. “Now you’re gonna tell me what I need to know or I’m gonna have to use these.”
“Hmph, you Young Allies people sure know how to make a bad situation worse,” said Hormiga. “Last thing we need is your anti-Insect Kingdom crap. You keep going after the wrong people. While you fight against the insect heroes the real villains are getting away with this. I was there when your leader fought that wasp mage. While she wasted her energy on that the true Sisterhood of the Wasp emerged and took over the planet. If there was ever a time for an epic fail it would be now.”
“You’re expecting me to believe you that you’re not part of this?”
“Yes, oh by the way where were you guys when we were fighting the wasps throughout New York?” Hormiga looked down at the building they were observing. “Some superhero group…I bet Steve Rogers is turning in his grave right now. If you want to really help, I would say stay out of our way, but I know you won’t so maybe it’s time you start fighting on the right side. I managed to get inside that strange building. It’s housing their All-Mother. The creature that creates the wasp drones. We’re attacking it now. Are you in or out?”
“The wasp All-Mother?” AP looked down himself. “Taking her down maybe the best first move we could make to restoring earth. And who exactly is ‘we’?”
Hormiga pointed down. The drones that were guarding the main entrance to the building were unaware of a coming attack. An invisible man dropped behind one of the drones and snapped its neck before becoming visible. It was the red and black spider hero who fought alongside Hormiga on Staten Island. As another of the guards went for him an orange sphere shot out of the sky and exploded to stop the attack. The nameless spider looked up to see the newest Goblin flying above on his glider. One drone became swallowed in water, causing it to suffocate. The drone fell to the ground and the water took the shape of Hydro-Girl. Finally the last guard was electrocuted by a girl named Aftershock. Minus the spider they were the Bastards of Evil, of course they were taking a day off from being villains and teamed up with the heroes to fight the wasps.
“You’re letting villains fight with you?” the American Panther questioned Hormiga’s choice.
“This is no time to get choosy about your allies,” claimed Hormiga. “Now you coming?”
BACK TO THE OTHERS
Araña and Avispa were joined by the rest of their group. They stood in formation, as did the Young Allies. Mettle was eyeing Avispa.
“The male wasp is a fire-user,” Mettle said. “Best to let me handle him.”
“I guess metal girl is mine,” replied Rescue.
“I want the arachnid,” Hazmat clenched her fists. “I got some built up anger I need to take out and she looks like a…”
“No she’s mine,” interrupted Nomad. “We have some unfinished business to attend to.”
Hazmat sighed, “So then I’m stuck with wasp girl.”
“Don’t move an inch,” said Araña to her group. “If they want a piece they’ll have to come get it.”
Nomad figured they weren’t gonna move. She felt they needed to get this fight done quickly so that they could move on to the bigger problem. Her anger towards the Insect Kingdom and what those factions did to her friends blinded her. What she didn’t realize was that she was the problem. Normally Rikki was more of an open-minded person and she learned from Steve Rogers to always look beyond the mask, that not everything is what it seems. But war changes people.
She gave the order to strike. Mettle instantly went for Avispa, cupping his hands together and slamming them into the ground. Avispa with great reflexes jumped out of the way and flew into the air. Rescue shot a repulsor beam at Armory who dodged and threw a number of kunai at her. Hazmat got into a fist fight with Estrella. And finally, Nomad moved in on Araña. She threw discs at her. Araña sprung up to let the first go under her and dropped for the second to go over her.
Avispa landed back on the ground and sent a stream of flames toward Mettle, “Damn, why the hell am I always the one fighting the big guys?”
“I don’t know I guess you’re just good at attracting beefy men,” Araña joked.
“Órale…” Avispa sighed before getting hit in the chest. “Ahh!”
He was knocked into a stone pillar. Estrella yelled for her brother but couldn’t go to him while still facing her opponent. Hazmat stuck one hand out unleashing a radiation blast. Estrella slammed her hands on the ground. A mystical circle surrounded them. Pavement shot up and formed a shield in front of her to block the radiation. Hazmat looked through a hole that was left on the pavement shield. Estrella wasn’t on the other side. She saw an orange flash and Estrella landed atop the vertical pavement.
“I don’t need magic for this!” Estrella’s cheeks grew, upon opening her mouth fire spewed out at Hazmat.
“She uses fire too,” Hazmat ran sideways to get away from the fire. “Big Red, you should be fighting this one too.”
Rescue stood before Armory analyzing her opponent with the use of her armor’s tech. Despite not being connected to her personal business mainframe, her armor picked up readings on Armory’s powers.
“Matter absorption,” Rescue said. “Interesting, you don’t seem to have an X-Gene. You’re not a mutant. So where exactly do you get you powers?”
“No, idea,” Armory started as she withdrew two long swords from her shoulders. “People like to joke around about me possibly being the daughter of the Absorbing Man, claiming my mother had a one night stand with him. It just creeps me out thinking about it. So, Iron Girl… You wouldn’t happen to be the daughter of Tony Stark? I’d hate to see the lawsuit against me after I take you down.”
As Armory charged forward with her blades, Rescue said, “No idea who my parents are, but I will assure you my brother might not be too thrilled if you did something to me. Luckily for me nothing will happen.”
Armory slashed her swords. The blades were caught by Rescue without any problems. She then kicked the absorbing hero aside making her drop her swords. With a THWIP one of Nomad’s throwing discs were webbed up and slung away from Araña, eventually exploding behind her. Araña threw a punch at Nomad which she blocked.
“I’m sorry if you lost friends to the Insect Kingdom,” said Araña. “But we had nothing to do with it. I didn’t even know what the Insect Kingdom was until recently.”
“Just stop talking!” exclaimed Nomad.
She threw a punch. Araña flipped over her head, before she could land Nomad kicked her in the side knocking her in the air. Mettle picked up Avispa and rammed him into the nearest street light post. This hurt his shoulder. Together Rescue and Hazmat blasted their opponent. Both went crashing back. Armory’s blue metal armor shattered reverting back to her true appearance. Estrella was hit by Hazmat’s attack but her radiation didn’t affect her. However the force of the attack hit her hard and she wasn’t getting up.
It would seem that Araña and friends were still exhausted from their individual battles with the Sisterhood of the Wasp. The Young Allies had the upper hand.
LAIR OF THE ALL-MOTHER
The American Panther ran alongside Hormiga and his unusual pairing of a team. The wasp All-Mother was here as well as two unknown people.
“I’ve seen tons of wasps since coming in here but what about those two people?” asked the Panther. “The ones I saw the drones escorting.”
“I’m familiar with one of them,” replied Hormiga. “The girl was Jolt, former member of the Thunderbolts. The Ant Council had some files on the team but there was no info on what happened to her.”
“Jolt, I know that name,” the Panther remembered. “She was part of Nomad’s team on Counter-Earth. The guy must have been Toro. She said there was a third member, a ‘Kid Colt’. If he wasn’t with them maybe he didn’t make it to this world. We should find them. They could be helpful in fighting the wasps.”
Hormiga looked to his side, “Hydro-Girl, disperse. Find the two Young Allies. We can use more hands in the assault on the All-Mother.”
Hydro-Girl wouldn’t typically follow the orders of a hero, especially one that was working with the American Panther*. But she did what was asked of her and turned to liquid form and spread out searching for the other Young Allies.
*They fought in Young Allies #1—Justin.
As soon as she was gone wasp drones stormed into the room. The team plowed right on into the swarm. The American Panther threw some energy daggers like they were darts. Hormiga twisted his body to dodge some attacks. He shrunk down to the size of ant and started throwing punches at the wasps still with the strength of a normal man.
A web-line came out from the spider hero who used it to swing a drone up to get bombarded by the Goblin’s special version of the pumpkin bomb. Aftershock did what she did best and fried any drones that came after her.
In other parts of the building Hydro-Girl searched for Young Allies members Jolt and Toro. It took some time but she eventually found where they were being held. The wasps were likely to use them as a sacrifice to their creator. The bits and pieces of her body collected together and headed for the door that held them. The guards didn’t even notice the moving water sneak under the crack in the door. She morphed back to her normal appearance which surprised the two heroes. She then helped them break free from their bonds.
“No time to talk,” she said. “When we get out of here start fighting.”
The two of them agreed. Hydro-Girl slammed a massive water-formed fist at the door causing it to fly off its hinges. Toro’s muscular mass grew and he charged out first with his horns drawn forward he slammed into drones. Jolt came out after the mass of water from the aquatic villain left the room and changed into her energy form. She fired electrical bursts at the drones as she flew passed Toro.
“Benny, I don’t know what’s going on but we better stick with that girl,” Jolt insisted. “We don’t want to get overrun again.”
BACK ON THE STREET
Araña and Nomad bounced back and forth, sending punches and kicks. Araña was clearly stronger then Nomad but after a long period of fighting she had become warn-out. The spider hunter pulled an arm back to throw a punch but was caught in a leg sweep by Nomad. She rolled forward while on the ground and turned nearly being kicked by the Allies’ leader. The kick missed when Araña speared her left shoulder into Nomad’s abdomen. Rikki fell back with the wind knocked out of her. She rolled over holding her stomach. Anya then took the top of her right foot and put it into a toehold causing Rikki’s knee to bend back as she dropped on her. She then wrapped her arms around into a headlock. This put not only pressure on Nomad’s knee but her back and neck.
“You attacked my friend who did nothing to you,” Araña said. “You’re a sorry excuse for a superhero. But then again I could tell that just by looking at your scrawny butt. Have you heard of food? If I pull any harder on your back I’ll snap you like a twig.”
“Oh shut up already!” Nomad exclaimed in pain. “Do you ever not talk?”
“Can’t be a good spider if I don’t rant about pointless crap during times of great peril,” she answered.
Mettle was now in an empty building. He had followed Avispa in here after throwing him in. He looked around trying to find the wasp hunter. By the corner of his eye he saw and orange flash pass one of the pillars. He looked quickly to see nothing. Then from another direction another orange flash. He knew it had to be Avispa but he was moving too fast for him to keep up with. Avispa swiftly flew out of nowhere and hit Mettle below the chin with a high knee. It did nothing. Mettle tried to retaliate but Avispa went back to his stealthy maneuvers. Avispa would attempt a number of attacks including one dirty move that would send any normal man to his knees, this just pissed Mettle off. He slammed his right arm into him sending flying back through the hole he came in.
“Note to self, don’t kick metal man in the nuts,” Avispa said before dropping his head on the ground.
“Lucas, you can’t give up!” Araña exclaimed while still having Nomad in her hold. “There’s too much at stake for us to just let them win.”
Estrella flipped out of the way to miss another radiation blast that was coming for her. She ran for her brother and kneeled before him.
“Come on get up,” she pleaded with him. “We have to put a stop to our father and fix the world.”
Avispa opened his eyes, “Damn that hurt.”
“Thank, god,” she sighed. “Why don’t we swap opponents? I have an idea for the Big Red Monster. You can have Disease Girl.”
“That’s Hazmat!” the yellow bodysuit wearing hero yelled as she ran for Estrella.
As if this was some professional wrestling match, the siblings tagged out and swapped opponents. Hazmat threw some kind of chemical that she secreted from her body. Avispa withdrew his sword from its sheath and slashed it through the chemical. She tried to get to him before he could pull his sword back but he spun too quickly and came back around kicking her in the gut.
Estrella stepped into the building. There in the center of the room stood Mettle. His appearance was one only a mother could love. Estrella kept her composure. She knew how her brother felt about being shunned by all of his peers. She could only imagine how his life was.
“So, how are we gonna do this?” she asked. “You threw my brother around like a ragdoll but you won’t do that to me. Whatever your quarrel is with us, you should get passed it. There’s something bigger going on here.”
“I was told you’re the bad guys,” replied Mettle. “So you’re the ones I’m gonna hit.”
“Ahh, you’re just a follower,” she prepared to unleash a spell. “How sad… I guess that appearance of yours is what’s leading you to make this idiotic decision.”
Mettle was angered, he lifted a fist, “What you say?!”
He stepped to her and swung. She smiled expecting this and pressed her already folded hands harder together. A circle of light appeared around her hands and water began gushing behind her from an unknown source.
She looked up and gave a command, “Strike of the water serpent!”
The water took the shape of a giant serpent and its mouth swallowed Mettle whole. The room flooded all the way to the ceiling without leaking out the destroyed wall. Estrella stood completely surrounded by the water appearing to show no harm from her own personal attack. Mettle on the other hand was drowning.
“Safe from physical harm,” she said while in the water. “It’s a great thing to have unless you can’t breathe.”
Armory was no longer in her metal shell. In this form she was just an ordinary woman, who of course is very talented in the ways of the martial arts. Rescue shot a beam repeatedly that she would run passed each time. She still had one kunai left and threw it at the hand shooting the repulsor beams. While Rescue jerked her hand back Armory jumped on Rescue and absorbed the matter of her armor.
“Titanium alloy,” she grinned. “I like.”
She gripped the bottom of Rescue’s helmet and began pulling on it. Of course it was a retractable helmet so it wasn’t moving anytime soon. Rescue swung an arm at her but couldn’t get her off. Before getting off Armory kicked the helmet hard snapping Rescue’s neck back. Now facing her opponent again Armory tried to form a weapon from her hand. To her surprise a cannon formed that looked like it could shoot the same beams Rescue could. And indeed it could. The two shot at each other.
Estrella let the water recede and looked at Mettle who gasped for air. She turned away and walked out of the building. She saw that Araña still had Nomad in the hold she applied earlier. She then immediately changed her attention to her brother. Hazmat pulled off her helmet, mad that nothing she did would work against him. Her last idea brought her to lock lips with Avispa.
“How dare you!” exclaimed Araña.
A couple seconds passed and Hazmat pulled back, nothing happened, “My powers don’t affect you?”
“You’re weak,” the voice of the Wasp Hunter called through Avispa while popping his stinger.
“No, Lucas!” Araña yelled for him.
Mettle, finally caught his breath, ran out and squeezed his massive metal arms around Avispa. The Wasp Hunter hissed at him. Araña screamed for Avispa. Nomad took the opportunity to break the hold. She tried to take advantage of the situation but Araña just kicked her away. She ran for her boyfriend to try and calm him down and free him from Mettle. While she ran Nomad threw as many discs as she could hold. They flew wildly accidentally hitting a building that would have large pieces fall off from the explosion and hit Araña.
“Anya, no!” Estrella ran for the debris that completely covered her friend.
Armory got away from Rescue and started helping Estrella dig. Rescue took the chance to scan the rubble.
“There are no life-signs,” she claimed. “She’s gone.”
“No!” Avispa growled still showing signs of being possessed by the hunter.
“That’s one down,” said Nomad. “Let’s squash the rest of these bugs.”
“Rahhh!” a demonic voice roared through Avispa.
“His powers are fluctuating,” replied Rescue. “I think you just really pissed him off.”
“Lucas, stop this,” Estrella begged with her brother. “You can’t afford to lose control.”
He didn’t listen. She could only watch as her brother succumbed to the power of the hunter. There was something wrong however. He wasn’t turning into his usual orange armored form. Energy began to pour out of him in two different colors, orange and red. The wind picked up letting out an ominous sound. The mixture of orange and red energy cloaked him.
“This is new,” Estrella knew no other way to respond.
“The power of the two hunters bonded to him are unleashing their energy at the same time,” explained Armory. “This isn’t good. He’s gonna kill himself if he keeps using this power. The hunters were never meant to work like this.”
Avispa broke from Mettle’s grasp. Energy off his back took the shape of a large hand. The large fingers wrapped around Mettle. The hand then lifted him off the ground and threw him in the air. He crashed into another building, flying out the opposite end and landing on the neighboring street.
“Hurry, stop him,” demanded Armory.
There is only one way to put down a hunter, by using their weakness to water. Water rose up from the ground thanks to one of Estrella’s spells and it went around Avispa. There was no result. Avispa’s energy form simply slashed through the water and continued lashing out against his friends and foes. Nomad and Hazmat did their best to add to the strike against him but the combination of throwing discs and radiation blasts did nothing. Rescue and Armory’s repulsor beams struck hard together. They were able to push the monster back.
A distance away, Hechicero looked from his throne room, “Fools. To think they made him unleash that power. No matter what they do they will never stop him. There is only one person who can put an end to it and she is quite incapacitated. But I know better to count out the Spider Hunter.”
He opened a hand and out flew a tiny wasp. It flew off and headed toward the scene of the battle.
“I’ve let you children play around for long enough.”
Avispa swiped at the others. They all did what they had to, to get out of the way. Estrella looked at her brother uncertain of what to do for him. Rescue pulled Nomad away from an attack. Mettle reentered the fight only to get a backhand that swatted him away.
“Lucas, please listen to me!” Estrella walked up to her brother.
Armory grabbed her arm and pulled her away. “It’s no use Jess. He’s only gonna come after you.”
“No I swore I’d never give up on him!”
Avispa turned to face his sister. He was no longer in control of his own body anymore. The two hunters within him were warring it out causing this intense power to take over him. This overwhelmed him. He could no longer tell the difference between friend and foe. This included his sister as well. He roared. The strength of his legs caused the ground beneath him to buckle up.
“Jess, watch out!” Armory screamed as Avispa tried to attack.
It was a close call. He almost hit her but was stopped when blue armored arms wrapped around his torso. It was Araña now in her blue exoskeleton. You could see the exhaustion in her eyes but she wouldn’t let this stop her. She was determined to put an end to this.
“Calm down, baby,” she said to him. “I’m right here. No little explosion is gonna take me down.”
The only person he could make out was her. Their special connection broke through and the demonic energies began to fade away. Soon he was back to his normal self.
“Anya…,” he muttered.
She turned him so they could see each other. Anya smiled when she saw how concerned he was for her wellbeing. Her only response to him was a kiss on the lips. Estrella and Armory now smiled happy to see both of them all right.
“Listen here,” Araña now directed her attention to Nomad. “You may have good intentions but what you’re doing is wrong. My friends and I are not aligned with the people who did this. Get it through your thick head.”
Araña began to walk for Nomad but Avispa wouldn’t allow her. He stood between them as if he was protecting her.
“Lucas?” she was confused.
“I won’t let anyone take you from me,” he turned his head to glare his orange eyes at Nomad. No one noticed the tiny wasp sent by Hechicero land on the back of his neck and merge with his body. “We will stop Hechicero, stay out of our way.”
“As if I would allow that!” exclaimed Nomad.
“End this foolishness,” Miguel approached the group of heroes.
“Miguel, where have you been?” asked Araña. “I could have used your help.”
“I saw one of their own break off from the group,” he explained. “I was keeping tabs on him. The one called the American Panther has joined the Ant Council hunter and a number of costumed people in fighting the wasp All-Mother that the drones were planning to sacrifice two heroes known as Jolt and Toro.”
“Jolt and Toro?” asked Nomad. “They’re here? We have to help them!”
“Did you say the Ant Council hunter?” asked Estrella.
“That’s right,” replied Miguel. “It would seem he was fighting the wasps as well. Members of the Young Allies, you must understand that there are two sides to the Insect Kingdom. Those who would do harm and those who would protect. We have sworn to protect the world from the other groups. Join us and we shall return earth to its true form.”
“Rikki, I think we should work with them,” Rescue entered the conversation. “James is working with one of them and he doesn’t work with anyone he doesn’t trust. He has good judgment.”
“I don’t know…” Nomad looked away and reflected on the past of Counter-Earth.
“They’re trying to help save members of your team,” Rescue added. “I think we can trust them.”
LAIR OF THE ALL-MOTHER
The room was littered with the bodies of wasp drones. American Panther and the others stood victorious but the fight wasn’t over yet. They had to take down the All-Mother. There was little known about her. Not even Hormiga had any information on her.
“So how do we want to approach this?” asked the Panther.
Hormiga looked at the two large doors that led to the All-Mother’s room, “All we can do is play it by ear. Keep on your toes kiddies.”
Hydro-Girl rejoined them. Just by the motions of his body she could tell that Hormiga wanted to know how the search went. He got his answer when Jolt and Toro reached them.
“Now let’s take down the Sisterhood of the Wasp!” Hormiga said as he pushed the doors open.
To be concluded…In Araña: Heart of the Spider #7!