Thursday, September 23, 1999

Spider-Man #1 - Endless Cycle

Spider-Man #1

By Karl V.

Original Plot by Aldalin

"Endless Cycle"

It's a rather quiet night. Only a few robbers and muggers that I helped bring down. I think the boys in the blue could do without a certain web head tonight! Time to get back to...

As his head buzzed like a loud alarm clock, a horrid blood-chilling scream broke out.

...Business...Hook, line, and slinger!

He swung to the scene of the shrill sound as a darting sensation went off in his head. "Well, there's the Spider sense again. I guess I can't clock out yet. "

The fleeing woman ran right past the upside down costumed hero without noticing him.

"Ok, I'm in for it if they don't spot me." He peeked out from the alleyway to witness a set of five bulky short robots walking in a precise formation.

"Why me? If not Spider Slayers there's always the next version of Sentinels. I could use an X-team right about now, although I do have some extra Slingers I could call in."

One robot glanced directly toward the hero. "Target Acquisition: Designate Spider-Man."

I need to stop talking out loud. Spider-Man leaped right in front of the quintuplet of Sentinels. "The one and only! Can I help you boys with something?"

"10% probability that Designate Five has taken the form of his adversary. Implement capture to eliminate all probability." One jet-black robot droned.

"Uh oh, in other words," Spider-Man felt yet another alert sound off in his head, "move!"

Spider-Man leaped out of the way of a capture net that sprung from the robot's hand.

"Target has resisted capture. Factor raised by 20% probability." Another seemed to move quicker and faster towards Spider-Man.

"You guessed it, I'm double the trouble and then some!" Spider-Man spewed forth webbing from his wrist on the optics of the Sentinels. "Now mind telling me who this Designate Five is?"

"Webbing compound composed of various chemical compositions and not organic. Factor lowered to 15% probability. " The robots easily tore the webbing off their optics with their hands.

"Okay, this is not good. Where's Arnold when you need him?" Spider-Man shot some webbing at the bottom of the Sentinels feet. They tugged at the goo for a moment and then regained their freedom.

They still came lurching towards the web crawling hero. Okay, Spidey. Two choices, I can try and fight five robotic guards all by your lonesome probably get yourself almost killed, and find out what make these things tick. Or, give your self up in hopes they just accidentally release some information on this designate Five. Gee, hard choice.

"All right, you got me." Spider-Man jumped once more in front of their path. "Test away."

The five robots looked at each other as the one in the middle stepped forward. "Testing requires all Designates to be rendered unconscious." The lead construct buzzed.

As Spider-Man's sixth sense went off, he looked down to see a dart in his leg. "Oh no..."

After pulling the small sharp object out, Spider-Man fell to sleep as he heard only a few more words.



Spider-Man awoke to a gathering crowd of pedestrians, one of which was the screaming lady.

"Are you okay?" She whispered softly in his ear.

"Ouch. I have a killer headache from that dart but I'll be fine. Did anyone take off my mask?"

"No, I made sure of that. It was the least I could do." She smiled as she waved the intrigued pedestrians away. "Come on, just give him some air!"

Spider-Man got up and shook his head in hopes of getting rid of the banging in his head. "Thanks. I don't suppose you saw where those misfit metal heads went?"

"They took off in the air after they pointed their finger at you. I don't know what the heck they were doing but all the dogs in the neighborhood went nuts."

Spider-Man rubbed his chin. "I heard something about emitting before I got knocked out. Well, I'll save that for later. This Spider has to get back to his web!"

He leaped forward and grabbed onto a wall as he shot another string of webbing at a lamppost. He swung quickly all the way back home.


The Next Morning...

"WHERE IS THAT PARKER?" The infamous boss with a buzz cut yelled at the top of his lungs.

"Right here!" Peter rushed in as J. Jonah Jameson gave a deep stare at the boy.

I wasn't late today! I wonder what's up the old...

"TODAY PARKER!" Jonah opened the door to his office.

Uh oh.

The head of The Daily Bugle put down a plain brown envelope on the desk. "Go ahead open it kid."

For once, Peter was at a loss. He never has heard the level of sincerity in Jonah's voice before. "What's this?" He grabbed it and pulled out a color photo.

"Personally, I think it's a hoax. It has Eddie Brock written all over it." Jameson put his hands on his desk and lowered his head for a moment. "But with all these reports of armored guards and robots cropping up, my journalistic instinct can't avoid any possibility."

BROCK! I wondered where he disappeared.

Peter glanced at the photo. The picture had a bottom of a mountain with a military base that surrounded it. Peter did a double take as he spotted a peculiar large bulge sticking out of the mountain.

"What the heck is that?" Peter turned it every which way to try and guess at the odd shapes.

"You know for someone your age, I would assume you would know the tail end of a spacecraft when you see one. "

Peter finally snapped out of his denial and tried to gauge the size of the ship. "If this is a mountain, then this thing has got to be huge."

"It's a volcano to be more precise. Mt. Saint Hillary is what the note that came with it said. I want you to go there and confirm this. Personally, I think that Brock is trying to pull a fast one on me. But, this is something I can't ignore. Brock has never been one to not take advantage of the situation to make a name for him. He sent this anonymously."

Is it me or is Jameson talking to me like I am Brock? It must be all that is happening. The old guy is about to crack.

"Well, if it's a military base, I doubt I could even get past the guards." Peter explained to Jonah. At least, not just as Peter Parker, he thought to himself.

"Well, you always manage it somehow Parker. I know your still friends with that web slinging idiot, so I suggest you use that to your advantage."

Whoa, J.J. Jameson just told me to use Spider-Man to get a picture. Now, this is BAD!

"Well, the plane leaves in an hour. I suggest you plan accordingly. And, Parker..." Jonah practically muttered the next words beneath his breath. "... be careful."

"Will do chief!" Peter hastily departed back for home. He took the quicker route in his web swinging gear.


Ok, it's obvious by now that Venom's involved. Jonah was right about the picture, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me too, since a photo is like a thumbprint to an experienced Journalist. I just need to find that symbiotic simpleton but I need to keep my day job more. I hate it when I have to make snap decisions. Ouch! Bad pun, even for me!

Peter entered his room as he quickly put a set of clothes over his costume. As he grabbed the needed camera equipment, Mary Jane entered.

"An assignment somewhere else?" She queried with a bit of sparked interest.

"Oregon." Peter replied in a monotone voice.

Mary Jane gazed deeply into her husband's eyes. "Peter?"

"I have to confirm a photograph sent by Brock." The room remained silent for a brief and eerie moment. "It was a picture of a big spaceship lodged in a volcano."

Mary Jane seemed a bit stunned by the news although she was accustomed to most things ever since she knew her husband was Spider-Man.

"Any idea of who or what the occupants were?" She found herself open to the possibility.

Peter bowed his head a bit. "I'm going to find out."

Mary Jane grabbed her husband and hugged him. "I'll take you to the airport. And, you had better be careful mister or else."

Peter briefly smiled. "Aren't I always?"

The drive was a quiet and rather somber one. Mary Jane's smile picked up Peter every time but he could not help but think of what laid ahead.

Peter's spider sense went off as the car came to a screeching sudden stop as Mary Jane yelled in panic.

Peter looked ahead to see what the problem was. VENOM! And those five robots I met earlier are thrashing him!

Before Mary Jane could say anything, Peter hopped out of the car and quickly looked for a place to change into his costume. Peter searched for a discrete area to change into his superhero persona. He spotted a nearby outhouse close to a construction area.

"I guess they found Designate Five." Spider-Man swung in like Tarzan and grabbed the ailing Venom from danger. "Hey tall dark and gruesome."

Come on Brock, I don't want you to go out on me yet.

"It's about time you..." Venom passed out from the punishment that the Sentinels had dished out.


"Designate: Spider-Man relinquish Designate Five immediately or prepare for termination." One of robots droned as it began pursuit of the two.

"Sorry rust bucket but only I have rights to use Designate Five as a punching bag." Spider-Man twirled a line around the robot's legs as it landed on the ground with a heavy thud.

The other four seemed to grow more intent on their new directive of eliminating the web-slinging obstacle as they moved faster and with more precision.

"Uh oh, they've gone into second gear!" Spider-Man yelled as he evaded several laser blasts from the robot's hands. Spider-Man carried Venom in one arm as he swung away from the crowded area.

Spider-Man reached a barren back lot area and placed Venom in a trash receptacle before the robots reached him.

"Put Eddie where he belongs and now to do the same with those tin plated terrors." Spider-Man turned his attention toward the five robots that rounded the corner as if on cue.

"Designate: Spider-Man, your interference with these Units' objectives requires full implementation of armament systems."

"In other words, you've been authorized to use full force! It won't do you much good to find out where Designate Five is, if I'm dead."

To the awestruck Spider-Man, the robots immediately stopped and seemed as though to think about his statement.

Whoa boy, these things are not like all the others. They have a brain!

"Designate: Spider-Man please divulge last known coordinates of Designate Five or face full..."

"Yeah, ok. I can take a hint. He went that way." Spider-Man pointed in a general direction that led the Robot's away from the area.

"Thank you for your cooperation. Search Mode Implemented." The robots began scanning the area with high frequency waves.

Obviously not smart enough to know a lie when they hear it.

Spider-Man waited until the Sentinels disappeared in the distance to retrieve Venom.

"Peter what is that...." Mary Jane shrieked at the site of Peter supporting Eddie Brock.

Peter quickly put Eddie in the back of the car, then entered the passenger side.

"I missed my flight. Jonah will get a bit steamed but not once I tell him about the snap shots of those robots."

"Mr. Parker, what about him?" Mary Jane gazed darkly at Brock then back at Peter.

I think I was better off with those Sentinels, Peter gulped.

"He and his 'other' took quite a few blows, I doubt he's in any position to be a threat. Besides, he is the one that contacted J.J. Jameson anonymously. "

"Others.... Overseer...Five...Xenotech..." Eddie was incoherently babbling.

Mary Jane grimaced at the sound of his voice. "What is he going on about?"

"I don't know but I intend to find out."

The drive back was eerie and foreboding as Brock continued to ramble in his dazed state.

After Mary Jane pulled up, Peter grabbed Brock and helped him go inside. Peter put Brock on the couch.

"I need to ask a favor. Watch him. Call in the Avengers or anyone else if he gives you trouble." Peter hugged Mary Jane.

"Okay, Tiger. I'll do just that. But you owe me big time." She hugged back.

Peter smiled from ear to ear. "I have to go back to the office and clear things up with old J.J."

"And Peter, be careful." She kissed him passionately.

"You too." He winked then departed for the Bugle.

Mary Jane instantly picked up the phone as soon as he left.

"WHAT? Parker these photos better be good or else the cancellation fee is coming out of your check." Johan hit the desk in a fit.

Typical, Peter resisted the temptation to roll his eyes.

Jonah shook his head and continued. "Well, your fortunate it works out for the better anyway. I got to thinking about Brock's picture; he must have found work somewhere. So I dug up all I could on him, and found a boatload of pictures shouting his name. They were mostly on those good for nothing magazines like National Enquirer. Then, I found these."

Jonah put a pile of magazines on the desk. "All these are conspiracy theorist magazines, all of them had pictures or small stories from Brock."

Peter watched the magazines tumble to the floor. "He's been rather busy."

"That's not the half of it. All his stories or pictures had a location." Jonah pulled a map down with several red dots scattered all through out on it.

Peter quickly noticed a small circle area that had no dots at all. He looked closer as he saw the state of Oregon and in the center of the circle a small triangle, which indicated a mountain or, in this case, a volcano.

"Mount Saint Hillary." Peter read the name outloud for emphasis.

Jonah nodded. "It's too coincidental if you ask me. Brock may not be that bright, but he knows how to pull a fast one. I don't want you to wait until tomorrow. Leave on the next possible flight and confirm this as soon as possible. This will be ground breaking news, and I want the Bugle to be the first to get it out."

Despite Jameson's enthusiasm, Peter noted a bit of hostility as though Jonah wanted him to leave.

"Is something wrong?"

"Nothing, " Jameson lied through his teeth, "I want you to confirm it Parker. I don't want any ifs, ands, or buts. I want verifiable proof in my hands. Now, you're wasting time, GO!"

Peter ran out the door as he replied back. "Yes, sir!"

I wonder why this has Jonah so spooked...

As Jameson watched the door shut, he pulled another photo from his desk.

"For your sake, I hope this another one of Brock's tricks Parker." He let the picture fall on his desk, as he gazed at it with spite.

"Because if you do confirm it, then you also will prove that you are that web slinging maniac."

The photo on the desk was a shot of Spider-Man taking off his mask and revealing Parker's face.

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