Chapter 18: Phase One, Interception
Phantom sat perched on the ledge of one of the abandoned office buildings near The Bastion. The clouds were darkened grey as it rained over the abandoned Oscorp facility and throughout the outer-lying industrial areas. He awaited on Taskmaster, who would give him the call to start his mission to intercept the S.H.I.E.L.D. reports.
Taskmaster had equipped him with better gear than the clothing S.H.I.E.L.D. had supplied him with. Although it wasn't a drastic change from his usual attire, he still wore black trousers with cargo pockets. However, this time they were a black tactical tiger-stripe camouflage. He still draped his tattered black cape over his shoulder and the silver shoulder-plate on his right arm. He had sharpened his sword, as well as fine-tuned the electrical out-put of his bracers.
He examined the electric pulse generated by his bracer on his right arm. It flowed from the bracer through the veins in his arm.
It burned to the touch when he tried to physically touch it. The energy was as much a part of him as the bracers had become.
He closed his eyes remembering the memory of when the agents melted the bracers onto him against his will. They claimed that it was for his own safety, when really, it was to enslave him and keep him from vanishing from their sight. However, they couldn't predict that his body would eventually become immune against the bracers.
"Phantom." A deep and familiar voice spoke behind him, breaking his meditation of memory.
"Is it time?" Phantom asked, with his back still towards the speaker.
"Yes." Taskmaster answered.
Phantom picked himself up and turned to see the skull-faced and elusive Taskmaster standing with his hands behind his back. Once he acknowledged that Phantom was ready, he led the hooded mutant back through The Bastion to the courtyard where a small helicopter was on the landing pad, with its rotors already spinning . Taskmaster seemed to have moved the troop transport they arrived in earlier somewhere else.
"The S.H.I.E.L.D. investigators are in transit from Manhattan to Jersey, they're travelling via an armored vehicle with escorts. The escorts are two black unmarked SUVs. Find the folders with the reports, and replace them with these." Taskmaster handed Phantom a forged folder containing their forged reports.
I wonder how he obtained this information… Taskmaster has more spies in S.H.I.E.L.D. than I thought…
"I'll find them." Phantom nodded his head and got onto the helicopter where two other of Taskmaster's men sat next to him.
"They'll go as far as to where you will be dropped off, you're on your own from there." Taskmaster told him.
"And where would that be?"
"You'll see." Taskmaster mysteriously told him, and with that the helicopter hovered above the landing pad and disembarked into the darkness of the raining skies.
A knock was heard on the door at the Escobar residence; Maria, who was the only one home, approached the door with haste. She opened it to see the face of the one-eyed man who told her that her husband had died all those years ago… Director Nick Fury.
"Mrs. Escobar." Fury greeted her. Her surprised face was at a loss for words.
"Uhm… Hello." She stumbled to speak.
"I'm not sure if you remember me." He reached his hand out for a handshake. "I am Director Nick Fury, of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division. Your former husband, Alejandro Cruz used to work for us?"
"I remember who you are… You're the one who told me Alejandro was dead… do you remember that?!" Maria angrily responded with a glint of tears in her eyes, ignoring his handshake.
Fury turned to look at the two agents that escorted him then back at Maria.
"Mrs. Escobar, I don't recall ever telling you all this… Would it be possible if we could speak about it inside?" Fury politely asked.
She looked at the other two agents with a disgusted look, as well as Fury, and then nodded as she allowed the director in. Fury motioned for his agents to stay outside of the door. He walked over and sat on one of the couches they had in the living room and she sat on a chair opposite of him with her arms crossed.
"Well, what is it then? Are you here to tell me that Alejandro actually isn't dead? Or do you not recall that as well?" Maria aggressively asked.
"Mrs. Escobar, I assure you that if Alejandro Cruz actually did die that I would've informed you about it the moment he did." Fury tried to tell her.
"And you did! You told me almost a year after you took him from me that he was dead! You came knocking on my door and told me that he was dead!" She argued. "Why do you think I moved out of that house and here to the city? To try and get away from it all."
"Alejandro Cruz never died… I don't know who told you but I swear on my life that I never told you that he was dead." Fury defended his case.
She sighed, trying to discern whether to believe him or not. It seemed that the director was telling the earnest truth, but it was difficult for her to want to believe it or not.
"Fine… Then what happened… Tell me what happened to Alejandro all those years ago… Because he came to my door not too long ago telling me he was locked away for sixteen years…" She told Fury in a sad tone.
"So it's true…" Fury murmured to himself quietly as he looked away.
"What was that?!" She inquired angrily. Fury looked back at her.
"Maria, we took Cruz to one of our research facilities in South America to see if we could develop a cure for his mutation. We took blood samples, we conducted various tests, but it was virtually impossible to conduct any real study because Cruz was still learning how to use his powers… which included mind control on the scientists. They went mad trying to find a cure for him. I stayed on the case as long as I could until other projects had to take priority… and… due to my negligence, I completely forgot about Cruz's case. He never died… but we abandoned the project and left him as a captive in our South American facility." Fury explained in detail to Maria, who had tears flowing down her face at the sound of it all.
"You monster… You left him to die for sixteen years?" She asked harshly.
"I didn't leave him to die. The facility's agents kept him fed and made sure he had everything he needed." Fury tried to argue.
"But you kept him away from me for sixteen years… and somebody told me he was dead…"
Fury tried to contemplate who told her that Cruz had allegedly died… tried to think of all possible motives for anybody to benefit from it. Maria planted her face in her hands as she sobbed away painful memories.
"I was forced to move on from the man I loved with all my heart, the man who promised he would return… but a promise he didn't keep for far too long. I thought I saw a ghost when I saw him at my door weeks ago…" She said as she cried.
"What did you tell him?" Fury asked.
"I told him that I re-married and that I had thought he was dead… I told him that you told me he was dead… and he left abruptly and disappeared before my eyes… I knew it… I knew it in my heart he wasn't dead! I never saw his body or a part of him that would have let me know he was dead." She sobbed.
"That would explain why he betrayed us then…" Fury spoke to himself more.
"I don't see why you came… a couple of your agents came by a few days ago… asked me about Alejandro. They said they were from S.H.I.E.L.D. so I assumed that you already knew all this or something." Maria told him drying up her tears.
"Agents? I never sent any agents here… How did they look like?"
"Oh… How did they look like… One of them was a tall and built dark-skinned man, the other was a short girl, she looked Hispanic to me." Maria told her. "I never caught their names. But I gave one of them the gold locket that I gave to Alejandro all those years ago before he was gone… He gave it back to me when he visited me." Maria informed Nick, who remembered Phantom held a golden locket with him all the time.
"…Ava and Luke… I should've known." Fury murmured to himself. He stood up and walked over to stare outside the window into the raining city.
"Where is he now?" Maria asked him.
"I don't know." Fury answered her while still looking outside the window. "He attacked us several nights ago with a team of armed soldiers belonging to a rogue mercenary we call Taskmaster. He and Cruz used to work together back when they both belonged to S.H.I.E.L.D."
"I don't know where he is… but if anyone can speak reason into him. It would be you." Fury calmly told her.
"I don't know how I can… not after all these years…" Maria told him.
"He didn't stop loving you for sixteen years; I can't imagine him stopping now." Fury assured her.
"But thank you, Mrs. Escobar. You told me all I needed to know." Fury readied to leave. Maria stood him up to see him out.
"Please contact me if you find him." Maria asked of Fury.
"I will… and… I'm sorry for… for taking him all those years ago… Maybe he would've been better off if we left him alone." Fury apologized to her as he walked out of the door back to his agents.
"The man he is now is a product of your mistakes, Director. I hope you learn from it. I hope S.H.I.E.L.D. learns from it." And with that, Maria closed the door on him.
Nova supercharged all his energy into his hands as he released it directly in the chest of one of the training bots in the training room. It burned right through its tough plating and out from its back, destroying its integrity. It abruptly fell hard to the ground.
"Awwh yeah! Another score for Nova!" Nova cheered victoriously while the rest of the team trained in an intense simulation the director set up for them.
The training room flickered its settings to give them a background from the city, so it seemed that they were fighting in the city itself.
Powerman rushed into a group of the smaller bots and smashed right through them with his fists. It caused them to shatter into little pieces, scattering them all over the street.
"You're good, Nova, but you can't match up to power!" Powerman taunted him with friendly banter.
"All right, big guy, try this one!" Nova supercharged his power again, but this time hurled a smaller energy ball at the taller bots. It tore right into the bot before exploding inside, causing the bot to disintegrate completely.
"Watch this, Nova!" Spider-Man swung in on the side of one of the simulated buildings and tried his web bomb attack on the taller bots as it began shooting at him.
Hope this doesn't catch Tiger again…
He launched the gigantic cannonball of web towards the tall training bot and covered it in webbing, freezing it and causing it to fall forward. It still struggled to rip through the webbing, but Spider-Man jumped down and shot webs at both of the bot's arms and pulled them back to tear them off. The bot remained immobilized then and that was the last of them.
"Pfft… that's all nice and dandy web-head, but let's all admit it, when it comes to fighting, I have the moves." Nova snapped his fingers that caused a blue power spark which caused the city settings to revert back to the training room.
"At least you didn't hit me this time…" Tiger approached Spider-Man.
"Yeah, at least." Spidey agreed.
"Perhaps it would be best if we helped Director Fury out by finding a way to create a form of defense against Phantom's electrical power as well as Taskmaster's mimicking capabilities." Iron Fist suggested.
"You're forgetting Deadpool's crazed insanity, I would know, I had to fight him once before." Spider-Man added.
"I don't know, Coulson's been quiet about where they left to. I don't like being kept in the dark here." Nova told them.
"Yeah, something's definitely not adding up. I'd suggest we ask Fury more about it but I'm sure he's got bigger problems on his mind with S.H.I.E.L.D. investigating him for the attack onboard the helicarrier." Powerman contemplated.
"I'd say ol' Nick is just worried for nothing." A familiar voice from the entrance to the training room spoke. The team turned around to see Iron Man standing at the doorway with his arms crossed and his helmet on.
"Mr. Stark, what are you doing here?!" Nova excitedly asked.
"Ah, just thought I'd drop by to see what you kids were up to. I see that Fury has you five training in the city setting, huh?" Iron Man examined the destroyed bots. "Impressive work."
"Yes, he's been keeping us busy." Spider-Man told him.
"Of that I'm sure of." Stark turned his attention back on the team. "I could've used some back up here when Taskmaster and Phantom attacked."
"We didn't even know it went down until after it all happened." Powerman told him.
"I know… I'm just surprised a character like Phantom was able to disable my suit so easily…" Iron Man shook his head. "It's easy to beat me down but disabling my suit? I've never seen that kind of power in an individual."
Tell me about it, we meet even stranger characters trying to steal from banks every day.
"We had heard that you were trying to repair your suit and improve it so that you can face off against Phantom again." White Tiger stated to him.
"That's only partially true. Phantom destroyed my armor, there wasn't any way possible that I could've repaired that thing. I had to scrap it and use the salvageable materials to start the design on a suit that has a stronger front plated metal and a layer of absorption to be able to keep electricity from damaging the vital internal components that Phantom was able to disarm." Stark clarified in detail.
Sounds like we could use that in any battle against Phantom.
"At any rate, I've been trying to help Fury locate Taskmaster and his little team. I think they're near the city… somewhere close… it would be logical for them to remain close to have a base of operations. But where?" Stark pondered on his own.
"Can we help?" Nova asked.
"Perhaps, but I know Nick has you all doing something else. Stay on that, I guess if anything comes up he'll let you know." Stark told them abruptly. "I got to go now though, catch you kids later."
We all figured that they were close but they've been hiding out for a couple days now, and who knows what they're up to now.
"Any ideas as to how we can find Taskmaster's base?" Spidey asked the team.
"I don't think they would be in the city, but if they were they'd probably be holed up in the industrial side of town." Nova suggested.
"No… it would have to be on the outskirts of the city, but still within the industrial zone." Tiger corrected him.
"I believe Oscorp had various facilities outside of the city that they abandoned years ago. Maybe we can learn of their location through Harry Osborn?" Iron Fist suggested to Spider-Man.
Mmm… Maybe, but if it's just a hunch… It's best we try to find out all the possible areas where they could be hiding.
"I'll ask him when I can, but the rest of you can start looking in parts of the city that would seem logical for them to hide in… since we haven't been assigned anything yet, I wouldn't worry about it too much, but it would be best if we had a clue on where to look." Spider-Man told the team.
Nova took a big yawn. "I think it'd be best if we all get some shut-eye, we've been training since we got back from school."
Spidey took a look at the clock; it was almost eight in the evening.
Crap… good thing Aunt May still thinks I'm at an after-school study session while she's at extreme bingo with her friends... yeah don't ask, I don't know what extreme bingo is but she seemed pretty excited for it.
"We'll keep the training, and the search, tomorrow guys." Spider-Man told the team.
"All right, good night, web-head." Nova flew away towards the entrance to the training room, as well as Powerman and Iron Fist.
"Pete…" White Tiger was the last one still in the room. "You said we would talk later and… well this is the best time now."
Spider-Man removed his mask which acknowledged Tiger to as well, and Peter stood there with his arms crossed facing Ava. "I don't know what to really say, Ava… I understand if you wanted to stop whatever we had going on but neither did I think you were going to ignore me afterwards."
"I know, I know… I was just… I was confused on how I felt about it all…" Ava stumbled in her words. "You can't argue the fact that it's true, if our enemies found out about how we feel about each other then they would use that to destroy us!"
"Yeah but they're trying to kill us anyways, it's not like it was a big difference to how they already view us as. We're both fighting them you know." Peter told her.
"It doesn't matter!"
"Well, what do you propose we do about it?" Peter paced around her trying to think.
"I still don't think we should be public about it… especially if our enemies find out who we are." Ava replied.
Then… what? We keep it a secret? To everyone including the team? We had already been trying to do that but… I can see how she would think we are being too 'public' with how we feel about each other.
"Look, we still have the mole project to work on. If you think we should… continue what we have going on… then please let me know." Peter told her.
"Just… give some time to think about it some more." Ava answered softly.
Ava slowly approached Peter, and placed her gloved hand on his cheek.
"Thanks for the talk, Pete." She told him with a smile, he returned the smile.
"Anytime, Ava." He told her. She let go of his face and bid him a good night as she walked out of the training room to go back to her room on the helicarrier.
Ah, boy. She's a mystery to me still. Best I go back home now before it gets too late.
Peter put his mask back on and left the room and swung out of the helicarrier into the darkness of the brightly lit streets in Manhattan.
"Alejandro…" Maria's voice whispered across the dream realm as Phantom opened his eyes on the island of his memories.
He walked along the beach of his dream realm and stared up into the storming sky, the storm had begun raining hard over the island as waves crashed hard onto the beach. The beach began to erode away into the sea, as if the tides ate a part of the island away with each crashing blow.
I need more time…
Phantom walked up the grassy hill to where the tall pillar stood that continuously beamed the radiant light into the now dark-clouded sky. The shimmering memory of Maria stood in front of the pillar, keeping Phantom away from returning back to reality.
"Get out of my way, Maria… I have a job to do." Phantom angrily told the apparition. Maria's face expressed her worry.
"What happened to you, Alejandro?" Maria's apparition asked him sadly. "You were once a good man…"
"I'm not going to tell you again… Move." Phantom told the memory. "You're not even real… Stop haunting me."
Maria approached him and placed her hand on his face, touching the soft texture of his white mask. "Don't do this…"
Phantom grabbed her wrist. "It's too late." And pushed her backwards, making her fall onto the ground. He marched past her towards the pillar, she looked up at him.
"You promised to never leave!" Maria's apparition cried out to him. This caused Phantom to stop to think for a second.
There was a lot of things I promised that I couldn't keep…
He placed his hand on the pillar and re-awoke from the dream realm into the loud and shaking noise of the helicopter he was in. He reached for his pocket but realized that he had returned the golden locket to Maria when he visited her.
Damn it… I should've held on to it.
One of Taskmaster's soldiers sat across from him with a rifle in his hands. He studied Phantom closely, watching him with his cold and lifeless eyes behind his skull mask. Phantom noticed that he was staring and stared back at the soldier.
"What are you staring at?" Phantom asked the soldier. The soldier ignored him and looked away, out into the dark sky.
"We're almost at our destination!" The pilot called out. Phantom got up from his seat and grabbed a handle above his head as he stared out of opening. As the helicopter broke through the clouds, he could make out the city with its bright lights. They fast approached on a familiar looking bridge… The George Washington Bridge that connected New Jersey and Manhattan.
They hovered over it.
"The targets are stuck in traffic coming through the bridge! We'll pick you up when you signal for us!" The soldier handed Phantom a flare. Phantom nodded and looked out of the helicopter.
"You'll need this!" The soldier handed him a parachute pack.
"No need!" Phantom merely told him and jumped out of the helicopter. As he fell, he swung his body forward to grab ahold of the metal that held the suspension rods in place. He slid down the metal a bit before he was able to grip it. Once he latched onto it, he went down the metal to the street level where the cars passed by. He vanished out of sight to avoid any pedestrians from seeing him.
Hmm… The traffic isn't as bad up here on the upper-level, perhaps the targets are on the lower level.
Phantom ran towards the edge of the upper-level railing and grabbed hold of the bars to lift himself forward and downwards as he gripped the bottom edge to slide down to the lower level where traffic was jammed.
He placed himself on the road and moved past the standstill cars to try and locate the vehicles he was looking for. The constant sound of horns going off to get cars to move was abundant, but it was a mystery as to what caused the traffic jam on the bridge.
Taskmaster's men must've caused the traffic, there's no way he would've known that they'd be here…
And before he knew it, he found the target. It was a black armored vehicle with two black and unmarked SUVs a couple cars behind it. As he approached it, he could make out the very small S.H.I.E.L.D. insignia on the driver's door.
He slowly scaled the side of the vehicle to its flat top. He tried to find a weakness in the armor to penetrate it.
There's no way I'll be able to open it up without the agents inside finding out, but the driver's cockpit is separated from the seating compartment of the vehicle…
Phantom looked at the front of the vehicle and slowly peeked down the windshield while still invisible. Past the dark tinted glass was an armored agent driving. Only him, there was no passenger next to him. Phantom went to the passenger side and used his electricity to power the lock mechanism off.
He swiftly opened the door and knocked the agent out before he realized what was going on. He put his head down slowly on the passenger side as he checked the street again to make sure the traffic wasn't moving.
Phantom opened the glove box to see if he could use anything or that maybe parts of the reports were in there. He stumbled across a large rifle that presumably belonged to the armored driver that was laid on the bottom of the floor.
He suddenly heard garble on the armored agent's helmet mic. He pressed his head against the helmet to hear what was being said.
"Agent, what is going on? The vehicle isn't moving and we are almost late to the rendezvous." Phantom heard voices from behind the driver's cockpit, so he assumed that it was an agent who's inside the vehicle.
Damn it, I can't get in to where the documents are. I got to get the agents out to give me time to switch the documents out… Here goes nothing.
"There's something going on, I need assistance." He spoke into the microphone on the helmet.
"Agent, are you certain?" The agent spoke.
"Yes! We are under attack!" Phantom got out of the driver's cockpit and vanished as he spoke. The doors from the vehicle quickly flipped open with five non-armored agents walking out with their pistols ready. He slowly walked past them and into the passenger compartment to find the documents.
He found a black briefcase that contained the S.H.I.E.L.D. insignia on it and snapped it open. The report documents were all there. He quickly switched them out with the forged copies that he had in his pocket and crumpled up the original copies.
"The driver! He's been knocked out!" Phantom heard one of the agents say. He looked outside of the compartment to see that the agents from the other two vehicles were coming to help.
This is where I make my exit… Wait a minute… I can use this to my advantage…
Phantom snuck out of the compartment and sneaked past the agents that were investigating the scene while the people inside their cars in the midst of traffic looked on to see what was going on. He looked into the driver's cockpit from the passenger side and quickly grabbed the rifle from the floor while the agents were searching the perimeter.
"Call the helicarrier; we need agents this way fast!" One of the agents ordered.
"Not so fast." Phantom reappeared in front of them with the rifle pointed at them, they quickly trained their pistols at him, he was outnumbered ten to one but he knew it was irrelevant. "Put your weapons down, now!"
The civilians in the cars near them started to get out of their cars and run away from the area. Phantom knew now that it was only a matter of time before the authorities showed up.
"Who are you?!" A female agent inquired.
"I'm here on behalf of Director Nick Fury's orders, I was told to retrieve whatever contents you have regarding the investigation on the helicarrier!" Phantom replied told her.
Deception at its best…
The agents looked at each other.
"Nick Fury sent you?" she asked astonished.
"Did I stutter? Now hand me those documents!" Phantom readied the rifle. "I'm not going to ask again…"
Spider-Man swung through the city on the normal route he took to go back home, he thought about Ava and what she told him on the helicarrier, he thought about how they were going to finish their mole project, and he thought about what the heck he was going to do tomorrow.
I'm still bent on making a Spider-Mole project… Dress up a little toy mole in a Spidey outfit… Now that would be awesome. More interesting than making a poster with a picture of a mole and a gigantic summary of what a chemical mole is like what Ava wanted to do… Jeez… Talk about boring.
Spider-Man turned the corner of the street to start heading out towards Queens.
I wonder what Fury does plan to do to deal with both Taskmaster and Phantom… I don't think the team is ready for facing up Phantom, but I'm not too worried about the other two, Taskmaster and Deadpool.
"Spider-Man, come in!" his communicator suddenly beeped. It was Fury.
"Oh what is it, Nick? I need to get going back home." Spider-Man asked.
"I know I know, but this is urgent. We just got a distress signal from a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents leaving the city through the George Washington Bridge. I wouldn't normally send one of you out for this kind of thing but I suspect Taskmaster is behind this. I need you to go see what's going on!" Fury ordered him.
You got to be kidding me… Now I have to go save agents, not civilians, agents who are under attack! I might as well have a contract with S.H.I.E.L.D. at this point… Agent Parker… Agent.. Spidey… Sounds catchy.
"Fine, I'll be there as soon as I can." Spider-Man told him.
"Tell me what you find once you get there." Fury said as the communicator turned off. Spider-Man turned around and began fast webbing towards the bridge.
Not even a thank you… Thanks Nick.
If it's Taskmaster who's behind the attack then I sure hope the team is ready to come help me out. I'm willing to bet that Phantom and Deadpool will be there too if that's the case. And I've been trying not to get into another physical altercation with him since the last time he beat me down when we fought Electro.
Spider-Man got closer to the bridge and saw a gigantic traffic jam lining up. People were running out of the lower level of the bridge as police closed it off and started running into the bridge.
This doesn't look good.
He swung into the lower level of the bridge and web-zipped past the police until he heard guns going off. Spider-Man then saw a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents hiding behind cover trying to shoot down an armed assailant.
Spider-Man landed next to an dark haired agent who had his back against the back bumper of a car with a pistol in his hand. He was badly wounded.
"Agent! Are you okay?!" Spidey kneeled down, keeping his head down to avoid the gunfire going on overhead.
"Spider-Man… He's… he's going crazy." The agent pointed towards where the gunfire was taking place.
"Fury…sent someone…to steal the documents on our investigation… Retrieve the documents… we need to deliver them!" The agent coughed.
Fury? Fury sent me here to begin with.
"It's… too late for me…" The agent stumbled over. He had slash marks up and down his back.
"That's… Phantom." Spider-Man stood up and looked to where the gunfire was. Then he saw him… Phantom reappeared out of nowhere and stabbed an agent from behind as the agent tried to run away. The sword went clean through and back out, Phantom kicked the body to the ground. The gunfire ceased then.
Phantom looked up and saw Spider-Man.
"Well, well, well… look who we have here… Spider-Man." Phantom sheathed his sword and slowly approached him.
"You? Fury sent you?..." Spider-Man was at a loss for words.
"Surprised? I thought as much." Phantom stopped a few feet away from him in an opening where it looked like he had hurled cars out of the way in his fight with the agents.
"The agents… are they?"
"Dead, yes. I asked them for the documents, and they refused to hand them over… I had to use force, obviously." Phantom answered.
"How are you working with Nick? I thought you had sided with Taskmaster when you attacked the helicarrier?" Spider-Man inquired.
"And Fury's in on it too… Why else would he have deactivated the lockdown protocol when Taskmaster arrived?" Phantom answered with confidence.
This doesn't make any sense… Phantom, Taskmaster, Deadpool and Nick? Nick Fury practically made S.H.I.E.L.D. what it is today, why would he have any reason to tear it down now?
"You're lying." Spidey balled his fists. "I don't know what you're up to Phantom, but I'm not letting you touch those documents…"
"You sure you want to continue with this, wall-crawler? You've seen what I am capable of…" Phantom's electrical bracers charged up.
"What have you become, Phantom? I considered you a friend and now you're out on your own agenda… committing murder? For what? What are you trying to justify?" Spider-Man asked in plea for Phantom's sake.
Phantom looked down at the ground, then back up at Spider-Man. "I've lost everything…even the woman I loved… There's no redemption for me anymore, Spider-Man… When I fall, I'll make sure S.H.I.E.L.D. falls with me!" Phantom yelled in anger as he punched the floor of the road with his electrically charged fists. An electrical pulse rushed through and blew away all the vehicles near him. Some fell off the bridge.
Phantom withdrew his sword and lunged forward to try and slice him in half, Spider-sense rang and Spider-Man jumped out of the way and webbed Phantom on his back to swing him around, smashing him into the side of an armored truck.
Spider-Man shot webs at Phantom while he was down, but he got back up and ran towards him with his sword again, swinging it left and right but Spider-Man kicked him in his abdomen, webbed his sword and threw it down the street. Phantom instantly vanished once that happened.
Suddenly, Phantom grabbed Spidey's arm and got him in a headlock, trying to break Spider-Man's breath. Phantom yanked his neck backwards in an attempt to suffocate him.
Without thinking, Spider-Man shot webs at Phantom face, blinding him and causing him to let go of Spider-Man to rip off the webbing. Spider-Man regained his composure and punched him across the face, then webbed his legs in place, causing him to get stuck.
"Foolish boy…" Phantom recharged his bracers and ripped out of the webbing as he punched Spider-Man square in his stomach and then gripping his throat. He lifted Spider-Man up from the floor by his throat.
"Let's see who you really are…" Phantom began reading through his memories.
"Peter…Parker…" Phantom softly spoke; he chuckled as he threw the wall-crawler to the ground. He looked to see that the police were closing in on him, and a police helicopter was searching around with a spotlight in the lower level of the bridge. He looked down at Spider-Man.
"Now listen to me, Parker. You stay out of my way from here on out, if I see you even trying to come after me… I'll make sure your precious girlfriend Ava Ayala answers to me, along with the rest of your friends." Phantom threatened him.
"We'll…fight you. As we always have!" Spidey told him.
"Fine… then I'll make sure your Aunt May pays the ultimate price." Phantom told him.
That bastard! No!
"You wouldn't dare!" Spider-Man tried to get out of Phantom's hold.
"I would… Maybe then you'll realize how it feels to lose everything." Phantom electrically shocked Spider-Man, knocking him out.
"I pray we don't meet again soon, for your sake…" Phantom said. He walked over to where his sword landed and picked it up off the ground and vanished out of sight as the police closed in.
Phantom escaped the scene and fled to Jersey, where he called for the helicopter via the flare. Once they picked him up they travelled back to The Bastion. Phantom left the documents there with wounded S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and a trail of blood pointing at the Director, Nick Fury.
The deception is planted… and the interception was successful. Now we wait.
Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! As always, feedback is appreciated and I'll write another here within the next week or so! Thanks!