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Entwined Destines – Episode Thirteen Curse of the Black Cat Part Three: Unlucky Thirteen

New York General Hospital, afternoon

"Please step back we need room to work." The doctor said to Peter, Gwen and Doctor Otto Octavius who were crowded around a stretcher which contained an unconscious Aunt May. "What do we have here?" He asked the group of EMTs who accompanied May.

"She's unresponsive, doctor. We're unsure if she's suffered a massive heart attack or a massive stroke." The lead EMT answered.

"I want my wife to be given the best treatment available. Money is no object." Otto said strain evident in his voice.

"You have to save her," Peter said his eyes frantic.

"I assure you both we'll do everything in our power to help him." The Doctor said. "We'll let you know as we learn anything."

"She's crashing again." Another EMT said. She performed CPR on Aunt May while the first EMT manually pumped the oxygen bottle which was placed to Aunt May's nose and moth.

"Get her inside stat!" The Doctor shouted. He disappeared through a set of double doors along with Aunt May on her stretcher and the EMTs.

"This is all your fault!" Otto hissed rounding on Peter.

"I'm sorry. I didn't intend for Aunt May to be hurt. It's the last thing I ever wanted. You have to believe me." Peter said.

"You're either a liar or a fool, boy! You know full well how fragile May is! I should beat you within an inch of your life for what you've done to my beloved, Spider-Man!" Otto ranted.

"Keep it down. We don't want everyone to know our secrets." Gwen advised trying to reason with Otto who was having none of it. Thank goodness no one else was around the immediate area.

A few tense moments passed before Otto replied. "Begone wench, I have no time for either of you not while my dear May is in peril." Otto turned his back on the pair. "I'm leaving and when I return you had best not be here. Ignore my ultimatum at your peril." He added before he stormed out.

"I'm stuck in a nightmare." Peter lamented. He rand his hands through his hair. "You know what the worst part is, he's right. If I hadn't told Aunt May about me, about us, she'd be fine."

"Peter I," Gwen began to say but found she had no words. What could she say? May did suffer a health crisis right after the elderly woman was told about their dual identities.

"There's nothing you can say, huh?" Peter said bitterly. Gwen shook her sadly. "Almost six years for almost six years I kept her safe by never telling her the truth."

"What are you saying?" Gwen said. She did not like where this conversation was going.

"She'd be alright now if you and your father hadn't convinced me to tell her. You should have respected my decision." Peter said as his expression turned hard.

"You're blaming me and my father for this?" Gwen said bristling at the prospect.

"You two made me tell her. You and your father practically twisted my arm. I was fine with her never knowing because I was afraid something like this would happen. I knew she couldn't handle the truth, I've always known." Peter said. "And now to make things worse Dr. Octopus knows who were are and he's out for our blood, not that I can totally fault him in this instance."

Once again Gwen was at a loss for words. She did not know what to say to fix things "I need some air." Peter said. He pushed passed her and was out the door before she could think of anything to say that might change his mind. Gwen stood there alone and dejected.

Outside, a few minutes later

Peter quickly hailed a cab and jumped inside. "Hi, Pete, fancy meeting you here. How are you and your girl doin'? I haven't seen you guys for a minute." Al said.

"I want away from this place asap, drive," Peter said in response to Al's question.

"Sure thing, Pete, where to?" Al asked.

"Anywhere but here, Al," Peter said.

"Big Al's special tour of New York comin' up." Al drove the cab onto the street and started heading due west. He glanced back at Peter by way of his rearview mirror. "Something wrong, Pete? I can't help but notice you ain't your usual happy go lucky self." Al said with worry for the young man he had befriended throughout many rides.

"I'd rather not talk about it, Al, but thanks for being concerned about me," Peter said.

"No need to thank me, Pete. We're buddies, remember." Al said. "If you change your mind and ever want to open up I'm all ears."

"I'll keep that in mind," Peter said with a weak smile his first since Aunt May's medical spell, whatever it was.

Four days later, morning

Otto sat at May's bedside in the private room he had provided for her. She was hooked up to a breathing apparatus and her vitals were constantly monitored by a plethora of equipment. He gently stroked her right hand which he held to his chest.

May had slipped into a coma following a massive heart attack. She had been on life support ever since. The doctors were unsure when or if she would recover.

Although Otto married May to obtain a uranium mine and experimental power generation complex the woman was unaware she owned in Canada, he had grown fond of her these past months. May's affection for him, on the other hand, was genuine. She saw the best in him in spite of his less than honorable motivates. May always defended him whenever somebody brought up his checkered past. He now felt the need, nay the obligation to protect her in return for her faith in him and love for him.

Otto looked up from his bedside vigil when he heard the door open. He expected to see a nurse or doctor or that accursed Spider-Man but not Donald Menken. He knew of the man well Menken was a stooge of the late Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin.

"I'm in no mood to deal with the likes of you Menken, be gone," Otto said dismissively.

"Even if I hold the key or rather keys to restoring your wife's rapidly failing health, Dr. Octavius?" Menken said.

"If your intention is one of deception, be warned my enemies can be found in abundance at the cemeteries dotting this fair city," Otto threatened. His mechanical arms swayed around menacingly.

"I assure you, Dr. Octavius, my intention is one of cooperation for the greater good of us both," Menken said. He opened the briefcase he had brought with him.

Menken handed Otto a printed copy of the early results of Dr. Warren's cloning experiments which Otto took with one of his mechanical arms while he gently put down May's limp hand. Menken waited while Otto skimmed the document. Once Otto had finished and before he could speak Menken passed him a second document which concerned a report on a variation on the infamous brainwashing Winkler Machine (created by disgraced and assumed dead Oscorp scientist Gerhard Winkler). Otto examined the second document with even greater interest before he spoke after taking a few seconds to clear his throat.

"If I can independently confirm these results are accurate, what would you want in return for access to the technologies in question?" Otto inquired.

"In exchange for the renewed vitality of your dear wife, if not her very life, I think any price would be sufficient? Don't you agree, Doctor Octavius?" Menken said with a predatory smile. Before Otto could answer he continued. "I know you've been building an exosuit for young master Osborn. I want you to implant it with a trojan program which will grant me full remote override control."

"May I ask why your price is electronic veto power over Harry's new exosuit?" Otto asked.

"No, you may not, Dr. Octavius. Bluntly put, it is none of your business." Menken said his grin gone. "Do you have a deal or do you not?"

"Once again if I can confirm your findings and only if, yes, we have a deal," Otto said.

"Splendid," Menken said his smile back in full force but this time as a smirk. "I think this partnership will do wonders for us both."

To Be Continued

A bit on the short side I know, but I hope it is enough to both whet your appetite my loyal readers and prove I'm not dead nor have I lost interest in this story, rather I've simply been extremely busy.

Next up (working by the 616 timeline as seen in Spider-Man Giant-Size #1 Vol 1) our heroes encounter the king of all vampires the bloodsucking Count Dracula!

Author's Note -

A special thank you to everyone for making "Entwined Destines" my second most popular Spider-Man related story on this site (behind only "Threads of Destiny"). I greatly appreciate every fav, follow, read and review my stories receive. Let's see if we can get this story to number one with the upcoming chapters. ;-)