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Entwined Destines – Episode Fourteen Fangs of Dracula: Prologue
The Atlantic Ocean roughly two hundred miles East-Northeast of New York City, night
'Okay, you can do this Gwen, concentrate. How hard can it be for Ghost Spider? You've done plenty of impossible things already.' Ghost Spider thought. Our intrepid superheroine piloted the experimental jet she had borrowed from the Fantastic Four over roiling black-grey seas. "The ship would have to arrive in the middle of a wicked storm. My luck certainly isn't improving. But Doctor A.J. Maxfield is the best cardiologist in the world. If anyone can help Aunt May it is Dr. Maxfield. I just wish Dr. Maxfield wasn't afraid of flying and insisted on traveling by sea from Europe. Anyway, thank you Harry for telling me about the doctor's trip to our country, good thing I caught you in a pleasant mood for a change." Ghost Spider said to herself. Behind the mask Gwen was nervous. Gwen offered jabbered when she was nervous. "I can barely drive a car but here I am flying an experimental supersonic jet through a fierce ocean gale many miles from shore, and help of any sort if something goes wrong."
Gwen squinted through her eyepieces and out the transparent cockpit which was shrouded in heavy precipitation. She could not see a damn thing there was too much dark, fog, rain, and snow. The jet barely dodged another lightning bolt aided by Gwen's warning sense, an all too common occurrence.
"Maybe I should give up, go home?" Gwen wondered aloud. "No, I can't. Aunt May is in this mess because of me, at least partially, it's my duty both as a hero and a good partner to Peter to get her out of it, if I can."
The jet's built-in radar display beeped loudly. "Finally, I thought I'd never find the S.S. Wendell in this witch's cauldron of chaos. Hold on Aunt May, help is on its way, assuming I land this thing in one piece. I sure wish Peter was here, but he hasn't talked to me in three days."
A seedy bar somewhere in New York City
"I don't know about this, Al. It looks rough in here." Peter said apprehensively entering the establishment with his hulking cabby friend.
"Ya got nothing to worry about, Pete, long as you're with me no one in here will mess with ya." Big Al said slapping Peter on his back so hard Peter would have stumbled forward if he had been a regular guy.
"Hey Al, who's the nob?" The bartender a grizzled older man with a white beard and hair asked thumbing at Peter.
"This here is my friend Pete. He's having a rough week so I'm taking him out for a night on the town." Big Al said jovially. He added with a menacing growl. "Ya got a problem with that?"
"Nah, but remember no sharing our specialties with an outsider. If the kid isn't interested in our specialties you best not share any of them with him, got it?" The bartender said sharply not in the least bit intimidated by Big Al.
"Chill, Lenny, we're cool." Big Al said apologetically.
"Good," Lenny said he then went back to swabbing a beer glass with a dirty rag.
Not for the first time, Peter wondered exactly what sort of place Al had brought him to. His warning sense tingled at a continuous low-level. "Uh, maybe we should go somewhere else, Al?" Peter said hopefully.
"I told ya already, Pete, ain't no other place in this town quite like this place. Don't worry about Lenny, his bark is way worse than his bite. He's a regular old softy when you get to know him, isn't that right Lenny?" Big Al said. Lenny merely grunted. "Let's grab a seat. Drinks are on me." Big Al led Peter by his arm to a dingy table in the back.
Peter shrugged then sat down. 'I might as well make the best of this. Al won't let me go until I have a drink or maybe many drinks.' Peter thought.
Peter knew that drowning his sorrows was not responsible but it had been one hell of a week and it was only half over. He desperately needed to unwind. He hoped New York could survive without Spider-Man for one night, besides Ghost Spider was out there she would pick up his slack. Peter knew in his heart of hearts he must forgive Gwen but that could wait. Tonight he needed to dull his pain so his life would be just a little more bearable.
Peter and Al did not notice the trio of men who were eyeing them from a distant table. "I wonder who the new guy is?" Herman Schultz aka Shocker inquired.
"Rhino's young pal?" Abner Jenkins aka Beetle asked.
"Yeah," Herman said.
"Who knows, he's probably some college guy wanting to make a name for himself. I bet he's using Rhino as the muscle for whatever scheme he's cooked up. Why else would he be hanging out with the likes of us, and Rhino, here at the Bar With No Name?" Herman offered.
"Perhaps we should offer them our help, gentlemen?" James Sanders aka Speed Demon said.
"For a cut of whatever action they have panned?" Herman asked grinning ear to ear.
"Naturally," Abner said with a grin of his own.
"It's settled then. We tail them then approach them later on, see what they're up to?" James said.
"Not right now. I think we'll have better luck if we talk with the kid alone. Without Rhino around there is a good chance he'll see things our way if you know what I mean," Abner said ominously.
"To a profitable venture, my friends," James aid raising his glass.
"To a profitable venture!" Abner and Herman agreed. They clinked their glasses together with James' glass. There were always plenty of opportunities to be found within the walls of the Bar With No Name especially if you were ruthless enough to grasp them.
To Be Continued
Next Up – An action-packed (much longer) chapter as the Count arrives and Peter starts to learn the truth about his latest friend!
Author's Note -
I apologize for the teaser length chapter but I felt it was important to properly set up the next adventure after such a long hiatus. I have some free time coming up in August so expect a better quality addition sooner rather than later.