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Entwined Destines – Episode Two A Goblin, a Ghost and a Black Cat Prologue

Gwen frantically ran through the maze of confusing dimly lit corridors. Her breaths came in ragged gasps. Her heart pounded in her chest. She had to get away but from what she did not know. The only thing she did know was that she was in danger from something terrible.

Without warning a heavy weight struck Gwen from behind. She toppled over onto her stomach. With strength born of pure fear, she squirmed under the weight until she lay on her back. Gwen stared up into the masked face of her attacker.

"Spider-Man," Gwen questioned. No, the mask was of similar design but the colors were all wrong. Spider-Man did not wear white rather red nor did his mask possess a hood.

"Not quite," The masked figured said in a soft feminine voice one that sounded vaguely familiar. With her gloved hands she pinned Gwen's arms to the filthy floor.

"Let me go," Gwen said struggling in vain to get free.

"I can't." The masked figure said. "Not until you accept what you are. What you can become. You must remember."

"And what would that be? What must I remember?" Gwen asked.

"Become the partner he deserves. Remember what they did." The masked figure said.

"Who are you?" Gwen asked the mysterious figure.

"Until you accept me, I am but a ghost under the thrall of the unworthy." The masked figure said.

"I don't understand." Gwen said.

"Trust only him." The masked figure insisted in an almost pleading fashion."Others do not have your best interests at heart, even though they may say otherwise. You have enemies who you think are friends." The masked figure leaned in close. "Remember you must remember before it's to late!" She shouted.

New York City, late morning

Gwen lurched up in bed with a scream. Her eyes darted around the room. The dream had been so vivid, so real. It took her a moment to realize where she was.

"I'm in the apartment I share with Peter. Everything is okay. I'm safe." Gwen told herself breathing hard.

Gingerly Gwen got out of bed. She had not had any nightmares for weeks. She could not help but wonder why now? What had changed? She thought she had made great strives during her sessions, but if so then why this terrible dream? She padded her way into the combined kitchen/dining nook where she made herself a cup of coffee.

Gwen found a note on the kitchen table from Peter. It explained he had gone to an early morning class following a late patrol, he promised to meet her for supper back at the apartment after their respective classes. The note also said how sorry he was and expressed his love for her. She smiled Peter was such a good person. He was always worried about her. She wondered what she had done to deserve him.

After finishing her breakfast Gwen got up. She was headed towards the bathroom intent on a quick shower when her feet stepped in mud. How strange she thought glancing down at the floor. A trail of thick mud ran through the apartment from an exterior window. The footprints stopped in front of a closet inside of which was a few odds and ends including a box Dr. Hamilton recently gave her. A box her instructed her never to open unless he told her otherwise, or tell anyone else about its existence. Even though Gwen knew she should have questioned Dr. Hamilton on why exactly he gave her the mystery box and what was inside she just could not bring herself to do so no matter how hard she tried. As she dwelt on the box and its possible contents she felt lightheaded, dizzy.

Gwen glanced at a wall mounted analog clock. "I'll be late for my morning class if I don't hurry." She said the box and muddy footprints were temporarily forgotten. Later when she finished with her shower and getting dressed in fresh clothes she hastily cleaned up the muddy footprints before leaving.

Campus of Empire State University, that afternoon

"You're awful Felicia," Gwen said laughing. She and her friend sat inside a small cafe enjoying a late lunch together.

"I'm just saying I bet Ironman is built under that suit of armor." Felicia Hardy said licking her lips. "I wouldn't mind taking him out for a test drive, if you know what I mean. I'd put him through his paces."

Gwen and Felicia we so different most people were shocked when they discovered the two blondes were good friends. Gwen was shy and straight laced whereas Felicia was outgoing and wild. The platinum blonde heiress was a notorious party goer who was the shame of her conservative mother. After crashing her sports car into a fire hydrant that summer while going 80 mph in a school zone, Felicia's long-suffering mother made it clear unless Felicia did something productive with her life she would be cut off. Felicia reluctantly enrolled at Empire State in Fall where her less than stellar academic performance meant she required several tutors, which was how she and Gwen met. After the incident with the Green Goblin, however, their relationship developed into friendship as Felicia expressed great concern for Gwen's wellbeing something most would not have thought possible from the self-centered heiress. Other than a certain charming young man Felicia had been the best to Gwen of anyone since the attack.

Gwen stifled a yawn interrupting her laughter. "Not getting enough sleep?" Felicia asked a note of concern in her voice.

"It's nothing," Gwen assured waving her friend off. In fact, Gwen had felt tired the past two weeks even though she was getting plenty of sleep. "I'll be fine." The pair resumed their chat about men, fashion, TV and whatever else they pleased until their next class.

Peter's and Gwen's Apartment, that night

Gwen sat on the living room sofa watching some shows on Netflicks after her supper earlier that evening with Peter. When her smartphone rang. Thinking it might be Peter checking in on her as he often did while on patrol Gwen answered without checking the caller ID. A familiar voice on the other end greeted her. But it was not that of Peter rather Dr. Bart Hamilton. "Ametist peacock," He said before continuing a second later. He gave Gwen an address to meet him at in five minutes.

Something clicked in Gwen's mind when she heard that initial phrase. She got up and walked over to the closest like a zombie. A blank expression on her face she opened the mystery box. Inside was the very outfit she beheld on the mysterious figure in her nightmare. Suited up less than a minute later she opened a window and departed via a web line curtsy of the web shooters which were built in to the suit (these were Oscorp replicas discovered by Dr. Hamilton in the former Green Goblin's lair along with the uniform itself several weeks before). Gwen Stacy was gone only Ghost Spider remained.

To Be Continued