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

Home of Miles Warren on Long Island, evening

"Thanks for inviting me to dinner Professor Warren," Gwen said. She was seated across the small formal dining room table from the smiling Miles Warren. "I just didn't want to be alone tonight."

Earlier that day Gwen had done what she thought was a stupid thing. With her father away at a police conference in Chicago and Mary Jane unreceptive to her fears about Peter's infidelity Gwen vented to the only person who would listen. Surprisingly her kindly old professor told Gwen she was in the right. He affirmed she should be upset with Peter. He validated her fears seemingly without a second thought. He even invited her over to dine with him at his Long Island residence that evening. In retrospect, Gwen would consider her agreeing to meet Professor Warren alone for dinner was a big mistake. That his level of interest in the personal life of one of his students bordered on the inappropriate and his motives were certainly suspect. But, at the time, Gwen was simply thankful someone would listen.

"It was my pleasure dear. I find your company most stimulating." Miles Warren said still smiling. "I see you've finished your plate. Would you like a second helping?"

"Your Creamy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Alfredo was delicious Professor Warren. But, I really shouldn't." Gwen said gently patting her stomach with a goofy grin. "A girl has to watch her figure."

"Nonsense Gwen I doubt your beauty would fade no matter the size or shape of your figure. I often wish I was twenty years younger when I'm in your presence. " Miles Warren said.

"Um, thanks, Professor Warren," Gwen said hesitantly. However, she could not help but think his words were strange ones considering he was her teacher. Should Professor Warren really be talking to her in such a causal semi-personal manner?

"Please, Gwen I've told you before call me Miles when we are outside of the classroom. Professor Warren sounds so formal." Miles Warren urged.

"I'd rather not," Gwen said then quickly added making an excuse when she noticed Miles Warren frowning. "If I start calling you Miles outside of class time I might slip up someday when you're teaching me. I'd hate to overstep my boundaries."

"I wouldn't mind if you made such a mistake, Gwen dear." Miles Warren chuckled. To Gwen's surprise, he reached across the table and began stroking her hand almost lovingly.

"Ah Professor Warren, what are you doing?" Gwen asked confused by this latest inexplicable turn of events.

"Gwen my dear I think your suspicions about Peter Parker are correct. The boy is no good he never has been and never will be." Miles Warren said. He never stopped stroking Gwen's hand while he spoke. "He isn't right for you. You should leave him immediately."

"Excuse me," Gwen exclaimed pulling her hand away from Miles Warren.

Undaunted by Gwen's rebuff of his advances Miles Warren continued. "You require someone more grounded, more mature, more worldly than the Parker boy. A cultured guide who can show you the wonders of the life. Someone like me."

"You want to be my boyfriend?" Gwen asked unsure if she had heard Miles Warren correctly. Surely he could not be serious. He was joking, right?

"Why not?" Miles Warren said.

"Why not, why not," Gwen ranted jumping out of her seat. "You're my teacher! I view you like a kindly uncle! I don't want to be intimate with you!"

"Age is merely a number, Gwen dear." Miles Warren said getting out of his seat while Gwen inched her way towards the exit. He added with a snort. "Don't tell me you're an ageist? I thought you were more open-minded than that."

"Your age has nothing to do with it!" Gwen shouted. "You're my teacher! Our entire relationship is built on a mentor-student dynamic, not a romantic one! Besides I already have a boyfriend I love very much!"

"One who by your own admission constantly neglects and cheats on you with other women." Miles Warren scoffed closing the distance between them.

"Don't come near me," Gwen warned Miles Warren. "Coming here with you was a mistake. I want to leave now. Just let me leave, okay?"

Something snapped in Miles Warren the instant Gwen spoke those words. A fire lite in his eyes. The expression on his face became one of dark fury. With surprising quickness, he grabbed Gwen by her shoulders. He then shook her hard.

"You Jezebel," Miles Warren yelled at the top of his lungs. "How dare you lead me one with your feminine wiles! Do you and Parker enjoy laughing at me!? Is this a sick game you two deviants play!? Does making a fool of me get you both off!?" He tightened his grip on Gwen's shoulders causing her to cry out in pain.

"Professor Warren you're hurting me!" Gwen whined.

"Good," Miles Warren said. "Serves you right Jezebel!" Miles Warren leaned in closer his sour breath hot on Gwen's face. His expression softened somewhat. "I might forgive you if you give me a kiss!" He demanded.

"No," Gwen said forcefully. She tried to tilt her head away from his face to avoid contact.

"Oh no, you don't little tease!" Miles Warren said one of his hands went from her shoulder encircling Gwen's neck instead preventing her from moving her head.

Time slowed done for Gwen. Memories of Norman Osborn similarly forcing a kiss upon her came rushing back. Deep inside her psyche, a barrier broke. "Know the truth find your inner strength." A voice not unlike her one whispered in her mind.

With a mighty shove from Gwen, Miles Warren was propelled literally across the room. He bounced off the far wall and landed on the floor with a loud thud. Groaning his body wracked by intense pain he looked up at Gwen who directed an intense glower in his direction. She plucked her purse from where it was slung around the chair she had sat on seemingly in another lifetime.

"I'll kill you and your foolish toy boy for this Jezebel!" Miles Warren roared.

"If you were truly a threat to me or Peter I'd put you in traction you old pervert," Gwen said. "Just be glad I'm not a violent person or that I'm not pressing charges for attempted rape. We'll be withdrawing from your class. I expect A's for both of us. Pull whatever strings you have to or I tell the police starting with my dad about your unhealthy interest in me." Gwen turned to leave but stopped. She glanced back at the indignant Miles Warren over her shoulder. "One last thing, lay your dirty hands on me again and you'll draw back a stump. We're done here." Gwen slammed the door hard enough to leave cracks in the plaster on her way out.

Gwen stared at her hands in awe. The mental block Norman Osborn placed on her mind was gone. She knew what they had done to her in Europe. She was to be their ultimate weapon. She was supposed to kill Spider-Man but her moral compass was too strong. Even before she learned Peter's secret identity she could not be conditioned to kill another human being who had done her no wrong. Her code name was Ghost Spider. Somehow her therapist Bart Hamilton had learned about Operation Ghost Spider. He tried to make her into a puppet. He wanted her to kill Spider-Man just like Norman and his devious assistant Donald Meken had. During their last session, Gwen remembered how furious Bart Hamilton was at her inability to carry out his murderous will. He said he will slay Spider-Man himself. A trap he was going to use a trap of some sort. Wait, she recalled what his plan was. The trap was placed atop the Trask Building. Gwen's eyes grew wide. Bart Hamilton was going to kill Peter tonight!

'No way,' Gwen thought. She was tired of being a victim. Time for her to become a hero!

Trask Building, later

Bart Hamilton smiled behind his Grey Goblin mask. In truth, his costume was little more than a dyed version of Norman Osborn's notorious Green Goblin outfit with grey "skin" and blue hat, gloves, boots, and shirt. Bart Hamilton was no fashion designer so he simply slapped a new coat of paint on the persona to change things just enough to be "unique". He did not wish to be confused with his predecessor if he could help it. He wanted to create his own legacy which started tonight with Spider-Man's end at his hands.

Currently, Grey Goblin stood on his glider between four modified antennas which made up his booby trap. Notes left behind by the late Norman Osborn speculated Spider-Man possessed a sort of warning sense. Norman theorized that if one could create a counter frequency to the one which this warning sense operated the resulting feedback loop would disorientate Spider-Man long enough to leave him at a person's mercy. Grey Goblin followed the specifications to the letter when designing his trap. Time to test Osborn's theory, see if it was correct.

"I hear you've been searching for me," Spider-Man said landing just outside the trap perimeter. He whistled when he saw his would-be assailant. "Gobby I'm not digging this color scheme change. Green & purple are far better choices than grey & blue. Plus, aren't you suppose to be dead?"

"I'm the Grey Goblin, you dolt! Green Goblin is dead not me!" Grey Goblin declared.

"Aaaalllllrighty then," Spider-Man said.

'Below me is an EMP bomb." Grey Goblin lied. The device which sat below his glider on the rooftop was harmless. "In one minute it will fry everything piece of electronics within five miles. If you want to stop it step forward, face me Spider-Man."

"Really this is your big plan?" Spider-Man said. "Please, I could handle this sort of thing in my sleep."

'Come into my parlor Spider-Man and die.' Grey Goblin thought.

In spite of his buzzing spider sense, Spider-Man stepped forward. The instant he was inside the trap perimeter he fell down clutching his head which felt as if it was ready to explode. Everything spun around. He spasmed on the rooftop in intense pain.

"Osborn was right, it worked." Grey Goblin said giddily. He readied a pumpkin bomb to end the life of the defenseless Spider-Man but before he could Spider-Man was pulled away by twin strands of webbing.

"I've got you." Ghost Spider said propping Spider-Man up with one arm then swinging both of them away from the Trask Building. She did not know if the trap would affect her like it did Spider-Man but best not to take any chances.

"I won't be denied my victory!" Grey Goblin cried. He gave chase on his glider.

"Crap, you're in no condition to fight and I can't just drop you off somewhere he'll find you." Ghost Spider said. "We have to lose this creep." She scanned the skyline for options. She spotted a highrise apartment building with several open windows. "I have an idea. Hold on tight."

A few seconds later Grey Goblin was searching for his prey without success. Somehow they had eluded him on a clear night. He could not believe it. Where had they gone?"

The rooftop of a building near Peter's & Gwen's Apartment, twenty minutes later

"Thanks for helping me get home," Spider-Man said. Although it was against his better judgment he told this 'Ghost Spider' where he lived when she correctly observed he was in no condition to get himself home.

"You live over there dummy." Ghost Spider said when Spider-Man wobbled in the opposite direction of their building.

"I do," Spider-Man said his voice spacey. "Sorry, the world is spinning. Whew, I not to sit down soon as I get home. Hey, wait a sec how do you know where I live?"

"I just do, okay. Don't question it." Ghost Spider said.

"Um, 'kay," Spider-Man said heading in the opposite direction.

Ghost Spider placed her hand on his shoulder stopping him. "Aren't you going to thank me?"

"Sure, thanks," Spider-Man said.

"I think I deserve more of a thank you than that." Ghost Spider said coyly.

"Like what?" Spider-Man asked.

"Like this," Ghost Spider slid up the bottom half of her mask then the bottom half of Spider-Man's own. Before he could protest she planted a long passionate kiss on his lips.

"Hey, I'm taken, lady!" Spider-Man said after mustering the willpower to push her away. He had to admit her kissing skills were world class. She was like a very sexy anteater probing his mouth.

"Yeah, by me." Ghost Spider said briefly sliding her mask & hood off her face. Gwen winked at him. "Give mama some more sugar you sexy spider boy." Already weakened by his ordeal Spider-Man fainted from the shock. "Boys are so fragile." Ghost Spider said with a sigh scooping him up in her arms.

Home of Miles Warren

Miles Warren fumed. How dare that Jezebel reject him! He would show here and Parker! He would teach them a lesson they would never forget! He would replace them both! His clones would be far superior to the flawed originals!

Why if he had the power of Spider-Man like that snort nosed Parker boy did he could do such great things! He suddenly stopped pacing. That was it. Not only could he make the perfect obedient mate for himself he could also make the perfect young body for his use. Once the clone of Parker was fully grown he would transfer his own intelligence & memories into it. With his skills and it's raw physical ability he would become a god. There were plenty of advanced technologies out there he knew of that could achieve mind transference. Sure, Donald Menken would not approve of his scheme. Screw that puffed up pencil pusher this was a far better option than governing through mental commands some blasted automaton.

Miles Warren smiled. 'Yes',' He thought. 'What a stroke of genius.' Soon he would have a perfect life, in the perfect body, with the perfect mate. Gwen's cruel treatment of him would merely be a bad memory her replacement would see to that. Next step would be creating his own code names for himself and his mate. Oh, and costumes they would also need those.

Outside the Secret Hideout of Grey Goblin

Bart Hamilton landed his glider at the disguised brick wall that hid the entrance to his lair. He pulled off his mask. He had just finished opening the doorway via its hidden mechanism when four expertly placed gunshots tore through his back. His world went black and he slumped against the wall dead.

Donald Menken emerged from the shadows. In his gloved hands, he held a Glock 9 mm equipped with a silencer. He looked down at the body of Hamilton dispassionately.

Bart Hamilton had failed to either control the Stacy girl or kill Peter Parker. Thanks to his bumbling incompetence Spider-Man now possessed a powerful ally in Ghost Spider. Furthermore, if the Stacy girl put two and two together she might discover how exactly Hamilton learned her secret. Hamilton's death was the only way to neutralize that threat. With Hamilton gone things were far safer for Menken and his employer Norman Osborn. Hopefully, Miles Warren's experiments would soon produce the results they desired. if not, Menken would have to find another candidate to destroy Spider-Man and now Ghost Spider. A goal he knew he could achieve.

To Be Continued