A WORM/Spiderverse story
by Tangent

No one involved in the battle noticed as Alchemax spider 38 slowly descended towards the stream of colliding particles as six different spider themed heroes fought Olivia Octavius for control of the massive chamber so that five of them could go home.

Its eventual passage through the stream and exit from this particular reality during the course of the battle also escaped everyone's attention.

In Brockton Bay, on Earth Bet, a fluctuating cluster of void bubbles formed inside a certain locker, just above and behind the head of Taylor Hebert, and a blue and red spider continued its slow descent from another reality...

"Please... Let me out!" Taylor sobbed, her voice raw. Not that she expected any more of a response than any of her previous screams or pleas for aid had garnered. Which was to say, none at all.

Despair claimed Taylor Hebert of Earth Bet, trapped in her locker by her tormentors, along with who knew what kind of horrific filth they had somehow put in there, and the multitude of creepy-crawlies. She barely even registered one particular spider bite, just one among innumerable previous bites from other spiders and insects that had already occurred since her ordeal began.

"Let... me... out..."






Taylor stumbled away from her locker, the door finally having given way to her efforts to force it open. Dizzy and nauseous, she made her way to the school nurse.

Nurse Thomson, seeing Taylor stagger into her office covered in filth, scrapes, and bug bites (with some of the perpetrators still on the poor girl), immediately dialed 911, resulting in both an ambulance and a police cruiser showing up at Winslow shortly thereafter.

As Taylor was still coherent and not hysterical, she was actually able to provide a statement when the responding officers questioned her, and a proper investigation into the incident (and the bullying campaign that led up to it) was opened before it could be covered up by the school's administration.

Aisha Laborn bounced on her toes as she tried to see what was going on through the crowd of gathering students staring at the bent remains of a locker door that looked like it had been pushed open from the inside. This jostling motion alarmed her impromptu red and blue passenger. "Ow! Something bit me!" Aisha flailed her arm, inadvertently flinging Alchemax spider 38 onto another nearby student who also failed to notice his new passenger.

When the fuzz showed up later to investigate the smelly mess, Aisha gleefully ratted out the popular kids she had heard pulled off the latest stunt before she was sent home with everyone else.

Greg Veder utterly failed to notice the colorful stowaway he had acquired earlier as he had tried to see what was going on back at the wrecked locker. He, along with a number of other students, had just been privately questioned about what they may or may not have witnessed about the incident, and whatever else they may have known that could possibly be related to it. Greg had, of course, dutifully told them everything he personally knew about the bullying campaign that Emma Barnes, Sophia Hess, and the other popular chicks had been inflicting on Taylor Hebert since the previous year, with the odd break that ended with the locker stunt.

He was actually feeling really good about the whole thing, helping the cops and all. He couldn't wait to tell Taylor! He'd be like her hero or something, and maybe even give him a kiss or become his girlfriend!

"So, kid, I have to ask: If you knew the bullying campaign against Miss Hebert had been going on all this time, why didn't you come forward and tell someone before now?"

"Well, it's not like any of the teachers would listen anyway. They always take the popular kids side! Always!"

A bit ashamed with the self-revelation that maybe he wasn't going to be seen in as heroic a light by Taylor due to his own inaction, Greg made his way through the halls to join all the other students leaving Winslow as the school was shut down.

"Ow!" Greg stumbled for a moment from the sharp pain in his calf before shaking his leg and continuing on...

"Hello... What have we here?" PRT Investigator Parker crouched down to take a closer look at a twitching blue and red blue spider he had spotted out of the corner of his eye. "Hey, Brock, bring the camera over here! I found something!"

"What'd ya find, Pete?" Brock asked as he came over.

"A red and blue spider. Probably toxic, given its coloration. I'm going to bag it as potential evidence," Parker stated as he pulled out a baggie and a set of tweezers.

Brock took a picture of Parker's find. "Is that writing on the bulby bit?"

"Yeah. Looks printed on. Hold on, I'll flip it over so we can read it better..." Carefully doing so revealed the ALCHEMAX 38 label printed in neat white letters on the spider's abdomen, which Brock took another picture of before Parker tried to actually pick it up.

Unfortunately, the previously barely twitching spider chose that moment to suddenly jump from where the tweezers had almost grabbed it to the gap between Parker's glove and sleeve, where it promptly delivered one last defiant bite. "Ow! It bit me!"

"Hold on! Hold on!" Brock declared as he seized the bag from Parker's other hand, using it to capture the specimen before it could get away. "Got it!" Sealing the bag and stowing it away, he pulled his partner's sleeve back and looked at the bite. "Doesn't look too bad, but you better head back and have it checked out anyway. As you said, it could be toxic. Here, take it with you."

"Thanks, Brock. Sorry about this."

"Thank me later by making sure your suit's properly sealed next time, okay? Now get going and make sure you check in with medical! That thing has got to be some demented biotinker's toy!"

Director Emily Piggot of the PRT ENE was livid. When flags were raised from Sophia Hess' name coming up in a police investigation involving a very stupid and highly dangerous prank gone horribly wrong at Winslow High, she had ended up asking Hess, her handler, and Principle Blackwell some very pointed questions.

When Parker, one of her investigating troopers, came down sick from being bitten by a spider that was obviously the product of some bioengineering focused Tinker calling themselves Alchemax, she only became even more furious!

Ordering the school shut down and calling in the CDC (which, to be fair, had already been called but hadn't shown up yet), Piggot resolved to follow this incident all the way to the bottom if she had to.

Shadow Stalker was done as a Ward.

And whoever this Alchemax turned out to be was going down along with her, if she had anything to say about it!