Season 4 Ch. 4: Scaly Showdown
'Duuuude! Anytime now! The creepy Dracula's gonna have our necks if you're not here in ten minutes as promised!' Hobie nervously urged in a low tone over the phone while taking a short minute in the men's restroom. 'Gwen's already giving me 'the look', so you owe me, big time!'
"You don't think I know that?! I'm trying as fast as I can over here!"
Few minutes ago in the middle of their class with the eerie professor named Dr. Michael Morbius, Peter—while scrolling down on his new smartphone that he was able to purchase with his accumulated pay from the Daily Bugle—out of curiosity during the lecture, noticed an ongoing news of a bank robbery led by the fake magician Mysterio. To go and confront him, he was able to excuse himself for a period of time and quickly donned his Spider-man suit in the men's room before heading out to battle Mysterio. At the moment, he's dodging his plasma bolts while trying to stop some masked men from robbing a bank.
"Surrender now, Spider-man, and your fateful demise shall be made quick and painless!" Mysterio urges in an arrogant tone as he continues to fire mystic plasma bolts at the Wall-crawler before shooting his green mist to summon a few of his robotic lookalikes to distract him.
"C'mon Bubblehead, that trick's getting way old," Spider-man groaned as he webs a line to one of the robotic lookalikes and then hurls it around like a flail, smashing the other robots before throwing it at the truck that the goons were gonna use as their escape vehicle.
"Now you've done it!" Mysterio roared as he rushed towards Spider-man out of anger with plasma-imbued fists.
"Not done yet!" Spider-man differed as he webs a line on two poles and then slings himself towards Mysterio at a fast speed and then lands a strong kick to his face while rendering him unconscious and shattering his helmet to pieces. "Okay, now we're done. I gotta get back to class, but right after making yourselves look neat for the police."
Not long after Spider-man binds Mysterio and the goons in webbing to the pole, he immediately swings out of the scene and makes his way back to ESU, just a few minutes before the police enters and arrests the bound evildoers.
'Ohmanohmanohmanohman!' Peter internally panicked, running out of the restroom and then quietly returned to the classroom through the back door, discreetly walking to his seat between Gwen and Hobie. 'So um, I made it?'
For some odd reason however, Gwen and Hobie didn't respond while bearing uneasy looks around Peter.
"Guys, is something up?" Peter whispered in a confused tone towards Kitty and Johnny nearby, who are also being unresponsive and nervous for some reason towards him.
"Now then, hmm ah yes, Mr. Parker, would you care to explain the relationship in this diagram?" The eerie doctor Michael Morbius called, suddenly putting Peter into a corner with a smirk for being a few minutes late.
'Ohhh...that is why. Well that's just great…' Peter internally groaned.
After the class is dismissed, the other students leave, and finish up Dr. Morbius' short scolding pep talk, Peter then leaves the classroom with Gwen, Kitty, Hobie, and Johnny—who were all waiting for Peter outside—before walking with them down the corridor in the scientific department's campus building.
"So Peter, how was the chat?" Kitty wondered out of curiosity.
"Well surprisingly, he looks like Dracula, but he does not act or sound like him. He was kinda gentle and nice, but just extremely strict. Plus, he does not have the accent, totally far from how we might've imagined him to be," Peter replied in a surprised tone. "He just basically gave me a first degree warning, or so he says."
"Maan, you're lucky to get away with just that!" Hobie huffed and nudged Peter's shoulder.
"But I guess this would mean you got yourself some "two lives left" kind of thing, am I right?" Johnny smirked, playfully guessing from a gamer's perspective.
"Just hope you won't waste them then, if that's the case," Gwen sternly urged.
"Yes ma'am, I promise," Peter playfully saluted, making everyone laugh out loud.
As they walk along the corridors to possibly their next class or the library, they stumble upon a glass-paned cabinet holding awards and trophies with photos of students that have earned the said awards. And to his silent surprise, he notices the very same young students beside the young Connors' that seemed awfully familiar to him, maybe because the female student looks like a younger version of his mother in an old portrait that Uncle Ben and Aunt May used to show him, whereas the male student looks exactly like him, a lot more than being compared to his Uncle Ben.
'Whoa, here too…?!' Peter thought to himself with internal shock.
"Peter? What are you looking at?" Gwen wonders out of concern then looks at the cabinet before noticing where Peter's eyes narrowed down towards a certain old photo of a male student that looks a lot like him. "Hey, he looks just like you!"
"Or maybe...it is me who looks like him…!" Peter differed while giving an uneasy look towards Gwen.
"Wait, are you serious?" Gwen asked out of concern. "Are you sure about that, Peter?"
"Not quite certain, but seems like worth a shot. And I think I know who could help me confirm my suspicions," Peter replied before taking a photo of the picture in the cabinet with his smartphone, still feeling his heart pound from gazing at the photo, even on his phone.
"Ooooh, I smell a mystery...! Awesome!" Kitty yelped before modestly holding her screams out of excitement and respect.
"Yeah, so um...guys, after classes are over, wanna pay a visit to the ESU lab later?" Peter quickly suggested.
"Sounds like a plan," Gwen agrees with the idea.
"Um, I think I'll pass. I plan to finish the assignments and other stuff early within the day. 'Cause I also got things to do soo...sorry to bail you guys,'' Hobie nervously apologized.
"It's fine, Hobes. How about you two?" Peter asked, referring to Kitty and Johnny.
"I'm free, so why not," Johnny shrugged.
"I've always wanted to see what the biology lab looked like, so yeah! Count me in!" Kitty accepts.
In a secret laboratory hidden inside the Tricorp building, where only a few people have full access to its interiors and classified contents...
"Hey, is this what you want?" Black Cat asked, holding some sort of long metal coil.
"Ah yes, that is it. Thank you, young lady. Put it aside for now over there," Miles replied while checking on the monitor that's connected to a glass chamber.
"How are your gizmos, doctor? Anything that needs fixing?"
Coming out of the lab's entrance was the current CEO of Oscorp New York, Roderick Kingsley, checking up on the mad scientist's crazy sheme.
"Oh why yes! Yes, it is almost done, I just require a few more things to prepare and then it is all set sir," Miles quickly replied.
"Whatever you say, you two. I'm just gonna head out now, 'cause I'm a busy cat. Text me if you need me," Black Cat quipped before leaving the laboratory through the single entrance.
"Sir, I wish to formally admit that I don't find that woman trustworthy. Are you certain that she won't betray us in the end?" Miles asked for clarification out of concern.
"Positive, doctor, but if the case were the latter, there is alway another use for traitors, am I right?" Roderick slyly replied with a smirk.
Now, after another few hours of classes later the Connors' were done facilitating their own lectures and classes, they both return to the ESU laboratory for their lunch break…
"How are the students in your class?" Martha wondered before taking out some packed lunch set from their desk.
"Interesting actually, especially the fact that Gwen and Peter are now learning here, both in the classroom—and in our lab," Curtis plainly put. "I'm sure it could give them an edge around our scientific department. Who knows, they might love this place as much as we do…?"
Before he and his wife exit the laboratory, he spots Dr. Vincent Stegron still sitting at his desk area, looking over his monitor's screen.
"Hey! Vincent! What are you still doing over there? Come eat with us!" Curtis called.
"Oh um, go on without me! I just uhmm, got some—ugh you know what, just go, it's fine, really! Besides, I already had my lunch," Vincent replied, partially lying after having some brunch.
"Oh, okay, see you later then, Dr. Vincent, but if you need anything—"
"Gotcha, now have fun out there!" Vincent waved them bye before refocusing on his secret work tinkering with Connors' and Warren's methods, getting his Stegosaurus bone out to prepare extracting any possible DNA sample out of it. "Please please let this work…"
In the old cell where Eddie Brock used to stay, the newly transported patient from Ryker's Prison, becomes its new occupant and neighbour to the notorious Cletus Kassidy. At the moment, she is having her first session with Dr. Kafka's assistant, Eddie Brock...
"Okay, Ms. Frances—mind if I call you Frances?" Eddie playfully asked the young woman, who's wearing a straitjacket and a muffler on her mouth. "Or do you have other names that you'd like me to call you?"
"..." The woman stayed silent and avoided eye contact with a menacing face and crossed eyes, making Eddie confused and lost on how to proceed with their short session.
"Ahem! So um, pretty sure you had a rough time in your last 'homes' right? Don't worry, you can chill out here a lot. Trust me, 'cause I too had lots of rough times out there until I landed in this joint," Eddie calmly and smoothly assured, making the girl raise an eyebrow in confusion out of vigilance, indicating that she was being responsive to his words. "You'll be alright. The sooner you fit right in, the better…!"
Watching Eddie interact with the new patient for this long was Dr. Tanis, who was impressed by his interaction with someone unstable as her, considering that he was not even a certified psychiatrist like Dr. Tanis Nieves or his superior, Dr. Ashley Kafka.
"What's the matter, Dr. Tanis?" Ashley wondered while planning to monitor Eddie's session to see how he is doing. "Worried about your patient?"
"On the contrary, Dr. Ash, I was more concerned for your assistant. However, he's handling things pretty well at the moment. You must be fortunate to have him around here," Tanis complimented, all the while making the embarrassing Dr. Kafka in the process.
"Why yes, he owed it all to the institute for getting him back on his feet. He is a great asset here in Ravencroft," Ashley replied with a smile.
Little did they all know, in the cell adjacent to Eddie and the newcomer, where Cletus Kassidy resides…
"I'm sure of it...I'm sure of it…!" Cletus maniacally muttered while carving doodles around the floor and at the wall near the small window, using a chipped pebble lying around. "You will...come back...to me…!"
Finally, a few hours have gone by and the final class lectures are dismissed for the day. Knowing this, Peter—along with Gwen, Kitty, and Johnny—immediately make their way out of the campus building to pay a visit to the ESU laboratory, to ask the Connors' some questions…
"Dr. Connors?" Peter called, entering through the front entrance with the three others behind him.
"Dr. Connors? Okay um, sorry to just barge in like this," Gwen called, reluctantly apologizing while entering and looking around for the two scientists.
"This is the university's lab? Kinda compact if you ask me. Well, maybe because I'm used to a bigger one back home," Johnny commented and shrugged, sightseeing around the lab.
"Whoa! This is so cool! Wow! All the strange animal species living in these cages!?" Kitty geeked out as she bolted over to the glass cases that were displaying and keeping live animal specimens.
"Ah! Peter! Gwen! Sorry for being unable to welcome you both. We just um, had some talk with one of our associates," Martha, coming out of the private office of Dr. Curtis, replied and apologized.
"Vincent, what on earth were you doing with all this classified research? I thought they're all confiscated!?" Curtis asked in a stern tone. "Were you...snooping around my stuff for my data...and my formula…?!"
"Not now Curt, I am so close, so close I tell you!" Vincent brushed Curtis' scolding away while checking a certain vial he's concocted after borrowing the lab's equipment.
"No, I cannot allow you to push through with this-this—nonsense, Vincent! Trust me, I've been there, and it will fail," Curtis urged before noticing Peter, Gwen, and the two others Kitty and Johnny outside. "We will talk about this later. Don't do anything reckless, Vincent. I'm begging you...as your colleague and friend."
"Oh no worries, Dr. Connors. We just...have some questions we wanted to ask, if it's alright with you," Gwen replied back.
"Oh? Which questions, to be specific? Are they for some assignment perhaps?" Martha wondered.
"Umm, not quite actually," Peter replied as he turned on his smartphone and then showed the photo he took, showing Dr. Martha the old photo of the young Connors' and another couple where the man looked exactly like Peter. "Do these people seem kinda familiar? To you?"
Dr. Martha was left speechless as she almost shuddered from the picture, indicating that she recognizes the people in it.
"Where did you find this?" Martha asked out of concern.
"This was just one of the photos I could find that's possibly littered around campus. Like some trail down the memory lane," Peter quipped as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, you are not exactly wrong about that…" Martha replied in a depressed tone, catching Peter and Gwen's attention and piquing the interests of Kitty and Johnny nearby. "I'm…afraid I can't help you in this matter. My husband knows more about them better than I do. I'm sorry."
"Yes dear? Is something–oh! Peter! Gwen! Glad to have both of you here! Anything you kids need?" Curtis wondered.
"Yeah, Dr. Connors. Something kinda personal: do you recognize these two people in the photo?" Peter asked, showing Dr. Connors the photo.
As he examined the picture, his eyes opened wide as if he'd seen a ghost that was long gone from his memory.
"Peter, where did you get this?" Curtis calmly asked for clarification.
"I took this picture from a glass cabinet full of trophies, why?" Peter replied with a confused look on his face, worrying Gwen beside him.
"Ugh," Curtis groaned and facepalmed.
"Doctor, please, tell me, why does this guy look exactly like me? And what's their connection to you?" Peter asked with a hint of desperation in his tone.
"Does it really matter, Peter?" Curtis asked again.
"Yeah, it does. I've seen pictures that are similar back home in Queens, but...I was told that those were actually old pictures...of my parents…" Peter replied while keeping a stern and calm look. "So please—tell me: do you know anything about my parents that even I don't know?"
'I should've prepared myself for this day to come,' Curtis shook his head, worrying his wife Martha from his response. "Look Peter, I promise to tell you what I know, but right now—"
Screaming and coming out of the office behind the Connors', Dr. Stegron leans on the doorpost and clings onto it with what appears to be an enlarged hand that's partially covered in bright orange reptilian scales, wearing a tattered lab coat that's ripping apart from his mutating back.
"Vincent! No…don't tell me—did you just—"
"Yes, Connors! I have—urghk—injected the formula...and from it, my dream of—aghk—getting one step closer to evolution–gughk! It is nearrrr!" Vincent roared as he fell to his knees.
Suddenly, his body starts to enlarge with giant spiny spikes resembling a Stegosaurus' spikes, emerging and protruding along his back and spine; and along a tail that instantly grows out of his backbone and rear with spikes protruding at its tip like a mace. After, bright orange scales began to cover the skin all around his body before enlarging his body to the size that's bigger and taller than the Rhino by a meter or two. Then, his face began to change with a huge keratin beak for a mouth, a pair of green reptilian eyes, and bright orange scales covering around his face. As the newly mutated Dr. Stegron stands up with his enlarged hands and feet that resemble a Stegosaurus' clawed feet, he towers over the spooked students and scientists with his intimidating height and appearance, leaving his lab coat and clothes in shreds.
"Hehahahahaha! Finally, I...have...evolved!" Vincent roared with a deep monstrous voice that shattered and cracked glass nearby all around the lab.
'Ohhh man…!' Peter squeamishly thought to himself as he looked toward the giant Stegron, with Gwen holding onto Peter's arm out of a fearful impulse.
'Hobie! Bobby! Do you have a minute, we have a huge situation here! A very very big one!' Kitty hysterically whispered over the phone out of fear.
"But—this is impossible, how are you able to retain your intelligence! Vincent!" Curtis hysterically interrogated, surprised by the fact that Stegron was able to retain his intelligence and capability to speak.
"It showssss that I am the better geniusss, Connorssss," Vincent smirkishly replied as he crouched over the surprised Dr. Connors.
"Vincent, we could help you sort this thing out. There is too much at stake here if you continue this dangerous nonsense that you're planning!" Curtis urged.
"Hah! Sseriousssly? Connorsss, thisss isss, what I've wanted to happen! And you can't ssstop me," Vincent hissed as he prepares to slam the scientist to the ground with his enlarged fist.
"Oh shoot, FLAME ON!" Johnny cried out, instantly enveloping himself into a fiery body, burning off his clothes into ashes in the process before dashing over to block and repel Stegron's fist with a quick flaring burst to startle him, revealing a red fireproof spandex suit that he wore underneath his clothes. "You guys okay?"
"Johnny!?" Gwen and Kitty cried out in a mixture of surprise and confusion.
"Wait, Johnny, what are you—?!"
"Guys, seriously? You never heard of me? The great and handsome Johnny Storm? Member of the world-famous Fantastic Four? The Human Torch!? C'mon!" Johnny bragged.
"You kids get out of here! This is no laughing matter! Go!" Curtis urgently ordered, letting Peter and Gwen leave the lab before turning their attention to Johnny, who's blocking a hammer-fist from the enraged Stegron.
"Hahahahaha! Don't you know? I am cold-blooded now! I love the heat!" Stegron mocked before whipping Johnny out of the lab with his huge tail, making him crash through the entrance so hard that it almost incapacitates him in the process as his flames slowly die down.
"Oh no!" Curtis whimpered before facing the intimidating Stegron and shielding his frightened wife.
"Now you're done, Connorsss!" Stegron hissed as he prepared to slam the Connors' with both hands clasped.
"Excuse me! Hang on tight!" Kitty screamed as she grabbed hold on the Connors' lab coat collars before dragging them down and phasing into the ground with her phasing abilities, avoiding his fist from slamming them while getting them to safety.
"Tch, pitiful weaklingsss. Not to worry, I have big planss to make a difference for all humanss to enjoy—getting one step closer to evolving to greater heightsss!" Stegron hissed before ramming and destroying the lab to make a huge gaping hole out of the entrance, making his way out of the university.
"...I think he's gone now," Kitty thought out loud as she looked around the area before phasing herself and the Connors' out of the ground. "Are you doctors alright? Sorry if that was not a convenient experience."
"I-It's fine, thanks um, what's your name?" Curtis asked.
"Kitty Pryde, and you're welcome!" Kitty quickly introduced. "Now, with that outta the way: can anybody please tell me how he's able to change like that?! And does that kind of thing happen a lot in this place?!"
"Well, uh, sometimes, but those were all accidents and we have countermeasures in dealing with them," Curtis answered as he went over to an undamaged desk where vials of gene-cleansers were kept and stood in a vial cabinet. "However, I'm not quite sure if our gene-cleanser can work against this new type of formula that Vincent took, but it's worth a shot to try using it still. Otherwise, we'll probably need to make a batch of improved gene-cleansers.
"Hey! Mind if we lend a hand?"
Appearing into the scene were Spider-man, Ghost Spider, and Iceman, all suited up for their favorite job.
"Spider-man! Thank goodness you're here, we could use the extra hands," Curtis replied with relief.
"Wait, Spidey, where's Screwball?" Kitty wondered.
"Her suit kinda—got a bit of a problem. She won't be around for the day," Spider-man briefly explained. "Now then, is there anything we can do to help?"
"Hey, are you really sure you wanna ignore what's on your phone? Seems pretty important to me."
"C'mon, I think it's just some way to distract me. Not as important as you!"
Somewhere in a cafe just two blocks away from ESU, Hobie and Janice were found hanging out and chilling out for almost an hour or more right after classes had ended…
"Sheesh, cheesy talk. Sorry to break it to you, but that's so not like you," Janice differed, raising her eyebrow and deflecting Hobie's cringey advances.
"Ehehehehe, my bad. I suck at that, and my buds told me that too," Hobie laughed, making Janice somehow laugh along with him.
"Still, I think you should check your phone, I won't mind, really," Janice shrugged.
"It's fine, the guys' must be lonely without me, but that's okay! We can just—wait," Hobie paused from his relaxed moment when he noticed Janice's glass of water making small ripples, accompanied by the sound of loud stomps that were gradually getting louder and closer. "I'm no Spider-man, but something bad is definitely gonna happen somewhere, and it's close by."
From there, Hobie and Janice look around and notice the crowds of people screaming, running and panicking along the streets as they get away from a certain direction before noticing a car that was thrown flying to their direction.
"Take cover!" Hobie screamed as he jumped and hugged Janice into a tight embrace while sliding flat across the floor to avoid the car that crashed into the cafe and caused a loud panic inside. 'Crud! What is it this time?! My pack, my suit!'
"Whoa, thanks for the save again, Hobie," Janice thanked with an infatuated look towards Hobie.
"I-It's nothing," Hobie replied as he helped her stand back up before getting his backpack and slowly making his way to the men's room inside the cafe. "Janice, you gotta get outta here. It's not safe anymore! We can continue talking later on back at the university, I promise!"
"Hobie! Where are you going?!" Janice screamed before trying to follow Hobie to the men's room and recklessly followed him into the room, only to notice nobody inside. "Whoa whoa whoa, okay, now what just happened?!"
Not long after his short "date" with Janice, Hobie immediately donned his Prowler outfit and equipment before swinging over to look at the situation before bumping into Spider-man and the others, along with their newest ally: the fully recovered Human Torch.
"Whoa, Spidey! What's up?! What's with all the ruckus around here?!" Prowler hysterically interrogated while swinging around beside him and Ghost Spider.
"It's kinda a long story," Spider-man nervously replied.
"To cut things short: one of our university scientists did some mad experiment upon himself and turned into a crazy dinosaur-lizard-mutant, and is now rampaging around Manhattan," Ghost Spider briefly explained.
"And to possibly stop him, we gotta chug this gene-cleanser down his throat, and pray that it can turn him back to normal. How's that for a plan?" Spider-man replied before quickly showing Prowler a light-green substance in a vial.
"Sounds straightforward enough. Let's try making this quick then," Prowler thought out loud in a slightly annoyed tone before noticing Iceman and Human Torch among their ranks. "Hey wait, Johnny?! Is that you bro?!"
"Heck yeah it's me! Don't tell me you've never heard of me: the Human Torch?! Member of the world famous Fantastic Four?!" Human Torch bragged while flying in midair. "And who are you supposed to be?"
"Dude, it's me, Hobie!" Prowler answered in an annoyed tone.
"Say what?!" Human Torch yelped upon hearing his answer.
"Guys please! Can we save the pleasantries and introductions right after we beat that giant walking man-fossil!?" Kitty scolded, silencing the two guys nearby. "Thank you."
"Look alive guys!" Spider-man ordered as they're closing in on the humongous Stegron, who noticed their presence coming right behind him.
"Well well well, the Ssspider-man and hiss little friendsss, how adorable," Stegron hissed and stopped in his tracks.
"Huh, you know, I've already faced a bunch of animals and bugs in my time, so you are not exactly the first scaled thug I've beaten in my crime-fighting career," Spider-man quipped, angering Stegron in response.
"Then I shall be your lasst, ass I ssquish you all like little pestss!" Stegron angrily barked as he stomped to their direction to face them.
"Remember guys! Be careful! All we gotta do is tire him out until we can get him to drink the gene-cleanser!" Spider-man yelled.
"Loud and clear!" Ghost Spider responded.
"Gotcha!" Human Torch responded.
Back at the ruined ESU lab, where the Connors' and the saddened Debra Whitman were slowly reorganizing the lab's contents, Dr. Curtis Connors looks around for the other broken paraphernalia before stumbling upon Stegron's desktop screen left online on his desk. Falling to Stegron's tempting idea of utilizing animal DNA that overlapped his idea once more, he goes to skim around his desktop's opened windows and discovers some of Miles Warren's hidden research files that the police failed to confiscate, revealing methods that can enable a man to properly possess animallike abilities and have greater control over their beastly nature. And then it clicked in his mind: what if that includes reptilian nature…
"Curt? What are you doing—Curt!?" Martha cried out after noticing her husband snooping over Stegron's things. "Curt, what. Are. You. Doing!?"
"Something...in mind," Curtis softly replied, making his idea into a reality as he dashed to his partially wrecked office where he kept a secret stash of vials that contained mutagen of lizard DNA, found behind some of his textbooks on his shelf.
"No, Curt! Don't you dare! We've talked about this already!" Martha screamed, getting the attention of Debra Whitman, who was busy fixing and reorganizing around the lab.
"But...what if it's actually proven to be possible...you've seen what the methods have done to the mutagen with Vincent's case. So...can't it also be possible to truly fix me...as well…?" Curtis whimpered with eagerness before putting the vial in a certain stand before following the same procedure that was theoretically proven and done by Dr. Miles Warren as he did with Kraven.
After a short, but seemingly long while of following the procedure, Curtis stubbornly then implants the mutagen vial into a syringe and then injects himself a new formula of his lizard DNA mutagen.
However, the mutagen now was able to make him almost instantly undergo an extremely quick change under minutes, slowly turning him back into his detested old form and persona as the Lizard, scales and all. After his skin has been covered in green scales; his eyes transforming into yellow-green reptilian eyes; and a tail emerging from the tip of his tailbone; he looks over his former tattered, ruined, and mutated appearance before turning to notice the frightened Martha and Debra as they watched the entire thing happen.
"D-Dear? A-Are you s-still there?" Martha whimpered, inching a bit closer to the transformed Dr. Connors.
"Martha?! What are you doing?!" Debra screamed as she grabbed Martha by the shoulders.
"Mar—tha…? Isss—that you?" Curtis answered, looking at her with his lizard head tilted, astonishing both of the female scientists in the process. "Urgh! Curssse thessse—thessse eyess. Blurry eyesssight."
"Curt!? Curt!" Martha cried out as she gently shoved Debra away and ran to embrace the transformed Curtis, now being the Lizard once more—except he manages to still retain his intelligence and capability to speak.
"Any other bright ideas?!" Kitty hysterically demanded while phasing out of a nearby brick wall, donning her Shadowcat outfit.
"Do you have any?! I'm almost out!" Ghost Spider demands loudly while distracting the still-standing Stegron with a flurry of web bullets before blocking a tail whip with a web shield, but crashes onto a nearby vacant car.
Not long after Spider-man's plan to shove the gene-cleanser down his throat, it resulted a complete failure as Stegron didn't even show any changes, which caught most of the team off-guard and allows him to easily knock down the Human Torch, Iceman, and Prowler like a furious and agitated dinosaur.
"You kidss are lucky that I'm vegetarian. Otherwise, you all will regret fassing me!" Stegron hissed with gleaming green reptilian eyes.
"Oh, man," Spider-man yelped. "This is going to take a while."
Scaring the Webhead from the familiar presence, the Lizard furiously crawls and slithers to the scene with his claws and jaws bared to fight Stegron as he lunges at the taller reptilian mutate and grips tight on his shoulders and chest while avoiding the orange dino-man's strong clawed hands.
"Dr. Connors!" Spider-man yelled out of fear and concern. 'Shoot, so this means the Lizard's back…'
"Hahahahaha! Connorsss! You've embracced the power! Why don't we join handsss, and rule over New York at the top of the food chain?!" Stegron excitedly offers while trying to shake off the Lizard's claws away from his face before pinning him down with his strength and height. "Asss your friend, I'm giving you chancesss to ssspare, Connorsss!"
"He does not need scaly friends like you!"
Flying towards Stegron with a swift slinging dropkick to his face was Spider-man, who launched himself as a human slingshot, and momentarily stuns Stegron for a second due to the impact before landing at a safe distance.
"Doc!" Spider-man screamed before webbing a line on the Lizard's lab coat and pulled him close to his side. "Doc, you okay? Can you talk? How many fingers am I holding?"
"Ughhhh, lookssss like...sssixty of them…" Lizard groaned, confusing the Webhead as he showed only three fingers.
"Well, you answered, and that's what mattered," Spider-man playfully shrugged and helped the mutated scientist stand back up. "Doc, why did you—"
"Forgive me for thisss moment, Sssspider-man. However, if you dessire it, I may lend my assissstance to rectify my misstakess," Lizard kindly replied, making Spider-man uncomfortable with talking with the reformed foe that almost chewed him up like a meat popsicle.
"It's alright, doc, no hard feelings. You're welcome to help! In fact, we could really use some reptilian muscle right about now! The gene-cleanser's kinda useless against him!" Spider-man replied before his Spider-sense triggered and then made the both of them dodge a flying car.
"I sssee, well then, we shall put him down the hard way, literally hard," Lizard deadpanned before hissing and growling loudly to aggravate and attract the furious Stegron.
"You dissappoint me, old friend…!" Stegron hissed in a menacing tone.
'Ughhh, huh?! Dr. Connors?!' Ghost Spider groaned as she stood up before getting surprised by Curtis Connors' appearance in his mutated Lizard form. 'No!'
"Sssoo, thiss iss how it'ss gonna be, Connorss? Mano a mano…" Stegron hissed.
"He's not alone," Spider-man differed, with Kitty and Ghost Spider following behind. "Guys, new plan: we better try putting him down before knocking him out. The more furious he gets, the harder it is to web him up!"
"Unlessss we can make a diversion…" Lizard hissed before charging forward on all fours and then lunges onto Stegron before lacerating his scale-armored face with his claws, dodging his slamming attacks with his agile instinctive reflexes.
"You are fortunate to have experienssed such power early on, Connorss! The two of uss would've been unssstoppable!" Stegron barked as he caught Lizard's tail and then pulled him close before slamming him around like a ragdoll, holding him up close to his face with his tattered lab coat. "But between uss, I have the upper claw!"
"Hey Steggy! Forgetting about us?!" Spider-man yelled as he and Ghost Spider ran towards Stegron with a wide web-weaved clothesline openly spread.
While the Dinosaur-Man gets distracted for a second, Shadowcat frees the Lizard by phasing his tail out of Stegron's grasp to give him a chance to slither away. After the Lizard got to a safe distance, the two Spiders swiftly wrap their webbed clothesline around the Dinosaur-Man's legs and tail within a few seconds before launching themselves up high in the air to rain down an array of web bullets to stun and entrap the Dinosaur-Man from above.
"Ssstegron! You are hereby dissmisssed!" Lizard hissed as he sprung himself off the ground with his huge tail and then landed a heavy dropkick to his weak abdomen, causing Stegron to fall and lay on his back unconscious while wrapped in webbing.
"Nice job out there, doc! Didn't know you had it in you to fight like that?!" Spider-man complimented.
"I...I do not know...reflexess perhapsss. Yess, mosst likely iss the casse," Lizard muttered out loud.
"Doc, you did good out there. I think the people can see you in a better light from now on," Ghost Spider assured excitedly.
"How certain are you about that…?" Lizard questioned with a confused tilted face.
"Does it matter?! You're a hero today! That's what counts!" Shadowcat assured gleefully.
Suddenly, the police arrived at the scene with heavy armored cars and several police trucks before dismounting their vehicles.
"Well, that's our cue," Spider-man pointed out before meeting with Capt. George Stacy and Officer Jean DeWolffe. "He's all yours officers. Owe some credit to this guy."
"I see, thank you for the job well-done, Spider-man, and um, Lizard?" George nervously replied, receiving his silent nod as a response. "We'll take it from here. You kids and um, Lizard, can go on ahead."
With a few nods from the Webhead and his team, they discreetly leave the scene with their injured members, letting the police handle the unconscious Stegron—even though they're incapable of doing it. However, before they could lay a finger on the Dinosaur-Man…
"Hold up, ladies and gentlemen! We'll take over things from here!"
Calling out to the officers was a lone gray-haired guy in a trenchcoat, wearing an eyepatch over his left eye while being accompanied by several armed soldiers in tinted helmets and a huge advanced airship under an even bigger airship of sorts.
"Um, may I kindly ask how you are authorized to do so?" George asked for clarification.
"Colonel Nick Fury, Director of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division," the man quickly introduced. "But you can call us SHIELD, for short. My men are specifally capable of handling these kinds of situations, so ease yourselves, officers."
Later that night, in Ryker's prison, home to many infamous villains and foes of Spider-man...
"Man, I'm bored, Montana. Wanna try another round of "tic tac jab"?" Fancy Dan jested before getting slammed to the wall by an angry Montana.
"You think I'm up for some fun 'n games right now?!" Montana barked, scaring Fancy Dan and Ox from his agitated mood.
"Hey now, easy there. There's always next time, man. We'll get the bug and his buggy friends next time," Ox coaxed.
"I don't want that darn bug no more! I'd rather get rid of that boy that messed us up in what we do best, and now playin' the hero card against us,'' Montana hissed as he let go of his grasp on Fancy Dan. "I'll show 'em. We'll all show 'em!"
Suddenly, a loud and big plasma explosion occurred right behind their cell. As the smoke clears, a familiar armored maniac with wings enters the cell, spooking the Enforcers and other nearby prisoners.
"B-Beetle?! What's yer business here?!" Montana screamed, backing away from the cool and collected armored mercenary.
"You are being chosen for a job. There will obviously be a handsome payment in return if you accept it for a certain period of time," Beetle straightforwardly and briefly explained.
"Oh yeah? Why bother? We'll all just get beat up again like last time," Fancy Dan barked in protest.
"Ooooh, sorry for your losses boys."
Flying beside the Beetle was what appears to be a female version of the Beetle, except having no armor and donning purple mask and vest and green spandex suit with vibrant violet wings. Her appearance stunned and astonished the Enforcers, leaving them starstruck.
"Well hellooo baby. Now you got my full attention," Fancy Dan carelessly spoke his mind.
"You bet your buckets I can make you all great once more, only if you all pledge your allegiance to me, got that? It's simple and easy," the female stranger straightforwardly offered.
"You got our full attention and cooperation um, Ms. Beetle?" Montana nervously replied.
"I prefer to be called… Lady Beetle, if you guys are comfortable with that," the female stranger confidently replied and introduced.
'Hmph, just after breaking me out and getting a custom suit outta me, and she thinks she's so great. What a spoiled brat, like her dad,' Beetle scoffed internally.
—To be continued
Sorry again for the long wait. Dealt with some mental and writing block, and maybe some conflict of ideas inside my head. Thanks again for sticking around, God bless and take care! Leave reviews or suggest ideas via PM, 'cause I'm wide open for suitable ideas!