Disclaimers; Hey if I owned Spiderman, I'd be able to afford a much faster computer than the one I'm using! Marvel Comics owns the characters, J. Michael Straszynski, Paul Jenkins, Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis currently write the comics, Sam Raimi directs the movies, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst play them, and I thank God for every one of the preceding names. Kudos all around!

Rating: PG-13 for now.

Author's notes: Spoilers abound for Spider-Man 2. If you haven't seen it yet...why are you sitting behind a computer! Log off, head out to your nearest theater, pony up the bucks and SEE THE MOVIE! It's da Bomb, baby!

Oh, at the beginning of the story I have Spiderman trading blows with the Scorpion, a minor member of his comic-book rogues gallery. As a nod to Sam Raimi, I imagined him as resembling Bruce Campbell, who inevitably appears in Sam Raimi's projects; he is best known for playing Ash in 'The Evil Dead' and 'Army of Darkness', as well as Autolycos the King of Thieves in 'Xena; Warrior Princess'. He also played the fight announcer in Spiderman and a theatre usher in Spiderman 2. So consider Chapter 1 the obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo.

Summary; Following his final battle with Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man seems to have found his rhythm. Can he find the happiness he's earned at last? I wouldn't count on it...

The Goblin War

By Kirayoshi

Chapter one A Scorpion's Tale

"High, higher than the sun,
You shoot me from a gun,
I need you to elevate me here
At the corner of your lips
As the orbit of your hips
You elevate my soul!

I've got no self control,
Been living like a mole now,
Going down, excavation,

I and I in the sky,
You make me feel like I can fly
So high,

F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, "Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy." A few years ago, I'd have agreed with him. After all, wasn't being Spider-Man the catalyst for the downward spiral that I like to call my early college years? For a while it seemed like I was losing everything because of that one spider-bite. My uncle Ben, my chance to graduate college, my pizza-delivery job, my friends, the love of my life...all because of my insistence on going it alone.

It took me three years to finally figure it out; I can't give up being who I am, whether it's Spider-Man or Peter Parker. It's about balance. And I finally found my balance. For the first time since I was bitten by that genetically altered spider, I've started to feel comfortable in my own skin. It took me that long to learn that I can't do it alone. Thanks to Mary Jane, I realize now that I don't have to. And with the walls I so foolishly built between Mary Jane and myself finally knocked down, it seemed like she and I could finally make plans for a future.

But like Aunt May always said, if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans...


Another fun day in the Big Apple,
Spider-Man grumbled to himself as he hefted the fallen SUV off of the terrified man who was pinned under the vehicle. His frame straining under the weight, he managed to flip the vehicle on its side. "Hey, mister," he asked the older man as he knelt beside him, "you okay?"

"I..I think my leg's broken," he complained. "But I'll live."

"We'll take care of you, sir," a paramedic who had rushed to the scene gently under his arms as he and his partner lifted him to a waiting gurney. "We appreciate the help, Spider-Man," the paramedic told the hero, "but we have things under control here now."

"Good," Spider-Man answered. "I'll go deal with whoever threw this party." With a rapid bound and a deft flick of the wrist, he shot out a strand of webbing, the other end adhering high up on the side of the nearby building and propelled his lithe form toward the epicenter of the damage.

It wasn't difficult for Spider-Man to spot his quarry. Blasts of superheated plasma erupted from the enormous smoldering hole in the side of the Chase Manhattan Bank building, as police officers cordoned off the street at either end and barricaded the area around the bank. Perching on the railing of a nearby fire-escape, he surreptitiously adhered his digital camera to the railing with his webbing. "Time to meet my adoring public," he chuckled to himself before he launched toward the altercation.

Grim-faced officers knelt behind their vehicles, makeshift bunkers against whatever was attacking from within the sundered bank vault. The arachnid hero lightly perched on the nearest car, and caught the attention of two nearby cops; "Hey, officers, who's our playmate for this afternoon?"

"GET DOWN!" One officer shouted as a metallic green shape emerged from the darkness inside the broken wall, and fired another blast of plasma. Spider-Man evaded the blast easily and landed in a crouched position behind the car. "Okay," he drawled, "someone must have missed the memo that said today was NYC's 'no high-tech energy weapons' day."

"SPIDER-MAN!" a younger cop shouted, "you're under arrest! You have the right to—"

"Put a sock in it, rookie," his older partner barked him down. "He's not the problem here!" Turning to Spider-Man the older cop added, "My name's Martinez. My wife was on the subway car that Doctor Octopus attacked a few months ago. You saved her, Spidey. You're okay in my book."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, sir," Spider-Man answered, genuinely pleased by the rare show of gratitude from a New York police officer. "So, what's the 411 on Slappy the Wonder Shmoe in there?"

"He calls himself the Scorpion," Martinez growled irritably. "Some armored freak, like that Goblin guy three years back. Has some kind of cybernetic tail-like thing, with a built-in energy cannon. He bust into the bank from the outside, blew that hole in the wall. He also tossed cars around on his way here, using that tail like a battering ram."

"Yeah, I saw some of his handiwork on the way in," Spider-Man answered. "Does he have any hostages?"

"Can't determine that at this time," Martinez answered, "but I wouldn't be surprised if he does. He'll need a bargaining chip to get out of here."

As Martinez and Spider-Man returned their attention to the bank, the criminal in question emerged from the gaping hole. The green armor he wore resembled an insect's carapace, with a seven foot long club-like tail jutting out of the lower back and looping around behind him. He held the tip of his tail firmly against the head of a young woman he had carried with him, roughly twisting her arm behind her. "Okay, girls," he shouted coarsely to the assembled police officers. "Before you get any ideas here, keep in mind that I'm in charge of this little scenario. Just do as I say and maybe you can all go home to your families for dinner! Now, I want one of you to stand up, hands where I can see them!"

The officers glanced around at each other, and Martinez nodded. The Lieutenant holstered his piece and rose slowly, his hands raised above his head. "My name is Lieutenant Martinez," he announced calmly. "We just want to end this thing quickly. What are your demands? A helicopter? Some kind of transportation?"

The Scorpion laughed harshly. "You got me wrong, pal. I'm not looking for money here, just my props."

"You're holding a lady hostage on my beat," Martinez barked, "you can forget about props from me. So what is it that you want, scum?"

Scorpion nodded. "I like that. You hate me, I hate you, and we can drop the pretense of civility. I can deal with that. What do I want? Well, the Cubs in the pennant race, but we both know that's out of your hands, so I won't bother asking. What I want is for Spider-Man to face me, right here, right now! I don't see Spider-Man in fifteen minutes," he finished, the tip of his tail pressing against his hostage's cheek, "I repaint the immediate area with her brains!"

"I say we just hand the Webhead over," the younger cop whispered, only to be glared into submission by Martinez and the other officers.

"Look, Scorpion," Martinez continued calmly, hoping not to anger the armored thug any further. "We can't just contact him right out of the blue. It's not like we have a Spider-signal or anything."

"Well you'd better find a way," the Scorpion barked, "if you value the continued existence of this fine, upstanding New Yorker here."

Spider-Man remained crouched behind the police car as he scanned the area around him. He noticed a window-washer's scaffold hanging from the side of the bank, a little to the right of the hole. "Okay, I have a cunning plan," he whispered to Martinez. "You guys hang back and don't let anyone near here. I'm gonna run interference." Martinez reluctantly nodded; it was Spider-Man's show now.

"I'm waiting!" Scorpion bellowed, still holding his hostage securely in an iron grip. "Come on out, Spider! Let's settle it once and for all! Who's the baddest bug in New York?"

"Actually, Skippy," a taunting voice chimed merrily, grabbing the Scorpion's attention, "that's a common misconception." The Scorpion turned and noticed the familiar red and blue garbed figure strolling toward him, his voice light, almost conversational. "Y'see, both spiders and scorpions are of the class 'Arachnida'. They're not insects at all. You can tell because, while all insects have six legs and three body segments, arachnids have eight legs and two body segments. But you knew that all along, didn't ya, bunky?"

The Scorpion glared at the wall-crawling hero for five whole seconds before speaking; "Who are you supposed to be?"

Spider-Man shrugged theatrically. "Wha, you don't read the Daily Bugle? Not that I blame you of course, no self-respecting fish would be wrapped in that rag! If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Spider-Man. See—" He pointed to the spider-emblem on his chest; "Spider..." He then struck a pose, his fists resting on his hips, his legs spread apart; "Man!"

The Scorpion growled angrily. "I'm through playing, buddy! Where's Spider- Man?"

The masked vigilante turned to the cops. "Ain't that a fine how-do-ya-do? I go through all the trouble to create a recognizable symbol, and Skippy here still wants to card me! No respect, I tell ya!" Turning back to his opponent, he continued, "Look buddy, I really am Spider-Man, you're just gonna have to believe me on this."

"You're too short to be Spider-Man," the Scorpion snorted, holding his hostage's arm a little tighter. "I'm gonna need more proof that you're the real deal."

Spider-Man held his hands up in a resignation gesture. "If you insist..." he drawled, before whipping his right hand forward, his fore and little fingers extended. He immediately fired a glob of webbing into Scorpion's eyes, hard enough to knock him off balance. As his tail flailed wildly behind him, Spider-Man grabbed the hostage from his loosening grasp. "Quick," he shouted, "get to the cops, I'll take care of Scorpion!"

Just as Martinez took the panicked young woman to safety, Spider-Man felt that familiar tingling sensation in the base of his skull, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on edge. Time around him slowed to a crawl as he turned to face his attacker. The blunt rounded end of the Scorpion's tail arced toward him with a battering ram's force, intent on caving in his skull. With a neatly practiced backwards roll, Spider-Man easily evaded the metal bludgeon, tumbling backward and springing to his feet, five yards away from his opponent. "All right, Scorpy," Spider-Man intoned calmly but with and edge of steel in his voice, "let's samba."

"Smooth moves, Superfly," the Scorpion grimaced as he tore the last of the sticky webbing off of his face nad lowered to a crouching position. "But you can't keep dodging me forever!" He reared the tip of his tail high above his head, firing off a volley of plasma bolts.

Spider-Man easily tumbled away from the Scorpion's strafing shots, drawing his fire away from the police. "You need some target practice, Skippy," the hero quipped. "Maybe I could round up some broad sides of barns for you to aim at."

"I won't have you make a fool of me, Spider-Man!" the Scorpion roared, his tail throwing more blasts of energy at his target.

"No, I can't improve on nature," Spider-Man answered, leaping high over the Scorpion's head and landing on the window-washer's scaffold. "Whoa, I can see my house from here!"

"Come down here, you wall-crawling freak!" Scorpion reared his tail forward, preparing to fire another blast at the arachnid hero.

Bingo, Spider-Man thought, thank heaven for predictable criminals! "Oh, now that's just harsh," Spider-Man held his hands forward, launching a fine strong strand of webbing. The webline adhered to the tip of Scorpion's tail, wrapping the plasma-cannon in thick gossamer before Scorpion could fire another shot. "Y'know, Scorps," Spider-Man smiled under his mask, "this relationship isn't working out for us. I think we should see other people." Spider-Man grabbed the other end of the webline, threading it around the bars of the scaffold, then dove off the scaffold and onto the street. The webline stretched slightly as it grew taut, and then yanked the Scorpion by the tail, effectively pulling him off the ground, his arms, legs and tail flailing madly in useless swimming motions. Before the Scorpion could get his bearings, Spider-Man fired another steady stream of webs around his body, effectively cocooning him from his shoulders to his ankles. The Scorpion struggled, wriggling desperately in the confining sheath of silk, but the web filaments held strong. He didn't dare fire his plasma-cannon, as the end of his tail was pinned just behind his head.

Spider-Man stopped for a second to admire his handiwork, and then turned to the police, who began to emerge from their barricade. "And so, ladies and jelly-spoons," Spider-Man saluted the officers with a theatrical bow, "that—and you should excuse the pun—is a wrap. Now, excuse me, 'cause I'm late for a very important date." He vaulted off the ground in a single leap, landing on the fire-escape where he quietly snagged his camera. "No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" Firing his webline to a nearby skyscraper, Spider-Man swung out of range of the cops, two or three of whom had begun to aim their pieces at him.

"Put 'em away," Martinez chuckled, "you don't have a chance of catching him now. Besides, things would have gone a lot worse if he hadn't shown up." Without another word on the subject, Martinez withdrew a pocket-knife from his glove-compartment and ambled over to the trussed Scorpion, to sever the webbing and take him into custody.


Police captain Jean DeWolffe, assistant D.A. Michael Greevey and court- appointed defense council Jennifer Walters gathered around the table, facing the handcuffed figure before them. Macdonald 'Mac' Gargan looked significantly less imposing in prison denims, without the Scorpion suit to back up his hollow threats. "My client has agreed to confess to the armed robbery charge," Jennifer started the proceedings, "but wishes to make a deal for the assault charge."

Greevey nodded to DeWolffe, who opened a manila folder on the table in front of her. "We've been going over your files, Gargan," DeWolffe announced coldly. "This is your fourth arrest in fifteen years. Two armed robbery charges, three assault and at least one aggravated assault. Now you're charged with armed robbery and assault with intent to kill. And you're looking down the barrel of the third strike law. You're going away, Gargan. For how long, that's up to you."

Gargan stared blankly at the police captain. "What do you want from my client?" Walters asked.

"You were packing some pretty sophisticated ordinance," Greevey answered levelly. "And there's nothing in your record that indicates that you were able to cobble that suit of yours together without some serious tech support. If you give us the names of your weapons suppliers, I can make a sentencing recommendation."

Gargan leaned toward Walters, whispering in her ear. She whispered back for a second, before Gargan returned his attention to Greevey and DeWolffe. "The man you're looking for is named Phineas Mason. He's known on the street as 'The Tinkerer'. You got a pen on you?" DeWolffe handed him a ball-point pen she had fished out of her pocket, and he scribbled something on a scrap of paper. "Now that's where I contacted him yesterday. He and this other guy..."

Gargan continued to spin his implausible story, insisting that it was the truth. DeWolffe contacted Lieutenant Martinez to investigate. Half-an- hour later Martinez had verified most of the details in Gargan's testimony. DeWolffe ordered him to the offices of the Daily Bugle to make the arrest.