All in the Family
Austin is married to the love of his life, and he has two beautiful daughters. He's also lost his job, his tentacles are again trying to take over his mind, he has major in-law problems, and his old enemy has returned. And how does his daughter's mysterious new boyfriend figure into this mess?
Chapter 1: Prologue: The Undiscovered Country
"But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we not of?"
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Noreen slowly made her way to her old home, the Osborn mansion. The door was boarded shut with around ten layers of nailed-up two-by-fours in an attempt to keep the vandals and graffiti artists away. Noreen began to tear the boards apart with her bare hands. She felt as if she could do anything. After all, she had returned from the dead.
Austin Smith had stabbed her, impaled her through the heart, and left her for dead. She was taken to the morgue—alive. Barely an inch—a centimeter—from death, but alive nonetheless.
In the estimated twelve hours she had lain on the cold morgue slab, her phenomenally powerful body began to heal and repair itself—and then some. Noreen had escaped from the morgue thirty pounds heavier and twice as physically strong as when she went in. Noreen reasoned that her body had built the extra muscle to make sure she wouldn't be as easily hurt in the future. Then she began rebuilding her super-criminal career.
Noreen made her way to the old executive office, and then to the closet. Good. No one had messed with the Goblin's lair.
"You have come back to me, Noreen."
"Yes, Grandpa, I have."
"The Goblin line must carry on until Spider-man is destroyed. And all of his descendants."
"And how is the line going to carry on?"
"What is the basic function of women in human society, Noreen?"
"I must have a baby? But who will be the father?"
"Austin Smith. He is the only man suitable for our purposes."
"Why, Grandpa? Why him?"
"Do you not understand by now, Noreen? The child you bear by him will possess the brilliant criminal mind of Doctor Octopus as well as the physical power of the Green Goblins."
"He is married, Grandpa! I'm no home wrecker!"
"When he is married to Spider-man's daughter, you are."
"Yes, Grandpa, I know what I must do. Thank you."
Nine months later
Dr. Austin Smith pounded the steering wheel in frustration. "Great! I get stuck in rush hour New York City traffic just when my wife is about to have her babies! Tell me May, why did we move to your hometown instead of going to my home in California?"
"Because you got a good job here, that's why." May Parker's teeth were gritted. "Don't talk now, I'm pushing!"
"Can't you hold it?"
"Austin Octavius Smith, you hold a Ph.D. in biology and you don't know that—aaah!"
"Okay, I'm calling 911 now," Austin reached for his cell phone.
Is this how humans reproduce themselves?
Thank God we don't go through that
What is God?
Number Two, you are so stupid.
Will you just shut up for one time in your miserable little lives?
The last thing Austin needed right now was for them to be shooting their little "mouths" off right now. Then again, the last thing he needed when he was fourteen, and trying desperately to fit in, was to find out he was the son of an infamous supervillian (whose surname was his middle name) and to get permanently welded to his duplicate set of tentacles.
Moments later, the couple was in the hospital. The nurse poked her head out the door. She beamed at Austin.
"Dr. Smith, you can see your wife now. She's doing fine, and you've got two beautiful twin girls."
Austin walked into the room. "Can we have some privacy in here, please?" he barked. The doctors and nurses quickly slunk out of the room.
Can we look?
Fine. Just look, though. And be quiet.
The tentacles slid out of his coat, peering at the two tiny babies wrapped in pink blankets.
Wow! What are they?
They're newborn juvenile humans. Babies.
They're so tiny and helpless!
We could just snap them in two without any effort at all.
Don't you even think about trying that.
Did you look like that once, Brother?
Yeah, only I was wrapped in a blue blanket because I was a boy—a male.
Why do humans dress female juveniles in pink and male juveniles in blue?
Oh, I don't know. They just do.
"What shall we name them, Austin?"
The two girls were twins, though clearly not identical. One had straight light brown hair and blue eyes, like her mother. The other girl had chestnut brown hair that went all over the place, like Austin, a nose that was someday going to become long and straight, and huge puppy dog brown eyes with long, dark lashes.
Why do humans have names?
To tell them apart, you idiot. Humans are all the same!
That one looks just like Brother.
As Brother looks just like Father.
Yes! Name it after Father.
I can't do that. She's a female!
Come on. Please?
Austin picked up the girl who looked like her father and paternal grandfather. "Let's name her Ottoline," he said.
May laughed. "That's the last name I thought you'd come up with."
"And just to be fair," said Austin gesturing towards the girl who looked like her mother and maternal grandfather, "Let's name this one Parker."
"Because I don't know the feminine equivalent of Peter. And besides, it's trendy to use surnames for first names."
In the Osborn house, Noreen Osborn cradled her newborn boy. The boy would have wavy auburn hair like his mother and huge brown eyes like his father.
"I know what to name you," she whispered to her son. "I will name you after your famous grandfathers. You will be Harry Octavian Osborn, and you will do what your namesakes could not. You will destroy Spider-man and Spider-girl for good."