All characters appearing in Spider-Man are copyrighted to Marvel Entertainment and Stan Lee. No infringement of these copyrights is intended, and is not authorized by the copyright holder. All original characters are the property of TVfan.
Note: this story begins shortly after the "The Other: Evolve or Die" story arch, which is currently "in progress" in the Spider-Man comics.
A New Life
Chapter 1: The Return of Tracer and the Hobgoblin
Peter Parker, in his Spider-Man costume, swung high through the air over New York City; the only thing keeping him from falling to his death was a strand of organic webbing that he had shot out from his wrist. He knew he should probably be focused on making sure there was no criminal activity going on the streets below, but he felt unusually exuberant today and was simply having a little fun.
"And why can't I have fun?" Peter wondered to himself, "I'm alive. I'm healthy. I've got a beautiful wife. We live in a nice apartment, of course it's owned by the Avengers and Tony Stark, and when I'm too old to 'assemble' I'll have to leave, but it's mine for now."
As he reached the point where he would need to shoot out a new webline to continue his standard method of travel, he simply let go of the strand he was holding and let his momentum carry him high into the air. He landed acrobatically on the roof a nearby apartment building and looked out over the city, simply enjoying the fact that he was alive.
"It's a great day to be me," Peter commented to himself.
He was brought out of his 'daydream' by the sound of someone screaming in the alley below him. Shaking his head he looked down into the alley to see some thug with a ski mask and a knife trying to rob a woman.
"Why would this guy be trying this in broad daylight?" Peter mumbled to himself as he leaped down to do the responsible thing.
He landed lightly behind the crook, who appeared not to notice him. The woman looked exceedingly nervous, but Peter assumed that was because the guy was holding a knife to her throat, although, his appearance probably didn't help. There weren't all that many people who liked Spider-Man. Peter decided to start things off by tapping the thug's shoulder. The thug turned to see Spider-Man's red webbed mask with two large white eye pieces.
"Hi there," Peter said casually, "I don't suppose you have a license for what you're doing?"
"You ain't taken me, Spider-Man!" the thug growled, and forgetting about the woman, slashed his knife at Spider-Man.
Warned by his spider-sense, Peter bent backwards, like he was in a limbo contest, and avoided being hit with the blade. Then flipping backwards, using his hands for support used his spider powers to grab the crook, much the same way he would climb up a wall, and threw him against the building opposite the woman. When Peter was back on his feet again, he saw that the crook had fallen unconscious. Peter then turned back to the woman who was still cowering by the other building.
"You okay, ma'am?" Peter asked in a calm voice, trying to reassure her that everything was fine.
"I'm fine," the woman answered, "You're not going to rob me now, are you?"
"No," Peter answered, "I prevent people from being robbed. They wouldn't let me keep my tights if I didn't."
"Uh, thanks then," the woman shrugged then quickly continued on her way.
She left Peter standing in the deserted alley with the unconscious criminal. Although considering the sheer joy that the felt about being alive, he wasn't too concerned with it. He quickly webbed up the crook, and left him dangling upside-down from a fire escape and quickly resumed his webslinging. Although, by now he felt he had done more then enough for the day and had decided to return to the Avengers tower.
JFK International Airport
A lone man in a heavy trench coat and a large hat, obscuring anyone's view of his face calmly walked out of the terminal and began to make his way out of the airport. No one bothered him and was able to make a quick exit from the building. He found a small teen holding up a sign that said 'Kingsley' on it. The man approached the teen.
"You can put that away, Ricky," Roderick Kingsley ordered, "I'm here."
"Good to see you boss," Ricky answered while folding up his sign.
"Good to be back," Kingsley answered, "but only because of the opportunity. I was very intrigued to hear about recent events going on here."
"Yes," Ricky nodded, "The Avengers broke up, machines went nuts, and Norman Osborn is no longer running Osborn Industries."
The last part made Kingsley smile, "Where is the Green menace?"
"No one knows, sir," Rick answered, "He was sent to jail for awhile, but he escaped and hasn't been seen since."
"We'll see him soon enough, I'm sure," Kingsley laughed, "But without him leading Osborn Industries, I can get much more power now. More then I ever imaged, and if the Avengers really have broken up, the Spider-Man will likely be my only real enemy."
"There are other super 'heroes' in New York, sir," Ricky pointed out.
"Pushovers!" Kingsley laughed, "The Fantastic Four spend half their time fighting Galactus and the other half Doctor Doom. The X-Men are worried about Magneto and Apocalypse and the 'Friends of Humanity'. Daredevil isn't in my league. The Avengers and Spider-Man were my only real adversaries before, and you've told me that half of that equation is gone. Now, there's only Spider-Man."
"Will we be dealing with him directly?" Ricky asked.
Kingsley smiled, "Maybe we can play Osborn's game and get someone to fight him for us. Right now I want to cash in on the opportunity that exists right now, and I'll deal with Spider-Man when the situation arises."
"Yes, sir," Ricky answered.
Peter slipped in through one of the main windows that lead directly into the living quarters where he and other Avengers lived. It was one of the things Peter liked about the new location, he no longer had to worry about someone seeing 'Spider-Man' enter 'Peter Parker's' home, because Spider-Man officially lived there as a member of the Avengers.
As he walked into the apartment that he and Mary Jane shared within the tower he found Mary Jane standing there, about to leave. The red-head chuckled as Peter came in.
"Enjoy yourself?" Mary Jane asked.
"I've had a great day so far," Peter announced as he took off his mask, gave his wife a hug and kiss on the check, "Not much was going on, but I got the enjoyment of being alive."
"I'm glad you had fun," Mary Jane smiled back.
"So where are you off to?" Peter asked as he began putting on more 'civilian' clothing.
"I have a rehearsal in about half an hour," Mary Jane answered, "so, I got to hurry. See you later."
"Sure," Peter nodded as Mary Jane left.
Mary Jane sighed slightly as she left the apartment and began to make her way to the elevators. Life seemed to be getting back to normal after the whole deal with Morlun coming back from the dead. She was practically heartbroken when Peter admitted to her that he was 'dying' and it wasn't from the actions taken by some super villain, but from some unknown disease.
Morlun's return didn't help the situation and Peter's determination to fight the 'super-hero killing vampire' only saddened Mary Jane more. She had married Peter Parker and she never wanted him to die. She knew that she had also married Spider-Man at the same time as she married Peter Parker because of Peter's secret identity and she knew that he had to risk his life to protect New York, but that didn't stop her from worrying.
The fact that Peter emerged from the whole ordeal with Morlun and the disease not only victorious, but alive gave Mary Jane the same feelings of excitement that Peter felt. Her husband was still alive and looked like he would live a long and healthy life. What she didn't like was the fact that to celebrate the fact that he was alive, he went out to swing around the city to 'enjoy' life. Mary Jane didn't want him to quit being Spider-Man, and more often then not, she found herself persuading him to keep being Spider-Man, but there were times when she wished he would take a break, or not take such foolish risks while in costume. Even after joining the Avengers, Peter always seemed to find himself in a situation that was likely to get him hurt more then what would normally be expected from a superhero.
As Mary Jane walked out of the Avenger's building and hailed a cab her thoughts continued to dwell on the situation. Morlun's return and the disease had been a really close scare, and the disease itself was supposed to be fatal. And on top of this, he did all of this alone and by himself. If he died, he would die alone. She wished he had someone who would at least try to keep him out of trouble. But then she doubted that he would ever accept a 'sidekick'.
After paying the cab driver, she walked into the small off-Broadway theater for the day's rehearsal.
"Hey, MJ!" one of her co-actors called to her, "You okay? You look like you're a million miles away."
"Oh," Mary Jane snapped out of her thoughts, "I'm sorry, I just had some stuff on my mind."
"Anything you wanna talk about?" the co-actor asked.
"No thanks," Mary Jane answered, "I think it's best if I figure this out on my own."
The co-actor was about to say more when the director called out to start the rehearsal for the day.
"Ricky, you better have a good excuse for leading me down here," Kingsley growled as the teen Rickly lead him through a series of underground tunnels.
"I do, I do," Rickey said quickly, "When you called from the Caribbean, you told me to establish a base here in Manhattan from which you could operate. Well, I couldn't afford any hotel, but I stumbled across this place to see if any of Osborn's old haunts were still available."
"Osborn had all of his underground weapons and goblin stores destroyed after he learned that I had robbed the first one," Kingsley pointed out, "What is this that you've come across?"
"A new base for you, sir," Ricky answered as he pressed his hand against a section of the stone wall that made up the tunnel they were in.
To Kingsley's surprise, another section of the tunnel wall opened allowing Ricky and himself to enter a rather large room that was filled with technologically advanced equipment. In the center of the room Ricky had placed much of the equipment Kingsley would need to take up the mantle of the Hobgoblin again. His glider, extra pumpkin bombs and other weapons were all there. Kingsley however was not very interested in this. He was more interested in the technological devices that made up the room.
"What Osborn would give to see a place like this!" Kingsley exclaimed, "How did you find this place?"
"I told you, sir," Ricky answered, "I had set out to find one of Osborn's old weapons caches. It was only by chance that I found this place."
"How did you find the secret door?" Kingsley asked curiously.
"I tripped and hit it by pure luck," Ricky answered, "I thought these tunnels were lit for maintenance crews and such, and didn't bring a flashlight."
Kingsley sighed and shrugged it off.
"You've done well anyway," Kingsley chuckled, "Not only can I cash in on the present opportunity to get more money and my company back, but with the technology here, I can gain even more!"
"Once we figure out how the technology works," Ricky pointed out.
"I intend to do that shortly," Kingsley smiled, "But I'm thinking I might as well make the announcement that I'm back."
"Announcement?" Ricky asked.
"Osborn got his hands on my company," Kingsley answered, "The first part of my goal is to get that company back. And with Osborn no longer running Osborn Industries, the current parent company, I no longer have to fear the Green Goblin guarding it. All I have to do is get the documents of ownership that Osborn took a while back. Osborn Industries can't get new documents made, because that would be forgery and with the papers I can take legal steps to take over the company again."
Ricky watched as Kingsley walked over toward the assembled goblin gear.
"The real problem is that Roderick Kingsley is a wanted man in New York," Kingsley continued, "So I can not walk into Osborn Industries and buy my company back. But the Hobgoblin can steal it back!"
Liz Allen stood quietly in what had been Norman Osborn's office for many years. It had been hers, briefly, after Harry's death and before Norman's return. It had been hard on her when Norman Osborn returned and claimed his company. She had been left unemployed and caring for her young son. Now that Norman had been imprisoned, she got the company back. However, this didn't end her problems. Norman had somehow escaped from prison, and she now feared that he would return to haunt her or take her son away.
To prevent this, Liz had done everything to increase security and kept her son as close to her as possible. Young 'Normie' seemed to enjoy things so far, but that wouldn't stop Liz's worrying. She was busy walking from her office to the office of one her main managers in the New York City facility when suddenly, skylight above her shattered in a violent explosion.
The explosion's shockwave knocked Liz to the ground and startled many of the other employees in the area. She looked up in fear that it was Norman Osborn in his costume come to claim his revenge. And to her, it might have been. The 'man' wore a caped hood over what looked like the traditional Green Goblin costume, but it was a faded yellow color instead of purple along with his mask, gloves and boots, and the chain-mail sections that covered his arms and legs were blue instead of green. His eyes were also red, as opposed to the Green Goblin's yellow. His glider was similar to the Green Goblin's however, even though it looked more demonic.
"Alright!" the Goblin announced, "Which sorry sap is in charge of this dump?"
Many of the other employees backed away until the Goblin's eyes fell on Liz as she was still trying to get out of the broken glass.
"So, it's you," the Goblin laughed, "Good to see that there's no discrimination here."
"What do you want Norman?" Liz demanded as she got up and back away.
"Norman?" the Goblin laughed, "You think I'm Norman Osborn?"
"Who else could be a Goblin?" Liz asked back.
"There's more then one," the Goblin sneered as he grabbed Liz by the front of her business jacket and lifted her into the air, "You're thinking about the Green Goblin. I am the HOBGOBLIN!"
"What do you want?" Liz asked, looking obviously afraid.
"Awhile back, your predecessor, in terms of owning this company, took over a company owned by Roderick Kingsley," the Hobgoblin explained slowly and in a frightening voice, "I want the documents of ownership. Where are they?"
"You work for Kingsley?" Liz asked.
"In a way," the Hobgoblin smiled, "Where are the documents of ownership?"
"In a filing room in the basement," Liz answered, "Norman's kept them locked up down there."
The Hobgoblin laughed and then threw Liz over his shoulder.
"Then that's where we're going," the Hobgoblin laughed and powered his glider forward in search of an elevator.
"This is the best you got?" J. Jonah Jameson asked as Peter handed him a few photographs of Spider-Man foiling a few minor robberies here and there throughout New York.
"I'm sorry JJ, but ever since this Morlun guy was beaten, there hasn't been all that much for Spidey to stop," Peter answered.
Peter's day after his little 'patrol' was spent by trying to keep up with the affairs of Peter Parker. Among them was bringing in some photos of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle.
"They're crap, Parker," Jonah answered, "I expect better from you."
Jonah then pulled Peter close and whispered in his ear, "I know you discovered that Spider-Man's John, so I can trust you with this. I need you to get good photos to go along with my fine editorials. I can't have John looking bad because you took a bad photo, understand?"
"Of course Mr. Jameson," Peter nodded remembering back to a minor incident a while back when Jameson had put out a reward for anyone who discovered Spider-Man's secret identity.
Peter had cashed in on the opportunity by tricking Jonah into thinking his own son John was Spider-Man. As it turned out, Peter cashed in, in more ways then one. Jonah wouldn't reveal Spider-Man's identity so long as he thought Spider-Man was John Jameson, and on top of it, Jonah's daily editorial had changed from 'Spider-Man is guilty of every crime committed in New York' to 'Spider-Man is New York's greatest hero'. Peter liked that part especially.
Jonah was about to say more when his phone rang. The Daily Bugle's editor quickly picked it up and took the call.
"What?" Jonah yelled into the phone and then continued after a moment, "Where?... Osborn Industries?... Okay. Right."
He then put his phone and turned his attention back to Peter.
"Alright Parker, I'll give you one more chance," Jonah said firmly, "The Hobgoblin's apparently attacked Osborn Industries for some obscure reason. I'm sure Spider-Man's already on his way down there, so get your sorry butt in gear and get me some good photos!"
"Right," Peter nodded and he bolted out of Jonah's office and ran to get to some place where he could change back into costume.
Five minutes later, Peter, back in his Spider-Man costume, slipped out of a window and began webslinging as fast as he could towards the Osborn Industries building.
"How is the Hobgoblin back?" Peter thought as he went, "Kingsley left after he and Norman pretty much battled each other to a draw, so it couldn't be him. More importantly, why is the 'Hobgoblin' back? If it was Kingsley, I could understand. There would probably be some chance at wealth that he would want to cash in on, but he's out there somewhere. What would this new guy have to gain from all of this?"
The Hobgoblin shoved Liz out of the elevator as they arrived in the basement level. He couldn't restrain himself from laughing.
"Please don't hurt me," Liz begged.
"I don't intend to," the Hobgoblin answered, "If you do as you're told. I want the ownership documents for Kingsley's company. Now you're going to take me to them or else you're going to find life and death very painful."
Liz gulped and began walking down the corridor toward the safety vaults where most if not all of the most important business documents that Osborn Industries had was kept safe. Liz was greeted by a security guard as she rounded a corner to head to the vault.
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Osborn," the security guard greeted her, but then saw the Hobgoblin hovering behind her on his glider, "Mrs. Osborn, get down!"
The man didn't get a chance to even draw his weapon, as the Hobgoblin raised one hand and activated the nano-technology in his gloves to fire an electric blast at the guard. The guard quickly fell unconscious and slumped to the ground.
"It's in the safe behind him," Liz said before the Hobgoblin could demand for the Kingsley company ownership documents again.
"Thank you," the Hobgoblin laughed and backhanded the woman knocking her out.
The Hobgoblin then reached into his pouch and pulled out a pumpkin bomb. After arming the device, the villain threw the weapon at the hinges to vault's door. The resulting explosion created a massive crack in the wall around the giant metal door's frame. The Hobgoblin landed his glider right in front of the vault door and dismounted. Laughing, he kicked the massive metal door in. It fell down inside the vault with a resounding thud. The Hobgoblin then quietly walked in.
"Oh, Norman, what a heart attack you'll have when you learn about this!" the Hobgoblin laughed, "Your company attacked and one company that you had spent so long and so hard trying to take, taken from you!"
The Hobgoblin found it impossible to keep from laughing as he went from file to file, looking for the documents that represented the ownership documents to the company that he had owned previously. He quickly created a mountain of paperwork on the floor of the vault as he pulled folders out and tossed those that weren't what he was looking for on the ground. Finally, after emptying half of the filling cabinets in the vault, the Hobgoblin found what he was looking for.
"Ha!" the Hobgoblin exclaimed, "Found it!"
He then leaped back onto his glider and began to make is exit from the Osborn Industries building. He stopped as he came to Liz's unconscious form.
"Give my regards to Norman if you would," the Hobgoblin laughed and then continued on his way.
The Hobgoblin then continued on his way, laughing as he went. The elevator was waiting for him as he got back to the elevator that he had earlier come down on and began to head up back to the top floor to leave through the skylight. He found the top floor to be in greater chaos then he left it. No police had arrived yet, but security guards were running around like crazy, as if trying to find him. The Hobgoblin easily dealt with all of them with a few pumpkin bombs, knocking them all unconscious.
"Man this is much too easy," the Hobgoblin commented aloud as he piloted his glider through the whole in the skylight that he had created, "I was expecting to run into the Green Goblin nearby or some superhero, or at least decent security. Instead, I run into all this. This is way too easy."
His triumphant thoughts were interrupted by a new voice.
"Don't worry, it just got harder for you!" the voice yelled.
He looked down to see Spider-Man coming up from below him, using two strands of his webbing as a slingshot to propel the hero forward. Peter quickly managed to land a powerful kick on the Hobgoblin's chest, knocking him backward and off his glider. The Hobgoblin landed somewhat roughly on the roof a nearby building across the street from the Osborn Industries building. Peter landed acrobatically on the very edge of the building.
"So, Hobgoblin, what brings you back to my neck of the woods?" Peter asked, "I thought you'd called it quits after Norman beat you up."
"He didn't beat me up," the Hobgoblin growled back, "It was a draw. As for my presence here, you can call it a comeback tour."
The Hobgoblin then threw a series of pumpkin bombs at Peter, but he was easily able to dodge the attacks as his spider-sense warned him of the attack. He flipped over to land on his fit in the middle of the roof.
"Is that all you got?" Peter teased, "You know you can't hit me with those things when I have the room to dodge them. At least you should."
The Hobgoblin smiled and pulled a small remote out from his belt.
"Oh I know," the Hobgoblin laughed, "But you've apparently forgotten a lot about me!"
The Hobgoblin then pressed a button on the remote, and his glider suddenly changed its course and began to zero in on Spider-Man. After a few seconds several rockets appeared underneath its wings. The Hobgoblin then pressed another button and the glider fired its rockets at Spider-Man. Again, Peter was able to dodge the attack, but in dodging the rockets that the Hobgoblin launched at him, he walked right into a punch that the Hobgoblin delivered that sent him flying across the roof.
"Okay, I asked for that one," Peter mumbled to himself.
"I may have been gone for a while, Spider-Man, but I'm back now," the Hobgoblin laughed as he hopped back onto his glider, "And you know, I really ought to thank you. Your defeating Osborn and seeing that he lost Osborn Industries is part of the reason why I came back."
"I'll defeat you, too," Peter said in a determined voice and leaped at the Hobgoblin.
He managed to land a punch or two on his foe, but the Hobgoblin was prepared for the attack this time, and Peter was unable to knock him off of his glider. The Hobgoblin quickly pushed Peter away from him and hit him with an electric blast from his gloves. The blast knocked Peter back down to the roof of the building and the Hobgoblin quickly went higher into the air on his glider.
"I'd love to stay and continue beating the tar out of you, Spider-Man," the Hobgoblin called back, "But I'm a busy man with places to go and people to see."
"NO!" Peter yelled as he got up, but found it was already too late.
The Hobgoblin had escaped.
"Blast!" Peter cursed and punched a piece of a chimney that came out of the roof he was on.
Under New York
The Hobgoblin returned to his new base with a triumphant grin on his face. He found Ricky looking over several of the computer panels that he found in the base prior to bringing Kingsley down.
"How did it go, sir?" Ricky asked.
"Exactly as planned!" Kingsley smiled as he removed his mask and landed his glider, "The ownership documents to my company are mine again. I even ran into Spider-Man too! The webbed buffoon has apparently lost some of his touch in my absence."
Ricky nodded, not saying anything.
"What are you looking at?" Kingsley asked.
"I've been looking at the computer panels ever since you left, sir," Ricky answered, "I think I've figured out how it works."
"I knew I hired you for a reason," Kingsley smiled, "How does it work?"
"Most of it is surveillance equipment," Ricky explained as he moved over to several different sections of the computer consoles, "A few lead to some weapon's storage somewhere, and at least one is some sort of analysis tool of every hero on the planet."
"Interesting," Kingsley smiled, "I could know the strength and weakness to everyone and anyone who would oppose me. Is there anything else?"
Ricky looked over at another section of the computer panels and sighed.
"Well there's this one here," Ricky pointed out to a final panel on the end, "But I have no idea as to what it does."
"Test it out," Kingsley encouraged, "I'd like to know what all of this stuff does."
"Yes, sir," Ricky acknowledged and began fiddling with several of the buttons.
After a few moments several bright lights in the ceiling of the underground base went on making the base appear much brighter. A minute later a computerized voice sounded.
"Tracer program, activated," the voice announced.
"What the?" Kingsley demanded, "What is this 'Tracer' program?"
A voice from behind them gave Kingsley the answer he was looking for.
"That would be me," the voice announced.
Peter returned in a rather frustrated mood. The Hobgoblin had completely ruined his day. He knew that the villain had stolen something from Osborn Industries, but he didn't know what, and almost as important he knew that whoever this Hobgoblin was, he was experienced and knew how to handle all of the equipment that went along with it. He ran into his Aunt May as she was walking through the hallways of the upper levels of the tower.
"Peter, are you alright?" Aunt May asked.
"Define 'alright'," Peter grumbled as he removed his mask.
"Something's troubling you," Aunt May commented, "Is there anything you need to talk about? Or anything you need help with?"
"I can talk if you want," Peter sighed, "But I don't need help. I'll get him eventually."
"Get who?" Aunt May asked.
"The Hobgoblin," Peter answered, "He stole something from Osborn Industries, and when I tried to stop him, I got my butt handed to me."
"I saw his attack on the news," Aunt May commented, "I didn't know you were there."
"Ever since I got JJ to believe that his son is Spider-Man, he's kept tabs on all of my usual enemies and has some sort of hotline of 'witnesses' that warn him of when one of them is attacking," Peter sighed, "I was just dropping off some of my pictures of Spider-Man's adventures since all that business with Morlun's return when one of his 'witnesses' called to tell him about the Hobgoblin's attack and told me to go to the scene and take pictures."
His Aunt's answer alerted Peter that he had told too much.
"Peter Parker!" Aunt May scolded, "You have your employer at the Bugle believing his son is Spider-Man!"
"He was offering a reward to anyone who discovered Spider-Man's identity," Peter answered, "I had to do something. People were getting killed trying to cash in on the reward."
"I suppose this is why the Fantastic Four's identities are publicly known," Aunt May commented.
"And why all their enemies know where they live," Peter answered back, "We weren't living here at the time and I didn't want some guy to come in and kill you or Mary Jane while I was gone."
"So you deceived your employer to think his son was your alter-ego?" Aunt May said firmly, "What happens when he discovers you lied? What about his son? Have you even thought about that?"
Peter sighed, "John Jameson was in on it with me."
"He knows WHO you are?" Aunt May gasped.
Peter sighed again, "No he and 'Spider-Man' were in on it. I officially cashed in, but as far as John knows, Spider-Man gave the photos to Peter Parker. As far as Jonah finding out, I don't intend for him to find out. This is one of those situations where a little lie can't hurt anything."
"I hope you're right, Peter," Aunt May answered, "Lying is a very BAD thing, no matter what the reason."
Peter nodded, since that was about all he could do.
"Do you know where this 'Hobgoblin' is now?" Aunt May asked.
"I don't know," Peter sighed, "But I'm sure I'll hear more from him soon."
Under New York
Kingsley and Ricky had turned to see a 'man' in what looked like a patchwork costume of metal and cloth. His eyes were covered by fairly strange looking sunglasses.
"Who the heck are you?" Kingsley demanded.
"I am Tracer, God of Robots," Tracer answered.
Kingsley and Ricky looked at each other while Tracer analyzed the two beings before him. The information of his analysis flashed across Tracer's optics.
They read: 'Subject: unknown… powers: unknown, but unlikely… chances of escape: 0. Subject: Roderick Kingsley, Alias: Hobgoblin… Powers: superhuman strength and reflexes. Also uses various pieces of technology to aid his endeavors… chances of escape: 20.
"What are you doing in my base?" Tracer asked.
"You're base?" Kingsley growled back.
"Yes," Tracer answered, "This facility was created for me by my loyal worshipers so that I may free them from human enslavement. What are you doing here?"
"I am intending to use this place as my own base of operations," Kingsley answered.
The information that flashed across Tracer's optics then read: chances of escape attempt: 0.
"I'm afraid you will have to leave or I will have to destroy you," Tracer warned.
"Why don't you leave!" Kingsley shouted as he pulled a pumpkin bomb from his pouch and threw it at Tracer.
The bomb hit Tracer in the chest and threw him back several feet. He slowly pulled himself up. The information flashing across his optics: fight initiated… chances of victory: 90. Tracer immediately got to his feet and lunged forward at Kingsley, landing a punch that threw him against the computer panels. Kingsley then fell to the ground at Tracer's feet.
"Ow," Kingsley grumbled.
"Before I kill you," Tracer announced, "I will take the opportunity to thank you for giving me the chance of getting some exercise before my upcoming rematch with Spider-Man."
Kingsley rolled away before Tracer could bring his foot down on him to crush his ribs. The strange robot's line had intrigued him.
"You want to fight Spider-Man?" Kingsley asked.
Tracer paused in his attack, "Yes, why do you ask?"
"Oh nothing," Kingsley shrugged as he got up, "It's just that he's an old foe of mine."
"Interesting," Tracer commented, "Whatever your line of thought is at the moment, it will not save you."
"I understand," Kingsley answered, "But I have another question."
"Go ahead," Tracer replied politely.
"I just got away from Spider-Man a little while ago," Kingsley began, "If you're the so called 'God of Robots', why is Spider-Man still alive?"
This caused Tracer to pause.
"Spider-Man is still alive?" Tracer asked.
"And kicking," Kingsley answered.
"It can't be," Tracer shook his head, "He was dying the last I saw of him."
"And when was that?" Kingsley asked.
"Right before he strangled me to death," Tracer answered.
"He strangled you to death?" Kingsley answered, "How are you supposed to be a god then if he killed you. Gods tend to immortal."
"I am," Tracer answered, "I am here, aren't I?"
"Yes, but if he 'killed' you before, you shouldn't be here," Kingsley pointed out, "Death tends to be permanent."
"It was not a 'death' in the sense that you are familiar with," Tracer answered, "I essentially let him win because he, himself, was dying at the time. I merely transferred myself to this shell and awaited my own reactivation. You've actually reactivated me a little earlier then I intended."
"You mentioned that Spider-Man was dying?" Kingsley asked.
"Yes," Tracer nodded, "I detected a rather dangerous disease of unknown origin and properties within his bloodstream. It was killing him."
"I gotta ask Spider-Man about that the next time I see him," Kingsley muttered under his breath, "This sounds too strange to be true."
"I am also curious about his survival," Tracer answered, "But I will learn more about that after I've dealt with you."
Kingsley backed away and kept a hand ready to grab another pumpkin bomb, but also saw an opportunity in facing this Tracer being.
"Say," Kingsley offered, "Since it appears that both of us are looking to really fight the same guy, why don't we work together. You could probably use my help since you couldn't beat him the last time you fought the wall-crawler."
"I let him win," Tracer shot back.
"Sure," Kingsley answered, "And he's alive and kicking today as a result. He beat you. I'm only here for a short while, really, and once I've gained what I set out to, I intend to leave."
"You are not taking up permanent residence in my throne room?" Tracer asked.
"No," Kingsley replied, "I'm here to regain a company that belonged to me a while back and make a little extra profit while I'm at it."
"And once you've completed that you will leave?" Tracer asked, beginning to formulate his own plans.
"Yes," Kingsley nodded, "I'll even give you a fruit basket as a parting gift."
"I do not require a 'parting gift', but if you wish to aide me in destroying Spider-Man and the Avengers, then your help would be most appreciated," Tracer said, "Provided you follow my lead."
Kingsley eyed Tracer for a few moments and decided that he could outsmart this robot easily reached out with his gloved hand to shake Tracer's.
"Deal," Kingsley answered.
"Deal," Tracer agreed.
"Um, you guys aren't fighting any more are you?" Ricky asked.
"No, I suppose not," Tracer responded, "Consider yourself lucky that you are part of this deal."
To Be Continued…