Author's Note: And I now present to you Chapter 10 of Misconceptions, during which Doc Ock and Evelyn are confronted by that pesky Spider-Man—and what happens in the aftermath. Featuring a special guest appearance by the Fantastic Four!
"I'll ask you again nicely, Ock. Put the girl down. Now," Spider-Man said, an edge in his voice. He was only standing a few feet away from Doc Ock and his niece, Evelyn.
"That's Spider-Man?" Evelyn whispered into Ock's ear in awe and with a twinge of fear.
"Yes," he hissed. "Let me take care of this. We'll talk later." He turned away his attention from his niece and looked down at the pesky hero.. "Ah, Spider-Man. This simply won't do. Why do you even bother to try to reason with me?"
"Because I don't want anyone to get hurt. Me, you, or the girl."
Ock chuckled. "Yes, of course. Make yourself feel better by convincing yourself you're concerned for everyone's welfare." He paused. "Well, I'm not concerned in the slightest. Especially with your welfare." With that, a tentacle shot abruptly forward, knocking Spider-Man off balance. "Woahhhh..." Another tentacle smashed into the hero, and he fell off the building.
Evelyn gasped. "You've... you've killed him!"
Otto shook his head. "No, I didn't. He'll be back." An actuator shot down over the side of the building, and he nodded. "He's fine. He'll be coming back up in just a few minutes."
The super-villain set Evelyn down on the roof of the building. He shoved the suitcase into her hands, and pointed a finger in the other direction. "See that? That's the elevator for this building. Take it, and go home as fast as you possibly can. Wait for me there."
Evelyn looked quite alarmed, and held the suitcase full of weapons awkwardly. "But... but, Uncle Otto, I don't know what—"
"Don't question me," he snarled. "It's for your best interest. Now go!" He shoved her in the direction of the elevator, and she dashed off.
No sooner had the elevator doors closed than when Spider-Man climbed over the scaffolding of the roof, panting. "You actually didn't think that would kill me, did you, Ock? You've got to do better than that."
Ock shrugged. "Who knows? Maybe I just hoped it would kill you."
Spider-Man got into a fighting stance. "Now, where were we? Something about your hostage...?" Beneath his mask, his eyes darted around, looking for the girl that was now nowhere to be seen. "Hey, where'd she go?"
"What are you talking about?" the super-villain asked smugly.
Spidey scoffed. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. The girl! Where is she? What did you do to her?"
"I only simply did what you told me to. I let her go."
"Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it. Did you kill her, Ock?"
To the hero's surprise, he spat defensively, "No, I didn't kill her. I've got better things to do than kill innocent little girls."
Spider-Man held his hand up in mock surprise. "Well, of course you wouldn't want to! I mean, even I wouldn't expect you to kill your own daughter, Ock."
Doctor Octopus just stood there and stared at the hero blankly for a few seconds. Then anger began to contort his facial features. "What did you just say, Spider-Man?"
The hero, seeing that he had really angered his enemy (more than he had thought he would have), began to back away. "Um, nothing! I didn't say anything, really."
Ock stomped forward and lifted Spider-Man up by the nape of his neck before he could defend himself. "Do you really think," he snarled, "that that girl back there was my daughter?"
"Well, what do you expect me to think, Doc? I mean, she's obviously with you. It didn't look like you were holding her against her will, and she looks a little like—ack!" The hero made a choking sound as Otto's fingers tightened around his throat. "What do you—ack—think you're doing? Killing me won't—change—anything..."
To Spider-Man's surprise, Ock nodded. "You're right." He dropped him, where he crumpled to the ground, massaging his throat. "Why would I kill you when I can make your whole life a miserable hell?" He stomped on Spider-Man's hand.
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeoowwwwww!" Spider-Man screamed. "Why are you doing this?"
"Because you need to learn that you never assume with Doctor Octopus. Never." With that, Ock hefted up Spider-Man and punched him in the face. "Evelyn is not my daughter, you ignorant fool."
Too late he realized he had slipped and said his niece's name. Spider-Man coughed. "So, she's got a name, eh, Doc? She's obviously your new sidekick! What'd you do, kidnap the poor girl and then brainwash her?"
"Cease your insescant chatter, Spider-Man. It will get you nowhere." The criminal knocked the other off of his feet with a metallic tentacle. He fell to the ground, getting up a few seconds later. "Don't think you've got me beat yet, Doc," Spider-Man replied, as he pulled up his wrists and shot webbing towards Doctor Octopus.
The scientist quickly dodged the webbing, standing to the side as the hero's weapon shot past him harmlessly. He chuckled. "Again and again we play this charade, Spider-Man. Again and again we dance this dance of death, with no one ever winning. Do you not find it pointless?"
"Do I find it pointless? No, not when you're going around exploiting young girls now!" the hero shouted as he dodged a tentacle that was hellbent on beating him to nothingness.
Otto was enraged by that last snide assumption. "How dare you assume such a thing!" he yelled. "The one time I am benevolent, you must condemn me for it!" He lunged for Spider-Man, and succeeded, grabbing the hero by the scruff of his neck yet again. "This conversation is over," he declared, and clocked Spider-Man right in the face. Otto let go of him, and he crumpled to the ground in a twisted heap.
The villian bent down and examined the beaten hero. Yes, he's down for the count, alright. I hope the snide little twerp has learned his lesson this time. Otto decided just to leave him there; that would teach the fool to screw around with him again... And besides, he was trying to set an example for Evelyn. What kind of father figure would he be if he killed Spider-Man?
A few minutes later, Otto let himself down in an alleyway, immediately obscuring his tentacles. He slipped his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed a number.
"Yes?" A frightened voice answered the line.
"It's Otto. Just wanted to let you know I'm heading home now. Did you get to the apartment safely?"
"Yes... yeah, I did."
"Did anyone follow you home that you know of? Did you keep to the alleys like I showed you?"
"Nope, no one followed me as far as I know. And yeah, I did keep to the alleys."
"Good. I'll be home in just a few minutes. I'll talk to you then." He flipped the phone shut and scaled the nearest building...
When Otto walked into the apartment, a little exhausted, his ears perked up. He heard something coming from the other room. It was music... he'd be damned if that didn't sound like a violin playing... Otto knocked on the door of the room where the music was loudest.
Evelyn opened the door, holding a violin tipped in her hand. She stared at him blankly for a moment, before her face reverted to the look of slightly frightened shock that seemed to be the effect Otto gave everyone; ever since his accident. "Oh, hi! Hi, Uncle Otto..."
He furrowed his brows and narrowed his eyes. "Since when did you play the violin, Evelyn? You never told me you played an instrument..."
The girl in question looked down at her stringed instrument nervously. "I used to play in school, but I quit after Mom died. She played it too, and Dad couldn't take hearing it."
"Oh." He didn't really have an appropriate answer to that statement. Instead, he walked into the kitchen and motioned for her to follow. She did so, still carrying her violin.
He sat at the table, folding his hands and setting them on the surface. "You know, I used to play an instrument myself, once upon a time..."
A half confused, half shocked look stole over his niece's face, and she said, with disbelief, "Really?"
"What did you play?"
Otto stared at the floor. "The tuba."
Evelyn raised her eyebrows. "No way."
"Yes, indeed. I quit as well, after middle school. I enjoyed the instrument, but I couldn't take the constant pressure from the other... students. I guess I couldn't be a music nerd and a science geek at the same time..."
Evelyn didn't say anything, but set her violin down on the table and looked at her uncle, whose hands were folded on the table. After a minute of mindless staring, Evelyn opened her mouth and spoke. "Maybe you should start playing again."
Otto looked up and scoffed. "Play again? No, I don't think so. I wouldn't even remember how to hold it properly..." He stood up. "But we can talk about the art of music another time," the super-villain declared. "Now we must talk about your future."
"My future...?" Evelyn asked, fear starting to come into her voice. "What happened with Spider-Man?"
"He knows," Otto replied bluntly. "He doesn't know that you're my niece, but he knows that you're with me. And this is alarming, because God knows he'll get Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D to get together a search party for you..."
"Who is Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.?" Evelyn asked.
"They're the organization that kind of keeps tabs on the superheroes, and locks up the criminals such as myself. Colonel Nick Fury is the head of the organization. I'd rather not go up against him."
Evelyn didn't say anything, so Otto continued. "So. We're going to stay here for now, but I may have to relocate us at any time for your protection as well as mine. I thought I'd let you know that in advance, just in case it ends up being short notice."
"But... where would we go?" his niece stammered.
Otto put a hand on her shoulder. "Not to worry, I know many places where we may go. Not all of them are pleasant, but that goes with the reputation, I suppose."
She opened her mouth to speak, but he spoke over her. "And if such a thing happens, I'll take over your education."
"No buts. Do you think I have a choice?" he snapped. "Besides, I'll teach you what you need to know, don't worry."
"But what happened with you and Spider-Man, Uncle Otto?"
Otto couldn't help but smile a little at that question. "I let the little twerp finally get what was coming to him. Hopefully that will scare him enough so he doesn't say anything about you for a bit."
"You... you didn't kill him, did you?"
"No, I didn't kill him," Otto retorted. "What makes you think I would kill him?"
"Wellll... That's kind of a rhetorical question, isn't it, Uncle Otto?"
He grinned. "Yes, indeed it is, isn't it. I could see why you would expect that." He pushed the chair into the table, where it made a scraping sound. "I'll leave you to your lovely practicing, Evelyn. I'll be in my room if you need me." Otto began to walk away, but he stopped in the doorway. "Evelyn?"
"Yeah, Uncle Otto?"
"Things will be alright. I promise you." Without another word, he whipped around, his tentacles trailing him. The sound of a door closing lightly could be heard only a few seconds later.
Evelyn sighed softly. She was unsure of the future, but she was sure of two things—Uncle Otto would never hurt her, and she had nothing to be afraid of. Despite the fact that he was a criminal, he wasn't as bad as they all made him out to be. She knew that there was some humanity there. Of course, Evelyn wasn't sure how much humanity Otto had left, but she knew that he had some.
The blonde girl walked into her room, closing the door. She placed the violin on her chin and began to play, losing herself in the lovely serenade that was dancing in her mind.
Peter Parker woke up to someone saying, "Hey, Spidey, wake up, why don'tcha?" He opened his eyes, which were nearly crusted shut with blood, and saw a looming orange figure in front of him.
"Hey, Ben..." he croaked. "Mind helping me up?"
"I can take care of that," the unmistakable voice of Reed Richards said, outside of Peter's vision. A rubbery hand took his and Spider-Man stood up shakily on his legs. He felt terrible, but it wasn't anything that a day or two of rest couldn't cure. Unfortunately, thanks to a certain eight limbed scientist, he was pretty sure his hand was broken. Spidey held it gingerly.
"What happened to you?" Johnny Storm asked, a little concerned.
Peter rubbed the back of his head, where it hurt the most. "Er, I was chasing Doc Ock, confronted him... he beat the crap out of me..."
"Do you know where he went?" Mr. Fantastic asked.
Spidey shook his head. "No, I don't..." Then realization struck him as he remembered the girl who had disappeared while he was falling off the building. What had happened to her? And what was her relation to him, if at all? He needed to know, and perhaps The Fantastic Four could help him. "Could I come with you to the Baxter Building?" he asked, as they all stepped into the Fantasticar, which was hovering a foot or so above the ground.
Reed Richards smiled. "We were going to take you with us anyway. Hop in."
After Peter had told the Fantastic Four his story of his interesting encounter with Doc Ock and the mysterious girl, Mr. Fantastic stared at him worriedly. "This is certainly cause for concern."
"Yeah," the Thing chimed in. "Who knows what he could do to a poor little girl..."
Johnny's eyes flashed. "We need to find that fat freak and beat the crap out of him for doing that! He's gone too far this time! And I know that Doc Ock usually fights you, but if I have to find him and fight him myself, I will."
"Calm down, Johnny," Reed replied. "We'll find him, rest assured."
"What about the girl, though?" Susan asked, concerned.
"Let's deal that when we get to it, eh, guys?" Spider-Man replied, holding his broken hand stiffly. The Thing noticed that he was holding it that way and looked down at it. "Did he break your hand, bub?"
"Reed, the kid needs to go to the hospital," Thing called up. "His hand is broken."
"No, I'll be fine, really!" Spidey exclaimed, moving his wrist. "Ouch!"
Needless to say, after much arguing on Peter's part, they decided that it would be alright if Reed just bandaged it up and put it in a cast. Peter was extremely happy about this because then he wouldn't have to deal with a worried Aunt May and a costly hospital visit.
They stopped the Fantasticar on the side of a busy street in Queens, where Peter got out. "Thank you so much for the ride and for fixing my hand," he said to Reed.
The leader of the Fantastic Four flashed a smile. "No problem, Spider-Man. I'll keep you posted if we find anything out about that girl Evelyn you talked about."
"Alright. See you later..."
"Hang in there, kid!" The Thing shouted as the Fantasticar sped away.
Still holding his injured hand, Peter walked down a few blocks before heading into a building and stepping up several flights of stairs. He let himself in the door, shouting a quick hi to Aunt May before dashing to his room.
The superhero looked out the window and thought about the girl. She wasn't much younger than he was... He knew that Otto was merely lying and that she was his daughter. There could be no other explanation. Peter shuddered. To have a father, or even a fatherly influence like that... Staring out that window, he whispered, "I'll save you, Evelyn. I promise."
To Be Continued...