A/N: Here it is, the final chapter of Spider-man: Greatest of them all
"GGGRRRAAA-AAAHHH!" Laura shouted as she bounded towards the nearest body, her snarled expression both obscured and enhanced by the breathing apparatus. Her claws gleamed in the pale light as she charged towards the still-shocked Wasp. Only to be knocked aside like a soccer ball, with a twenty-foot tall Cassie as the kicker.
"Slice this, bitch," Cassie spat as she brought her foot down on Laura hard. A loud crunching sound resounded through the hangar, presumably it was Laura's bones being crushed by Cassie's sheer weight.
"Stature, back up!" Peter shouted, coming to a horrible conclusion of how a battle between the two could turn out.
"No way, Spider-man!" Cassie shouted back as she pressed her foot down once more. "She's gotta pay for...GAH!" as soon as she relieved her foot from Laura's body, the mind controlled mutant stabbed upwards, into Cassie's foot. Cassie stumbled backwards several feet before crashing down. To Peter's horror, Laura followed her, prepared to launch a fatal strike, only to be intercepted by what appeared to be a grizzly bear. The bear, otherwise known as Hulkling brought both paws to bear on Laura, delivering powerful blows to her face and chest. He followed up his claws with a bite towards Laura's shoulder. As soon as Peter saw his teeth sink into Laura's flesh, Teddy let out a scream. Laura had imbedded her claws in his shoulder, forcing him to revert to his natural form.
"Get away from him!" Wasp shouted, shrinking down and zipping towards Laura, blasting her with bursts of energy. Unlike with her previous two attackers, Laura seemed to be unable to hit her target. Sharpened claws sliced about, doing their best to strike Wasp.
A single burst of energy crashed into the breathing apparatus, rupturing a tube and forcing a greenish gas into the air. That's when he came to a realization. If he could remove the apparatus, he might be able to stop Laura's rampage. With this information in his mind, he charged into the fray.
He slammed his shoulder into Laura's stomach, and used his momentum to tuck and roll. He kicked out with his legs, knocking his opponent away and into a wall. He gave her no chance to recover, pinning her to the wall and tearing the mask off. Only to have Laura swing for his head with her claw as the smell of rotten eggs filled the air and his nose. He returned the favour with a powerful punch to her jaw.
Something sliced his thigh, disorienting him temporarily. While the pain wasn't the worst he had ever experienced, it gave Laura the opportunity to pin him underneath her body and raise her clawed hand for a final blow.
"Get off him!" Cassie shouted as she swept her hand across Peter's field of vision, knocking Laura away. Peter rolled to his feet and cast a glance towards his girlfriend, who was attempting to stand, before being forced to duck under a slashing blow from Laura. Peter managed to grab her arm and throw her into the wall, feeling the slightest amount of pleasure in doing so. He followed up the throw with a series of rapid punches, each making him feel slightly better than the last. Not every blow connected with flesh, some hit concrete, cracking it. Soon Peter's fists where covered in a mixture of his own blood and that of Laura's.
"Go!" Laura pleaded before countering one of his strikes by driving her bladed foot towards his stomach. "Please!"
"You don't get off that easy!" Peter shot back as he grabbed Laura's arm and snapped it. "Not after all you've put me through!" He said as he kicked Laura into and through a side door. He let out a feral roar as he redoubled his attack, launching blow after blow towards Laura. She slipped through about half his blows and managed to bloc a few more. But occasionally one would get through and strike flesh.
"You killed my Father!" he bellowed, launching her halfway up a flight of stairs and pinning her.
"You killed my mother!" he roared as he slammed his fist into her face, breaking her jaw.
"You killed my uncle!" he said as his fist crushed her shoulder.
"You killed Daredevil!" he said as he smashed his fist into her exposed neck. A horrible SNAP! filled his ears as he continued to beat Laura, even as she stopped moving entirely. "SAY SOMETHING!" he bellowed angrily as he reared his fist back once more. Seconds ticked by as he waited for a pleading response, some desperate voice to tell him to stop.
But it didn't come.
It couldn't come.
"A pity," a sultry voice said into his ear. Peter whirled around to see a woman in a green combat suit smile at him. "So much time, effort and money, all wasted. But at least your parents and beloved Uncle have been avenged. And so has the Daredevil, correct?" The woman said with a grin as she circled Peter.
"Who are you?" Peter demanded.
"Me?" the woman replied with a smirk, "I'm no one, really. And yet everyone at the same time. I'm a relic of a time past. When guns and bombs where the deciding factors on the field of battle. But now it seems, whoever has the best army of super-powered soldiers is the one who wins the day."
"Viper," Peter replied, recognizing the woman from both his previous engagement with HYDRA and his parent's message.
"One of my many interchangeable names," the woman smiled as she placed a hand on his shoulder. "But I'm not here to discuss me. I'm here to discuss you. To discuss your future." Peter was barely listening, instead focusing on Laura's body. Knowing he had killed her weighed on him heavily. "I want to offer you a place in my organization," Viper said in a whisper, "If you think about it, Peter...the only reason X-23 killed your parents was because Nick Fury put them in harms way. And the same with your Uncle."
"How do you know about my Uncle?" Peter snapped.
"X-23 told us everything," Viper replied as shifting rubble alerted him to movement, "pass-codes. Secret identities. Weaknesses. Passions. Everything we need to take down the people who killed your parents."
"You're wrong," Peter muttered. "My parents died because they tried to help an innocent girl. Because they tried to do the right thing. So did my uncle, and so did Daredevil. And I..." the words in his mouth where stopped in their tracks by a knife being thrust into his stomach.
"Then it's fitting that you should die like they did," Viper spat bitterly, in the most painful way possiblAKKK!" Twin blades stabbed through Viper's chest as a familiar dark-haired face moved into view.
"Never again," Laura said as she withdrew her claws, allowing the woman to fall to the ground. "HYDRA has killed enough Parker family members."
"I made you..." Viper hissed as she clutched her chest, "X-23...you belong to me..."
"Her name's Laura Kinney," Peter said firmly as he saw the forms of Wasp, Hulkling and Cassie run down the hall. "And she's a human being."
"She's a weapon..." Viper said as she began to succumb to blood-loss. "A little more than a monster who..."
"I only see one monster here," Peter said as he got to his feet.
"You haven't stopped us..." Viper gasped with her last breath, "cut off one head...two more take it's place."
One Week Later
He stood on the roof, overlooking both the Avengers complex and New York city. In his hand he held a small, golden badge in the form of an 'A' that signified his status as a full Avenger. He smiled, thinking about how far he'd come in the past year. He thought about how proud his Aunt had been when he called her earlier that day. He thought about how proud his uncle and Mathew Murdoch would have been.
"...the massive trauma she received to her throat actually prevented the chemicals from properly reaching her head," Wasp had said as she handed him a file. "And from your parent's research and notes we where able to devise and deliver a permanent cure for her."
"Can we talk?" a small, anxious voice said from before. He had heard that particular voice so infrequently that it took him a minute to recognize it as Laura's. E turned around to face her fully, realizing just how small she really was without the thought of her past as a killing machine attached.
"Yes," Peter replied as he pulled his mask free. "I...I think we need to..." he said, stumbling over his words.
"Peter...I'm so proud of you," Aunt May had proudly proclaimed with a hug after he told her the entire story, including Laura's hand in the murders of his parents and Uncle Ben. "You where able to look past whaat she had done to see the truth...I love you so much."
"You aren't mad?" he remembered asking.
"How could I be?" she had replied, "that young woman never did anything wrong, according to what you just told me."
"I...I want to say...I am very...I understand if you..." Laura began, but Peter stopped her by taking her hand in his own.
"You don't need to apologize, Laura," he said firmly. "You haven't done anything under your own free will that is wrong. It's I who should be apologizing to you."
"No," Laura said as she pulled away and walked to the edge of the building. "I have killed just about everyone you care about. You had a right to want me dead."
"Laura I never meant to kill you," He said, more to himself than to her. "I...I was just so angry...i didn't see the truth until it was to late. You're a victim of HYDRA to," he said, "like Daredevil told me in that warehouse three years ago...it wasn't your fault."
"No," Laura began, "I can never forgive myself...no one will..."
"I will," he said softly. "Where are you going after you're done here?"
"The Thunderbolts offered me a position," Laura replied as shuffling gravel alerted Peter to the presence of Cassie, who was running towards them both with a large smile on her face, "that I decided to take. But if you ever need anything...I owe you my life, so please ask."
"Hey Peter," Cassie shouted as Peter took note of the fact that her stride was unaffected by the bandages on her foot. "Guess who just got offered a place on the..." A bright white flash clouded his vision, and sound disappeared entirely.
If you have not read Marvel Crossroads 2: A thousand Roads (one of my other stories) don't continue reading unless you don't really care.
Cassie coughed as she got to her feet. Something had knocked her aside. She cast her eyes around for any signs of life. She found it in the shape of Laura, who was lying several feet from her.
"X?" Cassie said as she walked over to her teammate and shook her shoulder. Even though Laura had tried to kill her a week ago, Cassie understood she hadn't been in control of her body. And that was enough for her to forgive and forget.
"gggrrr!" Laura snapped as she rolled to her feet and snapped into a defensive stance.
"Woah, X.." Cassie said as she continued to look for signs of habitation. There was none. Not for miles from the looks of things. Every building she could see was at least partially destroyed. "Friend, remember?"
"Where are we!" Laura snapped.
"No idea," Cassie said, "where's..."
"You're in an alternate dimension," a new, unfamiliar voice said as a body literally stepped out from a wall. "One that was attacked by aliens, I think. Everyone died, and something brought us here." The speaker was female, and appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She wore an outfit of black and purple, with a red web pattern that reminded Cassie of Peter's outfit.
"Who are you?" Cassie said briskly, "and where's spider-man?"
"If I knew where my husband was, don't you think I'd be with him?" the figure replied as she thrust a hand forward, "Katherine Parker, but you can call me Shadow-spider."
A/N: Get ready for my next story (as this one's done!):