Richard Parker and his wife Mary Parker sat outside in Central Park under an American elm tree taking in the sun as they laid close together. There were only a few months left until Mary would give birth and Richard had been more nervous than Mary. Mary shuffled slightly, causing Richard to turn to her nervously.
"Are you okay?" he asked, staring at her. Mary chuckled softly.
"Yes, Rick. I'm fine. I was just a bit uncomfortable, that's all," Mary replied. Richard let out a sigh of relief and eased back against the tree. Mary smiled slightly. "You're more nervous about this pregnancy than I am." Mary said. Richard gulped slightly as he thought over the past ten years of their marriage. Ever since they had first attempted to have children, it had always ended in either a dry womb or in recent years, two miscarriages. The very fact that their current baby, a boy, had been conceived was a miracle in itself and the very fact the pregnancy had lasted six months was something that Richard had regretfully and pessimistically not anticipated. He should know that some things in the world were possible however. He was, after all, part of a search mission for a frozen World War II hero...
"I really don't know, Mary," Richard said. "I just don't want anything to go wrong. It's been so perfect so far..." Richard said as his voice trailed off. The warm hand of his wife gently touched his face and he looked towards her as she smiled widely.
"I know there've been several difficulties in the past...the miscarriages, the infertility...but this time is different. I feel it in my heart. This baby is special. God has a purpose for him in the world," Mary said. Richard looked up at the sky and sighed softly. The strength and faith he heard in Mary's words pricked his own heart in conviction. Maybe he was being much too pessimistic. But he knew, somewhere deep in his conscience, that something bad would happen. "Ow!" Mary cried out in pain. Richard turned to her quickly and looked her up and down.
"What's wrong?" he inquired, slightly panicked.
"Something...something bit me," she answered. Without hesitation, Richard lifted his wife's shirt and investigated. Sure enough, there was something under her shirt, a small brown spider no bigger than a penny. The arachnid scurried up Mary's side, heading for her armpit. With a quick and remorseless flick of his finger, Richard sent the spider flying across the grass. He then immediately turned his attention to his wife, who was still holding her side in pain. The spot around her bite had already began to swell, indicating skin necrosis had already began to take affect. Never had Richard seen skin necrosis happen so fast with a spider bite, especially from one so small..
"C'mon. We should probably get you to a hospital," Richard suggested as he lifted his wife up. Mary shook her head.
"No, I'm fine," she said. Richard looked at her and immediately noticed something was wrong. Mary began to stagger slightly and with every step, she grew less balanced. In her last step, she sent her hand out to Richard . "Riiiii..." she said trailing off as she fell to the ground. Richard bounded towards her and lifted her from the ground.
"Help! Help! Somebody call for an ambulance immediately!" he screamed out as several people began to dive for their phones.
"She's down," a deep voice reported over the phone. The source was a tall and thin man with equally thin blonde hair and a goatee. He was dressed oddly for the weather, wearing all black and even wearing a bowler hat with sunglasses.
"She?" a voice called from the other side for confirmation.
"Yeah, she," the man said.
"Damn! The spider was supposed to bite Richard Parker, not his wife. The damn pheromones were in place!" the voice shouted angrily from over the phone.
"There's little evidence to show that spiders even follow pheromone trails, sir and besides, with all of that testing you did, that spider turned out to be a very aggressive one. Remember the accidents in the lab?" the man explained. He could hear the irritable sigh from over the phone and he knew that his explanation had fallen on deaf ears.
"It doesn't matter. The death of his wife will certainly put his search for the "Captain" at rest for a while. Anyway, it's mission accomplished. HYDRA appreciates you, Mr. Brock," the voice said. Eddie Brock, Sr. sighed and hung up the phone. He then turned to the scene at the elm tree and narrowed his eyes regretfully, tipping his fedora. I'm sorry, Rick...
New York Presbyterian Hospital, ER
Richard sat in the family room, hands in his head as he quietly contemplated what had happened. The doctors had informed him, from his description of the spider, that it was a Brown Recluse, an extremely venomous but not usually aggressive spider, common around the Central Park area. The doctors also found that the bite marks from the spider were in fact very deep and it appeared that the fangs of the spider were much longer than those of the average Brown Recluse. What significance this had was escaping Richard until he thought about it more closely.
Brown recluse bites were rare and only happened when one pressed against it. Seeing as though the spider was on Mary's side and her back was against the tree, he ruled out that circumstance. He also took into consideration that such quantities of venom were not usually given out from a Brown Recluse and that the rate at which the symptoms kicked in was truly unnatural. Then came the spider's aggression. It attacked Mary without her so much as slightly moving back and instantly applied venom, something that Richard also found unnatural. The entire incident in itself was suspicious. There were no previous records of Brown Recluse bites in New York according to the doctors, who had to pull out old and dusty files on the subject. And the entire event was highly unnatural. That lead Richard to a conclusion: he and his wife had been targeted.
Before he could begin to fathom who, a short and somewhat chubby doctor walked towards him, a stoic expression plastered on his face. "Mr. Parker?" he asked.
"Yes?" Richard answered quickly.
"I have some very bad news for you..." the doctor said, pausing to allow any sort of outburst from Richard. Richard Parker waited for the doctor to continue and he quickly complied. "There was a massive amount of venom placed into your wife's bloodstream. The quantities were very abnormal and it would appear that hemolysis has already began to effect her body. Her blood is failing to clot properly and to make matters worse, as a result of the trauma and shock suffered from the effects of the poison, your wife has gone into labor," the doctor said.
"Meaning..." Richard said as he looked down, holding his face.
"It means that if she gives birth now, whether in a C-section or naturally, she will bleed to death and your child will be lost as well," the doctor replied. Richard took a few seconds to take all the information in as his eyes flashed from one floor panel to another.
"Is there anything you can do?" Richard asked as tears began to trickle down his cheek. The doctor nodded hesitantly.
"The most we can do is give her steroids in order to give her the strength to proceed with the birth. It may give your son a chance at life and we could do all we could to help," the doctor said. That was when the thought blindsided Richard.
The super-soldier serum...
The search for the frozen World war II hero was fueled in a major part by the quest for the secret of human enhancement. Like the Space Race and the Arms Race, the "Human Enhancement Race" as it was called by the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the covert espionage organization that Richard worked for, had spread across the globe and multiple countries had sought for the "Captain". However, only the United States held the actual blueprint that showed the background for the original serum. Richard had actually managed to create a copy of the prototype, save a few minor adjustments to fit the modern age. It had gone untested, except for a few vapor runs on lab rats that had lead to them gaining the strength of grown men. However, he was unsure how it would react to a pregnant woman and an unborn child...
But as far as Richard Parker was concerned, he really didn't have many options. After waving the doctor off, Richard sped to his car and took off towards his house, praying that his crazy and possibly fatal plan would work.
"You want to test the Super-Soldier serum on who?" Nicholas Fury exclaimed. He had just received a call from his commanding officer, Richard Parker, who was driving towards his house to retrieve the serum.
"My wife. She's about to die along with my son. They said steroids would give her strength to give birth to my son. If I can inject her with the serum, she could possibly survive along with my son!" Richard answered.
"But, Rick..." Fury asked.
"I'm not asking for your permission, Fury. I'm just telling you in case the worse happens."
"What do you mean, 'the worst'?" Fury asked.
"If there are complications and Mary dies or my son dies, they'll look for any changes in the substance given. The hospital is crawling with cameras in every nook and cranny. If I'm caught, I'll be charged with murder. I'll probably end up in jail, but regardless of what happens, I would like for you to make sure that my son is put into the custody of my brother Benjamin Parker and his wife Mae Parker. They live in Forest Hills, Queens," Richard said. Fury sighed and nodded his head. "Oh and Nick...you'll be Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. after this," Richard added. Fury nodded his head.
"Yes sir..." he said. The next thing he heard was the click of phone.
Richard Parker raced towards the hospital, the syringe full of the Super-Soldier serum in his pocket. He followed several doctors down the hall until he saw the room in which his wife was staying. Richard walked in to his wife and was saddened at what he saw. The swelling had spread rapidly, encompassing the left side of her body. A deep red covered her formerly caramel skin. Richard walked over towards her bed and slowly pulled the syringe from his pocket.
"Rick..." Mary said weakly as she looked up at Richard.
"Shh...rest, baby. Everything will be fine," Richard replied as he showed her the syringe. "This is the serum...it'll help you give birth and hopefully keep you alive," Richard explained. Mary shook her head.
"No..."she said softly. "Too much blood lost. The doctors want to get the baby out as soon as possible so that he won't die along with me," Mary said faintly.
"You are not going to die, Mary," Richard declared as he placed the syringe close to her skin. Mary nodded.
"The serum...will affect the baby. It's too late for it to have any effects on me. Do it...for the baby," she said. Richard fought to hold back tears, but couldn't as his wife and love began to cry as well. Her dying wish...was for her son to be the first human test for the Serum...and at this point, only Nick Fury would know if it worked...
"Okay...I will, love," Richard said as the needle contacted Mary's veins. The serum shot through quickly and Mary winced slightly in pain as the liquid went into her bloodstream. Richard held his wife's hand and sat next to her bed, waiting and praying. Praying that if God truly did have a purpose for their he would let him live. He then looked at his wife. "What do you want his name to be?" His wife then smiled.
"Peter...Peter Benjamin Parker..."