The Predator and The Hunter Part 4
Peter stared down at MJ, his eyes widened with complete shock. In his bliss over his abilities, he had recklessly exposed himself completely. Anyone could have witnessed him leaping from building to building with all the lights on outside. But it was strange that Mary was outside in the first place. Peter still was latched to the wall, the microscopic but super sharp barbs on his fingers hooking him and supporting his weight.
"How much did you see?" Peter asked. MJ shook her head and pointed down the street.
"I-I saw somebody jumping from building to building and thought it was some crazy person running and doing parkour," she said. Peter's face was still straight as he was shocked from it all.
"So, you came outside to investigate?" he asked. MJ quickly shook her head.
"No," she said.
"Then why were you out this late? It may be just Queens, but there are crazies out here," Peter warned. MJ waved away his comment.
"Peter, I only live ten feet away," she said as she shook her, laughing softly. She then folded her arms as she looked up towards him. "I was coming over to...talk. You know...about the kiss," she said, lowering her voice. Peter's face became even more twisted with shock. She had come out to talk about what had happened last night. Peter blushed.
"You wanted to talk about that?" he asked. Mary nodded but then threw up her hands.
"Yeah, but that was before I saw you hopping from buildings and then crawling up the side of your house like you're a spid..." she said as she stopped. She gasped and almost laughed at the same time. "Oh my God...you're Spider-Man?" she asked. Peter's heart rushed quickly.
He shook his head, there was no way he could cover himself. He couldn't lie to her. Peter jumped down from the wall and walked over to MJ and tucked his free hand in his pocket, holding the bag with his newly acquired wetsuit tightly. He looked into Mary's eyes and sighed. "I am. I'm Spider-Man," he said. MJ nodded and then shook her head.
"But how? You couldn't even run a full lap around the gym. You couldn't (wouldn't) stand up to Flash when he threatened you. Were you hiding that the entire time?" she asked. Peter shrugged defensively.
"No. Well, I don't really know, ok? I don't what happened to me. After the accident that killed Uncle Ben, I just felt stronger, faster, like I was some kind of superhuman. Then later I discovered that I had these additional powers when I went to stop a robbery at a jewelry store," Peter said. MJ nodded.
"Which would make sense since you right across from it," MJ said. Peter raised an eyebrow.
"How did you know?" he asked.
"Flash's friends aren't exactly the most discreet people," MJ said with a small laugh. Peter nodded. MJ's face then frowned slightly.
"Peter...do you think that maybe...you're a mutant?" she whispered. Peter stepped back slightly and shook his head.
"Of course not...I mean wouldn't there be some other sign?" Peter asked. MJ shrugged.
"Like what?" MJ asked. Peter shook his head.
"I don't know. But I'm not a mutant," he said. MJ folded her arms and nodded. Peter sighed. He wasn't even entirely sure if what he said was, in fact the truth. But he knew that being a mutant would sink his popularity far below what it already was. He trusted MJ but not with that kind of information.
"Well, I guess it doesn't matter," Mary replied. "At least you're trying to help people. Not a lot of people are out doing that, y'know."
Peter nodded. He looked down at his watch and gasped. He had only a few more minutes.
"Yeah...well, can we please talk about this later? Aunt Mae's due to call me for something in a few minutes if my memory serves me correctly," Peter said. MJ rolled her eyes and laughed. Peter stayed at her confused. "What?" he asked. Mary smiled and looked up at him.
"You're such a nerd...but I love that you're yourself," she said as she smiled. Even under the less than flattering streetlights that illuminated the neighborhood, Mary Jane was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Even after kissing her, getting kissed by her, he was still a nervous wreck.
"T-thanks, MJ," Peter said as he leapt upwards and scaled the wall quickly. He entered his room and watched Mary walk over to her house. He sighed and smiled as he dropped his suit on the floor and fell on his bed. He had told Mary Jane something that he had been subconsciously trying to guard as a secret. He was sure that New York needed another hero. He remembered how safe the city was over the summer when the masked mutants who called themselves the "X-Men" first appeared on the scene and went on a crime prevention tour. It was the one time that Peter could remember that people weren't afraid of mutants and actually considered them to be helpful to humanity. However, it only takes one crazed genocidal maniac with a purple and burgundy helmet and crazy magnetic powers to change that.
"Peter! Could you get me a glass of water, sweetie?" Aunt Mae called from her room. Peter smiled.
"Yes ma'am! I'll get right on it," he replied. Peter opened his room door and jumped down the steps with ease, barely making a sound as he landed. He flicked the tap on and webbed a glass out of the cabinet and filled the cup with some water and turned it off. Leaping up the steps, Peter balanced the water glass and smiled. Chores would actually be easier. He knocked on his aunt's door and he heard her rise from her bed. The door slowly creaked open and Mae's bespectacled face appeared behind the door. She smiled and took the glass.
"You get some rest, Peter. Tomorrow, you go back to school and I want you nice and alert, alright?" she said. Peter nodded.
"Yes, ma'am." he replied.
Next Morning, Midtown High School
"Mr. Parker!" a commanding voice shouted as a book slammed against Peter's desk. The noise and the vibrations caused Peter's eyes widened as he woke. He gripped his desk tightly and he hyperventilated for a few seconds. Peter looked around the classroom as everybody stared at him and he slowly calmed down, his heart rate dropping several notches. His teacher loomed over him, his face twisted in a scowl. "Mr. Parker, I don't give a flying fig newton if you are Midtown's top intellectual mind. If you do not pay attention and sleep in my classroom, you will fail just like any other degenerate, are we clear?" the man said. Peter yawned involuntarily and nodded sleepily.
"Yeah...yeah," he said he trailed off. His teacher tapped the blackboard with his yardstick. "Mr. Parker, explain biochemistry." the teacher said as he sat on his desk. Peter scratched his head and MJ looked over at him and then raised her hand.
"Uh, isn't that a little ahead of us?" she asked. The teacher looked over at her and twisted his face.
"I was talking to Mr. Parker, Ms. Watson. Perhaps at another time, you can say something and contribute to this class." MJ sat back in her chair and Peter turned to her and smiled, attempting to cheer her up. MJ shook her head.
"Ignorant piece of shit," she mumbled softly. Peter laughed softly but the blackboard was tapped again.
"Mr. Parker! Biochemistry. Explain." he said. Peter sighed.
"Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes. By controlling information flow through biochemical signalling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the incredible complexity of life. Much of biochemistry deals with the structures and functions of cellular components such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and other biomolecules although increasingly processes rather than individual molecules are the main focus." Peter said in a single breath. His teacher stared at him, his own pride keeping his mouth from falling completely off its hinges. Peter looked around. The only person who wasn't staring at him like he was some sort of alien was Mary Jane. "What?" he asked.
His teacher cleared his throat and stammered a bit as he tried to find something to say. Thankfully, for his sake the bell rung, signalling the transition to the next period. The students hurriedly gathered their belongings and stampeded out of the classroom. Peter and MJ walked beside each other down the hallway. MJ held her books close to her chest, causing her breasts to push up slightly and Peter took notice. He looked away quickly and sighed. Damn teenage hormones. he thought.
"So why were you asleep in class, young man?" MJ asked. Peter chuckled softly.
"You sound like my aunt," he said. MJ smiled.
"Well somebody has to parent you in this place," she said. She stopped at her locker and opened it and exchanged her Chemistry books for her US history. "But, seriously...why were you asleep in class? It wasn't that late when we stopped talking and you went into the house," MJ asked. Peter moved next to MJ and raised her shirt. She gasped softly and Peter smiled. "Is that..."
"Yeah, I worked on it all night," Peter said as he pulled down his shirt, thankful that nobody else could see what he had just shown MJ behind the cover of her locker. MJ folded her arms.
"I'm impressed. It looks good. I actually believe you're Spi..." Peter covered MJ's mouth and pushed her softly against the locker. Beneath his hand, Peter could hear her mumbling something and he removed it. MJ wiped her mouth and sighed. "Jesus, Peter. You smeared my lip gloss," she said as she shook her head. Peter rolled his eyes. She was such a beauty queen. After MJ had finished applying her lip gloss, more than she had previously had, she turned to Peter and frowned. "What the hell was that all about?" she asked.
"You can't say that out loud?" Peter said.
"You know..." Peter said softly. "That I'm Spider-Man." This time, Mary Jane rolled her eyes.
"Please, Peter. Nobody in this school even knows who or what 'Spider-Man' is. You think anyone our age with any kind of social life actually watches the news?" Mary Jane asked. Peter was about to object and say that he did but then he remembered that she said someone with a social life and withdrew himself from arguing. It came to him as a shock.
No one knew who Spider-Man was? It was like his actual life. No one knew who he was and no one knew who his heroic alter-ego was either. It kinda sunk Peter's ship and he audibly sighed. MJ saw this and touched Peter's cheek softly. Her touch caused Peter's heart to race and he looked down into her eyes and was immediately stricken with a mixture of fear and relief.
"MJ..." Peter said softly. MJ smiled.
"Peter...we need to talk," she said softly. Peter gulped and then nodded.
"Yeah...we do. There's something that I need to tell you." MJ smiled and looked up at Peter.
"And what's that?" she asked. Peter took a deep breath and then exhaled as he readied himself to answer her question. He was trying so hard to calm himself down. The tension was mounting, at least to him. Finally, he gained the strength to open his mouth.
"I-I..." he said. Peter's head vibrated and his senses were immediately put on full alert. He grabbed MJ and threw her down as the windows were burst and shattered glass splattered all over the floor. The shocked Midtown students stared like sheep before the slaughter as the large gaping holes in the school windows exposed them. Peter gazed across the street, staring a few hundred feet away. He gasped. There were men that had surrounded the school and they looked just like the men that had attacked his Uncle's truck. Peter stared down at MJ, who had her head buried inside his chest. Peter looked at the men and gulped. Anytime soon, they would simply start looking for him and attempt to shoot him from afar.
However, nothing happened...except white gas started to spread through the halls. The vapor slithered its way through every corner of the school. Students and teachers alike simply dropped to the ground. Peter looked down at MJ and started to shake her. To his dismay, she was knocked out as well. In fact, as Peter looked around, he was the only one that hadn't succumb to the effects of the vapor. Perhaps his powers had built up his physical attributes so much that he was resistant to whatever this knockout gas was and if these men had just shot knockout gas into a public school, they did so for a reason...they knew that he was there and that he would be the only one standing. Peter left MJ lying in front of her locker and dropped to the ground.
He frantically began to search for the nearest exit, crawling up and down the hallway. He looked left and right as he moved and groaned in frustration. This low to the ground, the school seemed like a maze. Peter now knew how some of the resident insects felt. Peter continued to look around and finally stopped. Why was he trying to run away? Peter shook his head. He was freaking Spider-Man for God's sake. Peter rose to his feet and sprinted to the nearest bathroom. In seconds, he had stripped off his clothes and smiled as he looked down at his newly designed Spider-Man suit. As he pulled his mask over his face, a look of determination crossed his face. People were going to know who he was after today. He was going to make sure of that.
Sergei stood over one of Osborn's black-suited private soldiers and looked down at the school. The perimeter gas bombing of the school was successful, however, the gas had been much too thick. Even Sergei's hawk-like eyes couldn't peer through the smoke. However, he knew for sure that the Parker child was inside the building. If Osborn's information on the limits of the Super-Soldier Serum were correct, he would be the only person standing.
"There is too much damn smoke," Sergei grunted softly. He paced back and forth and growled. Osborn's assignment would be harder than he had initially anticipated. The soldier's radio began to buzz loudly and the soldier quickly grabbed.
"What the fuck...what? Stop screaming! What the hell is going on?" the soldier said. Sergei looked down worried.
"What is the problem?" he said.
"The eastern fireteam has encountered some...difficulties."
"What difficulties?" Sergei growled.
"They say it's some guy in red and blue...and he just took out the northern fireteam and he's coming their way."
Across The Street
Tranquilizer darts were fired at Spider-Man and he dodged them with relative ease as he utilized his acrobatics to leap over the heads of his attackers. The red and blue blur ducked under the butt of the rifle and rocketed up towards the soldier fist first and hit him with an uppercut. Spider-Man webbed the next man and pulled him over towards him and clotheslined him. After breaking out of the back door of the school, Peter quickly scaled the side of a building and made his way towards the men that had gassed his school. He had been cruising through these men easily, knocking them unconscious with a single well-placed hit. Experience had taught him to pull his punches and he could now do so without losing his momentum. He was getting into the rhythm of the hero business.
Spider-Man had just cleared out his third rooftop and was now on his way to the last. He could make out two figures, a man with a gun like the last few and another man, dressed in a brown leather vest, black tights and brown and black boots. Spider-Man narrowed his eyes. He looked like the leader of this entire operation and if so, he needed to be taken out last so there'd be no distractions. Spider-Man shot his web into the gunman's face and pulled him towards the sole of his foot. Spider-Man felt the stiffness of the man's jaw hit his foot and watched as descended towards the ground. Quickly, the young hero webbed the man's feet and placed them against the security of the wall. The gunman dangled helpless and unconscious. With him out of the way, Peter then turned to the last man standing.
"Who...are you?" the man asked, his heavy Russian accent overshadowing his words.
"The name's Spider-Man. You may or may not have heard of me. If you watch the news as much as you work on your muscles, I'm sure you have," Spidey said. The Russian stared down at Peter and growled.
"What are you doing here?"
"I probably should ask you the same question. You're the guy with a private squad of mercenaries with tranquilizer guns and gas grenades shooting up at a high school. What are you doing here?"
"It is none of your concern."
"Oh, I think it is. For all I know, you could be trying to kidnap a teenage boy and take him away to your homoerotic cult in the tunnels of the city," Spider-Man said as he looked the Russian up and down. "And from the looks of your clothes, I'd said I'm pretty close to the truth." The Russian growled again.
"I am not...the gay. I am Sergei Kravinoff, the world's greatest hunter and tracker."
"Oh crap. My bad...you're just another of those Steve Irwin wannabes," Spider-Man said. Sergei growled and swung at Spidey with a clumsy and half-hearted blow. Spider-Man barely tilted his head backwards to avoid the blow. Sergei looked at him and smirked. Spider-Man stared back at him. "And you're smirking because?"
"Because you are skilled...at least skilled enough to know that I wasn't trying to hurt you," Sergei replied. He then swung at Spider-Man faster. Spidey's head vibrated and he jumped backward to avoid the Russian's blow. Spidey narrowed his eyes and lowered his stance. The man was faster and possibly much stronger than he gave him credit for. If he thought this would be an easy fight, he was mistaken. After his fight with the Lizard creature, he was going to make sure that he didn't underestimate his opponent. The two circled each other for a while until finally, Spider-Man jumped forward with a spinning kick.
Sergei grabbed his leg and spun him around. Spidey shot his free foot forward and kicked Sergei in the forehead several times, causing the Russian to loosen his grip. Spider-Man wiggled free and flipped backwards, landing square on his feet. He then leapt forward and swung a right hook. Sergei through up his arm, blocking his punch with his forearm and throwing his head forward, headbutting Spidey and sending him falling backwards. Spidey shook his head and frowned. The Russian cackled and balled up his fist.
"For such a scrawny little man, you are quite strong, but I do not have time to play games with you," Sergei said. Spidey crouched and stared at Sergei. Trying to get any shred of information from this man by asking hadn't got him anywhere. Whoever he was working for, he wasn't about to simply just tell him. Besides that, it seemed that even from their brief scuffle that he was going to have a hard time beating the man in combat simply because he was so skilled. It was like he had spent his entire life fighting.
It was somewhat daunting and highly frustrating. Fighting someone who was possibly on equal ground simply because of experience and may even be superior because of it was something that Peter had never contemplated. He was somewhat praying that perhaps something would happen that would help him. Only, he hadn't contemplated it being something that could also hurt him. Really hurt him.
Peter heard a loud roar fastly approaching his position and he turned to his right and his eyes widened and his mouth dropped. Flying towards them, its jaws dripping with its venomous saliva and its hooked claws glinting in the sunlight, was the Lizard. The Russian's face twisted in fear.
"Der'mo...Konnors sbezhal." Sergei whispered. Spider-Man turned to Sergei.
The Lizard crashed into both Spider-Man and Sergei, digging its claws into the bodies and flying downward. As Peter struggled to get loose from the creature's grip, he noticed their direction. They were heading straight into the brick side of the school building.
This...this is going to hurt... The three crashed through the side of the building and barreled through a classroom and skidded to a halt inside the gymnasium. Spidey shook his head clear as he rose to his feet, his vision slightly blurred from the pain. Sergei still laid still and the Lizard creature was beginning to rise to its feet as well. Its jaws were open before its feet managed to balance out his massive body. Spider-Man instantly noticed something was definitely off about the creature. Not only was the creature larger- standing sixteen feet tall compared to twelve- it also had enlarged fangs and the vertebrae in its spine protruded from its back. Thankfully, the Midtown gym had been expanded to accommodate larger crowds. Spidey could only stare in awe as the monster approached him, towering over his minuscule figure, growling softly and almost completely blocking the other side of the gym.
Peter gulped and tried as hard as he could to keep his bladder from collapsing, releasing every bodily fluid that was held inside his body. The monstrosity groaned as it swung its tail around. It opened its mouth and roared directly into Peter's face. The rotten flesh and bacterial saliva smell pierced even the fabric of his new costume and he gagged on it. The Lizard roared again and raised its enormous and clawed hand and prepared to send it down on top of Spidey. The spider-themed hero shivered as his heart began to ascend into his throat.
"I am so scared...I can't even make a lame Godzilla joke."