It had been a month since Gwen’s encounter with the High Evolutionary on Earth 616. At first, the maniacal scientist had mistaken Spider-Woman as one of Miles Warren’s many clones of the original Gwen Stacy. Once the High Evolutionary had realized that he was actually dealing with a super-powered Gwen from another universe, he naturally wanted to test her superhuman genes in his machines. Spider-Woman almost escaped from his evolution chamber, but the machine's fail-safe slammed shut around her waist, thereby trapping Gwen’s lower body inside the device. As a result, everything below her waist was mutated into what looked like a giant spider, while her upper body was mostly unchanged. Fortunately, many of the heroes from that Earth had banded together and rescued her before the High Evolutionary could do anything else to her.
Back to the present, it was a calm, yet busy day in New York City. Spider-Woman was sitting (or at least whatever was the closest thing to "sitting" for a spider) on one of the countless rooftops in Manhattan. She was waiting for Jessica Drew, the woman otherwise known as this world's Spider-Woman, to meet her there. Jess was one of Gwen’s true confidants on this Earth. Whenever Gwen was suffering from a crisis, Jess was the first person she would call... and Gwen would definitely define being permanently turned into a drider as a crisis.
“Catch,” Jess called out once she had finally crawled up the side of the building. Gwen snatched a hamburger wrapped in foil out of the air as it started to sail past her. Jess then took a seat next to Gwen on the roof’s parapet.
“Thought we’d upgrade from Mickey D’s to Five Guys,” Jess quipped to lighten up the mood.
“You’re a real lifesaver,” Gwen answered back, “I’m still reeling from how much it cost to replace all my bras from specialty stores. Why the heck doesn’t your world’s Victoria Secret not carry in stock bras in cup size humongous, band size tiny? Your world’s stable of women are stacked enough for it!”
“One of the greatest mysteries of life,” Jess answered with a laugh before taking a bite out of her sandwich. “I would ask what’s new, but that would be redundant.”
“Yeah... it’s taken some time getting used to having eight legs and a giant caboose trailing behind me, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.”
“What about your plans for college? Wasn’t that why you came here in the first place?”
“I’m still waiting on your world’s Reed Richards to figure out a way to hide my drider half so I can look normal. I’ve considered just posing as a mutant or inhuman and going like I currently am, but I don’t know if that would be a good idea. Hopefully the big brains can figure something out.”
“Well, if you’re going to be living here, it might be a good idea to pick a new alias for you. We can’t be having multiple Spider-Women around here. That would just be confusing!”
“Wait, don't both Peter and Miles go by Spider-M--” Gwen started to protest, but Jess swiftly interrupted her.
“Hush! I’m trying to think up a good name. Hmm... I don’t think Arachne is currently being used.”
“Siri, is the name "Arachne" in use?” Gwen spoke into her cell phone. After a second or two, her phone pulled up a few images.
“Ha! It looks like somebody with strawberry blonde hair and Anya’s costume is already using that name!” Gwen announced triumphantly. However, when Jess peered over, she smiled.
“She’s the new Madam Web. So, the name’s still free.”
“Fine!” Gwen pouted with her arms crossed, “I’ll take it under consideration.”
However, before the two Spider-Women could continue debating over what Gwen’s new in-universe alias should be, the entrance of a nearby bank exploded. As the dust cleared, the villainous Shocker casually strolled out of his makeshift entrance while he carried two sacks filled with money.
“Finally, some action!” Gwen cheered while she crumpled up the foil wrapping and dropped it next to her backpack. However, before jumping down to the street, Gwen noticed that Jess had not moved an inch. “Are you going to just sit there?”
“Just wait for some D-lister to handle him. He’s not really a threat.”
“Oh, so he's like the Bodega Bandit?”
“The Bodega what?” Jess asked.
“Umm…” Gwen stumbled to find words to explain what she meant, “he’s kind of like the Hamburglar from your world... but actually real.”
“Gwen, I suggest that you never utter that to anyone again.”
Gwen just shrugged Jess’ comment off and raced after the Shocker. She first travelled over the nearby rooftops until she had caught up. Then, she leapt down onto a light pole and used the silk from her spider abdomen to descend right behind the Shocker.
“I don’t know if anyone told you this, but I think the quilted pattern died out several centuries ago,” Gwen quipped.
“Another jokester. This can only mean you’re one of those Spider--” Shocker began to say. However, when he turned around to face the transformed Gwen, he cut himself off. In fact, he was frozen in place. He even had dropped the two sacks of cash on the ground, spilling some of it on the sidewalk.
“What’s the matter? Spider got your tongue?” Gwen mocked the Shocker as she descended to the sidewalk.
“F-Fine! You can keep the money. Just keep your damn spider virus the fuck away from me!” The Shocker screamed as he broke into a dash in the opposite direction. Gwen was entirely dumbfounded at what had happened. She immediately gathered up the stolen money and returned it to the entrance of the bank before returning to Jess back on the rooftop.
“Can you please tell me what that was all about?” Gwen requested.
“Oh, it probably had to do with an incident from a few years ago when everyone in Manhattan was turned into spider people and then spider monsters. But it’s a long story.”
“I’ve got time. Not like I have anything better to do.”
|Story by Phoinix102
|Artwork by Exemi
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