15 February 2014 @ 11:55 pm
[For the first time, Kaine notices the three statues surrounding the well. He isn’t intending to give them a second thought until he realizes the center statue looks, to an uncanny degree, like him. Upon closer inspection, the statue to the left, the one of the child, resembles Peter--stupid haircut, huge round-rimmed glasses, nerdy sweater, and all. That left the statue on the right, the one of the old man, being the only one he can’t place. Kaine steps towards it for a closer look. At first guess, the statue is of Richard Parker… or more accurately, of his brother, Ben, as it was too old to be Richard. But why? Why show him a statue of a man he never considered a father… or of a man he never considered an uncle?

Then, looking back at the previous two statues, it clicks: that isn’t Ben or Richard Parker; it's him. When he had been younger, whenever he had dared to think of what he might look like as an old man in the impossible event he should live to see old age, he had always imagined he would look differently than the statue’s depiction. He had imagined he would look as he had in the past, when he was still suffering from the degeneration, only with white hair and wrinkles. He stares at the statue, imagining it with a beard—which he had grown to hide the degeneration rapidly scarring his face, imagining the hair longer—shoulder length, as he used to wear it to conceal any remaining similarities to the man whose DNA he was created from. He imagines the scars that once crisscrossed his face. There's no doubt about it… that's supposed to be him.

This statue has his hair short, as he prefers it now, and though there are many lines that wrinkles his face, not one of them is formed by a scar. It is of just… an old man. And that fascinates him.

Without thinking, Kaine reaches up to touch the statue’s wrinkled face.

They're transported to the inside of a church, one that Kaine knows all too well. It was his church. The votive candles in the back are all lit, the only light coming from within the medium sized building. Natural light shone in through the stained glass windows on the sides and in the front of the church, the latter illuminating a figure standing behind the altar. It's an older priest with a large nose and pointed chin, who looks up at the group without the slightest hint of surprise that they're there.

You have been dishonest to those you would call your friends. It is time to confess your sins to them, Kaine.

[No. Not again. Kaine takes off at a sprint down the aisle towards the man, his veins practically popping out of his neck in rage.

The priest steps out from behind the altar.

Tell them of the innocents you killed.


[The older man no longer stands beside the altar. In his place is a woman with short blonde hair, dressed for winter in her light blue jacket and yellow gloves. Attached to the waistband of her jeans is a police badge identical to the one Kaine currently clings to so tightly in his hand. On the left side of her face she bears a large burn scar... She bears the Mark of Kaine.]

Tell them of the woman you murdered. [As the woman speaks, she turns her head at an impossible angle, until her chin rests well behind her shoulder.]


[Only “Louise” is no longer there. She's replaced by a man identical to Peter in every way, only with longer hair. Well, longer hair and wearing the original Scarlet Spider costume.]

Tell them of the brother you tortured.


[Before the shapeshifting figure can once more transform into the Jackal, as it had the first time they met, Kaine tackles it throught the large stained glass window behind them.

They land in an alleyway in Houston’s Third Ward, nowhere near the church. In fact, the entire church has vanished... replaced entirely by the web-covered alleyway. And just like the church, Kaine is all too familiar with this location. He glances quickly to his left and sure enough, the dumpster is still overturned from when the male werewolf had ripped Aracely from her hiding place. The female werewolf’s red high heel is still on the ground not too far away… And he could smell the severed arm of the male werewolf that had been ripped off his body by his monster.

The monster currently beneath him, where the false Ben had been just seconds before. The creature is identical to Kaine in size and build… but that's where the similarities end. It has six beady red eyes, two where a humans would be, two directly above them and the final two directly above those. It has no teeth, only long, sharpened fangs; it’s upper and lower canines of particularly long length. Its skin is grey, and on both its chest and back it bears Kaine’s Scarlet Spider insignia almost like a tattoo… only the spider on its back wasn’t entirely for show. Two of the “tattooed” legs sprung out from beneath its back, large, spider-like legs that weren’t all too dissimilar to Doctor Octopus’ metal tentacles, only they were the same grey color as the rest of him.

With two of these legs, his monster stabs Kaine through the shoulders before tossing him up against the wall of the alley and rising to its feet. The creature is Kaine, but isn’t. It is the Other.


[Only then does Kaine notice Aracely. The closest thing he ever had to a daughter is trapped in the Other’s web, exactly as she had before, tears once again flowing down her cheeks from fear-filled eyes.]

This holds you back. [The Other motions to Aracely. Her braid flaps across her coat as she continues to struggle for her freedom, as she calls out to Kaine to save her.

Kaine lunges towards his monster, but the Other is quicker, and Kaine finds himself slammed against the alley wall once more, this time trapped there by the Other’s webbing.

I promised you greatness and all I asked in return was that you accept your true nature. That you embrace the Spider you truly are, and reject the Man you so pitifully attempt to be.

I wasn’t going to let you kill her!

[The Other glances over at Kaine's unwitting passengers, as if noticing for the first time they aren't alone.] Because I saw the truth. She makes you weak. They all do... even these new humans who dream of being spiders. Humans who, like Parker, fear the spider... reject it. Afraid to see what their gifts could truly offer.... Not like you. Yesssss.... they hold you back.

[Aracely's crying harder now.] Kaine! Do something! You always know what to do!

[Kaine's trying. He struggles. He tries to cut the webbing that trapped him with his stingers. Nothing he does brings him any closer to freeing himself from his monster’s web.]

But I will free you. I will remove what makes you weak. Starting with her.

[The Other wraps its hand around Aracely’s throat. Her eyes glow blue as she tries to talk her way out of it, to use her fear powers to repel the creature. It's as futile as it had been the first time around. She looks directly into Kaine's eyes as he continues to struggle against his bonds.]

Kaine! You’re supposed to be my champ—

[Aracely never finishes her sentence, as the Other’s stinger pierces her throat. Kaine screams, the sound only stopping to give way to choked sobs.

He failed her. Aracely is dead.