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Appearing in "Between A Rock and a Hard-Drive!"
- Doctor Octopus (Carolyn Trainer)
- Master Programmer
- Looter (Norton Fester)
- Override (Gregory Herd) (First appearance)
- Aura (Ann Herd) (First appearance)
- Jason Tso
- Orlando Kannor
- Alistaire Smythe
Races and Species:
- Scarlet Spider's Web-Shooters
- Doctor Octopus' Tentacles
- Cyberslayers (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Between A Rock and a Hard-Drive!"
This story continues from Scarlet Spider #1...
Doctor Octopus has recruited a number of individuals for cybernetic enhancements. Among these test subjects is Norton Fester, the super-villain known as the Looter. As he trains with his teammate's Override and Aura, the Doctor examines him closely of all. With his previously enhanced strength, she considers him the perfect candidate for cybernetic enhancement. The Looters anger gives him an edge, but his teammates gain the upper hand. When the trio becomes more argumentative, Doctor Octopus puts an end to the training session so she can make adjustments to their cybernetics. As she does so, nobody notices the face of Seward Trainer appearing on one of the computer screens.[Continuity 1] Trainer isn't the only spy, as her plans for the evening are heard by Joe Wade, an FBI agent who has been working undercover as one of the Doctor's henchmen.
Elsewhere, the Scarlet Spider swings across the city thinking about how crazy his life has become ever since he discovered that he is the real Spider-Man.[Continuity 2] Particularly that Seward Trainer's mind is trapped in cyberspace, and that his employer Jason Tso is a mob boss.[Continuity 3] Arriving at the hospital, the Spider changes back into Ben Reilly and checks on Seward's body. The doctors tell him that there is no change in his condition. Still, Ben begins to talk to Seward's unconscious body.[Continuity 4] He wonders what he can do about Jason Tso's offer to become his bodyguard. That's when Seward's face appears on the hospital monitors. He informs Ben that he has been spying on Doctor Octopus and learned that she is sending cybernetic warriors to retrieve the experimental components that Tso stole from her. Reilly realizes that he will have to take the job in order to keep an eye on things.
Later, Ben goes to the Elle Gym to meet up with his neighbor Carrie Bradley. He arrives just as she finished giving a self-defense course. Carrie is happy to see Ben and is looking forward to their coffee date. However, he tells her that he came in person to cancel because he just took up a new job at Club Noir. She is upset and wishes that Ben told her sooner, so she could make other plans. Reilly tells her that he is not intentionally blowing her off and intends to make it up to her, but she walks away without listening. Later, at Club Noir, Jason Tso arranges for his assistant -- Orlando Kannor -- to deliver the stolen components to their mysterious employer. That's when Ben Reilly enters to start his first shift as Tso's bodyguard. He is asked to wait and watches as Kannor is sent with a briefcase full of components. Ben tries to tag the briefcase with a spider-tracer but Rachel, one of the club's bartenders, gets in the way. When she gives Jason Tso a drink, he doesn't like how it tastes he tosses it in her face and warns her that she will be out of a job if she and the bartender screw up his drink again. He then asks Ben if he is ready to be Tso's bodyguard. Meanwhile, outside, the Looter, Override and Aura are watching as Orlando leaves the club. The Looter tells his teammates to keep Tso busy while he recovers the stolen technology. After the Looter leaves, Override uses his powers to take control of a passing big rig and forces it to crash through the front of Club Noir. Inside, Ben's spider-sense is able to alert him in time to get Jason Tso to safety.
While his teammates smash up the bar, the Looter hacks into the vault in order to get at the computer components. Meanwhile, Ben Reilly gets Jason Tso to safety and slips away to change into the Scarlet Spider. While he is busy battling Aura and Overdrive, the Looter discovers that the vault is empty. When he calls it in, Doctor Octopus is furious to learn that the parts have been moved. Back upstairs, Override uses his powers to make the Scarlet Spider's web-shooters spray webbing out of control. However, the hero turns it around on his foe by switching to his singers and knock him out with their venom. That's when the Looter comes upstairs to see how his teammates are doing. Seeing the Scarlet Spider, he mistakes him for Spider-Man viciously attacks the wall-crawler. The Spider vaguely remembers battling the Looter during his early days as Spider-Man.[Continuity 5]
Still, the Scarlet Spider gains the upper hand against the Looter. This prompts the villain to destroy one of the support beams of the club. While web-slinger is reinforcing the ceiling with his webbing, the Looter and his allies manage to escape. With the danger over, the Spider slips away to change back into Ben Reilly. He explains to Jason Tso that he was buried under rubble during the fight. Tso buys this story, as Ben saved his life. Returning to his office, Jason Tso contacts his employer to see if he received the stolen components without issue. His employer, Alystaire Smythe, did and he is pleased for the results showing off his Cyberslayers telling Tso that he intends to give them a test run.
... This story continues in Web of Scarlet Spider #2.