Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Wolf, was in the throne room of the Black Knight, the Alpha of the entire Lycansphere, and he was completely speechless. He had been magically transported here with Steve Rogers, the Wolf of America, Tony Stark, the Iron Wolf, and Natasha Romanov, the Shadow Wolfess, by a woman Peter did not know. Now, the whole group was standing there, in the presence of the leader of the Lycansphere, and he looked worried.
The woman that brought them there, Tony had called her Wanda, immediately strode forward and dropped to one knee. “My Alpha, I have brought your defenders here, and I am honored that you would count me among them.”
The Alpha’s features softened, a grin playing at his lips. “Wanda, you are the High Priestess of the Crimson Moon, I can think of no better lycan to help defend me and mine.” He then looked out at all of them, including Peter. “And that goes for all of you. Shadow Wolfess, Iron Wolf, Wolf of America, and Spider-Wolf. All of you are the best of the best, and people I know I can trust for this.”
Peter couldn’t help but ask. “and what is it exactly that we are helping with?”
The Black Knight walked down the steps leading to his throne, and stood among them, he then snapped his paw-like fingers, and a scrying lens materialized. The picture in it was of a wolf clad in shining metal armor, and covered in a green cloak. “This is doctor Victor von Doom, one of the most powerful lycans on the planet, and ruler of the small nation of Latveria. He is a master tactician, a brilliant scientific mind, and a powerful mage. And most importantly, he desires this sword more than anything else, and will stop at nothing to get it.” He said as he patted the pommel of the Ebony Blade
Natasha shifted her stance. “I was able to get some intel on him back home. Daredevil busted a Bloodshade ring in Santa Monica, which then led to an arcane supplier that didn’t want to be prosecuted. Turns out Latveria is going through animation spell reagents like water, and all of it is being delivered straight to Doom’s estate in the mountains.”
“He’s making an army.” Tony added.
“But is he raising the dead?” Steven asked.
“No, not with these components.” Wanda answered. “This is to animate that which is inanimate, and Doom isn’t dumb enough to raise the dead. The last time that happened was after the Cataclysm, and thankfully we stopped that before it got out of hand.”
“The what now?” Peter asked.
The Black Knight waved his paw-like hand. “That doesn’t matter at the moment Mister Parker, what does is how we are going to fight Doom. While I may be powerful on my own, I won’t be able to stop this army of inanimate soldiers by myself. That is why I brought all of you together. While I will be with you on the front lines, I wanted a team of lycans I can trust that if need be, could avenge me if I were to fall.”
“My Alpha, please don’t talk of such things.” Wanda said as she dipped her head in reverence. “I would gladly give my life to see you and your family safe and sound.”
“That is not your fate priestess, that is what my guard has been tasked with. They would defend me and my children to the bitter end if need be.” He continued. “You know how hard Rahne works them.”
“But we aren’t here to be your guard, are we?” Peter asked.
The Alpha smiled. “no, you are my backup plan. But before I can test you and see what you can do, I want to know that each of you is in perfect physical condition. All of you are going to be assessed by my personal physician, doctor Stephen Strange.”
Peter felt a wave of nervousness flow through him. The last time he went to the doctor, he was poked and prodded because of the added muscle his powers put on in no time at all. That, and for some reason, a doctor with the last name of Strange just seemed to be a little off. It was almost like he needed to be doing something more fantastical with his life than being a medical doctor, or so Peter thought. “So when is this Doctor Strange going to evaluate all of us?” he asked.
“I can start right now if you would like.” Strange said as he walked into the throne room, with a heavily pregnant woman walking a pace or so in front of him. Strange’s pelt consisted of blacks and smoky grays, with lighter gray hues around his temples and ears. He held the barring of confidence, like he knew he was the smartest man in the room. He was dressed in a blue suit made from valuable cloth, from what Peter could tell. However, the oddest thing was the red cape he wore, the bottom just above the floor and its upper edges on either side of his head.
“I trust my wife is well.” The Alpha said as the female lycan approached him and the two of them shared a kiss.
“Of course my Alpha.” Strange replied. “Lady Rahne is in perfect health, and the future prince within her is as healthy as ever, he is also quite the fighter, gave me a good kick or two during the exam.”
“That’s because he just doesn’t know you yet.” Lady Rahne said. “When he arrives, he will be a gentle wolf. A mother knows these things.” She idly caressed the underside of her swollen belly as the Alpha put his hand on the top of it. She too was dressed in exquisite fabrics, mostly white in color, but where her pregnant form could allow, she wore shining armor of silver and black, much like her husband’s. Her fur was a rich brown, and she carried a hint of ferocity to her eyes. She may have been a foot or so shorter than her husband, and pregnant, but Peter did not want to get on her bad side. “Are these all of them love?” She asked. “They do seem like a capable force so far.”
The Alpha smiled. “These are all of them. You know of Mister Rogers, Mister Stark, Miss, Romanov, and the High Priestess.”
Lady Rahne nodded to all of them curtly, a friendly grin on her lips.
“But the newest member is Mister Parker.” The Alpha said as he brought her to him. “This is Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Wolf.”
Without thinking, Peter bowed out of respect, causing the lady to chuckle.
“So polite Mister Parker, your parents raised you well. Where are you from if I may ask?”
“Queens, ma’am.” He replied. He was becoming more nervous by the second.
“New York city I hear is lovely, especially when heroes like yourself protect it so well. Don’t worry about that blowhard Jamison, he’s all bluster.”
Peter couldn’t help but smile. “Thank you ma’am, that means a lot, especially coming from you.”
“Alpha, if it would be agreeable with Mister Parker, I would like to start my evaluations with him.” Strange said. “Everyone else has files that I can use as comparison, but I couldn’t find anything recent for him since he obtained his powers.”
The Alpha looked at Peter. “Are you comfortable with that Mister Parker?” He asked.
Peter nodded with some hesitation. “Sure, I guess so. I need Tony to help me though with this suit first, he just gave it to me and I don’t know how to take it off.” On cue, the gauntlets deactivated and the suit returned to its cloth-like state.
“Voice activated functions Pete.” Tony piped up. “Jacosta is always listening.”
Peter nodded, he was hoping that it would have taken longer to take the armor off, but now there was no way he could stall.
“Right this way Mister Parker. Don’t worry, it won’t take too long.” Strange said as he led him out of the throne room and down a couple long hallways.
“So, where are we anyway?” Peter asked as the two lycans continued to walk.
“The room, or the palace?”
“Both, I guess.”
Strange chuckled. “The room is just down here, I have my own exam room, laboratory for medical tests, and all the equipment I could ever need. But I think you are more interested about the palace itself. We are in England, not too far from London actually.”
“England?!” Peter blurted out. “Oh, God, my aunt is going to kill me. I told her I was just going to be gone for a couple hours, now she’ll be worried sick. Is there any way I can get ahold of her?”
“I can have you use the phone in my office, it’s no trouble.” Strange said with a smile.
“So who do you see on a regular basis? The Alpha, Lady Rahne, and their children I’m guessing.”
“yes, and the litter keeps growing by the year.” Strange replied with a sigh. “Those two have brought seven healthy children into this world, with the prince yet to arrive making eight. The eldest, Gregory, will become the new Alpha when his father either becomes too old or dies. With all this commotion about Doom, the Lady has been training her son to succeed him if the worst were to happen.”
“Lady Rahne is a fighter?” Peter asked.
“Did you assume that she was some defenseless brood mother? Lady Rahne is one of the most powerful lycans alive. While I haven’t figured out why, she seems to be naturally more in tune with her inner wolf, which makes her faster, stronger, healthier, overall, just better.”
Peter thought about it for a second. “Do you think it could be a mutation? I’ve run into some mutants before, and they can have some wildly differing powers.”
“I did look into the mutant X gene, but I’m consulting with a specialist about that.” Strange said as they rounded a corner into a large room. It was elegantly tiled, along with inviting colors painted on the walls. Medical equipment dotted the floor space, along with a couple machines and light boxes on the walls. Peter was directed to sit on a long bed while Strange instructed him to remove his shirt. After checking his pulse, blood pressure, eye movements and reflexes, Strange listened to his heart, lungs, checked for any internal problems, and even cast a couple of seeing spells to get an impromptu x-ray.
“Well Mister Parker, you are the picture of perfect health.” Strange said as he removed his gloves while Peter put the shirt of his costume back on. “Now, where did that phone get off to.” He continued as he rummaged around trying to find it. “Ahh! Here it is. Now, to dial out of the estate, press nine, then a one before the area code.” He finished as he handed the reviewer to Peter.
He accepted it, then dialed the apartment he and Aunt May shared. After ringing a time or two, she answered.
“Hello?” Aunt May asked.
“Hey Aunt May.” Peter replied.
“Peter! How goes the meeting? It’s been a little while since you left and I was starting to get a little worried there.”
“Don’t worry, it’s all getting taken care of as we speak.” He said. “I actually got offered a job.”
“Peter that’s fantastic! What are you going to be doing? Are they going to be helping with your degree?” Aunt May could barely contain her excitement.
“it’s a little up in the air right now, but I’ll be doing good work. As soon as I’m done here I’ll head home and tell you all about it. I just wanted to call and let you know everything is okay and I’ll be home soon.”
“Okay, thanks for calling Peter, I love you.”
“Love you too Aunt May.” With that, Peter hung up the phone.
“No mention that you are in the castle of the Alpha?” Strange asked.
“Telling her that would raise more questions than it would answer.” Peter said as he got to his feet.
“She has no idea, does she?” Strange asked.
“No, and to be honest, I want to keep it that way.” Peter replied. “I’ve already gotten some very powerful lycans very mad at me. I just don’t want her getting put in the line of fire if she doesn’t need to be.”
“A noble idea Mister Parker, but does anybody know about your exploits?”
“Only one person, and I trust her with my life. In fact, I think I want to marry her someday.”
Strange picked up the phone receiver and handed it back to him. “Then I think you need to make another call.” He said.
“Why? what makes you so interested?” Peter asked.
“Because no lycan is pack on his own. When I walked into the throne room, you looked like you were caught in a paralyzation spell. You need to say what is on your mind, get it out there. You need to tell this woman what is going on before things get really out of hand.”
With a nod, Peter took the receiver and started dialing. The phone rang a time or two before she answered. “Hello?”
“Peter! Where have you been? Aunt May called me a little while ago wondering if you were with me.” She said. Peter could envision her in his mind right now. Her soft golden fur, beautiful blue eyes, that smile of hers, the way her muzzle crinkled when she laughed, Gwen Stacy was the most perfect thing ever created, and he loved her with everything he had.
“So, I met with Tony.”
“And? Come on babe, you have to spill.”
“I got offered a job, well, sort of.”
“What kind of job?”
“I’m doing some hero stuff, just like you predicted.”
“You’re not answering the question.” She remarked playfully. “Spilling means details.”
“Well, I did some traveling. You’ll never guess where I am.”
“Are you meeting with the President?”
“No, but you’re warm.”
“The chair of the UN?”
“You can’t be serious, that leaves the Alpha. You can’t have met with the Alpha.”
“I did, and I’m sort of his bodyguard now.”
Gwen started to laugh. “That’s crazy! There is no way you are working for the Alpha right now. I don’t believe it.”
“Well believe it, and he chose me personally.”
Now Gwen was stunned. “personally? That’s huge. You are in the big leagues now.”
Now Peter chuckled. “Been a long road to get there though. I only wish Uncle Ben could see it.”
“You know he is seeing all of it.” Gwen said. “And he is so proud of you, just like I am.”
“Thanks honey. I wish you were here; you’d love the castle.”
“Of course I would. Just promise me you’ll be safe?”
“I will. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“I’ll call you later, and we can talk more.”
“Bye.” With that, Peter hung up the phone.
“There. That wasn’t so bad was it?” Strange said as he put the phone away.
“No, thanks for telling me to do that.” Peter replied. “I feel a bit more calm. So what do we do now?”
“The Alpha is going to most likely going to put you through the proverbial ringer.” Strange said. “He is going to want to see what your limits are, and how well you and the others work together as a team. But make no mistake, you won’t be out there alone. The Alpha would not send his Defenders out there without being shoulder to shoulder with you.”
“He had said the same thing earlier, but I hope we can stay his Defenders, and not become his Avengers.” Peter added. In the back of his mind, a nagging doubt was hanging over him that he might be avenging somebody before he returned to Queens.