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SPIDER-GWEN: NOT QUITE FULL CIRCLE
A Marvel fanfic, crossover with Percolation Warriors.
Made with: "The Sims 4: Get Famous"
Note: Due to a game mod issue, Candi appears a bit larger than Gwen. It should be the other way around. Gwen is canonically a little taller than Candi, and more muscular (but not by much.) Somehow, my game reversed their physique comparisons. Machinomic joys.
It had been four days since Gwen had pled guilty, and been escorted to a secured juvenile center along the west side of the island. With careful maneuvering, no one in New York outside her band mates were aware that this version of Gwen was Spider-Woman. But with most of the city's major threats under control, she felt that paying her own dues to society was the next logical course of action.
An officer died because she tried to avoid arrest, all because she wasn't ready to answer for the Chameleon trying to frame her for robbery until after she'd ensured that Hydro-man was no longer a threat to MJ. She also found herself with no family left. And as long as she remained at large, her band mates were at legal risk too! To her, this was unacceptable. Knowing that she was wanted for questioning, and to prove she wasn't the burglar, she knew turning herself in was critical. She knew she'd go away for a while - even if no one knew she was the city's spider protector!
It didn't matter. Things were a mess, and a portion of it was her fault. She was prepared to answer for her role. She expected to find herself facing endless fights and abuse. But...she may have mistaken her fate for that of a different-yet-similar (and older) Gwen. She found the place she was sent to...actually pretty boring and uneventful! Still, she wondered....did she make the right call?
The guards weren't cruel, just methodical. Like unfeeling robots. She never got the sense that they hated her guts...but they didn't seem to care about anything other than collecting a paycheck either. She was surprised that in spite being in a two-girl room, she hadn't been assigned a cellmate yet. It was a Saturday, and a whole lot of nothing was going on. No activities. Just...sitting in her cell. Bored. Harry planned to visit soon, and give her commissary. But until he did so...she has no money. No way to do anything to pass the time - except exercise and think. The only thing that was going to kill her was boredom - or slipping up and wall-crawling when guards were around to see it, thus landing herself in a SHIELD facility more likely than not!
She feared this Saturday would be another boring day. But then, something happened to make it...a little less boring!
Candi: "Yep, it's me again. I know...I look a tad bit older. I've been on a lot of adventures since we teamed up last! I don't know if when next I'm Percolated here, it'll be me or a younger version of me, or an older. Time travel and universe linking via the Perc Wave is..."
Gwen: "Like trying to make Narnia time logical?"
Candi: "Yeah. Pretty much."
Gwen: "These Percolations happen for a reason. I'm guessing you're here to cheer me up?"
Candi: "You're depressed?"
Gwen: "You're not?"
Candi: "I had to get S'Poled to save my son's life, after driving like a maniac to get away from assassins throwing cyanide bombs at the house. But the lives I've been able to shine light on through the experience! The only thing I'd embrace more, is getting out and getting my family back. Being locked up doesn't otherwise bother me much anymore. Probably because they do it to me so often for such little reason, I've started to lose all respect for the concept behind it."
Gwen: "That sounds awful."
Candi: "So...what happened?"
Gwen: "I wasn't ready to accept my fate. I ran...right into a trap. The officer chasing me got killed instead. Can you relate?"
Candi: "Er...yes and no."
Gwen: "Chameleon framed me. I was wanted on suspicion. But he and Hydro-Man were also threatening my band mates. I couldn't accept responsibility for myself until I knew those two would never threaten anyone again. Held out. When I made sure they were captured or dead - er - Frank killed Chameleon, not me - I knew it was game over for me. I wanted it to be over. I've lost too much, some of it my fault. I need to start over; but not sure how."
Candi: "Was your identity exposed?"
Gwen: "Thankfully, no. I'm serving about 80% of a penny. If that happened, I'd probably be gone a LOT longer! You?"
Candi: "Yep. But everyone who gave a damn about the centipede costume is dead now. Not my fault, but does it matter? Now, it's just me, and a very corrupt and broken system I'd like to help fix."
Gwen: "What did you mean that you relate yes and no?"
Candi: "Every time I've been locked up by actual authorities rather than kidnapped, save for one, it was to protect someone else. Or for some minor detail I neglected. I came from a very negligent family, and picked that up from them. But I was always determined to be a good mother. It was...other little things...that tripped me up. Only once, did I feel genuinely that I'd done anything wrong, or that couldn't be excused. Even then...that agent died more due to SCALLOP officials being careless than because of my own slip of the tongue. If not for their incompetence, my own careless act was so minor that it could have been easily forgiven."
Gwen: "Would that have made a difference?"
Candi: "Owning up to my role in the chain reaction proved that not all of my motives were selfish. If I went just to protect Imaki, it would be argued that he's family, and my motives would still have been deemed selfish. Darius' extra effort to trip me up proved to be my redemption. He would've been better off letting me take the fall for Imaki alone, if his plan was to screw over my entire life."
Gwen: "Like a spear counterpart Lady Tremaine, who was too clever by half?"
Candi: "I don't think comparing me to Cinderella is fair."
Gwen: "So is there anyone in your world more like me?"
Candi: "Two others. Tabby. She saved us all. Her and her friends, and their urban ninja antics. The Chrome Kite won't threaten anyone ever again. I helped a little. And now I'm with the Percolation Warriors. But at some point, I have to go from SWCC back to Houston Women's to finish my sentence. I can kiss this sweet blue outfit goodbye, for standard orange. At least the laundry machines work at Houston Women's. SCALLOP can guard the Gulf of Mexico with a giant clam at its command; but can't fix a dryer. Go figure."
Gwen chuckled a little at the sound of that, but now had even more questions!
Gwen: "Why would Tabby do as I did?"
Candi: "Which time?"
Gwen: "Either. All. I don't care."
Candi: "First time, she tried to get into witness protection and it backfired. Tried to sell a Marlquaanite ruby to a pawn shop. No one told her that was illegal. Store owner was having none of it. She went along with being arrested anyway, because it was better than the Screwworms catching her and killing her. She was only not-quite 13 at the time. Second time? She had to steal a car to save her friends from the Screwworms. Very persistent mo-fos, if you ask me! Third? She filled a rival with hatred and resentment by mishandling a dispute. That rival went on to gain a Marlquaan bond and became Bliksemhek - one of Little Rock's worst mass murderers. Rage-filled, psychotic, and hated Tabby most of all. Truces between the Chrome Kite and the whole world that hated them, just to deal with this one demented witch.
Tabby felt partially responsible. She also rescued a bunch of orphans from Hasam Arbini and brought them to Texas, but was a political liability. She wasn't hurting anyone in Texas, but they didn't want the Chrome Kite to see video of her on our streets. So SCALLOP locked her up. She didn't even resist or protest. Again...felt guilty over Bliksemhek. Two years. When not aiding the Percolation Warriors, she's doing community service. Or wearing a blue outfit like mine and sleeping in a cell. Sometimes making a friend or two that got screwed over by the Kirby Act and otherwise isn't a criminal. And sometimes...she's...alone. All alone. Feels she deserves it. Doesn't get in too many fights though. They keep those girls on the north wing. They keep her on the south. North is bonafide bad apples. South is civil screw-ups."
Gwen: "So...she got it easy?"
Candi: "Yes and no."
Gwen: "Sheesh, your world is complicated!"
Candi: "She's getting it easy this time. Her family is otherwise back together. And John isn't a fugitive anymore. Hea's getting out of prison soon, and the museum is eager to hire her back. They knew her arrest was bullocks from day one. The Sterlies are finally able to breathe easy. Reforms are being passed to end the Beliah Amendments. To declare the unconstitutional. About time! Vince is dying, and the Navyrope Society will have to find a reason to exist without him. With these reforms in place, Tiffany's slate has been wiped clean. Jordan's should be pretty soon too. Jordan has already said he wants to marry Tabitha after she gets out. They're staying in touch any way they can. I'll facilitate as much as allowed. I believe in those two, just as Imaki believed in me and Donte."
Gwen: "Like some sort of divine hand, hard at work to bring about good and wonderful things, even amidst all that insanity?"
Candi: "Yep. Her first time locked up, the place got destroyed by Screwworms."
Gwen: "Persistent buggers!"
Candi: "Yep! So she got transferred to Mansfield. Which was not as nice as SJCC, but it was survivable. Then, she got kidnapped on release day, and left in a zombie wasteland."
Gwen: "What the blazes???"
Candi: "She survived because Shaniqua went rogue from SCALLOP and invaded Ameristan to rescue her. VERY complicated! And then she got back into Arkansas, made friends quickly, got Marlquaan powers by inheriting them from a retiring Marge, and then set to work sabotaging the Chrome Kite's Tug system - so that the Sodality wouldn't be locked out of Little Rock."
Gwen: "Geroshans are so over-the-top!"
Candi: "This coming from a girl who can sleep on the ceiling?"
Gwen: "Fair point. Why can't you?"
Candi: "Because....centipedes like to stay closer to the ground?"
Gwen: "Well, okay, I'll buy that. The other girl?"
Candi: "Celia. The Taterbug. Sidekick to the Sapphire King. She was wanted for theft. Guilty, but it was from years earlier, before she turned herself around. When the Beliah Amendments were being enforced in full, and SCALLOP needed us locked up to prevent the Screwworms from killing us...among other legal reasons...half the Sodality had to go to Italy and resist. The other half needed to play along. Jordan wanted Celia to go to Toklisana, because Italy wasn't safe anymore. She knew she'd never be Jordan's equal, so she played along with his wishes. They were madly in love. But he was no dummy. He knew if I or Dolly or Mingmei weren't there, Celia would be little safer behind bars in Texas than on the battlefield in Italy.
Celia also wanted to find her mother, and felt getting on TV was the best chance she had. She knew this increased her likelihood of going to prison; but she wanted her mother to be safe, and to know she was still alive. So she took her chances. She even helped defeat Lionfish and some Screwworms with a weirdly-shaped tank. But...that didn't keep her out of trouble. The guys in the battle in Italy won, and Celia got deported back. She's...doing okay in Italian jail. Makes a lot of dresses now. Word is, she'll be out soon. Her mother moved to Italy to be with her and her husband."
Gwen: "They don't call you guys a Sodality for nothing!"
Candi: "You haven't met Celia. She vaguely resembles you. Different hair though. And weaker, smaller arms. Powerful legs though. And really good at sneaking into places!"
Gwen: "So...what I'm doing isn't that unique?"
Candi: "Candace foiled a robbery in a mall...but also turned a mall cop into a lime. She owned up to it. That's why she's at Camelorum. Kayla saved Trump's life in her timeline, but left Gwirdon blue goo all over Pennsylvania Avenue by blowing up Hoshijo and killing Gwirmalesh. The feds still put her in Waseca. She didn't resist. She did get a presidential pardon though. So...that was nice."
Gwen: "So I could be a Percolation Warrior?"
Candi (smiling): "I think the Web Warriors need you more. The principles and facts of life that affected Joseph in Genesis? Don't think us living here and now means we can escape it. We may not sit around interpreting dreams; but history finds weird ways to repeat itself in a broader sense regardless. It's odd. There are versions of Peter going back to the 1960s, or medieval times.
No version of me goes back that far to my knowledge! So he's tread a path, I've tread a rougher version of that path, and now here I am in New York, mentoring you on navigating a similar path of guilt and redemption. A spider to a centipede back to a spider again. Just...different spider, different circumstances. So...not quite full circle."
Gwen: "Thanks, Candi. I could use a little perspective while I'm in here."
Candi: "There was always someone to give it to me when I needed it most. So I wouldn't despair. So I wouldn't get crazy ideas in my head. Seems only right my lot in life now is to give right back. Mentor others in similar predicaments to my own."
Gwen: "True. But the lunch lady could be arriving soon, and you don't stick to ceilings. You're also twice my age at the moment! This is a juvie, and you're an adult."
Candi: "Percolation Wave. Explain it plainly if I'm not gone before then. If I am, it'll be like I was never here."
Gwen: "Right. But do try to hide under the bed, just in case? They don't always think to look under there. It will improve our chances of getting you back to your world friction-free."
Candi: "Good thing I'm small and can fit."
Gwen: "Centipede and Spider Are Friends. No one's gonna write that as a children's book!"
Candi: "Centipedes in nature eat spiders. Good thing we're human - and civilized. Usually."
Gwen (rolling eyes): "Yeah....yet another good point."
Much to the girls' relief, Candi Percolated home a mere three minutes later. Five minutes later, the lunch lady arrived. Gwen was alone again. Still filled with self-loathing and guilt, but now with courage and wisdom that wasn't there before. A little insight goes a long way. And at least she wasn't like her Earth-65 counterpart! All things considered, this Gwen got lucky.
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© 2019 - 2021 BulldozerIvan
Thanks. I've added to it. Finished it. I also ordered a copy of the original release of Spider-Gwen #33. Seen some previews. It had an excellent premise, but I believe a garbage execution. So with this fanfic...I took the idea, and improved on it.
I'm not holding my breath for Sony to call about the movie rights though.