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Web of Spider Vixen # 37: Keep Your Enemies Close

In the Zero-Zone, where time flows and effects things differently...

Carla Ann Parks, the woman once known also as Black Lotus was straightening up her apartment. She wanted everything perfect and in order before her guest showed up. The floor was perfectly vacuumed and dusted. She walked up to the fireplace and ran her finger along the top mantle over the fireplace. She smiled as there wasn’t even a hint of dust.

“Perfect,” Carla said smiling. “Perfect.”

There was a gentle knock Carla’s front door and she headed over to answer, only pausing briefly to examine herself in the mirror that hung on the wall and brushed her long dark hair back off her shoulders. Carla was dressed in a tight sweater that accentuated her cleavage, and partly hidden under the sleeves of the sweater she had golden bracelets. She also wore tight black denim jeans with six-inch stiletto white heels on her lovely feet. Carla smiled thinking that she always did dress to impress, even if it now was for someone she had once considered her greatest rival and worst enemy.

For a woman that was in her late 40’s, Carla was now almost half her age, the side-effect of living in the Zero-Zone caused reversed aging. Her once grey hair was now once again completely dark black and skin felt more youthful every day. By her calculations, she had been in the small community neighborhood inside the Zero-Zone for almost fifteen long years now.

Carla opened the door and there stood the Director of HUSH herself, Destiny Carter. She was a goddess of a woman who had tried unsuccessfully to hide her astounding beauty by keeping her long blonde hair tied into a bee-like bun and to her figure by wearing a long sleeved military uniform blouse. She was very prim and proper in her attire, every button leading to the collar was properly buttoned, her business skirt was long and cut at the knees. She never had any makeup on, and yet Destiny Carter was still the most stunning woman that Carla had ever seen.

“Hello Carla,” said Destiny Carter, her voice soft but firm and her body langue and expression was dead serious. “It’s once again time for your routine parole visit, may I come in?”

Carla gave her a warm smile.

“Oh course,” said Carla in very friendly voice as she opened the door slightly wider. “I’ve been expecting you.”

Destiny walked in and Carla escorted her to the living room for their routine question and answer session.

“So how long are visiting you the Zero-Zone this time,” inquired Carla as the two women sat down on a loveseat sofa.

“I told the Agents monitoring the controls of the Zero-Zone space-bridge to open an interdimensional pathway one hour after I departed,” said Carla, “And adjusting for the time-displacement I imagine that I’ll be here about two days before the window to the space-bridge reemerges in the usual spot.”

“That’s the part I can never get over,” said Carla, “I’ve been here for fifteen years now and in that amount of time here, very little time has passed in the world that I left behind.”

“Almost a month and a half to be exact,” said Destiny.

“I assume MorganTech has begun the buyout and has laying out framework to absorbing my company by now,” said Carla.

“That plan has been thwarted by the Parks Foundation’s new CEO,” said Destiny.

“Let me guess.. Albert Franco,” groaned Carla. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he stabbed me in the back one last time!”

“Actually Albert Franco has shown no sign of return from the death he suffered at your hands,” said Destiny. “I think 9th Circle has finally wised up to the fact that their alliance with him was misplaced.”

Carla thought about that a moment. If Destiny was right, that her masterplan for revenge against the Circle would also fail. It also raised another question.

“If Albert Franco is still dead, then who’s calling the shots in MY company?!” asked Carla.

***********************

At some point in time that same day in the real world, the new CEO, Pamela Parks was seated at her desk looking at a looming large stack of paperwork. At her side was her personal advisor Alberta Talzo. Both women were all dressed in usual office business clothes.

“So you say that I have to make decisions on all of those projects proposals,” asked Pamela.

“That’s right dear,” said the beautiful raven haired Italian woman as she stood behind Pamela and placed her hands on her shoulders. “Everything depends on you now. You have to decide which of these projects is worth continuing investing in and which ones have to be terminated.”

“Can’t I just hedge my bets and continue them all,” asked Pamela.

“No dear,” said Alberta softly. “The Parks Foundation doesn’t have an endless supply of money lying around. Our shares have been dropping every since Carla’s death, now that you’ve taken the helm, it’s up to you guide Foundation by picking the most lucrative ideas that will lead to greater profits and greater success.”

“I’ve read all those projects and proposals,” said Pamela. “They all sound great on paper, but I can’t read between the lines the way my mother did, I don’t understand the business world.. and investing in the wrong projects could lead to the company to go bankrupt.”

“Pam, you’re overthinking this,” said Alberta. “You need to think of this as if you were Spider Vixen and as if you knew you were surrounded by enemies, who were also disguised among a crowd of citizens. Now using your spider sense, could you pick out the bad guys from the citizens before they attacked you? Would you know who to hit and who look out far?”  

“Oh course,” said Pamela, “I’ve faced that very scenario multiple times in the past, but I don’t see how..”

Alberta unstacked the documents and laid each project out of her desk, “Keep the knowledge of everything that is at stake in mind as you make your next decision. After all you do want to prevent 9th Circle and MorganTech from absorbing your company, right? You do want to save the jobs of all those employees, right?”

“Of course I do,” said Pamela.

“Then close your eyes and rely on your instincts to allow your spider-sense to protect you,” said Carla stepping behind Pamela and placed her hands on the younger woman’s shoulders as she sat at her desk. “Now with those documents laid out on your desk, imagine it’s the same exact scenario, the fate of your company is out stake, and among those project proposals are some real enemies to the people who work for you. Now reach out your hand guide it over the paperwork, whenever you sense danger tap onto it and I’ll remove the paperwork from your desk.”

“Okay,” said Pamela as reached out her hand and guided it over the paperwork over her hand. Occusionally her spider sense triggered and she immediately tapped onto the documents telling Alberta to remove it.

When Pamela was done, she opened her eyes and saw that only two of them remained on her desk.

“Very good Pamela,” smiled Alberta. “Your spider sense has chosen well.”

“I got overwhelmed with the sensation that most of them were risky,” said Pamela, “but two them felt safe, but how do I know for sure that I’ve made that I’ve made the right decisions and that it wasn’t impulsive wishful thinking?”

“Because this was actually a controlled test,” explained Alberta. “All of these documents that were sitting on your desk, including the two that still remain, they were before your mother’s desk two years ago. You avoided the same projects that she did and also picked the same two to invest in that she had. You ultimately made the same business decision that your mother made two years ago, those projects that your instincts said to invest in.. were actually huge winners.”

“You mean.. It actually worked then,” said Pamela. “I didn’t think my spider sense could work that way.”

“It does, you just have to believe in yourself and trust your instincts,” said Alberta. “Now are you ready to look at this month’s project paperwork?”

Pamela laughed, “Bring it on!”

*********************

Meanwhile back in the Zero-Zone, Destiny Carter had finished her routine three hour interview with Carla Parks.

“All I can say is you’ve certainly come a long way from when you first arrived,” said Destiny.

“I’ll say,” giggled Carla, “I was on life support.”

“I wasn’t exactly referring to your recovery,” said Destiny. “Although you were pretty irate when you first learned that you had received a massive blood transfusion from yours truly.”

“Yes, I should have never have treated you that way,” said Carla. “I can’t believe there was time that I hated you with every fiber of my being. I was.. I was so jealous of you over the Knightman’s love for you. How could even the Black Lotus ever compete with American Beauty.. a daughter of love goddess. He truly loved you and I resented you for that. I should have stepped aside, if I had..”

“We can’t live in the world of what if,” said Destiny. “I was angry with you for years after the Knightman died, but I know now that you never attended for him to die that night and you were not the one who killed him. Sometimes I think I have too much of my father in me.”

“If so then explain to me why you saved my life,” asked Carla. “You could have easily let me die after my injuries from Mai-Lin Ming and Marcy White*, yet you ultimately risked your own life and gave me blood transfusion that almost killed you. That doesn’t sound like you take after your father, Ares to me.”

(During the Peril City: Murder Mystery miniseries.)

“I never thought that I would ever hear such a sweat and compliment coming from you,” said Destiny. “I just wish that it wasn’t brought out because of the peace and pleasant inducing effects of being in the Zero-Zone.”

“That might be true,” said Carla as reached out and touched Destiny’s hand. “Being here, it’s always so peaceful, I never feel anger or rage, sadness or loneness, and I get up every morning counting the ways of how wonderful it is to be alive. I do remember things that made me sad and angry like the loss of the Knightman, Bezla, and the fact that I’ve been separated so long from my daughter. However I’ve had long time to reflect on my whole life while being in the Zero-Zone. I want you to know, that the regular updates and news you bring me every other weekend, brings me much joy. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever look at you as being that same white whore that stole the heart of the Knightman. I rather see you as a friend, and should I ever be released from here, I certainly hope I still show you the same respect. I would want nothing more to be your friend.”

“Thank you,” said Destiny as she looked down at Carla’s hand which rested overtop of hers.

Then Destiny noticed and paid more attention to the golden bracelet on Carla’s wrist which was partly hidden by her sweater.

“Wait… those bracelets, they’re Amazonian bracelets,” said the spectacularly beautiful blonde.

“Yes, they are,” said the black woman smiling. “I believe that they once belonged an Amazon from your home island that once went rogue and battled your beloved mentor American Maiden some time during the ‘80’s.”

It was a good thing Destiny was sitting down, as she became light headed and dizzy. The bracelets on Carla’s wrists began to glow.

“H-How could you have possibly even have those,” asked Destiny as she was struggling to stay conscious. “You.. Your Lotus touch… your powers.. are effecting me..”

“I wanted you to taste and experience what the Knightman experienced every time we tangled,” cooed Black Lotus, then adding an almost embarrassed tone, “Oh Destiny, you’re already swooning for me!”

“How are you doing this… your powers never effected me before,” asked Destiny.

“Why with the aid of these magically wonderful bracelets,” teased Carla. “From what I understand, they enhance the inner strength and abilities of all the Amazons of your homeland. That includes giving my Lotus touch powers a magical boast, that even affects you, the mighty American Beauty!”

“But.. But you’re not a native Amazon,” gasped Carla, her eyes growing weak.

“I don’t have to be,” said Carla smiling. “I have your magical blood running through my veins!”

“Great Hera,” murmured Destiny.“How.. did you get.. those bracelets.. into the zone..?”

“Found them in a care package, delivered from one of your own,” said Carla, “a boy who’s obediently loyal to my daughter!”

Twisting Destiny around, Carla pushed the blonde haired goddess of a woman flat on her back on the sofa.

“Then.. you were immune to the effects of the Zero-Zone.. the whole time we talked...” Destiny struggled to say as tried not to fully succumb to the intoxicating effects of Carla’s powers.

“That’s right baby,” said Carla as she bent over the helpless Director of HUSH and with her free hand grasped the collar of her uniform and unbuttoned the top three buttons, revealing Destiny’s ample chest. “I’ve been clear headed for about two days now.”

Destiny could hear the thunder her heartbeat which was racing as she saw the triumphant expression on Carla’s face.

“Then everything you said.. about wanting to be my friend... was a lie...” quivered the helpless blonde beauty.

Carla didn’t answer her, she merely smiled evilly and revealed what was in the palm of her other hand, a black Alomrian Mind Box. “Here’s another gift from my benefactor... an Almorian Mind Box!”

“No.. You.. You can’t,” pleaded Destiny as she struggled to attempt shift her body and throw Carla off her, but to no avail, Carla rode her like bronco bull.

“I never thought finally defeating you would be so easily,” said Carla as she brought the cube closer to Destiny’s forehead.

Destiny knew then and there she was doomed, that Carla had pinned and totally had her dead to rights. She prepared for the eventually, but then suddenly and unexpectedly Carla squeezed the small black box in the palm of her hand which crushed and destroyed it.

Carla tossed the broken pieces away and removed her other hand from Destiny’s exposed breast and grabbed the back of neck and she plunged her down and planted a kiss onto the blonde goddess beneath her.

Destiny’s eyes went wide in shock as Carla’s full lips covered over hers. Pleasurable electric sensations washed over them both and Carla used the kiss to pull back her toxins from blood in Destiny’s body and reabsorb them into her own.

The Black Lotus never considered herself bisexual, even though she and Marcela Sanchez once had a one-night fling and slept together when they were both drunk off the asses in Los Vegas, but as Carla broke the kiss from Destiny, she was amazed how blissfully wonderful and exciting it was to have kissed her greatest long-time rival, a woman that she once murderously hated.

Destiny felt her head immediately clearing up as Carla laughed mischievously at her.

“Why.. Why did you stop, you had me,” said Destiny as she sat up and began to rebutton up her uniform up.

“Blondie, I didn’t lie to you,” said Carla. “I have grown to enjoy your company and I always look frequent visits.”

“Then why did you..” asked Destiny.

“Just a mere harmless practical joke,” said Carla almost giggling, “If I was hell bent on escaping the Zero-Zone, I would have done so. I could have easily made you my willing slave and had you escort me out the front door.”

“True, and that’s exactly what I feared you were going to make me do,” said Destiny. “Why didn’t you?”

“Because then I would have ruined any chance of having a real friendship with you,” said Carla. “I’ve lost so many friends and love ones over the years, it was having fun someone I could just talk to again, even if it was a person that used to make my blood boil.”

“You used to have that same effect on me, every time you threw and forced yourself onto Robert,” said Destiny.  

“A pity we never learned to share,” said Carla. “Do you think the Knightm.. Robert could have ever handled as BOTH during a threesome?”

Both women shared a laugh after that comment.

“Probably not,” smiled Destiny.

“You know after Robert passed, I was never with another person for almost twenty years and when I did hook up with someone in was a meaningless escape with piece of meat wearing a bowtie,” said Carla. “Robert Knight left a mark on my heart, as I’m sure he did on yours.”

“He sure did,” said Destiny looking into the eyes of Carla. “Like you I’ve avoided relationships.. people asking me out on dates and the only times I’ve been even kissed is when it’s been forced.”

“Sorry about that,” giggled Carla, “I was curious about what Robert tasted back in the day. Mmm.. it was certainly delicious though.”

“Well thanks,” said Destiny almost sarcastically.

“I believe these belong to you,” said Carla as she slipped off the golden Amazonian bracelets from her wrists and offered to hand them over to Destiny as she sat beside her.

“You’re even surrounding your edge over me without even demanding conditions,” asked Destiny who was genuinely and pleasantly surprised.

“My only request is that you go easy on my daughter,” said Carla. “I know she may have technically committed an act of treason against HUSH, but this behavior isn’t like her and in your heart of hearts, I think you know that. Pamela only wanted to be reunited with her mother. She doesn’t realize that the Zero-Zone is not a harsh prison filled dreadful violent criminals, but rather a nice small community of reformed citizens that over there evil ways. Perhaps if she was allowed routine visits, she would be curved from the desire to break me out. I’ll gladly take the maximum life sentence and revoke my requests for any time of parole, if you’ll do that for me.”

“Well arresting Pamela for her actions is out of the question, because her now being an Almorian Queen would create a diplomatic nightmare with the Almorian Royal Family,” said Destiny as she stood up from the sofa and looked at the golden bracelets now in her hands. “Although she somehow compromised an Agent of HUSH to steal this items from a secure vault and then smuggle them to Zero-Zone to be used against me. Such an act of aggression could be viewed as an act of war and shouldn’t be just let off with a slap on the wrists!”

“Actually I know the appropriate way to give my daughter a spanking and scare the crap out of her from ever trying something like this again,” said Carla as she stood from the sofa as well and faced Destiny.

“As the Director of HUSH, I’ll grant you your request and allow Pamela brief routine visits,” said Destiny. “She’ll visit you once every month which will be like once a week on her end and she’ll be allowed to spend one overnight stay with you in the Zero-Zone on each trip, which means it’ll seem like she’s gone only about fifteen minutes each trip, however I won’t do this as a bargain to keep you permanently locked away in the Zero-Zone. You are scheduled to serve a minimum of twenty years for the murder of Travis Parks and the other crimes that you have committed as the Black Lotus, that means in five years, you’ll be allowed a parole hearing and my testimony of your character and recommendation to the judge will decide when and if you get paroled.”

“Well that shouldn’t be too hard for me since just living in the Zero-Zone’s very atmosphere makes all the inhabitants anti-aggressive,” smirked Carla.

“That’s actually a good point,” admitted Destiny. “Every time we’ve attempted release convicts from the Zero-Zone, they’ve immediately fell back to their evil habits within only a week.”

“That’s because in there hearts they never wanted to reform,” said Carla. “Unlike them, my criminal acts ultimately hurt all the people that I loved and cared about. Being the Black Lotus has been nothing but a blight on my life! If only there was a way that I could prove it to you... I would!”

Then Destiny’s eyes drifted back to the magical Amazonain bracelets in her hands, “Perhaps there is.. with these magical bracelets.”

Destiny then extended her hand and offered the bracelets back to Carla. “I want to keep the bracelets and wear them at all times. The magical Amazonain bracelets won’t stop you from aging in reverse while in the Zero-Zone, but it will shield your mind and will allow you to be your true self at all times. Consider it a required stipulation for getting parole, so I can use it to truly test your commitment to rehabilitate and if you do continue to be good on your own accord and show a genuine commitment to rehabilitate, then maybe in five years you may very well be released!”

“You know, in five more years in here, I’ll be as almost as young as my daughter,” said Carla as she slipped the bracelets back onto her wrists. “I promise you that I will rehabilitate and one day gave you back these bracelets on the outside wall of this Pleasantville prison.”

“Prove to me you can rehabilitate back into the world and maybe one day I will trust you enough to own those bracelets,” said Destiny. “Now I should be going, I’ve got to get back to the HUSH stronghold on the edge of town, finish my paperwork on this interview, then wait out the next few days for the portal to reopen.”

“Let me guess, you plan to sleep in an uncomfortable military foldout camping cot,” said Carla as she reached out and touched Destiny’s cheek with a fingers, faintly using her Lotus touch to cloud the mind of the beautiful Amazon. “You know, my house may be small, but I have a spare bedroom... with a queen size bed or perhaps you’d like to share my king sized bed?”

Destiny smiled and grabbed hold of Carla’s wrist and said to her, “You know trying to seduce your parole officer might be considered a misuse of those bracelets I’m loaning you.”

“You think I’m now trying to seduce you,” asked Carla pretending to look innocent. “You silly white whore, I was only suggesting a harmless slumber party, you know like the kind between two good friends? You mean, they don’t have slumber parties on Island Isle?”

“They have similar traditions,” giggled Destiny, “although we hunt for animal predators and cook them over an open fire instead of cooking smores and we also play bondage games for fun with our magic lassoes instead games like truth or dare.”

“How long has it been for you to have such a friend,” asked Carla. “I imagine it must not be easy for you to let people into your private life and truly letting your hair down- being the Director of HUSH as well being recognized everywhere as the former world famous heroine American Beauty.”

“No.. it isn’t easy,” said Destiny. “I have friends at.. ‘work’.. but as Director it would be inappropriate to befriend or date the people under me. No one truly knows me beyond that desk and this uniform. I’m also afraid to truly open myself up, afraid I’ll endanger those close to me.. That I’ll end up losing them, they way I lost Robert!”

“You see, I already know all your baggage,” said Carla as she stroked Destiny’s cheek with her hand. “We both loved and lost the same man, I know all your secrets and you know all of mine. And I know you’re powerful enough to push me away, take back the bracelets back and march out that door if you truly wanted to. Maybe the real reason you gave me back these magical bracelets is because you’re so lonely and stressed out, you feel the need for there to be someone to be more powerful than you, to be strong enough to put you in your place.. and gentle enough to make you feel alive again and all while behind the closed walls of the Zero-Zone, so no one can know your shame and who better to lose to than your arch-enemy?”

“I.. I’m not saying you’re right,” said Destiny.

“But your also not saying I’m wrong,” said Carla. “I think tonight I’ll be teaching you how to make smores!”

To be continued...
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