The Stardust Ghosts

(Spectacular Spider-Man + Guardians of the Galaxy). After he gets sent to another universe by dangerous golden dust, Spider-Man teams up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to get to the bottom of this galactic mystery and maybe even his own personal issues...

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1. Life Since Norman Osborn's Funeral

Peter Parker entered his house. His Aunt May was delighted to see him.

            “Peter, how are you? You’re very late. What happened today?”

            “Nothing, Aunt May.” In truth, Peter was supposed to be volunteering for the Sick Children's Cure Research today. He had been volunteering for the children’s charity since he finished his Twelfth Grade exams at Midtown High School. It was something to do while he was waiting for Graduation Day for his results and waiting for replies from one of the universities he applied to. Usually, his volunteering job was in the head office, but his job today was at a stand in Times Square. He was giving out with some leaflets about how sick very young children can get and what everyone can do to help the charity find the cures.

            All was going well until some bad guys arrived to steal the money that the volunteers worked very hard to raise to find cures for sick children. Peter had to give up his position and be Spider-Man to stop them. He chased them after them in their van, stopped them and made sure every single cent for the children was returned. Then he returned as Peter Parker to help the other volunteers tidy up the leaflets and the stalls the cruel men had destroyed during their failed crime scheme. That was why he was so late getting back home, but he told himself that if he didn’t stop the criminals, tidying up would have been taken much longer.

            “Did you mean Gwen there? I heard she was volunteering there herself.”

            “No,” Peter said. “I saw her volunteering, but we were both so busy we didn’t have time to say hi to each other.”

            Aunt May smiled. “Just because she’s been with Harry for two years doesn’t mean she’s not thinking of you.”

            That took Peter by surprise. He and Gwen hadn’t spoken a word to each other since Harry Osborn’s father Norman Osborn died two years ago. Though they were still taking the same classes in the same classrooms at their high school, they were not sitting together like they used to be. He couldn’t even see her with Dr. Miles Warren as he was given the offer of becoming an intern at Stark Industries. Despite proving his intelligence and his worth to the multi-billionaire Tony Stark himself without letting his Spider-Man duties get in the way and learning a lot over there, he still wondered if he made the right decision moving there and leaving Gwen with Warren.

            Peter tried to move on himself. He couldn’t get back with Liz Allen because he really broke her heart when he decided to break up with her. All the other female students were always with some other guy. And when he started volunteering, he tried to ask some single volunteers out for a date, but it didn’t seem to work. He would do anything to say one word to Gwen again, but he kept thinking she was better off without him because she had plenty on her plate, he had responsibilities being Spider-Man and he always felt that he had let her down too many times. “How do you know that?” he asked Aunt May.

            “Well, I pass her in the streets sometimes,” Aunt May said. “She always asks how you are doing and she always says she’s missing you.”

            “And how does she seem to you?”

            “Exhausted. All the time. She pretends everything is great when I know she’s very tired and not as happy as she used to be. It must be from looking after Harry.”

            “I’d help her look after him, Aunt May,” Peter said, “but he doesn’t want to see me again. I don’t know why. This is why I don’t talk to them anymore in case I’d only make things worse.” He sighed and headed up to his bedroom before Aunt May could tempt him with a slice of her homemade apple pie.

 

 

“Perfect!”

            J. Jonah Jameson was looking at the photos Peter had given to him early next morning. They were pictures of Spider-Man saving the money from the robbers from the charity event yesterday. Jameson’s comments really took Peter by amazed; he had never said anything like that before.

            “These are just the photos that we need to prove Spider-Man is more sick than those poor children put together,” Jameson said.

            That was why he wanted those photos.

            “Taking their money and everything.”

            That made Peter very angry. “Just imagine if Spider-Man heard you…”

            “And what would he do?” Jameson snapped. “Break in here and wrap me up in web? Actually, I’d like to see that. That would finally prove to the world what a truly evil guy he is! As for you, Parker, you have five seconds to get your money and beat it out of my office!”

            Peter just turned around and exited.

 

 

Later, Peter put on his Spider-Man outfit on and flew in the air on his way to his volunteering job. Then he heard screaming. He followed it. It took him to Central Park and found the person screaming. Who it was shocked him more. It was Gwen Stacy herself! She was running around and screaming. He tried to see who was after her but there was nothing behind her at all. He swung to her and landed in front of her. “Hey, what’s up?”

            “Spider-Man, I’m being chased by some gold dust!” Gwen screamed. “They’ve been chasing me since I entered the park and they won’t leave me alone!”

            “All right, don’t panic,” Spider-Man said calmly. He looked behind her to see if there was any gold dust. There wasn’t. Then she screamed again. He turned around to see the gold dust covering Gwen up. He ran to her and tried to get the nasty stuff off with web fired out of his hands, but it wouldn’t come off. Then he saw his fired web was getting covered up in the gold dust itself. As hard as he tried to break free from it, he couldn’t and he soon found himself completely covered up in it.

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