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Dissonance, 8/9: Catalyst

Title: Dissonance, 8/9: Catalyst
Author: htbthomas
Fandom: Spider-Girl
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,983 words
Summary: May 'Mayday' Parker, daughter of Spider–Man, crosses dimensions and meets the family that never knew her. A Spider–Girl x Spider–Man crossover.
A/N: More adding of an older story to LJ.  Please feel free to ignore, or review if you are so inclined!
Previous Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

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“By the way, thanks for the refill,” Mayday called toward Peter as they made their final approach to Dr. Strange’s mansion. Mary Jane had decided to stay behind at the Tower, since Ben still didn’t seem to feel well.

“No problem, I guess I made web fluid for so many years that I’ll never forget how. Don’t forget to bug your father to give you the formula. What if you get separated from your family again?” he admonished.

“Don’t worry, ‘Dad.’ I never want to go through that again.” She touched down on the sidewalk beside him. “Though it would sure be nice not to have to mess with it at all. What’s it like to have them… built in?”

He shrugged. “It feels a little weird, to tell you the truth. It kinda grosses people out…”

He pressed the doorbell, which rang with a deep tone.

A wizened oriental man opened the door to them. “Please enter.” He gestured toward the entryway. As the door closed behind them, the two web-slingers removed their masks. Without a word, Wong left, presumably to inform Dr. Strange of their arrival.

For the next few minutes, Mayday and Peter waited in the foyer. The place was fascinating – the walls and shelves were covered with interesting arcane artifacts. Her attention was drawn to a small jade figurine. Covered in oriental symbols, it depicted a woman with flowing robes, arms outstretched. She found herself reaching a gloved hand toward it…

“I would not handle that, Miss Parker. Its attractiveness belies a dangerous nature.” She quickly retracted her hands and turned toward the voice guiltily.

The Sorcerer Supreme stood majestically before them. His imposing height and powerful body were made more impressive by a sapphire blue collared cape and a full head of black hair, shot through with white. His years of experience were obvious in his very bearing. “Please come into my Sanctum Sanctorum,” he invited, holding the door for his two guests.

After they entered the study, Mayday pulled the web-pack from her back and began to tear into it. “I brought the clothes I was wearing when I first arrived here. Do you think that might make a difference?”

Dr. Strange waved his hand dismissively. “No, inorganic material should have no effect on the transition between dimensions. Don’t worry, May. All I will need is you.” He guided her to stand before him.

She felt quite nervous. I’m not even sure how I ended up here. How will he know what the best way is to send me back? And what if the world I return to is not my own but a close replica? Will I need to seek out the Dr. Strange of that world? Will he even exist?...

The churning thoughts in her head must have shown clearly on her features. Dr. Strange’s face took on a stern but understanding expression. “Now, May. I said not to worry,” he chided. She flushed. “It will not be difficult to tune my spell to your dimension – but we do need to work quickly. As the dissonance grows ever stronger, it could warp the fabric of your reality in such a way as to make it unreachable.”

And he says don’t worry! she thought queasily. She bit her lip as he passed his hands through the air in front of her. Peter stood to the side, seemingly unconcerned. The sorcerer began to add phrases in an arcane-sounding language, and suddenly a shimmering bubble of energy appeared several feet to the left.

The sparkling soon coalesced into a visible picture of her house. “That looks like my house! How do I get from here to there?” She suddenly remembered her earlier worry. “Are you sure this is the right dimension – that could be yet another set of Parkers…”

Strange’s face remained impassive as he kept the spell active, but his tone was full of confidence. “This dimension resonates with the same dissonance I detected in you. I am certain it is the correct one.”

Shrugging, she accepted his assessment. Stepping close, but not too close to the bubble, she asked, “What now? Do I just… step through?”

He smiled slightly. “Essentially, yes. You will probably experience a flash of light, and possibly a tingling sensation. These are normal, pay them no mind.” The mage nodded toward the portal. “When you are ready,” he invited.

She looked toward Peter who was nodding encouragingly. But as she took a deeper look, she could see a glistening in his eyes. Mayday quickly realized, With all the rush, I never had time to say a proper goodbye! Maybe it’s too late for everyone else… She took a few rapid steps and threw herself into her ‘father’s’ arms.

“Dad,” she whispered into his shoulder, “Thank you so much for taking care of me while I was here.” She pulled away slightly to look directly into his face. “You’ve been every bit the father I’ve always known, in all the ways that matter. Ben is so lucky to have such a great man to follow after.” She sniffed. This was harder than she thought it was going to be! “Tell Mom and Aunt May I love them and will never forget them…” she trailed off, voice faltering.

Peter’s voice was a little unsteady as he pulled her in for a final hug. “And we will never forget you, Mayday. Your parents are so lucky to have a daughter like you.” He stepped away and wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Now, go. I’m sure they’re worried sick.”

She nodded and stepped close to the bubble of light. “All right, here I go…” Mayday took a deep breath and stepped forward. She was expecting a flash of light and tingle… but instead, it felt like she was bouncing off of a rubbery membrane. “What….?”

The light dissipated like an extinguished flame. “I was afraid of this. The portal will not let you pass through.” His brow wrinkled in thought.

“Is it too late?” Her stomach clenched. “Am I stuck here forever?”


The older sorcerer swept into the room, graying hair detracting not at all from his imposing physique. He may be retired, but he still knows how to make an entrance! Peter thought. Doc Magus seemed small and insignificant in the presence of the master. Maybe that’s why he feels the need to bluster and make smart remarks.

“Hello, Spider-Man,” Dr. Strange greeted. “Have you been well since our last encounter?” Stephen had known Peter’s identity for decades, but in the presence of the younger man, he kept to superhero etiquette.

“Yeah, Doc. Just peachy. Except that your protégé here seems to have gotten Spider-Girl into a mess.” He was more than a little irritated, and didn’t bother to hide the fact.

To his credit, Doc Magus didn’t deny it. He explained, “She accidentally touched the edge of a dimensional banishment spell I cast. And if I have read the situation correctly…”

“She has been transported to a similar dimension,” Dr. Strange finished for him. “Do we know what the catalyst was?”

“I haven’t yet determined the source. The energies are difficult to read. I believe I need your help to increase the power of the tracking spell.”

“And you shall have it.”

Genetics, quantum physics… these were things he understood. But magic? Peter could hear the words, but he needed to cut through the mysterious language to get to the point. “Gentlemen,” he interrupted. “Break it down for me, please.”

Doc Magus began to speak, but then deferred to the other mage. Dr. Strange tried to clarify: “Spider-Girl should have been unaffected by the spell, since she was not fully enclosed in the bubble. However, there must have been a reaction, a metaphysical ‘catalyst’ if you will, to something that she touched that sent her out of this dimension. If we are able to determine what that was, we have a much better chance of finding her. Otherwise…”

“It’ll be like finding a needle in a haystack,” Peter surmised.

“Probably more like finding a single grain of sand amongst the quadrillions of grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth… but, yes …an extremely difficult task.”

Mayday pressed a hand to her middle and staggered a step. Oh, my God! I’ll never see my family or friends ever again! And if what Dr. Strange said is true, how long until that ‘darkness’ overtakes them? She felt physically ill.

Peter caught her by the arm and held her. He looked to Dr. Strange. “Is there another way to send her back?”

The sorcerer frowned. “There must be a specific reason you are unable to get through the portal. Hmm…” He walked over to a large, aged spell book and began to read. “Hmm...” He came over to stand by her again. “I’m sorry, young May, but do you mind?” His hands began to crackle with power.

She could only nod numbly, still reeling with the possibility that everyone she loved might soon be forever beyond her reach. He passed his hands in an arc around her body. When he was finished, the tips of her fingers glittered with silvery light. She wiggled them slightly, sparks dancing among the ribbed fingers of her gloves.

“As I suspected. May, were you touching anything at the moment of your transfer to this dimension?”

“This is Ben’s room, Dr. Strange.” Peter led the Sorcerer Supreme into the nursery. “She had just stopped by our room to check in on us. After that, I was sure May went to kiss Ben goodnight… and then my spider-sense went crazy. Ben started screaming – when we checked to see what had happened, she was just gone.”

Mary Jane came behind them, carrying Ben in her arms. He had needed nearly constant attention the last few days, and the pediatrician had found nothing physically wrong with him. That worried Peter, but he was thankful MJ had devoted her energy to their son, so that he could focus on finding their daughter.

Dr. Strange had come alone to the house, without Doc Magus. Strange may have known Peter’s former identity for years, but not the younger man. And I hope I never have to deal with that arrogant jerk again! he thought.

“If this was indeed the place from which she disappeared, then I should be able to detect a trace of energy here. From that starting point, it will be much easier to trace her current location.” Without further explanation, Dr. Strange raised his hands, palms facing outward. A shimmering light slowly enveloped the room as he turned in a complete circle. He stopped with a satisfied look on his face. “I think we have found our catalyst.”


The events of the night Mayday arrived in this world suddenly clicked into place in her mind. “I touched the edge of a spell!” She wiggled the offending fingertips toward him triumphantly, sparks beginning to fade away. “Doc Magus helped me get rid of an artifact that seemed to be possessed by a spirit.”

“A spell? You touched a banishment spell?”

“Yeah. But the doc acted like it was no big deal. In fact, he blew it off like it was my fault that I got too close…”

“Amateurs…” Dr. Strange said under his breath. “And then you were transported here?”

“No, actually. And that’s the funny thing. It didn’t happen until about an hour later. I came home, said goodnight to my folks, and went in to kiss my baby brother." She stilled, coming to a realization. “I came here after I touched…”

“…Ben?” Both Peter and Mary Jane were incredulous at Dr. Strange’s words.

The baby boy giggled, finally out of his funk, as he watched the sparkles rise from his middle into the air. He swatted the air a few times, making the motes swirl and vanish.



Next: Chapter Nine

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