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  • Spyder Stories

    Jason was a smart kid, but more than smart he had the eye. He had an awareness, an ability to see things others didn't. Both of Jason's parents were doctors and he was often left to his own devices. After school Jason would spend hours on the computer playing games. One day he found a way to access an online casino . . . By the time he was sixteen, Jason had won close to a million dollars. His parents found out and were furious. They put his money into a trust and had the very best security restrictions put on his computer. By this time though Jason had the bug, and couldn't stop his gambling, poker especially was his favorite. He started looking around after school for games, and after making the right connections, was lucky enough to get hooked into most of the illegal games throughout the city.

    Unfortunately being lucky isn't always a good thing. Jason's success garnered him more than a couple enemies in the underground gambling community and somewhere along the line he made an enemy that wasn't squeamish about sending a message to a minor. A week after one of his best nights ever, Jason and his parents were involved in a car accident. Investigators never were able to determine how he had been thrown clear of the car without a scratch on him. Miraculously lacking in physical injuries,the doctors determined Jason's coma was a state of shock and that he would come out of it when his mind and body were ready. Months passed. Insurance and his trust fund paid the medical bills but no one but the shadows ever came to visit young Jason. Then, the night of the anniversary of the "accident" the life support monitors reported the kid in 743 had flatlined. The medical staff hurried with emergency equipment to the room only to find it dark and empty.

    The first thing I remember is waking up in the dark and I was in a hospital gown of all things. Suddenly there was thunder, lightning, a rush of wind ... and I was falling from at least seven stories in the air. Later I figured out the screaming little girl I heard was me but then in an instant I dropped on top of my bed at home and as weird as it all was all I could do was fall asleep. It wasn't until the next morning my life started again. There was so much to learn and do at first. The house had been foreclosed and abandoned. By the time the hospital bills were paid the trust fund had dried up ... and I finally got the nerve to visit mom and dad at the cemetery. I admit I made some bad choices after that. I needed to eat, a place to sleep and I wanted to know who killed my mom and dad. Ever since the night I woke I had started "hearing" people's voices in my head. When I thought about going somewhere, suddenly I was there.

    So when the Thangarians invaded and the heroes of the Justice League saved us, I did what anyone in my position would have done. I used the confusion to steal stuff, lots of expensive stuff. I was good at it too and with these weird things I could do it was easy. Me, a kid, slipped by the Hawks, slipped past the heroes, and no one ever knew for the longest time. Or at least I didn't think anyone knew. Until the day Amanda Waller caught me and gave me a choice between prison and "redemption". For almost five years I went places and did things for Task Force X that I never want to think about again. And I know what we did after the Apokolipsian Invasion needed done but I still have nightmares about the kind of things we did. I lost track of time back then. When Bronze Tiger came and told me my debt was paid I was stunned. He said it was time I started living my life. To make something of world instead of letting it make me.

    I didn't really understand that but I could finally start hunting down my parents killers. That was enough of a start for me. I had discovered years ago the night my parents died had been no accident. Someone had paid the driver of that car to kill us. At first, I had thought it was my gambling that had killed them, but my parents weren't just doctors, they were geneticist. They died protecting a secret, and I think that secret might be why I am the way I am today. So I was still right ... they did die because of me, by protecting me.

    Last month, I was in Hong Kong, on the trail of an agent for a group called the League of Shadows. I'm certain she had been the same agent who hired the man who had killed my parents. Just as I started to move in I was stopped by a vigilante dressed in dark red and carried a quiver of arrows. He said Bronze Tiger had sent him. He promised they would help in my hunt but I needed to do something for them first. I learned long ago patience and good planning is always rewarded in the end.

    So here I am. Apparently the world needs another group of "heroes" to save it from the disaster of the month ... In Metropolis of all places? What the hell happened to Superman? It's okay. I'll bide my time, play the hero.

  • #2
    Checkmate Files: The Spyder the Early Years

    Jason Roberts was a Task Force X operative, codename of Spyder, who worked out of an abandoned warehouse in the city of Bludhaven. Assigned to a unit called the Suicide Squad, he was the team's ingress-egress specialist. As an ex-thief and the youngest member, part of his duties was to serve as the scrounger and gopher.

    One day, prior to the unit departing for a mission to Santa Prisca, a group of armed men, led by an assassin of Kobra who was later identified as Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke, murdered the other four Suicide Squad members at the warehouse. Jason only escaped death because at the moment of the incursion, he was out acquiring provisions for the mission. He realized he was in danger when he returned to the warehouse and discovers his team's bodies. Jason called Checkmate's Gotham headquarters, and was given instructions to meet some agents who would take care of him. The meeting, however, was a trap, and he barely escaped an attempt to kill him.

    Needing a place to hide, Jason forced a woman named Susan Linden to take him to her apartment in Avalon Heights. He held her prisoner while he attempted to figure out what was going on. Over time, Susan began to trust Jason and they became lovers. However, his hiding place was discovered after Wilson spotted him returning to the apartment after shopping for groceries. An assassin, disguised as a postman with a parcel that had to be signed for, showed up at the apartment. Jason opened the door and a fight ensued. To save Susan, Jason killed the assassin.

    Deciding that he could not trust anyone at Checkmate, Jason began to play a cat-and-mouse game with Rick Flagg, deputy director of Task Force X. With the help of Susan, Jason abducted Flagg, who revealed through questioning that the assassin had been an agent of Kobra. Flagg discovered that the postman who attacked Jason in Susan's apartment was a former Checkmate operative who had crossed paths with Slade Wilson on a previous operation. That operation's mastermind, however, was revealed to be Maxwell Lord, Checkmate's Deputy Director of Operations and Amanda Waller's direct superior.

    Meanwhile, using forensic evidence he found on the fake postman's body, Jason found where the assassin had been staying, then used his special abilities to track Wilson to his hotel room. He then found the name and address of the person Wilson called "Lord". Jason confronted Maxwell Lord to his home late at night and questions him. Jason learned that his squad mission in Santa Prisca would have interfered with Lord's partnership with Kobra and their plans to kill key members of the Justice League. Wilson surprised them, took away Lord's pistol, and unexpectedly killed him. The game had now changed. Even though Lord had facilitated Wilson's mission to terminate Jason and his squad before, Wilson had all along accepted a contract from Kobra who had now decided now was the time to terminate Lord.

    Jason was dumbfounded, realizing that Wilson and he were now on the same side, working against Checkmate's plan to kill the founding members of the Justice League. Wilson was disarmingly courteous and suggested that Jason leave the country, even become an assassin himself since Jason had shown such resourcefulness in staying alive. Jason rejected the suggestions, but seemed to take seriously Wilson's warning that Checkmate would still try to kill him. Before taking his leave Wilson mused aloud on the irony of how Waller was the one player in the game not involved in the plot to assassinate the Justice Leaguers.

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    • #3
      Re: Spyder Stories

      Spyder's Journal: June 01, 2011

      The Squad had a mission about a year ago. I never thought too much of it at the time. Just another in a series of skirmishes with Kobra. The cult was using Putin's nationalist rhetoric and military modernization to sink their fangs into some of the Russian army's new guard. Younger ranking officers trying to cut corners to carve out niches of influence in the new power structure.

      Checkmate was contacted by Ivan Gort a.k.a. the Steel Wolf. The Wolf was a ranking officer of the Red Shadows, the Russian equivalent of Task Force X, and a hero in World War Two if you want to believe it. Apparently a black marketeer named Matvei Rodor had enticed a young colonel into losing three last generation ICBMs that were scheduled to be taken out of service.

      Mikhail Denisovitch had once been a Red Rocket and through a series of disastrous adventures, left him a Russian colonel in charge of decommissioning outdated nuclear missiles. Rodor used knowledge of Denisovitch's past to convince him to sell the weapons destined for the scrapyards to the Kobra Cult for enough rubles to turn him from a pauper into a prince and a chance to escape his professional purgatory.

      While in route to Azerbaijan Bronze Tiger explained our mission was to intercept a convoy headed to the capital. Apparently two of the missiles had escaped the Red Shadows grasp at the exchange in Crimea. If the ICBMs made it to a ship on the Caspian Sea they could end up in any of the alphabet soup nations that hid numbers of terrorist facilities or worse yet Iran who the Justice League still labeled as a hostile nation.

      It was the Thinker AI who predicted that the Kobra agents would be using an abandon oil pipeline to transport the missiles. Our problem was that there were two of them. One on the northern route along the seashore, the other a more modern southern pipeline traveling through Georgia into Azerbaijan. Tiger and the Electrocutioner took the southern route Slipknot and I the north. What Thinker hadn't predicted was the rebuilding of Strike Force Kobra or that Slipknot had been converted to the Kali-Yuga cult during his last prison stint. We had backtrack the pipeline from about Baku when we ran across the encampment about thirty miles outside another seaport I couldn't begin to pronounce.

      I'll give that bastard Slipknot credit, he waited until we were about to teleport into the encampment and sabotage the missiles before he struck. My sense of imminent danger was all ready pinging pretty high when he slipped his rope around my neck. I'll have to "thank" Waller someday for having his weapon treated to negate my ability to teleport. Next thing I know I wake up listening to Copperhead and King Snake arguing when they're going to kill me now ... or after the delivery to the Kobra scientist who want to study my DNA. Nobody asked my opinion but they rarely do. You know them being psycho assassins, terrorist and smugglers and all.

      I am no escape artist. I mean really, with my powers what are the odds that I would need to be? Which is exactly why a couple weeks later I bought Tiger a beer at Madame Roulette's. I might not be Batman but thanks to Ben and some of the others I've learned enough tricks to get through some sticky situations. I was able to slip the ropes and stay undetected long enough to sabotage the missile. It's a shame King Snake showed up when he did. I had to teleport out of the camp before I was trapped again. I guess he had just enough time to launch the missile down through the pipeline in time to escape the worst of the blast.

      A couple days later I met up with Tiger and Electrocutioner in Baku. No one ever mentioned Slipknot after that but if I ever see him again, it will be the last time I promise you that. I read where the BBC reported a meteor strike in the Caspian plains north of Georgia. You know what they say don't believe everything you hear and only half of what you see.

      Apparently they never found the third missile. I'm a thief by nature and I hate when people have to die, but given what happened last week . . . and I have my suspicions. Well let's just say, I'm no fanboy but if it's true someone needs to pay.

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