STAR of the Show (Dark)

July 05, 2015:

Gwen Stacy, in her civilian identity, comes face to face with the Joker


High Tech. And apparently not quite as secure as it needs to be.


NPCs: Captain Stacy NYPD, Miranda, Cops, Firefighters



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

STAR labs is usually pretty quiet at night. And tonight the pattern holds true. The halls are lit only with the evening lighting. There's not really anyone in the premisis except for the night watchmen, two of them, and the receptionist who is just finishing up some filing and getting ready to go home. She worked overtime today.

The call comes up to Gwen's lab from the front desk. Which is kind of unheard of at this time. It's pretty late. Dark out already. Who on earth is still here? And why would they be calling a lab that would be empty if Gwen hadn't stayed herself?


Gwen looks mildly annoyed at the ringing phone, she was in the middle of tests; didn't people know that? This was why she did her own research so late, so that she wouldn't be interrupted or bothered.

Sighing audibly she sets the tablet she was working on down and lets the tests keep running before picking up the phone, "Gwen here, what's up?"


"Hello Gweeeeeeeen." The name is drawn out, like the voice on the other side is trying it on for size. It's a voice Gwen knows. The Joker's. "I've been wanting to talk to you. Oh, I'm not the only one. Say hello to Miranda here."

A frightened, stammering voice comes on. "Gwen… oh god Gwen it's the Joker…"

The phone is moved again. "There there. That's enough Miranda. Gwen why don't you join us down in the lobby."


"Mir-" Gwen is cut off from telling Miranda it would be okay; none of this would have happened if the girl had just gone home on time instead of working overtime. It would have been easier to deal with if The Joker didn't have a hostage.

Rapidly, she assessed her options even as she began speaking.

"Just let her go and we can talk, wherever you want."

A surgical scalpel was picked up and put into her pocket along with a few needles full of a powerful tranquilizer.

She looked towards her backpack and suppressed a sigh before telling the Joker, "I'm on my way."

As soon as the phone is hung up, she waits until she is in one of the blind spots on the security cameras and pulls out her phone and dials 9/11, letting them know who she is, her location and the fact that the Joker is there.

She texts her father before she heads into the lobby and slips her phone into the pocket of her labcoat.


The Joker is waiting for Gwen when she arrives. He's over near desk with a gun held quite visbly at Miranda's head. He smirks when the blonde arrives. "Well, there you are. Hello. Gwen. You've been naughty. Oh that's close enough I think. Miranda, she gets edgy around others, isn't that right, Miranda dear?"

The woman whimpers. And looks terrified.

"So you're the one who cured Smilex III strain. I applaud you." Beat. "I thought you'd be taller."


"Let her go Joker, she didn't do anything to you. It's me you want, if you want to take revenge, go ahead, but do it to me." Gwen was genuinely worried something would happen to Miranda if she didn't get the other woman out of here somehow.

"Sorry to disappoint you on my height, I expected you to be better looking. So it seems we're both a little let down."


The Joker grins sharply at the barb. This is what he likes. People with a sense of humor. Now if only the Bat would crack a joke every now and again. "That's good. That's good, that fire. You'll need it. Miranda here? Oh she's going to be a good friend of mine, I can tell. I don't want revenge. Not yet. You haven't ruined anything. Spoiled a bit of fun yeah but also stepped into the light. Or is it the shadows? No. I want to get to know you." He shifts his weight and Miranda flinches.

"What makes Gwen Stacy tick, mmm? Daughter of a cop? I knew one of those once. She and I still… talk on occasion. Back in Gotham. But this is a new town. So new friends. What makes you… happy?" His gun starts to move down Miranda. "What makes you sad?" And now it's right over her heart, pointed inward. "What terrifies you… I'm curious."


Gwen withholds a sharp breath as The Joker moves his gun on Miranda's chest, right now she was fairly powerless; but she was never unarmed thanks to her organic web shooters. Even now, she was calculating how risky it would be for her to yank the gun away from The Joker and try to get Miranda to safety, but her spidey sense would hopefully kick in before anything dangerous happened.

"Why does it matter what makes me happy or sad? Is it because you want to buy me a lovely present and take me on a romantic trip to the funhouse?" Gwen looks Joker directly in the eye, "I suppose that's not the answer you're looking for. You want me to play your little game, because it makes you happy, doesn't it?"

Her arms crossed over her stomach, hands in a position to reach into her coat pockets if need be, "I'm a normal well-adjusted person. I'm happy when everything goes smoothly, I'm sad when other people suffer and I'm terrified of what you might do. Is that better? Am I cooperating enough for you?"


BANG For a moment it looks like the Joker has shot her. He hasn't. He moved the gun slightly to shoot into the wall but it really did look like he just had. Miranda screams. The noise is rather sudden after all. "So boring. So normal. I thought that the brilliant mind who unraveled Simlex III might at least have something interesting to offer." Now the clown himself looks bored. "Ho hum. Well, that's disappointing."


Gwen had almost jumped at the gunshot before smiling nervously at The Joker, "You want interesting? Maybe you should let her go and then I can introduce you to my dark side."

She taunted Joker, "Unless that terrifies you?"


"Now you sound like the Bat." The Joker sighs and he presses the gun right back to Miranda's temple. "I have a better idea." He's grinning maliciously now. "Tell her that everything is going to be okay." He takes one step forward. Then another. "Go on. Tell her it's going to be alright. Unless your dark side would rather not."


Gwen was having second thoughts about not sneaking in as Spider-Woman and tackling this head on and now she feared; her own hesitation might cost Miranda her life.

"I'm not a good person like she is, not that you care." Gwen looked to Miranda before looking back to Joker dead in the eyes again, "Do you know why? It's because, when you attacked my father, I wanted to hurt you, to make you feel the pain you put those people through, the torment you put my father through."

She tried to remain calm, but it was hard; she was terrified, "It's going to be alright Miranda because you're a good person and you've never done anything wrong to anyone."

How could she get the gun out of Joker's hand? It was a thought constantly crossing her mind, but one she had no solution to without Miranda being harmed.


The Joker forces Miranda down onto her knees. The woman is sobbing. The gun is right on the back of her head. "Get down on her level. That's it…" He's crouching too now. "Tell her again. Tell her she's going to be okay." He smirks. "Make me believe it. Make it personal. It'll be good practice Gwen. You might be doing this again later."


Defiant. That was how she felt, Gwen would do anything to stop this situation right now if she could do so without putting Miranda at risk. This was on her. Someone was being threatened because of her.

Was this the life she wanted?

Did she want others to be put at risk because of her? Her family, friends, co-workers? This wasn't a life she had chosen.

Slowly she began to get down on her knees, holding back tears of terror through sheer willpower.

She tried to make herself believe it was going to be okay, so she could make Miranda and The Joker believe it, "Miranda, I promise it's going to be okay. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Doctor Wells is going to have to give you a raise after this, right? Maybe a paid vacation somewhere nice to with lots of sun and no clowns, definitely no clowns."


Miranda is close to breaking down now. "That's good. There's feeling in it. It connects with people. That's what people like you miss. Connecting with people. This is good. I think we've made a breakthrough." The Joker whips Miranda with the butt of the pistol, knocking her out cold. Then he shoots the fire alarm.

STAR Labs has a halon gas fire suppression system. This is because of some of the highly combustible compounds in the lab. It smothers fires by depriving them of oxygen. And it's not so great for people either. The place also has reinforced blast doors. For the same reasons.

They start lowering as the choking gas pours into the room, well, the whole facility. The Joker bolts, cackling, knowing that even if Gwen came after him, she'd be sacrificing Miranda to do it. What's better than murdering an innocent in front of her? Making her choose what means more. His life, or hers. She won't have long, if she doesn't move fast Miranda and she will both be trapped. "I liked your practice." He calls back. "We'll be doing it again soon. Dress rehersal. Maybe I'll invite your dear old dad. I hear he's up and about now!" And then he's nearing the front door to slip out.


Lucky for Gwen, The Joker had no idea just how quickly she could move.

Miranda is quickly slung over her shoulder, far easier than a woman of her build should be able to and she rushes towards the door.

A hand is reached into her pocket just as she reaches the door.

That surgical scalpel is removed from her pocket and instead of shooting webs, she's tossing the scalpel with her enhanced abilities towards The Joker; intending to catch him in the leg or the ankle.

Something to slow him down until the police got here.


There's a hit. Oh there's a hit. Right in the lower calf. The Joker yelps amid his cackling and he will leave a trail of blood. There's an open storm drain near the streat though, this being New York and he leaps down into it with no regard toward possible injuries for himself or the stories of allegators in the sewers.

Those are myths, right?

The sirens are blaring by now, because well someone hit a fire alarm and the fire department is coming.

Uh. Where are the security guards?

Gwen's used to hearing police sirens. And they're on the way as well. They might even get here before the fire department does. You can bet Captain Stacy will be with them…


The scalpel thrown at The Joker was all the energy Gwen could muster right now in terms of fighting back. She set Miranda down on the ground outside the door and then looked in the distance as the insidious clown got away.

She had never felt so terrified. So scared. So powerless.

She wrapped her arms around her knees and began to sob quietly while she waited for first responders to get there.


Captain Stacy is indeed there. He's first out of the car and running over to Gwen when he arrives ,screaming into the parking lot. "Gwen?! Gwen! For God's sake what happened?" The fire department isn't far behind. Resetting the system and making the air in the building breathable again is… going to take some time.


Gwen immediately got up and rushed into her father's arms, burying her head into his shoulder immediately, "It was The Joker. He came and he threatened us with a gun.." She chokes up in the midst of trying to explain it, "Can we just go home? Please Dad." She held onto him tightly, worse than when she would have nightmares as a little girl.


"Yeah Gwen… yeah we can." Captain Stacy just holds his daughter.

They say you can't ever go home. And with the Joker on the loose… there may be more truth than fiction to that. Gwen will have to see if he makes good on his threat.

And what she does about it.

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