Cindy Goes Outside!

January 22, 2017:

The metaphysical thread between two spiders finally connects, and Peter Parker does not find what he expected in a bunker in the seemingly-abandoned Sims Tower…

The old Sims Tower, New York City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The first few days were a little on the traumatic side.

There was a lot of fear— a lack of self-control, and numerous broken handles. She could see the sunrise and the sunset, but that was mostly because she couldn't sleep most nights and dozed off in the hours between on the wrong side of the clock. But then that man— Ezekiel Sims— decreed it was time to start training.

Weeks rolled on. She found a rhythm— a schedule. Exercise, training, and sharpening of her senses; the food wasn't bad and she was able to customize her living space in Sims Tower to make things feel a little more comfortable. There were photos of her family everywhere, a constant reminder of the people that she left behind and the loved ones that she will fight to see again one day.

Then one day, Ezekiel panicked.

The girl and everything she could carry was ushered into the basement of the building, led to the bunker that was considered to be some kind of last resort. The lessons that she learned and the stories that she was told— these were what prepared her for what would come next, cut off from more than just her family… but the whole wide world.

The doors closed, and Cindy Moon was isolated from the entire world— if not more.

* * *

Some people would kill for this kind of square footage. Cindy's been over every inch of it— including the walls and ceiling. She can remember each time she's paced the room, whether it be on the floor or walking across the walls themselves, the times that she's seen recordings of super-beings and metahumans sitting on the couch, or on the floor, or even eating upside-down while sitting on the ceiling— a trick that took quite a long time to master— and all of the books she's read.

Now, sitting amongst the photographs of her family spread out on the floor, it's like she's hit something of a breaking point. Something that resonantes out— something on a specific wavelength shared by only a unique group of people in the world. There's pain, sadness, and despair; the ultimate sense of the worst case of cabin fever, and the worst and most dreaded feeling of loss.

Cindy Moon looks up from this floor, eyes tired and lost and long-since dry of tears, and she decides to leave.

* * *

The first door is nearly torn off it's hinges. It's a faux apartment door, something that was meant to inspire a sense of comfort in the large apartment-like bunker. The second door was much heavier, one that inspired some confidence that it would hold the being that was inside— and through brute force and effort, she physically broke the lock and shoved it open.
Pre-recorded messages started. Warnings, pleas for her to stop from that man that kept her safe for so many years. Warnings that were meant to keep her safe, steer her back on the course. On her knees, desperate, she starts punching the combination to the outer door, starting with 000001.
'et me out. Get me out. I want to leave. I can't take this anymore. Why why this— I can't. I want—'

As Cindy Moon grows fed up with the restrictions that have cut her off from her family, her friends, her life, her mounting desperation is like the pluck of a web that stretches across city limits. A vibration that thrums across senses poorly understood and gifted only by a few. It warbles an unseen, invisible tether that stretches across the distance, to…

ACROSS THE CITY

"SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOUR COMPLAINTS OVER THE SOUND OF HOW AWESOME I AM."

This is the sound of New York City's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man being awesome. Specifically:

This is the sound of a few bank robbers flinging bullets and curses of sublime frustration at the spandex-wearing superhero as he spins his way past the shots like an acrobat on speed, punching and kicking his way past his ski-masked targets in a flurry of motion.

From within his mask, the sound of music can be heard. Loud enough that the knowledgable ear could identify the strains with ease:

'Gimme Chocolate!!' by Babymetal.

"OH. AND THE MUSIC. KIND OF HARD TO HEAR ANYTHING. DID YOU KNOW THAT BABYMETAL'S PRODUCER CLAIMS THEY RECEIVE DIVINE MESSAGES FROM THE FOX GOD? HOW WEIRD IS THAT? DO FOXES, LIKE, HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION TO THE IMPROBABLE FUSION OF METAL AND J-POP? CRAZY. JUST CRAZY. THEN AGAIN I GUESS I SHOULDN'T TALK, NEXT THING YOU KNOW I'M GOING TO START GETTING DIVINE MESSAGES FROM THE SPIDER G—"

Twinge. A little tremor across the senses, like nothing Peter Parker has ever felt before.

Like a string being tugged he never even knew he was connected to.

"—od? Uhhh. Er. Hey. You guys feel that?"

Spider-Man looks around him, towards the groaning, squirming men on the ground.

"Oh. Oops. Guess not."

Behind that mask, Peter Parker's eyes squeeze into a squint. He looks off into the direction that string pulls. How does he even know where it's coming from? Why does his life keep getting exponentially weirder lately??

"Welllllll, normally I'd be giving you guys a big speech about staying in school and drinking milk so you stop being incorrigible douches, but I'm kiiiinda short on time, so I'm just gonna—"

And that's the story of how a gaggle of bank robbers ended up coccooned and dangled from the bank ceiling, red-faced and furious and abandoned just as the police squeal in around the corner.

NOW

"Oh, phew."

This is the sound of Spider-Man exhaling a sigh of sweet, sarcastic relief as he finds himself standing in front of the large and entirely abandoned landscape of Sims Tower. He looks up, hands on hips, and taps one foot as the lenses of his mask hum into a slow squint.

"And here I was totally worried things might -not- get super weird and creepy. That's like — a serious load off my mind!"

And so, the Spider wanders his way inside, hopping up to the ceiling to cling to it as he makes his way silently past the empty entrance. Deeper and deeper. No one here. No one…

… no one except that feeling of desperation, tugging him towards itself like invisible rope.

"This is the most obvious trap in existence," he says to no one as he falls through an elevator shaft, down towards the sub-levels. A web line and a tug later, he finds himself falling down feet-first into a long hall.

"This is the most obvious trap in existence and you just fell for it because you're the most obvious idiot in existence. Proportional smarts of a spider. That's me. Spider-Idiot."

But he can't help himself. Someone sounds so desperate. So alone. How? Why?

Those questions the greatest compulsion of all for him right now, as he pushes his way past the long, winding halls towards a massive, heavily reinforced door in the distance.

000001. (ERROR)
000002. (ERROR)
000003. (ERROR)
000004. (ERROR)
000005. (ERROR)

There's a twinge of desperation while the pre-recorded message continues to play. "Cindy," it says, "This is for your own good. You agreed to this. You knew the risks when you came here."

000101. (ERROR)
000102. (ERROR)
000103. (ERROR)
000104. (ERROR)
000105. (ERROR)

The message continues, popping with static of equipment left idle for years— and some of it damaged after the sole occupant of the bunker forced her way through the inner doorway. "Cindy, should M*tz*r*zk*un find you, he will not stop until he has consumed you— your life."

While her right hand continues to punch in combinations to the door lock, her left hand— her palm— is pressed out, fingers fanned to hold a photograph of your younger brother in place, eyes dead set to it while she continues to pound away at the keys. The recordings keep going. 'Ezekiel recorded a lot of this,' she realizes. 'There's no repetition so far.'

The tingle inside her skull becomes stronger. It's like a pull— a *need*— to open the door, more than ever. She's at it for a half-hour. Then an hour. Then it becomes something of a blur. Her stomach hurts, her forehead is pressed to cold titanium, and the speed at which she continues to hammer away at the keys makes her wonder which will give out first— her hand, or the buttons.

626000.

She's exhausted. It's her own desperation that's making her feel like that, more than the pangs in her stomach or the sound of the recording on loop— it finally broke somewhere around 2,500 attempts— but then she punches in five digits, hesitant before she finally turns away from the keypad and the door and slumps to the floor, one leg kicked forward. Clutching the photo, Cindy can feel her eyes misting, almost ignoring that compulsion to escape, almost ignoring what's on the other side of the door at the far side of the hall.

"Cindy, this is for your own good."

There's a muffled noise from the other side of the door— it's a fierce cry, like a howl in the night before the door issues one heavy, incredibly hard slamming sound. From the outside, the door holds— but it looks like whoever made this door, this entire vault, spent the money to keep out wars, violence, explosions, perhaps even aliens or a screaming green giant that doesn't give a shit if you eat your broccoli.

Oddly enough, there's also a buzzer on the outside of the door.

62600-

What is this place?

Peter Parker has lived in New York City a long time — his whole life. But it is a huge place. And for however many years he's been Spider-Man, he's explored vast swaths of the city, knows it likely better than most — as close as one could come to knowing it like the back of their hand.

But that's not quite the same as -actually- knowing. And if New York City is anything, it is massive, with places and people squirreled away in areas people may never see even if they live there their whole life. And this is one of those times that Peter Parker is brought to that sharp realization, as he winds his way through this abandoned and monolithic structure. It's a surreal sensation, knowing that he's never been here, never noticed it before, and yet now feels called to it so strongly.

What is this place? What -was- it? Why is it abandoned? And why…

… why does that buzz in his head just grow maddeningly stronger the deeper in he gets? He can barely feel anything else besides that pressure in his skull now, his entire body tense the further he gets in until even his self-admonishing quips bleed away into discomforting silence. Around him, screens flicker to life. He jumps, and spins, as an old man with white hair addresses him:

"Spider-Man. If you are listening to this, there is something you need to know. You are—"

Like a kneejerk response, Spider-Man just blows past, not even paying attention as he moves.

"Yeah right creepy old dude with out of control sideburns just talking to me in the abandon haunted skyscraper like it's no big deal, how many ways can you scream 'obviously evil' before your throat goes hoarse, seriously—"

He probaly should have listened. But he's still young and he absolutely does not, now convinced more than ever this is either a) a trap, or b) someone here desperately needs his help. Or both. Probably both. But he still moves in. Towards that massive, bunker door, wrought of who knows what kinds of thick, unbreakable alloys. That sensation is strongest here. Hard to keep his senses focused. Something's… here. Right behind that door.

A door that obviously looks like it was meant for big, scary superhumans, like to keep out the Hulk's Hulk, or something equally ludicrous. There's no way he's going to be able to brute force his way through. On the other side, he can hear that old man's automated voice again.

Cindy, this is for your own good.

Cindy, this is—

Cindy—

Muffled is the frustration on the other side, muffled is the slam, but it still comes through so sharply for him. Aggravated. Hopeless. Desperate.

And from the other side, Cindy might here something. A knock, somehow strong enough that it reverborates through the door. A voice, on the other end, muffled but all too audible:

"Hello? Uh — someone in there? Don't worry, I'm gonna — gonna get you out. Just give me a sec here to… what is this door even made of, hypervibradamantiunobtanium?"

At the other side of the door, Spider-Man looks down. He looks at that buzzer. He squints. A frown slips across his lips. A code, one digit left. One more…

62600-

Something compels him to reach out. To settle his hands on the keyboard. To press the first button he can think of, almost as if on impulse.

"Please don't try to eat me please don't try to eat me—"

626001

*click*

*hsssssss*

"W-Wait, if you open the door—"

The digital display turns green and beeps far too brightly considering the dour surroundings. Heavy bolts pop with hydraulic hisses and too-smooth actions, indicating that this bunker was very clearly built to last. Automatic hinges carry the weight of the door forward, a bit to one side, and then hinges outward to allow access to the interior. Looking inside, the antechamber is lit only by dim flourescent lights. A monitor— an /old/ monitor— hangs over the door a short way in, screen broken and the image of Ezekiel Sims distorted and popping. At the far end, a door that looks as though it was physically torn open.

And then, scrambled back from the suddenly-opened door is… a girl. Long black hair, Korean descent, and brown eyes open wide before the inevitable squint to adjust to the light. Her skin's a bit pale, and considering the situation a tanktop and shorts probably isn't the most weather-appropriate outfit. She doesn't look malnourished or starving; all things considered she looks quite healthy for being … whatever, stuck inside of a big metal box smack dab in the middle of New York City.

The sensation in the back of her head reaches a crescendo— then settles back to some kind of oddly comfortable tingle.

Then, after a moment, the corners of her mouth pull through a litany of confused emotions. She sees red, blue, and a spider— the iconic colors of everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood so-and-so. Scrambling back up to her feet, Cindy's weight shifts to center on the balls of her feet, knees bent, body ready to strike.

"W-Who are you?! I— I won't let you take me!"

The door hisses open. The big, Hulk-and/or-Kluh-proof door forgotten inside a long-abandoned skyscraper with menacing TV screen old dudes monologuing like a James Bond villain. Opening with an ominous hiss and sound of multiple, indestructible bolts slotting open. With a groan that suggests this door was meant to hold something inside it for a very, very long time.

Distantly, as he starts to tense up in preparation of being eaten, Peter Parker believes he may have made a huge mistake.

So, he's ready to fight off (be slaughtered by) what he just assumes is like a rainbow army of multicolored Hulks when that door opens. What he gets is, well…

… a girl. Not much older than him, if at all. Just looking scared and confused and abandoned, even as the buzz of his spider-sense starts to dwindle. He stares at her for a long, silent moment as if baffled she's not a polychromatic irradiated monster that could punch the moon into the sun and then eat both. His lips part. And then shut.

And somehow, this revelation just puts Peter even -more- on edge.

Esecially when Cindy's shifting her weight like someone ready to go for a tackle, making angry demands, and he KNOWS that cute girls are ALWAYS FRIGHTENING and he's learned that the hard way, repeatedly, so now, he's -sure- he's just made a huge mistake.

So really, all he can do is take a step back, hands swinging up palms forward in a 'stop, I give up!!' kind of gesture as his muscles coil underneath spandex, ready to move at the slightest sign she turns into some kind of rage monster. Because that is still far from the realm of possibility here.

"I'm — seriously? Like" Spider-Man gestures at himself, pointedly. "I'm — y'know. Spider-Man. Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Jeez, I mean just — talk about an ego blow. Look. Okay. Hold on. Listen. I'm not here to take you. I'm here to help you! So just stay calm and let me just — take you outside oh wait crap that sounded bad—"

Ezekiel told stories, left notes and journals, and a bunch of recordings. Those were the brunt of the VHS tapes in the cabinets inside the living space of the bunker, leaving cryptic notes and warnings about the threat of some great being that sounded… pointedly mythological. It wasn't that she was afraid or bought too deeply into the tales, but a terrified teenager and a whole lot of superpowers will turn anyone's outlook on a situation into…

'I'm — y'know. Spider-Man.'

… well, opinions are malleable at this stage.

"Outside?" Cindy repeats, like the thought had only just dawned on her. Her eyes lull downward, suddenly realizing that photograph of her brother is clutched between her thumb and forefinger, staring at it as she starts to think about her parents. Her brother. What she's missed. How many times she had to decide between eating beef or chicken or vegetables from cans and packets and microwave containers.

"… then I'm… I-I can… I can go… outside…?"

Ezekiel wanted her to be safe. But the door is open. There's a guy in a red and blue spider costume standing in front of her, and— but—

It's somewhere between instinct and opportunity: Cindy's empty hand sweeps forward, fingers pointed ahead… and then from middle and index fingers, a line of organic webbing explodes forward at lightning speed, aiming to pass straight by the Spider-Man and anchor to the far wall, then pulling /hard/ to practically /launch/ toward the far end of the hall. There's a hard, cold desperation in her eyes, like she isn't sure what she's doing, if she's making the right decision, or…

"Sal's Pizza— Corndogs— 21 Jump Street!!— HOME—"

Or, she could hit the ground running after that, bolting (barefoot, even) straight for the vertical shaft like her ass was on fire.

"Yeah. Y'know — like… the place where the sun is. And the sky. And weather. And oxygen." Despite his words, his lips tug into a slow frown behind that mask. This girl looks so full of trepidation, so anxious and conflicted…

"How… how long have you been in here?" he wonders after a moment, taking a hesitant step forward. Pity overrides his immense curiosity and caution over what has been a strange confluence of events — strange even for the vigilante who just got done fighting a magitech tank over the fate of a spaceship the other day. "Look, there's like — no one here. Okay? And even if there was, y'know — you're safe now. Not gonna let anyone 'take you away' or whatever. You're free."

Because her being abducted and forced into some creepy millionaire's underground bunker is pretty much the most sane thing that Peter can think of, right now. And so, as Cindy debates, conflicted, Spider-Man lets that once-overriding curiosity and confusion override once more. Something brought him here. But what? Why? Who is she? "The guy who took you — the guy on that screen — do you know who he is? Where he is? … And who're you? Why'd he take you? Sorry, maybe that's asking a lot right now, but like, there's some seriously weird things"

'Sal's Pizza— Corndogs— 21 Jump Street!!— HOME—'

"—going on and wow none of those things are a normal answer to anything I just HOLY CRAP WHAT ARE YOU DOING"

This is the sound of Spider-Man's bravely startled squawk as he sweeps to the side just as that webbing bursts from Cindy's fingers and flings through the stale air. That webbing. WEBBING. From her fingertips?? Not out of a webshooter—?

No wait nevermind that NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE—

"H-hey! Hold on a second, crazy pants, this might be a trap — /why are you so fast/—"

And she is fast. Very fast. Too fast to be normal.

A fact that Spider-Man sees as he bolts after her, the softest -=thwip=- stringing a line of manmade webbing after her own organic blend so that he might slingshot after her in hot pursuit.

"CHASING AFTER — KOREAN JESUS — IS NOT — HOW I WANTED TO SPEND MY DAY — AND NOW I HAVE THAT MOVIE ON THE BRAIN!!"

God dammit.

"AND WHY CORNDOGS?!"

Suffice to say, the antechamber does not have weird religious scrawlings about the apocalypse, nor a big mysterious turn-crank that has no prescribed or clear purpose sticking out of a wall in the corner.

Also there's a pool.

Cindy hits the wall hands and feet; the fact that the lift is no longer there does not seem to stop her or slow her down. Her fingers sweep upward again: Another *fwip* of silken webbing careening high through the shaft toward that brilliant shining ray of light bursting through from the outside. It's half of a run up the wall, half a rebound up the line.

What if it's a trap? "But I can go outside!!"

She can see light, and it's *so close*, and—

"— CORN DOGS ARE DELICIOUs AT THE HOCKEY RINK—"

For the first time in years, shining through the abandoned building, there is sunlight. Cindy stops there, the weight of all of this time that she's spent in solitude only now sinking in. Her head tilts to one side; the tingling sensation in the back of her head suddenly sharpens as it now has to deal with all of the /noise/ that she can hear, and… the weather outside, and the smell of smog and city streets and dusty, musty air, and…

Then it all kind of visibly hits her, hard. The state of the tower, too. She waits for the Spider-Man, all of this pent-up energy making her look a little… unstable. Worried. Anxious. Excited, apprehensive…

"I can … I'm not getting pwnd here, right…?"

… using old slang…

That's the nicest kidnap victim's bunker of doom Peter's ever seen.

And he's seen exactly one (1).

It's not something he's allowed to dwell on for long, not when it becomes simultaneously clearer and more muddied why he was drawn here. This girl is shooting webbing, somehow. She's running so fast.

And she's -crawling- on -walls-.

Everything about this is like looking into a weird, gender-inverted mirror. Millions of possibilities run through Peter's mind as he races up the elevator shaft behind Cindy, bouncing from wall to wall as he builds up momentum to try to catch up to the (understandably) excitable mystery woman. A thwip for a fwip, and he is ricoceting up the shaft to flip backwards into the lobby in a crouch. Out Cindy runs, and his billions (literally, billions) of questions fall by the wayside for a brief, brief moment. The sun shines on Cindy for the first time in years. The doors to the real world are just outside—

—before a hand grasps tightly on her wrist.

It might be jarring, might set her off, but that grip is strong as Spider-Man comes to a stop behind the young woman. He can only guess what she's been through — really, he can only do that, because there are way more questions than answers for him at this point. But… he does know that trepidation he sees in her gaze. The look of someone waiting for the other shoe to drop. The look of someone who's had everything go wrong for them for a sizable chunk of their young life. Behind his mask, his gaze softens.

… and then screws inward in abject confusion as she says 'pwnd.' Those lenses whirl into a squint.

"… Is that a word? It's like — meeting an unfrozen caveman nerd." He can't help it.

"… look. You're not — no. You're not getting 'pwnd.' Or Punk'd. (God why are you making me remember all this stuff?) It's okay. Seriously. No one's dragging you back into that place, but just… Just… hold on. You can go outside. We can go outside. Go wherever you want. But…"

Spider-Man lifts his free hand, one finger presented. "One. We -really- need to talk. Like. Really. Talk. Lots of it. ASAP. You don't hafta talk about anything you're not comfortable talking about… but talking's going to happen."

Another finger joins the first. "And two. If you're going to go outside, we need to find you a disguise, or something. You don't want people knowing all the stuff you can do… which is another thing we REALLY need to talk about… and you prrrrobably don't want people thinking you're associated with me. I'm kinda, like — Evil Kermit out there. You tooootally don't want all that shade thrown on you. So… disguise. Right."

And here, Spider-Man will release Silk, scratching the back of his head as he looks around. "There's gotta be something here we can use. Maybe back in your… uh…" And hesitates, not wanting to upset her. "… rhymes with schmunker…"

Good work, Peter Parker.

She only glances back for a moment to watch Peter scale the empty elevator shaft, joining her before she can get too far away and getting a grip on her wrist.

Eidetic memory is a blessing and a curse. She can remember the exact last time that she held hands with any boy that wasn't one of her parents, or while she was dragging around her baby brother. It was often a thought, especially early on down there, wondering when the next time would be that she'd be able to touch anyone else.

Cindy's arm tightens, but she doesn't fight— she just looks down at the hand, then at the Spider-Man as he questions her highly fashionable and cool slang. And then she squints. "People don't say that anymore?"

The young girl's mouth pulls into a taut line. They have to 'talk.' That's going to be a pleasant conversaHOLY SHIT WAIT A SECOND he came up the shaft the same way that she did. "How did you but I— Y-Yeah, I…" Letting her thoughts drift off, Cindy looks down at herself, then at Peter, then lifts up her hands a little. "Sorry. We don't have to go back down there, I've… got that part covered."

From the tips of her fingers, more of that organic webbing lashes out— this time toward herself. Wicking outwards, spreading, her fingers tilt and the speed varies, the silken webbing pulling around her torso and down her arms, forming wraps around her forearms and legs, down her shins, and on her hands and feet, also completely covering her clothes. A bit of excess slack is added around her neck.

"How's that for a practice run?" Cindy asks, tugging up the loose collar taut to cover the lower half of her face.

Her eyes turn toward the Spider-Man's lenses, and she squints. Even with the mask on, it isn't accusatory— just … curious, and maybe a little bit apprehensive. The tingling at the back of her head keeps telling her everything is fine, even if it's almost distractingly 'loud' out here. "You came up the same way that I did."

"People haven't said that since the Stone Age," Spider-Man imparts to Cindy Moon with a voice most grave, and certainly not laced with a single ounce of hyperbole.

"… you've been gone for a while, huh? We're gonna hafta get you up to speed. Like… overtime."

It's a revelation that makes Peter's mind work in overtime even as he draws Cindy back away from the door. There's so many possibilities that he can't even begin to think of how to address to start narrowing them down besides asking her directly, and, well — right now isn't the time for that. Far from it. No — right now, he needs to focus on her. Getting her adjusted, comfortable. Making sure she's safe from… whoever it was that was keeping her down here. The rest can come after.

So for now, Spider-Man's overactive and far too imaginative brain runs away with him as he talks with Cindy. Possibilities from an attempt to replicate that irradiated spider to something as absurd as her being some sort of clone run past his thoughts as he watches her, brows scrunching behind the mask. Don't have to…?

And then she makes clothes out of her fingers.

It's a bit crude, really, far from a costume and more like a bandage wrap — and yet, the best Peter's ever been able to do with his artificial webbing is making little accessories. Not entire outfits whole cloth. Not… whatever this is. It makes him blink. Makes him frown. Just a bit.

"Uh… yeah. … yep. Perfect. That's just — perfect."

Why doesn't he get cool crap like that!!!

He barely restrains raising his fists to the heavens in dismay; having the distraction of her observation helps a bit, as does that continuing, strange buzzing of his Spider-Sense. It's not like anything he's ever felt before. It's not the same sensation he feels when he's in danger, or even that useful radar sensation. This is… something different. Something he can't put his finger on. So familiar it makes it feel so alien at the same time.

"Huh?" It's distracting. He blinks, head tilting to the side. "Oh. Um. Yeah. I mean" Once more with the gesturing. "Spider-Man. Y'know — does whatever a spider can. Kinda my thing. You're the one going around the way I do, it's—" No. Wait. Hold on.

"I… listen. I've got like… a billion questions for you. Literally. But for now… I just wanna help you out, okay? We need to get out of this place, and I know a way we can get through the city fast. Just follow my lead, and…" He hesitates. He'd try to smile, to reassure her, but she wouldn't see. Instead, he just rubs the back of his head in a wholly normal gesture as he glances towards those doors, so very close.

"… is there anywhere you can… you can go? Anywhere you want to be—?"

Cindy's weight shifts a little, with one hand moving to grip ther arm to her side. She's been gone for awhile? "Yeah, it's— it's a long story."

The theories likewise run a bit wild in her own mind. He couldn't possibly be Morlun or anything related to those old stories— those guys /killed/ spiders, right? They didn't actually do anything quite so weird as like, /eat them/ or have them do their bidding, or … something. That'd just be insane, crazy talk.

He wants to go somewhere else. It's fair enough; her family will undoubteldy want to know that she's all right and it isn't like she has a phone on her. Hard to say if Spider-Man there will also have one to use. Cindy frowns, then nods. "Home— m-my parents will want to know that I'm back, so I want to go see them as soon as possible."

She can worry about Ezekiel Sims and the bunker later.

"W— We should get moving, right?"

Probably a good thing Spider-Man doesn't know any of Cindy's theories.

… Or else he'd just have -more- questions.

And so, ignorance truly is bliss, allowing Peter Parker only the bit of crippling confusion and concern for this woman who has been -trapped underground for god knows how long-. On top of everything else, like how disarming all this is when he should be on high alert, how bizarre it is that he found her in what looks like it might have been a thriving business at some point. Everything aout this is surreal. And yet…

… she just wants to go home. Home to her parents.

It hits closer to home than Peter would like. And the salience of it helps him to focus through everything else. He hesitates for a moment, before tentatively reaching out to pat the girl's shoulder. It's a slightly awkward gesture, and yet no less reassuring for it before the webbed vigilante moves past his newfound companion. He pauses, looks back, peers at her. "… um. Cindy, right?" he asks. He remembers, hearing that man's voice at the other end of that door.

"Let's go get you back to your parents, Cindy."

After that… he'll figure everything out after that. For now…

"Okay. This is gonna be, um—"

Exciting. Awesome. THE COOLEST THING EVER

"… tricky, but if you're… uh, like me, you'll be able to figure it out. So just… follow my lead."

And so, Spider-Man heads outside. Traffic blows past, even as he looks upward. And then he starts to run.

And leap.

And with one thick adhesive rope, the young superhero goes flying through the air, going just slow enough.

Just slow enough to show Cindy the glory of webslinging.

"AND IT'S REKT NOW, BY THE WAY. REKT!! WOOOOOOOOO—"

There's something oddly reassuring about Peter's awkward pat on the shoulder— he may suck at empathy to a total stranger that he may or may not have rightly just broken out of a super high-tech bunker in the middle of New York City and the place is fully stocked with enough food and water and entertainment to last years and /there's a freaking swimming pool/, but it's still reassuring to her right now all the same. "Yeah, I… hi… Cindy Moon. I guess I should … I mean not— call myself that outside… that's what you do in a costume, right? Like all of those codenames."

The Korean girl smiles a little behind her mask, indicated in a familiar way if only by the shift of her cheeks. Finding her parents— going /home/— would be the greatest thing in the world right now. Maybe she could forget all of this weird stuff. Maybe she could figure out why she trusts a weird guy in a spider costume with powers quite similar to her own.

"Wait, what are you going to d—"

A few steps out the door, and Cindy's feeling the fresh gust of wind in her hair, feeling the acute tingle of her extrasensory abilities feeding her more information in a few seconds than it has in years.

And then with a click and thwip of artificial webbing, the goddamn Spider-Man is /swinging through the air/. Cindy starts to run after Peter, swift as the wind, and leaps… before trying her very hardest to follow his lead, albeit with a bit more wobble and sway from the first line. She does not cry 'rekt,' but from her first line and the long, momentum-gathering swing that flings her into the air, she lets out a bright, cheerful, "THIS IS SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET-!!"

She'll figure it out, in time. There's a bit of a lack of confidence at first, but certainly she'll figure it out after awhile, as she tries to look for familiar signs, follows through the changes to the best of her ability, and thinks about her life— thinks about home. Right now, she's on cloud nine, and there's nothing that could stop her now.

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