Well.. Well.. Well..

April 21, 2015:

Doctor Harrison Wells and Gwen Stacy, one of his lab assistants at Star Labs meet to discuss the results of a sample she had been given for analysis and something else…

Star Labs

The Office of the highly renowned Doctor Harrison Wells.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It was a fairly quiet evening in Star Labs and most of the employees and scientists except the most dedicated had gone home for the evening, there didn't even seem to be any Flash related activity going on; not that Gwen knew about those sort of things.

Gwen Stacy was among those working in the lab since most of her work was done in the evening due to schoolwork. For the past few hours she had been dealing with a particularly strange analysis for Doctor Wells and having finished up she was knocking on the glass door to his office, "Doctor Wells? I've got the results here for you if you like."

She smiled at the world renowned genius, eager to win back any trust she had lost after taking that mutant spider sample out of containment without permission.

"Come in," the lead scientist doesn't even look away from his screen following the knock on the door. Most of the time it seems like Harrison Wells lives in in Star Labs, mostly because, even with the activity around, he's almost always here.

Following his words, however, blue eyes peel away from the screen and the glasses perched on his nose are set carefully down on the desk in front of him. His hands carefully press against his eyelids, and he rubs them lightly until he allows his palms to drop back to the desk and return his glasses to their perch.

With a small upward tug of his lips, and a tired sigh, he leans back in his chair and focuses his attention on Gwen. "Gwen," he motions to the chair across from his desk, and offers, "please have a seat and we can discuss the results."

The tablet is set down on the desk by Gwen and she settles into the chair, crossing one leg over the other before adjusting the glasses she was wearing, "I wasn't entirely sure what to make of the samples at first, but it whatever they are they appear to vibrate at an extremely rapid frequency. It's definitely not a missense mutation, I would ask what they came from but I'm almost scared to."

Doctor Wells' jaw shifts and he rubs his chin in consideration. He hrms quietly, and grants Gwen a soft smile, kindly and unassuming. Finally, leaning forward, his palms drop to the desk, and he inhales a sharp breath. And then holds it, almost questioning whatever he intends to say next; perhaps even doubting it, an unusual thing for someone so decidedly set on his intentions and path. For several beats he maintains his position, allowing himself space to think on the sample. "Miss Stacy," not Gwen this time, "are you familiar with the many ways meta-humans come to be in this world?"

The smile extends, turning nearly self-deprecating as he shifts his shoulders. He's eternally tied to the chair, but he still stretches in the ways it allows. "Silly me. Of course you are." There's a long pause as he considers something else, "The differences between meta-humans who come into superhuman abilities and those that are born with such innate abilities are subtle on the outside, but genetics are key to best understanding both."

Gwen for what might have been absolutely no reason what-so-ever had suddenly gone a little pale, a lump forming in her throat as Doctor Wells began talking about metahumans and the various ways they could come into being.

It's a slightly nervous reply but one none-the-less, "Of course, someone could be a meta and you wouldn't even know it." She silently thought to herself, 'He's not talking about you Gwen, this is to do with the sample, calm down.'

The truth is though, in the month since her mishap with the mutant spider, there could have been any number of times she could have lost a strand of hair or some skin cells that could have been tested.

If Doctor Wells notices the paling of Gwen's skin, he doesn't let on, and instead, continues to wax poetic on the nature of metas, how they operate, and what they can offer. "Precisely," a single finger wags once in front of her. "But there's so much more to do with it than that. The politics and demands for things like mandated registration mean that we have a responsibility," he shakes his head, no, wrong word, "a duty," he's happier with that one, "to help these people in any ways we can."

His head turns to the wall in silent consideration, and then he offers, "Genetic testing is down the road. Anyone with any understanding of politics, power, and people can see it coming. Metas need to have at least one place they can feel safe." His eyes squint slightly. "And we can provide that safety with the right circumstances. The right understandings."

His jaw tightens and he sucks in another breath. "Fighting fear is more important than anything else, and one way to do that is to reassure the public that it's not something in the water. It's not an unnatural genetic mutation. Yet it occurs through actions on genes. Genetic alteration happens either through natural selection or through rapid transformation." The last has his gaze resting squarely on Gwen.

"I agree with you entirely on every point Doctor Wells, I've been a little worried to with the current political climate and what it could mean for metahumans of all kinds." Gwen smiled, "You know, because of my friends of course. Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake." She had assumed Wells would know who two of the most prominent and publically known metas or mutants were, whatever the case may be.

She's fidgeting in her seat, her hands clasped together as she plays with her fingers, a clear sign of nervousness, "Do you have a plan of action to help people like that? If mandated registration happens? I was working on a protein marker that could disguise aberrant genes temporarily but I've gotten nowhere with it."

There's a long pause at Gwen's assessment, as Wells gives further consideration to the woman's words. Finally he nods, reanimating from a statue-like status into his more aware self. "Of course," her concerns are certainly warranted from Wells' perspective.

His lips purse lightly and he notes, "I'm working on a plan of action. I aim to find a way to conceal genetic tests. Registration will require certification of some sort, but let's be honest, not everyone wants to be known as a meta or mutant. Instead, some," his blue eyes try to catch Gwen's, "choose to remain anonymous. Sometimes for their own protection, but often for the protection of those around them. The people they care about. They make these choices because they have to to." His eyebrows arch higher on his forehead to punctuate the point.

"Together we can work on a protein marker, but it needs to be more permanent. Or…" his lips twitch slightly, "we could aim to create faulty tests." On purpose. "I'm hoping, when it comes to it, that STAR Labs will be one of the registration sites. That's why we need to be on top of this. If we are the lead researchers into the meta-human phenomenon, we will be tasked with some of its testing. It's only logical."

Gwen was really starting to feel like at least some of the conversation was aimed towards her as it progressed, her eyes darting away from Harrison's as he tries to meet her own; another sure sign that he was on the right track, "President Persching was very much against registration, the new President is a little more militant. I think he'll view metas like guns so if Star Labs was at the forefront, we could probably save a lot of lives and maybe offer other options to people who do not want their 'gifts'?"

She smiles looking at something on the wall behind Harrison, being purposely evasive with his gaze, "Do you think the process could be reversed if someone was made into a metahuman after birth? Rather than being born with it."

"Exactly." Harrison drops his palms back to the desk and emphasizes, "We could offer anonymity to those that still want it. And if we manage to be at the front of this, we can make a bigger difference. The key is, we need to establish ourselves as the experts." His lips purse again and he hmmms at the question. "It's possible we could find something to help them. It's not a disease, however." Once again his lips twitch to the side, "Options for those with such gifts should exist, but they cannot be widely known lest everyone be forced into such things."

He sighs. "Anything is possible. What we know is very limited, but we can expand it with the right knowledge base and access to those willing to work with us." He sucks on the inside of his cheek. "Like the sample."

"If anyone could do it, it would be you Doctor Wells. I've met Howard Stark, Reed Richard, Sue Storm and so many other brilliant scientists, but anytime I'm in a room with you I can't help but feel they can't hold a candle to your brilliance. If you don't mind me saying so, none of them are quite the visionary that you are." Gwen smiled, entirely sincere in her words, "..and I will always be sorry that I let you down and took that sample from storage without permission. I just thought I would have a much better research paper than anyone else with it. So, thank you for continuing to let me work here and giving me a chance. It has meant a lot to me."

The smile softens at the remark. "They are all brilliant scientists," Wells agrees, and then offers, "I just hope your faith in me isn't misplaced. We're doing what we can, Gwen. But that means trust, and sincerely working together." His lips press together into a thin line with some unuttered question, and his hands fold on the table in front of him. "That spider had abilities of its own, and its genetic enhancements were… of a special variety. The project was shelved because its applications seemed…" there's a long pause "…unstable."

Trust. That gets Gwen's attention, especially with how much dancing around on the subject that had been done, "Unstable?" She gulps now, "Doctor Wells, I don't know how to say this but, the spider may have bit me and I've been having some strange things happen since, like uhm…" She stares at Harrison meeting his eyes now, "Maybe to do with some of the things we were just discussing."

Gwen is allowed the space to have a small moment, particularly as Doctor Wells is becoming increasingly accustomed to people with big news. He even freezes as the news is conveyed, and follows it with a slight nod of his head. His tongue rolls over his lips and he manages to offer, "Right." It's not that he's altogether without surprise, but shock doesn't register on his features either. "I had wondered, actually." His eyes narrow slightly and he considers some other options, before shaking his head. "We hadn't considered human applications," not exactly, anyways, "but I admit they had crossed my mind."

Nervously he rakes his fingers through his hair, "Which is why the project was suspended." He allows another long pause before considering, "But. Perhaps we should move it forward again. What do you want to do about the… instability?"

Gwen watched Harrison Wells carefully as he spoke, but she knew it was safer to be honest with someone like him than not, "It really should stay suspended, forever honestly." If Wells had paid much attention to the media or metahuman sightings, it would have been oddly coincidental that a new 'Spider-Woman' would pop up in New York not long after Gwen had been bitten.

"It's too dangerous. I've had blackouts, times where I woke up with less than human thoughts. They haven't happened for awhile though." She sighs, "Now you see why I mentioned some kind of cure, whatever the spider did to me, I don't want it. I liked being normal."

There's a small nod at Gwen's words, but Wells doesn't offer any words in reply. Carefully, slowly, his hands move to the wheels of his chair, and he backs up away from the desk, only to roll around it. The chair almost seems like part of him now, even though it's so external to his very self. Carefully, he wheels to her side of the desk. "I respect your wishes." There's a long pause, as if Harrison second guesses his next thoughts. "But Gwen, let me be clear, nothing about you now, or earlier is anything less than extraordinary. You were never 'normal'. I don't hire 'normal' people. I aim to work alongside the extraordinary. And you, Miss Stacy, have always been extraordinary."

He offers her a flicker of a smile. "We can work on developing a way to reverse the process if you want, but in the meantime, we need to work on your stability." He lifts a single hand, "Whether or not you keep these abilities, it will take time to resolve them. In the interim, you will need to learn to control them." There's a pause. "I'd like to help you to that end."

Gwen's earlier paling complexion became a hot flush of pink, "Thank you Doctor Wells, that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time." There was obviously a reason she looked up to this man, even in the midst of this potentially awkward moment he had lifted her spirits and gave things clarity, "I've been practicing a little bit, if you like, I can show you some of what I can do, there might even be more things I don't know about."

She smiles and stands up from her chair, looking very very nervous, thank god nobody else was around in the lab. She didn't even want to think of what stupid name Cisco would try and give her.

A more encouraging smile coaxes it's way across Wells' face followed by another slow nod. Once more, his hands move to the wheels, and he backs up in the chair, granting Gwen some space should she need it. "Please. Feel free. Just… try not to break the computer," he shoots her a toothy grin.

Gwen turns around putting her back to Doctor Wells and says, "Throw something at me, but you need to want to hurt me. Like, aim for the back of my head. Don't warn me though when you do, just do it randomly as we're sitting here talking." She closed her eyes and waited.

"Throw something at you?" Wells repeats as he scratches the back of his head. He considers the thought a few moments longer and then chuckles, "For science," he murmurs to himself as he reaches for one of the heavy textbooks resting on his desk. He holds it for several beats, "Seems like a rather interesting thing Gwen. For the record, if this hits you, we'll make sure your employment insurance covers it." He hums for a bit, "How long have you had these abilities? Immediately after the spider? Days? Weeks?" After posing the question, he flings the book toward Gwen (rather well, in fact) towards the back of Gwen's head. Well done, doctor.

"I was really sick after the bite for a few days and then I woke up clinging to the ceiling-" She doesn't pause for much more than a millisecond performing an acrobatic maneuver that would make any Olympian jealous before sticking to the ceiling and hanging upside down.

Webbing is shot out from her wrists, purely organic and the book is prevented from hitting the glass and she uses the webbing to set the book down on the desk with fine control, continuing to talk upside down, "-and I realized I could do these sorts of things along with having a fully intuitive danger sense or a 'spidey sense' as I called it."

There's a level of surprise at the webbing, but in true scientist form, Wells rolls towards the book to examine the webbing in greater detail. "Fascinating." His fingers lightly run across the silky webbing and he hmmms quietly at its texture and weight. "Have you tested it?" his eyebrows arch upwards. "I mean, in the lab. Check out its compound and what it's actually made of. I wonder what its core and tension strengths are." He holds up a single finger, "This could be promising. You should figure out its limits. Upper and lower, and what creates each. The circumstances, emotions, hormones — they could all come into play with how the body works — " as he gets on a roll, he seems to get more excited, and talks at a faster cadence than before. He holds up a hand in apology, "Sorry. It's truly remarkable."

Gwen drops down from the ceiling and sits back down in the chair, looking entirely ordinary once again except for the fact that she had just done, "It's strong enough to hold up a car or stop a truck that I've tested so far. It lasts anywhere from four to six hours, but it might be to do with any or all of the things you just suggested or god only knows why." She seems to be at least livened up about it, seeing the curiosity from Doctor Wells, "I honestly haven't run any tests on it because, I didn't want to have to answer any questions from anyone. It kind of scared me, but seeing your reaction it puts me a lot more at ease. I was starting to feel like a /freak/."

"You're not a freak," Wells answers resolutely as his lips turn up into a crooked smile. "But I think anyone in your shoes could find these newfound abilities unsettling, especially when they don't know what to do with them.Let me work with you. We can figure this out together. And if that means trying to establish something to return you to your old self, we'll try, but there's no reason to feel alone in this, Gwen. Not when you have resources like these," he motions towards the walls, "at your fingertips."

Gwen beamed brightly at Harrison, others had offered to help but they hadn't seemed to actually /care/ like he did, "I don't feel alone anymore Doctor Wells, now that I know I have you here to help me. It's been a burden and I tried to do some good with it, if you haven't figured it out, I'm that new Spider-Woman who was on the news that like one time. My dad is a cop, so, I guess it just runs in the family to want to do a little bit of good."

Gwen's smile wins one in turn followed by a nod. "Good." His hands clap together. "You aren't alone in this, and we will we manage, Gwen. Believe me. Brilliant minds can work on almost anything." Pause. "And maybe we'll manage to do some good along the way. If we can help metas while helping yourself, I think we'll have truly accomplished something."

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