Campus Spiders

April 21, 2015:

Gwen Stacy meets a man from her past on Campus, or does she?

University of Metropolis

With the founding of the University of Metropolis in 1817, innovative learning to aid to Metropolis' budding science and technology advancements arrived.

Located just south of Centennial Park the division of the two starts to bleed from naturalistic back into paved walkways that divide off squared landscaping and fountains, checker boarding the large pathway to the front doors with trees and shrubbery to not utterly lose the serenity even the students enjoy between classes.

Several stairs lead upward towards the row of glass doors, a polished gleam still there amongst the old brick of the build that has withstood the ageing of time and the mass amount of use. The doors are constantly opening and closing with the ebb and flow of the student body, but stepping through the openness is vast, the ceilings high and bolstering the lining of up to date lighting and technology rimming along the old art deco architecture. Halls wind all around, breaking from the foyer, numbers and arrows pointing from signs to direct students toward the correct rooms for their classes, the main floor the one for the starting classes, and just as you work your way towards a major or degree, you work your way up those levels via elevator systems - the top floor harbouring the science and technology division.

Behind this arch-roofed building of seven stories there is a high rise tower for living, mainly housing the student body, the college also has a floating aquarium anchored just offshore called the "Ark."

This is where the youth of today learn to provide for the City of Tomorrow.


NPCs: A stoned cashier


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

With a thud, Scarlet Spider lands on the roof of one of Metropolis University's many buildings, and he quickly hides behind some crates. It was nice of them to place crates on there, so no one should see when he changes out of his costume and into his civilian clothes. He stuffs his costume into one of the compartments in his backpack, and makes his way towards the stairwell.

From there, it's a short walk to the MetU Bookstore. Walking in, it's quiet as usual, and there seems to be a stoned guy at the counter. "Hello, I'm from Wacom, do you have time for a short demo on our products?" The cashier looks really out of it and says, "uh…" and after a quick check to see that no one else seems to be in the bookstore, "I guess."

With the approval, Ben starts to pull out his laptop, a tablet, connecting it by a USB, and boots up his computer. "So, hey, you heard about the new Deathbath movie they're filming downtown, well they're using our products on the CGI. Yeah, that's right." And he seems to give some kind of a short presentation, trying to educate the staffer on a product he really doesn't care about, but they, it's a way to pay the bills.

Gwen Stacy happened to be in the back of the bookstore looking for a textbook that they didn't have at the NYU campus, of course the employee at the counter had not noticed her due to his zoned out state and she hadn't expected help from such a waste.

When she does approach the counter with a few large textbooks under her arm she gives a look of almost contempt towards the bookstore employee.

Stepping up to the counter dressed in a multi-colored pinstripe dress and pink heels she smiled despite her annoyance, "Hey boys, I know you're psyched about the new Deathbath movie and I'm sure it's going to be really amazing but I'd like to buy these books?"

A spider-sense is a great thing, but it's less effective against people who harbour positive thoughts towards him, or at least used to. When Gwen approaches, Ben's sense is notably silent. He abruptly turns, moving to pack up his laptop while the cashier will deal with her purchases.

It may not have been him, but he still remembers having dated the girl. Hopefully Peter and her are still together. They made a great couple. He tries to turn his face so she won't recognise him, but hair and eyes aside, he still has the same face, same smile, cheekbones, he's a carbon copy, just with a palette switch. He's like Ken to Peter's Ryu.

Of course the cashier has no idea that this is going on, and so he will run the book over the scanner, which of course won't work at first. He'll try the little handheld scanner, which doesn't work either. "Uh… hang on a sec," and he begins typing the numbers in, oh so slowly.

Gwen leans against the counter while she waits for the cashier to do his thing and begins looking carefully at the man trying to hide his face from her. It wasn't Spider-Sense, more like Deja Vu when she saw his face; only she didn't think she had ever met him before.

Tapping the man on the shoulder she peers up at him and asks, "Excuse me? Have we met before, you looked really familiar until you started trying to hide your face."

Well, that's one way to go about it. Ben Reilly can't really do anything but turn his face. She should know that it's Peter, or looks like a blond haired, blue eyed one. Sure he's a little older than when they were dating, but his face hasn't changed that much, or his voice.

His voice does sound a little different. Not much, but he has been living in a different city for a few years. His New York accent isn't quite as strong as it used to be. "Oh, I was just packing up. No, I don't think we've met." Yeah Ben, play it cool, really cool. This is not going to work. He's kind of silly to even try.

Gwen had a shocked look on her face as she stared at the man before her, like a deer caught in headlights shortly before an 18 wheeler hits it…

Clearing her throat after several seconds of silence she shakes her head and frowns, reaching up to brush away a strand of hair from her face she smiles apologetically, "I'm sorry, you just, look very much like someone who used to care a great deal about me."

The books are forgotten about and she starts walking towards the door of the bookstore unless stopped or pursued.

Crap, Ben thought to himself, she knows. But at least she's sticking with the story he presented to her. And then she's off towards the door, and the stoner calls out, "hey, miss, you wanna pay for these books? If you don't, then uh… I'll have to put them back, and mmm, I… what was I saying?" Wow, he really is out of it. How did he get this job anyway?

Ben isn't about to stop her, or pursue her. He moved to Metropolis to get away from his old life. It just wouldn't be fair. He cares about Gwen, his aunt, his friends, misses his old job, and even that cantankerous old fool he used to work for. But to be so close to them, and not be able to join, that would be torture. No, Metropolis was a better choice, at least in theory.

Gwen paused momentarily by the door, turning her head briefly towards the clerk to reply, "Just forget about it, ok?" Ben can see the pain and shock in her eyes as she sees him again, he would have known Gwen well enough that she was going to cry; whether over old memories or seeing another man with Peter's face or god only knows.

The clerk is not happy about that. He's high and she's making him think. But at least Ben is there to take pity on him, "don't worry about it," and he takes the books, intending to put them back where they belong. It seemed like a good idea. It got his mind off of what he had just seen. That was Gwen.

Even after all this time, it still hurt to see her there. Once the books were returned, he would head over to his next stop. Though as he was about to find someplace to change, his spider-sense went off. Not an attack, but something was up. So he just kept on walking. Every time he thought about changing, there it would go again. What was going on?

Gwen was starting to get curious about this man, every single time he seemed ready to do something suspicious he suddenly changed his mind. Picking up a rock, she continued to trail Ben and when she was sure that she wouldn't be seen she threw the rock directly at his back /intending/ to hurt him.

It was a good idea. Throwing a rock at the back of someone's head is either going to hurt like hell, or he'll dodge and prove that he has powers. But when you have a spider-sense, and have trained yourself not to react to small things, it does throw a bit of a monkey wrench in.

Ben doesn't dodge, but he does reach up to scratch the back of his head, and that's the point the rock hits. He cries out, "ouch," and immediately rubs at the hand, which suffered the blunt trauma of the rock and some skin was torn too by the sharp edges, but there's no blood.

He turns around, rubbing his hand, "who threw that?" It hurt. Why would someone do that?

The rustling of bushes is heard and then the sound of someone running away from the scene of the crime. Clearly, someone had thrown that rock purposely but they weren't about to reveal themselves, it looks like Ben Reilly was safe from further pursuit or getting 'stoned' but in a different way than the store clerk.

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