2019-07-25 - Coming in from the Cold


In which our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man meets a long dead Cold War era mutant heroine in the Daily Bugle!

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jul 25 19:37:04 2019
Location: RP2 - NYC - The Daily Bugle

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Theme Song



Peter might be persona non grata here by now. After his major success at Kane Industries, he is coming in to tell JJJ, face to face, that he was cutting back on his availability.

He'd rather face the Vulture again. Wearing only his Captain America boxer-briefs.
He hands the security guy his press pass and waits for it to be scanned. He's expecting JJJ to have him banned, and maybe blacklisted, but the scan goes through and he is pointed towards the elevators.

Entering the building lobby, Laynia is definitely eye-catching, cinnamon eyes peering about, taking in the details. She rather calmly approaches the guard at the security station, in fact queued up right after Peter as he checks in. "Good morning." She greets the man with a bright smile. "I am here seeking your Hiring department, can you direct me?" The guard offers a smile, and nods. "Of course, Miss. Here, sign in, I'll get you a guest pass, Human Resources is on the forty-second floor, just turn left as you exit the elevators, and through the double doors there.

The woman's voice is a bit 'husky', sounding, and her accent is faint, but clearly Russian. "Ah, many thanks." It is a moment to sign in, and then she collects her badge and heads for the elevators as well.

Peter is watching the elevator doors slide open when the Woman in Black shows up. He is wearing his own traditional clothes, the baggy shirt and jeans, the beat-up sneakers, and of course the wry look that is his trademark. He holds the door open, then asks politely, "I overheard…floor 42, right?"

Cinnamon eyes shift to the polite teen, and then a very nice smile answers. "Da, forty-two, please." She steps into the elevator then, a faint hint of perfume wafting - something floral, lilac perhaps? Composed, she stands with both her hands folded together in front. "Do you work here?" She asks. No reason not be sociable, right?

Peter chuckles. "Peter Parker, freelance photographer." He extends a hand in greeting. "I'm not a full employee, though, more of an independent contractor. But I know a lot of the people here very well. What position are you trying for? I might know someone in that department."

"Laynia Petrovna, Mister Parker, a pleasure." Laynia takes the offered hand. "A contractor? That explains the check in, at the door, much like myself…though I am seeking employment, most likely as a contractor as well." Releasing his hand, she smiles. "I am a security specialist." She says truthfully enough, spy training counts as security work, right?

"Really? Well, I suppose I can understand. J. Jonah Jameson, the editor, has been getting some hate mail recently." He sighs, then says, "Well, if you are going to HR, maybe I can go with you. I'm actually not delivering anything except a change in status, so I have the time. Maybe I can introduce you to a couple of people I know there, see if I can ease the process."

"Ah, most kind, Mister Parker." The young man's earnest desire to be a help is charming, but also presents a small problem, to wit - Laynia is not here to actually apply for a job, though if she goes through the motions, it probably won't hurt anything. What's the worst that can happen? She doesn't get hired? Her smile is bright. "I should not wish to be a bother, also…is there a water closet…ah, a /restroom/, on the floor I might avail myself of?"

Peter ohs and nods sympathetically as the doors open. "To the left, down the hall. You'll see the signs, and there will be a water fountain between them." He points in the direction to take. "I'll wait here until you get back, this place can be a MAZE if you're not familiar with the layout."

A husky trill of laughter. "My need is not urgent, Mister Parker, but I might be a few minutes…one must always look their best, first impressions are key when interviewing for work." Once they get to the floor, she briefly rests her fingers on his upper arm, and then inclines her head before heading off to where the restrooms are. "I thank you, I will return in a bit, sir." Of course once she gets to the area, she doesn't even enter the restrooms, instead she carefully opens a conveniently placed door to the stairs, pondering, then simply stepping off into the air between the bannisters in the middle, and floating downwards at a good clip. En route she blacks out the lenses of any cameras she spots, and is careful to avoid being seen as she drops down to the basement. It probably takes her all of a minute!

Peter is waiting patiently, but frowns. Something…is bothering him. It takes him a few moments, but it is not general unease, or even the fear of meeting JJJ.
It's his Spider-Sense. Something is going to happen, but he has no idea what.
His feet start moving him towards Supply Room 9. One of his go-to Spider-Man entry-exit areas. He doesn't know why…
…but there's no harm in being ready, right?

Once Laynia reaches the basement, the woman moves briskly to the exit, carefully bypassing the alarm on the door using tools fashioned from pure darkness by will alone, manifesting and vanishing when not needed. Handy!

Through the door she pauses, getting her bearings, and then moves off with a purpose towards an old and disused locker room for the workers to clean up in, this is a section full of pipes for the building's utilities. Down here is largely empty most of the time, she avoids the Facilities offices, and is careful to blackout the cameras en route to the storeroom that's her destination. "Maze indeed." She murmurs to herself, it IS rather a maze!

Peter pulled on the mask. "ALICE, anything odd going on?"
"Actually, security is reporting some camera failures."
"Quite a few." An overlay of the building comes up. A series of red dots appear, with CAMERA ISSUES in red on the top.
As Peter watched, the cameras were blacked out…in a straight line, starting from…
"The 42nd floor."
Spider-Man jumped out of the building window. "ALICE, follow those cameras!"
A second later, while he was passing the 34th floor, the overlay showed the path of the cameras, leading down to the basement…

Unaware that she's gotten on anyone's radar, Laynia moves at a carefully purposeful stride, her steps and bearing stating in very clear body language that she belongs here, that nothing is amiss. Slinking about? Sneaking? Those things are exactly the wrong things to do when in a place that might have other people you encounter. Fortunately, the area she's in is one that is generally sparsely occupied most of the time.

Inside the locker room she blacks out the two cameras in there as well, and then moves to a section of wall with floor to ceiling pipes, a hand raised to probe at the wall, and finding where a panel had been painted over. "Gotcha." She murmurs.

The basemeent access had come in handy a few times, and it helped now. He dropped in through the hatch, then moved along the ceiling along the path following the camera failures.
Please don't be her. Please don't be her. Please don't beawwwWWW DANGIT!

There is a sudden, heavy sigh behind…and above…Laynia. "I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to be down here," Spider-Man said candidly.

To her credit the woman doesn't start, she simply turns about, the fact that the man is clinging to the Ceiling, and clad in a costume draws a quirked brow. "No? And -you- are?" She doesn't know of Spiderman or his history with the Bugle, or J. Jonah Jameson but even so it is pretty unlikely that the security staff has a super on it. HIGHLY unlikely, even.

After a moment she offers a smile up to him. "So…how did you find me? I assure you, I mean no harm to anyone here, nor to the building. I just need to pick up a…" Her hand waves in a circle as she searches for the word."…care package."

Wow. Someone who doesn't know who he is? That's a shock. She must be new.
"I am known as Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Spidey, Webhead…and a few other names not suitable for your ears. So, why don't you tell me about your care package, lady? Be nice to know why I'm getting dust all over my new suit."

Fresh off the boat, after a four DECADE hiatus, one might say she is a bit behind the times, certainly would explain her use of Water Closet! Who even says that? Not that Peter is privy to her history any more than Laynia is of his.

"Is an old supply cache." She answers readily enough. "I think I will call you Spider-Man, da?" A nod then. "So, Spider-Man, what I am seeking here is something to help me survive in this city of New York. As I have said, nothing here will be harmed, though I must be crystal clear - I do not intend to depart empty handed." Not a threat, per se, she's certainly not -wanting- a fight, if Petey's spider-sense is acute enough, he'd sense she is WILLING to fight, but it is only potential, not an active threat.

Spidey frowned slightly. "Ohhhkay. All right. I've got a top-ten proposal. I'd like to see what's in this thing you're looking for. If it's weapons or fake IDs or something illegal, I can't let you take it. However…if it's something non-lethal, non-illegal, and only relevant to 40-year-old events…I'll let you leave with it, but I want to document it. Sound fair?"

"In truth I do not know what -precisely- I will find, if anything." Her smile forms then, bright, almost luminous. "So, we shall discover together." It is perhaps telling that she was willing to fight — even in the face of an obvious superhuman, that's not a common sort of reaction! And the reason for that would be abundantly clear as her form essentially boils with darkling smoke that forms itself to her, a costume of sorts sheathing her. Okay, that's pretty cool right there!

A hand is raised, hand and 'gloves' white, even as black energy, scours away the paint, to reveal a small access panel, and then the tendrils of blackness open it. Inside is a black bag, sturdy looking, probably ballistic cloth that she reaches in and pulls out, though it is plainly quite heavy.

Wow. Why can't HE do that? He has to do the whole find-a-broom-closet-and-hide-the-clothes kind of thing. Ah, well, wish in one hand, poop in the other, see which one fills up first.

He points to the raised table in one corner. "Okay. Now unpack the contents and put them on the table. Please."

Eyes glowing with and leaking darkness, the woman nods. "Ah, I am called Darkstar, forgive my ill-manners, Spider-Man." She seems a blend of amused and BEmused by how insistent he is. Darkstar, yeah…that definitely tracks.

Moving to a table, she sets the bag down with a bit of a thump, and definitely some metallic sounding clinks.

The bag is unzipped, and she soon lays out the contents, neatly organizing them to either side of the bag. Inside are a pair of handguns, and several clips - set to the left, organized almost as if for a display, the pistols appear to be an older model and large calibre, if Spidey is familiar they're Tokarevs, the Russian equivalent to the M1911-A used by the US Military, a .45 calibre and serious weapon!

Next she puts a commando knife to the left as well. To the right she places several shrink-wrapped bundles of assorted currency, and then spends a few moments going through several Passports, and setting them to the left. Finally, to the right is placed a bundle of papers, several of which are maps. She turns then, and looks to the Spider-Man to see how this is going to play out!

Spider-Man nods. "I've heard about these. They're called 'spookers,' at least that is what the CIA called them." He looks them over. "ALICE, check them over?"
"The dates on the bills. They are old. No date later than 1976. They've been in there a very long time. That fits with the history of the building."
Spider-Man ponders. There are some reasons to look for a 40-year-old spooker.

"Take *one* passport. Your choice. Leave the rest of them. Take the money. Leave the maps, the knife, and the guns."

This Darkstar does -not- look to be old enough to know about such things, but it was very plain she knows how to handle the items she unpacked. Really, she's being very civil about all this. That smile quirks again, very wry. "Only one?" A brow raised in question, and then another dusky laugh. "Very well, Spider-Man." She doesn't even pause, she pulls one from the pile, having sorted through them when she unpacked. That one is set to the right, on top of the bundled cash. She transfers the maps to the left hand side as well. The papers were not mentioned, so they are transferred to the right pile, clearly the 'keeper' side of the equation. "So…does this mean we will not be fighting?" She asks with her smile intact, and very genuine seeming.

Spidey is about to respond when something appears on his HUD that causes him to halt. He is, for a moment, stunned.
"Holy Toledo…DARKSTAR. You were…" He was about to say dead, but the report on his screen was very exact. Body never recovered. "You…THAT'S why. You…disappeared forty YEARS ago!" He looks at her with frank amazement. "That was before the Cold War ended, and…"

He drops to the floor, flipping over to land lightly on his feet. "You've been…are you all right? Do you…need help?"

For the first time the woman's expression loses that calm, and amused demeanor, the way Spider-Man went from not knowing her to knowing details that should have been classified, yeah, a little off-putting. But then she's been out of circulation for a very long time. She studies the suddenly much friendlier superhero. She recovers her aplomb swiftly, however. "So you really are as you've been named 'Friendly', this is good." She shakes her head, long hair swishing counterpoint to he motion behind. "I do not know how you learned so much about my past so swiftly, but it does not matter. Yes, I have been…out of circulation…for decades. I only just arrived in New York, so, holing up and getting a handle on -forty years- of lost history seemed prudent, but a girl, she needs resources to do such a thing, da? Those I had from overseas were expended in getting here, so." A shrug. As to the offer of help, he surprises her once again. "You do not distrust me now?"

Spider-Man looks at her. "Look. You haven't hurt anyone. As far as I know, none of that is stolen. Those maps, those weapons…that's for a war that is long since over. The Cold War is over. If you were trying to defect as you had originally intended…then I can't find any hostile intent."

He even smiles slightly under the mask. "Trust MIGHT be a little premature. But you made some decisions that make it easier for me to give you some leeway. And if you CONTINUE to make good choices, then we can maybe build on that trust a little more."

"I am not a monster, Spider-Man, yes…I was KGB, I was Soviet Super Soldier trained to protect Mother Russia, but I am not now and do not feel I have ever been a monster." Laynia — Darkstar — smiles then. "I was shot, a sniper, while trying to defect. I got better. Eventually." She smiles brighter when she sees his smile through the mask. "I did not say /trust/, Mr Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. But — I can definitely strive to move in that direction. So…how did you track me, and how did you find so much about me so quickly?"

Spider-Man chuckled. "Freedom of Information Act. Plus I have a few tools to help me. Forty years is a long time, Miss Petrovna. State-of-the-art stands still for no one. Also, when you spoofed the cameras to not see you? The system tracked the malfunctions. Like electronic breadcrumbs. A few cameras going off in random places is one thing. A series of cameras following a particular path…that's design."

"Freedom of Information /ACT/, your government has passed laws to TELL things? Bozhe Moi, I have missed much." Darkstar shakes her head, smile perhaps a bit bitter over lost time, but really…can Spidey blame her? FOUR decades…pffft…gone, granted she'd be in her 70s by now, still. "Clearly the technology I remember as 'advanced' is anything but, now." She grins. "I did not make a comedy of the cameras, not as such, I merely occluded the lenses with a bit of my Darkforce."

Spidey nods. "Six of one, half a dozen of the other." He takes off a red-and-blue backpack with the spider-symbol on it, opening it to stuff the other items into the backpack, zipping it closed. "We'll talk about how to deal with this stuff, but better in my backpack than out in the open." He takes a deep breath. "Okay. Do you have a place to live?"

As Spidey takes the 'rejected' pile and puts it in his backpack, Laynia depowers her costume and packs the keepers in the black bag, slinging it over her shoulder. Hey, it even matches! Sort of. "I have been staying at a hotel in the area near the wrecked parts of the city, this 'Disaster Zone', da? I was looking for an apartment in Mutant Town, the name, it intrigued me." Because—mutant. "But no, I have not yet found a place to call home, it was more important to stay out of sight and gather intel, yes? Cannot operate well in a vacuum - - " Her expression turns wry. " - -as my performance here has proven quite decidedly."

Spider-Man nodded. "You might try Shadow Run Apartments, near Little Odessa in Brighton Beach. The rent isn't too dear, it's populated by Russian immigrants, and it's not so close that you have to worry about the Russian mafia." He paused again. "Uhm…do you have a computer, or easy access to one?"

"Shadow Run Apartments, Little Odessa? That all sounds most hopeful." Laynia smiles, well, it is perhaps charitable to call her baring of teeth a 'smile' at the moment. "The Bratva? I should not worry about the Bratva, if anything they should worry about -me-." A soft laugh then, and the smile goes from feral to fair once more. "But no, I do not have a computer, they were very new when I was last about, I am still reeling at the changes in telephony! I met a nice girl, she was shocked at my flip phone - which was top secret development back in Cold War, she could not believe it could not text." A rueful shake of the head. "I was thinking of getting pager, but…these new 'smartphones', that would likely be better choice, yes?"

Spider-Man nods. "Look. I'm going to take you at face value. I can get you a pre-paid smartphone. You would have to pay attention to your usage, but you should be able to add minutes to it. I also have a laptop computer. It was cutting edge five years ago, but it works, if you don't mind having to wait a few seconds every now and then. You can get a cheap Internet provider for your apartment."

"And would all this technology be given with tutorials on how to use them?" Laynia asks reasonably, a teasing gleam to brown eyes. "I am sure I can figure them out, of course." In time. "I thank you, Spider-Man, you are being most helpful and understanding. I take your acceptance as a gift, one I do not underestimate value of." She looks to the web-slinger, and nods. "I do not wish to prevail upon your kindness, but…I will accept your help. In turn, I offer my own should you need it. I am behind the times, yes, but do still know things, and my powers are not inconsiderable."

Spider-Man smiles. Would that ALL his confrontations were like this. "I find myself in a position where I can help you. I can't imagine the culture shock you are dealing with. But if I can help and choose not to…that's wrong. It can even be considered a sin." He takes out a blank sheet of paper from a pocket of the backpack, along with a cheap pen. He begins writing. "Go to this address. This is the leasing office for the apartment building. Talk to this man, Viktor. Tell him the guy who helped his son is asking for help. When you get into the place, the apartments are furnished, call me at this number." He hands Laynia the sheet of paper, and then hands her a Samsung smartphone. "I carry one or two for situations like this. I'll come over with the laptop and what you can use to connect to the internet. I actually don't have any plans today."
Because Da Boss gave him the rest of the week off after seeing the prototype.
"So…I'll give you a crash course in navigating the Internet. I'll even bring food, if you have a preference."

DEFINITELY better than a slugfest! Darkstar is no lightweight, she packs a wallop if the files that ALICE pulled up are accurate. On the whole Laynia is just as happy that the confrontation de-escalated so very nicely.

"Culture-shock, is good word for it, da." For just a moment her carefully maintained self-assurance slips, just a moment, but it shows she's definitely not immune to culture shock, that she's not unaware of how difficult things could be. And then she's back in control, training reasserting itself and shoving her concerns into little boxes for later, what could possibly be healthier behavior?

The Paper is taken, and she commits it to swiftly to memory. "Speak to Viktor, in leasing. Mention favor from son's savior, call in marker in securing apartment, once based, call for backup and support." A firm nod. "Got it." And then she smiles, really genuinely smiles. "Food? I would like that, yes. But I do not have preference, I will let you decide, and surprise me, yes?"

Spider-Man chuckles. "I know this place in Brooklyn called White Castle. I'll get a bunch of cheeseburger sliders, fries, and sodas. But I'll also point out a nice grocery store, as well." He looks around. "Listen, security is going to be here in about ten minutes or so. I have to get going…and you need to go claim a place to call home." He smiles, and extends his hand. "Welcome to the 21st Century. We're glad to have you."

"They call them 'sliders', that bodes ill, but I will extend my trust that far, I think." Fries and sodas, at least those she knows! Granted, the chain was founded in 1921 — they were not exactly available oversas! She nods her understanding about security. "I will secure lodgings per your instructions, thank you for expending a marker on my behalf." His hand is accepted, her grip firm but far from super-human. "Thank you, Spider-Man, it is good to be alive, I definitely look forward to learning more of this time." Wryly. "It beats alternative, does it not?" Um, better than dead? Shyeah! Once she reclaims her hand, Laynia makes her way calmly out of the building, disappearing into the city once more.

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