2019-09-03 - Webslinging and Sci-fi


Spidey senses something isn't quite right.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Sep 3 02:38:29 2019
Location: {$location}

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Ah, Labor Day. You'd think that even the crooks, criminals, and cutpurses would take the day off, but sadly, apparently they kept hours suitable for retail employees. And hated their customers almost as much.
So, today, since it had been awhile since he had gone gallivanting out on the town with His Sister From Another Mister, he decided to send Thea a text through the Spider-Comm system.

<Hey there, Angel. Webhead here. Want to go out on the town tonight?>

It takes longer than usual for the reply. <Hey. Sure, if you want. You mean for work, or play? Dress or dressed down, in other words. > She will be moving around her apartment, almost robotincally, as she makes sure she has things for both options ready.

If Spider-Man wonders about the delay, he doesn't show it. There are a lot of reasons that would explain it. "Work, but I think it's going to be light duty tonight. Kyle is doing better, BTW. I've been tutoring him since that night we met him, and his grades are improving. His mom says he is relating better to his classmates, as well. Where would you like me to pick you up?"

Thea will give him an address to meet her at the alley next to. She will simply french braid her hair back, dressing in comfortable dark clothing, packing her tiny backpack with snacks and some simple first aid gear.

She will head down and out, chin high as she walks down the street like she owns it - like it's a runway and she's a supermodel.

When Thea gets there, Spider-Man isn't there yet. But that is rather typical. The man would be late to his own funeral.

And has been, on multiple occasions.

A minute later, Spider-Man descends upside-down on a webline, waving to Thea as he does. "Hey there, Angel. Ready for another rollercoaster ride?"

Thea will arch an eyebrow at his upside down entrance, before she's settling her backpack more firmly, tightening the straps. "Sure thing. Let's do this."

"All right." Spidey drops to the ground, pulling the harness out of his backpack. "How have you been doing lately, Angel? I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch. Classes are getting progressively more brutal."

There's a shrug, as she gets into the harness. "Classified stuff for SHIELD. Sadly, nothing exciting." Her voice lacks enthusiasm, the way her voice was when they first met. Detached.

Spidey nods, but he sounds slightly concerned. "Wasn't too rough, I hope?" he asked as he secured the harness, then began heading up the wall to get to a good launching point. "Well, we'll see if that'll change tonight. We can go see a drug lord's police takedown if the wind isn't against us and we don't run into anything on the way there."

" I haven't run into anything that I can't handle yet." It's very matter of fact, a clear and cold statement that just happens to be fact. "Takedown sounds fun." But she doesn't have her usual level of excitement at the prospect of webswinging across town.

Spider-Man is still giving her the benefit of the doubt, but he subvocalizes, "ALICE, monitor her vitals and open a window on it."
"Will do. Her lack of enthusiasm is unusual."
He looks back to Thea, then says, "Hang on, Sis."
And then, like all the other times, he swan-dives off the ledge and the webslinging commences.
He always tends to keep it simple for the first few minutes before he tries anything fancy, but then the half-gainers, the somersaults, and the quadruple-flips come into play. In spite of the stuff he's seen earlier, the police bands are slightly on the quiet side tonight. for the first few miles, nothing is reported and his Spider-Sense doesn't pick up anything at all.

Her vitals are normal enough, though something just won't quite… seem right. She manages a hint of a smile at being told to hang on. When she'd normally be making little noises like she's on a rollercoaster when he's doing the flips and somersaults, there's just a gasp and a chuckle.

A gasp and a chuckle? Two weeks ago, he had been rocking and rolling, and she was laughing to beat the band, her heart was going a mile a minute, and her breathing had gone rapid wth excitement. They had reached Cruising Speed, he was doing the same thing, and she was acting as though the light had stayed green after the walk signal went red but stopped blinking.
He went along the skyline towards the taller skyscrapers, and then vaulted to the side of the Roxxon Oil tower, running up the smooth glass walls on the way to the top.

That did make her heartrate spike, and she clings to the harness more than usual. She may even have her eyes closed, not the fully embracing behavior that the biokinetic usually displays. She would normally be sassing him, but tonight.. she's barely speaking at all.

He makes it to the top, jumping up to land lightly on the helipad on the roof of the tall building. Not exactly leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but not bad.
"Hang on.,,gotta check something."He slows down to a stop, then undoes the harness. He pauses, then looks it over. "Uhm…did you notice a strap broke on the way up?"

"Okay." She sounds calm again, moving to try and get out of the harness. She does still, looking at him with her blue-gray eyes. "What? No, I didn't notice." She's ducking her head, looking for a broken strap - no panic at all, no real.. animation. It's almost as if she's back to who she was when they first met.

And THAT is when his Spider-Sense begins to tingle.
A ripped harness with all the stuff they were doing? Not a single reaction, which is the very wrong reaction on top of a much of wrong reactions. No excitement, mild enjoyment, and no reaction to possibly flying off of the harness (which was fine, actually) and becoming high-speed street pizza?
"ALICE, I need you to do a full in-depth ultrasound scan," he subvocalizes. "Thea, I have to admit you're taking this rather well…"

There's a glance up at him, a flash of a smile. "Well, you got me up here safe enough. You could like.. web something to hold it in plae to get us down, right? I mean, you pulled me up with your webbing at Laynia's, so that would work, right?" She's thinking, she's logical. She just seems emotionally withdrawn.

With an ultrasound, metal always messes with it, and won't allow a clear scan. She's wearing a ball chain with a pendant, and there's metal on her pants, and underwire in her bra - so when the scan comes back like a big, odd blur…

It's completely plausible. Completely understandable. A normal guy would just blow it off, maybe.
But Spider-Man is not a normal guy. And he has used this ultrasound scanner on other people to test it out. The blur is simply…too big.
And then there's the lack of emotion. Biggest red flag ever. She truly enjoys these outings, webslinging through the city. She had spoken of it in glowing terms.
In short, he finds her lack of enthusiasm disturbing.

"Angel, you ever watch or read science fiction?"

She gives him a 'look' - almost a patented big sister look. "Of course I have. I lived with mostly men for years." A mention of the past she rarely brings up. "Why do you ask? Shouldn't we be focusing on harness issues? I don't know how to get down from here without you."

Spider-Man takes a deep breath. "Give me a minute. I'm going somewhere with this, Angel. One bit of sci-fi in particular. 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Made a few movies about that, but the original is the one most remembered. Ever seen that movie?"

"I mean, I've heard the term pod people and things." She sounds genuinely puzzled. "Peter, this isn't a time for planning a movie night. I can't get down from here without you!" There's a note of worry, almost panic. It's just.. a little more muted. But Thea can be.

Spider-Man nods. "Yes, all right. So understand right now that you are seriously going Pod Person on me, and I'm worried that you're not feeling well. I want to have you checked out medically. It won't take long, but I'd feel a lot better webslinging with you knowing why you're not enjoying this like you always do."

Thea folds her arms under her breasts, staring at him as one foot taps for a second. "I'm under stress at work that I can't talk to you about. I can't talk about you to anyone at work. There's a girl at work that I'm sort of attracted to, but there's a guy too, and it doesn't matter, because I work with them, so it's a bad idea, but how am I ever going to meet anyone, between work and webslinging? I'm frustrated. I'm 21 and never been on a real date. Thompson wants to take me out to dinner, but I know he has women that throw themselves at them, and I don't know how to do regular date, and not a job sort of date."

Even that, though the frustration bleeds through, is somewhat held in. "I'm /fine."

Spidey looks at her with sympathy. "…Look, what say we take a moment and settle in, and we can talk about it? That's a lot to deal with, and I think you would probably be better off venting and getting it out of your system over just…holding it in? Because if I noticed, then others are DEFINITELY noticing, because I'm a relatively clueless individual."

"There's nothing to talk about." Thea says softly. "I can't talk about it with you. I've just got a lot on my mind, and I've just been.. being quiet, letting everything sort of blur, riding along with you. Just sort of.. letting my mind go empty. It's like meditation, just flying through the air, versus sitting on a floor. So I'm sorry if I'm not whooping it up, I've just been.. relaxing." She pauses a moment. "You're the only one who'd notice. No one else is close to me."

Spidey looks at her for a long moment. "Thompson…you wouldn't be talking about Eugene 'Flash' Thompson, would you?"

"You were there when he was asking me to dinner. I know your hearing is sharp enough to hear it. I gave him my number and everything." There's the faintest flush along her cheeks. "Why?"

Spidey chuckles. "Flash is a pretty good guy. He used to be a complete jerk for years, but he's changed. For the better. He's a stand-up guy. I care about you a lot, Angel. And it is my personal belief that he's a good guy for you. Don't worry about the other girls, Angel. He's the one to focus on."

"I've seen the pictures and the stories, Peter. He's hardly portrayed as a one woman sort of guy. I just don't know what to do. It's an issue that's been nagging at me." She will shrug. "But I don't want to focus on that. We're going to miss the takedown, we don't figure something out, and then I'll be sad." It's a low level of teasing, but more than before.

Thea earns a speculative look. She's always had a self-preservation streak more than most. This worrying about Flash could be anything.

"…All right. But we're only watching, not taking part. And after that, I'm taking you home. You sound distracted, and I don't have to tell you how bad that could be." He re-attaches the harness. "I got it fixed up, but I'm getting a new harness soon, anyway. This one is getting a lot of use." He smirks under the mask. "Strap in, and we'll get going."

"Well, if someone needs healing and I can help from where we perch, I am." She's blunt about that, even as she's buckling back into the harness. "Oh? Taking Helena along, are you?" She asks, a mild tease to that too.

He pauses as he checks the fittings. "Actually, only once. You're the only one who's racking up frequent Webslinging miles. Four more patrols, and you get a free toaster." He winks to her. "Ready?"

"Can I have a date somewhere instead of a toaster? Chinese food, or maybe dumplings in Chinatown? I had some really good ones there once. Or maybe some Thai?" She's just thinking about food now, it seems.

Spider-Man nods. "Any place you want to go. I'm buying."
He leaps off the helipad into the night air, but he is still concerned. All of it is understandable, but that strange blur.
"ALICE," he sub-vocalizes, "Reminder to work up UV scanner."
"Duly noted. Saving record of her reactive data."

Spider-Man worried, too.

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