2019-10-03 - Training Montage For a Spider


Spider-Man sets Gwen on the path to her destiny…through a junkyard.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Oct 3 00:00:00 2019
Location: King's Landing Salvage

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Theme Song



Peter King, Carl's father, was a substandard father who browbeat his wife and chose to be proud of how "tough" his son was. But he did know how to run a junkyard.
Spidey was there, wearing his now-classic suit, and setting up three heavy punching bags in a row behind the tall stacks of wrecks. Peter chose to crush cars and sell the metal for scrap, but a little re-distribution of heavy metal blocked the training area from prying eyes. He had a cardboard box with him, and waited patiently. It had just turned 5 PM.

The crunch of boots on dirt announces Gwen's approach; the young blond comes walking at a pretty normal pace through the junkyard, following Peter's instructions to get where she's going. She walks around the heavy pieces of metal, and by the time Peter can see her, it's pretty obvious what she's doing; she's walking — and in fact moving in every way — like she's on eggshells, and afraid of breaking them.
"Hi, Peter," she greets, smiling but still looking intensely nervous. "Woke up this morning, hit my alarmclock like usual, and smashed it into a million pieces. …So I guess I wasn't dreaming." She shrugs, "At least it was a cheap clock, I got another one from Walmart. …How's stuff?"

Spidey chuckles. "Keep in mind, when people are in costume, refer to them by their superhero name. It's a good habit to get into early." He walks over and hugs Gwen, but gently. "Hey there. How are you holding up otherwide?"

Gwen blushes, throwing an arm around Spider-Man without hugging too aggressively. Also, it takes her two tries to un-hug, because her fingers stick, but it's a marked improvement over the other day when she was hanging out a window, screaming.
"I'll keep that in mind, Spider-Man, I'm… just new to all this. I never asked for super-powers." She pauses, and shrugs her shoulders. "But then, I suppose you probably didn't, either. …I'm fine, I guess, just confused."

Spidey smiles and sits down. "Gwen, you've said that often. That you never asked for these powers. Have a seat."
He waits until she sits before looking at her, and his voice gets serious.
"You have to accept that you have them. There are so many things you get without asking for them. I got my mind when I was born, and I get my own when that spider-bite happened almost two years ago. You can't second-guess yourself about these new gifts you have. Whether you asked for them or not is irrelevant. You have them now. And it's your responsibility to learn how to use them effectively. I had to find this out on my own. I'm just glad I can help you evade some of the pitfalls I fell into."

Gwen takes a seats as requested, and leans forwards, resting her wrists on her knees, as she listens to Spidey talk about, well, having to fave facts. She sighs softly, and bobs her head. "Yeah, you're right," she replies. "I could've just not gone to that lab, but I did. I could've paid more attention to my surroundings, but I didn't. So now I'm a spider-person and, you're right, I need to stop insisting that I didn't ask for powers, because really, it doesn't matter. I've got 'em." She scratches the back of her head lightly. "So… what's next? I'm guessing step one is to learn enough control that I'm not randomly destroying things?"

Spidey nods and stands up, walking over to the three heavy bags, all of them moored to a reinforced metal strut. "The one on the left is a normal heavy bag. You will need to use it to control how much force you use." He pointe to a small light connected to it. "If you hit it with more force than a normal human adult can handle without lasting injury, this light will go on."
He points to the next one. "This is lined with reinforced Kevlar and filled with lead shot. You will use this one for accuracy, control, and stronger enemies." He then walks to the third. "This is a lead cylinder surrounded by plate steel. This is your upper-limit bag, to test how intensely you can strike. Because you may run into someone you can't faze with a punch that would fell a bull elephant."

"Alright then." Gwen stands up, and takes a moment, doing a couple stretches like she would before hopping on the treadmill or something. Well, same principle, maybe? She walks up to the first bag, and glances over at Spider-man. "So… this is the normal human one, yeah? So basically, if the light goes on, it means I just broke some poor sap." Or, y'know, punched his noodle right off its moorings. That'd be… Yeah Gwen doesn't want to think about that.

Gwen puts her hands up, like she's seen so many times (and shadow-boxed so many times too) like in those kung-fu movies she stays up late with popcorn to watch. She then delivers a quick smack to the side of the bag; and promptly, as it on cue, the light shines, signalling… well, a big oops.

Spidey nods. "Okay. Now that you know what will do that to a person…you have to learn how to dial it down. Hold back. Control is what you have to work on for this bag. You'd be surprised how little effort it takes…so use it. consider your moves. Drill yourself until they are second nature. This is training. Training trumps instinct, that's what training is for. Work hard, and you will innately know how much force to use."

Gwen nods her head once. "Alright then," she murmurs, and then she goes ahead and punches the bag again. And again. And again. Punch. Punch punch punch punch.
After umpteen tries, she finally manages to hit the bag without the light coming on. "YES!" she declares, jumping up with both hands up in the air — and jumping not less than fifteen feet up, which elicits a whoop of surprise on the way down, followed by an absolutely perfect landing.
"…Okay, that's new," she comments. "But… I managed to punch that guy without rupturing his organs at least, on that last go."

Spidey nods, as he unpacks two roast beef sandwches, two apples, and two bottles of soda. "Good, now you have a baseline. Work on that baseline. Get used to the feel of how it functions while in combat."

"Do you have to beat people up often?" Gwen continues striking the bag; the light continues to come on fairly often, but every now and then it doesn't. She tries throwing in some kicks, which almost invariably make the light come on, except that sometimes they don't. In the Kung Fu movies they do all kinds of moves; she tries some of those (the simpler ones anyway) and they usually make the light come on. Except, sometimes they don't.
"I mean… how do you decide who needs beating up and who just needs a talking to, or to be scared off?" She keeps working on the bag, and after a little while, takes her jacket off and tosses it somewhere it won't get dirty. The light comes on less often now, even though Gwen is managing to work up… well, if not a sweat, certainly some body heat.

Spider-Man chuckles. "You have a number of tools to work with. Your dad is one of the best cops in the NYPD. I'll bet he has given you some tips on how to appraise people. I can give my my text on Interpersonal Communication from senior year. It has some good information on how to determine what a person is communicating even when trying to hide it." He walks over to the cardboard box, then opens it. "Have you had any thoughts on a costume, by the way?"

Gwen bobs her head, "Yeah, he has given me a bunch of tips actually," she agrees. "I mean, mostly aimed at avoiding boys who might be looking for… y'know." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "My Dad's a great Dad, he just… protects me too much sometimes, but I get why he does it." She pauses, and nods her head quickly, "Yeah, I have actually, here." She gives the bag one last smack; open palmed, without the light coming on. She quirks her lips upwards with satisfaction, before going back to where she left her backpack.
"Here," she offers, unzipping and pulling out a couple of the police manuls Peter'd requested. "Dad won't miss these at least until he gets back next Monday." Tucked between them is a fairly new looking sketchbook; nothing in it but a bunch of drawings towards the front.
"I think I like this one," Gwen adds, thumbing to a particular page; she's got a pretty reasonable set of drawings, for a black and white costume with some highlights that're supposed to look like webbing; and a hood, of course. Gotta have the hood.

Spidey looks at the design. It's interesting, he'll give it that. He had never maded a hood work in his rough first costume. The removable balaclava mask…yeah, this could work.
Spidey nods. "If you can include your measurements…I could fabricate this for you. Take a couple of days, though." He reached into the box, then took out a set of the project he'd been working on the last few days.
A set of brand-new webshooters.
"Try these on for size."

Gwen chuckles, "Well, if you ever ask any other girl for her measurements Pe- err, Spider-man, make sure you ask that just as smoothly." She winks, "I'll text them to you tonight after I get home. I *think* I can manage to use a tape-measure without destroying it."
Then the webshooters are presented, and Gwen's expression returns for a more serious baseline. She glances at Spider-man's wrists, then back to the web-shooters; turns out putting them on is pretty self-explanatory.
"You know, I think I like the idea of these a lot better than guns," she murmurs, as she snaps one onto her right wrist, then her left. "Pretty snug; supposed to be, right?"

Spider-Man nods, then places ten small square plastic containers, about half again as larger as a breath mint. "These cartridges are filled with a dry compound. They fit in the square slot before the part I call the 'spinneret.' They draw moisture from the air, of which we have a lot of, and mix it to create a very basic webbing." He reaches to adjust the 'shooter slightly, as Gwen feels the small levered "spoon" fit neatly above her palm. "Now, very gently, press the spoon against your palm until you hear a 'click.' In normal operation, that fires a webline. Two clicks, you fire a wide web."

Gwen points the unloaded webshooter at nothing really in particular, and curls her fingers to touch the little spoon; very gently, she pushes it until she hears the 'click'. "So… so I just press and hold, until I've got as much web as I want?" She pauses, "And click twice then hold for web? Or, how do you regulate how much you're getting?" She tries clicking again, and then a couple more times. After a rest, she thinks back to how Spider-Man always looks in the news when he's shooting his webs, and tries arranging her fingers a bit differently; the middle two pressing the little spoon, and her index and pinky fingers extended. Click click.

"Yep. It's a very basic model. Not going to make web grenades or the like with them, but they'll get you across town, and they'll pin a man for two hours easy. So yes, for the webline, click, then hold until you get what you want. Same for the web. Now, I'll show you how to load them."
Spidey steps forward, pressing the panel below the 'spinneret,' and it pops open. He slides in a cartridge, the small white arrow the same as on all the others, pointing up towards the spinneret. It snaps in, and he presses the cover closed again. "It takes a second to agitate, and then you're ready. Practice with empty cartridges until you get a handle on switching them quickly."

"Well, we're quick, right? I caught that faucet when you chucke it at me at a million miles an hour, anyway." She presses the little button, and practices taking the cartridge out, and popping it back in, over and over. "I get that you'd want to have this pretty down pat, if I'm busy fighting some super-villain who's gone all bibbledy I wouldn't want to be fumbling that." She continues practicing, on both hands, though she does seem to be picking it up pretty quickly. "I don't really have a choice, do I?" she inquires. "About going out there, I mean. Doing what you do. If the wrong people learn about what I can do, they'll be after me anyway… and it's not even that." She glances up and looks sideways at Spider-Man, "If I can help someone, in all good conscience, how could I ever say no?"

Spider-Man nods. "Conscience. That's the difference. It's doing what you can to help instead of just…standing there, watching, but doing nothing." He nods to the webshooter. "All right. Test your aim on the cars to your left. When you release the pressure, the spinnerent with cut off the webline or web net you created. Press to fire, release to cust it loose." He points to the cars forty yards away. "Now, there is an arc upward, about two degrees. For 20 yards it curves up, then after that it curves downward. After the 20 yards, a drop of a quarter-inch every 30 yards. Try it now."

"Well then, I can promise you I'll keep my conscience in good working order." Not that there was ever any doubt about that. Gwen lifts one hand and fires; her first shot misses of course, but she connects with the second one. "Oh well," she muses, cutting the web and lifting her left hand for a try. She gets it, managing to hit the door. She alternates hands a few times, missing a couple times but by and large getting the car with the webbing.
Then, for something different, she hits the car nice and solidly on the front quarter-panel, but instead of cutting off her web she just gives it a pull. "Oh!" she gasps as the car's tires squeal as the thing gets pulled sharply towards her.

Spider-Man nods. "Support weight of roughly 7-8 tons, based on web length. However, it can be cut by a sufficiently-sharp edge." He pours the other cartridges into a cloth bag used to carry a bottle of Crown Royal, once upojn a time. "Keep that in mind if you run into any knife- or sword-carriers."

Gwen nods, "Or people with fire or acid I'm guessing," she replies. She moves her hand down her strand of web, and gives another tug. "So… wait, seven or eight tons?" She pulls the car again, "This is actually a lot easier than I ever thought dragging a car across the ground with one arm would be." She gives one more sharp tug and the car comes careening across the ground right up to Gwen, where she stops it by planting her foot on the hood. "Alright, that's useful."

Spidey chuckles. "Plenty of opportunity to test it. Practice over the next couple of days, and when I get the costume made up for you…we can work on webslinging."

Gwen nods her head, "I can come here to practice everything, right? There's still two more bags I need to test out, too." Speaking of which, she walks up to the third one; the one designated for her to go all out on. She balls her hands up into fists, and then throws herself forward into a positively devestating haymaker. Definitely, that would've killed an ordinary person, and Gwen seems well aware of that when she backs off, leaving the steel thoroughly dented. "I… have a *lot* of practicing to do," she adds.

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