2019-10-30 - Blood Always Tells


Gwen finds a key item and does some serious science.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Oct 30 10:00:00 2019
Location: Queens, NY

Related Logs


Theme Song



It's been a long night. The longest, probably, of Gwen's life to date. Other nights, have been long, but this has been the doozey of them all. But there's a chance to breath, and she's taking it; even if all she plans to do is pop home and leave a message for her Dad to let him know that she's okay.
That's a lie, of course. She's not okay. She's terrified that she might lose her best friend in a matter of hours, nevermind that she's caught up in the same fight and might suffer the same fate — the latter having never really crossed her mind. It crosses it now, briefly, as she webslings her way through the city, making her way down back alleys between residential highrises, until she reaches the one that has her appartment. She doesn't really pay the thought any great attention; afterall, it changes nothing, she means to be back in the fight when Morlun reappears anyway, scared or not scared.
Gwen sticks to the wall upside down above her apartment, and peeks in, just in case; partly to make sure her Dad isn't there, and partly to make sure, well, Morlun isn't there either.

It's 10 AM, October 30th. Her father should be home, given a day off after the bank heist and how it went horribly sideways. Like a normal person.

So, NATURALLY, he's not home. There is a clear plastic bag with PERSONAL BELONGINGS on the kitchen counter, along with a bag from the hospital pharmacy, stapled closed and still that way. There is a note on the counter as well, right next to the dish where he keeps his badge and keys…both of which are missing.

Gwen's cop father, ladies and gents.

Gwen peeks for a moment, making truly sure that she isn't about to reveal her secret identity at a really inopportune time, before she crawls over to her bedroom window and slides it open. She hops inside, shuts the window behind her, and pulls off her mask. She throws on a completely non-suspicious dressing gown, and looks in her mirror, ruffling her hair up for a moment.
"Gwen Stacy, you're a mess," she mutters.
Nothing to do about that just now; she leaves her room and heads for the kitchen. There's a note there; better read that and find out just how grounded she is, first of all.

The note is rather verbose for a man who is usually short and to the point.

Gwennie (always a good sign - if it was "Gwendolyne,' she was hip-deep in sheep dip), I was told by the doctors to take it easy today, but I can't. Too many depend on me. Got a change of clothes, a shower, and a quick shave. You should probably toss the clothes. CSU got all they needed. But I got my own back from the guy, so relax. Your old man is on the job.

Probably should clean my Army knife as well, if you get this?

Love you,

Gwen reads the note twice. Then a third time. She puts it down slowly, and glances over at the bag, then back at the note, then the bag. With bloodstained clothes and a bloody knife in it.

Morlun's blood.

"Oh my god. OH MY GOD." She fumbles for her phone which is in her backpack in her bedroom, and she dashes back there to get it. The backpack gets upended on her bed; the phone bounces out and she fumbles it twice picking it up. The number, dialed in a hurry; the phone, held to her ear as she runs back to the kitchen.

"Come on Peter, pick up pick up pick up," she urges, the words practically falling over her on their way out of her mouth. She bounces up and down on her feet, holding the back in her other hand and turning it over to look at it. "Unless you're running from Morlun, then don't pick up, but if you're not then pick up."

The phone picks up, and Peter answers. "Hey…Gwen. You okay?"
Classic Peter. A monster is chasing him and he wants to know if SHE is okay.

"I'm fine," she replies, "I'm not the one Morlun's after, I'm nothing more than a fishing lure to him. Are you okay?" She pauses for exactly not long enough for Peter to actually answer that — if he answered, he's okay at least at the moment. "I'm at home. My Dad has something that he left here after he encountered Morlun. His clothes, and his army knife — they're bloody, Peter. Morlun's Blood."

There is silence on the phone for a LONG few seconds.

"Okay…Gwen. Listen VERY carefully. Get that blood over to my basement lab in Queens. 20 Ingram Street."
An address she knows all too well. The Parker Home.
"There's a rear entrance under the leftmost heavy bag on the back porch. Go in through there. When you get there, turn on the desktop computer in the far corner."

"Okay. Okay, will do." Gwen grabs a pen left on the kitchen counter, turns her Dad's note over, and scribbles on it liberally. 'Dad, I'm safe, but a couple university friends said I shouldn't stay in my home tonight just in case. I'm going to be staying over at Peter's tonight. Your clothes are chucked and I've got your knife, Please be careful out there. Please, Dad. All the love in the world, —Gwen.'

With another lie successfully told, Gwen deposits the pen on the counter, not noticing when it rulls onto the floor — it doesn't matter. "I'm on my way," she assures Peter, as she dashes into her room, and stuffs the plastic bag into her backpack, tosses her robe onto the floor, and reclaims her mask. "I'll be on the spider-comms," she adds, hanging up on the phone and stuffing that into her pack too, before pulling on the mask and getting said comms opened back up again.

Peter replies, "You know your way around a lab, so here's what I want you to do. There is a rebuilt mass spectrometer. I want you to get a blood sample from the clothing first. If you want a walkthrough, I'll give it to you, but I feel pretty confident in you, considering you're on the biochem track. The mass spec is hooked up to the computer, so we'll both be able to see the results."

"Right." Judging by the frequent 'thwip' in the background, Gwen is already webslinging her way through town — and the route to Peter's house is one that she can pretty much accomplish sleepwalking. "I might only be first year biochem, but I can definitely use a mass spectrometer. If you've got a centrifuge I can start a DNA analysis up as well, but that'll take time."

Gwen pauses. It'll take time. Of course it'll take time. "I won't be able to be in the fight for a couple hours, if I'm doing science," she adds; she doesn't need to say it. That is the worst thing she's ever had to admit to, or at least it feels that way to her. But; soldier on. "Peter, how are you holding up? Have you eaten? Are you getting some rest?"

A pause. "Actually…I'm in a safe place. I can't give the person's name, I respect their privacy…but Morlun's outside, but he can't get in. For the moment, anyway. He's…remember that Bible verse about Satan, prowling around outside, trying to get in? Yeah…he's like that. But I'm safe, for the moment." A pause. "And I don't think it's going to take as long as you think. I've…made some improvements."

Gwen picks up the pace just the same, making as good time as she can with her overall lack of experience. "Well, you stay safe," she replies, "I mean it." She passes through an alley where a man with a gun is menacing a teenage nerd; without breaking pace she grabs the mugger's arm with a webline and yanks him along behind her, into an alley on the opposite side of the street; she releases him on a trajectory that deposits him in a dumpster, then fires one more line to snag his gun and leave it stuck to the side of a building, around the tenth floor and not within reach of any windows.
"I'm a few minutes out," she replies. "Holler if Morlun starts getting in, and I'll…" she trails off. "And I'll keep doing science while biting my fingernails, everyone else'll come running though, right?"

"Take it easy, Gwen. I'm okay. If that changes, I'll let you know, but you need to relax, focus…remember not to skip any steps, to follow through on the procedures." A pause. "I know you can do it."

She can do it. Peter knows she can. Well, that makes one of us, is Gwen's unvoiced thought. She focuses on her webslinging, until she lands on top of Peter's house; lightly, so she doesn't wake his Aunt if she's inside. Wouldn't want that, afterall, especially not dressed as a largely unknown Spider-Woman.
"Okay, I'm on top of your house." She walks to the edge, and checks the window before dropping down into the yard. "How do I get into your lab? Do I need to provide a tissue sample to prove I'm a spider-person?" And if the jokes are coming back, Gwen must be feeling at least a little bit calmer.

Peter chuckles. "Look on the porch. There's a heavy punching bag there, a heavy cylindrical canvas bag. Lift the panel under it. It weighs 500 pounds, so to everyone else it's part of the panel." He takes a deep breath, then continues. "Anyone who could lift that and get in would set off my Spider-Sense IMMEDIATELY."

"So two months ago, I'd never have gotten into your lab without a backhoe. Got it." Gwen spots the punching bag, and lifts the panel underneath of it — basically she just sticks her fingers to it and pulls upwards. "Not a bad security measure. Who needs a key when nobody is strong enough to open the door but you?" She pulls the panel up as high as it goes, and nods. "Alright, I'm in. Still safe?"

Peter nods, but follows up with, "Yes. Having an Arnold Palmer, actually."
His favorite drink, named after the golfer. half iced tea, half lemonade.
"Okay. Switch the desktop on. While ALICE links up, get the sample from the clothing ready. I have sample vials sterilized and ready to go."

The lab is…well, it's ginormous. It looks like part of it might actually extend under the back lawn. The large lighted table, the desktop computer, the forensics lab, the microtech station, and the vintage-but-functional machine-shop tools Uncle Ben helped fix up and move down here. And, of course, the little side alcove with the big-screen TV and the game consoles with HARRY'S HOVEL written on the sign next to it.

Gwen drops in, and pulls the panels shut behind her — might as well not be totally obvious about what she's up to. She goes to the computer first and turns that on; then the forensics lab, turning on the machines she thinks she's going to need — and then just turning on everything, just in case. "Okay Gwen. Breathe," she mutters; obviously for herself, but out loud anyway. "ALICE is your AI, right? I don't think you've introduced us yet." She takes off her backpack and pulls the bag out; after a moment, she picks the knife first.

"I'm going to try to get something off the knife, first," she explains, taking off her costume gloves and pulling on a set of sterile ones in their place. The vials are ready; now it's just a case of getting some blood. "Got any alcohol? The blood is dried of course."

As the computer boots up, moving to the login screen (which then disappears to show the main screen), a face appears on the screen. It is the face of a young woman, with a heart-shaped face, blue eyes, blonde hair. Not Gwen, not really, but there is something in the cast of her face.

<Hello, Spider-Woman. You will find the distilled water in the white bottle. Alcohol will dry up the cells, diluting it to skew the results.>
The mass spec door opens, with a matrix of slots to place vials, and empty vials are to the left of the machine, right next to the bottle with DISTILLED on the label.

"Right," Gwen mutters, blushing fiercely. "I know that. I'm just stressed." There's the understatement of the century. "Thanks… ALICE?" She glances at the screen, and perks an eyebrow upwards at the similarity that's immediately obvious, as she turns back to what she's doing and grabs the distilled water. "Let's see what we can get here," she mumbles, using a combination of water and a bit of scraping to try to get something off the knife. Well, Dad wanted it clean.

"You have a cute face," she adds, flicking her eyes up once at the AI. "Peter, when this is over, we're going to share some Arnold Palmers and play video games down here, right? I haven't whipped you at Soul Caliber in a long time." Or like, ever. Peter always wins that one.

The vial goes into the mass spec, and it whirs as it is sampled, stretched out, and laid out for them to see.

The results come up on the screen.


Acomys, Aepyceros, Aepyprymnus, Agouti Ailurus…

"ALICE, don't give the list of genii, just what is in his DNA."
<His results ARE the list. His DNA contains complete genomes of every known living genus.>
"EVERY one?" Peter sounds skeptical.
<Yes. Although an analysis of the blood on the clothes can give a more comprehensive result.>
"…You heard the lady, Gwen. Be thorough."

Thorough is the name of the game. "Your spectrometer is a lot faster than the one at the university," Gwen observes. "And holy frack, what's up with his DNA?" She pulls some of her Dad's ruined clothes out of the bag, and sets to the task of getting blood samples off of them. It's painstaking work, but she doesn't rush it; good science can't be rushed, after all. "You didn't answer me," she murmurs. "Drinks and video games, right?"

At least, the sample is ready; Gwen puts the vial into the machine, and flicks the appropriate switches. "Alright, ALICE. The second sample is good to go…" she glances at the clothes, "And we've got lots more to work with if we need it. Dad just wants his knife back, the rest is… in a dumpster, as far as he knows."

Peter hmms. "Yes…after this insanity is all over. I just realized, tomorrow's Halloween. The monsters showed up early this…"

The mass spec whirs, and for a much shorter time. Then the same results come up…at least, they look the same.
But there are a few differences…



Knives don't put off radiation. Or at least, they don't if they're not made of plutonium or something, which isn't the case for this particular knife. "Peter, there's… Beta Radiation coming off the blood sample on the knife." Gwen picks the knife back up to look at it, then puts it back down just as quickly, and pulls out her phone for a quick google search. "Peter, his cells put out Beta Radiation when they die. Is our monster nuclear or something? Radiation is outside my area." She looks back at the computer screen. "The clothing blood sample was definitely better, but… Beta Radiation? That feels really important. Can we just smack him with graphite rods?"

Peter begins to talk, but ALICE speaks first. <Your father was in the Iraq-Kuwait conflict in 1991. Military records show his knife was recovered from the area of the detonation of a dirty bomb test. The life emits radiation, but at a level so low it is easily mitigated by the human purification system. It is unknown what organs exist in his body, but an adequate radiation filtration system does not appear to be one of them. Minimal to the human body, but enough to allow your father's knife to penetrate the skin.>

"Wait…Gwen, I might have something. Radioactive weapons might not be good. He can probably sense them, since his resistance to them is so low. There is…"

He goes silent for a long time.

"…I might know something I can do."

And that is when the Spider-Comm system sends a message to every person on the network.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License