Chapter 7: The Rhino
Monday was the 31st, also known as Halloween. But to me it was just a normal day. I walked down for breakfast but was surprised to see Ben and May dressed up. May wore giant Minnie Mouse ears Peter had bought for her on their day in Disney world and Ben had a fake giant beard and a fake set of glasses with a giant nose on.
I blinked looking at them, “so...I’m guessing we’re in the holiday spirit?”
“Peter? Why haven’t you dressed up?!” May smiled, “it’s Halloween young man!”
“Aunt May aren’t I getting a little old for dressing up?” I asked as I sat down for breakfast.
“One is never too young to act their age my son,” Ben said in a mystical voice.
I raised an eyebrow, “Gandalf?”
“No, just a smart ass,” Ben grinned.
“But seriously Peter you loved dressing up for Halloween!” May exclaimed.
I nodded, “yeah, but...I mean...I don’t even have a costume.”
“Like that has ever stopped you from dressing up,” Ben laughed, “I’m sure you can throw something together Peter, just use your imagination.”
I shrugged, sure, I could do that….or….
I walked into school and head turned. I walked with a swagger in my step grinning under my mask as I saw people gasping in surprise. I wore a costume alright, my costume.
“Spider-man?!” Flash, dressed up in his own homemade Spiderman costume, gasped as I walked past him.
“Not quite,” I chuckled as I pulled the mask off realing my smiling face to a very disappointed Flash, “like it? I made it myself.”
“You don’t deserve to wear that costume,” Flash growled.
“Like I care what you think,” I rolled my eyes walking past him.
“Spider-man is a hero Parker! He’s brave and amazing, something you aren’t and never will be!”
I raised an eyebrow, “damn Flash, since when did you start liking Spider-man?”
“Since ever,” he growled as slowly people started to surround us, “he saved a friend of mine from getting mugged. There was a gang in my neighborhood that hurt people, he stopped them. He’s a freaking hero Parker, you aren’t.”
I raised an eyebrow, Flash lived in the bad part of town? I never would have guessed. I shrugged, “you know Flash, for someone who admires a hero who doesn’t like bullying, you sure do a great job in being one. Tell me, do you think Spider-man would like to have someone like you be his buddy?”
Flash paused as he started blush, “s-shut up Parker! You don’t know shit!”
“Maybe, but atleast I’m honest with myself,” I walked away leaving an embarrassed Flash behind.
School today was a little more interesting seeing people dressed up. I passed by a chemistry teacher dressed up as a water molecule, it was funny and creative. There was a guy who dressed up as a banana and another guy who dressed up as a monkey. They took one look at each other and smiled before the monkey started to chase the banana through school.
First period was history, one I shared with everyone else. I walked in and saw Liz was dressed as an angel with a little pair of wings and a fake halo on her head. MJ seemed to have planned out her costume with Liz as she wore a devil costume with a fake tail and red horns while Harry was dressed as a 80’s bike gang member.
They all noticed me and blinked.
Harry looked me over, “woah, that’s one cool costume, who is it?”
“Parker,” Flash growled from the side. Guess he was still pissed at me calling him out.
I took off my mask and wave, “hey everyone. Nice costume Liz, I see it’s opposite day as well.”
“Shut it wimp,” Liz shot back.
“You look good Peter,” MJ spoke softly, blushing, why is she blushing? Oh well.
“Thanks MJ, you’re one hot devil,” I winked as I sat down in my seat. MJ blush was so red it matched her hair, but she quickly squashed it down, listening to her friend’s bitch about me.
Felicia soon entered the room, took one look at me and stopped in her tracks. She blinked once, twice and then walked in sitting down next to me.
“No costume?” I asked.
“I’m too old to place dress up and pretend to be someone else,” she replied back.
“I didn't expect the girl who went on and on about choosing to be a different person in life complain about wearing a costume.”
She smirked, “Muscles, Felicia Hardy is my costume,” she looked me over, “nice one. Did you make it yourself?”
“Yup. Like it? I tried to match the original as best I could.”
“And you couldn't do anyone else but Spider-man?”
“Why don’t like him?”
“He has… a special space in my heart,” Felicia shrugged.
“You really should have dressed up Felicia,” Harry said from behind, “you know, you would be perfect as the Black Cat!”
That grabbed both our attention. Felicia looked surprised, so I asked for her, “Black Cat? Who's that?”
“She’s like this big time thief man!” Harry explained, “she like steals from the rich and stuff!”
“Yeah, and she like wears this sexy little outfit showing off her goods so that the people chasing her get’s distracted!” Flash said with a pervy grin that Liz noticed and smacked him up the head for it.
“Yeah, and what’s more she like had silver hair! You would be perfect for it Felicia!” Harry grinned at her.
“Sound’s stupid,” Felicia grumbled putting an end to the conversation. She then looked me over once more, “why don’t you take off your jacket? It’s warm enough right?”
I blinked, she was right, I was starting to feel a little warm, the school did have internal heating after all. I shrugged as I unzipped my jacket and pulled it off folding it over my arm rest.
Slowly, silence. I blinked looking around and realised everyone had stopped chatting and was now looking at me. I blinked and looked down, was there something on my shirt?
“That’s why I call you Muscles,” Felicia spoke out loud gaining everyone’s attention. I looked at her, she was smirking as she stripped me with her eyes. Yup, she’s definitely not gay.
I blinked, oh shit. I was wearing a muscle shirt underneath the jacket, like I usually do. So right now my spider powers enhanced body is being displayed to everyone in the class. My muscles had grown a little in size, but they were shredded and tight from constant use while I’m out fighting.
“You really shouldn’t wear bulky clothes Muscles,” Felicia said, her perverse smile still there, “it’s a crime against humanity to keep that body hidden.”
“Damn, I’ll say,” Zack, the few gay guys in school, whistled.
I blushed, I couldn't help but feel embarrassed. I glared at Felicia but the girl just laughed it off. She didn’t even look sorry, bitch.
For the rest of the day I was constantly stared at by people. Mostly girls, though a few guys did look as well. I noticed MJ didn’t really seem phased by this, she did after all see my topless before, but Liz looked like I had just broken her world.
Needless to say I couldn’t wait for class to be over that day.
Felicia, MJ and I went into our regular coffee shop for out after school studies. We sat down and began to work, I was once again wearing my jacket and Felicia sighed heavily until I asked her what the matter was.
“Well, it’s just so sad. My only piece of eye candy is gone,” Felicia sighed, “that jacket deserves to be burnt.”
I growled, “I hate you.”
“No you don’t.”
“She’s right though Peter, you really should wear less bulky clothes,” MJ shrugged, “you have a great body, you should show it off.”
“Hm, Red’s right. Although I am curious, why weren’t you shocked when the frog turned into a handsome price?”
MJ stammered, “n-no reason.”
I chuckled, “that’s because she already got a free show before.”
“Hey! That was over a month ago!” MJ protested.
“Oh? Does that mean you want to take another peep Peepers?” I asked laughing hard.
Instead of looking embarrassed MJ gave a very saucy smile, “I wouldn’t say no to that Tiger.”
“Tiger?” Felicia whistled, “nice nick name, you know what, I like that, Tiger” she purred the ‘R’ seductively.
I raised an eyebrow, “you want a peek too?”
She shrugged, “I wouldn’t mind.”
“Well I’m not that kind of man young ladies,” I huffed, “if you want some of this you best wine and dine me or no deal!”
“So all I need to do to make you put out is to take you out for dinner?” Felicia raised an eyebrow.
“Ah….I plead the fifth?”
MJ smirked, “alright, you’re on.”
I blinked, “say what now?”
“A date, let’s go on a date, right now,” she closed her books and packed them, “I’m not in the mood to study. So, what do you say? Lunch and then a movie?”
I didn’t even have time to respond when Felicia spoke up, “so what, you’re just going to leave me behind and go off on your own?”
“Do you plan on coming with?” MJ asked.
“You know what, yeah, I’m coming with you,” Felicia smiled, “you're not getting rid of me that easily.”
“I-I,” I gaped like a fish, “do I get a say in this?!”
“No,” Felicia smirked, “now pack up Tiger. I’m hungry for some Italian.”
“Oh I know a place down the road, best pasta I have ever had,” MJ said as she grabbed my bag and Felicia dragged me outside the coffee shop.
“Hm, sounds good, lead the way.”
I blinked as I was dragged along. I’m either the luckiest guy in the world or the unluckiest.
We walked to the restaurant and got a table for three by the street window. I blinked looking at the menu, it wasn’t expensive, but it would end up putting a dent in my wallet. I hadn’t gotten my first month’s salary from the FF yet, so I had to keep everything limited, but I suppose a date with two beautiful women counted as a reasonable expense.
We quickly placed our orders, I sighed as I leaned back on my chair, “so, why did you want to go out for lunch?”
“I just felt like it,” MJ shrugged, “besides, you said you wouldn’t give me a look unless I took you out on a date, so here we are.”
“You know you act differently when you’re not with your entourage Red,” Felicia commented.
MJ shrugged, “what do you mean?”
“You’re not a stuck up bitch.”
“W-well, I suppose,” MJ didn’t really know what to say.
“She’s actually always like this,” I told the platinum blonde, “it’s only with those idiots does she act different.”
“Peter that’s rude,” MJ huffed.
“What? They are idiots,” I shrugged, “Liz is a drama queen, Flash is a hypocrite and Harry...well, you already know how he reacts when people don’t do what he asks.”
MJ sighed sadly, “yeah, you’re right about Harry, but Liz and Flash are better than they seem Peter, trust me.”
I shrugged, “we’ll see.”
“My my, all this teenage drama, I’m so happy I get to be a part of this,” Felicia said rolling her eyes.
“Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself Felicia?” I asked, “I mean, I don’t actually know anything about you.”
She raised a single eyebrow, “like what?”
“Do you like milk chocolate or dark chocolate?”
“Pepsi or Coke?”
“Scooby or Shaggy?”
“You know? From Scooby-doo? The kids show?”
“Oh, sorry no, I don’t do kids shows.”
“So what did you do when you were a kid?” MJ asked.
“Like?” the red head seemed curious.
“Well...gymnastics for one.”
“You’re a gymnast?” MJ asked surprised.
“She does have the legs for it,” I snorted. MJ glared at me while Felicia just smiled.
“Why Tiger, I never knew you were so bold,” Felicia smirked, “didn’t I tell you to stop perving on me?”
“I will when you stop stripping me with your eyes,” I shrugged.
“You both are incorrigible,” MJ sighed.
“Oh, is the little red head feeling left out?” Felicia chuckled, “don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll have more than enough time for you later.”
“I hate you,” MJ growled.
“No you don’t,” Felicia sang like a melody as she quietly checked out MJ’s ass. MJ didn’t notice it, but I did, Felicia definitely liked girls.
The date was weirdest one I have ever been on and the first one Peter Parker has ever been on. Well I suppose it wasn’t really a date, more like an excuse to hang out. Felicia kept teasing MJ and I while we did our best to get her back, unfortunately the cat was too quick to catch off gaurd.
We finished lunch, I payed for half the meal while Felicia and MJ covered the rest. We then decided to go watch a movie, but one look at my watch and I realised I was late.
“Have somewhere you have to be Tiger?” Felicia asked as we walked down the road.
“Yeah, my self defense class is going to start soon,” I replied with a shrug.
“You’re taking self defense classes?” MJ asked in surprise.
“Yup,” I nodded.
“Well well well, looks like the best friend next door doesn’t know everything after all,” Felicia smirked as MJ blushed.
“S-sorry,” MJ apologized.
“Don’t be, you were busy, I understand, it’s fine,” I shrugged.
MJ looked released but Felicia just chuckled, “oh no, ‘it’s fine’, you’re really in trouble now.”
“What do you mean?” MJ asked.
“When a guy says it’s fine or don’t worry about it, it actually means he’s going to fucking lose his patients and wants you to shut up or get lost. It’s basically their version of...well I suppose women says ‘it’s fine’ as well with the same meaning behind it.”
I blinked, “huh, I never thought of it that way.”
“Wait it’s true?!” MJ shirked, “so all those times you said ‘it’s fine’ or ‘don’t worry about it’, you were actually pissed?!”
“Well...not all the time,” I shrugged, “sometimes I really just didn’t care.”
“Oh my God,” MJ bleached, “I’ve been a horrible friend.”
“Hey don’t worry about it, it’s fine-I mean...you can always do better later,” I shrugged.
“You mean that?”
“I don’t see why not,” I shrugged, “anyway Felicia, tell me, why exactly are you so determined to make-”
A police siren cut me off. I turned as saw a large 16 wheeler truck off in the distance take a turn into the 278 Highway with four police cruisers going after it in full speed. I felt something off, it was like there was going to be dangerous...I needed to help.
I turned to the two beautiful girls I was with and sighed. I understand why Peter sometimes wished he could stop being a fucking hero all the time.
“Sorry ladies, but I need to cut this date short,” I said, “I really do need to go to my classes, I’ll see you both tomorrow?”
“Wait, you’re seriously just going to leave?” Felicia asked surprised.
“Yeah, my sensei is kind of a hard ass when it comes to discipline, don’t want to piss her off,” I lied.
“Well, okay I suppose,” MJ didn’t really feel like objecting.
“You do realise you’re standing up two beautiful women right?” Felicia raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, and trust me, I feel horrible,” I sighed walking away, “I’ll make it up to you both, I promise!”
“Bite me Parker!”
“Sure! Anything you want!” I smiled back before running off. I ran a block away, after making sure they weren’t in sight I ran into an alley way and took out my mask. One great thing about Halloween? I was already in costume.
I put on my mask and web shooters, sticking my school backpack onto the wall with webbing. I jumped up and landed on the side of the building, crawling to the top. I jumped off the side and swung away towards the highway.
I quickly spotted the truck on the highway, it was going towards a tunnel. I swung towards the other side and waited for it to arrive. The moment it did I jumped on and clung to the sides with vigor, holding on for dear life as the truck’s horn deafened my hearing.
‘What is in this thing?!’ I asked myself as I crawled slowly to the side, doing my best to not slip off. I could hear the police sirens in the back, and suddenly there was a loud horn, I snapped my head forward and saw the truck ram into a car throwing off to the side.
My eyes widened in horror, the man in the car was definitely dead, I swear I saw blood. I need to stop this guy, now!
I crawled to the driver’s seat and looked inside seeing the driver holding his side as it bleed out into his hands.
I knocked on the door, the man turned and a threw a punch, shattering the glass and clocking him cross the jaw.
His hands feel of the wheel and I grabbed it, holding it steady with one hand as I pushed the driver off the seat with my other. I crawled in through the broken window and put my foot on the brake, slowly bringing the truck to a halt on the middle of the Highway.
I put the handbrake, took out the keys and snapped them in half to make sure they could never be used again. I turned to the unconscious driver and sighed, throwing him over my shoulder I jumped out of the trunk and walked out.
The police cars were stopped behind the car, the officers spotted me and quickly drew their weapons, “stop! Don’t move or we will shoot!”
“Relax, I’m one of the good guys,” I called out, “this guy’s the driver, he’s bleeding, will probably need medical attention and fast.”
The officers blinked in surprise as they noticed the man I was carrying. A man with blonde hair and a greying jacket stepped forward, “everyone lower your guns, there's no reason to get an itchy trigger finger.”
The policemen looked conflicted but slowly did so. I sighed, “thanks. I’m assuming you’re in charge?”
The blonde man nodded, “yes, I’m captain Stacy and you’re Spider-man yes?”
I paused, Stacy? As in Gwen Stacy’s dad? Honestly I’m no longer surprised. But if he’s here then where is...later, I’ll deal with that later.
“Spider-man?” Stacy asked once more, raising an eyebrow at my silence.
“R-right, sorry, you remind me of someone I used to know,” I told him, “this guy need help, fast.”
“The ambulance will take too long, Rogers, St. Matthews is right around the corner, drop him off and get back her,” Stacy ordered one of his men.
I gave the injured driver to an officer who struggled to lift the large man’s weight, but eventually managed to put him in the back of his cruiser before speeding off.
“What happened here?” I asked turning to the captain, “where did they steal this thing?”
“I don’t have to tell you that,” Stacy shot back, “I appreciate what you’re trying to do kid, but this is police business, you have no place in it.”
“Right….” I blinked, I looked at them, they didn’t look happy. I sighed, “fine, if you ever need me, shine a Spider in the sky or something.”
I moved to leave when suddenly the truck started to shake. I stopped and every cop there drew their weapon. The truck’s trailer began to shake from side to side and suddenly;
I saw a giant hole imprinted onto the trailer's door from the inside.
I gasped, something was coming, and fast. I spun my webs, creating several concrete hard lines from the light posts on either sides of of the highway. I really hoped that can be use some time.
“Everybody get down!” I yelled as suddenly;
The doors were thrown off their hinges and flew over our head. My eyes widened in horror as a giant walking tank jumped down from the trailer, cracking the road. It was huge and grey, layered with tank armour, twin machine guns attached to it’s side, a missile launcher on it’s back and a horn the size of a man on it’s semi-humanoid body.
I realised who this was, ‘The Rhino,’ one of Peter’s most popular foes. It looked the version seen in Amazing Spider-man and on it’ side I saw ‘HammerTech’ spray painted in bold white letters.
“Fuck me,” I gasped seeing the size of it.
I heard it’s mechanics whir into life as it turned towards me. The cockpit of the machine opened up revealing a butch looking man with a flat face, grinning like a madman. “I am the Rhino! Don’t get in my way!”
He got on all fours, the machine calibrating itself. He then kicked off, charging forward. I saw Stacy freeze in shock as Rhino charged right at him.
“Look out!” I yelled webbing Stacy and pulling him out of the way just in time as the Rhino tore through the police cruisers. I turned to Stacy, on his back, “are you okay?”
“Y-yes, thank you,” he muttered.
“No problem,” I looked around, no one else seemed injured. I saw the Rhino jump lanes, landing on the other side of the highway with a crash so loud I was afraid the highway was going to break down. It looks like he was trying to escape, damn him.
I ran forward and jumped up onto a lamp post, I threw two web line and snagged them around the Rhino’s torso, suddenly I went flying forward as the Rhino jumped off the highway and into the streets below.
‘I need to stop him!’ I pulled myself forward on the web line as he charged into the busy traffic filled street. People yelled in fear as they jumped out of their cars and ran as the Rhino tossed them aside with his horn.
“Hey grey boy!” I yelled, but he didn’t respond, couldn't he hear me? I landed on his back and crawled towards the cockpit knocking on the glass, “hello? Anyone there?”
“Get off!” Rhino roared.
“Sorry, can’t do that,” I covered the glass with webbing in hopes of blinding him.
“Foolish boy, I can still see!” He laughed, shaking his head, luckily I held on tight.
‘He must have cameras,’ I realised, looking around for a camera and spotted three. One below the horn and two on his shoulders’. I quickly fried off three globs of webbing and covered them up.
“What did you do?!” Rhio roared
“Just a little something I whipped up,” I adjusted my webbing to its hardest setting and crawled to it’s under belly, launching them at his legs, pinning the armour to the road. It tried to move, but the surprising resistance and the forward movement caused him to trip and fall down.
I jumped away, quickly covering his arms and wrists with webbing and just to be safe I also covered his gun nozzle and missiles as well. Time to finish this. I grabbed a sewer lid with my webbing and pulled it forward. I held it over my head and brought it down hard like a guillotine over the glass.
“Stop it!” he roared, “you’re destroying everything!”
“Not everything, just the suit,” I growled as I brought it down again and again. The sewer lid was slowly bent inwards, but I could see cracks growing on the glass, it was tough, but soon it shattered.
“AH!” the man cried out, I think he got some glass in his eyes. I reached in and felt for a manual override, for a system like this there would have to be one in case the pilot got stuck inside. Finding a lever I pulled it on the back of the armour hissed opening up to reveal the leather coat wearing criminal inside.
I grabbed him and pulled him out. I was right, the shattered glass had cut his cheek. I looked him over and growled, “who the hell payed you?”
“I-I don’t know what you mean!”
“You’re not smart enough to steal tech like this, let alone use it. Who. Payed. YOU?!”
“I-I don’t know! I swear!” the man cried out.
“You see this?” I pointed at the sewer cover now bent in half and the shattered Rhino armour, “that glass is supposed to handle a missile fire. I broke it and a bent sewer cower in half while doing so. What do you think I can do to you if I tried?”
“I don’t know! Please don’t hurt me! I didn't’ do anything!”
“You didn’t do anything?!” I roared turning him around, “look at what you did! Look at the people you hurt!”
A block of the city roads were destroyed. Car flipped over, people hurt, I wanted to help, but this man came first.
“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t mean-”
“I’m giving you one chance, tell me everything, or I will make sure that every person here who you hurt will get a pound of your flesh to hang on their wall. And if I run out I’ll use your bones.”
“H-his name was Gentle, that’s all I know! He told me his client wanted to hire me and my guys to steal a few things! He gave me everything! Cash, the truck, everything! He’s the guy you want!”
I narrowed my eyes, “who hired him?”
“He didn’t say! He just told me the guy was powerful and smart! He got us things we have never even seen before! Tech so advanced it was like we were dealing with alien shit!”
I narrowed my eyes, “where is it now?”
“In out hideout! I swear that’s all I know! Please don’t hurt me!”
I growled, “give me a location,” he blabbered it out. I grabbed him by the collar and threw him into the air. I waited until the last moment to catch him with my webbing and strick him up like a fly caught in a spider’s web.
I quickly got of the Rhino armour and ran to the injured people.
“It hurts!” a man pinned under a car cried out as people tried to lift it off him.
“Here let me,” I walked up to them and grabbed the car and lifted with my legs, “pull him out! Quick!”
“Grab him!” Someone said as the people pulled the pinned man out.
I dropped the car with a huff, the man said his thanks, but I didn't respond, already on my way to another crisis.
A car had been flipped over and set on fire. It looked like it was about to explode and people couldn’t get near it to save the unconscious people trapped inside. I quickly threw my webs onto the flame suffocating it. I then grabbed the car doors and ripped it off it’s hinges, grabbing the mother and son and pulling them to safety.
It was longer to clean up the mess Rhino made than to actually stop him. It was so much easier to break than fix, people were hurt, the fight lasted for only a minute or so but so many people were hurt.
I did what I could, used my webbing to stop people from bleeding out, swung the really hurt ones to the nearest hospital, so on and so forth.
I noticed several Ambulances had arrived, but I didn't’ stop. There were still people to save. It took nearly an hour for everything to be handles properly. I helped where I could and soon I realised people were staring at me. They were snapping pictures, whispering. I even saw a few news stations pointing their cameras at me.
“Spidey! Can we have a word?!” a news reporter asked.
“Sorry, no time,” I told her, swinging away quickly. I quickly grabbed my school bag and swung my way towards Manhattan, their hideout was there. I found it quickly, found it hidden away in one corner, but it was easy to spot if you knew what to look for.
I snuck in through the window and crawled in. It looked like a gang of raccoons lived here, covered with trash and pornos. I moved past all that though and looked inside, finding a room that was cleaner than the rest.
It had a board with details of the heist put up. The truck to be used, what was to be stolen, the time and location of when to best make the heist. Everything. Sadly though didn’t tell me why they suit was being stolen or for who.
I took out a mini SA out of my pocket and enlarged it to scan the entire board in one go. Never know when these things might be useful. I then looked around and found a table filled with the most advanced weaponry I have ever seen.
Night vision goggles, stun guns and sub-machine guns. Magnetic shoes, laser cutters, there was even a decoder box, something used to open high end safes. I figured the thieves had moe tools on hand and these were just the ones they didn’t use.
I grabbed the night vision goggles and the decoder box, I can use the former when I’m going out in the dark and the latter could provide me with a clue.
Sneaking out the way I came in I swung towards the Baxter building and quickly went into my lab. I put the goggles aside and began to experiment on the decoder box, trying to figure out it’s programing and what made it tick.
Just then Reed walked up in, he was surprised I was in costume but didn’t comment on it. He looked at my table and blinked, “is that a decoder?”
I whistled, “you figured that out with one look?”
“Yes, what are you doing with it?” Reed asked.
“Did you see the NEWS?”
“You mean you taking on that armoured thief? Yes, I saw it. Sue was worried sick to be honest, Johnny however didn’t seem to care, said you knew what you were doing. It looks impressive, I would love to get a good look at that thing. It’s hydraulics are amazing, to allow something that heavy to jump so high? They’re probably suing some sort of superposition liquid to….” I stared at him blankly, he blushed and rubbed his neck, “sorry for nerding out there.”
“Relax, I’m a nerd too in case you didn’t notice,” I smiled back, “but yeah, the operator told me he was hired by someone. I found his hide out and took this,” I tapped the decoder, “apparently his employer gave it to them to use. I’m trying to see if I can find a clue about it’s production, something like this, bound to be expensive and noticeable.”
Reed hummed as he looked it over. I had taken it apart, he quickly put it back together and connected it to my desktop computer. He quickly accessed the root system and sorted out through tens of gigabytes, finally arriving at the factory production details.
We skimmed through the basic details when Reed spotted it, “there,” he pointed on the screen stopping the flow of data.
My eyes went wide, “holy shit.” Staring at m in green letters were words I hoped I wouldn’t see.
“Fucking hell,” I hissed, “not him.”
“Oscorp huh, I didn’t peg Norman Osborn for corporate espionage,” Reed humned.
“What do you mean?”
“That suit they stole? It was Hammer’s response to Stark’s Ironman suit. Needless to say it wasn’t anything great, but nobody knew that. Now since it’s been exposed and stopped by some kid that shoots webs, the value for it to be a weapon of war just went down the drains. Hammer’s stock is falling as we speak. If Osborn did do this then...well, I suppose it’s because he wanted to shame Hammer.”
I blinked, “that makes sense, but without proof I can’t do anything,” I hummed, “but why? What does he gain? Are Oscorp and Hammer Industries completing over some kind of military contract?”
“I don’t know,” Reed shrugged, “if they are they it’s not public knowledge. But ever since Tony Stark became Iron Man there has been a race in arms, people want the suit, heck the congressional meeting in Washington scheduled for a few days from now addresses directly that. Companies want the latest toys and if they think someone is going to get it first you can be sure as hell they’ll do anything to stop them.”
I groaned, it made sense. Only question is, if Hammer was making the Rhino armour, what was Oscorp making? Flashes of a green suit and a glider flashed in my head, I really, really hope this doesn't mean Norman’s going to go green any time soon.
I worked in the lab a little while longer before going home for the night. The next day at school Spider-man was once again the talk of the school.
I sat down in my history class and noticed a few kids looking over Flash’s shoulder at a video showing me fighting the Rhino. Flash cheered as I broke the cockpit open pulling the man out.
“That’s how it’s done! You see that! That’s a hero right there! He took him out in under a minute!” Flash cheered.
“Yeah, he’s pretty cool,” Harry admitted with a grin.
“He like broke into that guy's cage and threw him out! Did you see the way he like pinned that thing to the ground?!” Flash sound ecstatic, I smiled, nice to know I have such a loyal fan. I took my seat and Flash quickly spotted me.
“Hey Parker! You see this? This is what a real hero looks like!” Flash called out.
I rolled my eyes, “yeah Flash, I know.”
“Do you think he can take on Iron Man?” Harry asked, “he probably could right?”
“I don’t think so,” Kong shrugged.
“Are you stupid! Of course he can!” Flash yelled out, “he’s the coolest guy ever!”
“No, he can’t, he won’t a second against Stark,” Felicia spoke out, I looked at her and gave her a smile, one she returned with a grin.
“You’re crazy Felicia, of course he can!” Flash yelled out, “Iron Man’s cool and all, but take that off and what is he?”
“Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist,” I spoke the iconic Avenger line without thinking. It just felt so natural.
“Shut up Parker,” Flash growled, “he’s a goddamn hero. Look at this! Tell me this doesn’t make him a hero!” Flash shoved the video into my face, “he took that guy down in seconds!”
I shrugged, “impressive, but that doesn’t make him a hero Flash.”
“Peter you literally dressed up like him yesterday,” Harry looked confused, “and now you’re saying he isn't a hero?”
“I never said he wasn’t a hero, I just said stopping that thing doesn’t make him one,” I grabbed the phone and played the video past me fighting Rhino, to when I began helping the injured people, “he fought that thing for what? A minute? That’s great and all, but look at this, really look.”
The class watched the video of me helping people out, lighting the car and then moving on to pull people out of a burning car.
“You see this? He did this for over an hour. He saved so many lives. This is why he’s a hero, not the bing flashy stunts, any glory loving idiot can do that. But this? This is Spider-man and this is why he’s a hero.”
I tossed flash his phone and turned away. The others quickly went back into their own corners while Flash just stared at his phone in deep thought.
“That’s pretty mature of you Tiger,” Felicia purred.
I rolled my eyes, “I think I prefer Muscles.”
“No, Tiger is a much better nickname. I really need to thank Red for it,” she turned around to spot MJ gossiping with Liz, “when she stops acting like we don’t exist.”
I shrugged, “visa vi, that is life. Sorry about yesterday, I didn’t mean to cut our date short.”
“It wasn’t really a date, you do know that right?” Felicia smile.
“Maybe one day it can be a real one then,” I smiled as we got settled for class.
The week was a slow one, I mostly spent my time dealing with homework and bad guys on the street. A couple of times I help swing injured people to the hospital if the ambulance couldn’t get there on time. I took extra care with people like that, often times not even swinging on my webs.
And on Friday I sat down with Ben and May and watched the Stark Expo Live. The camera faced the stage and I saw the roof open up and Tony land in the center in full gear. He smiled, gave his speech, made his jokes.
And just like that, Iron Man 2 had begun.