'Routine' Experiment

Summary:
December 28, 2014: Sometimes experiments don't go as planned. One such experiment at STAR labs takes an unexpected turn.

STAR Labs, NYC


Characters

NPCs

  • Chip
  • Bess

Mood Music:
None


Graduate student work often involves experiments at odd hours, which makes work hours somewhat unpredictable. Despite it being just after the holidays, Gwen Stacy is at work. Her mom had given her a hard time about not taking more time off, but the blonde woman had insisted that she needed to get back to it. The job and research community needed her efforts.

The pane of glass between her and her efforts acts as the only real protective measure for this particular endeavour. It all dovetails from her latest graduate research, utilizing gamma rays for rapid healing, regeneration, and genetic enhancement; what Gwen wouldn't do to have a long conversation with the world's expert, Bruce Banner. But for now, she sits on the 'safe side' of the glass, perched on what she'd long claimed to be her lab stool.

Her white lab coat and ID make her seem like she belongs, and in a way she does with her clipboard, pen, and cup of coffee. In other ways she doesn't.

One of her peers slides onto the stool next to her as she scribbles something on the piece of paper. "I think we need to increase the dosage," Gwen notes as she scribbles something else down. "We're too low. The exposure isn't going to have any effect — "

The fellow who'd just slid next to her straightens in his seat and taps at the side of her clipboard. "Yeaaaaah," the fellow tries to cast the blonde his most charming smile, but she doesn't look up from her work. "I think we should take a breather and grab a cup of coffee."

The request wins a polite smile from the woman, and she lowers the pen to reach for the coffee she's already acquired, "I'm still full-up, but you're welcome to run to the coffee bar and come back — "

Peter Parker. Intern.

It is not the most glamorous title to have but this is what happens when you're in graduate school and also trying to save the world on a regular basis. Not that he's the most reliable of interns or anything, but having Peter Parker involved in various experiments has likely proven to be helpful. He's kind of a genius. Y'know, that is, if you can get him to show up. On time.

Whether he's supposed to be involved with this experiment or not, Peter has taken to strolling into STAR Labs with only his backpack and whatever else he may have needed on the way over here. He's got his worn earbuds in and pops them out one by one as he strides past the coffee-retrieval specialist and heads in the general direction of the safe part of the glass. He's nervous, that much is obvious on his face. And the looks he gets from nameless parties doesn't help with his nerves.

"… Hey."

Nameless#1, sitting next to Gwen, casts a /look/ towards Peter. With a roll of his eyes, he intones, "Late again, Parker?" A smirk draws the edges of his lips upwards, and he cockily tilts his head towards the blonde. "We've been at this for hours already, you know that start times aren't exactly flex—"

But Nameless#1 is cut off by a raise of Gwen's palm. "Peter," she states and then continues, "Chip here," because that's what he told her to call him, despite how cheesy and cliched a name it is, "is heading to the coffee bar," he's grating on her nerves, getting rid of him for a bit seems apt for her sanity, "anything you want?" She casts Chip her sweetest smile and then adds, "I'll have a grande non-fat vanilla latte with whip," as she reaches into her lab coat pocket to take out a five dollar bill.

Chip squints. Gwen had just rescinded the invitation and now was requesting coffee and making an order. Women sure are confusing! "So. No fat in the drink, but then you want whipped cream on it? Isn't that counterproductive for your figure?"

Gwen just stares at Chip.

"Uh. No thanks. Got juice."

Peter holds up a half-drank bottle of orange juice that he managed to score with scraped together quarters. He still owes the guy in the store a couple more cents but he's good for it. He's saved the store countless times in his other identity. But right now, he's good with the orange juice.

"Uh, Chet?" Peter goes with the subtle 'not even worth remembering his name' insult. "Maybe you should get going, man. The foot traffic out there is insane today. Y'know, After Christmas sales and all that." Peter is lying but whatever manages to get Chip out of here sooner so that Peter doesn't have to witness Gwen committing murder. Or, y'know, so he doesn't punch this dude in the facial expression on his own merits.

"It's Chip," he corrects. The thought of traffic, however, causes him to stare at Peter for a few beats before sliding off his stool, all while still under the weight of Gwen's eyes. He retreats from the room, leaving Peter, Gwen, and the experiment on their own.

Her head cants to subtly spy Peter, only to have her hand draw tighter around the pen. "I'm upping the exposure," she states as the clipboard falls back to the lab bench and she treads to the computer. Her fingers entwine in front of her and she stretches her arms, effectively cracking her knuckles as she does so. She makes a few rather loud keystrokes, starting her work once again, this time with greater dedication than before. "How was your Christmas, Peter?" she asks, although her eyes remain trained on the screen, making the adjustments necessary to her aims.

"It was, y'know, Christmas." Peter doesn't seem to feel too in place right now. That's why he hasn't taken off his backpack or anything like that. He's honestly just trying to figure out how he's going to get through this conversation without too much weirdness going on. He looks around to make sure that nobody else is here to listen in and he takes a step towards Gwen. But that dedicated keyboard mashing has him hesitating. This would be so much easier if he were in costume and trying to punch The Rhino in the face.

"So. Uh." Peter turns his attention towards the glass to look out at the experiment that is being experimented at this exact moment. "What're we working on?" Changing the subject away from the holidays might be a good idea. Lest Gwen remembers that she didn't get so much as a call from Peter during the entire holiday.

The mad keystrokes continue and Gwen reaches into her pocket for her reading glasses. Gwen carefully places the glasses on her nose and she blinks hard as her eyes adjust to the screen and her newfound sight. With a huff of breath, she manages a tight-lipped smile for the computer that melts into something more genuine when she peeks over her shoulder to catch Peter in her periphery. She's trying to be professional. Or something.

"Gamma radiation," she replies offhandedly as she hits /Enter/. Her teeth play at her bottom lip, the computer chair she perches on slides, and she presses herself to a stand to tread to the glass. The spider monkey on the other side, is given a three fingered wave. "That's Bess," she points towards the subject. The smile fades though as she studies the subject, it's then that her head turns to look at Peter. "She's suffered two strokes which have left her paralyzed on one side. Early work on gamma radiation suggests that it might help fill in some of the neurological blocks — " her hand rubs her chin, "but we don't know enough to make any useful conclusions yet. She sits in there, we expose her to low dosages — nothing harmful or lethal, and we hope for the best." Her throat clears, "The first two treatments saw increased motor control on her left side, but it wasn't permanent." Her lips press together irritably.

It's only then that the machine whirs, seemingly starting with the treatment regimen. "It doesn't hurt her," Gwen offers as her hand moves to the glass. "Nothing high enough to inflict harm…"

Peter knows all about Gamma Radiation. Okay, well, not all about it. But he knows what can happen when there's been exposure to too much. IN a few steps he's up and standing next to Gwen, looking through the glass and trying not to look at her. The spider monkey is cute enough to be holding onto his attention anyway. "Cool." is the response he gives to the awesome answer that he just received for his own question. He moves closer to Gwen and his hand sort of kind of reaches for hers. Maybe. It's hesitant and he's just attempting to see if she's even going to be open to this. Besides, he can't have her staying upset and using Chip to get back at him or anything.

"We certainly wouldn't want to do anything to hurt her." Or the spider monkey either!

The quiet hum of science continues in the background, giving a rather unusual setting for things like hand-holding. Which could be why her eyes take on a nearly feline edge as his hand inches towards her own. There's hesitation on her side, even as her eyes train on the experiment and its importance. Everything has to go according to plan or, as per usual, the team will have to start from square one. Her hand finally inches closer to his, not closing the entire distance, but definitely offering silent encouragement in the motion.

And she maintains that distance for some time before finally allowing her hand to brush against his. "Peter…" she intones gently, but whatever thought she had, good or bad, is interrupted by something not expected. The machine continues to whir, causing light to flash within the room, and prompting Gwen's head to turn towards it. "There's no way — " She twists on her heel to jog back to the computer and begins madly clicking away at the keys. "Something's wrong — "

Whether or not Peter's Spider-Sense is tingling or not is irrelevant at the moment. Mostly because he's focused on Gwen. He watches the spider monkey for a second before rushing after Gwen and pulling up next to her by the computer. "What's going on?" He's ready to spring into action but he's trying to stay somewhat calm so that he can actually do something helpful for once. He doesn't need to be the one that makes matters worse this time around. And he was so close to getting to hold hands too. So close. There are, however, more important things happening right now and that's the reason why he's shoving those thoughts aside. He needs to focus. Focus enough to Gwen do whatever needs to be done.

Focus already has Gwen working at the problem while her fingers rap against the keys. "The machine's in overdrive," she replies, "and there's no way it should be doing that — it's not — " her eyebrows draw together sharply while she tries to remotely shut it down " — designed for that kind of output. Even if I had amped up the dosage, it can't handle it, it should've shut down — "

Bess, for her part, has gotten incredibly noisy. The howls and screams of the monkey on the other side of the glass, beckon the graduate students make quick work of the shutdown. "Peter, try to kill the power — cut the circuit to the building and it can't possibly work," right? "Even flipping breakers should" maybe "make a difference…"

"I'm going to try to stop things here…"

Spider-Sense. SCREAMING.

Peter's got his spider-sense blasting through his skull like one of the worst migraines of alls times. But he's pushing through the pain to make sure that he's got everything under control at least within his own body. He's focusing a little bit on what his Spider-Sense is telling him to do and more on what Gwen is asking of him. "Got it."

His steps are reluctant but he checks the glass for a moment to make sure that it doesn't look like it is cracking, before he makes a break for the next room. Where power cables and what not are. He's not going to leave Gwen in there by herself for too long. And he's popping open the breaker box and slamming switch after switch after switch.

And as Peter pops the switches, sparks fly. One after another, sparks seems to erupt in an array of yellows and reds. Something is very wrong. The power pulsates the opposite direction, with the machine beginning to draw electricity from the rest of the the room. The rest of the lights shut off with simple compliance. Overhead, innocuous flourescent lights shut off one by one, theoretically rendering the lab dark. Yet the light flickering from inside the glass safe room makes the lab feel more like a rave than a place of science.

For her part, Gwen finds herself locked out of the computer as it goes into shut down. Her lips quirk irritably. She pushes on the keyboard and walks towards the glass.

The simple sound of cracking along the centre signals the break, and prompts blue eyes to widen while she stares at the ever-growing ape on the other side. Her fingers splay against the glass and wordlessly her lips part. This was not supposed to happen.

No longer worried for the experiment, but solely for the creature on the other side of the glass, Gwen treads to the closet to find the containment suits…


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