15672/Is There A Doctor In The House

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Is There A Doctor In The House
Date of Scene: 03 October 2023
Location: Empire State University Campus -- New York City
Synopsis: Doc Ock makes an appearance at ESU and Spider-Man and Caitlin Fairchild happen to be in the right place at the right time to run into him.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Man, Fairchild

Spider-Man has posed:
The warm weather lingers as New York City is granted a presumably last taste of summer before autumn well and truly arrives. It is a beautiful day in the citym the sun bright and warm, and only the occasional stray, puffy cloud in the sky to break up that tapestry of blue that otherwise predominates.

Unsurprisingly, the campus of Empire State University positively bustles with activity as students make their way too and from classes or otherwise gather together in the open, green areas between the various buildings that are clustered together, spread out on the lawns reading or chatting, others engaged in mild sporting activities.

There are at least some out and about who do not necessarily blend in. Like, say one Peter Parker. While he went here for a number of years, Pete's university days are well in the past now. Maybe he could still pass for a graduate student, but he doesn't quite seem to have the gravitas to be a college professor either.

Though looks can be deceiving. There are probably not a whole lot of people on campus who can compete with his own scientific genius. At least when it comes to practical applications for science. Certainly no one who has developed their own artificial webbing and web-slingers as a teenager, that much seems a safe bet at any rate.

Striding across the campus, camera casually dangling around his neck, the dark-haired young man is heading directly towards the nearby science building.

While it would surely have been quicker to suit up as his alter ego and take to the rooftops, Spider-Man is still very much wanted by the NYPD for his suspected involvement in the attempted assassination of New York's Mayor. And Peter has more then enough trouble in his life without adding being chased by the police across the university campus to the mix.
Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin Fairchild has been on campus visiting with some old colleagues from graduate school who are visiting faculty at Empire State this semester. They chatted about particle physics and Nancy tried for the fifteenth time to get Caitlin to listen to some of her K-pop, but it just wasn't quite Caitlin's vibe, "They're just kind of...immature sounding? And I wasn't immature even when I was immature. I mean, I've always kinda been an old lady on the inside. Kind of like in Howl's Moving Castle, right?"

Caitlin wore a long jacket, jeans and a button-down. She has sunglasses on her head and earbuds in.

She pauses at a vendor to buy a bottle of water and picked up a science magazine for the ride. She was going to grab a bus and maybe go to see a movie by herself. She liked doing things by herself. So long at boarding schools, working with teams, being packed away and hiding out from the occasional corrupt government operative trying to bring you in for experimentation - she had learned to enjoy her privacy.

Of course, she was also a pretty well known superhero, these days, which made it inevitable that a few people might recognize her. She's also well over six feet tall and with shoulders that could snap concrete with a flex. She, too, doesn't fit in.
Spider-Man has posed:
It seems like a fairly safe bet that Caitlin will attract way more attention then him.

And that suits Peter just fine really. Oh, there is a chance that he might run into a professor who might remember him, or one of the people he went to school with that is still working on their graduate thesis. But outside of that -- or a really big fan photo-journalism -- Pete should be fairly safe in just coming and going without attracting too much attention.

Which is good in this instance, because his intention here is to stage a break-in.

No, the NYPD aren't justified in tracking him down. No, J. Jonah Jameson and the Bugle have not been right all along about Spider-Man being a menace. While he certainly might be planning to -- technically -- break the law, that is pretty much the case for most hero types. And just like them, he is doing it for a pretty good reason.

Dr. Curt Conners is a trusted friend. He is also the Lizard. Or perhaps more appropriately, is once again the Lizard. He is also missing at the moment after being carried off by a flying glider before Spider-Man or any of his allies could assist. Which is why Peter is here today and why he is heading towards the science building. He has spent many days and nights there as a student. And more then a few in Dr. Connors' lab since then.

It would seem that he is not the only one who is interested however as suddenly the fourth story window to that lab suddenly smashes outward, glass raining down on those that find themselves below.
Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin Fairchild had never met Conners herself, although she'd seen some of his research before during her forays into the biochemical and genetic fields. Not her specialties but, like Peter, Caitlin was a genius and a child prodigy, advanced well beyond her years long before her genetic alteration became more physically evident.

That had been an awkward, awkward day. Not to mention having people trying to kill her for the very first time.

Lost in reverie for that day long past, Caitlin throws up an arm reflexively at the sudden shattering of glass, the shards raining harmlessly off her invulnerable skin, although she gets a few tears here and there in her garments.

Why does this always happen to her? People are never going to take her seriously if her clothes keep ripping like this. She needed to see if Dr. Richards had any of those special molecular suits to spare.

"Get out of here! But be careful! But run!" she says to the people, shrugging off her jacket and balling up her fists. Seems like it's go time.
Spider-Man has posed:
It is not immediately clear just what is causing the disturbance above, though the possibilities certainly seemed limited to those likely to cause trouble for anyone interested in the lab, or just dedicated to insuring that the unfortunates outside in the Quad don't get hurt.

Which seems like an increasingly likely possibility. The glass is dangerous to be sure, at least to those without superpowers. And even then it can be hazardous to one's wardrobe as Caitlin has the misfortune of discovering. But it gets even more dangerous when the next thing through the window is a very large, very heavy desk.

Those with good sense are already turning to run -- a sensible reaction in a city that sees a whole lot of costumed criminals, alien invasions, magic gone wrong and a host of other problems.

But there's always a few people who don't have a lot of sense.

"C'mon," Pete mutters quietly, sneaking a quick peek around before his arms snap and a pair of weblines fly across that intervening distance, latching onto the backs of two frozen students. A quick, swift jerks pulls them out of trouble and then Peter starts looking for the nearest discrete spot to tug off his clothes.

Don't worry, he's wearing something underneath.

But it does mean that he is out of sight of that fourth story window when a pair of long, metallic tendrils emerge from the lab beyond, gripping that shattered portal. The pincers on the end of those tentacles rather casually crush brick under them, sending another shower of debris down to the crowd below as the culprit behind all this destruction widens that gap in the wall even further.
Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin Fairchild catches the desk in both hands, setting it down beside her. Not that she can save much of anything else, the emerging tentacles starting to shatter the walls around the window to bring their owner out into view.

Caitlin is a member of the Justice League and, as such, will immediately activate an emergency signal, although if there's any available help is anyone's guess. They policed the globe and the solar system beyond, in these days, and, despite what the media might tell the citizens, the world didn't always revolve around New York City.

"Doctor Octavius. I've read you're work. You've a brilliant mind. It's a shame y ou've lost it."
Spider-Man has posed:
The metal tentacles do rather dive it away, don't they?

It is indeed Otto Octavius -- the notorious Doctor Octopus -- that emerges from that shattered wall a moment later, hands clasped around a laptop computer. Two of those tentacles grip the wall while the other remain at the ready in front of him.

It seems clear that the not so good doctor wasn't exactly expecting to be confronted before he even emerged from the scene of the crime, and there is a distinctly huffy expression on the man's features as he glares towards Caitlin.

"Your approval or lack there of is none of my concern child, no matter how statuesque you may be," Octavius sneers back as he emerges into the light of day at last. "Now out of my way before I grow... irritated," he says coldly.

Otto always has such a winning personality.

Across that open courtyard between buildings Peter has found a quiet gap between two of them, his backpack already off his shoulders and webbed to the wall as he pulls that familiar Spider mask on, while tucking his clothes away into it.

Then he is crawling that wall, reaching the top of the building with surprising speed -- he's pretty practiced at all of this by now afterall -- sprinting across the rooftop to finally see just what the problem is. "You've got to be kidding me," he grouses with a shake of his head.

But he still hops up onto the edge of the building, clearly ready to throw himself into the fray.
Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin Fairchild shakes her head, "I don't know what sort of mischief you're up to, Doctor, but I'm afraid you've stepped out of your league. Make it easy on yourself and come with me before I wrap those things around your chubby little neck," she says.

As if to demonstrate, she brings her hands together in a hard clap, sending a mild shockwave around herself.

"And I'm no child. I'm Dr. Caitlin Fairchild, Ph.D.. Try to remember it when you wake up in the hospital."
Spider-Man has posed:
The display is impressive though it would seem that the Dcotor is not imrpessed. At least not outwardly.

Instead Octavius still sneers as he emerges, those powerful tentacles starting to lift him up towards the rooftop of the building. "You are a bragging child," Otto retorts, seeming undaunted. Those two free tentacles slip back into the building proper and the reason for his confidence becomes clear a moment later as the reemerge a moment later.

And there, grasped at the end of two tentacles in those powerful pincers are a pair of grad students who dangle, terror filling the expression on their faces. "A good graduate student can be so useful to any proper teacher, can't they?" Doc Ock asks.

And then those metal tentacles rear back and hurl the two students in opposite directions across the campus.

Fortunately one of those directions does happen to be towards Spider-Man and the webcrawler leaps from his perch on the building, jumping out into empty air. He times it just right and he catches the screaming woman before she can hit rather hard against the wall. "Don't worry, I'm a professional. And not nearly as bad as the media likes to say," he assures her, twisting in mid-air to fire off a webline back towards the roof.

And if he's judged it right? Their fall will cutoff just before they plow into the waiting ground.
Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin Fairchild turns her head and spies Spidey in the distance. She's media savvy enough to see the slant in the Daily Planet's coverage of the webslinger. Plus she's part of the superhero community enough that word is good around the campfire about the young hero. Oh geez, young hero, Cait, you're only barely thirty. Sigh. Ever the old lady.

She leaps after the male student, her powerful thighs letting her sophisticated mind measure the precise amount of force to make her own arc intersect with the poor kid's, snatching him easily around the waist and landing safely with him.

"Keep running," she says to the stunned boy, letting him slump onto the grass for a second before she turns and narrows her eyes at Doc Ock.

"Okay, pal, I was trying to be nice, but you're just gonna be a big mean piece of...mean," she mutters. Probably best nobody's really close enough to hear her anyway as she puts her head down and starts to charge back at Otto.
Spider-Man has posed:
While Otto Octavius is of questionable sanity, he is not precisely a homicidal maniac. There is usually some method to his madness.

And it's not hard to figure out why he's hurling gradstudents around. They are a way to delay and distract while he beats a strategic retreat. Which is exactly what he is doing at the moment, using those incredible metal tentacles to facilitate his escape, those extra limbs moving with almost shocking speed and agility to carry him across the rooftops of the campus buildings, propelling himself along at a good clip.

Of course just to be on the safe side those limbs tend to wildly flail as they come back up in the rotation, sending bricks and other debris flying, littering the area with obstacles and hazards for anyone unfortunate to find themselves below.

As good as Spider-Man knows himself to be, he would be hard pressed to catch both of the grad students, especially with them flung in different directions. Fortunately he doesn't have to as that familiar woman manages to catch the other grad student before he can hit the ground. "Nice catch! You should consider trying out for the Jets! They could use the help," Pete offers up helpfully.

Then he is turning to follow after his old enemy, casting out little web-nets to try and catch the falling debris before it injures anyone. Which works, but slows him down, his eight-limbed foe starting to out distance him. "Poaching from a real scientist like Conners, huh, Ocky! Pretty low!" he taunts, hoping to provoke the man.
Fairchild has posed:
Octavius has enough of a headstart that he manages to get down into a sewer grate, apparently taking a piece of Conners' territory along with his equipment. Fairchild slows to a stop as she realizes she's lost track of him.

"Dammit," she mutters, turning back around in time to see Spidey swinging to join her.

"Don't suppose you have super senses to track him down?" she says. "Probably not. Arachnids don't have olfactory enhanements, generally," she sighs. "Glad you were there. I couldn't have saved them both."
Spider-Man has posed:
While his senses might be a little bit above human baseline, they're not going to be able to follow Octavius through the sewers. No, it would take blind luck.

He did, at the end, try to toss one of his spider-tracers onto the fleeing man, but it came up just short.. So as he catches up with Caitlin only seconds later, Spidey dropped down to the ground beside the towering woman and dips hiead. "Unfortunately not. I'm afraid he likely got away. Again," he admits, just a hint of a sour note in his voice.

It's been happening more then Spider-Man would like, admittedly, as of late.

"Thank you too, by the way. A good thing you happened to be on the scene too, or there probably would be someone in very bad shape right about now," he agrees. One more thing for him to feel guilty about.