My life has never been more confusing than it is now. A lot has happened in the last few months, a lot of things I did right and a lot of things I did wrong, but that's part of my life now, part of my responsibilities. Who I am? I am Spider-Man.
It was late afternoon when I was on top of the Chrysler Building, in the distance I could see police cars running very fast towards Trump Tower. It's one web after another, swinging between the city's buildings is very reassuring in the late afternoon, especially at sunset. When I was at the top, I could hear a lot of strange noises coming from inside, so I dove towards the sound and used my webs to ricochet myself into the floor where the sounds were coming from, breaking the window at the entrance.
The floor I entered was a large hallway to some sort of vault, and I could see at the end of the hallway something very… familiar. And at the same time very strange. Wearing armor all over his torso and arms, and a metal mask that only showed his eyes, everything about this man looked like something I'd seen before. When he saw me at the end of the hallway, he threw the guard he'd just knocked out at me, and I easily dodged, jumping onto the ceiling, and running after him. He ran into the vault and tried to lock himself in there for some reason, but my… Shiver warned me I couldn't let him do it. Using my web once more, I held the vault door very tightly, and he ended up letting it open and ran inside.
When I entered the vault, he tried to hit me from the side of the entrance, but I held his hand, and tried to hit his chest, but I ended up hurting his hand, that suit made his entire torso almost invulnerable. It didn't take long for him to start using his feet, the rogue element knew some kind of martial art, and he ended up gaining the advantage over me when he used the suit's arm super-thrust, which knocked me away. Out of the vault, to be specific. I was at the hall window again; my back was all itchy from the shards of glass that got into my uniform. I could hear him throwing all the jewelry into the bag he'd brought, I couldn't be bothered with my torn back, I ran to meet him, and he ran out of the vault too.
I threw the webs, but he did a backflip and dodged them, so I tried another approach. I started running on the walls of the hall and tried to land a jab at him, but he dodged like a limbo dancer, and launched himself out the window. I ran back to see, and he was launching himself at a building right in front of us, throwing the bag of jewelry on the roof and landing on his hands right after, making the suit absorb the impact, landing with almost no scratch. He took the bag and waved it at me. Oh, I wasn't going to let that go, I threw webs over the window ledges and ran to the end of the hall, and slingshot myself out. Just as I was about to land on his building, he jumped into a nearby alley. I followed shortly thereafter, but… Nothing. All I could see was the bustling New York crowd at the end of the alley. I had lost him.
Later, I was walking home. Going back in many ways, I had moved back in with Aunt May. Harry couldn't afford the apartment we were living in anymore, he moved back to live on his family estate and… Well, he needed some time alone after his dad died. I haven't heard from him in a week, but the butler says he's taking his time and he's been careful, so I feel a little safer. When I arrived, it felt like I had stepped back in time a year.
- Aunt May! — I screamed — I arrived.
- Oh, Peter! — Her voice came from the kitchen— Come here, love.
When I got to the dining room, there was a paper banner hanging on the wall that said, "Welcome Back". I started to smile and left my backpack hanging on the chair and sat on it. She came from the kitchen with a plate of lasagna, and placed it in front of me, giving me a kiss on the forehead right after.
- How was your job search today, honey?
- Oh, you know, a rush — I ate a piece of lasagna— This is really good, you didn't have to make one of my favorites.
- Well, don't be silly, Peter. I've got you to myself for a little while longer, I'll spoil you so much before you move out again.
- Aunt May, I can't thank you enough for letting me go back to my old room while I look for another place to stay.
- The pleasure is all mine — She said, sitting down across from me with another piece of lasagna — Did you by any chance manage to take a picture of your friend?
- No… But every check I earn for his photo is too little to pay for any apartment downtown. I need something that pays me enough for a three month down payment, a big job, but quick and relatively easy, preferably.
- But have you already researched apartments? That's ideal before chasing the money.
- Well, yes — I took a piece of newspaper out of my pocket earlier — Here… See?
- I already talked to the landlord, Mr Ditkovich, he said I need $800 to cover the three months.
- You know Peter... I heard one of the neighbors talking about paying someone from the neighborhood who knows how to work with engines to fix his car's engine. If I'm not mistaken it was $900. You know how to work with it, don't you?
- I… — I was definitely a little contemplative at that time — I sure can try, yeah.
- So tomorrow morning, talk to the neighbor on the right, Fred Foswell. He has a big van that needs fixing by… I don't remember exactly, I think three days from now.
- Very good love.
- I'll talk to him and go to Bugle, Jameson wants to talk to me about something.
- Oh! Do you think he finally wants to employ you?
- I don't know. We'll see! — I smile at her
We finished dinner and went to sleep. Early the next day, I ran to get ready, and after having breakfast with Aunt May, I went out to talk to the neighbor. His house was pretty much the same as mine, of course, and I could see the van parked in his driveway, and I started looking around. A few minutes later, he came out of the house and saw me watching his car, which made him confused. He was a gentleman with fair hair and a big mustache, bigger than Jameson's, he came up to my side and spoke.
- Can I help you? — His voice was that of a gentleman, very smooth.
- Oh, hi. Are you mister Frederick Foswell?
- In the flesh, and you are…?
- Oh sorry — I held out my hand and he shook it — I'm Peter Parker, May Parker's nephew.
- Sure, good old Miss Parker. Why are you here, Peter?
- She said that you need your van's engine fixed and that you pay well for it. I really need a lot of money as soon as I can, and I'm good with mechanics, electronics, I can help you if you want.
- Oh yes. But… — He looked at his watch — I'm leaving at the last minute to go to my job.
- Where do you work?
- At the Daily Bugle, do you know?
- If I know?! I kind of work there too.
- Are you serious?! All right, Young Parker, so why don't we both go? You're going there too, aren't you?
- I will, of course. Do you have any other cars?
- No, actually I'm going by bus like a good New York citizen.
- Great, me too.
- So, let's get to the point, shall we? — We started walking while talking — Tell me, do you work at Bugle but also need my $900?
- I'm looking to rent an apartment downtown. I don't intend to live with my aunt, I already gave her a lot of work.
- But what do you work for?
- Oh, at Bugle I'm just a freelance photographer, I started working there a little while ago, so I haven't fallen for Jameson's grace yet, but I need the money.
- Shortly? You happen not to be the kid who brought us the exclusive Spider-Man photos.
- Yes, I am.
- Well, it's nice to meet you. You are still very amateur, but you have a lot of potential.
- Ah...— I got a little embarrassed — Thank you, I think.
- Oh… I was rude, wasn't I?
- A little.
- I'm sorry, I'm always direct. You know, I'm an investigative journalist at the Bugle, an open and sharp mind is always ideal to discover the scent of the matter.
- This is really cool.
- You intend to become a Journalistic Photographer.
- I don't intend to, no. I'm studying technology, and I intend to enter a scientific career.
- But who knows, right? It's not just anyone who shows up with a Spidey exclusive before anyone else.
- Yeah... Who knows.
After that dialogue with him, we closed the deal and agreed that he would leave his van at Aunt May's garage for me to fix it in three days. We arrived at the Bugle together and he told me a little more about the articles he published in the newspaper, he really seemed to have all kinds of scoops, mainly about robberies. We reached the top, he went to his desk and I headed towards Jameson's temp office. I walked over to Betty, she was at a tiny table, and she was holding her phone in her lap, there were papers all over the place when I spoke to her.
- Hey Betty.
- Oh, hey Peter — She hadn't even looked at me properly — You may come in.
- Good luck there.
- To you too! — She shouted while answering a call.
I entered Jameson's makeshift room, the first one was still being rebuilt after the Goblin attack and Jameson wasn't enjoying it one bit.
- Parker, it’s good you're here, sit down — He gestured to the little wooden chair in front of the table — Don’t mind about quality, it's all temporary.
- What did you want to tell me, Mr. Jameson?
- I needed to warn you personally, because you are our new photographer, and you are a freelancer. I launched a challenge at the firm, who gets an exclusive of the next heist of the new super-villain, wins a cash bonus of $500.
- $500? Wow. But, who is it…?
- And you, starting your career as a Photojournalist, I thought you would like to…
- I don't want to be a photojournalist, Sir.
- No?! — He raised one of his bushy eyebrows, and took out a cigar — What a waste! Not just anyone comes up with Spider-Man exclusives these days.
- I already heard that today… — I tried to whisper but he heard.
- Already? From who?
- One of your reporters, Frederick Foswell.
- Oh, Foswell is one of the best! If you want to take advantage of the situation, he's the one you have to watch out for, I'm betting everything he'll get me an exclusive on Ricochet and win the money.
- Yeah, the new super thug who attacked Trump Tower yesterday. Everything he touched or propelled would go flying yards away like a Ricochet. Good, isn't it?
- Yeah… But how did you find out?
- Foswell, of course, he brought accounts of several witnesses that he collected before the police even interviewed them. There was Ricochet and, without a doubt, his partner in crime, Spider-Man.
- Yeah, was spotted fleeing the scene right after him, of course he's up to no good!
- All right then, thanks for letting me know, Mr. Jameson.
- Parker! — He called me when I was about to leave.
- Don't blur any photos this time.