4694/Vorpal-Tunnel Syndrome

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Vorpal-Tunnel Syndrome
Date of Scene: 12 January 2021
Location: Central Park
Synopsis: Spidey meets up with Terry and they discuss motivation, Mania, and movies.
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Peter Parker

Terry O'Neil has posed:
<<Hey, Spidey. I've kinda dropped off the radar- crazy things. Wanna catch up/talk? I'll be at->>

He appended his GPS tag. The location shouldn't surprise Peter- the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park was a popular location in summer, though not so much in winter.

Terry had always liked the statue, and now he had a better knowledge of why. Although, he sighs, they still didn't get Alice right. Nor, to be fair, did they get anyone right except, as luck would have it, the damned rabbit.

"I really should get a publicist to take care of that," the redhead mutters to himself and smirks, taking a quick sip of coffee. He was in New York to take care of a few things before he had to go back to the tower, and it was good to decompress, based on the ten days he has had.

Wintery air makes him shiver, and he is somewhat under-dressed for the weather, but he likes it, nevertheless.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter got the message, all right. He could even understand.
When your existence is linked to a book where a reader might assume the author was taking LSD for inspiration, "normal" covers a wide range of situations, and "crazy" has its OWN shelf.

He can't help but think of the book he had read as a child as he swung through the wintry air (thank God and poor Ted Kord for the special insulating weave on the newest iteration of the suit).

*Alice: "But I don't WANT to be around mad people."*
*Cheshire Cat: "Oh, that can't be helped. We're ALL MAD HERE..."*

In the Disney movie, Alice had sounded cute, the Cat playful and patient. But read it another way, and Alice sounds pleading...while the Cat sounds almost malicious.

Spidey shook his head as Central Park came into sight. Well, he supposed he had to take it as it comes, like everything else.

One minute later, Spider-Man drops out of the night sky, landing on Alice's head and looking at Terry before tossing him a candy bar.
"Here...have a Snickers snack."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry laughs and catches the bar in a bare hand. The maniac isn't wearing gloves. "Okay, I appreciate the reference," he says, getting up from the bench and heading his way to the sculpture after pocketing the bar. "I don't have any spider-themed snacks, but I did get you a chocolate..." he holds the cup up, "Salted and carameled. I don't know how you take your coffee, so I figured this was safer." His own coffee on his left hand, he takes a sip, and says, in a voice that is a close immitation of Eddie Izzard, "As for me, I like my coffee like I like my men: In a plastic cup!"

He makes a motion as if to toss the chocolate, and then says "Wait. That could be disastrous..." then he holds it up and away from him, "Can you zip it from here and not spill it?" he asks, curious to see how skillful he is with those shooters.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey chuckles and hops from the statue to the ground, barely disturbing the snow. "Thanks, I'll just take it like a CIVILIZED spider-human hybrid." He accepts the cup, then looks at the statue and back to Terry. "Want to hear something amusing about Lewis Carroll?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Please do regale me," Terry says, putting both hands around his cup to warm them up once Spider-man had taken the chocolate. "I never met him- only, you know, Alice." he looks back at the statue and shakes his head. "Shair should be cut shorter. And the eyes are all wrong. Ah well." He grins and leans in, "I'm all ears."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey nods. "One story goes that Queen Victoria herself read Carroll's two books about Alice in Wonderland, and was entranced by them. So much so that she requested that he dedicate his next book to her. The thing is, those two books were his ONLY fictional publications as 'Lewis Carroll' at the time, and the rest were educational works on mathematics. So, the story goes that he dedicated his next book, 'An Elementary Treatise on Determinants,' to Queen Victoria. It has been hotly denied by historians, but if it had been true, I would believe it would be one of the times when Victoria was...Not Amused."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry laughs! "OH, I believe it is true- what I read about him... do you know that as a kid, he used to make snow labyrinths? He really had a very odd sense of humor. I suspect that due to his social position he had to... sand down some of his eccentricities. At least in the public eye." He takes a sip, and hehs, "Like me surviving Catholic high school. That was an amusing story, thank you."

He gestures with his head in a 'walk with me' universal gesture, but he's just walking around the statue as they talk, to stay a little warmer.

"A lot of people find it hard to believe I am who I say I am. But not nearly as many who think Wonderland is nothing but fun and games... and they'd be wrong."

He glances over, and ponders for a moment. "This is going to sound strange, but... when I interviewed you... do you remember which of your friends you introduced to me?"

He did have a run-in with several Doppelgangers this week and last. It was better to be sure. Lois' Doppelganger had appeared to be niceness itself, so he couldn't trust that they would all be outwardly murdery and bloodthirsty.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey tilted his head. It took him a moment. "Right...it was Spider-Woman. We were at the food-truck kiosk in Central Park, as I recall."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Okay. Just needed to check. I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there's apparently a literal horde of doppelgangers from another dimension that are coming over to try to kill their counterparts and take over their lives. Mine is apparently running around in black leathers, a motorcycle, and shot me in the shoulder because weird is the new normal. I had to make sure the favorite wall-crawler hadn't been replaced by someone who was likely to web me up in a coccoon and drop me from the bridge."

"The good part is that there is only one Cheshire cat ever, anywhere, so /he/ doesn't have my powers. Lucky for us." He leans against the statue on a pass and crosses his arms. Neither shoulder seems to be hurt. "So how about you? What's buzzing in your web these days?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey raises an eyebrow. "Doppelgangers?" He pauses. "I heard about Ted Kord's death in the Bugle. Could it be connected to that?"

He didn't like the implications. If the real Ted was in the pool, an imposter was running his company. If it was the doppel in the pool...where was Ted?

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry looks grim, "That's... a mystery that needs to be solved. If a Doppelganger was behind it... they blew it, because their goal is to take over unnoticed. We had one..." he stops, and takes a deep breath. "We had Beast Boy's doppelganger attempt to kill him and take over. We thought he was dead for sure but... we recovered him yesterday and he's convalescing." The pinched expression that took over his face is gone, then, replaced by a smile. "But if there are no news of you swinging about when you know you /weren't/ swinging about, chances are you don't have one, or yours stayed back, or didn't live past a certain point. So here's hoping."

He frowns, "But if he should show up and you need some backup, you've got my number. I can be here in a hot second and I don't mind being a distraction." He snaps his fingers, and the he laughs.

"Geez, forget my mind next. I can't do that in /this/ form." He turns his rainbow bracelet over and looks into the metallic mirror underneath and says the words.

Vorpal is standing there now, with a heavily bandaged right shoulder, arm in a sling. "I meant to do /this./" He snaps his right hand, and suddenly Spider-man is staring at Spider-man, a perfect reflection of Peter down to the small details of the suit. "I can even do voices, if I know them. How do I sound?" It's a close approximatin of Spidey's voice. Off, somewhat, but close. The Cheshire appears to put both hands on his hips against the blue-and-red suit, even though Peter saw that he couldn't move his right arm earlier.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man blinked. The way he could just change appearance so effortlessly was...startling. He was also a little envious, too, leave us not gild the lily.

"Close enough to give JJJ a conniption fit if he saw us right now. That's pretty amazing. Me, I have to find broom closets, bathrooms, or dark alleys and then I have to worry about my regular clothes. I have stashes of changes of clothing all over the city. I sorta have to worry about getting my clothes stolen by the homeless unless I web it thirty feet above the ground on a bare wall. Seems I know a LOT of people who can manage the quick-change."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Everything has its upside and its downside, my dear spider." The illusion vanishes and Vorpal is back to his regular appearance. He points to his foot, "Do you remember that sprained ankle you helped me with? I had had it for over three months, because while we were lost in space, I had to ration how long I was the cat or got... especially loopy. Being in an artificial pocket dimension made a lot of things... strange. But look at this, for example-" he taps his shoulder gingerly, "This is going take longer to heal than it would for you, because I have to be the cat for the healing to continue. Any time I switch bodies, it's like the clock stops for the other one." He leans in, speaking quieter, "And it's a balancing act. If I am the cat for too long a stretch, I start getting /super/ loopy. I get reckless. I start to take risks that are... yeah."

He gives Spider-man a big grin, and reaches over to put a hand on his shoulder, "Besides, you're super no matter what clothes you're wearing. You've got that amazing strength and agility whether you're in the suit, in /a/ suit, or naked. Me? I've got to turn into this. And if I somehow lose my mirror and there's no surface that I can look into to see my eyes clearly... the cat can't come out."

He attempts to cross his arms out of habit, and winces. He settles for scratching his chin with his free hand, which causes his ears to twitch. Is the cat self-soothing? "Whereas you are always Spider-man."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man nods slightly. "My uncle once said that if you envy someone, you have to have envy for ALL of it. Take Supergirl. She may have nearly-limitless power, but she ALSO lost nearly her entire PLANET. You envy someone's success, it meant you ALSO have to envy the struggles and hardships that they went through to be that successful."

He sips from the cup after lifting the mask up to his nose. "Hmm, this is pretty good. Anyway...envy is a goose's chase. I know that."

He thinks for a moment. "Want to know what the trouble with super-physical abilities? CONTROL. You have to learn how to control it so you don't rip doors from their hinges, you don't shatter glasses while holding them...and you have to know how much force to use so a guy robbing a grocery store doesn't get his head air-mailed to Harlem."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Man, I can't even imagine. I parkoured before I became the cat, and that stuff took me forever so that I could do a decent course without injuring myself. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have strength like that. I bet you could bench press me with one arm over your head and not break into a sweat," he chuckles. The coffee is nowhere to be seen, after his transformation. "So... how do you stay in shape? Do you need super special crazy weights to lift or something?" he says, looking at Spider-Man's frame. It was crazy, he knew Spidey's build, though trim, didn't betray the fact that he could do all of /that/. "I don't need anything special. Except air conditioning." He gestures to his fur with a smirk, "Otherwise I turn into a puddle. You have no idea how hard it is to fight crime in summer wearing a full uniform over, basically, a personal fur coat."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man chuckles. "I actually kinda had to put together my own training center. I found a scrapyard/junkyard that had been recently abandoned, and I sorta...appropriated it. The probate courts are going to take YEARS to sort it out. In the meantime, I set up a few things to help me train in various things. Like the three heavy bags I have set up. One of them is a normal one - I used it to help control my strength even when fighting normal types. Another is filled with lead shot, to help against tougher opponents...and the third one, for the heavy-hitters, is simply a sheet of battleship plate armor."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"That... sounds Mad Max-level awesome," Vorpal grins, "I'd love to see you training someday, I bet you're quite a sight... punching battleship plate armor. Geez." He nudges Spidey playfully with his good elbow, "Remind me not to get you p'o'd at me. I've already gotten punched by Wonder Woman..." he rubs his chin, "And while at the time it was totally necessary to snap me out of ... a thing, I didn't relish the experience for the next several days."

And then he remembers something, and gestures as he heads over to the bench and sits down, "So whatever happened after Mania tried to go Night Of The Petting Dead on me and told me to run? never heard the end of /that/ story," he chuckles, "She got... okay, she was kind of super scary and intense."

Peter Parker has posed:
"Maybe I'll show you the place sometime. It's a little rough, but it IS a lot cleaner than it used to be."

Spider-Man chuckles. "Yeah, Mania...she has trouble controlling her impulses. She likes chocolate. She apparently also wants a kitten as a pet. Something about petting something with fur soothes her. Considering her background, anything that soothes her isn't bad. It was just her first experience like that when she met you. She didn't mean you any harm, but I figured you might not appreciate the unwanted attention, even if it WAS benign in nature."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"That all depends on the kind of attention, really." The cat stretches his legs, leaning back a little, "Like, kids with gummy hands petting me? Ew no. Some wise-ass put /bubble gum/ on my fur the other day- can you believe it?" He moves his left arm a little, right near the bicep there is a small section that has considerably less fur, "I mean. Ow? But I ran away because I thought she was going to Emlyra Fudd me... you know?" He says, "I got a kitty! I'll hug him and pet him and call 'im George and... George don't move no more!"

Leaning back on his good hand, he smiles, "I have no problem with people petting me. They just gotta ask first. If you just go and yoink an ear- that hoits!" He shudders.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey chuckles. "Next time...use peanut butter. The peanut oil loosens the grip of the gum. Chalk that up to personal experience."

That, and the fact that it had been Carl's gum...

"Like I said, unwanted attention. Violation of personal space. But Mania is a good person, at heart, even with her impulsive behavior. There was more than one time where she could have indulged her darker impulses and didn't."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"... wait, peanut butter?" Vorpal pauses for a few seconds. "I would have never even thought about it. Wait. I didn't even search on the web. I wonder what happens if..."

A small Rabbit Hole appears and he digs into it, pulling out his burner phone, and taps. 'how do you get bubblegum out of fur?'

He reads the first hit, "Find a jar of creamy style peanut butter or vegetable oil, such as olive oil... oh god, Spidey, I'm an idiot." He laughs and sets the phone down to rub his forehead, "That hurt. And it looked like I had horked a hairball after that-" he pauses, "NOT that I actually do that. Like, totally." He looks around the area surrounding the bench, in case someone overheard, "That's a slanderous myth and I can totally prove it." He sits up straight, "Dogs are the ones who eat their own vomit. Cats are creatures of dignified grace and elegance."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man shrugs. "Google is your FRIEND, Terry. I'm always a big fan of doing research, whether it be on chemistry or on Doc Ock."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Yeah, I should make it a habit. This sort of stuff keeps happening. Like, how am I supposed to remember that red is positive and black is negative?" he shakes his head, "... but at least the insurance covered it."

A moment of retrospection, and then he quickly moves away from that stopic. "Hey! I forgot-" He reaches into his vest, and then takes out a thumb drive. "Here's the copy. Read it and give me any corrections and whatnot, and I'll send it to Lois. Sorry for the delay but... she kind of had a Doppelganger stalking her. Long story. Buuut..." he grins and his eyes glint a little, "I was thinking that for the feature, it'd be cool if I could get footage of your webslinging. But then I thought- heck, neither Captain Marvel nor Power Girl took me out flying when I interviewed them! Can /you/ take me out web-slinging? I'd record the whole thing and it'd be the most awesome thing ever!"

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man looks thoughtful. "Don't see why not. You're not the first to ask, so I had a special harness rig created. In fact...if you've got the time, I have to head to Chelsea. Want to come with?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"YES!" Vorpal jumps up from the bench and does the feline equivalent of the Snoopy dance. Then he realizes what he's doing and clears his throat, creatures of grace and elegance indeed. "That would be awesome, Spidey! Just let me change for a moment... I can't imagine the shoulder would help with the harness."

The change takes only a moment, and then Terry rubs the now uninjured shoulder. "I'll never get used to how weird that feels." But then he brightens up and smiles. "So, what do I have to do?" he takes his GoPro out of his pocket and clips it to him. He will probably have to adjust it to make sure it gets a better view.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man reaches into his backpack and pulls out the harness. "Best-case is that I harness you to my back so you're looking over my shoulder. Uhm...you don't have issues with rollercoasters? Or motion sickness? Or vertigo?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Nah, not anymore! When I first started Rabbit Holing, man I used to get sick... but I'm pretty used to it." He steps over to get closer to the harness, "I can sort of travel by short-distance chaining the rabbit holes together... but it's kind of like free falling with changes in direction. Swinging is so much slicker. But you don't need to worry, I won't up and chuck on your suit." The coffee is back, which he finishes and throws into a nearby trash can.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey nods and connects the rig to the straps of the backpack. "Buckle up." He finishes his drink and tosses it into the trash can, as well. "If you do have to, you know, URK, turn your head to the left and let me know so we don't bio-bomb anyone."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
It was right then and there that Terry decided that he would rather die than hork in front of Spider-man. "No probs, Spidey!" he grins and moves over to the harness, buckling himself up after making sure everything that could fly out of his pockets- phone, keys wallet, doomsday device (made you look) is properly secured. And then he bends down and proceeds to tie his shoelaces /very/ tightly, with double knots. Just in case. "Alright, captain, I'm ready to take off!" he says, and looks. "Where do I put my hands so I don't slap birds around? Also, what's the in-flight movie?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey chuckles. "Just try to keep them to your sides. But, since this may feel like a rollercoaster, holding them up over your head is allowable."

He reaches up with both arms firing two weblines to the tops of two trees, then pulling at them to bend them towards the pair, his feet planted on the ground.

"...Ever see HARDCORE HENRY?"
Then he lets go, and the trees snap back to straight and tall as the two are catapulted up and over the treetops towards the building at the perimeter of the park. The mix of elasticity, physical exertion, and the lifting force of the trees slingshotting them up, and they go from zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds...while going UP at the same time.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Actually, now that you mention it, I havEEEEEEEEEE-"

He thought he was prepared. He wasn't. It'll take a few seconds for Terry to get his bearings, but eventually there will be whooping, laughing and yes, he'll hold his arms over his head while cackling like a maniac.

All of that sound will be totally edited out of the video. Of course.