It's been a long time. Not sure if peopel even are interested in reading this anymore. Last chapter with the whole high school thing was heavily criticized and it took me a little while to admit it needed to be redone, so here that is, hopefully explaining the plot holes. From here I hope to return to being able to post chapters regularly. Thank you for still reading.
And that's how I ended up at Winslow High School.
"I'm honestly not even a student here," I told the officer.
The officer looked at me skeptically as she opened the door of her squad car and let me out into the parking lot of Winslow High, or at least that was what I think the emblazoned words said on the concrete outcropping just in front of the main doors.
The whole building was dilapidated and run down, the name of the school was covered up in various graffiti even. I spotted red and black marks that looked like a gang sign, "E88". My cynical side immediatly pegged that one as coming from a Nazi, after all my excellent education, cough, cough, youtube videos, said that "88" stood for something dinstictly nazi.
The others were more nebulous and uncertain, I spotted a stylized red and green "ABB" and a not uniform at all "ABM". Of course, I actually only got a moment to appreciate this absolutely stunning art since the officer took my moment of distraction to pull me out of the car rather harshly and start striding towards the door.
I trailed behind, I didn't think it would be a good idea to just take off since for one the officer was rather fit and would probably notice something amiss if she was unable to run down a younger and shorter teenage girl. Second, I didn't want to give away what I looked like, a secret identity mattered a great deal to me, and I was rather reluctant to blow it by swinging away into the early morning light.
However, my desire to maintain a secret identity was already in jeopardy. I didn't exist here in this dimension, and since there was no way I could be here, then the officer would find out that I had no family shortly.
The officer led me into the building and it looked even worse on the inside if that was possible. Gang signs and graffiti and even a metal detector that had wires hanging from it and wasn't even being watched. The officer didn't even bother to go through the metal detector, nor wait for someone to come by and check my bag.
Instead, the officer just strode right by, ignoring all the ruin and headed for a hallway that branched off from the main dimly lit corridor. A little plaque at the junction proclaimed that it led to administration, which was evidently where we were headed.
We passed a secretary, who was involved with a little flip phone and didn't even look up until we were right in front of her. In fact the officer had to say, "Hello?"
"Hello, how can I help you today?" The secretary said, returning her gaze to her phone after a brief glance at us. I was honestly a little shocked at the blase attitude of the woman when confronted with a police officer. After growing up my whole life with an officer for a father and being taught to respect and look up to the police it was quite a foreign concept to me.
A little plaque in front of the Winslow school principal's desk had the name 'Blackwell' on it in a rather atrocious cursive font. I mean, really? Why couldn't she have an ordinary font, it had to be cursive? Who even uses cursive on important things like that these days?
The officer gestured to me with one hand, the other hand was firmly on my shoulder. Probably to keep me from bolting.
"She looks like one of yours," the officer said, tightening her grip on my shoulder.
"Hmm," Blackwell said, looking at me. I could see her eyes stopping at my hair and briefly flitting over my clothing.
"Well I don't remember every student," she started hesitantly, "She does look like most of the students here."
I could tell by the little sneer she appended to the end of that statement that she meant it as an insult. Hey, lady, it's not my fault that a spider-person's hand got stuck to my hair and I had to get a school nurse to remove it!
The officer blinked in response, "She's not in the system, not that I expected her to be, can you check your records?"
Blackwell's eyes darted to the side as if she was thinking of something, "Of course it won't be a problem, I'll have Eleanor look through the school's records, I'm sure she'll be there."
"Eleanor?" The officer asked skeptically.
"My secretary," Blackwell replied, before turning cold blue eyes towards me, "What's your name? And what year are you?"
"I'm Gwen Stacy," I said, still a little confused, "I'm not even from Brockton Bay, I go to school in New York!"
"Oh?" Blackwell said, sounding a little amused. Her tone seemed to indicate that something similar to what I was saying had happened before, "I wasn't aware that New York's spring break has started."
"Um," I replied, not expecting this turn in the conversation, "I'm not on spring break, I'm just taking time off to visit my, um, family."
"Your family? What's their phone number then?"
I just widened my eyes. I knew literally nobody. None of the phone numbers I had worked, and even if some random one did, there was an enormously high chance they wouldn't even know me since I was most likely from another dimension.
"Well, um, I lost it?" I tried. Blackwell just gave me a look. The police officer, who's hand was still on my shoulder, snorted in amusement.
"Like I haven't heard that before," Blackwell muttered under her breath, to low for the officer to pick it up, but well within the range of my superhuman hearing.
"And what school in New York do you go too?"
"Midtown High?" I decided to just be truthful about the High School I attended back in my universe, maybe someone with my name would be there.
"How generic…" Blackwell muttered, pulling her computer's keyboard towards her and typing away for a long moment. She paused, letting the silence linger for another moment before leaning back in her seat, "There is no such high school in New York, the only result I have here is for a school in Arizona. Arizona, by the way, is a state which definitely cannot be mistaken for New York."
"Eleanor!" Blackwell raised her voice to be audible to her secretary outside the office. I heard the sound of the secretary's chair being scooted back and then her heavy footsteps. The door creaked open and the secretary stuck her greying head in with a sigh, "Yes Amanda, what is it now? The Hebert girl again?"
"No, ahem," Blackwell stiffened a bit, before glaring at the secretary, "No, of course not! Can you check our files for a 'Gwen Stacy'? Officer Melbrose here found a truant she thinks is one of ours."
Blackwell turned back to look at the officer with beady eyes, "Also, Eleanor, can you show the good officer out?" She addressed the next part to officer Melbrose, "Based on her answers I'm certain we'll find her in our system, thank you for your assistance, officer."
Officer Melbrose nodded and lifted her hand from my shoulder, making to leave, before stopping, "Who's the Hebert girl? You have regular issues with one of your students?"
"Yes, yes," Blackwell said dismissively, "She's a real troublemaker, false accusations and one of the worse students we've ever had, a real piece of work."
Officer Melbrose frowned thoughtfully for a moment, before nodding and turning away, following the secretary out of the office.
"I really am from New York!" I protested again to Blackwell.
"Maybe you are," she shrugged, "What are your parent's numbers, really? I can give them a call and try to straighten things out, tell them where you are for one."
My eyes darted around the room, trying to think of ways to answer the question. Blackwell frowned, watching me for a moment, "you have any ID then?"
My mind flashed to my New York ID, but I immediately disregarded that idea, that would probably be one of the fastest ways to out myself as a dimensional traveler. I could take that chance. I could hope she wasn't familiar with what New York's IDs were supposed to look like. However, if she was she would know it was a fake right away, and then she'd start asking questions or have me arrested for having a fake ID, or something like that.
I really didn't know the penalty for using a fake ID, my father always made it seem like a really serious crime, just a little worse than counterfeiting. I had suspicions he just didn't want me trying to sneak into bars but I had no way to prove that and I hadn't really asked around to figure out for sure.
Blackwell snorted, " I thought not, you're actually a runaway, aren't you?"
"I'm not!" I defended myself vehemently, before stopping to actually think the whole thing through. I needed to stick around Brockton Bay, at least in the short term to try and figure out why I got spit into this world. I couldn't really stick in costume for who knows how long I would be stuck here. I needed a civilian identity that wouldn't be stuck on the streets or picked up by truant officers.
As I saw it, this could be the first step to establishing an actual identity. Yes, they'd find it extremely strange that there was no record of me, but this world was much less stable, maybe they would excuse gaps in documents.
I sighed, adopting almost a defeated air, "All right, you got me."
Blackwell's brows furrowed, she squinted at me, probably trying to figure out what had just happened in my head.
"I am from New York, it's just after Behemoth's attack there wasn't a lot of record-keeping. My parents both died when I was a baby," A stab of grief went through me, both reminding me of the death of my mother, and of the absence of my father. It made my entire presentation more authentic, so despite the pain, I was thankful.
Blackwell rocked back in her seat as if she was slapped, "Well, um," she said, searching for the right words, "I'm sorry? I could see how that could be an issue."
Her eyes narrowed, "That still doesn't explain why you're here in Brockton Bay? Is your adoptive family here?"
"No," I replied, making sure to seem slightly fearful, "I ran away from them years ago, I don't want to go back to them!"
Blackwell rubbed her face, looking for all the world that things didn't have to be so complicated, "I'll call CPS, see what they know."
Eleanor chose that moment to stick her head back into the office, "Amanda, we ain't got any students named Gwen Stacy, unless her files in 'that' filing cabinet."
Blackwell fixed me with a piercing glare while she addressed me, "Well Ms. Stacy, while I figure out what exactly the school district is going to do with you, and who I need to contact to clear things up you can join some of the morning classes."
Eleanor looked confused, "Amanda, she's not…"
"I'm well aware. I'm also aware that the more students we have from disadvantaged homes the more money we get."
Eleanor covered her mouth, covering her heavily wrinkled face, "Should you be saying this in front of?" She gestured toward me.
"Not like it makes a difference, brats always make more messes for me, take her to one of the classes, like Quinlan's. Never like his ramblings about that stupid mini-bar."
She continued under her breath in exasperation, so low that I almost couldn't hear, "a mini-bar in the teacher's lounge, how absurd!"
The principal's secretary grabbed my arm, pulling me roughly from Blackwell's office, "I hope you appreciate this charity!"
"I don't," I answered truthfully. Honestly, this whole thing was just so weird. Forcefully conscripted into a school! What was this world even coming too?