His eye slid open as the alarm clock sounded its dull and mechanical buzzing noise. The young man in bed pulled off the blankets that had been covering him and rose to his feet. He yawned loudly and stretched his muscles for a moment. He then moved towards the windows and pulled away the white curtains allowing the sun to beam in through the windows.
"Peter?" An old woman called from downstairs, "Are you awake? Its time for breakfast."
The young man, Peter Parker, turned away from the sun hanging above the sky past the opened window and answered quickly. "I'll be right down, Aunt May."
Peter moved across the small bedroom and opened a closet full of sloppily placed clothes. They were in a pile all on top of each other but clean. He bent over and picked up a red shirt and a pair of jeans without hesitation.
The room was rather simple. His bed lay near the door. Several feet besides it was a computer placed on top of a worktable. On the other side of the room was a television on top of a stand built to support such weight. A poster that showed Albert Einstein in the famous sticking-his-tongue out pose had been taped on the wall.
Peter put his clothes on, grabbed his glasses and slipped out of the room. The second floor of the cramped home was large enough for only the stairway leading down, two tiny bedrooms and a bathroom. It was the latter that Peter entered. He immediately checked his appearance in the window.
He was a young man, only seventeen. He seemed to be handsome but at the same time awkwardly thin. The brown hair on his hair was an uncombed mess that he didn't take any time to fix and after splashing some water on his face and brushing his teeth immediately ran down the stairs.
In the kitchen, Peter found his Aunt May and Uncle Ben both seated at opposite ends of the table. In front of both of them lay a plate with eggs and bacon.
"Smells good." Peter noted with a smile as he greeted the only family he had ever known.
Uncle Ben, an older man with lines of wisdom running across the edges of his face grinned, "Well grab a fork and get your plate." He said pointing a finger at his plate that lay at the edge of the counter.
Peter complied and grabbed his plate along with a glass of milk before sitting down at the table. He immediately stabbed at the egg with a fork and took a few bites.
"How is it?" May asked as she snapped a piece of her own bacon off. The drops of grease rolled down the ends of the meat and splashed onto the plate.
"You outdid yourself." Peter responded jovially before taking another bite of his food.
Ben rubbed the ends of his chin for a moment in thought, "You're field trip is today, right?"
"Yep." Peter put his fork down and tackled the bacon with his bare hands.
"Where was it too again?"
Peter leaned into the back of the chair as he swallowed a bit of the bacon, "The New York Arachnid Research Center."
May asked as she raised her eyes. The wrinkles in her face became more apparent
as the woman's eyeballs moved towards Ben in surprise, "I hate
those things, the little pests."
"Yeah so do I." Peter responded sheepishly, "Although, I hear that the center is conducting genetic experiments on their spider specimens that we'll get to see, so the results should be interesting at the very least."
Ben allowed a sly smile to creep across his face, "You know, Peter, if you really wanted to see some spiders you should have just checked our basement."
Peter raised his
left eye and glanced at his uncle, "I'll take that as a not so
subtle reminder that you've been asking me to clean the basement."
"You can take that as you please." Ben responded mischievously. He glanced at the watch on his wrist and then back to Peter, "You better get to school, you don't want to be late."
Midtown High was a school in New York like any other school. Hundreds of students moved in and out going about their daily routines like they always did. Today that routine was just starting.
Peter Parker slipped in through the front door and found himself among a crowd full of people pushing their way towards their lockers in preparation for the first class now fifteen minutes away.
Peter found himself pushing past several people in order to reach his destination towards the end of the hall. He eventually broke free of the crowd and reached his own locker. The young man put his hand on the end of the locker only to feel a hand grab at his shoulder. He turned around and saw the face of Michael Hen, one of the school's resident potheads.
"Hi, Peter." Michael said with a grin on his face, "Are you busy?"
Peter shook his head and adjusted the glasses that rested on his nose, "Not really. Just getting my stuff, so how you're doing?"
Michael shrugged carelessly as dozens of people moved by, "Have you started Mr. Garret's assignment, yet?"
The assignment in question was for their science class. It was due in three days and many would wait until the last moment possible to finish but Peter had already finished finding himself with an abundance of time.
"I completed it last night." Peter responded opening his locker to find his books safely inside.
Michael nodded, "I knew I could on you. Listen, you know that thing Tina's doing tomorrow at the mall?" Peter nodded, "Good. I really need to be there and I was wondering if you could do the assignment for me."
Peter sighed and was silent for a moment as he put away one of his books for later use.
"I wouldn't ask but I really can't afford to miss it." Michael reached into his wallet, "Listen, I'll pay you." He slipped some money into Peter's coat pocket, "We're good?"
"Yeah." Peter responded with a resigned tone, "I'll get it done."
"That's great." Michael replied, "I'll see you in history class, okay?" He joined the flood of students moving through the halls and vanished quickly.
Peter reached into his coat pocket and pulled the money that Michael had given him, earlier. He pulled out two one-dollar bills.
"You have cancer. Its inoperable."
"What? How could this have happened? I'm in great shape, I work out every day."
"It's not that simple. Sometimes, cancer just strikes, its already in the advanced stages, we caught it too late."
"This can't be true…How long do I have?"
"A month, maybe two."
"Sir?" Dr. Mendel Stromm tapped his boss on the shoulder, as they both stood in the lab overlooking the most recent test, "Are you alright?"
Norman Osborn raised an eye, "Of course. I must have been dozing off." He ran his fingers through his wavy hair and brushed it back easily. That had been true, his mind was focused on the disturbing news he had received at the hospital.
He could hardly believe the news. He, the business tycoon and scientist that had built Osborn Industries into a multi-million dollar corporation now had cancer, and it was going to kill him.
"Please, continue." Norman said to Stromm with a grin on his face.
Mendel nodded his head and led Norman across the busy lab to a balcony overlooking a small white room with two chimpanzees in it. The chimps were on opposite sides of the room and kept safely isolated from one another by a large metal wall. "The chimpanzee on the right is test subject Alpha, he's the one we injected with the formula."
"What was the projected strength increase?" Norman inquired staring at Alpha.
Mendel bit the bottom of his lip as he recalled the exact number, "Something slightly over six hundred percent."
Norman nodded, "As he shown such an increase?"
"That's what this test is to find out." Mendel responded confidently, "Begin the test!" He called out to several technicians on the other side of the lab. He raised his notepad and began to take down calculations and notes.
This was but one of the many cold and sterile labs in Norman Osborn's industrial empire devoted to the development of the performance enhancing formula codenamed: Green. The name was in honor of the formula's color.
The door slid open and Alpha began to rise suddenly. Mendel leaned over towards Norman, "Watch this, here's the problem."
Alpha suddenly roared and charged at the other stunned chimp. Blood began to spray all across the test area.
Norman frowned, "This is the aggression you were talking about?" He turned away from the bloody scene in disgust.
"Yes." Mendel looked at his notepad for a moment making sure he had all of the necessary information, "We might have to send the entire formula back to the drawing-board."
"No." Norman disagreed harshly, "The problem could rest with the chimps themselves. Run several more tests and have the results sent to my office. I'll make a decision then. Good day, Mr. Stromm."
Norman entered the top floor of his tower of steel that stood out over the rest of New York City. His office was large and expansive focusing all around his table in the center of the room.
The tycoon took a seat and gazed at the documents all across his table. "Why do I even bother?" He asked himself, with his impending doom only a short time away this all seemed futile. He shook his head and angrily pounded his hand on the edge of the table.
He began to think of the repercussions of his death and what would mean for Osborn Industries. His company had several good people ready to take the reigns when he was gone.
Thus far he had kept the news to himself and wondered if he should tell somebody. Norman sighed and found his thoughts turning towards his son. The doctor suggested that he tell his son as soon as possible. If Norman died suddenly the loss to his son could be traumatic.
"Maybe my death will force Harry to get his ass in gear." Norman decided that thinking of his loser son could only get on his nerves and decided instead to bury himself in his work. He grabbed a document and began reading.
Harry Osborn turned his head around and grinned, "Well, hurry up Pete." He stood just outside the crowd at the end of a line that was slowly pouring into the school buses that would take them to the research center for their trip.
Harry was a fairly good-looking man with wavy hair and a strong jaw. However, he was rather reserved keeping mostly too himself.
Peter caught up behind Harry with a light backpack slung over his shoulder, "Looking forward to this?" He asked of his old friend as the line slowly moved.
"A day out of school, sure." Harry responded pleased with the fact that he had wasted the last day hanging around the penthouse as his father angrily watched.
Peter grinned and followed Harry as they entered the cramped bus. Both friends moved towards one of the vacant seats and sat down without event. "So what did your dad say?"
"About?" Harry inquired.
"You're grades, you got your report card, right?"
Harry nodded, "Yeah, he saw them. I think he was going to yell at me, but I don't think he really cares anymore." Peter was silent for a moment and wondered what he should say to such a depressing comment, "Let me guess you got straight A's."
Peter shrugged, "You could say that." He answered with a smile.
"Why am I not surprised?" Harry stated as he leaned against the window. "Can't wait to see those spiders. It'll be better than those rocks our teacher keeps showing us."
Peter responded with a face full of mixed emotions, "Personally I can't stand the things, kill them when I can, but I hear they've been conducting some experiments so that might be fun to see." He gazed at the driver sitting down in the front and added, "I just hope I don't have to get too close to them." The bus started up its engine and drove down the road towards the center.