Forest Hills Hospital. Where even in the late night, the injuries come in by the droves. The staff rarely has time to breathe, let alone pay attention to anything but one thing at a time.
Jordan Collins smiled to himself as he pushed his way through the crowded lobby back outside. No chance of anyone noticing me. He took one last glance behind him before he ducked into the alley next to the hospital. Once he reached the corridor's end, he looked up; satisfied no one could see him. He slipped on his old ski mask and pulled his hood up on his sweatshirt. It was a long way to the 14th floor.
Nevertheless, the lawyer had to get to the truth. He crossed his fingers one more time that nothing would happen as he placed his hand on the wall, only to find himself adhering like normal. Normal? He pulled himself onto the brick and was soon entirely on the wall. Have to be careful to stay between the windows, can't take any chances of anyone seeing me. This is freaking me out enough! He slowly began his climb as the City That Never Sleeps caused its normal raucous behind him. I can't help but marvel at this, I weigh a decent 165, and I have a hard enough time with pull-ups before. I'm pulling myself along now like it's nothing! He then felt a strange tingling in the back of his skull. What in the world…
The window to his right suddenly came to life with light and Jordan froze like a deer in headlights would in front of a Wonder Man fan's vehicle. He heard motion inside, but he couldn't tell if the occupant was coming near. He then heard the lock being undone on the window.
As the window opened, Jordan shut his eyes tightly in fear. When nothing happened after a few seconds, he opened them again. The window had a mere crack in it and the light was back off.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Jordan went to continue his trek when he made a mistake: he looked down.
"Shit!" he whispered to himself. Here he was, dangling 5 stories off of the ground by his feet and hands, and he was having a life-long fear affirmed. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I was so anxious to try out this new ability of mine that I totally forgot about my fear of heights! He didn't move an inch, petrified of falling.
Finally, he took a deep breath and tried to move. As he did so, he kept his eyes closed as he was still gripped in his fear. He continued to move up the building, only this time a bit more cautiously.
It took only another five minutes more Jordan reached the 14th floor, and he only realized that by taking another big look down to count windows. After getting his bearings, he began peaking into windows for the record room. Although it would've been easier to try to access the information through the hospital computers, he still didn't have the proper authorization to do so. This is the only way I can get to the bottom of this 'thing'. After passing more than a few rooms and empty closets, Jordan finally hit the jackpot. He could see Medical Records emblazoned across the front door's window.
The window was slightly open, likely in an attempt to keep some air circulating throughout. Jordan slid the window up and jumped into the room, making a loud thump as he did. He began looking at the numbers of file cabinets with his pocket flashlight, finding the P's quickly.
He pulled at the drawer, but it wouldn't budge. Locked! I should've counted on that. Sighing, he tugged again as he pondered entry, only to hear a snap as the lock broke and the drawer flew open. Pulling his hood off and rolling his mask up some, he stood in astonishment.
"This is crazy."
Returning to the task at hand, Jordan flipped through file folders until he reached 'Parker, May'. He jerked out the contents and scanned the pages quickly under his light.
"Blood transfusion." he said in triumph as he dropped the rest of the documents back into the folder. May's case followed his to a T, except her sickness came a few months after her transfusion, while his didn't take hold until two years after the fact. His eyes lit up when he came across the donor.
"Peter Parker, relation: nephew. He's the one that gave me the blood!" The back of his head began to tingle again, but Jordan was too excited to pay attention. "If I remember right, he was on trial a few years ago for some murder that some super-villain did. Now I just have to find him and…" Suddenly, the door flew open and the room filled with light. Jordan quickly ducked and pulled his mask and hood back on.
"Who's in here?!" a gruff voice demanded. The security guard came stumbling into the room, awakened from his drunken shift slumber by a thump above his head. Not being able to shake it off, he had come up here to investigate. "I don't have time for this, Buffy's on and I need my SMG fix!"
Jordan was still crouching quietly, praying against discovery.
"Fine, I'm coming in!" the guard slurred as he took a step forward. His foot caught the broken lock that had fallen to the floor and he fell face first. Barely catching himself before he hit his face, he glanced to his right and saw Jordan. "A-ha! I knew it!" He scrambled to his feet and took a fighting stance. Except he leaned to the side and could barely stand. "Come on!"
Jordan sighed and stood up. "Look, I don't want to fight. I'm sorry for breaking in here, I'll leave. As Jordan tried to pass the guard, he felt the tingle again and it felt as if every nerve was screaming for him to move. He did so seconds before the guard's fist went where he had been. Whoa.
The guard had left himself open and if Jordan were a lesser man he would've taken advantage. Instead he pushed the guard and scrambled for the door. That's when he heard a loud crashing sound and a moan.
Turning he saw the guard a good 10 feet away from him knocked unconscious over a toppled file cabinet. "No way." Out of fear and desperation Jordan slid the papers back into May's file and closed the drawer, then ran back to window. The guard awakened as Jordan crawled his way back out.
7:54 am. The same time Joe "Robbie" Robertson, had been arriving at his office for years. He hung his hat and had no sooner set down his coffee, when his phone sprang to life. Probably Martha reminding me of our lunch date. "Hello?"
"Joe Robertson? I have some information."
Robbie let his journalist get the best of him. "Go ahead."
"Spider-Man broke into the Forest Hills Hospital Medical Record room last night Mr. Robertson. Saw it with my own two eyes. I'd be glad to give you the interview, for the right price."
"Why should I believe you when you won't even tell me your identity?" Robbie retorted.
"I will if you agree to my terms, but right now I fear for my life. Spider-Man said he'd kill me if I talked. But I had to!"
Robbie was still skeptical, but knew he couldn't miss out if it was true. "Look, why don't I get back to you. Give me your number, and I'll let you know, soon."
"Fine, but don't be too long. The Globe is very interested in what I have to say. 817-1000. Hope to year from you soon!" Then the call was over.
Robbie took a long sip of his coffee as he looked out the window of the Daily Bugle. "Now what do I make of this?" He sighed and looked at what was the morning headline: More fires rage throughout city. "I know, one thing though," he mused as he picked up his pencil. "I can't tell Jonah."
Jordan was slapped awake by the sound of his phone, which rang loudly on his bedside dresser. As he fumbled for it sleepily, he knocked over his clock, which broke as it hit the hardwood floor.
"Dammit!" he yelled as he answered.
"Jeez Jordan, whatever happened to hello?" Joe Wilcox asked from the other end. "Where are you man?"
"I was sleeping." Jordan snapped as he looked around the darkened room.
"It's 10 o' clock! You were supposed to be with Sheila and I at the Hill vs. Hill case. You're damn lucky they settled!"
"10:00? No way." Jordan looked at the shattered clock on the floor, and sure enough the face still read 10:00 from just before its last ticks. He had made it back to his apartment at almost 4:30 this morning and immediately fell asleep, letting his case slip his mind. "I feel like an asshole. I didn't even set my alarm. I think it was just the stress of yesterday and all.*"
"Okay, I'll let you slide, but now that the case is through we need to finish up our plans for moving to Chicago."
Jordan nodded as he began to fall back asleep. "Okay, okay. Let's all go out and grab dinner and we'll talk. Aiight?"
"Okay, see you then Jordan." Joe finished as he hung up the phone. Jordan was snoring loudly 10 seconds later.
Across town, Robbie Robertson's door was opening.
Peter Parker stepped through, dressed in the casual clothing he wore under his lab coat at Stark Solutions. "You wanted to ask me something Robbie? I rushed over here as soon as I went on break." He looked down and saw about a dozen Spider-Man pictures on the editor-in-chief's desk.
"Look at these Peter." Robbie motioned.
Peter started to get nervous. Does he know? he wondered. He looked each one over, each one a photo he had taken while in action. "What about them?" he asked.
"I need you to get me some shots, except I need new pics of Spider-Man." Robbie said excitedly. "I got a guy on line 3 that wants to tell me everything about his encounter with him, but I need you to try to get some shots of him.
Peter raised an eyebrow. "Spider-Man? I'm out of the field now Robbie, I work for Stark now." He leaned against the office window. "And what makes this encounter so special?"
"Spider-Man broke into hospital records and threatened to kill this man." Robbie replied as he held up the phone receiver.
Peter's jaw dropped. "Which hospital?"
"Forest Hills. But Peter, I really need to get back to this conversation but try to get those pictures, but not a word to Jonah. He'll only twist up the facts."
Peter nodded as Robbie went back to his caller. Closing the door behind him, his mind raced to only one answer.
Somebody's impersonating me! But who? Peter's mind ran though countless possibilities, each just confusing him more. I don't have time for this; I got to get back to work. With that, he made his way back towards the Bugle's roof.
A few hours later, the city's skyline once again slipped back into it's familiar haze of darkness as Jordan paid his cab driver outside the restaurant where he was meeting Sheila and Joe. He looked up, knowing that there was a lot more lurking in the dark than ever before now.
He spotted his friends immediately and went to join them at their corner booth.
"I took the liberty of ordering you a vodka tonic J," Joe smiled.
"No thanks, I'm not drinking tonight. Doctor didn't advise it." Jordan responded.
"Since when are you to worry about doctor's orders?" Sheila asked him. She smiled warmly at him, her attraction to him more apparent than ever.
Jordan waved her off and took a sip of his water. "What are we looking at for the move date?"
Joe finished off his rum and coke and jiggled the ice. "Early next week, we've cut ties with all our New York based clients and already have a few secure for after the move."
"I'm already packed, I suggest you get busy yourself." She said pointing her margarita at the 24 year old next to her.
Jordan shook his head. "I…I can't leave that early. It's been so hectic around here; I still have a lot to tie up. You two go ahead without me for right now."
"What?! We're partners, we're not just going to leave you here." Joe stated as he set his glass down.
"No buts, I'm not leaving New York until I figure some things out." End of conversation." He stood to leave.
"Jordan, be reasonable!" Sheila pleaded. "Don't walk out like this."
"I got to go, I'll see you two tomorrow." Jordan then quickened his pace and left, leaving Joe and Sheila in shock.
"What is going on with him?" Joe asked. Sheila could only shrug her shoulder and take a big swallow of margarita.
45 minutes later, Jordan was back in his apparel from last night's outing, except he was able to walk right into Bugle with the help of a employee, once a story of forgotten car keys was conjured up. As he entered the Bugle's morgue, his heart sank. Countless racks of old newspapers and cabinets lay through the room, ranging from the Bugle's inception to the present.
"Great, where do I start?" he asked himself as he stepped deeper within. It was then a new manila folder, marked SPIDER-MAN, caught his eyes. Jordan ripped it open and slid out a good wad of Spider-Man photos. Not what I was looking for. He began to replace the folder when another name caught his eye.
On a thin piece of white paper were the words: All pictures by Peter Parker.
"Jackpot!" he yelled triumphantly. No sooner were the words out, Jordan's head began tingling again. "Okay, I've had about enough of…what the?!" Jordan annoyance turned to surprise as felt his arms being bound to his sides. But by what?
"Let's just say those slots were rigged pal!" a voice came from up above.
Jordan looked up to see Spider-Man dangling from a web, apparently what he was trapped in.
"Let's just say you come along quietly, so I can clear my name and get along with my life?" Spidey asked. He had seen do a bit of wall crawling from above and decided to follow. Now all I have to do is hope he goes easy.
As if in response, Jordan pushed at his binds a bit, surprising himself and Spider-Man as he broke through the webbing easily.
Spider-Man sighed. "I warned you, now I'm gonna have to get serious." He launched himself from his perch and nailed Jordan in the chest with both feet, sending him down. "You're not keeping me from watching Smallville tonight!"
Jordan scrambled to his feet and backed away. What have I gotten myself into?
NEXT ISSUE: Jordan vs. Spider-Man! Will he hold his own or just get embarrassed? Plus, answers revealed and the Shocker in Scarlet Rebirth Part 3!