Gwen Stacy walks through the busy main office of the Daily Bugle. Mid-day on a Thursday, every employee was working on finishing articles and pieces meant to go out for tomorrow's edition. Gwen circumnavigated the ordered chaos with practiced ease, making her way to the desk of Betty Brandt, which sat in front of the office of J. Jonah Jameson.
, Gwen smiled.
"Hi, Gwen. Here to see Mr. Jameson?"
"Yes, he wanted to see me."
The pair didn't speak as the heard the faint sound of screaming through the supposedly soundproof walls of Jameson's office.
"Enter at your own peril..."
Gwen took a deep breath as Betty informed Jonah and let her in. Inside the office, Mr. Jameson was busy tearing Basil Karlo a new one.
"What the hell were you thinking, Karlo!? Because of you I have to print a retraction in tomorrow's paper! All because you didn't have your ****ing facts straight!"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Jameson...the numbers...they looked legit. They were legit. I don't know why things are different now. It doesn't make any damn sense!"
"You expect me to believe that garbage!? Your on a leave of absence until I deem otherwise!"
"Wait a damn minute! You can't-"
"I damn well can"
, Jameson growled as he rose from his seat and leaned over his desk, glaring at Basil.
"Feel fortunate it's a paid leave, and that you're still employed here. Now get the hell out of my office. NOW!"
Basil didn't waste any time, turning around and storming off in anger, giving Gwen a glance as he passed her.
"Sorry you had to hear that, my dear"
, a suddenly smiling JJJ said as he regarded Gwen.
"Come, have a seat."
Gwen sat down in the seat Basil occupied mere seconds ago, still a bit off guard by the encounter she just witnessed.
"I have a number for you, Ms. Stacy. Fourteen percent."
"Fourteen percent of what, sir?"
"That's the increase of sales of yours and Basil's Hell's Kitchen Heroes collaboration. And that picture you took of the scene is a big reason for that. It captured the entire breadth of the event that was being portrayed in the article."
"Thank you, Mr. Jameson"
, Gwen politely smiled.
"That means a lot to hear you say that."
"I'm going to cut down to the business, Ms. Stacy. That was an amazing photo you took, so I'm charging you with getting me more pictures of Spider-Man. I want as many as you can get me, and I'll give you a very hefty bonus...depending on the picture's quality of course."
Gwen didn't know what to say.
"I...yes...thank you, Mr. Jameson. I'm sure I can handle that."
"I'm counting on you Gwen"
, Jonah smiled, "and I know you'll do the Bugle proud."
Gwen left Jonah's office and walked by Betty Brandt, not even hearing Betty's goodbye as her mind was trying to discern what just happened. She was so deep in thought, Gwen didn't even notice Robbie Robertson as she accidentally bumped into him, causing him to drop some papers he was holding.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Robertson"
, Gwen said as he began to pick up the papers she knocked out of his hands.
"It's all right, Gwen. Accidents happen"
, Robbie assured her as he knelt down to help.
, Gwen said as she noticed one of Robbie's papers was a familiar photo...hers.
"This is the photo of that B&E/kidnapping scene I took for Basil."
"Yes, it is"
, Robbie confirmed.
"We were going to run it in the main section, but it's getting canned."
, Gwen questioned?
"Because one of the witnesses Basil question claimed to have seen a little girl taken by some giant humanoid monster that took her into the sewers."
Gwen didn't know what to say. She was shocked Karlo would have included it in the cut he'd present to Robbie. Then again, Basil was a strange man.
"Wow...okay, I can see why."
"Sorry, Gwen. It was a good picture. Anyway, I gotta run. Some major stuff just went down in the city today and we're scrambling to make it the focus of tomorrow's edition."
, Gwen asked, curious.
"Some lunatic destroyed the DMV downtown. Don't know if it was terrorists or not. Reports are still coming in. Lot of people are presumed dead though."
"Oh my God"
, Gwen said, shocked.
, Robbie sighed and frowned in disgust.
"It's hard to imagine how somebody could do such an act"
, Robbie shook his head.
"Be safe out there, Gwen."
"I will, Mr. Robertson"
, Gwen smiled.
Robbie and Gwen parted ways, and Gwen left work to head home and figure out just how she can get her hands on another picture of the Wall-Crawler...