( for spideyguy, continued! )
A few weeks ago, Harry fired Otto Octavius — a brilliant scientist known for his knowledge in nuclear physics and biochemistry — for his arrogant, destructive behavior regarding his research. So determined to see his project through, Otto had refused to see the flaws in his calculations, no matter who pointed them out. Even after causing an accident in the labs, Otto insisted he could stabilize the project. Harry wasn't convinced. He told Otto to move on, that he was pulling the plug on the project. Otto was outraged, of course, and he refused to drop it. Harry gave him an ultimatum: move on or leave Oscorp. "You don't have the spine," Octavius had snarled. ...So, Harry gathered all his courage and fired him. To say that Otto wasn't happy about it... well. That was a gross understatement. He somehow broke into Oscorp a couple days after that, stealing the reinforced titanium smart arms he'd been using for his research, and now he was determined to make Harry's life hell. Harry didn't feel safe at work or at home, didn't dare staying at Peter's. The paranoia was wearing on him. It was evening now at the Osborn penthouse. Harry paced around in his office with a glass of whiskey in hand. Restless. He kept thinking about what his father would do, and it only made him feel worse. Norman Osborn never let himself get overwhelmed with Oscorp. He wouldn't have tolerated this. He would have found a way to stop Octavius in his tracks after the first threat. But Harry wasn't his father and he had to figure this out his own way. He just wished he knew what "his own way" was. Harry paused to stand in front of the full-body mirror, studying his reflection. His curly hair was in complete disarray, shadows formed under his eyes, and he was hunched over, jittery looking like a deer. He looked tired and weak. What could he possibly do against Otto Octavius?
In a fit of frustration, Harry hurled his glass of whiskey at the mirror, shattering it. With his reflection gone, he started to turn, until he realized there was a room behind it. So stunned, he didn't even notice the broken glass embedding into his stockinged feet as he ventured into the hidden passageway. It turned out to be a huge workshop containing all of his father's Goblin gear; he never would have imagined this being here. Harry sifted through the research notes he found — there was a lot he didn't understand — but he was able to catch that Norman had been working on a variant to the serum he'd used on himself. It was supposed to be more stable than the previous one.
That's when the gears in Harry's mind started turning. The serum had given his father immense strength, hadn't it? Made him superhuman? And he had all this weaponry! With this improved serum, Harry could level out the playing field, to fight back against Octavius! He could-- No... Suddenly reality punctured Harry's train of thought, bringing his brainstorm to a screeching halt with a reminder of why his father had all this stuff in the first place. Suddenly feeling sick, Harry doubled over and buried his head between his hands. It would be thoughtless and cruel to take up his dad's stuff, even just to defend himself. He couldn't do that to Peter, to everyone else who had been hurt by Norman. ...But Harry was scared. No one could protect him from Octavius. He had to protect himself! ...Right?
How long he'd been debating with himself, Harry couldn't say for sure, but after a while, he trudged back out into the office, tracking small streaks of blood on the hardwood floor with his forgotten glass-riddled feet. All he could really decide on was that Peter had a right to know what he'd found. Maybe he could help him figure out what to do. Numbly, Harry reached for his phone and pulled up Peter's name.
"Peter?" His voice cracked; he tried not to wince at the sound. "I know it's kinda late, but I really need to talk to you." He was almost tempted to leave it at that, but... "It's important. —I found my dad's stuff. Not just the..." Weapons. He trailed off for a few seconds. "There's journals and research notes, too." A beat; he took an audible breath. "A-And the serum."