Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, Spider-man or any other series. They belong to their rightful copyright owners. This is merely a piece of fanfiction.
The Next Scoop
Things had changed. Exactly what had changed and when those changes had occurred was not clear. Most people couldn’t even sense that something was not the same, but for others, like Peter Parker, it was obvious. It had started after the defeat of Minion, when the government had ordered that collective super hero activity on American soil cease. Plans had been made for a new unified group to protect the world, but nothing had been done. As weeks turned to months it had been easy to just sit back and allow the Power Ranger to handle things. After Minion, retirement had been a welcoming idea.
Peter had for a short time gone back to being a masked crime fighter on the streets of New York. But eventually the motivation to Spider-Man and the need to fight crime seemed to vanish. In fact his entire life since the defeat of Minion was at best a blur and the harder he tried to recall what had happened, the harder it became to remember even the important details. It was a mystery, but one he seemed unwilling to solve. And that worried him more than anything else.
~Although not as worrying as a summons to the Daily Bugle,~ he thought as he exited the lift and made his way to Mr Jameson’s office.
When Peter had stopped working as Spider-Man, he had also put himself out of work. Jameson paid for pictures of the wall climbing menace and had little interest in Parker’s other work. No Spider-Man, no pay check was the Editor-in-Chief’s final word on the matter. And since Peter was freelance and supposed to turn up when he had something worth selling, it had been a while since he had faced the walrus.
Unsurprisingly the print room staff noticed his entrance and huddled close together, waiting for the spectacle that was bound to follow. They had all suffered their employer’s wrath, but it seemed that Peter Parker was capable of pushing Jameson to an even more intense level of anger, normally just by being there.
“Get in here Parker!” was bellowed before the photographer had a chance to knock, causing him to swallow and the crowd to listen all the harder.
Peter did as he was told, reminding himself that he was not an employee and could leave at any time. He was not surprised to find the office was just as he remembered it and Jameson aside from a few more grey hairs, was just the same.
“Remind me Parker, why do I employ you when you don’t show up for over a year?” Jameson asked.
“You don’t, Mr Jameson,” Peter responded, trying to remain respectful. “You told me to stay freelance and turn up when I had something.”
Jameson snorted. He hadn’t gotten to the position of Editor-in-Chief by allowing himself to be hoodwinked.
“You’ve been holding out on me Parker,” he said. “Spider-Man is out there somewhere and you are the only one that can get photos of him. You stop turning up and all of a sudden people start questioning whether there really is a Spider-Man.”
And there it was, the real reason why Jameson wanted him. Spider-Man sold papers, but without pictures, people doubted the stories were true, which given that Spider-Man had not been seen for months was probably the case, didn’t help the Daily Bugle sell papers. Jameson needed photos to prove that Spider-Man was still around, so that his campaign against the wall-crawling vigilante could continue.
“I want photos Parker and you are going to get them for me!” Jameson bellowed, thumping his fist on the desk. Then his voice quietened as he added reluctantly: “I’ll pay you triple the normal amount.”
“Well that’s all well and good Mr Jameson, except I haven’t got any photographs to sell. Spider-Man just hasn’t been around. It’s like he left the city.”
“Left the city?” Jameson yelled before his face turned thoughtful. “Driven out by Daily Bugle and running from the truth, eh Parker? I like the angle.”
Peter could see that Jameson was all too ready to hand himself an award for what he considered a great service… before he remembered his falling sales.
“Well I’m not going to let that web-headed menace loose on some other city,” Jameson growled. “Or country… Yes, we’ve shown him up so much he left the country. Daily Bugle tracks Spider-Man around the globe, imagine the sales.”
He opened a drawer and pulled out a folder filled with newspaper clippings.
“There have been sighting of Spider-Man in Canada, France and Japan,” Jameson explained. “No photographs though. You’re going to track Spider-Man down, find out where he’s been hiding and get the proof. You can start in Japan; there’s enough costumed oddballs there that he would fit right in.”
“I’m sorry Mr Jameson, but I can’t afford to fly around the world on a Spider-Man hunt,” Peter explained.
Jameson grumbled something about ungrateful kids not realising opportunities they were offered before pressing a button on the intercom and asking his assistant to come in.
“Book Parker on a plane to Japan,” he instructed. He paused to consider the matter before adding: “Make it a return trip.”
“Yes Mr Jameson,” Brant replied before hurrying off.
“You’ll start in Japan and if you can’t find him there move on to the next country until you do,” Jameson promised. “And if you get me some good photos, I might consider making you a full time employee.”
“Yes Mr Jameson, thank you Sir,” Peter managed before heading out the door.
Jameson stared after him for a moment, his face taking on an odd expression before slowly returning to normal as he turned his attention to the day’s news, unaware that he was already a part of a huge story.
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