Continuum - Chapter 5 Preview
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“Pictures of what?” Ned asked as he suddenly appeared behind Peter’s left shoulder. Peter jumped, almost knocking into Gwen as he grabbed her hand, tugging her around.
“Jesus, Ned!” Peter exclaimed. “Dude, you can’t sneak up on me like that!”
Ned’s eyebrows knitted together. “Um… I didn’t, but okay. But what’re you taking pictures of?”
“Peter’s gonna get a telescope this coming weekend,” said Gwen.
“Really?” Ned said. “Dude, that’s so cool! Are you gonna let us come over and see it once you get it set up?”
“Ah, it’s gonna be up at the Compound,” said Peter. “Sorry.”
“Oh,” Ned said. “Well, I guess that makes more sense, since upstate’s probably better for stargazing. It just kinda sucks that you’ve gotta go up there every single weekend.”
“Eh, it’s not so bad,” Peter said. “It’s actually kinda nice to get out of the city every now and then. It’s a lot quieter up there.”
“Yeah, I guess. But since when did you like it quiet?” Ned asked. “You know what, nevermind. Wait till you hear what my mom heard yesterday at her book club.”
“You mean her gossip club, right?” Gwen asked as they made their way towards their homeroom classroom. “‘Cause I swear all your mom seems to do there is talk about people.”
“Well… yeah, that is part of it,” Ned admitted. “You know my mom just likes to know what’s going on, so…” He gave his head a quick shake. “Anyway, she told me that one of her friends was walking in the city on Saturday afternoon and saw Dr Stephen Strange go into a comic book store.”
“Who?” asked Gwen, shooting Peter a questioning look. “Am I supposed to know who that is or something?”
“He’s that rich doctor that drove his car off a mountain a few months ago,” said Peter. “The neurosurgeon?” He didn’t add that Dad had disliked Dr Strange ever since he and Papa had tried to get him to consult on Peter during his weeks-long coma after the battle in the Miami bunker, and that the surgeon had flat-out refused because he’d said that he didn’t work on children.
And no amount of begging, pleading, or bribing could get him to change his mind.
Oh well, it’d probably been for the best anyway. From what Peter had heard about Dr Strange, he was a massive jerk, and Dad did not have a good track record dealing with medical professionals who were jerks. Dad was amazingly generous with most of the doctors and nurses who had treated Peter back when he was little, and sick most of the time, but Peter had witnessed him dressing down plenty of arrogant or jerky ones too. Since Dad had enough intelligence and knowledge to pretty much get his own medical degree in any number of fields, he tended to figure out who he could trust and who he could not very quickly.
As it turned out, Dr Strange wouldn’t have been able to do anything for Peter anyway, and not getting him involved ended up saving his dads from having to explain Peter’s genetic mutation and enhancements to yet another person outside their family.
Now that Ned had brought him up, though, Peter had to admit he was pretty curious as to what the former surgeon had been up to in the last several months.
“Oh, yeah, I remember my dad saying something about that,” Gwen said with a nod. “Okay… so…?”
“Well, I guess after his accident, he kinda went nuts trying to find a cure for the nerve damage in his hands. Ended up selling just about everything he owned to try some really weird treatments,” said Ned. “And then one day he just up and disappeared. My mom’s friend thought he was dead until she saw him again.”