By the time Spider-Man made it out of the window, the man in black was nowhere to be seen. Running off in a random direction looking for him wouldn’t do any good. Instead, he snuck back inside, put his regular clothes back on, and hid in the stairwell until the police “rescued” him. While he waited, he kicked himself for his hesitation earlier. He also kicked himself for not getting any pictures of the man in black. JJ was going to go nuts on him later for that.
When the police finally found him, it was still a long wait until he was finally free to go. They asked him the same questions over and over again for hours. He walked them through the chain of events, leaving out only the part about changing into Spider-Man. Now he knew why he helped people as Spider-Man. Being a policeman would entail hours of useless questioning.
By the time the police were done with him, it was dark outside. Dr. Connors was leaving too, and they walked across the campus together. For the first few minutes, both of them were silent. Finally, Peter asked, “Who was that, Dr. Connors?” The professor still didn’t talk. “He almost killed me in there. I think I deserve to know who he is, at least.”
“His name is Dr. Michael Morbius,” Connors sighed. “He won the Nobel Prize for biochemistry when he was barely out of college. Then, around 5 years ago, he found out he had a rare blood disorder. There is no cure.
“Undaunted, he took it upon himself to find a cure. About a year ago, he came to me, asking to look at some of the research I’d done on lizards. I was flattered that he even knew who I was, let alone wanting my research.”
“Why would he want research on lizards?”
“Lizards are fascinating creatures, Peter. Did you know that there are some types of lizards that can regrow lost limbs?” Peter wisely kept his eyes away from Connors’ missing arm and let the comment drop. “Anyway,” the doctor continued,” about 6 months ago, he came back to me and asked me to help him with his latest experiment. I was going to, until I heard the FDA had told him he couldn’t do it. As much as I wanted to help him, it wasn’t worth losing my career.
“Morbius did the experiment anyway. Nobody’s sure what exactly happened. All I know is that because some of my research was found at his lab, they questioned me exhaustively about it. They told me that he was dead. They told me the accident killed him.”
They fell into another silence. Peter was digesting the new information and Dr. Connors was reminiscing about the past. “I’m sorry,” the professor suddenly apologized. “With all that happened, never did tell me why you came to see me.”
“Believe it or not, I’m here because of him.” Dr. Connors eyed him skeptically, so Peter pressed on. “I was shooting pictures of a police excavation crew and he showed up and took something. I wanted to show you the picture I took of it to see if you knew what it was.”
Peter pulled the picture out of his back pocket, unfolded it, and handed it to Dr. Connors. He studied the image for a moment before looking up. “I recognize this,” he said almost silently. “This is Dr. Octavius’, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Peter confirmed. “It was part of his machine. The control panel.”
“He showed me a few of the things it could do, but I never got a chance to try it out for myself. All I really remember is how much more advanced it was than anything I had ever seen before. It is light-years ahead of everything still. It’s actually kind of scary.”
“What could he do with both it and your device?”
Dr. Connors’ eyes lit up. “He could make it work.” When he saw that his student didn’t follow, he expanded. “The problem I’ve come across during the few preliminary tests I’ve been able to run is that the computing power at the university isn’t nearly enough. I don’t get anywhere with it. Unfortunately for me, the only places that have the kind of power I need are controlled by the government and they won’t let me near them.”
“But what would he be able to do with it? Blow up the entire city?”
“No, nothing like that. But, he could be able to turn himself into something far more dangerous than he already is.”