“We’re gonna be okay.”
When Tony came to Gwen’s side and said those words, she really did begin to calm down, focusing in on everything going on around her. He was Iron-Man, leader of the freaking Avengers, he had dealt with way more serious threats than this. Yeah, there were a lot of hostages, and a lot of scary terrorists, and he didn’t yet have his suit on, but if Tony Stark said they were going to be okay, they were going to be okay.
Honestly, with all of the chaos and all of the people Gwen had interacted with throughout the science fair, she had almost forgotten that her boss and idol had also been hanging around the science labs. She hadn’t actually even gotten to say hello to him yet, she’d just given him a quick wave before moving throughout the room. Wait… that got her thinking. Hadn’t she seen Peter, given him a brief wave through the crowd as well, before everything got so hectic? “Where’s…?”
she murmured, her voice trailing off as she tried to focus. Gwen’s eyes began to scan the room, trying to sift through the smoke and panicking people to try and spot her classmate during her brief moment of mental reassurance and clarity.
It was a short lived moment. Because of course the assailants also had to have powers
in addition to the assault rifles, as shown when one sent out a stream of fire… that hit Riri, one of the other Stark interns. Just another person in the room that Gwen really did not want to see getting hurt. She tried to focus, trying to think of a course of action, not allowing herself to just stand there getting more and more scared. She needed to act. “Okay, that guy throws fire. Fire. School science lab. Which means there has to be…”
her eyes scanned the walls before landing on the red cylinder a few feet away, “...a fire extinguisher.”
Gwen turned her attention back to the center of the room, trying not to let her plan show as she ever so slowly began to shuffle behind the table where she had shoved the kids, towards the wall. Thankfully, there was enough chaos to keep the room engaged. Spider-Man himself
leapt from the ceiling (because apparently he could teleport now? Or he lived in the air vents? Whatever, Gwen was happy to have more hands on deck) slinging webs and trying to take people out until he was smashed into a wall. And then there was… Tony? Wait, no. Gwen glanced back at her mentor in open mouthed confusion, trying to make sure he was still there, and that this new rubberized version attacking people wasn’t just some hallucination she had made up under stress. Whoever this strange Tony Stark person was, he was being helpful.
Right at the the same time the fire thrower turned his attention at the rubber guy, who let out a small shriek, Gwen’s fingertips brushed metal. Perfect. She grabbed the extinguisher, pulled the pin, and aimed with the skill of someone who had clearly been in too many
high school science labs. “Hey!”
She shouted, trying to get the fire guy’s attention off of whoever the fake Tony was. For just a second, the line of fire shifted towards Gwen and met her stream of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, dulling out the flames. Maybe it wasn’t much, but if it could give the stretchy guy a moment to regroup, heal up, attack again, that was something, right?
She was feeling pretty good until a hand grabbed her shoulder-- and not in the kind of reassuring grip that Mr. Stark had used. This one was painful and intended to intimidate. Almost instinctively, Gwen turned, raising the fire extinguisher up and bashing it into the attacker’s face. Go for the face. It was a basic self defense tip. Should have been a powerful blow. But no, these were powered assailants, it just couldn’t be that easy. The extinguisher bounced off his face with barely even a wince before the man shoved Gwen down with extreme force, making it all seem as simple as flicking a piece of fuzz. Gwen hit the tile painfully, landing on her side with a thud. Super strength. Of course. That’s what this hostage situation was missing. She watched him raise his assault rifle, and she shouted out to warn the room, “Look out!”